Archive for Pirate Party

Oblivious Supreme Court poised to legalize medical patents

Posted in News with tags , , , , on December 8, 2011 by cykros

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in a case that raises a fundamental question: whether a physician can infringe a patent merely by using scientific research to inform her treatment decisions.

Unfortunately, this issue was barely mentioned in Wednesday’s arguments. A number of influential organizations had filed briefs warning of the dire consequences of allowing medical patents, but their arguments were largely ignored in the courtroom. Instead, everyone seemed to agree that medical patents were legal in general, and focused on the narrow question of whether the specific patent in the case was overly broad.

This should make the nation’s doctors extremely nervous. For two decades, the software industry has struggled with the harmful effects of patents on software. In contrast, doctors have traditionally been free to practice medicine without worrying about whether their treatment decisions run afoul of someone’s patent. Now the Supreme Court seems poised to expand patent law into the medical profession, where it’s unlikely to work any better than it has in software.

via Oblivious Supreme Court poised to legalize medical patents.

Soooo… This is just a nice clear indication of the true parasitic nature of patent and copyright law, with the courts poised to rule that money is more important than human lives.


How The CIA Uses Social Media to Track How People Feel – Jared Keller – Technology – The Atlantic

Posted in News with tags , , , , on November 9, 2011 by cykros

The Associated Press reports that the CIA maintains a social-media tracking center operated out of an nondescript building in a Virginia industrial park. The intelligence analysts at the agency’s Open Source Center, who other agents refer to as “vengeful librarians,” are tasked with sifting through millions of tweets, Facebook messages, online chat logs, and other public data on the World Wide Web to glean insights into the collective moods of regions or groups abroad. According to the Associated Press, these librarians are tracking up to five million tweets a day from places like China, Pakistan and Egypt.

via How The CIA Uses Social Media to Track How People Feel – Jared Keller – Technology – The Atlantic.

Just a confirmation that the more paranoid ideas we were already harboring are quite true. Smile for the birdie!

Verizon Wireless Changes Privacy Policy – Slashdot

Posted in News with tags , , , on October 17, 2011 by cykros

“Recently Verizon changed its home internet TOS to by default share your location with advertisers. Now Verizon Wireless has also changed its privacy policy to by default share your web browsing history, cell phone location and app usage as well. Whilst there have been a few stories on these changes, internet forums have largely been quiet. Where is the outrage? Or have we just come to accept that ISPs are going to sell our personal information and web browsing habits?”

via Verizon Wireless Changes Privacy Policy – Slashdot.

So. Anyone who remotely gives a damn about privacy should be taking this as their cue to ditch Verizon (though honestly, what you’re doing still with Verizon baffles me given their history). For those of you with no other worthwhile options (say, those of you with a choice between nothing but Comcast and Verizon for home Internet, or no choice other than Verizon and AT&T for cell phone use), you should take this as your cue to start using anonymization tools, because you ARE being monitored…no speculation about it.

United with the World for Global Democracy | Occupy Boston

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on October 15, 2011 by cykros

This statement was ratified and accepted by the Boston General Assembly on Oct. 13 2011.

On 15th October 2011, united in our diversity, united for global change, we demand global democracy: global governance by the people, for the people. Inspired by our sisters and brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, New York, Palestine-Israel, Spain and Greece, we too call for a regime change: a global regime change. In the words of Vandana Shiva, the Indian activist, today we demand replacing the G8 with the whole of humanity – the G 7,000,000,000.

Undemocratic international institutions are our global Mubarak, our global Assad, our global Gaddafi. These include: the IMF, the WTO, global markets, multinational banks, the G8\G20, the European Central Bank and the UN Security Council. Like Mubarak and Assad, these institutions must not be allowed to run people’s lives without their consent. We are all born equal, rich or poor, woman or man. Every African and Asian is equal to every European and American. Our global institutions must reflect this, or be overturned.

Today, more than ever before, global forces shape people’s lives. Our jobs, health, housing, education and pensions are controlled by global banks, markets, tax-havens, corporations and financial crises. Our environment is being destroyed by pollution in other continents. Our safety is determined by international wars and international trade in arms, drugs and natural resources. We are losing control over our lives. This must stop. This will stop. The citizens of the world must get control over the decisions that influence them in all levels – from global to local. That is global democracy. That is what we demand today.

Today, like the Mexican Zapatistas, we say “¡Ya basta! Aquí el pueblo manda y el gobierno obedece”: Enough! Here the people command and global institutions obey! Like the Spanish Tomalaplaza we say “Democracia Real Ya”: True global democracy now!” Today we call the citizens of the world: let us globalise Tahrir Square! Let us globalise Puerta del Sol!

Follow it on Facebook from October 14th:

Discuss it on Twitter with the hashtag #globaldemocracy


Noam Chomsky

Vandana Shiva

Eduardo Galeano

Michael Hardt

Naomi Klein

Tim Gee

Nicola Vallinoto- Council member of the World Federalist Movement


ATTAC France

Egality London

Egality Berlin

War on Want – London

Globalise Resistance – London

Uncut UK

Uncut Italy

DRY International

Gaia Foundation

Democracia Real – Argentina

General Assembly Puerta del Sol – Madrid

General Assembly London

General Assembly Buenos Aires

General Assembly Sao Paulo

General Assembly Manchester

via United with the World for Global Democracy | Occupy Boston.

Something that officially represents the voice of Occupy Boston, rather than the speculation and words from those who cannot speak for us as a whole. Lest there be confusion… No, we’re not all camping out in the cold and rain, being rounded up and brutally beaten by cops, and going on marches to support Obama’s jobs act. The time is now to rise up and join in your communities to push for change (and not just Change(tm)).

Why IP Addresses Alone Don’t Identify Criminals | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Posted in News with tags , , on August 25, 2011 by cykros

This spring, agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executed a search warrant at the home of Nolan King and seized six computer hard drives in connection with a criminal investigation. The warrant was issued on the basis of an Internet Protocol (IP) address that traced back to an account connected to Mr. King’s home, where he was operating a Tor exit relay.

An exit relay is the last computer that Tor traffic goes through before it reaches its destination. Because Tor traffic exits through these computers, their IP addresses may be misinterpreted as the source of the traffic, even though the exit node operator is neither the true origin of that traffic nor able to identify the user who is. While law enforcement officers have seized exit relays in other countries, we weren’t aware of any seizures in the United States until ICE showed up at Mr. King’s home.

After the computers were seized, EFF spoke with ICE and explained that Mr. King was running a Tor exit relay in his home. We pointed out that ICE could confirm on the Tor Project’s web site that a computer associated with the IP address listed in the warrant was highly likely to have been running an exit relay at the date and time listed in the warrant. ICE later returned the hard drives, warning Mr. King that “this could happen again.” After EFF sent a letter, however, ICE confirmed that it hadn’t retained any data from the computer and that Mr. King is no longer a person of interest in the investigation.

While we think it’s important to let the public know about this unfortunate event, it doesn’t change our belief that running a Tor exit relay is legal. And it’s worth highlighting the fact that these unnecessary incidents are avoidable, and law enforcement agents and relay operators alike can take measures to avoid them in the future.


via Why IP Addresses Alone Don’t Identify Criminals | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Well, that actually went much better than expected for the first raid brought on by running a TOR exit node in the US. Makes me a little more likely to be willing to open my relay up to exit traffic at some point in the future…though not yet, given a few factors… Glad to see some of the tools mentioned later in this article to help law enforcement not waste their time with the process of getting and carrying out a warrant unnecessarily…

Google’s Lack of Transparency and Openness in the Android Market Will Hurt More Than Just Grooveshark | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Posted in News with tags , on April 22, 2011 by cykros

[…] And because Google won’t say why Grooveshark’s app allegedly violated its terms and conditions, Grooveshark has no opportunity to try to cure.

It’s hard to not speculate about what happened. We can only assume that a complaint from the RIAA would be based in copyright. That Google would perform a copyright takedown without requiring a valid notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is surprising to say the least — especially given that Google just last week filed its reply brief in the Viacom v. YouTube appeal vigorously defending its policy of responding only to valid DMCA notices where copyright complaints are concerned. (Separately, we question whether there’s a theory of copyright law under which Google would be liable in the first place, given that Google merely stores the code for another service provider’s app — code that we seriously doubt is itself infringing or otherwise illegal and which isn’t even executable on the Android Market platform.)

And if the RIAA’s complaint was not one under the DMCA, we – and others – are left to wonder: Did Google take down the Grooveshark app because it will compete with Google’s rumored soon-to-be-released cloud music service? Did Google’s takedown intentionally coincide with its appearance before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on IP in an effort to make itself more sympathetic to Congress? Is Google simply letting itself be controlled by the whims of the RIAA and the larger content industry as a whole?

We’d like to believe that none of these is the case, yet Google’s failure to provide a concrete explanation leaves us guessing. And Google’s larger failure to implement a policy that provides clear-cut rules and procedures for alerting app developers of their alleged violations of Google policy and giving them opportunities to cure runs counter to an environment of inclusiveness that Google has long touted. Despite recent events, we continue to hope that Google will stand up for these principles and maintain an Android Market that is open and transparent.

via Google’s Lack of Transparency and Openness in the Android Market Will Hurt More Than Just Grooveshark | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

So, think we can all stop patting Google on the back for their “free and open source” operating system yet? Because I certainly remember when people were applauding Apple for OS X being “Unix”… Sure, both statements are technically true, but they come so loaded with false implications as to be effectively untruths.

Sony v. Hotz Ends With a Whimper, I Mean a Gag Order | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Posted in News with tags , on April 13, 2011 by cykros

After months of expensive litigation, Sony has finally settled its case against George Hotz and dismissed the remaining defendants from the case. Was it worth the thousands Sony paid in lawyers fees? That depends on Sony’s motivation.

What Sony gets in the settlement (based on the final judgment filed yesterday): George Hotz agrees to leave Sony alone. Really alone. Since Hotz has announced he’s joining the boycott of Sony products, that may not seem like much to give up. But Hotz has agreed to do more than simply avoid hacking any Sony products; he has agreed not to even link to anyone else’s research on Sony products, or to share any Sony confidential information he might receive, even if he obtains it legally. In other words, Hotz is now under a gag order.

But the rest of us are not. Hotz’s research remains public information. The security flaws discovered by the researchers allow users to run Linux on their machines again — something Sony used to support but recently started trying to prevent. So all Sony has really accomplished is to silence one lonely researcher, and anger loyal customers. Hardly seems worth it, right?

Unless you assume that Sony had a different motivation: to chill security research on Sony products.

There’s good reason to suppose that assumption is correct. For example, as we noted when the suit was filed, Sony not only asked the court to immediately impound all “circumvention devices” — which it defines to include not only the defendants’ computers, but also all “instructions,” i.e., their research and findings. If that had been accomplished, the defendants could have lost access to their own research, and, of course, would have been prevented from sharing it with the world. Even worse, Sony claimed that it was a crime for users to access their own computers in a way that Sony doesn’t like. Against this background, this speech-chilling settlement should surprise no one.

The judicial process should never be used to shut down lawful communication and investigation. Here’s hoping future security researchers will refuse to be intimidated and that other companies will decline to follow Sony’s heavy-handed example.

via Sony v. Hotz Ends With a Whimper, I Mean a Gag Order | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

So…this is a bit of a compromise, but I’m glad to see Sony didn’t get everything they were going after. With any luck, the people who made the decision to pursue this case are now dining on radioactive cheese anyhow… There are very few people I’d wish that on, but frankly, this kind of action is despicable. Don’t even begin to dare to tell me what I can and cannot do with my legally purchased hardware. That’s called a rental, and I sure don’t see people shelling out the kind of money on Sony’s systems that they currently do if they were actually being told that they were merely renting a gaming system…