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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

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Brian Fung

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Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

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Posted at 03:49 PM ET, 01/14/2013

‘Rocra’ malware targets European agencies #thecircuit

“Rocra” malware targets European agencies: Computer security researches have found malware that they believe hackers used to target European diplomatic and government agencies. As The Washington Post reported, the virus is said to rival the complexity of Flame, another computer virus made by the United States and Israel for use against Iran.

According to the report, the virus seems to have been written by Russian speakers using Chinese code that installs malware. It appears to have been active for at least five years.

Debate over IP reignites with Swartz’s death: The suicide of Aaron Swartz, 26, an outspoken open Web advocate credited with co-authoring the technology for RSS, has reignited the debate over intellectual property online. The Anonymous hacking collective claimed credit for posting a message to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Web site saying that Swartz’s death provided a catalyst to reform Internet openness and IP law.

The Justice Department said Monday that it had dropped all charges against Swartz, the Hill reported, which is standard in cases where the defendant has died.

Video game violence: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said in a CNN interview that she was “astounded” by the level of violence in “Call of Duty,” a series of video games that has broken numerous sales records in the United States and worldwide.

Representatives from Activision Blizzard, which publishes “Call of Duty,” were among a small group of game-makers that met with Vice President Biden last week to discuss how they can contribute to the national conversation on gun violence. Biden, who is heading a task force created after last month’s elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn., is expected to release his recommendations on gun violence this week.

After the Biden meeting, the Entertainment Software Association released a statement saying it would work with the Obama administration moving forward.

Oracle releases Java patch: Oracle said Sunday that it has released a patch for its Java software after a bug in the program opened users to malicious hacking.

Security researchers first drew attention to the vulnerability last week, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security told its employees to disable the software temporarily in Web browsers.

Cybersecurity experts encouraged consumers to download the patch immediately, but some also continued to raise questions about Java’s security since the program has had numerous problems in recent months.

CNET writer resigns: CNET writer Greg Sandoval has resigned from the technology site, saying that he is not convinced the site has editorial independence from its parent company. CNET is owned by CBS; the parent company appears to have stepped in to prevent the tech site from naming the DISH Hopper as its best gadget of the show.

In an editorial note on its contest’s main page, the site said that it would “no longer be reviewing products manufactured by companies with which we are in litigation with respect to such product.

Sandoval said via Twitter that he believes CNET “wasn’t honest about what occured regarding Dish,” and that he made the decision because he wants “to be known as an honest reporter.”

By  |  03:49 PM ET, 01/14/2013

 
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