Kodi Declares ‘War’ on Trademark Trolls – TorrentFreak

The Kodi team, operating under the XBMC Foundation, is taking a stand against ‘trademark trolls’ who abuse the Kodi name for personal profit. They accuse the Canadian trademark owner of actively blackmailing hardware vendors and removing content from Amazon. If needed, the foundation says that it may have to take legal action to keep its software freely accessible.

Source: Kodi Declares ‘War’ on Trademark Trolls – TorrentFreak

86-Year Old Grandma Accused of Pirating a Zombie Game – TorrentFreak


Since it’s become mandatory for ISPs to forward piracy notifications in Canada, hundreds of thousands of people have received letters over alleged copyright infringements. One of these accused pirates is an elderly woman, who’s threatened with $5,000 in potential damages for downloading a zombie game she’s never heard of.

Source: 86-Year Old Grandma Accused of Pirating a Zombie Game – TorrentFreak

How Big Pharma’s Shadow Regulation Censors the Internet


Americans pay by far the highest prices in the world for most prescription drugs, and of course big pharma would like to keep it that way.

Source: How Big Pharma’s Shadow Regulation Censors the Internet

Oklahoma Cops Debut Tool That Allows Them To Drain Pre-Paid Cards During Traffic Stops | Techdirt

[T]he Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a device that also allows them to seize money in your bank account or on prepaid cards.It’s called an ERAD, or Electronic Recovery and Access to Data machine, and state police began using 16 of them last month.Here’s how it works. If a trooper suspects you may have money tied to some type of crime, the highway patrol can scan any cards you have and seize the money.

Source: Oklahoma Cops Debut Tool That Allows Them To Drain Pre-Paid Cards During Traffic Stops | Techdirt

Health Canada Threatens To Sue Doctor If He Reveals Whether Clinical Trials Data Shows A Drug Is Safe Or Effective | Techdirt

Dr. Navindra Persaud has been fighting for four years to get access to thousands of pages of drug industry documents being held by Health Canada.

He finally received the material a few weeks ago, but now he’s being prevented from revealing what he has discovered.

That’s because Health Canada required him to sign a confidentiality agreement, and has threatened him with legal action if he breaks it.

Source: Health Canada Threatens To Sue Doctor If He Reveals Whether Clinical Trials Data Shows A Drug Is Safe Or Effective | Techdirt

HP Drops Support For Hacking Competition As Wassenaar Arrangement Continues To Make Computing Less Safe | Techdirt

The next scheduled Pwn2Own hacking competition has lost Hewlett-Packard as its longstanding sponsor amid legal concerns that the company could run afoul of recent changes to an international treaty that governs software exploits.

Dragos Ruiu, organizer of both Pwn2Own and the PacSec West security conference in Japan, said HP lawyers spent more than $1 million researching the recent changes to the so-called Wassenaar Arrangement. He said they ultimately concluded that the legal uncertainty and compliance hurdles were too high for them to move forward.

Source: HP Drops Support For Hacking Competition As Wassenaar Arrangement Continues To Make Computing Less Safe | Techdirt

TPP’s Copyright Term Extension Isn’t Made for Artists—It’s Made By and For Big Content Companies | Electronic Frontier Foundation

The following comment was written by Canadian filmmaker, Andrew Hunter, sent to party leaders asking them to come out against the 20-year copyright term extension in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and stand for fair and balanced innovation policy. He emailed this comment as part of our TPP’s Copyright Trap campaign.

Source: TPP’s Copyright Term Extension Isn’t Made for Artists—It’s Made By and For Big Content Companies | Electronic Frontier Foundation

NSA Planned to Hijack Google App Store to Hack Smartphones

The National Security Agency and its closest allies planned to hijack data links to Google and Samsung app stores to infect smartphones with spyware, a top-secret document reveals.

The surveillance project was launched by a joint electronic eavesdropping unit called the Network Tradecraft Advancement Team, which includes spies from each of the countries in the “Five Eyes” alliance — the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.

The top-secret document, obtained from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, was published Wednesday by CBC News in collaboration with The Intercept. The document outlines a series of tactics that the NSA and its counterparts in the Five Eyes were working on during workshops held in Australia and Canada between November 2011 and February 2012.

The main purpose of the workshops was to find new ways to exploit smartphone technology for surveillance. The agencies used the Internet spying system XKEYSCORE to identify smartphone traffic flowing across Internet cables and then to track down smartphone connections to app marketplace servers operated by Samsung and Google. (Google declined to comment for this story. Samsung said it would not be commenting “at this time.”)

As part of a pilot project codenamed IRRITANT HORN, the agencies were developing a method to hack and hijack phone users’ connections to app stores so that they would be able to send malicious “implants” to targeted devices. The implants could then be used to collect data from the phones without their users noticing.

Previous disclosures from the Snowden files have shown agencies in the Five Eyes alliance designed spyware for iPhones and Android smartphones, enabling them to infect targeted phones and grab emails, texts, web history, call records, videos, photos and other files stored on them. But methods used by the agencies to get the spyware onto phones in the first place have remained unclear.

The newly published document shows how the agencies wanted to “exploit” app store servers — using them to launch so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks to infect phones with the implants. A man-in-the-middle attack is a technique in which hackers place themselves between computers as they are communicating with each other; it is a tactic sometimes used by criminal hackers to defraud people. In this instance, the method would have allowed the surveillance agencies to modify the content of data packets passing between targeted smartphones and the app servers while an app was being downloaded or updated, inserting spyware that would be covertly sent to the phones.

Link (The Intercept)

Border Patrol Agents Tase Woman For Refusing To Cooperate With Their Bogus Search

These CBP agents — like too many other law enforcement officers — had no idea how to react when their authority was challenged. They only saw one route to take: escalation.

Cooke knew the CBP agents needed something in the way of reasonable suspicion to continue to detain her. But they had nothing. The only thing offered in the way of explanation as they ordered her to return to her detained vehicle was that she appeared “nervous” during her prior interaction with the female CBP agent. This threadbare assertion of “reasonable suspicion” is law enforcement’s blank check — one it writes itself and cashes with impunity.

The CBP supervisor then stated he’d be bringing in a drug dog to search her vehicle — another violation of Cooke’s rights. The Supreme Court very recently ruled that law enforcement cannot unnecessarily prolong routine stops in order to perform additional searches unrelated to the stop’s objective.

If the purpose of CBP is to secure borders and regulate immigration, then this stop had very little to do with the agency’s objectives. Cooke is an American citizen and had not crossed a border. If the CBP’s objective is to do whatever it wants within x number of miles of the border, then it’s apparently free to perform suspicionless searches. In this case, the CBP was operating in drug enforcement mode, but even so, it still hadn’t offered anything more than Cooke’s alleged “nervousness” to justify the search and detainment. Additionally, the CBP’s decision to bring in a drug dog raised the bar for justification.

Link (Techdirt)