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December 12, 2012

Technology News Briefs — Dec. 12, 2012

Journalist Indicted for Sharing Hyperlink

A federal grand jury in Dallas has indicted Barrett Brown, a journalist known for his coverage of hacker group Anonymous, because he shared a hyperlink through an IRC channel.

Brown has been in custody since FBI agents raided his apartment in September. Shortly after Brown was indicted for making threats against an FBI agent, according to The Dallas Morning News.

This month’s indictment lists a dozen more charges against Brown, who was once the self-professed spokesman for Anonymous. The new charges include making an Internet threat, conspiring to make restricted personal information of an employee of the U.S. publicly available and retaliation against a federal law enforcement officer.

A press release from the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Texas, reads:

Count One of the most recent indictment alleges that on approximately December 25, 2011, Barrett, aided and abetted by others, knowingly trafficked in more than five authentication features, knowing that such features were stolen and produced without lawful authority. According to the indictment, Brown transferred a hyperlink from an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel to an IRC channel under his control. That hyperlink provided access to data stolen from the company Stratfor Global Intelligence (Stratfor), which included more than 5,000 credit card account numbers, the card holders’ identification information and the authentication features for the credit cards, known as the Card Verification Values (CVV). By transferring and posting the hyperlink, Brown caused the data to be made available to other persons online, without the knowledge and authorization of Stratfor and the card holders.

Count Two of the indictment alleges that from approximately December 25, 2011, through at least March 6, 2012, Brown, aided and abetted my others, possessed at least fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, in that he possessed stolen credit card account numbers and CVVs without the knowledge and authorization of the card holders.

In Counts Three through Twelve, the indictment alleges that during the above-mentioned time period, Brown unlawfully transferred and possessed the means of identification, consisting of the CVVs; the card holders’ names and usernames for online account access; and the card holders’ physical address, phone numbers and email addresses.

The indictment in its entirety can be read here.

Go Daddy Appoints New CEO

Go Daddy will have a new top man next month.

The web-domain registration and hosting company announced Dec. 11 former Yahoo and Microsoft executive Blake Irving will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jan. 7.

Irving will succeed Scott Wagner who has been serving as interim CEO since July.

“Blake Irving’s deep technology experience and his history of developing new cutting-edge products and leading large global teams make him an enormously compelling choice to drive Go Daddy to the next level of its domestic and global growth,” said Go Daddy Executive Chairman and Founder Bob Parsons. “Go Daddy has made great strides with Scott Wagner as CEO, and we look forward to building on that in the future.”

Before GoDaddy, Irving was chief product officer at Yahoo. He left the company in April. Before that, he worked at Microsoft for 15 years, where he held a number of positions, including corporate VP of Windows Live, the company’s online services portfolio that includes Hotmail and MSN Messenger.

“Go Daddy is and will continue to be the hub where businesses can come to life, grow and prosper,” Blake Irving said. “We strive to be the global resource that fuels success for countless entrepreneurs and innovators around the world. As a long time Go Daddy customer, I have seen firsthand an organization that is committed to its customers 24 hours a day and seven days a week and yet there still remains much more we can do to enhance the customer experience. This is a fantastic opportunity, and I can’t wait to hit the ground running in January.”

Congressman Wants Law Against 3D-Printable Guns

Now that 3D-printable plastic guns are a reality, one congressman wants to renew the Undetectable Firearms Act before it expires in December 2013.

According to TechNewsDaily, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y) asked for the renewal of the federal ban on plastic guns after news of a group testing a 3D-printed gun part in a live-fire test came to light.

Wiki Weapon members plan to test completely 3D-printed guns by year’s end. Wiki Weapon is part of Defense Distributed.

“Congress passed a law banning plastic guns for two decades, when they were just a movie fantasy,” Israel was quoted by TechNewsDaily. “With the advent of 3D printers these guns are suddenly a real possibility, but the law Congress passed is set to expire next year.”