Feed-aggregator

Awesome Stuff: Making GovTrack Even More Awesome

van TechDirt - 4 uur 14 min geleden

If you pay any sort of ongoing attention to Congress, you're probably familiar with GovTrack, the extremely useful online resource created by Joshua Tauberer in 2004, containing robust info on the status of all the bills that hit the floors of the House and the Senate. It's a fantastic tool, and today we're looking at a crowdfunding push to make it even better by hiring a full-time researcher to add additional context and analysis to the bills and votes being tracked.

The Good

Until very recently, GovTrack was fully automated and had no staff — which is why one man's pet project has been going strong for over a decade without much if anything in the way of revenue. But Joshua knows there's lots more the site could be doing, and recently hired an intern to start testing out a big new addition to GovTrack: researchers who can closely follow the most important bills and dig into them deeper than the algorithms can, providing commentary and analysis plus readable summaries of legislation, and reporting on the underlying political context. To that end, they've also launched GovTrack Insider as a Medium page, which already features a bunch of posts on various important bills and votes from the last few months.

The Kickstarter goal is to upgrade from an intern to a full-time researcher on a six-month contract — or two as a stretch goal. This could really take the already-useful GovTrack to a whole new level.

The Bad

While I don't by any means think this is a bad idea, there are still a few potential pitfalls. The first is that it's not clear how this one-time fundraising goal can/will translate into something ongoing. A researcher can do a whole lot in six months, but the ongoing flow of bills through Congress requires ongoing attention with no end in sight. Will we be looking at another Kickstarter for the next congressional session? Or is there some plan to secure new revenue streams with the expanded GovTrack? Either way, if this project is as useful to people as it's likely to be, some will surely be happy to keep paying.

The other, perhaps more critical, pitfall is politicization. Once you move from automatically tracking raw data to actually writing up summaries and analyses, it's almost inevitable that you'll have to start taking political/ideological sides from time-to-time, no matter how committed you might be to neutrality or objectivity. It might prove very difficult to expand GovTrack in this way without beginning to be seen as an at-least-slightly partisan publication rather than a wholly neutral tool for anyone to use — though, that doesn't mean it's impossible.

The Rewarding

There are some very interesting rewards available for backers of this project (and the choice to link the dollar amounts for the various tiers to important Congress-related numbers is a neat one). At lower levels, backers can get in on webinars and group chats that explore Congressional issues and provide advice on political advocacy, while the higher tiers offer the ability to get custom summaries and analyses written of bills that you choose.

But perhaps the most attractive (or at least the most fun) options are those that take advantage of the research intern's other skill: art. At various tiers, he'll draw you a custom caricature of any Representative or Senator that you choose. No word on if you get to dictate how flattering or unflattering said caricature is, though.



Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

De week in 299 woorden

van Bits of Freedom - 13 uur 6 min geleden

Mr. Robot, gepixelde gifs en Io(D)T. De interwebs zijn groot. Niet elke tweet wordt gezien, niet elke blog wordt gelezen. En er is meer in de wereld. Daarom een stukje service van ons naar jou toe: alles wat je deze week over internetvrijheid had kunnen lezen, kijken of luisteren in 299 woorden.

Het nieuws van de week

Groot nieuws uit Duitsland deze week: twee medewerkers van Netzpolitik, een Duits platform voor digitale rechten, worden door de Duitse overheid verdacht van het lekken van staatsgeheime documenten. Die documenten uit 2013, in 2015 gepubliceerd, bevatten informatie dat de Duitse geheime dienst massasurveillance op social media aan het opzetten is.

5 if-I-were-you-I-would-reads

  • 1041uuu is een Tumblr vol met prachtige gepixelde gifjes van Japanse scenes. Welke is jouw favoriet?
  • Er is een nieuwe serie waar heel veel over wordt gepraat en geschreven (bijvoorbeeld hier door Forbes): Mr. Robot. De moeite waard om het uit te checken!
  • “Pogingen het gedrag van mensen te veranderen, oftewel het beschavingsproces, hebben zich van oudsher gericht op de psychologie van de mens en op de manier waarop hij zijn samenleving inrichtte. Nu kunnen wij het gedrag van mensen beïnvloeden door de machines die hij gebruikt, en die hem tot op zekere hoogte beheersen, te beïnvloeden. Wie het rijgedrag van mensen wil veranderen hoeft niet meer de mens zelf te corrigeren, alleen nog de iPad op wielen.” Dit citaat komt uit een stuk van Arnon Grunberg dat in NRC Handelsblad verscheen, ‘De mens is makkelijk te hacken (€).
  • Deze week kwam een nieuw project van de Britse artiest James Bridle online: Citizen-Ex. Door middel van een browser-extensie verkent hij ‘Algorithmic Citizenship’. Waar ga je eigenlijk naar toe als je naar een domeinnaamextensie surft? En wat betekent dit voor je rechten? Lees vooral ook de bijbehorende verhalen.
  • Elk apparaat waar “smart” voor staat, is op dit moment de bom. Maar, smart is niet altijd even slim. Zeker niet als het om wapens gaat. Als je een “smart geweer” gebruikt moet je opeens ook met andere vijanden rekening houden: mensen die technologie snappen. En softwarematig je doel veranderen. Welkom Internet of Deadly Things.
Categorieën: Technieuws

Ridiculous 'Terrorist Reporting' Provision In Intelligence Authorization Would Undermine The First Amendment

van TechDirt - 17 uur 35 min geleden
A few weeks ago, we wrote about a troubling provision that the Senate Intelligence Committee had inserted into this year's intelligence authorization bill, which would require social networks to report to the government any "terrorist activity" they see on their systems. As we noted, this has all sorts of problems, and seems more designed to (1) generate headlines and (2) chill free speech than do anything useful. Thankfully, Senator Ron Wyden has put a hold on the bill specifically over this provision. “There is no question that tracking terrorist activity and preventing online terrorist recruitment should be top priorities for law enforcement and intelligence agencies,” Wyden said, in a statement for the record today. “But I haven’t yet heard any law enforcement or intelligence agencies suggest that this provision will actually help catch terrorists, and I take the concerns that have been raised about its breadth and vagueness seriously.”

“Internet companies should not be subject to broad requirements to police the speech of their users,”Wyden continued.
But the issue goes even deeper than that. As Markham Erickson has written, there are significant free speech concerns raised by this provision, in large part because "terrorist activity" is not defined at all. Anywhere. It's just this vague term -- and given that companies may face liability for not reporting "terrorist activity" to the government, you can bet an awful lot of perfectly fine and protected speech is going to get reported. And that's worrisome. A key problem with Section 603, however, is that the trigger for the reporting mandate is based on the vague and undefined term “terrorist activity.” This term is not a term of art in the US criminal code and arguably goes well beyond criminal activity to speech that is protected under the First Amendment. Erickson also points out that the comparison that supporters have made of this bill to one that requires companies to report child porn, is that child porn is "per se unlawful and never protected speech" under the US Constitution. But "terrorist activity" is just vague. The NCMEC reporting obligations, however, relate to images that are per se unlawful and are never protected speech under the US Constitution. A government mandate that an Internet company report facts and circumstances connected to the vague and overbroad term “terrorist activity” certainly would result in overbroad reporting to the government of speech that is protected under the First Amendment. And, on top of that, this move would give other countries a blueprint for how to demand tech companies hand over information on users: More troubling, if adopted, the provision would serve as a global template for other countries to impose reporting requirements for activities those jurisdictions deem unlawful. This would be particularly problematic with countries that regulate speech, including political speech, and with authoritarian regimes that would demand that Internet companies police their citizens’ activities. And, finally, as noted, with such a vague term, and the threat of serious liability, companies are going to be pressured into serious over-reporting: Section 603 also creates a practical compliance problem. Because no one knows the definition of “terrorist activity,” how does one counsel a client to establish a compliance protocol under the proposal?

Any company would be at risk that if it did not report “terrorist activity,” it could be liable if there were a subsequent event that resulted in loss of life, limb, or property. Likely, this would result in designing a protocol to over-report anything that could be considered “terrorist activity.” Given the massive scale of content shared and created on the Internet daily, this would result in reporting of items that are not likely to be of material concern to public safety and would create a “needle in the haystack” problem for law enforcement. This serves no one’s purposes and adds privacy concerns to the First Amendment concerns noted above.

This creates a perverse incentive for a company to avoid obtaining knowledge of any activity that would trigger the reporting requirement—the exact opposite of what the proponents of the legislation want. Yet, designing such an avoidance protocol is nearly impossible. If even one low-level employee received an over-the-transom email about a “terrorist activity,” knowledge of the activity can be imputed to the entire company – exacerbating the potential liability faced by an Internet company.
Of course, these days, it seems like most in the Senate go by headlines rather than actual understanding of the issues. Hopefully, at least this one time, they'll actually listen to Senator Wyden.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

And Now Here Comes Every Other Comic Convention With Trademark Apps For The Generic 'Comic Con'

van TechDirt - 18 uur 53 min geleden

Roughly a year ago, we brought you the very dumb story of the San Diego Comic-Con suing Don Farr Productions, organizers of the Salt Lake City Comic Con, for trademark infringement. If ever there were a classic case of a trademark that had moved into a generic status, "comic-con" and similar iterations would have to be it. There are comic cons everywhere. In the midst of all this, or perhaps because of it, the Salt Lake City Comic Con applied for its own trademark over its name, which, again, ought to have been denied as being too generic in my opinion. The USPTO, in its infinite wisdom, disagreed, granting them the mark as the trademark suit is still going on. You already know what happened next, don't you?

Yup, every other comics convention that uses comic con, the term so generic that everyone effing uses it, is now lining up at the USPTO's door to get their own trademarks. This week sees the kick-off of this year’s Boston Comic Con. Which seems a good a time as any to register the trademark for the name for “Organizing and conducting conventions, exhibitions, and gatherings for entertainment purposes and in the fields of artwork, animation, comic books, fantasy, gaming, popular culture, science fiction, and television and film” and for “Comic books, commemorative comic books, posters, commemorative posters” and “T-shirts, commemorative T-shirts.”

They are not alone. Rhode Island Comic Con and Kansas Comic Con have also launched trademark bids in the past month. ‘Tis the season… they may be inspired by the attempts and claims of Salt Lake Comic Con. Denver Comic Con also has a trademark registration. And unless this is stopped tout de suite, there's absolutely no reason to expect that all the other comic cons in all the other cities will be filing their applications soon. Why wouldn't they? The USPTO, in conjunction with a lawsuit over a term that hasn't yet been ruled generic, but should be, have thrown open the door for everyone to get their piece of the generic pie. And the end result of all of this? Tons of billable hours, of course. They can expect a challenge from Comic-Con International, the organisers of San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon, who own the trademarks on San Diego Comic-Con, Anaheim Comic-Con, San Francisco Comic-Con and Los Angeles Comic-Con. Why? Why? Why pay a legal team to spend a ton of time and money fighting for a mark that doesn't threaten you, that has become generic, and that has been employed the entire time your own mega-popular convention has become insanely successful. Why are we doing any of this?



Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

DailyDirt: Hello, World Universe! Hello? (Is This Thing On?)

van TechDirt - 20 uur 14 min geleden
The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) hasn't yielded much, and some of the results are even a bit embarrassing. We don't really know what to look for when we're listening for alien signals. There's growing evidence that planets like ours are not rare in the universe, but that doesn't necessarily mean intelligent life is abundant. Given the vast distances to neighboring star systems, we're also not likely to visit them any time soon. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

Freedom Of The Press Foundation Sues DOJ Over Its Secret Rules For Spying On Journalists

van TechDirt - 21 uur 30 min geleden
The wonderful Freedom of the Press Foundation is now suing the US Justice Department for refusing to reveal its rules and procedures for spying on journalists. You can read the complaint here. The key issue: what rules and oversight exist for the DOJ when it comes to spying on journalists. As you may recall, a few years ago, it came out that the DOJ had been using some fairly sneaky tricks to spy on journalists, including falsely telling a court that reporter James Rosen was a "co-conspirator" in order to get access to his emails and phone records. In response to a lot of criticism, the DOJ agreed to "revise" its rules for when it snoops on journalists.

However, there was an important limitation on the "new" rules, as the NY Times noted at the time: There is no change to how the F.B.I. may obtain reporters’ calling records via “national security letters,” which are exempt from the regular guidelines. A Justice spokesman said the device is 'subject to an extensive oversight regime.' Extensive oversight regime, eh? The Freedom of the Press Foundation sought to find out just what kind of extensive oversight there really was -- and came up against a brick wall in the form of black redaction ink: That's from the DOJ's Inspector General report, concerning a situation where the FBI had used an NSL to access a journalist's communications inappropriately. As the Freedom of the Press Foundation notes, elsewhere in that same report, it appears that the FBI is actually ignoring recommendations of the Inspector General concerning these situations, despite the "First Amendment interests implicated." As the Foundation notes, the redactions here make the details entirely opaque, and the Inspector General's Office has made it clear that it disagreed with the redactions, saying that revealing the information behind that black ink "is important to the public's understanding of the FBI's compliance with NSL requirements." Given that the Foundation is now suing to find out those details. The lawsuit specifically requests that the DOJ reveal those documents in their entirety, which includes the "extensive regime, rules, guidelines, or infrastructure that oversees the issuance of NSLs or exigent letters to obtain records regarding a member of the media" as well as "the current procedures that FBI agents must undertake in advance of issuing a NSL or exigent letter to obtain records regarding any member of the media."

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the DOJ will reply, hysterically, that revealing this kind of information will put national security at risk and could reveal important law enforcement gathering techniques that will aid those out to harm us or some such crap. Perhaps they'll even toss in a request to dump the entire case for reasons of "national security." Just recognize that this is all busllshit. The request here is not for any details that are going to help any criminals get away with anything. All it is asking for is what process the FBI uses to make sure that it's not violating the First Amendment in spying on journalists. If that's something that needs to be kept secret, there can be only one reason: because the FBI is embarrassed by what it's doing in spying on journalists.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

Judge Curious If Malibu Media Is Seeding Its Own Files And Engaged In Copyright Misuse

van TechDirt - vr, 07/31/2015 - 23:30
It appears that a judge has begun to get a little more curious about copyright troll giant Malibu Media and how it goes about finding "infringers" to shakedown with settlement agreements. In the past, evidence showed that other similar copyright trolls like Prenda, were engaged in seeding their own content, which would make the file authorized, and thus the shakedown letters a form of "copyright misuse." There have long been rumors that Malibu Media, perhaps in association with the infamous "international men of mystery" running the behind-the-scenes operation out of Germany, may be seeding their own files as well.

Now, as Raul points out, it appears that at least one judge is willing to allow discovery on this point in one of the cases, involving Malibu Media against Matt Guastaferro in a Virginia court, and to examine if Malibu Media has "unclean hands" as a result of this: In this case, Defendant has alleged that Plaintiff's claims are barred by the [unclean hands] doctrine "as Plaintiff's use of its copyrights violates public policy." ... Such an allegation does not appear to trigger the doctrine because it says nothing of how Malibu Media "encouraged, invited, aided, compounded, or fraudulently induced" Defendant's allegedly wrongful conduct.... Defendant's response to this motion, however, sets forth factual averments that do appear to support his invocation of the doctrine. For instance, he assets that "IPP or another agent of Malibu Media is responsible for initially seeding some of Malibu's content onto BitTorrent in the first place and for facilitating infringing downloads by BitTorrent users" in an attempt "to extract exorbitant sums from individuals for alleged copyright infringement."...

Malibu Media has moved to strike this defense on the basis that he has "not sufficiently alleged copyright misuse." ... In support thereof, he relies upon a recent decision of this Court, in which it granted Malibu Media's motion to strike "because Plaintiff cannot have unclean hands if Defendant did not sufficiently plead copyright misuse." .... The Court respectfully disagrees with this conclusion and considers the defense one that is better suited for resolution following discovery. Indeed, the Fourth Circuit did not premise its decision barring the copyright infringement claim pursuant to the doctrine of unclean hands on an associated defense of copyright misuse.... Thus, the pleading requirement that Plaintiff urges here does not appear to exist.

Accordingly, because Plaintiff is on notice of Defendant's allegations that it "seeded" some of its content onto BitTorrent for the purpose of extracting settlements in the numerous copyright infringement suits that it has filed, the Court will decline to strike this defense as well.
This may not lead to anything, but it's fairly amazing that courts haven't been digging that deeply into Malibu Media's practices in similar cases.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

Wikileaks Latest Info-Dump Shows, Again, That The NSA Indeed Engages In Economic Espionage Against Allies

van TechDirt - vr, 07/31/2015 - 22:26

With all the revelations that have come out about the NSA and our foreign and domestic spy programs, it can, at times, become difficult to parse out exactly what we're supposed to be getting pissed off about and what is the exact kind of spy-work we ought to expect the alphabet agencies to conduct. Some of the groups that are involved in getting these revelations out there don't make it much easier, of course. Take as an example the latest Wikileaks info-dump, which chiefly concerns the NSA's spy program against our ally Japan. From the press release accompanying the documents: Today, Friday 31 July 2015, 9am CEST, WikiLeaks publishes "Target Tokyo", 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan including the Japanese cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, together with intercepts relating to US-Japan relations, trade negotiations and sensitive climate change strategy. The list indicates that NSA spying on Japanese conglomerates, government officials, ministries and senior advisers extends back at least as far as the first administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which lasted from September 2006 until September 2007. The telephone interception target list includes the switchboard for the Japanese Cabinet Office; the executive secretary to the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga; a line described as "Government VIP Line"; numerous officials within the Japanese Central Bank, including Governor Haruhiko Kuroda; the home phone number of at least one Central Bank official; numerous numbers within the Japanese Finance Ministry; the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa; the Natural Gas Division of Mitsubishi; and the Petroleum Division of Mitsui. Now, what Wikileaks is doing is mashing together the NSA spying on the Japanese government, our ally, with Japanese industry. That's silly, in my estimation. In fact, much of the hand-wringing that goes on about our spy networks spying on allies seems naive in the extreme, as if to suggest that our closest allies aren't conducting similar spy programs on our government. You can insist, if you like, that America should not be spying on her allies, but then I get to insist that you grow up, because that's exactly the kind of work you want the NSA doing.

But on the economic side, things get a little murkier. The NSA has insisted for years that the agency does not engage in economic espionage, actions which would put it out of the norm for how we treat our allies. It's also been clear for some time that the NSA is full of crap in this regard. This latest Wikileaks dump fleshes out just how much economic espionage we do against our allies, even very close allies like Japan. The documents demonstrate intimate knowledge of internal Japanese deliberations on such issues as: agricultural imports and trade disputes; negotiating positions in the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization; Japanese technical development plans, climate change policy, nuclear and energy policy and carbon emissions schemes; correspondence with international bodies such as the International Energy Agency (IEA); strategy planning and draft talking points memoranda concerning the management of diplomatic relations with the United States and the European Union; and the content of a confidential Prime Ministerial briefing that took place at Shinzo Abe's official residence. It's just more egg on the face of government and security officials who have claimed to have kept their hands clean of economic espionage. There's sure to be more of interest in the documents as they get parsed out, but if nothing else we can be reminded that the NSA is a spy agency and that its officials have been caught lying over and over again.



Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

Taylor Swift's Streaming Rant Nearly Identical To Garth Brooks' Used CD Rant

van TechDirt - vr, 07/31/2015 - 21:21

The music business tends to repeat itself. Conversations that seem completely intertwined with new technologies mirror those over earlier developments. Read Adrian John's Piracy, for example, and see how closely the file-sharing debate followed the one about sheet music a century earlier.

Even with that background, the parallels between Taylor Swift's widely discussed comments about Apple Music earlier this year and Garth Brooks' outspoken stance on used CD sales are striking. It's hard to argue with Swift—she is, after all, a shrewd businesswoman, and who knows what the future holds -- but the fact that Brooks' fears proved so unfounded takes some of the winds out of her sails. We may be at the end of history, and today's problems might be totally unlike the ones we faced before, but probably not.

Here's an excerpt of what Swift said about Apple's free trial:

I'm sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I'm not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.

This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year's worth of plays on his or her songs.

And here's a journalist from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer paraphrasing Brooks' comments at his sold-out arena concert, a few months after announcing he would only be selling his new record at stores that did not carry used CDs.

Brooks said that because no royalties are paid on the sale of used CDs, writers, labels, publishers and artists were being cheated. He said he would only supply chains that sell used CDs with his cassettes, and hinted that he might be working on another "format" to thwart such sales.

Brooks said he does not need any money, but lesser-known artists could suffer if secondhand CD sales take off. If used CD sales were to go into massive retail, he said, it would severely affect people in the recording industry, creating a sales loop that would profit only stores but not the creators, publishers and artists.

CD retailers, meanwhile, have argued that the cost of new CDs is too high for young buyers, and that selling used CDs exposes an artist's music to different audiences.

For both Swift and Brooks -- each among the best-selling acts of their generation -- an emerging marketplace that makes music more accessible -- but less well-compensated -- was worth speaking out about. They both note that it's not about them, but about the principle, and that the unpaid exposure would hurt new musicians. Both point to the middleman's profits as an obvious evil.

To my mind, both artists are mistaken about the value of exposure and discoverability. Tim O'Reilly's observation that obscurity is a greater threat to the emerging artist than piracy remains true; it's also true that obscurity is a greater threat than used record sales, free trials, and most everything else.

But on the other counts, too, Garth Brooks was wrong. Used CD sales didn't undermine the music industry and they didn't keep new artists from finding audiences.

We know this because his plan to sell only through certain CD stores failed, amidst anti-trust investigations into his record label.

Taylor Swift was, at least narrowly, right. Apple Music should've been paying royalties for its free trials all along. But elsewhere, her skepticism about streaming and business models that include "free" might not be well placed. Unfortunately, because music licensing in this space is fundamentally more of a permissions culture than selling plastic discs was, we may never find out.

Reposted from parker higgins dot net



Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

UK Prevent Strategy For Identifying Potential Terrorists Identifies 3 Year Old Because Of Course It Did

van TechDirt - vr, 07/31/2015 - 20:19

We've talked a lot about the UK's ambitious plan to marry Orwellian thought crime designations with Minority Report style crime-prediction when it comes to stopping all the terrorism that's barely occurred in the country. The basic idea is that the government will create a boogeyman-list of suspected future-terrorists, people who are not strapping bombs to themselves and blowing up marketplaces filled with children -- but might! -- while tasking the educational system with weeding out tiny, little terrorist children using software so laughably flawed that it ought to belong on HBO's Silicon Valley. In other words: hey, great plan!

Well, counted amongst the fruit of all that idiotic labor is the result we all probably saw coming: a goddamn three-year-old has found his/her way onto the watchlist. The three-year-old in the programme is from the borough of Tower Hamlets, and was a member of a family group that had been showing suspect behaviour. Many of the government's counter-extremism measures typically relate to older children and adults - buy very young children can be referred if authorities are concerned about the effect of their families on them. The idea being that the UK government's "concern" is centered around extremist parents will produce extremist children as a matter of course and the best way to combat these must-eventually-be extremist toddlers is by putting them on a watchlist run by the same people who did all the stupidity I mentioned in the first paragraph. Sigh.

As it turns out, the number of people getting caught up in this prevent strategy system is pretty astounding. They show that a total of 1,069 Londoners have been referred to the government’s “Channel” counter-extremism programme since the start of 2012. That means that the capital accounts for about a quarter of the 4,000 referrals to the programme nationwide since then. The Standard, which obtained the figures from the London Assembly, can also reveal that: Since September last year, 400 Channel referrals were made for teenagers and children under 18. This is exactly what you'd expect when the government tasks a great many people who have no formalized training in identifying bad guys with identifying bad guys. It's also exactly what you should expect when the government plan for building up a watch list of future-terrorists, including hundreds of innocent children as young as three years old, comes with a complete lack of common sense and is instead the product of fear mixed with nationalism. And this doesn't even touch on the potential or real-life cases of abuse of the system, which are as inevitable as the sunrise.

Look, security is important, and terrorism is an actual thing, but going off the deep end to the point where you've got government eyes on toddlers isn't a solution to any problem.



Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

James Woods Sues Random Trollish Twitter User For $10 Million Over Clearly Hyperbolic Tweet

van TechDirt - vr, 07/31/2015 - 19:16
Eriq Gardner, over at the Hollywood Reporter, was the first of a few sites to post the story of how actor James Woods is ridiculously suing a trollish Twitter user for $10 million, arguing that a single tweet from this guy, Abe List, who had all of 2,000-ish followers, somehow hurt Woods' reputation. This is not just hard to believe, but it seems to be dipping into flat out SLAPP territory. The full filing is worth reading, and suggests that maybe, just maybe, Woods needs a hobby (and slightly thicker skin). At issue is the Twitter user who goes by the name "Abe List." Whoever that is appears to be a slightly annoying/trollish Twitter user, who has particularly delighted in annoying conservatives on Twitter. A few weeks ago, Woods made a bizarre and slightly nonsensical tweet involving Caitlyn Jenner and Planned Parenthood (don't ask), and Abe List shot back with: "@RealJamesWoods @benshapiro cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting."

-- Abe List (@abelist) July 15, 2015
There are a few other historical tweets from Abe List mocking Woods, including one from December calling him a "clown-boy." Clown-boy is clearly not defamatory. The question here is if "cocaine addict" is defamatory. It is a statement of fact, and if it's not actually true, it could potentially be defamatory, but that's hardly the end of the story. As a very public person, Woods would have to show that whoever is behind "Abe List" published the claim "with actual malice." And "hey, I don't like James Woods and think he's a clown boy with stupid views" is hardly "actual malice." It would mean that Abe List either knew it was false and tweeted it anyway, or had "reckless disregard for the truth." That seems unlikely to hold up.

Furthermore, it's fairly clear that, given the context -- both Twitter and Abe List's usual tweets -- that the tweet that so concerns Woods is, at best, hyperbolic mocking on the internet, which wouldn't be defamation either.

And here's the real kicker in all of this: this was a random @reply tweet from a user with around 2000 followers (2,276 when I took a screenshot of his account, right before he took it down entirely). If you're not familiar with how @replies work, if you start a tweet with @username, the only people who will see it directly in their timelines are those who follow both users. That is, the only people who would have seen that tweet show up are people who happen to follow both @RealJamesWoods and @abelist. That venn diagram is likely to be tiny and well less than the 2,276 followers of @abelist. It's possible that if someone opened Woods' original tweet to see how others responded then some of them might have also seen the @abelist tweet -- but the likely number is tiny. And, of course, the only people who would have taken it seriously are idiots. It's pretty clearly just someone spouting off, as people are known to do on the internet.

And, yet, rather than letting this tweet fade into obscurity, as it normally would, Woods has decided to sue for $10 million, apparently based on the idea that lots of people actually saw this tweet (they didn't), and that they were likely to believe such a throwaway claim (which they wouldn't). And the end result is that many, many, many, many more people are not only seeing this tweet and (perhaps for the first time) wondering about whether or not Woods has a cocaine habit, but are also learning that Woods appears to have a ridiculously thin skin -- such that he's upset by the fact that some nobody on the internet called him "clown-boy." Woods' claims arise out of and are for damages with respect to a false and defamatory statement which was initially published on or about July 15, 2015 by an unidentified anonymous person who created and who operates a Twitter account under the name "Abe List" (the "AL Twitter Account"). The owner of the AL Twitter Account has thousands of followers and, since at least December 2014, has undertaken to engage his followers with a campaign of childish name-calling targeted at Woods. In the past, AL has referred to Woods with such derogatory terms as "prick," "joke," "ridiculous," "scum" and "clown-boy." These are, in fact, mostly childish. But, that's not illegal. We can all say that James Woods is a ridiculous, prick, clown-boy for suing people on Twitter, and it's not defamatory. In fact, as Ken "Popehat" White points out, the above section actually undermines any case Woods might have, by adding in more context about how Abe List is a trollish Twitter user looking to provoke people he doesn't like. And again, the "thousands" of followers is only true in the "very barely" sense, and the idea that more than a few of those saw the tweet in question is unlikely (again, they need to be followers of both individuals and actually read all their tweets.

But Woods and his lawyer don't seem to have the first clue about how Twitter works. To make the case that more people saw this, Woods is arguing that if you did a Google search on "Abe List James Woods" that tweet would show up along with the one calling Woods "a ridiculous scum clown-boy."

Of course, these days, I'm sure lots of other stuff comes up.

Woods presents zero evidence that anyone, other than James Woods himself (and his lawyers) was busily googling "Abe List James Woods" and yet, he somehow claims that this is evidence that "hundreds of thousands" of people may have seen the tweet. AL published, and/or caused to be published or authorized to be published, the False Statement on the AL Twitter Account and in current (as of the date of this Complaint) Google.com search engine results, causing the False Statement to be viewed thousands of times and possibly even hundreds of thousands of times And that's based on what appears to be a near total cluelessness about how Twitter, Google and the internet work. What a clown-boy.

So, not only does this ridiculous lawsuit drive much more attention to the various insults, and even the possibly false statement, it also could open up Woods to a pretty significant anti-SLAPP ruling. We've covered many times how California has a strong anti-SLAPP law that lets people quickly respond when it's clear that the only reason they're being sued is to shut them up. Under California's anti-SLAPP law, whoever is behind Abe List may be able to not just get the case tossed out quickly, but get Woods to pay for his lawyers. What a ridiculous clown-boy move by Woods and his lawyers.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

James Wood Sues Random Trollish Twitter User For $10 Million Over Clearly Hyperbolic Tweet

van TechDirt - vr, 07/31/2015 - 19:16
Eriq Gardner, over at the Hollywood Reporter was the first of a few sites to post the story of how actor James Woods is ridiculously suing a trollish Twitter user for $10 million, arguing that a single tweet from this guy, Abe List, who had all of 2,000ish followers, somehow hurt Woods' reputation. This is not just hard to believe, but it seems to be dipping into flat out SLAPP territory. The full filing is worth reading, and suggests that maybe, just maybe, Woods needs a hobby (and slightly thicker skin). At issue is the Twitter user who goes by the name "Abe List." Whoever that is appears to be a slightly annoying/trollish Twitter user, who particularly delighted in annoying conservatives on Twitter. A few weeks ago, Woods made a bizarre and slightly nonsensical tweet involving Caitlyn Jenner and Planned Parenthood (don't ask), and Abe List shot back with: "@RealJamesWoods @benshapiro cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting."

-- Abe List (@abelist) July 15, 2015
There are a few other historical tweets from Abe List mocking Woods, including one from December calling him a "clown-boy." Clown-boy is clearly not defamatory. The question here is if "cocaine addict" is defamatory. It is a statement of fact, and if it's not actually true, it could potentially be defamatory, but that's hardly the end of the story. As a very public person, Woods would have to show that whoever is behind "Abe List" published the claim "with actual malice." And "hey, I don't like James Woods and think he's a clown boy with stupid views" is hardly "actual malice." It would mean that Abe List either knew it was false and tweeted it anyway, or had "reckless disregard for the truth." That seems unlikely to hold up.

Furthermore, it's fairly clear that, given the context -- both Twitter and Abe List's usual tweets that the tweet that so concerns Woods is, at best, hyperbolic mocking on the internet, which wouldn't be defamation either.

And here's the real kicker in all of this: this was a random @reply tweet from a user with around 2000 followers (2,276 when I took a screenshot of his account, right before he took it down entirely). If you're not familiar with how @replies work, if you start a tweet with @username, the only people who will see it directly in their timelines are those who follow both users. That is, the only people who would have seen that tweet show up are people who happen to follow both @RealJamesWoods and @abelist. That venn diagram is likely to be tiny and well less than the 2,276 followers of @abelist. It's possible that if someone opened Woods' original tweet to see how others responded then some of them might have also seen the @abelist tweet -- but the likely number is tiny. And, of course, the only people who would have taken it seriously are idiots. It's pretty clearly just someone spouting off, as people are known to do on the internet.

And, yet, rather than letting this tweet fade into obscurity, as it normally would, Woods has decided to sue for $10 million, apparently based on the idea that lots of people actually saw this tweet (they didn't), and that they were likely to believe such a throwaway claim (which they wouldn't). And the end result is that many, many, many, many more people are not only seeing this tweet and (perhaps for the first time) wondering about whether or not Woods has a cocaine habit, but are also learning that Woods appears to have a ridiculously thin skin -- such that he's upset by the fact that some nobody on the internet called him "clown-boy." Woods' claims arise out of and are for damages with respect to a false and defamatory statement which was initially published on or about July 15, 2015 by an unidentified anonymous person who created and who operates a Twitter account under the name "Abe List" (the "AL Twitter Account"). The owner of the AL Twitter Account has thousands of followers and, since at least December 2014, has undertaken to engage his followers with a campaign of childish name-calling targeted at Woods. In the past, AL has referred to Woods with such derogatory terms as "prick," "joke," "ridiculous," "scum" and "clown-boy." These are, in fact, mostly childish. But, that's not illegal. We can all say that James Woods is a ridiculous, prick, clown-boy for suing people on Twitter, and it's not defamatory. In fact, as Ken "Popehat" White points out, the above section actually undermines any case Woods might have, by adding in more context about how Abe List is a trollish Twitter user looking to provoke people he doesn't like. And again, the "thousands" of followers is only true in the "very barely" sense, and the idea that more than a few of those saw the tweet in question is unlikely (again, they need to be followers of both individuals and actually read all their tweets.

But Woods and his lawyer don't seem to have the first clue about how Twitter works. To make the case that more people saw this, Woods is arguing that if you did a Google search on "Abe List James Woods" that tweet would show up along with the one calling Woods "a ridiculous scum clown-boy."

Of course, these days, I'm sure lots of other stuff comes up.

Woods presents zero evidence that anyone, other than James Woods himself (and his lawyers) was busily googling "Abe List James Woods" and yet, he somehow claims that this is evidence that "hundreds of thousands" of people may have seen the tweet. AL published, and/or caused to be published or authorized to be published, the False Statement on the AL Twitter Account and in current (as of the date of this Complaint) Google.com search engine results, causing the False Statement to be viewed thousands of times and possibly even hundreds of thousands of times And that's based on what appears to be a near total cluelessness about how Twitter, Google and the internet work. What a clown-boy.

So, not only does this ridiculous lawsuit drive much more attention to the various insults, and even the possibly false statement, it also could open up Woods to a pretty significant anti-SLAPP ruling. We've covered many times how California has a strong anti-SLAPP law that lets people quickly respond when it's clear that the only reason they're being sued is to shut them up. Under California's anti-SLAPP law, whoever is behind Abe List may be able to not just get the case tossed out quickly, but get Woods to pay for his lawyers. What a ridiculous clown-boy move by Woods and his lawyers.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

Daily Deal: Top Deals Of The Month

van TechDirt - vr, 07/31/2015 - 19:11
I'm a in a bit of shock that tomorrow is August 1. The summer's passing by too quickly. We're trying something new today and highlighting two of our top deals from this month. They are both ending soon so grab them while you can.

Soar, swoop, and flip through the air with 58% off of the Striker Spy HD-Camera Drone. This drone comes ready for flight with limited set up out of the box and its internal gyro will keep it steady in most flying conditions. The HD camera can snap shots or film your flight for up to 30 minutes. It's lightweight and durable and you'll be the master of your skies in no time.

Learn all about cloud computing with 89% off of the Amazon Web Services Engineer Bootcamp Bundle in the Deals store. In 24 hours over 4 courses, you will learn everything you need to know to work with Amazon’s hosting platform. By the end of the training, you will be prepared for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect (CSA) associate exam (exam fees not included in the bundle). The bundle covers topics newbies and experts will need in order to increase their skills and add another certification to their resumes.

Note: The Techdirt Deals Store is powered and curated by StackCommerce. A portion of all sales from Techdirt Deals helps support Techdirt. The products featured do not reflect endorsements by our editorial team.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

Of All The Ways The DMCA Takedown Process Can Be Responsibly Used, These Are None Of Them

van TechDirt - vr, 07/31/2015 - 17:53

The DMCA takedown notice is a powerful tool. With a minimum of effort, any person can ask for the removal of content or the delisting of a URL. Whether or not they succeed is based on two factors: the relative skill level of the person/bot making the request and the credulity/intestinal fortitude of the receiving intermediary.

In the interest of making the internet a slightly better place to be, here's some guidance of what not to do when submitting DMCA takedown notices.

DON'T MISTAKE "GOOGLE" FOR "THE INTERNET"

Andromedical -- despite its name -- makes a device that has little to do with proven medical science. There's no need to fully describe the device's purpose, as the description of the allegedly-infringing content provided by the company in its takedown request fills in all the mental blanks. The ilustrations of the penis with a device and the final results in numbers. The ilustration of the cellular multiplication. The photographies of the doctors Dr. Hellstrom or Dr. Moncada or Dr. Gontero or Dr. Gomez or other members of Andromedical Medical Committee. Chart of several parts of the Andropenis device. The "photographies" and "ilustrations" Andromedical wishes to have removed probably contain some of these (totally SFW):


As you can see, it's highly unlikely anyone would expect these photographs to be owned by anyone other than ANDROMEDICAL. And yet, here we are, watching in fascination as Andromedical asks Google to take down Bing's search results.


Because Bing has yet to offer any sort of transparency on takedown requests, we can't cross-reference this to see if it was just issued to the wrong search engine. But it's not uncommon for people -- even legislators and lobbyists -- to believe that Google is the whole of the internet. Or if not that, then at least one of the only doors.

DON'T BE THIS GUY


No one needs you to play Internet Batman and act as an anti-piracy vigilante squad. You're not just wasting your time, but you're wasting the time of others who could be assisting real rightsholders. You're accomplishing absolutely nothing.


You're not even making a dent in piracy, especially when your takedown requests veer suddenly from file lockers and torrent links to PBS.org and Genius.com. The real rightsholders have automated scripts that can generate bogus hits thousands of times faster than this person can.

DO NOT CREATE A BOGUS WORK-IN-PROGRESS NOVEL IN HOPES OF OBTAINING SOME SORT OF RETROACTIVE COPYRIGHT OVER ARTICLES DETAILING YOUR CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES BY COPYING-PASTING SAID ARTICLES ONTO YOUR PERSONAL WEBSITE, SURROUNDING THEM WITH "EXCERPTS" OF YOUR "BOOK" AND ISSUING TAKEDOWN NOTICES TARGETING THESE FACTUAL DESCRIPTIONS OF THE ACTIONS THAT GOT YOU JAILED

Meet Sean Gjerde. Convicted in 2013 of conspiring to commit mortgage fraud, he's now hoping to turn over a new leaf... by engaging in fraudulent behavior. In a DMCA takedown notice targeting multiple news articles about his conviction -- including the FBI's own press release -- Gjerde claims these news reports are actually excerpts from his upcoming novel.


Following the URL he provides, one is greeted by Sean Gjerde's inescapable name, a short bit of introductory material designed to throw off anyone trying to verify his takedown request and… entire articles pasted into the body of his single post -- which he is now claiming belong to him because he surrounded them with a few paragraphs he wrote himself. And the few paragraphs he did write portray him as the grammatically-challenged victim. This is a excerpt from my new book "Grace Under Pressure" coming next sping as a Amazon exclusive for kindle.

I had always done what I thought was right. How could I have gotten caught up in all this. How is it possible that the Bar didn't see what I did, what I did for my client. I did what every attorney is supposed to do, keep quiet.

I kept my mouth shut, and my award was that they went after me. These people were supposed to protect me. I should be rewarded, not implicated.

Renee, she is my friend. They are accusing me of steeling from my friend. I took her to the movies and baseball games for heavens sake. I took care of her cats. I can't believe they would make this all up. I read the lies and could barely continue.

An Elk Grove lawyer already indicted in federal court for conspiracy to commit mail fraud was charged last month by the State Bar with 36 counts of misconduct in which his victims ranged from desperate clients seeking bankruptcy protection to a legal insurance provider.

SEAN PATRICK GJERDE (#217467), 35, misappropriated more than $80,000 from the beneficiary of a trust for which he served as trustee, engaged in a scheme to defraud a legal insurance provider, repeatedly violated a bankruptcy court order, performed incompetently, failed to return unearned fees, lied on court documents and even forged the names of his partner and a client, according to State Bar documents. Many of the charges involved moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption. Of course, his protestations of innocence and good intentions are largely undone by his stupid-ass attempt to fake his way into the "controlling rightsholder" position solely for the purpose of burying press coverage of his fraudulent behavior.

And, along those same lines, one more "don't" for DMCA takedowns.

DON'T IMPERSONATE A FEDERAL OFFICER This is the United States Secret Service Washington Field Office requesting removal of false report against a federal agency is a federal violation which could put Google company out of business if this report is not immediately removes ripoffreport.com revews complaint/complaint against the united states secret serive. If not remove within 24 hours of this notice all through out the internet should be removed from Google,Yahoo,Aol.com,Altavista.com,Bing.com and all other sites. You are under major violation of infringment rights against a federal agency name. US Secret Service is a Federal Angency and any misuse of the Agencies name for advertisement or for whatever purpose is not allowed at all on the internet or otherwise by Supreme Justice Court Order Remove This Article At Once from all searches or face court violation charges. US SECRET SERVICE/Attorney General Of Va./The House Of Representatives/US Supreme Court It's well-known that Ripoff Report doesn't humor takedown requests. So, if you wish to be taken more seriously, I guess you escalate until maximum ridiculousness is achieved. Not only does this person claim to be a federal agent, but he also claims to have the weight of Congress and the Supreme Court behind his badly-written, poorly-spelled demands.

And, as if asking for the removal of this link from the entire internet (including Altavista!), "US Secret Service Agent Joe Morrison" does it three more times. One includes ALL CAPS so you know he means business. A Public Warning! Ed Magedson is a WANTED FEDERAL FELON AND SO ARE ALL THE AUTHORS OF THE SITE RIPOFFREPORT.COM JUST TYPE IN THE NAME ED MAGEDSON AND FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF ABOUT HIS CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES AND HIS ARREST RECORDS!!!! These easy-to-follow rules should help keep rightsholders (or the severely-misguided, full-blown imposters, etc.) from embarassing themselves while simultaneously raising the estimation and visibility of the content they originally wanted removed. The takedown notice is a tool, not a toy.

(P.S. There is likely a far better way to let everyone know a certain former employee will no longer be welcome at company events/kids' birthday parties than sending a notice to Google, Inc. Vincent Leahy no longer works for our company. He was arrested last year by the FBI on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography. His trial is underway. We do not want to be associated with this individual, as it may affect our business reputation and major losses could be incurred. The web site has already taken down his testimonial but it still appears on the Google search. Any assistance in correcting this problem asap would be greatly appreciated. Regards, Mike [Note: this may not be an actual DMCA takedown notice. It's simply listed at Chilling Effects as "Other," which it certainly is.])



Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

[Analysis] Google has own idea of what 'right to be forgotten' means

van EU Observer - vr, 07/31/2015 - 17:29
Google argues it does not have to apply EU law on its international website google.com, only on its European versions.








Categorieën: Europees nieuws

4th Amendment Lives: Court Tells US Government Get A Warrant If It Wants Mobile Phone Location Info

van TechDirt - vr, 07/31/2015 - 16:16
A potentially big ruling came out of the courtroom of Judge Lucy Koh yesterday, in which she affirmed a magistrate judge's decision to tell the government to get a warrant if it wants to obtain historical location info about certain "target" mobile phones (officially known as "Cell Site Location Info" -- or CSLI). The government sought to use a provision of the Stored Communications Act (a part of ECPA, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act) to demand this info without a warrant -- using a much lower standard: "specific and articulable facts" rather than the all important "probable cause." Judge Koh says that's doesn't pass 4th Amendment muster, relying heavily on the important Supreme Court rulings in the Jones case, involving attaching a GPS device to a car, and the Riley case about searching mobile phones. Based on the preceding U.S. Supreme Court cases, the following principles are manifest: (1) an individual’s expectation of privacy is at its pinnacle when government surveillance intrudes on the home; (2) long-term electronic surveillance by the government implicates an individual’s expectation of privacy; and (3) location data generated by cell phones, which are ubiquitous in this day and age, can reveal a wealth of private information about an individual. Applying those principles to the information sought here by the government, the Court finds that individuals have an expectation of privacy in the historical CSLI associated with their cell phones, and that such an expectation is one that society is willing to recognize as reasonable. This is big. Obviously, the government is likely to appeal, and so as a first pass, this might seem meaningless. We've still got an appeals court (and possibly a rehearing) and a Supreme Court to get to, but as a first ruling, it's a good one. Koh's analysis is pretty thorough. It notes the similarities to both the Jones and Riley cases: Here, as in Jones, the government seeks permission to track the movement of individuals—without a warrant—over an extended period of time and by electronic means. CSLI, like GPS, can provide the government with a “comprehensive record of a person’s public movements that reflects a wealth of detail about her familial, political, professional, religious, and sexual associations.” Riley, 134 S. Ct. at 2490 (quoting Jones, 132 S. Ct. at 955 (Sotomayor, J., concurring)). With the proliferation of smaller and smaller base stations such as microcells, picocells, and femtocells—which cover a very specific area, such as one floor of a building, the waiting room of an office, or a single home, ...—the government is able to use historical CSLI to track an individual’s past whereabouts with ever increasing precision. See Riley, 134 S. Ct. at 2490 (explaining that a cell phone’s “[h]istoric location information . . . can reconstruct someone’s specific movements down to the minute, not only around town but also within a particular building”). At oral argument, the government agreed that in some instances CSLI could locate an individual within her home, ... and did not dispute that CSLI will become more precise as the number of cell towers continues to multiply.... This admission is of constitutional significance because rules adopted under the Fourth Amendment “must take account of more sophisticated systems that are already in use or in development.”...

In fact, the information the government seeks here is arguably more invasive of an individual’s expectation of privacy than the GPS device attached to the defendant’s car in Jones. This is so for two reasons. First, as the government conceded at the hearing, over the course of sixty days an individual will invariably enter constitutionally protected areas, such as private residences.... Tracking a person’s movements inside the home matters for Fourth Amendment purposes because “private residences are places in which the individual normally expects privacy free of governmental intrusion not authorized by a warrant, and that expectation is plainly one that society is prepared to recognize as justifiable.” Karo, 468 U.S. at 714; see also Kyllo, 533 U.S. at 31 (“At the very core of the Fourth Amendment stands the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.” (internal quotation marks omitted)). As one court put it, “Because cellular telephone users tend to keep their phone on their person or very close by, placing a particular cellular telephone within a home is essentially the corollary of locating the user within the home.” ....

Second, the government conceded at oral argument that, compared to GPS tracking of a car, the government will “get more information, more data points, on the cell phone” via historical CSLI... (“But, yes, of course the person has the phone more than they have their car, most people at least do, so it gives [the government] more data.”). Cell phones generate far more location data because, unlike the vehicle in Jones, cell phones typically accompany the user wherever she goes.... Indeed, according to a survey cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Riley, “nearly three-quarters of smart phone users report being within five feet of their phones most of the time, with 12% admitting that they even use their phones in the shower.”....
Judge Koh points to some survey data from Pew (sent in by EFF) noting that many, many people consider their location information to be "sensitive information" and, on top of that, the fact that CSLI is generated even if someone turns off the GPS or "location data" features on their phone -- meaning they can't even opt out of generating such information to try to keep it private.

More importantly, Judge Koh takes on the issue of the infamous third party doctrine and the awful Smith v. Maryland precedent, which says you have no expectation of privacy in data held by third parties. To date, the Supreme Court has punted on this issue in the Jones and Riley cases. However, Koh addresses the issue head on, and says the third party doctrine should not apply to phone location data like this. The key issue: in the Smith case, the "information" that was given to the third party was the phone number being dialed. This was information that the caller voluntarily conveyed to the phone company in order to make the call. Judge Koh points out that this information is quite different: Cell phone users, by contrast, do not “voluntarily convey” their location to the cellular service provider in the manner contemplated by Miller and Smith. This is especially true when historical CSLI is generated just because the cell phone is on, such as when cell phone apps are sending and receiving data in the background or when the cell phone is “pinging” a nearby cell tower. As the government’s FBI special agent explained, “CSLI for a cellular telephone may still be generated in the absence of user interaction with a cellular telephone.” .... “For example,” the special agent continued, CSLI may be generated by “applications that continually run in the background that send and receive data (e.g. email applications).” ... At oral argument, the government confirmed that its § 2703(d) application authorizes the government to obtain historical CSLI generated by such activities.

[....] In so doing, a cell phone periodically identifies itself to the closest cell tower—not necessarily the closest cell tower geographically, but the one with the strongest radio signal—as it moves through its network’s coverage area.... This process, known as “registration” or “pinging,” facilitates the making and receiving of calls, the sending and receiving of text messages, and the sending and receiving of cell phone data.... Pinging nearby cell towers is automatic and occurs whenever the phone is on, without the user’s input or control.... This sort of pinging happens every seven to nine minutes....

In Miller and Smith, the individual knew with certainty the information that was being conveyed and the third party to which the conveyance was made. Cell phone users, on the other hand, enjoy far less certainty with respect to CSLI. CSLI, in contrast to deposit slips or digits on a telephone, is neither tangible nor visible to a cell phone user. When the telephone user in Smith received his monthly bill from the phone company, the numbers he dialed would appear.... The CSLI generated by a user’s cell phone makes no such appearance.... Rather, because CSLI is generated automatically whenever a cell tower detects radio waves from a cell phone, a cell phone user typically does not know that her phone is communicating with a cell tower, much less the specific cell tower with which her phone is communicating.... It may be, as the government explained, that a cell phone connects to “many towers” during the length of a call,... and the tower to which a cell phone connects is not necessarily the closest one geographically.... Moreover, when an app on the user’s phone is continually running in the background, ... she may not be aware that the cell phone in her pocket is generating CSLI in the first place.
And thus, even with the third party doctrine, this information is quite different than that discussed in the Smith v. Maryland case, which involved phone numbers dialed: In light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that historical CSLI generated via continuously operating apps or automatic pinging does not amount to a voluntary conveyance of the user’s location twenty-four hours a day for sixty days. Such data, it is clear, may be generated with far less intent, awareness, or affirmative conduct on the part of the user than what was at issue in Miller and Smith. Unlike the depositor in Miller who affirmatively conveyed checks and deposit slips to the bank, or the telephone user in Smith who affirmatively dialed the numbers recorded by the pen register, a cell phone user may generate historical CSLI simply because her phone is on and without committing any affirmative act or knowledge that CSLI is being generated. Smith, for example, never contemplated the disclosure of information while the landline telephone was not even in use.

This sort of passive generation of CSLI does not amount to a voluntary conveyance under the third-party doctrine.
Judge Koh notes that this ruling isn't rejecting the ruling in Smith -- rightly noting that only the Supreme Court can determine that it's no longer good law -- but notes that the ruling there is different enough from this one that it does not apply. Ideally, the Supreme Court will get around to rejecting the ridiculous third party doctrine altogether, but if it must stand, a ruling like this is helpful in returning just a bit of 4th Amendment protected privacy to the American public.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

Makers aan de macht? (deel 2)

van ICT recht - vr, 07/31/2015 - 16:11

Ontevreden over de exploitant van de door jou gemaakte app? De nieuwe regels in de Auteurswet bieden uitkomst voor makers die van hun exploitant af willen. Levenslang vastzitten aan de eerste exploitant is niet meer van deze tijd.

Vorige week is in “Makers aan de macht? (deel 1)” al een deel van de nieuwe Wet auteurscontractenrecht besproken. De vorige blog bespreekt vooral het recht op vergoedingen. Deel 2 gaat in op andere wijzigingen van de Auteurswet.

Bepalingen die niet mogen
Een maker mag niet worden verplicht om al zijn toekomstige werken aan dezelfde exploitant over te dragen. Een app ontwikkelaar kan er dus voor kiezen om zijn apps door verschillende exploitanten op de markt te laten brengen. Een bepaling die dat toch verplicht is vernietigbaar. Dat betekent dat de maker de bepaling ongeldig kan verklaren. Dit geldt ook voor bepalingen waarin een exploitant voor een onredelijk lange of onvoldoende bepaalde termijn de exploitatierechten krijgt.

Einde contract
De maker staat nu sterker wanneer hij een exploitatiecontract wil beëindigen. De maker kan dan zelf het werk waar het auteursrecht op rust weer gaan exploiteren of een andere exploitant de rechten om te exploiteren verlenen. Zo is het denkbaar dat een app ontwikkelaar de verkooprechten van zijn app overdraagt aan een andere exploitant. De maker kan in de volgende twee gevallen altijd een contract beëindigen:

  • Use-it-or-lose-it

… als een exploitant het auteursrecht niet of onvoldoende gebruikt. De maker moet eerst nog wel een laatste kans krijgen om dit recht alsnog te gaan gebruiken. De exploitant zal het exploitatierecht niet kwijtraken als het onvoldoende exploiteren de schuld van de maker is of wanneer hij een erg groot belang heeft bij dit recht. Wanneer daarvan sprake is, zal in de praktijk moeten blijken.

  • Tussentijds opzeggen

… als de exploitant een overeenkomst tussentijds kan opzeggen, dan kan de maker dat onder gelijke voorwaarden.

Beslagrecht
Het auteursrecht was niet vatbaar voor beslag indien het nog van de maker was. Dat is van belang omdat het daardoor buiten de boedel valt in een faillissement. Dat is nu anders. Het auteursrecht van fictieve makers, een rechtspersoon of werkgever, is nu wél vatbaar voor beslag. Dit kan een overweging zijn voor een app ontwikkelaar om nog even te wachten met het oprichten van een BV.

Nieuwe geschillencommissie
Er komt een nieuwe geschillencommissie die problemen tussen makers en exploitanten kan oplossen. De maker, of een vereniging van makers, kan dan een geschil aan de commissie voorleggen in plaats van naar de rechter te moeten stappen. Dit scheelt tijd en geld.

De geschillencommissie kan uitspraken doen over de hoogte van de billijke vergoeding, de ontbinding en vernietigbaarheid van bepalingen in het contract. Wordt een geschil niet binnen drie maanden na de uitspraak alsnog voorgelegd aan de rechter, dan wordt de uitspraak bindend.

Overgangsrecht
Op een aantal nieuwe bepalingen na, blijft het oude recht van toepassing op contracten die zijn gesloten vóór 1 juli 2015. De nieuwe bepalingen die ook voor oude contracten gelden zijn: ontbindingsbepalingen, de bevoegdheid om tussentijds op te zeggen en de mogelijkheid om bepalingen te laten vernietigen.

Makers aan de macht?
De nieuwe wetgeving biedt de maker extra bescherming. Zo heeft de maker recht op een rechtvaardige vergoeding en kan hij makkelijker van een exploitant afkomen. Aan de andere kant zijn veel begrippen nog onduidelijk. Wat is bijvoorbeeld een rechtvaardige vergoeding? Makers worden in elk geval meer beschermd, maar of er daadwerkelijk sprake is van ‘macht’ moet nog worden afgewacht.

Door: Hilde van der Waaij (stagiaire)

 

Gerelateerde artikelen
Categorieën: Technieuws

Yes, German Authorities Are Pushing Treason Charges Against Netzpolitik For Publishing Surveillance Plans

van TechDirt - vr, 07/31/2015 - 14:05
A few weeks ago, we reported that it appeared German investigators were investigating the excellent German news site Netzpolitik, which covers a lot of the same issues that we do at Techdirt, with a similar sensibility. Netzpolitik had just published stories concerning plans to expand German bulk surveillance efforts to internet users, as well as plans by the German Secret Service to expand its internet surveillance capabilities. As part of this, the site (like we do) published source documents concerning those plans. The site's editor-in-chief Markus Beckedahl, noted: Naturally, we uploaded the original documents relating to our article because there was still enough disk space and because it is part of our philosophy to enable our readers to inform themselves using the original source. Thus, they can scrutinise us and our reporting. This resulted in claims of an investigation for "treason," though some later clarified that it appeared that the investigation was into who leaked the info to Nezpolitik, and the site's staff were seen as witnesses, rather than potential defendants. Except... nope. It looks like the original fears were accurate.

Netzpolitik has received a letter from the German government telling it that Netzpolitik staffers are being investigated for treason: If it were up to the Federal Attorney General and the President of the German Domestic Security Agency, two of our reporters would soon be in prison for at least two years. Today, we were officially informed about investigations against our Markus Beckedahl, Andre Meister and an "unknown" party. The accusation: Treason.

Today, we received a letter from the Federal Attorney General of Germany confirming ongoing investigations against our reporters Markus Beckedahl, Andre Meister and an "unknown" source, suspecting us of treason according to the German Penal Code: Whosoever […] allows a state secret to come to the attention of an unauthorised person or to become known to the public in order to prejudice the Federal Republic of Germany or benefit a foreign power and thereby creates a danger of serious prejudice to the external security of the Federal Republic of Germany, shall be liable to imprisonment of not less than one year. Until now, we were reported merely as witnesses in the case, but now we shall be held responsible (for treason) like our unknown source(s) – as joint principals.
As Netzpolitik itself notes, this is an incredible attack on the freedom of the press, and the site says it's geared up to fight. Either way, this should really call into question the priorities of the German government, looking to intimidate reporters, rather than hold an open debate about surveillance practices. Makes you wonder what else they're afraid is going to come out....

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

[TheGuardian] France approves 'Big Brother' surveillance powers despite UN concern

van La Quadrature du Net - vr, 07/31/2015 - 12:58

UN says powers given to intelligence agencies, which include phone-tapping and computer-hacking, are ‘excessively broad’ and intrusive. [...]

Intelligence agencies can also place “keylogger” devices on computers that record keystrokes in real time. Internet and phone service providers will be forced to install “black boxes” – complex algorithms – that will alert the authorities to suspicious behaviour online. The same companies will be forced to hand over information if asked. [...]

On Friday, after considering the legislation, The UN human rights committee concluded: “The committee is particularly concerned that the law on intelligence, adopted the 24 June 2015, grants overly broad powers for very intrusive surveillance on the basis of vast and badly defined objectives, without prior authorisation of a judge and without adequate and independent controls.” [...]

The non-profit association La Quadrature du Net, which defends the rights and privacy of internet users, described the law as “wicked” and issued a statement headlined “Shame on France”.

“By validating almost all surveillance measures provided in the surveillance law adopted on 25 June, the French constitutional council legalises mass surveillance and endorses a historical decline in fundamental rights,” it said, branding the decision “extremely disappointing”. [...]

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/24/france-big-brother-surveill...

Categorieën: Technieuws

Contrary To What You've Heard, TPP Will Undermine US Law -- Including Supreme Court Decisions

van TechDirt - vr, 07/31/2015 - 12:05
One of the key lines of pure unadulterated bullshit spread by the USTR concerning the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is that it won't lead to significant changes in US law. That's just wrong. As KEI points out, it's pretty clear that the current text would completely undermine key Supreme Court rulings concerning state sovereign immunity from intellectual property disputes. Zack Struver and Tazio De Tomassi created a short video explaining why: The specific issue is that, under the 11th Amendment to the Constitution, state governments are given "sovereign immunity" from most legal issues in federal court. And, when it comes to things like patents, the Supreme Court decided that Congress could not pass a law that takes away such sovereign immunity from the states.

In practice, this means state governments -- including things like research universities -- are able to infringe on patents in the public interest, claiming sovereign immunity in state courts against such claims. We've pointed out in the past how hypocritical it is that state universities frequently use such sovereign immunity claims to avoid lawsuits, while at the same time being some of the most aggressive patent trolls in going after others (with the University of California being a prime example). However, it is the law of the land and in the Constitution that sovereign immunity on things like patents cannot be abridged.

Yet, as the video above notes, the TPP appears to get rid of that, and would open up states, at the very least, to these international corporate sovereignty tribunals (also known as Investor State Dispute Settlement, or ISDS, tribunals).

In other words, the USTR may single-handedly undermine the Constitution's 11th Amendment, overturning Supreme Court precedent on the subject in a deal negotiated entirely in secret, with patent holders (who hate the sovereign immunity protections) as the key advisors. That's not how our government is supposed to work.

The threat here isn't just theoretical. Beyond the various patent cases that universities and state governments have been able to toss out via sovereign immunity, the video mentions the infamous lawsuit against Georgia State University over its e-reserves program. While that case has focused on the fair use questions involved, it's entirely possible that Georgia State could also claim sovereign immunity. And since the plaintiffs suing Georgia State are "foreign" publishers (including Oxford University Press and Cambridge Press), under the ISDS system, rather than going to a US court that would recognize sovereign immunity, they could just go to an ISDS tribunal which wouldn't care about sovereign immunity.

Do we really want the USTR completely wiping out part of our Constitution (which has helped enable university research) via a secretive trade agreement with no public accountability?

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story









Categorieën: Technieuws

Pagina's