This Week In Techdirt History: October 20th – 26th

from the tis-written dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2014, scrutiny was ramping up on former NSA boss Keith Alexander from all directions, while evidence continued to emerge further linking the NSA’s SIGINT director to private contractors. Rep. Mike Rogers was calling for Ed Snowden to be charged with murder, and a former agency official was saying anyone who “justified” Snowden’s leaks shouldn’t be allowed to work for the government. We learned more about the CIA’s spying on the Senate, while Congress was not so easily giving in to the FBI’s demands about ending encryption, and amidst all this… more research showed mass surveillance doesn’t work.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2009, the copyright lobby was bumping up against proposed anti-spam laws because they might interfere with their DRM and spyware practices, copyright holders were going to war with univeristy photocopy shops, and the US Chamber of Commerce began its DMCA-fight with prank group The Yes Men. We learned that Shepard Fairey made some bad decisions in his copyright fight with the AP over his famous Obama poster, but also wondered whether anyone could trust the AP’s own reporting on the subject. And we saw trademark shenanigans from both the usual suspects (Monster Energy) and some more surprising ones (The Sex Pistols).

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2004, people were looking to the future of mobile devices — especially with cheap wifi on the rise — and examining everything from what makes mobile bullying unique to the coming consequences of device convergence and the possibility of peer-to-peer bartering becoming a dominant form of commerce. One prediction certainly didn’t come true: a Finnish researcher extrapolated some trends and decided that the internet would collapse in 2006. Meanwhile, the RIAA’s own figures were painting a different picture about file sharing from the one the agency liked to tout, web publishers were maybe-kinda-sorta coming to terms with BugMeNot, and some news websites were getting over their silly aversion to linking to other news outlets in their own coverage.

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