Australian Gov't Accessed Domestic Metadata Thousands Of Times, Shared Some Of It With China

The Australian government has released its latest report [PDF] on its domestic metadata collection efforts and it has a bit of surprising news in it. Josh Taylor and Paul Farrell of Buzzfeed report the Australian government isn't keeping all the domestic metadata it's hoovered up to itself . It's sharing it with several other countries, including one surprising name: There were a total of 23 disclosures of information from the Australian Fe...
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Court Says Gov't Needs More Than The Assumption Someone Owns A Cellphone To Justify A Search

The DC Court of Appeals has shot some holes [PDF] in a favorite law enforcement assertion: that cellphones are automatically containers of criminal evidence just because suspected criminals -- like nearly everyone else in the nation -- have cellphones. A criminal case involving a suspected getaway driver for a year-old homicide somehow led to police seeking a warrant to seize and search all electronics found at the suspect's current residen...
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This Week In Techdirt History: August 13th - 19th

Five Years Ago This week in 2012, while Amazon was realizing it had little choice but to get in on the patent portfolio buying game , Google was launching a prior art finder to help stop bad patents — though some worried it might be used by trolls to find targets . Meanwhile, Google also made the controversial decision to start filtering searches based on DMCA notices received by the site , but of course even this wasn't enough to satisfy t...
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Two Bollywood Film Producers Get Court To Block Tons Of Sites In India, Including Archive.org

How many innocents would you accept being caught up in an action designed to nab criminals? How many good people is it acceptable to throw into jail alongside the truly bad actors? Most people would agree that any action that penalizes the innocent in order to punish the guilty is a bad course, with only truly minimal amounts of collateral damage being acceptable. Now let's port that over to internet sites and ask how many innocent websites...
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As A Streaming Future Looms, ESPN Is Damned If It Does, Damned If It Doesn't

So for years we've examined how executives at ESPN completely whiffed at seeing the cord cutting revolution coming, and personified the industry's denial that a massive market (r)evolution was taking place. As viewers were beginning to drift away from traditional cable and erode revenues, ESPN executives were busy doubling down on bloated sports contracts and expensive Sportscenter set redesigns. Only once ESPN lost 10 million viewers in ju...
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Court Says CFAA Isn't Meant To Prevent Access To Public Data, Orders LinkedIn To Drop Anti-Scraper Efforts

Some good pushback against the CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) has been handed down by a federal court. LinkedIn, which has frequently sued scrapers under both the CFAA and DMCA, just lost an important preliminary round to a company whose entire business model relies on LinkedIn's publicly-available data. hiQ Labs scrapes LinkedIn data from users whose accounts are public, repackages it and sells it to third party recruiters and HR depa...
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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, following the huge overreaction of Canadian telecoms to the site TVAddons, some commenters expanded on the ways in which this is not truly about piracy. Ryunosuke was one such commenter, and his explanation won first place for insightful : I agree, Piracy, like a black market, is a symptom of a system that is not working. Something that is in demand is not being properly vented, in this case, entertainment. Between high costs and...
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This Week In Techdirt History: August 6th - 12th

Five Years Ago This week in 2012, we saw a couple interesting leaks. The fair use text from the TPP was made public, and we discovered (with little surprise) that the US proposals were about weakening fair use, not strengthening it . Meanwhile, a leak of MPAA documents revealed their plans to use sock puppets to smear Richard O'Dwyer , the TVShack operator that the agency was trying to extradite from the UK. And speaking of questionable ext...
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Elsevier Continues To Build Its Monopoly Solution For All Aspects Of Scholarly Communication

Techdirt has just written about the amazing achievements of Sci-Hub , and how it now offers the vast majority of academic papers free online. One implication may be that traditional publishing, with high-cost journals hidden behind paywalls, is no longer viable . But as we noted, that doesn't mean that traditional publishers will disappear. For one thing, many are embracing open access, and finding it pretty profitable (some would say too p...
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Australian Public Servants Warned Against Liking Social Media Posts That Are Critical Of Government Policies

The Internet effectively turns everyone into a publisher, able to promulgate their ideas in a way that was not open to most people before. That's great for the democratization of media -- and terrible for governments that want to control the flow of information to citizens. The Australian government is particularly concerned about what its 150,000 public servants might say. It has issued a "guidance" document that "sets out factors for empl...
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