Ed Felten pwns FTC

The glorious Ed Felten, Princeton professor and RIAA taunter extraordinaire–"Your DRM smells of elderberries, ha!"–has been appointed the Federal Trade Commission's first Chief Technologist. He will advise the agency on emerging tech issues and policy. Felten currently directs Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy, and has educated decades' worth of students about how to examine off-limit topics in security for the benefit of us all, such as electronic voting booths and DMCA-protected encryption systems. — Read the rest

Ed Felten: a redesigned "safe" Internet won't be safe

Responding to a New York Times article on a Stanford research project that proposes a new Internet with no anonymity and limits on which software you can run (a "safer" Internet), Princeton's Ed Felten explains two gross misconceptions in the piece:

First is the notion that today's security problems are caused by weaknesses in the network itself.

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Sequoia Voting Systems threatens Felten's Princeton security research team

Edwin Smith, the VP for "Compliance/Quality/Certification" at voting-machine manufacturer Sequoia Voting Systems has sent a threatening legal letter to Ed Felten — the Princeton law professor who's led many security audits of voting machines in the past.

The letter warns that if Felten and his colleagues publish any kind of security audit information of Sequoia's machines ("Sequoia software, its behavior, reports regarding same") that Sequoia will "take appropriate steps" through its "retained counsel." — Read the rest

Ed Felten explains the AACS revolt

Ed Felten has a great rumination on the AACS key debacle in which a copy-prevention software vendor is threatening to sue hundreds of websites for publishing a 16-byte number; Felten points out that it's not just censorship that's upsetting the Internet — it's the absurdity of claiming to own a number:

While it's obvious why the creator of a movie or a song might deserve some special claim over the use of their creation, it's hard to see why anyone should be able to pick a number at random and unilaterally declare ownership of it.

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Felten and Halderman on high-def DRM crack

Princeton DRM UR-scholars Alex Halderman and Ed Felten have begun an examination of the recent crack of AACS, the anti-user system in Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. They promise to go into great depth on what the crack means and where it will go next:

Typical users can't extract title keys on their own, so BackupHDDVD won't be useful to them as it currently stands – hence the claims that BackupHDDVD is a non-event.

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Felten's blog classed as "hacking" site by firewall

Freedom to Tinker, the security blog maintained by the Princeton's esteemed engineering prof Ed Felten, has been blocked by a personal firewall from a company called Barracuda, which has classified the site as a "hacking" site.

Censorware and firewall companies are incapable of accurately judging and categorizing the Internet. — Read the rest

Felten on Sony's rootkit-"remover"

Ed Felten has a great look at Sony's "fix" for the malicious, crash-inducing rootkits they forced their customers to install in order to listen to the CDs they bought:

The update is more than 3.5 megabytes in size, and it appears to contain new versions of almost all the files included in the initial installation of the entire DRM system, as well as creating some new files.

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Felten: Why the RIAA is suing Internet2 users

Yesterday the music industry announced lawsuits against users of a P2P file-sharing service that's optimized to run on Internet2 links, which are high-speed Internet links that mostly run between universities.

Ed Felten has a brilliant analysis of the strategy in suing Internet2 users: by painting it as a "specialized" network with centralized control, the recording industry can position new rules for Internet2 that will cope with the "new" problem of infringement on I2 links. — Read the rest

Ed Felten's lecture: "Rip, Mix, Burn, Sue" — UPDATED

Ed Felten, the legendary engineer who led the team that broke the music industry's watermarking scheme and whom the music industry threatened with legal action if he presented his findings at a technical conference, has given an amazing lecture on copyright and technology as part of the Princeton President's Lecture series, called "Rip, Mix, Burn, Sue: Technology, Politics, and the Fight to Control Digital Media." — Read the rest

Felten's Grand Unified Theory of Filesharing

On "Freedom to Tinker," Ed Felten writes:

Recently we've seen several studies of the impact of filesharing on CD sales. We have enough data now to draw some (very) preliminary conclusions, assuming the studies are correct. Despite the apparent contradictions between the various studies, I think there is a plausible theory that can explain them all — a Grand Unified Theory of Filesharing.

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Ed Felten's radical technology agenda

Great article about Ed Felten's political awakening and the work that the Comp Sci professor has done to turn lawmakers on to the dangers of allowing entertainment companies to call the shots in the technology world.

In September, in written testimony before a House of Representatives hearing, Mr.

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Ed Felten, spam-vigilante martyr

Ed "Tinkerer" Felten sent out a notice of his new blog to a mailing-list and got fingered as a spammer with the Lord-of-the-Flies crew at SpamCop, who blackballed his email address with no appeal, and as a consequence, his ISP shut down his account — it was that or have their mail-relays on everyone's blacklist. — Read the rest

Edward Felten, fair-use freedom-fighter

Great Economist article on Edward Felten, the "Tinkerer's Champion." Edward and his colleagues were sent legal threats by the RIAA when they prepared an academic presentation exposing the vulnerabilities in SDMI, a copy-prevention schemes for digital music. The EFF took up his case and made the music-bullies back down. — Read the rest