Judge in Jeremy Hammond Case Won't Recuse Herself

Jeremy Hammond is facing 30 years to life in the Stratfor hacking case.
Jeremy Hammond loped into a federal courtroom in Lower Manhattan this morning with an awkward gait, his wrists handcuffed before him and his ankles shackled tightly together. Dressed in a navy blue prison jumpsuit, Hammond, the 27-year-old activist and hacker, is facing 30-years-to-life on charges related to the hacking of corporate spy agency Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor. He has been held without bail in the Metropolitan Correction Center for more than a year, and has spent much of the past month in solitary confinement.

Hammond's trial is still many months away, but he was in court today for a hearing on whether Chief District Judge Loretta Preska should recuse herself from hearing his case. Preska is married to Thomas Kavaler, a lawyer and former client of Stratfor, whose email and encrypted password were leaked in the Stratfor hack of which Hammond is accused. Kavaler is a partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindell LLP -- where Preska was also a partner before becoming a judge -- a firm that has represented more than 20 victims of the hack.

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The People Trying To Ruin The Internet: Mel Watt

At the Voice, we have been regularly following internet policy developments. We figured it would be cool -- maybe even a public service? -- to ID people who keep pushing for web-killing proposals such as SOPA and PIPA in this new, occasional feature: "The People Trying To Ruin The Internet." Enjoy!

Rep. Mel Watt (D-North Carolina) is proof that you can be the ranking member of the judiciary subcommittee on intellectual property, competition, and the internet without being much of an intellectual.

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The People Trying To Ruin The Internet: Lamar Smith

Heard of CISPA?

On April 26, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 248-168 in favor of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which encourages companies such as Facebook to freely share your info with cops if you seem like a "cyber threat" and basically grants them legal immunity if they do so. President Barack Obama has promised to veto the measure, saying it doesn't do enough to protect the nation's critical systems from cyber attacks, and "would erode consumer privacy rights." It's unclear whether the prospective legislation will ultimately become law. It is clear, however, that the CISPA saga sounds super familiar. (SOPA/PIPA shitshow, anyone?)

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Are The Anonymous, LulzSec Arrests a Win for the FBI?

Categories: Anonymous

News broke earlier today that five individuals supposedly associated with Anonymous have been charged for attacks on websites ranging from the CIA to Strafor, and some are saying that it's a triumph for the FBI's fight against the hackivist collective.

And because the FBI might have gotten intel from a former Anonymous member, some think that the organization has been permanently damaged.

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Feds Push Extradition of Megaupload's Kim Dotcom

The Feds are moving forward with plans to extradite Kim Dotcom to the U.S. from New Zealand, filing court papers on Monday.

Cops brought down the Megaupload founder in January, nabbing him on charges relating to the file-sharing stalwart in a tumultuous, made-for-tabloid arrest -- that was coordinated in part by the country's anti-terror squad.

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BREAKING: Anonymous Claims to Take Down CIA Website

Runnin' Scared just got word from Anonymous's Twitter feed that the hacktivist group has taken down the Central Intelligence Agency's website, writing: "CIA TANGO DOWN: https://www.cia.gov/ #Anonymous (via @RT_America) http://goo.gl/zBW2b."

As of 3:53 p.m., the CIA's website does not appear to be working.

Anonymous also claims to have hacked the Mexican Ministry of Mines today.

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BitTorrent-Based Internet Piracy Does Not Hurt U.S. Movie Sales: Study

As the movie and music industries continue to bemoan internet piracy -- and push for internet-censoring laws like SOPA, PIPA, and the TPP to curb illegal file sharing -- a new academic study has come out that debunks a major belief about piracy and profit loss.

In "Reel Piracy: The Effect of Online Film Piracy on International Box Office Sales," researchers from Wellesley College and the University of Minnesota came to some not-so-starling conclusions (h/t TorrentFreak.)

The researchers decided that the introduction of BitTorrent in 2003 has, in fact, impacted box office sales abroad -- by at least 7 percent -- but that piracy has actually been prompted by distributers' own manipulation of the movie markets.

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Anonymous's 'Fuck FBI Friday' Campaign Hits Department of Homeland Security

And now for a very quick recap before Runnin' Scared signs off for the night: Anonymous has intercepted and leaked a call between the FBI and Scotland Yard, but it's hardly the only thing the group has been up to in its latest Fuck FBI Friday.

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Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership SOPA 2.0? Anonymous Says So

First came SOPA and PIPA, but now internet-liberty advocates -- such as hacktivist group Anonymous -- warn that a new measure, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could be the next affront to a free web.

The org tweeted this morning a rally to stop the TPP, which is currently being negotiated in Hollywood.

The free-trade agreement -- now discussed by nine nations including the U.S. -- is said to include rules on intellectual property that would make participating countries adopt "copyright measures far more restrictive than currently required by international treaties, including the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement," according to the Electric Frontier Foundation.

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What We Talk About When We Talk About SOPA

SOPA, the Stop Internet Piracy Act, is the latest congressional move to put an end to the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.

The basic idea of SOPA -- now considered in the House of Representatives -- and its Senate analog, the Protect Intellectual Property Act, purportedly aims at protecting intellectual property.

Critics -- including sci-fi star William Gibson, who wrote cyberpunk classic Neuromancer and came up with the term "cyberspace" -- say that the proposed laws are so poorly written, however, that they threaten freedom of speech, according to the Wall Street Journal. They say that websites could get in trouble simply for featuring links to other websites containing copyrighted media.

Though lawmakers seem less enthused about SOPA and PIPA than before -- MSNBC reports that supporters have eased up, that the Obama administration has voiced uncertainty about the bill, and that votes on both legislations have been delayed -- internet giants have planned a "blackout" tomorrow to protest the proposed laws. Their basic plan: to go dark for a day and "display a message of protest on a black background."

Among them?

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