Posts belonging to Category Legal News



Court orders LimeWire to cease file-sharing business

P2P software maker had been accused by music industry of enabling massive piracy

by Jaikumar Vijayan

Oct 26, 2010 07:15 pm | Computerworld

In a major victory for the music industry, a New York federal judge has ordered embattled P2P software maker LimeWire to immediately and permanently stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software.

In a 17-page injunction (PDF document) issued on Tuesday, Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered LimeWire to cease the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and file distribution functionality of LimeWire’s P2P file-sharing software.

The injunction instructed LimeWire to immediately communicate the court’s decision to all users of the software and to all of the company’s employees, principals and other stakeholders. It gave the company 14 days to report back to the court on the steps LimeWire has taken to comply with the order.

A spokeswoman for the company today stressed that the court’s order does not mean that LimeWire is shutting down and said that it only prevents LimeWire from distributing or supporting its P2P software.

It does not prohibit the company from going ahead with its previously announced plans to launch a subscription based music service and neither does it prohibit the company from operating its online store, the LimeWire spokeswoman said.

“While this is not our ideal path, we hope to work with the music industry in moving forward,” the spokeswoman said by e-mail. “We look forward to embracing necessary changes and collaborating with the entire music industry in the future.”

The court injunction is a huge victory for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which has been trying to get the court to shut down LimeWire for quite some time.

The RIAA and the music labels it represents have accused LimeWire and its chief executive, Mark Gorton, of willfully enabling widespread copyright infringement.

For more, visit Computerworld.com

Nigerian advance-fee scammer gets 12 years

By Robert McMillan – September 3, 2010 02:12 PM ET

IDG News Service – A Nigerian man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for sending out fraudulent e-mails offering victims big bucks in exchange for moving cash to the United States.

Okpako Mike Diamreyan, 31, was sentenced to 151 months of prison Wednesday by United States District Judge Janet Hall in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Diamreyan made more than US$1.3 million in a scam that suckered 67 victims between 2004 to 2009, prosecutors said. This type of fraud, called an advance-fee scam, was the number-one type of Internet fraud in 2009, according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Last year, advance-fee fraud accounted for nearly 17 percent of the Internet fraud logged by the FBI.

Diamreyan pretended to be different people — Prince Nana Kamokai of Sierra Leone or an airport director from Ghana, for example. He said he needed to move between $11.5 million and $23.4 million out of the country and offered victims 20 percent of the funds, if they would help him out.

After using fake documentation to convince his victims that he was legitimate, Diamreyan would get them to wire him different types of fees such as “PIN code fees” or courier services charges with the understanding that they would then get the money. These fees would pile up, but the promised money never arrived.

For this and more, visit Computerworld.com

Main Jailed Over Facebook ‘Friend’ Requests

Published August 17, 2010| FoxNews.com

It’s not a crime to make friends on Facebook, but one Florida man found that the rules are a bit different when the person you’re trying to “friend” has a protective order against you.

The man, 54-year-old Harry Bruder, was arrested for allegedly sending his soon to be ex-wife requests to “friend” him on Facebook, which police said violated the protective order, MyFoxOrlando.com reported.

A police report posted on thesmokinggun.com shows Bruder admitting he contacted his wife twice last month on the popular social networking site — and admitting that he changed the password to his wife’s e-mail account. The couple has been separated for two years.

Bruder violated a domestic violence injunction obtained by his wife, officials say. Bruder allegedly lashed out because he was upset over having to attend court-ordered counseling sessions.

For more, visit Foxnews.com

Suit Over Faulty Computers Highlights Dell’s Decline

By ASHLEE VANCE
Published: June 28, 2010

After the math department at the University of Texas noticed some of its Dell computers failing, Dell examined the machines. The company came up with an unusual reason for the computers’ demise: the school had overtaxed the machines by making them perform difficult math calculations.

Michael S. Dell, Dell’s founder and chairman, presented the model of computer involved in the lawsuit in 2002.

Dell, however, had actually sent the university, in Austin, desktop PCs riddled with faulty electrical components that were leaking chemicals and causing the malfunctions. Dell sold millions of these computers from 2003 to 2005 to major companies like Wal-Mart and Wells Fargo, institutions like the Mayo Clinic and small businesses.

“The funny thing was that every one of them went bad at the same time,” said Greg Barry, the president of PointSolve, a technology services company near Philadelphia that had bought dozens. “It’s unheard-of, but Dell didn’t seem to recognize this as a problem at the time.”

Documents recently unsealed in a three-year-old lawsuit against Dell show that the company’s employees were actually aware that the computers were likely to break. Still, the employees tried to play down the problem to customers and allowed customers to rely on trouble-prone machines, putting their businesses at risk. Even the firm defending Dell in the lawsuit was affected when Dell balked at fixing 1,000 suspect computers, according to e-mail messages revealed in the dispute.

The documents chronicling the failure of the PCs also help explain the decline of one of America’s most celebrated and admired companies. Perhaps more than any other company, Dell fought to lower the price of computers.

Its “Dell model” became synonymous with efficiency, outsourcing and tight inventories, and was taught at the Harvard Business School and other top-notch management schools as a paragon of business smarts and outthinking the competition.

Internal documents show Dell shipped at least 11.8 million computers from May 2003 to July 2005 that could fail.

“Dell, as a company, was the model everyone focused on 10 years ago,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor of international business administration at Harvard. “But when you combine missing a variety of shifts in the industry with management turmoil, it’s hard not to have the shine come off your reputation.”

For the last seven years, the company has been plagued by serious problems, including misreading the desires of its customers, poor customer service, suspect product quality and improper accounting.

Dell has tried to put those problems behind it. In 2005, it announced it was taking a $300 million charge related, in part, to fixing and replacing the troubled computers. Dell set aside $100 million this month to handle a potential settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over a five-year-old investigation into its books, which will most likely result in federal accusations of fraud and misconduct against the company’s founder, Michael S. Dell.

The problems affecting the Dell computers stemmed from an industrywide encounter with bad capacitors produced by Asian PC component suppliers. Capacitors are found on computer motherboards, playing a crucial role in the flow of current across the hardware. They are not meant to pop and leak fluid, but that is exactly what was happening earlier this decade, causing computers made by Dell, Hewlett-PackardAppleand others to break.

According to company memorandums and other documents recently unsealed in a civil case against Dell in Federal District Court in North Carolina, Dell appears to have suffered from the bad capacitors, made by a company called Nichicon, far more than its rivals. Internal documents show that Dell shipped at least 11.8 million computers from May 2003 to July 2005 that were at risk of failing because of the faulty components. These were Dell’s OptiPlex desktop computers — the company’s mainstream products sold to business and government customers.

A study by Dell found that OptiPlex computers affected by the bad capacitors were expected to cause problems up to 97 percent of the time over a three-year period, according to the lawsuit.

For the full article, visit the New York Times

HIPAA encryption: meeting today’s regulations

Sang Lee, senior security analyst, AlertBootJune 30, 2010

If you work with an organization that must adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA), you know by now that encryption is now a de facto primary aspect of HIPAA compliance after the passing of the HITECH Act.

There are a couple of reasons for this increased focus on encryption.

Sang Lee

First, the U.S. Department of the Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance wherein “unsecure protected health information (PHI)” is essentially any PHI that is not encrypted or destroyed. Under this definition, it doesn’t matter how many chains, walls, doors, biometric gizmos and guards with lethal weapons you have at your service. As long as PHI is not encrypted, it is considered unsecured.

A second and more compelling reason why encryption is now a requirement is the introduction of HITECH‘s breach notification initiative, which requires HIPAA-covered entities to send notification letters if there is a breach of unsecured PHI. However, as HHS pointed out, the use of encryption grants safe harbor in the event of a breach because encrypted PHI is not unsecured PHI.

Oddly enough, in the same breath, HHS also notes that “covered entities and business associates are not required to follow the guidance.” However, cleaning up the mess behind a breach notification can cost millions of dollars, so one would have to be supremely confident — or reckless — in not taking advantage of the encryption safe harbor. With such mixed signals, though, it is not hard to see why encryption is called ade facto requirement.

For more information, read Sang Lee’s full post at SC Magazine

3 Reasons the FCC shouldn’t “touch” the Internets.

Report: FTC will investigate Apple

The Federal Trade Commission will open an investigation into whether Apple is illegally using its position in the mobile software market to harm competitors, according to several published reports.

On Friday afternoon, both Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal reported that the FTC had opened a formal probe.

At issue is Apple’s recent tweaking of its App Store rules. In May, Apple made changes that prohibit certain developer tools from being used to create applications for the iPhone and iPad, and on Monday effectively blocked Google’s AdMob and other non-independent mobile ad networks from accessing applications on the iPhone.

The probe will look at whether Apple is using its highly successful App Store to hurt competitors. When Apple changed the rules on which tools could be used to write apps sold in the App Store it raised eyebrows, as the shifts seemed to specifically target Adobe, with whom Apple recently had a public fallout.

The new rules blocked developers using other platforms that allow them to make one application that runs on multiple devices–for example, not just on Apple’s iPhone, but on competitors’ devices as well. Adobe’s Flash platform and Novell’s MonoTouch are both developer tools that fall into this category.

Then, earlier this week, Apple banned developers from using advertising in their iPhone applications that shares analytic data with “an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple.”

Read Further(cnet.com)

Rockefeller’s Cybersecurity Act of 2010: A Very Bad Bill

May 4, 2010 – 12:43 pm  Richard Stiennon Bio | Email

Stiennon has been a white hat hacker for PricewaterhouseCoopers, VP Security Research at Gartner, and an executive at Webroot Software and Fortinet, Inc. He is founder and Chief Research Analyst at IT-Harvest.

There are a bunch of cybersecurity bills trickling through Congress right now; some of them several years in the making. Senator Rockefeller’s Cybersecurity Act of 2010(S.773) is deemed the most likely to get voted on by the Senate as it was just unanimously passed through the Senate Committee that he chairs, Commerce Science and Transportation.

It is time for the security industry to take a close look at this $1.82 billion bill as it contains some pretty drastic measures that are going to be very disruptive, and I believe detrimental.

The preamble, labeled “Findings” sets the stage with the dramatic language we have become familiar with:

As a fundamental principle, cyberspace is a

vital asset for the nation and the United States

should protect it using all instruments of national

power, in order to ensure national security, public

safety, economic prosperity, and the delivery of critical services to the American public.

Even though there is a definitions section, “cyberspace” is never defined in S. 773. And, setting aside the dangling participle, this is a rather broad declaration. All instruments of national power?

For the rest of this post, visit Forbes.com

Judge Permanently Shuts Down ISP Catering to Spam, Porn

By Grant Gross, IDG News

A U.S. district court judge has ordered the permanent closure of an Internet service provider long accused of hosting and distributing spam, spyware, child pornography and other illegal content, at the request of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Judge Ronald Whyte of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose has ordered that the computer servers and other assets owned by Pricewert, doing business as 3FN.net, be sold by a court-appointed receiver. Whyte also ordered the company to turn over US$1.08 million in illegal profits to the FTC, according to court documents.

Whyte’s orders, dated April 8, were made public by the FTC Wednesday.

Several security experts supported the FTC’s case against 3FN, Whyte wrote in a disgorgement order. “These experts had analyzed data derived from internet searches which establish that defendant, an internet service provider, was engaged in widespread illegal activity,” he wrote. “There seems to be little doubt from the information provided that Pricewert functioned primarily as an internet service provider for illegal activity.”

There were a “relatively small number of apparently legitimate customers” of the company, Whyte wrote.

For more, visit PC World.com

Jury convicts on 2 charges in Palin e-mail hacking

Apr 30 03:48 PM US/Eastern – By BILL POOVEY – Associated Press Writer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The son of a Democratic Tennessee lawmaker was convicted Friday on two charges in the hacking of Sarah Palin’s e-mail account while she campaigned on the Republican presidential ticket in 2008.

The federal court jury reached its verdict against David Kernell, 22, after four days of deliberation. He was found guilty of obstruction of justice and unauthorized access to a computer, but was acquitted on a charge of wire fraud.

The jury deadlocked on a charge of identify theft. Prosecutors reserve the right to have a new trial on that charge. The charge of obstructing an investigation carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence and unauthorized access to a computer is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum one-year sentence.

Kernell’s defense attorney maintained the hack amounted to college prank, not a crime. Kernell was a student at the University of Tennessee at the time. Prosecutors argued it was a more serious effort to damage Palin’s political campaign.

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