10.24.16

Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 8:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Distributing encryption software may break the law

    Developers, distributors, and users of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) often face a host of legal issues which they need to keep in mind. Although areas of law such as copyright, trademark, and patents are frequently discussed, these are not the only legal concerns for FOSS. One area that often escapes notice is export controls. It may come as a surprise that sharing software that performs or uses cryptographic functions on a public website could be a violation of U.S. export control law.

    Export controls is a term for the various legal rules which together have the effect of placing restrictions, conditions, or even wholesale prohibitions on certain types of export as a means to promote national security interests and foreign policy objectives. Export control has a long history in the United States that goes back to the Revolutionary War with an embargo of trade with Great Britain by the First Continental Congress. The modern United States export control regime includes the Department of State’s regulations covering export of munitions, the Treasury Department’s enforcement of United States’ foreign embargoes and sanctions regimes, and the Department of Commerce’s regulations applying to exports of “dual-use” items, i.e. items which have civil applications as well as terrorism, military, or weapons of mass destruction-related applications.

  • GitHub open-sources tool to track and preview Puppet changes

    If tweaks to your Puppet setups are causing breakage across your deployments, GitHub’s Octocatalog-diff ensures that new Puppet settings don’t wreck old ones

  • Puppet Unveils New Docker Build and Phased Deployments

    Puppet released a number of announcements today including the availability of Puppet Docker Image Build and a new version of Puppet Enterprise, which features phased deployments and situational awareness.

    In April, Puppet began helping people deploy and manage things like Docker, Kubernetes, Mesosphere, and CoreOS. Now the shift is helping people manage the services that are running on top of those environments.

  • 9 reasons not to install Nagios in your company
  • Top 5 Reasons to Love Kubernetes

    At LinuxCon Europe in Berlin I gave a talk about Kubernetes titled “Why I love Kubernetes? Top 10 reasons.” The response was great, and several folks asked me to write a blog about it. So here it is, with the first five reasons in this article and the others to follow. As a quick introduction, Kubernetes is “an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications” often referred to as a container orchestrator.

  • Website-blocking attack used open-source software

    Mirai gained notoriety after the Krebs attack because of the bandwidth it was able to generate — a record at well over 600 gigabits a second, enough to send the English text of Wikipedia three times in two seconds. Two weeks later, the source code for Mirai was posted online for free.

  • Alibaba’s Blockchain Email Repository Gains Technology from Chinese Open Source Startup

    Onchain, an open-source blockchain based in Shanghai, will provide technology for Alibaba’s first blockchain supported email evidence repository.

    Onchain allows fast re-constructions for public, permissioned (consortium) or private blockchains and will eventually enable interoperability among these modes. Its consortium chain product, the Law Chain, will provide technology for Ali Cloud, Alibaba’s computing branch.

    Ali Cloud has integrated Onchain’s Antshares blockchain technology to provide an enterprise-grade email repository. Onchain provides the bottom-layer framework for Ali Cloud, including its open-source blockchain capabilities, to enable any company to customize its own enterprise-level blockchain.

  • Events

    • CloudNativeCon Unites Leaders in Open Source, Container and Cloud Native Tech

      Today’s cloud native ecosystem is growing at an incredibly rapid pace – as new technologies are continuously introduced and current applications are ever-evolving.

      Taking the lead in bringing together the industry’s top developers, end users, and vendors, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) hosts critical components of the cloud native software stacks including Kubernetes, Prometheus, and OpenTracing and serves as a neutral home for collaboration.

      To help spread cloud native practices and technology across the world, CNCF is hosting CloudNativeCon to bring together leading contributors in cloud native applications and computing, containers, microservices, central orchestration processing, and more November 8-9 in Seattle.

    • Spark on Kubernetes at Spark Summit EU

      I’ll be speaking about Spark on Kubernetes at Spark Summit EU this week. The main thesis of my talk is that the old way of running Spark in a dedicated cluster that is shared between applications makes sense when analytics is a separate workload. However, analytics is no longer a separate workload — instead, analytics is now an essential part of long-running data-driven applications. This realization motivated my team to switch from a shared Spark cluster to multiple logical clusters that are co-scheduled with the applications that depend on them.

    • Meet Opensource.com writers, moderators, and interviewees at All Things Open
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Netflix on Firefox for Linux

        If you’re a Firefox user and you’re a little fed up with going to Google Chrome every time in order to watch Netflix on your Linux machine, the good news is since Firefox 49 landed, HTML5 DRM (through the Google Widevine CDM (Content Decryption Manager) plugin) is now supported. Services that use DRM for HTML5 media should now just work, such as Amazon Prime Video. Unfortunately, the Netflix crew haven’t ‘flicked a switch’ yet behind the scenes for Firefox on Linux, meaning if you run Netflix in the Mozilla browser at the moment, you’ll likely just come across the old Silverlight error page. But there is a workaround.

        For some reason, Netflix still expects Silverlight when it detects the user is running Firefox, despite the fact that the latest Firefox builds for Linux now support the HTML5 DRM plugin.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • AtScale Delivers Findings on BI-Plus-Hadoop

      Business intelligence is the dominant use-case for IT organizations implementing Hadoop, according to a report from the folks at AtScale. The benchmark study also shows which tools in the Haddop ecosystem are best for particular types of BI queries.

      As we’ve reported before, tools that demystify and function as useful front-ends and connectors for the open source Hadoop project are much in demand. AtScale, billed as “the first company to allow business users to do business intelligence on Hadoop,” focused its study on the strengths and weaknesses of the industry’s most popular analytical engines for Hadoop – Impala, SparkSQL, Hive and Presto.

    • Study Says OpenStack at Scale Can Produce Surprising Savings

      Revenues from OpenStack-based businesses are poised to grow by 35 percent a year to more than $5 billion by 2020, according to analysts at 451 Research. In its latest Cloud Price Index, 451 Research analyzes the costs associated with using various cloud options to determine when it becomes better value to use a self-managed private cloud instead of public or managed cloud services.

      The idea is to createa complex pricing model that takes into consideration the major factors impacting total cost of ownership (TCO), including salaries and workload requirements.The 451 study found that because of the prevalence of suitably qualified administrators, commercial private cloud offerings such as VMware and Microsoft currently offer a lower TCO when labor efficiency is below 400 virtual machines managed per engineer. But where labor efficiency is greater than this, OpenStack becomes more financially attractive. In fact, past this tipping point, all private cloud options are cheaper than both public cloud and managed private cloud options.

    • How OpenStack mentoring breaks down cultural barriers

      Victoria Martinez de la Cruz is no stranger to OpenStack’s mentorship opportunities. It’s how she got her own start in OpenStack, and now a few years later is helping to coordinate many of these opportunities herself. She is speaking on a panel on mentoring and internships later this week at OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Spain. In this interview, we catch up with Victoria to learn more about the details of what it’s like to be a part of an open source internship, as well as some helpful advice for people on both sides of the mentoring process.

  • Databases

    • IBM Power Systems solution for EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server

      The primary focus of this article is on the use, configuration, and optimization of PostgreSQL and EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server running on the IBM® Power Systems™ servers featuring the new IBM POWER8® processor technology.

      Note: The Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.2 operating system was used. The scope of this article is to provide information on how to build and set up of PostgreSQL database from open source and also install and configure EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server on an IBM Power® server for better use. EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server on IBM Power Systems running Linux® is based on the open source database, PostgreSQL, and is capable of handling a wide variety of high-transaction and heavy-reporting workloads.

  • Valgrind

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • What is the GRUB2 boot loader?

      There are various things that make up an operating system. In any operating system, one of the most critical parts is powering on the machine. During this process, the computer will execute a small program in read-only memory (ROM) to begin initiating the startup process. This small program is known by many names, but most often called a boot loader. In almost every Linux distribution, including Fedora, GRUB2 (or GRand Unified Bootloader 2) is the default boot loader. Even though it is a critical piece of the operating system, many people aren’t aware of the boot loader, all that goes into it, or how it can be customized.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Study: Administrations unaware of IT vendor lock-in

      Public policy makers in Sweden have limited insight on how IT project can lead to IT vendor lock-in, a study conducted for the Swedish Competition Authority shows. “An overwhelming majority of the IT projects conducted by schools and public sector organisations refer to specific software without considering lock-in and different possible negative consequences”, the authors conclude.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • How open access content helps fuel growth in Indian-language Wikipedias

        Mobile Internet connectivity is growing rapidly in rural India, and because most Internet users are more comfortable in their native languages, websites producing content in Indian languages are going to drive this growth. In a country like India in which only a handful of journals are available in Indian languages, open access to research and educational resources is hugely important for populating content for the various Indian language Wikipedias.

  • Programming/Development

    • Where to find the world’s best programmers

      One source of data about programmers’ skills is HackerRank, a company that poses programming challenges to a community of more than a million coders and also offers recruitment services to businesses. Using information about how successful coders from different countries are at solving problems across a wide range of domains (such as “algorithms” or “data structures” or specific languages such as C++ or Java), HackerRank’s data suggests that, overall, the best developers come from China, followed closely by Russia. Alarmingly, and perhaps unexpectedly, the United States comes in at 28th place.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Iraq parliament bans alcohol in surprise vote

      Iraq’s parliament has voted to ban the sale, import and production of alcohol in a surprise move. Proponents of the ban argue the ban is justified by the constitution, which prohibits any law contradicting Islam.

      Opponents say it violates the same constitution which guarantees the traditions of religious minorities such as Christians and have vowed to appeal against the decision.

      Those violating the law will be fined between 10 million and 25 million dinars (roughly £7,000 to £17,500).

    • Court of Appeal on Pregabalin – Pfizer still in pain, but Swiss claims re-interpreted again [Ed: Poor Pfizer "still in pain" because it cannot globally defend a monopoly that harms the poor and ill using patents]

      While this moggy was struggling to get back from Indonesia, the Court of Appeal handed down its decision in the pregabalin appeal Warner-Lambert Company LLC v Generics (UK) Ltd (t/a Mylan) & Ors [2016] EWCA Civ 1006 (13 October 2016), and finally the IPKat has managed to blog about it (the lateness by no means reflecting on the importance of the judgment).

      It is very much a judgment of three halves.

      In the first part of the judgment (up to [135]), which substantively disposes of the case, Lord Justice Floyd (with whom Lord Justic Kitchin and Lord Justice Patten agreed) upheld the decision of Mr Justice Arnold on the validity of the patent. Arnold J had considered that the claims of the patent that were alleged to be infringed were insufficient, and in particular claim 3 directed towards use of pregabalin for neuropathic pain, because the patent did not render it plausible that pregabalin would be effective at treating central neuropathic pain, only peripheral neuropathic pain. Floyd LJ agreed with Arnold J’s construction of the claims, and rejected the challenge to the finding that claim 3 was not plausible across its breadth.

  • Security

    • How your DVR was hijacked to help epic cyberattack

      Technology experts warned for years that the millions of Internet-connected “smart” devices we use every day are weak, easily hijacked and could be turned against us.

      The massive siege on Dyn, a New Hampshire-based company that monitors and routes Internet traffic, shows those ominous predictions are now a reality.

      An unknown attacker intermittently knocked many popular websites offline for hours Friday, from Amazon to Twitter and Netflix to Etsy. How the breach occurred is a cautionary tale of the how the rush to make humdrum devices “smart” while sometimes leaving out crucial security can have major consequences.

    • Find Out If One of Your Devices Helped Break the Internet

      Security experts have been warning for years that the growing number of unsecured Internet of Things devices would bring a wave of unprecedented and catastrophic cyber attacks. Just last month, a hacker publicly released malware code used in a record-breaking attack that hijacked 1.5 million internet-connected security cameras, refrigerators, and other so-called “smart” devices that were using default usernames and passwords.

      On Friday, the shit finally hit the fan.

    • Once more, with passion: Fingerprints suck as passwords

      Fingerprints aren’t authentication.

      Fingerprints are identity. They are usernames.

      Fingerprints are something public, which is why it should really bother nobody with a sense of security that the FBI used them to unlock seized phones. You’re literally leaving your fingerprints on every object you touch. That makes for an abysmally awful authentication token.

    • Strengthen cyber-security with Linux

      Using open source software is a viable and proven method of combatting cyber-crime

      It’s encouraging to read that the government understands the seriousness of the loss of $81 million dollars via the hacking of Bangladesh Bank, and that a cyber-security agency is going to be formed to prevent further disasters. Currently, information security in each government department is up to the internal IT staff of that department.

    • Canonical announces live kernel patching for Ubuntu

      Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, has announced that it will provide a live kernel patching services for version 16.04 which was released in April.

    • Everything you know about security is wrong

      If I asked everyone to tell me what security is, what do you do about it, and why you do it. I wouldn’t get two answers that were the same. I probably wouldn’t even get two that are similar. Why is this? After recording Episode 9 of the Open Source Security Podcast I co-host, I started thinking about measuring a lot. It came up in the podcast in the context of bug bounties, which get exactly what they measure. But do they measure the right things? I don’t know the answer, nor does it really matter. It’s just important to keep this in mind as in any system, you will get exactly what you measure.

      [...]

      If you have 2000 employees, 200 systems, 4 million lines of code, and 2 security people, that’s clearly a disaster waiting to happen. If you have 20, there may be hope. I have no idea what the proper ratios should be, if you’re willing to share ratios with me I’d love to start collecting data. As I said, I don’t have scientific proof behind this, it’s just something I suspect is true.

    • Home Automation: Coping with Insecurity in the IoT

      Reading Matthew Garret’s exposés of home automation IoT devices makes most engineers think “hell no!” or “over my dead body!”. However, there’s also the siren lure that the ability to program your home, or update its settings from anywhere in the world is phenomenally useful: for instance, the outside lights in my house used to depend on two timers (located about 50m from each other). They were old, loud (to the point the neighbours used to wonder what the buzzing was when they visited) and almost always wrongly set for turning the lights on at sunset. The final precipitating factor for me was the need to replace our thermostat, whose thermistor got so eccentric it started cooling in winter; so away went all the timers and their loud noises and in came a z-wave based home automation system, and the guilty pleasure of having an IoT based home automation system. Now the lights precisely and quietly turn on at sunset and off at 23:00 (adjusting themselves for daylight savings); the thermostat is accessible from my phone, meaning I can adjust it from wherever I happen to be (including Hong Kong airport when I realised I’d forgotten to set it to energy saving mode before we went on holiday). Finally, there’s waking up at 3am to realise your wife has fallen asleep over her book again and being able to turn off her reading light from your alarm clock without having to get out of bed … Automation bliss!

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Reproducible Builds: week 78 in Stretch cycle
    • Murphy’s Law: The security version

      Since the first of the month, I’ve heard colleagues and others report each of the 10 security variants to Murphy’s Law listed below. Murphy is not only alive but has been reincarnated.

    • Easy-to-exploit rooting flaw puts Linux computers at risk [Ed: The latest CVE is very scary. It’s scary because it has a scary name, a logo, and even a dedicated Web site. Barely anything happened. Should we start assessing the severity of bugs by the investment that goes into their marketing, e.g. site, logo, and scary branding?]
    • Linux has had a huge bug for nine years
    • Linux Bug Could Cause Linux Users to be Hacked in Seconds
    • ‘Dirty Cow’ Linux Vulnerability
    • Linux & Open Source News Of The Week — “Dirty COW” In Linux, JS Foundation, Fedora on RPi And More
    • ‘Dirty COW’ flaw lets hackers gain control of Linux systems every single time
    • Linux Exploit in the Wild; Gives Any User Root Access in Less Than Five Seconds
    • An 11-year old bug is threatening the whole Linux ecosystem. Update now!
    • Linux exploit gives any user full access in five seconds [Ed: Another case of attractive headlines that mislead (need local access, locally exploitable only)]
    • Red Hat Virtualization and Security

      The usage of open source technologies has grown significantly in the public sector. In fact, according to a published memo, open source technologies allow the Department of Defense to “develop and update its software-based capabilities faster than ever, to anticipate new threats and respond to continuously changing requirements”. Cybersecurity threats are on the rise and organizations need to ensure that the software they use in their environments is safe. IT teams need the ability to quickly identify and mitigate breaches. They also need to deploy preventative measures and ensure that all stakeholders are protected.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Report: Middle East now Finland’s biggest arms export market

      The Middle East has become Finland’s most important market for arms exports. According to a new report by the think tank SaferGlobe Finland, local arms manufacturers sold some 99 million euros of mainly armoured vehicles and mortars in 2015, the bulk of it to countries outside the European Union.

    • ‘Civilization VI’ Found Religion, So I Responded With Genocide

      My glorious Roman Empire ignored religion for too long and it almost destroyed me. While I built roads, raised armies and sought trade deals with nearby city-states and rivals, my neighbor Spain kept to itself, built churches and spread the good word of Protestantism. Which was fine. As the Roman Emperor Trajan, I’d established a religion based on the worship of the mighty turtle and then forgotten about my people’s spiritual needs as I concentrated on getting tanks before my rivals.

      “Foolish Spain,” I thought. “This is a Civilization game. Glory and riches goes to the ruler who builds a spaceport or conquers their rivals. There’s no easy path to victory through the gods.” Then, almost too late, I checked the scorecard and realized Spain was about to declare victory … a religious victory.

      Civilization 6 is very different and much better than its predecessors.

    • Victory over Isis will stream live on Facebook. But defeat won’t

      Some 34 years ago, almost by accident, Britain’s ministry of defence solved the pesky problem that had laid the Pentagon low in Vietnam. What do you do about journalists running wild in your warzone? You put them on a long, slow boat to the other side of the world. You – ahem! – take control.

      And so, from Grenada to Panama to Iraq War One, journalists were locked in little boxes as far from the action as possible before (Iraq Two) being cautiously “embedded” with units they depended on to keep them safe. No freelance trips here. No unwanted questions asked. Control was still the theme of each and every fighting day.

      So what are we to make of Mosul, as Kurds and Iraqis advance on the city via 24/7 streaming on Facebook Live from Al-Jazeera, Channel 4 News and a Kurdish agency? Do we want an emoji on every blast of destruction? “Like”, “like”, “like” the carnage … Is this some sort of macabre computer game?

      You’d expect tabloid foes of Channel 4 News to have a predictable view on that – and they do. The Sun is apocalyptic as usual. But there’s a deeper, continuing theme here. As David Patrikarakos, a specialist on the use of social media in war, blogs for CNN, this battle is about more than just a military defeat of Isis: it’s also about “winning the hearts and minds of the local population” – “it becomes not just a military war, but also a narrative war, in which the latter is arguably more important”.

    • Malta plane crash: All five people on board killed as light aircraft goes down at airport in ‘take-off accident’

      A plane has crashed in Malta, killing all five people on board in the country’s worst peacetime air disaster.

      The light aircraft went down during take-off from Malta International Airport at around 7.20am local time (6.20am BST) on Monday morning.

      A witness told the Times of Malta newspaper the propeller plane suddenly tipped to its right side and “went straight down to the ground”.

    • Appeals Court Says Government Doesn’t Have To Disclose Contents Of Its Secret Terrorist Organization List

      An attempt to force the government to reveal its secret list of terrorist groups has been shot down by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals [PDF]. The Heartland Alliance Immigrant Justice Center’s FOIA request for “Tier III” terrorist groups can remain unfulfilled. [h/t Brad Heath]

      Without giving too much away (and neither the court nor the government does), “Tier III” is apparently more nebulous and fluid than tiers I and II.

    • Philippines’ Duterte ends US ties, embraces China

      During his recent visit to China, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared “it’s time to say goodbye” to the United States. The Philippine leader and Chinese President Xi Jinping are getting closer, while Washington now is ignored.

      Duterte spoke to the press in Beijing on Wednesday and his conference coincided with talks of unprecedented agreements, mainly granting the Philippines the use of Scarborough Shoal territories.

      Duterte declared in allusion to Washington, “Your stay in my country was for your own benefit. So time to say goodbye, my friend.”

      “No more American interference. No more American exercises. What for,” Duterte told the Filipino expat community in Beijing.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks, political hacks and the US election

      Is Julian Assange playing a political role, meddling with US electoral affairs, or is WikiLeaks a neutral mouthpiece?

      [...]

      Some say the revelations are valuable information for voters. Others have accused Russia of being behind the hack and argue WikiLeaks is aiding foreign interference in the elections. Julian Assange’s haven, Ecuador, has recently pulled the plug on his internet usage, claiming that interference with other countries’ electoral processes is against their policies.

      Putting aside the agendas of all the players involved, one institution comes out undeniably sullied by the publication of the emails: the US news media. While some of the emails released presented typical behaviours, with the Clinton campaign reaching out to particular publications with stories, others are more problematic.

    • Greenpeace, others sought US intervention after action by India: Wikileaks

      Environmental groups such as Greenpeace and other international NGOs working in India had sought US government intervention after their funding came under increased scrutiny of the Modi government, according to emails released by the Wikileaks.

      The emails, hacked from the email account of John Podesta, who is the chairman of the Clinton Campaign, also indicates the global funding links of these NGOs, including those environmental groups opposing a massive mining project in Australia being undertaken by the Adani Group.

    • How To Help Defend WikiLeaks

      As I said at the start, this is just one example of media spreading lies about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. It happens every day, all round the world. WikiLeaks represents a serious threat to the status quo, exposing the corruption of politicians and corporations. They are constantly targeted by journalists who choose to act as stenographers and gate-keepers of power. While these so-called journalists survive in their jobs at the mercy of the boardroom, WikiLeaks is 100% funded by people like you and me. Please help keep them strong.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • A Hotter World Is Poorer and More Violent

      What will a planet plagued by escalating climate change look like? No one really knows. But speaking at EmTech MIT 2016, Solomon Hsiang, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, presented results based on his recent analysis of economic and climate data that begin to more clearly define what the world might look like as it gets hotter.

    • Feeling Paleolithic? We’re On The Way Back In Time.

      Further south, about 40% of USAians apparently support Trump and his denial of global warming so I expect it will take another generation suffering even larger effects before real action is taken.

  • Finance

    • Tens of Thousands Protest TTIP, CETA Across Europe

      An estimated 8,000 people hit the streets in Paris, chanting against police brutality, labor reform, deportations and airport construction in Nantes that will displace dozens of farmers. The converged on the site of Nuit Debout protests, an occupation that lasted months against pro-business labor reforms and drew direct parallels with Occupy Wall Street and the Indignados.

      Tens of thousands also rallied across Spain, Belgium, Germany and other countries that will be affected by the deals.

    • Canada’s two Trump towers facing troubles

      In Vancouver, the developer of a new Trump Tower has been under pressure for months to drop the Republican presidential candidate’s name from the project. Meanwhile, the Trump Tower in Toronto is the subject of a lawsuit after facing years of controversy.

      Donald Trump’s controversial run for US president is having an impact on his businesses in Canada and knock-on effects for those who have partnered with his brand.

      The opening date for the Vancouver hotel has been delayed until 2017, well after November’s US election. A contest offering a chance to meet with the Trump family for the grand opening caused a stir.

      Across the country, the Toronto building, which opened in 2012, has been the target of a lawsuit by small investors who claim they were misled into buying into the project. Its developer, Talon Development Inc, has tried to remove the Trump name from the troubled hotel and condominium complex.

      The story is similar in other countries.

    • Bulgarian expert: CETA to lead to loss of jobs, domination of big business, and countries like Bulgaria to be most affected

      “The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is in fact a political agreement that will decrease the value of European democracy.”

      This is what economist Professor Boyan Durankev said speaking for Radio FOCUS.

      In his words, there are too serious concerns that the agreement will lead to loss of jobs, lower standards in the ecology, domination of the big business, while the countries like Bulgaria will be most affected.

    • Wallonia’s red card for CETA is a chance for the EU to be a beacon to the world

      We are at a crossroads for international trade policy. The failure of TTIP and CETA would pave the way for a fairer and more democratic world, argues Paul de Clerck.

      Paul de Clerck is the economic justice programme coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe.

      The European Union, the world’s biggest trading bloc, is, for the second time in a matter of months, on the verge of seeing one of its mega trade deals fall into disarray.

      If the objections of several regions in Belgium are upheld, the signing of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada planned for next week will most likely be cancelled. This follows the near collapse of TTIP, the EU’s proposed agreement with the US. Rather than despairing at the state of the EU, we should see how these developments provide a unique opportunity for the EU to take the lead in shaping new trade regimes for the future that are beneficial for people and the environment.

      The opposition to CETA and TTIP has been unprecedented in the history of the EU. Concerns have been expressed by millions of people across the continent, including lawyers, academics, political parties, local authorities and virtually all sectors of civil society. Many governments have also expressed reservations on CETA. Only the Walloons, however, had the guts to show it the red card.

    • Trade Deals and the Paris Climate Agreement

      The Paris Climate Agreement is now a reality. More than 55 countries representing over 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the pact, which means the historic agreement is set to enter into force faster than was ever anticipated. As we celebrate this landmark and get ready to grapple with the next steps of how to implement it—a key topic of discussion at COP 22, the upcoming international climate conference in Marrakesh, Morocco—the U.S. Congress may soon vote on the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 other countries, and the administration continues to negotiate the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Clinton’s WikiLeaks strategy: Doubt, delay, distract

      The emails are full of potential damage for Hillary Clinton. She weighed the political implications of policies. She is close to Wall Street. Her aides gathered information to discredit a woman who’d accused her husband of rape.

      So how has she so far remained largely unscathed by the unprecedented release of hacked emails? It’s one part a deliberate strategy of casting doubt on the authenticity and distracting from the content of the emails, one part fatigue by Americans who already have seen tens of thousands of Clinton’s emails and one part a whole lot of luck.

      With Clinton leading in both national polls and battleground-state surveys, the Democrat is in some ways trying to run out the clock on the election.

      The WikiLeaks emails do threaten to reinforce voter doubts about Clinton’s honesty. But her strategy – refuse to confirm the authenticity of the emails, blame Russia for the hack and say little else – has so far successfully defused the impact by avoiding any talk that would keep voters looking at the content of the messages. Her undisciplined opponent has taken care of the rest.

      “When you start explaining, you’re in trouble,” said G. Terry Madonna, the director of the Franklin & Marshall College poll in Pennsylvania. “They are handling it the best way they can. It’s about as an effective argument you can make.”

    • Donna Brazile Complains She’s Being ‘Persecuted’ Over Leak To Clinton Campaign [VIDEO]

      Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile complained during an interview on Wednesday that she is being “persecuted” by being asked questions about leaking a town hall question to the Clinton campaign.

      And during the interview, conducted on Fox News after the presidential debate, Brazile said that her interviewer, Megyn Kelly, was “like a thief” because her questions cited emails that were stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and released by Wikileaks.

      Kelly grilled Brazile, who was a CNN and ABC News contributor prior to taking over the DNC in July, about an email revealed by Wikileaks showing her providing a tip about a March 13 town hall question to the Clinton campaign.

    • Green Party’s Baraka: Obama has been ‘moral disaster’

      Voters who want to fight against racial profiling, human rights violations, war and the two-party system should cast their ballots for the Green Party, vice presidential nominee Ajamu Baraka said Tuesday.

      Baraka, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s running mate and a self-described socialist from Atlanta, spoke to about 55 people at Wayne State University in a campaign stop. A Glengariff Group poll released last week to The Detroit News and WDIV showed the Green Party ticket receiving 4.6 percent of support from 600 likely Michigan voters, trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson.

      A Stein-Baraka presidency, he said, would be focused on using executive powers to create an “emergency jobs bill” to address inner cities and rural areas, notify the “right-wing” government in Israel “that we’re no longer going to allow for them to have unfettered freedom to expand settlements and undermine the rights to Palestinians” and reverse the attempt at regime change in Syria.

    • Your Vote For Jill Stein Is Not A Wasted Vote

      When Jill Stein ran as the Green Party’s presidential nominee in 2012, media attention to her candidacy was rare. Now, with two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in history, she has received widespread attention. There seems to be record interest in third party campaigns, including Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.

      The Nation published a debate between Socialist Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant and Nation contributor Joshua Holland.

      The editors gave Sawant’s column the negative headline—”Don’t Waste Your Vote On the Corporate Agenda—Vote for Jill Stein and the Greens”—but column does not hinge on loathing Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Rather, it makes a positive case for supporting Stein by primarily arguing the need for progressives to build an alternative to the two pro-capitalist political parties in America. It has a long-term focus on bringing about radical change.

    • Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife

      The political organization of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an influential Democrat with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use.

    • And the winner is … crony capitalism: Choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is no choice at all

      It is as Bernie Sanders has foreseen it, you might say.

      With its publication of thousands of less-than-flattering emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta over the past two weeks, Wikileaks has done much to undermine Hillary Clinton in her ongoing effort to appeal to millennials who see Washington as a corrupt town where big business and big government are deeply intertwined.

      Excerpts from various six-figure speeches that Clinton made in 2013 and 2014 reveal a politician who is not only quite friendly with Wall Street in private, but somewhat resentful of the American public for constantly attacking and scapegoating big banks for the financial crisis.

      “The people who know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry,” said Clinton in one speech. Reform, she continued, “really has to come from the industry itself.” In another speech, Clinton stated that you have to have “both a public and a private position,” which has cast further doubt on her trustworthiness among young voters.

    • WikiLeaks reveals Clinton considered a Texas Republican for the Supreme Court

      Hours after conservative Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia passed away, the Clinton campaign floated a Texan as a possible replacement.

      Wallace Jefferson, a former chief justice on the Texas Supreme Court, was the subject of an email titled “Scalia replacement” written by the president of a George Soros-backed grant-making organization.

      “Remember our discussion of Wallace Jefferson, Chief Justice in Texas?” said Open Society Foundations president Chris Stone in the email.

      “Yup,” replied Clinton campaign chief John Podesta.

      The hacked email was one of thousands released by WikiLeaks in recent weeks and the authenticity of the email could not be independently confirmed. The Clinton campaign declined to confirm the authenticity of the email mentioning Jefferson.

    • TYT’s Jimmy Dore: Democrats Are Restarting The Cold War To Hide From WikiLeaks

      Jimmy Dore, host of ‘Aggressive Progressives’ on ‘The Young Turks’ network, says he is disappointed to see the Democratic Party using Russia as a scapegoat for the information revealed by WikiLeaks.

      “This is a complete distraction,” he said about the DNC’s pivot to blaming Russia for WikiLeaks. “I hate that it is the Democrats now. We now have two parties of war. And now the Democrats are saber-rattling and building up a boogie-man in Putin, instead of what they should be doing, saying we both have a common enemy: ISIS. Let’s join hands and work to defeat them. That’s not what they’re doing because it makes more political sense for the Democrats to ratchet it up, to ratchet up the Cold War, which is what they’re doing now.”

      “By the way, when the [Berlin] Wall went down, Reagan assured them that we would not expand NATO, and we’re expanding NATO,” he said. “So we are the ones right now, we are the expanders… This McCarthyism that they’re trying to smear Trump with. There’s so much, you don’t have to smear that guy. But Trump has said he wanted to work with Putin to fight ISIS, while Hillary Clinton has called for a no-fly zone in Syria, which means dead people on the ground, and boots on the ground. And who are we going to shoot down? ISIS doesn’t have any planes. That means a war with Russia. This is beating the drums for war, in fact.”

      “I’m bothered by this more than anything: A lot of people are saying that we’re closer to nuclear war now than we ever were during the Cold War,” Dore said.

    • The media — and many Democrats — need to stop attacking Jill Stein unfairly

      There is both a principled and strategic component to voting choices in presidential elections. In principle, citizens should cast their votes for whichever candidate’s views align most with their own. Strategic voting, on the other hand, includes a voter’s assessment of the probability that various voting choices will lead to desired outcomes.

      These components are related to some degree; voters are more likely to agree about which candidate to vote for if they agree in principle on which candidate is best. Yet principled and strategic voting are not the same. One might believe a third-party candidate to be optimal, for example, but still vote for a major party candidate because of the higher probability that the major party candidate will win the election.

      This decision can be a self-fulfilling prophecy —third-party candidates would be more electable if their supporters decided to vote for them — but it can also be rational, depending on how one evaluates the differences between major party candidates and the downside risk to voting for a bad nominee.

    • Wasserman Schultz Tells Sanders Protesters Dems Are ‘Completely United’

      Disgraced former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has mostly attempted to avoid the spotlight after her resignation in the wake of emails released by WikiLeaks.

      Throughout the primaries, Wasserman Schultz was viewed unfavorably by Bernie Sanders supporters for overtly favoring Hillary Clinton, despite the DNC charter stipulating her and fellow DNC staff remain neutral to ensure a fair and balanced primary election. When indefensible evidence exposed the pro-Clinton environment at the DNC that Wasserman Schultz created, she and several other top DNC leaders were forced to resign—but there were almost no repercussions or changes made as a result of these resignations.

      Instead, Clinton immediately hired Wasserman Schultz as honorary chair of the Clinton campaign’s 50-state program, while President Obama, VP Joe Biden, and other establishment Democrats made unprecedented appearances to help Wasserman Schultz survive her re-election bid to Congress. Another Clinton surrogate, Donna Brazile, was appointed interim DNC chair to take Wasserman Schultz’s place.

      [...]

      However, Sanders supporters refuse to forget Wasserman Schultz’s role in rigging the primaries, and made sure to demonstrate that they wouldn’t let her off the hook as easily as the Democratic Party had.

      Around 20 Sanders protesters showed up with signs outside the event in contrast to the 50 or 60 Clinton supporters attending the inside. A few minutes into Wasserman Schultz’s speech, the protesters interrupted her, at which point the regional organizing director for the Florida Democratic Party and former field organizer for Clinton campaign, Omar Rashid, ran up to one of the two protesters and began yelling “Hillary” while fist pumping in their face face. Other Clinton supporters joined in the “Hillary” chant. While there are several constructive ways to de-escalate an interruption by protesters, this certainly wasn’t one of them.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA Says Federal Cyber Strategy Needs More NSA More Often, And On The Information Sharing Ground Floor

      The NSA doesn’t like the fact that it didn’t get a big enough slice of the tax-dollar-grabbing cyber pie. After much discussion about which agencies would oversee what aspects of the US government’s cyberwar defense systems, the NSA — despite all of its computing power and hoarded exploits — ended up with the unenviable task of protecting the home turf rather than engaging in more offensive maneuvers.

    • Taxpayer-funded grants to NZ tech firm used to build surveillance equipment for UK government

      Taxpayer-funded grants to a private New Zealand tech firm were used to build mass surveillance equipment for Britain’s largest intelligence agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

    • ‘Germany kowtowing to NSA & US to amplify spying capabilities across Europe’

      Annie Machon is a former intelligence officer for MI5, the UK Security Service, who resigned in the late 1990s to blow the whistle on the spies’ incompetence and crimes with her ex-partner, David Shayler.

    • German spy law infringing privacy rights: Expert

      The German parliament has approved a controversial legislation to tighten the oversight of the BND spy agency amid criticism that the law violates the privacy rights of people.

    • UK spy agency GCHQ paid NZ firm Endace to power Internet fiber-optic taps

      The 2013 Snowden documents revealed UK intelligence agency GCHQ to be tapping into the undersea cables that carry Internet traffic, covertly gathering vast amounts of digital comms data under a surveillance program code-named Tempora — apparently with the help of commercial partners.

      Now leaked documents obtained by The Intercept confirm GCHQ paid New Zealand-based Endace to create data capture systems to enable it to tap high speed Internet traffic.

    • The Little-Known Company That Enables Worldwide Mass Surveillance

      It was a powerful piece of technology created for an important customer. The Medusa system, named after the mythical Greek monster with snakes instead of hair, had one main purpose: to vacuum up vast quantities of internet data at an astonishing speed.

      The technology was designed by Endace, a little-known New Zealand company. And the important customer was the British electronic eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ.

      Dozens of internal documents and emails from Endace, obtained by The Intercept and reported in cooperation with Television New Zealand, reveal the firm’s key role helping governments across the world harvest vast amounts of information on people’s private emails, online chats, social media conversations, and internet browsing histories.

      The leaked files, which were provided by a source through SecureDrop, show that Endace listed a Moroccan security agency implicated in torture as one of its customers. They also indicate that the company sold its surveillance gear to more than half a dozen other government agencies, including in the United States, Israel, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Spain, and India.

    • China’s plan to organize its society relies on ‘big data’ to rate everyone

      How China tamed the Internet |This is part of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Pardon the American Taliban

      In the mid-1960s a young American teacher in a small central African country became involved with a group of political rebels — former government ministers mostly — who had been active in the struggle for independence. They had fallen out with the authoritarian prime minister, objecting to his dictatorial style. The country was newly independent, hardly a year old. The men advocated democratic elections and feared that the prime minister would declare himself leader for life in a one-party state.

      Fluent in the local language, obscure because he was a teacher in a bush school, and easily able to travel in and out of the country on his United States passport, the American performed various favors for the rebels, small rescues for their families, money transfers, and in one effort drove a car over 2,000 miles on back roads to Uganda to deliver the vehicle to one of the dissidents in exile. On that visit he was asked to bring a message back to the country. He did so, without understanding its implications. It was a cryptic order to activate a plot to assassinate the intransigent prime minister.

    • Shailene Woodley: The Truth About My Arrest

      I was arrested on Oct. 10, on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday where America is meant to celebrate the indigenous people of North America.

      I was in North Dakota, standing in solidarity, side-by-side with a group of over 200 water protectors, people who are fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

      People who carry a rainbow of colors on their skin. People who gathered together because they realize that if we don’t begin taking genuine steps to protect our precious resources—our soil, our water, our essential elements—we will not have a healthy or thriving planet to pass on to future generations.

    • Actor Shailene Woodley on Her Arrest, Strip Search and Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance

      At least 27 people, including Hollywood actress Shailene Woodley, were arrested during the Standoff at Standing Rock on October 10, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, while attempting to blockade the Dakota Access pipeline construction at two separate worksites. Footage of Woodley’s arrest was streamed live to roughly 40,000 viewers on her Facebook page. She was later strip-searched in jail. She says her dedication to protest with indigenous people who are at the forefront of the fight remains strong: “Every time we allow another pipeline … we are endorsing the fossil fuel industry and only prolonging the time it is going to take to switch to renewable energy.” Woodley recently starred in the new Edward Snowden film, “Snowden.” She has appeared in the TV series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and has also starred in films including “The Divergent Series” and “The Fault in Our Stars.” She received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Alex King in “The Descendants.”

    • RIP Gavin MacFadyen, 1940-2016

      Courage founding Trustee and Centre for Investigative Journalism founder and director Gavin MacFadyen has passed away at the age of 76, after a few months of illness.

      Gavin devoted his life to independent, investigative journalism, exposing truths, challenging power and championing truthtellers at every turn. Gavin championed the rights and principles of the persecuted, even when it was controversial to do so. He supported WikiLeaks when it was targeted by US prosecutors and he cofounded Courage, to assist those most in danger for shining a light on the powerful.

    • 105 British MPs call on Obama to stop Lauri Love’s extradition

      A cross-party coalition of 105 backbench Members of Parliament have signed a letter asking US President Barack Obama to withdraw the extradition requests for British activist Lauri Love before he leaves office.

      The letter, whose initial signatories were David Burrowes MP, Barry Sheerman MP and Alistair Carmichael MP, has been signed by more than a fifth of the Parliamentarians able to do so. By convention, government ministers and their opposition shadows do not sign letters of this type, although Culture Minister Matt Hancock MP – the Love family’s local constituency MP – has also added his name to the appeal.

      The 105 signatories demonstrate strong opposition to Lauri Love’s extradition across the political spectrum. The letter has been signed by 39 Conservative MPs, 39 MPs from Labour, 22 MPs from the Scottish National Party, three Liberal Democrat MPs, Mark Durkin MP from the SDLP and Green MP Caroline Lucas.

    • UN Meeting Looks At Legally Binding Instrument On Corporations And Human Rights

      A gathering at the United Nations in Geneva this week is hearing a litany of views on a prospective legally binding international instrument to regulate within human rights law the activities of transnational corporations and other businesses. The meeting is being webcast live.

    • Judge Orders FBI To Turn Over Information On How Many People Around The World It Snagged With Its Playpen NIT

      This might be big, depending on how much of this information is passed on to the general public, rather than delivered ex parte or under seal. Joseph Cox of Vice/Motherboard was the first to snag this ruling [PDF] by a Washington district court judge ordering the FBI to turn over tons of info about the NIT it deployed in the Playpen child porn investigation.

      As we’re already aware, the NIT was deployed by the FBI in Virginia but obtained identifying information about Tor-cloaked site visitors not just all over this country, but all over the world. The motion to compel discovery asked for several details about the NIT and its deployment and most of them have been granted.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T Doubles Down on the Ampersand [Ed: zero-rating. Shame on AT&T.]

      But even beyond this ad campaign, AT&T is talking up the value of getting this and that, and on the consumer side this has its most concrete instantiation in what AT&T has done with DirecTV since the merger. This isn’t just about traditional bundling and the discounts that come with it, but about additional benefits you get when you bundle. The two main examples are the availability of unlimited data to those who bundle AT&T and DirecTV, and the zero-rating of data for DirecTV content on AT&T wireless networks. Yes, AT&T argues, you can watch DirecTV content on any device on any network, but when you watch it on the AT&T network it’s free. The specific slogan here was “All your channels on all your devices, data free when you have AT&T”.

    • AT&T’s $85 Billion Time Warner Buy Could Be An Anti-Consumer Shit Show Of Monumental Proportions

      As fixed and wireless broadband growth crawls to a halt and cord cutting begins to hammer TV numbers, incumbent telecom giants have been trying to pivot into the media and advertising game with mixed results. Verizon so far has shelled out billions to acquire aging 90s internet brands Yahoo and AOL, believing this can somehow transform the stodgy duopolist into a sexy, sleeker Facebook and Google competitor. So far these efforts to woo Millennials have been arguably underwhelming and occassionally comical, highlighting how innovation and disruption is somewhat foreign to these companies’ DNA.

      AT&T has decided to follow a similar tack, over the weekend announcing a mammoth $85 billion deal to acquire Time Warner (not to be confused with Time Warner Cable) and its media properties (CNN, HBO). AT&T was quick to proclaim that the deal would be a “perfect match of two companies with complementary strengths,” who can bring a “fresh approach to how the media and communications industry works for customers, content creators, distributors and advertisers.” The deal comes not too long after AT&T decided to spend $79 billion to acquire DirecTV, adding notable debt for the already giant company.

    • VIDEOS: AT&T to acquire Time Warner for US$85 billion in major media/comms shakeup

      Remember when AT&T was broken up in the US? Whether you do, or don’t, AT&T is on the verge of becoming the most powerful telco and media organisation in the world.

      It’s the stuff of Telstra’s dreams: a telco servicing a population of more than 300 million, with enough clout and earnings to support a US$85 billion buyout of Time Warner – and that’s after spending US$49 billion to buy DirecTV.

      Talk about relegating dumb pipes to the dustbin of history, AT&T wants to own the content, create it, serve it, charge for it and everything in between and beyond.

      Telstra’s half share of Foxtel looks like a tiny molehill against AT&T’s Everest-size mountain in comparison.

    • Dumb & Dumber Claims About Last Week’s Internet Attack (SOPA?!? Really?)

      As you know, last week, large chunks of the internet spent hours writhing on the ground and totally inaccessible thanks to a giant DDoS attack that appears to have been launched via a botnet involving insecure DVR hardware (which can’t be patched — but that’s another post for later). Of course, whenever this kind of thing happens, you know that some people on the politics side of things are going to come up with dumb responses, but there were some real whoppers on Friday. I’m going to focus on just two, because I honestly can’t decide which one of these is dumber. I’ll discuss each of them, and then you guys can vote and let us know: which of these is dumber.

      First up, we’ve got Marsha Blackburn, who is not just a member of Congress, but (incredibly) on the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which is often considered to the subcommittee that handles internet related issues. We’ve written about her quite a few times before, highlighting her efforts to block broadband competition and gut net neutrality. She’s also argued that fair use is just a buzzword and we need stronger copyright laws. Not surprisingly, she was one of the most vocal supporters of SOPA who only finally agreed to dump the bill days after the giant online protest.

      And apparently she’s still upset about all that.

      On Friday she went on CNN to discuss a variety of things, and the first question from Wolf Blitzer was about the DDoS attacks, and her answer is the sort of nonsense word salad that is becoming all too common in politics these days, but where she appears to suggest that if we’d passed SOPA this kind of attack wouldn’t have happened. She’s not just wrong, she’s incredibly clueless.

    • Chinese Company Recalls Cameras, DVRs Used In Last Week’s Massive DDoS Attack

      For some time now, security researchers have been warning that our lackadaisical approach to Internet of Things security would soon be coming home to roost. Initially it was kind of funny to read how “smart” fridges, tea kettles and Barbie dolls did an arguably worse job than their dumb counterparts with a greater risk to privacy and security. But as we collectively realized that these devices not only created millions of new home and business attack vectors, but could also be used to wage historically-unprecedented DDoS attacks, things quickly became less amusing.

      Last week, the theoretical became very real with the massive attack on DNS provider DYN, which knocked a swath of companies and services off the internet for a large portion of Friday. In a piece discussing the attack over at Flashpoint, the security firm (which worked with Akamai to help DYN) notes that the DDoS was indeed thanks to compromised IoT devices, and the Mirai botnet malware recently released to make compromising and harnessing such devices easier than ever. But the group also notes that targeted devices included everything from cameras to…

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • IP Rights, Corporate Interests Threaten Small Farmers’ Right To Seeds, Biodiversity

      A new report by civil society groups defending the right to food and nutrition lays bare threats to seeds and biodiversity created by intellectual property rights, and calls for states to respect their human right obligations to protect small farmers’ right to seeds and food security.

    • Freedom To Utilize Genetic Resources? The Nagoya Protocol Two Years Later

      Two years ago this month, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity (“Protocol”) entered into international force. To date, 87 countries have ratified or acceded to the agreement, and that number is expected to reach 100 by the end of this year. With its entry into force, the Protocol is ushering in a new international system to govern research, development and intellectual property rights surrounding a potentially vast array of products derived from non-human genetic resources. Those products include, among others, pharmaceuticals, products of synthetic biology and biotechnology, seeds, biocides, horticultural and microbiome products, nutritionals, supplements, cosmetics, perfumes, fragrances and industrial enzymes.

    • Copyrights

      • US Copyright Office: Pallante Moved To Digital Strategy Advisor; Search On For New Register

        The United States Copyright Office Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante has changed roles to become senior advisor for digital strategy. In her place, Karyn Temple Claggett will move up to serve as acting register of copyrights while a search is conducted for the next permanent register.

        The announcement, available here, was made on 21 October by the US Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

        A news report suggested Pallante was asked to step down and was locked out of the Library of Congress computer system on 21 October. At press time, details on that assertion were unconfirmed, but the official press release gives little indication of a problem.

      • iKeepSafe Inadvertently Gives Students a Valuable Lesson in Creators’ Rights

        In partnership with pro-copyright group Creative Future, iKeepSafe has launched a competition asking students to submit projects that promote the creation and ethical sharing of content. Whether kids will take the time to read the small print is debatable, but doing so will provide a valuable lesson in getting a fair price for creative works.

        Children and students of all kinds are some of the most valuable assets to society. After all, they’re literally the future of the planet. As a result, hundreds of groups around the world dedicate themselves to protecting their interests, from general welfare and healthcare to Internet safety.

      • US acting register of copyrights announced as Pallante takes new role

        Maria Pallante has been appointed senior adviser for digital strategy by the Librarian of Congress after serving as register of copyright since 2011, with Karyn Temple Claggett appointed acting register of copyrights

      • The new French law targeting “automated image referencing services”: does EU law allow it?

        As explained by Brad Spitz in a post published on the Kluwer Copyright Blog, “the new provisions will apply to ‘automated image search services’, which Article L.136-1 IPC defines as any online public communication service that reproduces and makes available to the public for purposes of indexing and SEO, plastic, graphic or photographic works, collected in an automated way from online public communication services (i.e. internet websites). In other words, these provisions target search engine services like Google Images.”

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