Gandalf_the_Beardy writes "From the article "A juror who contacted a defendant via Facebook, causing a trial to collapse, has been jailed for eight months for contempt of court."
This is probably one of the first, and certainly the highest profile cases in the UK about the problem of jurors doing their own "research" on the case. Judges routinely admonish jurors that they must only decide on the case from what they hear in the courtroom. However they are somewhat resigned to accepting that this could be a losing game.
What makes this case special is that it caused the collapse of an ongoing trial of a fairly high profile drugs case. The juror had tracked down one of the already acquitted defendants, exchanged copious notes and then befreinded her on Facebook, which meant the trial collapsed and had to be abandoned.
With routine jury sequestration in the UK being unfeasible, and almost certainly unacceptable to most jurors, courts have only one weapon to dissuade people from such actions and Joanne Fraill was duly handed eight months, pour encourager les autres." Link to Original Source top
Gandalf_the_Beardy writes "A law firm prosecuting 26 cases in the Patent court has dropped all the cases mid session. ACS:Law had brought the cases on behalf of MediaCAT
Andrew Crossley said he had now ceased all such work, citing criminal attacks and bomb threats as reasons.
"I have ceased my work...I have been subject to criminal attack. My e-mails have been hacked. I have had death threats and bomb threats," he said in the statement, read to the court by MediaCAT's barrister Tim Ludbrook. "It has caused immense hassle to me and my family," he added.
Gandalf_the_Beardy writes "Robert Harrison has for the last few years been sending images back from the upper edge of the atmosphere, using off the shelf Canon cameras, a little home designed hardware and a radio tracking link.
The actual hardware is encased in a thermally insulated box the size of a six pack of soda cans. A weather balloon takes it up to 35km before it ruptures, and then it parachutes to the ground. Retrieval, control and monitoring is accomplished by an amateur radio telemetry link. Total cost of each "space shot" or rather, upper-atmopshere shot is approx 400GBP or 650USD.
There have been 12 launches so far with images that have piqued the interest of amongst others, NASA "...UK man says his hobby led to talks with NASA....He was able to capture some pretty amazing photographs of Earth......The rare images caught the attention of experts and it was not long before Harrison got a call from NASA. — They saw the pictures on the internet....'If we had to take these pictures it would cost lots of money"
Gandalf_the_Beardy writes "The Register reports that Symantec are stamping down on questions about their own software activities. From the article, "Conspiracy theories are running rampant in the absence of a clear explanation of why Symantec deleted threads expressing concern about a file called pifts.exe from its Norton support forums."
In the absence of official sanction for questions, users are turning to other sites to discuss matters.
A perfect example of why you shouldn't trust a closed source system further than you trust the vendor. It's ironic that Symantec provide something to enhance the trust you have in a Windows platform and then break that trust in a different way.
"Many users running Norton Internet Protection began seeing a popup warning on Monday that a file called PIFTS.exe on their systems was trying to access the internet. The location of the file was given as a non-existent folder buried inside the Symantec LiveUpdate folder.
The appearance of a file in a non-existent folder suggests rootkit-like behaviour. PIFTS.exe attempts to contact a server in Africa, which has been traced to Symantec."
So far there is nothing beyond "It is part of Symantec Update" from the vendor, although all reputable antivirus sites have so far said that the file samples they have are not malware." Link to Original Source top
Gandalf_the_Beardy writes "The row about Phorm http://www.phorm.com/ and web tracking continues to rumble on..
From the article "Ad-targeting system Phorm must be "opt in" when it is rolled out, says the Information Commissioner Office (ICO)
European data protection laws demand that users must choose to enrol in the controversial system, said the ICO in an amended statement."
Interestingly the law being broken is not Data Protection but a requirement that the user consent if the use of the data "adds value". http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7339263.stm
Gandalf_the_Beardy writes "The BBC report on a leaked Green Paper (for reference a Green Paper is a proposal by the Govt to introduce legislation and is the first step to creating a law) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7240234.stm
From the article "People in the UK who go online and illegally download music and films may have their internet access cut under plans the government is considering.
A draft consultation Green Paper suggests internet service providers would be required to take action over users who access pirated material.
Under a "three strikes" rule they would receive an e-mail warning, suspension, and then termination of their contract."
It turns the ISP into a largely unaccountable police force, and brigs up immediate issues of privacy, determination of copyright etc. How will they cope with legitamate large downloads like Linux images, determination of encrypted torrent contents. Not withstanding the substantial technical costs, circumvention of the DPA, etc that are also raised." Link to Original Source top
Gandalf_the_Beardy writes "The Register reports that Havard researcher Ben Edelman claims Sears Holding Corp — owners of Sears and Roebuck and of KMart has been tracking peoples online browsing after loading Sears provided software
From the article "...Sears Holding Corporation, owner of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart, makes the pitch in an email sent to people shortly after they provide their address at Sears.com. Clicking the "Join" button invokes a dialog that requests the person's name, address and household size before installing ComScore spyware that monitors every site visited on the computer..."
The alleged spyware's tracking activity was disclosed — on page 10 of a 54 page document. Sears alleges they have done nothing wrong saying the retailer "..goes to great lengths to describe the tracking aspect" of the software. He also claims a progress bar during the installation of the software gives users an easy way to back out if they change their mind..."" Link to Original Source top
Gandalf_the_Beardy writes "Confidential details of 15 million child benefit recipients are on a computer disc lost by HM Revenue and Customs, the BBC understands.
The chairman of revenue and customs, Paul Gray, has resigned.
Revenue and Customs says it does not believe the records — names, addresses and bank accounts — have fallen into the wrong hands." Link to Original Source top
Gandalf_the_Beardy writes ""A new civil liberties controversy has flared up over the news that police chiefs are considering using high-powered microphones to 'eavesdrop' — as critics will see it — on crowds at the London 2012 Olympics."
Compared to previous stories here, http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/11/25/05 4246 and Blunkett's reputation as one of the most oppressive Home Secretaries that Labour has had, his opposition, "....He told BBC Radio Five Live's Weekend News programme that the suggestion was "simply unacceptable", and smacked of the "surveillance state..." is nothing short of amazing.
Full article at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6186348.stm" top
Gandalf_the_Beardy writes "The BBC reports
"Eleven million Nationwide customers may have been put at risk of identity crime after an employee's laptop was stolen.
The computer with customer information on it was stolen during a domestic burglary three months ago.
But details of the serious security lapse are only just emerging."