legal

Facebook said to be violating European law by tracking users

Facebook said to be violating European law by tracking users

Facebook has been found running afoul of the law in Europe, at least according to researchers commissioned to look into the matter. Last month a draft report pegged the social network as being in violation of European law, and so a further look into the matter concluded that Facebook is tracking all of its users...even if they are opting out of being tracked, or if they have visited a Facebook page but don't have an account with the company.

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Federal agents charged with fraud involving Silk Road bitcoins

Federal agents charged with fraud involving Silk Road bitcoins

Two of the federal agents working to shut down the former underground market known as "Silk Road" have been charged with stealing or otherwise illicitly handling bitcoins during the investigation. The Department of Justice released a copy of the criminal complaint today, which says that both former DEA agent Carl Mark Force IV and former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges have committed wire fraud and money laundering, while Force is also charged with theft of government property and a conflict of interest.

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New Jersey swatting victims tricked into escalating situation

New Jersey swatting victims tricked into escalating situation

Swatting is a "prank" that involves calling in a threat or something of that nature to a local police department, with the goal being to get SWAT teams and law enforcement deployed. Such a prank happened recently in New Jersey, but on a larger scale than we typically see, and with a plot twist: the prankster called the unwitting victims and tricked them into escalating the situation. Fortunately they realized that something was wrong before doing anything drastic and that lead to the situation being resolved without anyone getting harmed.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook blasts “religious freedom” laws

Apple CEO Tim Cook blasts “religious freedom” laws

Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken a public stance on anti-gay legislation being enacted in states across the US, challenging his business counterparts to speak out on discrimination. "These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear," Cook wrote today in an opinion piece published by the Washington Post. "They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality." Lest critics accuse the openly-gay Cook of hoping for special treatment, however, the Apple chief exec points out that there are solid business reasons for equality.

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Uber to get around German ban by paying for taxi licenses

Uber to get around German ban by paying for taxi licenses

Legal troubles are nothing new for Uber at this point, whether it's safety conduct or the employment status of its drivers, we see it again and again in country after country. But after getting banned in Germany, for a second time, a little over a week ago, the company has decided it needs to follow the rules. In order to get around the recent court-ordered ban, Uber will pay the government fees needed for its German drivers to receive taxi licenses.

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13-year-old California boy confesses to 3 swatting incidents

13-year-old California boy confesses to 3 swatting incidents

Local police revealed on Friday that a 13-year-old Minecraft fan in Southern California had confessed to being responsible for three separate swattings, or pranks that involve calling law enforcement with fake threats such a bomb or family held hostage, with a goal of getting a SWAT to team to storm into someone's home. The young boy's name hasn't been revealed due to his age, and officers say he was released to the custody of his parents.

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UK investigation finds Huawei isn’t a security threat

UK investigation finds Huawei isn’t a security threat

Huawei, along with ZTE, has previously been a source of concern for western governments, many of whom have expressed worry that the Chinese company could be performing surveillance for the Chinese government. That has led to use of its hardware being banned in some places, and probes into whether Huawei hardware has been compromised. Back in 2013, Huawei revealed that it would be launching an R&D facility in the United Kingdom, and that resulted in an investigation into the matter. It has been quite a while since then, and the result is in Huawei's favor.

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Google turns to GIFs (oh, and facts) to slam FTC snark

Google turns to GIFs (oh, and facts) to slam FTC snark

Weaponized GIFs are apparently the new way to make serious points more flippant online, with Google smacking back at News Corp. criticism that the search giant had made a habit of hanging around the White House. Google had been accused of chasing undue political influence, with the News Corp. owned Wall Street Journal suggesting it was sneaky maneuvering that saw Google escape FTC censure over activities contrary to the public interest. Key to the accusations was a count of the number of times Google had visited senior officials since President Obama took office.

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Lousy mobile providers threatened with prison time in Africa

Lousy mobile providers threatened with prison time in Africa

Nigeria is following the lead of Tanzania and Zambia by enforcing jail time on substandard mobile operators. From now on, if a mobile company in Africa regularly delivers inferior service to its customers, the network operators could be sent to prison. These charges are handed down by Nigeria's Consumer Protection Council (CPC) which operates as a sort of government sponsored consumer watchdog group. It seems strict, but this heavy punishment is on the line because the Nigerian government feels consumers are being tricked into paying for shady, low quality services.

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