Friday, February 14, 2014

OpenStack 02/14/2014 (p.m.)

  • Tags: surveillance state, NSA-blowback, NSA-reform

    • The Day We Fought Back: by the numbers

      Thanks to everyone who participated on Tuesday. Together we demonstrated that activists, organizations, and companies can work in unison to fight mass surveillance, and laid a foundation for escalation over months to come.

      Below are some numbers that quantify how we did* on Tuesday.

  • Tags: hyperlinking, copyright law, EU, Court-of-Justice

    • Does publishing a hyperlink to freely available content amount to an illegal communication to the public and therefore a breach of creator's copyrights under European law? After examining a case referred to it by Sweden's Court of Appeal, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled today that no, it does not.
    • One such case, referred to the CJEU by Sweden’s Court of Appeal, is of particular interest to Internet users as it concerns the very mechanism that holds the web together.

      The dispute centers on a company called Retriever Sverige AB, an Internet-based subscription service that indexes links to articles that can be found elsewhere online for free.

      The problem came when Retriever published links to articles published on a newspaper’s website that were written by Swedish journalists. The company felt that it did not have to compensate the journalists for simply linking to their articles, nor did it believe that embedding them within its site amounted to copyright infringement.

      The journalists, on the other hand, felt that by linking to their articles Retriever had “communicated” their works to the public without permission. In the belief they should be paid, the journalists took their case to the Stockholm District Court. They lost their case in 2010 and decided to take the case to appeal. From there the Svea Court of Appeal sought advice from the EU Court.

      Today the Court of Justice published its lengthy decision and it’s largely good news for the Internet.

  • The new publishing empire launched by Glenn Greenwald and Pierre Omidyar is now online, The Intercept. 

    Tags: Greenwald, Omidyar

  • Tags: smartphone, kill=switch, legislation

    • Pressure on the cellphone industry to introduce technology that could disable stolen smartphones has intensified with the introduction of proposed federal legislation that would mandate such a system.
    • Pressure on the cellphone industry to introduce technology that could disable stolen smartphones has intensified with the introduction of proposed federal legislation that would mandate such a system.
    • Senate bill 2032, "The Smartphone Prevention Act," was introduced to the U.S. Senate Wednesday by Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat. The bill promises technology that allows consumers to remotely wipe personal data from their smartphones and render them inoperable.

      But how that will be accomplished is currently unclear. The full text of the bill was not immediately available and the offices of Klobuchar and the bill's co-sponsors were all shut down Thursday due to snow in Washington, D.C.

    • The co-sponsors are Democrats Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.

      The proposal follows the introduction last Friday of a bill in the California state senate that would mandate a "kill switch" starting in January 2015. The California bill has the potential to usher in kill-switch technology nationwide because carriers might not bother with custom phones just for California, but federal legislation would give it the force of law across the U.S.

      Theft of smartphones is becoming an increasing problem in U.S. cities and the crimes often involve physical violence or intimidation with guns or knives.

      In San Francisco, two-thirds of street theft involves a smartphone or tablet and the number is even higher in nearby Oakland. It also represents a majority of street robberies in New York and is rising in Los Angeles.

      In some cases, victims have been killed for their phones.

      In response to calls last year by law-enforcement officials to do more to combat the crimes, most cellphone carriers have aligned themselves behind the CTIA, the industry's powerful lobbying group. The CTIA is opposing any legislation that would introduce such technology.

      An outlier is Verizon, which says that while it thinks legislation is unnecessary, it is supporting the group behind the California bill.

    • Some phone makers have been a little more proactive.

      Apple in particular has been praised for the introduction of its activation lock feature in iOS7. The function would satisfy the requirements of the proposed California law with one exception: Phones will have to come with the function enabled by default so consumers have to make a conscious choice to switch it off. Currently, it comes as disabled by default.

      Samsung has also added features to some of its phones that support the Lojack software, but the service requires an ongoing subscription.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

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