Stop the Secrecy

BoingBoing: David Cameron: banning encrypted chat apps is a terrible, terrible idea

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 15:57 -- Eva Prkachin

Is U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron prepared to deal with the enormous consequences of making chat encryption illegal?

Article by Cory Doctorow for BoingBoing

What David Cameron thinks he's saying is, "We will command all the software creators we can reach to introduce back-doors into their tools for us." There are enormous problems with this: there's no back door that only lets good guys go through it. If your Whatsapp or Google Hangouts has a deliberately introduced flaw in it, then foreign spies, criminals, crooked police (like those who fed sensitive information to the tabloids who were implicated in the hacking scandal -- and like the high-level police who secretly worked for organised crime for years), and criminals will eventually discover this vulnerability. They -- and not just the security services -- will be able to use it to intercept all of our communications. That includes things like the pictures of your kids in your bath that you send to your parents to the trade secrets you send to your co-workers.

The Guardian: VPN users beware?

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 16:39 -- Eva Prkachin

Can Netflix really tell if you're using a VPN to watch content from other countries?

Article by Alex Hern for the Guardian

More than 30 million Netflix users live in countries where the service is unavailable without the use of location-masking software, giving the company a hefty financial incentive not to crack-down on members who use the technological loophole to watch content not authorised for their country.

NewRepublic: ESPN is fed up with cable

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 16:22 -- Eva Prkachin

More good news for cord cutters?

Article by David Dayen for NewRepublic

On New Year’s Day, ESPN’s broadcast of the inaugural college football playoffs drew the highest rating in the history of cable television, with 28.3 million viewers. Just four days later, the same network likely signaled cable television’s demise, by signing on to Dish Network’s new streaming Sling TV service. Customers will be able to access ESPN and 11 other channels (CNN and the Food Network, e.g.) over the Internet at a flat rate of $20 a month, without having to order cable or even sign a contract.

TechCrunch: The MPAA is desperate to revive SOPA

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 14:58 -- Eva Prkachin

What kind of underhanded tricks are big media companies using to try and intimidate Google?

Article by Alex Wilhelm for TechCrunch

Corruption in the American Hollywood style is something to behold. Today, Google published a short blog post alleging that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), alongside a number of film studios, funded what was essentially opposition research about the company. The resulting material was later fed to state attorneys general.

Bloomberg: Is Title II is coming to an Internet near you?

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 15:50 -- Eva Prkachin

FCC Chairman and former Telecom lobbyist Tom Wheeler announced today that upcoming open Internet rules will put an end to Big Telecom's Internet slow lane plan. Let's hope he means it – we'll be watching closely

Article by Lucas Shaw and Todd Shields for Bloomberg

The Federal Communications Commission’s proposal for open-Internet rules will align with a blueprint President Barack Obama offered last month for strong regulation to guarantee Web traffic is treated equally, the head of the agency said.

TorrentFreak: How Internet users are changing laws in Europe

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 16:18 -- Eva Prkachin

The Pirate Party is rewriting copyright laws in Europe

Article by Rick Falvinge for TorrentFreak

For years – nay, for decades – net activists and freedom-of-speech activists have been fighting against the copyright industry’s corrupt initiatives. In country after country, the copyright industry was practically calling out for mail-order legislation, and receiving it every time.

Daily Dot: Just as predicted: state spying leads to censorship

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 15:05 -- Eva Prkachin

Journalists in democracies are self-censoring more and more thanks to mass surveillance

Article by Dell Cameron for The Daily Dot

An alarming study published Monday by one of America's top literary organizations reveals that the percentage of writers living in democratic countries who may be censoring themselves due to government surveillance is approaching levels reported by writers living under authoritarian regimes.