Security researcher warns of power company customers' passwords being stored in the clear, software provider responds with lawyer-letter

SEDC is an Atlanta-based company that provides back-ends for utility companies; a security researcher discovered that the company stored his password in the clear. The company's products have more than 15,000,000 users, whose logins and passwords are potentially also stored in plaintext. When the researcher alerted the company about this, the company ignored them, then denied that there was any problem, then demanded that the researcher not communicate about this except to SEDC's general counsel. Read the rest

Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent

On Wednesday the Arizona Senate passed SB 1142. The bill would allow the state to seize the assets of demonstrators who attend protests that turn violent.

From Arizona Capitol Times:

But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated. And what’s worse, said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, is that the person who may have broken a window, triggering the claim there was a riot, might actually not be a member of the group but someone from the other side.

Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said that chilling effect is aimed at a very specific group of protesters. “You now have a situation where you have full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder," he said. “A lot of them are ideologues, some of them are anarchists," Kavanagh continued. “But this stuff is all planned."

What's to stop the state or someone else from hiring agents provocateurs to damage property, thereby giving the state an excuse to strip peaceful protestors of their homes and assets?

Image: David Mulder/Flickr Read the rest

Google's version of the W3C's video DRM has been cracked

Since 2013, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has been working with the major browser companies, Netflix, the MPAA, and a few other stakeholders to standardize "Encrypted Media Extensions" (EME), which attempts to control web users' behavior by adding code to browsers that refuses to obey user instructions where they conflict with the instructions sent by video services. Read the rest

Bank of America uses copyright to censor business reporter's tweets

Business Insider's Jim Edwards got a letter from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch informing him that they'd instructed Twitter to remove two of his tweets on the grounds that they violated B of A's copyright. Read the rest

Hundreds of Canadian artists call for repeal of surveillance law

Bill C-51 is a sweeping, radical mass-surveillance bill proposed by the current Canadian Tory government, which will be fighting an election next month. Read the rest

London terror cops forced to admit they're still investigating journos who reported Snowden leaks

London Metropolitan Police anti-terror squad had refused to make any comment on whether they were investigating the reporters who broke the Snowden story for two years, but now a court has ordered them to answer -- and they've copped to it. Read the rest

NSA-loving, Internet-hating Rep Mike Rogers' staffers say criticism is "defamation"

Rep Mike Rogers (R-MI) is a former FBI spook turned Congressman. In addition to being an authoritarian creep (he was one of CISPA's co-sponsors) who hates Internet users (he dismissed CISPA's millions of vociferous opponents as "14-year-olds in their basement clicking around on the internet") and loves warrantless NSA spying -- he's also apparently a coward, whose staffers reportedly say that criticizing him on the Internet is defamation. According to a Michigan reporter, they told the press that Rogers could sue Techdirt's Mike Masnick for "defamation" for closely and critically covering his policies. As Masnick says, it's "unbecoming of an elected official to try to chill the free speech of those who criticize his statements and actions with implied threats of lawsuits to silence their public participation." Read the rest