Thu, 16 May 2013 00:57:59 GMT: “Six Strikes” Anti-Piracy Outfit Loses Company Status, Faces Penalties
The Center for Copyright Information, a partnership between the RIAA, MPAA and several major Internet providers, has had its company status revoked. The CCI, who are leading the “six strikes” anti-piracy scheme in the US, has violated state laws and is unable to conduct any official business anywhere in the United States. In addition the outfit faces civil penalties and risks losing its name to a third-party company.
Thu, 16 May 2013 00:57:17 GMT: Disappointing Unsealing Decision in Aaron Swartz Case
The public lost another battle in the U.S. v. Aaron Swartz case, this one over transparency. On May 13, 2013, the U.S. District Court judge handling the prosecution sided with the government, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and JSTOR and refused to make public any information in the case that any of these three entities wished to keep under seal. The ruling effectively grants the Department of Justice, MIT and JSTOR a veto over what the public gets to know about the investigation.
Thu, 16 May 2013 00:56:41 GMT: Interesting Move: Peter Sunde, Of The Pirate Bay & Flattr To Run For EU Parliament
The Pirate Party of Sweden famously got two MEPs elected to the European Parliament in its last election, and now in an interesting move, Peter Sunde -- probably best known as the former spokesperson for The Pirate Bay -- has announced that he'll be running for the European Parliament in Finland (he was apparently born in Sweden but his ancestry is Finnish). After the Pirate Bay -- which many people incorrectly assume is connected to The Pirate Party -- Sunde went on to found Flattr, a system (which we use here) that helps content creators make money.
Thu, 16 May 2013 00:55:51 GMT: Latest Middle East Cyber Attacks on U.S. Corporations Employ Sabotage
Cyber attacks against American corporations have moved beyond attempts to steal data and now involve sabotaging computers that run important infrastructure operations.
Thu, 16 May 2013 00:54:45 GMT: TV Networks Finally Discover Live Streaming; Still Get It Really, Really Wrong
While many shows are now available online, they usually aren't available until hours (or sometimes days or weeks) after things air. And while, yes, we're now a DVR world, where people don't always watch shows when they air, there is still a sizable population of fans of shows that like to watch them in real-time. In fact, many have said that the supposedly evil internet is actually making them more interested in watching live, because they can share the cultural experience more widely via things like Twitter and Facebook. So, recognizing that reality, making it easier for people to view the content live at the same time, such as via online streaming, makes a lot of sense. Kudos to the networks for recognizing that, about a decade later than they should have.
Thu, 16 May 2013 00:53:23 GMT: Do Not Track: Are Weak Protections Worse Than None At All?
The debate to nail down the long overdue Do Not Track (DNT) standard continued at the W3C Tracking Protection Working Group face-to-face meeting in Sunnyvale last week. Despite a less hostile tone in the room, there seemed to be no clear path forward towards agreement regarding the core issue of ensuring that the standard provides users with enough privacy protection to justify its existence. With the group set to begin winding down in July, there is a lot of uncertainty about whether a consensus standard can be reached with such a short time frame, and if no consensus standard emerges, what will happen next.
Thu, 16 May 2013 00:52:34 GMT: The McCain Cable Bill Can Only Do So Much; Real Change Is Market-Driven
Everyone on the consumer side agrees that they'd like to have à la carte choices from cable companies, but beyond that there's no shortage of debate as to how effective the bill is likely to be and whether the end result would actually be any better for those consumers. The television market is badly distorted at all levels by monopoly interests and those whiffs of not-quite-collusion by groups of companies with a shared interest in maintaining the status quo, but is this bill capable of overcoming that? And is the practice of bundling really at the heart of the problem, or just a good public face for the deeper issues?
Thu, 16 May 2013 00:51:24 GMT: Jail Terms For Unlocking Cellphones Shows The True Black Heart Of The Copyright Monopoly
The discussion around people’s banished right to unlock their own cellphones has been framed as an unexpected and unanticipated effect of the copyright monopoly. To the contrary, it shows the heart of the monopoly’s philosophy: killing ownership as a concept.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:26:58 GMT: Megaupload Asks Court to Dump The “Baseless” Criminal Case
Megaupload has strengthened its demand to have the criminal indictment against the company thrown out by the court, thus ending the case. The United States Government told the court last week that it fears the end of the Megaupload prosecution if the judge makes the ‘wrong’ decision, and these words are now being used against it. In a new brief submitted to the Virginia District Court, Megaupload’s lawyers argue that the Government admits that it may not have a case.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:26:17 GMT: Syrian Internet Goes Dark, Leaving Questions and Uncertainty
Earlier today, we learned that Internet traffic between Syria and Western online services had plummeted drastically, indicated that the country's connection to the wider Internet had been shut down. Reports from Renesys and Google confirmed the routes into Syria had been withdrawn, implying either a massive infrastructure cut, or a deliberate silencing of online communication. The details of the situation in Syria are still unknown, but we’re deeply concerned that this blackout is a deliberate attempt to silence Syria's online communications and further draw a curtain over grave events currently unfolding on the ground in Syria.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:25:32 GMT: Update to Email Privacy Law Must Go Further
Proposals to update the email privacy law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), are moving quickly in Congress. ECPA is in dire need of an update as it was written in the mid-1980s long before the advent of ubiquitous webmail and cloud storage. In the past, ECPA was used by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to obtain emails and other private online messages older than 180 days without a probable cause warrant. If law enforcement sought those same messages in the physical world, a warrant would be required. This difference is not only wrong, but also inconsistent with the Fourth Amendment. Senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Lee plan to fix this.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:24:26 GMT: Why Private Torrent Sites Have Strict Copyright Enforcement Rules
Private torrent sites have a much lower profile than say, The Pirate Bay, but there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of them online, going about their business behind closed, invite-only walls. However, when it comes to providing access to content, private trackers are quite different from their public counterparts. Instead of a Pirate Bay-style free-for-all, access to pirate content is held back by site admins and only unlocked when members contribute to the health of the community.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:23:42 GMT: Blogger Issues DMCA Notice To Take Down Posts Infringing His 'How To Infringe' Post
To paraphrase: "Yeah, it looks like some people have infringed my post about infringing, so if you could do me a solid and take those out, that would be great.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:22:54 GMT: U.S. Govt. Attack on Megaupload Bears Hallmarks of ‘Digital Gitmo’
Following the release of their white paper earlier today, Megaupload lawyer Robert Amsterdam considers the current political situation in the United States, one in which the interests of powerful corporations are deemed to be of greater importance than the rights of individuals. The U.S. government’s attack on Megaupload bears all the hallmarks of a “Digital Gitmo”, Amsterdam argues, one which shares an absence of rule of law with its physical, Cuba-based namesake.
Thu, 02 May 2013 18:59:46 GMT: Pirate Bay Founder on Trial Next Month Facing Societal Damage Claims
After being charged with instances of hacking earlier this month, Gottfrid Svartholm will now go on trial in May. The Pirate Bay co-founder denies the charges and says that evidence found on his computer was placed there remotely via the Internet. In the meantime Gottfrid’s mother Kristina is questioning why authorities are placing so much emphasis on the effect the claimed hacking has had on allegedly vulnerable people.
Thu, 02 May 2013 18:58:16 GMT: MPAA Executive Tampered With IFPI Evidence in Internet Piracy Case
Earlier this month Finland’s largest ever Internet piracy case ended with four men being found guilty of copyright infringement and two being exonerated. The case involved a so-called ‘topsite’ called Angel Falls and had an interesting twist. During the trial it was revealed that evidence gathered by a local anti-piracy group and the IFPI was also handed to a “senior MPAA executive” who tampered with the evidence before handing it to the police.
Thu, 02 May 2013 18:57:23 GMT: EFF to Federal Judge: Don’t Let the DMCA be a Tool for Censorship
Together with the Digital Media Law Project, we filed an amicus brief today in federal court in Massachusetts. We are urging the court to ensure that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides protection for victims of abusive takedown notices—specifically, that the DMCA requires copyright owners to consider fair use before sending takedowns.
Thu, 02 May 2013 18:56:27 GMT: What Is TPP? Biggest Global Threat to the Internet Since ACTA
The United States and ten governments from around the Pacific are meeting yet again to hash out the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) on May 15-24 in Lima, Peru. The TPP is one of the worst global threats to the Internet since ACTA. Since the negotiations have been secretive from the beginning, we mainly know what's in the current version of this trade agreement because of a leaked draft [PDF] from February 2011. Based upon that text, some other leaked notes, and the undemocratic nature of the entire process, we have every reason to be alarmed about the copyright enforcement provisions contained in this multinational trade deal.
Thu, 02 May 2013 18:55:45 GMT: Hiawatha 9.1 has been released
This release brings two interesting new security features 1) Ciphersuite selection based on protocol 2) Protection against uploaded malware