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Current Topic: Internet Civil Liberties

Wired News: Open Internet, We Hardly Knew Ye
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 8:29 pm EDT, Sep 16, 2005

The better world is one in which we don't need to seek permission or risk punishment to do cool stuff that makes the world a better place. In the early days of the internet, a lot of people felt that we'd found that better world. Thanks to the internet's open protocols, many of the most useful innovations, from the web to instant messaging to internet telephony, emerged without developers needing anyone's permission to run their cool new code.

But under a permission-only legal regime, the volunteers would have had to contact every site with listing data and ask for authorization to use the information first. With dozens of sites popping up in the days following the storm, getting permission would have taken a lot of time -- if the site owners could even be reached and convinced of the merit of the idea in the first place.

On the internet, having to ask permission first can kill the creation of a useful new tool.

The law should treat the internet as open by default -- a public resource rather than a gated community. This doesn't mean that we can't protect our networked computers or data with copyright law, passwords, firewalls or perhaps even terms-of-service agreements. But rather than asking whether a user obtained permission to access computers connected to the internet, the law should ask whether the owner did anything to prevent public access.

Jennifer Granick has an article on Wired talking about risks to the open Internet, using the situation surrounding as an example. According to a post on her blog, they have already received a cease and desist letter from one of the sites they are collecting information from.

Jennifer is going to be writing columns for Wired bi-weekly. She is one of the best cyberlaw people in the world, so I expect them to be good. Feel the good karma..

Wired News: Open Internet, We Hardly Knew Ye

Electronic Frontier Foundation: Broadcast flag advocacy?
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 9:52 am EDT, Jun 21, 2005

Rumor has it that a senator will introduce an amendment on Tuesday in the Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science sub-committee to reintroduce the flag. On Thursday, it goes to a full committee vote.

Rumor? If this is true, and it passes, it will be an incredible doublecross. One of the few moments where sending a fax/email bomb like this is probably is an effective tactic because it shows Congress they are being watched.

Electronic Frontier Foundation: Broadcast flag advocacy?

Your ISP as Net watchdog | CNET
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 5:03 pm EDT, Jun 16, 2005

The U.S. Department of Justice is quietly shopping around the explosive idea of requiring Internet service providers to retain records of their customers' online activities.

Your ISP as Net watchdog | CNET

EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 8:35 pm EDT, Jun 13, 2005

Like all journalists and publishers, bloggers sometimes publish information that other people don't want published. You might, for example, publish something that someone considers defamatory, republish an AP news story that's under copyright, or write a lengthy piece detailing the alleged crimes of a candidate for public office.

EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers

Minnesota court takes dim view of encryption | CNET
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 9:42 am EDT, May 25, 2005

] We find that evidence of appellant's Internet use and the
] existence of an encryption program on his computer was at
] least somewhat relevant to the state's case against him,"
] Judge R.A. Randall wrote in an opinion dated May 3.

The fact that PGP was present on a persons computer was considered relevent in this case. The mere fact that PGP was there makes it more likely that this person was involved in crime.

Minnesota court takes dim view of encryption | CNET

Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005: A Country Study
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 11:44 pm EDT, May  8, 2005

] China's Internet filtering regime is the most
] sophisticated effort of its kind in the world. Compared
] to similar efforts in other states, China's
] filtering regime is pervasive, sophisticated, and
] effective. It comprises multiple levels of legal
] regulation and technical control.

Interesting details on China's internet filtering, with links to information about other countries...

Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005: A Country Study

Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 11:39 am EDT, May  7, 2005

] This morning, the DC Circuit of the US Court of Appeals
] struck down the loathsome Broadcast Flag, ruling that the
] FCC does not have the jurisdiction to regulate what
] people do with TV shows after they've received them.



Indymedia Subject of Secret 'Terrorism Investigation'
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 10:19 am EST, Nov 11, 2004

Government responds to EFFs request for information about why Indymedia's servers where taken down.

The Government argues that the servers belong to Rackspace and so Indymedia has no right to ask what happened!! They they say:

] As further grounds for the denial of the Motion to
] Unseal, without waving the forgoing, the U.S. would show
] that the sealed documents pertain to an ongoing criminal
] terrorism investigation.

People seem fairly sure that this "Criminal Terrorism" investigation is ongoing because the website published some photos of some undercover cops who were hanging out at one of their meetings. That seems like quite a stretch.

Indymedia Subject of Secret 'Terrorism Investigation'

And just like that, the servers were back...
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 10:26 am EDT, Oct 14, 2004

] Rackspace Managed Hosting, the San Antonio-based company
] that manages two Indymedia servers seized by the US
] government last Thursday, said yesterday that the servers
] have been returned and are now available to go back
] online. Immediate access to the servers, which host
] Indymedia's Internet radio station and more than 20
] Indymedia websites, will be delayed so that the
] Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) can ensure that the
] servers are secure and take steps to preserve evidence
] for future legal action.

And just like that, the servers were back...

Wired News: Senate Shelves Induce Review
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 5:57 pm EDT, Oct  7, 2004

] "The technologies don't infringe, people do," Greenberg
] said.


Wired News: Senate Shelves Induce Review

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