"I will admit, however, that I'm surprised at how effective they've been in drawing additional media attention to certain stories, and how they really have helped drive two particular stories forward (the ACS:Law situation in the UK, and the HBGary Federal story in the US)"
that's because you don't understand anonymous.
brief tutorial feel free to skip to next paragraph. on the one hand you have the populists, the ones who like to have everybody come together in a group ddos attack. then you have the elitists, the true hackers who break into the computers of business and government and expose all their dirty little secrets. finally, you have the chat rooms. it might help to think of it as a convention with thousands of people all running around and talking about what interests them and what they want to do. sumtimes sumbody says sumthing that captures the hives attention and a bunch of them will break off to go commit acts of mayhem. other times individuals will meet together in private rooms to compare notes on their own exploits, but their isn't any leadership or even group consensus, statements from "anonymous" notwithstanding.
what's interesting is how effective or not the two strategies are. the ddos attacks, designed to shut down websites and stop speech are ineffective and transitory. publicly humiliating the companies and individuals with their own words, however, is incredibly satisfying and compelling.
i don't use facebook, but the way this feature is described, as a really convenient and cool function for the user, isn't an invasion of privacy.
i've lost count of the companies that have the legal right to turn me into a humancentipad because of all the "agreements" i've clicked through. i would be uncomfortable with it from any company, but this makes me more nervous than most precisely because it is facebook, a company with a dismal record in privacy related issues.
i think the article here, at techcrunch does a better job of explaining the complaints of the various studios.
looking over them, most of their concerns are overblown, but i think that umg actually has a legitimate concern. personally, i have about 20 gigs of music on my hard drives. about two thirds of it was acquired pre-drm-free itunes, and not paid for. not wanting to start a debate on my right to possession, i will just say that i will not be using any cloud locker that examines my music to determine if it has a digital receipt, and i doubt if i am alone in this. i doubt if any such system is even possible (how long until digital signature is cracked?), or practical from a service providers perspective (turns them into copyright police, which they should fight tooth and nail).
an interesting question and an interesting debate. one thing that struck me is the automatic response from numerous commenters that what cisco did should be against the law or that they should be civilly liable. or that they should not be criminal/liable, and everything is fine here. nothing to see. move along please. personally, i think that their is a better way.
for those calling for laws/judgements, i ask, do you really want the government involved? the answer to that depends, i suspect, on if you believe the government is capable anymore of actually making laws that benefit the people instead of the lobbyists. i am dubious on this proposition myself.
the internet, however, has forever changed the way we communicate with people. public exposure and condemnation is, imho, the most effective deterrent to shady dealings.
if cisco becomes publicly reviled for their actions and large groups of people equate their brand with greed and a willingness to make a buck before ethical considerations, how hard do you think microsoft and ibm, and sun microsystems will think before accepting similar contracts?
i guess i have more faith in corporations (even ones such as those named) to recognize their own self interest than i do in government to...well, do anything really. it's not a perfect solution. for instance it leaves the folks from falun gong, in this case, sol, but we as a people need to stop looking for the government to jump in and solve every issue.
i am a texan and i would love to count coup on my state being the one to oppose the tyranny of the evil feds and their imperiousness.
sadly, honesty compels me to tell you that this whole thing is being misconstrued. texas politicians don't care about the civil rights of texas citizens any more than the rest of the states. no, no, no. this is about us giving the feds the finger. resentment of those damn yankees stems all the way back to the war of northern aggression, and you can actually be decertified as a texas citizen if you don't scorn the revenooers at every opportunity. (this law hasn't actually been enforced in many years due to its ambiguity and questions about its enforceability , but does remain on the books).
in sum, its not principle, it's just ornerynous.
wow. seems to be a lot of hate for comcast on here! while i love my cynical corp bashing alter ego as much as the next quy, i don't have any experience personally with them, under that brand. in my part of the country they go by the labels at&t and time warner.
while i was reading this, though, i actually felt good about comcast. afaik this story broke this morning, and before the sun had set comcast did everything they could to correct the situation. call it a ray of hope, in an otherwise bleak expanse of corporate depravity and gluttony.
comcast is at its core just a group of people. like people everywhere some of them are very smart and some don't have the sense god gave a doorknob. sometimes the subhuman/doorknob rises to the position of VP of Communications at Comcast. the commendable thing here is that the big chiefs recognized and rectified the disreputable behavior instead of digging in their heels and insisting that they were right.
public condemnation instead of government regulation FTW!
your almost there, but not quite. stop thinking of yourself as a seller of music; your music is advertising for everything else you do. that everything else should include concert tickets, tshirts, film and tv placements, those little plates like the ones of william and kate (except with your picture of course), and anything else you can think of, but don't fool yourself into thinking that you are selling music. your not. music is free (not a statement of morality, just one of fact). some people choose to make donations to bands they really like, but the key there is getting people to like you, not counting on their donations.
ironically, imho, this is everything that is great about the internet. 10 years ago (maybe even just 5) this assertion from hadopi would have gone unchallenged. today, it is hard to find a story on this, even from (relatively) mainstream media sources, that isn't pointing out that the french government is in fact lying through their teeth! when every interested internet user in the world is a fact checker, it gets harder and harder to lie to the sheeple. TRUTH for the win!
"The crux is whether the carrier collected data is available without a warrant. If it is, then they have problem. If not, it's apples & oranges and not reasonable to conflate the two."
no that's not the "crux' at all. it is the exact same information. corporate america has gone so far in pursuit of profits at the expense of ethics that the information that should require a warrant for the government to obtain is instead for sale to it. the 10 page contract you signed with att or cox or jcpenny allows them to collect and sell that information. of course they won't sell it to you, just associate business entities. do you think that doesn't include the government?