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The latest Internet news: copyright industry monopoly doomed, stop TPP fast track, Data Protection Day, mobile apps snooped by NSA/GCHQ, Snowden for Nobel

  • Copyright

This week, there have been published quite a few interesting articles which touch upon several copyright related issues: Lifehacker‘s detailed explanation of why media companies block their content based on location; TechDirt‘s take on why copyright industries are afraid of new technologies; Huffingtonpost‘s article on the relation between technology innovation and fair use; Rick Falkvinge opinion article in TorrentFreak about why the copyright industry monopoly is doomed.

In response  to a copyright policy paper, published by the U.S. government in July 2013, the Writers Guild of America (in other words, people working in the copyright industry) warn about the drift towards a strengthened copyright industry monopoly existent in the paper, which would affect free speech and the open Internet.

stop fast trackGood news from the Pirate Bay front: a Dutch court has confirmed that blocking TPB is ineffective. The ruling means that Dutch ISPs no longer have to block the torrent site and that the Dutch citizens will be able to access it again.

Last week also witnessed the beginning and the ending of a lawsuit regarding a Prince bootleg concert copy. The artist has sued 22 Facebook users and bloggers for allegedly sharing links to bootleg copies of one of his concerts. After his fans have expressed their disappointment, Prince dropped the lawsuit.

Remember the TPP, the “‘free trade’ agreement that would set rules on non-trade maters such as food safety, internet freedom, medicine costs, financial regulation and the environment”? It seems the US Congress want to Fast Track the bill. EFF and other activist organization need your help to stop this measure and to Expose the TPP! As if this agreement wasn’t enough, Canada and the European Union are also secretly working on their own trade agreement, CETA (Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement).

  • Surveillance

January 28th was Data Protection Day, a European Union initiative that “aims to promote awareness and education of privacy issues”. In addition, two Norwegian politicians have nominated Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize, arguing that his actions have led to a “more stable and peaceful world order”.

Illustration taken from ArsTechnica

Angry Birds, the popular mobile game app, is suspected of enabling government spying, both in the US and UK. Not even other phone apps are safe, according to TechDirt. New Snowden leaks reveal that even Youtube and Facebook (here‘s how you can stay private on Facebook and here‘s how to keep NSA out of your friends list) have been snooped by British spies. Not even the Lolcats are safe as these funny images are used by the agencies to make the information they gather more interesting.

[quote_box_center]”…the NSA and GCHQ are collecting unencrypted data concerning YouTube views, Facebook likes and Twitter messages via the taps they have on various internet backbone cables. These are not from the companies themselves, but rather because the data travels unencrypted across the internet, which the NSA and GCHQ grab because they can.”[/quote_box_center]

Moreover, even the FBI is engaging in such spying activities and it appears it collected and using ever since TorMail’s e-mail database.  Meanwhile, evidence that these surveillance activities are illegal keep arising. After NSA, it is now GCHQ turn to face such accusations.