Aaron Swartz, a software prodigy and an Internet freedom fighter, was found dead in his New York City apartment on Friday of an apparent suicide. Internet freedom fighters around the world mourned.

At a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) spoke out in defense of the Fourth Amendment and promised to continue to fight against FISA.

You might think that a professional outfit such as Bank of America operated based on stated policy and not caprice. But not according to owner of American Spirit Arms Joe Sirochman.

Less than a month after governments debated ending online anonymity and other proposals to impose a global regulatory regime on the Internet at a United Nations conference in Dubai, the dictatorship ruling mainland China announced that all Web users would have to identify themselves with their full names. The new rules also mandate that “illegal” content — criticism of the regime, for example — be immediately scrubbed and reported to authorities.

President Obama has placed a federal judge in an “inescapable, paradoxical situation” in a case challenging the federal government’s authority to hide warrantless wiretapping behind a “state secrets” shield, the judge said at a hearing on December 14.

By a vote of 73-23, the United States Senate voted to extend for five years the FISA Amendments authorizing the warrantless wiretapping of domestic communications.

This week, Congress will consider the renewal of the 2008 FISA Amendments. Should they be approved, warrantlesss wiretapping will be legal for another five years.

“Christmas is not more important than this legislation.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) actually said that with regard to his effort to begin debate on the Senate’s renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

JBS CEO Art Thompson's weekly news video update for December 17 - 23, 2012.

Activists worldwide were celebrating after a United Nations conference, which was seeking to hand control over the Internet to an obscure UN agency known as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and its mostly dictatorial member regimes, ended in failure when a coalition of Western governments refused to back the schemes. However, analysts are warning that serious threats to the free and open Internet by the UN and a broad alliance of its authoritarian members are far from over.

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