The Senate Judiciary Committee could finally move forward next week with an overhaul to the federal wiretap law governing digital privacy. Industry observers have long called for an update, but the controversy surrounding former CIA Director David Petraeus -- who resigned after law enforcement officials obtained emails that brought to light his affair with Paula Broadwell -- is lending that effort new momentum.
Since May of 2001, blogger Benjamin Kabok has used the Twitter account @NYTOnIt to gleefully mock the pieces he deems "just that obvious." "GUYS, turns out not drinking soda is much better for you than drinking soda. The Times is ON IT," he tweeted in September, in response to an article about a newly published New England Journal of Medicine report suggesting that sugary drinks contribute to obesity.
On Friday afternoon, a group of conservative lawmakers called the Republican Study Committee stunned digital rights advocates by posting a report recommending a host of reforms to copyright law. But within 24 hours, the document, described by Techdirt as "surprisingly awesome," was retracted. RSC executive director Paul Teller reportedly justified the withdrawal on the ground that the report had been published "without adequate review."
It looks like a federal judge will sign off on a deal requiring Google to pay $22.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges stemming from a hack that allowed the company to track Safari users. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston said today at a hearing in San Francisco that her "preliminary view" is to approve the deal, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
With reports swirling that the Federal Trade Commission is readying an antitrust case against Google, some Republican senators say the agency should hold its fire.