Links for week ending 3 September

Arrested Indian e-voting researcher released on bail
Hari Prasad, an Indian security researcher who was arrested earlier this month for allegedly stealing an electronic voting machine, has been released on bail. Prasad and his research team exposed security flaws with the machine that could allow an attacker to change election results and compromise ballot secrecy. But when questioned by the Indian authorities Prasad refused to disclose the anonymous source who provided him with the machine on which he conducted his tests. The EFF report that “the court reportedly also asked the Election Commission of India to confirm or disprove Prasad’s claim that the country’s electronic voting machines can be compromised.”

ACTA Round Ten Concludes: Deal May Be One Month Away
The tenth round of international negotiations on the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement concluded earlier this month in Washington DC. The current draft text of the treaty will not be released. The next, and potentially last round of negotiations before a treaty text is agreed, will take place in Japan in September.

Iranian activist sues telecoms firm over ‘spying system’
Isa Saharkhiz, a prominent Iranian journalist and political figure, is suing Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) over allegations that the telecommunications company provided Iranian authorities with a monitoring system it used to spy on the opposition Green movement. The Guardian report that: “Saharkhiz, who is still in detention, discovered during his interrogation in Tehran’s Evin prison that his whereabouts were revealed when security officials listened in to his mobile phone conversations using technology NSN allegedly sold to Iran.” Saharkhiz was arrested after last Summer’s disputed presidential election.

Pressure groups call on FCC to block Google/Verizon deal
Pressure groups are calling on the US Federal Communications Commission to block a deal between Google and Verizon that could compromise net neutrality on wireless networks. NPR report that: “If [the deal] is allowed, the coalition of consumer, civil rights and advocacy groups argues, ‘it would divide the information superhighway, creating new private fast lanes for the big players while leaving the little guy stranded on a winding dirt road.'”

France: authorities want users to install spyware on their computers
According to a leaked consultation document, French internet users could soon be required to install spyware on their computers which tracks their searching habits and analyses the applications they have installed, in order to prevent illicit infringement of copyrighted files over peer-to-peer networks. The confidential document was issued by Hadopi, the regulatory authority established by the French “3 strikes” copyright enforcement law last year.

The Data-Driven Life
Gary Wolf, co-creator of website “The Quantified Self”, examines how harvesting and analysing ambient data about our daily activities could improve – and complicate – our lives: “almost imperceptibly, numbers are infiltrating the last redoubts of the personal. Sleep, exercise, sex, food, mood, location, alertness, productivity, even spiritual well-being are being tracked and measured, shared and displayed.”

Rare sharing of data led to results on Alzheimer’s
A collaborative effort to find the biological markers that show the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in the human brain is bearing fruit, with more than 100 studies under way to test drugs that might slow or stop the disease. “The key to the Alzheimer’s project was an agreement…to share all the data, making every single finding public immediately, available to anyone with a computer anywhere in the world”

Is the web dying?
The UK Observer’s John Naughton unpicks Chris Anderson and Michael Wolf’s claims that the digital world is moving from the open platform of the web towards closed platforms like the iPad and the iPhone.

New Project to assess potential for opening governments’ data
The World Wide Web Foundation has announced that it will be undertaking a series of feasibility studies to assess the readiness of Chile, Ghana and Turkey for adopting an open government data program similar to the programs established by the US and UK and projects. The work is co-sponsored by the Open Society Institute.

Bangkok Post : When police act selectively
Sympathy and offers of assistance are pouring in for Surat Maneenoprattanasuda, a street vendor convicted of selling pirated movies in Bangkok under a new anti-piracy law, whose story has made front page headlines in Thailand. This Bangkok Post editorial argues that until police corruption and double standards are addressed, such arrests will not serve as a warning to other pirate CD vendors in Thailand.

No Copyright Law: The Real Reason for Germany’s Industrial Expansion?
New research by German economic historian Eckhard Höffner suggests that Germany experienced rapid industrial expansion in the 19th century due to an absence of copyright law.

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