Boing Boing 

Brianna Wu uploads Gamergate death threat to shame Ohio prosecutor

The game developer and Gamergate bogeywoman/survivor has furnished the authorities with the graphic death-threats she received for speaking out about online harassment of women, but they won't take action.

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Atlanta pays $20,000 to critic forced to post pro-cop message to Facebook

Atlanta police Lt. Jeffrey Cantin told Baton Bob, a street performer, that he wouldn't be released on Bond unless he posted complementary remarks about the Atlanta police department to his Facebook page.

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Don't come to your court-date in a lime-green Batman costume

Honestly, it should go without saying.

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John Deere: of course you "own" your tractor, but only if you agree to let us rip you off


John Deere freaked out over a a petition to the Copyright Office to let tractor owners break the DRM on their vehicles in order to diagnose and fix them.

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What did the courts just do to NSA spying?


When a panel of federal judges from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the NSA's bulk-phone records spying program was illegal, it was a legal game-changer, but what, exactly, does it all mean?

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DOJ tells judges they don't get a say in whether information is classified


DOJ lawyer Catherine Dorsey: "We don’t think there is a First Amendment right to classified documents" -- she was seeking to suppress evidence of force-feeding torture in Gitmo.

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Appeals Court rejects NSA's bulk phone-record collection program


A panel of judges from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the NSA's mass phone-record collection program was not authorized by Congress in the Patriot Act.

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Computer scientist/Congressman: crypto backdoors are "technologically stupid," DA is "offensive"

Rep Ted Lieu (D-CA) is a USAF reserve colonel, former member of the Judge Advocate General Corps and holds a computer science degree -- he's one of the four members of Congress with any formal computer science qualifications.

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Crowdfunded 3D printer shipments withheld to backers who complained about lateness


Cobblebot's crowdfunded 3D printers were supposed to ship in October, but many backers have yet to get theirs, including the "super early" backers -- and it turns out this is on purpose, as Cobblebot is deliberately withholding shipments from customers who complained online, citing a nebulous Texas defamation statute that bans statements regarding "dishonesty, fraud, rascality, or general depravity."

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FBI's crypto backdoor plans require them to win the war on general purpose computing


The FBI wants backdoors in all your crypto, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron made backdoors an election promise, but as Stanford lawyer/computer scientist Jonathan Mayer writes, there's no way to effectively backdoor modern platforms without abolishing the whole idea of computers as we know them, replacing them with an imaginary and totalitarian computing ecosystem that does not exist and probably never will.

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Town will cut off power to families of kids who commit vandalism


If your child commits vandalism, the Farmer City, IL council want to cut off electrical power to your house.

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Senators announce "Aaron Swartz Should Have Faced More Jail Time" bill

Senators Mark Kirk [R-IL] and Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY] announced a bill that increases the maximum jail time for "obtaining information from a protected computer without authorization" -- which covers anything you do that violates the BS Terms of Service we all break all day long.

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San Franciscans: help free the records of the US court system

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud sez, "On May 1 (Friday) at the Internet Archive in San Francisco, I'm going to be running a 'PACER Polling Place' from 8am-5pm. I hope you'll stop by and give me a hand."

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A bill to fix America's most dangerous computer law

Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] and Rep. Jared Polis [D-CO] have introduced legislation in the US Senate and House to fix one of the worst computer laws on the US statute books: section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which forbids breaking digital locks, even for lawful purposes.

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Australia outlaws warrant canaries


The exceptionally broad new surveillance bill lets the government do nearly unlimited warrantless mass surveillance, even of lawyer-client privileged communications, and bans warrant canaries, making it an offense to "disclose information about the existence or non-existence" of a warrant to spy on journalists.

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Demystifying copyright licensing and 3D printing


It's more complicated than it seems: the functional elements of a 3D print can't be copyrighted, but they may be blended with decorative elements that can be; what's more, if we err on the side of caution by "open licensing" stuff that isn't even copyrighted, the effort to open up copyright ends up normalizing the application of copyright to new subjects.

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Canadian court hands a gimme to copyright trolls


Michael Geist writes, "Canada's Federal Court has issued its ruling on the costs in the Voltage-TekSavvy case, a case involving the demand for the names and address of thousands of TekSavvy subscribers by Voltage on copyright infringement grounds. Last year, the court opened the door to TekSavvy disclosing the names and addresses, but also established new safeguards against copyright trolling in Canada. The decision required Voltage to pay TekSavvy's costs and builds in court oversight over any demand letters sent by Voltage."

The issue of costs required another hearing with very different views of the costs associated with the case. TekSavvy claimed costs of $346,480.68 (mainly legal fees and technical costs associated with complying with the order), while Voltage argued the actual costs should be $884. The court disagreed with both sides, settling on costs of $21,557.50 or roughly $11 per subscriber name and address. The decision unpacks all the cost claims, but the key finding was that costs related to the initial motion over whether there should be disclosure of subscriber information was separate from the costs of abiding by the order the court ultimately issued. The motion judge did not address costs at the time and the court now says it is too late to address them.

With TekSavvy now bearing all of those motion costs (in addition to costs associated with informing customers), the decision sends a warning signal to ISPs that getting involved in these cases can lead to significant costs that won't be recouped. That is a bad message for privacy. So is the likely outcome for future cases (should they arise) with subscribers left with fewer notices and information from their ISP given the costs involved and the court's decision to not compensate for those costs.

Defending Privacy Doesn’t Pay: Federal Court Issues Ruling in Voltage – TekSavvy Costs [Michael Geist]