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03.28.18

Links 28/3/2018: Mesa 18.0.0, Kubernetes 1.10, Heads 0.4, GIMP 2.10 RC1

Posted in News Roundup at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How Open Source Development Is Democratizing The Tech Industry
  • New Open-Source Algorithm Achieves Photorealistic Style Transfers

    Every day it seems researchers are solving problems that most of us didn’t realize we had. Now, courtesy Yijun Li, Ph.D. candidate at Cal Merced, and his team at the “Vision and Learning Lab,” we have a solution to “Photorealistic Image Stylization.”

    The team sought to create software which could, when fed two images—one the “content” image, the other the “style” image—project the aesthetic of the latter image onto the content of the former. Thus the content of the first image would remain the same, simply restyled in whatever colors and lighting are found in the “style” reference photo. Further, this was all to be done quickly, and without showing signs that the images had been manipulated. As the team sums it up:

  • Things to be prepared when asking for support

    It is fairly common to see someone drop into an IRC channel, ask a question and then quit 10-20 minutes later if they don’t get an answer. [It isn't just IRC, I have seen this on other 'group' chat interfaces.. ] They may randomly jump from channel to channel trying to get anyone to answer their question. It is frustrating for the questioner and for anyone who comes online, writes up an answer and finds the person has left for some other channel right before they hit Enter.

  • Do you speak the same language as the rest of your team?

    A common, shared vocabulary is at the the heart of data quality and data management initiatives, not to mention effective team communication. On top of that, however, an explicit and common language also critical for maintaining a community-centered organizational culture. According to the Open Organization Definition, in the most successful open organizations, “people have a common language and work together to ensure that ideas do not get ‘lost in translation,’ and they are comfortable sharing their knowledge and stories to further the group’s work.”

  • Valve To Open-Source Their Steam Networking Sockets Library

    Valve is preparing to make another significant open-source code contribution in the very near future.

    Valve developers are working on open-sourcing their Steam Networking Sockets library. This library is a basic network transport layer for games with a TCP-inspired protocol that is message-oriented, built-in re-transmission for greater reliability, bandwidth estimation, supports encryption, and will handle other features needed for a practical networking layer by modern games.

  • Valve to open source ‘GameNetworkingSockets’ to help developers with networking, Steam not required

    In a rather helpful move for developers, Valve is about to open source ‘GameNetworkingSockets’ and it won’t require Steam.

    You can see the source here on GitHub, including the fact that it will use a the 3-Clause BSD license. What’s interesting is that since it won’t require Steam (they’re pretty clear on that), this could possibly help with developers who need multiplayer functionality and end up not doing Linux builds outside of Steam.

  • Valve to open source networking tool for devs, Steam not required

    Valve has announced plans to open source ‘GameNetworkingSockets’ for developers, which is a basic transport layer for games.

    This is notable, as Steam is not required in order to help developers with networking.

    The GitHub page states “the intention is that on PC you can use the Steamworks version, and on other platforms, you can use this version,” which implies that it could help specifically for Linux developers who need multiplayer functionality outside of Steam.

  • Open Source is Tech’s Explosive Organic Movement

    Why? Because people woke up. We woke up to the fact that most of the products on our supermarket shelves are atrociously mislabeled and composed of artificial and genetically modified ingredients. This is not food; at best, it’s maybe food-like. We woke up to the reality that many of America’s most popular and beloved food brands — Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, Post, Pepperidge Farms, Nestle — are making products that aren’t good for us. We also woke up to the realization that the government isn’t looking out for us when it comes to our food, so policing it is our personal responsibility. Thus, we can no longer afford to be negligent or apathetic in a food environment that has become corrupt and toxic.

    We’re now understanding the truth behind that age-old saying: You are what you eat. We literally become what we consume, on both genetic and epigenetic levels, and we don’t want diabetes for ourselves or our children, or to be exposed to unnecessary hormones and antibiotics. We want food made with integrity, not just for our well-being, but for the health of the earth. Conscious food production practices are crucial for long-term sustainability of soil, biodiversity, and many elements of the biosphere.

    [...]

    Software’s “organic” movement is starting out just as niche as the real organic movement did many years ago. Though the movement is gaining real momentum, we still have a long journey ahead of us. Of the top 100 Internet companies, for instance, only 2 are open source: Wikipedia, and WordPress.

    In order for open source to flourish, we need to destigmatize it. It has traditionally suffered from a shadowy exclusivity owned by the hacker, coder, and programmer backwaters of the Internet — because, for the most part, only the developer community and the very tech savvy have cared about its possibilities. But these are not the only people who stand to benefit from its rise. Just as you don’t need to be a food scientist to benefit from organic, you don’t have to be a developer to care about open source; in fact, you don’t even need to be particularly tech savvy. The values of the movement will speak to anyone who cares about social consciousness, freedom of information, privacy, transparency, community, the commons, and a more fair and equitable world on the whole.

  • Events

    • How GeoNode spread across the globe

      GeoNode, a free software platform for building and sharing maps, has grown from an experimental project implemented after one disaster, to a public good currently in use in dozens of locations around the globe. The Global Facility for Disaster Resilience and Readiness (GFDRR) contributed to this growth in multiple ways. This session presents an overview of the history of GeoNode as a case study of institutional investment in a free software project. GeoNode has helped people across the world own their own data and respond to disasters.

    • Highlights of the Embedded Linux Conference
    • Diversity in free software: No longer at square one

      Free software overall remains remarkably undiverse, with the latest GitHub survey finding that only about 3% of contributors are women, but communities that are making an effort to improve diversity are seeing results. Learn about several major efforts over the last seven years that have had an impact: Outreachy, the Ada Initiative, Python community outreach, the Women in Open Source Award sponsored by Red Hat, and a track at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Hear about emerging trends, such as efforts being made to reach people from a broader set of underrepresented backgrounds, and the establishment of paid positions and consulting opportunities for people working to improve diversity and inclusion in free software. You will leave with a good grasp of the history of diversity efforts in free software, and inspiration to connect with at least one of them!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla and Facebook

      • Mozilla Releases Firefox 59.0.2 to Fix High CPU/Memory Bug, Audio Issue on BSD

        Mozilla released on Monday the second point release of its latest Firefox 59 “Quantum” web browser for all supported platforms, fixing quite a bunch of issues and adding various improvements.

        The Firefox 59.0.2 maintenance release is here to address a high CPU and memory bug caused by third-party apps on various computers, though Mozilla didn’t mention if it affects all supported platforms. It also improves page rendering when hardware acceleration is enabled.

      • Snooze Tabs Graduation Report

        Snooze Tabs launched as an experiment in Test Pilot in February 2017 with the goal of making it easier for people to continue tasks in Firefox at a time of their choosing. From previous research conducted by the Firefox User Research team on task continuity and workflows, we started to develop an understanding of the ways people’s workflows can span multiple contexts and the types of behaviors and tools that people use to support context switching and task continuity. We knew, for example, that leaving browser tabs open is one way that people actively hold tasks to which they intend to return later.

      • Voice Fill Graduation Report

        Last year, Mozilla launched several parallel efforts to build capability around voice technologies. While work such as the Common Voice and DeepSpeech projects took aim at creating a foundation for future open source voice recognition projects, the Voice Fill experiment in Test Pilot took a more direct approach by building voice-based search into Firefox to learn if such a feature would be valuable to Firefox users. We also wanted to push voice research at Mozilla by contributing general tooling and training data to add value to future voice projects.

      • Min Vid Graduation Report

        We launched the Min Vid experiment in Test Pilot in the Fall of 2016. Min Vid created a pop-out video player that let participants play videos in a small, standalone window that would sit on top of any other content on the screen.

        Min Vid has been a success in Test Pilot, both in terms of usage, and in terms of what we learned in the process of building it. From the start, the feature proved extremely popular with our audience. It’s consistently been our most installed experiment since Page Shot left Test Pilot to become Firefox Screenshots.

      • The Firefox Accounts authentication zoo

        After my article on the browser sync mechanisms I spent some time figuring out how Firefox Accounts work. The setup turned out remarkably complex, with many different server types communicating with each other even for the most basic tasks. While this kind of overspecialization probably should be expected given the scale at which this service operates, the number of different authentication methods is surprising and the official documentation only tells a part of the story while already being fairly complex. I’ll try to show the entire picture here, in case somebody else needs to piece it all together.

        [...]

        Clearly, some parts of this setup made sense at some point but no longer do. This especially applies to the use of BrowserID: the complicated generation and verification process makes no sense if only one issuer is allowed. The protocol is built on top of JSON Web Tokens (JWT), yet using JWT without any modifications would make a lot more sense here.

        Also, why is Mozilla using their own token library that looks like a proprietary version of JWT? It seems that this library was introduced before JWT came along, today it is simply historical ballast.

      • Being Open and Connected on Your Own Terms with our New Facebook Container Add-On

        There’s an important conversation going on right now about the power that companies like Facebook wield over our lives. These businesses are built on technology platforms that are so complex, it’s unreasonable to expect users to fully understand the implications of interacting with them. As a user of the internet, you deserve a voice and should be able to use the internet on your own terms. In light of recent news on how the aggregation of user data can be used in surprising ways, we’ve created an add-on for Firefox called Facebook Container, based on technology we’ve been working on for the last couple of years and accelerated in response to what we see in terms of growing demand for tools that help manage privacy and security.

      • Facebook Container Isolates Facebook From The Rest of Your Firefox Browsing
      • Mozilla Launches “Facebook Container” To Stop Your Data Tracking On The Web

        Mozilla has designed the addon to make it harder for the blue network to track people everywhere they can. The company says that it’s based on technologies they have been working for years to help manage privacy and security.

      • Facebook Container Extension: Take control of how you’re being tracked

        Our Multi-Account Containers extension has been a game changer for many users, letting them manage various parts of their online life without intermingling their accounts. To help Firefox users have more control of their data on Facebook, we’ve created the Facebook Container Extension.

      • New Firefox Add-on Prevents Facebook Tracking, the Linux Foundation Announces the LF Deep Learning Foundation and More

        Mozilla today announced a new Facebook Container add-on for Firefox that prevents Facebook from tracking you around the web: “Facebook Container works by isolating your Facebook identity into a separate container that makes it harder for Facebook to track your visits to other websites with third-party cookies.” See also the Mozilla blog for more on the story.

      • Meet the open sorcerers who have vowed to make Facebook history

        Once upon a time the internet ran on open protocols, and anyone could host servers that ran these protocols. Your first dial-up internet connection probably came with a bundle of tools for groups and chat. If you weren’t happy with the service from your ISP you’d point the client at another. The internet was open and federated, with tons of innovation at the client end.

        But the protocol developers went to sleep for 20 years. We haven’t seen much infrastructure development since the crypto protocols in the mid-1990s. Naturally, people wanted to do what they’ve always done, groups and chat, and so along came Mark Zuckerberg to turn the open, federated web into a private plantation. And here we all are, complaining that Mark Zuckerberg has too much power and no competition.

      • Experiments with “Good First Experience”

        If we think of an OSS project like a team of climbers ascending a mountain, a GFE is a camp part-way up the route that backpackers can visit in order to get a feel for the real thing. A GFE is also like a good detective novel: you know the mystery is going to get solved by the end, but nevertheless, it’s thrilling to experience the journey, and see how it happens. Could I solve this before the book does?

      • Improving the Add-ons Linter
  • Databases

    • What a Difference a Decade Makes

      A decade ago today, the MySQL database was 12 years, 10 months and 4 days old. PostgreSQL, for its part, clocked in at 11 years, 8 months and 19 days old. Though not quite teenagers, both databases had a laundry list of accomplishments to point to: robust communities, massive distribution and even high profile success stories with various web players.

      At the 2005 Open Source Business Conference, even the self-selected audience of senior technology executives willing to attend an open source conference – which included representatives of Citistreet, Fidelity, JP Morgan Chase, Priceline and others – expressed their reservations about trusting open source for “mission critical” database workloads.

      The following three years didn’t, on the surface, appear to make much of an impact on enterprise attitudes towards open source. Within mainstream enterprises ten years ago, open source databases were generally regarded as a non-factor. With analysts characterizing their adoption as “superficial” and “limited to certain specific application workloads,” enterprises displayed little interest in the likes of MySQL and PostgreSQL, though admittedly the story below the senior executives’ radar looked very different. Open source databases might be good enough for Facebook or Google, but they weren’t enough to displace Oracle and other commercial suppliers for more conservative enterprise buyers.

    • Deploying a Spring Boot App with MySQL on OpenShift

      This article shows how to take an existing Spring Boot standalone project that uses MySQL and deploy it on Red Hat OpenShift, In the process, we’ll create docker images which can be deployed to most container/cloud platforms. I’ll discuss creating a Dockerfile, pushing the container image to an OpenShift registry, and finally creating running pods with the Spring Boot app deployed.

      To develop and test using OpenShift on my local machine, I used Red Hat Container Development Kit (CDK), which provides a single-node OpenShift cluster running in a Red Hat Enterprise Linux VM, based on minishift. You can run CDK on top of Windows, macOS, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux. For testing, I used Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation release 7.3. It should work on macOS too.

    • Graph Databases and Their Use Cases

      Graph databases solve today’s data challenges by focusing not only on data, but also on the connections between individual database entries. They have numerous use cases and are available both as community-driven software products and as commercial software with enterprise-grade support.

  • CMS

    • Self-Hosted WordPress

      Recent data collected by W3Techs shows that WordPress, a free and open-source content management system, powers 30 percent of the top 10 million sites on the web. Among the main reasons why WordPress has become so popular since its initial release in 2003 is how easily it can be installed on a web server and used to power everything from a small personal blog to an e-commerce store with hundreds of thousands of page views.

      Are you tired of paying for what seems to be overpriced hosting for WordPress, or do you want to have full control of your WordPress environment. This article will get you started thinking about the possibility of self hosting.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Free software for nonprofit fundraising and crowdfunding

      For nonprofits, accepting credit card donations has become easier and easier, whether through a donation processing company or directly through a payment network like Stripe. Sadly, though, until now, nonprofits have had limited options: either accepting some non-free Javascript for an elegant donation experience with minimal PCI compliance rules, or requiring complex integrations or PCI compliance burdens on the backend.

  • BSD

    • Unreal Engine 4 Being Brought Natively To FreeBSD By Independent Developer

      While FreeBSD has a Linux compatibility/emulation layer that allows it to run some Linux games, an independent community developer has been working on porting Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 to FreeBSD.

      FreeBSD developer “malavon” has been porting the Unreal Engine 4 game engine to FreeBSD and in the process getting most of the tech demos / code samples to build.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 8 Aims For Release Candidate In April, But Regressions Remain

      Richard Biener of SUSE issued a status report today on GCC 8.0.1 ahead of the GCC 8.1 stable release expected in the weeks ahead.

      The GCC 8 code-base remains open for regression and documentation fixes. Per the annual GNU Compiler Collection release process, they usually hit their first release candidate by April. But for GCC 8 they still have a number of open regressions that may push back their RC1 hopes for mid-April.

    • What college students do and don’t know about free software

      Given the rapid growth of free software, it seems reasonable that free software communities might expect undergraduate students in computer science or software engineering programs would graduate with an understanding of free software and the ability to make project contributions. However, many students are not being taught core tools and concepts such as licenses, version control, and issue trackers as part of their degree program. This presentation will summarize the results of recent field research on the state of undergraduate education about free software; discuss the gap between undergraduate computing education and community expectations; and explore both the reasons for the gap and approaches to bridging it.

    • Engaging nonprofits: why free software is essential to the social good
    • Karen Sandler Wins the Prestigious Free Software Award

      This past Saturday at the LibrePlanet conference, Conservancy’s Executive Director, Karen Sandler won the most prestigious Award in the area of software freedom: the Free Software Foundation’s annual Award for the Advancement of Free Software. The award is given annually by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) to an individual who has made “a great contribution to the progress and development of free software, through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.”

      Richard Stallman, President of the FSF, presented Sandler with the award during a ceremony. Stallman highlighted Sandler’s dedication to software freedom. Stallman told the crowd that Sandler’s “vivid warning about backdoored nonfree software in implanted medical devices has brought the issue home to people who never wrote a line of code. Her efforts, usually not in the public eye, to provide pro bono legal advice to free software organizations and [with Software Freedom Conservancy] to organize infrastructure for free software projects and copyleft defense, have been equally helpful.”.

    • Sharing strategies for welcoming newcomers into FLOSS projects: First-timers-only, list moderation, and more

      Since early 2016, Public Lab has worked to make our free software projects more welcoming and inclusive, and to grow our software contributor community in diversity and size. We have learned from and incorporated strategies from other communities like the Hoodie Project, SpinachCon, and FirstTimersOnly.com, and shared our own ideas, and this session will cover a range of principles and strategies that have emerged across a number of separate efforts in different FLOSS projects. Topics will include: 1) friendliness, 2) Codes of Conduct, 3) first-timers-only issues, 4) welcoming pages, 5) social media outreach, 6) code modularity, 7) ladders of participation, 8) continuous integration, 9) friendly bots, and 10) evaluation.

    • The WordPress Philosophy: The Four Freedoms

      This is the second post in a series on the WordPress Philosophy. Last month I described why WordPress has a Philosophy and why WordPress users should care about that and understand it. This article is the first of 8 that will explore the tenants of the WordPress Philosophy.

      We’re going to start at the end. The most foundational tenant of the WordPress Philosophy is the last one: “Our Bill of Rights”. I believe this is foundational to understanding all the previous tenants of the philosophy.

      Similarly to the United States of America’s Bill of Rights, this Bill of Rights is all about freedom. This is often called “The Four Freedoms”…

    • GIMP 2.10 Release Candidate Released

      The next big update to GIMP image editor edges eve closer with the launch of a new release candidate for testing.

      GIMP 2.10 Release Candidate 1 adds extra buff and polish to the many new features in GIMP 2.10, including the ‘dashboard’, a dockable system resource monitor.

      There’s also a new debug log, new shadows & highlights filter in the Colors menu, and support for layer masks on layer groups.

    • GIMP 2.10.0 Release Candidate 1 Released

      Newly released GIMP 2.10.0-RC1 is the first release candidate before the GIMP 2.10.0 stable release. With 142 bugs fixed and more than 750 commits since the 2.9.8 development version from mid-December, the focus has really been on getting the last details right.

      All the new features we added for this release are instrumental in either improving how GIMP handles system resources, or helping you to report bugs and recover lost data. For a complete list of changes please see NEWS.

    • GIMP 2.10 Finally Reaches The Release Candidate Stage

      GIMP 2.9 development releases have been happening the past several years and that is finally about to culminate with the long-awaited GIMP 2.10 stable release. Out now is the first release candidate for this big stable update to this GTK2-based image manipulation program.

      Given GIMP 2.10-RC1 is comprised of years worth of changes in the GIMP 2.9 unstable series and even four months since the release of the GIMP 2.9.8 release, there is a ton of new features. GIMP 2.10-rc1 includes a dashboard dock for monitoring its resource usage, a new debug dialog when GIMP crashes, a new shadows-highlights filter, masks on layer groups are now supported, JPEG 2000 support was ported to OpenJPEG, screenshots support using the FreeDesktop API to allow for eventual Wayland support, GEGL library updates, and a whole lot more.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Some of tech’s biggest firms hope to save money with open-source chip designs

        Chip designer Arm developed the processors used in virtually all the world’s mobile devices. It’s also trying to use its chops—in particular, an ability to create low-power but high-performance processors—to become a leading supplier of silicon designs used in more specialized applications, such as artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles.

      • The Information: Google, Qualcomm, Samsung teaming on open source chip

        The Information reports that Google, Qualcomm, and Samsung are among 80 tech companies joining forces to develop a new open-source chip design for new technologies like self-driving vehicles.

      • Open Source 3D Printing in the Spotlight at MRRF 2018: Community, 3D Printers, Championships

        To say that open source is a major part of 3D printing would be an understatement in the extreme; indeed, to many, the open source RepRap Project is the most significant thing to come from 3D printing. Celebrating all things rooted in RepRap is the annual Midwest RepRap Festival (MRRF), hosted in Goshen, Indiana — the largest such gathering in the world. Held at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, MRRF brings 3D printing to the heart of Amish country, with more than 1,400 attendees flocking to the 2018 event this weekend.

  • Programming/Development

    • New in Qt 5.10: Texture Based Animations in Qt 3D

      One way of animating things is to switch between many different versions of the same object at different points in time, like the flip books we all enjoyed as kids. If you flip fast enough, you get the illusion of animation.

      In the context of OpenGL and Qt 3D, images are simply textures and are very commonly used to add details to 3d models. The naive approach to animating texture would be to use lots of them. However, switching textures has a very high cost so traditionally modellers will use texture atlases, where all the images are arranged into a single texture. This does complicate modelling slightly as the original texture coordinates need to be modified to point to the portion of the atlas that now contains the relevant image.

    • [Poll] Best Programming Language
  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Hardware

    • NVIDIA Rolls Out The Volta-Based Quadro GV100

      NVIDIA used their annual GTC conference for announcing their latest Volta-based GPU product, the Quadro GV100.

      The Quadro GV100 graphics card provides 7.4 TFLOPS of double-precision compute power, 14.8 TFLOPS of single-precision compute, or an incredible 118.5 TFLOPS of compute power for deep learning thanks to its Tensor cores. The Quadro GV100 with its Volta GPU is backed by 32GB of HBM2 memory.

      Two GV100 workstation graphics cards can be connected by NVLink2 for a combined 64GB of HBM2 memory, 236 TFLOPS Tensor cores and 10,240 CUDA cores.

    • Foxconn buys Belkin, Linksys, and Wemo

      The Taiwanese company known best for manufacturing iPhones, Foxconn, will soon be the company behind some of the best known routers and other computer accessories. A subsidiary of Foxconn, Foxconn Interconnect Technology, announced today that it would acquire Belkin, which also owns the brands Linksys and Wemo.

    • Taiwan’s AU Optronics assigns patent portfolio to mainland rival after settling Shenzhen court battle

      Hsinchu, Taiwan-headquartered AU Optronics (AUO) recently made what looks like one of its first-ever patent disposals to a competitor, according to USPTO records. It cut the deal with China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) shortly after Chinese court records show the two parties settled patent litigation in which CSOT was the plaintiff. AUO transferred 30 total US patent assets to a Hong Kong subsidiary of CSOT, which is based across the boundary in Shenzhen.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Freedom, devices, and health

      When it comes to health, freedom is literally visceral. How do the principles of freedom apply to the devices used for medicine, health, and wellness? Moderated by Mad Price Ball, a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, this panel introduces leaders that bridge industry, community, and individual experiences. Rachel Kalmar (Berkman Klein Center), uses her experience with sensors and wearables to confront how devices and their data interact with a larger ecosystem. Dana Lewis (OpenAPS) connects us to health communities, and her work with the Nightscout project and patient-led efforts in type 1 diabetes. Karen Sandler (Software Freedom Conservancy) shares her experience as an individual with a device close to her heart: a defibrillator she uses, as a matter of life or death — and she cannot get the source code to it. Join us to learn about how freedom matters for devices in health.

    • Dental Care Provider Threatens Parents With State Intervention If They Don’t Set Up Appointments For Their Kids

      A Pennsylvania dentist clinic has manage to destroy its reputation with a tactic it thought might actually drum up some business. Letters sent to parents by Smiles 4 Keeps suggested the dental clinic would get law enforcement involved if the company didn’t see an uptick in new appointments.

      The letter, posted here by Twitter user @_NotYourMom, makes it clear the Smiles 4 Keep has interpreted Pennsylvania’s child abuse reporting statutes to mean it can report parents to state authorities for not partaking of the clinic’s services often enough.

      Here are the relevant parts of the heavy-handed threats Smiles 4 Keeps has been sending to parents.

  • Security

    • Crooks infiltrate Google Play with malware in QR reading utilities

      SophosLabs just alerted us to a malware family that had infiltrated Google Play by presenting itself as a bunch of handy utilities.

      Sophos detects this malware as Andr/HiddnAd-AJ, and the name gives you an inkling of what the rogue apps do: blast you with ads, but only after lying low for a while to lull you into a false sense of security.

    • You think you’re not a target? A tale of three developers…

      If you develop or distribute software of any kind, you are vulnerable to whole categories of attacks upon yourself or your loved ones. This includes blackmail, extortion or “just” simple malware injection! By targeting software developers such as yourself, malicious actors, including nefarious governments, can infect and attack thousands — if not millions — of end users.

      How can we prevent these disasters? The idea behind reproducible builds is to allow verification that no flaws have been introduced during build processes; this prevents against the installation of backdoor-introducing malware on developers’ machines, ensuring attempts at extortion and other forms of subterfuge are quickly uncovered and thus ultimately futile.

    • New Open Source Standard Hopes To Cure The Internet Of Broken Things Of Some Awful Security Practices

      As we’ve pretty well documented, the internet of things is a security and privacy shitshow. Millions of poorly-secured internet-connected devices are now being sold annually, introducing massive new attack vectors and vulnerabilities into home and business networks nationwide. Thanks to IOT companies and evangelists that prioritize gee-whizzery and profits over privacy and security, your refrigerator can now leak your gmail credentials, your kids’ Barbie doll can now be used as a surveillance tool, and your “smart” tea kettle can now open your wireless network to attack.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • US cops are using dead people’s fingerprints to unlock iPhones

      Citing people close to local and federal police investigations in New York and Ohio, the report says that it is “relatively common fingerprints of the deceased to be depressed on the scanner of Apple iPhones” adding that there has been times where law enforcement has successfully gained access to a dead person’s iPhone.

    • GCHQ’s infosec crew plans to ‘scale up’ Web Check to improve uk.gov site security

      The web certificate set-up and encryption offered by UK government and agency websites can sometimes fall below best practice, as recent issues with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) illustrate. Almost all central government websites have started to follow best practice and website security – while there’s still plenty of room for improvement – normally achieves at least a passing grade. The picture with local government websites is far less rosy, with examples of serious web security fails in Birmingham, Wigan and elsewhere thick on the ground.

    • $75,000 of Monero Cryptojacked Via Flaw in Weathermap Plugin [Ed: Headline used to be "$75,000 of Monero Cryptojacked Through Flaw in Linux," but they realised it was a lie. Not Linux at all!]
    • Forgot About Default Accounts? No Worries, GoScanSSH Didn’t [Ed: Media already twists that as a "Linux" issue (which it is not)]
    • GoScanSSH malware targets Linux systems but avoids government servers

      GoScanSSH, a new strain of malware written in Golang (Go), has been targeting Linux-based SSH servers exposed to the internet — as long as those systems do not belong to the government or military.

      In a new report, Cisco’s Talos Intelligence Group explained several other “interesting characteristics” of GoScanSSH, such as the fact that attackers create unique malware binaries for each host that is infected with the malware.

    • Atlanta, hit by ransomware attack, also fell victim to leaked NSA exploits [Ed: He meant to say Microsoft Windows back doors rather than "leaked NSA exploits". But he used to work for Microsoft UK, so blaming the NSA is convenient.]

      “The attack is an important reminder of the need to ensure that the city’s digital infrastructure is secure and up to date,” said Bottoms in a Monday press conference.

      But according to one security firm, last week’s cyberattack was not a surprise because the city had fallen victim to leaked government exploits used in the WannaCry outbreak.

      New data provided by Augusta, Ga.-based cybersecurity firm Rendition Infosec, seen by ZDNet, shows that the city’s network was silently infected last year with leaked exploits developed by the National Security Agency.

    • BranchScope: Intel CPUs Vulnerable To New Spectre-Like Attack

      In the computer security world, once a vulnerability is found it doesn’t take much longer for the security researchers to find similar flaws and propose new attack mechanisms. The researchers at College of William and Mary, University of California Riverside, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, and Binghamton University, have found a new Spectre-like attack.

      Before I go ahead and tell you something about this attack named “BranchScope,” let me talk about “speculative execution” — a feature of modern CPUs that’s responsible for such attacks.

    • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #152

      Here’s what happened in the Reproducible Builds effort between Sunday March 18 and Saturday March 24 201…

    • Zero coverage reports

      A study from Google Test Automation Conference 2016 showed that an uncovered line (or method) is twice as likely to have a bug fix than a covered line (or method). On top of that, testing a feature prevents unexpected behavior changes.

      Using these reports, we have managed to remove a good amount of code from mozilla-central, so far around 60 files with thousands of lines of code. We are confident that there’s even more code that we could remove or conditionally compile only if needed.

    • Defense through collaboration: The use of free software in preventing proprietary software based virus attacks

      In the summer of 2017, software powering the critical infrastructure of Ukraine came to a grinding halt after the country was hit with a surgically precise targeted cyber attack. A malware virus called NotPetya irreversibly encrypted the files of hundreds of thousands of computers. The impact was devastating: the Chernobyl radiation moderating system was shut down, governmental institutions lost access to critical data, and the total damage was estimated to cost over $100 million. This example, among others, points to an increasing weaponization of vulnerabilities in proprietary software to accomplish these attacks.

    • Play TLS 1.3 with curl

      The IESG recently approved the TLS 1.3 draft-28 for proposed standard and we can expect the real RFC for this protocol version to appear soon (within a few months probably).

      TLS 1.3 has been in development for quite some time by now, and a lot of TLS libraries already support it to some extent. At varying draft levels.

      curl and libcurl has supported an explicit option to select TLS 1.3 since curl 7.52.0 (December 2016) and assuming you build curl to use a TLS library with support, you’ve been able to use TLS 1.3 with curl since at least then. The support has gradually been expanded to cover more and more libraries since then.

    • TLS 1.3 is approved: Here’s how it could make the entire internet safer

      The version approved is actually the 28th draft of the upgrade to TLS 1.2 and has been in discussion by IETF members for over two years. TLS is a fundamental part of securing internet connections via HTTPS, which likely slowed down its adoption so that IETF members could be sure it didn’t open up exploits.

    • Coverity Scan Service Hacked!
    • Coverity Scan code checker’s systems crypto-jacked to run cheeky mining op

      The systems of freebie open-source code scanning tool Coverity Scan were hacked and abused to run a cryptocurrency mining operation, its operator has confirmed.

      Synopsys, the firm behind Coverity Scan, said its corporate systems were not affected by the previously unexplained incident, which resulted in the suspension of the service for around four weeks until last Friday.

    • The Best 20 Hacking and Penetration Tools for Kali Linux

      It is surprising how many people are interested in learning how to hack. Could it be because they usually have a Hollywood-based impression in their minds?

      Anyway, thanks to the open-source community we can list out a number of hacking tools to suit every one of your needs. Just remember to keep it ethical!

  • Defence/Aggression

    • For WaPo, ‘What Next in Africa?’ Doesn’t Include US Getting Out

      Post national security reporter Dan Lamothe reports that the four US Green Berets killed in Niger last October “did not have air support for an hour after calling for help, leaving it vulnerable as a larger force of about 50 militants attacked with rifles and machine guns.” According to the Post, the ambush “underscores the danger of dispersing small teams across a vast continent where the Pentagon does not have the same level of support for its service members as it does in a country such as Iraq or Afghanistan,” where US forces “have a more robust network of fire support, aerial surveillance, medical help and quick-reaction rescue units when a crisis erupts.”

      By juxtaposing the US military presence in “hot battlefields” like Iraq and Afghanistan with its role in places like Niger and Somalia—sometimes referred to as being outside of “areas of active hostilities”—the implied answer to the question “What next in Africa?” is something along the lines of, “Expand US military infrastructure in Africa to protect and provide support for US special forces who will inevitably engage in hostilities.”

    • Why Are Progressives Cheering Cable News’ Parade of Hawks and Liars?

      When the “War on Terror” was launched in 2001, mainstream media—especially cable TV news—started a parade. It was a narrow parade of hawkish retired military and intelligence brass promoting war as the response to the crime of 9/11, predicting success and identifying foreign enemies to attack.

      We can look back at this parade and laugh at the total nonsense dispensed. But the more human response is to cry—over the toll, still mounting, of hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, from Afghanistan to Iraq and beyond, and violent instability across the region, including countries that were relatively stable and prosperous on September 10, 2001. (Not to mention militarization and loss of civil liberties at home.)

    • NATO Memorial Tarred and Feathered for World Afrin Day

      Yesterday, on World Afrin Day, a memorial for the cooperation between NATO and Russia was tarred and feathered in Reykjavík, Iceland.

    • What Congress Can Do to Check a Warmongering Lunatic

      John Bolton’s appointment as national-security adviser does not require Senate confirmation. That doesn’t mean Congress is powerless.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Ford and Alibaba have made a car vending machine in China

      What may seem like a ridiculously over-the-top marketing stunt, the Super Test-Drive Center in Guangzhou is, in fact, a way to make it easy to access cars in order to give them a test drive. Given everything seems to be ‘as-a-service’, we guess there’s no reason not to have test drives-as-a-service.

    • Arizona Governor Suspends Uber From Autonomous Testing

      Ducey said in a letter to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi that video footage of the crash raised concerns about the San Francisco-based company’s ability to safely test its technology in Arizona. He said he expects public safety to be the top priority for those who operate self-driving cars.

    • Uber suspended from autonomous vehicle testing in Arizona following fatal crash

      The ban came down from the office of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday, with a letter from Ducey stating that the decision is in “the best interests of the people” of Arizona following Uber’s “unquestionable failure.” Ducey’s letter also called dash cam video of the crash, which was released by the Tempe PD last week, “disturbing and alarming.”

    • Arizona Bans Self-Driving Car Tests; Still Ignores How Many Pedestrians Get Killed

      Plenty have justly pointed out that Arizona also has plenty of culpability here, given the regulatory oversight of Uber’s testing was arguably nonexistent. That said, Waymo (considered by most to be way ahead of the curve on self-driving tech) hasn’t had similar problems, and there’s every indication that a higher quality implementation of self-driving technology (as the various vendors above attest) may have avoided this unnecessary tragedy.

      Still somehow lost in the finger pointing (including Governor Doug Ducey’s “unequivocal commitment to public safety”) is the fact that Arizona already had some of the highest pedestrian fatalities in the nation (of the human-caused variety). There were ten other pedestrian fatalities the same week as the Uber accident in the Phoenix area alone, and Arizona had the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in the nation last year, clearly illustrating that Arizona has some major civil design and engineering questions of its own that need to be answered as the investigation continues.

    • Uber, losing $1 billion a quarter, sells its Southeast Asian business

      Uber is pulling out of Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia. According to Bloomberg, this represents a region of 620 million people. The deal includes the operation of UberEats.

      Bloomberg also notes that the deal was brokered by the Japanese firm Softbank, which is the biggest shareholder in both companies.

    • Brexit poses a bigger threat to the legitimacy of Britain’s political institutions than attempts to reverse it

      The economic and political costs of leaving the EU are becoming more apparent by the day.

      Far from having its cake and eating it, Britain faces wrenching economic adjustment and an unprecedented loss of political influence. Despite this, there remains a broad consensus that we must accept Brexit for the sake of political legitimacy.

      Even a second referendum is ruled out on the grounds that the result would be close, and as such would not put the issue to bed while inflaming Brexiters’ sense of injustice. Those who argue we have no choice but to push ahead are being Panglossian about what post-Brexit British politics will look like. Brexit will neither neuter populism nor prevent a further decline in political legitimacy. Indeed, Brexit poses a bigger threat to the legitimacy of Britain’s political institutions than if we stayed in the EU.

    • Vote Leave: a tangled web of voter manipulation and dodgy money

      Facebook allowed Cambridge academic Aleksandr Kogan to use a personality questionnaire delivered via an app to harvest personal data of 50 million Facebook users. He claimed it was for research use only but passed the data onto Cambridge Analytica. When Facebook discovered the breach in 2015 they failed to alert users and took only limited steps to recover and secure the private information of more than 50 million individuals.

      Whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, who worked with Kogan to obtain the data, explains how Cambridge Analytica used this information to build profiles and algorithms for social media micro-targeting, designing messages specifically to respond to voters ‘inner demons’.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trump’s Legal Team for Russia Probe Reportedly in Disarray

      Multiple outlets are reporting Trump’s legal team dealing with the Russia investigation is in disarray, after it was announced that two new lawyers—Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova—will not join his legal team, only days after their appointment was announced. DiGenova is a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia who has claimed Trump is being framed by FBI and Justice Department officials. Last Thursday, Trump’s top lawyer, John Dowd, quit the legal team, reportedly resigning after Trump repeatedly ignored his legal advice and attacked Robert Mueller by name on Twitter.

    • Assange Warns CIA Agents Are Running as Democrats in 2018 Election

      Last March, WikiLeaks began its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), code-named “Vault 7,” which is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.

      This March, Julian Assange announced even more mind-blowing information about the CIA: it’s agents are running as Democrats in the 2018 Election. Sound too crazy to be true? That’s what people thought about the government spying on them through their phones and cars.

    • 2 more attorneys turn down Trump

      A pair of veteran white collar lawyers have turned down President Donald Trump’s offer to help lead his defense in the Russia probe, marking another setback for a legal team that’s seen its numbers dwindle over the last week while it prepares for a potentially critical interview between the president and special counsel Robert Mueller.

    • Israeli ex-spymasters warn country is ‘critically ill’ under Netanyahu

      Six former Israeli spymasters accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday of jeopardizing the country’s future as it prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding next month.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Censorship gone wrong

      The recent suspension of two of the evening shows on Voice TV could be a textbook example for journalism and political science students of the future. It was a trifecta of errors. The wrong censors made the wrong programming ban for the wrong reasons. The station, known to have strong red shirt and Pheu Thai sympathy, lost an evening talk show for two weeks. But the form and result of the two-week shutdown of the TonightThailand programme goes well past the inevitable court case over the order.

      The first problem is the actual censor. Shortly after he seized power in 2014, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha placed all broadcasting censorship powers in the hands of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and its secretary-general Takorn Tantasith. This quite properly drew strong criticism at the time. The NBTC’s duty is to regulate physical control of the airwaves. Except by Section 44 order, it has no built-in ability to monitor, let alone control, content.

    • Malaysia proposes up to 10 years’ jail, fines for publishers of ‘fake news’

      Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government tabled a bill in parliament on Monday outlawing “fake news”, with hefty fines and up to 10 years in jail, raising more concerns about media freedom in the wake of a multi-billion dollar graft scandal.

    • Malaysia Set to Censor Political Speech as Fake News

      The government of Malaysia has rushed a new Anti-Fake News Bill into Parliament aimed at restricting political speech ahead of upcoming general elections. As with previous similar bills, this bill has been introduced with minimal time for public consultation and could pass Parliament as early as this week.

      The law would impose penalties as high as 10 years in prison and half a million Malaysian Ringgit (about $128,340) in fines for the publication or distribution of “any news, information, data and reports, which is or are wholly or partly false, whether in the form of features, visuals or audio recordings or in any other form capable of suggesting words or ideas.” Those who have “possession, custody or control [of] any publication containing fake news”—which could include social media platforms and web hosts—are also required “to immediately remove such publication after knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that such publication contains fake news.”

    • Right of publicity not a right to control one’s own image by censoring disagreeable portrayals, says appeals court in de Havilland case

      Does one have the power to control how his/her own image is portrayed? To what extent do third parties’ free speech rights prevail over the rights of the person portrayed?

      These, in a nutshell, have been the core issues at the centre of the important lawsuit initially brought by 101 year-old actor Olivia de Havilland(who famously starred alongside Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind) against FX, the producers of TV miniseries Feud: Bette and Joan. Although the latter focused on the rivalry between film stars Bette David and Joan Crawford, there is also Catherine Zeta-Jones playing Olivia de Havilland, a close friend of Bette Davis.

      [...]

      IPKat readers may for instance recalls instances in which copyright has also played a significant role, sometimes up to the point of compelling filmakers to ‘re-write’ history. For instance critically acclaimed Selma, a film about Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr starring David Oyelowo, does not really contain the exact words pronounced by King. For instance, during the scene at the funeral of civil rights demonstrator Jimmie Lee Jackson Oyelowo/King gives a rousing oratory, asking the crowd, “Who murdered Jimmie Lee Jackson?”. In real life, King asked, “Who killed him?”. In another scene, Oyelowo/King rallies protestors with the words, “Give us the vote,” while in reality King said, “Give us the ballot.” The reason for this is that “Dr. King’s heirs did not grant permission for his speeches to be quoted in “Selma,” and while this may be a blow to the film’s authenticity, [the film director] turns it into an advantage, a chance to see and hear him afresh.”

    • Four More Years of Censoring Culture in Egypt

      One evening last month, Russian belly-dancer Eicatrina Andreeva was performing at a floating nightclub on the Nile River. Toward the end of her act, her manager noticed a middle-aged man in a leather jacket who stood out against the touristy crowd. “I knew he was a cop straight away,” the manager said. “I begged him, ‘Please, just let her finish her set. Give her 15 minutes.’” The policeman obliged. When Andreeva stepped offstage, she was taken to jail.

      Her four-day detention and subsequent fine were based on accusations of “inciting debauchery” after a video of a previous performance—during which she wore a revealing outfit—went viral. (This charge was later conflated with irregularities in her work permit.) Now free and still in Cairo, Andreeva may have got off lightly. Her manager, who asked not to be named for fear of attracting unwanted government attention, said that in his line of work there’s always been tension with the authorities, but that “it’s increasing these days.”

    • Microsoft Prohibits Use Of ‘Offensive Language’ On Skype, Xbox Live, Other Services

      In an update to the Microsoft Services Agreement, which will go into effect on May 1, Microsoft prohibited “offensive language” and fraudulent activity, among other things. The company will suspend or ban users from participating in its Xbox Services, and if found violating its rules, the users will forfeit their account balances, any content licenses they may own, and their Xbox Gold Membership time if they run afoul of these new rules.

    • First Amendment and FX Triumph in “Feud” Right of Publicity Case

      In a big win for free speech, the California Court of Appeal has rejected Olivia de Havilland’s right of publicity and false light claims against FX. The court’s ruling [PDF] explains that the First Amendment protects creative works about celebrities whether the work in question is fact, fiction, or a combination of both. While Hollywood will breathe a sigh of relief, the ruling should also protect other speech by ensuring that right of publicity claims are subject to meaningful First Amendment limits.

    • Claims of widespread censorship on campuses are ‘exaggerated’, inquiry finds [Ed: Well, it is usually Conservative slant objecting to quality control, fact-checking etc.]

      A parliamentary inquiry formed of MPs and peers has described restrictions to free speech at universities as “serious”, but suggested the spread of censorship across campuses has been exaggerated by the media.

      The Joint Committee on Human Rights, a cross-bench group of parliamentarians, released its report into freedom of speech at universities today following weeks of interviews and evidence-gathering.

      In its findings, the inquiry concluded “we did not find the wholesale censorship of debate in universities which media coverage has suggested”, saying “it is a serious problem and it is wrong. But it is not a pervasive problem”.

    • Judge Dismisses Conservative Organization PragerU’s Censorship Case Against YouTube

      A judge has defended YouTube‘s right to restrict the viewership of political videos on its platform. U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled in the video site’s favor in a lawsuit filed by PragerU, the channel run by conservative pundit Dennis Prager.

      Prager’s lawsuit, filed last October, concerned YoUTube’s restricted mode, which, when turned on, prevents users from seeing videos that have been designated as inappropriate for certain viewers. Several PragerU videos, including ones that touched on subjects like feminism, gun rights, and the Middle East, were left out of restricted mode, a move that Prager found to be unjust. “Google/YouTube uses their restricted mode filtering not to protect younger or sensitive viewers from ‘inappropriate’ video content, but as a political gag mechanism to silence PragerU,” the initial complaint read.

    • Google defeats lawsuit claiming YouTube censors conservatives

      In a decision late Monday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said a nonprofit run by conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager failed to show that YouTube infringed its free speech rights by placing age restrictions on its content.

      The plaintiff, Prager University, said YouTube’s “animus” toward its “political identity and viewpoint” led it to curb access to videos, including through its “Restricted Mode” setting, on such topics as abortion, gun rights, Islam and terrorism, despite its stated promise of neutrality.

    • Judge dismisses lawsuit alleging Google censorship of conservative YouTube videos

      A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Google filed by the conservative educational site PragerU that alleged the internet giant was censoring its YouTube videos.

      U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh wrote in her decision on Monday that PragerU had failed to demonstrate that age restrictions imposed on the company’s videos are a First Amendment violation.

      “PragerU’s videos weren’t excluded from Restricted Mode because of politics or ideology, as we demonstrated in our filings,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. “PragerU’s allegations were meritless, both factually and legally, and the court’s ruling vindicates important legal principles that allow us to provide different choices and settings to users.”

    • Google Wins Dismissal of Censorship Suit by Conservative Group

      Google and YouTube “are private entities who created their own video-sharing social media website and make decisions about whether and how to regulate content that has been uploaded on that website,” Koh said in her decision Monday. Prager failed to show the companies “have somehow engaged in one of the very few functions that were traditionally exclusively reserved to the state.”

    • NRA Slams YouTube Over Firearms Safety Censorship

      Last week it became clear YouTube is jumping all in on gun control by banning a number of channels run by gun companies, firearms enthusiasts and instructors. The video service argues this kind of content violates YouTube’s terms of agreements and encourages violence.

    • Banning ‘Live PD’ is censorship

      The City Council president wants to ban a TV show because it might ridicule a few miscreants, drunks and other lawbreakers. Requiring prior written permission before airing from criminals, mentally deficient persons and other malefactors is tantamount to censorship and reminiscent of the regimes in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

      Is placing the same restrictions on newspapers and TV stations before they can print or air the news about crime next?

    • The EPA is making ‘transparency’ look a helluva lot like censorship.

      EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is championing a new policy: The agency can’t base new rules on scientific studies unless the raw data behind them is made public.

      The proposed policy would prevent EPA regulators from using decades of research concerning the health effects of air pollution and pesticides, Lisa Friedman reports for the New York Times.

    • Beijing film festival pulls Oscar-winning film Call Me By Your Name
    • Beijing Film Festival Pulls Call Me By Your Name Amidst Possible Government Crackdown
    • The Beijing International Film Festival has pulled ‘Call Me By Your Name’ from its lineup
    • Beijing Film Festival Pulls ‘Call Me By Your Name’ From Lineup
    • Beijing Film Festival removes Oscar-winning Call Me By Your Name from its roster
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Eleventh Circuit Judge Endorses Warrant for Border Device Searches

      A recent federal appeals court decision shows that at least one judge thinks border agents should get a warrant before conducting forensic searches of travelers’ cell phones.

      Although the majority of the three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in U.S. v. Vergara found that border agents did not need a warrant, EFF is encouraged by the dissent’s forceful conclusion that the significant privacy interests people have in their electronic devices require courts to rethink the border search exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.

    • Device and personal privacy technology roundup

      Would you like to avoid spying digital eyes? Has news about identity theft, phishing scams, and ransomware got you worried about the safety of your devices?

      This talk is a walkthrough of steps that you can take for improved online privacy and security. I’ll recommend concrete free software to keep your personal information from leaking from your personal devices.

    • Why We Can’t Give You A Recommendation

      No single messaging app can perfectly meet everyone’s security and communication needs, so we can’t make a recommendation without considering the details of a particular person’s or group’s situation. Straightforward answers are rarely correct for everyone—and if they’re correct now, they might not be correct in the future.

      At time of writing, if we were locked in a room and told we could only leave if we gave a simple, direct answer to the question of what messenger the average person should use, the answer we at EFF would reluctantly give is, “Probably Signal or WhatsApp.” Both employ the well-regarded Signal protocol for end-to-end encryption. Signal stands out for collecting minimal metadata on users, meaning it has little to nothing to hand over if law enforcement requests user information. WhatsApp’s strength is that it is easy to use, making secure messaging more accessible for people of varying skill levels and interests.

    • The shady data-gathering tactics used by Cambridge Analytica were an open secret to online marketers. I know, because I was one

      The recently revealed Facebook data “breach” that allowed Cambridge Analytica to get access to millions of users’ worth of Facebook data has been greeted as a shocking scandal. Reporters and readers have been surprised to learn about the ability to gather personal data on the friends of people who install a Facebook app, the conversion of a personality quiz into a source of political data, the idea that you can target marketing messages based on individual psychographic profiles, and the surreptitious collection of data under the guise of academic research, later used for political purposes. But there is one group of people who are mostly unsurprised by these revelations: the market researchers and digital marketers who have known about (and in many cases, used) these tactics for years. I’m one of them.

      Back when the Cambridge Analytica data was getting collected by an enterprising academic, I was the vice president of social media for Vision Critical, a customer intelligence software company that powers customer feedback for more than a third of the Fortune 100 companies. Our enterprise clients wanted to know how social media data could complement the insights they were getting from their customer surveys, and it was my job to come up with a way of integrating social media data with survey data.

    • Spanish spies ‘tracked Carles Puigdemont via friend’s phone’

      Spanish intelligence agents had been tracking the movements of the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont using the geolocation service on his friend’s mobile phone before he was detained in Germany at the weekend, according to reports.

      Puigdemont was detained under a European arrest warrant in the northern German province of Schleswig-Holstein on Sunday morning as he journeyed by car from Helsinki to Brussels, where he has been living in self-imposed exile since Catalonia’s unilateral declaration of independence last October.

    • Justice Dept. Revives Push to Mandate a Way to Unlock Phones

      Federal law enforcement officials are renewing a push for a legal mandate that tech companies build tools into smartphones and other devices that would allow access to encrypted data in criminal investigations.

      F.B.I. and Justice Department officials have been quietly meeting with security researchers who have been working on approaches to provide such “extraordinary access” to encrypted devices, according to people familiar with the talks.

      Based on that research, Justice Department officials are convinced that mechanisms allowing access to the data can be engineered without intolerably weakening the devices’ security against hacking.

      Against that backdrop, law enforcement officials have revived talks inside the executive branch over whether to ask Congress to enact legislation mandating the access mechanisms. The Trump White House circulated a memo last month among security and economic agencies outlining ways to think about solving the problem, officials said.

    • DOJ Back To Pushing For Legislation Targeting Encryption

      FBI Director Chris Wray still has yet to hand over his list of agreeable security experts to Sen. Ron Wyden. Wray continues to assert there’s a way to solve the “going dark” problem that won’t involve make device encryption less secure, but every suggestion he offers involves making device encryption less secure. There are a few techies looking for solutions, and that small group may be who Wray believes can talk legislators into prepping a mandated access bill.

    • Exposing hidden surveillance in mobile apps
    • The FTC Is Officially Investigating Facebook’s Data Practices

      This isn’t the first time the FTC has investigated the social network’s data practices. In 2011, Facebook agreed to settle charges—though admitted no actual fault—that it “deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public,” among other overreaches.

    • Facebook’s Settings Include Privacy Buttons That Do Absolutely Nothing
    • New survey finds Americans’ trust in Facebook continues to decline

      Reuters’ survey found that most people used Facebook throughout the day more than they used Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, or Google+. But although people were more likely to be on Facebook, 51 percent either said they didn’t trust the platform at all or didn’t trust it very much. Although the poll didn’t explicitly ask about the Cambridge Analytica data breach that came to light two weeks ago, the timing of the poll coincides with when the public found out about the breach and the #DeleteFacebook hashtag began circulating on social media.

    • Thinking and Working Outside the Platform

      On the one hand, Facebook is on fire, and soon the whole surveillance economy will start burning down too (including publishers who depend on that economy no less than Facebook does).

    • Android Users, Change This Setting to Stop Facebook’s Collection of Your Call and Text Metadata

      Facebook has clarified that it is just storing the metadata of calls, not the actual content. But make no mistake: there’s no such thing as “just” metadata. Metadata refers to almost everything except what you say or write: the identity of your contact, what time you contacted them, and even your location when you contacted them. This can paint a vivid picture of your habits, routines, and social circles. When combined with all of the other personal information and behavioral data available to Facebook, metadata collection is even more concerning.

    • Facebook logs SMS texts and calls, users find as they delete accounts

      When users ask to permanently delete their accounts, the company suggests: “You may want to download a copy of your info from Facebook.” It is this data dump that reveals the extent of Facebook’s data harvesting – surprising even for a company known to gather huge quantities of personal information.

    • Let’s stop pretending Facebook cares

      The really great thing to come out of the Cambridge Analytica scandal is that Facebook will now start doing that thing we were previously assured at every turn they were doing all along. And all it took was everyone finding out about the harvesting and sale of everyone’s data to right-wing zealots like Steve Bannon for political power. Not Facebook finding out because they already knew. For years. In fact, Facebook knew it so well, the company legally threatened Observer and NYT to prevent their reporting on it, to keep everyone else from finding out.

      [...]

      No queries about threatening to sue The Observer to prevent the information from getting out. You know, the whole reason he’s sitting there being interviewed.

    • Cook County sues Facebook, Cambridge Analytica after alleged misuse of millions of Illinoisans’ data

      The Federal Trade Commission on Monday confirmed that it has opened an investigation into Facebook’s data practices, and U.K. investigators reportedly raided Cambridge Analytica’s offices in London late last week.

    • These Companies Have Cut Their Ties With Facebook Amid the Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal
    • Commerzbank suspends ads on Facebook after data leak

      Germany’s second-largest bank, Commerzbank, has suspended advertising on Facebook until further notice, after a massive leak of user data, its head of brand strategy told the Handelsblatt business daily.

    • Your Facebook Feed Is About to Have Much More Local News

      The change aims to help [sic] local publishers reach more of their target audience by increasing the chance of someone from the publisher’s community picking up on relevant stories. Many local news outlets have struggled to adapt to the era of online publishing.

    • How To Lose $75 Billion In 10 Days? Ask Facebook!

      Over the past 10 days since the Cambridge Analytica scandal was first made public, Facebook has faced a market loss of about $75 billion. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as the company is facing its worst ever month.

      Talking strictly in terms of numbers on March 16, when Facebook first acknowledged the irregularities in data sharing with Cambridge Analytica, the company’s stocks were trading at $185.06. Today, they’re at $159.70.

    • One Response to the Cambridge Analytica Scandal: Block Facebook’s Tracking With Privacy Badger [Ed: If the EFF was serious about privacy and wished to stop an informants culture, it would tell people to DELETE Facebook rather than 'fix' it]

      With Facebook in a dominant position in hosting a huge portion of the world’s social conversation, we’ve been worried about the incredible power the company has accumulated and the risks that poses to privacy and democratic conversation.

      Last week’s news about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica has shown that our worst fears were more or less correct. Now users are looking for answers about what went wrong and what they can do to protect themselves online. One option is to use tools like Privacy Badger to reduce the scope of tracking by Facebook and hundreds of other online tracking companies.

    • FTC confirms open Facebook probe following controversial data practices

      After Bloomberg reported the news citing anonymous sources last week, the US Federal Trade Commission has confirmed this morning that it has an open probe looking into Facebook’s privacy practices.

    • FTC confirms it’s investigating Facebook

      Multiple congressional committees are also urging Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify about the incident and the company’s handling of user data.

    • Aadhaar: Is India’s biometric ID scheme hurting the poor?

      For the last three years, they have been deprived of subsidised food from India’s vast public distribution system, a lifeline for the poor. That is not because supplies have dried up at the neighbourhood shop, but because their ration cards have not been linked to their biometric-based 12-digit personal identification numbers.

    • Apple’s Tim Cook calls for ‘well-crafted’ regulation for personal data collection

      But such questions will also prompt others to start considering how much personal data they are willing to give up for a free online service; would people be willing to pay a subscription fee to Google, for example, to use its search tools, or would they rather let tech firms have a data feeding frenzy as long as they didn’t have to pay for every “what is love” or “how to boil egg” search.

    • Greyhound Has a Choice on Warrantless Searches

      It’s a scene out of a dystopian police state: Your bus pulls into the station after a long ride, but before you can get off, law enforcement agents board and make their way down the aisle, peering at passengers. They see brown skin, or hear a foreign accent, and stop to demand identification, then proof of citizenship. Those who don’t satisfy their questions are escorted off the bus.

      [...]

      Bus riders, however, have rights. The Constitution protects everyone in this country, regardless of immigration status, from racial profiling and arbitrary searches and detentions. Rather than acquiescing to CBP’s bully tactics, Greyhound can protect its customers from discrimination and suspicionless searches. Last week, ACLU affiliates in 10 states sent Greyhound a letter urging it to deny Border Patrol agents consent to board its buses and search its passengers without a warrant.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Bonkers, Unconstitutional Rhode Island Porn Tax Law Faces Backlash From Elizabeth Smart Over Use Of Her Name

      It may be time to do some tests of Rhode Island water for heavy metals, as the state is experiencing a spasm of stupid when it comes to lawmaking. You will recall that there have been two recent proposals for new taxes in Rhode Island, one that would target video games rated “Mature” or higher, and one taxing the removal of porn-blocking software from any internet connected device sold in the state. If both sound almost hilariously unconstitutional to you, don’t worry, they are. These laws likely won’t pass and, if they do, the Supreme Court will certainly look upon them the same way a professional golfer looks at a two-inch putt. That the work of the anti-porn law is largely that of Chris Sevier, or Mark Sevier when the mood strikes him, who once tried to marry his own computer in protest of gay marriage and has been charged with stalking people twice, gives rise to one question: why are legislators in several states paying any of this any attention at all?

    • Elizabeth Smart demands porn bill backer stop using her name

      A proposal targeting online pornography and human trafficking billed as the “Elizabeth Smart Law” has grabbed headlines for its unusual approach: require a filter that can be lifted with a $20 fee.

      But Smart, who was kidnapped from her Utah home as a teenager in 2002, sent a cease-and-desist letter to demand her name be removed from it.

    • This Politician Wants New Yorkers to Have the ‘Right to Disconnect’

      Rafael Espinal wants us to stop. The New York City councilman released a “Right to Disconnect” bill on Thursday, advocating for the rights of employees to stop answering work-related emails and other digital messages, like texts, after official work hours. “Our work lives have spilled into our personal lives because of technology,” he told me. “It’s time we unblur and strike a clear line.”

    • The ACLU’s Position on Gun Control

      This past weekend, hundreds of thousands of protestors from around the country took to the streets to demand action against gun violence. The movement has been energized by young people who turned out en masse in response to the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people — most of them teenagers — lost their lives. We applaud the many students who have exercised their speech rights to seek change. This moment calls on us to act not only to ensure that massacres like Parkland do not recur but to end the everyday gun violence that takes exponentially more lives from our communities. It also demands that we do so in a manner consistent with our most cherished civil liberties and constitutional rights.

      Lawmakers across the country are currently considering a range of gun control measures. The American Civil Liberties Union firmly believes that legislatures can, consistent with the Constitution, impose reasonable limits on firearms sale, ownership, and use, without raising civil liberties concerns. We recognize, as the Supreme Court has stated, that the Constitution does not confer a “right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” But some proposed reforms encroach unnecessarily on civil liberties.

    • Google cannot hide behind its algorithms, German court finds

      The Higher Regional Court of Cologne had to decide upon a rather peculiar case that involved statements ‘made’ by Google’s search engine.

      The plaintiff in this case was born in 1945 and was convicted by a German criminal court for attempted theft together with a gang in 1995. Because of earlier, similar convictions, he received a 7-year prison sentence with a subsequent preventive custody. The plaintiff was never charged or sentenced for sex offences.

      While being held in preventive custody, the plaintiff brought a case against this practice to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which ultimately led to a reform of the law on preventive custody in Germany and the release of the plaintiff from prison in 2011.

    • Trump Is Poisoning the Census With Bias

      The Constitution requires that the federal government conduct a census every 10 years. The Fourteenth Amendment mandates that the decennial census count the “whole number of persons in each State.” Yet adding the citizenship question threatens exactly this goal by intimidating citizens and non-citizens alike from participating in a process which directly affects their lives. This decision is just the latest in the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrant communities and other vulnerable populations. It puts politics over democratic principles and the consequences will be enormous.

    • Wilbur Ross Overruled Career Officials at Census Bureau to Add Citizenship Question

      Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ decision Monday to add a controversial question on citizenship to the 2020 census came in the face of opposition from career officials at the Census Bureau who fear it will depress response rates, especially from immigrants.

      Two people with knowledge of the deliberations said career leaders in the Census Bureau, which is part of the Commerce Department, had scrambled to come up with alternatives to adding the question. Those efforts were unsuccessful.

    • Teen thrown to ground, Tasered in mall parking lot by off-duty officer wins lawsuit

      The teen thrown to the ground by an off-duty Tacoma police officer working security at the Tacoma Mall and her brother were awarded more than half a million dollars Thursday in federal court.

      Monique Tillman and brother Eric Branch sued Officer Jared Williams and the city of Tacoma in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, alleging that Williams’ conduct while attempting to detain the two on May 24, 2014, in the mall parking lot was assaultive and excessive. A jury found their claims to be true and awarded them $550,000, attorney Rick Friedman said.

      “Monique and Eric are just looking forward to putting this behind them and getting on with their lives,” Friedman said. “I think it was important for them to stand up for their civil rights and not take this lying down, but they also don’t want to hold any grudges moving forward.”

      City spokeswoman Maria Lee said in a statement that the verdict was disappointing and that Tacoma’s attorneys are reviewing the verdicts and rulings in the case before deciding whether to pursue an appeal.

    • Police treat killing of elderly woman in Paris as antisemitic attack

      Mireille Knoll lived alone and was found dead after a fire broke out in her flat in Paris’s 11th arrondissement on Friday night. An autopsy showed she had been stabbed several times before the fire.

      Two suspects who were arrested are to appear before judges as judicial sources confirmed the death was being treated as motivated by her religion.

      As a child, Knoll had managed to evade the notorious July 1942 roundup by French police of more than 13,000 Jews in Paris, who were detained at the Vel d’Hiv cycling track before being sent to their deaths in Nazi camps. More than 4,000 of those rounded up were children. Fewer than 100 of the Jews detained at the Vel d’Hiv and then sent to the camps survived.

    • Fair Housing Groups Sue Facebook for Allowing Discrimination in Housing Ads

      In February 2017, in response to a ProPublica investigation, Facebook pledged to crack down on efforts by advertisers of rental housing to discriminate against tenants based on race, disability, gender and other characteristics.

      But a new lawsuit, filed Tuesday by the National Fair Housing Alliance in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, alleges that the world’s largest social network still allows advertisers to discriminate against legally protected groups, including mothers, the disabled and Spanish-language speakers.

      Since 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, “it is all the more egregious and shocking” that “Facebook continues to enable landlords and real estate brokers to bar families with children, women and others from receiving rental and sales ads or housing,” the lawsuit states. It asks the court, among other things, to declare that Facebook’s policies violate fair housing laws, to bar the company from publishing discriminatory ads, and to require it to develop and make public a written fair housing policy for advertising.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FCC chairman confirms plan to dissuade carriers from using Huawei and ZTE equipment

      The proposal would “bar the use of money from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund to purchase equipment or services from companies that pose a national security threat to United States communications networks or the communications supply chain.” Pai’s statement never directly mentions Huawei or ZTE by name, but the initiative is clearly designed to keep them out of the backend of US network infrastructure.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • 3 Observations From The Managing IP Patent Forum

      Ultimately, attending the Patent Forum was time well-spent, and confirmed that robust discussion continues with respect to the role of patent rights in this country at this moment in time. As with any changing environment, the clear message was that companies — and for that matter, IP lawyers — today require a level of flexibility and adaptability if they hope to succeed. It may seem obvious, but when times are uncertain, nothing really is.

    • Trump’s pro-IP push in China means Qualcomm has a fine line to tread
    • China-US Tensions Over IP Measures Rise At WTO Dispute Body
    • The curious case of India’s working of patents and Form 27 statements – a critique

      Patentees in India are required to submit information about the working of patents, and even face prison if it is false. Jyoti Sagar and Deepa Kachroo Tiku argue Form 27 is unnecessary

    • Trademarks

      • Macy’s, The Department Store Chain, Forces A Tiny Hair Salon In Scotland To Change Its Name

        Macy’s, the enormous retail company famous for its enormous department stores, has been featured in our pages before throwing its weight around over trademark concerns. If you had thought that the company has ceased its trademark-bullying ways, a recent report featuring a tiny hair salon in Scotland named after the founding couple’s daughter will disabuse you of this notion.

      • Are We Running out of Trademarks? College Sports Edition

        As I watched the Kansas State Wildcats play the Kentucky Wildcats in the Sweet Sixteen this year, it occurred to me that there are an awful lot of Wildcats in the tournament (five, to be exact, or nearly 7.5% of the teams). This made me think of the interesting new paper by Jeanne Fromer and Barton Beebe, called Are We Running Out of Trademarks? An Empirical Study of Trademark Depletion and Congestion.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright and Online Journalism: What’s Going On In New York?

        The case started when a photograph of football player Tom Brady went viral amidst murmurings that he was trying to recruit basketball player Kevin Durant for the Boston Celtics. Mr. Goldman, the photographer, posted it to Snapchat and it was quickly reposted on Reddit and Twitter. Eventually, various news publishers and media websites wrote about the developing sports story and embedded the tweets containing the photo into their articles. The photographer didn’t give explicit permission for his photo to go viral, and he wasn’t happy.

        At that point he had options. The easiest would have been to use the DMCA takedown process to get the original photo taken off Twitter, which would have disabled the embeds as well. Alternatively, he might have sued Twitter for copyright infringement for displaying the photo, though Twitter would likely have defeated that lawsuit by invoking the DMCA safe harbors. But the photographer chose a third, potentially more lucrative approach: sue the news organizations that reported on the story.

      • Will Big Content Derail Argentina’s New Intermediary Law?

        The Federal Congress of Argentina is currently debating a new law on intermediary liability, which would establish a safe harbor of protection for Internet intermediaries (such as ISPs, social media platforms, and search engines) from liability for content uploaded or transmitted by third parties. For the most part, the law closely follows the recommendations that EFF and over 100 other organizations make in our Manila Principles on Intermediary Liability.

        The effect of this law is that ISPs and platforms in Argentina will no longer face the threat of immediate legal liability when a user or other third party creates or shares content that someone else complains about. Why is this important? Because if they do face such liability, the very first thing that a platform is inclined to do when receiving such a complaint is to block or take down that content, and perhaps to suspend or terminate the account of the user who uploaded it. When platforms face liability for user content, it also gives them a legal incentive to closely monitor the behavior of their users online, placing user privacy at risk.

      • The Rise In Streaming Video Exclusives Could Annoy Consumers, Driving Them Back To Piracy

        By and large, the added competition being levied upon the traditionally apathetic pay TV industry has been a good thing. Though it has taken a decade longer than it probably would have in a healthier market, the rise of streaming competitors has forced incumbent cable companies like Comcast to up their game and at least consider lowering prices, improving abysmal customer service, and offering more flexible video options.

        Granted many pay TV execs seem intent on doubling down on the dumb ideas that cause cord cutting in the first place, but it’s indisputable that we’re finally seeing some evolution in the traditionally stubborn sector. Pay TV sector executives that believe cord cutting is a fad that magically ends once Millennials procreate are increasingly being marginalized, as are executives that believe they can milk the dying traditional TV cash cow indefinitely without repercussions.

      • Megaupload founder wins battle in ongoing fight against U.S. extradition

        Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom won one battle with New Zealand authorities on Monday when a Wellington court ruled the attorney general broke the law by refusing his request to be given all information about him held by public agencies.

      • Kim Dotcom wins New Zealand court case and beats back US extradition

        The court awarded Dotcom NZ$30,000 (£15,000) in damages for “loss of benefit” and a further NZ$60,000 (£30,000) for “loss of dignity and injury to feelings”.

        This particular case was handled by the country’s Human Rights Review Tribunal, although it forms part of a wider extradition case that is currently with the Court of Appeal.

      • Dotcom Wins Privacy Breach Case Against New Zealand Government

        The Human Rights Tribunal in New Zealand has ruled that the Government violated the Privacy Act by withholding information from Kim Dotcom. The Megaupload founder is now calling for the resignation of New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner and claims that the pending extradition case is done. “It is OVER!” he writes.

      • Federal Circuit Continues to Screw Up Copyright Law and Thwart Innovation

        In a surprising decision that should terrify software developers, the Federal Circuit held today that Google’s use in its Android mobile operating system of Java API labels infringed Oracle’s copyright. Rejecting the jury verdict, the district court’s holding, and established law, the appellate court held that Google’s use was not a fair use.

        This case should never have reached this stage. The works at the heart of the case are Java API labels that, as Google (and EFF) argued, should not even be eligible for copyright protection. Judge Alsup, who demonstrated some proficiency with programming Java in the first leg of the case, came to the same conclusion. But then it went to the Federal Circuit on appeal. The Federal Circuit, which usually focuses on patent issues, had jurisdiction because Oracle’s lawsuit originally contained a patent claim. Because the case was litigated in the Northern District of California, however, the Federal Circuit was supposed to apply Ninth Circuit law. Instead, it misread that law, reversed Judge Alsup’s ruling, and sent everyone back to San Francisco to litigate the question of whether Google’s use was a fair use.

      • Google-Oracle high-stakes dustup returns to court — with billions on the line
      • Federal Circuit sends Oracle v. Google back for third trial
      • Oracle v. Google: The Federal Circuit goes all-in on copyright and software
      • The Case That Never Ends: Oracle Wins Latest Round vs. Google
      • Google has lost its billion-dollar legal fight with Oracle, but everybody will pay the price
      • Insanity Wins As Appeals Court Overturns Google’s Fair Use Victory For Java APIs

        Oh, CAFC. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has spent decades fucking up patent law, and now they’re doing their damndest to fuck up copyright law as well. In case you’d forgotten, the big case between Oracle and Google over whether or not Google infringed on Oracle’s copyrights is still going on — and it appears it will still be going on for quite a while longer, as CAFC this morning came down with a laughably stupid opinion, overturning the district court’s jury verdict, which had said that Google’s use of a few parts of Java’s API was protected by fair use. That jury verdict was kind of silly in the first place, because the whole trial (the second one in the case) made little sense, as basically everyone outside of Oracle and the CAFC had previously understood (correctly) that APIs are simply not covered by copyright.

      • Billions at stake as Oracle beats Google in latest Android Java API legal dustup

        Like it or not — and most developers hate it — the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2014 that APIs could be copyrighted. Because of that decision, the legal battle between Google and Oracle over whether Google had the right to use Java APIs in Android without compensation has dragged on for years. In the last go-around, Google won again because a jury found that Google’s use of Java APIs was allowed because it constituted “fair use”. Done? Over? Not so fast. Now the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Google’s Java API work wasn’t fair use.

      • Google’s use of Java API packages in Android OS not a fair use

        The Federal Circuit found Google’s use of Java API packages in it’s Android operating system was not a fair use as a matter of law, resurrecting a multi-billion dollar copyright case brought by Oracle Corp against Google. With copyrightability and fair use now decided, unless the Supreme Court intervenes (which seems unlikely) this case will head back to the district court for a damages trial with the sole question being how much money Google owes Oracle America.

      • Founder Of Fan-Subtitle Site ‘Undertexter’ Loses Copyright Infringement Appeal

        Just a quick update on the current craziness going on in the Swedish court system. In the middle of 2017, we wrote about the Swedish authorities raiding the offices of Undertexter, a site that provides fan-created subtitles of movies. Many people were confused by this, but the film industry has long branded fan-made subtitles as contributors to piracy, allowing people in foreign countries to download films and append the subtitles to watch them, rather than buying the localized version. The industry also argues that these subtitles are themselves copyright infringement, as they essentially reproduce the film’s script in another language.

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