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China Returns US Cyberattack Volley

What, China was just going to say nothing?

On the heels of a report that China’s military has for years been engaging in cyberespionage against the U.S., China’s Ministry of Defense claimed that a pair of military websites were attacked more than 100,000 times per month in 2012 — and that more than 60 percent of the attacks originated in the U.S.

The cyber tit-for-tat — which includes last week’s report by Internet security firm Mandiant indicting the People’s Liberation Army as a serial hacker of the U.S. — suggests that cyberattacks are “becoming a major irritant” to diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China, according to The Wall Street Journal.

China’s Defense Ministry reportedly hasn’t directly accused the U.S. government of responsibility for cyberattacks. Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng did say that the attacks — whoever executed them — are detrimental to international efforts to enhance cybersecurity.

A White House spokesperson declined Thursday to comment on China’s claims, but the Journal reports that officials said the U.S. government does not engage in state-sponsored hacking for corporate espionage. The link between Chinese corporations and Chinese state-sponsored hacking was raised last fall in a House report that highlighted the potential military-corporate connections regarding the Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei — whose founder is an ex-military officer.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said earlier this week that China’s military has been targeting U.S. companies to steal intellectual property.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]

New Zealand Court Deals Blow to Dotcom

At long last, New Zealand has ruled against Kim Dotcom and in favor of the U.S.

In a saga that has prompted a judge to call the U.S. an “enemy” and inspired the New Zealand prime minister to publicly apologize to Dotcom, a New Zealand court ruled Friday that the U.S. does not have to turn over all of the evidence it has against Dotcom.

Dotcom, a German national who now has residency in New Zealand, faces extradition to the U.S., where he faces a variety of charges stemming from his since-seized website, Megaupload.

A court had previously ruled that the FBI would indeed have to divulge all its evidence.

Working with the FBI, New Zealand authorities raided Dotcom’s home in January 2012. New Zealand later deemed the search warrants used in the raid illegal, but the extradition case is moving forward all the same; after a pair of delays, it is now scheduled for August.

Dotcom, who recently launched a successor to Megaupload, has maintained that his former site was simply an online storage service — not, as the U.S. claims, the world’s most egregious (and lucrative) haven of copyright infringement.

[Source: Reuters]

Japanese Court Rejects Samsung Claim

On Thursday, a Japanese court rejected Samsung’s claim that Apple lifted its technology.

Samsung, which has been in a worldwide legal match with Apple for the past year or so, had claimed that Apple stole patented technology. A court in Tokyo ruled, however, that Samsung did not have rights to the data transmission technology in question — technology used in some iPhone models.

Samsung had sought an injunction that would have prevented the sale and manufacture of some Apple smartphones.

[Source: Associated Press]

Anti-Censorship Groups Scoff At Porn Proposal

An open letter from the International Modern Media Institute — signed by activists and academics from 19 different countries — says that Iceland’s proposal to ban online pornography was “an affront to the basic principles of society.”

Iceland has long been viewed as one of the most progressive countries in the world, but it is nonetheless considering a ban that would seem more fitting for someplace like China or the Arab world — a point opponents are pointing out.

However, proponents of the ban say that far from restricting rights, such a move would be a way to promote gender equality and prevent discrimination against women.

[Source: The Guardian]

David Vranicar is a freelance journalist and author ofThe Lost Graduation: Stepping off campus and into a crisis. You can check out hisECT News archive here, and you can email him at david[dot]vranicar[at]newsroom[dot]ectnews[dot]com.

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