Indian Court un-blocks Pirate Bay

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18551471

Web users in India are once again able to access video and file-sharing sites, including The Pirate Bay.The country’s Madras High Court has changed its earlier censorship order which centred on the issue of internet copyright

It states that only specific web addresses – URLs – carrying the pirated content should be blocked, but not the entire website.

“The order of interim injunction dated 25/04/2012 is hereby clarified that the interim injunction is granted only in respect of a particular URL where the infringing movie is kept and not in respect of the entire website,” reads the updated decision.

Indian Govt tries to censor Internet

Stupidity is contiguous  and Stupid Politicians are legion.

From-

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204542404577158342623999990.html?mod=WSJINDIA_hpp_LEFTTopStories

Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are fighting back against increasing censorship demands from the Indian government and courts, arguing that they aren’t legally responsible for monitoring their websites and proactively removing user content that regulators deem objectionable.

The big threat for the companies at the moment is a lawsuit in a New Delhi trial court, which seeks to hold them and several other websites criminally liable for not censoring online content, including material that mocks or criticizes religious and political figures.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204542404577158342623999990.html#ixzz1jVPdAsNT

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One not so apparent reason for Indian Govt to censor Internet is that the internet and social media were used for massive anti-Govt and anti-corruption protests in 2011. The Govt found itself on the backfoot, newspapers and television in India are generally considered pliable and manipulable by Govt  of  India (thanks to ad spends).Judiciary in India is also not known to be 100% honest or resistant of political pressures.

The incumbent Congress govt needs more legal weapons in its arsenal given elections are approaching this year in many states, and the need for more arrows in legal quivers  in India against the Internet is an inevitable and unfortunate next step. Since this is a global phenomenon (read- SOPA debate in US) ,and the huge huge internet population in India- this is one interesting battle to watch.

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SOPA RIP

From http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/01/14/obama-administration-responds-we-people-petitions-sopa-and-online-piracy

  1.  Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small (AJ-yup)
  2. We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet.  (AJ-note this may include peer-to-peer browsers, browser extensions for re-routing and newer forms of encryption, or even relocation of internet routers in newer geographies )

We must avoid legislation that drives users to dangerous, unreliable DNS servers and puts next-generation security policies, such as the deployment of DNSSEC, at risk.

While we are strongly committed to the vigorous enforcement of intellectual property rights, existing tools are not strong enough to root out the worst online pirates beyond our borders.

We should never let criminals hide behind a hollow embrace of legitimate American values

and

We should all be committed to working with all interested constituencies to develop new legal tools to protect global intellectual property rights without jeopardizing the openness of the Internet. Our hope is that you will bring enthusiasm and know-how to this important challenge

Authored by

Victoria Espinel is Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at Office of Management and Budget

Aneesh Chopra is the U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President and Associate Director for Technology at the Office of Science and Technology Policy
Howard Schmidt is Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator for National Security Staff

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AJ-Why not sponser a hackathon, White House and create a monetary incentive for hackers to suggest secure ways? Atleast a secure dialogue between policy makers and policy  breakers could be a way forward. 

SOPA in its current form is dead. We live to fight another day.

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Quote-

Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. John F K

China bans Chinese Food for Googleplex

This is a direct result of Google ‘s stand on principles (see below). No Google for China means no Chinese food for Googlers. But seriously.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-approach-to-china.html

In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google. However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident–albeit a significant one–was something quite different.

First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses–including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors–have been similarly targeted. We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities.

Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Based on our investigation to date we believe their attack did not achieve that objective. Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.

Third, as part of this investigation but independent of the attack on Google, we have discovered that the accounts of dozens of U.S.-, China- and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties. These accounts have not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users’ computers.