April 28, 2006

A Little More China [6:34 am]

From the Economist: China and the internet | The party, the people and the power of cyber-talk [pdf]

Six years ago Bill Clinton described China’s efforts to restrict the internet as “sort of like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall”. But as China’s web-filtering technology has grown more sophisticated, and the ranks of its internet police have swelled, some have begun to wonder. A report in 2003 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace suggested that, despite the difficulties the internet posed to authoritarian regimes, it could also be used to fortify them. China, the authors concluded, had been “largely successful at guiding use” of the internet. At a congressional hearing in February on American companies involved in internet business in China, a Republican congressman, Christopher Smith, said the internet there had become “a malicious tool, a cyber sledgehammer of repression”.


Research by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences suggests the scale of the government’s task. Over 20% of people surveyed in five Chinese cities last year said the internet had increased their contacts with others who shared their political interests—a far higher proportion than found in a similar survey conducted in America (8.1%) by collaborators in the investigation. Nearly half of the respondents said going online increased their contacts with people who shared their hobbies, compared with less than 20% in the United States (networked role-playing games, growing fast in popularity in China, may partly account for this). And nearly 63% agreed that the internet gave them greater opportunities to criticise the government.

“China is changing, it’s improving,” says Jack Ma, head of Alibaba, which last year took over the running of Yahoo!’s Chinese operations—for, despite an early start in China, Yahoo! has been elbowed aside by domestic rivals. “Ten years ago, 20 years ago, in Chairman Mao’s time, if we came here to talk about these things [government censorship],” he begins. Then he puts an imaginary pistol to his head and, with a grin, fires it. That, of course, was when power just grew out of the barrel of a gun. Now it also grows out of the infinite, albeit virtual, barrels of the internet.

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Escalation [6:02 am]

Recording and Motion Picture Industries Launch New Anti-Piracy Effort Targeting Colleges and Universities

In letters mailed today [April 27], the two industry associations alerted 40 university presidents about local area network (LAN) piracy problems on their campuses and encouraged immediate action to stop and prevent theft by such means.

According to the two groups, the majority of illegal copying and distribution of music and movies occurs over the public Internet on peer-to-peer (”P2P”) file-sharing systems.  But students at colleges and universities increasingly have been using programs like Direct Connect (DC++), MyTunes and OurTunes to engage in such activity on campus LANs without using the broader public Internet.  The perceived security and privacy of these campus LANs give many students incentive to engage in activity they have otherwise learned is illegal and unacceptable.

“We are appreciative of our partners in the university community and all they have done in recent years to tackle the problem of digital piracy at campuses across the country,” said RIAA President Cary Sherman in a prepared statement.  “Despite the progress achieved by our collaborative efforts, this remains an ever-evolving problem.  We cannot ignore the growing misuse of campus LAN systems or the toll this means of theft is taking on our industry. As we prioritize our focus on campus LAN piracy in the coming year, we hope administrators will take this opportunity to fully evaluate their systems and take action to stop theft by all means.”

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The Backchannel Talk At The Workshop [3:51 am]

Trying to catch up on what appears to have been the big topic of the day; heard only on the backchannel during the workshop I’m attending: Net neutrality provision voted down

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, during debate on a telecommunications reform bill, rejected an amendment that would write so-called net neutrality provisions into U.S. law. Backers of a net neutrality law want Congress to prohibit U.S. broadband providers from blocking or slowing their customers’ connections to Web sites or services that compete with services offered by the providers.

The committee rejected the amendment, on a vote of 34-22, largely along party lines, with all but one Republican opposing the net neutrality amendment offered by Representative Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat.

The committee voted 42-12 to approve the telecom reform bill, largely focused on allowing telecom carriers to offer television services over IP (Internet Protocol) in competition with cable TV. The bill, which now goes to the full House for a vote, would create a national franchising system, instead of requiring that new television providers seek local franchises across the U.S.

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April 25, 2006

Leaks of Military Files Resume - Los Angeles Times [8:52 am]

Leaks of Military Files Resume [pdf]

Just [d]ays after U.S. troops were ordered to plug a security breach at their base here, the black market trade in computer memory drives containing military documents was thriving again Monday.

Documents on flash drives for sale at a bazaar across from the American military base over the weekend contained U.S. officers’ names and cellphone numbers and instructions on using pain to control prisoners who put up resistance. A study guide on one of the drives describes tactics for interrogating and controlling detainees by pinching or striking nerve and pressure points on their face, neck, arms and legs.

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April 24, 2006

RIAA Suits Continue [9:13 am]

Irrespective of key factors, apparently: Local family sued by record companies [pdf] [via BoingBoing]???

A federal lawsuit filed this week in Rome by the Recording Industry Association of America alleges that Carma Walls, of 117 Morgan St., Rockmart, has infringed on copyrights for recorded music by sharing files over the Internet. The lawsuit seeks an injunction and requests unspecified monetary damages.

The lawsuit states, “Plaintiffs are informed and believe that Defendant, without the permission or consent of Plaintiffs, has used, and continues to use, an online media distribution system to download the copyrighted recordings, to distribute the copyrighted recordings to the public, and/or to make the copyrighted recordings available for distribution to others.”

This came as shocking news to the Walls family, who were notified of the lawsuit Friday afternoon by a newspaper reporter. James Walls, speaking on behalf of his wife and family, said they have not been served with legal papers and were unaware of the lawsuit.

After being shown a copy of the court filing, Walls said he found the whole thing bewildering.

“I don’t understand this,” Walls said. “How can they sue us when we don’t even have a computer?”

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April 23, 2006

Patel Orders Label Disclosure [8:04 pm]

Judge orders record labels to turn over documents [pdf]

A federal judge has ordered major record labels to turn over privileged documents after finding they may have used misleading information to convince the government to abandon a major antitrust probe.

The ruling late on Friday from U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel in San Francisco came out of a dispute over which documents Vivendi Universal’s Universal Music Group and EMI Group Plc should be forced to release in a lengthy copyright battle over Bertelsmann’s investment in music-swapping service Napster.

Prosecutors in 2001 began investigating whether music labels secretly worked together to use two joint ventures, MusicNet and Pressplay, to discourage digital downloading and protect CD sales by fixing digital music distribution terms.

During the investigation, the joint ventures and their record label parents each submitted a “white paper” to the DOJ summarizing their arguments. They also provided documents that included redacted, or blacked out, sections to remove privileged material.

The U.S. Justice Department abandoned the probe in December 2003, citing no evidence of wrongdoing.

Napster investor Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Bertelsmann’s co-defendant in the lawsuit, charged that the arguments offered in the white papers were known to be false or misleading.

In the ruling, Patel said Hummer Winblad provided reasonable cause to believe that information in the white papers was “deliberately misleading.”

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Double-Plus Ungood Thoughtcrime? [7:47 pm]

A troubling case, where virtual child porn is enough to get a conviction — thoughtcrime?  Photographer guilty in child porn case [pdf]

A Massachusetts man was found guilty yesterday of nine counts of possession of child pornography stemming from his more than 20-year association as a photographer for a youth camp in Amherst.

[...]  Each charge alleged Zidel “knowingly possessed a visual representation of a child engaged in sexual activity.”

Zidel was a longtime photographer at Camp Young Judea in Amherst, where he took photos of campers and compiled them into yearbooks. He used those photos to create what he called his own “personal fantasy,” according to a county attorney press release.

[...] Zidel was accused of juxtaposing the heads and faces of campers onto images that depicted the youngsters engaging in sexual activity. Those images, saved on a CD ROM, were accidentally given to the camp’s director, according to the press release.

While Zidel’s attorney admitted that his client knew the campers depicted in the photos were under 16 years old, the attorney argued the images were not child pornography because the children were not subjected to sexual content, according to the press release.

Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Nicole Fortune prosecuted the case and argued that the images were child pornography, as the law was designed to protect children from being depicted as engaging in sexual activity.

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April 20, 2006

FCC Looking Into Pay-For-Play [8:51 am]

FCC Launches Payola Probes of 4 Radio Giants [pdf]

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday launched formal investigations into pay-for-play practices at four of the nation’s largest radio corporations, the biggest federal inquiry into radio bribery since the congressional payola hearings of 1960.

Two FCC officials with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed that the agency had requested documents from Clear Channel Communications Inc., CBS Radio Inc., Entercom Communications Corp. and Citadel Broadcasting Corp. over allegations that radio programmers had received cash, checks, clothing and other gifts in exchange for playing certain songs without revealing the deals to listeners, a violation of federal rules.

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NYTimes Preview of Coming Article on Google & China [7:56 am]

This is a fascinating article, summarizing a great deal of information about how the “Great Firewall” works and how Google operates within China: Google in China: The Big Disconnect

It is not hard to see why Lee has become a cult figure for China’s high-tech youth. He grew up in Taiwan, went to Columbia and Carnegie-Mellon and is fluent in both English and Mandarin. Before joining Google last year, he worked for Apple in California and then for Microsoft in China; he set up Microsoft Research Asia, the company’s research-and-development lab in Beijing. In person, Lee exudes the cheery optimism of a life coach; last year, he published “Be Your Personal Best,” a fast-selling self-help book that urged Chinese students to adopt the risk-taking spirit of American capitalism. When he started the Microsoft lab seven years ago, he hired dozens of China’s top graduates; he will now be doing the same thing for Google. “The students of China are remarkable,” he told me when I met him in Beijing in February. “There is a huge desire to learn.”

[...] Yet Google’s conduct in China has in recent months seemed considerably less than idealistic. In January, a few months after Lee opened the Beijing office, the company announced it would be introducing a new version of its search engine for the Chinese market. To obey China’s censorship laws, Google’s representatives explained, the company had agreed to purge its search results of any Web sites disapproved of by the Chinese government, including Web sites promoting Falun Gong, a government-banned spiritual movement; sites promoting free speech in China; or any mention of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. If you search for “Tibet” or “Falun Gong” most anywhere in the world on google.com, you’ll find thousands of blog entries, news items and chat rooms on Chinese repression. Do the same search inside China on google.cn, and most, if not all, of these links will be gone. Google will have erased them completely.

[...] It was difficult for me to know exactly how Lee felt about the company’s arrangement with China’s authoritarian leadership. As a condition of our meeting, Google had demanded that I not raise the issue of government relations; only the executives in Google’s California head office were allowed to discuss those matters. But as Lee and I talked about how the Internet was transforming China, he offered one opinion that seemed telling: the Chinese students he meets and employs, Lee said, do not hunger for democracy. “People are actually quite free to talk about the subject,” he added, meaning democracy and human rights in China. “I don’t think they care that much. I think people would say: ‘Hey, U.S. democracy, that’s a good form of government. Chinese government, good and stable, that’s a good form of government. Whatever, as long as I get to go to my favorite Web site, see my friends, live happily.’ ” Certainly, he said, the idea of personal expression, of speaking out publicly, had become vastly more popular among young Chinese as the Internet had grown and as blogging and online chat had become widespread. “But I don’t think of this as a political statement at all,” Lee said. “I think it’s more people finding that they can express themselves and be heard, and they love to keep doing that.”

It sounded to me like company spin — a curiously deflated notion of free speech. But spend some time among China’s nascent class of Internet users, as I have these past months, and you begin to hear such talk somewhat differently. Youth + freedom + equality + don’t be evil is an equation with few constants and many possible solutions. What is freedom, just now, to the Chinese? Are there gradations of censorship, better and worse ways to limit information? In America, that seems like an intolerable question — the end of the conversation. But in China, as Google has discovered, it is just the beginning.

[...] One Internet executive I spoke to summed up the conundrum of China’s Internet as the “distorted universe” problem. What happens to people’s worldviews when they do a Google search for Falun Gong and almost exclusively find sites opposed to it, as would happen today on google.cn? Perhaps they would trust Google’s authority and assume there is nothing to be found. This is the fear of Christopher Smith, the Republican representative who convened the recent Congressional hearings. [...]

But perhaps the distorted universe is less of a problem in China, because — as many Chinese citizens told me — the Chinese people long ago learned to read past the distortions of Communist propaganda and media control. [...] Google’s filtering of its results was not controversial for Guo because it was nothing new.

[...] Given how flexible computer code is, there are plenty of ways to distort the universe — to make its omissions more or less visible. [...] [A]ny Chinese citizen can sit in a Net cafe, plug “Tiananmen Square” into each version of the search engine and then compare the different results — a trick that makes the blacklist somewhat visible. Critics have suggested that Google should go even further and actually publish its blacklist online in the United States, making its act of censorship entirely transparent.

[...] When I spoke to Kai-Fu Lee in Google’s Beijing offices, there were moments that to me felt jarring. One minute he sounded like a freedom-loving Googler, arguing that the Internet inherently empowers its users. But the next minute he sounded more like Jack Ma of Alibaba — insisting that the Chinese have no interest in rocking the boat. It is a circular logic I encountered again and again while talking to China’s Internet executives: we don’t feel bad about filtering political results because our users aren’t looking for that stuff anyway.

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April 19, 2006

More Yahoo! and China [6:20 pm]

Group: Yahoo Helped China, Again

Yahoo turned over a draft e-mail from one of its users to Chinese authorities, who used the information to jail the man on subversion charges, according to the verdict from his 2003 trial released Wednesday by a rights group.

It was the third time the U.S.-based internet company has been accused of helping put a Chinese user in prison.

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Such As It Ever Was [7:47 am]

Porn Industry Again at the Tech Forefront [pdf]

A top producer of hard-core porn will start selling downloadable movies that customers can burn to DVD and watch on their TVs, illustrating how Southern California’s multibillion-dollar adult entertainment industry may again set the technological pace for Hollywood.

Letting people burn downloaded movies is considered key to the growth of online distribution. Despite the proliferation of fast Internet connections, most people still want to watch movies on television but lack an easy way to get them off the computer. Plus, hard drives can store only so many space-hogging movies.

Hollywood has resisted burnable discs that can be watched on televisions because they fear piracy. It also doesn’t want to alienate retailers, which sell most of its DVDs. But if history is any guide, the online experiment by adult entertainment giant Vivid Entertainment Group will be watched closely by mainstream studio chiefs.

“The simple fact is porn is an early adopter of new media,” said Paul Saffo, director of the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto. “If you’re trying to get something established … you’re going to privately and secretly hope and pray that the porn industry likes your medium.”

[...] The Internet solves two of the porn industry’s biggest challenges: distribution and privacy. Wal-Mart and Blockbuster Inc. won’t sell porn. Nor do most customers relish the embarrassment of browsing in the back room of their local video store for porn.

“Those are the two reasons we’ll always be in the forefront,” Vivid Co-Chairman Bill Asher said. “We have to.”

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April 18, 2006

Technology, Culture and Journalism [8:49 am]

Although this piece from the NYTimes, The Future of Journalism as Told by Hilaire Belloc in 1918, is largely about connecting the dots on journalism and blogging, I found there were a few copyright nuggets in the lead-in:

Every few days, I get an RSS feed that lists the new books added to the University of Pennsylvania Library’s catalog of online books, and I go foraging. To me this is a long-distance version of the kind of trolling I have done most of my life, wandering through the library stacks, making accidental discoveries in the shelves along the way.

But there is a paradox here. This is a high-tech library filled with old books. Because of copyright restrictions, it’s rare to find a publication date much later than the mid-1920’s. Nowhere else that I know of can you feel as clearly the difference between the protected waters of copyright and the open sea of the public domain.


“The Free Press” is an extended essay examining the history of what Belloc calls the “Official Press” in England and the emergence of a rival “Free Press” in the form of small, often short-lived journals.

The Official Press, Belloc argues, is centralized and Capitalist (he always capitalizes Capitalist), and its owners are “the true governing power in the political machinery of the State, superior to the officials in the State, nominating ministers and dismissing them, imposing policies, and, in general, usurping sovereignty — all this secretly and without responsibility.” The result “is that the mass of Englishmen have ceased to obtain, or even to expect, information upon the way they are governed.”

It is a delicate historical task to transplant Belloc’s argument from his era to our own. Perhaps nothing else distances his essay so much as his assumption that major newspapers actually shaped the political power of the nation — that politicians governed at the sufferance of newspaper owners.

[...] But “The Free Press” is still worth reading, for it describes, with some important adjustments, the evolving relationship between political bloggers and the mainstream media.

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April 17, 2006

Another Side in the RIM/NTP Fight [11:00 am]

In Silicon Valley, a Man Without a Patent

A high-school dropout, Mr. Goodfellow had his light-bulb moment in 1982, when he came up with the idea of sending electronic mail messages wirelessly to a portable device — like a BlackBerry. Only back then, there was no BlackBerry; his vision centered on pagers. He eventually did get financial backing to start a wireless e-mail service in the early 1990’s, but it failed.

So, in 1998, he moved to Prague and bought a bar. While he was there, the BlackBerry did come along. Tending bar, he believed that everyone had forgotten that he had initially come up with the idea of wireless e-mail.

[...] Mr. Goodfellow, an early participant in Silicon Valley’s grass-roots computer culture, disdained the notion of protecting his ideas with patents. And Thomas J. Campana Jr., a Chicago inventor with no such qualms, patented the idea of wireless electronic mail almost a decade after Mr. Goodfellow’s original work.

Mr. Campana, who died in 2004, was a founder of NTP, and his patent push yielded a bonanza for the company, which will receive $612.5 million in a settlement reached last month in its patent infringement suit against Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry.

For legal and technology experts, the tale of Mr. Goodfellow’s pioneering work is evidence of the shortcomings of the nation’s patent system, which was created to reward individual creativity but has increasingly become a club for giant corporations and aggressive law firms.

Several legal experts suggested that Mr. Goodfellow’s work might have constituted important “prior art” — earlier public information that is relevant to a patent application — that should have been disclosed to patent examiners and the courts by both sides in the dispute.

“I think there is a potential ethics issue,” said Mark A. Lemley, a Stanford professor who specializes in patent law. “The basic key is the attorneys have the obligation to disclose everything they know about his prior artwork and make him available as a fact witness.”

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Identity and the Net [10:53 am]

A Sinister Web Entraps Victims of Cyberstalkers

Claire E. Miller, a 44-year-old publishing executive in Manhattan, recently stripped her nameplate from the tenant directory at the entrance to her Kips Bay apartment building, where she has lived for more than 11 years. She has also asked the landlord to disconnect the buzzer and is in the process of changing her phone number.

Drastic measures, all, for an otherwise cheerful and outgoing person. But Ms. Miller has been unnerved by a sudden and, since last September, steady onslaught of unsolicited and lusty phone calls, e-mail messages and even late-night visits from strange men — typically seeking delivery on dark promises made to them online by someone, somewhere, using her name.

[...] It is the online equivalent of scrawling “for a good time, call Jane Doe” on a bathroom wall, but the reach of the Internet has made such pranks — if they are only that — far more sinister. And the problem is only likely to grow, fueled by the availability of personal data online and the huge growth in social networking and dating sites, which are attracting investment from big companies.

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Salon on Net Neutrality [8:31 am]

The corporate toll on the Internet

Now — after a series of acquisitions and re-acquisitions so tangled it would take Herodotus to adequately chronicle them — AT&T is back, it’s big, and according to consumer advocates and some of the nation’s largest technology companies, AT&T wants to take over the Internet.

The critics — including Apple, Amazon, eBay, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo — point out that AT&T, along with Verizon and Comcast, its main rivals in the telecom business, will dominate the U.S. market for residential high-speed Internet service for the foreseeable future. Currently, that market is worth $20 billion, and according to the Federal Communications Commission, the major “incumbent” phone and cable companies — such as AT&T — control 98 percent of the business. Telecom industry critics say that these giants gained their power through years of deregulation and lax government oversight. Now many fear that the phone and cable firms, with their enormous market power, will hold enormous sway over what Americans do online.

Specifically, AT&T has hinted that it plans to charge Web companies a kind of toll to send data at the highest speeds down DSL lines into its subscribers’ homes. The plan would make AT&T a gatekeeper of media in your home. Under the proposal, the tens of millions of people who get their Internet service from AT&T might only be able to access heavy-bandwidth applications — such as audio, video and Internet phone service — from the companies that have paid AT&T a fee. Meanwhile, firms that don’t pay — perhaps Google, Yahoo, Skype, YouTube, Salon, or anyone else — would be forced to use a smaller and slower section of the AT&T network, what Internet pioneer Vint Cerf calls a “dirt road” on the Internet. AT&T’s idea, its critics say, would shrink the vast playground of the Internet into something resembling the corporate strip mall of cable TV.

[...] Each side predicts dire consequences if its opponents win. Jim Ciccone, AT&T’s senior executive vice president for external affairs, says that if broadband service is regulated, AT&T won’t be able to recoup its costs for building these new lines — “and then we don’t build the network.” The Web firms say that if the big broadband companies are allowed to charge content firms for access to your house, we’ll see the Internet go the way of other deregulated media — just like TV and radio, where a small band of big companies used their wealth to swallow up consumer choice. If broadband companies get their way, says Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy, the Internet will one day feature nothing much more exciting than “the digital equivalent of endless episodes of ‘I Love Lucy.’”

Interesting related article cited in the comments on this one: Down to the Wire from Foreign Affairs

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April 13, 2006

Time Serving and Free Riding [6:24 pm]

Net clocks suffering data deluge

Mr Kamp said a new line of products sold by D-Link has the list of the net’s time servers written into the software that keeps the devices running.

Further detective work has revealed the 25 or so D-Link products checking the time using this list.

The data flood is causing Mr Kamp problems because his time server is run on a non-profit basis and is allocated a small amount of bandwidth for the 2,000 or so Danish organisations that use it to tell the time.

The data flood has seen his bandwidth bill rocket and Mr Kamp is contemplating shutting the server down as he cannot afford the continuing costs. Now, up to 90% of his daily traffic comes from D-Link devices.

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Google: “We’re Not Getting Involved” [10:45 am]

Google Chief Rejects Putting Pressure on China

Google’s chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, whose company has been sharply criticized for complying with Chinese censorship, said on Wednesday that the company had not lobbied to change the censorship laws and, for now, had no plans to do so.

“I think it’s arrogant for us to walk into a country where we are just beginning operations and tell that country how to run itself,” Mr. Schmidt told reporters from foreign news organizations.

[...] On Wednesday, Mr. Schmidt defended the decision to cooperate with the censors, saying that accepting the restrictions of Chinese law were unavoidable for Google to enter the Chinese market. “We had a choice to enter the country and follow the law,” Mr. Schmidt told the foreign reporters. “Or we had a choice not to enter the country.”

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The Warrantless Monitoring Suit [10:40 am]

Documents Show Link Between AT&T and Agency in Eavesdropping Case

Mark Klein was a veteran AT&T technician in 2002 when he began to see what he thought were suspicious connections between that telecommunications giant and the National Security Agency.

But he kept quiet about it until news broke late last year that President Bush had approved an N.S.A. program to eavesdrop without court warrants on Americans suspected of ties to Al Qaeda.

Now Mr. Klein and a few company documents he saved have emerged as key elements in a class-action lawsuit filed against AT&T on Jan. 31 by a civil liberties group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The suit accuses the company of helping the security agency invade its customers’ privacy.

From Wired News: AT&T Seeks to Hide Spy Docs

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Chinese Piracy Efforts [7:46 am]

Closure of Shanghai Bazaar Not Expected to Subdue Piracy [pdf]

The most expensive rents in China’s most expensive city aren’t suites on the historic riverfront, the Bund, or boutiques along Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s version of Rodeo Drive. They are flimsy stalls in a large bazaar jammed next to a smelly produce market.

Some of the 800 merchants at Xiangyang Market pay $10,000 a month or more for space no bigger than most American kitchens. Even bare walls behind stores are subleased for thousands of dollars, then converted into makeshift stores.

Customers from across the world come to buy bootlegs of famous brands. Rolex, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Mont Blanc. You name it, they’re all here. The five-acre bazaar is often the first stop on a Shanghai tour group’s itinerary.

[...] But after six years of booming business, in open view of authorities, Xiangyang Market will be closing at the end of June. Shanghai officials recently announced its shutdown, trumpeting it as a big strike in their campaign against piracy.

[...] Few believed piracy was the reason for the shuttering of Xiangyang Market. In fact, the announcement came after the city cut a lucrative deal with a Hong Kong developer who has plans to build apartments and offices on the site.

Even Xue Yong, Xiangyang Market’s vice general manager, couldn’t help but smirk when asked whether the closure was meant to curb counterfeiting.

“You cannot say it’s because of that,” he said as he sat in his third-floor office behind the market.

The story of Xiangyang Market reflects the complex nature of China’s counterfeit trade and how local governments rely on pirate markets to create jobs and revenue.

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April 11, 2006

Exactly *What* To Make of This Headline? [9:50 pm]

The implicit equivalency is chilling; London Bombers Tied to Internet, Not Al Qaeda, Newspaper Says [pdf]

A forthcoming government report concludes that the July 7 bombings in London were a low-budget operation carried out by four men who had no connection to Al Qaeda and who obtained all the information they needed from the Internet, The Observer reported Sunday.

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April 2006
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