Like clockwork, another news organization is abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s hair-trigger take down process to stifle political commentary just when that commentary is most timely. This time it’s Gannett Co. Inc., a massive media conglomerate that owns, among many other publications, the Courier-Journal in Kentucky. The Courier-Journal’s editorial board interviewed a Democratic candidate for Senate, Alison Lundergan Grimes, and streamed the interview live. That stream included 40 uncomfortable seconds of the candidate trying desperately to avoid admitting she voted for President Obama (the president is none too popular in Kentucky). A critic posted the video clip online—and Gannett promptly took it down.
Of course, the group that posted the clip can counter-notice, but that’s not a satisfactory solution with an election less than a month away. Under the DMCA's counter-notice procedure, YouTube has to give Gannett two weeks to respond before it can restore the video without losing the protection of safe harbor.
This is just shameful. As a news organization, Gannett should surely know that posting was a non-infringing fair use. It was used for a transformative political purpose, the original work was highly factual, and the poster took the amount needed to accomplish that purpose (part of the point was to show the candidate extended efforts to avoid answering—a shorter clip might not have managed that). If the rest of the interview was utterly uninteresting, Gannett might be thinking that the clip was the “heart of the work,” but that is not enough to tip the balance away from fair use.
What’s even more appalling is that it happens pretty regularly. News organizations rely on fair use every day to do their work. Yet they have repeatedly used the DMCA to target political ads and criticism where they involve news clips, no matter how obvious the fair use. It's past time for media organizations like Gannett to wise up and start defending free speech, rather than taking it down. Gannett can start by withdrawing its claim immediately.
Alternatively, this is one instance where YouTube might choose to stand up for its users, and free speech, and restore the video on its own. It has done so in the past, and this is surely an appropriate time to do so again. Whatever one's views on the election itself, the video is timely political expression—a classic fair use—and it should be available to voters.Related Issues: Fair Use and Intellectual Property: Defending the BalanceDMCAFree Speech
Share this: || Join EFF
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Teamsters Warehouse Workers Face a Bankruptcy Court Designed to Protect Bosses, Not Workers. Leaders of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are mobilizing their forces in the wake of an unexpected attack by a notoriously anti-union warehousing company looking to undermine workers with back-room tactics in federal bankruptcy court.
The Keene, New Hampshire-based C&S Wholesale Grocers’s actions could prove to be an immediate threat to the livelihoods of about 1,100 Teamster members in the Mid-Atlantic region, the latest in a series of damaging anti-union maneuvers by the company. The action also highlights the growing market power of C&S, a low-profile company that has quietly grown into the nation’s largest warehousing corporation...Topic(s):
Judge Nobuyuki Seki said in a document obtained by the Kyodo News Agency, a non-profit Japanese news agency, that some of the search results did “infringe” the man’s “personal rights” and that “Google, which manages the search engine, has the obligation to delete them.”
The man requested an injunction in June saying that information being trawled up in search results was related to events which took place more than ten years ago and that his life had been threatened as a result of the reports of his alleged inappropriate behavior.
Judge Seki said the man had suffered “actual harm” and an infringement of “personal rights” and ordered the web giant to remove about 120 of the 230 search results.
Although the judge did admit that Google “plays an important role so that the internet can be used effectively.”
The man’s lawyer, Tomohiro Kanda, said he thought this was the first time such a court ruling has been made in Japan.
Tomohiro said the case came under Japanese privacy and defamation law, but the ruling also considered the “right to be forgotten” ruling in Europe in May in which the Court of Justice of the European Union ordered Google to remove the personal data of a Spanish man so that it didn’t appear in web searches anymore.
Google opposed the Japanese decision and said it had no obligation to remove the information, but the court threw their objection out and said that the US giant would not suffer any unjust disadvantage by removing the search results.
Google can appeal the decision. It is not clear if the same personal data about the man could be available through other search engines other than Google.
In a similar case, the same Tokyo court upheld a complaint by a man against a company not to give autocomplete suggestions when web searches for him were made, but then reversed their decision in January of this year.
Launched to coincide with World Homeless Day, the initiative is a global outreach program. In an international effort to battle against homelessness, Anonymous branches around the world will work alongside social justice campaigns.
Officially founded in November of last year, the program evolved organically out of an array of charitable projects. In 2013, OpSafeWinter provided homeless support in 12 different countries. It was particularly active in Britain, America, and Brazil.
Britain’s East Coast Homeless Outreach (ECHO) project, currently up for a special award from the Lloyds Bank Foundation, originated from Anonymous UK’s efforts to support homeless Britons in 2013.
Anonymous UK formally announced the launch of their 2014 #OpSafeWinter initiative in a statement published on Pastebin. The group said it wished to address the lack of compassion and care that has become commonplace in “this age of consumerism.”
“No longer shall we stand by and watch isolation and fear be spread by the establishment, which is killing and destroying community and lives. We all have a voice, so make yours heard, you are the power, your choice, your life, you are the motivation for justice,” Anonymous UK said.
In parallel to OpSafeWinter, a petition has been published on Avaaz.org in support of the campaign. The petition seeks to highlight the harsh effects of austerity on UK citizens and its links with rising homelessness.
It urges the International Court of Human Rights and Royal Courts of Justice to prosecute Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith for alleged “crimes against humanity.”
The petition echoes concerns previously raised by Human Rights group Amnesty International and disability campaign Black Triangle. Amnesty International recently passed a resolution denouncing an assault on sick and disabled Britons’ human rights, while Black Triangle argues 10,600 ill and disabled UK citizens passed away within six weeks of their sickness benefit being stopped in 2012.
— PPI (@ppinternational) October 3, 2014
— OPSafeWinter (@OPSafeWinter) October 10, 2014
A spokesperson for Anonymous UK, who goes by the name of JediKnight, told Shout Out he is planning a special event, #OpFeedTheHomeless, in London on November 5 as part of the wider OpSafeWinter program. The hacktivist said he has organized teams to collect donations for the homeless.
“We want all people going to London to bring a drink and a sandwich to donate,” he added.
In an official video, published online to mark the beginning of this year's OpSafeWinter, Anonymous posed the question “where is humanity?”
“For too long we have walked by those who have struggled to hold on to life. For too long we have ambled by blindly while people continue to suffer. We close our eyes to people’s suffering and hardship and think nothing of the man lying on cold stone as if our hearts were made of the same cold stone beneath him,” the video’s narrator said.
“Our uncaring, so-called elected officials do nothing but change laws for the worse and create hardship on those most vulnerable,” the narrator added.
Anonymous said governments across the globe “have created and perpetuated a game where anyone can become homeless.”
“We can no longer sit silent while so many needlessly suffer so the top 1 percent can continue to exploit the human need for shelter, as a means to enrich themselves. This is not an elite world. We are but tenants on this planets for a short time,” the hackivist collective concluded.
Last year Anonymous UK worked with The Big Issue magazine, The Basement advisory group and an array of smaller social justice groups to help ease the plight of homeless Britons.
“When we started OpSafeWinter it was really just a few people chatting in [internet relay chat] and within a couple of weeks it had gone global,” a spokesman for the group told RT on Friday.
“The response from local businesses, Mosques, and the general public was amazing last year and we are hoping for even more this year. But big companies were less willing to help which was disappointing,” the spokesman said.
“This year we are working on a map which with the help from Anons, citizens and local businesses around the world will show locations of food banks, shelters, soup kitchens, centers and advice centers globally. This is a big undertaking but worth doing.”
Anonymous UK is a subset of an international network of activists and hacktivists assembled to resist global inequality, counter government attacks on citizens’ privacy rights, mitigate child pornography, and “cyber assault” corporate and state institutions.
Poverty and Homelessness are Human and Civil Rights Issues https://t.co/tnsxSCQxBG
— OPSafeWinter (@OPSafeWinter) October 10, 2014
I'm not a hacker, nor have I claimed to be. I'm a man with a mask that wants to help this cold world. #OpSafeWinter
— #OpSafeWinter (@vixrax) October 5, 2014
The Congress has a new Platinum partner that is sponsoring cheaper tickets!
Bitcoin 2 Business Congress Brussels will take place on 16-17 October in the B19 Business Club. The event is mainly focused on Bitcoin business and monetary future, debates, speeches by key players in the industry, B2B meetings, networking and start-ups. The event is designed for 100-150 attendees. The main aim is to accomplish more of a personal and friendly atmosphere where everyone will be able to meet with anyone.
From the beginning the organizers setup the prices higher to make sure they will be able to cover all expenses. “It was against our idea of having friendly atmosphere and make our events accessible to everyone. Every Bitcoin Conference has a high ticket prices which goes against the philosophy of the Bitcoin” says the organizing team and concludes that “thanks to a great cooperation with the Transactioncoin, we´ll be able to reduce the prices and make it available to the people that normally wouldn´t be able to pay that amount of money”. The current ticket price is now being only 99 €.
So the company that made this possible is a relatively new coin Transactioncoin. Txcoin is a P2P Crypto Currency with a hybrid proof of work (PoW) system. Txcoin supports two hashing algorithm: SHA256 and SCRYPT. Each algorithm has its seperate difficulty, both targetting 2 minutes. Txcoin can be merged mined with either sha256 or scrypt based altercoins. Now what is interesting and exciting about the merged mining phenomenon is that Txcoin is a “mining side-effect eliminator” a medium that eliminates the side-eﬀects of mining, such as a huge electricity consumption, cost of mining hardware, etc.
Among other things, the attendees can look forward to a friendly atmosphere, great networking, meeting the key players from the industry and enjoying their time in “de facto” heart of the European Union. Among other speakers we can expect Vitalik Buterin from the Ethereum, Moe Levin from BitPay, Lutz Auffenberg, Christian Ander or Stan Wolf. This is officially one of the most accessible events in the Bitcoin world and it is always great to see the growth of the Bitcoin community, especially in Europe.
So come and support the community in Brussels. You can register here and buy your ticket with credit card and with Bitcoin of course. Tickets will be available on place as well but the organizers strongly recommend getting your ticket advanced since the BTC2B Congress has a limited number of attendees and tickets will be more expensive when buying at the venue – 150 €. Get more information on the website http://btc2b.com/
The post BTC2B Congress Brussels Is Close & Thanks to Platinum Sponsor Transaction Coin, Tix are Cheaper! appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.
Chinese chip maker Allwinner makes low-cost processors that are most often found in inexpensive Android tablets. But the company is going after the TV box market with its new Allwinner H8 processor. Allwinner says the new 8-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor is designed for game consoles and other set top boxes. The chip features PowerVR SGX544 […]
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
With the rise of Kickstarter, the average person now has a greater opportunity to raise money for his or her ideas than ever before. The Kickstarter model, in which campaigners solicit donations to support a project that produces something they can share with their funders and others at large, is a new technological take rooted in an old idea. For instance, in 1713 Alexander Pope rallied funding to publish English translations of Greek poetry by offering generous donators credits on a page in the finished translated publication, once enough funding was gathered to bring the project to fruition. The crowdfunding method was also employed in 1783 by Mozart who developed a campaign to fund the performance of three new concertos he scored by offering funders copies of the manuscripts, in exchange for live performance funding. And finally with the rise of the Internet, Kickstarter democratized the funding of projects even further by allowing unprecedented connectivity to the common person’s creative endeavors—and by leveraging funding from backers across the world. The site offers streamlined simplicity that empowers the common person located in any of 10 countries throughout the world the ability to quickly raise funding to bring their idea to life. From the standpoint of investors, one advantage of Kickstarter’s funding platform is that funding requires that a project is completely funded before the backers are charged for their contribution. In this fashion, backers are not left on the hook for a partially funded project that may not produce the intended results outlined in the campaign. Kickstarter currently takes a 5% cut of the total funds raised for a particular campaign, and Kickstarter’s credit card processor, Amazon, levies another 3-5% charge on the total funds raised in a campaign. An additional value added tax (VAT) of 1-2% on the total funds raised will also be applied if you happen to run a campaign in the UK. Despite the usual 8-10% charge on the total funds raised in a campaign, the requirement that campaigns need complete funding before backers are charged results in nearly 42% of projects being successfully funded. Additionally, the campaign requirement that something must be produced for others to experience adds a tangible deliverable to the campaign. However, it is important to realize backers’ investments are donations in nature that primarily add capital to the store of human knowledge and innovation—as opposed to offering the investor a share in the equity of a project. One recent success story on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform involved Ladar Levinson’s “Lavabit Dark Mail Initiative” campaign that raised upwards of $200,000 to deliver open-source, PGP strength encrypted email that also hides message metadata. However, for those who want the freedom to fund any idea they may have, the folks at Kickstarter do place more restrictions on what projects are deemed appropriate for funding, compared to the campaign restrictions placed on a similar crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo.
Indiegogo also empowers the common person by providing the ability to raise funds for ideas that might otherwise fall on deaf ears from the more traditional capital raising institutions. Indiegogo leverages the ability to draw backers from around the world and accepts PayPal in addition to credit cards, as opposed to Kickstarter which only accepts donations via credit cards. Furthermore, Kickstarter only allows campaigns located in 10 select few countries, as opposed to Indiegogo that enables even greater access to the common person by allowing campaigns in over 200 countries. Another interesting feature Indiegogo employs is its use of two campaign funding models. One model requires the campaign to reach its funding goal for any funds to be dispersed and the other allows any funds the campaign brings in to be received by the campaign creator–with the latter involving a higher fee paid to Indiegogo to incentivize reaching the initial funding goal. Once again, it’s time to run the numbers. Under the all-or-nothing campaign model, Indiegogo charges 4% on the total funds received and additional credit card or PayPal processing fees ranging from 3-5%. The flexible funding model, where funds are still released despite the funding goal not being reached, involves an Indiegogo fee of 9% on the total funds raised and credit card or PayPal processing fees ranging from 3-5%. Albeit Kickstarter and Indiegogo do not allow backers a stake in the equity, or ownership, of the finished product of the campaign, they are still powerful tools that allow access to otherwise nonexistent capital that enriches the innovation ecosystem. Overall, Indiegogo offers a compelling comparable crowdfunding option. On the other hand, the future of decentralized crowdfunding and the introduction of crypto-assets beckons on another front.
Swarm is a crowdfunding platform that takes a decentralized approach to the idea of crowdfunding. Simply put, the platform runs on a cryptocurrency known as Swarm Coin that allows campaigns to issue their own separate campaign cryptocurrency tokens that act as shares of equity in crowdfunding campaigns. The Swarm founder envisions the platform will allow vetting of campaign ideas through a decentralized voting process that helps determine which campaigns receive funding on the Swarm platform. A decentralized reputation system will help establish credibility of those who backed successful campaigns in the past and will help guide newer users to decide on what campaign ideas to fund. The campaigns that receive backing by credible members in the Swarm community are in turn given more weight. As for the funding process itself, campaigners generate unique campaign cryptocurrency tokens that are then sold to project backers as assets in the campaign. If a project is successfully funded and the finished product does exceptionally well out in the open market, then the holders of the campaign tokens will share in the wealth of the success via increased valuation of the crypto tokens they purchased. As a result, the added equity incentive in crowdfunding campaigns may help drive the success of future campaigns. Joel Dietz, the founder of Swarm, points to one crowdfunding equity debacle involving the Oculus Rift campaign on Kickstarter that successfully raised over $2 million dollars to develop a virtual reality headset and subsequently a little over a year later the Oculus Rift company sold to Facebook for $2 billion—leaving some of the Kickstarter backers wishing they had the option to invest in an equity arrangement instead.
Another admirable contender in the decentralized crowdfunding ecosystem is the NXT currency platform. It is important to realize NXT is not just another alternative cryptocurrency because it actually makes decentralization possible through a proof-of-stake model, as opposed to the Bitcoin proof-of-work model. On the decentralized NXT platform, anyone can create their own unique asset tokens and sell shares that can support a crowdfunding campaign, among other things. Asset tokens can also be used to represent physical assets, a culmination of other assets known as asset bundles, and can be used to represent a whole range of other assets. Currently, it costs 1,000 NXT, or roughly around $30 worth of Bitcoin at the time of this writing, to issue asset tokens for any particular crowdfunding campaign. Furthermore, the NXT platform also touts a decentralized marketplace that allows anyone to sell any kind of digital good. Overall, it appears the future of commerce and investments will come in a decentralized, cryptocurrency form if the recent trends are an indication of anything.
Regardless of which crowdfunding method is employed, we are entering an age of unprecedented innovation—and the age seems to be one focused on individual empowerment.
The post A New Way to Fund Ideas: Crowdfunding, Crypto-Assets, and the Future of Decentralized Investments appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.
"The man allegedly slung the life-size likeness of the Dagobah resident across the handlebars and rode off doing what police described as an uncanny impression of Elliott and ET..."(via)
(A shorter version of this post originally appeared on Vice.com. It focuses on how regulating backdoors in cryptography will diminish users’ security; for more information on the panoply of other problems cryptography regulation raises, check out our post on the Nine Epic Failures of Regulating Cryptography.)
Since Apple first announced three weeks ago that it was expanding the scope of what types of data would be encrypted on devices running iOS 8, law enforcement has been ablaze with indignation. When Google followed suit and announced that Android L would also come with encryption on by default, it only added fuel to the fire.
All sorts of law enforcement officials have angrily decried Apple and Google’s decisions, using all sorts of arguments against the idea of default encryption (including that old chestnut, the “think of the children” argument). One former DHS and NSA official even suggested that because China might forbid Apple from selling a device with encryption by default, the US should sink to the same level and forbid Apple from doing so here, in some sort of strange privacy race to the bottom.1 The common thread amongst all of this hysteria is that encryption will put vital evidence outside of the reach of law enforcement.
But the fact that Apple will no longer be in a position to retrieve a device’s contents on behalf of law enforcement is only a side effect. Apple’s decision, first and foremost, is about protecting the security of its customers. Before this change, if your iPhone was stolen or lost a criminal could break into it with relative ease, accessing your private information using the same backdoor as law enforcement. Now that Apple has sealed that backdoor, you no longer have to worry. In an era when our mobile devices contain incredibly private information, these companies have listened to their customers. They have made a sound engineering decision to make mobile security as strong as they know how, by bringing it in line with laptop and desktop security.
Nothing in this change will stop law enforcement from seeking a warrant for the contents of an encrypted phone, just as they can seek a warrant for the contents of an encrypted laptop or desktop.2 Apple’s decision is simply setting the privacy standard for mobile devices in the same place as non-mobile ones. It’s only a fluke that it hasn’t been the default all along.
It’s also important to note that the amount of information available to law enforcement about someone’s electronic communications, movements, transactions, and relationships is staggering, even if they never analyze a suspect's mobile device. Law enforcement can still seek a phone company’s calls records about a suspect, any text messages stored by the phone company, and a suspect’s email accounts or any other information stored in the cloud–which for most of us these days is a lot, as Hollywood stars recently learned. While EFF thinks that some of those investigative tools have insufficient protections and go too far, turning on encryption by default on devices hasn’t changed any of this.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped law enforcement from twisting the nature of Apple’s announcement in order to convince the public that encryption on mobile devices will bring about a doomsday scenario of criminals using “technological fortresses” to hide from the law. Sadly, some of the public seems to be buying this propaganda. Just last Friday, the Washington Post’s Editorial Board published an Op-Ed calling for Apple and Google to use “their wizardry” to “invent a kind of secure golden key they would retain and use only when a court has approved a search warrant.”
Many on social media found the Post’s suggestion that sufficiently advanced technology cryptography was equivalent to magic very amusing. We at EFF had another reason to find it amusing: in 1996 we ran a “golden key” campaign against the government’s demand for back doors into strong cryptography, complete with a GIF file (at left) for websites to post in solidarity against back doors.
All joking aside, while the Washington Post’s Editorial Board may think technologists can bend cryptography to their every whim, unfortunately it just isn’t so. Cryptography is all about math, and math is made up of fundamental laws that nobody, not even the geniuses at Apple and Google, can break. One of those laws is that any key, even a golden one, can be stolen by ne’er-do-wells. Simply put, there is no such thing as a key that only law enforcement can use—any universal key creates a new backdoor that becomes a target for criminals, industrial spies, or foreign adversaries. Since everyone from the Post’s Editorial Board to the current Attorney General seems not to understand this basic technical fact, let’s emphasize it again:
There is no way to put in a backdoor or magic key for law enforcement that malevolent actors won’t also be able to abuse.
So the next time you hear a law enforcement official angrily demand that Apple and Google put backdoors back into their products, remember what they’re really demanding: that everyone’s security be sacrificed in order to make their job marginally easier. Given that decreased security is only one of the nine problems raised by the prospect of cryptography regulation, you should ask yourself: is that trade worth making? We certainly don’t think so, and we applaud Apple and Google for standing up for their customers’ security even if law enforcement doesn’t like it.
- 1. To see a former high-ranking American security official claim the US should match China in terms of restricting the use of privacy-enhancing technology is disconcerting, to put it mildly.
- 2. Whether or not a person can be required to unlock the device is a complicated question, but one tightly intertwined with the basic rights of due process and against self-incrimination, which ought to be carefully considered by a court in the individual context of each situation.
Share this: || Join EFF