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02.28.17

Links 28/2/2017: Wine 1.8.7, AWS Goes Belly-up

Posted in News Roundup at 5:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Using Open Source to Empower Students in Tanzania

    Powering Potential Inc. (PPI) aims to enhance education opportunities for students in Tanzania with the help of the Raspberry Pi and open source technology.

    “I believe technology is a vital part of the modern human experience. It enlightens. It ties us together. It broadens our horizons and teaches us what we can be. I believe everyone deserves access to these resources,” says Janice Lathen, Founding Director and President of PPI.

  • The top open source rookie projects of the year to watch

    Open-source projects underpin many of today’s popular apps, software packages, and online services.

    If a vendor releases code to the open-source community, license restrictions are removed and software can be integrated into other systems. From Google’s end-to-end encryption system E2EMail to the Netflix cross-scripting site vulnerability scanner Sleepy Puppy, open-source development is thriving and thousands of developers contribute their time to improving coding and ferreting out bugs every month.

  • How to get started in open source software

    A friend pointed me to the Open Source Guides website, a collection of resources for individuals, communities, and companies who want to learn how to run and contribute to an open source project. I thought it was very interesting for new contributors, so I thought I’d share it here.

  • Is Open Source the Future of Wall Street?

    Richard Craib, the South African technology guru and founder of nontraditional hedge fund Numerai, is hoping for nothing short of completely restructuring the hedge fund industry. Numerai has recently created a new type of digital currency, a so-called “digital token,” which is based on the internet and which aims to help crowdsource data-sharing and decisionmaking among Wall Street professionals. If the idea catches on, it could mean a significant shift for the way that investors do business; typically, it has been everyone-for-himself, with managers guarding their strategies and ideas closely in an attempt to gain the upper edge over every competitor. Is it possible that Craib could bring about a Wall Street in which investors actually work together in a collaborative way?

  • Linux Announces New Open Network Automation Platform Project

    The Linux Foundation has announced the creation of the new Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Project with the merger of Open Orchestrator Project (OPEN-O) and open source ECOMP. This new platform will help in designing, automating, orchestrating, and managing network services and virtual functions by creating a comprehensive and a harmonized framework that allows virtual network functions to be automated by using real-time, policy-driven software.

  • Open-Source Networking Is Coming of Age

    Service providers of all sizes and types should take note of some changes occurring across the open-source community—changes that promise to accelerate the adoption of software-defined networks (SDN).

    The first is a decision by AT&T to open source the ECOMP management and orchestration (MANO) framework it developed via the Linux Foundation. Through a variety of working groups, the foundation has been accelerating the development of core network function virtualization (NFV) software and associated SDN technologies. But a big piece missing from that equation has been the management plane.

  • CAVO Continues to Advance Open Source for Democracy [Ed: Remember what Microsoft did there]

    OSI Affiliate Member, the California Association of Voting Officials (CAVO), has shared some exciting news regarding their advocacy work in San Francisco: according to the San Francisco Examiner, the city of San Francisco is pushing forward with plans to develop their open source election system. In addition, the paper is reporting that the San Francisco Elections Commission voted unanimously on Feb 17th to request $4 million to fund the initial stages of the open source voting system.

    For many years board members of CAVO have been urging San Francisco to expedite, “the creation and deployment of a GPL v3 open source / paper ballot printing system that would set the standard for voting systems nationally.” According to CAVO, currently only New Hampshire has deployed a voting system using open source software, Prime III.

  • Google Releases E2EMail to Open Source

    The ongoing struggle to provide encrypted email solutions that aren’t on a PGP level of complexity and difficulty is a real challenge.

    Google’s attempt at it, called E2EMail, was introduced more than a year ago as an effort to give users a Chrome app that allows for the simple exchange of private emails. On Friday, Google cut it loose to open source.

  • Google End-to-End encrypted email code goes open-source

    Google has announced that E2EMail, an experimental end-to-end encryption system, has now been given to the open-source community with no strings attached.

  • Google turns email encryption effort over to GitHub
  • Google Gmail To Get A Big Boost But Gmail’s Open Source Project Might End Up Going Nowhere
  • Google Pushes Encrypted Email System Out Into the World
  • Google Sends E2EMail Encrypted Email Code into Open Source
  • Google Open-Sources Chrome Extension to Make PGP Encryption Easier in Gmail
  • Google Abandons ‘End-To-End’ Email Encryption Project, Invites Community To Take It Over
  • Google’s Ease-of-Use Email Encryption Project Goes Open Source
  • Chrome extension brings encryption to Gmail
  • Google Open Sources Code for End-to-End Email Encryption
  • Google’s E2EMail Encryption System Is Now Open Source
  • End-to-End Email Encryption: Google Pushes Latest Project to Open Source
  • Google shifts on email encryption tool, leaving its fate unclear
  • After 3 Years, Why Gmail’s End-to-End Encryption Is Still Vapor
  • 6 Reasons Why Open Source Software Lowers Development Costs

    In some organizations, faster development is the primary motivation for using Open Source Software (OSS.) For others, cost savings or flexibility is the most important factor.

    Last week, we detailed how OSS speeds development. Now let’s explore how open source software reduces development costs.

  • ‘Use open source software for GIS mapping’

    Open sourcing of data for Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping will create a huge potential for employment and transparency in administration, secretary of OSGEO-India V. Ravi Kumar has said.

    Proprietary software for GIS costs up to Rs. .30 lakh. Instead, utilising tools developed using open software and training youth would help in creating employment locally, he said. Money will be spent on those working using GIS but not for the software, he said.

  • ESI Group: Acquisition of Scilab Enterprises, Publisher of Scilab Open Source Analytical Computational Software
  • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 17.02

    After the revision of Genode’s most fundamental protocols in the previous release it was time to move our attention upwards the software stack. The current release largely revisits the integration of the C runtime with the Genode component API as well as the virtual-file-system (VFS) infrastructure. The two biggest challenges were making Genode’s VFS capable to perform I/O asynchronously, and to make the C runtime compatible with the state-machine-based execution model of modern Genode components. This line of work is described in detail in Sections Enhanced VFS infrastructure and New execution model of the C runtime. One particularly exciting result is the brand-new ability to plug the Linux TCP/IP stack as a VFS plugin into any libc-using component by the sole means of component configuration.

  • Genode OS 17.02 Released With Improved VFS, New Input Event Processing

    Genode OS 17.02 has been released today as the latest version of this open-source operating system framework.

    Accomplished for Genode OS 17.02 were ABI improvements, a much better virtual file-system (VFS) implementation, new input event processing capabilities, and a dynamic component-composition engine.

  • heads 0.0 is out!

    heads 0.0 is a preview live CD of what heads is going to be about. This release is not intended to be used from a security point of view, but as a showcase and testing point of view.

    I am not even completely sure everything is torified, but hey, that’s what testing is for, no?

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Acquires Pocket

        We are excited to announce that the Mozilla Corporation has completed the acquisition of Read It Later, Inc. the developers of Pocket.

        Mozilla is growing, experimenting more, and doubling down on our mission to keep the internet healthy, as a global public resource that’s open and accessible to all. As our first strategic acquisition, Pocket contributes to our strategy by growing our mobile presence and providing people everywhere with powerful tools to discover and access high quality web content, on their terms, independent of platform or content silo.

        Pocket will join Mozilla’s product portfolio as a new product line alongside the Firefox web browsers with a focus on promoting the discovery and accessibility of high quality web content. Pocket’s core team and technology will also accelerate Mozilla’s broader Context Graph initiative.

      • Mozilla acquires read-it-later app Pocket, will open-source the code

        Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, today announced that it has acquired Pocket, the startup that develops an app for saving articles and other content. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

        The Pocket code will become a part of the Mozilla open-source project, Mozilla chief business and legal officer Denelle Dixon-Thayer wrote in a blog post.

      • Mozilla Acquires Pocket, Will Open Source Pocket Code

        Chances are you’ve heard the new: Mozilla has acquired Pocket, the go-to ‘read it later’ service, and says it plans to open-source Pocket code in due course.

  • Summer of Code

  • Databases

    • MySQL 8 is coming

      MySQL 8 is coming and it is going to be a big change. MySQL 5.7 has been out for well over a year and has been very well received with its native JSON data type, increased security, and better performance. But there are some things about 5.7 that needed modernization and that is why MySQL 8 is on the way.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • The Speed Of LLVM’s LLD Linker Continues Looking Good

      LLVM’s LLD linker still isn’t too widely used yet on Linux systems, but the performance of this linker alternative to GNU Gold and GNU ld are quite compelling.

      We’ve written many times before about the much progress and better performance of “the LLVM linker” while some new numbers were committed to the LLD documentation.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing/Legal

    • On ZFS in Debian

      I’m currently over at FOSDEM, and have been asked by a couple of people about the state of ZFS and Debian. So, I thought I’d give a quick post to explain what Debian’s current plan is (which has come together with a lot of discussion with the FTP Masters and others around what we should do).

      [...]

      Debian has always prided itself in providing the unequivocally correct solution to our users and downstream distributions. This also includes licenses – we make sure that Debian will contain 100% free software. This means that if you install Debian, you are guaranteed freedoms offered under the DFSG and our social contract.

    • Complying with Creative Commons license attribution requirements in slides and powerpoint

      When I was at Mozilla and WMF, I frequently got asked how to give proper credit when using Creative Commons-licensed images in slideshows. I got the question again last week, and am working on slides right now, so here’s a quick guide.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Denmark’s draft IT architecture open for comment

      Denmark’s Agency for Digitisation (Digitaliseringsstyrelsen – DIGST) is inviting comments on its draft IT architecture for digitalisation of the public sector. The document sets out the IT principles for the country’s 33 digitisation initiatives.

    • Norway working on first IT procurement frameworks

      Norway’s government procurement centre (ANS) and the Agency for Public Management and e-Government (Difi) are preparing the country’s first procurement frameworks related to IT. The first call, on telephony services, will be published in the next few days. The second call, for telephony and PC workstations, is expected around 24 April. Calls will be published on both Norway’s and Europe’s procurement portals, Doffin and Ted.

    • France prepares next Open Government action plan

      The 2017-2019 Open Government Action Plan is being prepared by the government modernisation unit (Secretariat-General for Government Modernisation, SGMAP). This week, on Tuesday, SGMAP is hosting a public workshop, where it will present a draft of the plan. The final text is expected in September.

    • Open Data

      • An Introduction to Open Data Kit
      • Make food production data open source, urges MIT Media Lab

        Agriculture production data should be public and the open source movement should be the model for analysing it, according to the Open Agriculture initiative at MIT Media Lab.

        This could involve making the data from every farming IoT sensor public – so you could use the climate data to understand how best to grow what and where, or use other IoT data points to trace where the food has come from across the whole supply chain.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Did You Think Prices For Intel CPUs Were OK Last Week? They Weren’t.

      You can stop it. Stop buying Intel. Better yet, don’t buy AMD either. Buy ARM, the processor that has multiple sources of production at competitive prices all year long. No need for a time-warp to get that for which you pay.

    • Intel Reacts To AMD Ryzen Apparently Cutting Prices On Core i7 And i5 Processors

      It’s hard to believe that we’re mere days away from the official launching of AMD’s first Ryzen processors. It’s been a long wait, but an even longer one if you think back to a time when the world got this excited about a new CPU launch. To call Ryzen “disruptive” even before launch seems apt, but all we can do right now is wait for the reviews to go live (and of course here at HH) to see just how well it will perform under pressure.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • WHO Issues First List Of Potential Deadly Bacteria If No New Antibiotics Are Found

      Microbial resistance to antibiotics has been rising and the world is now facing the serious possibility of falling back to the days when infectious diseases were hardly treatable. The World Health Organization today published a list of bacteria for which new antibiotics are most urgently needed, to help with the race against time, as the medical world is running out of treatment options.

      The list of antibiotic-resistant ‘priority pathogens’ is the first published by the WHO, according to a press release. The list was drawn up “in a bid to guide and promote research and development (R&D) of new antibiotics, as part of WHO’s efforts to address growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines.”

    • Global Fund Hits Reset On Executive Director Search

      The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is deliberating on how to start over on its search for a new executive director after questions arose near the end of the process.

    • Superbug infections rising rapidly and spreading silently in kids

      Dangerous multidrug-resistant infections are surging in children across the country, researchers report in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

      From 2007 to 2015, the number of kids treated in hospitals for certain types of multidrug-resistant infections rose 750 percent, researchers found. Though overall incidence is still low, researchers say the study’s findings are pointing to worrying trends—namely, silent spreading within communities, and severe, potentially life-threatening infections becoming common.

      “The rate of rise was very rapid,” the study’s lead author, pediatrician Sharon Meropol of Case Western Reserve University, told CIDRAP News. “And if that continues, it’s not going to be long before we get much higher rates.”

    • The dirty dozen: UN issues list of 12 most worrying bacteria

      The World Health Organization has issued a list of the top dozen bacteria most dangerous to humans, warning that doctors are fast running out of treatment options.

      In a press briefing on Monday, the U.N. health agency said its list is meant to promote the development of medicines for the most worrying drug-resistant bacteria, including salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus.

      WHO’s Marie-Paule Kieny said that if such priorities were left to market forces alone, “the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time.” She estimated that it would take up to a decade for new medications.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Monday
    • Some weekend security updates
    • Top Security Centric Linux Distributions

      There are a lot of reasons to choose a security-centric Linux distribution to test your network and system as in ethical hacking or penetration testing or security analysis. Are you looking? Luckily for you, there are a lot of them available for use. So let’s dive in and look at the best security centric Linux distributions.

    • With SHA1 Proven Unsafe, Ubuntu’s Mir Switches From SHA1 To SHA256

      Now that Google has proven SHA1 as unsafe, Ubuntu’s Mir display server developers were quick to abandon its usage in favor of SHA256.

      Mir cookies have the switch to now use SHA256 in place of SHA1 for their cookies in order to improve the security.

    • Windows 10 least secure of Windows versions: study

      Windows 10 was the least secure of of current Windows versions in 2016, with 46% more vulnerabilities than either Windows 8 or 8.1, according to an analysis of Microsoft’s own security bulletins in 2016.

      Security firm Avecto said its research, titled “2016 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Study: Mitigating risk by removing user privileges”, had also found that a vast majority of vulnerabilities found in Microsoft products could be mitigated by removing admin rights.

      The research found that, despite its claims to being the “most secure” of Microsoft’s operating systems, Windows 10 had 395 vulnerabilities in 2016, while Windows 8 and 8.1 each had 265.

      The research also found that while 530 Microsoft vulnerabilities were reported — marginally up from the 524 reported in 2015 — and 189 given a critical rating, 94% could be mitigated by removing admin rights. This was up from 85% in 2015.

    • Windows 10 Creators Update can block Win32 apps if they’re not from the Store [Ed: By Microsoft Peter. People who put Vista 10 on a PC totally lose control of that PC; remember, the OS itself is malware, as per textbook definitions. With DRM and other antifeatures expect copyright enforcement on the desktop soon.]

      The latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build doesn’t add much in the way of features—it’s mostly just bug fixes—but one small new feature has been spotted, and it could be contentious. Vitor Mikaelson noticed that the latest build lets you restrict the installation of applications built using the Win32 API.

    • Router assimilated into the Borg, sends 3TB in 24 hours

      “Well, f**k.”

      Harsh language was appropriate under the circumstances. My router had just been hacked.

      Setting up a reliable home network has always been a challenge for me. I live in a cramped three-story house, and I don’t like running cables. So my router’s position is determined by the fiber modem in a corner on the bottom floor. Not long after we moved in, I realized that our old Airport Extreme was not delivering much signal to the attic, where two game-obsessed occupants fought for bandwidth.

      I tried all sorts of things. I extended the network. I used Ethernet-over-powerline connectors to deliver network access. I made a mystic circle and danced naked under the full moon. We lost neighbors, but we didn’t gain a signal.

    • Purism’s Librem 13 Coreboot Port Now “100%” Complete

      According to Purism’s Youness Alaoui, their Coreboot port to the Librem 13 v1 laptop is now considered complete.

      The Librem 13 was long talked about having Coreboot over a proprietary BIOS while the initial models still had shipped with the conventional BIOS. Finally in 2017, they have now Coreboot at what they consider to be 100% complete for this Linux-friendly laptop.

    • The Librem 13 v1 coreboot port is now complete

      Here are the news you’ve been waiting for: the coreboot port for the Librem 13 v1 is 100% done! I fixed all of the remaining issues, it is now fully working and is stable, ready for others to enjoy. I fixed the instability problem with the M.2 SATA port, finished running all the tests to ensure coreboot is working correctly, fixed the headphone jack that was not working, made the boot prettier, and started investigating the Intel Management Engine issue.

    • Linux Update Fixes 11-Year-Old Flaw

      Andrey Konovalov, a security researcher at Google, found a use-after-free hole within Linux, CSO Online reported. This particular flaw is of interest because it appears to be situational. It only showed up in kernels built with a certain configuration option — CONFIG_IP_DCCP — enabled.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • EU updates smartphone secure development guideline

      The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has published an updated version of its Smartphone Secure Development Guidelines. This document details the risks faced by developers of smartphone application, and provides ways to mitigate these.

    • CloudLinux 7 Users Get New Beta Linux Kernel Update That Addresses CVE-2017-6074

      CloudLinux’s Mykola Naugolnyi announced today the availability of a new Beta kernel for the CloudLinux 7 operating system series, which patches a recently discovered and critical security flaw.

    • Linus Torvalds shrugged off warnings about ‘insecure’ SHA-1 in 2005

      LINUX FOUNDER Linus Torvalds was warned in 2005 that the use of the SHA-1 hash to sign code in Linux and Git was insecure and urged to shift to something better protected, but rejected the advice outright.

      Free software evangelist John Gilmore warned Torvalds ten years ago that “SHA1 has been broken; it’s possible to generate two different blobs that hash to the same SHA1 hash”.

      Gilmore penned his warning to Torvalds in April 2005, when MD5 had already been cracked and SHA1 remained “hard to crack” – but still crackable.

    • Subversion SHA1 Collision Problem Statement — Prevention and Remediation Options

      You probably saw the news last week that researchers at Google had found a scenario where they were able to break the SHA1 algorithm by creating two PDF files with differing content that produced the same hash. If you are following this story then you may have also seen that the Webkit Subversion repository had problems after a user committed these example files to their repository so that they could be used in test cases for SHA1 collisions.

    • making git-annex secure in the face of SHA1 collisions

      git-annex has never used SHA1 by default. But, there are concerns about SHA1 collisions being used to exploit git repositories in various ways. Since git-annex builds on top of git, it inherits its foundational SHA1 weaknesses. Or does it?

    • SSH Fingerprint Verification via Tor

      OpenSSH (really, are there any other implementations?) requires Trust on First Use for fingerprint verification.

      Verification can be especially problematic when using remote services like VPS or colocation.

      How can you trust that the initial connection isn’t being Man In The Middle’d?

    • Almost all Windows vulnerabilities are enabled by liberal ‘admin rights’

      NEARLY OF THE VULNERABILITIES THAT AFFECT Microsoft’s Windows operating system could be mitigated through a little careful control.

      Avecto, a security company, is the source of the latest revelation in this direction, and it says that 94 per cent of security problems could have been killed off if admin rights had been removed from the affected computer.

      This makes a lot of sense, since a computer that cannot be molested by a user cannot be molested by a third party. 94 per cent is just one example of the differences that can be made and Avecto says that in the case of Internet Explorer 100 per cent of risks are mitigated when rights are removed.

    • More on Bluetooth Ingenico Overlay Skimmers

      This blog has featured several stories about “overlay” card and PIN skimmers made to be placed atop Ingenico-brand card readers at store self-checkout lanes. I’m revisiting the topic again because a security technician at a U.S.-based retailer recently shared a few photos of several of these devices pulled from compromised card terminals, and the images and his story offer a fair bit more detail than in previous articles.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Not only Yazidis, ISIS militants rape Sunni women too: Human Rights Watch

      Fighters from the Islamic State group, whose abuses against Yazidi women have been well documented, are raping and torturing Sunni Arab women too, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

      The watchdog documented cases of arbitrary detentions, beatings, forced marriages and rape by the jihadists on women who have fled the town of Hawijah, which is still under IS control.

      HRW recounted the story of Hanan, a 26-year-old whose husband had already fled Hawijah, who was captured by IS fighters along with other women when they also attempted to escape the town.

    • Iraq: Sunni Women Tell of ISIS Detention, Torture

      Fighters from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) are arbitrarily detaining, ill-treating, torturing, and forcibly marrying Sunni Arab women and girls in areas under their control in Iraq, Human Rights Watch said today.

    • Philippines militants behead German hostage Jurgen Kantner

      Shortly after the video appeared, the Philippine government envoy Jesus Dureza confirmed the German’s death.

      “We grieve as we strongly condemn the barbaric beheading of yet another kidnap victim,” Dureza said in a statement. “Up to the last moment, many sectors including the armed forces of the Philippines exhausted all efforts to save his life. We all tried our best. But to no avail.”

      Military officials in the south said they had not yet found Kantner’s body.

      Militant group Abu Sayyaf had demanded a ransom of 30m pesos (£480,000) be paid by Sunday to spare the 70-year-old.

      The group had previously released videos that showed a haggard Kantner appealing for payment of the ransom.

    • Female Daesh Terrorist Lashes Syrian Woman for Refusing to Cover Her Eyes

      Enraged by the rudely-worded command, the woman from Al-Bukamal, a town on the Iraqi border, told the jihadist to “get back to Morocco,” adding that “people living around here are faithful Muslims.”

      Hearing this, the jihadist “policewoman” called a prison truck and arrested the woman and her son. The woman was sentenced to 300 lashes in public.

      Whipping her victim on her back and arms, the Moroccan terrorist kept saying that “this will serve a lesson for all women of the caliphate!”

    • Two madrassa students sodomise, kill fellow student in UP’s Muzaffarnagar

      Two madrassa students were arrested on Saturday in connection with the murder of a 14-year-old fellow student at Tewra village of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, police said.

      Kamruzama (20) and Adnan (21) were arrested for their alleged role in killing the fellow student by slitting his throat after subjecting him to sodomy, said circle officer Akhil Ahmad.

      The duo has confessed to their crime, he said.

    • Fifty years after the madness sparked by Mao’s Cultural Revolution, a book uncovers horror of mass murder spree

      In 1967, a two-month orgy of violence and hysteria swept a rural province in China and an astonishing 4,000 people were brutally slaughtered. Without the bravery of Tan Hecheng, the story of what happened to these ‘black elements’ would never have been told. David Barnett on the journalist who uncovered the Killing Wind

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • With Dakota Access camp cleared, where are protestors headed?

      The main camp for Dakota Access Pipeline protesters was cleared this week by authorities, who arrested about 50 holdouts on Thursday at the Oceti Sakowin site near Cannon Ball, N.D.

      The eviction, ordered by the Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday in advance of spring flooding, follows an earlier request by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council that demonstrators leave camps on the reservation. And it represents a turning point for the movement, whose members pledge to block similar projects in several states, even as their opposition stiffens.

      “The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight, it is a new beginning,” said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started.”

    • Biologists say half of all species could be extinct by end of century

      One in five species on Earth now faces extinction, and that will rise to 50% by the end of the century unless urgent action is taken. That is the stark view of the world’s leading biologists, ecologists and economists who will gather on Monday to determine the social and economic changes needed to save the planet’s biosphere.

      “The living fabric of the world is slipping through our fingers without our showing much sign of caring,” say the organisers of the Biological Extinction conference held at the Vatican this week.

      Threatened creatures such as the tiger or rhino may make occasional headlines, but little attention is paid to the eradication of most other life forms, they argue. But as the conference will hear, these animals and plants provide us with our food and medicine. They purify our water and air while also absorbing carbon emissions from our cars and factories, regenerating soil, and providing us with aesthetic inspiration.

    • EPA Removes Mentions of ‘Climate Change’ in Water Program

      The Environmental Protection Agency’s website has gotten a makeover since the Trump administration took office, with some references to climate change now wiped from its pages.

      The agency removed the word “climate” from a division’s name and webpage before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, suggesting that EPA employees may have started constraining information as the transition team settled in and in anticipation of the incoming chill from the new administration.

      The division once known as Climate Ready Water Utilities was rebranded as the Creating Resilient Water Utilities in late December, according to archived webpages. By then, Myron Ebell had been in place as head of the agency’s transition team for more than a month. Ebell, a senior fellow at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute who has long promoted climate denial in his work, was considered a threat to the agency’s mission by many of the career employees.

    • White House targets EPA climate-change programs

      We hear the White House tomorrow will send Cabinet officials their first draft budget numbers.

      One budget we’ll be watching especially closely is the EPA ,which is the leading edge of the first wave of Trump’s planned “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Expect massive, transformational cuts, particularly to climate-change programs, top officials tell us.

    • Slovenian ministries pilot eCar sharing

      The Ministry for Infrastructure and the Ministry of Public Administration in Slovenia have begun a one-year pilot to test car sharing. Earlier this month, the ministries signed a contract that lets 50 staff members share electric vehicles. After one year, the cost of car sharing and their use will be compared to the costs and use of cars owned by the ministries.

    • Sand mining: the global environmental crisis you’ve probably never heard of

      Times are good for Fey Wei Dong. A genial, middle-aged businessman based near Shanghai, China, Fey says he is raking in the equivalent of £180,000 a year from trading in the humblest of commodities: sand.

      Fey often works in a fishing village on Poyang Lake, China’s biggest freshwater lake and a haven for millions of migratory birds and several endangered species. The village is little more than a tiny collection of ramshackle houses and battered wooden docks. It is dwarfed by a flotilla anchored just offshore, of colossal dredges and barges, hulking metal flatboats with cranes jutting from their decks. Fey comes here regularly to buy boatloads of raw sand dredged from Poyang’s bottom. He ships it 300 miles down the Yangtze River and resells it to builders in booming Shanghai who need it to make concrete.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • ‘Fake News’ Now Means Whatever People Want It To Mean, And Legislating It Away Is A Slippery Slope Toward Censorship

      The discussion about “fake news” certainly began with good intentions, with participants earnestly focused on how disinformation, shitty journalism and bullshit clickbait were filling the noggins of a growing segment of the public for whom critical thinking was already a Sisyphean endeavor. The solution for this problem was never as clean and easy as most of the conversations suggested, especially given that Americans — thanks in large part to our struggles with education quality and funding — have never been particularly adept at spotting disinformation, much less understanding how you expose, undermine and combat it at scale.

      None of these problems are new. Bad journalism and propaganda have plagued publishing and governments for thousands of years. Donald Trump’s violently-adversarial relationship with facts and Vladimir Putin’s warehouses full of paid internet trolls have simply taken the conversation to an entirely new level in the internet age. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that many of the folks who believe they can somehow legislate this problem away may be doing more harm than good.

      In fact, much of the moral panic surrounding the initial fake news conversation has quickly degenerated into something that vacillates quickly between comedy and terror. As we’ve consistently pointed out, a growing number of countries have moved to make fake news illegal — even before they’ve taken time to understand what it actually is. Germany’s decision to make publishing fake news illegal teeters dangerously close to censorship. Letting politicians define “fake news” (with an obvious incentive toward defining it in their favor) should be a fairly obvious slippery slope.

    • Inside Another Internet Troll Factory: This Time In Sweden, But With Russian Connections

      Well before fake news became a thing, Karl was reporting on the fascinating details that have emerged about Russia’s Internet troll factories that relentlessly pump out fake posts on an extraordinary scale. More recently, the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu revealed that the country’s military has created a force specifically tasked with waging information warfare. We may know about Russia’s domestic activities in this area, but what about online propaganda teams active in other countries?

    • Can the White House Pick Its Press?

      Even before the White House press corps was born—in 1896, when newspapers assigned reporters to a table outside the office of Grover Cleveland’s secretary—attentive reporters irritated occupants of the White House. To hide the fact that he had a tumor, Cleveland, in 1893, disappeared from Washington for four days to have surgery aboard a friend’s yacht. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson, who hated the press’s fascination with his three daughters, accused “certain evening newspapers” of quoting him on things he meant to stay off the record. He eventually all but abandoned news conferences. It was six years before Warren G. Harding, who had been a newspaper publisher, revived the tradition.

    • Apparent US interference in the Brexit referendum raises some very serious questions

      There is now mounting evidence of US interference in Britain’s EU referendum vote. From what we already know, this could constitute a flagrant breach of UK electoral rules.

      Cambridge Analytica (CA) is a US company, endorsed by Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD). President Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon is a board member of the company. And Trump’s main backer, Robert Mercer, is a key financier. During the EU referendum campaign in Britain, CA targeted over a million social media users. According to a prominent Leave.eu figure, it was CA technology that ensured a Brexit win.

    • Bernie Sanders calls for ‘total transformation’ of Democratic Party

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) urged Democrats on Sunday to undertake an overhaul of the party’s message as they move forward in the uncertain era under President Trump and seek to regain lost seats in midterm and local elections.

      “We need a total transformation,” the Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential candidate said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

      “We need to open up the party to working people, to young people and make it crystal clear that the Democratic Party is going to take on Wall Street, it’s going to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, it’s going to take on corporate America that is shutting down plants in this country and moving our jobs abroad,” he added.

      Senator Sanders’s remarks came just a day after Democrats voted to select former Labor Secretary Tom Perez to head the Democratic National Committee over Rep. Keith Ellison (D) of Minnesota. The contentious race pitted Mr. Perez, who served in former President Barack Obama’s administration, against Sanders-backed Representative Ellison, who embodied the party’s more progressive wave, continuing the party’s ideological battle that came to the fore during the 2016 primary race.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • New DOJ Boss Says He Hasn’t Read DOJ Investigations Into Abusive Policing, Calls Them ‘Anecdotal’

      New Attorney General Jeff Sessions has just sent another message about the future of US law enforcement: there will be no policing of the police during the Trump Years. In his first on-the-record briefing, Sessions flat-out stated the DOJ’s many civil rights investigations of local police departments mean nothing.

    • ‘Smart’ Stuffed Animal Company Leaves Voice, Other Data Of Millions Publicly Exposed

      So we’ve noted time and time again how so-called “smart” toys aren’t immune to the security and privacy problems plaguing the internet of broken things. Whether we’re talking about the Vtech hack (which exposed kids’ selfies, chat logs, and voice recordings) or the lawsuits against Genesis Toys (whose products suffer from vulnerabilities to man-in-the-middle attacks), the story remains the same: these companies were so excited to connect everything and anything to the internet, but few could be bothered to spend more than a fleeting moment thinking about product security and consumer privacy.

    • Sean Spicer Launches Witch Hunt Over The ‘Secure’ App He Just Said Was No Big Deal

      Of course, if the messages are deleted soon after sending, as the app advertises, then showing the app to a reporter doesn’t really prove much of anything. Either way, hold that thought.

      Security experts have ripped apart Confide, saying that it’s claims of being secure are “a triumph of marketing over substance,” however others in the White House are making use of an app that is generally considered more secure: Signal.

      And, apparently, that has some in Congress worried that the apps are being used not to undermine things like federal record keeping laws, but rather that it may be used by people inside the government to go undermine the administration or to leak information to the press.

    • Western China Region Aims to Track People by Requiring Car Navigation

      Officials in China’s largest prefecture, in the far-western region of Xinjiang, are requiring all drivers there to install a Chinese-made satellite navigation system in their vehicles, according to an official news report this week.

      Police officials say drivers must install the navigation system by June 30. “The installation rate will reach 100 percent,” said a report on Monday on the website of The Korla Evening Post, a newspaper in the prefecture’s capital, Korla. The report was also posted on the government-managed website of Beidou, the Chinese satellite navigation system. Beidou is China’s version of the Global Positioning System, or GPS.

      The new requirement is intended to help the authorities track people in a region where violence sometimes erupts because of ethnic tensions. Parts of Xinjiang are home to ethnic Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking people who mostly practice Sunni Islam and often resent policies made by the ethnic Han, the dominant group in China.

      The most notable burst of violence occurred in 2009, when ethnic rioting convulsed Urumqi, the regional capital, resulting in about 200 deaths, most of them ethnic Han, according to official reports. Officials responded with a harsh security crackdown. Other episodes have resembled domestic terrorism, and some officials say the attackers have connections to groups engaged in global jihadist activities, but they have not offered any evidence to buttress that claim.

    • Is GCHQ in the front line of a new Cold War but this time, in cyberspace? [Ed: This GCHQ-connected propaganda site uses that old 'yearning' for nuclear conflict to 'sell' the GCHQ's agenda of domination over our Internet]

      Are we fighting a new Cold War, but this time in cyber space?

    • FCC Boss Moves To Kill Broadband Privacy Protections. You Know, To Help The Little Guy.

      New FCC boss Ajit Pai, apparently taking a break from paying empty lip service to the poor, has quietly announced the FCC will be killing consumer broadband privacy protections before they even have a chance to take root. Hoping the news would get lost in the pre-weekend hustle, the FCC quietly circulated an e-mail on Friday stating that the agency would be moving to kill the rules before they arrive March 2, just as large ISPs had demanded.

    • Welfare Agency Responds To Criticism By Feeding Complainant’s Personal Info To Obliging Journalist

      Really can’t say enough good things about public servants, especially when their response to criticism is to expose personal details in a published interview.

      Andie Fox wrote an article for the Canberra Times about her struggle to get an ex’s debt removed from her record. Following several calls from Centrelink — Australia’s Department of Human Services — attempting to recover this misplaced debt, Fox spent hours — including most of day she took off from work — trying to speak to human being directly about her situation. As is par for the bureaucratic course, this was almost impossible.

    • Journalists Surveilled By German Intelligence Agency

      The German Federal Intelligence Agency (Bundesnachrichtendienst, BND) spied on foreign journalists, according to a report of German magazine “Der Spiegel”. A document obtained by the magazine showed that the BND had taps on at least 50 phone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses of journalists from the BBC, Reuters and the New York Times.

    • EFF: Half of web traffic is now encrypted

      Half of the web’s traffic is now encrypted, according to a new report from the EFF released this week. The rights organization noted the milestone was attributable to a number of efforts, including recent moves from major tech companies to implement HTTPS on their own properties. Over the years, these efforts have included pushes from Facebook and Twitter, back in 2013 and 2012 respectively, as well as those from other sizable sites like Google, Wikipedia, Bing, Reddit and more.

    • NSA, Cyber Command structure should remain the same

      As if not troubled enough by President Trump’s attacks, a new debate is heightening tensions in the intelligence community. The Pentagon has started to assess whether it is time to divide the leadership of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command. Such a move is dubious: Is change necessary? Can the IC tolerate another shock?

    • Judge: FBI’s NIT Warrant Invalid And IP Addresses Do Have An Expectation Of Privacy, But No Suppression Granted

      This contrasts with other decisions dealing with the same subject matter, where judges have found there’s no expectation of privacy in IP addresses, even when one has taken extra steps to obscure it. Those findings seem logically contradictory, at best. If someone’s attempts to keep third parties from obtaining information, this information can’t truly be considered held by a third party. Stripping away these efforts turns the FBI into the “third party,” and the government isn’t allowed to both act as a third party and excuse its actions with the Third Party Doctrine.

      But in the end, there’s no suppression. As the court points out, two things weigh against suppressing the evidence, even with the warrant being facially invalid under Rule 41. First, the FBI malware only infected registered users visiting the dark web child porn site, which makes the possibility of accidental infection almost nonexistent. Second, the fact that the FBI had no idea where the site’s visitors were actually located makes this an inelegant solution to a problem, not a case of judge-shopping for compliant magistrates.

    • Federal Court Tells ATF It Can’t Just Help Itself To Cell Phone Data Seized By Another Law Enforcement Agency

      The good news is the Supreme Court’s Riley decision forces law enforcement to obtain warrants before searching cell phones. The bad news, apparently, is everything else. To begin with, particularity remains a problem. As the Supreme Court pointed out in its decision, people’s entire lives are contained in their cell phones. When searching for what’s relevant to the suspected criminal activity, the government is pretty much free to dig through these “lives” to uncover what it needs to move forward with prosecution.

      The lack of strict parameters (perhaps an impossibility given the nature of digital communications/data) leads to fishing expeditions operating under the cover of Fourth Amendment adherence. There’s no way to prevent trolling for evidence of unrelated criminal activity. The only recourse is to challenge it after it happens. Sometimes the courts find the government has gone too far. Other times, courts say the evidence would have been “inevitably discovered” in the course of the search and prevent it from being suppressed.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Amos Yee’s mother confirms Amos Yee in solitary confinement in US for 2 weeks

      Yee, the 18-year-old teenager who ran away from Singapore to seek political asylum in the US, looks set to spend a few more months languishing in jail over there as a result of President Donald Trump’s recent executive order barring refugees from entering the country.

      Yee’s Facebook page carried a post on Feb. 21 complaining about his prolonged stay in jail and asking his supporters to call attention to his plight to expedite his release.

      However, there was no mention made about him spending time in solitary confinement in that post.

    • BBC faces backlash after hiring Muslim woman to run religious programming

      The BBC has hired commissioner Fatima Salaria – its second Muslim executive to take control of its faith-based output and serve as the new commissioning editor for religion and ethics.

      This places her in charge of all of the BBC’s religious content on television, including Songs Of Praise.

      The move comes after the Beeb faced criticism previously from those who believed that the job should go to a Christian given it is the UK’s main faith.

    • Border Patrol Agents Stop Domestic Travelers at New York Airport

      Passengers of a domestic Delta flight from San Francisco to New York were told to show their identity documents to uniformed agents of the Customs and Border Protection agency upon their arrival at John F. Kennedy airport on Wednesday evening.

      CBP officers are border agents, whose statutory authority is generally limited to international arrivals.

      CBP agents inspected passenger identifications on the jetbridge by the door of the aircraft. A CBP spokesman insisted to Rolling Stone that this action is “nothing new” and that there is “no new policy.” But the unusual – and legally questionable – search of domestic travelers comes days after the Department of Homeland Security outlined its plans to implement President Trump’s sweeping executive order targeting millions of “removable aliens” for deportation.

    • Islam is not a feminist religion

      I am accustomed to being hectored by Islamists, frightbats, anti-vaccination fruitcakes and an assortment of social justice warriors — aka government-funded Twitter trolls.

      But last week, I had the surreal experience of being scolded by an ABC host for not being sufficiently supportive of an Islamic activist advocating for sharia law.

      ABC radio drive host Rafael Epstein had the gall to admonish me, a migrant who escaped a country under Islamic law, for not supporting an advocate of Islamic law.

      It’s akin to a freed slave being criticised for a fear of slavery and reluctance to support slavery advocates.

      Can you imagine the indignation from feminists if a privileged, white, private school-educated, heterosexual, conservative male was castigating an immigrant woman of colour about how their experience and opinions “distort the debate”?

      Epstein is all of the above except he is a typical ABC Leftist and so his behaviour is excused and even applauded by those who most enthusiastically embrace identity politics.

    • Women and jihad: converts and casualties of violent extremism

      While it’s hard to make any solid, direct links between the three incidents, together they highlight a growing trend of young women becoming involved in real, perceived or forced acts of terrorism in various global locations. Research suggests groups such as IS, Boko Haram and the Islamic militant organization in Somalia, al-Shabab, are actively targeting women to join their ranks.

    • [Older] Walk of shame: Sweden’s “first feminist government” don hijabs in Iran

      UN Watch expressed concern that Sweden’s self-declared “first feminist government in the world” sacrificed its principles and betrayed the rights of Iranian women as Trade Minister Ann Linde and other female members walked past Iranian President Rouhani on Saturday all covered up in compliance with Iran’s compulsory Hijab law, despite Stockholm’s promise to promote “a gender equality perspective” internationally, and to adopt a “feminist foreign policy” in which “equality between women and men is a fundamental aim.”
      In doing so, the Swedish female politicians ignored the recent appeal by Iranian women’s right activist Masih Alinejad who urged Europeans female politicians “to stand for [their] own dignity” and refuse to wear the hijab when visiting Iran.

      Alinrejad created a Facebook page for Iranian women to resist the law and show their hair as an act of resistance, which now numbers 1 million members.
      “European female politicians are hypocrites,” says Alinejad. “Because they stand up with French Muslim women and condemn the burkini ban—because they think compulsion is bad—but when it happens to Iran, they just care about money.”

    • Police & military clear DAPL protest camp, dozens arrested, protesters start fires (PHOTOS)

      Dozens of DAPL protesters were arrested after police raided and cleared the Oceti Sakowin camp near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Some activists refused to leave peacefully and set fire to their makeshift housing.

      The Oceti Sakowin camp was completely emptied shortly after 2:00pm local time (8:00pm GMT), the Morton County Sheriff’s Department said, as cited by Reuters.

    • Stop Fabricating Travel Security Advice

      Recently travel to the US has become even more stressful as CBP have been more aggressively exercising their authority to examine digital devices. Their theory goes something like “we can open a cargo container to check whats inside therefore we can open a digital device to check whats inside.” Along with the apparent increase in searching traveller’s laptops and phones, there has been a rise in amateur smuggling suggestions (seemingly by US citizens who aren’t exposed to any risk at the border.) This advice is terrible, dangerous and possibly endangers anyone reckless enough to follow it.

    • Data Brokers, Data Analytics, “Muslim registries” & Human Rights

      Both as a candidate and now as President, Donald Trump has made clear his intent to pursue aggressive policies targeting Muslims, refugees and immigrants under the banner of national security. In his first week in office Trump enacted the patently unlawful travel ban seeking to bar all refugees, and individuals from 7 Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. A second executive order the same week, as well as later accompanying policy memoranda, extended powers to law enforcement and immigration agencies to increase detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants.

      We do not know what the future holds, but the President’s statements certainly give cause for serious concern. Trump has notoriously refused to rule out the possibility of a “Muslim registry”, and has stated his intention to quickly deport between 2 and 3 million undocumented immigrants.

    • Ethiopian journalist’s wife urges UK and US to call for his release

      The wife of a blogger and journalist detained in Ethiopia has called on the international community to pressure local authorities to release her husband, who is among tens of thousands held since a state of emergency was declared in the emerging east African power last year.

      Anania Sorri, a 34-year-old writer and intellectual, was arrested in November on his way to a meeting at the US embassy in Addis Ababa. He is being held in a high security prison in the Ethiopian capital and has not yet been formally charged with any offence.

    • Social services called in after 85 cases of FGM newly discovered in Tower Hamlets

      That’s according to the latest figures from the NHS, which also stated that of the women were aged between 18 and 39 at the time their FGM was recorded in 2015/16.

      FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK for 30 years, and in 2003 it also became a criminal offence to take a child abroad to have female genital mutilation. Despite this, there is yet to be a successful prosecution.

      The NSPCC set up a specialist FGM helpline in June 2013, and since then it has been contacted more than 1,500 times – on average, once a day.

      Of those, a third were considered serious enough to be referred to social services.

    • A Trend In Faked Hate

      It seems we see more and more fake “hate crimes” these days, and I’ve been wondering why.

      A way to get attention? A way to get revenge? A way to get some money from sympathetic crowd-funders? A way to throw a little weight on whomever you perceive as your opponent? Or just a way to feel you’re somebody and part of something?

      I do think social media has a lot to do with it — people seeing that other people get attention, sympathy, and money from being victims — or perhaps “victims.”

      Well, the latest apparent faked hate crime, according to a couple’s lawyer, is the claim by a waitress that she was stiffed out of a tip by a couple who wrote at the bottom of the check that they “don’t tip Black people.”

    • Arizona House Kills Bill That Would Punish Protesters By Seizing Their Assets

      The nice thing about truly stupid ideas is they generally have very short lifespans. Last week, the Arizona Senate did itself a huge disservice by passing a bill targeting a nonexistent problem (“paid protesters”) with fines, jail time, and seized assets if any act of destruction occurs during a protest. It wasn’t limited to just the person committing the act. Anyone else participating in the same protest could be rung up on the same charges, as well as any nonparticipants who may have been involved in the planning process.

      In support of this idiocy, idiotic statements were made, including the unforgettable assertion that a new terrible law was needed because existing rioting laws were constantly being undercut by a functioning bail system.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Think the Internet Is Polarized? Just Look at the FCC These Days

      Earlier this month, in a classic late Friday afternoon news dump, the Federal Communications Commission announced a rollback of two key decisions made during the Obama administration. In another era, few besides policy wonks and internet activists would have noticed such a thing. But these changes drew intense attention. These days, politics isn’t just what happens on the internet—it’s what happens to the internet.

      “Trump’s FCC Pick Quickly Targets Net Neutrality Rules,” the New York Times declared. “FCC blocks 9 companies from providing low-income internet access,” CNN reported. Mignon Clyburn, the only remaining Democratic commissioner at the FCC, published sharp rebukes to the moves, complaining that her colleagues had acted “without a shred of explanation.”

    • FCC chairman says his agency won’t review AT&T’s Time Warner purchase

      Last month, AT&T revealed how it might structure its deal to acquire Time Warner without having to go through FCC review. The communications giant noted that it “anticipated that Time Warner will not need to transfer any of its FCC licenses … after the closing of the transaction.” That means that the FCC wouldn’t need to review the transaction, and today FCC commissioner Ajit Pai confirmed that his agency would indeed not likely look at AT&T’s purchase.

  • DRM

    • Sony, Microsoft Lobby Against Right To Repair Bills (Yet Refuse To Talk About It)

      Last week, we noted how Apple was one of several companies lobbying against a right to repair bill in Nebraska. The bill would make it easier for consumers to repair their own products and find replacement parts and tools, which is generally considered to be a good thing — especially if the only Apple store is eighty miles away from your current location. But Apple tried to argue that Nebraska’s bill would not only make the public less safe (self-immolation everywhere!), but it would also result in Nebraska becoming some kind of “mecca” for nefarious hoodie-wearing ne’er-do-well hackers.

      Of course Apple, like most companies, just enjoys a repair-monopoly, which not only allows it to charge an arm and a leg for what very well may be superficial repairs, but helps prop up closed, proprietary ecosystems, hurting customers in a myriad of other ways as well.

      It’s not just in Nebraska where this conversation is happening (the Nebraska bill just happens to be the furthest along legislatively). Similar bills are also winding their way through New York, Minnesota, Wyoming, Tennessee, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Illinois state legislatures. And in most of these states, the companies lobbying against these laws are using the same disingenuous arguments Apple has been embracing. Usually it’s the trifecta of false claims that the bills will make users less safe, pose a cybersecurity risk, and open the door to cybersecurity theft.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • 25 million books are missing from UK libraries – but who’s counting?

        The decline in books stocked by public libraries may be far worse than official figures indicate, with industry sources claiming that it may be many millions higher than the 25 million books recorded as missing, meaning that the number of books available to borrowers has plummeted by more than 50% since 1996.

        Librarians are calling for a national audit to reveal the true extent of the problem, with the news coming as the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (Cilip) sent an open letter to chancellor Philip Hammond calling on him to increase funding for the sector, to protect it from irreparable decline as part of his strategy for economic growth.

      • ICANN Is Moving Toward Copyright Enforcement, Academic Says

        The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is on an “ambivalent drift” into online content regulation through its contractual facilitation of a “trusted notifier” copyright enforcement program between the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the registry operators for two new generic top-level domains, University of Idaho College of Law Professor Annemarie Bridy says in a draft article for the Washington & Lee Law Review.

      • Megaupload Case Takes Toll on Finn Batato, But He’ll Keep Fighting

        It’s easy to forget that Kim Dotcom is not the only one being hounded by the US Government. Finn Batato was Megaupload’s advertising manager, but today he’s facing extradition to the US and potentially decades in jail. After spending his savings fighting his case, he’s now trying to save his marriage while conducting his own defense.

      • Pirate Bay Prosecution In Trouble, Time Runs Out For Investigators

        At the end of 2014 Swedish police confiscated dozens of servers which many believed to belong to The Pirate Bay. The authorities later confirmed that an investigation involving copyright crimes was ongoing, but not much progress has been reported since. According to the prosecutor, the case isn’t getting any stronger, as the statute of limitations for several key crimes is expiring.

      • IP Scholars Warn About Stringent Copyright Rules In Asian RCEP Agreement

        As negotiations take place this week in Japan for a free trade agreement covering the Asia-Pacific region, a group of intellectual property scholars is calling for the public interest to be clearly considered in the copyright rules of the future agreement.

        As the 17th round of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is taking place in Kobe, Japan, a statement has been circulated and endorsed by 64 IP scholars from a number of countries.

        The RCEP would include the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam – as well as Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.

      • Will US Follow UK Lead In Case On Copyright And Interoperability?

        In a case pitting copyright protection against competition, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit must decide whether World Programming Limited (WPL) violated SAS Institute’s copyright by copying software interfaces that enable interoperability. WPL has already won the argument in the UK and in Europe’s highest court. The case has drawn strong support on both sides from the tech sector and a civil liberties group.

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