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Apple, Intel Vow to Stop Using Conflict Minerals From Africa

Apple and Intel have both decided to stop using conflict minerals to manufacture products, as part of the Conflict-Free Smelter program. Conflict minerals include valuable commodities such as gold, titanium, tungsten and tin, which generate massive revenues used to fund wars in Central Africa, and, more specifically, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Beginning next year, all U.S....

New Book on Google Reveals Details on China, CEO's Political Donations

In his new book, 'In the Plex,' tech journalist Steven Levy traces the history of Google and exposes some juicy details about the company along the way. The New York Times recently reviewed an advanced copy of the book, and highlighted some of its most interesting revelations. Eric Schmidt, for example, reportedly wanted to censor some Google search results in order to hide a political donation...

Tech Could Be Key in Fight Against Rape in Haiti

Documenting and counting all of the rapes and sexual assaults occurring in Haiti is difficult, if not impossible. The U.N. has estimated that as many as 50-percent of the women living in the country's shantytowns have been subject to assault -- although some critics (including the Telegraph's Brendan O'Neill) have claimed that figure is a vast overstatement. The trouble is though, the crimes...

Lawyer Files $1 Billion Lawsuit Against Facebook, Zuckerberg Over Palestinian Intifada Page

Earlier this week, Facebook pulled a controversial page calling for a Third Palestinian Intifada after facing intense pressure and criticism from Israeli politicians and organizations like the Anti-Defamation League. When it eventually decided to remove the page, the social network explained the decision by pointing out that comments on the page had "deteriorated to direct calls for violence,"...

Bahrain Releases Dissident Blogger One Day After Arresting Him

Authorities in Bahrain have released a dissident blogger, just one day after arresting him at his home. Mahmoud al-Youssef was taken into custody early Wednesday morning, as part of a nationwide campaign against opposition activists and protesters. The 50-year-old al-Youssef, who blogs in English, has long criticized the Bahrain regime for restricting freedom of expression, and has been an...

Microsoft Files Antitrust Complaint Against Google in E.U. Court

A decade after fighting a major antitrust lawsuit, Microsoft has filed exactly the same charges against Google. Today, the company will file a formal antitrust complaint with the European Union, joining a collection of small companies that have already made similar charges against the search giant. Microsoft is hoping that the E.U. will take some action against Google, and perhaps convince...

Google, FTC Reach Settlement on Buzz Privacy Case, John Kerry Wants to Go Further

Google reached a historic settlement with the Federal Trade Commission yesterday, bringing an end to the FTC's investigation into Google Buzz -- the social network that has mired the company in allegations of privacy violations. Under the settlement, Google will have to implement a "comprehensive privacy program," and will be subject to independent audits for the next two decades. Yesterday's...

America Develops Cell Phone Panic Button for Pro-Democracy Activists

One of America's newest tools in the war against tyranny could be a cell phone "panic" button. According to Reuters, the U.S. State Department wants to equip pro-democracy activists in the Middle East with technology that could wipe phones of sensitive data in the event that they are arrested or their cell phones are confiscated. Initiating the panic sequence would erase the phone book, call...

Facebook Changes Mind, Shuts Down Palestinian Intifada Page

Retreating from its previous stance, Facebook yesterday announced that it had pulled a page calling for a Third Palestinian Intifada. Israeli Cabinet Minister Yuli Edelstein wrote Mark Zuckerberg last week to request that the page be shuttered, but Facebook initially refused to do so; the company claimed that there was nothing overtly violent about the page, which was established as a call for...

Judge Ruling on Copyright Law Used to Be a Lobbyist for RIAA

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell issued a ruling that would make it easier for copyright holders to obtain personal information on anyone suspected of illegally downloading copyrighted files. The verdict was met with complaints from ISPs and consumer rights groups, with many arguing that it would allow copyright holders to pursue frivolous lawsuits in the hopes of striking...

Barack Obama Has a Computer and an iPad, Because He's the President

As President of the United States, Barack Obama gets to enjoy some pretty sweet perks. Big house, private jet, personal chef -- and yes, his very own computer. He has an iPad, too, in case you were wondering. Univision's Jorge Ramos posed these hard-hitting questions during a recent interview with the President, who replied with a blank stare, before coolly reminding Ramos that he's the...

WSJ: U.S. Companies Helped Censor Internet in Middle East

When the Middle East erupted in revolution earlier this year, many regimes responded to the upheaval by ramping up their online censorship efforts. And, according to the Wall Street Journal, a lot of them had help from American software companies. Throughout the region, governments have been using technologies and tools developed by U.S. firms to clamp down on the Web. McAfee reportedly...

NYT: Facebook Wants Obama Press Secretary Gibbs to Join the Team

Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is in talks with Facebook to join its communications team, according to the New York Times. Gibbs left the White House team last month, after two years of service as press secretary (the longest one can serve without suffering permanent soul damage). Although Gibbs has reportedly planned to work on Obama's 2012 reelection bid before fully entering...

German Politician Exposes Personal Data Gathered by Cell Phone Companies

Looking for another reason to feel paranoid about your privacy? German politician Malte Spitz may have found one. Spitz recently sued his mobile provider, Deutsche Telekom, in order to obtain data that the company had collected on his own whereabouts. Deutsche Telekom complied, and handed over all the geographic information it had gathered over a six-month period. As it turns out, the provider...

Using Google to Dissect Arab Revolutions

The revolutions across the Middle East may have ushered in a new era of U.S. intelligence-gathering -- one that could even include Google. Gabriel Koehler-Derrick, an instructor at West Point, and Joshua Goldstein, from Princeton, recently used Google Trends to analyze the terms that Web users in Egypt searched at the height of the country's recent upheaval. "What we did was a comparison of...