Obama wants Hollywood, Silicon Valley to 'come together' on SOPA

President Obama's first "virtual town hall" in 2009 took a legalize-pot detour. This afternoon, his first Google+ hangout with a handful of voters turned to a no less controversial topic: a pair of Hollywood-backed copyright bills.

In response to a question about whether the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act would levy "too much censorship on the Internet," the president stopped short of saying he opposes the legislation.

"I think that it's going to be possible for us" to find a workable approach, Obama said during the event broadcast on YouTube, … Read more

New EU data protection rules due this week

Companies will be required to disclose security breaches within 24 hours of their occurrence under European Union proposals being made this week to strengthen data protection rules.

New rules are needed to protect consumers and reduce bureaucracy, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said in a speech at a conference today in Munich.

"Companies that suffer a data leak must inform the data protection authorities and the individuals concerned, and they must do so without undue delay," Bloomberg quoted Reding as saying at the DLD conference. "European data protection rules will become a trademark people recognize and trust … Read more

Protect IP, SOPA supporters vow not to give up fight

Internet opponents of a pair of controversial Hollywood-backed copyright bills won a temporary reprieve today, when upcoming votes in the Senate and House of Representatives were postponed.

But the lobbyists and politicians backing the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and Protect IP haven't given up.

"We must take action to stop" online piracy and counterfeiting, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said today. Reid, who previously called the Protect IP bill an "extremely important" piece of legislation, said he believed it could move forward "in the coming weeks." (See CNET's FAQ on SOPARead more

Senate vote on PIPA is postponed

In the face of withering opposition, Senate leaders have postponed a vote on the Protect IP Act that was scheduled for Tuesday.

"In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), in a statement.

"There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved," Reid wrote. "Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs. We must take action … Read more

Republican presidential candidates slam SOPA, Protect IP

All four Republican presidential candidates today denounced a pair of controversial Hollywood-backed copyright bills, lending a sharp partisan edge to yesterday's protest against the legislation by Wikipedia, Google, and thousands of other Web sites.

The bills are "far too intrusive, far too expensive, far too threatening (to) the freedom of speech and movement of information across the Internet," former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney said during tonight's CNN debate in South Carolina.

Romney's rivals offered similar criticisms of the Senate measure, Protect IP--scheduled for a floor vote next week--and the House bill called the Stop Online Piracy Act, … Read more

Payback: Did SOPA cost Obama Hollywood donors?

Depending on where you stand, President Obama either showed tremendous courage when he distanced himself from SOPA and PIPA--or a complete lack of it.

Last Saturday, the White House announced it would not support important provisions of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, the anti-piracy bills being debated in the House and Senate. The legislation would make it easier for the federal government to block access to overseas sites accused of piracy. Much of the tech sector opposes the bills.

Where Hollywood is concerned, though, the president's stand is nothing short of a betrayal. And … Read more

McAfee to plug 'spammer' hole this week

McAfee will release a fix this week for a bug in its SaaS for Total Protection anti-malware service that scammers were using to distribute spam, the company said today.

The problem came to light after McAfee customers reported in blog posts and forum sites that spammers were using a hole in McAfee's RumorServer relay service to secretly send spam from their machines. The customers said they noticed the problem after their e-mails were blocked by e-mail providers and their IP addresses appeared on blacklists.

The problem is isolated to the SaaS Total Protection service, according to David Marcus, director … Read more

#SOPA sets Twitter aflame during blackout day

If you're active on Twitter, it's almost impossible to imagine that you got through today without being bombarded by mentions of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or the Protect IP Act (PIPA), two controversial antipiracy bills under consideration in Congress.

But with today being the day that Web sites like Wikipedia, BoingBoing, Reddit, and many others went dark--not to mention Google and others that featured less drastic forms of anti-legislation protest--it was striking to see just how much issue dominated the conversation on Twitter.

On Tuesday, for example, there were approximately 106,500 mentions of the term &… Read more

Going dark means crazy day for anti-SOPA site owners

With sites like Reddit, BoingBoing, PostSecret, and I Can Has Cheezburger blacked out today in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, you might think this would be a peaceful, relaxed Wednesday for the people who run them. You'd be wrong.

All across the Internet, sites like those and many others stood up to register their opposition to SOPA and PIPA. But for some of those who have gotten the most attention for their activism, today has actually been crazier than usual, despite not having to constantly update their publications all day.

"Today … Read more

Protect IP, SOPA protests knock Senate Web sites offline

A widespread Internet protest against Hollywood-backed copyright legislation has knocked some U.S. Senate Web sites intermittently offline.

Around 11 a.m. PT today, the rush of visitors looking for ways to contact their members of Congress overwhelmed several Web pages of individual senators. As CNET reported this morning, some sponsors of the Protect IP and the Stop Online Piracy Act have switched sides as a result of the protest.

The amount of traffic "temporarily shut down our Web site," Sen. Ron Wyden, the leading opponent of the Protect IP Act, wrote on Twitter.

By noon PT, the … Read more