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Activists rally to support Matthew Keys, claiming he is a victim of CFAA

Matthew Keys, charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, has earned the support of activists who call the law a draconian measure.
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Chatlogs of a conversation between an Anonymous hacker and AESCracked, a named the Justice Department alleges that Matthew Keys used in aiding hackers in an attack against the LA Times. (Screengrab/Screengrab)

Reuters deputy social media editor Matthew Keys, who could be facing up to 25 years in prison for helping the hacker collective Anonymous, has gained the sympathy of online activists who say he is another victim (like online activist Aaron Swartz) of legal bullying by federal prosecutors.

Keys was indicted on Thursday afternoon, with the Department of Justice alleging that Keys handed over log in credentials for administrator access KTXL Fox 40 in Sacramento to Anonymous. The credentials had been provided to him while working for Fox 40, which is owned by Los Angeles Times parent company Tribune Co.

The indictment alleges that using the name “AESCracked” in an Anonymous internet relay chat (IRC), Keys handed over user names and passwords to hackers, granting them access to administrator accounts for LAtimes.com. 

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EU lays groundwork for continent-wide ban on pornography

The EU could begin the move toward a continent-wide ban on pornography next week as part of gender equality legislation.
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A man gets a shoeshine under a poster advertising a pornography website outside the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo January 9, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

The European Parliament is preparing for a vote on Tuesday that could begin measures to effectively ban pornography in all forms of media, forcing the bloc of 27 countries to shut down booming industries for porn and sex tourism.

The legislation that could force the ban is the innocuous-sounding, 2012 "resolution on eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU." Buried within the resolution's text, however, is a provision that would herald an extreme change: the end of pornography across the entire continent.

“[The European Parliament] calls on the EU and its Member States to take concrete action on its resolution of 16 September 1997 on discrimination against women in advertising, which called for a ban on all forms of pornography in the media and on the advertising of sex tourism,” Article 17 reads. 

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Muslim hackers target US banks in third round of cyberattacks

In the third round of what they're calling Operation Ababil, Muslim hackers belonging to the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters are attacking US bank websites and demanding that more copies of the "Innocence of Muslims" YouTube video be removed.
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Activists of Jamiat ulema-e-islam (JUI) Pakistan participate in a rally in Peshawar on November 15, 2012. The demonstrators demanded the United Nations prepare legislation for protecting the honour of all prophets of all religions, following backlash against the 'Innocence of Muslims,' an amateurish film depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a thuggish deviant which triggered a wave of violent protests that left dozens dead in September. (A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images)

Muslim hackers in the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters launched the third phase of their Operation Ababil campaign against US-based banks on Wednesday, making further demands that the YouTube video “Innocence of Muslims” be removed from the web.

Known to many as the Muslim world's Anonymous, Izz ad-Din issued an ultimatum on Tuesday that their distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against American banking institutions would continue unless insults against the Prophet Mohammed were removed from YouTube. 

“During runnnig [sic] Operation Ababil Phase 3, like previous phases, a number of american [sic] banks will be hit by denial of service attacks three days a week, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during working hours,” read the group’s latest statement

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Bitcoin: Online retailers push for virtual currency's legitimacy

As the virtual currency breaks value records, a new online retailer hopes to push Amazon and Newegg to start accepting Bitcoins.
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Bitcoin Technical Lead Gavin Andresen attends the Tribeca Talks/Sloan Panel: 'War Games' during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival at the School of Visual Arts Theater on April 28, 2012 in New York City. (Cindy Ord/AFP/Getty Images)

The virtual currency known as Bitcoin (BTC) made dramatic strides toward greater legitimacy Thursday, reaching a record high valuation against the dollar.

The high point coincided with the launch of bitcoinstore.com, an electronics retail outlet that only accepts Bitcoins as payment. Bitcoinstore.com stands out among potential competitors because the site's investors have only one goal – to urge major online retailers to start accepting Bitcoin.

"The idea behind the site entirely is to force Amazon and Newegg to accept Bitcoin by saying 'Hey, look at our prices, we beat you, now beat us,'" said bitcoinstore.com head of marketing Jon Holmquist.

To do that, bitcoinstore.com sells its products at 0 percent markup. 

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Google Glass leads transhumanism trend that will augment reality and human biology

Next-gen technology like Google Glass and smart watches will function alongside human anatomy to augment reality in what could be the world's first major technological trend toward Transhumanism.
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Google unveiled its "Project Glass" smartphone eyewear project on Wednesday. (Jeff J Mitchell/AFP/Getty Images)

The next generation of electronic gadgets won’t just include faster tablets or smarter phones – they’re being engineered to interact with and augment human anatomy.

The much-talked-about Google Glass leads the pack edging towards Transhumanism – technology used by human beings to augment biology.

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Nokia targets developing world with cheap, simple phones

As the Apples and Samsungs of the tech world strive for cutting edge technology, Finland-based mobile maker Nokia has set its sights elsewhere.
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A Romanian man maneuvers on his horse-drawn cart on a road with a sign pointing toward the Nokia factory in the village of Jucu, where the Finnish cellphone maker opened an assembly line plant. (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)

As the Apples and Samsungs of the tech world dominate smart phone markets in the developed world, Finland-based mobile maker Nokia has set its sights elsewhere: the rural and isolated populations of the developing world.

The Nokia 105, with a retail price of $20, will not only provide cell phone service to residents of remote, underdeveloped areas. It also comes with a flashlight, an FM radio, and a battery that can last 35 days without a charge, in case of an electricity outage.

The phone is also built to withstand abuse, and protected against heavy dust and splashes, a feature sorely missed by users in the developed world wielding glass-jawed smart phones.

The myth of the “Indestructible Nokia” isn't new. It took on a life of its own on the internet as more delicate smart phones started flooding the markets in Europe and North America, replacing the ubiquitous 2000 model. Believed to have harnessed the durability of Chuck Norris’ death dealing foot, the Nokia 3310 was fabled to smash through concrete floors when dropped while the iPhone would shatter upon impact.

The only way to destroy the Nokia 3310, some believed, was to cast it into the fires of Mount Doom, the same method Frodo Baggins’ used to rid Middle Earth of the One Ring.

The Nokia 105 may not have the power to bring entire nations to their knees but its durability, lost to the West, is a feature that sets it apart from more fragile competitors currently popular in underdeveloped markets.

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Q&A: China's hacker army revealed

A security firm claims to have caught China digitally red-handed hacking US-based corporations — which China denies. But the evidence of a relationship is mounting. How many state-sponsored hacker groups might be operating in China?
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A person walks past a 12-storey building alleged in a report on February 19, 2013 by the Internet security firm Mandiant as the home of a Chinese military-led hacking group after the firm reportedly traced a host of cyberattacks to the building in Shanghai's northern suburb of Gaoqiao. Mandiant said its hundreds of investigations showed that groups hacking into US newspapers, government agencies, and companies 'are based primarily in China and that the Chinese government is aware of them. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

US-based IT security firm Mandiant shocked the world on Tuesday with a highly detailed report  on an alleged secret Chinese People’s Liberation Army hacker unit that infiltrated 141 private companies in the North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

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Internet activists prepare for second battle against CISPA, White House wavers

Encouraged by past success, activists are preparing for round two in the fight against CISPA but this time the White House may not be on their side.
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President Barack Obama posts a Tweet during an online Twitter town hall meeting from the East Room of the White House July 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama and Twitter co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey held the online discussion to speak about the U.S .debt ceiling crisis. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
Days after US House intelligence committee leaders Dutch Ruppersberger and Mike Rogers announced plans to reintroduce the oft-relived Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) to congress, open internet advocates issued a digital call to arms for online activists to yet again stand against what they say is another bill threatening privacy and an open internet.
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Hacker announces zombie outbreak using TV alert system (VIDEO)

A hacker gained access to a television emergency alert system in Montana, alerting residents to a zombie outbreak.
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A hacker played an emergency alert on a Montana station announcing the impending zombie apocalypse. (Rick Diamond/AFP/Getty Images)

A hacker gained access to Montana’s KRTV emergency alert system on Tuesday, telling television viewers in the North Central Montana region the zombie apocalypse was nigh.

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Cyber Intelligence Act, CISPA, to be resurrected in the House

One of the open internet's most reviled enemies, CISPA, will be reintroduced to the US House of Representatives later this year as part of renewed efforts to defend against cyber attack.
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Protesters demonstrate against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) outside the offices of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on January 18, 2012 in New York City. The controversial legislation is aimed at preventing piracy of media but those opposed believe it will support censorship. (Mario Tama/AFP/Getty Images)

The oft-reviled Cyber Intelligence and Sharing Protection Act (CISPA) will be reintroduced in the US House of Representatives this year, according to Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) who will work with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers on the bill.

Aiming to protect the private sector from cyberattacks, CISPA would allow government agencies to share internet traffic information with technology companies to keep private corporations better informed of looming threats against digital infrastructure.

The original form of the bill was introduced and abandoned last year, but there is no word yet on what changes will be included in this version.

The move comes as the government tries to strengthen the US’ ability to wage cyber war and defend against cyberattacks.

In a Senate hearing on Thursday, outgoing US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta discussed the looming threat of cyberattacks against the US. Panetta has stated several times that the “next Pearl Harbor” will come in the form of a cyberattack.

"We're working on some things…working with the White House to make sure that hopefully they can be more supportive of our bill than they were the last time," Ruppersberger (D-Md.) told The Hill.

Ruppersberger said talks with the White House were underway, and have been positive. The congressman may be attempting to assuage the privacy and oversight concerns expressed by the White House last year as the bill was being debated on the house floor.

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