Category: Commentary

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Animation in Honeycomb

One of the new features ushered in with the Honeycomb release is a new animation system, a set of APIs in a whole new package (android.animation) that makes animating objects and properties much easier than it was before. “But wait!” you blurt out, nearly projecting a mouthful of coffee onto your keyboard while reading this article, “Isn’t there already an […]

Is Microsoft buying Nokia? An analysis of the acquisition endgame

The Elop and Ballmer duo on stage on February 11th was the main topic of discussion at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The reverberations of the Microsoft-Nokia announcement were felt even by the huge green robot tucked away at Google’s stand in Hall 8. Following the news of the Nokia and Microsoft tie-up, Stephen Elop’s appointment to the helm of […]

Controlling a Computer With Thoughts?

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have been awarded funding for two projects that will place brain-computer interfaces (BCI) in patients with spinal cord injuries to test if it is possible for them to control external devices, such as a computer cursor or a prosthetic limb, with their thoughts. The projects build upon ongoing research conducted in epilepsy patients who […]

Some File-Sharers Leave Trails To Their Front Door

Following the publication of a paper which investigates how using the same username across multiple web sites may expose Internet users to scammers, TorrentFreak decided to apply the same research idea to a random sampling of file-sharers, with some eye-opening results. A team of researchers from the French National Institute of Computer Science (INRIA) has just published their study of […]

The Android Monopoly and how to harness it

From an underdog to ubiquitous manufacturer support, the Android platform has come a long way since its introduction in 2008. Almost every single device vendor (except for Apple and Nokia) has launched Android devices, while Sony Ericsson and Motorola are betting their margins and future on it. The phenomenal rally behind Android is – in a nutshell – due to […]

How To Stop Domain Names Being Seized By The US Government

As the United States authorities continue with their domain name seizure policy, file-sharing, streaming and link site operators around the world are looking for ways to mitigate this aggressive action. To this end, an Internet engineer and website operator has put together a guide that might just help site owners avoid a whole heap of inconvenience in the future. This […]