National database aims to catch smartphone thieves

The feds teamed up with law enforcement and the wireless industry to curb the theft of cellphones by essentially rendering the devices useless once pilfered and fingering the thieves if they try to re-activate them. Their plan: A new database that will track stolen phones.

Why cops, cameras and the cloud aren’t a panacea for anything

Although the idea of police officers video-recording their use of Tasers has some claiming a small victory in the quest for better transparency, the issue isn’t that simple. From providing biased evidence to possibly invading privacy, video is ultimately no different than any other data type.

Today in Connected Consumer

What am I missing here? One day after a titanic clash on Capitol Hill over a bill aimed at curbing piracy by off-shore web sites, the U.S. authorities seized and shut down MegaUpload.com, one of the most notorious of those sites. The FBI also arrested seven people, including four picked up in New Zealand, and charged them with criminal copyright infringement. Authorities claim there is no connection between the arrests, which were the result of a two-year investigation, and the recent political firestorm over SOPA and PIPA. Even if true, though, what do the arrests say about the tools already available to law enforcement to go after “foreign rogue sites” and whether legislation is needed to provide them with more tools?

Buckle up for a new wave of cloud protectionism

Another European country is pushing a nationalistic agenda when it comes to cloud computing, one that could have huge repercussions for U.S.-based cloud powers and the nature of cloud computing in general. France Telecom is pushing a French cloud to feature built-in-France technology.

Today in Connected Consumer

The tech world has its very own “-gate,” as in iPhone-gate, or Gizmodogate, if you prefer. Authorities have seized computers belonging to Gizmodo editor Jason Chen after exercising a search warrant at his home, apparently in an effort to uncover who sold Gizmodo the allegedly lost iPhone prototype it used for its big scoop last week. But now questions are being raised both about whether Gizmodo should be protected by California’s shield law but more explosively about Apple’s potential influence with the special tech-crime task force that conducted the raid. Grab some popcorn. This could be quite a show.