Hacking, spamming, ID theft, privacy, and piracy issues. The year started well for specialized law firms, but not so good for the defendants. In the first quarter of the year, there were several security cases that created waves in the public opinion. HotforSecurity made a list of the hottest most interesting recently filed lawsuits.
Is it OK to rob from a guy who is really rich, if you’re really poor? In March 2012, an AWOL American soldier said “yes” to the question. He was accused of stealing Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s identity to empty his bank account. This “Robin Hood” ID theft made a lot of people let loose their proletarian anger. But what amazed everybody was that a software corporation CEO didn’t have a strong ID security in place.
How did it happen? 30-year-old Brandon Price impersonated Paul Allen on the phone and convinced a Citibank employee to send him a debit card in the CEO’s name and account number. The soldier absent without leave from the U.S. Army allegedly made $15,000 worth of transactions using the illegally obtained debit card.
2.Twitter sued spam tool providers
In April 2012, the microblogging company went right to the source, biting the hand that feeds spammers. “By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal,” the company said in a statement. The lawsuit was “hot” from the beginning because it raised a couple of questions. Is it OK to blame tools providers for the actions of their users? How about blaming Twitter or Craigslist for how users abuse their system too? “This action will not stop spam. Everything those programs did can easily be done more efficiently,” some users argued. The problem was taking to court anyway. Twitter said the defendants’ actions have cost it over $1 million in anti-spam measures.
3.Copyright lawsuit targets wireless networks owners
The third hottest lawsuit in Q1 2012 could test another Shakespearean question. Do individuals who leave their wireless networks unsecured can be held liable if someone uses the network to illegally download copyrighted content or not? The federal lawsuit was filed in February 2012 by a San Diego producer of adult content. The company has accused more than 50 Massachusetts people of using file-sharing technology to illegally download and share a porn movie. The trial made users wonder what will happen if a burglar gets caught sneaking into a home with the backdoor open. “Will the state sue the owner for supporting burglars?” they said.
4.EMI Records Sued Irish Government over Piracy
Another hot controversial trial was the one filed by EMI Records against the Irish government. In January 2012, the music company had enough with the state’s failure to crack down on music piracy. EMI Ireland’s CEO complained that the length of time it’s taking the government to craft a censorship bill was leading him “to believe it’s unlikely to satisfy the music industry’s requirement for injunctive relief”, as quoted by Irish Times. Like usual, people split in two camps, some against the music industry, and other against the government.
5.EPIC against Google’s new privacy policies
Last but not least, an interesting case came to court in February. The Electronic Privacy Information Center sued the Federal Trade Commission to stop Google from rolling out its new controversial privacy policies. The watchdog group said Google’s plan violated a consent order the company signed as part of a privacy complaint settlement with the FTC. Google didn’t see things in the same manner, and accused EPIC of being “wrong on the facts and the law.” This lawsuit touched off a huge privacy debate in the US and the European Union.
The web giant recently got a $25,000 fine from the Federal Trade Commission for its Google’s Street View service. No party and laughter, though, at the EPIC’s headquarters. The privacy advocacy group wants the Internet giant to be “punished” even harder, and asked the FTC to release the full report of its so-called questionable investigation.
The five new lawsuits created waves, but users know their arguments won’t decide who’s right or wrong. The 5 hottest security lawsuits from the beginning of 2012 will march forward until the final verdict.
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