According to The Hill, five Democrat and two Republican co-sponsors of the controversial H.R. 3523: Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act or CISPA, voted against their own bill last week. The House approved it by a vote of 248-168, with 42 Democrats supporting the bill and 28 Republicans opposed (see how your representative voted).

CISPA has infuriated citizens who are concerned that it violates our 1st and 4th Amendment rights to privacy. According to one writer, CISPA authorizes the feds to access any of your personal online information including your emails, without legally filed cause or due process.

“In fact, they’ll have the support of major tech providers and telecoms to do so – with zero liability to those providers. Killing the Bill of Rights in one fell swoop!” writes a guest author at the Gulag Bound blog. “CISPA is aptly nicknamed SOPA’s ‘evil twin.’ SOPA was only stopped because tech companies (unlike Hollywood) wouldn’t support it.

“They didn’t want liability for invasion of privacy issues,” the writer continues. “CISPA solves that corporate worry. So it is backed by Bill Gates’ Microsoft, AT&T, Facebook, Time Warner (the nation’s largest Internet provider), plus IBM, Verizon and more. Google backs this bill.”

Another tech writer questions if CISPA was actually made better because of an amendment tacked on at the last minute that has nothing to do with cybersecurity. And Microsoft now acknowledges serious privacy faults in CISPA.

Democrat co-sponsors voting against it: Reps. Joe Baca, D-Calif., Anna Eshoo D-Calif., Luis Gutierrez, D- Ill., Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., and Michael Michaud, D-Maine. Republicans were Reps. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., and Ralph Hall R-Texas.
The 1,600 page measure now goes to the Senate. CISPA Summary links: Facts on CISPA; CISPA circumvents your right to privacy; Assault on your Internet.

Google doesn’t take FCC probe sitting down

Remember when Google was accused of deliberately intercepting private emails, web pages and other documents while its Google vehicles mapped neighborhoods for its Google map service? In the 2010 incident, Google claimed it had inadvertently scooped up data sent over unencrypted Wi-Fi networks.

The FCC and the FTC got involved, as did the Justice department, all looking to fine, censure or otherwise punish Google for the act. But this week, Google announced that all’s well, and in fact, has rebuffed the FCC over its Wi-Spy flap.

Undeterred, the feds are turning up the heat on the Internet giant. Are Google’s problems a matter of perception vs. reality? Is Google taking your stored data and using it for promotional purposes? In Argentina and South Korea, other ongoing Google investigations are taking place.

Now when you think “phones”, you can think Google. Speaking of innovation, Google Drive is here. So what is it?

“Facebook for terrorists”

I think I have heard it all. Now Facebook hosts a support group for terrorists, former extremists and attack survivors! They are among the 900 million Facebook users, but who’s counting? Did you also know that Facebook is teaming up to blacklist the Internet bad guys?

Who’s better at writing a news story, a human or …

A computer-written news report? Yep, it’s true. Computer-generated stories are showing up on websites such as Forbes and many others that prefer to keep it under wraps. So how can a computer generate an accurate report of, say a ball game or an investment piece? Narrative Science, a company that trains computers to write news stories. Gulp! Is a computer aiming to take my job?

“Holy Grail of hacks”

An MIT student changed the tallest building in Cambridge, Mass., into a giant Tetris game. Here’s how it looked.

The Internet Hall of Fame

Al Gore isn’t the only Internet pioneer honored in the inaugural Internet Society’s Hall of Fame. Inductees include 33 of the Internet’s most influential entrepreneurs, engineers and evangelists, including Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf. The names were announced last week at he Internet Society’s annual conference held in Switzerland. Read more here about the history of the Internet.

Twitterverse: Tacts, rumors and why we trust

“So I’m told by a reputable source that they have killed Osama bin Laden. Hot d—” – That was the tweet that went viral in minutes, spawning others like it and leading some to speculate at its veracity.

Do you trust everything you read on Twitter? That’s the question being studied by a group at Georgia Tech. The GT team is assessing the number of people who trust the news they read on their Twitter feed and if they’re likely to share the news as factual.

Birth to 12 in 2 minutes 45 seconds – behind this vid’s viral success

Meet Lotte, the little girl featured in a time lapse video taken from birth to 12 in 2 minutes 45 seconds on Vimeo, which hit the Internet one week ago, attracting 3.7 million views. A fascinating look at one of the most popular video genres: time lapse. Here is a previous story on Lotte.

Some time ago, you’ll remember one of United Airlines passengers complained to United after baggage handlers broke his guitar.

“When United did nothing to help, [Dave] Carroll took matters into his own hands with the help of a little video sharing site called YouTube,” explains Jordan Crook of TechCrunch. “His music video, ‘United Breaks Guitars,”\’ took off like a rocket, and after realizing the power of social media, he joined up with his other co-founders to build Gripevine.”

This is a David versus Goliath story about how a guy with a little knowledge of YouTube, some determination and a gripe created a company that provides resolution for customers with a complaint.

Bits & Bytes

VIP – Voting info and social media

The Voting Information Project, or VIP, is utilizing social media and apps to provide instant info on voting day. VIP is the brainchild of the Pew Center on the States, Microsoft, AT&T, Foursquare, Google, state elections offices, media partners and others.

Pew Senior Associate Matthew P. Morse said, “There’s polling place information, there’s what’s on the ballot and before the November elections there will be location-specific ‘rules of the road,’ such as ‘Do I need to bring an ID? What kind of ID is OK?’ Voters retrieve information specific to them through their addresses. There’s no personally identifiable information there, just the address, and then it spits out the information you need.”


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