Category: Stories

  • Habeas Data, or Why any Silicon Valley ‘bill of rights’ will guarantee you never have any

    Habeas Data, or Why any Silicon Valley ‘bill of rights’ will guarantee you never have any


    Widespread ridicule has greeted the announcement that eight giant technology companies led by Google and including Facebook and LinkedIn were going to save us from the NSA.

    The ridicule is thoroughly justified, for trusting giant corporations – whose business models rely on selling your identity to advertisers – to safeguard your privacy is like hiring a kleptomaniac to guard the sweet shop.

    Thirty years after the Khmer Rouge declared war on “the Garden of the individual”, Silicon Valley was lauding … Read More

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  • “The price of nothing”

    “The price of nothing”


    Kim Dotcom has a new service, with features that Forbes calls “See No Evil, Store No Evil”. But perhaps that should be “see no value, store no value”.

    I have not come to mock the rotund self-promoter, but rather to talk about what might happen if its users were to throw themselves at the service to share copyrighted content. But first, a history lesson.

    One criticism of the monetarists during the Thatcher years was that they “knew the price of … Read More

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  • Why do sheep need Twitter?

    Why do sheep need Twitter?


    Spot the broadband user in this picture

    A House of Lords committee this week declared that British taxpayers must foot the bill for an internet that nobody wants – unless perhaps they have a second home in the country.

    Some observations by the committee may be accurate: Britain’s broadband is slower than its rivals. But this doesn’t seem to be what vexes our noble and learned friends. Observations don’t amount to a rational argument – what the Lords are making … Read More

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  • How to fix the broken internet economy

    How to fix the broken internet economy


    How can we begin to unpick the tangled mess that the technology and creative industries have created?

    There’s certainly no shortage of blame to go around. In the past every new wave of technology has delivered healthy creative markets – but today this is no longer happening.

    Just 20 years since the birth of the internet economy, with the advent of the worldwide web, it’s worth asking why. It’s time we looked afresh at where both industries went wrong, and … Read More

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  • The Open Rights Group gets rights wrong. Again

    The Open Rights Group gets rights wrong. Again



    When Open Rights Group executive director Jim Killock opens his mouth, his foot soon disappears inside. The UK’s leading digital rights advocate has just demonstrated still more difficulty understanding the “rights” the group campaigns about.

    At a Citizen 2012 data conference in London yesterday, where he was introduced as “the infamous Jim Killock”, Citizen Jim listed the many injustices of the UK’s copyright law.

    “The Olympic logo is copyright. The Olympic mascots are copyright. Therefore, reusing them is a breach … Read More

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