In a compromise verdict, a jury returned a misdemeanor conviction in the landmark MySpace suicide case, convicting the defendant but rejecting the felony charges. The jury found 49-year-old Lori Drew guilty of three misdemeanor counts of accessing a computer without authorization. The jurors couldn't reach a verdict on a fourth charge of conspiracy.
Adware and spyware have caused a lot of damage to people's computers, but mainly the harm has been limited to the cost of repairing a hard drive. Now, however, it's clear that a malware application has wreaked havoc beyond a fixable computer problem. Connecticut resident Julie Amero now has a criminal record and will lose her teaching license, thanks to an infected computer
The judge presiding over the landmark Lori Drew trial -- a/k/a the MySpace suicide case -- said today he isn't yet ready to decide whether to dismiss the charges on the ground that the prosecution hadn't presented enough evidence. This decision to postpone ruling on the crucial issue does nothing more than prolong a case that should have never been indicted, much less brought to trial.
Digital rights advocates are cheering the news that Henry Waxman (D. Calif.) will replace John Dingell (D. Mich.) as chair of the House Energy and Commerce committee. Advocates think Waxman's appointment could result in new protections for net neutrality and online privacy.
Guns N' Roses today officially debuted "Chinese Democracy," its unreleased album from 1991, on MySpace, where it's available for free streaming.
In a comically inept move, U.K. Internet service provider BT Group has decided to delete posts on its forums about its deployment of Phorm's controversial behavioral targeting platform.
The Internet has made it possible for every citizen with a gripe against a company to broadcast their feelings far and wide online. But that doesn't mean that businesses are happy about this. Increasingly, organizations that find themselves targeted by online critics are asking courts to shut down the detractors. These groups can't ask to silence critics simply because of what they say -- after all, the First Amendment protects people's ability to bash companies -- so instead the groups allege that the criticism violates their trademark or copyright.
A federal district court judge in Chicago has allowed Jones Day to proceed in its ill-conceived lawsuit against Blockshopper.com, accusing the online real estate publication of trademark infringement for having linked to the law firm's Web site.
Now that the election is over, it seems certain that Democrats will renew their push for net neutrality laws. Sen. Byron Dorgan, who previously introduced legislation, intends to unveil a new proposal in January, one of his aides said this week at a University of Nebraska conference.
Behavioral targeting company Phorm seems to be suffering from a privacy-related backlash in the U.K.This week, Neil Berkett, CEO of Internet service provider Virgin Media, told investors in New York that the company wasn't likely to work with Phorm any time soon. "Our next initiative probably won't be with the Phorms of the world," he said, according to reports.