government

Bitcoin miners do not have to register as money transfer services: ruling

Bitcoin miners do not have to register as money transfer services: ruling

Bitcoin miner Milly Bitcoin has done a little citizen letter-writing, and the results should make virtual currency miners breathe a sigh of relief. Milly Bitcoin's mining company Atlantic City Bitcoin last June wrote to the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) requesting an official administrative ruling on whether ACB must register as a money transfer service. FinCEN has now replied, and the answer is no.

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NSA phone surveillance ruled legal by NY judge [UPDATE]

NSA phone surveillance ruled legal by NY judge [UPDATE]

In a ruling on federal phone-tracking this week a U.S. District Judge based in New York has ruled that the NSA’s actions thus far have been legal. Judge William Pauley sent a ruling on Friday, the 27th of December, saying the NSA program “represents the government’s counter-punch” in efforts to eliminate al-Qaida network efforts. This ruling dismisses a lawsuit brought on by the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Department of Justice report details case against Kim Dotcom, former Megaupload leaders

Department of Justice report details case against Kim Dotcom, former Megaupload leaders

Kim Dotcom, the man behind Mega, the successor of the now-defunct Megaupload, has been the subject of a long-lived investigation, the details of which were revealed today in a 191-page report by the Department of Justice. The seven defendants in the case, among them being Dotcom, are currently located in New Zealand, and have been hit with many charges, including copyright infringement.

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FAA regulation issues will put damper on Amazon drone aspirations, says sources

FAA regulation issues will put damper on Amazon drone aspirations, says sources

Jeff Bezos sees a future where Amazon packages are delivered to customers soon after an order is placed with the use of drones -- in this case, with so-called octocopters. Drones have already seen use in other applications, among them being the movie industry where the devices are fixed with cameras and used to record otherwise difficult shots. While the technology exists and varieties of uses for it are cropping up at increasingly rapid rates, there's one big barrier in the way: the FAA.

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Obama hears panel: Stop NSA bulk phone data collection

Obama hears panel: Stop NSA bulk phone data collection

The White House has released a lengthy report written by a five-member panel recommending sweeping reforms of the NSA. Included among the 46 recommendations by the "Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies" is one to delete all bulk telephone metadata on Americans from the NSA's servers. The panel also suggested that the data should be allowed to be stored by the private telecoms for a capped length of time -- five years in most cases -- accessible by the NSA only through court order or other official third-party permission.

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Tech industry presents unified privacy front to White House

Tech industry presents unified privacy front to White House

A veritable pantheon of top-ranking emissaries from some of the largest and most powerful tech companies in the United States descended on the White House today to press the Obama administration to move aggressively on reforming the NSA's nearly universal surveillance of US citizens and the world. Their message was clear: Stop the spy agency from forcibly or stealthily seizing and storing bulk data about their customers. The message comes during an ongoing firestorm of public opposition to the agency's bulk data collection programs, ignited and continually stoked by the revelation of Edward Snowden's cache of an estimated 1.7 million stolen NSA documents detailing its ongoing quest for data omniscience.

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NSA phone data-tapping ruled unconstitutional by federal judge

NSA phone data-tapping ruled unconstitutional by federal judge

This week in Washington a district judge by the name of Richard Leon has ruled that the NSA's data collection program on phone call data collection is unconstitutional. This ruling came amid a court case which had two American citizens filing suit against the National Security Administration to stop any and all data collection programs. The case was originally filed the day after Edward Snowden's avalanche of NSA leaks began to be revealed for the first time.

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Google patent lawyer to head US patent office, address patent wars

Google patent lawyer to head US patent office, address patent wars

Patent reform could well be on its way. Last week the US House passed the "Innovation Act", a bill that would make it harder to win overly broad patents and force claimants to present more detailed evidence when suing for infringement. That bill awaits the Senate. This week, it was revealed that former Google top patent lawyer Michelle Lee is to lead the US Patent and Trademark Office starting in about a month.

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