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  • Mar 18, 2021 @ 10:08am


    I'm surprised Slashdot hasn't been mentioned yet. Is this the frist psot to do so?

  • Mar 18, 2021 @ 10:06am


    I'd look at it from the opposite angle. Forcing a particular set of regulations on any mastodon instance (or matrix instance, referring to Mike's list) would have an impact on all instances it federates with. This would be an important insight for the policy maker to be aware of. Instead, what I do when talking about internet-related policy is to speak about "services" rather than web sites. Some services are monolithic, like FB, twitter, etc., some services are federated, like Matrix or Mastodon, and other services sit within a suite of seemingly-indepedent services operated by the same organisations (Google, being the prime example, but Wikimedia's services would be another).

  • Nov 10, 2020 @ 01:22pm

    Re: Why aren't police being told to nerd harder

    Why isn't law enforcement getting the same pressure, to nerd harder to detect perpetrators without the benefit of crypto skeleton keys?
    Probably because itt would require more resources (i.e. money) to be given to law enforcement to help them nerd harder. It's much easier to tell "the tech companies" to spend their money to meet the governments' demand. Also, we can't assume that law enforcement could be arsed.

  • Oct 19, 2020 @ 02:45am

    Re: Is this finally a case of

    And, as it happens, a case of GNU/Hurd Immunity.

  • Oct 01, 2020 @ 02:32pm

    SCO too!

    Remember this one?

    Boies to IBM: You violated SCOls precious copyright!

    IBM: No we didn't!

    Boies: Yes you did! Look!

    IBM: Umm. That code was donated to the Public Domain years before SCO got the UNIX copyright.

    Some lessons are never learned.

  • Apr 23, 2020 @ 02:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Subject to heavy fin

    Yeah. I should not have bothered.

    I'm actually a Google customer. My company has a contract with Google. We pay them monthly. What they owe us they deliver.
    ... suggests that users sit close on his contemptometer to where Google has put them on theirs. There's a reason why some suggest that were not "users", but "useds".

  • Apr 23, 2020 @ 02:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Subject to heavy fines

    Google doesn't have to put up with small-minded EuroRules unless they want to put up offices there and have contracts there.
    Umm. All EU-based users of Google services receive those services from Google EMEA, based in Dublin. Ireland. A member of the EU. This is also true, for the most part, of Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, LinkedIn and a slew of other organisations. All of these organisations manage data centres somewhere in the EU, mostly Dublin, London, Frankfurt but also other locations throughout the EU. The Google-shouldn't-have-to-abide-by-the-laws-of-the-countries-it-isn't-active-in argument holds some very shallow water, but it 100% doesn't apply in this case, as Google is present in the EU.

  • Apr 21, 2020 @ 04:02am

    Re: Re: Is GDPR really all that bad?

    One of the biggest complaints I have regarding the GDPR is that it was, as you say, horribly communicated. The messaging was all over the place (even where I live, Dublin, the epicentre of EU-based data-protection controversies), and it was not at all clear as to who were experts and knew what they were talking about, and who were the charlatans seeking to profit from the confusion, and who were the people who should have just kept the bloody mouths shut. I am no lawyer, so I can't speak to the way it was written. I think there is an onus on those making decisions about data protection to ensure they have their facts and legalities correct, and those who opt not to do that can reasonably be described as reckless. I wonder how many of the negative stories regarding the GDPR would be describing exactly this situation. We don't excuse people making health or (other-domain) legal decisions that impact others without first having sought the appropriate advice. But the whole point of my comment (above, and back in 2018) is that it would be helpful for Techdirt to ask some questions of data protection experts who deal on a daily basis with the GDPR and for them to be given the opportunity to provide answers. I think the podcast would be an excellent forum for that.

  • Apr 20, 2020 @ 10:53pm

    Is GDPR really all that bad?


    A few years ago, I made the suggestion to Techdirt to consider bringing an EU-based data-protection expert onto the podcast to discuss the GDPR.


    I see three main consequences of the GDPR:

    • It can be weaponised for reasons other than data-protection, such as how some abuse the so-called right to be forgotten.
    • It can be misused following a reckless or under-informed or ill-informed analysis of what the GDPR requires
    • It can protect innocent users of the internet from abuse by those with far greater commercial or legal power than they.

    Nearly every time I read a negative story about the GDPR it falls into that second bucket -- someone who is unqualified to do so decides that the GDPR is the reason why they should do something, or should not do something. I find that the experts I refer you to will agree each time.

    I think this is a good time for Techdirt to reconsider inviting someone who works in data protection in the EU (or an expert based in the UK; the GDPR continues to apply there!). Having had Larry Lessig on to discuss his suit against the NY Times and Mike Godwin on to explain the sale of .org shows that podcast guests whose informed positions are opposite to Techdirt's are welcome, and here's another opportunity.


  • Jan 29, 2020 @ 02:14am


    Any tool that gives people access to tons of personal data will be abused.

    If the term wasn't already in use, I'd declare this "Cushing's Law".

  • Sep 19, 2019 @ 03:39am

    Take a number

    If all students who want to be in with a chance were to just take a ticket as they enter the stadium, write their contact details on it, and then deposit into the box that opens only at the end of the match as they leave, would the goal (as pathetic as it is) not also be met?

  • Jun 14, 2019 @ 01:11am

    Why was it flagged

    It would be nice, though I don't know how it could be done in a way that wouldn't be roundly criticised, for Twitter to specify how such a tweet came to the moderator's attention. I ask this, because I see communities on twitter encourage each other to report tweets that could only marginally be considered offensive or abusive. When you see such a patently satirical tweet being blocked, I often wonder if part of the transaction is the moderator trying to decide (in the 4 seconds she has available to her) between the large number of "reports" a tweet has received and the likelihood that the tweet hasn't objectively broken the rules.

  • May 15, 2019 @ 07:29am

    Maybe, maybe not

    As any dedicated Mike Masnick fan knows, the censorship will only ensure that the musical segment sees much broader circulation.

    My reading of the NY Times story is that the segment was cut from the original before it was broadcast on CBS All Access. It's possible that someone will leak that segment, but it isn't that the segment is being cut from the version that any Chinese audience will see, it's that no audience is to see it. I'm not so sure it will get that "much broader circulation".

    After all, the segment originally would have appeared only on CBS All Access, a streaming service with a fairly limited reach by television standards.

    We in Ireland get to see the show on the main broadcast TV station, RTÉ. It's also syndicated to the UK's Channel 4 station, and no doubt it's also broadcast on other stations, too. RTÉ is about 4-5 weeks behind the CBS All Access schedule. The show isn't all that obscure.

    P.S. I'm a big fan, though the musical segments introduced with season 3 have made it a little farcical.

  • Oct 01, 2018 @ 02:42am

    Denial of Service vulnerability

    > Apparently, (according to Zoho's explanation) Tierranet will automatically cut off websites after receiving three complaints

    Well. There's a 0-day DoS vulnerability right there.

  • Aug 27, 2018 @ 04:08am


    Also, Groklaw shut down five years ago: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20130818120421175, https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130820/02152224249/more-nsa-spying-fallout-groklaw-shutting-down.shtml

  • May 31, 2018 @ 12:14am

    Podcast feedback


    See https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180528/21433139932/eu-parliaments-own-website-violates-gdpr.shtml#c532 for a suggestion: on the podcast, you could discuss the GDPR with an EU-based data protection expert. I make some suggestions as to who in my comment.

    I catch your podcast every week, and enjoy it immensely.


  • May 30, 2018 @ 04:17am

    Podcast suggestion


    Living in Europe, and having a serious amount of skepticism regarding the motives of the EU Commission and the EU Council, I'm still more of a fan of the GDPR than not.

    However, I don't know everything, and I work only tangentially with matters relating to data protection.

    I would love to hear a discussion or debate on the Techdirt podcast, say, regarding the GDPR between Mike or Cathy and someone from the east of the Atlantic. My personal recommendations would be someone like Simon McGarr (@tupp_ed on Twitter) or T.J. McIntyre of Digital Rights Ireland (@tjmcintyre), both of whom were involved in the Schrems case that took down Safe Harbour.

    Other people I would trust to give an informed, EU-based, perspective on GDPR would be Rowenna Fielding (@MissIG_Geek), Sarah Clarke (@trialbytruth), Pat Walshe (@PrivacyMatters) or Daragh O Brien (@CBridge_Chief).

    I would expect all of these to have considered analyses on the concerns that Mike and others have with GDPR (I don't like the RTBF portion of it, either!), and would give alternative perspectives. It would be excellent to hear it covered in one of the podcasts.


  • Jan 12, 2018 @ 07:09am


    FBI seems to struggle with all types of geniuses. Evil, stable, etc.

  • Nov 15, 2017 @ 05:38am


    I *would* be concerned about abuse: legitimate e-mails being forwarded to Re:Scam as a sort of malicious denial-of-service attack on otherwise innocent people.

  • Oct 18, 2017 @ 12:39am



    This reads like a great deal. I'm interested in going for it, but will have to take the courses in my own time.

    "Lifetime" access suggests that won't be a problem.

    Does anyone know if there are system requirements that I need to be aware of (I don't/won't have access to a MS Windows computer: I'll be taking the course using a Debian system running KDE).



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