This week, Keep Internet Devices Safe Act was gutted by the Illinois senate: it would have allowed people sue manufacturers if they determined that a device had engaged in remote recording without notifying its owner. Read the rest
A man with a "long, long history" of wanking on horses was arrested, released, and then arrested again within hours after claiming his second alleged victim in a day.
The man, 61,
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said he had been planning to see his doctor for libido suppressing drugs but instead went to a field after being freed from prison. ... During a police interview he told detectives: ‘I was sat on a bench. I was feeling sexy so I started to…’
His lawyer Stephen Robinson said: ‘The defendant is very disappointed to be back before the courts again for precisely the same sort of behaviour he’s been convicted of in the past. ‘The defendant was of the view he’d been doing quite well.’
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested today in London and removed from Ecuador's embassy there. He was taken from the embassy—video shows a cuffed Assange dragged by several men through its doors—after his asylum was withdrawn and officers invited in.
Assange stayed in the embassy for six years to avoid a sexual assault case in Sweden that was eventually closed, but still faced arrest for skipping court dates. The U.K. Foreign Office admitted, however, that his arrest today was made at the behest of U.S. authorities over "computer crimes" charges that await him there.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) April 11, 2019
Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno said it withdrew Mr Assange's asylum after his repeated violations of international conventions.
But Wikileaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Mr Assange's political asylum "in violation of international law".
Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: "I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK.
The U.S. charges are unclear but likely relate to Wikileaks' publication of documents and videos showing U.S. war crimes, misconduct and a plethora of other embarrassing and classified information. Wikileaks maintained that Assange's detention and asylum ultimately concerned these plans to extradite him to America.
UPDATE: It's confirmed that the arrest is "at the behest" of the U.S. government.
British home office confirms Assange was arrested at the behest of US for “computer related” offenses pic.twitter.com/bUnKFIDu91
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) April 11, 2019
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Nearly 7yrs after entering the Ecuadorean Embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK.
Zain Qaiser, from Barking in London, scammed millions of pounds out of website visitors and is off to jail. He may be the world's most prolific ransomware distributor, reports the BBC, exposed in a trial that focused on easy-to-blackmail porn site visitors.
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Qaiser, 24, was jailed for more than six years at Kingston Crown Court. The court heard he is the most prolific cyber criminal to be sentenced in the UK. Judge Timothy Lamb QC said: "The harm caused by your offending was extensive - so extensive that there does not appear to be a reported case involving anything comparable." ...
Qaiser was first arrested almost five years ago - but the case has been delayed because of the complexity of the investigation and mental health concerns. Initially working from his bedroom at his family home in Barking, Qaiser began to make money through "ransomware" attacks when he was only 17 years old.
Thieves in Dungiven, Northern Ireland, figured out a clever way to get cash at an ATM without having to install skimmers and wait for punters to come along: tear the entire thing out with a fourteen-ton digger.
The footage shows the digger driving through a security gate then tearing the machine from the wall. ... The cash machine was lifted into a Citroen Berlingo car which had part of its roof cut off. A number of masked men are seen in the footage. The raid lasted just over four minutes. Afterwards the car was driven away with the cash machine sticking out of the roof.
The Komatsu PC130 Hydraulic Excavator is 25ft long and 9ft wide, with a maximum reach of 26 feet, a digging depth of 18ft, and 85hp of gross power provided by a 4-cycle, water-cooled, direct-injection turbocharged Komatsu S4D102E engine. I'm afraid if you want to get one delivered from Amazon Prime you'll have to upgrade to the Komatsu PC210. Read the rest
Writing new software licenses is a seemingly irresistible vice in the free and open source world, and the decades since the first GPL have been filled with bitter disputes and splits over licensing, with new licenses proliferating for motives both noble and base. Read the rest
Martin Shkreli, infamous for hiking the prices of life-saving drugs and jailed on unrelated fraud charges, is in solitary confinement. The Wall Street Journal reported that he was running businessess from inside using a contraband phone.
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One source close to Shkreli’s legal team said the fraudster was in the special housing unit (SHU) a week and a half after the article was published on March 7, but the source had not received an update on his status. But according to Justin Liverman, a fellow inmate and ex-member of notorious hacker crew Crackas With Attitude, Shkreli was indeed put in solitary and was still there as of Sunday. “Martin is in the SHU,” Liverman told Forbes.
According to the Journal, Shkreli was operating his business, Phoenixus AG, via a cellphone. The company appears to be a reincarnation of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, which jacked up the prices of rare drugs to the fury of patients, doctors and insurers. In one of the worst examples, Turing increased the cost of a pill for patients with HIV/AIDS from $13.50 to $750.
The Wall Street Journal reports that robocallers go largely unpunished, with all those headline-grabbing fines virtually uncollected.
An FCC spokesman said his agency lacks the authority to enforce the forfeiture orders it issues and has passed all unpaid penalties to the Justice Department, which has the power to collect the fines. Many of the spoofers and robocallers the agency tries to punish are individuals and small operations, he added, which means they are at times unable to pay the full penalties.
“Fines serve to penalize bad conduct and deter future misconduct,” the FCC spokesman said. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department, which can settle or drop cases, declined to comment.
The dearth of financial penalties collected by the U.S. government for violations of telemarketing and auto-dialing rules shows the limits the sister regulators face in putting a stop to illegal robocalls. It also shows why the threat of large fines can fail to deter bad actors.
I'd bet a dollar the only fines ever collected were from a tiny handful of otherwise legitimate callers who made stupid mistakes. Robocalls and the like will account for nearly half of all calls in 2019, according to the FCC.
Correction: FCC, not FTC. Read the rest
Lots of crazy fun laws still on the books in Blighty, though I'd hazard a guess that many of them have in fact been formally overturned or superceded.
Some, though, are new enough.
The Salmon Act 1986 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom, passed in 1986, which regulates salmon fishery. It is frequently cited in lists of absurd or unusual laws, since it contains a provision making it illegal to "handle salmon in suspicious circumstances". ...
A part of the magic is the English fondness for vaguely- or obscurely-worded laws. Another way of putting it is that the role of law in England is not enforcement but prosecution. Read the rest
Smollett, 36, was seen arriving at a Chicago courtroom around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday for an emergency hearing. Following his court appearance, his attorneys released a statement saying that the actor's "record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him."
"Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgement," the statement read.
Willie Cade's grandfather Theo Cade was one of John Deere's most storied engineers, with 158 patents to his name; he invented the manure spreader and traveled the country investigating stories of how farmers were using, fixing, modifying and upgrading their equipment; today, Willie Cade is the founder of the Electronics Reuse Conference, having spent a quarter-century repairing electronics, diverting e-waste from landfills and rehabilitating it for use by low-income schools and individuals. Read the rest
Last year, California was one of several states to introduce right to repair legislation that would force companies to end practices that discourage the independent repair sector, creating a requirement to sell replacement parts, provide documentation, and supply codes to bypass DRM systems that locked new parts out of devices until the company activated them. Read the rest
Back in 2016, the Dr Seuss estate won a preliminary court action against "Oh, The Places You'll Boldly Go!" a crowdfunded parody of Dr Seuss's "Oh the Places You'll Go!" and Star Trek, written by veteran Star Trek creator David "Tribble" Gerrold and illustrated by the comics giant Ty Templeton. Read the rest
In Comal County, Texas, judge Jack Robison, presiding over the trial of accused sex trafficker Gloria Romero Perez, walked into the jury room after the jurors landed on a guilty verdict and urged them to reverse their decision because God says she's innocent. Unswayed, the jurors stuck to their guilty verdict. Another judge later ruled the case a mistrial while the Texas Judicial Commission let Robison off with a public warning. From My San Antonio:
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"The judge later apologized to the jury, and said something to the effect of, 'When God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it,'" officials wrote in the report...
In his self-report, Robison told the committee he was experiencing memory lapses at the time and was under extreme stress due to treatment for a medical condition and the death of a close friend.
Robison provided letters from two medical professionals that Robison's outburst was caused by a "temporary, episodic medical condition referred to as a 'delirum.'" The professionals said that the issue appears to be resolved and that Robison is not currently experiencing the same impairment.
House Democrats have made good on their promise to introduce the Save the Internet Act, legislation mandating Network Neutrality, which would force the FCC to reinstate the policy that Trump's Chairman Ajit Pai used a string of dirty tricks and illegal maneuvers to destroy. Read the rest
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St John's Law School, teaches an Information Privacy course for second- and third-year law students; she devised a wonderful and simply exercise to teach her students about "anonymous speech, reasonable expectation of privacy, third party doctrine, and privacy by obscurity" over the spring break. Read the rest