March 8, 2007

Who’d A Thunk It? [2:59 pm]

Gates calls for new privacy law

[Bill] Gates repeated past Microsoft calls for a wide-ranging privacy law during a speech at advocacy group the Center for Democracy and Technology’s (CDT) annual gala dinner Wednesday. A comprehensive privacy bill should allow consumers to control their personal data, should provide transparency about what their data is used for, and should notify them when their data has been compromised, Gates said.

Gates said he believes the U.S. can achieve a balance between privacy and protecting the country against terrorists and other criminals. But the balance will not be an easy one to create, Gates said.

[...] Another balance Congress needs to strike is between emerging technologies and privacy, said Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy also called on Congress to pass a privacy law.

But a privacy law cannot restrict new technologies, Leahy said. “I don’t want to stop the technologies, I want to protect our privacy,” he during the gala dinner. “I think we can do both.”

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The Swedes Are Curious (Yellow) [12:02 pm]

Did I say curious? I meant “intrusive.” Sweden plan would monitor communications - pdf

Sweden’s government presented a contentious plan Thursday to allow a defense intelligence agency to monitor — without a court order — e-mail traffic and phone calls crossing the nation’s borders.

The government insists only a fraction of the electronic communications will be affected, but critics worry the program, designed to combat terrorism and other threats to national security, is too far-reaching.

From Slashdot: Sweden Admits Tapping Citizens’ Phones for Decades (the article: Olofsson claims Sweden has tapped phones ‘for decades’ - pdf

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How Convenient! [9:46 am]

Microsoft signs up 1st licensee for code - pdf

Microsoft said signing up Quest Software — a company based in Aliso Viejo, California that helps businesses manage the different IT systems they run — was an important part of its efforts to comply with regulators’ demands. The company is still talking to other potential licensees, it said.

Microsoft said the agreement showed that Quest believes the royalty rate is reasonable.

“Quest chose to sign their license the same day the Commission issued its statement of objections on protocol royalties, even though we had agreed on terms with Quest some weeks ago,” Microsoft said.

Another Yahoo!-streaming royalties deal? What, exactly, is Quest’s value proposition, and how likely is it that others will get the same deal?

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C-Span Policy Change [9:02 am]

In Policy Shift, C-Span Clears Some Clips for Web Use

The public affairs cable network C-Span announced yesterday that it was changing its copyright policy to “allow noncommercial copying, sharing and posting” on the Internet of its coverage of events sponsored by Congress or any federal agency, a decision that covers about 50 percent of its material.

The rules would apply to video in the network’s archives from the late 1970s as well as what appears today, and is intended “to increase the political dialogue,” C-Span’s president and co-chief operating officer, Rob Kennedy, said.

The change, he said, would allow “citizen journalists” like bloggers and collaborative Web sites to link to the material without worry of copyright infringement.

Hmmm - nothing to do with this, right?

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