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Tech at Night: FCC’s own snooping scandal? Also, Collins turns on Obama on cybersecurity

Tech at Night

Remember the Google Wi-Spy Street View scandal? A seemingly-harmless survey of the country turned into a massive snooping operation, and the FTC smacked them for over 20 million dollars. Well, not only is FCC now wasting money with a survey of Internet speeds, but it turns out that the FCC program runs the risk of warrantless snooping of its own!

We need strong, reformist regulators to be appointed in the next administration to stop stuff like this.

Even as the President tries to buy bipartisan cover for his cybersecurity order/power grab, Republicans Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Dick Lugar oppose the President’s plan. Note: One of the co-sponsors of the Lieberman-Collins Cybersecurity Act opposes the President’s plan to do an end-run around the Senate. That’s how extreme a power grab the President’s plan is.

A more sensible plan for cybersecurity is to start by re-upping what works, law enforcement in the form of the information sharing in the form of a bill like CISPA or SECURE IT. Privacy is not the concern here. Government power is. Voluntary exchanges of information on security risks are of benefit to the good guys.

Speaking of state-run attacks, it turns out Canada is booting Huawei from being eligible for contracts to build a secure government network, thanks to US scrutiny on the firm. This of course is getting red China mad. Boo freaking hoo.

Just because New Zealand is seeking to make itself a haven for copyright infringer Kim Dotcom, and red China-owned Hong Kong was the base of Megaupload’s operations, that won’t stop US prosecution, fortunately.

Of course, once you get past egregious offenders like the egregiously fat Dotcom, copyright can get tricky. Protecting property rights is important, which is why I’m fine with private efforts to attack mass infringement, but I don’t think industry has proven itself worthy of greater legal powers. Abuses and errors are all too common for the delicate balance of DMCA to need altering, as seen in the case of Microsoft asking Google to block CNN, AMC Theaters, RCP, and the US Government as copyright infringers of Windows 8.

Haw haw: ACLU and EFF lose in their anti-AT&T jihad over the right to call terrorists abroad and the right of said terrorists to have fourth amendment rights. They lost, and they deserve to lose.

Hey guys: an IP address hasn’t uniquely identified a person since the first dial-up dynamic IP address pool. It just doesn’t work that way, guys.

Bad news: The European Union apparently may have some luck in handing Microsoft, Amazon, and eBay a leg up in search competition, as Google is offering concessions on the matter of search. It doesn’t seem likely that Google would offer concessions unless they were worried they were going to lose. We need a free, innovative market. It’s too bad we lack a President with guts to stand up to the Euroweenies on anything. Instead we have an empty chair.

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