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  • Canada's Copyright Notice Fiasco: Why the Government Bears Responsibility

    An anonymous reader writes Canada's copyright notice fiasco, with false and misleading notices being sent to thousands of Internet users, has attracted growing attention with the government promising to address the issue. This morning, Michael Geist posts internal government documents that show that the government was aware of these risks before launching the system, but did nothing about it. The documents show that the government decided to forge ahead with the system without any regulations, despite repeated warnings that additional rules on the scope of the notices was needed.

    73 comments | about two weeks ago

  • Canadian Government Steps In To Stop Misleading Infringement Notices

    Dangerous_Minds writes: Recently, misleading notices were spotted being sent out by Rightscorp. Michael Geist posted the letter which, among other things, cites U.S. laws, says the Canadians could be on the hook for $150,000 (does not actually exist in the recent copyright reforms now in force), and that payments should be made directly to the company. Apparently, the Canadian government was not amused and has announced that they will be speaking with rightsholders and ISPs to address the concerns that were raised. The government says, "These notices are misleading and companies cannot use them to demand money from Canadians."

    103 comments | about two weeks ago

  • Canadian Copyright Notice-and-Notice System: Citing False Legal information

    An anonymous reader writes Canada's new copyright notice-and-notice system has been in place for less than a week, but rights holders are already exploiting a loophole to send demands for payment citing false legal information. Earlier this week, a Canadian ISP forwarded to Michael Geist a sample notice it received from Rightscorp on behalf of BMG. The notice falsely warns that the recipient could be liable for up to $150,000 per infringement when the reality is that Canadian law caps liability for non-commercial infringement at $5,000 for all infringements. The notice also warns that the user's Internet service could be suspended, yet there is no such provision under Canadian law. In a nutshell, Rightscorp and BMG are using the notice-and-notice system to require ISPs to send threats and misstatements of Canadian law in an effort to extract payments based on unproven infringement allegations.

    172 comments | about two weeks ago

  • Canadian Anti-Piracy Firm Caught Infringing Copyright

    An anonymous reader writes: Canipre, a Montreal-based intellectual property enforcement firm, yesterday issued a press release announcing an infringement monitoring program designed to take advantage of the Canada's new copyright notice-and-notice system. Yet a new report indicates that the company may itself be engaged in copyright infringement, with a director's blog posting dozens of full-text articles from media organizations around the world, often without attribution and some that are subscription-only content."

    61 comments | about three weeks ago

  • Museum's Adults-Only Nights Show That Alcohol and Science Are a Good Mix

    BarbaraHudson writes Museums and science centers are finding that science nights with bar service are quite popular with the public. "Organizer Merissa Scarlett said almost every science center across Canada opts for adults-only nights, where visitors can explore exhibits with an alcoholic drink in hand. It's also a trend taking off in many museums, including the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, where nights dubbed Nature Nocturne transform the building into a multi-stage bar and club."

    131 comments | about three weeks ago

  • New Canadian Copyright Laws Require ISPs To Retain, Share Illegal Download Info

    BarbaraHudson writes: New Year's Day brought into force new Canadian copyright laws that go after people who download copyrighted materials online. From the article: "As of January 1st Internet service providers (ISPs) are required to pass along notices of alleged copyright infringement., something which used to be voluntary. ISPs must also retain records of the notices they receive and forward to users for at least six months in case a copyright owner decides to pursue legal action. Lawsuits could seek up to $5,000 for downloading copyrighted material for personal use, and up to $20,000 for a download that led to commercial gain.

    ISPs are also now be required to provide your personal info, but only if the copyright owner sues. Search engines also have to remove cached versions of allegedly infringing material that have been removed from a website. Non-compliance allows copyright owners to pursue legal action and claim damages against them as well. Finally, a review of the Copyright Act every five years is now required."

    161 comments | about three weeks ago

  • Norse Security IDs 6, Including Ex-Employee, As Sony Hack Perpetrators

    chicksdaddy writes Alternative theories of who is responsible for the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment have come fast and furious in recent weeks -- especially since the FBI pointed a finger at the government of North Korea last week. But Norse Security is taking the debate up a notch: saying that they have conclusive evidence pointing to group of disgruntled former employees as the source of the attack and data theft. The Security Ledger quotes Norse Vice President Kurt Stammberger saying that Norse has identified a group of six individuals — in the U.S., Canada, Singapore and Thailand — that it believes carried out the attack, including at least one 10-year employee of SPE who worked in a technical capacity before being laid off in May. Rather than starting from the premise that the Sony hack was a state sponsored attack, Norse researchers worked their investigation like any other criminal matter: starting by looking for individuals with the "means and motive" to do the attack.

    HR files leaked in the hack provided the motive part: a massive restructuring in Spring, 2014, in which many longtime SPE employees were laid off. After researching the online footprint of a list of all the individuals who were fired and had the means to be able to access sensitive data on Sony's network, Norse said it identified a handful who expressed anger in social media posts following their firing. They included one former employee — a 10-year SPE veteran who he described as having a "very technical background." Researchers from the company followed that individual online, noting participation in IRC (Internet Relay Chat) forums where they observed communications with other individuals affiliated with underground hacking and hacktivist groups in Europe and Asia. According to Stammberger, the Norse investigation was eventually able to connect an individual directly involved in conversations with the Sony employee with a server on which the earliest known version of the malware used in the attack was compiled, in July, 2014.

    158 comments | about a month ago

  • Finn Linked To Lizard Squad Christmas Attack

    An anonymous reader writes Security researcher Mikko Hyppönen from F-Secure told the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and Finland's MTV news that rumours have been circulating for several months about the Lizard Squad group of hackers who say they disrupted the two computer games console networks on Christmas Day. He confirmed that at least one of them is a Finn. One of the hackers, in a Skype interview from Finland by Britain's Sky News, said that the attack was carried out for amusement and to expose security flaws in the networks. Hyppönen told Helsingin Sanomat and MTV that his company has been aware of the hacker group for several months. 'According to our information, the group has members in the United States, Canada, England and at least one member in Finland,' he told MTV. The nationalities of other members that participated in the Christmas attack have not been confirmed. Hyppönen noted that these kinds of groups come and go, and that their members are usually young.

    51 comments | about a month ago

  • North Korea Denies Responsibility for Sony Attack, Warns Against Retaliation

    jones_supa writes: A North Korean official said that the secretive regime wants to mount a joint investigation with the United States to identify who was behind the cyber attack against Sony Pictures. An unnamed spokesman of the North Korean foreign ministry was quoted by the country's state news agency, KCNA, describing U.S. claims they were behind the hack as "slander." "As the United States is spreading groundless allegations and slandering us, we propose a joint investigation with it into this incident," the official said, according to Agence France-Presse. Both the FBI and President Barack Obama have said evidence was uncovered linking the hack to to North Korea, but some experts have questioned the evidence tying the attack to Pyongyang. Meanwhile, reader hessian notes that 2600: The Hacker Quarterly has offered to let the hacker community distribute The Interview for Sony. It's an offer Sony may actually find useful, since the company is now considering releasing the movie on a "different platform." Reader Nicola Hahn warns that we shouldn't be too quick to accept North Korea as the bad guy in this situation: Most of the media has accepted North Korea's culpability with little visible skepticism. There is one exception: Kim Zetter at Wired has decried the evidence as flimsy and vocally warns about the danger of jumping to conclusions. Surely we all remember high-ranking, ostensibly credible, officials warning about the smoking gun that comes in the form of a mushroom cloud? This underscores the ability of the agenda-setting elements of the press to frame issues and control the acceptable limits of debate. Some would even say that what's happening reveals tools of modern social control (PDF). Whether or not they're responsible for the attack, North Korea has now warned of "serious consequences" if the U.S. takes action against them for it.

    236 comments | about a month ago

  • Boeing and BlackBerry Making a Self-Destructing Phone

    Rambo Tribble writes: It sounds like a Mission: Impossible scenario, but aerospace company Boeing is teaming with Canadian phone maker BlackBerry to produce an ultra-secure mobile phone that "self-destructs." The phone uses encryption on calls and is intended to serve the high-security needs of government and industry. As Blackberry CEO John Chen said, "We're pleased to announce that Boeing is collaborating with BlackBerry to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilizing our BES 12 platform. That, by the way, is all they allow me to say."

    No word yet if you'll need the services of the bomb squad when you go over your minutes.

    75 comments | about a month ago

  • Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

    Onnimikki writes James Stewart, author of the calculus textbooks many of us either loved or loved to hate, has died. In case you ever wondered what the textbook was funding, this story has the answer: a $32 million dollar home over-looking a ravine in Toronto, Canada.

    170 comments | about a month ago

  • In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

    HughPickens.com writes: Peter Baker reports at the NYT that in a deal negotiated during 18 months of secret talks hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis, the United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century. In addition, the United States will ease restrictions on remittances, travel and banking relations, and Cuba will release 53 Cuban prisoners identified as political prisoners by the United States government. Although the decades-old American embargo on Cuba will remain in place for now, the administration signaled that it would welcome a move by Congress to ease or lift it should lawmakers choose to. "We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. It does not serve America's interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse. We know from hard-learned experience that it is better to encourage and support reform than to impose policies that will render a country a failed state," said the White House in a written statement. "The United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people."

    435 comments | about a month ago

  • Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene

    BarbaraHudson sends this excerpt from The Province: While exploring the effects of the protein-degrading enzyme Granzyme B on blood vessels during heart attacks, professor David Granville and other researchers at the University of British Columbia couldn't help noticing that mice engineered to lack the enzyme had beautiful skin at the end of the experiment, while normal mice showed signs of age. The discovery pushed Granville's research in an unexpected new direction.

    The researchers built a mechanized rodent tanning salon and exposed mice engineered to lack the enzyme and normal mice to UV light three times a week for 20 weeks, enough to cause redness, but not to burn. At the end of the experiment, the engineered mice still had smooth, unblemished skin, while the normal mice were deeply wrinkled.

    Granzyme B breaks down proteins and interferes with the organization and the integrity of collagen, dismantling the scaffolding — or extra-cellular matrix — that cells bind to. This causes structural weakness, leading to wrinkles. Sunlight appears to increase levels of the enzyme and accelerate its damaging effects.

    175 comments | about a month ago

  • Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography

    As reported by The Independent, A scientific study has found that Greenland is actually connected to the area beneath the polar ice where the North Pole lies – thanks to a huge stretch of continental crust known as the Lomonosov Ridge. Since Greenland is a Danish territory, that gives the country the right to put its hat in the ring for ownership of the stretch of land, Denmark’s foreign minister [Martin Lidegaard ] said. ... Of the five Arctic countries – the US, Russia, Norway, Canada and Denmark —only Canada and Russia had indicated an interest in the North Pole territory until now. "This is a historical milestone for Denmark and many others as the area has an impact on the lives of lot of people. After the U.N. panel had taken a decision based on scientific data, comes a political process," Lidegaard told The Associated Press in an interview on Friday. "I expect this to take some time. An answer will come in a few decades. Why such a big deal? As Business Insider notes, The U.S. currently estimates that the Arctic sea bed could contain 15% of the earth's remaining oil, along with 30% of the planet's natural gas and 20% of its liquefied natural gas. Whichever country is able to successfully claim the Arctic would have the right to extract these resources.

    191 comments | about a month ago

  • Govt Docs Reveal Canadian Telcos Promise Surveillance Ready Networks

    An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist reports that Canadian telecom and Internet providers have tried to convince the government that they will voluntarily build surveillance capabilities into their networks. Hoping to avoid legislative requirements, the providers argue that "the telecommunications market will soon shift to a point where interception capability will simply become a standard component of available equipment, and that technical changes in the way communications actually travel on communications networks will make it even easier to intercept communications."

    74 comments | about a month ago

  • Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

    Freshly Exhumed writes Citizenship and Immigration Canada has granted an unprecedented exemption to Microsoft that will allow the company to bring in an unspecified number of temporary foreign workers as trainees without first looking for Canadians to fill the jobs. No other company in any other field has been granted such an exemption, and it does not fall within any of the other categories where exemptions are normally given, according to a source familiar with process, effectively creating a new category: the Microsoft Exemption. Microsoft Canada did not immediately respond to questions about the deal, but in an interview earlier this year with Bloomberg Businessweek, Karen Jones, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, said the deal will allow Microsoft to bypass stricter U.S. rules on visas for foreign workers. The entire issue of temporary foreign workers has been as blisteringly hot a topic across Canada as it has been in the USA.

    122 comments | about a month and a half ago

  • New Compilation of Banned Chinese Search-Terms Reveals Curiosities

    An anonymous reader writes Canada's Citizen Lab has compiled data from various research projects around the world in an attempt to create a manageable Github repository of government-banned Chinese keywords in internet search terms and which may appear in Chinese websites. Until now the study of such terms has proved problematic due to disparate research methods and publishing formats. A publicly available online spreadsheet which CCL have provided to demonstrate the project gives an interesting insight into the reactive and eccentric nature of the Great Blacklist of China, as far as outside research can deduce. Aside from the inevitable column listings of dissidents and references to government officials and the events in Tiananmen Square in 1989, search terms as basic as "system" and "human body" appear to be blocked.

    43 comments | about a month and a half ago

  • Canadian Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Warrantless Cellphone Searches

    An anonymous reader writes In a surprising decision, a split Supreme Court of Canada ruled this morning that police can search cellphones without a warrant incident to an arrest. The majority established some conditions, but ultimately ruled that it could navigate the privacy balance by establishing some safeguards with the practice. Michael Geist notes that a strongly worded dissent disagreed, emphasizing the privacy implications of access to cellphones and the need for judicial pre-authorization as the best method of addressing the privacy implications. The U.S. Supreme Court's June 2014 decision in Riley addressed similar issues and ruled that a warrant is needed to search a phone.

    105 comments | about a month and a half ago

  • CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

    mrspoonsi sends this news from the BBC: The CIA carried out "brutal" interrogations of terror suspects in the years after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., a U.S. Senate report has said. The summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report said the CIA misled Americans on the effectiveness of "enhanced interrogation." The interrogation was poorly managed and unreliable, the report said. President Obama has previously said that in his view the techniques amounted to torture. The Senate committee's report runs to more than 6,000 pages, drawing on huge quantities of evidence, but it remains classified and only a 480-page summary (PDF) is being released. Publication had been delayed amid disagreements in Washington over what should be made public. CIA Director John Brennan has posted a response.

    772 comments | about a month and a half ago

  • Canadian Agency Drops Cases Rather Than Deal With New Requirements For ISP Info

    An anonymous reader points out this story about what has happened since the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling on the warrantless disclosure of subscriber information to law enforcement from ISPs. "A funny thing happens when courts start requiring more information from law enforcement: law enforcers suddenly seem less interested in zealously enforcing the law. Back in June of this year, Canada's Supreme Court delivered its decision in R. v. Spencer, which brought law enforcement's warrantless access of ISP subscriber info to an end. 'In a unanimous decision written by (Harper appointee) Justice Thomas Cromwell, the court issued a strong endorsement of Internet privacy, emphasizing the privacy importance of subscriber information, the right to anonymity, and the need for police to obtain a warrant for subscriber information except in exigent circumstances or under a reasonable law.' The effects of this ruling are beginning to be felt. Michael Geist points to a Winnipeg Free Press article that details the halcyon days of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's warrantless access. 'Prior to the court decision, the RCMP and border agency estimate, it took about five minutes to complete the less than one page of documentation needed to ask for subscriber information, and the company usually turned it over immediately or within one day.'"

    29 comments | about a month and a half ago

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