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Sailors Had to Eat Rats During 4 Years as Pirate Hostages

26 freed men are believed to be pirates' last captives

(Newser) - Some 26 "forgotten hostages" held by Somali pirates for years after the piracy crisis faded from the headlines are finally free. The captives, fishermen from Vietnam, Taiwan, Cambodia, Indonesia, China, and the Philippines, were freed Saturday with the help of the Hostage Support Partners group, which negotiated with tribal... More »

Cinemas May Be Watching You With Night Vision Goggles

In the UK, it's part of an effort to crack down on movie piracy

(Newser) - When the new 007 film Spectre hits UK theaters next month, James Bond won't be the only one with cool spy gear. The Telegraph reports theater staff equipped with "military-style night-vision goggles" will patrol screenings looking for would-be bootleggers. "The bigger the film and the more anticipated... More »

Feds Yank Google Glass User From Theater

He was brought in for 'voluntary interview'

(Newser) - Can Google Glass—which includes a camera—be worn in movie theaters? One theater in Columbus, Ohio, decided not and had federal agents pull a a Glass-wearer from his seat. The agent confiscated the Glass, told the unnamed man he had been busted illegally taping the movie, and took him... More »

Piracy-Fighting Plan: Teach Copyright Law to Little Kids

MPAA backs planned 'Be a Creator' program

(Newser) - The Motion Picture Association of America wants young people to know that piracy is a crime—and the group is hoping to get the message out early. It's teaming up with the Recording Industry Association of America and Internet service providers to push an anti-piracy program in elementary schools,... More »

Court's Question: Is a Negotiator a Pirate?

Judge says US prosecutors 'overreaching' in seeking life sentence

(Newser) - Ali Mohamed Ali wasn't involved in the hijacking of a Danish ship, but the pirates in question called on him to help negotiate a $1.7 million ransom; they asked because he speaks English, his lawyers say. Now, he's facing a mandatory life sentence after US prosecutors charged... More »

Somalis No Longer World's Worst Pirates

Attacks off West Africa soaring

(Newser) - The pirate-infested waters of West Africa are now even more dangerous for seafarers than the rather more infamous seas around Somalia, according to an International Maritime Bureau report. West African pirates recorded attacks on 966 sailors last year, compared to 851 for Somali pirates—which was down 78% from the... More »

Aargh. The End of Somalia's Pirate Days?

Pirates "live like refugees" due to global military efforts

(Newser) - It's been anything but smooth sailing for Somali pirates lately, as the heady days of hijacking and plunder dry up at the hands of international military efforts and simple on-board security enhancements, reports the AP . The flow of whiskey has ebbed and the hookers have gone home in villages... More »

Pirates Demand Ransom ... on Personalized Letterhead

And they're fairly polite about it

(Newser) - Passengers on boats hijacked off the African coast could find themselves presented with a formal welcome letter from the pirates boarding their ship, Reuters reports, in an offbeat look at their latest tactics. African pirates take their business quite seriously, to the point where they have their own letterhead. Reuters... More »

US Issues Global Security Alert

New report advises caution just about everywhere

(Newser) - The US has issued a fresh version of its worldwide safety caution to citizens abroad, making it clear that it's a pretty dangerous world out there. Terrorists are planning attacks "in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East," the statement warns, listing possible targets... More »

Aargh! Sea Piracy Plunges 54%

Patrols off Somalia credited with dramatic drop

(Newser) - Sea piracy worldwide fell by 54% in the first half of 2012, led by a dramatic drop in Somali piracy, according to an international maritime watchdog. The International Maritime Bureau attributed the sharp drop to "pre-emptive and disruptive counter piracy tactics" by international navies patrolling in seas off Somalia... More »

Megaupload Data May Be Dumped This Week

Millions of users' personal documents at risk: firm

(Newser) - Megaupload users, be warned: Your data could be deleted starting Thursday. A wealth of personal photos and documents are stored by way of Megaupload, according to the company. That data has been inaccessible to users amid an investigation over pirated materials . Megaupload pays storage companies to house its users' data—... More »

FBI Closes File-Sharing Site; Anonymous Gets Revenge

After Megaupload is shut down, hackers hit Justice Department

(Newser) - After yesterday's SOPA protest comes more online piracy fun: The FBI today shut down the file-sharing site Megaupload.com and charged seven people with copyright infringement, reports the Wall Street Journal . Soon after, the hackers of Anonymous sought revenge by taking down the websites of the Justice Department, Universal... More »

White House on SOPA: Don't Hurt 'Dynamic' Web

Meanwhile, House author offers new concession

(Newser) - The White House waded into the politically volatile territory of SOPA today, notes the Hill , and it sounds a little wary about the anti-piracy legislation. "While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation... More »

Reddit's Next SOPA Target: Paul Ryan

Plus, looks like 'Dump GoDaddy Day' actually worked

(Newser) - Behold the power of Reddit: Users fuming over Paul Ryan's alleged support of a controversial online piracy bill have prompted a clarification from the congressman. "Contrary to false reports, Congressman Paul Ryan is not a cosponsor of HR 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act," said a rep,... More »

GoDaddy Braces for Today's Mass Exodus

Registrar faces boycott over support of SOPA

(Newser) - It's D-Day for GoDaddy: The domain king today faces a potentially devastating mass exodus over its brief support of the Stop Online Piracy Act , a controversial anti-piracy measure before Congress that's got First Amendment huggers hot under the collar. Seems GoDaddy's thumbs-up fell afoul of a single... More »

US Drone Crashes in Seychelles

Unmanned Reaper overshoots runway

(Newser) - Another American spy drone has crashed, but unlike the one in Iran , recovering this one posed no problem for the US military. The unmanned Reaper drone crashed at an airport in the Seychelles after a routine anti-piracy patrol over the Indian Ocean, the AP reports. Officials say the drone developed... More »

Online Piracy Bill Becomes Major Battle

Lobbyists dig in over controversial SOPA measure

(Newser) - A battle is heating up on Capitol Hill over a controversial new bill targeting online piracy. Yesterday Google, Facebook, Yahoo and other web companies took out full-page newspaper ads railing against the House’s recently introduced Stop Online Piracy Act, even as supporters sung its praises at a hearing. “... More »

Somali Pirates Free Danish Family

Three children were among those held hostage

(Newser) - The Danish family held hostage by Somali pirates since February has been released and is safe. Jan Quist Johansen, his wife, their three children between the ages of 12 and 16, and two adult crew members are in “relatively good condition,” according to Denmark’s foreign ministry and... More »

Chinese Retail's Latest Rip-Off: Ikea

Part of a movement to cash in on established brands

(Newser) - Why create knock-offs of specific items when you can knock off an entire brand? A warehouse store in China called 11 Furniture has adopted almost everything from Ikea—from staged rooms and minimalist furniture designs to tiny pencils and an in-store restaurant. It's part of a rapidly growing market... More »

Pirate Hostages Plead for Help in YouTube Video

Danes, Filipinos urge ship's owner to secure their freedom

(Newser) - A shipping industry group has released a harrowing video of Danish and Filipino seamen being held hostage by Somali pirates. The men, who were seized when pirates hijacked a Danish cargo ship in January, plead for their freedom in the video, which Save Our Seafarers says it uploaded to YouTube... More »

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