The attorneys general of 35 US states on Wednesday signed an open letter calling for the quick passage of the Clarify Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act – with some qualifications.The proposed legislation, if passed by Congress, will allow the Feds to demand people’s emails and other personal communications from overseas computers with a simple subpoena issued by a US judge.In effect, it means the FBI can ask, say, a California court for a subpoena to obtain files from a San Francisco upstart’s servers hosted in France, sidestepping French privacy laws and legal system. The act’s wording also does not limit the Feds to serving orders for communications on US companies and entities – agents would be able to demand information from whomever they wished, if a US judge approved.
The New York Police Department will scrap 36,000 smartphones, thanks to a monumental purchasing cock-up by a billionaire’s daughter.The city spent millions on the phones back in October 2016 as part of its drive to bring the police force into the 21st century. And the woman behind the purchase – Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology, Jessica Tisch – praised them for their ability to quickly send 911 alerts to officers close to an incident.There was only one problem: Tisch chose Windows-based Lumia 830 and Lumia 640 XL phones, and Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 8.1 in July.
For the first time ever, this month’s Stupid Patent of the Month is being awarded to a design patent. Microsoft recently sued Corel for, among other things, infringing its patent on a slider, D554,140, claiming that Corel Home Office has infringed Microsoft’s design. The design patent, as detailed by Microsoft in its complaint, is titled “User Interface for a Portion of a Display Screen” and entitles Microsoft to own this:
World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) is reporting that the European Patent Office, EPO, has threatened Roy Schestowitz with a defamation lawsuit over a blog post he did. Schestowitz writes the Techrights blog, which I personally think can go overboard with some of its stories at times. However, to argue that his stories are defamation, especially by a government agency, is crazy.
A software pirate is facing the most unusual punishment ever seen in a copyright infringement action. The man lost a case brought by an anti-piracy group but couldn’t pay damages, so instead agreed to star in PSA showcasing his life as a pirate. If that film doesn’t get 200K hits on YouTube, he’ll be required to pay a large fine.