The Supreme Court has unanimously reversed (large PDF
) the California Court of Appeals in Riley v. California
, deciding that police cannot search the contents of a phone without a warrant during an arrest
, and that "the fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought." [more inside]
How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio
 actually makes a case against austerity
 and for redistribution, but also for money printing
(and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public
investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore
, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)
... [more inside]
The Council of the European Union recently released a proposal to amend the General Data Protection Regulation. Scaling back from becoming the most strict privacy regulation in the world, the amendment greatly favors corporate interests while reducing the rights of data subjects
. [more inside]
Following a jury finding that Google had not infiringed upon Oracles patents, a development described as a near disaster
for the database company, Judge William Aslup
has ruled that the Java APIs cannot be copyrighted
. That leaves Oracle with only the 9 lines of rangeCheck code
and a handfull of decompiled test files to show for the massivecourt case. CEO Larry Ellison remains confident, claiming that the aquisition of Java creator Sun has still paid for itself
- Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider
) has investigated News Corporation
for PBS Frontline [transcript]
. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered
" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air
But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK
. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
The Control Revolution And Its Discontents
- "the long process of algorithmisation
over the last 150 years has also, wherever possible, replaced implicit rules/contracts and principal-agent relationships with explicit processes and rules."
Malaysia is proposing a Computing Professionals Bill
, based on the Registration of Engineers Act
[.PDF] which makes it mandatory for all practicing "computing professionals" to be registered with a government body. Dealing in the IT industry, including sending “proposals, plans, designs, drawings, schemes, reports, studies or others to be determined by the Board to any person or authority in Malaysia” without being registered
will incur a fine not exceeding RM20,000 (~US$6380) or 6 months in jail. Malaysian IT professionals
are up in arms, and similarities have been drawn to Nigeria's law on computing professionals
"With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches," [Google CEO Eric Schmidt] said. "We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about... We can look at bad behavior and modify it.
" The Atlantic
's editor James Bennet discusses with Schmidt how lobbyists write America's laws, how America's research universities are the best in the world, how the Chinese are going all-out in investing in their infrastructure, how the US should have allowed automakers to fail, and ultimately Google's evolving role in an technologically-augmented society in this broad, interesting and scary interview
(~25 min Flash video) [via
Edward Samuel's Illustrated History of Copyright
A fascinating illustrated historical tour, looking at how different technologies have shaped how we think about copyright and intellectual property.
, the US House passed the SAFE Act
. No, not that one
. Points of note:
- If signed into law, the SAFE Act will require people offering WiFi at their cafe, library, or even allowing their neighbours to use it, who notice that someone appears to have viewed certain dirty cartoons
, or pictures of fully-clothed children looking sexy, to immediately make a comprehensive report to John Walsh's CyberTipLine
, and retain the images, or face a fine of up to $150,000.
- ISPs or email services have the same obligations, and must store all data relating to the user's account, to be handed over to the authorities.
- The Democrats rushed the legislation through using a mechanism intended for non-controversial legislation. There was no hearing or committee vote. The legislation changed significantly before the vote and was not available for public review.
- The bill passed 409-2
. Opposed were Paul Broun (R-Georgia) and Ron Paul (R-Texas). The Senate is next, so consider telling them what you think
In the same spirit as the Open Net Initiative
and Committee to Protect Bloggers
that both track global internet filtering, Sami
ben Gharbia's Access Denied Map
tries to track the blocking of sites like Blogger, Flickr, YouTube and others by governments, as well as efforts by activists to keep them accessible or to challenge their blockage.
Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal
by Joel Salatin. This Saturday will mark this article's four year anniversary. Frankly, I was mildly surprised not to have found it mentioned before in MeFi. It's a good read about a sad state of affairs; how our government is turning its own people into outlaws, because freedom has been traded in for an illusion of security. ...but then we already knew that. Don't we?
Help Save P2P!
The United States Supreme Court is currently considering the legality of peer-to-peer file sharing programs in a case called MGM v. Grokster. Rumor has it that the Justices have set up a computer, in the court, with Grokster on it. If you have legal P2P files to share, blogger Death in the Afternoon
suggests that you move them to Grokster immediately, as this might help convince the Justices that P2P is good for more than just illegal filesharing. (If you doubt that, think Diebold
). If you don't have any legal files, you can get some here
. (More inside).
IM logging as illegal wiretap
: We need to get beyond the technology itself and ask whether there are legitimate expectations of privacy that we seek to protect by either permitting or refusing to permit the creation of a permanent record of communications
FBI enforcing the bandwidth CAP.
With broadband caps
spreading across North America, I wonder if we will see more stories like this, as users find they want to use more than 4 to 6 gigs a month.
is trying to get Congress to pass a six-point Consumer Technology Bill of Rights to protect the legitimate rights of honest consumers who buy copyrighted content legally. You can read about the issue and the group in Walt Mossberg's WSJ column
Carriers Aim to Kill Number Portability
- Large cell phone carriers are trying to squash a requirement that they allow consumers to switch services and still keep their same phone number. This would allow them to continue providing low levels of customer service, coverage, and quality.
As usual, when it's the U.S. turn, they play by different rules
How come Russian and Scandinavian hackers can be charged under U.S. law for activities done in their home countries, yet when an American company gets a very reasonable request (IP tracking that it is done for web banners anyway) from a judge overseas, the U.S. grabs the free speech / local law argument.