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11.09.19

Links 9/11/2019: Linux Journal Goes Dark (Offline), KStars 3.3.7, OpenSUSE Name Change Aborted

Posted in News Roundup at 12:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Leftovers

    • Nelson Algren and the Pathologies of Life in the USA

      Colin Asher’s Never a Lovely So Real: The Life and Work of Nelson Algren is both a top-notch work of research and an elegantly written profile of a great writer who is too little remembered today. Unlike too many contemporary biographies, which tend to be either research dumps badly in need of editing or axe-grinding treatises with one major argument repeated ad nauseam, Asher’s book tells the story of a 20th Century literary giant with grace and clarity.

    • New Mexico Postcard: The Call of the Sandhill Cranes

      I arrived in the Gila River valley in New Mexico in mid-September to stay at a friend’s property for a few months. Shortly afterwards, migrating Sandhill Cranes began showing up too. I heard them before I saw them, and my first reaction was, “What the heck is that?”

    • John Pilger’s New Film In Cinemas And On Tv This December

      The new John Pilger film, The Dirty War on the NHS, will be released in cinemas in the UK on 1 December and broadcast on the ITV Network on 17 December.The film’s launch will straddle an extraordinary period in Britain, especially an election campaign which, for the first time for years, offers voters a genuine choice. The film’s theme, the privatisation and destruction of the NHS, is already a major election issue.”The Dirty War,” says Pilger at the beginning of the film, “is about democracy. Above all, it is a warning.”

    • Science

      • 2020: The Incipient Bet

        In the fall of 1992, after I finished my second round of speeches for the Quincentennial of America’s “discovery,” drawing on my book about Columbus that had been published in 1990, I started on a book on a subject that had long fascinated me and I knew was just as timely as the Columbus book had been. It was a history of the Luddites, that group of workers in the mid-country of England who had resisted the onslaught of the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800’s by breaking offensive machines and had thus become the prototype of people who supposedly always resisted technology.

      • Curfew Panda

        It seems a tall, ambitious and very authoritarian order: imposing bans on persons under the age of 18 from playing online games between 22:00 and 08:00; rationing gaming on weekdays to 90 minutes and three hours on holidays and weekends. This is the response of the People’s Republic of China to fears that video game addiction must be combated, less with modest treatment regimes than the curfew method. Perhaps more importantly, the aim here, as with other systems of state surveillance, is to create a system of verification matching a user’s identity with government data.

      • Genetic Basis for Resistance to Toxic Compounds in Monarch Butterflies Elucidated

        Returning to the genetics, the paper notes that “[s]ite 119 co-evolves with site 111 . . . and substitutions at site 119 always occurred before or with TSI-conferring substitutions at site 122,” from which the authors speculate that “antagonistic pleiotropy and epistasis may have shaped mutational paths to resistance and TSI.” To test this hypothesis, the paper reports the results of experiments using QZH and QSN mutants; the former genotype was “often the last substitution to evolve” while the latter occurs in both resistant and sensitive species. While the QSN mutant could not increase larval-adult survival at low ouabain concentrations there was a survival benefit as ouabain concentrations were increased (this effect “dropped sharply” at the higher concentrations). The results with adults were different, with QSN providing “slight” survival benefit. The last mutation to arise (N122H) gave the highest TSI phenotype but was phylogenetically contingent on substitution arising in site 119. Neurological testing showed the QSN flies were least sensitive and QAH flies the least, and the first mutant LAN was more sensitive that LSN.

    • Hardware

      • AMD Unveils Ryzen 9 3950X CPU as World’s Most Powerful 16-Core Desktop Processor

        AMD announced today the third-generation line up of its latest AMD Ryzen 9 “Threadripper” processor family, the Ryzen 3950X, Ryzen 3960X, and Ryzen 3970X.
        Part of the AMD Ryzen 9 Threadripper desktop processors family, the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X CPU is here as world’s most powerful 16-core desktop processor, delivering unparalleled gaming and 3D performances that AMD claims to even outperform Intel’s Core i9-9920X desktop processor with up to 2.34 times more performance per watt.

        Featuring 16 cores and 32 threads, the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X processor comes with base clock of 3.5GHz that can be overclocked at up to 4.7GHz. As far as memory goes, the CPU features 2 DDR4 memory channels running at 3200MHz and comes with 1MB L1 cache, 8MB L2 cache, and 64MB L3 cache.

        The processor comes unlocked in an AM4 socket with a TSMC 7nm FinFET CMOS, PCIe 4.0 x16 support, as well as 105 watt power consumption (TDP). AMD recommends using a liquid cooling solution for its AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Threadripper processor, which will be available to order starting November 25th at only $749 USD.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (linux-hardened), Debian (fribidi), Gentoo (oniguruma, openssh/openssh, openssl, and pump), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable, expat, firefox, freetds, proftpd, python, thunderbird, and unbound), Oracle (sudo), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), Slackware (kernel), SUSE (rubygem-haml), and Ubuntu (fribidi and webkit2gtk).

      • My System Administration Ethics book has been published

        Dear readers, I am truly happy to announce the publication of my latest technical book. It comes with a lengthy but important title – System Administration Ethics: Ten Commandments for Security and Compliance in a Modern Cyber World. A colleague and I have been writing this book over the past year and a bit, and we’ve jotted down what we believe are the most critical dos and don’ts of information technology.

        Ethics has never been more important – just look around, and you’ll see the Wild Wild West of the digital world, breach here, breach there, data this, data that. Amidst this chaos, you will find techies, afloat, lost, confused, angry, and wondering how their work and passion has become the spearpoint of social dissent and mistrust. I hope this book can provide the right pointers.

      • [Old] Ransomware and data breaches linked to uptick in fatal heart attacks

        After data breaches, as many as 36 additional deaths per 10,000 heart attacks occurred annually at the hundreds of hospitals examined in the new study. Heart attacks rank among the most common medical emergencies in the U.S., with approximately 735,000 Americans experiencing one every year.

        The number of health care entities affected by electronic breaches has risen 20 percent in 2019 compared to all of last year. Those breaches involved the medical records of 38 million health care customers, the largest number since 2015 when massive hacks struck Anthem, Blue Cross, Excellus and UCLA Health System.

        Electronic medical records, though billed as a modern pathway to efficiency, are already known to cause friction among health professionals, occasionally slowing care and leading to inferior health outcomes. Johnson and his colleagues suspect that the newly installed efforts to thwart future digital breaches are unintentionally amplifying this discord.

      • [Old] Data breach remediation efforts and their implications for hospital quality [iophk: Microsoft Windows kills]

        Principal Findings

        Hospital time‐to‐electrocardiogram increased as much as 2.7 minutes and 30‐day acute myocardial infarction mortality increased as much as 0.36 percentage points during the 3‐year window following a breach.

        Conclusion

        Breach remediation efforts were associated with deterioration in timeliness of care and patient outcomes. Thus, breached hospitals and HHS oversight should carefully evaluate remedial security initiatives to achieve better data security without negatively affecting patient outcomes.

      • Study: Ransomware, Data Breaches at Hospitals tied to Uptick in Fatal Heart Attacks

        Hospitals that have been hit by a data breach or ransomware attack can expect to see an increase in the death rate among heart patients in the following months or years because of cybersecurity remediation efforts, a new study posits. Health industry experts say the findings should prompt a larger review of how security — or the lack thereof — may be impacting patient outcomes.

      • Introducing @small-tech/https, a batteries-included drop-in replacement for the Node.js https module

        @small-tech/https with globally-trusted Let’s Encrypt certificates

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Flying Leaps, 30 Years Later

        The fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989 is, for many, one of those historical moments that you say of, later, “I know where I was when I heard the news.” Well, I was in Boston – but the sweet mellifluous significance of the news never quite permeated the membrane of my consciousness; or maybe I just didn’t care. I vaguely remember it was early evening; Tom Brokaw beaming, his eyes all souped-up on scoop juice, and wild celebrations outside Brandenburg Gate, spontaneously jubilant dancers atop the graffiti-sprayed Wall. Totally unexpected event (because, in fact, it was accidental).

      • Repatriate the Children of the Jihad

        According to the NGO Save the Children, close to two hundred children born to French mothers or parents, most of them less than five years old, are confined to detainment camps with their mothers in northeastern Syria. Marie Dosé, a lawyer who filed a complaint before the UN Committee on Children’s Rights against France on behalf of these families in February, states that she has identified 149 French children in the camps.

      • Russia says it’s fulfilling its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe by lifting travel restrictions on citizens with access to state secrets, but that isn’t true

        In 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Russia’s ban on foreign travel for any citizens with recent access to state secrets was a violation of the right to freedom of movement. Today, Russia’s Justice Ministry insists that it’s fixed the problem. Now, if citizens are refused a foreign-travel passport, they can appeal to the Foreign Ministry, and “in a large number of cases” the authorities have sided with individuals. Meduza has learned that this claim is untrue: appeals to the Foreign Ministry are rarer than ever, and decisions to issue passports in these cases are almost unheard of.

      • ‘Traitors, gossips, and schizophrenics’ Transcript: Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov says spreading rumors online should be punishable by death

        And what do we want? It’s especially fashionable now online… That’s how we want it. Women and men are online, writing thousands of comments. They’re damaging their heads, ruining their vision, ruining their memory, harming their faith, and ruining this and that. They go online, and whatever doesn’t concern them… Whether or not they know Islam and Chechen ethics, they’re trying to blame me.

      • And the Armies That Remained Suffer’d: Veterans, Moral Injury and Suicide

        I was very pleased to see the New York Times editorial on November 1, 2019, Suicide Has Been Deadlier than Combat for the Military. As a combat veteran myself and someone who has struggled with suicidality since the Iraq war I am grateful for such public attention to the issue of veteran suicides, particularly as I know many who have been lost to it. However, the Times editorial board made a serious error when it stated “Military officials note that the suicide rates for service members and veterans are comparable to the general population after adjusting for the military’s demographics, predominantly young and male.” By incorrectly stating veteran suicide rates* are comparable to civilian suicide rates the Times makes the consequences of war seem tragic yet statistically insignificant. The reality is that deaths by suicide often kill veterans at a level greater than combat, while the primary reason for these deaths lie in the immoral and ghastly nature of war itself.

      • 30 Years Ago, American Nun Dianna Ortiz Was Kidnapped and Tortured in Guatemala, She’s Still Waiting for Truth & Justice

        Dianna Ortiz wanted to be a nun since she was 6 years old. To some people, that seemed a rather peculiar calling for a girl growing up during the seismic cultural shifts of the 1960s and ’70s, a time when many women were leaving religious orders. But Ortiz, the daughter of a homemaker and a uranium miner growing up in Grants, New Mexico, remained steadfastly committed to her goal through middle and high school and in her late teens she traveled across America to Maple Mount, Kentucky to join the Ursuline Sisters of Mount St. Joseph, part of a 400-year-old Roman Catholic order dedicated to the education of girls and the care of the sick and needy.

      • One Way to Honor Vets? Protect the Postal Service

        If you’re looking for a way to honor veterans, here’s one: protect the U.S. Postal Service.

      • Pentagon Claims US Authority to Shoot Any Syrian Govt Official Who Tries to Take Control of Syrian Oil

        Pentagon officials asserted Thursday U.S. military authority over Syrian oil fields because U.S. forces are acting under the goal of “protecting Americans from terrorist activity” and would be within their rights to shoot a representative of the Syrian government who attempted to retake control over that country’s national resource.

      • American Vivisection

        “American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News—From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror”

      • They Are Racist; Some of Them Have Guns. Inside the White Supremacist Group Hiding in Plain Sight.

        In the hours after the slaughter in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 3, a final toll emerged: 22 dead, most of them Latinos, some Mexican nationals. A portrait of the gunman accused of killing them soon took shape: a 21-year-old from a suburb of Dallas who had been radicalized as a white supremacist online and who saw immigrants as a threat to the future of white America.

        While much of the country reacted with a weary sense of sorrow and outrage, word of the mass killing was processed differently by members of Patriot Front, one of the more prominent white supremacist groups in the U.S.

      • Lebanon: Protect Protesters from Attacks

        Lebanese security forces have failed to stop attacks on peaceful demonstrators by men armed with sticks, metal rods, and sharp objects.

      • Princes at war in the Gulf

        In the past few years, a new generation of princes have come to power in the world’s richest oil-producing monarchies: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. While their predecessors maintained a cordial relationship between the three states, the princes have become bitter rivals, competing with each other over everything from sports and culture to armaments. Their ramped-up rivalry threatens a region already destabilised by years of conflict.

    • Environment

      • Toxin levels in Baltic herring drop significantly, spurring export hopes

        Figures released by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on Thursday show that concentrations of these environmental toxins have dropped by as much as 80 percent over the last 40 years.

        Crucially, even toxin levels in large herring of 19cm or more in length now fall below the maximum limit values for these toxins set by the EU for fish and fish products. Larger, older herring contain larger toxin concentrations.

      • Ignoring Climate Catastrophes

        The planet is coming apart at the seams right before the eyes of scientists at work in remote fringe areas of the North where permafrost crumbles and collapses. It’s abrupt climate change at work in real time, but the governing leaders of the world either don’t care or don’t know. If they did, there would already be a worldwide Climate Marshall Plan to save civilization from early warning signals of utter chaos.

      • Growing Ecological Civilization in China

        The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences invited me to an international ecological conference in Jinan, Shandong Province. The Academy gave the conference a provocative and insightful title: a Paradigm Shift: Towards Ecological Civilization: China and the World.

      • If Money is Tight, Climate Change is Your Issue

        If you’re poor in America, climate change is your issue.

      • Sierra Club Takes a Commendable Turn on Population, Climate Change, and Inequality

        The Sierra Club – long a retrograde proponent of saving the planet by driving a Tesla, eating wild caught salmon, and voting blue – took positive environmental leadership with their end of the year issue of the Sierra magazine. Stating it is “time to fix the population fixation,” they examine the interactions of population, climate change, and inequality. This commendable development from bourgeois lifestyle environmentalism to a more genuine red-green understanding, though, has a way to go.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Remove the Cows Not the Conifers

          There is much debate in the scientific community about whether conifer “encroachment” is unnatural or due to ordinary ecological succession after massive wildfires.

        • Eating the Amazon

          Catastrophic fires have been burning all over the world, not just in Amazonia, but also in Siberia, Indonesia, and the Congo basin. These fires are ecological weapons of mass destruction and displacement resulting in habitat destruction and extermination of other species, violent land grabs from Indigenous peoples, murder of forest protectors, and climate refugees. Most of the disastrous fires in the Amazon are the result of clearing forests for cattle pasture or for crops to feed the cattle. In response to the intentional conflagrations in the Amazon, the actor Leonardo DiCaprio was chided recently for daring to suggest a way to significantly deal with the destruction: People can simply stop eating cattle.

        • My Friend Was Murdered for Trying to Save the Amazon

          Paulo Paulino Guajajara, known as Kwahu, was shot dead following an ambush by loggers. He was a Guardian of the Amazon, a group of indigenous men from the Guajajara tribe who protect their territory from loggers.

        • Illegal Loggers Murder Indigenous Forest Guardian in Brazilian Amazon
        • The Politics of Denial, The Brazilian President, and The Fate of Amazonia

          With the murder of the Amerindian, Paulo Paulino Guajajara, on November 1st by Brazilian illegal-loggers, was clear evidence of genocidal practices against Brazil’s indigenous population continuing today. Paulino’s people, O Povo Guajajara, are some of the most numerous native peoples in Brazil, numbering nearly 30,000 and living in the Amazonian state of Maranhão in northeast Brazil. Paulo Paulino was also a member of the self-designated group, “Guardians of the Forest” (Guardiões da Floresta), who patrol their enormous indigenous reserve, Araribóia, some 1,595 square miles (4,130 square kilometers), almost twice the size of Rhode Island, in order to protect the forest against illegal loggers and illegal poachers.

        • Indigenous firefighters tackle Brazil’s blazes

          If the fires raging across the Amazon are controlled, much of the credit should go to the indigenous firefighters with intimate knowledge of the terrain.

        • How Do We Solve a Problem Like Wildlife Trade?
    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Progressives Care More About Taking the Democratic Party Than Getting Rid of Trump

        Nothing, leading Democrats say, matters more than beating Donald Trump. 2020, they argue, is the most important election of our lifetimes (OK, they always say that).

      • America’s Streets and Squares Are Waiting: Massive Rallies Work!

        Around the world people are marching, rallying, and demonstrating in huge numbers. Some of these countries are ruled by dictators or plutocratic regimes, others are considered democracies. Despite the peril of protest, people are seeking justice, freedom, and decent livelihoods.

      • Okay Kids Do Your Thing

        It seems Trump’s desperate quest to find a public sports event that won’t boo him off the planet has already run into a couple of glitches: The handlers of the Baby Trump balloon quickly raised enough money to get their VIP (very important protester) to the game, and Alabama’s earlier warning to students not to engage in “disruptive behavior” clarified, after backlash, that it

      • A Socialist Party in Our Time?

        Nearly two years ago, Eric Blanc wrote an article for Jacobin that justified socialists running on the Democratic Party primary ballot as a “dirty break” from the two-party system. Eugene V. Debs’s Socialist Party, to which Jacobin pays lip-service, instead supported a “clean break”, as did the Communist Party until Stalin ordered it to back FDR. Ultimately, the idea of a “dirty break” (or its close relative, an “inside-outside” orientation to the Democratic Party) has little to do with Marxism. It is instead old-fashioned pragmatism that has led liberals to support the Democratic Party for generations. When I was young, it was what led SDS to raise the slogan “Part of the Way with LBJ.” After I voted for him in 1964 and faced the draft not much later, I “parted ways” with the Democratic Party.

      • Pacifica’s WBAI Back on the Air But Fight for Non-Corporate Radio Continues

        New York City’s Pacifica radio station, WBAI, was back on the air as of midnight this past Wednesday, but the struggle to keep it a community radio station is far from over.

      • A Message to PBS: Televise the Trump Impeachment Hearings for All to See

        UPDATE: After it was reported Friday afternoon that PBS, in addition to its live coverage, will air upcoming Trump impeachment hearings across its digital platforms as well as re-airing them at prime time on its digital channel WORLD, carried by 157 public television stations (covering 64.4% of US TV households) nationwide, Bill Moyers issued the following statement…

      • As PBS Did With Nixon, Bill Moyers Calls for Primetime Airing of Trump Impeachment Hearings

        “Pull out the stops once again, and for the sake of the nation, throw away the schedule,” writes luminary of public broadcast journalism in full-page ad. “Who wins? Democracy—and viewers like you.”

      • The Real Constitutional Crisis: The Constitution

        It has been amusing to hear liberal commentators say over and over that the malignant racist rogue president Donald “I am the World’s Greatest Person” Trump is precisely the sort of terrible tyrant the United States Founding Fathers had in mind when they devised their “genius” Constitutional system of “checks and balances.” The Tiny-fingered, Tangerine-Tinted, Twitter-Tantruming Tyrant Trump (hereafter “T7”) owes his ascendancy to the White House and his continued presence there largely to the U.S. Constitution.

      • With a Raid on Javier Smaldone, Argentinian Authorities Have Restarted Their Harassment of E-Voting Critics

        Javier Smaldone is a well-known figure in the Argentinian infosec community. As a security researcher, he’s worked to highlight the flaws in electronic voting in Argentina, despite the country’s local and federal attempts to move ahead with insecure software and electoral procedures.

        The Argentinian authorities have a reputation of responding poorly to such criticism: In 2016, when Joaquín Sorianello warned an e-voting company about vulnerabilities in their e-voting software, his home was raided by the Buenos Aires’ police. Another technologist, Ivan Barrera Oro, was raided in 2017 shortly after demonstrating voting vulnerabilities in current software. The cases against Sorianello and Oro were both subsequently dismissed.

      • What Rises to the Level of Impeachability?

        Despite Nancy Pelosi’s “prayerful” concerns and the cowardice of the party she leads, impeachment time has come at last! Republicans must now decide whether to flee their Dear Leader, like rats on a sinking ship, or to stand by his big and very stable brain.

      • Left is the New Right, or Why Marx Matters

        The American obsession with electoral politics is odd in that ‘the people’ have so little say in electoral outcomes and that the outcomes only dance around the edges of most people’s lives. It isn’t so much that the actions of elected leaders are inconsequential as that other factors— economic, historical, structural and institutional, do more to determine ‘politics.’ To use an agrarian metaphor, it’s as if the miller was put forward as determining the harvest.

      • The Contemptible Secretary DeVos

        As a lawyer I am reluctant to speak unkindly of a federal judge, but I cannot resist observing that U.S.  Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim of San Francisco can only be described as a something of a Johnny come lately.  It was she, who on October 24, 2019, held Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in contempt.  In holding Betsy in contempt, Judge Kim was doing what many of us have been doing ever since Betsy first appeared on the national stage. In fairness to Judge Kim it has to be noted that Betsy gave the judge only one reason to hold her in contempt whereas Betsy has given the rest of us a plethora of reasons. In fact, Betsy has given us so many reasons that we can only look wistfully at Ben Carson.

      • Looks Like GOP Might Run With the “Moron Defense” for Trump

        A couple of weeks ago I wrote about President Trump’s defense strategy in the Ukraine scandal…

      • Examining Trump World’s Fantastic Claims About Ukraine

        In fantasy sports, participants draft their own dream teams out of the rosters of existing players. That’s what Donald Trump has done with Ukraine. He and his advisors have created a fantasy team involving a number of key players, including the Ukrainian president, the former U.S. ambassador, and the former vice president’s son. Then they’ve created a fictitious narrative that

      • As Mulvaney Claims ‘Absolute Immunity,’ Witness Testimony Reveals Chief of Staff’s Central Role in Trump Quid Pro Quo

        “It’s hard to imagine something more suspicious and damaging than the White House’s own chief of staff afraid to tell the truth under oath.”

      • ‘An Extraordinary Day’: Brazilian Leftist Leader Lula Freed From Prison

        “An extraordinary day in Brazil—for the world, given Lula’s stature.”

      • From President to Autocrat

        An Autocrat Like All Others

      • Democratic Victory in Virginia Paves Way for Final Approval of Equal Rights Amendment

        “When people tell you that their vote doesn’t matter point them to Virginia and the possibility of finally ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. Elections have consequences.”

      • Ralph Nader: The World Is Waiting for America to Rise Up

        Around the world people are marching, rallying, and demonstrating in huge numbers. Some of these countries are ruled by dictators or plutocratic regimes, others are considered democracies. Despite the peril of protest, people are seeking justice, freedom, and decent livelihoods.

      • Blow Whistle for Service
      • Trump Launches Outreach Effort to Black Americans for 2020

        During the 2016 campaign, candidate Donald Trump stood in front of largely white crowds and asked black voters to consider, “What the hell do you have to lose?”

      • ‘The Business of Building Walls’: New Report Shows Companies Cashing In on Europe’s Expanding Anti-Migrant Barriers

        “As we celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is tragic that so many new walls have been built across Europe to keep out the most vulnerable people on our planet.”

      • Schweitzer’s “Reverence for Life” in the Age of Trump and Modi

        Forever known by his phrase ‘reverence for life’, Albert Schweitzer was a theologian, moral philosopher, physician and missionary. He was born in Alsace when it was German, and became a French citizen when it reverted back to France after the First World War.

      • Statement of Solidarity with the People of Haiti
      • Republicans, Not Russians, Threaten Our Elections

        Republicans are less likely to win elections when voter turnout is high.

      • Why Does the New York Times Hate the Democratic Base?

        The New York Times’ Thomas Edsall has an axe to grind, and the paper loves to let him grind it. Edsall is convinced that the Democrats need to move to the center, in ways that will offend much of the party, in order to appeal to the moderate white “swing” voters he believes are the key to a Democratic victory in 2020.

      • Rob Richie on Ranked Choice Voting, Netfa Freeman on Police Militarization
      • As 2020 US presidential election nears, voter systems are still vulnerable

        Despite the progress, the country is heading into the election with “endless” vulnerable points in the election infrastructure, according to Norden.

        “American elections are very decentralized,” Norden said. “We have 8,000, at least, election jurisdictions in the US. In some ways, that means we’re running 8,000 different elections during a big federal election, like a presidential election. And one of the things that we saw in 2016 was that local election offices were clearly a target.”

        Norden says those local offices often have no IT support — and no cybersecurity staff.

      • Amazon’s electioneering in Seattle is more evidence that capitalism and democracy are incompatible

        Neoliberalism is an anti-democratic political position; it presupposes that the liberal capitalist democratic order maintains some stable state when the ruling class pulls the levers that govern society, and keeps the pesky masses barred from interfering in their accumulation of capital. “[Neoliberalism] means the dismantling of publicly owned industry and deregulation of capital, especially finance capital; the elimination of public provisions and the idea of public goods; and the most basic submission of everything to markets and to unregulated markets,” scholar Wendy Brown told Salon in 2016.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Blizzard Confirms It Won’t Rescind Blitzchung’s Suspension

        We had just talked about the apology that Blizzard’s President J. Allen Brack issued at the opening of Blizzcon this past week. In that apology, Brack accepts responsibility for “moving too quickly” in banning Blitzchung for his mild statements of support for the ongoing protests in Hong Kong and states that Blizzard hadn’t “lived up to the high standards” that Brack apparently expects out of the company. Notably absent from the apology was any reference to altering Blitzchung’s six month ban from competition, or any changes to other bans over Hong Kong speech the company had handed out.

      • Countries are increasingly willing to censor speech online

        Many authoritarian governments already restrict what their citizens see online. China has heavily censored the internet since its early days; Twitter and Facebook are banned outright. Iran also outlaws Facebook. Saudi Arabia restricts access to information on everything from gay rights and evolution to Shia Islam. Attitudes are hardening in democracies, too. Rather than simply being blocked, big tech firms face a raft of new laws controlling what they can host on their platforms.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Microsoft Should Not Fund Israeli Spying on Palestinians

        The act of Palestinian activists covering their faces during anti-Israeli occupation rallies is an old practice that spans decades. The masking of the face, often by Kufyias – traditional Palestinian scarves that grew to symbolize Palestinian resistance – is far from being a fashion statement. Instead, it is a survival technique, without it, activists are likely to be arrested in subsequent nightly raids; at times, even assassinated.

      • CBP Now Has Access To NSA, CIA Collections

        Welcome to the Intelligence Community, CBP!

      • Instagram to begin hiding ‘likes’ in US next week: report

        The experiment comes after the company tested hiding “like” counts in other places, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Italy, Ireland and Brazil, the outlet notes.

      • Democrats demand FCC act over leak of phone location data

        The committee members wrote that the cell phone carriers involved have stopped sharing location data with aggregators, but noted that this was done even though the FCC has not taken action.

      • Instagram Will Remove ‘Likes’ From Posts for Some U.S. Users
      • Mozilla: ISPs Are Lying About Encrypted DNS, Should Have Privacy Practices Investigated

        In a bid to avoid losing access to the cash cow that is your daily browsing data, ISPs like Comcast have been lying about Google and Mozilla’s quest to encrypt DNS data. The effort would effectively let Chrome and Mozilla users opt in to DNS encryption — making your browser data more secure from spying and monetization — assuming your DNS provider supports it. Needless to day, telecom giants that have made billions of dollars monetizing your every online behavior for decades now (and routinely lying about it) don’t much like that.

      • Health Minister Wants Full-Genome Sequencing Of Every Newborn Child In UK To Become Routine

        The cost of sequencing every DNA “letter” in a human genome has fallen faster than Moore’s Law, from around $100 million in 2001, to under $1,000 today (although some say the overall cost in a clinical context is higher). This brings with it the prospect of routinely carrying out full-genome sequencing for everyone.

      • Von der Leyen signals tough approach toward US tech giants

        Delivering a speech in honor of Shoshana Zuboff, a Harvard scholar best known for her book “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” von der Leyen made clear that she ascribes to Zuboff’s view that the U.S. tech industry “knows, decides and decides who decides.” Zuboff was the recipient of this year’s Axel Springer Award, an honor bestowed by German media group Axel Springer, one of the co-owners of POLITICO Europe.

        Reflecting on her own experience with major tech platforms, von der Leyen told a small audience at Springer headquarters in Berlin: “The platforms are less interested in what I did yesterday. Their interest lies in what I will do tomorrow and why I do that. It is all about predicting and influencing my behavior, your behavior.”

        Though EU citizens deliver such data voluntarily “click by click,” von der Leyen stressed that Europeans needed to “shape our own approach to the digital world,” signaling that the EU needed to build on measures such as the so-called right to be forgotten and data protection regulations like GDPR.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Kushner allowed Saudis to arrest Khashoggi

        The newspaper report said that the US House Intelligence Committee, led by the opposition Democrat party, is aware of the claims and plans to use them as part of its impeachment process against the President. It also said that there are seven whistle-blowers from the intelligence agencies who are willing to give evidence in support of the accusations. They include Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and the National Security Council’s director for European and Russian Affairs, Tim Morrison, as well as an anonymous CIA officer.

        The newspaper report said that the US House Intelligence Committee, led by the opposition Democrat party, is aware of the claims and plans to use them as part of its impeachment process against the President. It also said that there are seven whistle-blowers from the intelligence agencies who are willing to give evidence in support of the accusations. They include Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and the National Security Council’s director for European and Russian Affairs, Tim Morrison, as well as an anonymous CIA officer.

      • The US trail of the man whose security firm spied on Julian Assange

        What was David Morales, owner of UC Global S. L., the Spanish company that spied on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during his stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, doing in Alexandria, Virginia?

        Located around 10 kilometers from Washington DC, Alexandria is home to the US federal court that has been investigating the Australian cyberactivist for years and has requested his extradition from the United Kingdom, where he remains in prison after he was expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in April following a seven-year asylum.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • After accusing his senior officers of dealing drugs, this veteran Russian cop was fired and charged with two felonies

        Thirty-six-year-old Yuri Zaitsev grew up in a cop family and wore the badge himself for more than 15 years. Throughout this time, he served in counter-narcotics units, first in the Federal Drug Control Service and later in drug control for Khakassia’s Interior Ministry. Until recently, he led one of the units in this department.

      • ‘Yeah, Yeah, We Know’: Top Trump Defender Jim Jordan Under Renewed Fire for Dismissing Complaints of Sexual Molestation

        Jordan and another coach reportedly responded to credible claims of harassment with, “Yeah, yeah, we know.”

      • #HereToStay: Student Walkouts Across US to Demand Supreme Court Defend DACA

        The Supreme Court is set to hear the first oral arguments in a case regarding whether President Donald Trump broke the law when he rescinded DACA protections.

      • The Epstein Story Continues to Unravel

        Every generation is distinguished by a troubling incident, one that transcends its historical context.  John Brown’s raid against the federal armory at Harpers Ferry instigated the Civil War, defining an era; a century later, Pres. Truman’s decision (following Pres. Roosevelt’s lead) to drop atomic bombs on two residential Japanese cities culminated in U.S. control over much of the post-WW-II world, thus defining a very different era.

      • Black Farmers Say a Top Chicken Company Turned Them Away

        Once or twice every year since 2005, a black farmer in Philadelphia, Mississippi, reached out to one of the country’s largest chicken companies about starting to work with it. The company, Koch Foods, said that the farmer was too far away and that it wasn’t taking on new growers, the farmer said in a sworn statement.

        But an investigator with the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that Koch Foods had contracts with 10 farmers who were farther away and that it proceeded to recruit 165 other farmers since 2005, all of them white.

      • Is ‘OK Boomer’ the ‘New N-Word,’ or Are Millennials Still Destroying Everything?

        In recent times, media have taken a great interest in highlighting and even generating intergenerational fighting. One example is the focus on the “OK boomer” meme, a witty two-word comeback gaining popularity on the internet. “OK boomer” is a pithy, cutting retort millennials (those born between 1981–96) and Generation Z (those “Zoomers” born even later than 1996) give to those born during the baby boom (1946–64). The digital equivalent of an eye roll, it conveys that the speaker considers the person being addressed to be obtuse, stubborn and out of date.

      • French Paper: French Woman Claims Rape by Polanski in 1975

        PARIS — A French woman in her early 60s claims she was violently raped at age 18 by Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski, a fugitive from the U.S. for more than four decades since pleading guilty to a sex offense with a minor, a French newspaper reported Friday.

      • Why I’m Fighting for Menstrual Equity in Prison
      • NPR Illinois Journalists Can’t Report Freely on University of Illinois Sexual Misconduct. These Organizations Want that to Change.

        In August, NPR Illinois and ProPublica published an investigation into how the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign protected the reputations of faculty accused of sexual misconduct.

        Afterward, university officials told NPR Illinois that the station could not promise confidentiality to students, employees, faculty or others who contacted the newsroom to share experiences of sexual misconduct at the University of Illinois.

      • Disability Discrimination May Tarnish Spain’s Electoral Reforms

        People with disabilities may experience discrimination as they vote in Spain’s general election this weekend, despite a law which guarantees equal voting rights. 

      • Mauritania: University Age Cutoff Suspended

        The government of Mauritania on November 6, 2019 retracted a discriminatory regulation limiting college enrollment that had led to weeks of protests, Human Rights Watch said today. The 2018 rule limited enrollment by new students in the country’s public universities to students age 24 or under, which was seen to disproportionately affect low-income students.

      • Nigeria Releases 86 More Children and Youth from Military Prison

        Several months ago, we traveled to northeast Nigeria to interview children who had been imprisoned on suspicion of being members of the extremist armed group Boko Haram. Yesterday the Nigerian military released 86 children and youth from a military prison. This is great news.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Too Many Streaming Exclusives Is Already Starting To Piss Users Off

        So we’ve noted a few times now that the rise of streaming video competitors is indisputably a good thing. Numerous new streaming alternatives have driven competition to an antiquated cable TV sector that has long been plagued by apathy, high rates, and comically-bad customer service. That’s long overdue and a positive thing overall, as streaming customer satisfaction scores suggest.

      • Netflix: We’re Not In The Truth To Power Business, We’re In The Entertainment Business

        You may recall that back in January Netflix took something of a public pounding for pulling an episode of Hasan Minhaj’s Patriot Act, after Minhaj went hard at Mohammad bin Salman. Netflix pulled the episode inside of Saudi Arabia when the country claimed the episode violated the kingdom’s internet laws, which mostly revolve around keeping any criticism of the Saudi royal family off of the internet. Critics in America and elsewhere slammed Netflix for kissing the Saudi family’s ring, while still others pointed out that the episode was still available on Netflix’s YouTube page, including in Saudi Arabia. Some even argued that Netflix knew that all of this would be Streisanded, actually getting the episode more attention in Saudi Arabia that way.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Cloudflare Explains What It Takes To Slay A Patent Troll

          A couple years back we wrote about the patent trolling operation Blackbird Technologies, which was a law firm that pretended it wasn’t a law firm, and seemed to focus on buying up patents to shake down companies for cash. It had threatened many and sued a few, but definitely picked the wrong target when it decided to go after Cloudflare. Like Newegg before it, the team at Cloudflare decided that even if it was cheaper to settle, it would set a bad precedent and would likely lead to more trollish threats landing on its doorstep. So, instead, Cloudflare decided to fight back. And it went a step or two beyond Newegg, who would just fight the trolls in court. Cloudflare decided to not just fight in court, but then to seek to destroy Blackbird Technologies entirely. It launched a crowdsourced contest to search out prior art not just on the patent at issue in its own case, but on all Blackbird patents. It also went after the lawyers at Blackbird, filing bar complaints against the company for violating attorney ethics rules (mainly in holding itself out as not a law firm, but then acting as a law firm). There was also the issue of the firm appearing to purchase the bare right to sue, the same issue that brought down copyright trolling operation Righthaven. The issue there is that if you purchase the rights to a patent or a copyright, you have to actually purchase all of the associated rights, not do a convoluted thing where you pretend to buy the rights, but the original copyright or patent holder gets some of the proceeds of your trolling.

        • The New NAFTA Won’t Protect Workers’ Rights

          Besides the economic immiseration of two generations of Mexican workers, the original NAFTA also failed at one of its other purported goals, to improve working conditions for workers across North America. Both the old and the new agreements require the United States, Canada, and Mexico to enforce their own labor laws. But for over a quarter-century NAFTA abjectly failed to do this. Mexico’s laws guarantee workers the right to form independent unions, but throughout NAFTA’s reign workers’ attempts to organize were met with firings, beatings, and broken strikes. NAFTA’s side agreement on labor failed to reinstate even a single fired worker or force the signing of a single union contract.

        • Inventors per patent application

          The chart above shows that the trend is continuing — more inventors per patent application. The rising series are applications with 3 or more listed inventors and the declining series are those applications with only 1 listed inventor. The percentage of applications with 2 listed inventors is remaining fairly constant over the past 15 years. I’ll do a follow-up showing that more-inventors correlates with higher allowance rate.

        • Lawyers react as Federal Circuit takes on constitutional conundrum

          The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in Arthrex v Smith & Nephew will result in some Patent Trial and Appeal Board cases being remanded, according to lawyers.

        • When a Library Holding is not Meaningfully Indexed

          The PTAB sided with TCL — finding the challenged claims of Ericsson’s US Patent 6,029,052 unpatentable as obvious. Only claim 18 is on appeal, which claims a method for filtering an inbound signal, including “band-pass filtering” (12); then amplifying the signal (34); then mixing (40) the signal with “inphase and quadrature oscillator signals” that were derived from a frequency-divided first oscillator signal (36) (resulting in two separate signals); then low-pass filtering both signals (42).

          [...]

          As to the merits, Ericsson argued that public shelving is insufficient to show public accessibility. Although the article/magazine were apparently not meaningfully indexed, the magazine had been published for the past thirty years. As such, “[t]his case is unlike cases in which a single dissertation or thesis was housed in a library.”

          Note here, that the appellate panel again does not provide a full analysis of its reasoning here. Since the article/magazine was not meaningfully indexed, what were the additional features to let the court know that it was sufficiently publicly accessible? What would have connected the dots here would be (1) some showing that the publication was well known to persons interested in the subject matter; (2) that the publication was known to be in the library in-question (perhaps proven by showing that the library had a subscription for several years); and (3) that the article in question is one that would be expected to find in the magazine.

          Obviousness Affirmed.

        • Athena v. Mayo: Strong Amicus Support

          In Athena Diagnostics, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services, LLC, the Federal Circuit reaffirmed its general ruling that newly invented diagnostic methods will generally be seen as directed toward unpatentable natural laws absent some new machinery for performing the method. Athena’s patented method is a three-step process for identifying MuSK antibodies in body fluid (such as blood): Mixing labelled MuSK with the body fluid; immunoprecipitating any antibody/MuSK complex from the fluid; and monitoring for the label in the left-over precipitate. The test is important because the existence of MuSK helps diagnose a particular form of Myasthenia gravis (MG).

          In its decision, the Federal Circuit found that the core discovery here is the relationship between MuSK antibodies in the body and MG. That relationship though is a natural law. The court then looked to the particular steps in the method and found no inventive concept. Even though the claims required specific chemical reactions, the specification also made clear that development of the particular steps would be within reach of one skilled in the art — once they understand that MuSK is important. The Federal Circuit decision was penned by Judge Lourie and joined by Judge Stoll. Judge Newman wrote in dissent. A 7-5 court then denied Athena’s petition for en banc rehearing — writing effectively that its hands were tied by Mayo & Alice. The Athena denial is interesting because it includes eight opinions (seven substantive) that generally lament the current situation.

        • Federal Circuit’s Quirky (and Incorrect) Doctrine of Retroactive Preclusion

          This case raises important Federal Courts questions that have had a major impact on patent law. Chrimar has petitioned for en banc rehearing and five amici briefs have been filed in support — all focusing on “the rules of finality that attach to an Article III judgment, when a later PTAB decision conflicts with that judgment.”

          [...]

          Meanwhile, in 2018 the same claims at issue were all found unpatentable by the PTAB in an IPR brought by a separate party. ALE appealed that PTAB case that was affirmed without opinion (R.36 Judgment). Chrimar II. Relying on that R.36 Judgment, the Federal Circuit then vacated the jury verdict and district court damage award. Chrimar III. It is this final vacatur – Chrimar III – that is the subject of the en banc petition. Chrimar argues that the Federal Circuit was wrong to use the PTAB decision to collaterally and retroactively undermine the already final determination of the district court.

        • Wyeth v. Stone: Art or Principle in the Abstract

          In ChargePoint, the Federal Circuit discussed the 19th Century patent case of Wyeth v. Stone, 30 F. Cas. 723 (C.C.D. Mass. 1840) (Justice Story).

          The case involved a patented ice-cutting invention created by Nat Wyeth who was known to have invented “practically every implement and device used in the ice business.” The disputed patent in the case issued in 1929 and is now identified as No. X5,405. The drawings appear to be lost to history, probably in the 1936 Patent Office Fire. By 1940, Joseph Story had been on the Supreme Court for almost 30 years. At that time, however, the Justices “rode circuit” to hear local cases such as this one.

          [...]

          In addition to the abstract principle claim, the patent document further claims the “particular method of the application of the principle” described in the specification. Applying the latin maxim “ut res magis valeat, quam pereat,” Justice Story interpreted the patent to more narrowly cover the machines described (the cutter and saw). “Although inartificial”, the specification could be “reasonably interpreted” so in a court of equity (although not upon the principles of common law).

          The Federal Circuit has written about Wyeth in a number of cases — focusing upon the “results oriented” claims that end up encompassing an abstract principle. Interval Licensing LLC v. AOL, Inc., 896 F.3d 1335 (Fed. Cir. 2018); ChargePoint, Inc. v. SemaConnect, Inc., 920 F.3d 759 (Fed. Cir. 2019).

        • U.S. Could Make Millions in Gilead HIV Prevention Drug Suit

          The U.S. government could get millions from Gilead Sciences Inc. as the result of a recently filed lawsuit that alleges the company infringed government-owned patents for the HIV-prevention drug PrEP.

          The Department of Health and Human Services is asserting that Gilead refused to license its patents and has “willfully and deliberatively induced infringement” on the department’s patents, according to the complaint.

          The government is seeking retrospective damages and ongoing royalties from the company. The complaint alleges the company has made billions from sales of the drug. The pills can cost as much as $1,700 a bottle and earned the company $2.6 billion in U.S. sales in 2018, according to Bloomberg data.

          The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was the first to demonstrate that the combination of drugs that make up PrEP—emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate—are effective as HIV prevention. The only two approved HIV prevention drugs, Truvada and Descovy, are both made by Gilead.

          The conflict over the HIV prevention drug patents has become more prominent since President Donald Trump announced a plan to reduce new instances of HIV by 90% in the next decade. There are about 40,000 new cases of HIV each year, according to the CDC.

        • Hong Kong, PRC Launches New Patent System Effective December 19, 2019

          Effective December 19, 2019, Hong Kong will launch a new patent system that includes a new “original grant patent” (OGP), substantive examination for short term patents (STPs), and maintains the current re-registration system based on patents from China (CN), the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Patent Office (EPO) that designate the United Kingdom. The new patent system is based on the Patents (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 passed on June 10, 2016 and Patents (General) (Amendment) Rules 2019 issued on March 12, 2019.

          [...]

          The current re-registration system will run in parallel with the new OGP system. Accordingly, patent applicants can still apply for a standard patent using a two-step process based off of a Chinese patent application, a UK application or a EPO application designating the UK. In the first step, an applicant must file a request to record with the Hong Kong Patents Registry based upon a pending application within 6 months of publication of the CN, EPO or UK patent application. Once the CN, EPO or UK patent application has granted, the applicant must file an application for registration and grant in Hong Kong within 6 months.

          The new patent system provides a more cost-effective route for patent applicants that are not seeking a European, UK or CN patent. However, as Hong Kong itself is a relatively small market, it is unclear if many applicants will take advantage of the new system and instead may continue to use the re-registration system.

          More information about the new patent system can be found here.

          1 Formalities includes a determination if the application contains (i) an indication that a standard patent under the OGP route is sought; (ii) information identifying the applicant; and (iii) something that appears to be a description of an invention, or a reference to a previously filed application of the invention.

          2. A STP patent term is 8 years from the filing date subject to renewal at the end of the 4th year from filing.

          3. STP substantive examination will be similar to substantive examination of OGPs including providing applicants with an opportunity to amend an STP and provide arguments in defense of the novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability of the STP.

      • Trademarks

        • U.S. Supreme Court to consider blocking Booking.com trademark

          The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider a bid by a federal agency to prevent the popular hotel reservation website Booking.com, a unit of Booking Holdings Inc BKNG.O, from trademarking the site’s name, contending that it is too generic to deserve legal protection.

          The justices will hear an appeal by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of lower court decision allowing the trademark because by adding “.com” to the generic word “booking” it became eligible for a trademark.

      • Copyrights

        • Allen v. Cooper: Suing States for IP Infringement

          In this copyright case, the Supreme Court is wrestling with the question of sovereign immunity. Does the 11th Amendment shelter States (North Carolina in this case) from copyright infringement lawsuits. The plaintiff — Frederick Allen — documented the 1998 salvage of the Pirate Blackbeard’s ship Queen Anne’s Revenge that sank near the North Carolina coast in 1718. North Carolina wanted to use Allen’s copyrighted material, but didn’t want to pay. The state legislature stepped in with “Blackbeard’s Law” — designating all photos, videos, and other documentary materials of shipwrecks to be public records. Allen then sued N.C. for infringement (Cooper is N.C. Governor).

          [...]

          Due Process and Takings are not expressly raised in this case are interesting. Even without CRCA, a copyright holder may be able to bring a Federal Due Process or Takings case against a state who infringes the copyright. A major difference here is that copyright damage and injunction statutes go far beyond what is required for a due process violation or taking. Mr. Park explained for the State how the copyright-owner friendly damage regime is one reason to protect sovereign immunity (and taxpayer money).

        • Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Copyright Sovereign Immunity Case

          This post, from guest author Jonathan Band, first appeared on the Disruptive Competition Project. While the case addresses sovereign immunity with respect to copyright claims, it directly implicates the Florida Prepaid decision which applied sovereign immunity to states who infringe patents. Later cases interpreted Florida Prepaid to bar actions by defendants seeking to invalidate state patents in federal court. Given the large number of lawsuits by state entity patent owners, this represents a serious issue in patent law.

          On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Allen v. Cooper, a case considering the constitutionality of a statute limiting state sovereign immunity against claims for copyright infringement.

          As a general matter, states have immunity from claims for violations of federal law unless they waive their immunity or Congress abrogates that immunity in a constitutionally permissible manner. In 1990, Congress passed the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act (“CRCA”), which sought to abrogate state sovereign immunity from copyright claims. In 1992, Congress passed similar statutes with respect to patent claims and trademark claims. The Supreme Court found the patent and trademark statutes unconstitutional in 1999 in Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank and a related case. Thereafter, lower courts have repeatedly found that the CRCA is also unconstitutional, relying on Florida Prepaid.

          In this case, Allen, a photographer, alleges that the state of North Carolina infringed his copyright by uploading his photographs onto a state website. The Fourth Circuit dismissed the case, finding that the CRCA was unconstitutional under Florida Prepaid. The Supreme Court granted certiorari. The central issue in the case is whether the CRCA can be sufficiently distinguished from the Patent Remedy Act at issue in Florida Prepaid.

          [...]

          The Software and Information Industry Association (“SIIA”) filed an amicus brief in support of Allen. SIIA claimed that after Florida Prepaid, “the amount of reported state infringements increased substantially.” SIIA and its members have not pursued copyright infringement actions in the twenty years since Florida Prepaid, but “given the ease and scale at which copyright infringement was and is committed in the digital environment, Amicus is quite sure that the reported infringements represented just a fraction of existing intentional infringement.” SIIA noted that due to sovereign immunity, states compete in the intellectual property marketplace under two different sets of rules: “they may take full advantage of their own intellectual property rights, earning millions in revenue from those protections, while refusing any consequences when they deprive other authors and innovators of their constitutionally protected rights.”

          SIIA conceded that negligent acts of infringement by states do not constitute due process violations. However, because Allen’s complaint alleged that North Carolina deliberately infringed his copyright, SIIA argued that the Court could find the CRCA constitutional as applied to this case.

        • Tech Companies Warn U.S. Against Harmful Copyright Laws Worldwide

          Major tech companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter are concerned about harmful copyright legislation being created around the world. Industry groups warn that these developments, including the EU Copyright Directive, harm the interests of US companies, while conflicting with various free trade agreements.

        • Police Shut Down Thailand’s Most Popular Pirate Site Following Hollywood Request

          Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation has confirmed the shutdown of the country’s most popular pirate site, Movie2free.com. The streaming portal was shut down following a request from the Motion Picture Association. The site’s operator, a 22-year-old man, was arrested earlier in the week and has yet to be charged.

        • Japan Pirate Site Traffic Collapsed 50% in Four Months, With a Little Help From Cloudflare

          A report published by the Motion Picture Association reveals that traffic to pirate sites focused on Japan halved between March and June 2018. A significant part of the collapse is attributed to the closure of giant manga site Mangamura and two similar platforms. Interestingly, especially considering criticism elsewhere on the piracy front, information provided by Cloudflare reportedly uncovered the identity of Mangamura’s operator.

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