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How to Kick-Start Innovation with Free Data | Scientific American

How to Kick-Start Innovation with Free Data | Scientific American | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Government-funded projects have yielded a wealth of information, but much of this data has historically remained locked up in difficult-to-use form. To get this data to people who might start businesses with them, the Obama administration created the position of chief technology officer.

 

Todd Park, the nation’s current CTO, has plenty of innovation experience. In 1997, at the age of 24, he co-founded his first start-up, called Athenahealth, which provides online data management for physicians. After momentarily retiring to focus on his family he set up two other start-ups before joining the White House team four years ago.

 

At a media briefing in February he talked about getting government data into the hands of entrepreneurs to spark innovation and economic growth.

 

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Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
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What's Wrong With the Internet and How We Can Fix It: Interview With Internet Pioneer John Day | Lori Emerson Blog

What's Wrong With the Internet and How We Can Fix It: Interview With Internet Pioneer John Day | Lori Emerson Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Below is an interview I conducted with the computer scientist and Internet pioneer John Day via email over the last six months or so. The interview came about as a result of a chapter I’ve been working on for my “Other Networks” project, called “The Net Has Never Been Neutral.”


In this piece, I try to expand the materialist bent of media archaeology, with its investment in hardware and software, to networks. Specifically, I’m working through the importance of understanding the technical specs of the Internet to figure out how we are unwittingly living out the legacy of the power/knowledge structures that produced TCP/IP.


I also think through how the Internet could have been and may still be utterly different. In the course of researching that piece, I ran across fascinating work by Day in which he argues that “the Internet is an unfinished demo” and that we have become blind not only to its flaws but also to how and why it works the way it works.


Below you’ll see Day expand specifically on five flaws of the TCP /IP model that are still entrenched in our contemporary Internet architecture and, even more fascinating, the ways in which a more sensible structure (like the one proposed by the French CYCLADES group) to handle network congestion would have made the issue of net neutrality beside the point. I hope you enjoy and many, many thanks to John for taking the time to correspond with me.


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New Bay State effort would connect technology start-ups with municipal governments | Shira Schoenberg | MassLive

New Bay State effort would connect technology start-ups with municipal governments | Shira Schoenberg | MassLive | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The state Senate is set to consider a proposal that would connect municipal governments to technology startups.


"It will help spur startups and new ventures in Massachusetts," said state Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, the founder and co-chair of the Legislature's Tech Hub caucus, who developed the idea and sponsored the bill, S. 1982. "We consider ourselves an innovation economy. Wouldn't it be wonderful to...show that not only are we an innovation economy, we are an innovation government?"

The bill emerged from the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, which Spilka chairs, on Tuesday, and it is likely to be voted on by the full Senate on Thursday.

The proposal would create a new "innovative community" program, with an office under the state's Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

The point of the program would be to connect municipal governments with start-ups so that the governments can purchase technological products and services.


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Reminder: When Ron Wyden Says There's A Secret Interpretation Of A Law, Everyone Should Pay Attention | Mike Masnick Techdirt

Reminder: When Ron Wyden Says There's A Secret Interpretation Of A Law, Everyone Should Pay Attention | Mike Masnick Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Years before Ed Snowden revealed how the NSA and DOJ had reinterpreted the PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act to allow the intelligence community to spy on Americans, Senator Ron Wyden tried to warn the public that this had happened:

We're getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says.

For a couple of years after he said that, privacy and civil liberties advocates were forced into something of a guessing game to figure out what that secret law actually said. Eventually, the details were spilled by Ed Snowden who is, of course, now being threatened with a lifetime in prison for blowing the whistle.


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HBO NOW Available Today for Verizon Broadband Customers; Coming Soon to Mobile Video | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

HBO NOW Available Today for Verizon Broadband Customers; Coming Soon to Mobile Video | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Home Box Office and Verizon today announced an agreement that allows Verizon to distribute HBO NOW — a service targeting Internet-only customers, across all of Verizon’s wired broadband networks, with the right to extend the service to Verizon Mobile customers in the near future.

Beginning today, HBO NOW is immediately available to all Verizon FiOS and High Speed Internet customers, starting with a 30-day free trial.


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Why Can’t We Be Like South Korea? | Susan Crawford Backchannel | Medium.com

Why Can't We Be Like South Korea? - Backchannel - Medium

I’m working this summer with a rising senior at St. Paul’s School, Sun Woo Lee, who lives in Seoul when she’s not at boarding school here in the States. It’s been astounding to hear her describe the contrast between communications in Concord, New Hampshire, where her school is, and what happens in South Korea. And in light of a recent daylong gathering here at Harvard Law School among people interested in Internet access across Massachusetts, I thought you’d be interested in a few nuggets of comparison.

The bottom line: Rural areas in New England are mostly — with some shining exceptions — struggling to come up with a route to fiber-optic-plus-WiFi access that will allow people to work from home and generally participate in the modern world. On the other hand, it is almost impossible to find a rural section of South Korea that doesn’t have fantastic high-capacity Internet access.

Here’s a story that says it all.


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O'Rielly: AT&T-DirecTV Conditions Less Onerous Than Some | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

O'Rielly: AT&T-DirecTV Conditions Less Onerous Than Some | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly Tuesday (July 28) took aim at the FCC's timeline for approving the AT&T-DirecTV merger and various conditions imposed, then explained that the reason he did not dissent from the conditions--as did commissioner Ajit Pai--was because AT&T and DirecTV indicated they would accept them and "they don’t appear to cause direct harm to other market participants."

In fact, he said the conditions were at least "less onerous than some of those extracted in past mergers"--he did not specify.

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Update: Researchers disclose four unpatched issues in the mobile version of Internet Explorer | Lucian Constantin | ComputerWorld.com

Update: Researchers disclose four unpatched issues in the mobile version of Internet Explorer | Lucian Constantin | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Security researchers published limited details about four unpatched vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer for Windows Phone because Microsoft has not moved quickly enough to fix them.

The flaws could potentially be exploited to execute malicious code on computers when users visit compromised websites or open specially crafted documents. They were reported through Hewlett-Packard's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) program.


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N.Y. Public Service Commission Reminds Verizon of Its FiOS Obligation in NYC, Requests Documents | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

N.Y. Public Service Commission Reminds Verizon of Its FiOS Obligation in NYC, Requests Documents | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

After the N.Y. Public Service Commission heard an earful about Verizon’s broken promise to deliver FiOS service to every resident in New York City, the head of the PSC has sent a letter to Verizon reminding them of their obligation and requesting an explanation:


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Microsoft Windows 10 Update: 4-6GB Per Computer Helps Blow Through Your Allowance | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Microsoft Windows 10 Update: 4-6GB Per Computer Helps Blow Through Your Allowance | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If you find your Internet connection a bit slower and your usage meter spiking, it could be courtesy of Microsoft, which began quietly sending Windows 10 installation software this morning to those reserving a copy for their home computer(s) and laptop(s).

Though not officially available until July 29, some users report Windows 10’s software installation files are already arriving in a new, usually hidden, folder on your operating system partition. If you disable hidden files and folders, you may see this new directory: $windows.~BT

If you do, that is Windows 10 winding its way to your computer. Microsoft is not mass blasting the update to every computer all at once, so there is an excellent chance you may not have the new OS just yet, but it is on the way.

Unfortunately, it is huge, with some users reporting file sizes ranging from 4-6GB per computer, so if you are subject to usage caps or an allowance, Microsoft may help push you over the limit. For now, the only way to stop the upgrade is by canceling the invitation:


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Industry groups push Congress for access to government spectrum | Thomas Mocarsky | Katy on the Hill

Industry groups push Congress for access to government spectrum | Thomas Mocarsky | Katy on the Hill | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Once the Federal Communications Commission wraps up the broadcast incentive auction, now tentatively planned to begin March 29, 2016, there is no other spectrum in the pipeline that can be transferred to commercial mobile services. That’s triggered increasing pressure on Congress to free up government-controlled spectrum to meet the demand for wireless data services.

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, former FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and former FCC commissioner Robert M. McDowell called on Congress to create financial incentives for federal agencies to cough up unused government spectrum, to promote spectrum sharing, and to free up additional spectrum for unlicensed use.


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New York City Fiber Optic Smackdown: Verizon & the USTA vs the City of N.Y. | Bruce Kushnick Blog | Huff Post

New York City Fiber Optic Smackdown: Verizon & the USTA vs the City of N.Y. | Bruce Kushnick Blog | Huff Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Enlightening Summer Reading: "The Book of Broken Promises; $400 Billion Broadband Scandal & Free the Net"

This is Part 2: Click for Part 1.

In Part 1 we discussed Verizon's plan to go all-wireless-only and suggested that the reader might be thinking:

  • But isn't everyone already using wireless?
  • Hasn't everyone dropped their 'landlines'?


Let me use a recent panel discussion as an example of why you may have been misled if you believe that the wires don't matter or that wireless alone is the future.

Panel Discussion: City of N.Y. and the United States Telephone Association, (USTA) (screenshot above)


The Internet Society, New York chapter, has been active in documenting broadband and Internet related events for the last decade. ISOC-NY writes: "This clip is an excerpt from the Federal-State Broadband Conference, in New York City. In the video, USTelecom's Robert Mayer berates NYC for 'shaming' Verizon about their fiber deployments. Brittny Saunders of the Mayor's Office responds."


NOTE: By July 2014, 100% of New York City's citizens should have had the ability to get FiOS TV in their home under the cable franchise agreement. In June, 2015, the City of New York issued a scathing review and found major gaps in deployment. We found that the coverage of FiOS TV could be 60 percent or less.

Here are Some Other Data for N.Y.C. and Correcting the USTA Comments.


We've been following Verizon NY's business activities and financials since the 1990s. The USTA, (United States Telephone Association), represents the local incumbent phone companies, including AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink.


Let me address three quotes from the USTA representative, which comes back to the issue of the wires and wireless services.


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Google Finally Admits Defeat on Google Plus | Will Oremus | Slate.com

Google Finally Admits Defeat on Google Plus | Will Oremus | Slate.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The company announced in a blog post Monday that it will no longer force people to use a Google Plus account to log in to other, more popular Google services. That includes YouTube, whose users have been howling for years about the Google Plus requirement. Soon they’ll be able to log in with a plain old Google account.


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Open letter petitions UN to ban the development on weaponized AI | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

Open letter petitions UN to ban the development on weaponized AI | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Future of Life Institute has presented an open letter signed by over 1,000 robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) researchers urging the United Nations to impose a ban on the development of weaponized AI with the capability to target and kill without meaningful human intervention. The letter was presented at the 2015 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), and is backed with the endorsements of a number of prominent scientists and industry leaders, including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and Noam Chomsky.

To some, armed and autonomous AI could seem a fanciful concept confined to the realm of video games and sci-fi. However, the chilling warning contained within the newly released open letter insists that the technology will be readily available within years, not decades, and that action must be taken now if we are to prevent the birth of a new paradigm of modern warfare.


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Net Neutrality – An Update | Andy Schwartzman | Benton Foundation

Net Neutrality – An Update | Andy Schwartzman | Benton Foundation | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Federal Communications Commission’s Network Neutrality rules became effective on June 12. Since then, contrary to the warnings of some opponents, the digital world has not stopped turning.


On the other hand, while Net Neutrality supporters were jubilant, there has been little visible change for the good, either. That should not be surprising, since the most important impact of the new rules is in shaping future conduct.


Even so, for those interested in preserving an open Internet, there are a number of developments worth noting.


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White House Finally Answers Snowden Pardon Petition: The Only Good Whistleblowing Is Punished Whistleblowing | Tim Cushing | Techdirt

White House Finally Answers Snowden Pardon Petition: The Only Good Whistleblowing Is Punished Whistleblowing | Tim Cushing | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The White House has finally responded -- more than two years later -- to a petition asking for a pardon of Edward Snowden. The petition surfaced soon after Snowden went public with his identity. Less than three weeks later -- June 25, 2013 -- it had passed the 100,000-signature threshold.

Understandably, the administration was in no hurry to respond to this petition. In the immediate aftermath of the first leaks, no entity was more unpopular than the NSA. Snowden, on the other hand, probably could have won a number of local elections as a write-in candidate at that point. So, the administration sat on it, as it has sat on a great many petitions not particularly aligned with its desires.

Unfortunately, the public's opinion hasn't shifted much. As other agencies have become more plaintive in their requests to undermine privacy and safety to keep criminals from "going dark," the public has become less and less enthusiastic about being forced to make more sacrifices in the interest of security. The NSA also hasn't become more popular in the interim. So buying time by cherry-picking We The People petitions to respond to hasn't made answering this petition any easier for the administration.

More than two years later -- 763 days past the point it became a viable petition -- the administration has answered.


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Innovation tour: Kitchener-Waterloo a surging hub of high-tech startup companies. | Dan Miner | Buffalo Business First

Innovation tour: Kitchener-Waterloo a surging hub of high-tech startup companies. | Dan Miner | Buffalo Business First | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Monday's story on Hamilton can be found here and Tuesday's story on the Mississauga is here.

It’s hard to find a place to start when describing the startup scene in the Kitchener-Waterloo region – but perhaps the best place is the University of Waterloo.

That college is one of the foremost engineering entities in the world and spawned a variety of high-tech companies over the years, including Blackberry Limited (formerly Research in Motion) and D2L Corp.

But the university’s prominence and the corporations its students have created might have been isolated success stories. Instead, major institutional players from higher education, government and industry decided to take the region’s technological and intellectual assets and use them to build an inclusive community, said Chris Plunkett, director of external relations at Communitech.

The result: About 1,900 new startups in the past six years which have attracted about $650 million in investment and made the region an international symbol of entrepreneurship.

All that, just a two hour drive from Buffalo, NY.


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Verizon Wireline Workers Prepare to Strike Aug. 1; "Negotiations Are Going Poorly" | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Verizon Wireline Workers Prepare to Strike Aug. 1; "Negotiations Are Going Poorly" | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If Verizon management and its unionized workforce cannot come to terms on a new contract by this Saturday, up to 39,000 Verizon landline workers from Massachusetts to Virginia will begin a strike industry observers predict could last for weeks.

Verizon Communications has increasingly shifted attention and investment away from its wireline networks, which include copper landline service and its FiOS fiber to the home network. The workforce of line technicians, installers, and engineers that are trying to keep Verizon’s wired networks running well are under pressure to accept concessions the company says reflect the reality of a dwindling number of landline customers and competition for its FiOS network.

As of Monday, representatives for the Communications Workers of America District 1, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2213 and IBEW New England Regional committees continued to call out Verizon for insisting on a list of benefit and job security reductions:


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Videotron Tests 1-Gig | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com

Videotron Tests 1-Gig | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Canadian MSO Videotron is joining the Gigabit club.

The company announced this week that it is piloting a 1-Gig service in Montreal using DOCSIS 3.0, with plans underway to follow-up with a commercial launch.

State-of-the-art D3.0 modems can bond up to 32 downstream channels, enough to produce bursts up to 1.2 Gbps in North American DOCSIS networks that use 6MHz-wide channels, and up to 1.6 Gbps using EuroDOCSIS 8MHz-wide channels.


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15% of Americans don’t use the internet. Who are they? | Monica Anderson & Andrew Perrin | Pew Research

15% of Americans don’t use the internet. Who are they? | Monica Anderson & Andrew Perrin | Pew Research | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For many Americans, going online is an important way to connect with friends and family, shop, get news and search for information. Yet today, 15% of U.S. adults do not use the internet, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of survey data.

The size of this group has changed little over the past three years, despite recent government and social service programs to encourage internet adoption. But that 15% figure is substantially lower than in 2000, when Pew Research first began to study the social impact of technology. That year, nearly half (48%) of American adults did not use the internet.

A 2013 Pew Research survey found some key reasons that some people do not use the internet.


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WordPress gets a patch for critical XSS flaw | Lucian Constantin | ComputerWorld.com

WordPress gets a patch for critical XSS flaw | Lucian Constantin | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Developers of the popular WordPress blogging platform have released a critical security update to fix a vulnerability that can be exploited to take over websites.

WordPress 4.2.3, released Thursday, resolves a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability that could allow users with the Contributor or Author roles to compromise a website, said Gary Pendergast, a member of the WordPress team, in a blog post.

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Want to listen to radio on your phone? AT&T’s about to make it a lot easier. | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

Want to listen to radio on your phone? AT&T’s about to make it a lot easier. | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Like many consumers, I've mostly stopped listening to the radio — mainly because I rarely drive anymore and many of my favorite shows are available as online podcasts.

But AT&T customers who miss listening to FM channels will soon be able to flip on their local stations and listen live anytime they want. That's because starting with every new Android phone it sells in 2016, AT&T will be activating the receiver inside that's designed to tap into FM signals.

Many smartphones today already come with FM chips. In other countries, these get turned on. But not all cellular carriers in the United States support FM radio out-of-the-box. Sprint only began "lighting up" those FM chips in 2013.

Now AT&T is the latest telecom company to add support for FM radio, partnering with the company NextRadio to offer access to radio programs that come to you over the traditional airwaves rather than the Internet. NextRadio is an app that adds an FM tuner to your smartphone, letting you select and change channels.


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New York City Decides To Actually Pay Attention To Its Verizon Contracts After Getting Ripped Off On FiOS Deal | Karl Bode | Techdirt

New York City Decides To Actually Pay Attention To Its Verizon Contracts After Getting Ripped Off On FiOS Deal | Karl Bode | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

New York City has decided to actually pay attention to city money paid to Verizon after city officials discovered Verizon's broadband-related-promises don't always hold up to scrutiny.


As recently noted, a city audit found that Verizon's 2008 promise to wire the entire city with FiOS fiber broadband by 2014 has only been half completed, the telco using loopholes in the language to argue that getting fiber relatively close to many apartment buildings was good enough.


The audit also found Verizon was withholding FiOS from some buildings unless landlords promised broadband exclusivity, something that the FCC supposedly outlawed in 2007.

Basically, Verizon did what Verizon's been doing for the better part of a generation now: getting special perks, subsidies and tax breaks in exchange for promises it has absolutely no intention of actually keeping. Former city leaders likely knew this; the 2008 deal was hashed out behind closed doors with then Mayor Mike Bloomberg's office with little to no serious public input.

Moving forward the city appears to have come up with a novel idea, more closely monitoring Verizon's other business relationships with the city:


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HBO Now Is Coming to Verizon Wireless and Its 100 Million Customers | Peter Kafka | Re/Code.net

HBO Now Is Coming to Verizon Wireless and Its 100 Million Customers | Peter Kafka | Re/Code.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Here’s another big shot in the arm for HBO Now, the service that lets you pay for HBO without buying any other TV subscriptions: Verizon is going to sell the service directly to its 100 million Verizon Wireless customers.

Depending on how aggressively Verizon pushes HBO Now — and Verizon is one of the country’s top marketers — the deal could be as big for HBO as its pact to give Apple a three-month exclusive when it launched the service last spring.


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GovDelivery buys government-to-citizen texting startup | Katharine Grayson | Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

GovDelivery buys government-to-citizen texting startup | Katharine Grayson | Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

GovDelivery has acquired Textizen, a Philadelphia-based startup that lets government agencies communicate with the public through text messaging.

St. Paul-based GovDelivery didn't disclose terms of the deal.

Government agencies can use Textizen to send texts containing surveys, event reminders, project updates and other notifications. It also allows governments to receive and analyze messages sent by residents.


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Cyber Bill Gives Companies Perfect Cover to Gut Your Privacy | Sandra Fulton | Free Press

Cyber Bill Gives Companies Perfect Cover to Gut Your Privacy | Sandra Fulton | Free Press | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Following several high-profile data breaches — such as those at Sony and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — Congress is once again feeling the pressure to push “cybersecurity” legislation.

The problem is, the bill they’re laser-focused on is misguided, wouldn’t protect us — and is a huge gift to companies wanting legal cover if and when they choose to violate Americans’ privacy rights.

In March, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 14–1 in favor of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA). The bill, like its infamous predecessor CISPA, would allow companies to share vast amounts of users’ private and personally identifiable data with the government. That information would go straight to the Department of Homeland Security and then on to the NSA.


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