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July 30, 2002

Tech Tuesday (9-30)

Round up for July 30

  • One of the subtler censorship issues is the way web blocking software often censors far more than pornography. Yet consumers aren't allowed to find out what web sites are actually blocked by software they use-- they have to take it on faith. The ACLU is suing for the "fair use" right to "look under the hood" of web blocking software to find out exactly what is being blocked.
  • Consumers Union released a report this week condemning the 45% hike in cable rates since rates were deregulated in 1996.
  • Imagine corporations being licensed by the government to ransack your home computer, delete your files and dismantle your computer networks? That's what proposed legislation would do in the name of letting copyright holders prevent Napster-like file sharing. Wired explains the insanity and DigitalConsumer.org is campaigning against it.
  • Following up on last week's item on EFF's legal challenge to open up ICAAN's records. They won!
  • EFF is also launching a campaign to promote the sharing of low-cost wireless hubs for Internet access, something many Internet providers are resisting.
  • As Hollywood pushes for massively intrusive regulation into our homes, so-called anti-regulation groups are doing an about face and lining up to support big brother government. Rightwing groups like the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Policy Innovation reveal the hypocrisy of ideological conservatives in showing that when regulation serves their corporate paymasters, they'll change their tune on a dime-- or maybe a slightly larger wad of cash. CEI doesn't publish its funders but given its history of corporate service, including estimates that it receives 40 percent of its funding directly from corporations, we can imagine that Hollywood and the recording industry are paying good money for their flacking-for-hire.

    Addendum: Corrected typo above that cable rates have jumped 45% just since 1996, not 1993 as I originally wrote. (Thanks Jeff)

    Posted by Nathan at July 30, 2002 05:04 AM

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