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Tech at Night: Consent Decrees, Darrell Issa, RSA, SecurID

Tech at Night

After that flurry of activity online, we seem be having a bit of a slow Friday. It’s no wonder: we have a long fight ahead with respect to the AT&T/T-Mobile deal, a process that Mike Wendy calls Legalized Extortion. And when property rights are made contingent on acceptance of a goverment-dictated consent degree, it’s hard to argue with the thrust of Wendy’s point.

Scary thought for all users of SecurID, after the RSA breakin: What if SecurID has a backdoor? If it does, then there could be real danger ahead for all its users.

I often argue for copyright reform in this space, saying that the current copyright framework gives protection that is too strong and too long. However one thing you won’t catch me doing is defending businesses like Napster and Lime Wire, whose founders sought only to leech off of the work of others. So I’m honestly not bothered by the possibility of Lime Wire owing the RIAA $75 trillion. Sure, I think it’s sheer fantasy that every copy ever made is a lost sale at full retail. Granted, I think the industry’s revenue problems over the last decade are of its own making. But I support copyright, and Lime Wire without a doubt turned infringement into a business. So if the RIAA tanks are moving on Lime Wire’s Berlin and Mark Gorton’s bunker, so be it.

Early on, some questioned Darrell Issa’s commitment to the tough oversight, but his continued interest in White House improprieties surrounding Net Neutrality is welcome. What did Julius Genachowski coordinate with the White House, and when did he do it?

To close the night, here’s a video by Americans for Prosperity California on the foolish Amazon Tax proposals in this state:

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