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CFAA: Some in Congress join fight to reform cybercrime law

Washington lawmakers and legal scholars work to reform the CFAA, an oft-reviled computer crime law, as Andrew “weev” Auernheimer is sentenced.
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Andrew “weev” Auernheimer addresses a gathering of supporters and journalists in a makeshift press conference shortly before entering the Newark court house where he was sentenced to a 41-month prison term on Monday. Prosecuted under the controversial Cyber Fraud and Abuse Act, Auernheimer was found guilty of one count of identity fraud and one count of conspiracy to access a computer without authorization after gaining access to an AT&T server using a scripting tool, taking the names and email addresses of 114,000 iPad 3G owners in June of 2010. (Screengrab/Screengrab) (Screengrab/Screengrab)
Outrage over a controversial US cybercrime law has reached new heights. And, this time, internet activists have some powerful allies.

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 


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. 


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


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, an electronics retail outlet that only accepts Bitcoins as payment. 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 head of marketing Jon Holmquist.

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


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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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