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I N T E R N E T N E W S
Ride-sharing firm Uber pulling out of San Antonio over regulations
By Jim Forsyth SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Ride-sharing firm Uber plans to pull its service in San Antonio as of April 1 after the city council there voted to revise some of the city's transportation regulations, but not enough for Uber's liking, the company said on Thursday. In December, after nearly a year of sometimes heated debate, San Antonio approved rules that would give smartphone-enabled ride services the right to compete with regular taxi drivers, but with regulations largely fashioned by the taxi industry. San Antonio, the seventh largest U.S. city in terms of population and with a major convention trade, later rolled back many of the regulations.
U.S. says inaction on online piracy risks public safety
By Krista Hughes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. trade office on Thursday urged a crackdown on website name registrars who fail to take action against sellers of illegal goods such as counterfeit medicines and warned that turning a blind eye puts public safety at risk. The U.S. Trade Representative also said it is keeping an eye on China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's consumer shopping website for sales of fake and pirated goods, but refrained from putting the site back on its piracy blacklist. Representatives of Alibaba, the world's largest e-commerce company, could not immediately be reached for comment. USTR named a domain name registrar, a company which manages the registration of internet names, for the first time in its annual list of so-called "notorious markets." The registrar, Canada's Tucows Inc, was one of 10 such services nominated by the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, which said they ignored or supported illegal online pharmacies, for example by not blocking their activities.
Mandarin Oriental says credit card systems compromised in cyberattack
Hotel operator Mandarin Oriental International Ltd said on Thursday that it was the victim of a cyberattack and that it found malicious software on credit card systems at "an isolated number" of hotels in the United States and Europe. The company said in a statement on its website that it was working with credit card companies, law enforcement and forensic experts as it investigates the matter.
U.S. begins auction for 50,000 bitcoins tied to criminal website
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Marshals Service on Thursday started auctioning off 50,000 bitcoins following the conviction of Ross Ulbricht for running Silk Road, the underground website where authorities said drugs and other illegal goods could be bought using the virtual currency. The six-hour online auction of roughly $13.5 million worth of bitcoins at current prices began at 8 a.m. EST (1300 GMT). The Marshals Service conducted auctions in June and December for nearly 80,000 bitcoins seized during the Silk Road raid in 2013. Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper said he would be a bidder.
By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cyber attacks on U.S. weapons programs and manufacturers are a "pervasive" problem that requires greater attention, the top U.S. arms buyer said Thursday, saying that he would add cybersecurity to the Pentagon's guidelines for buying weapons. "It’s about the security of our weapons systems themselves and everything that touches them. It’s a pervasive problem and I think we have to pay a lot more attention to it," Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall told Reuters after a speech to the American Society of Naval Engineers in Washington. Kendall said he planned to add cybersecurity to the next phase of his "better buying power" initiative, and was also working on a special section on cybersecurity requirements to be added to the Pentagon's guidelines for buying weapons.
If we’ve learned anything from the Dress That Broke the Internet, first posted to Tumblr by a 21-year-old singer from Scotland, it’s that anyone with a web connection can start a global conversation. Yes, it helps to be famous in real life. But the rise of social networks has leveled the playing field, allowing unknowns…
India has asked YouTube to remove all links to a controversial documentary about the gang rape and murder of a woman in Delhi after banning its broadcast, a government official told Reuters on Thursday. Leslee Udwin's "India's Daughter" features an interview with Mukesh Singh, one of four men sentenced to death for the rape and torture of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in December 2012. "We just forwarded the court order and asked them (YouTube) to comply," an official at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology told Reuters. It was still possible to view the documentary on websites such as YouTube after British broadcaster BBC aired it outside India on Wednesday.
Britain should turn to middle-aged mums to be spies of the future: report
Britain's security agencies should look to recruit more middle-aged women and mothers to be new spies and should target websites popular with parents to find them, an influential committee of lawmakers said on Thursday. The Intelligence and Security Committee, which oversees the work of Britain's three spy agencies, said it was crucial there was more diversity if the security services were to be able to address the threats facing the country. "If all intelligence professionals are cut from the same cloth, sharing similar backgrounds and similar characteristics, then they are likely to share 'unacknowledged biases' which will circumscribe both the definition of problems and the search for solutions," said Hazel Blears, one of the committee members. Although two women have headed Britain's MI5 domestic spy agency, Blears said many of those in middle management at the security services had "a very traditional male mentality and outlook".
Alien abduction? Stolen by Russia? MH370 theories keep coming
By Jane Wardell SYDNEY (Reuters) - A year on from the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, an extraordinary amount of key data remains unknown - fuelling conspiracy theories and heated online debate about one of aviation's biggest mysteries. The resulting theories range from the wild - alien abduction, MH370 and its doomed fleetmate MH17 were the same plane - to sober, science-based arguments that the plane is in the southern Indian Ocean, but not necessarily in the current search area. "It's amazing how much information we don't have after looking at this case for all this time," said Jeff Wise, an aviation expert whose recently published Kindle book 'The Plane That Wasn't There' reached No.1 on Amazon's bestseller lists.
China backs e-commerce expansion in win for Alibaba, JD.com
China will back e-commerce development and guide international expansion by Chinese internet companies, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday, in an endorsement for firms such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and JD.com Inc . Addressing the opening of China's annual parliamentary meeting in Beijing, Li broadly laid out China's "Internet Plus" strategy, which includes promoting cloud computing, online banking, mobile internet, along with logistics to help e-commerce expansion.