CLIP-ings: May 17, 2013Internet Governance
Bitcoin Exchange Seizure: At the behest of federal customs agents, a Maryland judge has ordered the US assets of Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox seized pursuant to charges that Mt.Gox is unlawfully operating as a “money transmitting business.”
Cheap, Fast Airborne Internet: The FCC has laid out a plan for in-flight Wi-Fi that would allow ISPs to license more air-to-ground spectrum space, decreasing consumer costs and allowing for connection speeds faster than those available in many homes.
Bloomberg Snooping on Customers: Following the discovery that journalists from the company’s media arm had been accessing sensitive customer data from its popular financial information terminals, experts have criticized Bloomberg’s actions as legal but troubling violations of privacy and journalistic ethics.
DoJ Monitoring AP: The Associated Press complained that the Department of Justice interfered with its “constitutional right to gather and report the news” by subpoenaing months worth of telephone records for AP reporters as part of an investigation into the leaking of sensitive counterterrorism information.
Information Security & Cyberthreats
US Top Exploit Buyer: The US has become the world’s biggest purchaser of so-called “zero-day exploits,” while experts worry this push will drive up the black market for these exploitation tools and lead to more security breaches for American companies and individuals.
Self-replicating Patent Claim Upheld: In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court held that agribusiness giant Monsanto could enforce its seed patents against farmers who harvested seeds derived from Monsanto’s patented seeds, affirming the notion that genetic patents are not exhausted even where those genes replicate themselves naturally.
Schumer Bill to Curb Patent Trolling: The NY senator has proposed an amendment to the America Invents Act which would allow those accused of infringing software patents to petition the PTO for review in order to help potential defendants avoid costly patent troll litigation.
Free Expression & Censorship
3D Gun Plans Censored: Defense Distributed, the firm behind a 3D printer file that allows home users to build working plastic guns, received a takedown order from the State Department which alleged that the 3D manufacturing files were in violation of international arms trafficking regulations.
UK Web Anonymity at Risk: A recent update to British defamation law requires websites seeking safe harbor immunity in defamation cases to maintain identifying information about all users who post content to their sites, a move that could seriously undermine the ability to post content anonymously in the UK.
On the Lighter Side
Social (Network) Suicide: For those who feel like taking a huge gamble with their online personae.