Security Web Digest: US Supreme Court Upholds Childrens Internet Protection Act

Court says filtering requirement not a first amendment violation McAfee upgrades Desktop Firewall Nintendo claims victory in piracy case University of California, Riverside student busted for hacking school system


The U.S. Supreme Court upheld on Monday a law requiring the nations public libraries to filter out Internet pornography, ruling it does not violate free-speech rights. By a 6-3 vote, the justices reversed a ruling by a special three-judge federal court panel in Philadelphia that the filtering requirement caused libraries to violate the First Amendment constitutional rights of their patrons. The Childrens Internet Protection Act, signed into law in 2000, required libraries that receive federal technology subsidies to use content filters to screen out obscenity, child pornography, and sexually explicit material deemed harmful to minors.


McAfee on Monday unveiled McAfee Desktop Firewall 8 featuring a new quarantine capability. The Desktop Firewalls quarantine mode can trap potential hidden hazards that take advantage of clients running out-of-date policies through hidden spyware or Trojans, said Tim Smitson, Solution Marketing Manager for McAfee, a division of Network Associates. Smitson said the McAfee Desktop Firewall contains additional "minor tweaks" including the ability to update IDS signatures on a monthly basis which were previously hard coded, as well as the ability to set rules by domain name and enhanced rules learning.


Japanese game maker Nintendo on Thursday said it won one of its "most significant antipiracy judgments ever" against a Hong Kong company that sold devices capable of copying its games and putting them on the Net for limitless downloading. In the recent ruling, a Hong Kong judge ordered Lik-Sang International to pay an interim amount of $641,000 (5 million Hong Kong dollars) in damages, Nintendo said. The device at the heart of the complaint costs about $45 and is capable of bypassing security features in Game Boy games to extract their software, said Jodi Daugherty, director of antipiracy for Nintendo of America. Once the software is extracted, it can be put on cards for use in other Game Boy consoles or uploaded to the Internet for limitless downloads throughout the world, she said.


A 21-year-old student was arrested for allegedly hacking into a university computer system during student elections to cast hundreds of votes for a made-up candidate he named American Ninja. Shawn Nematbakhsh, a computer science major at the University of California, Riverside, was arrested Friday for investigation of drug possession and altering computer data without permission. Nematbakhsh told police he did it to show the university network was vulnerable, said university spokesman Ricardo Duran.