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12.10.13

The Time for Freedom-Respecting Routers Has Come

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Hardware at 7:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Hardware sales are affected by the latest NSA revelations (back doors and flawed encryption) and now there is a window of opportunity for Free software alternatives

BACK in 2010 Cisco came under fire for what seemed like back doors in its routers. Well, Cisco sales have sunk overseas, so intelligence services seem to already know what Cisco is up to [1]. Meanwhile, there are decent alternatives in the making. Richard Stallman expressed interest in the Brisbane-based Open router project that we mentioned earlier this month. This project raised four thousand dollars recently [2] (a lot of development can involve integration, e.g. of Vyatta with hardware).

Now that companies have lost trust in proprietary software ‘clouds’ [3] and sales of NSA-affiliated hardware [4,5] are said to be falling (due to NSA) perhaps it’s time to take it as a sign of back doors being the ‘standard’ (HP hardware comes with back doors) and shift towards Free software which everyone can audit. Everyone would gain except Big Brother.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. NSA leaks blamed for Cisco’s falling sales overseas

    Chinese may see NSA revelations as a chance for payback for battle with Huawei.

  2. Brisbane devs raise $4k for open source router
  3. Companies view cloud as risky due to NSA

    A PwC survey released only last week found that 22% of German companies now see the risk of using cloud services as ‘very high,’ up from 6% before the leak; 54% overall say that risk is ‘high or very high.’

    Almost 40% said they were now looking at email encryption and 25% at encryption of mobile communications while another 15% want to switch to European tech providers that are not cooperating with American or British intelligence services. But how big the fallout will be is yet to be seen.

  4. Hardware Makers’ Business Suffering from NSA Spying
  5. NSA spying hurts business of large U.S. hardware makers

GNU/Linux-Powered and Freedom-Respecting Phones (OpenMoko is Sort of Back)

Posted in GNU/Linux at 7:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Freerunner

Summary: Perhaps a phone which Richard Stallman can use is already in the making, depending on how phone networks behave and how hardware behaves (whether it permits purely Free/libre software shim)

RECENTLY when I traveled to meet Richard Stallman we spoke for a bit (off the record) about OpenMoko and some other platforms which require blobs to operate with physical boards. Stallman said that OpenMoko had dodged the backdoor mechanism that is included in the vast majority of mobile phones.

Well, the good news is that Jolla/Sailfish hardware is here now [1,2] and while mobile (GNU/)Linux is gaining huge market share [3] we also see OpenMoko making a comeback [4], as noted earlier today. What will all these efforts bring? Hopefully a freedom- and privacy-respecting phone, bar the surveillance by phone networks (Stallman mentioned some ways in which this can be circumvented).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. First 3D Jolla Case Revealed: MiniFactory

    We just found this new information on a company who have been making a new 3D printable case for the Jolla phone.

    You can read more here and best of all, if you have a 3D printer, the plans are also available to download here at thingiverse.

  2. Sailfish ported to Nokia N9! +miniTutorial

    If there’s one thing you can learn from the maemo/meego community, it will be that it never lets you down!

  3. Mobile */Linux

    The Linux kernel which is supported by most hardware-makers to run on almost anything is a great base. The GNU system or the Android system are both advantageous: they are Free Software and come with few restrictions and all the right permissions to promote global proliferation, they cost about $0 so any OEM large or small can use them and they are made by users for users so millions like it.

  4. Open-spec Neo900 phone heads toward production

    Neo900.org has begun production of its open source Neo900 phone, an update to the Nokia N900 that can run GTA04 (OpenMoko Debian), Maemo, and other distros.

    Germany-based Neo900.org was announced in October, as a spinoff from OpenPhoenux, which itself was a spinoff from the splintered OpenMoko open source smartphone project.

Forget Camera Gimmicks; Google Should Add Legitimate Encryption and Improve Privacy in Android

Posted in GNU/Linux at 7:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A call for Android developers to take privacy more seriously and not turn users of Android devices into products

In terms of privacy, Nexus is a scary thing and it keeps getting scarier over time. Google remotely modifies it without the user’s consent and with each modification it does less and less to respect privacy, installing yet more privacy-infringing software (without consent) and changing the settings to silently give away more personal information.

CyanogenMod is adding encrypted text messaging [1,2], beating Google to it if Google ever plans to support such a feature at all. To be fair to Google, it does share source code [3,4] and this enables forking, but why not make Android freedom-respecting and privacy-respecting by default? The values of Linux and Free software include privacy. There are many articles right now about rogue apps that get too much access to location [5] — something which Google got wrong and continues to get wrong every time automatic update kicks in and overrides settings. Yes, Google is ‘upgrading’ my tablet without my consent and then does all sorts of privacy-infringing things. I regret to say that Google does this. Some people manually ‘upgrade’ to 4.4 [6], but when it comes to Nexus 7, the user is just asked to reboot (after a silent ‘upgrade’), whereupon settings change a little, and silently so. Google says it wants to improve the camera [7,8], but based on some writings on the Web, Google actually cripples it with the ‘upgrade’ and it continues to pose privacy issues (like embedding location data in images or automatically uploading images in the background).

Android is inspiring and helping to build many Linux devices these days [9,10], so we need to keep Google in check and ensure it does not deviate further in the direction of “evil”. With each automatic ‘upgrade’ of my tablet it seems to be getting a lot more like Orwell’s fears.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. CyanogenMod rolls out encrypted text messaging by default
  2. CyanogenMod Android firmware gains built-in SMS encryption
  3. Motorola Releases Open Source Kernel Files For The Moto G
  4. Moto G Goes Open Source
  5. Millions of Android users ‘deceived’ by flashlight app that shares location with advertisers

    An Android developer has agreed to settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over a free flashlight app that has been “deceiving” users.

  6. How to update Nexus 5 to Android 4.4.1 from Gnu/Linux
  7. Fixing the Nexus 5: with a new version of Android, Google tackles the camera
  8. Android 4.4.1 arrives to improve Nexus 5 Camera; download now
  9. Marvell SoC targets Jelly Bean-ready Google TV

    Marvell unveiled a more secure, graphics-rich Armada 1500 Plus SoC for Android 4.2.2 smart TVs “with Google services,” but never mentioned Google TV.

  10. Customizable Android tablet is MIL-SPEC rugged

Microsoft’s Anti-Linux/Android Patent (FAT) Collapses in Europe, But Microsoft-backed Xamarin Tries to Interject Other Microsoft Patents Into Google Gear

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, TomTom at 3:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft extortion red-flagged in Germany

Hamburg flag

Summary: A new ruling in Germany threatens Microsoft’s campaign of fear and racketeering against Android (and GNU/Linux), but Microsoft allies from the now-defunct Novell help patent-pushing efforts, threatening to add new bait to Android

The traitorous company known as Xamarin, run by former Microsoft staff and a Microsoft MVP (also funded by people from Microsoft), keeps pushing Mono (Moonlight is dead now) into Linux and Android, no matter how strongly users are rejecting it. Now they go after Google’s CCTV Glass, trying to make it Microsoft dependent (including patents).

“Xamarin is now (more than before) very closely connected to Microsoft and it is funded by former Microsoft executives.”People like Miguel de Icaza once pretended that Microsoft would not sue, but even de Icaza had to shut up when Microsoft actually sued TomTom in 2009. Why are these people still pushing Mono into Linux and Android (not to mention Wine [1])? Well, that’s simple. Xamarin is now (more than before) very closely connected to Microsoft and it is funded by former Microsoft executives. They are up to no good.

It should be noted that based on my phone conversations with the OIN’s president, Microsoft typically uses FAT patents to sign patent deals which it characterises as "Linux" ones (TomTom’s included).

People should now shun Xamarin and avoid all Microsoft APIs (Samba got exemptions only after a very long antitrust battle in Europe). It oughtn’t be shocking that those who remain interested in Xamarin’s work are all sorts of developers who hang out in Microsoft forums and develop with Microsoft products; they are not GNU/Linux users.

“Now that the FAT patent may be in its deathbed we need to ensure that Microsoft does not ‘plant’ more such traps/bait (like C#) in Linux/Android.”Now we come to the rather important news. In this age when large companies reject the idea of software patenting and most countries in the world do likewise it was rather shocking to find a FAT-related patent upheld in Germany some years back (April 2010). It was pretty much against the law and it helped Microsoft impose a reign of terror on some companies that use Linux in their products.

Well, according to this bit of news that links to a deceiving Microsoft lobbyist as the source, Microsoft’s FAT patent got invalidated and later coverage helped confirm this. While nobody knows if Microsoft actually makes money from Android (it's all speculations from unreliable sources), Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols says that Microsoft FAT patent loss endangers its Android revenue. “A patent loss in a German court may lead to trouble for Microsoft’s Android strategy,” Vaughan-Nichols writes.

As one person put it today, “it’s not the news I wanted to hear “Microsoft could appeal” but its a step in the right direction.”

It’s almost as though Germany might actually uphold EU law for a change, at long last rejecting software patents in spite of distortion of the facts from Microsoft Florian and other pseudo-European lobbyists like ACT.

Now that the FAT patent may be in its deathbed we need to ensure that Microsoft does not ‘plant’ more such traps/bait (like C#) in Linux/Android. We need to shun Xamarin and explain to people who Xamarin, the Trojan horse, is really serving. Android already reduced its dependence on some Microsoft patented blobs (like ActiveSync). It needs none of the same troublemakers. This isn’t the first time that Xamarin tries to push Mono into Android [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16] and it definitely won’t be the last.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Wine 1.7.8 Updates Its Mono Support

FreeBSD Lost Trust in Hardware Makers, Alleging NSA Tampering

Posted in BSD, UNIX at 3:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FreeBSD

Summary: FreeBSD believes that the NSA tampered with hardware-level random number generators

LINUX may have been made vulnerable by the NSA et al. [1, 2, 3, 4]. There are a lot of speculations and even active discussions about random number generation in Linux, especially as implemented in hardware (e.g. by Intel). Without sufficiently high entropy in random number generators, not only would Linux as a kernel be vulnerable; SSL and SSH too would suffer.

Some of these issues we have covered here before, noting that Red Hat works a little too closely with the NSA. Right now we are quite fascinated by the news [1,2] that FreeBSD won’t use Intel’s and Via’s hardware random number generators. Why? NSA.

In other news about FreeBSD, version 10 is approaching [3,4] after 20 years of development and it should have better graphics support [5]. Marking yet more milestones, the operating system “Is Getting Into The Magazine Business” [6], it runs in the record-breaking [7] PS4 (in some sense [8]). and it should be released some time this month [9]. FreeBSD is not the only BSD game in town (DragonFlyBSD gets some attention [10,11]), but it it the leading among the BSDs, so its voice when it comes to privacy and security issues sure counts.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. FreeBSD won’t use Intel & Via’s hardware random number generators, believes NSA has compromised them
  2. “We cannot trust” Intel and Via’s chip-based crypto, FreeBSD developers say

    Developers of the FreeBSD operating system will no longer allow users to trust processors manufactured by Intel and Via Technologies as the sole source of random numbers needed to generate cryptographic keys that can’t easily be cracked by government spies and other adversaries.

    The change, which will be effective in the upcoming FreeBSD version 10.0, comes three months after secret documents leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) subcontractor Edward Snowden said the US spy agency was able to decode vast swaths of the Internet’s encrypted traffic. Among other ways, The New York Times, Pro Publica, and The Guardian reported in September, the NSA and its British counterpart defeat encryption technologies by working with chipmakers to insert backdoors, or cryptographic weaknesses, in their products.

  3. FreeBSD 10.0 Beta 4 Has Surfaced

    The final beta build ahead of the long-awaited and delayed FreeBSD 10.0 has now been made available.

  4. It Doesn’t Look Like FreeBSD 10 Will Ship This Year
  5. A Roadmap For FreeBSD Graphics Support

    The latest FreeBSD code (for 10.0) supports not only Intel KMS but also the open-source AMD Radeon driver ported from the Linux kernel. This Intel/Radeon KMS support has since trickled into DragonFlyBSD and other BSD platforms. However, not all is up to par when it comes to graphics support on FreeBSD. Here’a a road-map and test matrix with some other items still on the BSD developers’ agenda.

  6. FreeBSD Is Getting Into The Magazine Business
  7. Record Breaking Launch For PS4

    Sony’s PS4 has well and truly landed, becoming the fastest selling video game console in UK history. It overturns the 8 year record held by the original PSP and eclipses the launch week sales of both PS3 and Xbox One.

  8. It’s Official, Playstation 4 Runs FreeBSD Kernel

    Sony has just launched its PlayStation 4 console, and it seems that the rumors about being based on FreeBSD are actually true.

  9. FreeBSD 10.0 Is Still Running Behind Schedule

    There were plans originally to ship FreeBSD 10.0 as stable in November, but that isn’t going to happen. It’s not even clear if FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE will be ready to ship before the end of the calendar year, but at least progress is being made and when the release does happen there’s a great number of new features.

  10. HAMMER2 File-System Gets Stabilization Improvements

    HAMMER2 file-system improvements have landed hot on the heels of the exciting DragonFlyBSD 3.6 release.

  11. DragonFlyBSD 3.6 Does Intel/AMD KMS, DPorts, Better SMP

Xbox Live Shows Even Higher Degree of Microsoft/NSA Collusion

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 2:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Big Brother

Summary: Xbox Live caught in the latest NSA scandal and the high degree of collusion seems to be reinforced by Microsoft’s reluctance to comment; other developments like Microsoft’s attack on rivals using the “privacy” card

WE already know, based on previous evidence, that Microsoft used broken/weak/no encryption in order to facilitate surveillance. There are also known concerns, as we noted earlier this year, that Xbox One may be spying on people’s homes (cameras inside rooms and other sensory data transmitted over the network). Almost nothing is as monstrous a surveillance device/appliance as Xbox; Microsoft even has patents indicating intent.

Making the rounds these days are news articles about Xbox Live coming under NSA surveillance [1,2,3,4], with agent provocateur tactics, recruitment of gamers, and so on. Microsoft has not provided any comment to deny this or to denounce the NSA, so complicity is likely here.

In other curious news about Xbox, it turns out to be self-bricking. As one report put it: “Online trolls tricked Xbox One owners into “bricking” their new consoles with instructions promising to unlock new features but actually sending devices into an endless loop of reboots that renders them useless”

“Online trolls” now include GCHQ and NSA employees, so here we have another reason to be suspicious of their motives. Xbox should, from now on, be viewed as NSA-friendly and therefore perpetually avoided, not just because it’s proprietary and managed by an abusive monopolist. In news that was covered here before, as well as mentioned in Slashdot, the FSF tackles the “proprietary with trust” myth. As IDG put it: “The Free Software Foundation on Thursday attacked Microsoft for “meaningless” public statements on privacy and security, claiming that Windows is “fundamentally insecure.””

The fallacy of ‘open’ ⇆ Free/libre matters here and the FSF uses a productive approach even though it neglects to mention Microsoft’s ‘special relationship’ with the NSA. The above article got mirrored in several other IDG sites (some in non-English-speaking countries), so the FSF did have a big impact.

All these revelations matter, especially now that Microsoft tries to demonise Google using the “privacy” angle. As one author put it, “Microsoft Really Doesn’t Want You To Buy A Chromebook” and it even started a whole deceiving campaign about it. As Pogson put it the other day, Microsoft “is spending more on advertising Chromebooks than Google is… All those users of personal computers who don’t use M$’s office suite, spreadsheets, and PhotoShop (most of us) must be rushing to stores demanding Chromebooks. That’s why many stores are having a hard time keeping them in stock.”

The anti-Chromebook campaign may, in due course, also include some fake “reviews” of Chromebooks (here are good candidates) because a lot of budget is at stake and Microsoft has zero ethics, not even a shred of regard for the truth (just look at the hypocritical hypothesis of this whole campaign).

“Bamboozled by Scroogled” is the headline of this new article from the Philippines. Its author, a longtime advocate of GNU/Linux, writes in the Manila press: “Microsoft’s decision to go after the Chromebook is a little puzzling, because the product is clearly not aimed at the same users who would buy a full-fledged Windows laptop.

“Chromebooks are pitched at people who are constantly online and who use social media and Web-based applications and little else. These are folks who precisely do not want or need Windows or Office on their laptops.

“Contrary to the portrayal in Microsoft’s pawn shop commercial, most people who buy Chromebooks aren’t clueless or stupid, either. Most of them know what they are buying.

“On Amazon.com, the number-one and number-two best-selling notebooks are Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer. The reviews, posted by verified, actual buyers (not an actress in a pawnshop), are generally positive—and nobody complains that they can’t run Windows on their machines.

“Microsoft’s pawn shop commercial makes a leap from a reasonable claim (that you can’t do much on a Chromebook when you’re not online) to an unsupported assertion (the hardware makes it easier for Google to spy on us).

“The commercial also overlooks another option for Chromebook users—install a full Linux system like Ubuntu so you can use offline applications as well.”

Microsoft is so focused on bashing Chromebooks simply because Vista 8 is a train wreck that nobody wants to use, especially businesses. The latest spin is pitched by Microsoft’s Mouth, Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet, who tries to spread the myth of business-friendly Vista *.

Expect Microsoft to increasingly rely on government favouritism (like back doors, warrantless spying, etc.), on patent extortion, and on negative campaigns that paint the rivals worse than Microsoft when in fact nobody gets even close to Microsoft’s violations of privacy, violations of the law (bribery etc.), and technical ineptitude.

When Microsoft says it is trying to ‘reform’ the government on privacy issues it should be remembered that Microsoft is probably the worst violator of privacy (alongside AT&T and perhaps Cisco), so this should be perceived as nothing more than a publicity stunt and miserable attempt to restore trust amid collusion with spies.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Xbox Live and World of Warcraft targeted by NSA spy activities
  2. NSA And GCHQ Allegedly Spying On Xbox Live Gamers
  3. Xbox Live among game services targeted by US and UK spy agencies
  4. NSA, GCHQ can listen to Xbox Live chat communications

Docker: Yet Another Software Deployment Endeavor

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 8:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Introduction to Docker, which comes from the group formerly known as “dotCloud”

THERE are many projects like Docker, but this one is different, or so they want us to believe.

Docker made its debut not too long ago, then making some formal announcements [1,2] and enjoying favourable coverage [3] as well as endorsement from the likes of Red Hat [4]. One pundit called it “an open source startup you need to know about” [5], Wired called it “The Future of Cloud Computing” [6] and another theme in coverage [7] was support for many GNU/Linux distributions out of the box [8].

Docker claims to build “lightweight, portable and self-sufficient containers from any application that run virtually anywhere: bare metal, virtualized, public cloud or private cloud.” The nebulous term “cloud” is not helpful here, so putting it aside for now, what we actually have here is a company formerly known as “dotCloud” approaching bloggers, seeking to generate buzz and hype over something that has been done before, under a different name. Since Docker is Free software (licensed under the Apache 2.0 license) it does deserve some attention.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Docker Announces Support for All Linux Distributions with 0.7 Release
  2. Docker Announces Support for All Linux Distributions with 0.7 Release
  3. Is Docker the Future of Virtualization Security?
  4. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Set to Include Docker Container Virtualization

    Brian Stevens, CTO of Red Hat, talks about the next major release of Red Hat’s flagship Linux operating system.

  5. Docker: An open source startup you need to know about

    I love startup companies. I love open source software. I love innovation. Put them all together and you have the ingredients for something incredible. Meet Docker, Inc. (formerly known as dotCloud), the San Francisco based open source company that will revolutionize the way you package and deploy applications on Linux servers.

  6. The Future of Cloud Computing Now Runs on All Versions of Linux
  7. Open-Source Docker Aims to Reinvent Virtualization With Containers
  8. Dockers goes broader – supporting more Linux distros out of the box

    Docker, the popular container technology that, in theory, lets developers encapsulate their apps and run them on bare metal, virtualized and private or public cloud environments, now supports nearly all the major Linux distributions right out of the box.

IBM and Microsoft Crushed Patent Reform in the United States, Last Resort is SCOTUS Again

Posted in IBM, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 8:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Though the people in black costumes have a poor record on software patents

Supreme Court US, 2009

Summary: Legislation in the US continues to be steered by large companies (or their lobbyists) with heaps of software patents; SCOTUS receives another opportunity to cross out software patents

HAVING destroyed Linux backers like Nokia (Jolla/Neo ⇆ Nokia ⇆ MeeGo/OpenMoko/Sailfish survive in other forms, thankfully enough), Microsoft is now destroying US law, as well.

Based on this new poll, Microsoft is still the most widely loathed company in the eyes of FOSS people. This is not because Microsoft is some scapegoat; Microsoft has done a lot to deserve this, including crimes.

Currently in the US there is some useless reform which mostly serves large corporations. it’s not about people’s interests and the only reason Congress passed it is that large corporations supported it (like they support Congress, financially). As one site put it: “As Congress gets ready to pass a greatly watered down patent reform act – watered down largely due to the lobbying of the two biggest patent trolls, IBM and Microsoft – and the Supreme Court begins to contemplate abolishing software patents, there are a few other news items.”

We already explained the role of IBM and Microsoft.

One FOSS site said: “This week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted with a huge majority of 325 to 91, to pass the Innovation Act, which would put significant constraints on patent system abusers.”

No, only a particular subset of them. The U.S. House of Representatives would not have passed this (with considerable majority) if it did not satisfy the desire of large corporations which control Congress through lobbying and bribes.

We should really stop referring to this ‘reform’ as a real sign of progress. The real test is still ahead of us. The software patents-friendly Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is still expected to decide whether APIs can be copyrighted (even worse than patents) and SCOTUS, which almost always rules in favour of large corporations, is now the last resort when it comes to software patents. Despite some optimism, all it shows are decisions going into the wrong courts with all the biased (towards lawyers) judges, no jury in sight. As one pundit put it, “the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal on the Alice vs. CLS Bank case which is yet another case that looks at the patentability of software. The ruling in the Federal Circuit appeals court (CAFC) was one of the biggest judicial messes you’ll ever see. The ruling was 135 pages of different judges all disagreeing with each other. In all of that there is only one single paragraph that the court agreed on — one which rejected the patent as not being patentable subject matter. But as for why they did that? No one could agree. Chief judge Randall Rader has called that decision “the greater failure of my judicial career.””

Rader has repeatedly shown his bias in favour of software patents, inside and outside CAFC. He even gives himself away to patent lawyers’ sites which lobby for software patents.

At the end of the day we are left sort of defending countries outside the US (including Europe) from the invasion of USPTO practices and SCOTUS rulings that permit software patenting. Nokia, which has become Microsoft's biggest troll, mostly uses hardware patents for now, but it shows the threat of big trolls, irrespective of the scope of patents. “EU warns Nokia not to become a “patent troll”,” says this article, but it is “too late” according to iophk, who is Finnish. When Nokia is left to become part of a US company (like Skype being passed to Microsoft) it will become an instrument of abuse inside Europe, embargoing and eavesdropping, respectively.

TechDirt, a US-based site which is highly critical of US policy on copyrights, patents, privacy and other matters, suggests this fix and yet another fix which tackles public funding. To quote: “For many years we’ve been incredibly critical of the famous Bayh-Dole Act, which was passed in 1980 with the idea that it would encourage greater innovation by pushing universities to patent the research they were doing. The theory — based on a rather ignorant view of innovation and research — was that patents would create a market, which, in turn, would enable easier knowledge transfer from academia to industry, leading to a research boom. The actual results have been a near total disaster. What’s actually happened are two very bad things. First, it’s seriously harmed university research, by guaranteeing much less information sharing between researchers. And, it turns out, that information sharing is a big part of how innovation and big scientific breakthroughs occur. Not surprisingly (if you understand basic economics), when you try to lock up each idea with a patent, researchers (and, more importantly, their administrator bosses), suddenly don’t want to share any more. The end result? Lots of important research stifled. What a shame.”

In other words, taxpayers’ money in the US (or growing national debt) goes towards feeding the problems which further increase national debt. How can politicians not see it and why is nothing substantial being done to stop this trend? It is almost a rhetorical question.

Change will come from people, not Congress, and as long as Congress is funded by corporations no change will be permitted, not when it comes to surveillance or even intellectual monopolies, as TTP shows. The latest TTP leak [1,2] shows people power [3] at work, almost stopping business takeover [4] and shameless attack on democracy [5].

To stop the patent maximalists we need some actions like leaks, perhaps even bold protests and lots of angry phonecalls to politicians. Anything else would be defeated by lobbyists and bribes. Politics is business and no level of logic will beat a large-figure cheque.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Wikileaks exposes secret, controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations
  2. Second release of secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement documents

    On 13 November 2013 WikiLeaks released the draft text of the crucial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) Intellectual Property chapter during the lead-up to a TPP chief negotiators’ meeting in Salt Lake City on 19-24 November 2013. Today, 9 December 2013, WikiLeaks has released two more secret TPP documents that show the state of negotiations as the twelve TPP countries began supposedly final negotiations at a trade ministers’ meeting in Singapore this week.

  3. Members of Congress: Fast Tracking the TPP is a Non-Starter
  4. Anti-poverty groups condemn WTO pact as big business boost
  5. The Secret Trade Agreement About to Complete the Corporate Takeover of Democracy

    The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) enshrine the rights of Corporations under International Law, restricting future governments from overturning the changes through fear of costly legal action. They are the largest trade agreements in history, and yet are not open for review, debate or amendment by national parliaments or the public.

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