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January 03 2013

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KenFM im Gespräch mit: Karl Albrecht Schachtschneider über: Freiheit & Souveränität - YouTube


Kann ein Staat souverän sein - oder nur seine Bürger? Haben nicht alle Völker das Recht auf Selbstbestimmung? Was hat das Grundgesetz mit Immanuel Kant zu tun und wäre ein Kant-Studium als Vorbereitung auf ein Rechtsstudium ratsam? Philosophische Fragen die der Jurist und Staatsrechtslehrer Karl Albrecht Schachtschneider im Gespräch mit Ken Jebsen beantwortet. Schachtschneider ist zudem Referent auf der Compact-Konferenz am 24.11. in Berlin-Dahlem (Anmeldung unter ).

December 24 2012

Four short links: 24 December 2012

  1. Creating The Next Big Thing (Wired) — excellent piece showing Tim’s thinking. Apple. They’re clearly on the wrong path. They file patent suits that claim that nobody else can make a device with multitouch. But they didn’t invent multitouch. They just pushed the ball forward and applied it to the phone. Now they want to say, “OK, we got value from someone else, but it stops now.” That attitude creates lockup in the industry. And I think Apple is going to lose its mojo precisely because they try to own too much.
  2. Nature’s 10 People Who Mattered This Year (Nature) — I’m glad to see The Reproducibility Initiative recognized.
  3. Open Observatory of Network Interferenceto collect high quality data using open methodologies, using Free and Open Source Software (FL/OSS) to share observations and data about the kind, methods and amount of surveillance and censorship in the world.
  4. d0x3d — a network security board game made of win. (via Reddit)

January 19 2012


January 18 2012

En Égypte, l’université Al-Azhar s’engage pour la liberté religieuse

La plus haute autorité de l’islam sunnite vient d’adresser aux Égyptiens un document où elle souligne la nécessité de respecter les libertés fondamentales du peuple.

À en croire le P. Samir Khalil Samir, il s’agit là d’un « grand pas en avant » pour l’Égypte. Dans une tribune publiée sur le site d’information italien AsiaNews (*), ce jésuite né au Caire en 1938, professeur de sciences religieuses à l’université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, décrypte un document diffusé il y a quelques jours par l’université islamique Al-Azhar, au Caire.

Dans cette déclaration dense et argumentée, la plus haute autorité islamique d’Égypte – et l’autorité sunnite la plus influente au monde – se prononce en faveur de la liberté de religion, d’opinion, de recherche scientifique et de créativité artistique. C’est dire si de tels propos sont de nature à rassurer les coptes d’Égypte, alors que le printemps arabe laisse craindre une radicalisation de l’islam égyptien.

C’est le deuxième document présenté par Al-Azhar à la nation égyptienne depuis la révolte de la place Tahrir. Le premier avait été publié le 11 juin dernier. Mais ce nouveau texte aborde de front les points qui inquiètent chrétiens et musulmans modérés, alors que les dernières élections ont validé le poids des Frères musulmans." (François-Xavier Maigre)




// oAnth - original URL

January 17 2012


January 16 2012

How PIPA and SOPA Violate White House Principles Supporting Free Speech and Innovation

Over the weekend, the Obama administration issued a potentially game-changing statement on the blacklist bills, saying it would oppose PIPA and SOPA as written, and drew an important line in the sand by emphasizing that it “will not support” any bill “that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.”

Yet, the fight is still far from over. Even though the New York Times reported that the White House statement “all but kill[s] current versions of the legislation,” the Senate is still poised to bring PIPA to the floor next week, and we can expect SOPA proponents in the House to try to revive the legislation—unless they get the message that these initiatives must stop, now.  So let’s take a look at the dangerous provisions in the blacklist bills that would violate the White House’s own principles by damaging free speech, Internet security, and online innovation:

The Anti-Circumvention Provision

In addition to going after websites allegedly directly involved in copyright infringement, a proposal in SOPA will allow the government to target sites that simply provide information that could help users get around the bills’ censorship mechanisms. Such a provision would not only amount to an unconstitutional prior restraint against protected speech, but would severely damage online innovation. And contrary to claims by SOPA’s supporters, this provision—at least what’s been proposed so far—applies to all websites, even those in the U.S.

As First Amendment expert Marvin Ammori points out, “The language is pretty vague, but it appears all these companies must monitor their sites for anti-circumvention so they are not subject to court actions ‘enjoining’ them from continuing to provide ‘such product or service.’” That means social media sites like Facebook or YouTube—bascailly any site with user generated content—would have to police their own sites, forcing huge liability costs onto countless Internet companies. This is exactly why venture capitalists have said en masse they won’t invest in online startups if PIPA and SOPA pass. Websites would be forced to block anything from a user post about browser add-ons like DeSopa, to a simple list of IP addresses of already-blocked sites.

Perhaps worse, EFF has detailed how this provision would also decimate the open source software community. Anyone who writes or distributes Virtual Private Network, proxy, privacy or anonymization software would be negatively affected. This includes organizations that are funded by the State Department to create circumvention software to help democratic activists get around oppressive regimes’ online censorship mechanisms. Ironically, SOPA would not only institute the same practices as these regimes, but would essentially outlaw the tools used by activists to circumvent censorship in countries like Iran and China as well.

The “Vigilante” Provision

Another dangerous provision in PIPA and SOPA that hasn’t received a lot of attention is the “vigilante” provision, which would grant broad immunity to all service providers if they overblock innocent users or block sites voluntarily with no judicial oversight at all. The standard for immunity is incredibly low and the potential for abuse is off the charts. Intermediaries only need to act “in good faith” and base their decision “on credible evidence” to receive immunity.

As we noted months ago, this provision would allow the MPAA and RIAA to create literal blacklists of sites they want censored. Intermediaries will find themselves under pressure to act to avoid court orders, creating a vehicle for corporations to censor sites—even those in the U.S.—without any legal oversight. And as Public Knowledge has pointed out, not only can this provision be used for bogus copyright claims that are protected by fair use, but large corporations can take advantage of it to stamp out emerging competitors and skirt anti-trust laws.

For instance, an Internet service provider could block DNS requests for a website offering online video that competed with its cable television offerings, based upon “credible evidence” that the site was, in its own estimation, promoting its use for infringement….While the amendment requires that the action be taken in good faith, the blocked site now bears the burden of proving either its innocence or the bad faith of its accuser in order to be unblocked.

Corporate Right of Action

PIPA and SOPA also still allow copyright holders to get an unopposed court order to cut off foreign websites from payment processors and advertisers. As we have continually highlighted, copyright holders already can remove infringing material from the web under the DMCA notice-and-takedown procedure. Unfortunately, we’ve seen that power abused time and again. Yet the proponents of PIPA and SOPA want to give rightsholders even more power, allowing them to essentially shut down full sites instead of removing the specific infringing content.

While this provision only affects foreign sites, it still affects Americans' free speech rights. As Marvin Ammori explained, “The seminal case of Lamont v. Postmaster makes it clear that Americans have the First Amendment right to read and listen to foreign speech, even if the foreigners lack a First Amendment speech right.” If history is any guide—and we’re afraid it is—we will see specious claims to wholesale take downs of legitimate and protected speech.

Expanded Attorney General Powers

PIPA and SOPA would also give the Attorney General new authority to block domain name services, a provision that has been universally criticized by both Internet security experts and First Amendment scholars. Even the blacklist bills’ authors are now publicly second-guessing that scary provision. But even without it, this section would still force many intermediaries to become the Internet police by putting the responsibility of censorship enforcement on those intermediaries, who are usually innocent third parties.

The Attorney General would also be empowered to de-list websites from search engines, which, as Google Chairman Eric Schmidt noted, would still “criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself.”  The same applies to payment processors and advertisers.

These are just some of the egregious provisions in PIPA and SOPA that would fundamentally change (for the worse) the way we use the Internet, and punish millions of innocent users who have never even thought about copyright infringement. As Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian explained, PIPA and SOPA are “the equivalent of being angry and trying to take action against Ford just because a Mustang was used in a bank robbery.” These bills must be stopped if we want to protect free speech and innovation on the web.

Please take action now and tell your Congressional representatives you oppose the blacklist bills.

Cross-posted at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

November 17 2011

Four short links: 17 November 2011

  1. Questioning University -- my take on the issue of whether a university education (particularly CS) is still relevant or whether kids should go straight to startups. So what do I tell my kids? Should I urge them to go to university? Should I tell them to jack it all in and run off and join a startup? This is what's occupying my mind now.
  2. Still Cripped by Free (Simon Phipps) -- the freedoms of free and open software (the ability to use it for whatever you want, to improve it or give it to others who can then improve it) represent creative and financial independence. Fifteen years after open source and business really started to get dirty with each other, the misunderstanding is still widespread that it's about price. Simon has a clear and robust essay about the latest UK procurement guidelines to show why price can be subverted in a way that freedom cannot.
  3. The Private and Social Costs of Patent Trolls -- Using stock market event studies around patent lawsuit filings, we find that NPE lawsuits are associated with half a trillion dollars of lost wealth to defendants from 1990 through 2010, mostly from technology companies. Moreover, very little of this loss represents a transfer to small inventors. Instead, it implies reduced innovation incentives. (via BoingBoing)
  4. Facebook's Teams and Use of Data -- great talk by Adam Mosseri of Facebook, where he covers the composition of teams at Facebook, how they use data to make decisions, and when they don't use data to make decisions. (via Bryce Roberts)

October 03 2011


Piratenpartei: Hoffnungen der Wiedervereinigung wurden enttäuscht | 2011-10-03


// Der Chef der Piratenpartei, Sebastian Nerz, hat zum heutigen Tag der Deutschen Einheit eine Bilanz gezogen: Die Hoffnungen der Menschen durch die Wiedervereinigung seien enttäuscht worden, sagte er. Überwachungsgierige Politiker hätten alle Lehren aus der Volksbewegung der DDR vergessen.

Die Menschen wollten bei der deutschen Wiedervereinigung eine "demokratischere, freiere und gerechtere Welt" schaffen. "Diese Hoffnungen wurden bislang enttäuscht", erklärte Sebastian Nerz, Chef der Piratenpartei, in einem Gastkommentar für die Nachrichtenagentur dpa zum Tag der Deutschen Einheit. Mit dem Ende der DDR wurde demnach ein System überwunden, das für "ständige Überwachung der Bürger, Zensur und die Mauertoten" stand.

Der 3. Oktober sei auch ein "Sinnbild für die Überwindung des stetigen und immerwährenden Abbaus von Bürgerrechten", ein Prozess, der in den letzten Jahren auch in "demokratischen Staaten" wieder zunehme. Ein Teil der ehemaligen DDR-Bürgerrechtler sei darum auch heute noch aktiv. Denn: "Den Zielen eines Bürgerrechtlers wird auch das vereinte Deutschland nicht gerecht."

Bereits in den 70er Jahren habe in Westdeutschland ein kontinuierlicher Abbau von demokratischen Rechten begonnen, was sich nach der Wiedervereinigung noch beschleunigt habe. Nerz nannte hier die akustische und optische Überwachung durch den Großen Lauschangriff ab 1998, die Überwachung privater Kommunikation durch die Vorratsdatenspeicherung bis März 2010, die Aufzeichnung der Bewegungsmuster der Menschen durch das Flugdatenabkommen und ihrer Bezahlvorgänge durch das Swift-Abkommen.

"Die Überwachungsgier mancher Politiker kennt keine Grenzen", erklärte Nerz. Es scheine fast, als wären alle Lehren aus der Wiedervereinigung vergessen. Es brächte keinen Gewinn an Sicherheit, wenn jeder Schritt unbescholtener und unschuldiger Bürger beobachtet, klassifiziert und archiviert würde und ihr Verhalten, über das EU-Projekt Indect, auf Auffälligkeiten überprüft würde, so der Piratenchef. Die überwachungsgier mancher Politiker kenne keine Grenzen. //

[vollständiges Zitat]

Reposted byeat-slow eat-slow
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