Dotcom to Sell Out Digital Rights in the US

Image CC-BY-SA Pirate Times

Image CC-BY-SA Pirate Times

The announcement of launching a US arm to ‘the Internet Party’ (by Mega founder Kim Dotcom) seems, on its face, quite good news. A rich, media-savvy person who understands technology getting into the US political scene to stir things up and fight for digital rights, and freedoms; sounds great, right? Continue reading…


No Grand Jury Indictment in Ferguson Shooting of Brown

The Grand Jury is not going to indict officer Darren Wilson over the August 9 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The shooting, which prompted outrage and protests in the region for a significant period afterwards, had been with the Grand Jury for a considerable amount of time,  and was only presented after a vocal protest from the local population. Brown’s family have asked for any actions and responses to be kept peaceful, a request local officers have not yet acknowledged.

A parallel Federal investigation into civil rights charges has also failed to return indictments. Continue reading…


[UPDATED] Nominet, The ICO, and the Importance of Privacy

ico loves nominet

*UPDATE* November 4 2013 – the ICO has responded to this. See bottom

History is defined by its ages. In the past we’ve had the middles ages, then we went through the industrial revolution, and became part of the industrial age, where machinery and manufacturing was key. Over the last 30 years, however, we’ve gone through a new revolution, the information revolution, and we’re now firmly into the information age.

In such an age, safeguards are THE most important thing we can have, because unlike industrial equipment, information is completely fungible, and readily disseminated. It also has significant liquidity, which is a serious concern when information can describe, and expose so much of our daily lives.

As a result, any restrictions, safeguards, or limitations – or indeed any enforcement of them – must be put into place with that in mind, and done from a position of competence, and privacy. This was the reason for the establishment of the Information commissioners office in the UK, and its brethren around Europe.

The core requirement is that it be competent, however, with a close second being a willingness to enforce the rules, and not be caught in a form of regulatory capture, putting the needs of businesses above the needs of citizens. Unfortunately, this may not always be the case, and if it’s not, what can be done? Continue reading…


ComputerCop, Parenting, And The Internet Age

Over the past few weeks, there’s been a lot of news about ComputerCop, a piece of software, usually distributed by the police, or other law enforcement agency. The problem isn’t that ComputerCop doesn’t do what it says it’ll do. Instead the problem is that what it does, it does very very badly.

I’ve been aware of the revelations about ComputerCop since mid-August. Back then, Dave Maass of the Electronic Frontier Foundation found out about the Online Family Safety panel I was going to do at DragonCon, and asked to be on it. Since one of my main reasons for having the panel was ‘Nanny-ware doesn’t work’, I think it’s a great idea. And so those that came to the panel on August 30th, got a first look at the research that went public October 1st.

Continue reading…


Copyright Maximalists Can’t Even Tell the Truth About Their Events

It’s become a bit of a cliché nowadays, that those in the copyright maximalist gig can’t tell the truth on anything .Their studies are filled with bogus claims, their press releases are questionable, and the DMCA notices they spew out seem to best be described as following a Spray and Pray strategy.

Until now though, they’ve at least been able to fall back on their events to be fairly factual, at least in the organization. That could now be going out the door as Friday Vanderbilt University in Tennessee hosts a copyright panel.

Five international experts will discuss the current state of copyright law Oct. 24 at an open forum at Vanderbilt Law School. “Is Copyright Working for Songwriters and Composers? A Global Panel at Vanderbilt Law School” will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Flynn Auditorium at the law school, located at 131 21st Ave. S.

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Human Rights No, Corporate Rights Yes?

Stop trading away our future in secret - PPUK posterIt’s become a hallmark of British Government that they say one thing and do another. Rarely is it ever so cut-and-dried as with the current Conservative government.

Much has been made over the last few weeks about the desires of the Prime Minister to leave the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Cameron has said he wants to bring more powers back to London, because he doesn’t like the way it ‘hands power’ off – powers we British have given to that court more than 60 years ago. Most notably, he doesn’t like the way it often deals with his right wing agenda of disenfranchising people, and creeping towards a police state, but seems to be championing the way with misinformation.

Continue reading…