OpenMedia

Stop the Secrecy

“Cobweb Chains” or Creative Commons: Who do copyright laws really protect?

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 16:58 -- Eva Prkachin

by Reilly Yeo

A lot can happen in 14 years. In that amount of time, we go from kindergarten to college age. We’ve lived just over 14 years since the turn of this millennia, and the Y2K scare probably feels like a distant memory.

Information wants to be free – so it makes sense that when the first monopoly rights to information and knowledge were granted by the 1710 Statute of Anne (the world’s first copyright law) they lasted for a reasonable 14 years. When the booksellers and publishers -- the Big Media entities of the day -- tried to extend their exclusive rights beyond 14 years, the English House of Lords firmly rejected them.

October 15, 2014 – Citizens from across the globe want balanced copyright rules that are shaped democratically, respect creators, and prioritize free expression. That’s the message of Our Digital Future: A Crowdsourced Agenda for Free Expression, a new report launched today by community-based OpenMedia. The overall consultation process took place over 2 years engaging 300,000 people from Australia to Vietnam.

The report is being launched just days before a crucial round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks take place in Australia. The findings come as a significant blow to Big Media lobbyists, who have been using the secretive TPP talks to ram through extreme proposals that would censor the Internet and criminalize many everyday online activities. The report finds that over 72% of respondents want copyright rules to be created through “a participatory multi-stakeholder process” in contrast to closed-door TPP meetings from which citizens are completely excluded.

Engadget: Is the tide turning against bulk surveillance?

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 16:36 -- Eva Prkachin

Senator Ron Wyden to Silicon Valley panel: "It is time to end the digital dragnet". We couldn't agree more.

Article by Cyrus Farivar for Ars Technica

Speaking at the gym at the high school where he used to play basketball in the 1960s, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) gave a dire warning to a group of students and locals on Wednesday about the effects of government spying on Silicon Valley: "There is a clear and present danger to the Internet economy."

Engadget: Obama speaks out against tiered Internet service

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 16:21 -- Eva Prkachin

Don't let anyone tell you speaking out online doesn't work. Hundreds of thousands of people took a stand against the Internet slow lane. We sent our own Josh Tabish to the White House. Now, look who's talking about creating strong net neutrality laws.

Article by Terrence O'Brien for Engadget

President Obama found a place in the heart of many techies during his first campaign thanks to his staunch support of net neutrality. Six years later the debate still rages on, but Obama's position hasn't changed. During a Q&A in California on Thursday the President reiterated his support for the principle saying:

The Guardian: Spies, gag orders, and the decline of American privacy

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 16:04 -- Eva Prkachin

This U.S. government agency has been accessing the private information of countless Americans, and the companies that they forced to help them can't even let you know about it.

Article by Trevor Timm for The Guardian

The most consequential civil liberties case in years is being argued before three judges in California on Wednesday, and it has little to do with the NSA but everything to do with taking away your privacy in the name of vague and unsubstantiated “national security” claims.

Together, we made President Obama speak out on the Internet slow lane

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 12:18 -- Eva Prkachin

It looks like we did it. After our meeting with senior White House officials two weeks ago, U.S. President Barack Obama has spoken out against Big Telecom’s Internet slow lane plan, and voiced support for the open Internet and real net neutrality.

This is a crucial development in the fight to safeguard the open Internet. Obama has the power to stop the slow lane plane, and we need to ensure he doesn't buckle under pressure from Big Telecom lobbyists.

ProPublica: There's something fishy about these blue mystery boxes

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 14:56 -- Eva Prkachin

What's up with these mysterious "Internet suggestion" boxes that are popping up in major U.S. cities?

Article by Robert Faturechi for ProPublica

On a recent Monday evening, two bearded young men in skinny jeans came to a parklet in San Francisco's trendy Hayes Valley neighborhood and mounted what looked like an art installation. It was a bright blue, oversized "suggestion box" for the Internet.

The Verge: Here’s why it’s becoming next to impossible to shut down free speech online

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 11:02 -- David Christopher

As the South Korean government cracks down on Internet free speech, South Koreans are heading en masse to encrypted chat programs.

Article by Russell Brandom for The Verge

Two weeks ago, Kakao Talk users in South Korea users got an unpleasant surprise. After months of enduring public criticism, President Park Geun-Hye announced a crackdown on any messages deemed as insulting to her or generally rumor-mongering — including private messages sent through Kakao Talk, a Korean messaging app akin to WhatsApp or iMessage. Prosecutors began actively monitoring the service for violations, promising punishment for anyone spreading inappropriate content.

International Business Times: An Internet nerd in Iceland's Parliament

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 16:01 -- Eva Prkachin

Find out how hackers are using the Internet to reshape Iceland's political landscape.

Article by Anthony Cuthbertson for International Business Times

It was a bright cool evening in August, and the clocks were striking nineteen. Iceland's national broadcaster RUV had just been handed a gagging order as the nightly news was about to air, prohibiting any reports on documents released earlier that day by WikiLeaks. Less than a year had passed since the start of the 2008 financial crisis that decimated the country's economy and the leaks implicated Iceland's largest bank in the collapse.

The Intercept: You and me and the NSA makes three (at least)

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 15:04 -- Eva Prkachin

Looking for a great afternoon read? Check out this long-form piece by James Bamford about his experiences with the NSA.

Article by James Bamford for the Intercept

The tone of the answering machine message was routine, like a reminder for a dental appointment. But there was also an undercurrent of urgency. “Please call me back,” the voice said. “It’s important.”

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