The Switchboard: Wikipedia vows to defend editor from libel suit

February 19
(Wikimedia Commons)
(Wikimedia Commons)

Published every weekday, the Switchboard highlights five tech policy stories you need to read.

Wikipedia mounts courtroom defense for editor sued by politician. "Dimitris Liourdis, a 23-year-old trainee lawyer from Athens, was sued for libel last year for writing about a Greek politician, Theodore Katsanevas," according to Ars Technica. "Last week, the judge overseeing the case issued an order that he remove the article from the site. That got the attention of the Wikimedia Foundation, which has now made a public vow to support Liourdis throughout the litigation."

White House defers to FCC chief on net neutrality. "The White House said Tuesday that it still supports net neutrality but will defer to the Federal Communications Commission as to how exactly to uphold those principles," according to the Hill. "In response to an online White House petition with more than 105,000 signatures, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, said the Obama administration has been encouraged by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's commitments to reinstate the agency's net neutrality rules, which were struck down in federal court earlier this year."

Snowden Documents Reveal Covert Surveillance and Pressure Tactics Aimed at WikiLeaks and Its Supporters. "Top-secret documents from the National Security Agency and its British counterpart reveal for the first time how the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom targeted WikiLeaks and other activist groups with tactics ranging from covert surveillance to prosecution," The Intercept reports. "The efforts – detailed in documents provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – included a broad campaign of international pressure aimed not only at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but at what the U.S. government calls 'the human network that supports WikiLeaks.'"

Fox finds fake 'Family Guy' complaints. "Fox Broadcasting says fake complaints about one of its programs indicate that decency efforts need to be tightened, or else scrapped altogether," the Hill reports. "In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission on Friday, the broadcaster warned that 'complaint mills' were pumping out 'fraudulent form complaints from apparently fake viewers using bogus addresses.'"

AT&T reveals number of NSA and location demands in first-ever transparency report. "Phone giant AT&T published its first 'transparency report' on Tuesday morning, providing a snapshot of how often the government asks for data about its customers," according to GigaOm. "According to the report, which comes after Verizon published a similar document last month, state and federal agencies made 301,816 separate demands for data from AT&T in 2013, with the company rejecting 3,756 of those. The report also specifies that governments asked for location-related data 37,839 times, including 1,034 'cell tower searches.'"

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