by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 10:32pm
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 7:27pm
from the about-time dept
Last year we wrote about some folks in Germany who were trying to do something about this, starting a competing collection society that understood that "free" wasn't necessarily a bad thing, and which actually respected its members and the new opportunities presented by the internet, beyond looking at them all as a cash register to shake as much money as possible out of. This organization, called C3S or the Cultural Commons Collecting Society is finally getting off the ground, and wouldn't you know it, they're turning to crowdfunding to make it work. Within a very short period of time, they've raised over €34,000 of the €50,000 target -- though they are really aiming for €200,000.
They point out that they're not against traditional licensing at all, but think there's room for a more forward looking organization that recognizes both traditional licensing and more modern options that many musicians want. Furthermore, unlike GEMA, C3S is designed to be open, social and democratic. This should be an interesting project, worth following.
by Michael Ho
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 5:00pm
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
- There's no consensus on why animals need to sleep, but there are few (or no) species that are completely devoid of a resting state. Sleep seems to serve at least one essential function, but it's just not clear what that function is (or if there are more). [url]
- One reason for why we need sleep might be that our brains need it to prune back synaptic formation to prevent a detrimental build-up of brain activity. But then why does synaptic pruning (usually) require an unconscious state? [url]
- The function of sleep may vary across species -- given that marine mammals can go without sleep for remarkably long periods of time. Sleep might have evolved as a trait from a common ancestor, but it could be an example of convergent evolution (eg. echolocation in bats vs dolphins). The jury is still out. [url]
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 4:38pm
from the what-our-governments-should-be-doing dept
In response to this unnecessary and dangerous secrecy, a bunch of organizations have set up the "Fair Deal Coalition," and set up a website that basically does what the TPP and TAFTA negotiators should have been doing all along: creating an open platform, letting any stakeholder discuss the kind of things that should go into such an agreement. The specific tool is called Your Digital Future, and it focuses specifically on the copyright issue. The Coalition then plans to take the feedback generated via this process and deliver it to TPP negotiators.
Yes, those negotiators will likely pay little attention to it, but the real point is that this is what negotiators should have been doing from the start. You don't set up a small group of "industry advisory committees" that are heavily biased towards legacy industries (and, by the way, then block competent experts from more disruptive areas who apply to join those committees, as we've been hearing has been happening lately) and then don't let everyone else weigh in. Yes, the USTR says it will "listen" to anyone -- but how many people are willing to go to find a USTR official to talk to them?
Open the process up. Share what you're proposing in our name, and then let people discuss the proposals honestly. Without that, something like this alternative process is a weak stand-in for what a truly representative government should be doing.
by Tim Cushing
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 3:29pm
from the oh,-microsoft...-can't-you-try-to-be-a-little-BIGGER-than-everyone-else? dept
If you work in the software industry, patents are obviously a huge issue. Nowhere is the abuse of patents more common than in this field, where broadly written claims covering obvious "methods" are the rule, rather than the exception.
Fortunately, some new tools have been crafted to allow developers to head off future trolling efforts. One of these, Ask Patents, was set up by StackExchange and Google in conjunction with the USPTO. Joel Spolsky, cofounder and CEO, recently had a reason to test drive Ask Patents, resulting in the rejection of a terrible software patent application.
There are a lot of people complaining about lousy software patents these days. I say, stop complaining, and start killing them. It took me about fifteen minutes to stop a crappy Microsoft patent from being approved. Got fifteen minutes? You can do it too.First, Spolsky gives the uninitiated a little background on software patents.
Software developers don’t actually invent very much. The number of actually novel, non-obvious inventions in the software industry that maybe, in some universe, deserve a government-granted monopoly is, perhaps, two.Taking a look at the history of patent trolls bears this out. Eolas, a notorious troll, which recently had its patents invalidated, has been extracting settlements from dozens of companies with its "Web interactivity" patents for nearly a decade. Others have followed in its wake, using patents such as "System for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence" (to attack podcasters) and "online shopping carts" (to attack pretty much everyone) to generate revenue via lawsuits and settlements, all without having to actually create a competing product.
The other 40,000-odd software patents issued every year are mostly garbage that any working programmer could “invent” three times before breakfast. Most issued software patents aren’t “inventions” as most people understand that word. They’re just things that any first-year student learning Java should be able to do as a homework assignment in two hours.
So, how do these patents make it past examiners without being discarded as obvious or running into tons of prior art?
The first technique is to try to make the language of the patent as confusing and obfuscated as possible. That actually makes it harder for a patent examiner to identify prior art or evaluate if the invention is obvious...Spolsky details even more methods deployed by trolls to push through broad patents. He also notes that these examiner-thwarting efforts serve two purposes: sliding the application through and clouding the patent's coverage in order to increase the possibility that it will be infringed. Trolls don't want other creators not to infringe on their patents -- they want as much infringement as possible in order to generate settlements, hence the vague, ill-defined terminology.
The second technique to getting bad software patents issued is to use a thesaurus. Often, software patent applicants make up new terms to describe things with perfectly good, existing names... Since patent examiners rely so much on keyword searches, when you submit your application, if you can change some of the keywords in your patent to be different than the words used everywhere else, you might get your patent through even when there’s blatant prior art, because by using weird, made-up words for things, you’ve made that prior art harder to find.
Armed with this knowledge, Spolsky went in search of a patent app to invalidate.
At first I honestly thought it was going to be hard. Would we even be able to find vulnerable applications? The funny thing is that when I looked at a bunch of software patent applications at random I came to realize that they were all bad, which makes our job much easier.From the patent's summary:
Take patent application US 20130063492 A1, submitted by Microsoft. An Ask Patent user submitted this call for prior art on March 26th.
[T]echniques for generating and displaying a presentation of elements in view of the pixel density of the display component, using a scale factor set of scale factors that specify a pixel density range and a scale factor value (e.g., 120%) to be applied to the elements of the presentation.Spolsky looked at this patent and noticed one phrase being used repeatedly: pixel density. Or as anyone not applying for a dubious patent would call it: resolution.
Without reading too deeply, I realized that this patent is basically trying to say “Sometimes you have a picture that you want to scale to different resolutions. When this happens, you might want to have multiple versions of the image available at different resolutions, so you can pick the one that’s closest and scale that.”So, Spolsky searched for prior art aimed at the actual purpose of the patent: providing images at multiple resolutions. And he found it -- right inside something else created by none other than Microsoft itself.
So I spent about a minute with Google and eventually (bing!) found this interesting document entitled Writing DPI-Aware Win32 Applications [PDF] written by Ryan Haveson and Ken Sykes at, what a coincidence, Microsoft.A couple of months down the road, Spolsky (or rather, his patent expert) was informed that the application (including all 20 claims) had been rejected. It's a non-final rejection and Microsoft is appealing, but Spolsky's experience still demonstrates the potential power tools like these have to thwart bad patents, or at the very least, force the applicants to refine their definitions and descriptions.
And it was written in 2008, while Microsoft’s new patent application was trying to claim that this “invention” was “invented” in 2011. Boom. Prior art found, and deployed.
Total time elapsed, maybe 10 minutes.
[Hat tip to a whole bunch of people who sent this in, with the first few being ChurchHatesTucker, Nate Hoffelder from The Digital Reader and Marcel Popescu.)
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 2:39pm
from the encrypted-or-not? dept
"I've certainly seen them ask for passwords," said one Internet industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We push back."Similarly, Microsoft and Google both directly said that they would never do that, while other companies hadn't responded (or chose not to respond) by the time Declan went to press. Of course, as he notes, since most tech companies now encrypt passwords, even if the companies were to hand over the hashed passwords, it's not guaranteed that the NSA can take that and decipher the actual password, though, it makes it easier. Still, just the fact that the companies are being asked for passwords seems like, once again, the feds going way beyond what they should be able to do.
A second person who has worked at a large Silicon Valley company confirmed that it received legal requests from the federal government for stored passwords. Companies "really heavily scrutinize" these requests, the person said. "There's a lot of 'over my dead body.'"
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 1:02pm
from the wow dept
The NSA's metadata program was put into place with virtually no public debate, a worrisome precedent made worse by erecting unnecessary barriers to public understanding via denials and misleading statements from senior administration officials. Continue ReadingThe article goes on in great detail about the problems and calls for a truly public debate. As they note:
When the Congress and the courts work in secret; when massive amounts of data are collected from Americans and enterprises; when government's power of intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens, augmented by the awesome power of advanced technologies, is hugely expanded without public debate or discussion over seven years, then our sense of constitutional process and accountability is deeply offended.
Officials insist that the right balance has been struck between security and privacy. But how would we know, when all the decisions have been made in secret, with almost no oversight?
We are stronger as a nation when we understand what the government is doing. This does not mean sharing sensitive intelligence with the public. A public debate poses challenges when it involves classified information that dribbles out, obfuscated by misinformation. But there is certainly far more we can discuss openly.Indeed.
by Glyn Moody
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 12:19pm
from the age-of-the-whistleblower dept
When Edward Snowden first revealed himself as the source of the NSA leaks, the Guardian released a short video interview with him in which he made the following confession:
"The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. People will see in the media all of these disclosures. They'll know the lengths that the government is going to grant themselves powers unilaterally to create greater control over American society and global society. But they won't be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things to force their representatives to actually take a stand in their interests."
Less than a week later, Glenn Greenwald was asserting that Snowden's worst fear had not been realized. That same claim was made somewhat more plausibly a few days ago by Philip Bump, writing in The Atlantic under the headline "Edward Snowden is Winning." Even if you don't agree with that optimistic assessment, the narrowness of the defeat of the Amash Amendment shows how far things have come in a few weeks.
But just as interesting as the fact that the debate is taking place, exactly as Snowden hoped, are the collateral benefits that are flowing from his leaks. Jay Rosen has gathered together a number of examples, part of what he calls The Snowden Effect:
Direct and indirect gains in public knowledge from the cascade of events and further reporting that followed Edward Snowden's leaks of classified information about the surveillance state in the U.S.
An interesting post by danah boyd suggests that there may be another important knock-on effect from Snowden's actions:
He's creating a template for how to share information. He's clearly learned from previous whistleblowers and is using many of their tactics. But he's also forged his own path which has had its own follies. Regardless of whether he succeeds or fails in getting asylum somewhere, he's inspired others to think about how they can serve as a check to power. And this is terrifying for any government.
If, as boyd suggests, a new generation of government whistleblowers come forward to carry on the work Snowden began, that would be an even better result for him than simply leading to a few immediate changes, since it would offer the hope that those might be both durable and continuing.
Ironically, the government's efforts to deter future whistleblowers by being tough on Snowden is most likely to backfire. This kind of zero-tolerance approach assumes that those who are engaging in whistleblowing are operating under the same logic, priorities, and values as government actors. Sure, plenty of people don't come forward because they're too scared; that's not new. But because of how the government responded to Snowden, those who are willing to take on the big fight now have a model for how to do it, how to iterate based on what they learned watching Snowden. The US government, far from deterring future whistleblowers, has just incentivized a new generation of them by acting like a megalomaniac.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 11:28am
al green, amash amendment, bob andrews, colleen hanabusa, debbie wasserman schultz, edith bernice johnson, eliot engel, flip flop, jan schakowsky, luis guitierrez, marcy kaptur, mike thompson, nancy pelosi, patriot act, rick larsen, sheila jackson lee, s
The Bizarre Flip-Floppers: 13 Reps Who Voted To Stop Patriot Act Spying 2 Years Ago, But Voted To Continue It Yesterday
from the oddities dept
In other words, these 13 Representatives had no problem killing off this data collection program two years ago. They didn't think that ending such a data collection program would put us all at risk or whatever FUD was being spread about why all Americans needed to have their data sucked up by the NSA -- but, yesterday it suddenly became so important that they couldn't vote to stop it? The 2011 vote is here and yesterday's vote is here. The list is led by Nancy Pelosi, who is generating a lot of disappointment from her constituents who aren't happy about NSA spying. Two years ago, she led the charge to stop excessive surveillance and to include more privacy protections. When it failed, she made a statement regretting better privacy protections for Americans:
“Today Congress failed to seize the opportunity to enact measures and improvements needed to preserve Americans’ privacy and to incorporate oversight and compliance with the law. In addition, Congress failed to consider meaningful reforms to National Security Letters to address documented abuses. Instead, we were left to vote only on a long extension of some of the most controversial and troubling aspects of the PATRIOT Act.She had a chance to do that yesterday, but she chose the other side. This was almost certainly political. The White House certainly got spooked that the Amash Amendment might pass, and it seems likely that it put tremendous pressure on Pelosi to side with them -- and to coax other Democrats to vote with her. Nearly all of the other 12 listed below who voted against extending this provision of the Patriot Act in 2011, but to allow it to continue yesterday, were likely pressured by Pelosi.
“Moving forward, we must ensure that we can protect the American people, and protect and defend the Constitution.”
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi, California
- Rep. Eliot Engel, New York
- Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Illinois
- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida
- Rep. Mike Thompson, California
- Rep. Bob Andrews, New Jersey
- Rep. Al Green, Texas
- Rep. Luis Guitierrez, Illinois
- Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Hawaii
- Rep. Rick Larsen, Washington
- Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas
- Rep. Edith Bernice Johnson, Texas
- Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Ohio
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 10:28am
from the do-you-not-care-about-the-public? dept
So it should come as little surprise that when he stood up on the House floor yesterday to defend the NSA's mass collection of Americans' private information, he once again mocked the internet and its users. You can watch Rogers' impassioned speech here, which is almost entirely made up of misleading rhetoric in defense of the program, and concludes with this obnoxious sendoff:
Are we so small that we can only look at our Facebook likes today in this Chamber? Or are we going to stand up and find out how many lives we can save?Note the implication: those supporting the Amash Amendment are those awful basement-dweller "internet" types who are tweeting and Facebooking their support -- and those people don't matter. Sorry, Rep. Rogers, but those people are the American public whose interests you're supposed to be representing. Not the interests of your wife's career opportunities, or the interests of your friends in law enforcement.
Amusingly, while he conflates "this program" with "others" when talking about how important it is, earlier in the speech he goes in the other direction, focusing very narrowly on "this program." In the opening he insists that, under this program, the NSA collects "no emails, no phone calls, no names, and no addresses." Right. This program, the Section 215 "business records" collection of bulk metadata, does not include that info. But the NSA is collecting much of that info through other programs. Or, you know, through publicly available databases. We've seen many people argue that "this program" doesn't include things like names attached to phone numbers, but does anyone actually think that the NSA isn't able to do a reverse lookup to match a phone number to a name? Meanwhile, it's well known that the feds absolutely can get emails and phone calls if necessary. So, to say that because those things aren't obtained under this program, it means this program is fine, is silly -- because it's not difficult to get from this program to those others.
He also exaggerates how many people have said this program is legal. Especially when it comes to Congressional oversight. As this very debate showed, many in Congress were misled into believing this program was entirely different. Furthermore, when he claims that the various Intelligence Committees in the House and the Senate "approved" of this program, claiming they "came together" and supported the program, he implies that it was universal approval, but as we've seen from Senators Wyden and Udall that's hardly the case. And I won't even get into ridiculous fear mongering mentions of 9/11 and how without this program we're back to 9/10. That's just wrong.
Perhaps if Rep. Rogers actually went out and spoke to the American public, rather than insulting them, he might learn that his job is to represent them, and not the intelligence community and the big defense contractors. This isn't about getting Facebook likes. This is about the American public.
by Tim Cushing
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 9:30am
Rep. Mike Pompeo Says NSA's Metadata Program Is A Result Of The Way 'Government Is Supposed To Operate'
from the oh,-good,-let's-hear-some-more-about-this-famous-'oversight' dept
Rep. Mike Pompeo who, along with Rep. Richard Nugent, whipped up the "red herring" amendment designed to draw support away from Rep. Justin Amash's more direct NSA-defunding effort, took to the mic to do a bit of orating before his amendment sailed through on a 409-12 vote.
Pompeo's amendment did little more than restate what the NSA already does while giving the appearance some sort of funding might be on the line. His amendment dealt with Section 702, which already forbids the targeting of Americans, something that hadn't been nearly as controversial as the NSA's "anything goes" interpretation of Section 215, which Amash's amendment targeted.
So, on his way to the hollowest of victories (status quo duly reinforced!), Pompeo stepped up to the podium to assure America that, thanks to his amendment, all would soon be right in the world.
"I want to make clear to everyone that contrary to the suggestions of some, the NSA has not been acting outside the scope of its authorities," he said on the House floor. "The metadata program is carefully designed with program layers of oversight by all three branches of government. This is precisely the way our government ought to operate: with input from Article I and Article 2 and Article III of the United States Constitution.""Some" should be "many" and saying "acting outside the scope of its authorities" makes the assumption there's some sort of credible authority presiding over its actions. A "carefully designed" program doesn't tend to raise more questions than it answers when deployed. And as for Pompeo's "oversight" and reference to the system of checks and balances? Both are a complete, horrific joke at this point.
But there's more.
"It's of course our duty to ensure that the NSA stays within its legal bounds here in Congress and this amendment makes it perfectly clear for everyone to know and understand," Pompeo said.If it's your duty, you damn suck at it. "Staying within the legal bounds" means following existing, normal interpretations of the law, not a constant redrawing of boundaries and redefinitions of words like "relevant." And, of course your amendment "makes it perfectly clear for everyone" -- it hardly bothered "amending" anything at all.
"We shouldn't mislead the American people into thinking that the NSA has been acting illegally. There is perhaps no program in the United States government that is as carefully monitored in overseeing as the programs this amendment attempts to clarify."Who's "we," Rep. Pompeo? Is that a bit of a slam against legislators who are concerned about the reach of the NSA's surveillance? And "mislead?" No one's "misleading" anyone about the supposed legality of these programs. Unfortunately for Americans (and many other nationalities), the secret court system and secret interpretations of secret laws have made sure that all of this stuff, that would normally raise huge, red flags about violating the rights of American citizens, IS ALL VERY LEGAL.
That's the problem. It shouldn't be. But it is.
And to hell with your "carefully monitored" and "oversight." Those terms are as meaningless as the NSA's definition of "relevant." There are plenty of legislators still reeling from these disclosures and the few who were privy to all the details have either been giving Americans the "there, there, nothing to be concerned about" speech (Dianne Feinstein and others) or the "because we'll be slaughtered by terrorists without it" speech (Mike Rogers and others). Even fewer have been saying "Americans are going to be very shocked at the breadth of these programs" (Ron Wyden and a couple of others).
To say this has been "carefully monitored" gives it the appearance that someone's been pushing back at the overreach with some sort of success. This obviously isn't true and I'd thank you and all the other NSA cheerleaders to stop pretending these programs have ever been subject to true oversight, much less any meaningful checks and balances.
by Glyn Moody
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 8:31am
from the pretty-obvious,-really dept
At the beginning of last year we reported on a Swedish study that showed that streaming services had halved the number of people who were downloading music illegally in Scandinavia. That's a pretty stunning figure, but of course is only one data point, which means that people can always argue that it's not possible to generalize. So it's good that not just one but two new reports confirm and broaden that finding.
The first concerns unauthorized downloads of music, films and TV in Norway. As TorrentFreak explains:
The report shows that in 2008 almost 1.2 billion songs were copied without permission. However, by 2012 that figure had plummeted to 210 million, just 17.5% of its level four years earlier.
What's interesting is that music has fallen far more than the others. One explanation for that could be the effect observed in the Swedish study referred to above, and the fact that there are far more legal offerings for music than for other media. That's borne out by other figures from the Norwegian research:
As expected, piracy of movies and TV shows in 2008 was at much lower levels than music, with 125 million movies and 135 million TV shows copied without permission. But by last year the figures for both had reduced by around half, to 65 million and 55 million respectively.
Of those questioned for the survey, 47% (representing around 1.7 million people) said they use a streaming music service such as Spotify. Even more impressively, just over half (corresponding to 920,000 people and 25% of Norwegian Internet users) said that they pay for the premium option.
The other report concerns piracy in the Netherlands. It was commissioned by Spotify, which obviously has an interest in promoting streaming solutions as a way of reducing illegal activity. Nonetheless, its figures are interesting:
Not only has the number of people engaging in music piracy in the Netherlands fallen in recent times, it also appears to be an infrequent activity for most of those who remain.
The Spotify study quotes some figures from earlier work in the Netherlands, which show that the number of active pirates declined from around 5 million in 2008 to 3 million in 2011 and 1.8 million in 2012. Because the methodologies of the studies were different, these may not be strictly comparable, but they do give an idea of the general direction. The research also provides the following information:
There were 6.8m residential broadband connections in the Netherlands in 2012
BitTorrent music piracy occurred on 1.8m unique IPs in 2012, around a quarter of the total
Of that 1.8m, a large passive group of 532,000 (29%) downloaded just one music file
A minority of 188,000 (10%) "hardcore" pirates downloaded 16 files or more
This Long Tail distribution is an important insight, as it highlights that most people take very little. Meanwhile, the top 10% take over half of the content.
Last year also saw the publication of a study titled 'File sharing 2©12: Downloading from illegal sources in the Netherlands' by Joost Poort of IviR and the University of Amsterdam. The author claimed that illegal downloading of music has fallen between 2008 and 2012, whilst film and TV piracy is
increasing (see table 2). The author cited the popularity of legal alternatives such as Spotify and YouTube as being the primary reason for explaining the fall in piracy over the four year period.
Again, copyright maximalists will doubtless say these are only a few studies, but such claims are looking weaker with every new result that confirms the general trend across multiple countries. They all underline what Techdirt has been saying for years: that the best way to reduce piracy is simply to increase the number of legal options offering what people want at a fair price.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 7:33am
Democratic Leadership Says NSA Data Collection Is Fine Because You 'May Be In Communication With Terrorists'
from the seriously? dept
Over at the Huffington Post, there's a good article about these odd pairings, noting the oddity of Bachmann endorsing the "identical" position as the Obama administration. But the really stunning point is at the end of the article, where it mentions that Steny Hoyer, the Democratic whip, who's in charge of gathering up the votes on the Democratic side, and who apparently was working overtime to convince Democrats to vote in favor of ignoring the 4th Amendment, sent the most bizarre "description" of the amendment. While that only has a clip, a friend sent over the full "description" sent by Steny Hoyer to all of the Democrats in the House:
Amash/Conyers/Mulvaney/Polis/Massie Amendment – Bars the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act (as codified by Section 501 of FISA) to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who may be in communication with terrorist groups but are not already subject to an investigation under Section 215Talk about misleading. The program pertains to everyone. At this point, it's no secret that the records collected under this authority include a record of every single phone call. This is not about collecting records of people talking to terrorists. It's about collecting records on everyone. So, the only rational deciphering of Hoyer's email is that he believes that every American "may be in communication with terrorist groups" and therefore it's okay to spy on them.
How do these people get elected?
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 5:32am
from the well,-look-at-that dept
Site Emergency Action Plan
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 3:29am
from the of-course-they-are dept
"The government is definitely demanding SSL keys from providers," said one person who has responded to government attempts to obtain encryption keys. The source spoke with CNET on condition of anonymity.It's unclear from the article if any companies have given in and provided the keys, but it sounds like at least most of the big ones are fighting it. Microsoft and Google both directly denied that they would hand over such a master key. Lots of other companies didn't respond to Declan's questions. Of course, it's no surprise that the government would ask. They've been asking for access and backdoors to just about everything.
The person said that large Internet companies have resisted the requests on the grounds that they go beyond what the law permits, but voiced concern that smaller companies without well-staffed legal departments might be less willing to put up a fight. "I believe the government is beating up on the little guys," the person said. "The government's view is that anything we can think of, we can compel you to do."
If they can't convince the companies that this is legal and required, you can fully expect that a law will be proposed shortly which will more or less require companies to hand over such keys.
"The requests are coming because the Internet is very rapidly changing to an encrypted model," a former Justice Department official said. "SSL has really impacted the capability of U.S. law enforcement. They're now going to the ultimate application layer provider."Once again, perhaps it's time to think about moving away from a situation in which all our "cloud" data is stored in a few centralized spots. You can still get the benefits of a cloud, even if you control the data yourself -- if only companies would open up and allow users to point their services at data stored elsewhere.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 25th 2013 1:14am