Today’s Links: August 13, 2012


ADAM COHEN: “Is Your Car Being Tracked by a License Plate Scanner?”
“If you drive through Maryland, the state may be using an automated reader to photograph your license plate — and storing your movements away for future use. Maryland is not alone. ACLU offices in 38 states are looking into how the government is using license plate readers across the country — and what it is doing with the data. The ACLU is already calling the license plate readers ‘the next big thing in government tracking.'”

US NEWS & WORLD REPORT: “Debate Club: Should States Be Able to Collect Sales Tax on Goods Sold Online?
“Congress is debating legislation which would require online retailers to collect sales tax. Currently, online sellers are not required to charge their customers a sales tax on items purchased online. Proponents of the Marketplace Fairness Act say online tax rules are outdated, and the spread of Internet sales requires a leveling of the playing field between online retailers and brick-and-mortar businesses. […] Others argue that it unfairly requires online retailers to become tax collectors, and takes away the power of states to regulate their own sales taxes. States like New Hampshire, which don’t collect a sales tax, say forcing retailers to collect sales tax would disrupt their state economy.”

DAVID KRAVETS: “DOJ Won’t Ask Supreme Court to Review Hacking Case
“The Justice Department has decided not to ask the Supreme Court to review a controversial federal appeals court decision that said employees may not be prosecuted under a federal anti-hacking statute for simply violating their employer’s computer use policy.”


AGRICULTURE – In Iowa, Obama to announce measures to soothe drought pain
“President Barack Obama will announce on Monday that the Department of Agriculture intends to buy up to $170 million of pork, lamb, chicken and catfish to help support farmers suffering from the drought, a White House official said.”

COPYRIGHT – Elton John Sued: Singer Rebuffs Accusations Of Copyright Infringement As ‘Baseless And Absurd’
“Elton John has fired back after being sued over copyright infringement, saying that the accusations against him are not only ‘baseless and absurd’ but also completely miss the ‘essential legal point.'”

SCIENCE – Russian investor’s $3 million prize for physics
“Do you think cutting-edge scientists should earn as much as star athletes, celebrity artists or Wall Street bankers? The Russian billionaire investor Yuri Milner does, and this week he put his money where his heart is.”