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Links 16/6/2017: New Atom Release, Firefox 55 Beta

GNOME bluefish



  • Improving on history—the Linux history command, that is
    The Linux history command allows users to repeat commands without retyping them and to look over a list of commands they've recently used, but that's just the obvious stuff. It is also highly configurable, allows you to pick and choose what you reuse (e.g., complete commands or portions of commands), and controls what commands are recorded.

    In today's post, we're going to run through the basics and then explore some of the more interesting behaviors of the history command.

  • Advantages and disadvantages of choosing Linux over Windows [Ed: laughable article if it can be called an article]

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Hortonworks Evolves Big Data at Hadoop Summit
      Big Data vendor Hortonworks used the DataWorks Summit/Hadoop Summit this week as the venue to announce product and service updates that further enable the company's Big Data platform.

      The new Hortonworks DataFlow (HDF) 3.0 platform is what the company refers to as a, 'data in motion' platform, enabling users to collect data on-premises and in the cloud. Among the new features in HDF 3.0 is the new Streaming Analytics Manager (SAM) which is a drag-and-drop interface for building streaming data applications.

    • How Amazon's EC2 Container Service is Growing in the Public Cloud

      General Manager of Amazon's public cloud container service explains how the platform has evolved and where it's headed.

    • How containers and DevOps transformed Duke University's IT department
      At Duke University's Office of Information Technology (OIT), we began looking at containers as a way to achieve higher density from the virtualized infrastructure used to host websites. Virtual machine (VM) sprawl had started to become a problem. We favored separating each client's website onto its own VM for both segregation and organization, but steady growth meant we were managing more servers than we could handle. As we looked for ways to lower management overhead and make better use of resources, Docker hit the news, and we began to experiment with containerization for our web applications.

  • Kernel Space

    • Benchmarks

      • NVIDIA's Linux Driver Continues Offering Similar OpenGL Performance To Windows
        Earlier this month with some fresh Windows vs. Linux benchmarks were numbers showing how the open-source Radeon driver stack is now nearly on-par with the Radeon Windows driver as well as how the Intel Linux graphics performance is getting closer to parity too. In this article are the least interesting numbers: the NVIDIA Linux vs. Windows 10 results.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Wayland Option Now in Neon Dev Unstable ISO by Default
        Back in the day I started making a Plasma Wayland ISO to help people try out Plasma on Wayland. Then we started Neon and the obvious way to create the ISOs became through the Neon infrastructure. With Wayland becoming closer to be ready to use every day I’ve decided it’s time to scrap the dedicated Wayland ISOs and just install the Wayland session by default on the Dev Unstable ISOs. It’s not yet the default so to give it a try you need to log out, select Wayland session and log in again. Or install the ISO and select it at login (you’ll need to switch back to X to install, Calamares doesn’t run in Wayland because it wants to run as root which is verboten).
      • KDE Neon Makes It Easier To Now Try Plasma On Wayland
        The Ubuntu-based KDE Neon distribution for its "dev unstable" image now comes pre-installed with the Wayland session option.

        Neon Dev Unstable isn't yet defaulting to the Wayland session, but with it now being included by default on the ISO, it's as easy as logging out of the X.Org session, opting for the Wayland session, and relogging into the desktop rather than needing to install any extra packages.

      • Wayland Session Now Installed by Default in Latest KDE Neon Dev Unstable ISOs
        Wayland, the next-generation display server for Linux-based operating systems is on its way to becoming ready for everyday use, and the KDE Neon development team took a step further with their KDE Plasma Wayland implementation.

        Instead of providing those Plasma Wayland ISO images for those who wanted to test drive Wayland on the latest KDE Neon builds, they installed the Wayland session by default on the KDE Neon Developer Unstable ISOs, though, to try it, you'll have to log out, select the Wayland session from the login screen, and log back in.

      • KDE Applications 17.08 Schedule finalized

      • I’m going to Akademy! Neon team and more..
        But all is now well in the land of Scarlett Gately Clark. I have now settled into my new life in beautiful Payson, AZ.

      • Vulkan Support in Qt 5.10 – Part 2
        In Vulkan all per-application state is stored in a VkInstance object, see the the specification for a detailed overview. In Qt, Vulkan instances are represented by QVulkanInstance. This is backed by a QPlatformVulkanInstance following the usual QPA patterns. The platform plugins, at least the ones that are interested in providing Vulkan support, are expected to provide an implementation for it under the hood. As described earlier, this currently covers windows, xcb and android.
      • Making Use Of Vulkan In Qt 5.10

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • gnome-boxes: Introducing shared folders
        Being able to share a directory between the host machine and a guest machine is, needless to say, a very convenient way of accessing files from one another. Thanks to the SPICE developers, an API is available which is capable of doing just that. (the only conditions are that the guest machine must have a SPICE display and the spice-webdavd service installed). Considering this, the decision of further implementing shared folders in gnome-boxes is certainly not one to think about twice.

      • #newinstretch : Latest WebKitGTK+
        Debian 9 “Stretch”, the latest stable version of the venerable Linux distribution, will be released in a few days. I pushed a last-minute change to get the latest security and feature update of WebKitGTK+ (packaged as webkit2gtk 2.16.3) in before release.

      • Debian Stretch ships latest WebKitGTK+
        I’ll keep this update short. Debian has decided to ship the latest version of WebKitGTK+, 2.16.3, in its upcoming Stretch release. Since Debian was the last major distribution holding out on providing WebKit security updates, this is a big deal. Huge thanks to Jeremy Bicha for making this possible.

      • Gtef library renamed to Tepl – Text editor product line

      • GNOME Calendar: The much awaited recurrence-dialog is finally here!
        It’s been quite a while since I last posted here and there’s a reason behind it. Lesson learnt: implementing ‘Evolution Data Server’ API correctly requires lot of effort and also some amount of experimentation. So finally, after a lot of hard work, ‘Editing recurrent events’ is now possible in GNOME Calendar.

      • Container secrets: size allocation, part 6
        We are entering another of the more mysterious areas of GTK+ size allocation. Baselines move widgets from a simple box-with-width-and-height model to one where widgets can be aligned vertically in more interesting ways. The main place where this is matters is text. The readers eye is very sensitive to words moving up and down as you move along a line of text. Baselines are there to avoid that.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • GoboLinux Redefines the Linux Filesystem Hierarchy
        One complaint some new users have is that the Linux filesystem hierarchy is confusing. After all, why are program executables stored in /usr/bin and what is home? For those who are accustomed to Linux, this all makes some strange form of sense. However, if you take a moment to step back and really look at it, you might think twice about that assessment. That is exactly why the developers of GoboLinux did what they did; they completely rethought the filesystem hierarchy.

      • OpenIndiana 2017.04 Hipster - Temple Gloom

        I find the test today somewhat sad. Sure, I did accomplish what I needed, but it gave me no joy, and no hope that this operating system can even even remotely compare against any Linux. Even CentOS is lightyears ahead. In the server environment, it may have its uses, but it completely misses the mark on the desktop.

        Package management, applications, it all just feels raw, alien, unfriendly. What do you do if there are problems with drivers, or hardware? Where do you find the latest apps, and this isn't just an act of mercy by a volunteer? What about compatibility on actual hardware. The fact I was not willing to commit my test laptop also tells something.

        You can master and tame OpenIndiana, to a level. But it is mostly a futile exercise in obstinacy. All of the stuff we've done above are more or less a given in Linux, and have been so since about 2007. It's like driving an old car and trying to match its abilities to new, modern technology. Unless you're into antiques, it's not really worth it.

        The worst part, I guess, isn't the specifics. That can be sorted. It's the absolute lack of progress since 2011, in the desktop space. Underneath it may be wonders, but if you cannot use the system, then it's worthless. Lots of the stuff from the previous version have been removed, made less accessible, but we get nothing new in return. So it is nerdier and harder than before, and that's a grim sign of a future that has no place on the desktop. This seems to be true with other operating systems in this family, too. Just not worth the effort. Stick with Linux. Grade wise, 4/10. We're done.

    • New Releases

      • IPFire 2.19 Linux Firewall Gets WPA Enterprise Authentication in Client Mode
        Michael Tremer from the IPFire Project announced the availability of a new stable update for the IPFire 2.19 series of the open-source Linux-based firewall distribution.

        IPFire 2.19 Core Update 111 is now live and it appears to be a major update adding quite a large number of new features to the firewall, along with dozens of up-to-date components. The biggest change, however, seems to be the ability for IPFire to authenticate itself with an EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol)-enabled wireless network, supporting both TTLS and PEAP methods.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Highlights of YaST development sprint 36
        We are still digesting all the great content and conversations from openSUSE Conference 2017, but the development machine never stops, so here we are with the report of our post-conference sprint.

      • [Tumbleweed] Review of the weeks 2017/23 & 24
        Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

        It’s said that time flies when one is busy – so what does that mean in the context of Tumbleweed? We must be skipping entire periods. The last two weeks have seen 10 snapshots being published, which is a clear indication that our community IS busy bringing you all the nice updates you wish for. I will cover the snapshots 0602, 0604, 0605, 0607, 0608, 0609, 0610, 0612, 0613 and 0615. 0615 passed openQA and is currently in progress of syncing out, mirrors should deliver it shortly.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Enhancing the security of the OS with cryptography changes in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4
        Today we see more and more attacks on operating systems taking advantage of various technologies, including obsolete cryptographic algorithms and protocols. As such, it is important for an operating system not only to carefully evaluate the new technologies that get introduced, but to also provide a process for phasing out technologies that are no longer relevant. Technologies with no practical use today increase the attack surface of the operating system and more specifically, in the cryptography field, introduce risks such as untrustworthy communication channels, when algorithms and protocols are being used after their useful lifetime.

      • With Ansible Automation, Red Hat Insights Can Resolve Critical Infrastructure Outages Security Risks
        As existing workloads evolve and deployments grow in size and complexity, risk management is a key challenge for enterprise IT.

        So, Red Hat Insights cloud-based service is adding capabilities designed to automatically remediate outages or other issues that can impact infrastructure security, performance, and stability The Red Hat Insights SaaS (software-as-a-Service) provides continuous, in-depth analysis of an organization’s Red Hat-based infrastructure – across physical, virtual, off-prem cloud and even container deployments.

      • Red Hat expands its container strategy with Codenvy acquisition
        Red Hat adds to its cloud-based integrated development environment with its acquisition of Codenvy, a maker of cloud-native workspace management tools.

      • Red Hat’s Margaret Dawson: ‘We’re Really Not’ Seeing Equality, Diversity in Tech
      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 26 Linux Operating System Launching mid-July with GCC 7 and DNF 2.0
          Red Hat's John Terrill is informing us about the availability of the Beta version of the upcoming Fedora 26 Linux operating system, which comes in three distinct flavors, Fedora 26 Workstation, Fedora 26 Server, and Fedora 26 Atomic Host.

          Each edition of the upcoming Fedora 26 Linux operating system is built from a common set of base packages, which means that they're shipping with the Linux kernel 4.11, GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 7, Go 1.8, Ruby 2.4, and Python 3.6 open-source technologies.

        • Ben Hart: How Do You Fedora?
          Ben Hart is an information technology professional with over 19 years of experience. His first experience with Linux was with Mandrake on an old Compaq laptop. “Admittedly I did not keep it long, due to how well it didn’t want to work for me and supporting a full Windows environment made things difficult.”

          One of his childhood heroes is Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first mechanical computer. Now Ben works as a Linux Systems Administrator. “I am a Linux SysAdmin working for Montana Interactive and I help manage over 60 servers that host over 300 web applications in the best state in the lower 48, Montana.”

        • Anaconda modularisation

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google open-sources object detection tech that powers Nest Cam, Image Search, and Street View
    Google handed a new set of intelligent object detection capabilities over to the open source community as part of continued development of its TensorFlow framework.

  • Open Source Stacks: Jumping the Shark or Poised for Dominance?
    By any measure, the rise of open source software as an alternative to the old proprietary ways has been remarkable. Today, there are tens of millions of libraries hosted at GitHub alone, and the number of major projects is growing rapidly. As of this writing the Apache Software Foundation hosts over 300 projects, while the Linux Foundation supports over 60. Meanwhile, the more narrowly-focused OpenStack Foundation boasts 60,000 members living in more than 180 countries.

    So what could possibly be wrong with this picture?

    What’s missing is enough awareness that while open source software can meet the great majority of user demands, it can’t, standing alone, meet all of them. Worse yet, too many members of the open source community (business leads as well as developers) have no interest in making use of the most appropriate tools available to close the gap.

    Let’s start by identifying the problem that needs to be solved, and then see how that problem used to be solved in the past.

  • The real-time community site Voten goes open-source
    The real-time community site Voten that recently made its first public beta has just announced it’s now an open source project. Voten is powered by Laravel 5.4 and Vue.js so it could be a good project to learn from the source, contribute, and get involved with.

  • OpenSuCo: Advancing Open Source Supercomputing at ISC
    As open source hardware gains traction, the potential for a completely open source supercomputing system becomes a compelling proposition, one that is being investigated by the International Workshop on Open Source Supercomputing (OpenSuCo). Ahead of OpenSuCo’s inaugural workshop taking place at ISC 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany, next week, HPCwire reached out to program committee members Anastasiia Butko and David Donofrio of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to learn more about the effort’s activities and vision.

  • Ura Design donates great UX to open source projects
    Open source software is nothing new in an age where even big tech giants are exploring and using it. More and more companies allow—if not outright encourage—employees to contribute to open source software on company hours. What's missing in open source, however, is high-quality, effective design. Fortunately, Albanian design agency Ura Design and its team—Elio Qoshi, Redon Skikuli, Giannis Konstantinidis, and Anxhelo Lushka—are trying to change this.

    Ura Design started from the belief that many open source projects are full of capabilities and features, but their design can make it difficult for users to effectively use the software because of poor user experience, branding, or accessibility. Ura's goal is to help bring better design principles to open source projects at little to no cost.

  • Oath makes first Yahoo open source contribution with Bullet
    Oath is releasing its first solution into open source, thanks to the recently announced acquisition of Yahoo by Verizon. The company announced the contribution of Bullet, Yahoo’s real-time query engine.

  • Events

    • Report for Day 0 of LinuxCon Beijing 2017
      Actually it is not the day before the event – it is the Friday before LinuxCon. Today Red Hat Beijing hold a half-day public event named ‘Educational Day’. In this event, Red Hat sponsored communities did their introduction and Fedora is of course one of them.

    • Plumbers early bird rate ending soon
      The early bird registration rate for Linux Plumbers Conference 2017 will end on June 18 (or before if all of the slots are sold). The early bird rate is $400 and that will increase to $550, so those interested may wish to visit the Attend page at the site. Linux Plumbers Conference will be held in Los Angeles, CA, US on 13-15 September in conjunction with The Linux Foundation Open Source Summit North America.

    • Questions about the New Diversity Empowerment Summit? Join the Next
      Previous topics have included open networking, Linux Foundation Training and Certification programs, and the basics of Cloud Foundry. The series’ fourth installment will focus on the new Diversity Empowerment Summit, hosted by Angela Brown, VP of Events at The Linux Foundation.

  • Web Browsers

  • Education

    • Galicia to add 70 libraries to its Koha system
      The government of Galicia (Spain) is to add 70 more libraries to its newly developed, Koha-based, integrated library management system, called Kohabib. The open source software solution allows libraries to share their catalogues, and provides other library-related services such as managing circulation, acquisition, and printing of labels.

  • Healthcare

    • UK’s Bolton hospital extends OpenEyes patient record system
      The UK’s Bolton NHS Trust, with its headquarters at the Royal Bolton Hospital, has extended OpenEyes, a web-based patient records system for ophthalmology. The health services provider has funded the addition of a HL7 standards-compliant messaging layer, which is now available to all other users of OpenEyes.

      Government Computing, a news site, reports that OpenEyes was selected also because it reduced IT vendor lock-in, “potentially preventing the technology being bought by another organisation and developed in a direction that may not be suitable for NHS use.”


      OpenEyes is being developed as open source at the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. Development began in 2010.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Public Services/Government

    • Arles publishes vaccination management tool
      The city of Arles (France) has made OpenVaccin, a vaccination management solution, available as free software. The code, which is published under the GNU Public Licence (GPL), is used by the city’s healthcare services, to keep track of vaccinations.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Todoist Preferences Panel for To Do
      A lot has happened in the first two weeks of coding period and i am excited to share it with everyone. So, for the first two weekend I worked on adding a Preferences Panel that allows users to add/modify Todoist account that they want to use with To Do. Earlier we had planned to make it work in sandboxed environment, but upon mclasen’s suggestion we are sticking with getting the Goa Portal and Todoist account addition to work on non-sandboxed environment first.

    • Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs
      Weighing in on a longstanding religious war among software developers, community site Stack Overflow has found that developers who use spaces to indent their code earn more than those who use tabs.

      After crunching the data from its 2017 Developer Survey (released in March), Stack Overflow data scientist David Robinson on Thursday reported, "[T]he median developer who uses spaces had a salary of $59,140, while the median tabs developer had a salary of $43,750."


  • Heathrow baggage system borkage forces BA customers to fly without luggage

    [...] Heathrow airport's baggage system suffered an IT failure on Thursday morning.

  • [Old] 70% Repetition in Style Sheets: Data on How We Fail at CSS Optimization

    The conclusion is the one you probably arrived at too by now: In CSS, we repeat ourselves too much.

    While it’s absolutely, practically possible to limit declaration repetition to 10–20%, reality averages 72% (median 66%).

  • Science

    • The surprising number of American adults who think chocolate milk comes from brown cows
      Seven percent of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, according to a nationally representative online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy.

      If you do the math, that works out to 16.4 million misinformed, milk-drinking people. The equivalent of the population of Pennsylvania (and then some!) does not know that chocolate milk is milk, cocoa and sugar.

    • Chinese scientists use satellite to smash quantum entanglement distance record
      The feat, published today in the journal Science, is more than 10 times the distance previously achieved using land-based fibre optic technologies.

      The experiment by a group of Chinese researchers, led by Professor Jian-Wei Pan of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), takes us a step closer to achieving instant, unhackable communication.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Sweden figured out how to stop people from smoking

      Finally, represented by a conspicuously short red line at the bottom, is Sweden, where only 5 per cent smoke daily.

    • How NHS Digital is using data science to cut down on A&E visits
      NHS Digital hopes to ease the burden on local accident and emergency (A&E) units by analysing call data into its 111 emergency telephone service.

      Speaking at the Tech for Britain conference in London last week Daniel Ray, director of data science at NHS Digital said: "Where we have started to generate new big data and apply data science is in areas like NHS Pathways. So if you phone the 111 service, up until recently no one had analysed that data."

    • Watchdog report finds alarming 20% of baby food tested contains lead
      Twenty percent of 2,164 baby foods sampled between 2003 and 2013 by the Food and Drug Administration tested positive for lead, according to an analysis released Thursday by the nonprofit advocacy group, the Environmental Defense Fund.

  • Security

    • The CIA has lots of ways to hack your router

      According to new documents published by WikiLeaks, the CIA has been building and maintaining a host of tools to do just that. This morning, the group published new documents describing a program called Cherry Blossom, which uses a modified version of a given router’s firmware to turn it into a surveillance tool. Once in place, Cherry Blossom lets a remote agent monitor the target’s internet traffic, scan for useful information like passwords, and even redirect the target to a desired website.

    • Advanced CIA firmware has been infecting Wi-Fi routers for years
      Home routers from 10 manufacturers, including Linksys, DLink, and Belkin, can be turned into covert listening posts that allow the Central Intelligence Agency to monitor and manipulate incoming and outgoing traffic and infect connected devices. That's according to secret documents posted Thursday by WikiLeaks.

      CherryBlossom, as the implant is code-named, can be especially effective against targets using some D-Link-made DIR-130 and Linksys-manufactured WRT300N models because they can be remotely infected even when they use a strong administrative password. An exploit code-named Tomato can extract their passwords as long as a default feature known as universal plug and play remains on. Routers that are protected by a default or easily-guessed administrative password are, of course, trivial to infect. In all, documents say CherryBlossom runs on 25 router models, although it's likely modifications would allow the implant to run on at least 100 more.

    • 3 security tips for software developers
      Every developer knows the importance of following best security practices. But too often we cut corners, maybe because we have to work hard until those security practices sink in. Unfortunately, that usually takes something like seeing a security malpractice that's so bad it gets marked in indelible ink in our brains.

      I've seen a lot of instances of poor security practices during my career as a sysadmin, but the three I'm going to describe here are basic things that every software developer should avoid. It's important to note that I've seen every single one of these errors committed by large companies and experienced developers, so you can't chalk these mistakes up to novice junior engineers.

    • Potent malware targets electricity systems
      "In that way, it can be immediately re-purposed in Europe and portions of the Middle East and Asia."

      In addition, it said, the malware could be adapted "with a small amount of tailoring" to render it potent against the North American power grid.

      It said that the malware can be applied to work at several electricity substations at the same time, giving it the power to create a widespread power shutdown that could last for hours and potentially days.

    • KMail’s ‘Send Later’ caused PGP encrypted private emails to be sent in plain-text
      I recently discovered the security vulnerability CVE-2017-9604 in the KDE Project’s KMail email client. This vulnerability led KMail to not encrypt email messages scheduled to be sent with a delay, even when KMail gave every indication that the email contents would be encrypted using OpenPGP.

    • Travel (Linux) laptop setup
      I understand that this is way too paranoid for most people (and not nearly paranoid enough for some others -- as I like to say, IT security is just like driving on the highway in the sense that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster is clearly a maniac). Whether this guide is of any use to you is entirely your call, but I hope I gave you some good ideas to help secure your digital life next time you are away from the comfort of your home or office.

    • Security updates for Friday

    • The 2 cloud security myths that must die

    • Open source security challenges in cars
      A revolution is underway in the automotive industry. The car is no longer simply a means of getting from here to there. Today’s car reaches out for music streamed from the cloud, allows hands-free phone calls, and provides real-time traffic information and personalised roadside assistance.

      Almost every modern automobile feature — speed monitoring, fuel efficiency tracking, anti-lock braking, traction and skid-control — is now digitised to provide drivers with easier, safer operation and better information.

    • Erebus Ransomware Targets Linux Servers
      The IT security researchers at Trend Micro recently discovered malware that has the potential to infect Linux-based servers. The malware, called Erebus, has been responsible for hijacking 153 Linux-based networks of a South Korean web-hosting company called NAYANA.


      Once the user clicked on those ads, the ransomware would activate in the usual way.

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Solar Power Will Kill Coal Sooner Than You Think

      Solar power, once so costly it only made economic sense in spaceships, is becoming cheap enough that it will push coal and even natural-gas plants out of business faster than previously forecast.

    • The U.S. hit a wind and solar power milestone in March

      Ten percent of all of the electricity generated in the U.S. in March came from wind and solar power, marking the first such milestone in U.S. history, according to a new U.S. Energy Information Administration report.

    • In Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Court Finds That Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the Law
      The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a significant victory today in its fight to protect the Tribe’s drinking water and ancestral lands from the Dakota Access pipeline.

      A federal judge ruled that the federal permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which were hastily issued by the Trump administration just days after the inauguration, violated the law in certain critical respects.

      In a 91-page decision, Judge James Boasberg wrote, “the Court agrees that [the Corps] did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.” The Court did not determine whether pipeline operations should be shut off and has requested additional briefing on the subject and a status conference next week.

    • Sweden legally commits to reaching net-zero emissions by 2045

    • Ignore the toxic myth about bike lanes and pollution – the facts utterly debunk it
      Juliet Samuel is a regular columnist for the Telegraph, who opines authoritatively about politics, society and business. And yet last month she wrote something which was very obviously incorrect.

  • Finance

    • The Hidden Cost of Privatization

      While the business of business is business, the business of government is not. This piece points out that while there may be a role for public-private partnerships, not only are the cost savings doubtful, but their effect on the ends of government are extremely worrisome. Public-private partnerships conflate public and private interests, and in conflicts between them, the private interests win out.

    • Fury as counselling services for firefighters involved in Grenfell cut back
      Counselling services available to the firefighters who responded to the Grenfell Tower fire were drastically cut back, it can today be revealed, under Boris Johnson’s leadership as the former Mayor of London.
    • Four Grenfell Tower managers shared €£650,000 pay
      Senior staff at the not-for-profit company which manages Grenfell Tower earned more than €£650,000 last year.

      Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) which manages and maintains almost 10,000 properties in west London, including 82 tower blocks, was set up in the mid-1990s to look after housing stock owned by the local authority.

      It paid its “key management personnel,” €£650,794 in 2015-16, according to its accounts. The company did not confirm how many people were included in this description but only four senior executives are listed in its accounts.

    • Now five men own almost as much wealth as half of the world’s population

      As of June 8, 2017, the world’s richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people.

    • These are the 4 Senators that want to create a way to track your digital currencies at the US border

      A new bill, S.1241 – Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017, would make it a money laundering offense to cross the American border with more than $10,000 in undeclared cryptocurrency.

    • Sadiq Report: Corbyn’s Empty Luxury Flats Claim is Myth
      Corbyn and Labour are peddling the idea that there are vast numbers of empty foreign-owned properties across London. Awkward truth bullet: the experts say this trope is a myth. The overwhelming majority of overseas-owned property is rented on the UK market or occupied by the owner’s family members. As for new builds, an LSE report commissioned by London mayor Sadiq Khan last year found less than 1% are so-called ‘buy to leave’ investments. There is “almost no evidence” that luxury properties in ‘gentrified’ areas are bought up and kept empty.

    • Philip Hammond to prioritise economic prosperity in Brexit talks
      The British government will prioritise the economy and jobs in the Brexit negotiations beginning next week, Philip Hammond has said, in remarks that will be seen as a clear signal of his desire for a soft Brexit.

      The chancellor said the British negotiating team would be open to ideas from their counterparts in Brussels as to how best to maintain economic prosperity ahead of the opening of negotiations between the EU and the UK on Monday.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Theresa May's personal poll rating has plummeted and is now much lower than Jeremy Corbyn's
      Theresa May's personal ratings have plummeted since the election and are now much lower than Jeremy Corbyn 's, a poll said today.

      An astonishing 63% of people had an unfavourable view of the Tory leader, compared to 29% with a favourable view, YouGov said.

    • Senate passes Russia sanctions bill, pushing back against Trump
      The Senate was nearly unanimous on Thursday passing a bill that would slap Russia with new sanctions and give Congress the power to review any White House attempts to roll them back. The Senate approved the bill 98-2, with Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky and Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont voting against the measure. The bill, which includes both Russian and Iranian sanctions, now heads to the House, which still needs to pass it before it goes to President Donald Trump's desk.

    • The rebel’s revenge: Corbyn has created the conditions for Labour to win again
      Just before Christmas, I spent a day in Prague with Jeremy Corbyn and his entourage. Corbyn was a speaker at a conference of European socialist parties and he turned out to be the star turn: everywhere we went in the communist-era conference hall he was received with adulation by young activists of many different nationalities who were eager to have selfies taken with him. His charming wife, Laura, and I looked on as the Labour leader bantered and chuckled and generally had a good time.

      As the pale winter light faded on a cold day we drove into northern Bohemia, where we visited Terezín, the site of a Nazi concentration camp and a Jewish ghetto. It was a harrowing experience, and on the return journey Corbyn seemed subdued as we discussed the challenges ahead.

    • Jeremy Corbyn's popularity soars while voters turn against Theresa May post election
      The Prime Minister’s favourability rating has hit an all time low in the wake of the election and is now at -34, a survey by YouGov showed.

      Mrs May’s popularity is bad with both men and women in all regions of the country and she is even viewed unfavourably by people who voted for her last week.

    • Theresa May is now almost as unpopular as pre-campaign Jeremy Corbyn, finds YouGov poll

      As no one has ever said, a year is an extremely, extremely long time in politics.

      It is not yet a year since since Theresa May stood on the steps on 10 Downing Street, announcing plans to rebuild Britain as a fairer society, and received personal approval ratings higher than Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair at their respective peaks.

      Now, according to new data from polling company YouGov, Theresa May is almost as unpopular as Jeremy Corbyn had been before start of the election campaign, when the Conservative lead over Labour was more than twenty points.

    • Jeremy Corbyn confirmed for Glastonbury 2017

      He'll be speaking before Run The Jewels and on the LeftField stage

      Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been confirmed to appear at Glastonbury 2017, having cancelled his appearance last year.

      Following a surge in popularity and making huge gains in the 2017 general election last week, Corbyn will be speaking on the Pyramid Stage before Run The Jewels perform at 4.15pm on the Saturday – as well as speaking on the LeftField stage that day.

    • Jeremy Corbyn will lead his biggest rally yet as he takes to the Pyramid Stage for Glastonbury 2017
      Corbynistas, rejoice – Jeremy Corbyn is due to lead his biggest – and probably muddiest – rally yet, as he's landed a spot on the Pyramid Stage at this year's Glastonbury Festival.

      The Labour leader will be led out on stage on the Saturday (June 24) by festival founder Michael Eavis, who is a proud Corbyn supporter.

      The politician will talk to crowds before introducing US rappers Run the Jewels, who happen to be friends with America's very own Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders.

    • Grenfell Tower fire: Theresa May leaves church by side door surrounded by protesters chanting 'coward'
      Theresa May has left a church, which is in use as a support hub for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, through a side door to chants of “coward” and “shame on you”.

      The Prime Minister had been meeting victims, residents and volunteers at St Clement's Church in north Kensington, after she was accused of failing to show “humility” when she refused to meet locals during a visit the day before.

      Witnesses described Ms May being bundled into a car by police amid “fury from the pushing crowd,” less than an hour after protests erupted outside Kensington town hall close by.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Facebook sics AI on terrorist posts, but humans still do the dirty work

    • Facebook Enlists AI, Human Experts in New Push Against Terrorism

      Facebook Inc. has hired more than 150 counterterrorism experts and is increasingly using artificial intelligence that can understand language and analyze images to try to keep terrorists from using the social network for recruiting and propaganda.

    • Revealed: Facebook exposed identities of moderators to suspected terrorists
      The security lapse affected more than 1,000 workers across 22 departments at Facebook who used the company’s moderation software to review and remove inappropriate content from the platform, including sexual material, hate speech and terrorist propaganda.

      A bug in the software, discovered late last year, resulted in the personal profiles of content moderators automatically appearing as notifications in the activity log of the Facebook groups whose administrators were removed from the platform for breaching the terms of service. The personal details of Facebook moderators were then viewable to the remaining admins of the group.

      Of the 1,000 affected workers, around 40 worked in a counter-terrorism unit based at Facebook’s European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. Six of those were assessed to be “high priority” victims of the mistake after Facebook concluded their personal profiles were likely viewed by potential terrorists.

    • German Court Bans Google From Linking To Lumen Database Showing Takedown Notices
      Another day, another bad copyright ruling out of Germany. What's up with Germany these days? Specifically, the court has barred Google from linking to the Lumen Database when it takes down content. This is bad on a variety of levels, but first some background: Lumen Database is what was formerly known as "Chilling Effects" -- a site to catalog DMCA and other kinds of takedowns (though most people focus on the DMCA ones). It has been tremendously useful over the years in all sorts of ways, especially concerning academic research into how the DMCA takedown process is actually working. It's often how we discover examples of takedown abuse.

      However, for many years, the legacy entertainment industry has complained (and complained and complained) about the very existence of the Lumen Database. Their main (stated) reasoning is that it creates a database of links to infringing material -- though I'm sure the fact that it's been so useful in highlighting all of the abuse of the DMCA takedown process is a secondary (though less publicly admitted) reason for why they dislike it so much. The problem with this complaint is that there is literally zero evidence that Lumen Database is regularly used as a source for infringing materials. If you ask people who focus on this stuff, it's just not a site that comes up. Because it's really not particularly useful for that kind of thing. Either way, Lumen Database has made some efforts to reduce the visibility of links in its database in an attempt to mollify complainers.

    • NCAA Forces UCF Football Player To Choose Between His Athletic Career And His YouTube Channel
      While we've talked about the NCAA in the past, those conversations have mostly revolved around the NCAA's backwards thinking regarding the streaming of sporting events and issues about the likenesses of players appearing in video games. Unsaid from what I can tell, however, is the general opinion of this writer that the NCAA is an outdated institution designed to make gobs of money off of the labor of otherwise free citizens while curtailing their rights to make any income themselves. These attempts to make income by college athletes typically revolve around selling autographs, memorabillia, and game-worn clothing, but the NCAA is perfectly capable of taking its rules to ridiculous lengths.

    • Britain’s ISPs already censor political opinions they just randomly happen to disagree with
      British Internet providers already censor political opinions they don’t like. Specifically, they censor this blog by default, which is trivial to verify, thanks to Open Rights Group. This blog isn’t a random corporate blog; it builds political opinion in favor of net liberty and net neutrality, and frequently against the old telco dinosaurs. Therefore, it’s a huge red flag when those same dinosaurs prevent people from accessing it at all.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Russia Stumbles Forth In Quest To Ban VPNs, Private Messenger Apps
      Last year we noted how Russia had introduced a new surveillance bill promising to deliver greater security to the country. Of course, like in so many countries, the bill actually did the exact opposite -- not only mandating new encryption backdoors, but also imposing harsh new data-retention requirements on ISPs and VPN providers. As a result, some VPN providers like Private Internet Access wound up leaving the country after finding their entire function eroded and having some of their servers seized.

    • Purposefully Not the Center of Attention
      While it’s been argued before, over and over again, that the concepts behind a crypto-currency like BitCoin or Ethereum or Ripple or LiteCoin might mean the upheaval of the traditional economy, it’s also been argued that it is actually the underlying blockchain technology that implies the change of pace. I disagree.

    • 2008 FISA Transcript Shows NSA Already Knew It Might Have An Incidental Collection Problem
      The ODNI has released several documents in response to FOIA lawsuits (EFF, ACLU). The EFF scored 18 of these (handy zip link here) and the ACLU seven. The ACLU's batch has proven more interesting (at least initially). One document it obtained shows a tech company challenged a Section 702 surveillance order in 2014. The challenge was shut down by the FISA court, but with the exception of Yahoo's short-lived defiance, we haven't seen any other evidence of ISP resistance to internet dragnet orders.

      Included in the ACLU's batch is a 2008 FISA Court transcript [PDF] that's particularly relevant to the NSA's voluntary shutdown of its "about" collection. In it, the NSA discusses its filtering and oversight procedures, which were already problematic nearly a decade ago.

    • Wyden Siren: Coats Is Answering A Different Question About Surveillance Of US Persons
      Remember, folks, when Senator Ron Wyden asks certain questions or suggests something nefarious is going on behind the scenes, you'd best listen. Time and time again over the past six years or so, whenever he's brought up such an issue, he's been right. Some on Twitter have now dubbed this the Wyden Siren. Pay attention when Wyden is hinting at something. So... it's time to pay attention. On Thursday, Wyden sent a letter to Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, complaining that he is answering a different question than the one Wyden asked. This is, of course, a fairly typical move in political circles, but especially in the intelligence community. You word answers in very tricky ways, such that you know the public will be misled, but if pressed in the future, you can argue that your answer was not untruthful -- just semantically misleading in the extreme.

    • ISP Doesn’t Have to Expose Alleged BitTorrent Pirates, Finnish Court Rules

      The Finnish market court has dealt a severe blow to local copyright trolls. In a unanimous ruling, seven judges ruled that the privacy of the alleged BitTorrent pirates outweighs the evidence provided by the filmmakers. While it was clear that copyright infringement was taking place, the rightsholders failed to show that it was significant enough to hand over the requested personal details.

    • In midst of encryption debate, NBN Co pushes use of VPNs

      In what can only be termed a curious coincidence, the NBN Co, the company building the national broadband network, has published a blog post about the benefits of using a VPN - right at the time when the government is making noises about bringing in curbs on encryption.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Uber rape victim sues Uber, says execs got her medical records

      A woman who was raped in India by an Uber driver has filed a second lawsuit against the ride-hailing company. She says that Uber executives unlawfully acquired and shared her medical records relating to the sexual assault.

    • Uber Accused of 'Rape Denialism' by Victim of India Assault

      The woman who was raped by her Uber driver in New Delhi alleged in her suit that Kalanick, Michael and a third executive, Eric Alexander, who also left the company this month, bought into the “narrative of rape denialism” by questioning whether she was really raped at all and instead contriving a “fictitious story” about rival ride-sharing company Ola Cabs being involved in her account of events.

    • Please stop exploiting the dead of Grenfell Tower
      We don’t even know how many souls perished in the Grenfell Tower inferno, and yet already they are being marshalled to party-political ends. Already Labour-leaning commentators and campaigners are using them, using the freshly dead and the unspeakable horrors they experienced, to make milage for their party, to brand the Tories evil and Jeremy Corbyn saintly. In the 20 years I’ve been writing about politics, I can’t remember a national tragedy being exploited for party-political gain so quickly. The time between a calamity occurring and the use of it to harm one’s political enemies and fortify one’s political allies is shrinking all the time. It’s now mere hours, minutes even, courtesy of social media. What has happened to us?

      In the 24 hours since fire engulfed that tower in west London, the blame game has been intensifying. There’s a feverish hunt for the one person or the one thing – or the one attitude, primarily uncaring Toryism – that we might pin this horror on. The landlords didn’t care enough. Theresa May’s new chief-of-staff ‘sat on’ a report about tower-block safety. Tories, including rich Tories with double-barrelled surnames (awful creatures), voted against a proposed new system of fines for landlords who let down tenants. Boris Johnson, when he was mayor, made cuts to fire services. Even worse, during a debate about the cuts in the London Assembly he told a Labour rival to ‘get stuffed’. That detail is appearing everywhere, because the true aim here is not to work out what went wrong at Grenfell but to say: ‘Tory scum.’

    • Real Talk on Reality
      The timing of the DoJ release was clearly premeditated to send a message to would be leakers that the long arm of the law moves fast. The implied narrative is that mere hours after the leaked document was released they had already collared the leaker. Additionally, the search warrant is worded to throw as much blame on The Intercept as possible. The truth is that Ms Winner was doomed, regardless of what The Intercept did to protect their source – which was, basically, nothing.

    • Sun journalist 'impersonated Grenfell Tower victim's relative at hospital'

      King’s College hospital is to lodge a complaint with the press watchdog over a journalist who allegedly impersonated a relative of a victim of the Grenfell Tower fire in order to get an interview with him.

      The hospital is to file a complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) about the behaviour of the Sun reporter. It has also written to News UK, the publisher of the Sun, Times and Sunday Times, about the incident.

    • [Older] Those Theresa May Police Cuts
      Here is a vivid illustration of how Theresa May crippled the Police during her seven years as Home Secretary. The figures and charts are from an official parliamentary document. I have merely added the wobbly red lines to indicate when Theresa May became Home Secretary. It is extremely plain what she did to the police.

    • Someone Is Trying to Discredit the Story of Peter Thiel’s Interest in Young Blood
      When Inc. magazine’s Jeff Bercovici reported last August that billionaire Trump-supporter Peter Thiel had repeatedly expressed interest in the idea of harvesting the blood of young people to maintain his own youth, it left an indelible mark on Thiel’s public persona, as captured by headlines like “Peter Thiel Wants to Inject Himself with Young People’s Blood” and “Here’s Why Peter Thiel May Be Interested In Younger People’s Blood.” The television show Silicon Valley eventually featured a tech mogul who hires a young “transfusion associate” to provide him with fresh blood on-demand.

      Thiel’s ultra-libertarian politics and history of supporting vaguely nefarious projects—such as his successful plot to kill Gawker, his controversial application for New Zealand citizenship, and his recent suggestion that political corruption could be a good thing—have earned him the aura of a Silicon Valley fiend. His interest in Ambrosia, an obscure startup that injects older customers with blood drawn from youthful donors, was the perfect detail to round out his villainy.

    • Guilty verdict in trial of woman who texted boy to commit suicide
      A Massachusetts woman charged with involuntary manslaughter because of text messages prosecutors said cajoled a teen boy into committing suicide was found guilty Friday.

      Judge Lawrence Moniz, who was presiding over the non-jury trial, began deliberating Tuesday after a weeklong trial in a Bristol County courtroom.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Saving net neutrality: Tips for writing persuasive comments to the FCC

      Gigi Sohn was a top counselor to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler when the commission reclassified ISPs as common carriers and imposed net neutrality rules against blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. Yesterday, she published a post on Mashable titled, "4 steps to writing an impactful net neutrality comment (which you should do)." Even if the FCC repeals net neutrality rules, meaningful comments could help net neutrality advocates argue in a future court case that the rules should be reinstated, she wrote.

    • FCC makes net neutrality commenters’ e-mail addresses public through API

      As a side note, the FCC’s main page for directing people to the net neutrality docket had a broken link at the top for at least a few days. If you had clicked the link that’s supposed to go to the docket, you would instead have gotten a “Page not found” error. We notified the FCC public relations team about this five days ago and again today, and it has finally been fixed.

      You can also get to the docket directly at this link, by searching the Electronic Comment Filing System for proceeding 17-108, or by using John Oliver’s link.

    • Netflix joins Amazon and Reddit in Day of Action to save net neutrality

      While major Web companies like Amazon and Reddit were on board from the get-go, Netflix seemed to have dropped out of the fight to preserve net neutrality rules. Recently, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that net neutrality rules have become less important to Netflix because "we're big enough to get the deals we want," and the time has come for smaller companies to lead the way.

    • Pornhub becomes latest rigid supporter of net neutrality

      The popular portal for Madam Palm's palace has announced it will be adding a "loading" screen to some of its videos to demonstrate how binning net neutrality regulation may affect its 75 million daily visitors. It will represent the company's discharge of opinion on the 'day of action organised by Fight for the Future, freepress, and Demand Progress, taking place on 12 July.

    • Pornhub Will Show Its 75 Million Daily Visitors Why Net Neutrality Matters

      If net neutrality hadn't existed 10 years ago, Pornhub's fate would have been in the hands of cable and wireless companies, Corey Price, VP at Pornhub told me over email.

    • Netflix Has Rejoined the Fight for Net Neutrality

      On July 12, the video streaming company will join Amazon, Reddit, Pornhub, Imgur, and more to incorporate slowed-down or disrupted service to raise awareness for the importance of strong net neutrality guidelines, giving visitors to its site a taste of what a future without a free and open internet could look like.

    • Netflix changes course and says it’ll ‘never outgrow the fight for net neutrality’

      After a few months of wishy-washy statements on net neutrality indicating that the company had largely given up on it, Netflix is changing course. In a tweet today, the company wrote: “Netflix will never outgrow the fight for #NetNeutrality. Everyone deserves an open Internet.” It also linked to the Battle for the Net campaign, indicating that Netflix had signed on to take action.

    • Wall Street Still Annoyed That Competition Forced Wireless Carriers To Bring Back Unlimited Data Plans
      T-Mobile's loopy idea to try and treat wireless subscribers better (well, if you exclude their attacks on the EFF and net neutrality) has been a great thing for American consumers and wireless sector competition. Thanks to more consumer-friendly policies, T-Mobile has been adding more subscribers per quarter than any other major carrier for several years running. This added competitive pressure recently resulted in both AT&T and Verizon being forced to bring back the unlimited data plans the companies had been insisting for years consumers didn't actually want.

    • Verizon supports controversial rule that could help Google Fiber expand

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Judge Overturns Jury's Verdict That 'Jersey Boys' Is a Copyright Infringement
        The story of The Four Seasons, the 1960s pop group with mob connections and a long string of hits, was incredible enough to power Jersey Boys. A lawsuit over the creation of that mega-successful theatrical production is astonishing in its own right, with a new chapter authored on Wednesday when a Nevada federal judge decided to vacate a jury's verdict of copyright infringement with a finding that the musical was a fair use of copyrighted material.

      • A Decade Later, Judge Says 'Jersey Boys' Use Of Unpublished Autobiography Is Fair Use
        We've seen some nice fair use wins lately, and here's another good one (though, I'd still argue it shouldn't have even needed fair use... but we'll get there), first written up by Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter. This is actually a lawsuit that's gone on for nearly a decade (and a dispute that's gone on for longer than that), and we first wrote about this case asking the simple question can you copyright the story of a band? Here's the shortened background: The Four Seasons was a well known music group decades ago. At some point in the late 1980s, one member of the band, Tommy DeVito, agreed to team up with a fan/lawyer, Rex Woodward, to write his autobiography. Woodward agreed to do all the writing based on interviews he conducted with DeVito, and his own knowledge of the band. That book was completed, but never published. DeVito and Woodward had an agreement that the book would be published with both their names and they'd split the proceeds 50/50. Soon after the book's completion Woodward passed away from lung cancer. Unbeknownst to Woodward's surviving family, DeVito registered the copyright on the autobiography a few months later, but without Woodward's name included. And, still, the book was never published.

      • Multiple German Courts Rule Photos Of Public Domain Works Are Not In The Public Domain
        Back in November 2015, we wrote about a bad situation in Germany, where a museum in Mannheim was suing the Wikimedia Foundation over photos of public domain works of art, which were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. Sadly, since then, things have not gone well for the public domain. No less than three German courts -- in Berlin, Stuttgart and now again in a higher Stuttgart court -- have ruled against the use of the photos. The latest court judgment is available in full (pdf in German), and it contains some pretty worrying statements.

      • Decade-Old GTA4 Modding Tool Suddenly Taken Down After Take-Two Interactive's Threat
        Video game makers and publishers have wildly different stances on modding communities, as is well known. Some embrace the communities and see them correctly as a free boon to the popularity of their games, while others would rather maintain strict control of the gaming experience by resorting to legal muscle with modders. But there is something strange in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, with Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive often taking confusing positions on what communities can do with their games. What would seem undeniable is that the modding community has extended the lifespan of finely-aged games, such as Grand Theft Auto IV, by giving gamers new ways to play them.

      • Pirate Bay Ruling is Bad News For Google & YouTube, Experts Says

        The European Court of Justice handed down a ruling against The Pirate Bay yesterday, one which could have implications far beyond the torrent site. Platforms such as Google and YouTube, which play an active role in the way content is presented, could be seriously affected, experts warn.

      • EU’s top court says The Pirate Bay can be blocked, because it knowingly links to unauthorized copyright material

        That summary, from the CJEU’s press release, doesn’t capture a key aspect of the case, which is that The Pirate Bay is not storing any copyright-protected works on its site, merely hosting links to torrents. The latest judgment builds on an earlier ruling by the CJEU, which held that sharing hyperlinks to unauthorized copies was legal but only if it was done unwittingly, and not for commercial benefit. In the case of The Pirate Bay, the court has now ruled that neither applied.

      • European court of justice rules Pirate Bay is infringing copyright
        The European court of justice (ECJ) has ruled that BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay is directly infringing copyright, in a move that could lead to ISPs and governments blocking access to other torrent sites across Europe.

        The ruling comes after a seven-year legal battle, which has seen the site, founded in Sweden in 2003, blocked and seized, its offices raided, and its three founders fined and jailed.

        At the heart of the case is the Pirate Bay’s argument that, unlike the previous generation piracy sites like Napster, it doesn’t host infringing files, nor link to them. Instead, it hosts “trackers”, files which tell users of individual BitTorrent apps which other BitTorrent users to link to in order to download large files – in the Pirate Bay’s case, usually, but not exclusively, copyrighted material.

      • New law in Japan lets police arrest and surveil those merely planning or discussing certain acts, like copyright violation

        [...] Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe passed a new mass surveillance law conveniently called the “anti-conspiracy bill.” The new law creates a list of 277 acts, and makes it illegal to plan any of these acts. With the vague wording of the bill, anyone suspected of planning any of these acts could be put under targeted surveillance.

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