Boing Boing 

Surveillance scandal blowing up Macedonian government

Macedonia's government -- which accused the opposition of planning a coup last week -- is reeling from a bombshell press-conference given by the opposition party, in which they were accused of mass, politically oriented surveillance.

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Greece's new finance minister used to be Valve's games economist


Yanis Varoufakis used to manage in-game economies in games like Counter-Strike; now he's finance minister for a Greek government that has set its sights on reforming the entire basis of austerity and debt service in the Eurozone.

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They put a Pirate Party MEP in charge of EU copyright reform: you won't believe awesomesauce that followed


Julia Reda, the sharp-as-a-tack Member of the European Parliament for the German Pirate Party, has just tendered her draft report on copyright reform in the EU. It is full of amazingly sensible suggestions.

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Sharpening the contradictions: why jihadis attack cartoonists


France has one of the least politicized, least religious Muslim populations in Europe, millions who, by and large, don't really think about faith or politics (just like most other people) -- but if the horrific death of cartoonists can inspire reprisals against the rank-and-file, perhaps they will find sympathy for the extremists' cause.

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Corporate sovereignty: already costing the EU billions


"Corporate sovereignty" -- in which foreign companies get to sue the government to penalize it for passing environmental and labor laws that undercut profits -- is the one of the most controversial elements of the TAFTA/TTIP trade agreement the EU is negotiating with the US.

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Pianist wants bad review taking down under EU "right to be forgotten" rules


In 2010, Dejan Lazic got a mildly critical review in the Washington Post and now he wants it taken down so people who google him won't see it anymore.

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Hungary cancels proposed Internet tax in the face of mass opposition


After 100,000 Hungarians took to the street in opposition to a per-megabyte tax on their Internet usage, the autocratic Prime Minister Viktor Orban (whose election was characterized by outside observers as "free but not fair") was forced into a rare climbdown.

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Catalan president defies Madrid, decrees independence referendum


Catalonian separatism has grown and grown in the face the brutal austerity imposed upon Spain during the Eurozone crisis.

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Catalan separatists plan largest ever European demonstration for Sept 11


Liz writes, "This Sept 11 is the 300th anniversary of the loss of Catalonia's sovereignty to Spain. Catalans will commemorate the date by holding a massive demonstration -- perhaps Europe's largest ever-- on two major Barcelona boulevards, creating a huge letter V for Vote with upwards of 1.5 million expected participants."

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A prison visit with The Pirate Bay's Peter "brokep" Sunde


Julia Reda, a German Pirate Party MEP, was allowed to visit Sunde in a Swedish prison, and came away with a sad and important report on his tenure there, and his views on the future of the Internet and copyright.

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EU wants Google to extend "right to be forgotten" to global users


Right now, Google blocks "forgotten" articles on EU versions of its site.

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Indexing pages that Google must hide from Europeans


The controversial "right to be forgotten" European court ruling has Google removing embarrassing (and worse) search results from search-results served in the EU.

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Brussels: Water cannons turned on anti-TTIP protesters fighting the Son of ACTA


In 2012, a winning combination of lobbying and street protests killed ACTA, a secretive, Internet-punishing copyright treaty. Now, protesters are being water cannoned in Brussels as they fight ACTA's successor, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. It seems like the lesson that the powerful took away from ACTA wasn't to conduct trade negotiations with transparency and public feedback -- instead, they're ruthlessly crushing all protest in the hopes of keeping it from growing.

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How advocacy beat ACTA in Europe


James Losey writes, "After the defeat of SOPA and PIPA in the United States attention turned to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in Europe. Like SOPA and PIPA, ACTA raised concerns that excessive measure to enforce copyright online would limit freedom of expression online. And while the approval by European Parliament once seemed inevitable, protests across Europe and advocacy by civil society lead to Parliament rejecting the Agreement in July 2012. But the protest, while highly visible, represented only a portion of the networked advocacy against ACTA in Europe."

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Estonia's online voting system is horrifically insecure and can't be trusted

Jason Kitcat writes, "I'm currently in Tallinn, Estonia as part of a team of independent security and elections researchers sharing our findings that the Estonian online e-voting system has serious flaws. We monitored the e-voting system in live use as accredited observers during municipal elections in October 2013. Then, using the source code the Estonian National Election Committee publishes, a replica of the system was built at the University of Michigan."

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Peter "brokep" Sunde launches campaign for Finnish Pirate Party MEP

Peter Sunde, founder of Flattr and co-founder of The Pirate Bay, has launched his campaign for election to the European Parliament. Sunde -- who is a friend of mine, and who has my endorsement -- is standing for the Finnish Pirate Party.

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NSA spies on human rights groups, including those in the USA

During video testimony to the Council of Europe, whistleblower Edward Snowden reiterated that the NSA targets human rights groups, including those in the USA, for surveillance. It uses its Xkeyscore technology to "fingerprint" communications from these groups and targets them for deep surveillance. Groups that have been targeted in this way include UNICEF and many others.