Colombia: New copyright bill being rushed through
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reports on a copyright reform bill being rushed through the legislative process in Colombia ahead of a planned visit by President Obama later this month. The bill is over-broad and concentrates only on extending the scope of rights and enforcement provisions.
Poland: Authorities abusing access to data
Another EFF report, this time on the work of Poland’s Panoptykon Foundation in uncovering widespread abuse of fast-tracked data retention laws by Polish authorities. Meanwhile Katarzyna Szymielewicz, the Panoptykon Foundation’s director, blogs on soros.org about her country’s surprise role as the hub of European protests against the harmful and secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
Data retention | ACTA
US: April 25 is day of action for access to research
The Right to Research Coalition have announced a national day of action in the US, in order to encourage as much support as possible for the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), a piece of proposed legislation that would require all publicly-funded scientific research to be publicly available. In related news, this week the Wellcome Trust, the UK’s largest medical R&D funder and one of the world’s largest research charities, has announced it will support efforts to move towards open access by launching its own OA journal, eLife.
Day of Action | Wellcome
UK: Godfather of genetics warns of forensics privatisation “catastrophe”
Following the closure of the government-funded Forensic Science Service earlier this month, the Independent reports that Professor Peter Gill – the man who pioneered forensic DNA techniques – has warned that privatisation of forensic services is leading to catastrophic failures and potential miscarriages of justice.
US: Court issues decision on intermediary liability in Viacom v. YouTube
IP-Watch.org reports that a court in the United States has reversed an earlier decision, indicating YouTube should be liable for copyright infringing content appearing on its site. The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) read the decision in a positive light: “While the decision is not a complete win for YouTube… the principal legal rulings appear to represent a ‘win’ for the Internet.”
IPWatch report | CDT analysis
Iran: Plans for national intranet justified using Stuxnet
Ars Technica summarises various recent reports that indicate Iran’s plan to deploy a “national internet” that makes international content and services available only to the nation’s business and political elite “is likely just a political gesture at this point”. It quotes a member of the country’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace alluding to the Stuxnet virus as justification for shutting off its citizens from the global ‘net.
Hacks of Valor
In this long feature for Foreign Affairs magazine, Yochai Benkler highlights recent signs the US government views Anonymous as a terrorist association, and calls for clear-headedness: “Seeing Anonymous primarily as a cybersecurity threat is like analysing the breadth of the antiwar movement and 1960s counterculture by focusing only on the Weathermen”.
What a Facebook response to a user data subpoena looks like
Techcrunch analyse a record, a redacted version of which was recently published by the Boston Phoenix, of a man’s Facebook data that was obtained by police in relation to a local murder investigation: “The Facebook file…intersects with a bunch of people who had nothing to do with this investigation. And the police, in this case, didn’t redact anything from that Facebook file when passing it on to the Phoenix. That leads to questions about who, ultimately, is responsible for this information?”
Africa’s stereoscopic future
Balancing Act Africa draws lessons from a recent debate about Africa’s connected future, musing that “it consists of two stereoscopic images that don’t’ always come into focus: what the developed world is doing and what Africa does differently”.
Research: Blogging may help teens dealing with social distress
The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) analyses new research showing that, contrary to popular beliefs about cyber-bullying, anonymity may actually help teenagers coming to terms with social issues.
Research | CDT Analysis