A denial-of-service attack took down the Twitter short messaging service on the morning of August 6. As of this writing, the Twitter status blog says that “the site is back up, but we are continuing to defend against and recover from this attack.”
The Los Angeles Times reported on August 5 that the Defense Department is studying how to use social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter without compromising security. In a similar story, the New York Times mentioned on August 3 that the National Football League is clamping down on Twitter and text messaging.
PC World reported on August 3 that the U.S. Secret Service is investigating some ATM machines in Las Vegas that are subtracting money from a user’s account without dispensing any cash. Ironically, the problem was first reported by one of the presenters from a Defcon hacker conference being held in Vegas.
Wired reported on July 28 that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is asking the U.S. Copyright Office to legalize the practice of hacking Apple’s iPhone “to accept software that hasn’t been approved for distribution through the iPhone App Store.”
AT&T, on July 26, temporarily blocked its customers from accessing the img.4chan.org image-sharing website. Both AT&T and img.4chan.org founder Christopher “Moot” Poole say the blockage was not censorship but AT&T’s effort to protect its customers from a denial-of-service attack. Nonetheless, the incident brings net neutrality and Internet censorship back into the news.
Apple Corp., supplier of Wi-Fi-enabled iPhones, has been carrying on a war of words with the Chinese government — emblematic of what happens when a product of free enterprise tries to bring its technology into a tightly controlled marketplace. According to CNET News, Apple has blinked first.
Communist China on June 30 postponed its requirement that the controversial Green Dam Youth Escort censorship software be included with all computers sold in the country as of July 1. China’s state-controlled Xinhua news agency reported that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) delayed the pre-installation demand because “some computer producers said such massive installation demanded extra time.”