Surveillance & Censorship:

  • The Washington Post reports that documents leaked by Edward Snowden show that the NSA received intelligence from Australia’s signals intelligence division on Chicago-based law firm Mayer Brown in relation to the firm’s representation of the Indonesian government in a trade dispute. In response, Indonesia’s foreign minister says: “To suggest that the future of shrimp exports from Indonesia to the United States has an impact on Australian security is a bit too much.”
  • Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras of The Guardian, and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post won the George Polk Awards in Journalism for 2013 for their coverage of the Snowden leaks.
  • Meanwhile, Chinese bloggers meet with Secretary of State John Kerry to ask for help reducing the censorship they face when accessing the internet in China.

Sports & Entertainment:

  • First-team All-American defensive end Michael Sam comes out as gay, which should make him the first openly gay NFL football player.
  • Members of Congress pile on the criticism of the Washington Redskins, calling the team name a racial slur. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) ask NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to formally endorse the idea of changing the name. They also criticize the NFL’s tax-exempt status.
  • A South Carolina woman headed to her local police station to report a crime and was jailed for failing to return a rented video cassette in 2005. [Can this be right?? –Ed.]

Military Technology & Constitutional Law:

  • The Obama administration deliberates over whether it can kill an American citizen living overseas with a drone strike (and, presumably, without a trial). The government claims that the individual is an al-Qaeda facilitator directly involved in terrorism.

Technology Industry:

  • After Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. recommended that shareholders vote against his nonbinding proposal for Apple to accelerate its stock buy-backs, Carl Icahn backs off.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Elon Musk, innovator and leader of Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity, sat down with Apple’s head of M&A, and “probably,” Apple CEO Tim Cook. [via CNET]
  • Rumor has it that Nokia will introduce an Android-based (well, fork-of-Android-based) smartphone this month.
  • Google buys sound-based password company SlickLogin.
  • A data scientist proposes subway farecard arbitrage to reduce the amount riders have to pay. [via Slashdot]

Internet Governance & Net Neutrality:

  • Netflix says Verizon is not slowing down its customers streaming video traffic.

Cyber Crime & Cyber Security:

  • A French journalist is prosecuted and convicted as a cyber criminal for downloading files from the website for the French National Agency for Food Safety, Environment, and Labor without authenticating first, because he subjectively knew that the agency had intended to protect the files. [The files were indexed by Google spiders too — did Google commit a crime in France? –Ed.] [via Reddit]
  • Content delivery network CloudFlare tries to handle the largest ever distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, weighing in at over 400Gbps.
  • A newly identified vulnerability in bitcoin’s transaction protocol (known as “transaction malleability”) causes the value of the currency to fall drastically. Meanwhile, illicit online marketplace Silk Road claims to have been hacked with the vulnerability, losing millions of dollars worth of bitcoins — or was that announcement itself just a scam by the Silk Road staff?
  • An op-ed in Information Week says there is still a long way to go in implementing HIPAA’s information security requirements.
  • South Korea takes a draconian approach to regulating banks whose customers become victims of identity theft, suspending the issuance of credit cards and new loans for months. Yikes!
  • Hackers break into the computer systems of medical device manufacturers Medtronic, Boston Scientific, and St. Jude Medical. [via Slashdot]
  • A small North Carolina law firm lost access to all of its legal documents when its computer system was infected by “Crypto Locker,” a virus that searches for common file types, encrypts them, and holds the decryption password for ransom. [via SANS]
  • A federal grand jury indicts a former hospital CEO for falsely attesting that his company made significant use of electronic health records, leading to an incentive payment designed to increase adoption of EHRs.


  • The EU Court of Justice rules that hyperlinking to freely available online resources cannot constitute copyright infringement. [via Reddit]
  • Aereo, the digital TV retransmission (or was that rebroadcasting?) company will go before the Supreme Court on April 22, 2014, arguing that its service does not entail a public performance and therefore violates no copyright restrictions. [via Reddit]

Legal Process Technology:

  • The ReInvent Law Conference asks legal professionals to embrace technological change, even if it means “a step back for every two forward.”

Technology-Enabled Crime:

  • The FBI offers a $10,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of anyone directing their laser pointers at aircraft. This is very dangerous as it can temporarily blind pilots, and it is a felony under 18 U.S. Code § 39A. [via Slashdot]

Technological Progress:

  • A teenager from just outside Kansas City adapts freely available “Robohand” schematics to 3D-print a prosthetic hand for a 9-year-old family friend.
  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, otherwise known as the agency that invented the modern internet) is running Memex, a program seeking to develop domain-specific indexing and search, or as Network World calls it, the “Holy Grail of search.” Domain-specific indexing and search is the kind of thing that just might flip e-discovery, and potentially much of the legal world, upside down. [via Slashdot]

–Brad Edmondson


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