zrbyte writes “Fusion research would get a major boost in a Department of Energy (DOE) spending bill approved today by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations. The panel rejected an Obama Administration proposal to cut funding for domestic fusion research in the 2013 fiscal year, which begins 1 October. It would also give more money than requested to an international collaboration building the ITER fusion reactor in France. This will allow the Alcator C-Mod fusion facility at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge to be kept open, which the Administration had proposed closing.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Archive for April 27th, 2012
According to an indictment unsealed this week, the four alleged members of the BitTorrent movie release group IMAGiNE have now been charged with one count of “Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Copyright Infringement,” four counts of “Criminal Copyright Infringement,” and one count of “Distribution of a Work Being Prepared for Commercial Distribution.” Each count brings a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison. The group, which TorrentFreak called “one of the P2P scene’s most prominent release groups,” was busted up by federal authorities in September 2011 . It is not very common for BitTorrent-related groups to be busted up with federal criminal charges brought against them. Court documents filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia report that the lead defendant, Jeramiah B. Perkins (aliases: “Butch Perkins,” “Stash,” and “theestas”) was arrested and then released on bail on Monday. The other defendants are Gregory Cherwonik, 53, of New York, Willie Lambert, 57, of Pennsylvania, and Sean Lovelady, 27, of California. Read the comments on this post
nbauman writes “WW2 veteran ‘Big Hy’ Strachman, 92, pirated 300,000 DVD movies and sent them to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they were widely distributed and deeply appreciated. Soldiers would gather around personal computers for movie nights, with mortars blasting in the background. ‘It’s reconnecting to everything you miss,’ said one. Strachman received American flags, appreciative letters, and snapshots of soldiers holding up their DVDs. He spent about $30,000 of his own money. Strachman retired from his family’s window and shade business in Manhattan in the 1990s. After his wife Harriet died in 2003, he spent sleepless nights on the Internet, and saw that soldiers were consistently asking for movie DVDs. He bought bootlegged disks for $5 in Penn Station, and then found a dealer at his local barbershop. He bought a $400 duplicater that made 7 copies at once, and mailed them 84 at a time, to Army Chaplains. The MPAA said they weren’t aware of his operation. The studios send reel-to-reel films to the troops.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.
This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) by a vote of 248 to168 . Unlike SOPA , which focused on copyright violations, CISPA wants to give Internet companies and the U.S. government the tools to protect and defend themselves against cyber attacks by sharing information with each other. Critics, however, argued that this information sharing would be happening with very little oversight and would put Americans’ privacy rights at risk. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), an outspoken critic of the bill, argued that the bill would “waive every single privacy law ever enacted in the name of cybersecurity. Allowing the military and NSA to spy on Americans on American soil goes against every principle this country was founded on.” Even though this bill has now passed the House, chances are that it will not get through the Senate. On Tuesday, the White House issued a statement condemning the bill and on Wednesday, President Obama threatened to veto the legislation because it “fails to provide authorities to ensure that the nation’s core critical infrastructure is protected while repealing important provisions” of long-established privacy law. Critics, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argue that the current version of this bill is basically a major violation of established privacy rights and would allow companies to hand anything and everything you do and say online over to the government in the name of “cybersecurity.” Proponents of the bill, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), argue that the bill is “needed to prepare for countries like Iran and North Korea so that they don’t do something catastrophic to our networks here in America.” An earlier provision in the bill that would have given Homeland Security more authority to monitor the Internet was dropped before the bill (PDF) passed. In return, though, a number of last-minute amendments, including one that expands the list of reasons for which shared information can be used. While the bill still allows for Internet companies to hand over confidential customer information to U.S. security and intelligence agencies, as well as local low enforcement services, it is worth noting that it does not require them to do so. You can read a full version of the bill here (PDF).