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Rick Falkvinge

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-12-09 - Original post - cached version

Global: In the last post, I recalled that the only thing that matter whether data collection is taking place is whether it's technically possible, and that if you carry an electronic sensor, you must assume it to be active. Here's why it doesn't matter one bit if the sensor was made with "good...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-12-06 - Original post - cached version

Global: As Quartz revealed, Google has been tracking your location since the start of 2017. At this point, the story should not be about why Google did this, but why, with all the experience at hand, anybody expected otherwise. Privacy is your own responsibility today.

When Quartz broke...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-12-01 - Original post - cached version

Corruption: So the United States FCC has released its plans to eradicate Net Neutrality in the United States, on Thanksgiving, as it said it would. This, on its own, merits more discussion – for it is such a blatant display not just of bad faith, but bad faith that they fully expect to get away...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-11-24 - Original post - cached version

Corruption: Sci-Hub is starting to get judgments and censorship applied against it. It’s noteworthy that not even murder or genocide is considered cause for such Internet censorship as is now being applied to Sci-Hub. How and when did the free sharing of scientific knowledge become the worst...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-11-17 - Original post - cached version

Copyright Monopoly: Putting network specifications behind subscription paywalls gives the NSA and other surveillance agencies a decisive advantage against the freedom of the Internet. That is the inescapable conclusion of the recent KRACK vulnerability.

There’s been a lot of debate about...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-11-17 - Original post - cached version

Bitcoin: Toy with the following idea: with people used to Google searches having been free, instant and reliable for years, a new Google management decides that a “price market” should develop for searches, with Google prices suddenly costing upwards of 20 dollars, taking hours to complete, and...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-11-04 - Original post - cached version

Bitcoin: “Bitcoin to the Moon” has long been a common saying, but nobody knows what it really means. I propose it is time to define “bitcoin to the Moon” to mean the most literal interpretation possible.

In the bitcoin community — and I mean that in the most inclusive sense, in all...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-10-29 - Original post - cached version

Global: The recent Wi-Fi “KRACK” vulnerability, which allowed anyone to get onto a secure network (and which was quickly patched by reputable vendors), had been in plain sight behind a corporate-level paywall for 13 years. This raises a number of relevant, interesting, and uncomfortable...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-10-21 - Original post - cached version

Czech Republic: The Czech Pirate Party is entering Parliament at an estimated 9.7% with half the votes counted. The Czech pirates have fought long and hard, and overcome frustrating setbacks like missing the parliamentary threshold by just 0.2% in the last election. Congratulations to Ivan...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-10-20 - Original post - cached version

Repression: British lawmakers have announced 15 years in prison for taking part of banned literature. However, the threat of prison only covers new story formats that lawmakers think don’t deserve the same kind of protection as old-fashioned books: it’s only people who watch video on the...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-10-16 - Original post - cached version

Global: Governments are still using “terrorism” as a scareword to get any insane law passed – like Britain’s digital book-burning law. But with its other hand, those same governments are expanding the definition of terrorism way beyond what the public could possibly imagine: the government’s...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-10-15 - Original post - cached version

Corruption: British Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced a fifteen-year prison sentence for watching terrorist propaganda, whatever that means this week. There is an exception for academics and journalists with “legitimate reason” to watch the material firsthand. But this also means the...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-10-11 - Original post - cached version

Uncategorized: Bell Canada, one of Canada’s major ISPs, is requesting the Canadian government to create a governmental censorship regime, blacklisting resources that Canadians shall not be reading. According to Bell Canada, this is necessary to “prevent people from leaving regulated television...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-10-02 - Original post - cached version

Copyright Monopoly: Every so often, you hear copyright industry lobbyists ask “why copyright law shouldn’t apply on the Internet”, suggesting that the Internet is a lawless land with regard to people sharing what they like. They have a point, but not the point they think: Our laws have checks...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-09-27 - Original post - cached version

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which used to develop standards for the Web, has been captured by the copyright industry. In a doubly controversial vote, the W3C decided that media companies and not the user should be in control, ending their longstanding commitment to openness and the...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-09-24 - Original post - cached version

Activism: On October 10, an important committee in the European Parliament will vote on future copyright law. It hangs in the balance, and ordinary people like you and I contacting Members of the European Parliament can really make a difference, like you’ll remember we did with ACTA five years...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-09-22 - Original post - cached version

Global: New research shows how a mobile phone can be turned into a passive indoor ultrasound sonar, locating people with high precision indoors using multi-target echolocation, and is even able to discern a rough selection of activities. It does this by overlaying imperceptible ultrasound sonar...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-08-30 - Original post - cached version

Privacy: Hardware maker Sonos has a new privacy policy, and is telling users that unless they agree to it, their devices may cease to function entirely. Of course, since people bought these objects, they’re those people’s property. And since Sonos is taking an action that they know will break...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-08-29 - Original post - cached version

Activism: The German newspaper Die Zeit has a long feature this week about IMSI catchers and their countermeasures, words that were long heard only in countersurveillance cultures at Black Hat and Defcon. Observing this phenomenon make the jump from the obscure to the mainstream tells us a lot...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-06-11 - Original post - cached version

Bitcoin: In 2011, I went all-in into bitcoin. As I described in a blog post at the time, I took all my savings and my entire credit line and put it into the fledgling currency, once I had realized its disruptiveness, and I did so at about $3 valuation (to simplify events a bit). People mocked...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-06-07 - Original post - cached version

Politicians do not understand the Internet. It is not so much that the politicians in power today in their 60s weren’t born with it, even if that’s also true. It’s more that politicians as a profession are institutionally incapable of understanding it, just because it functions without – even...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-06-06 - Original post - cached version

Copyright Monopoly: Denmark’s ISPs are collectively putting their foot down and will no longer surrender identifying subscriber information to the copyright industry’s lawyer armies. This follows a ruling in neighboring Norway, where the Supreme Court ruled that ISP Telenor is under no...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-05-20 - Original post - cached version

Old World: Britain’s hospitals have been brought to a standstill because of ransomware infecting obsolete and unpatched Windows XP systems. The same obsolete operating system is powering Britain’s nuclear weapons arsenal. Is it prudent to ask if the British nuclear weapons submarines have been...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-05-12 - Original post - cached version

Copyright Monopoly: The copyright industry keeps pounding a simplistic message to legislators – that copyright law is simple and that nobody honest could ever break it, and that it’s easy to “tell right from wrong”. But when you look at the deeds of the copyright industry instead of their words...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-05-03 - Original post - cached version

Privacy: It was a perfect service: sorting your mail and not just removing all spam for you, but also unsubscribing you from all of that spam garbage going forward. It kept your inbox perfectly clean. But behind the curtains, it also sold your inbox to the highest bidder.

Sometimes, you’...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-05-01 - Original post - cached version

Activism: Based on Blockstream’s behavior in the Bitcoin community, I have become absolutely certain that Segwit contains patents that Blockstream and/or their owners have planned to use offensively. I base this not on having read the actual patents, for they can be kept secret for quite some...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-04-30 - Original post - cached version

Bitcoin – Nozomi Hayase: The ongoing Bitcoin block size debate has accelerated into a kind of civil war. From threats of a 51% attack to online trolls and controversy over the allegation of covert AsicBoost usage, disagreements on scaling solutions have created a toxic environment in the...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-04-24 - Original post - cached version

Australia: This month, Australia’s law mandating telecommunications data retention went into effect. It is clear that Australia learned absolutely nothing from Europe’s abysmal 10-year failure with this exact law before it was finally struck down by courts as utterly incompatible with human...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-04-23 - Original post - cached version

Privacy: New US regulations ban laptops on board some aircraft, requiring laptops to be in checked luggage. One of the first things you learn in information security is that if an adversary has had physical access to your computer, then it is not your computer anymore. This effectively means...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-04-15 - Original post - cached version

Netherlands: A sign on the revolving entrance to a European airport, one sign among many, says “the airport employs wi-fi and bluetooth tracking; your privacy is ensured”. The vast majority of people have no idea what this is, and just see it as one sign among many like “no smoking”. But this...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-04-10 - Original post - cached version

Repression: The United States Congress has decided that Internet Service Providers shall be Common Carriers but without the obligations of a Common Carrier. Specifically, which was the shocker recently – telephone secrets don’t apply as they do with other telecommunications providers, and ISPs...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-03-31 - Original post - cached version

Repression: It’s interesting to watch people rushing to defend the legal processes in last week’s story about a man jailed indefinitely for refusing to decrypt, and who are asserting that everything is in order. In doing so, they point at individual details of the legal process and say there’s...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-03-28 - Original post - cached version

Privacy: An appeals court has denied the appeal of a person who is jailed indefinitely for refusing to decrypt files. The man has not been charged with anything, but was ordered to hand over the unencrypted contents on police assertion of what the contents were. When this can result in lifetime...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-03-22 - Original post - cached version

The makers of an Internet-connected sex toy have settled to pay a small amount to some 300,000 owners of a vibrator which was used to spy on their sex habits, which the manufacturer collected as individually identifiable data. Additionally, the bluetooth-controlled sex toy device was utterly...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-03-18 - Original post - cached version

Bitcoin: The American SEC, which oversees financial institutions, has rejected a bid to create a traditional trading fund (an ETF) based on bitcoin. The trading fund was the initiative of the Winklevoss brothers, who had seen this as a way to bring bitcoin to the masses and make money in the...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-03-11 - Original post - cached version

Corruption: In a surprise move, Switzerland has a bill passing through parliament that would introduce net censorship to protect domestic gambling against foreign competition. This is as dangerous as it is misguided and utterly ineffective, and it is alarming to see that even a strong democracy...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-03-05 - Original post - cached version

Copyright Monopoly: The copyright industry is trying – again – to forcefully conscript Internet Service Providers into doing their bidding. This time, the RIAA and other organizations are demanding “filtering”, which is a pretty word for censorship, of anything they don’t want people to send to...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-03-04 - Original post - cached version

Copyright Monopoly: Google has agreed to demote so-called “pirate” sites from its search results, at the demands of the copyright industry. All experience from the past 600 years says this is a mistake.

A story in Ars Technica and elsewhere celebrates that Google will hide the sites...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-03-03 - Original post - cached version

Civil Liberties: In this three-part series, I’m going to show how a state can be a pure market actor and not require taxation. The state will still have an income – cynics would call it taxes under any other name – but the key difference is that the income is obtained through market means,...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-03-02 - Original post - cached version

Civil Liberties: In this three-part series, I’m going to show how a state can be a pure market actor and not require taxation. The state will still have an income – cynics would call it taxes under any other name – but the key difference is that the income is obtained through market means,...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-03-01 - Original post - cached version

Liberty: In this three-part series, I’m going to show how a state can be a pure market actor and not require taxation. The state will still have an income – cynics would call it taxes under any other name – but the key difference is that the income is obtained through market means, based on a...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-02-28 - Original post - cached version

New World: Politicians and policymakers don’t understand where wealth comes from. They don’t understand the very basics of why capitalism works, they don’t understand how the wealth of a nation can increase – and as a result, almost every single policy is counterproductive to a country’s...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-02-27 - Original post - cached version

Repression: All governments of the world are cracking down on privacy and increasing mass surveillance, sometimes in the name of copyright enforcement, sometimes in the name of fighting terrorism, sometimes because they just want to. There’s a pattern here of similar things in the past –...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-02-24 - Original post - cached version

Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency will cripple governmental ability to collect taxes, and they won’t see it coming. When it’s already happened, expect major changes to take place in how society is organized on a large scale – but also expect governments to act in desperation to retain control....

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-02-20 - Original post - cached version

Corruption: Net Neutrality is being discussed again, and it’s important that your friends understand why this concept is crucial. Instead of explaining it in typical technical terms, it’s usually better to draw parallels to if we hadn’t had infrastructure neutrality in other fields. Roads are...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-02-16 - Original post - cached version

Copyright Monopoly: In a previous column, I outlined how the copyright monopoly is fundamentally, irreparably incompatible with privacy at the conceptual level. While the copyright industry may appear behind the times — even outright dumb — it is a mistake to believe they’re unaware of this...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-02-08 - Original post - cached version

Copyright Monopoly: Britain and France have been the primary copyright hawks in the EU, pushing for stronger distribution monopolies and harsher penalties at every turn. With Brexit in the cards, and a possible Frexit following this spring’s French elections, a hypothetical future EU copyright...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-02-07 - Original post - cached version

Belgium: Several European countries will start requiring photo ID from passengers to ride trains, similar to airport identity checks. The requirement concerns the high-speed Thalys and Eurostar services in Europe, with the vague goal of “tightening security and tracking criminals”. Activists...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-01-30 - Original post - cached version

Civil Liberties: Asia Nikkei has just reported that the Trump administration has formally withdrawn from the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a protectionist agreement masquerading as a free trade agreement. This also indicates certain termination of the corresponding TTIP agreement. Before...

Rick Falkvinge - 2017-01-26 - Original post - cached version

Cryptocurrency: The third Satoshi Roundtable has just concluded in Cancún, Mexico. The Roundtable is a private gathering of 100 movers and shakers within the bitcoin industry, with no media present, and it’s held under Chatham House rules – meaning everybody can use the information shared at...

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