(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from embattled internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, leaving intact an order that lets the federal government seize $40 million from accounts in Hong Kong and New Zealand.
A federal appeals court said Dotcom and his associates can’t try to block the seizure because they are fugitives who are fighting extradition to face U.S. criminal charges.
The group’s Supreme Court appeal said the lower court ruling puts foreign defendants in an untenable position, forcing them either to forfeit money needed to mount a defense or to relinquish their right to contest extradition.
The U.S. is seeking Dotcom’s extradition from New Zealand over his now-defunct file-sharing website Megaupload.com, which is alleged to have been used for the biggest copyright infringement in U.S. history.
To collect the $40 million, the government still needs orders from courts in Hong Kong and New Zealand enforcing the forfeiture.
The case is Batato v. United States, 16-1206.

 

(Bloomberg) — Google is preparing to upgrade its security tools for online accounts to better insulate users from cyberattacks and politically motivated hacks, according to two people familiar with the company’s plan.
The Alphabet Inc. company next month will begin offering a service called the Advanced Protection Program that places a collection of features onto accounts such as email, including a new block on third-party applications from accessing data. The program would effectively replace the need to use two-factor authentication to protect accounts with a pair of physical security keys. The company plans to market the product to corporate executives, politicians and others with heightened security concerns, these people said.
The Gmail messages of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman, were famously hacked last year, along with the databases of the Democratic National Committee. Podesta met with the House Intelligence Committee in June to discuss the hack.
Google released software in 2014 for a USB Security Key, a device designed to improve existing security measures, like two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication involves using a second code or password, for example, to log onto email.
When plugged into computers, the key lets users create more robust security measures for accounts on Gmail and other Google sites. The new service will continue to require a physical USB key in addition to a second physical key for greater

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