Morning Security Brief: Internet Piracy, Excessive Force Charges in Seattle, Drones, and More

By Sherry Harowitz


► The House Judiciary Committee is slated to continue debate today on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was also the topic of a hearing yesterday. Wired reports that one of the most controversial provisions in the bill, which is designed to stop illegal sharing of copyrighted property (such as songs and movies), would adopt a practice China uses to block sites it forbids, but in this case the technique would be used for preventing Web surfers from finding and using sites caught infringing on copyrights. “The measure effectively grants private companies the ability to de-fund websites they allege to be trafficking in unauthorized copyright and trademark goods. The latest version requires a judge’s signature to order ad networks and banks to stop doing business with a site “dedicated” to infringing activities,” Wired reports. Critics include Stewart Baker, the former policy director of the Department of Homeland Security, who “said in a paper that he believed SOPA was dangerous, as do some of the internet’s founders,” writes Wired.

► “A federal civil-rights investigation into the Seattle Police Department has found routine and widespread use of excessive force by officers,” reports the Seattle Times. The report notes that “the city will get a chance to work with the Justice Department to address the issues,” but if that fails “it will face a federal lawsuit that could result in fines, penalties and even the appointment of an outside special master to oversee the Police Department.”

► A security director fired in July, after 10 years with the N.B.A., is suing his former employer, reports the New York Times. The paper reports that he alleges “he repeatedly warned his superiors that women in the office were being sexually harassed or discriminated against, but that his concerns were ignored and that he was ultimately fired for his actions on the women’s behalf.”

► Elsewhere in the news: The American Civil Liberties Union issues a report on domestic drones and privacy concerns. Among the recommendations, the report says “that drones should not be deployed unless there are grounds to believe that they will collect evidence on a specific crime,” says the ACLU site. ⇒ And The Air Force moved to improve its ability to prevent and detect contractor fraud.


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