This is week 9 of Cease and Desist a campaign against unwarrented government surveillance launched on April 17th. For the the second week in June, 2012: Wyden and Issa call for an Internet Bill of Rights, Lieberman concerned with the timeliness of the senate version of CISPA, NSA whistle-blower William Binney to do keynote at HOPE conference, Information on Patent Defence, and WordPress 3.4 is released.
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Darrell Issa has drafted an Internet Bill of Rights and is asking for the public’s input. So here goes: We don’t need a bill of rights for the Internet, because we already have an amendment that says it all, the first one. I’ve modified it to directly apply to computing: “Hackers shall make no program respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peacefully distribute and modify software, and to petition the Hackers for a redress of grievances.” The free software movement is largely based upon the first amendment. Since 1983 people from around the world have been working on these goals and is understood by both machines and humans via programming languages. So you’re in luck, it’s done.
Joe Lieberman on Tuesday in a speech to his colleagues hopes to bring the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 up for vote before the full Senate. He says, “The truth is, if we don’t take it up in July and see if we’ve got the votes … we’re not going to be able to pass this legislation in a way that’s timely and allows us to go to conference, reach an agreement and send the bill to the president.” Earlier on the 12th, in an email from Fight for the Future with the subject, “CISPA vote delayed”, they write: “Insiders expected the Senate to vote in the week after they returned from Memorial Day recess. But guess what? The week’s over, and no vote. Now we’re hearing the Senate might not vote until the 3rd or 4th week of June.” They then informed subscribers that the best call to action is to schedule a meeting with our Senators, to get information visit privacyisawesome.com and privacyisawesome.vanillaforums.com
The HOPE Number Nine conference, in New York City on July 13th to 15th, will have William Binney as the keynote speaker, reports the 2600 News and BoingBoing. Binney served over 30 years in the NSA. Based upon his experience he estimates that the NSA has put together over 20 trillion transactions, phone calls, emails, and other forms of data from Americans. Surprising as it may sound this could include copies of almost every email sent and received from people who live in the United States.
The EFF posted a great article on the 10th on Patent Defense, that details various ways to protect against patent trolling. One is to use the Defensive Patent License, that is a tit-for-tat, it gives a royalty-free worldwide license, except if sued, then the license permits defensive retaliation. Twitter has a Innovators Patent Agreement, that they promise to not sue, and will use it only for defensive purposes. To get more information go to EFF.org and search “The Defensive Patent License and Other Ways to Beat the Patent System” At some point with the patent system in the United States is going to become a complete deadlock, if not already. It’s not going to matter if Congress passes a bill that reforms the patent system. Every major tech company right now is just using patents to defend themselves against other patents. Google, Apple, Samsung, IBM, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter are all doing it. It’s just really unfortunate for those of us who are not a major corporation that can buy hundreds of patents in a fell swoop. That is the real chill to innovation. Every large project starts at a person, in some small place with an idea.
WordPress version 3.4 was released on the 13th of June, 2012. This version of WordPress, unlike the previous, had a theme around the many changes that have been made, focusing on ways to make it easier for users to make a website look the way that you want. This includes a new live theme customizer to be able to immediately see changes to the header, background images, colors and other options. Now that this cycle is over, there will likely and hopefully be a theme for the next release. So with the recent wave of concern with security discussion, I’m calling for the next version of WordPress to focused around security: towards better privacy and encryption. To have control with whom one shares with and when, and how information should be shared and under what conditions, to embed all of the control of rights into software. If not in the core, then through a series of plugins, or a branch.