Tech at Night: The Return of the Revenge

On July 7, 2015, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

We had a good long stretch where tech policy was the most important thing going on in Washington. Now though, it’s gone on the back burner. The Obama administration has made its big power grabs, passed its bad bills, damaged American credibility abroad, but an ineffective Republican Senate is going to have trouble making a stand against it all.

But tonight, despite being sick as a dog, I’m going to try to catch up with the back burner stuff.

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Tech at Night: The FCC really is that terrible

On June 24, 2015, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

It’s not surprising that the Obama FCC, after making a massive power grab with the pretext of solving a problem that doesn’t actually exist, that now the FCC is moving on to an entirely new scam. Ajit “The Man” Pai says they’re engaged in a ‘regulatory bait and switch’ with respect to AT&T.

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Tech at Night

We can’t hand oversight of the Internet over to Russia. Much like how the US Navy secure’s the world’s waterways, so too do we secure the free flow of information on the global Internet.

So the DOTCOM Act by Senators Rubio, Thune, and others seeks to constrain the President’s ability to cede oversight of ICANN and IANA, fundamental Internet organizations. I hope the House passes it, too.

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Tech at Night

On a multi-user computer system, different user accounts have different permissions. In most Unix-based systems, there is a special account besides. Account zero, the ‘root’ user, bypasses all permissions checks. The Chinese attackers had root access to Office of Personnel Management servers.

But NSA was the real threat ah, Rand Paul?

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Tech at Night: Dueling bills on patents and sales tax

On June 16, 2015, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

It’s never a good sign when a piece of legislation is a major priority for lobbyists, but that’s what comprehensive patent reform is. It’s time ACU and HAFA scored against it.

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Tech at Night

Bad news first: The Senate passed a comprehensive patent bill, and now the House is checking on it. ACU is coming out strongly against a comprehensive bill, to which I say: Bravo.

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Tech at Night

I know it’s been a while since we talked about it but Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet is coming. It’s a terrible plan and we’ve got to stop it.

It’s not helping the Internet. After all, this same administration decided against search neutrality. Why pick winners and losers this way? I’ll leave you to guess why the thing Google didn’t want, didn’t get done, and the thing Google wanted, got done.

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Tech at Night: Weekend Update

On June 6, 2015, in General, by Neil Stevens

Good post by Moe Lane on Edward Snowden and the Glenns Greenwald. Snowden is now outraged that NSA would target foreign (read: Russian) hackers.

Gee, who’s paying his rent again?

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Tech at Night

One of the basic rules of intellectual property is that we can’t ever count on other countries to protect Americans. Even New Zealand can be bought off (Kim Dotcom has made large donations to the NZ government in exchange for being shielded from prosecution).

So it’s a problem of Comprehensive Patent Reform won’t protect Americans against foreign thieves. That’s just one reason conservatives are increasingly lining up against comprehensive patent bills.

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Tech at Night

Rand Paul wants you to think that large-scale data mining on (publicly available) metadata is a horrible thing, and a massive threat to your privacy. Even when that data gathering is done with a warrant.

So it shows just how disingenuous his whole stunt was, that he’s doing his own privacy-threatning database building. His supporters have been duped. He was grandstanding with the national interest in order to support his Presidential campaign.

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