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10.08.14

Lawyers’ Propaganda About Software Patents and a New AstroTurf Entity Called Innovation Alliance

Posted in Patents at 11:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Patent propaganda and deception from patent lawyers (among other parasites such as patent trolls) continues to flood the Web, intersecting with reports that prove them totally wrong

Generalisations are never a good thing, but the vast majority of lawyers are greedy and self-centered. I can now say this based on personal experience (I will publish details later this year). The vast majority of them can only pretend to be something else (striving for ethics) and a small majority might actually be genuinely ethical. The typical lawyer’s goal it to maximise profit, nothing else (unless it brings publicity, hence profit at some future date). Anything he or she would say (often verging on lies) is designed to align with this goal but must be disguised as something else. They’re good with words. They love money. That’s why they decided to go to law school.

“They obviously don’t like to accept the reality that software patents are on the decline.”Patent lawyers are probably worse than most lawyers because they typically serve businesses and rich people. And look at what they do; they help acquisition of monopolies. It’s engagement in class war. They obviously don’t like to accept the reality that software patents (monopolies on algorithms) are on the decline. That is why they use straw man arguments, such as tackling bogus arguments that software patents are now “dead” (they are not) or as yet another lawyer put it, “Software Patents are Only as Dead as Schrödinger’s Cat”. Nowhere have we seen anyone claiming that software patents are dead, but this pro-software patents Web site finds such a straw man arguments useful. To quote: “The environment for patent applicants and examiners that has resulted from such inconsistent treatment of Alice by the USPTO is one in which neither examiners nor applicants have clear guidance about how the USPTO is interpreting and intends to apply the Alice decision. This makes it difficult for examiners to know whether and how to issue Alice-based rejections, and for applicants to know how to respond to such rejections. In this environment, software patents are not dead; instead, they are, like Schrödinger’s cat, in an indeterminate state, simultaneously dead and alive until examined by an observer.”

That is at least a more balanced article than previous ones from the same site, which take for instance just software patents in specific fields (like banking). It’s a lie by omission. They’re being selective to generate propaganda in their headlines and ultimately they bamboozle the world.

There is a lot of software patents propaganda following the SCOTUS decision and the large share it comes from patent law firms, as we demonstrated months ago (we gave dozens of examples). Do not let them win the information war as they did after In Re Bilski. They want to redefine what’s true.

Over in India, where software patents are definitely not legal, patent opportunists continue to pollute the press with ideas for patenting software patents and using them offensively, thanks to loopholes. Here is one ho says: “From both the cases, we can conclude that, patent rights may be enforced even though one of the elements in the claimed system or method is located outside the territory of the patent, provided that the beneficial use of the system occurs within the territory of the patent granted.”

Here is the messenger’s introduction:

About the author: Mr. Kartik Puttaiah has more than 17000 hours of experience in patent consulting.

On the other hand we have the strongly anti-software patents people, including Timothy B. Lee who published this long new series titled “Everything you need to know about software patents”. Here are the parts of this series:

What are software patents and why are they controversial?

Are software patents legal?

Why do so many patent lawsuits involve software?

Are software patents needed to promote innovation?

Could the patent office do more to scrutinize patents after they’ve been granted?

Do other countries allow patents on software?

You didn’t answer my question!

This is a good series and it helps explain where we stand. Sadly, however, Timothy B. Lee is being outweighed by a barraged of self-serving spam from law firms. That’s what the press is saturated with, maybe outnumbering writers like Timothy B. Lee by a factor of 1:5.

Meanwhile, reveals Mr. Levy (patent lawyer), there is a new lobbying group misleadingly named “Innovation Alliance”. It is actually a front for patent trolls and as Levy puts it, data does not back their claims, so they make stuff up:

The Innovation Alliance (an organization whose members include large patent trolls such as Tessera, InterDigital, and Qualcomm) has been pushing against patent reform in the name of the small inventor. They even have a Save the Inventor website set up. (And no, I’m not linking to it – you can find it easily enough.)

[...]

Patent reform does not make it harder for legitimate patent infringement suits. And should we really avoid helping 3,700 operating companies because about a dozen patent owners a year might be slightly worse off than they are now?

Seems to me it’s up to the Innovation Alliance to prove there’s really an invention-copying problem before we derail attempts to deal with patent trolls.

As Simon Phipps from OSI points out, patent trolls are now feeling the pinch because software patents (their typical ammunition) are on the decline, which of course helps the Free software world and empowers OIN, too. It definitely is very bad for patent lawyers. Whatever is bad for patent lawyers is usually good for society (if not always). What does that say about patent lawyers?

How Microsoft Handles Disasters: Grace Hopper Conference Has Been Infiltrated by “Microsoft Disaster Response”

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 10:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Horse

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

Summary: Free/Open Source software (FOSS) must be a disaster to Microsoft’s bottom line because Microsoft is sending “Microsoft Disaster Response” to infiltrate and disrupt a conference about women in FOSS

Every time there is a FOSS conference that attracts Microsoft’s worst nightmare (developers not loyal to Windows) Microsoft attacks with moles. It’s not only distracting but actually disruptive and it is annoying a lot of attendants. It serves to marginalise or eliminate this group of Microsoft resistors. It’s a way to capture and dilute events and thus communities. It is the “Killing with kindness” approach that Microsoft repeatedly used in LinuxTag [1, 2, 3]. Germany is rapidly moving to GNU and Linux, so it’s a common target for bribes and FUD, as seen repeatedly in Munich.

Conference organisers should politely decline their participation (politely because otherwise Microsoft would use it to create a stigma of rudeness), recalling that Microsoft is suing companies that distribute FOSS over their FOSS distribution, using software patents they lobbied exceptionally hard for (even in Europe).

“Sadly, the opportunist Microsoft appears to have already given money to Grace Hopper conference organisers in exchange for participation, pretending that Microsoft is FOSS and that Microsoft is kind to women (both are gross reversals of the truth).”Do not let Microsoft pretend to be friends with female developers. There is plenty of sexism at Microsoft. This needn’t be the subject of this post as (we already covered some examples and showed how Microsoft had offered cruises with female prostitutes to Microsoft distributors [1, 2])). Microsoft is trying to keep it inside/quiet, unlike in FOSS where it happens out in the open because of the development nature.

Sadly, the opportunist Microsoft appears to have already given money to Grace Hopper conference organisers in exchange for participation, pretending that Microsoft is FOSS and that Microsoft is kind to women (both are gross reversals of the truth). To quote Red Hat’s news site:

Open Source Day at the Grace Hopper Celebration this year starts today! The program is committed to helping women grow their skills and interest in using open source technologies.

“Our program philosophy is about tackling disaster response challenges in partnership with other industry and technology experts,” said Harmony Mabrey of Microsoft Disaster Response.

Why is Microsoft in there? Because it essentially bribed for it.

What a face-saving name too. “Microsoft Disaster Response”. What utter FUD and PR. Microsoft uses disasters to rob the poor. Microsoft also destroys the credibility of this female-oriented conference, using it as a Trojan horse for Microsoft sales and Microsoft AstroTurfing. It is an insult both to FOSS and to feminism.

Links 8/10/2014: Gummersbach Moves to GNU/Linux, Docker Acquires Koality, KDE Frameworks 5.3

Posted in News Roundup at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • About Linux Weekly News – 6th October 2014
  • Desktop

    • Kano’s DIY computer teaches kids to code, and now it’s available to everyone

      Kano, the runaway Kickstarter success that raised $1.52 million on a promise to teach kids how to code and assemble a Raspberry Pi-based computer, is now widely available to the public. Priced at $149.99, the kit includes everything you need to get started — other than a display, which you’ll need to provide yourself. (An HDMI cord comes in the box.) But beyond that, it’s all there: the Raspberry Pi, a custom-made Bluetooth keyboard with built-in trackpad, the plastic case that holds this mini-computer together, and plenty of stickers and colorful options for customizing your Kano. The first of two illustrated guides walks younger users through piecing Kano together, and most everything in the kit is color coded to make setup a breeze for all ages. The second book will teach you how to start using the Kano OS software, which comes preloaded on an SD card that plugs into the Raspberry Pi.

    • Chromebooks come closer to Android, get MTP support

      Google has pushed an update for the stable channel of its Chrome OS, bringing MTP support to all Chrome OS devices, excluding Chromeboxes. MTP support means you can now plug your Android devices to your Chromebooks and transfer files between devices. The update also adds a set of features that enhances touch screen accessibility.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • MSI: Update Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop

      Now that the MSI X99S SLI PLUS is running great on Linux, I’ve been working with the company towards some other Linux improvements along with some other interesting Linux hardware reviews to come thanks to our renewed cooperation. One of the items I’ve been voicing has been regarding better supporting Linux users with regard to a smoother BIOS/UEFI update process. Well, there is a utility they support for updating your MSI motherboard BIOS from the Linux desktop!

    • Many ACPI & Power Management Changes For Linux 3.18 Kernel

      Rafael Wysocki sent out his first aligned set of changes of ACPI core and power management changes he’s planning on volleying over to Linus Torvalds for the Linux 3.18 kernel merge window.

    • Linux Foundation certifications are taking off

      According to a study conducted earlier this year by Dice, the tech career site, 93 percent of hiring managers are looking to employ Linux professionals. If you want one of those jobs, a great way to increase your chances is to go to human resources with one of the Linux Foundation’s new certifications as a Certified SysAdmin (LFCS) or Certified Engineer (LFCE).

    • Systemd Dev Slams FOSS Culture

      The open source community is “quite a sick place to be in,” Red Hat engineer and Systemd developer Lennart Poettering said Monday in a post on Google+.

    • Everyone Has Different Views On The “Open-Source Community”

      Meanwhile, Michael Hall of the Ubuntu camp wrote a post entitled the open-source community is wonderful. Hall says the community isn’t perfect but it’s still wonderful. He cites that mono-culture is dangerous, good people are humans too, and to love the whole rather than parts. “There are some annoying, obnoxious people in our family. There are good people who are sometimes annoying and obnoxious. But neither of those truths changes the fact that we are still a part of an amazing, inspiring, wonderful community of open source contributors and enthusiasts.”

    • Poettering Fallout, GamingOnLinux Shake-up, and Replacing Xfce
    • 64-bit ARM Kernel Gets Closer To Building Under LLVM With Linux 3.18

      The ARM64 changes for the Linux 3.18 merge window were sent in and include an eBPF JIT compiler for ARM64, a CPU suspend back-end for the PSCI firmware interface, EFI stub improvements, and a code clean-up to allow partially building the kernel with LLVM.

      Via the LLVMLinux initiative has been work to build the Linux kernel with Clang for its faster build times, lower memory usage, static analysis capabilities, and for making the kernel’s code more portable across compilers. The Clang compiler for x86 and ARM is generally in good shape for being able to build the Linux kernel but there’s still patches that haven’t yet been mainlined for the kernel side. For more information you can read Building The Linux Kernel With LLVM’s Clang Yields Comparable Performance. The good news is that for Linux 3.18 the 64-bit ARM code is closer to being Clang-compatible from mainline.

    • 5 Exciting New Features in Linux 3.17

      Though he had at one point been hoping for an early release, Linus Torvalds unleashed version 3.17 of the Linux kernel on Sunday, thereby sticking to the “normal” schedule after all.

      “The past week was fairly calm, and so I have no qualms about releasing 3.17 on the normal schedule (as opposed to the optimistic ‘maybe I can release it one week early’ schedule that was not to be),” Torvalds wrote in the official announcement.

    • Systemd 217 Will Introduce Its New “Consoled” User Console Daemon

      Back in August I wrote about systemd working to create a new user-space VT solution that could eventually succeed the Linux kernel’s VT support. With the upcoming systemd 217 release, the terminal is present.

    • Linux 3.18 Improves FocalTech, Razer Sabertooth & Other Input Devices

      Highlights of the Linux 3.18 input changes include a TI haptics/vibrator drv260x driver (DRV2667) written by Texas Instruments themselves, the Xpad driver can now properly identify the Razer Sabertooth game controller, support for detecting FocalTech PS/2 touch-pads, a haptic driver for the max77693, and other changes. The PID/VID mappings for the Razer Sabertooth make it recognize as an Xbox 360 controller rather than generic Xbox controller.

    • Xbox One Controller Now Works On Linux (Without Vibration)
    • USB Sees Many Changes For Linux 3.18 Kernel

      Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in pull requests on Tuesday for the various kernel subsystems he maintains. The USB changes as he put it are “lots of little changes in here, all over the place”, per his mailing list post.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • Apprenda extends PaaS with JBoss support, takes aim at Red Hat

        Private Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) vendor Apprenda Inc. has just added support for the popular JBoss and Apache Tomcat web servers, a move which translates to deeper support for more Java applications.

      • Nominations Open for Red Hat Innovation Awards 2015
      • Fedora

        • Whats new with Fedora Badges

          It has been a while since we had a badge post, with getting ready for Fedora 21, Shellshock and getting planning started for Flock 2015, things have been very busy around the community.

          I wanted to first highlight some of the new badges that are in a series. We all know about Wiki Editing. Helping out on a page or helping clean up old info out of pages counts as an edit.

        • Fedora Council, Flock 2015, Workstation, F21 @ Rackspace, and Better Rawhide

          Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to keep up with everything that goes on. This series highlights interesting happenings in five different areas every week. It isn’t comprehensive news coverage — just quick summaries with links to each. Here are the five things for October 7th, 2014:

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Untangle Next Generation (NG) Firewall Is Now Based on Debian “Wheezy”

          Users might know this distribution by its old name, which was the Untangle gateway. The name changed a while ago into Untangle Next Generation (NG) Firewall, but the system has remained true to its roots. It’s now based on Debian “Wheezy” and it’s using the 3.2.0 branch of the kernel.

        • Meizu MX4 with Ubuntu Touch makes an appearance

          Images of Meizu MX4 running Ubuntu Touch made the rounds online. By default, the high-end Chinese smartphone runs Android-based Flyme OS.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Touch Smartphone to be Released Before 2015

            Ubuntu will finally enter the ocean of mobile operating systems with its Ubuntu Touch, before the end of the year. So as Meizu and Canonical announced their partnership earlier this year, we know that the first phone powered by the Ubuntu Touch will be Meizu’s MX4 model.

          • Meizu MX4 Pro May Give New Life To Ubuntu Touch

            After a few rumors that Meizu may be using Ubuntu Touch as its “stunning new OS,” there seems to be some confirmation that the rumors are real after what appears to be a Meizu MX4 Pro device was spotted in the wild running Ubuntu touch.

          • Mark Shuttleworth, The State and Ubuntu 2.0

            Shuttleworth’s Ubuntu is an open source software with limited proprietary components, meaning that users are encouraged to upload it, improve it, upload those improvements, and make the world—or, rather, the computer—a better place. Once, back when these things were discussed by men with nicotine-stained fingers and furtive eyes, open source promised to be the keystone in a shared economy ushered in by the digital revolution. Open source too often fell in a paradoxical grey zone—software created by a billionaire who lives on an island of money is not exactly the stuff of utopian dreams. But that shouldn’t detract from the fact that it once offered very real possibilities. Sadly, the digital revolution was thoroughly co-opted by non-visionaries like Bill Gates, a man so boring he made a fucking office out of pixels, and those who helped turn the Internet into a one-click shopping mall.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • AllSeen Lights Up IoT Networking World

      The Internet of Thing (IoT) isn’t just about connected refrigerators and toasters sending you email. It’s about lighting, too. Today the AllSeen Alliance announced the formation of a new Connected Lighting Working Group that is tasked with building out a framework for network-enabled lighting.

    • Open IoT alliance to tackle smart, connected LEDs

      The open source AllSeen Alliance, which is standardizing IoT built around Qualcomm’s AllJoyn platform, has launched a Connected Lighting Working Group.

      The Linux Foundation announced the AllSeen Alliance last December to promote Qualcomm’s cross-platform AllJoyn open source project for Internet of Things interoperability. Since then, the Allseen Alliance has launched a number of working groups, the latest of which is a Connected Lighting Working Group.

    • COM runs Linux on quad-core Marvell Armada XP SoC

      Pactron announced a Linux-based “Sherwood” COM Express Module and hardware development kit built around Marvell’s Armada XP SoC featuring four ARMv7 cores.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Tizen Samsung Gear S brings the Opera Mini browser to your wrist

          Opera Mini has the ability to shrink a webpage down to an amazing 10% of its original size, and can hopefully reformat it for a 2″ display. Users also get The Smart Page, which gives users all their social updates and the latest news on one screen. We also get website shortcuts as large buttons and Private browsing which removes any trace of the web pages visited on your wearable device.

        • [Wallpapers] Samsung Gear 2 / Gear 2 Neo and Galaxy Backgrounds Vol 28

          Here are this weeks wallpapers for your enjoyment for your Samsung Gear / Gear 2 / Neo Smartwatches. They are mainly abstract and Avatar (from the movie) ones.

        • How to Flash your Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch to Tizen, using Kies software

          If your a Samsung Galaxy Gear owner that is still running the old outdated Android OS, then its time for you to move with the times and get Tizen running on your wrist companion. Below is a step by step instructional guide (created by JaysDMC) on how you can safely flash your Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch to Tizen, using the Samsung Kies application.

        • Samsung Gear 2 Smartwatch gets cloned in China, Smartwatch LX36

          The Tizen Samsung Gear 2 has certainly been out for a while now, but it seems that it has more admirers than we initially thought. The Gear 2 is so good that they have actually started copying it in China, model Smartwatch LX36.

      • Android

        • Top 10 Android games for this Fall

          There always comes a time when you just need to take a break and chill out, so that you can get rid of all the accumulated stress of the day. In those moments, I choose to play a game on my Android phone, because it takes up less time than playing Metro 2033 on the PC and because I can jump right back into my daily routine after a 15 minute break. What’s always hard when it comes to these breaks is to choose an Android game that is actually fun and doesn’t make me close the app after two levels. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 10 Android games that I consider the best ones I’ve stumbled across recently. Enjoy your breaks!

        • HTC Nexus 9 With Android L ‘Lollipop’ Release Date October 16? FCC Documents Leaked, Device Imminent

          The HTC Nexus 9 will be shipped with Android L “Lollipop” soon, according to reports. The device was just passed through the FCC, so the official unveiling is imminent.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source has already won in the Information age

    Open source has already won the enterprise, and we’ll continue to see use cases expanding into new environments, according to Red Hat, Inc. CIO Lee Congdon. During a live interview at this week’s Splunk conference, Congdon explains the reasons behind open source’s enterprise victory. he feels open source is best suited for the enterprise, highlighting that as communities come together, people manage to solve their business issues, support each other, and gain recognition from peers and vendors.

  • Six of the Best Open Source Data Mining Tools

    Along with the transition to an app-based world comes the exponential growth of data. However, most of the data is unstructured and hence it takes a process and method to extract useful information from the data and transform it into understandable and usable form. This is where data mining comes into picture. Plenty of tools are available for data mining tasks using artificial intelligence, machine learning and other techniques to extract data.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Consolidation and Breakups May Loom in the OpenStack Arena
    • What Network Function Virtualization means for OpenStack and open source

      Last week’s launch of OPNFV is a good opportunity to think about a simmering debate in the OpenStack developer community for a while now—what exactly does NFV (Network Function Virtualization) have to do with OpenStack, and is it a good thing?

      My own “journey” on this started exactly one year ago today when I visited a local Red Hat partner to talk about OpenStack and, towards the end of our Q&A, I was asked something like “will OpenStack support NFV?” I’d never heard of the term and, when the general idea was explained, I gave a less than coherent version of “OpenStack implements an elastic cloud for cattle; this sounds like pets. Sorry.” After the meeting, the person who asked the question forwarded me an NFV whitepaper from October 2012 and, glancing through it, most of it went right over my head and I didn’t see what it had to do with OpenStack.

  • Databases

    • SUSE, MariaDB and IBM team up to tame Big Data

      SUSE and MariaDB (the company formerly known as SkySQL!) officially teamed up today, joining forces with IBM Power Systems, in a partnership that promises to expand the Linux application ecosystem. According to sources at SUSE, customers will now be able to run a wider variety of applications on Power8, increasing both flexibility and choice while working within existing IT infrastructure. More options is ALWAYS a good thing!

  • Funding

    • Google Announces 2014-2015 Dates for Student Centered Open Source Code Programs

      AH Google Logo Colored 1.6Each year Google facilitates contests and mentorships to help students from all over the world gain valuable experience in the field of open source code development. Google has recently revealed some of the information regarding their upcoming Code-In and Summer of Code events. The Code-In will begin this upcoming December and last until mid- January. The Summer of Code will begin in May of 2015 and last until August. According to their official statement regarding these programs, Google states that “we are passionate about introducing students to open source software development. Since 2005, the Open Source Programs team at Google has worked with over 10,000 students and over 485 open source projects in a variety of fields to create more code for us all.”

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • Announce: OpenSSH 6.7 released

      OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol version 1.3, 1.5 and 2.0 implementation and includes sftp client and server support.

    • OpenSSH 6.7 Released With Significant Improvements
    • Blender 2.72 Brings Cycles Volume Rendering To The GPU

      Blender 2.72 brings the pie menus feature for menu items spread radially around the mouse, animation improvements within its editor, a “face split by edges” tool, a new workflow for texture painting, a new “sun beams” simulation, game development improvements, freestyle non-photorealistic rendering improvements, and a ton of other new features. There’s also many new add-ons like a new DXF importer, new game publishing features, and much more.

    • Blender 2.72

      The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.72

  • Public Services/Government

    • German City Gummersbach Drops Windows XP and Gets SUSE with a MATE Desktop

      Germany is now at the forefront on open source because many cities in this country are either considering the switch to Linux or they have already finished this process. Now, the German city of Gummersbach is reporting that the administration is now almost exclusively running on Linux systems.

    • Another German Town Comes Out Of The Closet
    • Gummersbach completes switch to open source

      The German town of Gummersbach announced that this summer it has completed its switch to Linux PCs, retiring a decade-old proprietary operating system no longer supported by the IT vendor. The migration has saved the town a five-figure sum, and Gummersbach expects a further reduction of IT costs, a combination of savings on proprietary licences and lower hardware costs.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Coding is fun! Europe Code Week is back

      The first ever Europe Code Week took place last year and was largely an experiment to test things out. Opensource.com covered it in an interview with Julie Cullen, the Irish Ambassador, asking her what activities were planned in her home country. This year, Europe Code Week has even more activities planned, over 1000 and counting! To get more insight on the event, I interviewed Alja Isakovic, one of the Young Advisors and organizers for the Europe Code Week program. In this interview, she shares some of last year’s successes and tells us what people can look forward to this year.

    • Understanding HHVM’s Compilation Process & Bytecode

      For those into compilers, bytecodes, and low-level programming or just wanting to know why Facebook’s HHVM project tends to be so much faster for PHP than PHP itself, here’s a great article.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Audio: Gary Webb on ‘Dark Alliance,’ CIA and Drugs

      Webb’s reporting for the San Jose Mercury News cast a harsh light on the links between the CIA-backed Contras in Nicaragua and drug trafficking in the United States, particularly the crack cocaine boom of the 1980s.

    • The Ghost in the GMO Machine

      The bodies and minds of children living on the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i are being threatened by exposure to chlorpyrifos, a synthetic insecticide that is heavily sprayed on fields located near their homes and schools.

  • Security

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • WI Attorney General’s Latest Attack on Transparency Reeks of Partisanship

      Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s refusal to defend the Government Accountability Board in a federal lawsuit challenging the investigation into Governor Scott Walker and his allies is a reversal of his office’s earlier position, could have grave implications for openness in the state, and undermines the GAB’s role in enforcing the state’s campaign finance laws. It isn’t the first time that Van Hollen has put politics above government transparency.

    • FCC Putting Comcast/Time Warner Cable Investigation On Hold

      On Friday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said that it has extended its time to file responses and oppositions for the Comcast/Time Warner merger from October 8 to October 29. This is due to a motion filed by DISH Network, which said that Comcast didn’t fully respond to the Commission’s Request to Responses and Oppositions.

  • Privacy

    • ORG responds to calls by National Crime Agency for greater surveillance powers

      ‘Open Rights Group welcomes any public debate about the surveillance of our personal communications by the police and intelligence services but so far the government seems intent on simply increasing its powers to allow unchecked whole population profiling. To tackle terrorism and serious crime, we need need targeted surveillance that is authorised by judges not politicians, as well as proper democratic oversight to ensure that powers are not abused.’

    • Twitter sues U.S. government over limits on ability to disclose surveillance orders

      Twitter, the world’s largest microblogging platform, on Tuesday sued the U.S. government, alleging that the Justice Department’s restrictions on what the company can say publicly about the government’s national security requests for user data violate the firm’s First Amendment rights.

    • Data and Goliath: Digital surveillance and what you can do about it

      Data and Goliath is the title of a soon-to-be published book by Bruce Schneier, a well-known figure in cryptography and currently the Chief Technology Officer of Co3 Systems, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center, and a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

  • Civil Rights

    • Hillary Clinton Loses

      No, I’m not making a prediction. She hasn’t lost the nomination battle for 2016, not yet anyway. However what she did do today, or what I should more accurately say, is she lost my respect. Back in 2011, at a speech she, in her capacity as Secretary of State, was giving for international internet freedom, a worthy cause. During the speech, Ray McGovern, a retired CIA agent who became a political activist against the wars fought in our name in the Middle east, stood up and tuned his back on her, a silent form of protest. For that he was arrested for disorderly conduct.

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