jm + law   171

An Analysis of Reshipping Mule Scams
We observed that the vast majority of the re-shipped packages end up in the Moscow, Russia area, and that the goods purchased with stolen credit cards span multiple categories, from expensive electronics such as Apple products, to designer clothes, to DSLR cameras and even weapon accessories. Given the amount of goods shipped by the reshipping mule sites that we analysed, the annual revenue generated from such operations can span between 1.8 and 7.3 million US dollars. The overall losses are much higher though: the online merchant loses an expensive item from its inventory and typically has to refund the owner of the stolen credit card. In addition, the rogue goods typically travel labeled as “second hand goods” and therefore custom taxes are also evaded. Once the items purchased with stolen credit cards reach their destination they will be sold on the black market by cybercriminals. [...] When applying for the job, people are usually required to send the operator copies of their ID cards and passport. After they are hired, mules are promised to be paid at the end of their first month of employment. However, from our data it is clear that mules are usually never paid. After their first month expires, they are never contacted back by the operator, who just moves on and hires new mules. In other words, the mules become victims of this scam themselves, by never seeing a penny. Moreover, because they sent copies of their documents to the criminals, mules can potentially become victims of identity theft.
crime  law  cybercrime  mules  shipping-scams  identity-theft  russia  moscow  scams  papers 
13 days ago by jm
No Harm, No Fowl: Chicken Farm Inappropriate Choice for Data Disposal
That’s a lesson that Spruce Manor Special Care Home in Saskatchewan had to learn the hard way (as surprising as that might sound). As a trustee with custody of personal health information, Spruce Manor was required under section 17(2) of the Saskatchewan Health Information Protection Act to dispose of its patient records in a way that protected patient privacy. So, when Spruce Manor chose a chicken farm for the job, it found itself the subject of an investigation by the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner.  In what is probably one of the least surprising findings ever, the commissioner wrote in his final report that “I recommend that Spruce Manor […] no longer use [a] chicken farm to destroy records”, and then for good measure added “I find using a chicken farm to destroy records unacceptable.”
data  law  privacy  funny  chickens  farming  via:pinboard  data-protection  health  medical-records 
14 days ago by jm
Red lines and no-go zones - the coming surveillance debate
The Anderson Report to the House of Lords in the UK on RIPA introduces a concept of a "red line":
"Firm limits must also be written into the law: not merely safeguards, but red lines that may not be crossed." …   
"Some might find comfort in a world in which our every interaction and movement could be recorded, viewed in real time and indefinitely retained for possible future use by the authorities. Crime fighting, security, safety or public health justifications are never hard to find." [13.19] 

The Report then gives examples, such as a perpetual video feed from every room in every house, the police undertaking to view the record only on receipt of a complaint; blanket drone-based surveillance; licensed service providers, required as a condition of the licence to retain within the jurisdiction a complete plain-text version of every communication to be made available to the authorities on request; a constant data feed from vehicles, domestic appliances and health-monitoring personal devices; fitting of facial recognition software to every CCTV camera and the insertion of a location-tracking chip under every individual's skin.

It goes on:
"The impact of such powers on the innocent could be mitigated by the usual apparatus of safeguards, regulators and Codes of Practice. But a country constructed on such a basis would surely be intolerable to many of its inhabitants. A state that enjoyed all those powers would be truly totalitarian, even if the authorities had the best interests of its people at heart." [13.20] …  

"The crucial objection is that of principle. Such a society would have gone beyond Bentham's Panopticon (whose inmates did not know they were being watched) into a world where constant surveillance was a certainty and quiescence the inevitable result. There must surely come a point (though it comes at different places for different people) where the escalation of intrusive powers becomes too high a price to pay for a safer and more law abiding environment." [13.21]
panopticon  jeremy-bentham  law  uk  dripa  ripa  surveillance  spying  police  drones  facial-recognition  future  tracking  cctv  crime 
15 days ago by jm
Canadian Judge Says Asking For A Copy Of A Legally-Obtained But Paywalled Article Is Circumvention | Techdirt
For requesting a copy of an article that was legally obtained by a colleague from a paywalled source, Pazsowski found himself hit with around US$10,000-worth of damages. This completely disproportionate punishment for what is at most a minor case of copyright infringement is a perfect demonstration of where the anti-circumvention madness leads.
circumvention  tpm  copyright  paywalls  techdirt  law  canada 
23 days ago by jm
Your Relative's DNA Could Turn You Into A Suspect
Familial DNA searching has massive false positives, but is being used to tag suspects:
The bewildered Usry soon learned that he was a suspect in the 1996 murder of an Idaho Falls teenager named Angie Dodge. Though a man had been convicted of that crime after giving an iffy confession, his DNA didn’t match what was found at the crime scene. Detectives had focused on Usry after running a familial DNA search, a technique that allows investigators to identify suspects who don’t have DNA in a law enforcement database but whose close relatives have had their genetic profiles cataloged. In Usry’s case the crime scene DNA bore numerous similarities to that of Usry’s father, who years earlier had donated a DNA sample to a genealogy project through his Mormon church in Mississippi. That project’s database was later purchased by Ancestry, which made it publicly searchable—a decision that didn’t take into account the possibility that cops might someday use it to hunt for genetic leads.

Usry, whose story was first reported in The New Orleans Advocate, was finally cleared after a nerve-racking 33-day wait — the DNA extracted from his cheek cells didn’t match that of Dodge’s killer, whom detectives still seek. But the fact that he fell under suspicion in the first place is the latest sign that it’s time to set ground rules for familial DNA searching, before misuse of the imperfect technology starts ruining lives.
dna  familial-dna  false-positives  law  crime  idaho  murder  mormon  genealogy  databases  biometrics  privacy  genes 
5 weeks ago by jm
After Bara: All your (Data)base are belong to us
Sounds like the CJEU's Bara decision may cause problems for the Irish government's wilful data-sharing:
Articles 10, 11 and 13 of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995, on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, must be interpreted as precluding national measures, such as those at issue in the main proceedings, which allow a public administrative body of a Member State to transfer personal data to another public administrative body and their subsequent processing, without the data subjects having been informed of that transfer or processing.
data  databases  bara  cjeu  eu  law  privacy  data-protection 
6 weeks ago by jm
net.wars: Unsafe harbor
Wendy Grossman on where the Safe Harbor decision is leading.
One clause would require European companies to tell their relevant data protection authorities if they are being compelled to turn over data - even if they have been forbidden to disclose this under US law. Sounds nice, but doesn't mobilize the rock or soften the hard place, since companies will still have to pick a law to violate. I imagine the internal discussions there revolving around two questions: which violation is less likely to land the CEO in jail and which set of fines can we afford?

(via Simon McGarr)
safe-harbor  privacy  law  us  eu  surveillance  wendy-grossman  via:tupp_ed 
6 weeks ago by jm
Gene patents probably dead worldwide following Australian court decision
The court based its reasoning on the fact that, although an isolated gene such as BRCA1 was "a product of human action, it was the existence of the information stored in the relevant sequences that was an essential element of the invention as claimed." Since the information stored in the DNA as a sequence of nucleotides was a product of nature, it did not require human action to bring it into existence, and therefore could not be patented.

Via Tony Finch.
via:fanf  australia  genetics  law  ipr  medicine  ip  patents 
6 weeks ago by jm
5 takeaways from the death of safe harbor – POLITICO
Reacting to the ruling, the [EC] stressed that data transfers between the U.S. and Europe can continue on the basis of other legal mechanisms.

A lot rides on what steps the Commission and national data protection supervisors take in response. “It is crucial for legal certainty that the EC sends a clear signal,” said Nauwelaerts.

That could involve providing a timeline for concluding an agreement with U.S. authorities, together with a commitment from national data protection authorities not to block data transfers while negotiations are on-going, he explained.
safe-harbor  data  privacy  eu  ec  snowden  law  us 
6 weeks ago by jm
Daragh O'Brien on the CJEU judgement on Safe Harbor
Many organisations I've spoken to have had the cunning plan of adopting model contract clauses as their fall back position to replace their reliance on Safe Harbor. [....] The best that can be said for Model Clauses is that they haven't been struck down by the CJEU. Yet.
model-clauses  cjeu  eu  europe  safe-harbor  us  nsa  surveillance  privacy  law 
6 weeks ago by jm
The price of the Internet of Things will be a vague dread of a malicious world
So the fact is that our experience of the world will increasingly come to reflect our experience of our computers and of the internet itself (not surprisingly, as it’ll be infused with both). Just as any user feels their computer to be a fairly unpredictable device full of programs they’ve never installed doing unknown things to which they’ve never agreed to benefit companies they’ve never heard of, inefficiently at best and actively malignant at worst (but how would you now?), cars, street lights, and even buildings will behave in the same vaguely suspicious way. Is your self-driving car deliberately slowing down to give priority to the higher-priced models? Is your green A/C really less efficient with a thermostat from a different company, or it’s just not trying as hard? And your tv is supposed to only use its camera to follow your gestural commands, but it’s a bit suspicious how it always offers Disney downloads when your children are sitting in front of it. None of those things are likely to be legal, but they are going to be profitable, and, with objects working actively to hide them from the government, not to mention from you, they’ll be hard to catch.
culture  bots  criticism  ieet  iot  internet-of-things  law  regulation  open-source  appliances 
7 weeks ago by jm
From Radio to Porn, British Spies Track Web Users’ Online Identities
Inside KARMA POLICE, GCHQ's mass-surveillance operation aimed to record the browsing habits of "every visible user on the internet", including UK-to-UK internal traffic. more details on the other GCHQ mass surveillance projects at
surveillance  gchq  security  privacy  law  uk  ireland  karma-police  snooping 
8 weeks ago by jm
EPA opposed rules that would have exposed VW's cheating
[...] Two months ago, the EPA opposed some proposed measures that would help potentially expose subversive code like the so-called “defeat device” software VW allegedly used by allowing consumers and researchers to legally reverse-engineer the code used in vehicles. EPA opposed this, ironically, because the agency felt that allowing people to examine the software code in vehicles would potentially allow car owners to alter the software in ways that would produce more emissions in violation of the Clean Air Act. The issue involves the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), which prohibits anyone from working around “technological protection measures” that limit access to copyrighted works. The Library of Congress, which oversees copyrights, can issue exemptions to those prohibitions that would make it legal, for example, for researchers to examine the code to uncover security vulnerabilities.
dmca  volkswagen  vw  law  code  open-source  air-quality  diesel  cheating  regulation  us-politics 
8 weeks ago by jm
EU court adviser: data-share deal with U.S. is invalid | Reuters
The Safe Harbor agreement does not do enough to protect EU citizen's private information when it reached the United States, Yves Bot, Advocate General at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), said. While his opinions are not binding, they tend to be followed by the court's judges, who are currently considering a complaint about the system in the wake of revelations from ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of mass U.S. government surveillance.
safe-harbor  law  eu  ec  ecj  snowden  surveillance  privacy  us  data  max-schrems 
8 weeks ago by jm
‘I wish to register a complaint’: know your consumer rights before the fight
Conor Pope on the basics of consumer law -- and how to complain -- in Ireland
consumer  ireland  irish-times  articles  law 
11 weeks ago by jm
New study shows Spain’s “Google tax” has been a disaster for publishers
A study commissioned by Spanish publishers has found that a new intellectual property law passed in Spain last year, which charges news aggregators like Google for showing snippets and linking to news stories, has done substantial damage to the Spanish news industry.

In the short-term, the study found, the law will cost publishers €10 million, or about $10.9 million, which would fall disproportionately on smaller publishers. Consumers would experience a smaller variety of content, and the law "impedes the ability of innovation to enter the market." The study concludes that there's no "theoretical or empirical justification" for the fee.
google  news  publishing  google-tax  spain  law  aggregation  snippets  economics 
august 2015 by jm
Newegg vs. Patent Trolls: When We Win, You Win
go NewEgg: 'Newegg went against a company that claimed its patent covered SSL and RC4 encryption, a common encryption system used by many retailers and websites. This particular patent troll has gone against over 100 other companies, and brought in $45 million in settlements before going after Newegg. We won.'
via:nelson  ip  law  patent-trolls  patents  newegg  crypto 
july 2015 by jm
That time the Internet sent a SWAT team to my mom's house - Boing Boing
The solution is for social media sites and the police to take threats or jokes about swatting, doxxing, and organized crime seriously. Tweeting about buying a gun and shooting up a school would be taken seriously, and so should the threat of raping, doxxing, swatting or killing someone. Privacy issues and online harassment are directly linked, and online harassment isn’t going anywhere. My fear is that, in reaction to online harassment, laws will be passed that will break down our civil freedoms and rights online, and that more surveillance will be sold to users under the guise of safety. More surveillance, however, would not have helped me or my mother. A platform that takes harassment and threats seriously instead of treating them like jokes would have.
twitter  gamergate  4chan  8chan  privacy  doxxing  swatting  harrassment  threats  social-media  facebook  law  feminism 
july 2015 by jm
I’ve seen more than my fair share of abuse online, but Lorraine Higgins’ bill isn’t the answer
Tom Murphy:
This bill prioritises other peoples’ “alarm or distress” over your communications not just TO them but also ABOUT them. Don’t like what Joan Burton is doing with the water charges? Want to write something on independent media about what you think of that? Better not alarm or distress or harm her!
This is the core of my issue with the bill. It’s not just that almost all the agreeable parts of it are already covered by other laws. It’s not just that it’s utterly unenforceable with our current justice system. It’s not just that it’s so vague and fluffy. It’s that it’s so ill-defined and over-reaching that its interpretation will inevitably have to be left to judges.
Leaving anything to judges is a bad idea in general. This overly broad and poorly worded bill is a god-send to people who like to bully others into silence. Ironic that eh?!
lorraine-higgins  law  seanad  abuse  harrassment  trolls 
july 2015 by jm
Government forum to discuss increasing use of personal data
Mr Murphy said it was the Government’s objective for Ireland to be a leader on data protection and data-related issues.
The members of the forum include Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon, John Barron, chief technology officer with the Revenue Commissioners, Seamus Carroll, head of civil law reform division at the Department of Justice and Tim Duggan, assistant secretary with the Department of Social Protection.
Gary Davis, director of privacy and law enforcement requests with Apple, is also on the forum. Mr Davis is a former deputy data protection commissioner in Ireland.
There are also representatives from Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, from the IDA, the Law Society and the National Statistics Board.
Chair of Digital Rights Ireland Dr TJ McIntyre and Dr Eoin O’Dell, associate professor, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin are also on the voluntary forum.
ireland  government  dri  law  privacy  data  data-protection  dpc 
july 2015 by jm
Shock European court decision: Websites are liable for users’ comments | Ars Technica
In the wake of this judgment, the legal situation is complicated. In an e-mail to Ars, T J McIntyre, who is a lecturer in law and Chairman of Digital Rights Ireland, the lead organization that won an important victory against EU data retention in the Court of Justice of the European Union last year, explained where things now stand. "Today's decision doesn't have any direct legal effect. It simply finds that Estonia's laws on site liability aren't incompatible with the ECHR. It doesn't directly require any change in national or EU law. Indirectly, however, it may be influential in further development of the law in a way which undermines freedom of expression. As a decision of the Grand Chamber of the ECHR it will be given weight by other courts and by legislative bodies."
ars-technica  delfi  free-speech  eu  echr  tj-mcintyre  law  europe  estonia 
june 2015 by jm
Huge Loss For Free Speech In Europe: Human Rights Court Says Sites Liable For User Comments | Techdirt
The ruling is terrible through and through. First off, it insists that the comments on the news story were clearly "hate speech" and that, as such, "did not require any linguistic or legal analysis since the remarks were on their face manifestly unlawful." To the court, this means that it's obvious such comments should have been censored straight out. That's troubling for a whole host of reasons at the outset, and highlights the problematic views of expressive freedom in Europe. Even worse, however, the Court then notes that freedom of expression is "interfered with" by this ruling, but it doesn't seem to care -- saying that it is deemed "necessary in a democratic society."

This is going to have massive chilling effects. Terrible ruling from the ECHR.
echr  freedom  via:tjmcintyre  law  europe  eu  comments  free-speech  censorship  hate-speech 
june 2015 by jm
Ireland's media silenced over MP's speech about Denis O'Brien
this is appalling. And of course we can only find out about it from overseas media because our own media is quaking in their boots :(
media  ireland  he-who-cannot-be-named  censorship  omgwtfbbq  law  libel  injunctions  high-court 
may 2015 by jm
Small claims triumph as aerial photographer routs flagrant infringers
This is great news. Flagrant copyright infringement of an aerial photograph penalised to the order of UKP 2,716
copyright  infringement  small-claims  law  uk  webb-aviation  photography  images 
april 2015 by jm
ECJ case debates EU citizens' right to privacy
The US wields secretive and indiscriminate powers to collect data, he said, and had never offered Brussels any commitments to guarantee EU privacy standards for its citizens’ data. On the contrary, said [Max Schrems' counsel] Mr Hoffmann, “Safe Harbour” provisions could be overruled by US domestic law at any time.
Thus he asked the court for a full judicial review of the “illegal” Safe Harbour principles which, he said, violated the essence of privacy and left EU citizens “effectively stripped of any protection”.
[Irish] DPC counsel Paul Anthony McDermott SC suggested that Mr Schrems had not been harmed in any way by the status quo. “This is not surprising, given that the NSA isn’t currently interested in the essays of law students in Austria,” he said.
Mr Travers for Mr Schrems disagreed, saying “the breach of the right to privacy is itself the harm”.
ireland  dpc  data-protection  privacy  eu  ec  ecj  law  rights  safe-harbour 
march 2015 by jm
Sign up for Privacy International's anti-surveillance campaign
Have you ever made a phone call, sent an email, or, you know, used the internet? Of course you have!

Chances are, at some point over the past decade, your communications were swept up by the U.S. National Security Agency. The NSA then shares information with the UK Government's intelligence agency GCHQ by default. A recent court ruling found that this sharing was unlawful. But no one could find out if their records were collected and then illegally shared between these two agencies… until now!

Because of our recent victory against the UK intelligence agency in court, now anyone in the world — yes, ANYONE, including you — can find out if GCHQ illegally received information about you from the NSA. Join our campaign by entering your details below to find out if GCHQ illegally spied on you, and confirm via the email we send you. We'll then go to court demanding that they finally come clean on unlawful surveillance.
gchq  nsa  spying  surveillance  internet  phone  uk  law  campaign  privacy-international 
february 2015 by jm
UK-US surveillance regime was unlawful ‘for seven years’ | UK news | The Guardian
The regime that governs the sharing between Britain and the US of electronic communications intercepted in bulk was unlawful until last year, a secretive UK tribunal has ruled.

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) declared on Friday that regulations covering access by Britain’s GCHQ to emails and phone records intercepted by the US National Security Agency (NSA) breached human rights law.
gchq  surveillance  uk  nsa  law  tribunals 
february 2015 by jm
Silk Road Mastermind Ross Ulbricht Convicted of All 7 Charges
The case’s decision will no doubt be seen by many as U.S. law enforcement striking a significant blow against the dark web’s burgeoning drug trade. More broadly, the case represents the limits of cryptographic anonymity tools like Tor and bitcoin against the surveillance powers of the U.S. government. In spite of his use of those crypto tools and others, Ulbricht couldn’t prevent the combined efforts of the FBI, DHS, and IRS from linking his pseudonym to his real-world identity.

But Ulbricht will nonetheless be remembered not just for his conviction, but also for ushering in a new age of online black markets. Today’s leading dark web drug sites like Agora and Evolution offer more narcotics listings than the Silk Road ever did, and have outlived law enforcement’s crackdown on their competitors. Tracking down and prosecuting those new sites’ operators, like prosecuting Ulbricht, will likely require the same intense, multi-year investigations by three-letter agencies.

If the feds do find the administrators of the next generation of dark web drug sites, as they found Ulbricht, don’t expect those online drug lords to let their unencrypted laptops be snatched in a public library, or to have kept assiduous journals of their criminal conspiracies. The Dread Pirate Roberts’ successors have no doubt been watching his trial unfold and learning from his mistakes. And the next guilty verdict may not be so easy.
ross-ulbricht  silk-road  drugs  tor  dark-web  law  convictions 
february 2015 by jm
EFF’s Game Plan for Ending Global Mass Surveillance
For years, we’ve been working on a strategy to end mass surveillance of digital communications of innocent people worldwide. Today we’re laying out the plan, so you can understand how all the pieces fit together—that is, how U.S. advocacy and policy efforts connect to the international fight and vice versa. Decide for yourself where you can get involved to make the biggest difference.

This plan isn’t for the next two weeks or three months. It’s a multi-year battle that may need to be revised many times as we better understand the tools and authorities of entities engaged in mass surveillance and as more disclosures by whistleblowers help shine light on surveillance abuses.
eff  privacy  nsa  surveillance  gchq  law  policy  us-politics 
january 2015 by jm
Australia tries to ban crypto research – by ACCIDENT • The Register
Researchers are warned off [discussing] 512-bits-plus key lengths, systems “designed or modified to perform cryptanalytic functions, or “designed or modified to use 'quantum cryptography'”. [....] “an email to a fellow academic could land you a 10 year prison sentence”. notes 'the DSGL 5A002 defines it as >512bit RSA, >512bit DH, >112 bit ECC and >56 bit symmetric ciphers; weak as fuck i say.'
law  australia  crime  crypto  ecc  rsa  stupidity  fail 
january 2015 by jm
BBC uses RIPA terrorism laws to catch TV licence fee dodgers in Northern Ireland
Give them the power, they'll use that power.

'A document obtained under Freedom of Information legislation confirms the BBC's use of RIPA in Northern Ireland. It states: "The BBC may, in certain circumstances, authorise under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and Regulation of Investigatory Powers (British Broadcasting Corporation) Order 2001 the lawful use of detection equipment to detect unlicensed use of television receivers... the BBC has used detection authorised under this legislation in Northern Ireland."'
ripa  privacy  bbc  tv  license-fee  uk  northern-ireland  law  scope-creep 
january 2015 by jm
Schneier on Security: Why Data Mining Won't Stop Terror
A good reference URL to cut-and-paste when "scanning internet traffic for terrorist plots" rears its head:
This unrealistically accurate system will generate 1 billion false alarms for every real terrorist plot it uncovers. Every day of every year, the police will have to investigate 27 million potential plots in order to find the one real terrorist plot per month. Raise that false-positive accuracy to an absurd 99.9999 percent and you're still chasing 2,750 false alarms per day -- but that will inevitably raise your false negatives, and you're going to miss some of those 10 real plots.

Also, Ben Goldacre saying the same thing:
internet  scanning  filtering  specificity  statistics  data-mining  terrorism  law  nsa  gchq  false-positives  false-negatives 
january 2015 by jm
As Islamists Seek To Silence Cartoonists With Guns, Irish Government Also Says Ciúnas
the urgency of repealing the Irish blasphemy legislation cannot now be overstated. The same cartoons that saw their authors murdered for blasphemy recently, would see Irish authors hauled before our courts. The same nations that execute their citizens for blasphemy, wish to promote the wording of the Irish blasphemy legislation through the UN, in order to expand such provisions to more countries. Ireland is the only European country to recently introduce a new blasphemy law. Following the horrific recent events in Paris, let us be the next country to repeal our blasphemy laws.
blasphemy  censorship  free-speech  charlie-hebdo  law 
january 2015 by jm
The Hit Team
Fergal Crehan's new gig -- good idea!
The Hit Team helps you fight back against leaked photos and videos, internet targeting and revenge porn.
revenge-porn  revenge  law  privacy  porn  leaks  photos  videos  images  selfies 
january 2015 by jm
Digital Rights Ireland files Amicus Brief in Microsoft v USA with Liberty and ORG
Microsoft -v- USA is an important ongoing case, currently listed for hearing in 2015 before the US Federal Court of Appeal of the 2nd Circuit.

However, as the case centres around the means by which NY law enforcement are seeking to access data of an email account which resides in Dublin, it is also crucially significant to Ireland and the rest of the EU. For that reason, Digital Rights Ireland instructed us to file an Amicus Brief in the US case, in conjunction with the global law firm of White & Case, who have acted pro bono in their representation.

Given the significance of the case for the wider EU, both Liberty and the Open Rights Group in the UK have joined Digital Rights Ireland as amici on this brief. We hope it will be of aid to the US court in assessing the significance of the order being appealed by Microsoft for EU citizens and European states, in the light of the existing US and EU Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
amicus-briefs  law  us  dri  microsoft  mlats  org  liberty  eu  privacy 
december 2014 by jm
When data gets creepy: the secrets we don’t realise we’re giving away | Technology | The Guardian
Very good article around the privacy implications of derived and inferred aggregate metadata from Ben Goldacre.
We are entering an age – which we should welcome with open arms – when patients will finally have access to their own full medical records online. So suddenly we have a new problem. One day, you log in to your medical records, and there’s a new entry on your file: “Likely to die in the next year.” We spend a lot of time teaching medical students to be skilful around breaking bad news. A box ticked on your medical records is not empathic communication. Would we hide the box? Is that ethical? Or are “derived variables” such as these, on a medical record, something doctors should share like anything else?
advertising  ethics  privacy  security  law  data  aggregation  metadata  ben-goldacre 
december 2014 by jm
State sanctions foreign phone and email tapping
Well, this stinks.
Foreign law enforcement agencies will be allowed to tap Irish phone calls and intercept emails under a statutory instrument signed into law by Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.
Companies that object or refuse to comply with an intercept order could be brought before a private “in camera” court.
The legislation, which took effect on Monday, was signed into law without fanfare on November 26th, the day after documents emerged in a German newspaper indicating the British spy agency General Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had directly tapped undersea communications cables between Ireland and Britain for years.
ireland  law  gchq  surveillance  mlats  phone-tapping 
december 2014 by jm
Help the GNOME Foundation defend the GNOME trademark
Recently Groupon announced a product with the same product name as GNOME. Groupon’s product is a tablet based point of sale “operating system for merchants to run their entire operation." The GNOME community was shocked that Groupon would use our mark for a product so closely related to the GNOME desktop and technology. It was almost inconceivable to us that Groupon, with over $2.5 billion in annual revenue, a full legal team and a huge engineering staff would not have heard of the GNOME project, found our trademark registration using a casual search, or even found our website, but we nevertheless got in touch with them and asked them to pick another name. Not only did Groupon refuse, but it has now filed even more trademark applications (the full list of applications they filed can be found here, here and here). To use the GNOME name for a proprietary software product that is antithetical to the fundamental ideas of the GNOME community, the free software community and the GNU project is outrageous. Please help us fight this huge company as they try to trade on our goodwill and hard earned reputation.
gnome  groupon  trademark  infringement  open-source  operating-systems  ip  law  floss 
november 2014 by jm
Belgian and French copyright laws ban photos of EP buildings
An obscure clause in EU copyright rules means no one can publish photos of public buildings in Belgium, like the Atomium, or France’s Eiffel tower at night without first asking permission from the rights owners.

Ah, copyright.
copyright  ip  stupid  belgium  france  law  atomium  eiffel-tower 
november 2014 by jm
UK museums lobbying for copyright reform with empty display cases
Great to see museums campaigning for copyright reform -- this makes perfect sense.
Display cases in the Imperial War Museum, National Library of Scotland and University of Leeds sit empty. They should contain letters from the First World War; from a young girl to her father serving as a soldier and from soldiers to their families back home. Because of current UK copyright laws the original letters cannot be displayed. At the moment the duration of copyright in certain unpublished works is to the end of the year 2039, regardless how old the work is. The Free Our History campaign wants the term of copyright protection in unpublished texts to be reduced to the author’s lifetime plus 70 years.
copyright  history  uk  law  museums  ip 
november 2014 by jm
Irish government in favour of ISDS court-evasion for multinationals
This has _already_ been used to trump national law. As Simon McGarr noted at :

'Philip Morris initiated a dispute under the Australia-Hong Kong Bilateral Investment Treaty to force #plainpacks repeal and compensation'.

"Plain packs" anti-smoking is being bitterly fought at the moment here in Ireland.

More from the US point of view: :

'The Obama administration’s insistence on ISDS may please Wall Street, but it threatens to undermine some of the president’s landmark achievements in curbing pollution and fighting global warming, not to mention his commitment to a single standard of justice. It’s not worthy of the president, and he should join Europe in scrapping it.'
isds  national-law  law  ireland  sovereignty  multinationals  philip-morris  us-politics  eu  free-trade 
october 2014 by jm
UK police to investigate alleged Bahraini hacking of exiles’ computers
Criminal complaints have been filed in the UK against Gamma "acting as an accessory to Bahrain's illegal targeting of activists" using the FinFisher spyware
finfisher  spyware  malware  gamma  bahrain  law  surveillance  privacy  germany  hacking 
october 2014 by jm
In particular:
Where you have obtained contact details in the context of the sale of a product or service, you may only use these details for direct marketing by electronic mail if the following conditions are met:

the product or service you are marketing is of a kind similar to that which you sold to the customer at the time you obtained their contact details
At the time you collected the details, you gave the customer the opportunity to object, in an easy manner and without charge, to their use for marketing purposes
Each time you send a marketing message, you give the customer the right to object to receipt of further messages
The sale of the product or service occurred not more than twelve months prior to the sending of the electronic marketing communication or, where applicable, the contact details were used for the sending of an electronic marketing communication in that twelve month period.
email  spam  regulations  ireland  law  dpc  marketing  direct-marketing 
september 2014 by jm
Texas Judge References 'The Big Lebowski'
"The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is similarly suspicious of prior restraints," wrote Justice Lehrmann in the decision highlighting a cornerstone that has "been reaffirmed time and again by the Supreme Court, this Court, Texas courts of appeals, legal treatises, and even popular culture." That last reference to popular culture contained an interesting footnote citing none other than Walter Sobchak, a character in ['The Big Lebowski'].
lebowski  movies  coen-brothers  prior-restraint  law  supreme-court  walter-sobchak  funny 
september 2014 by jm
UK's ICO spam regulator even more toothless now
We appealed this decision, but on June 2014 the Upper Tribunal agreed with the First-tier Tribunal, cancelling our monetary penalty notice against Niebel and McNeish, and largely rendering our power to issue fines for breaches of PECR involving spam texts redundant.

This is pretty terrible. The UK appears to have the weakest anti-spam regime in Europe due to the lack of powers given to ICO.
ico  anti-spam  uk  law  regulation  spam  sms 
september 2014 by jm
Software patents are crumbling, thanks to the Supreme Court
Now a series of decisions from lower courts is starting to bring the ruling's practical consequences into focus. And the results have been ugly for fans of software patents. By my count there have been 11 court rulings on the patentability of software since the Supreme Court's decision — including six that were decided this month.  Every single one of them has led to the patent being invalidated. This doesn't necessarily mean that all software patents are in danger — these are mostly patents that are particularly vulnerable to challenge under the new Alice precedent. But it does mean that the pendulum of patent law is now clearly swinging in an anti-patent direction. Every time a patent gets invalidated, it strengthens the bargaining position of every defendant facing a lawsuit from a patent troll.
patents  law  alice  swpats  software  supreme-court  patent-trolls 
september 2014 by jm
Open Invention Network Symposium on Open Source Software and Patents in Context
Dublin, 24th September 2014, hosted by Enterprise Ireland. Hosted by former Ubuntu
counsel (via gcarr)
via:gcarr  ubuntu  law  legal  open-source  floss  oss  oin  inventions  patents  swpat  software  ireland  ei  events 
september 2014 by jm
SI336 - current Irish anti-spam law
"European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services) (Privacy and Electronic Communications) Regulations 2011". Spam is covered under 13.1, "Unsolicited communications", on page 16 of this PDF
spam  anti-spam  law  ireland  eu  ec  sms  email  si336  privacy  regulation 
september 2014 by jm
Irish Water Data Protection Notice: A review…
Tried and came up wanting. Particularly notable for its illegal "Marketing" section, which attempts to evade opt-in-required anti-spam law with a "consent landgrab" on SMS and email
irish-water  law  dpc  data-protection  privacy  spam  opt-in  si336  sms  email  ireland 
september 2014 by jm
Girl Not Against Fluoride
The CDC (Centre for Disease Control) lists water fluoridation as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th Century. Today, Dublin City Council will vote on whether to remove fluoride from our water supply, and when they do, it will not be because the CDC or the WHO have changed their mind about fluoridation, or because new and compelling information makes it the only choice. It will be because people who believe in angel healing, homeopathy, and chemtrails, have somehow gained the ability to influence public policy.
dcc  dublin  law  flouride  science  zenbuffy  homeopathy  woo  health  teeth 
september 2014 by jm
Some UX Dark Patterns now illegal in the EU
The EU’s new consumer rights law bans certain dark patterns related to e-commerce across Europe. The “sneak into basket” pattern is now illegal. Full stop, end of story. You cannot create a situation where additional items and services are added by default. [...]

Hidden costs are now illegal, whether that’s an undeclared subscription, extra shipping charges, or extra items. [....]

Forced continuity, when imposed on the user as a form of bait-and-switch, has been banned. Just the other day a web designer mentioned to me that he had only just discovered he had been charged for four years of annual membership dues in a “theme club”, having bought what he thought was a one-off theme. Since he lives in Europe, he may be able to claim all of this money back. All he needs to do is prove that the website did not inform him that the purchase included a membership with recurring payments.
design  europe  law  ecommerce  ux  dark-patterns  scams  ryanair  selling  online  consumer  consumer-rights  bait-and-switch 
september 2014 by jm
The Broadcasting Association of Ireland and the NUJ agree: the internet must be regulated so that it can be 'brought into line'
'The Irish Times podcast ends with both the NUJ’s Seamus Dooley and Prof Kenny agreeing that somebody must regulate the internet so that it can be brought into line.'
regulation  ireland  law  dangerous  nuj  bai  journalism  censorship 
august 2014 by jm
Punished for Being Poor: Big Data in the Justice System
This is awful. Totally the wrong tool for the job -- a false positive rate which is miniscule for something like spam filtering, could translate to a really horrible outcome for a human life.
Currently, over 20 states use data-crunching risk-assessment programs for sentencing decisions, usually consisting of proprietary software whose exact methods are unknown, to determine which individuals are most likely to re-offend. The Senate and House are also considering similar tools for federal sentencing. These data programs look at a variety of factors, many of them relatively static, like criminal and employment history, age, gender, education, finances, family background, and residence. Indiana, for example, uses the LSI-R, the legality of which was upheld by the state’s supreme court in 2010. Other states use a model called COMPAS, which uses many of the same variables as LSI-R and even includes high school grades. Others are currently considering the practice as a way to reduce the number of inmates and ensure public safety. (Many more states use or endorse similar assessments when sentencing sex offenders, and the programs have been used in parole hearings for years.) Even the American Law Institute has embraced the practice, adding it to the Model Penal Code, attesting to the tool’s legitimacy.

(via stroan)
via:stroan  statistics  false-positives  big-data  law  law-enforcement  penal-code  risk  sentencing 
august 2014 by jm
BAI says Mooney Show was wrong to broadcast programme supporting same-sex marriage
This is a terrible decision. As Fintan O'Toole wrote afterwards: [The] 'BAI decision actually makes the point: a gay couple is a political "issue"; a straight couple is just a couple'
ireland  law  bai  radio  derek-mooney  same-sex-marriage  gay  equal-rights 
august 2014 by jm
European Commission Consultation On Copyright Reveals Chasm Between Views Of Public And Publishers | Techdirt
The two charts indicate that current EU copyright is very unbalanced. When one side is completely satisfied with the status quo and the other is very unhappy then this is not a balanced situation. Given that a good compromise should leave everybody equally unhappy, the results of the consultation also show the direction for copyright reform efforts of the new EU Commission: re-balancing copyright requires at least some reform as demanded by end users and institutional users, most importantly a more harmonized and flexible system of exceptions and limitations.
copyright  views  publishers  eu  ec  europe  reform  law 
august 2014 by jm
UK private copying exception plans face possible legal action
Under the proposed private copying exception, individuals in the UK would be given a new right to make a copy of copyrighted material they have lawfully and permanently acquired for their private use, provided it was not for commercial ends. Making a private copy of the material in these circumstances would not be an act of copyright infringement, although making a private copy of a computer program would still be prohibited under the plans.

There is no mechanism envisaged in the draft legislation for rights holders to be specifically compensated for the act of private copying. This prompted the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments (JCSI), tasked with scrutinising the proposals, to warn parliamentarians that the rules may be deemed to be in breach of EU copyright laws as a result of the lack of 'fair compensation' mechanism. [...]

"We are disappointed that the private copying exception will be introduced without providing fair compensation for British songwriters, performers and other rights holders within the creative sector. A mechanism for fair compensation is a requirement of European law. In response we are considering our legal options," [UK Music] said.
uk  law  copyright  music  copying  private-copying  personal  infringement  piracy  transcoding  backup 
july 2014 by jm
Spain pushes for 'Google tax' to restrict linking
The government wants to put a tax on linking on the internet. They say that if you want to link to some newspaper's content, you have to pay a tax. The primary targets of this law are Google News and other aggregators. It would be absurd enough just like that, but the law goes further: they declared it an "inalienable right" so even if I have a blog or a new small digital media publication and I want to let people freely link to my content, I can't opt-out--they are charging the levy, and giving it to the big press media.

It was just the last and only way that the old traditional media companies can get some money from the government, and they strongly lobbied for it. The bill has passed in the Congress where the party in the government has majority (PP, Partido Popular) and it's headed to the Senate, where they have a majority also.
spain  stupidity  law  via:boingboing  linking  links  web  news  google  google-news  newspapers  old-media  taxes 
july 2014 by jm
Google's mighty mess-up on 'right to be forgotten' -
In this context, the search giant says that it has "a team of people reviewing each application individually". Really? Did this team of people decide that redacting links to an article reporting a criminal conviction was consistent with an individual's right to privacy and 'right to be forgotten'?

Either Google is deliberately letting egregious errors through to try and bait journalists and freedom of expression activists into protesting or its system at vetting 'right to be forgotten' applications is awfully flawed.
google  right-to-be-forgotten  privacy  law  ireland  adrian-weckler  journalism  freedom-of-expression  censorship  redaction 
july 2014 by jm
Obama administration says the world’s servers are ours | Ars Technica
In its briefs filed last week, the US government said that content stored online doesn't enjoy the same type of Fourth Amendment protections as data stored in the physical world. The government cited (PDF) the Stored Communications Act (SCA), a President Ronald Reagan-era regulation.

Michael McDowell has filed a declaration in support of MS' position (attached to that article a couple of paras down) suggesting that the MLAT between the US and Ireland is the correct avenue.
privacy  eu  us-politics  microsoft  michael-mcdowell  law  surveillance  servers  sca  internet 
july 2014 by jm
Irish parliament pressing ahead with increased access to retained telecoms data
While much of the new bill is concerned with the dissolution of the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency and the formation of a new merged Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) the new bill also proposed to extend the powers of the new CCPC to help it investigate serious anticompetitive behaviour.

Strikingly the new bill proposes to give members of the CCPC the power to access data retained under the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011. As readers will recall this act implements Directive 2006/24/EC which obliges telecommunications companies to archive traffic and location data for a period of up to two years to facilitate the investigation of serious crime.

Ireland chose to implement the maximum two year retention period and provided access to An Garda Siochana, The Defence Forces and the Revenue Commissioners. The current reform of Irish competition law now proposes to extend data access powers to the members of the CCPC for the purposes of investigating cartel offences.
data-retention  privacy  surveillance  competition  ccpc  ireland  law  dri 
july 2014 by jm
IRS says free software projects can't be nonprofits - Boing Boing
In a disturbing precedent, the Yorba Foundation, which makes apps for [GNOME], has had its nonprofit status application rejected by the IRS because some of [its] projects may benefit for-profit entities.
law  us  gnome  yorba-foundation  linux  gpl  free-software  oss  nonprofits  501c3  tax 
july 2014 by jm
Tor exit node operator prosecuted in Austria
'The operator of an exit node is guilty of complicity, because he enabled others to transmit content of an illegal nature through the service.'

Via Tony Finch.
austria  tor  security  law  liability  internet  tunnelling  eu  via:fanf 
july 2014 by jm
Data sharing deal with U.S. referred to EU's top court | Reuters
High Court Justice Gerard Hogan said that given the Safe Harbour agreement, which says that U.S. has sufficient data safeguards in place, the Irish regulator did not have the authority to investigate. If Safe Harbour stands, the student group's application must fail, he said. "The critical issue which arises is whether the proper interpretation of the 1995 [EU data protection] directive and the 2000 Commission decision [on the Safe Harbour principles] should be re-evaluated in the light of the subsequent entry into force of article 8 of the EU charter," on the right to the protection of personal data, Hogan said.
eu  safe-harbor  privacy  high-court  ireland  law  data-protection 
june 2014 by jm
Hanging on the telephone – has anyone got it right on the new ban on text driving?
Some good legal commentary on this new Irish law.
There has been much hand-wringing and concern about whether or not the 2014 Regulations prohibit the use of Google Maps or Hailo, for example. They don’t, but this does not mean that drivers should feel free to use non-texting functions of their phones while driving – holding a mobile phone (which could include a tablet) while driving remains prohibited, whatever the use it is being put to. Moreover, offences of dangerous and careless driving and driving without due care and attention could cover a wide range of bad driving, and could include, for example, driving while zooming in and out of maps on your phone or sending stickers on WhatsApp.
ireland  law  driving  safety  mobile-phones  texting  google-maps  satnav 
may 2014 by jm
Actually, Mr. Waxman, Consumers Are Sued For Patent Infringement All the Time | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Patent trolls have sued or threatened to sue tens of thousands of end-users. For example, Innovatio attacked cafes, bakeries, and even a funeral parlor for using off-the-shelf Wi-Fi routers. And the notorious scanner troll, MPHJ, targeted small businesses and nonprofits around the country for using ordinary office equipment. As a recent paper explained: “Mass suits against technology customers have become too common, involving building block technologies like wi-fi, scanning, email and website technologies.”

The growth in patent suits against customers reveals the importance of the Limelight case. A ruling that made it even easier to sue customers (by allowing suits against someone who performs just some steps of a patent) would encourage patent trolls to launch more abusive litigation campaigns. We hope the Supreme Court will restore the sensible rule that only a single entity (or its agents) can infringe a patent.
patents  uspto  swpats  eff  consumer  law  legal  patent-infringement  scanners  wifi  printers 
may 2014 by jm
BBC News - Microsoft 'must release' data held on Dublin server
Messy. I can't see this lasting beyond an appeal.
Law enforcement efforts would be seriously impeded and the burden on the government would be substantial if they had to co-ordinate with foreign governments to obtain this sort of information from internet service providers such as Microsoft and Google, Judge Francis said. In a blog post, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, David Howard, said: "A US prosecutor cannot obtain a US warrant to search someone's home located in another country, just as another country's prosecutor cannot obtain a court order in her home country to conduct a search in the United States. "We think the same rules should apply in the online world, but the government disagrees."
microsoft  regions  law  us-law  privacy  google  cloud  international-law  surveillance 
april 2014 by jm
Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied on a Whole City
The law-enforcement pervasive-surveillance CCTV PVR.
In a secret test of mass surveillance technology, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sent a civilian aircraft* over Compton, California, capturing high-resolution video of everything that happened inside that 10-square-mile municipality. Compton residents weren't told about the spying, which happened in 2012. "We literally watched all of Compton during the times that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people," Ross McNutt of Persistence Surveillance Systems told the Center for Investigative Reporting, which unearthed and did the first reporting on this important story. The technology he's trying to sell to police departments all over America can stay aloft for up to six hours. Like Google Earth, it enables police to zoom in on certain areas. And like TiVo, it permits them to rewind, so that they can look back and see what happened anywhere they weren't watching in real time. 

(via New Aesthetic)
pvr  cctv  law-enforcement  police  compton  los-angeles  law  surveillance  future 
april 2014 by jm
Using AWS in the context of Australian Privacy Considerations
interesting new white paper from Amazon regarding recent strengthening of the Aussie privacy laws, particularly w.r.t. geographic location of data and access by overseas law enforcement agencies...
amazon  aws  security  law  privacy  data-protection  ec2  s3  nsa  gchq  five-eyes 
april 2014 by jm
DRI wins their case at the ECJ!
Great stuff!
The Court has found that data retention “entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data” and that it “entails an interference with the fundamental rights of practically the entire European population”. TJ McIntyre, Chairman of Digital Rights Ireland, said that “This is the first assessment of mass surveillance by a supreme court since the Snowden revelations. The ECJ’s judgement finds that untargeted monitoring of the entire population is unacceptable in a democratic society.”

[...] Though the Directive has now been struck down, the issue will remain live in all the countries who have passed domestic law to implement the data retention mass surveillance regime. Digital Rights Ireland’s challenge to the Irish data retention system will return to the High Court in Dublin for the next phase of litigation.
dri  digital-rights  ireland  eu  ecj  surveillance  snooping  law  data-retention 
april 2014 by jm
Microsoft "Scroogles" Itself
'Microsoft went through a blogger’s private Hotmail account in order to trace the identity of a source who allegedly leaked trade secrets.'

Bear in mind that the alleged violation which MS allege allows them to read their email was a breach of the terms of service, which also include distribution of content which 'incites, advocates, or expresses pornography, obscenity, vulgarity, [or] profanity'. So no dirty jokes on Hotmail!
hotmail  fail  scroogled  microsoft  stupid  tos  law  privacy  data-protection  trade-secrets  ip 
march 2014 by jm
Enemies of the Internet 2014: entities at the heart of censorship and surveillance | Enemies of the Internet
The mass surveillance methods employed in [the UK, USA, and India], many of them exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, are all the more intolerable because they will be used and indeed are already being used by authoritarians countries such as Iran, China, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to justify their own violations of freedom of information. How will so-called democratic countries will able to press for the protection of journalists if they adopt the very practices they are criticizing authoritarian regimes for?

This is utterly jaw-dropping -- throughout the world, real-time mass-monitoring infrastructure is silently being dropped into place. France and India are particularly pervasive
journalism  censorship  internet  france  india  privacy  data-protection  surveillance  spying  law  snowden  authoritarianism 
march 2014 by jm
RTE star Sharon Ni Bheolain stalked for six months -
as @Fergal says: '[this] case shows (a) the internet isn't anonymous, (b) we [ie. Ireland -jm] have laws to deal with threats and harassment'
law  ireland  harassment  internet  twitter  email  abuse  cyberstalking 
february 2014 by jm
GPLv2 being tested in US court
The case is still ongoing, so one to watch.
Plaintiff wrote an XML parser and made it available as open source software under the GPLv2. Defendant acquired from another vendor software that included the code, and allegedly distributed that software to parties outside the organization. According to plaintiff, defendant did not comply with the conditions of the GPL, so plaintiff sued for copyright infringement. Defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court denied the motion.
gpl  open-source  licensing  software  law  legal  via:fplogue 
february 2014 by jm
British American Tobacco - Plain packaging of tobacco products
Compare and contrast with the Law Society's comments:
We believe we are entitled to use our packs to distinguish our products from those of our competitors. Our brands are our intellectual property which we have created and invested in. Plain packaging would deny us the right to use brands.

But also, a brand is also an important tool for consumers. As the British Brands Group has stated  , plain packaging legislation "ignores the crucial role that branding plays in providing consumers with high quality, consistent products they can trust".

The restriction of valuable corporate brands by any government would risk placing it in breach of legal obligations relating to intellectual property rights and, in most cases, international trade.
law-society  branding  ip  ireland  tobacco  cigarettes  law  trademarks 
february 2014 by jm
Irish Law Society takes a stand for "brand owners IP rights"
The Law Society will attend a meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee today to outline its strong opposition to the Government proposals to introduce legislation that will require tobacco products to use plain packaging. The society’s director general Ken Murphy will be its principal representative at the meeting today to discuss its submission on the legislation, and to discuss its concerns that a plain packaging regime will undermine registered trade mark, and design, systems and will amount to an “expropriation of brand owners intellectual property rights’.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Murphy told The Irish Times the views contained in it represent those of the Law Society as a whole, and its 10,000 members, and have been endorsed by the society as a whole, rather than the committee.

Mr Murphy also said the purpose of the Law Society submission was not to protect the tobacco industry, rather the wider effect and impact such a law would have on intellectual property rights, trade marks, in other areas.
“There is a real concern also that plain packaging in the tobacco industry is just the beginning of a trend that will severely undermine intellectual property owners’ rights in other sectors such as alcohol, soft drinks and fast foods.”

Judging by some reactions on Twitter, "endorsed by the society as a whole" may be over-egging it a little.
law-society  gubu  law  ireland  ip  packaging  branding  trademarks  cigarettes  health  tobacco 
february 2014 by jm
CJEU in #Svensson says that in general it is OK to hyperlink to protected works without permission
IPKat says 'this morning the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its keenly awaited decision in Case C-466/12 Svensson [...]: The owner of a website may, without the authorisation of the copyright holders, redirect internet users, via hyperlinks, to protected works available on a freely accessible basis on another site. This is so even if the internet users who click on the link have the impression that the work is appearing on the site that contains the link.'

This is potentially big news. Not so much for the torrent-site scenario, but for the NNI/NLI linking-to-newspaper-stories scenario.
ip  svensson  cjeu  eu  law  linking  hyperlinks  pirate-bay  internet  web  links  http  copyright 
february 2014 by jm
"A reason to hang him": how mass surveillance, secret courts, confirmation bias and the FBI can ruin your life - Boing Boing
This is bananas. Confirmation bias running amok.
Brandon Mayfield was a US Army veteran and an attorney in Portland, OR. After the 2004 Madrid train bombing, his fingerprint was partially matched to one belonging to one of the suspected bombers, but the match was a poor one. But by this point, the FBI was already convinced they had their man, so they rationalized away the non-matching elements of the print, and set in motion a train of events that led to Mayfield being jailed without charge; his home and office burgled by the FBI; his client-attorney privilege violated; his life upended.
confirmation-bias  bias  law  brandon-mayfield  terrorism  fingerprints  false-positives  fbi  scary 
february 2014 by jm
The Gardai haven't requested info on any Twitter accounts in the past 6 months
This seems to imply they haven't been investigating any allegations of cyber-bullying/harassment from "anonymous" Twitter handles, despite having the legal standing to do so. Enforcement is needed, not new laws
cyber-bullying  twitter  social-media  enforcement  gardai  policing  harassment  online  society  law  government 
february 2014 by jm
Opinion: How can we get over ‘Pantigate’?
The fact that RTÉ had agreed to pay damages (€80,000 in total, according to reports yesterday) to the ‘injured parties’, only came to light in an email from the [far-right Catholic lobby group Iona Institute] to its members last Tuesday.
Given the ramifications of the decision to make any kind of payment – regardless of the amount – both for the TV licence payer and those who voice contrarian opinions, the lack of coverage in print media as soon as the Iona email came to light marked a low point for print journalism in Ireland. Aside from a lead story on the damages printed in this paper last Wednesday and ongoing debate online, the media has been glacially slow with commentary and even reportage of the affair.
The debacle has untold ramifications for public life in this country. That many liberal commentators may now baulk at the opportunity to speak and write openly and honestly about homophobia is the most obvious issue here. Most worrying of all, however, is the question that with a referendum on the introduction of gay marriage on the horizon, how can we expect the national broadcaster to facilitate even-handed debate on the subject when they’ve already found themselves cowed before reaching the first hurdle?
homophobia  politics  ireland  libel  dissent  lobbying  defamation  law  gay-marriage  iona-institute  journalism  newspapers 
february 2014 by jm
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