Tech at Night

Part of the USA PATRIOT act ensured NSA could spy on conversations foreigners were having, that involved data passing into America. After 9/11, when terrorist cells came here and murdered many Americans, we understood the need for that.

Well, some Republicans remembered, but Rand Paul forgot, and it sounds like Paul won.

I wonder if the Islamic State will send flowers to thank him.

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Tech at Night: A summary of the patent fight

On May 21, 2015, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Let’s recap the patent situation, and why it’s so heated right now.

Back before Republicans took the Senate, Reid and Obama made a deal with Boehner’s House to get the America Invents Act. It ended up being a huge gift to the lawyer lobby (at the time I warned that the American Bar Association was backing it for a reason, in a time of relatively high legal unemployment).

So what do we do about it, and why?

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Tech at Night: Radio ga ga

On May 19, 2015, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

No industry should ever get special privileges in this country. That’s picking winners and losers at a basic level. Radio gets a cutout, and it should be ended. Copyright is copyright.

Just ask any freelancer what having your stuff given away for free, in exchange for ‘exposure,’ is really worth.

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Tech at Night

So it turns out that while Google, for months now, has been driving all sorts of hysteria about NSA and “spying,” the firm has been grossly negligent in its own privacy protections. The firm admits Google Hangouts is completely open to spying within Google, a basic design error that shows Google is not at all taking seriously the idea that government is spying on people.

It’s all a sham, just like Netflix and Net Neutrality. So we shouldn’t be surprised to find out NSA isn’t even collecting very much data. Oops.

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Tech at Night

So the US Congress is debating whether to renew the part of the USA PATRIOT act that ensures NSA can watch the communications of foreign terror cells that set up shop in the US, and communicate back home with their terror networks. That’s a good debate to have. We need to debate legislation before passing it.

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Tech at Night

The patent fight in Washington just got bigger. You’ve got the push for a ‘comprehensive patent reform’ monstrosity the House, using patent trolls as cover, as favored by the Chinese. You’ve got actual narrow, targeted patent reform legislation. Now The Senate seems to be going with the narrow approach.

I’m favor the House approach on demand letters, and Vitter is moving on that. However I oppose the idea Vitter is pushing, that USPTO should keep the fees it collects. That creates an incentive to issue bad patents, which exacerbates the problem of bad patents fueling patent trolling.

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Tech at “Night”: Weekend Update

On May 2, 2015, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Sorry all. On a personal note this was a physically taxing week on me. The tourists gave me a bad cold early this week, and while I was only symptomatic for one day, I was physically weak and had difficulty getting things done the whole rest of the week.

So I’m going to look through what looked like the important and interesting stories most of last week, so that we all can catch up here.

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Tech at Night: Obama’s Inter-nyet policy

On April 28, 2015, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

So last week Comcast gave up on a free market deal under extreme government pressure. It’s the ongoing power grab by the Obama administration that Mike Wendy calls the Inter-nyet policy.

Planned economy, one industry at a time.

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Tech at Night

Some libertarians may be choosing to side with anarchists and progressives on cybersecurity, by reducing prosecution of privacy and security online (which would make it harder for us to argue government surveillance online is a big deal), and by opposing cybersecurity information sharing, but we need to go forward in the direction of security and rule of law here.

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Tech at Night: Net Neutrality will hurt the poor

On April 18, 2015, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Who benefits the most from competition and innovation in Internet services? The people who have the most need to save money: the poor. Further they more than anyone have the need to use the Internet to save money and to seek opportunity. They need cheap Internet.

And Net Neutrality will take it away from them.

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