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04.24.18

Links 24/4/2018: Preview of Crostini, Introducing Heptio Gimbal, OPNsense 18.1.6

Posted in News Roundup at 5:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source movement to disrupt NFV and SDN marketplace

    According to Technology Business Research’s 1Q18 NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape report, open-source groups will spur NFV and SDN adoption by establishing industry standards that foster interoperability among a broader range of solution providers.

  • Events

    • How to video conference without people hating you

      What about an integrated headset and microphone? This totally depends on the type. I tend to prefer the full sound of a real microphone but the boom mics on some of these headsets are quite good. If you have awesome heaphones already you can add a modmic to turn them into headsets. I find that even the most budget dedicated headsets sound better than earbud microphones.

    • Learn about the open source efforts of Code.gov at this event

      The U.S. government has a department looking to spread open source projects, and members will be in Baltimore this week.

      Code.gov is looking to promote reuse of open source code within the government to cut down on duplicating development work, and spread use of the code throughout the country. On April 26 event at Spark Baltimore, team members from Code.gov, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Presidential Innovation Fellowship are among those invited to be at a meetup to share more. Held from 12-3 p.m., the event will feature talks from the invited guests about what they’re working on and Federal Source Code Policy, as well as how it can apply locally, said organizing team member Melanie Shimano.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • First look at Google Chrome’s UI design refresh

        Users of Google Chrome Canary, the cutting edge version of Google’s web browser, have a chance to get a sneak peek of a user interface design refresh that Google may plan to launch in all versions of Chrome eventually.

        The feature is hidden behind a flag currently but that is a common practice by Google; the company uses flags to hide future features from the general population. While there is no guarantee that features will land in Chrome one day, it is often the case that Google uses experimental flags to prepare the wider release.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Thunderbird: Thunderbird April News Update: GSoC, 60 Beta 4, New Thunderbird Council

        Due to lots of news coming out of the Thunderbird project, I’ve decided to combine three different blog posts I was working on into one news update that gives people an idea of what has been happening in the Thunderbird community this month.

      • New Mozilla Poll: Support for Net Neutrality Grows, Trust in ISPs Dips

        “Today marks the ostensible effective date for the FCC’s net neutrality repeal order, but it does not mark the end of net neutrality,” says Denelle Dixon, Mozilla COO. “And not just because some procedural steps remain before the official overturning of the rules — but because Mozilla and other supporters of net neutrality are fighting to protect it in the courts and in Congress.”

        Also today: Mozilla is publishing results from a nationwide poll that reveals where Americans stand on the issue. Our survey reinforces what grassroots action has already demonstrated: The repeal contradicts most Americans’ wishes. The nation wants strong net neutrality rules.

  • Heptio

    • Introducing Heptio Gimbal: Bridging cloud native and traditional infrastructure

      Today we are excited to announce Heptio Gimbal, an open source initiative to unify and manage internet traffic into hybrid cloud environments consisting of multiple Kubernetes clusters and traditional infrastructure technologies including OpenStack. Gimbal builds on established open source projects like Kubernetes, Heptio Contour, and Envoy to provide a robust multi-team load balancing solution that enables businesses to manage traffic across traditional and container-based infrastructure.

    • Heptio launches new open-source load-balancing project with Kubernetes in mind

      Heptio added a new load balancer to its stable of open-source projects Monday, targeting Kubernetes users who are managing multiple clusters of the container-orchestration tool alongside older infrastructure.

      Gimbal, developed in conjunction with Heptio customer Actapio, was designed to route network traffic within Kubernetes environments set up alongside OpenStack, said Craig McLuckie, co-founder and CEO of Heptio. It can replace expensive hardware load-balancers — which manage the flow of incoming internet traffic across multiple servers — and allow companies with outdated but stable infrastructure to take advantage of the scale that Kubernetes can allow.

    • Yahoo Japan US Subsidiary Actapio Takes Cloud Native Approach to Upgrade On-Premise Infrastructure to Manage High Scale Web Workloads through Heptio partnership
    • Heptio launches Gimbal to help enterprises load balance Kubernetes and OpenStack
    • Heptio Announces Gimbal, Netflix Open-Sources Titus, Linux 4.15 Reaches End of Life and More

      Heptio this morning announces Gimbal, “an open source initiative to unify and scale the flow of network traffic into hybrid environments consisting of multiple Kubernetes clusters and traditional infrastructure technologies including OpenStack”. The initiative is in collaboration with Actapio, a subsidiary of Yahoo Japan Corporation, and according to Craig McLuckie, founder and CEO of Heptio, “This collaboration demonstrates the full potential of cloud native technologies and open source as a way to not only manage applications, but address broader infrastructure considerations.”

    • Heptio Builds Bridge to Kubernetes

      Heptio, the startup launched in 2016 by the creators of the Kubernetes container orchestrator, is launching an open source initiative along with partner Actapio aimed at bridging cloud native and existing infrastructure by scaling network traffic into hybrid frameworks.

      The Seattle-based startup announced this week it is working with the U.S. subsidiary of Yahoo Japan Corp. to help unify network traffic consisting of multiple Kubernetes clusters and traditional infrastructure such as OpenStack private and public clouds.

    • Heptio launches an open-source load balancer for Kubernetes and OpenStack

      Heptio is one of the more interesting companies in the container ecosystem. In part, that’s due to the simple fact that it was founded by Craig McLuckie and Joe Beda, two of the three engineers behind the original Kubernetes project, but also because of the technology it’s developing and the large amount of funding it has raised to date.

    • With new open-source Gimbal project, Heptio aims to ease Kubernetes adoption

      Accel-backed infrastructure automation startup Heptio Inc. today released Gimbal, an open-source load balancer designed to remove a major obstacle standing in the way of enterprises looking to adopt Kubernetes.

      Kubernetes, which was developed by Heptio’s two co-founders during their time at Google Inc., which turned it into open-source software, is the go-tool system for managing software container deployments. Software containers can streamline application projects by enabling developers to easily move code across different infrastructure.

      More and more enterprises are looking to adopt the technology in a bid to speed up their development operations. However, setting up a large Kubernetes-powered environment alongside a company’s existing infrastructure can prove difficult in many cases.

    • Kubernetes Injected Into Yahoo Japan’s OpenStack Infrastructure

      Heptio launched an open source initiative to help manage the flow of traffic into hybrid cloud environments that include multiple Kubernetes clusters and traditional infrastructure technologies like OpenStack.

      Heptio worked with Yahoo Japan subsidiary Actapio on the Gimbal project. That initial work focused on infusing Kubernetes into Yahoo Japan’s infrastructure that already included an OpenStack architecture. This is becoming a common request by enterprises looking to merge legacy systems with container platforms.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Conference 2018 Takes Place in Tirana, Albania, for LibreOffice 6.1

      While working on the next major LibreOffice release, The Document Foundation is also prepping for this year’s LibreOffice Conference, which will take place this fall in Albania.

      The LibreOffice Conference is the perfect opportunity for new and existing LibreOffice developers, users, supporters, and translators, as well as members of the Open Source community to meet up, share their knowledge, and plan the new features of the next major LibreOffice release, in this case LibreOffice 6.1, due in mid August 2018.

      A call for papers was announced over the weekend as The Document Foundation wants you to submit proposals for topics and tracks, along with a short description of yourself for the upcoming LibreOffice Conference 2018 event, which should be filed no later than June 30, 2018. More details can be found here.

    • LibreOffice Conference Call for Paper

      The Document Foundation invites all members and contributors to submit talks, lectures and workshops for this year’s conference in Tirana (Albania). The event is scheduled for late September, from Wednesday 26 to Friday 28. Whether you are a seasoned presenter or have never spoken in public before, if you have something interesting to share about LibreOffice or the Document Liberation Project, we want to hear from you!

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • The Several Faces of Intel Compilers [Ed: It says that this so-called 'article' is "sponsored", so IDG is now running ads as 'articles'. Not even pretense about whether it's journalism or not.]
    • FoundationDB Goes Open Source [Ed: "FoundationDB gave Apple a foothold in the crowded NoSQL database sector," it says and this is what this openwashing is all about. It's helping Apple in spreading its proprietary frameworks and surveillance 'clouds'.]
    • Linux Everywhere (Premium) [Ed: “Linux Everywhere,” says longtime Microsoft propagandist, in service (IMHO) of the latest EEE strategy. Don’t forget who’s still in charge.]
  • Funding

    • Another Summer of Code with Smack

      I’m very happy to announce that once again I will participate in the Summer of Code. Last year I worked on OMEMO encrypted Jingle Filetransfer for the XMPP client library Smack. This year, I will once again contribute to the Smack project. A big thanks goes out to Daniel Gultsch and Conversations.im, who act as an umbrella organization.

  • BSD

    • OPNsense 18.1.6

      For more than 3 years now, OPNsense is driving innovation through modularising and hardening the code base, quick and reliable firmware upgrades, multi-language support, fast adoption of upstream software updates as well as clear and stable 2-Clause BSD licensing.

    • Ryzen Stability Issues Are Still Affecting Some FreeBSD Users

      While in recent months there have been some improvements to FreeBSD that have helped yield greater reliability in running AMD Ryzen processors on this BSD operating system, some users are still reporting hard to diagnose stability problems on FreeBSD.

      For some, FreeBSD on Ryzen is still leading to lock-ups, even while the system may be idle. Also making it hard to debug, for some they can trigger a lock-up within an hour of booting their system while for others they may be able to make it a week or two before hitting any stability problem.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • An introduction to the GNU Core Utilities

      These two collections of Linux utilities, the GNU Core Utilities and util-linux, together provide the basic utilities required to administer a Linux system. As I researched this article, I found several interesting utilities I never knew about. Many of these commands are seldom needed, but when you need them, they are indispensable.

      Between these two collections, there are over 200 Linux utilities. While Linux has many more commands, these are the ones needed to manage the basic functions of a typical Linux host.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • NOAA’s Mission Toward Open Data Sharing

        The goal of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is to put all of its data — data about weather, climate, ocean coasts, fisheries, and ecosystems – into the hands of the people who need it most. The trick is translating the hard data and making it useful to people who aren’t necessarily subject matter experts, said Edward Kearns, the NOAA’s first ever data officer, speaking at the recent Open Source Leadership Summit (OSLS).

        NOAA’s mission is similar to NASA’s in that it is science based, but “our mission is operations; to get the quality information to the American people that they need to run their businesses, to protect their lives and property, to manage their water resources, to manage their ocean resources,” said Kearns, during his talk titled “Realizing the Full Potential of NOAA’s Open Data.”

        He said that NOAA was doing Big Data long before the term was coined and that the agency has way too much of it – to the tune of 30 petabytes in its archives with another 200 petabytes of data in a working data store. Not surprisingly, NOAA officials have a hard time moving it around and managing it, Kearns said.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Is English Wikipedia’s ‘rise and decline’ typical?

        The figure comes from “The Rise and Decline of an Open Collaboration System,” a well-known 2013 paper that argued that Wikipedia’s transition from rapid growth to slow decline in 2007 was driven by an increase in quality control systems. Although many people have treated the paper’s finding as representative of broader patterns in online communities, Wikipedia is a very unusual community in many respects. Do other online communities follow Wikipedia’s pattern of rise and decline? Does increased use of quality control systems coincide with community decline elsewhere?

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Brains behind seL4 secure microkernel begin RISC-V chip port

        Last week, the first RISC-V port of its seL4 microkernel was released by the Data61 division of the Australian government’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

        seL4 is an open-source and highly secure version of the L4 microkernel that aims to be mathematically proven to be bug free, in that it works as expected as per its specifications. Meanwhile, RISC-V is an open-source instruction-set architecture, and is used as the blueprint for various open-source processor core designs – some of which are now shipping as real usable silicon, such as chips from SiFive and Greenwaves.

      • Dongwoon Anatech Licenses Codasip’s Bk3 RISC-V Processor for Motor Control ICs for Mobile Camera

        Codasip, the leading supplier of RISC-V® embedded processor IP, announced today that Dongwoon Anatech, a technology leader in analog and power ICs for mobile phones, has selected Codasip’s Bk3 processor and Studio design tool for its next generation family of motor control IC products.

        Dongwoon Anatech, fabless analog semiconductor specialist, offers a wide range of analog products, including auto-focus driver IC for smartphones, AMOLED DC-DC converter, display power driver IC, and haptic driver IC.

  • Programming/Development

    • ThreadStack: Yet Another C++ Project Trying To Make Multi-Threading Easier

      ThreadStack is yet another C++ project trying to make it easier dealing with multiple CPU threads.

      This latest open-source C++ threading project comes out of academia research. ThreadStack is self-described by its developer, Erkam Murat Bozkurt, as “an innovative software which produces a class library for C++ multi-thread programming and the outcome of the ThreadStack acts as an autonomous management system for the thread synchronization tasks. ThreadStack has a nice and useful graphical user interface and includes a short tutorial and code examples. ThreadStack offers a new way for multi-thread computing and it uses a meta program in order to produce an application specific thread synchronization library.” Erkam has been working the rounds trying to raise awareness for this research on the GCC and LLVM mailing lists.

    • Beta for Qt for WebAssembly Technology Preview

      WebAssembly is a bytecode format intended to be executed in a web browser. This allows an application to be deployed to a device with a compliant web browser without going through any explicit installation steps. The application will be running inside a secure sandbox in the web browser, making it appropriate for applications that do not need full access to the device capabilities, but benefits from a swift and uncomplicated installation process.

    • Qt for WebAssembly Tech Preview Reaches Beta

      As part of next month’s Qt 5.11 tool-kit update, a new technology preview module will be WebAssembly support for running Qt5 user-interfaces within your web-browser.

    • GitLab Web IDE Goes GA and Open-Source in GitLab 10.7

      GitLab Web IDE, aimed to simplify the workflow of accepting merge requests, is generally available in GitLab 10.7, along with other features aimed to improve C++ and Go code security and improve Kubernets integration.

      The GitLab Web IDE was initially released as a beta in GitLab 10.4 Ultimate with the goal of streamlining the workflow to contribute small fixes and to resolve merge requests without requiring the developer to stash their changes and switch to a new branch locally, then back. This could be of particular interest to developers who have a significant number of PRs to review, as well as to developers starting their journey with Git.

    • GitLab open sources its Web IDE

      GitLab has announced its Web IDE is now generally available and open sourced as part of the GitLab 10.7 release. The Web IDE was first introduced in GitLab Ultimate 10.4. It is designed to enable developers to change multiple files, preview Markdown, review changes and commit directly within a browser.

      “At GitLab, we want everyone to be able to contribute, whether you are working on your first commit and getting familiar with git, or an experienced developer reviewing a stack of changes. Setting up a local development environment, or needing to stash changes and switch branches locally, can add friction to the development process,” Joshua Lambert, senior product manager of monitoring and distribution at GitLab, wrote in a post.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Document Freedom Day Singapore 2018

      On the 28 March 2018, Fedora Ambassadors organized Document Freedom Day in Singapore. Document Freedom Day is a day which like-minded folks who care about libre document formats gather to discuss and raise awareness of libre document formats. Libre document formats help reduce restrictions and vendor lock-ins. They are also an important tool that enables our right to read freely.

Leftovers

  • 6 DevOps trends to watch in 2018

    Here at Loggly, we live and breathe logs and uncovering underlying data. It probably comes as no surprise that we’re passionate about the future of log analysis and metric monitoring. Communicating with key subject matter experts in the DevOps space plays an important role in helping us understand where the industry is headed.

  • Trouble in techno hippie paradise

    Another interesting point: while the number of people addicted to nicotine has been going down globally lately, the number of network addicts has outnumbered those by far now. And yet the long term effects of being online almost 24/365 have not yet been researched at all. The cigarette companies claimed that most doctors smoke. The IT industry claims it’s normal to be online. What’s your wakeup2smartphone time? Do you check email every day?

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Redesigning Maternal Care: OB-GYNs Are Urged to See New Mothers Sooner and More Often

      While an ACOG task force began rethinking its approach several years ago, the guidelines arrive at a moment of mounting concern about rising rates of pregnancy-related deaths and near-deaths in the U.S. As ProPublica and NPR have reported, more than 700 women die every year in this country from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth and more than 50,000 suffer life-threatening complications, among the worst records for maternal health in the industrialized world. The death rate for black mothers is three to four times that of white women.

      The days and weeks after childbirth can be a time of particular vulnerability for new moms, with physical and emotional risks that include pain and infection, hypertension and stroke, heart problems, blood clots, anxiety and depression. More than half of maternal deaths occur after the baby is born, according to a new CDC Foundation report.

      Yet for many women in the U.S., the ACOG committee opinion notes, the postpartum period is “devoid of formal or infor­mal maternal support.” This reflects a troubling tendency in the medical system — and throughout American society — to focus on the health and safety of the fetus or baby more than that of the mother. “The baby is the candy, the mom is the wrapper,” said Alison Stuebe, who teaches in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and heads the task force that drafted the guidelines. “And once the candy is out of the wrapper, the wrapper is cast aside.”

    • The Dilemma with Clinical Trials and the Patent Law [Ed: Getting patents on things that do not even work might lead to cheating in clinical trials just to justify the investment in these patents, putting lives at risk.]

      Suppose you are a (patent) attorney in a pharmaceutical company and want to advise your company how to best protect the results of a clinical trial designed to find out the best possible treatment regimen of a certain known and approved drug X. The researchers of your company have devised and been allowed to conduct a clinical study in humans, involving a number of pretty different treatment regimens. The trial will be lengthy and quite costly; its result is not really predictable. In the end, your company’s trial will (hopefully) provide mankind with valuable new information how to best administer drug X. Your company’s management tells you that they want and need and, in their opinion, deserve patent protection for the new treatment regimen.

      Now it’s your turn. You know that a compound for a new use can be patented in principle (Art. 54(4) and (5) EPC) and that a new use may consist, inter alia, of a new treatment regimen (established case law since T 1020/03, a decision back from the good old times when important decisions were still published in the OJ EPO). So far, so good. But now comes the BIG question: Should you file the patent application that your company expects you to file before your company starts the trial, possibly including all treatment regimens included in the trial, or only after your company has received and evaluated the results?

    • An autopsy of London’s huge fatberg finds it contains potentially deadly bacteria

      After a record-breaking specimen, measuring 250 meters (820 ft) long and weighing 130 tonnes (143 tons), was discovered near the South Bank in London, the utilities company Thames Water and Channel 4 teamed up to analyze what was in it and if it was a threat to the capital. After all, that disgusting mass—made up of everything from cooking oil to wipes, condoms, and diapers—is longer than Tower Bridge and weighs the same as two Airbus A318 aircrafts.
      Scientists on the TV program Fatberg Autopsy: Secrets of the Sewers, which airs today (April 24), analyzed 5 tonnes of the monstrous lump to see what was clogging the water system.

      They found that it was made up of the usual suspects of any fatberg—cooking oil comprised 90% of the mass. Their analysis also showed that street drugs, such as cocaine and MDMA, were present but were at much lower concentrations than prohibited gym supplements. But, most worryingly, the autopsy found that the supersized fatberg contains bacteria, including listeria and E. coli, some of which can be potentially deadly and resistant to antibiotics.

  • Security

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Assange Twitter account back tweeting as #ReconnectJulian campaign takes over

      Julian Assange’s Twitter account is active again, four weeks after Ecuador cut off his internet access. The account is being managed by a campaign calling for him to be reconnected.

      “Julian Assange has been gagged and isolated from visitors and communications after heightened pressure,” his account tweeted Monday. “This is on top of his six years without access to sunlight and arbitrary detention in violation of two UN rulings. Account now run by his campaign.”

    • From WikiLeaks to Whistleblowers: “Assault on Truth Telling”

      Defending Rights & Dissent recently published the statement “End Espionage Act Prosecutions of Whistleblowers” signed by a number of journalists, whistleblowers and activists: “We the undersigned organizations and individuals call for an end to the use of the constitutionally dubious Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers who give information to the media on matters of public concern.

      “It is entirely inappropriate to use a law supposedly aimed at actual spies and saboteurs, against individuals who act in good faith to bring government misconduct to the attention of the public. Yet, we have seen this statute used with greater frequency against whistleblowers.

    • Tom Perez Defends Lawsuit Against WikiLeaks and Trump Campaign

      Ben Dreyfuss, senior editor at Mother Jones, discusses DNC chair Tom Perez’s defense of a civil suit against the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, noting that it could be a tactic for the DNC to get funding. We also dig into what some lawyers are speculating could be a conflict of interest for Rudy Giuliani in the Mueller probe as he joins the president’s legal team.

  • Finance

    • People think Amazon has the most positive impact on society out of any major tech company

      After Facebook’s data scandal in March, many Americans are taking a more critical eye toward their technology overlords. But not all tech companies perceived equal. Amazon, for example, consistently enjoys the public’s good graces.

      Some 20 percent of Americans believe Amazon is having the most positive impact on society out of any other major tech company, according to a joint SurveyMonkey/Recode poll. Survey takers could choose between a number of other tech companies. 20 percent selected none of the above.

    • How China trapped Sri Lanka under a mountain of debt

      Sri Lanka’s economy is struggling under the weight of massive debts owed to China, with the rupee hitting an all-time low on Monday.

      The big picture: As the small South Asian country’s economy spirals downward, it’s freeing itself from debts by selling Chinese-funded infrastructure projects back to China, giving Beijing influence over strategic ports close to its rival India’s shores.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Lawsuit Against Russia, WikiLeaks, Trump ‘Chance for Dems to Raise Money’ – Prof

      The Democratic Party has initiated new legal proceedings, accusing the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia and Wikileaks to undermine the US presidential elections in 2016. Sputnik discussed this with Anthony Moretti, Associate Professor in the Department of Communications at Robert Morris University.

    • DNC Sues Russia, Trump Campaign and Wikileaks
    • Trump, Roger Stone and Wikileaks adopt the same line: DNC lawsuit is more of an opportunity than a threat
    • MSNBC’S Creepy Comcast Commercial Is Sinclair Lite

      After the justified uproar over pro-Trump Sinclair Broadcast Group forcing its scores of affiliates to humiliate themselves by reading an on-air script condemning “misleading” news, one would think other media outlets would be a little more careful not to mimic such behavior. Nonetheless, MSNBC—which rightfully tore into Sinclair Broadcast (4/2/18) for having its news reporters read off a corporate script—did a toned-down version of the same thing last Friday on Morning Joe (4/20/18).

      [...]

      The section was presented as news, though branded with Comcast’s logo and intro music. Anchor Nicolle Wallace began by reading from a Comcast press release that described “Comcast Cares Day” as “the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort”: “It is believed to be the largest single-day corporate volunteer event,” she insisted. “Believed” by whom? Well, Comcast’s marketing department, which is evidently enough to assert it as fact.

      Virtually the same language was used by other Comcast properties, including NBC’s Today show (4/21/18, “the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort”) and Boston NBC 10 (4/21/18, “the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort”).

    • Oh Those Embarrassing Moments: Atlantic Council’s Ben Nimmo Outs ‘Russian Bot’ That Turns Out To Simply Be A UK Citizen Tired Of UK Government Warmongering

      For the past few months, Ben Nimmo, the head of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Labs has had his eye on one Twitter account in particular and he has relentlessly framed that account as being that of an influential “Russian bot” that is linked to the Kremlin. This post will reveal that the Atlantic Council’s Ben Nimmo has displayed utter incompetency and a shameful display of research (or lack thereof), considering his position as head of DFR Lab, and considering the large amount of money that the Atlantic Council receives and spends on supposedly ‘countering’ disinfo (to be read as acting as “Thought Police”) for the global elitist establishment.

      [...]

      Due to Ben Nimmo and The Atlantic Council’s allegations, on Friday April 20th, 2018 the owner of the account Ian56 decided to reveal himself to Sky News UK and revealed that not only is he NOT a Russian bot, but instead he is actually a concerned UK citizen who is upset with the war crimes of his own government and the murderous global elitists within it.

      [...]

      Tweets below reveal how anytime British politicians are criticized during elections or at other times, the old ‘Russian trolls’ trope is rolled out by Ben Nimmo and his Atlantic Council disinfo associates. The meme of labeling everyone who disagrees with UK, EU and US (western) government policies as a Russian troll grew old, tired and stale back in 2016, but apparently no one told Ben Nimmo or The Atlantic Council. The irony of calling everyone who disagrees with government actions a Russian troll is that doing such leads to the labeled person waking up to the fact that its all lies, an excuse to cover up for western governments nefarious doings, particularly when it comes to support for terrorist groups operating in Syria, which is now being more and more fully revealed. It must be considered that the use of this pathetic technique now and in the future constantly removes and/or negates the ability of western citizens to openly criticize their own governments for criminal acts. Thus, we can clearly see the modus operandi for such labeling of concerned citizens by certain parties affiliated with said corrupted governments. In a sense, it is a perpetual false flag being conducted against concerned western citizens who are against wars that enrich a select few global elitists and their proxies. Ironically, these citizens are actually being forced (through government taxation) to pay to be censored, propagandized and intentionally misled. The people that are conducting this perpetual false labeling and obfuscation of truth are not actually patriots. They are deceivers working against the best interests of the 99% of the general public held hostage to this insanity. Those that are being falsely labeled and silenced are the real patriots. Hence the actual reason for the You Tube/Google/Deep State censorship now. People are waking up to the lies and the Deep State is trying to keep that massive public wake up from happening. They are trying to put a lid on it and keep it beneath the surface of overall public perception.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Telegram Founder Calls for Repeat of Paper Plane Flashmob

      Pavel Durov, the founder and CEO of the messaging service Telegram, has called on supporters to fly paper planes from their windows next Sunday in opposition to Russia’s ban on the company.

      This past Sunday, Telegram users throughout the country responded to Durov’s initial call on social media for a coordinated paper plane action “in support of Internet freedom.” Russian regulators began blocking Telegram, which uses a white paper plane as its logo, after it refused to comply with a court order to grant security services access to its users’ encrypted messages.

    • Russia blocks Google services as Telegram row intensifies

      Some of Google’s services have stopped working in Russia, as the row over encrypted messaging app Telegram intensifies.

      Russian regulator Roskomnadzor (RKN) blocked the app from operating in Russia last week, claiming it had failed to heed a demand to hand over encryption keys to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) to access messages as part of a terrorist investigation.

    • Google gets caught up in Russian internet censorship battle

      US search giant accused of helping Telegram chat service evade Russian ban

      Gmail and Google Search have been partially blocked in Russia after the state’s communication watchdog accused the US search engine of helping people continuing to use the banned chat service Telegram in the country.

      Russia blocked certain Google IP addresses in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk and other cities yesterday after they were added to Roskomnadozor’s list of banned sites.

    • Bitcoin Censorship Resistance Explained

      One of the greatest features of a decentralized blockchain is censorship resistance. With the money in your bank account, a third party has control over where and when you can send it. With Bitcoin, you can send money to whatever address you like without fear of government interference. However, freedom is not the natural order of the world. The fight against oppression and censorship is a constant battle. While Bitcoin has an important history of circumventing censorship, we’ll look at the omnipresent threats against the cryptocurrency and its level of resistance.

    • Amazon limits reviews of James Comey’s book, raising censorship accusations
    • Censorship? Amazon limiting reviews of James Comey’s book

      But on Amazon, Comey’s book has just a little more than 700 reviews despite being No. 1 on the company’s nonfiction bestseller list last week. And it has an average 5-star rating, the highest rating possible.

      What gives?

      Amazon is letting only verified buyers of Comey’s book post online reviews, the company has confirmed.

      “When numerous reviews post in a short amount of time that are unrelated to the product, we suppress all non-Amazon Verified Purchase (AVP) reviews,” an Amazon spokeswoman told SiliconBeat Monday. “Reviews are meant to help customers by providing real feedback on a product from other customers who have tried it.”

    • Judge Agrees: Perfectly Fine For Google To Deny Ad Placement For ‘Honey Cures Cancer’ Claims

      Eric Goldman brings us the dismissal of a lawsuit against Google that’s… well, a bit on the unintentionally hilarious side. The lawsuit argues there’s a First Amendment right for Google Ad placement — one that circumvents Google’s policies against allowing questionable claims like “Honey Cures Cancer!” — and contains a request for $10 billion in damages.

      El Reg first reported on the lawsuit, filed by a former IBM senior engineer. Apparently tired of the rigorous science involved in his day job, Shajar Abid decided to branch out into speculative fiction.

    • YouTube under fire for censoring video exposing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

      YouTube’s algorithm has long promoted videos attacking gun violence victims, allowing the rightwing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to build a massive audience. But when a not-for-profit recently exposed Jones’ most offensive viral content in a compilation on YouTube, the site was much less supportive – instead deleting the footage from the platform, accusing it of “harassment and bullying”.

      Media Matters, a leftwing watchdog, last week posted a series of clips of Jones spreading falsehoods about the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, a newsworthy video of evidence after the victims’ families filed a defamation lawsuit against the Infowars host. But YouTube, for reasons it has yet to explain, removed the video three days after it was published, a move that once again benefitted Jones, who is now arguing that the defamation suit has defamed him.

    • NTT to block pirated manga sites, sparks censorship fears

      Telecommunications giant NTT group will block access to three “pirated manga websites” for customers of its companies, making it the first in the industry to comply with a government request to take the step.

      But NTT group’s announcement on April 23 has raised concerns among experts who fear the move could be tantamount to widening censorship by authorities.

      Until now, such requests by the government have been limited to websites containing child pornography, even though there is no legal basis for blocking access to them. The government has maintained that it has to resort to an “emergency measure” under the Criminal Law, given the extent of damage those websites cause and a lack of alternative ways to address the issue.

    • Facebook responds to censorship critics with transparency pledge

      Human moderators have just a few seconds to make a decision about whether a piece of reported content belongs on Facebook — and they don’t always get it right.

      Now, Facebook wants to make sure its moderators and the public are on the same page.

      On Tuesday, Facebook updated its community guidelines, publishing for the first time the rules on what moderators should be looking for when deciding to remove content from Facebook. The social network, which has 2.13 billion users and counting, also said it would launch an appeals option for people who feel their page or posts were unfairly removed.

    • Here’s What Facebook Won’t Let You Post

      If you eat someone, do not share it on Facebook. Cannibalism videos are banned.

      Same with still images of cannibalism victims, alive or dead. Unless the image is presented in a medical context with a warning that only those 18 and over can see it. But fetish content regarding cannibalism? Verboten for all ages. And not just on News Feed; it’s also a no-no on other Facebook properties like Instagram—and even Messenger.

      Today, Facebook is making public virtually the entire Community Standards playbook that moderators use to determine whether comments, messages, or images posted by its 2.2 billion users violate its policy. These moves are part of Facebook’s ongoing Trust-A-Palooza effort to be more open in the face of unprecedented criticism. In doing so, the company is laying bare just how much ugliness its global content moderators deal with every day, and just how hard it is to always get it right.

    • ‘You can’t paint over a movement’: Repeal mural removed from Temple Bar (again)

      A REPEAL THE Eighth mural in Dublin’s Temple Bar has been partially painted over after the centre who hosted it was told it may lose its charitable status because of it.

      Supporters of the artwork believe it will spark a conversation around the use of political art, as well as potentially encouraging those calling for a Yes vote to campaign more actively.

      The Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar had previously painted the artwork on the side of its building in 2016, but it was found to be in violation of planning laws and was removed.

    • Censorship claim over Eighth Amendment repeal mural

      The charity watchdog has been accused of stifling free speech after it threatened to cut a Dublin theatre’s funding unless it removed a pro-choice mural.

      The Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar yesterday painted over the words “Repeal the eighth” in an artwork by Maser, the street artist, after the Charities Regulator said it would be denied charitable status if it remained up.

    • The politics of cultural censorship in Lebanon

      A WOMAN sits at a table, a pen and a sheet of paper in front of her. Out of shot, a man’s voice begins to dictate instructions, which she notes down somewhat sulkily. “Replace ‘my tits’ with ‘my breasts’” he begins. “Remove ‘they could fondle and play with them.’” The injunctions become increasingly bizarre and hilarious. Demands to tone down or remove sexual language are soon joined by embargos on religions, political parties and historical events.

      [...]

      Officially, the bureau is entrusted with banning any work deemed to disrespect religion, disturb the public order, incite sectarianism, offend public sensitivities or insult the dignity of the head of state. They add their own bugbears to that list. Sexually graphic scenes, deemed “immoral”, often end up on the cutting-room floor, as do references to local political parties, explorations of the Lebanese civil war, or anything with a connection to Israel (a more logical boycott given that the two countries have officially been at war since 1948, with periodic outbreaks of fighting since then). As with most censorship, enforcement is inconsistent and unpredictable.

    • New York Times Reporter Defends Hillary Clinton Email Reporting: ‘WikiLeaks Was a Source’
    • New York Times Reporter Defends Hillary Clinton Email Reporting: ‘WikiLeaks Was a Source’

      New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore is hitting back against his colleague Amy Chozick — now engaging in a very public reckoning with her role in reporting the Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks.

      Confessore, who co-bylined many of those stories with Chozick, said that he stood by the reporting and that, on margin, it was overwhelmingly newsworthy and beneficial to the American public.

    • Cryptocurrency firm Coinbase suspends WikiLeaks’ bitcoin account
    • Coinbase: WikiLeaks calls for boycott of world’s biggest bitcoin brokerage
    • Coinbase Crypto Exchange Shuts Out Wikileaks
    • WikiLeaks Claims Cryptocurrency Exchange Shut Down Its Bitcoin Account
    • Censorship row as Irish charity regulator orders removal of ‘political’ artwork
    • LGBT activists ask strangers for hugs in China protest at Weibo censorship
    • Madmind Studios will censor horror game Agony to appease ESRB
    • Professor Max Bohnenkamp Remarks on Censorship and Traumatic History in ‘To Live’

      Audience members meditated on the resonance between Trumpian social media trickery and the politics of representation in China’s history of cinematic censorship while munching on steaming scallion pancakes and other Chinese fare. The first screening of the Harvard-Radcliffe Chinese Students Association’s film festival was centered around “Censorship in Chinese Media,” which took place from April 10-12. The first film in the lineup, Zhang Yimou’s “To Live,” hasn’t been officially approved for public exhibition China since its release in 1994, but has earned international acclaim. Professor Max Bohnenkamp, a lecturer on East Asian Languages and Civilizations, provided introductory remarks on Zhang Yimou’s cinematic profile, the political and artistic climate in which “To Live” was produced, and the salience of censorship as a topic of discussion in an increasingly interconnected world.

      Bohnenkamp reflected upon Yimou’s narrative—one that is culturally immersive and overarchingly historical, as well as intensely personal, providing a lived experience of each of China’s tumultuous decades. The film is based on Yu Hua’s novel of the same name.

      “In ‘To Live,’ what stands out and what presumably made the film questionable from the point of view of the censors, is the way that Zhang’s film brings the deeply ironic and emotionally traumatic narrative of the human experience of history in China from the early 1940s to the 1990s that is found in Yu Hua’s fiction, to vivid realistic life on the screen,” Bohnenkamp said.

    • Google or CTIRU: who is fibbing about terror takedowns?

      Today, Google release their latest transparency report. It contains information about the number of government requests for terrorist or extremist content to be removed. For a number of years, the government has promoted the idea that terrorist content is in rampant circulation, and that the amount of material is so abundant that the UK police alone are taking down up to 100,000 pieces of content a year.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Breaking: NSA encryption plan for ‘internet of things’ rejected by international body

      An attempt by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to set two types of encryption as global standards suffered a major setback on Tuesday, after online security experts from countries including U.S. allies voted against the plan, for use on the “internet of things.”

      [...]

      The ISO sets agreed standards for a wide range of products, services, and measurements in almost every industry including technology, manufacturing, food, agriculture, and health. The body has been looking into adopting recommended encryption technology to improve security in devices that make up the “internet of things.” These include household items such as smart speakers, fridges, lighting and heating systems, and wearable technology.

    • Will Immigration Authorities Use Our Taxes to Go After Immigrants?

      The law requires tax information be kept confidential, but we can’t just assume this administration is following that law.

      People across the country filed their tax returns last week, glitches and all. If historical patterns hold up, this year’s taxpayers will include millions of undocumented immigrants.

      Federal law protects the confidentiality of tax information, but recently concerns have been expressed that the tax-related information immigrants and their employers provide the government could be used by the Trump administration as yet another immigration enforcement tool, and some evidence indicates a significant dip in the number of individuals filing their taxes.

      This is why the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request last week demanding information about whether the Social Security Administration is complying with federal law and not sharing confidential tax information with immigration enforcement authorities.

    • The CIA Made A Card Game… And We’re Releasing It

      We write a lot about the CIA here on Techdirt — often covering just how secretive the organization is around responding to FOIA requests. After all, this is the same organization that invented the famous “Glomar Response” to a FOIA request: the now ubiquitous “we can neither confirm, nor deny.” And that one “invention” is used all the time. Indeed, if you have a few extra hours to spend, feel free to go through just our archives demonstrating CIA obstructionism over FOIA.

      But… the organization actually did recently respond to a set of interesting FOIA requests. Back in 2017, at SXSW, the CIA revealed its gaming efforts, and even let some attendees play them. That resulted in a few FOIA requests for the details of the game, including one by MuckRock’s Mitchell Kotler and another by entrepreneur Douglas Palmer. In response to the FOIA requests, the CIA released the details of some of the games (though, somewhat redacted, and in typical FOIA response gritty photo-copy style), including a card game called “Collection Deck.” My first reaction was… “Hey, that would be fun to play…” And then I had a second thought.

      There’s another super popular topic here on Techdirt: the public domain and how important it is to build on works in the public domain. Remember, under Section 105 of the US Copyright Act, works of the federal government of the United States are not subject to copyright and are in the public domain.

    • Lawmakers Ask FBI Why It Isn’t Getting Busy Cracking Its Stockpile Of Seized Smartphones

      Ever since the FBI began its “going dark” crusade, crucial questions have gone unanswered. Considering the budget and technical expertise the FBI has access to, why was it so necessary to get Apple to crack an iPhone’s encryption for the Bureau? Turns out it wasn’t. The FBI did have a solution, but the head of the division charged with cracking open the San Bernardino shooter’s phone didn’t want a technical solution. He wanted a courtroom solution.

      The report that outed the FBI’s general disinterest in using outside contractors to crack encrypted devices is now being used against the FBI. Ten (bipartisan) legislators have signed a letter demanding answers from the agency about its anti-encryption efforts. The “going dark” narrative continues to be pushed by director Christopher Wray, despite recent reports showing at least two vendors have tools that can crack any encrypted iPhones. The tools are also much cheaper than the ~$1 million the FBI spent to open the shooter’s phone, which raises questions about the agency’s fiscal responsibilities to taxpayers.

    • Privacy group sues FTC for records on Facebook’s privacy program

      The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) on Friday filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act to push for the unredacted release of biennial privacy assessments that Facebook agreed to submit under a 2011 consent agreement with the FTC.

    • Aadhaar in welfare is pain without gain

      There are no benefits from Aadhaar that cannot be achieved through other technologies. Beneficiaries of welfare should be ‘freed’ from its clutches first as they have suffered its tyranny the worst and longest

    • Google Tracks So Much Data It Fills 23,000 Pages In 15 Days — Enough For A 7’9″ Pile

      According to the math done by Daily Mail on Sunday, if the amount of data Google collects per user is printed on A4-sized pages and piled up, it would cross your height within a few days.

    • Worried Facebook has far too much data about you? Google has enough to make a 7ft 9in pile of paper every TWO WEEKS (which they then sell to the highest bidder!)
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • A Hostile Environment for Yulia Skripal

      An interesting facet of Theresa May’s “hostile environment” policy, aka institutionalised racism, is that Yulia Skripal will have to pay for her NHS emergency treatment because she was admitted to hospital. When the government announced its clampdown on use of the NHS by foreigners, including migrants and overseas students, it ended the provision of free emergency treatment for non-citizens in the UK, at the point of hospital admission – which in a real emergency is often required.

      I could see the argument for charging “aliens” for attending A & E with a broken thumb, but not charging them for a massive heart attack. But the Tories do it the other way round. It is worth noting that in Scotland the Scottish government, which controls the Scottish NHS, has not implemented this Tory policy.

      [...]

      Meanwhile in Salisbury we are going to have a great propaganda theatre of destruction, as places which people were allowed to frequent for weeks after the attack are demolished, to eradicate a strange liquid that is ten times more deadly than VX but at the same time ineffective, and is liquid but cannot be diluted, except its dilution was why it did not kill anybody, and which cannot be washed away, except if you got it on your clothes you are perfectly safe if you wash them, and which made hundreds of people sick except there were only three of them.

      All of those contradictory statements are from the official government narrative on Salisbury as delivered over the last couple of months through the state and corporate media. It is beyond me how they expect anyone to believe their utterly incoherent nonsense.

    • The Game

      The U.S. is supposed to be a safe haven for people fleeing persecution. But asylum-seekers face years of uncertainty when they arrive.

      [...]

      Yearslong wait lists, bewildering legal arguments, an extended stay in detention — you can experience it all in The Waiting Game, a newsgame that simulates the experience of trying to seek asylum in the United States. The game was created by ProPublica, Playmatics and WNYC. Based on the true stories of real asylum-seekers, this interactive portal allows users to follow in the footsteps of five people fleeing persecution and trying to take refuge in America.

      The process can be exhausting and feel arbitrary — and as you’ll find in the game, it involves a lot of waiting. Once asylum-seekers reach America, they must condense complex and often traumatic stories into short, digestible narratives they will tell again and again. Their lives often depend on their ability to convince a judge that they are in danger. Judicial decisions are so inconsistent across the country, success in complicated cases can come down to geography and luck — in New York City only 17 percent of asylum cases are denied in immigration court; in Atlanta, 94 percent are. Increasingly, many asylum-seekers are held in detention for months or even years while going through the system. The immigration detention system costs more than $2 billion per year to maintain.

      The Trump administration has tried to reframe the asylum system as a national security threat and a magnet for illegal immigration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions characterizes the American asylum process as “subject to rampant abuse” and “overloaded with fake claims.” He has aimed recent reforms at expediting asylum adjudications to speed up deportations and at making it more difficult for certain groups to qualify for protection, such as Central Americans who claim to fear gender-based violence or gang persecution.

    • Israelis Continue to Open Fire on Gaza Protestors: An Eyewitness Account

      According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the Palestinian death toll since March 30, 2018 “has risen to 33, including 4 children and 1 photojournalist, and the number of those wounded has risen to 2,436, including 410 children, 66 women, 22 journalists and 9 paramedics.”

      There have been no Israeli casualties.

    • Condemned By Their Own Words

      This transcript of an Israeli General on an Israeli radio station (begins 6.52 in) defending the latest killing by Israeli army snipers of a 14 year old boy who posed no threat of any kind, is much more powerful if you just read it than any analysis I can give.

    • The Supreme Court’s First Great Trump Test: the Muslim Ban

      Ever since a “so-called judge” in Washington State issued a nationwide injunction against President Donald Trump’s ban on entry by foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the courts have played a critical part in checking the president’s constitutional excesses. The Supreme Court, however, has yet to assess the travel ban. That will change this week, when the court hears arguments in a challenge to the third and latest version of the ban. (The ACLU, where I serve as National Legal Director, has been counsel in successful challenges to all three versions of the ban, including one now pending before the Supreme Court.) The case most directly implicates the rights of Muslims, here and abroad, singled out for disfavored treatment by a president who promised to do just that as a candidate. But because the administration has argued that the court must blindly defer to the president, the dispute equally concerns the very role of the court in the separation of powers.

    • Why Mississippi Officials Needed to Answer for Inhumane and Dangerous Prison Conditions

      This spring, we took the Mississippi Department of Corrections to court for the grave abuses and inhumane conditions they allowed at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, a private prison in Meridian. No court decision will undo the harm done to the prisoners. But the court can require an end to the barbarity at the facility that we detailed in our fight for the constitutional rights of prisoners there.

      Over the course of a five-week trial, lawyers from the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Covington & Burling LLP, and the Law Offices of Elizabeth Alexander presented evidence against the Mississippi Department of Corrections in support of seven separate constitutional violations: for failure to protect prisoners from harm; for excessive use of force by staff on prisoners; for unsafe and unsanitary environmental conditions ; for substandard nutrition; for use of solitary confinement; for inadequate medical care; and for substandard mental health care.

    • Western Media Shorthand on Venezuela Conveys and Conceals So Much

      A Reuters article (4/18/18) reports that the European Union “could impose further sanctions on Venezuela if it believes democracy is being undermined there.”

      The line nicely illustrates the kind of journalistic shorthand Western media have developed, over years of repetition, for conveying distortions and whitewashing gross imperial hypocrisy about Venezuela. A passing remark can convey and conceal so much.

    • ICE Separates 18-Month-Old From Mother for Months

      The Trump administration continues to deny a policy of family-separation.The pattern speaks for itself.

      At this very instant, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is depriving an 18-month-old child of his mother, separating the two in immigration detention. Mirian, a 29-year-old mother from Honduras, is currently detained in T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas, while her toddler is kept in a facility in San Antonio, some 120 miles away.

      Their ordeal has already lasted two months.

      They are just one of hundreds of families who are subjected to ICE’s brutal tactic of forcibly separating immigrant parents and children and on whose behalf the ACLU has brought a national class-action lawsuit. On Friday, The New York Times reported new data, estimating that more than 700 children have been taken from their parents since October, including more than 100 children under the age of 4.

    • Is democracy in its death throes?

      One of the central themes of ANZAC commemorations is that Australians have long fought and died for freedom and democracy.

      Today, those appear to be lost causes. A few years ago the US academic Larry Diamond declared that a “democratic recession” had set in after about 2006. The long global expansion of democracy that began with the fall of the Soviet Union faltered. Worse, it then started to reverse.

    • The Curious Case of the Twice-Fired FBI Analyst

      On Feb. 22, 2018, when Said Barodi received the letter from the deputy director of the FBI, he expected bad news.

      A year earlier, Barodi had been fired as an analyst for the bureau, a job he’d treasured for nearly a decade. Barodi, a Muslim born in Morocco, had been accused of “unprofessional conduct” during an encounter with a federal agent at an airport overseas and of “lack of candor” with a customs agent at Dulles International Airport. Barodi had resisted the agent’s questions because he felt he’d been singled out for his race and religion.

      Barodi, however, had won a rare victory when he appealed his firing. The FBI’s Disciplinary Review Board had dismissed two of the three charges and reduced his punishment to a 20-day suspension. He’d been cleared to rejoin the bureau.

      But then Barodi waited months for the FBI to complete the basic security check he needed to go back to work. Amid the delays and the silence, fatalism took hold.

    • Rudd tries to quarantine Windrush scandal

      Amber Rudd’s statement to the Commons today was another tortured attempt to draw a line under the Windrush debacle. But the real Home Office tactic is now clear: they are trying to quarantine the damage, so that the misbehavior is viewed not as a matter of policy, but an aberration.

      The home secretary promised to waive the citizenship fees for Windrush generation applicants, along with the ‘life in the UK’ knowledge tests (a completely arbitrary and tragic-comic initiative for any migrant to go through, let alone someone who has been here for half a century), and any naturalisation fees. She’d also set up a Home Office ‘customer contact’ centre to give the department a “human face” and provide a channel for getting information about this type of failure more speedily.

      Her problem is that an early warning mechanism will not highlight problems if they are viewed as advantages. That is the issue with the Windrush cases. They were not accidents. They were aims. Ministers wanted this, and only pretended not to when they saw the extent of public opposition.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality Did Not Die Today

      When the FCC’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Order,” which repealed net neutrality protections the FCC had previously issued, was published on February 22nd, it was interpreted by many to mean it would go into effect on April 23. That’s not true, and we still don’t know when the previous net neutrality protections will end.

      On the Federal Register’s website—which is the official daily journal of the United States Federal Government and publishes all proposed and adopted rules, the so-called “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” has an “effective date” of April 23. But that only applies to a few cosmetic changes. The majority of the rules governing the Internet remain the same—the prohibitions on blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization—remain.

      Before the FCC’s end to those protections can take effect, the Office of Management and Budget has to approve the new order, which it hasn’t done. Once that happens, we’ll get another notice in the Federal Register. And that’s when we’ll know for sure when the ISPs will be able to legally start changing their actions.

    • It’s Spreading: Lindsey Graham Now Insisting ‘Fairness Doctrine’ Applies To The Internet

      Remember when Republicans were against the “Fairness Doctrine”? Apparently, that’s now out the window, so long as they can attack Facebook. As we noted recently, Senator Ted Cruz appears to be pushing for the strangest interpretation of Section 230 around (in direct conflict with (a) what the law says and (b) how the courts have interpreted it) saying that in order to make use of CDA 230′s immunity “good samaritan” clause, internet service providers need to be “neutral.” Again, that’s not what the law says. It’s also an impossible standard, and one that would lead to results that would piss off lots of people. The similarities to the FCC’s concept of the “Fairness Doctrine” are pretty clear, though such a rule on the internet would be an even bigger deal, since the Fairness Doctrine only applied to broadcast TV.

      [...]

      Separately, this is the same Lindsey Graham who just recently was demanding that social media sites do more to takedown content he didn’t like. Now, apparently, he’s up in arms over the fact that the sites took down content he did like. If Graham truly wants websites to “do everything possible to combat” terrorist groups using the internet, then attacking CDA 230 is the worst possible way to do that. CDA 230 gives websites the power to moderate and filter out such content without fear of facing legal liability. In other words, it’s an excellent tool for getting websites to takedown extremist content. To then turn around and insist that sites should lose CDA 230 protections because they also took down some content you like… raises all sorts of First Amendment issues. You’re basically saying websites should only remove the content I dislike, and if they remove content I like I’m going to put their existence at risk. Guess what happens then? Sites will stop moderating entirely, leaving up more of the “bad” content you dislike.

  • DRM

    • Apple Sued An Independent Norwegian Repair Shop In Bid To Monopolize Repair — And Lost

      A few years ago, annoyance at John Deere’s obnoxious tractor DRM birthed a grassroots tech movement. John Deere’s decision to implement a lockdown on “unauthorized repairs” turned countless ordinary citizens into technology policy activists, after DRM and the company’s EULA prohibited the lion-share of repair or modification of tractors customers thought they owned. These restrictions only worked to drive up costs for owners, who faced either paying significantly more money for “authorized” repair, or toying around with pirated firmware just to ensure the products they owned actually worked.

      The John Deere fiasco resulted in the push for a new “right to repair” law in Nebraska. This push then quickly spread to multiple other states, driven in part by consumer repair monopolization efforts by other companies including Apple, Sony and Microsoft. Lobbyists for these companies quickly got to work trying to claim that by allowing consumers to repair products they own (or take them to third-party repair shops), they were endangering public safety. Apple went so far as to argue that if Nebraska passed such a law, it would become a dangerous “mecca for hackers” and other rabble rousers.

      Apple’s efforts in particular to monopolize repair run deep. The company has worked alongside the Department of Homeland Security and ICE to seize counterfeit parts in the United States and raid shops of independent iPhone repair professionals. FOIA efforts to obtain details on just how deeply rooted Apple is in ICE’s “Operation Chain Reaction” have been rejected. The efforts to “combat counterfeit goods” often obscures what this is really about for Apple: protecting a lucrative repair monopoly and thwarting anybody that might dare repair Apple devices for less money.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Taiwanese start-up widens assertion drive in the wake of 2017 Apple settlement

      At last week’s IPBC Taiwan conference, managing IP costs emerged as a key theme of conversation – with some suggesting that financial pressure could lead to more monetisation activity. One firm that has recently opted to go down the monetisation path is a small company called CyWee, which began life within the government-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). CyWee is evidently an operating company with business across wireless streaming, motion processing and facial tracking. According to a District of Delaware patent infringement lawsuit it filed against Google last Monday, CyWee was formed by two ITRI researchers in 2007…

    • Qualcomm’s No Good, Very Bad Streak

      Qualcomm Inc. stepped into the escalating spat between the U.S. and China. It is now grappling with the fallout.

    • Harsh US government sanctions put huge pressure on ZTE’s IP function to contain damage

      One week after the US Department of Commerce announced tough penalties against ZTE in a long-running sanctions violation case, not much clarity has emerged about how exactly the seven year denial of US technology exports will impact the company. The unfolding crisis was certainly a live discussion topic at last Friday’s IPBC conference in the telecommunications firm’s home city of Shenzhen. One thing that’s certain is that the company is in damage-control mode. It is all hands on deck and that includes the IP function.

    • Trademarks

      • In ‘N Out Uses A Bullshit Pop-Up Every Five Years Strategy Just To Lock Up Its Australian Trademark

        When we recently discussed the rather odd story of the famous burger chain In ‘N Out suing an Australian burger joint over trademark concerns despite having no storefront presence in the country, there was one aspect of it glossed over in the source link and omitted by me that really deserves some fleshing out. You see, like here in America, Australian trademark law has a provision that you actually must be using the mark in question in order to retain it. More specifically, use must be established every five years in order to keep the trademark valid. Given that In ‘N Out operates no storefronts in Australia, readers rightly wondered how it was possible that the company even had a valid trademark to wield in its trademark battle.

    • Copyrights

      • We Interrupt The News Again With Hopefully The Last Update From The Monkey Selfie Case

        And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: a decision from the Ninth Circuit in the Monkey Selfie case.

        Upshot: the case remains dismissed, and the defendants get to recover attorney fees for the appeal. There’s also relatively little to say on the copyright front. This case has turned almost entirely into litigation about standing and proven to be a significant wrench in the works for any future litigation anyone, but PETA in particular, might want to bring on behalf of animals.

      • BREAKING: 9th Circuit rules that Naruto has no standing under US Copyright Act

        If you thought that the infamous Monkey Selfie case was over, well, you were … wrong!

        A few weeks ago IP enthusiasts were in fact ‘thrilled’ to learn that – despite the out-of-court settlement agreement concluded in 2017 – the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit would rule anyway on the case brought by PETA (as next friend) against now economically struggling wildlife photographer David Slater over copyright ownership of a series of selfies taken by Celebs crested macaque Naruto.

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    Links for the day



  12. Rebranding Malware and Spyware as 'Linux' to Dilute the Brand (and the News)

    Signal-to-noise ratio continues to be reduced, as a lot of "Linux" news has nothing to do with GNU/Linux or even with Free software



  13. Understanding Thierry Breton: In the Beginning...

    Career roundup of Thierry Breton, possibly the next EU Commissioner



  14. Startpage Has Been Delisted, But it Ought to be Blacklisted

    Startpage has just warned its fans (I am a former fan) of what Startpage itself covertly became months back



  15. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 12, 2019



  16. Links 12/11/2019: Plasma 5.17.3, More Intel Defects, Bytecode Alliance

    Links for the day



  17. You've Gotta Go When You've Gotta Go

    How most staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) feels these days



  18. Teaser: Thierry Breton and His Disquieting Past

    "The company attracted notoriety and loathing in the UK for its role in assessing disability benefit eligibility."



  19. EPO and EU: People Behind the Faces

    It’s no secret that the EPO breaks the law and European officials have taken no concrete steps to intervene; to make matters worse, potentially new EPO allies may soon be put in charge of the EU Commission



  20. Maintaining the 'Delete Github' page

    "This list really is a starting point, which can hopefully increase awareness about the issue of concern."



  21. Linux Foundation Picking Money

    The dating standards of the Linux Foundation



  22. Microsoft 'Borrows' the Linux Brand

    With help from the likes of the Linux Foundation Microsoft continues to misuse and ‘dilute’ the Linux brand (and registered trademark)



  23. EPO Corruption Compared to Cocaine Scandals in Antwerp

    Days after the Dutch protest discussion is sort of 'uncorked' regarding EPO corruption (published, as usual, in the form of anonymous comments)



  24. SUEPO Showed That the Media Won't Cover EPO Corruption Until Half the Workers March in the Streets

    What ought to have been a central (if not 'the' central) issue of debate in Europe is still being treated as borderline irrelevant or marginal



  25. Meanwhile in California

    News from California is being spun by Microsoft this week, owing to weak journalism that's more like PR than journalism



  26. Privacy-Centric Services and Even Drupal/Acquia Defect to the Camp of Mass Surveillance

    In search of money [pun intended] companies and services that are supposed to respect their customers and users turn out to be doing the opposite; this merits research and public discussions



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, November 11, 2019



  28. Links 12/11/2019: Sparky 2019.11 Special Editions and Twisted 19.10.0 Released

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft's Abduction of the Voice of Its Opposition Highlights the Urgency of the Movement/Campaign to Delete GitHub

    Microsoft understands that by entrapping FOSS and GNU/Linux inside proprietary software platforms like GitHub and Azure it can utilise the false perception that it somehow speaks on behalf of both (whilst attacking both)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 10, 2019


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