This Week In Techdirt History: February 2nd – 8th

from the past-present-future dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2015, Michael Hayden was saying some worrying things about the 4th Amendment, while we learned about the FISA court’s rubberstamping of questionable NSA legal theories and the DOJ was staying quiet about whether it took any action against NSA analysts who spied on “love interests”. None of this seemed to be scaring Canada away from pushing for its own PATRIOT-like anti-terrorism legislation. We also learned about Germany’s spies sucking up phone metadata and sharing it with the NSA, while a court in the UK was saying the GCHQ’s similar behavior was illegal in the past but not anymore, and UK Lords were trying yet again to sneak through their Snooper’s Charter less than a week after failing to do so.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2010, copyright settlement shakedowns were getting so bad that even the recording industry was criticizing them, while had to help prevent a falsely-accused grandmother from being kicked off the internet by the MPAA. We wondered if the recording industry in the UK would be willing to pay for the cost of the the ISP monitoring they were demanding, while an Australian court thankfully ruled that ISPs are not liable for infringing users — leading the copyright industry to seek a government bailout. Of course, we also saw a very bad ruling in Australia, with the court agreeing that Men At Work’s Down Under infringed on the folk song Kookaburra.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2005, the RIAA was really exposing its sloppy shakedown tactics by suing a non-computer-owner who also happened to be dead. French musicians were asking the industry to stop suing fans, while rumors that online music sales were oustripping CDs were greatly exaggerated. A scandal over supposedly missing disks of classified information from Los Alamos was dissipated when it became clear that the disks never existed in the first place, a text messaging scandal was continuing to cause massive overreaction in India, and one wrong button push almost caused the complete evacuation of the state of Connecticut. We also had a post this week about the birth of Amazon Prime which, interestingly, has amassed nearly 600 comments (trickling in all the way up to 2018) from people who were confused and angry about being automatically billed for the service.

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