Congress creates (another) superfluous Task Force to examine possible Government Spectrum Auction

After being told so repeatedly, the U.S House of Representatives thinks they might not be using their wireless spectrum block to its full potential, so like any good bureaucracy — they formed a task force. They assuredly hope it will be more effective than pretty much every other task force the government has ever made, or maybe not. The U.S congress is aiming to free-up government-owned spectrum for airwave-hogging 3G and 4G consumer networks and appliances as wireless spectrum availability becomes a strong issue in the country as available spectrum wanes despite less than half the population having upgraded to high-speed 3G and 4G networks.

This bipartisan task force, dubbed the Federal Spectrum Working Group, hopes to trim the fat from their spectrum use to help solve a good chunk of the spectrum crunch. The U.S government is currently the largest owner of wireless spectrum. The FSWG will focus on freeing-up airwaves, especially on spectrum-hogging departments like the Defense Department, who uses a large bulk of government spectrum in surveillance and, surprisingly, weapons testing.

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DeSopa Circumvents SOPA — Despite its Anti-Circumvention Measures

Leave it to the internet to find a way to circumvent impending laws designed solely to control it.

Pro-internet developer Tamer Rizk designed a tool that can circumvent the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and ‘save the internet’. Rizk’s app is rather ironic given that it circumvents SOPA — despite its anti-circumvention measures. His new app, called DeSopa (source on Github), is a Firefox add-on extension that can outwit SOPA by manipulating the Domain Name System.

SOPA, if/when it is approved, would force ISPs to deny service to any websites found infringing on copyright material and would use the Domain Name System (DNS) to filter offending websites. DeSopa however found a loophole: a circumvention measure of bypassing the DNS and using IP addresses to load websites instead of the DNS-given name of the website (ex. using 209.85.175.99 instead of http://www.google.com/). By checking with foreign DNS servers DeSopa can find the correct IP address without using its DNS address — and would therefore not be caught in SOPA’s web.

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