Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

It cannot be repeated enough:

We support the consideration of measures that would improve the ability for creators to receive fair remuneration for the use of their works online. But we cannot support Article 13, which would mandate Internet platforms to embed an automated infrastructure for monitoring and censorship deep into their networks. For the sake of the Internet’s future, we urge you to vote for the deletion of this proposal.

These words were written by an group of resounding names in Internet technology circles, which includes Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, the inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, co-founder of the Mozilla Project Mitchell Baker, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, cryptography expert Bruce Schneier, and net neutrality expert Tim Wu. You can read their full letter to the President of the European Parliament on the site of the EFF.

Please help oppose articles 11 and 13, for example by contacting your MEP about this matter.


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In the coming days and weeks, the European Parliament will debate an update to the Copyright Directive. There are a few things wrong with the current proposal.

The EFF shows the impact of two articles in the proposal: The EU’s Copyright Proposal is Extremely Bad News for Everyone, Even (Especially!) Wikipedia.

MEP Julia Reda details the situation of article 13 of the proposal: How you can #SaveYourInternet from Article 13 and the “Link Tax” in the next 14 days.

Both articles also contain links to sites that will help you express your voice and influence the members of the European Parliament, like saveyourinternet.eu. Help defeat bad legislation: go visit those site and act!

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It cannot be repeated enough: “There is No Middle Ground on Encryption” says the EFF. Specifically: the so-called “backdoors” requested by government can only weaken the encryption used, basically rendering it vulnerable to malicious attacks. The legal arguments put forward by the EFF are, of course, specific to the USA, but similar cases can certainly be built in many other countries. And the other arguments only fail to convince those who don’t know what they’re talking about… So let’s spread the word: no backdoors!

Source: Shutterstock

Also interesting is the fact that the general conclusion from a 1996 (!) study (also quoted by the EFF) still remains pretty valid:

It is true that the spread of encryption technologies will add to the burden of those in government who are charged with carrying out certain law enforcement and intelligence activities. But the many benefits to society of widespread commercial and private use of cryptography outweigh the disadvantages.

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Dave Winer writes:

Wait till the press figures out that Google knows everywhere you go. Not only on the web, but in the world.

Only a fool knows everything. A wise man knows how little he knows.

African proverb. The photo is (c) W.Van daele.

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That’s not my title, it’s the conclusion of Dave Pell when he wrote about the Facebook affaire a few weeks ago. You can’t blame him for saying so, and he’s illuminating, serious and funny at the same time in “The Flight of the Zuckerberg“.

2. Facebook is constantly urging you to share your immediate thoughts and reactions to every life event. We were a couple days into the company’s biggest challenge before Facebook’s creator shared any of his thoughts on the matter. There’s probably a lesson in that…

11. You read the stories about Cambridge Analytica and you think, Damn, these guys are total geniuses who can control our minds. You watch the undercover video of the Cambridge Analytica execs and you think, Damn, these guys are seriously some clown-ass schmucks. Like always, believe what you see…

12. If Facebook really manipulates our thoughts, they must want us to be really pissed at Facebook…

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I did not write this up, and Dave Pell just contrasted what a few notable Americans said about freedom of speech and its importance in a democracy. And then he added a few tweets by you-know-who. Check it all out on Dave’s blog:

Click the image to go to Dave Pell’s post

How long before Trump believes that a new Cold War will halt global warming? Sorry, I know: April foolery is supposed to be funny…

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Marc makes a great summary of the political event of the month (of the year, perhaps?) in the USA: “Six minutes and twenty seconds“. What else can I do, but salute Emma Gonzalez and all the people protesting gun violence?

As a side note, you may want to know a bit about the person whom the high school in Florida was named after: Marjorie Stoneman Douglas. It seems a bit of her fighting spirit transferred over to the high school students of the 21st century…

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