City wants all passwords - State access to public’s online communications - Mom fined $1.9m for 24 songs
By Cade Metz
US city demands FaceSpaceGooHoo log-ins from job seekers
Data protection and privacy… we’ve heard of that
If you apply for a job with the City of Bozeman, Montana - a mid-sized burg halfway across these United States - you’re forced to surrender usernames and passwords for every account you’ve set up with websites of the “social networking” variety.
According to the City, that includes everything from Facebook and MySpace to YouTube to, well, Yahoo! and Google.
“Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.,” reads a waiver form that allows the City to investigate a job applicant’s “background, references, character, past employment, education, credit history, criminal or police records.”
Then it asks for usernames and passwords.
With most websites, sharing log-in information is verboten. “You will not share your password, let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account,” reads the Facebook EULA. “You will not transfer your account to anyone without first getting our written permission.”
And then there’s the question of whether the City of Bozeman has overlooked the great American right to privacy.
Speaking with a local Montana TV news station, City attorney Greg Sullivan says Bozeman takes privacy seriously.
he said that no job seeker has ever rescinded their application after reading the wavier form.
But that’s because people rarely recognize a threat to their own privacy. Even if the City claims that privacy will be respected, you’re handing your usernames and passwords to individual City workers. And individual workers have minds of their own.
Canadian bill forces personal data from ISPs sans warrant
By Cade Metz
Canada is considering legislation allowing the country’s police and national security agency to readily access the online communications and the personal information of ISP subscribers.
“We must ensure that law enforcement has the necessary tools to catch up to the bad guys and ultimately bring them to justice. Twenty-first century technology calls for 21st-century tools,” Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said in announcing two new bills at a press conference in Ottawa, the CBC has reported.
The Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement in the 21st Century Act would require ISPs to install “intercept-capable” equipment on their networks and provide police with “timely access” to subscribers’ personal information, including names, street addresses, and IP addresses.
According to the Government of Canada, the new law would not provide police or the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) with additional intercept powers. Police forces and the CSIS will still require warrants for communication interception, the government says.
But they will not need a warrant when requesting a subscriber’s personal information. At the news conference, Public Safety Peter Van Loan said that currently some ISPs are unwilling to provide personal info without a warrant and that this slows down investigations into crimes like child sexual exploitation or online theft.
We’re not surprised he played the child sexual exploitation card.
Van Loan also said that ISPs will have to pay for the new intercept equipment but that the Canadian government may provide “reasonable compensation” if a service provider is forced to retrofit existing hardware.
Mom of 4 who downloaded 24 songs ordered to pay $1.9 million
By John Oates
US record industry wins $1.92m from file sharer
The Recording Industry Ass.of America has won $1.92m in damages against a woman accused of file sharing.
Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a mum of four from Minnesota, was found guilty of copyright infringement in respect of 24 songs downloaded from, and made available to, the Kazaa file sharing network. There was no evidence that anyone but the prosecution had actually downloaded the songs. She must pay $80,000 for each song.
Speaking outside the court Thomas-Rasset said: “There’s no way they’re ever going to get that. I’m a mom, limited means […]”, according to AP.
Her defence argued that the RIAA had failed to prove she had actually shared music with anyone - only that her computer contained file sharing software. The RIAA hired MediaSentry which traced files to her IP address and downloaded songs from her shared directory. She used the nickname ‘tereastarr’ which was also her MySpace log-in.
The RIAA chased thousands of people for apparently sharing music but scared most of them into settling out of court.