short copy - this week on the internet

Latest news from the Internet: fresh NSA leaks, Assange can’t be prosecuted, Creative Commons 4.0, Beastie Boys turned into copyright trolls

  • Surveillance

If you’ve ever wondered why NSA Boss Keith Alexander wasn’t fired after the whole NSA  scandal, the answer is that, although he offered to resign, the White House rejected the request, because they “didn’t want to hand Snowden a victory”.

During this scandal, the public was also told that surveillance measures will be used only for national security. However, Rick Falkvinge proves that “the line we were promised would never, ever, be crossed – that the ubiquitous wiretapping would only be used for national security and never for ordinary police work against citizens –” was crossed.

[pull_quote_center]Once that line is crossed, the wiretapping is used against the country’s own citizens.[/pull_quote_center]

Moreover, besides the police, it seems that the FBI is also involved in NSA’s dirty work.

A new Snowden leak, published by Dutch media operator NRC shows that the NSA infected 50.000 computer networks with malicious software. Moreover, anothertop secretdocument reveals that the NSA “has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches.”

Now the US has officially declared that Assange can’t be prosecuted over publishing classified documents, but we believe these statements should definitely be taken with a grain of skepticism.

On top of all of these leaked secrets, Obama’s response was to keep piling on the secrecy. Read EFF’s “8 Excuses for Mass Surveillance” or  the NY Times  article that accompanies Brian Knappenberger’s short video on why we should care about the NSA:

  • Copyright

creative commons 4.0

Creative Commons have updated their licenses. Read what changes have been made to the new 4.0 licenses on their website.

Besides the tensions between the countries involved in the TPP agreement negotiations, the US seems to be experiencing some internal pressure on the topic, between the White House and the Congress. The former wants to have the treaty signed by the end of the year, while the latter “may be slamming the breaks on the whole process”.  If you’re still wondering why the TPP is wrong, here are two interesting articles from Techdirt: 1 and 2.

Another controversial trade agreement is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiated by EU and US.  Corporate Europe Observatory has published a leaked version of the communication strategy the European Commission wants to implement “in order to reduce fears and avoid a mushrooming of doubts”, like the one caused by ACTA.

Have you seen this witty ad for toy company GoldyBlox, which wants to inspire girls to discover the wonderful world of inventions and engineering?

Well, the song is a parody after Beastie Boys’ (“remix pioneers” themselves) “Girls”. And guess what: ironically, the band has accused the toy company of copyright infringement.

The anti-piracy fight continues: after targeting song lyrics websites earlier this year in the US, the rights holders’ new strategy is to target websites that provide film subtitles. Moreover, since the “three strikes system” has proved to be ineffectual, the copyright industry’s new favorite method to fight piracy is to try to force ISPs to block access to websites that hold copyright infringing material. What is more worrying is that these ISP anti-piracy blockades apparently compatible with EU legislation.

The hypocrisy of the US Government: Piracy is theft they say, but the Government still copied military software without permission.