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Archive for March, 2011

[How to] Be Confident Storing Information in the Cloud

Over the past few years, information explosion has inhibited organizations’ ability to effectively secure, manage and recover data. This complexity is only increasing as organizations try to manage the data growth by moving it to the cloud. It’s clear that storage administrators must regain control of information to reduce costs and recovery times while complying with regulatory compliance standards, including […]

Google Books Decision: “The Privacy Concerns are Real”

A federal district court in New York today issued a long-awaited ruling in the Google Books case, Authors Guild v. Google, rejecting the proposed settlement between the parties. EFF participated in the case as counsel to a collection of authors and publishers, including Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem and Cory Doctorow, who objected to the settlement based on concerns about reader […]

Hey, You, Get off of My Cloud

The emerging Public Cloud versus Private Cloud debate is not just about which solution is best. It extends to the very definition of cloud. I won’t pretend that my definitions of public cloud and private cloud match everybody elses, but I would like to begin by establishing my point of reference for the differences between public and private cloud. Public […]

An Introduction to the Federated Social Network

Lately, EFF’s work to protect rights and liberties in the online world has focused rather heavily on social networking sites and their policies. The logic is borne out by the numbers — Facebook and Twitter combined claim hundreds of millions of worldwide users, so advocating for stronger privacy and less censorship from these kinds of websites will mean a better […]

Tracking Protection Lists: A privacy enhancing technology that complements Do Not Track

Yesterday, Microsoft released version 9 of Internet Explorer, which includes two significant new privacy features: Tracking Protection Lists (TPLs) and a Do Not Track (DNT) header that allows users to request that websites not track them. We’ve written about the virtues of the Do Not Track header previously. In this post we’ll look more closely at privacy blacklists, a category […]

HHS Should Require the Encryption of Portable Devices

Many companies use encryption on their portable devices, but the continuing parade of health data breaches demonstrates that too many organizations have yet to do the same. The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) should consider revising the Security Rule to outright require encryption for portable devices containing the protected health information of 500 or more patients. Setting […]

The Open Source trials: hanging in the legal balance of copyright and copyleft

For those meddling in open source software affairs, compliance with licenses is a very hot topic. In the last 2 years we have witnessed the licensing FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) giving way to legal clarity with more and more relevant cases proving the acceptance of open source licenses by legal systems around the world. The secrets of Copyright – […]

5 Reasons Why the US Domain Seizures Are Unconstitutional

Last week, Bryan McCarthy, the 32-year-old operator of ChannelSurfing.net, was arrested on charges of criminal copyright infringement. This arrest has once again raised questions about the seizure of domains operated by those that are accused, but not convicted, of copyright infringement related crimes. Critics ranging from bloggers to individual rights advocates to Senators have rightfully questioned the constitutionality of these […]

Game Changing Study Puts Piracy in Perspective

To counter the many one-sided piracy studies that have been released by the entertainment industry in recent history, a group of dozens of academics have bundled their powers to write the most objective and elaborate piracy study to date. As many would have predicted, the results differ quite significantly from the message pro-copyright lobby groups have put out over the […]

Moving to open source would save government one to four billion

The Dutch could save one to four billion Euro per year, if their public administrations would move to open source software, according to calculations done by the ministry of the Interior. The ministry deemed the report ‘unsound’ and wanted to keep it under wraps, but members of the Parliament demanded access to the report. “I knew that enhancing competition would […]

Steer clear of Android Market and its DRM

Google recently made headlines after they identified some malware being distributed through the Android Market. Not only did they stop distributing those apps, but they used their “remote kill switch” to remove the apps from phones where they were already downloaded. This is a kind of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) that all computer users should avoid. In this case, the […]

Sabayon 5.5 review

Sabayon 5.5 review

Sabayon Linux 5.5 is the latest release of the Gentoo-based Linux distribution. It is also the first Sabayon release this year and judging from this distribution’s release history, we should expect to see at least three more releases before the end of the year. Sabayon offers a separate installation image for each of the major desktop environments. GNOME and KDE […]

Open-Source Software Is Actually More Secure for Health Care IT

Globally the sale of health care information systems is a multibillion dollar industry. The vast costs, frequent failed systems, and inability of systems to talk to each other regularly attract media comment. However policy makers still shy away from a class of software, Open Source, that could address many of these problems, because of worries about the safety and security […]

Identifying ‘Anonymous’ Email Authors

A team of researchers from Concordia University has developed an effective new technique to determine the authorship of anonymous emails. Tests showed their method has a high level of accuracy — and unlike many other methods of ascertaining authorship, it can provide presentable evidence in courts of law. Findings on the new technique are published in the journal Digital Investigation. […]

The Revolution Will Not Be Properly Licensed

We see it everywhere. Corporations are trying to take control over our communications tools, citing copyright concerns. Frequently, they are assisted by hapless politicians, who are also aspiring for the same control, citing terrorist concerns or some other McCarthyist scareword of the day. We should see this in perspective of the revolts happening right now in the Arab world. We […]

First migration of a Greek Public Organization to Free Software

The Musical Studies Department (MSD) of the Ionian University in Corfu has recently taken the initiative to become the first ever Public Organization and educational Institution in Greece that officially embraces Free and Open Source Software in its infrastructure. The project of migration of the MSD to open software applications was run after a decision of the Department’s General Assembly […]

Dummy-Proof BitTorrent Download Client

To make BitTorrent appeal to an even wider audience, uTorrent parent company BitTorrent Inc. has released a brand new BitTorrent client today. Codenamed Chrysalis, the new piece of software is aimed at novice BitTorrent users who are generally overwhelmed by the traditional interface of uTorrent and the mainline client. In the months to come Chrysalis will replace BitTorrent’s mainline client. […]

BitMate: A BitTorrent Client for Poor Bandwidth People

itTorrent is an excellent tool for sharing large files online, which is why millions of people use it every day. In developing third world countries, however, BitTorrent usage falls far behind, mainly because the transfer speeds are not that great on low bandwidth connections. Thanks to a new BitTorrent client, funded by a grant from the U.S. State Department, this […]

Honeypot To Combat Piracy

Rights holders often take extreme measures to combat piracy, but that a Government institution creates a ‘pirate’ honeypot is quite exceptional. In Portugal, a collaboration between a Ministry of Culture affiliated organization and the local music industry has resulted in a protocol that calls for such a honeypot, in order to shame, scare and threaten those who download music without […]

Android Malware DroidDream: How it Works

Yesterday, Google pulled more than 50 apps from the Android Market after they were found to contain the Android malware dubbed DroidDream. Similar to previous instances of Android malware that have been found on alternative Android app markets, the authors of DroidDream hid the malware in seemingly legitimate applications to trick unsuspecting users into downloading the malware—a growing trend in […]