The Switchboard: The Supreme Court is revisiting software patents today


This June 6, 2013, file photo, shows a sign outside the National Security Administration (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, MD. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

In new case, Supreme Court revisits the question of software patents. "On Monday, for the first time since 1981, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether software — or more precisely, computer-implemented inventions — can continue to be patented," writes Timothy B. Lee for the Washington Post. "The case, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, focuses on software built to eliminate 'settlement risk' in currency and financial transactions where money is held in escrow and one party could renege on a deal and leave the other holding the bag."

'A' for Angela: GCHQ and NSA Targeted Private German Companies and Merkel. "Documents show that Britain's GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America's NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database," reports Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark for German magazine Der Spiegel.

How Dropbox knows when you’re sharing copyrighted stuff (without actually looking at your stuff). Greg Kumparak TechCrunch explains how the cloud storage company compares hashed versions of material shared with its service to detect possible piracy.

Google’s Public DNS intercepted in Turkey. "We have received several credible reports and confirmed with our own research that Google’s Domain Name System (DNS) service has been intercepted by most Turkish ISPs," writes Google software engineer Steven Carstensen in a blogpost. Presumably, this is linked to Turkey's blocking of YouTube and Twitter.

Mt. Gox faced questions on handling client cash long before crisis. "Two years before Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy, a half dozen employees at the Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange challenged CEO Mark Karpeles over whether client money was being used to cover costs, according to three people who participated in the discussion." report Sophie Knight and Nathan Layne at Reuters.

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.

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Brian Fung · March 28, 2014