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Facebook Strikes Deal to Create New Social Network in China

Facebook is reportedly working with China's largest search engine to create a new, jointly owned social network. The collaboration with Baidu would allow Facebook to get a foothold in the Chinese market while giving Baidu the chance to capitalize on Mark Zuckerberg's network-building expertise. The new site would still need to be approved by Chinese's Internet regulators, who retain final say...

Google Will No Longer Collect Street View Photos in Germany

Google has decided to stop collecting Street View photos in Germany, where regulators have spent much of the past two years railing against the search giant for violating the privacy of German residents. A company spokesman confirmed the decision in a statement sent to the Register, explaining that the images gathered across 20 German cities will remain available online, but reiterating that...

West Bank Settlers Spread Propaganda Using Violent Video Games

Using video games as propaganda is nothing new. The U.S. has been doing it with 'America's Army' for some time, while Hezbollah has employed 'Special Force' to spread its message. But those games might seem quaint and diplomatic in the face of a series of games from Residents' Councils of Samaria and Binyamin, an advocacy group for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. The organization has released...

Julian Assange Says WikiLeaks Is More Accountable Than Most Governments, Gets a Little Sassy About It

Julian Assange thinks WikiLeaks is more accountable than any democratic government in the world. And if you dare say otherwise, you'll probably get sued. That was essentially the message that Assange conveyed over the weekend, during his first public appearance since being arrested in December, amid accusations of rape and sexual assault. Speaking to an audience at a public debate in London,...

Russia Won't Ban Gmail or Skype Amid Security Concerns

It looks like Russia won't be banning Skype or Gmail, after all. The Kremlin was reportedly considering blocking both services, along with Hotmail, in response to a major cyberattack that crippled the country's most popular blog and an independent news site. Some within the Kremlin had believed the services posed a major threat to national security, but some critics had thought the government may...

Man Goes to Prison for Threatening Eric Cantor on YouTube

A man named Norman LeBoon is headed to prison after making threats to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a video posted to YouTube. In the clip, the 38-year-old LeBoon called the Republican "a liar" and "a Lucifer," and promised to shoot him. LeBoon pleaded guilty to the charges in November, and, on Thursday, was sentenced to two years in prison, along with an additional three years of...

Convicted Hacker Says He Committed Credit Card Heist for U.S. Government

The hacker who orchestrated the biggest computer crime operation in U.S. history is alleging that the American government authorized him to do so. Last year, 29-year-old Albert Gonzalez pleaded guilty to hacking into computer systems at TJX, Office Max, Dave & Busters, Heartland Payment Systems and other companies, in order to steal some 130 million credit card numbers. He received a...

U.S. Might Use Facebook, Twitter to Broadcast Terrorism Alerts

The U.S. government is considering using Facebook and Twitter to issue terrorism warnings, as part of its revamped terror alert system. According to a draft of a Homeland Security plan obtained by the AP, the government would broadcast the warnings via Facebook and Twitter "when appropriate," and only after federal, state and local officials have already been alerted. But these warnings won't...

Obama, Zuckerberg to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Facebook

The White House has announced that President Obama will hold a Town Hall meeting later this month, alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and company COO Sheryl Sandberg. The event, scheduled for April 20th, will be held at Facebook headquarters and live-streamed via the social network. You can RSVP on the White House Facebook page or submit your questions to the President here....

House Moves to Repeal Net Neutrality Rules, Obama's Veto Looms

The House of Representatives has approved the procedures for a joint resolution that would overturn the FCC's controversial Net neutrality rules. The resolution (PDF) is scheduled for a vote on Thursday in the GOP-controlled House. If it passes, it would then move on to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where its chances of survival are less certain. Even if it passes the Senate, though, the...

Urdu Translation Software Understands Nuance

A computer scientist at the University of Buffalo has developed a new program capable of taking automated translation beyond the literal. Rohini Srihari began working on her software in the hopes of improving computerized translations of Urdu -- a linguistic blend of Hindi and Persian that is widely spoken in Pakistan, and by many Muslims in India. Urdu is a particularly difficult language...

Manning Used Data-Mining Software to Obtain Documents, Army Claims

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the man suspected of supplying WikiLeaks with thousands of confidential military documents, used unauthorized data-mining software to obtain the information, according to the Army. The Army alleges that Manning installed the software on computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRN), which is believed to be the source of the 250,000...

Court Dismisses Challenges to Net Neutrality Rules, Leaves Door Open for Future Suits

Challenges to the FCC's new Net neutrality rules filed by Verizon and MetroPCS have been dismissed by a federal appeals court judge. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia tossed out the cases on a technicality. Since the rules had not yet been published in the federal register, it was too early to file challenges to them. The decision does not prevent either company from filing...

New Jersey Feds Call Grand Jury Investigation Into Smartphone Apps

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have called for a grand jury investigation to determine whether or not smartphone apps have been illegally gathering and spreading users' personal information. According to the Wall Street Journal, federal authorities are looking into whether or not app manufacturers properly disclosed the kinds of personal information their apps collect from users, and whether...

Conservative Group Turns to Wikis to Take on Obama

Conservative group Crossroads GPS is turning to the wiki model of crowdsourcing information for its latest project, called Wikiaccountability. The site targets the actions of the Obama administration, encouraging participants to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and post the information to the site. Users don't just post raw data, though; they also analyze what is posted and craft...