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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Digital Economy Bill, and it’s perfectly useless and terrible. It consists almost entirely of penalties for people who do things that upset the entertainment industry (including the “three-strikes” rule that allows your entire family to be cut off from the net if anyone who lives in your house is accused of copyright infringement, without proof or evidence or trial), as well as a plan to beat the hell out of the video-game industry with a new, even dumber rating system (why is it acceptable for the government to declare that some forms of artwork have to be mandatorily labelled as to their suitability for kids? And why is it only some media? Why not paintings? Why not novels? Why not modern dance or ballet or opera?). Read the rest here (and weep).

Great list of pro-privacy tools”>here.

At first glance, you might think that the Anonymous story — the Guy Fawkes-mask-wearing, meme-spewing, terrifying, hilarious non-collective that hacked the church of scientology, the government of Tunisia, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, and the Pentagon (for starters) — is a story about computer security, or youthful alienation, or political activism. Read the rest here.

The Pew recently updated their 2013 study on privacy perceptions post-Snowden. The studys hows that Americans continue to worry about private and state surveillance, and that there’s a great, unfulfilled market demand for privacy protection and services that respect privacy. Read the whole study here.

* 91% of adults in the survey “agree” or “strongly agree” that consumers have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies.

* 88% of adults “agree” or “strongly agree” that it would be very difficult to remove inaccurate information about them online.

* 80% of those who use social networking sites say they are concerned about third parties like advertisers or businesses accessing the data they share on these sites.

* 70% of social networking site users say that they are at least somewhat concerned about the government accessing some of the information they share on social networking sites without their knowledge.

* Yet, even as Americans express concern about government access to their data, they feel as though government could do more to regulate what advertisers do with their personal information: 80% of adults “agree” or “strongly agree” that Americans should be concerned about the government’s monitoring of phone calls and internet communications. Just 18% “disagree” or “strongly disagree” with that notion.

* 64% believe the government should do more to regulate advertisers, compared with 34% who think the government should not get more involved.

* Only 36% “agree” or “strongly agree” with the statement: “It is a good thing for society if people believe that someone is keeping an eye on the things that they do online.”

Role-playing game historian Jon Peterson reviews twelve rare artifacts that grant us unique insight to the initial development of Dungeons & Dragons. They include original documents from Braunstein, an early letter from Gary Gygax on the medieval setting, Dave Arneson’s notes for his own early medieval game, fanzines and maps associated with the Castle & Crusade Society, and various pre-publication D&D rules.

Mozilla took further steps towards digital privacy when announced a five-year partnership to make Yahoo the default US search engine the Firefox browser on mobile and desktop. In December, Yahoo will roll out an enhanced new search function for Firefox users that will also natively support Do Not Track functions. Alternative search options, such as DuckDuckGo, Bing, and Google among others, will also continue to be supported. Its an interesting move for both companies. I’m curious to see how this pans out giving Yahoo’s notoriously withering touch.

Modern technology has given the powerful new abilities to eavesdrop and collect data on innocent people. Surveillance Self-Defense is EFF’s guide to defending yourself and your friends from surveillance by using secure technology and developing careful practices. Click here to get started!

Back in 1991, brothers Rand and Robyn Miller led a team at Cyan, Inc. to create a puzzle-adventure game would change the face of PC gaming forever. Its unique premise, simple mechanics and beautiful artwork made MYST one of the best-selling PC games of all time. Now you too can have your very own MYST Linking Book courtesy of SparkFun!

Guests Gigi Sohn, special counsel for external affairs at the FCC,  Marvin Ammori attorney in private practice, affiliate scholar, Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet & Society, Rob Atkinson president, The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, and Cecilia Kang reporter, The Washington Post discuss the recent statements by President Obama for the FCC to create rules that all data be treated the same.  Listen to the entire discussion at Diane Rehm’s site.