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Submission + - Google after antitrust: The good, the bad, and the ugly (

concealment writes: "Google has had regulatory run-ins before. It overpowered objections and acquired DoubleClick, AdMob, and ITA, but it knuckled under when the U.S. Justice Department threatened to sue over a Google-Yahoo search-ad deal.

But unlike the earlier antitrust fights, today's investigations are aimed at Google's heart: search and search advertising. After more than a year of investigation in both the EU and the United States, it appears regulators are ready to make a move, and most expect action by the end of the year. FTC Chairman Jonathan Leibowitz is pushing Google to make a settlement offer "in the next few days" or face a lawsuit, Bloomberg reported last week."


Submission + - Why Microsoft Says the Patent System Is Peachy Keen (

concealment writes: "In some cases, Microsoft will take calls from outside outfits interested in licensing its patents. RIM or Apple, say, will phone and ask to license Microsoft’s ActiveSync technology, a means of synchronizing email, contacts, and calendar entries across phones and other devices. “That’s a pretty friendly set of discussions,” Kaefer says.

But as he puts it, Microsoft will also “pro-actively” drive licensing deals. “We will go out and look for areas where we see a lot people who are probably using our technology in one form or another,” he says, “and we kinda ask ourselves whether it has risen to a level that we care about and we want to have some conversations.” Basically, this involves a Microsoft lawyer like Kaefer trying to convince lawyers at other companies that their technology infringes on Microsoft patents — and that they should pay to license those patents. According to Kaefer, these discussions can spans months — or even years."

Your Rights Online

Submission + - Let's not hide behind the argument that anonymity isn't possible on the web (

concealment writes: "There are two main arguments about anonymity when applied to sexual offences that are increasingly entering the public debate. The first is that it's not really possible to protect or prosecute it in our wired world, nor is it feasible to expect authorities with limited resources to police the internet; the second that it is an outdated notion anyway, and that it is a freedom of speech issue to deny anyone the right to criticise or demean another person. Witness Naomi Wolf calling for the women who have accused Julian Assange to be named: he's famous, so why shouldn't they be, seems to be the argument. It isn't a huge leap from this to those who question why Evans is damned as a rapist (although currently appealing against his six-year sentence) while a woman too drunk to give consent remains anonymous.

These are new and complicated issues, but that is no excuse for the surprising amount of wrongheadedness they have prompted. And this isn't just an argument down the pub – the government itself tried to extend anonymity to the accused in sexual offence cases and has shown no desire to do anything about how authorities could go about policing the internet. Fortunately, Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, believes this is possible and recently issued guidelines on prosecuting offences online, hoping to bring about a step change in the perception that online bullying or victimisation isn't really bullying at all."

Your Rights Online

Submission + - RIAA Failed To Disclose Expert's Lobbying History to "Six-Strikes" Partners (

concealment writes: "A month before the controversial “six strikes” anti-piracy plan goes live in the U.S., the responsible Center of Copyright Information (CCI) is dealing with a small crisis. As it turns out the RIAA failed to mention to its partners that the “impartial and independent” technology expert they retained previously lobbied for the music industry group. In a response to the controversy, CCI is now considering whether it should hire another expert to evaluate the anti-piracy monitoring technology."

Submission + - Congressman warns FTC: Leave Google alone (

concealment writes: "A Democratic congressman who played a leading role in the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act earlier this year has taken up a new cause: shielding Google from antitrust scrutiny. In a strongly worded letter to Federal Trade Commission chairman Jon Leibowitz, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) praised Google's contribution to the nation's economy. He warned Leibowitz that if the FTC does choose to initiate an antitrust case against Google, Congress might react by curtailing its regulatory authority"

Submission + - Huawei Fires Back at the U.S. ( 1

concealment writes: "Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Inc. lashed out Monday at a scathing congressional report, calling allegations that it may be spying on Americans and violating U.S. laws "little more than an exercise in China-bashing."

The House intelligence-committee report concluded that Huawei and ZTE pose risks to national security because their equipment, when employed by U.S. companies, could become a vehicle for Chinese spying in the U.S."

Our informal mission is to improve the love life of operators worldwide. -- Peter Behrendt, president of Exabyte