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Submission + - The Philippines' Cybercrime Prevention Act makes SOPA look reasonable (

silentbrad writes: From Forbes: "The dark days of SOPA and PIPA are behind the US, at least temporarily as copyright tycoons reground and restrategize, attempting to come up with measures that don’t cause the entire internet to shut down in protest. But one country has already moved ahead with similar legislation. The government of the Philippines has passed the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which on the surface, as usual, sounds perfectly well-intentioned. But when you read the actual contents of what’s been deemed “cybercrime,” SOPA’s proposed censorship sounds downright lax by comparison. Yes, there’s the usual hacking, cracking, identity theft and spamming, which most of us can agree should be illegal. But there’s also cybersex, pornography, file-sharing (SOPA’s main target) and the most controversial provision, online libel.

Submission + - Calgary police reprimanded for snooping through civilian's email account (

silentbrad writes: The National Post reports on what could become common practice if Canada's Bill C-30, the Lawful Access / Online Surveillance bill, is passed: "Security experts with Calgary’s Police Service broke provincial privacy legislation by snooping in a civilian employee’s personal email account and copying topless photos of the woman as part of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace. ... According to the order that was released Monday, the IT security manager at CPS began monitoring the woman’s corporate email in March, 2010, after co-workers told her manager about alleged inappropriate conduct with a police officer while on the job. When the manager found a message sent to a family member containing the woman’s log-in and password for her personal email, he used that information to access the account. He found two photos that the woman apparently had taken of herself in a washroom stall. The checkered green and white tile in the images was similar to the pattern at the police headquarters, leading him to believe they were taken while the woman was on duty. The photos were copied, given to her supervisor and HR consultant, and subsequently used by the CPS in its decision to fire the woman. ... Officials with CPS were not immediately available to comment."

Submission + - Vikileaks creator fights back in face of Tory MP questions (

silentbrad writes: From the CBC: The former Liberal staffer who set up a Twitter account to publicize details from the divorce filings of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews fought back today against Conservative MP questions, calling some of them "baseless smears." Adam Carroll resigned from his position in the Liberal Party's research bureau when House of Commons IT staff traced the computer that had been posting to the social media site to him. ... Carroll told MPs on the committee that while the divorce documents are publicly available at a courthouse in Manitoba, he got them out of a filing cabinet in the Liberal Party's research office. ... Carroll used an account on Twitter under the username vikileaks30 to send 140-character quotes from Toews and his ex-wife's divorce filings, noting in the first few tweets that it was in retaliation for Toews' online surveillance bill. The bill, C-30, sparked a huge public backlash over provisions that gave police more power to demand customer information from internet service providers, among other problems. ... The password Carroll chose for the Twitter account poked fun at the Conservatives, Carroll revealed, telling the committee it was "strongstablenationalmajorityConservativegovernment." ... Speaking to the procedure and House affairs committee last month, Toews said criticism of his personal life is fair game. Carroll says he broke no laws and didn't breach any House of Commons policies. ... "I know it's a difficulty even for members to accept that your personal life is fair game. That's the world we live in, and I'm not going to try in any way to suggest that somehow aspects of my life are off-limits." Toews had said earlier at the committee that attacks on an MP's personal life were not appropriate.

Submission + - Coalition targets CBC's free music site ( 1

silentbrad writes: From the GLobe and Mail: A number of Canadian media companies have joined forces to try to shut down a free music website recently launched by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., claiming it threatens to ruin the music business for all of them. The group, which includes Quebecor Inc., Stingray Digital, Cogeco Cable Inc., the Jim Pattison Group and Golden West Radio, believes that will siphon away listeners from their own services, including private radio stations and competing websites that sell streaming music for a fee. The coalition is expected to expand soon to include Rogers Communications Inc. and Corus Entertainment Inc., two of the largest owners of radio stations in Canada. It intends to file a formal complaint with the CRTC, arguing that the broadcaster has no right under its mandate to compete with the private broadcasters in the online music space. ... 'The only music that you can hear for free is when the birds sing,' said Stingray CEO Eric Boyko, whose company runs the Galaxie music app that charges users $4.99 a month for unlimited listening. 'There is a cost to everything, yet CBC does not seem to think that is true.' ... The companies argue they must charge customers to offset royalty costs which are triggered every time a song is played, while the CBC gets around the pay-per-click problem because it is considered a non-profit corporation. ... Media executives aren’t the only ones who have expressed concern. When the CBC service was launched in February, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers said that when it set a flat fees for the more than 100,000 music publishers it represents, it never envisioned a constant stream of free music flooding the Internet.

Submission + - From Anonymous To Shuttered Websites, The Evolution Of Online Protest (

silentbrad writes: The days of screaming activists marching with signs in hand to voice their displeasure at a particular politician are changing rapidly – just ask Vic Toews. Canada's public safety minister was the latest in a string of public-policy lightning rods to feel the wrath of Anonymous, a loose coalition of web-based activists who went after Toews for his overly vociferous promoting of the government's online surveillance bill. ... Graeme Hirst, a professor of computational linguistics at the University of Toronto, says that while Anonymous does share some properties of older protest movements, sometimes its motives can be called into question. "It's a kind of civil disobedience, so we can immediately make analogies to the Civil Rights movement of the '60s," Hirst said in an interview. "On the other hand, it's not entirely clear that Anonymous is as altruistically motivated as those protests were." ... Hirst viewed the January showdown as "the first legitimate online protest" that was really only about the online world and suggested that the key to its success was that it was organized not by individuals but by organizations — and ones with clout. ... Another apparently successful online campaign was the Cost of Knowledge protest started by an international group of researchers in January, following a blog post by Cambridge University math professor Timothy Gowers.

Submission + - RIAA wants to scrap anti-piracy OPEN Act (

silentbrad writes: The Recording Industry Association of America found itself in an unusual position this week: opposing an anti-piracy bill that's gaining momentum in Congress ... the RIAA argues the bill won't be effective at shutting down rogue sites. The trade group warns of "indefinite delays" as claims of infringement are investigated. And it complains that the process envisioned by OPEN would allow for "endless submissions by parties such as Google," further gumming up the process. All the while, the alleged rogue site would be able to continue operating. The RIAA also warns that the need to hire an attorney to navigate the ITC's arcane legal process will "put justice out of reach for small business American victims of IP theft." The trade group complains that sites aren't held responsible for the infringing activities of their users, a rule the trade group says "excuses willful blindness and outright complicity in illegal activity." RIAA also says it's "virtually impossible" to prove that a site infringed willfully, as OPEN requires.
Your Rights Online

Submission + - MPAA Says Blackout Protests Are an Abuse of Power (

silentbrad writes: It's a little late, but still relevant:

'... the MPAA doesn't like the behavior of these "technology business interests"one bit.

The statement comes down from none other than MPAA Chairman and former Senator from Connecticut Chris Dodd:

"It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It's a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests."'

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