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Tech at Night: Twitter targets activists, SAFE data act expands regulation, California anti-tax referendum, Google, Apple, Anonymous

Tech at Night

Twitter has a credibility problem on its hands, all of a sudden. Even as I’m getting blind link spam sent to me every single day on the site, Twitter has singled out a conservative activist group to have its accounts wiped out. Not only was the Empower Texans feed shut down, but every single employee’s personal feed was targeted as well.

Twitter’s response has been non-descriptive, and lacking in any support. Conveniently for Twitter, by blocking the accounts, it’s impossible for any observer to confirm or deny their allegations of Twitter rules violations. I can only conclude, in the absence of evidence, that somebody in Twitter has decided to get political. And that is Twitter’s problem to fix.

Follow FreeMQS for further developments. Update: Actually, don’t. I was misinformed on this one as the story developed last night.

I’ve been begging for the Mary Bono Mack investigations into privacy to be tossed aside, as they first started after a false story: the Apple location tracking that wasn’t. Since then her hearings have just expanded in scope as headlines provided pretexts, and now we have the SAFE Data act coming out of subcommittee. Even as Republicans are having our hands full with runaway regulators, SAFE Data hands them new powers. Defeat. This. Bill.

Some like to equate my position on copyright, which is that it’s too long and too strong for the Constitutional restrictions, with the neo-Marxist extremists who effectively wish to abolish copyright. Hopefully the story of Aaron Swartz will clarify things. He worked for months to acquire by fraud many copies of files from the JSTOR database of academic works, and got caught. Lefty hero Larry Lessig is forced to throw him under the bus, though. These people are the ones who hate copyright. I just think it needs refined.

As an aside though, I continue to maintain that these massive private databases of research should no longer get the massive government subsidies that we hand out to “pure research.” With so many profitable enterprises surrounding it all, it’s time we made the universities fund their own work.

Herb Kohl wants to reduce 4G wireless competition and use big government to block the AT&T/T-Mobile deal. I guess he likes it that Verizon is on top of the heap, unchallenged in its national 4G network. That or he’s taking marching orders from the radicals, who conveniently never mention that competition has improved after mergers like Sprint’s own with Nextel. Soros-funded Public Knowledge clearly gets enough checks from the wealthy socialist to keep on fighting.

The EU also wants to reduce 4G wireless competition in America by asking we block LightSquared from deploying its new network. Tough cookies, I say. I don’t care what the EU does or doesn’t want to do. Let them wallow in their own filth, running down their economies and burning down their cities in socialist riots. We have work to do.

Debate contines on what to do with the D block of former VHF TV spectrum. The House wants to try to auction it off again, a plan that failed previously. The Senate apparently wants to allocate it to civil defense and public safety, a plan I favor. Though I think it’s a bit cheap that the bill just happened to get called S.911, a clearly intentional reference to the 9/11 Commission’s support for the plan.

As I predicted, Google will help the troubled HTC defend itself from Apple’s claims that HTC’s Android phones infringes on its patents. Nobody whines when Microsoft collects royalties off of Android. But apparently Apple must be stopped. It takes nerve for Eric Schmidt to claim Apple doesn’t innovate, though, just because it’s trying to enforce its patents. A search at Google patents reveals thousands of Google patents. What’s good for the goose…

Samsung just doesn’t know when to quit copying Apple, though technically Anymode is a separate company with links to Samsung, that happens to make accessories for Samsung products.

Good news: The California Amazon Tax referendum proceeds! I’d worried that the Democrats might try to block it, but the Attorney General is allowing it to move forward. With the referendum we can repeal the punitive, unconstitutional Internet Sales tax targeting successful Amazon.

FBI raids continue against the Anonymous/Lulzsec/Antisec nexus. Heh heh heh.

Remember: Net Neutrality hurts, it really does. Regulation hurts. It costs money. It costs jobs. It costs freedom.

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