• Selling Software That Kills

    Selling Software That Kills

    The government of Syria uses made-in-California technology from BlueCoat Systems to censor the Internet and spy on its pro-democracy activists (who are regularly arrested and tortured, not to mention slaughtered wholesale.) McAfee and Nokia Siemens have done the same in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Amesys of France and FinFisher of the UK aided brutal dictators in Egypt and Libya. Read More

  • Make.Money.Slow : The Bitcoin Experiment

    Make.Money.Slow : The Bitcoin Experiment

    Bitcoin. Oh, man, where to begin. Its Hype-O-Meter got cranked to 11 this week, and breathless histrionics are everywhere. Death and Taxes called this new currency “a seismic event“; Adam Cohen says it’s nothing but a giant scam; Jason Calacanis calls it “the most dangerous project we’ve ever seen“; and they’re all completely wrong. It’s… Read More

  • In 2011 Be On The Lookout For Traitorware

    If there’s any justice in this world then “traitorware” will become the phrase of 2011. It describes any technology, be it hardware or software, that betrays its users. Remember the Sony rootkit fiasco from a few years back? You pop a CD into your computer expecting to listen to some rubbish band, and then you’ve got a nice rootkit on your system, sorta like a bonus… Read More

  • The Real Privacy Scandal On Social Networks: The Feds Are Spying On Their "Friends"

    All the hoopla over the Wall Street Journal’s so-called Facebook “privacy breach” article, it’s subsequent and curiously-timed MySpace followup, and also the New York Times’ take on the ability of Facebook advertisers to target ads for nursing schools to gay men is unwittingly creating cover for a social networking privacy issue that’s much bigger.  It might… Read More

  • EFF trying to get Hurt Locker BitTorrent lawsuits thrown out

    First, TorrentFreak rules. Second, TorrentFreak rules. Third… Well, you know what third is! The guys over there point out that the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sorta like the ACLU for tech, will appear in federal court this week, trying to stop all those Hurt Locker BitTorrent lawsuits. The main reason is that the U.S. Copyright Group, which is just a fancy-sounding name for an… Read More

  • How The EFF Lost Its Way By Defending Hate Mongers And Tunnel Rats

    Free speech is a basic human right and is essential to creativity and innovation. But every society places limits on this, particularly when it transgresses into “hate speech” – which disparages someone or some group on the basis of race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, and so on. Calls to violence are tolerated even less. These often lead… Read More

  • Unsurprising: TI doesn't approve of calculator hacks

    It wasn’t too long ago that hackers were successful loading custom firmware onto Texas Instruments calculators. This hasn’t been sitting well with TI, who have been sending legal threats to the plucky hackers. I’m not surprised, are you? Read More

  • The Yellow Dots of Mystery

    Don’t be scared, but your printer is spying on you. The EFF has discovered that yellow dots printed on everything you produce. They haven’t decoded the dots, but the EFF is contact printer manufactuers via SeeingYellow.com and is trying to figure out what the dots mean and who the heck is watching us via paper. Read More

  • Court orders Bush Administration to divulge communications with telecoms that gave away your private data

    There’s nothing particularly cavalier about hating the telecoms—we essentially get paid for it here—but there’s something almost noble in hating them for kowtowing to the Bush Administration, handing over private data for the good of the War on Terror. We may not have to hate much longer, since the Electronic Frontier Federation yesterday won a court ruling mandating… Read More

  • The Futurist: The End Of The Line For Obvious Patents

    There’s an old episode of The Simpsons where the designers of Barbie stand-in Malibu Stacy are gathered in their smoky room trying to come up with a killer app to take on a new competitor on the block. Their idea: stick a hat on the old doll. The ever-wise Lisa, who sees through such marketing shenanigans, says something along the lines of: “It’s still the same old doll… Read More