Law, Tech and Policy

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Fair Use in Google-Oracle Software Battle (April 8, 2021) – Santa Clara law professor Tyler Ochoa with a lengthy blog post (8,000 words) explaining the decision.

Why It’s Easier to Move Country than Switch Social Media (April 12, 2021) – Activist and author, Cory Doctorow, on the importance of dealing with switching costs, in addition to a renewed emphasis on antitrust and interoperability.

Token Safe Harbor Proposal 2.0 (April 13, 2021) – SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce, with an update to her earlier proposal for a token safe harbor that would provide network developers with a three-year grace period within which, under certain conditions, they could facilitate participation in and development of a functional or decentralized network, exempted from federal securities registration requirements.

Final Report on Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) – (96-page pdf at the link: “New Surveillance Technologies in Public Spaces – Challenges and Perspectives for European Law at the Example of Facial Recognition” (April 2021)).

President Biden’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity – (May 12, 2021), along with accompanying White House Fact Sheet and Politico’s press coverage


Law, Tech and Policy

How to Protect the Future Web From Its Founders’ Own Frailty (June 24, 2016) – Cory Doctorow. See also: The Web’s Creator Looks to Reinvent It (June 7, 2016) – New York Times, and The Fathers of the Internet Revolution Urge Today’s Software Engineers to Reinvent the Web (June 13, 2016) – IEEE Spectrum

Open Access: All Human Knowledge is There—So Why Can’t Everybody Access It? (July 6, 2016) – Glyn Moody at ArsTechnica

Researchers Sue the Government Over Computer Hacking Law (CFAA) (June 29, 2016) – Kim Zetter in Wired; See the ACLU’s complaint (pdf available at the link; 47 pages) and the ACLU release

Section 1201 of the DMCA Cannot Pass Constitutional Scrutiny and Research and Remixes the Law Won’t Allow (July 21, 2016) – EFF; See also Statement on DMCA lawsuit by cryptographer and Johns Hopkins professor Matthew Green, who is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, and the complaint (pdf; 32 pages) in the lawsuit. Related: A Dozen Bad Ideas That Were Raised At The Copyright Office’s DMCA Roundtables (May 18, 2016) – TechDirt

Tech Companies Fight Back After Years of Being Deluged With Secret FBI Requests (June 21, 2016) – Jenna McLaughlin at The Intercept

Why Notice-and-Takedown is a Bit of Copyright Law Worth Saving (June 21, 2016) – Los Angeles Times Op-Ed by law professors Chris Sprigman and Mark Lemley

At JustSecurity, a series of July posts on “secret law”: It’s Time to Come to Terms With Secret Law: Part I and Part II by Dakota S. Rudesill, and Secret Law, Targeting, and the Problem of Standards: A Response to Dakota Rudesill – Jonathan Hafetz

The Intriguing Legal Ramifications of Pokémon GO (July 25, 2016) –; Also see The University of Washington Tech Policy Lab’s white paper – Augmented Reality, a Technology and Policy Primer (pdf at the link; 12 pages)

Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report

Reweaving the Web; A Slew of Startups is Trying to Decentralize the Online World (June 18, 2016) – The Economist

EU-related developments (other than Privacy Shield): Apple Joins Wide Array of Tech Companies in Fight to Kill EU’s ‘Cookie Law’ (July 6, 2016) – AppleInsider; European Union’s First Cybersecurity Law Gets Green Light (July 6, 2016) – Bloomberg; and The European Union is Updating its Electronic Signature Laws (June 30, 2016) – The Verge. See also the EU release on the new electronic signature laws.

MIT Researchers Unveil New Anonymity Scheme That Could Rival Tor – David Bisson at

General Interest

Groundbreaking ‘Atomic Memory’ Could Cram Unimaginable Amounts of Data Into Your iPhone (July 19, 2016) – AppleInsider, and Atom Wranglers Create Rewritable Memory (July 18, 2016) – Nature; See the related academic paper: A Kilobyte Rewritable Atomic Memory (pay $ download at the link)

Quantum Computing: A Primer – Andreessen Horowitz video (28 minutes) at the link, plus a good list of further reading on quantum computing

Why Computer Vision Has Become a Major Investment Theme for Me (June 16, 2016) – VC Mark Suster, and The Voice UI has Gone Mainstream (June 6, 2016) – Ben Bajarin

My Time with Richard Feynman (July 11, 2016) – Stephen Wolfram

The Millions’ 2nd Half of 2016 Book Preview (fiction)



Law, Tech and Policy

Are US Courts Going Dark? (May 6, 2016) – US Magistrate Judge, Stephen Wm. Smith at JustSecurity

The Second Amendment Case for the Right to Bear Crypto (May 11, 2016) – Susan McGregor at MotherBoard

Facebook Gets Bad Ruling In Face-Scanning Privacy Case (May 6, 2016) – Venkat Balasubramani at Technology and Marketing Law Blog

Introducing the ‘Right to Eavesdrop on Your Things’ – computer science professor Keith Winstein at Politico

Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence (May 3, 2016) – Ed Felten, Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer, announces an AI workshop series and interagency working group

Artificially Intelligent Lawyer, IBM’s AI ‘Ross,’ Has Been Hired By Its First Official Law Firm (May 11, 2016) – Futurism

Hail and Farewell to The Google Books Case (May 11, 2016) – law professor James Grimmelmann at PublishersWeekly

The Shape of Things (April 26, 2016) – Tom Coates at Medium

The Proper Channels For Whistleblowers Are Still A Joke (May 3, 2016) – TechDirt

Tech Titans are Busy Privatizing Our Data (April 24, 2016) and The State has Lost Control: Tech Firms Now Run Western Politics (March 27, 2016) – Evgeny Morozov; Also Digital Pioneer, Jaron Lanier, on the Dangers of ‘Free’ Online Culture (April 2016) – WIPO Magazine

General Interest

Historic Computers Look Super Sexy in this New Photo Series by Docubyte and Ink (May 11, 2016) – Creative Review

Inside Palantir, Silicon Valley’s Most Secretive Company (May 6, 2016) – BuzzFeed

Life is Short (January 2016) – Paul Graham



Law, Tech and Policy

Broadband Consumer Privacy Proposal Fact Sheet (March 10, 2016) – FCC release (3 page pdf at the link)

It’s Your Data: Empowering Consumers to Protect Online Privacy (March 10, 2016) – FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler at the Huffington Post;

5 Things You Should Know About the FCC’s Proposed Privacy Rules (March 14, 2016) – ProPublica;

The Feds Are Prepping Strict Rules to Protect Your Online Privacy (March 14, 2016) – Wired

What ISPs Can See; Clarifying the Technical Landscape of the Broadband Privacy Debate (March 2016) – Upturn report

The Dragonslayer – a Year Ago, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Saved the Internet; in this Exclusive Interview, He Tells Us What’s Next – Nilay Patel at Verge

Obama Administration Set to Expand Sharing of Data That N.S.A. Intercepts (February 25, 2016) – New York Times; and Surprise! NSA Data Will Soon Routinely Be Used For Domestic Policing That Has Nothing To Do With Terrorism (March 10, 2016) – Radley Balko in the Washington Post; and FBI Quietly Changes its Privacy Rules for Accessing NSA Data on Americans (March 8, 2016) – Guardian

Why the OPM Hack Is Far Worse Than You Imagine (March 11, 2016) – Michael Adams at LawFare

It Took a FOIA Lawsuit to Uncover How the Obama Administration Killed FOIA Reform (March 9, 2016) – Vice; and More Transparent Than Thou (March 15, 2016) – Brett Max Kaufman of the ACLU at JustSecurity

Time to Rethink Mandatory Password Changes (March 2, 2016) – Lorrie Cranor (FTC Chief Technologist) at FTC blog; also Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) versus Two-Step Verification (2SV); What’s the Difference and Which is Better? (March 14, 2016) – David Bisson at

The Beginning of the End for Encryption Schemes? New Quantum Computer, Based on Five Atoms, Factors Numbers in a Scalable Way (March 3, 2016) – MIT

Academic Paper: Policing Hoover’s Ghost: The Privilege for Law Enforcement Techniques (download pdf at the link; 34 pages) (March 1, 2016) – professor Stephen W. Smith

Intel Whistle-Blowers Fear Government Won’t Protect Them (March 8, 2016) – Eli Lake at BloombergView

Taking Baby Steps Toward Software That Reasons Like Humans (March 6, 2016) – New York Times

Biometrics are Coming, Along with Serious Security Concerns (March 9, 2016) – Wired

Hunting What’s Next in High Tech (March 11, 2016) – Saku Panditharatne at a16z

General Interest

Mathematicians Discover Prime Conspiracy (March 13, 2016) – Quanta; and Mathematicians Are Geeking Out About a Bizarre Discovery in Prime Numbers (March 15, 2016) – Quartz

Can You Keep a Secret? Former C.I.A. Chief Michael Hayden on Torture and Transparency (March 7, 2016) – New Yorker



Law, Tech and Policy

Snooper’s Charter: Revised ‘Investigatory Powers Bill’ introduced by the British government: text of bill, codes of practice, and additional documents

Privacy Shield: Restoring Trust in Transatlantic Data Flows Through Strong Safeguards: European Commission Presents EU-U.S. Privacy Shield – European Commission press release with links to the various related documents; see also E.U. and U.S. Release Details on Trans-Atlantic Data Transfer Deal – New York Times

Fight Against Terrorism: Inside The Obama Administration’s Attempt To Bring Tech Companies Into The Fight Against ISIS – BuzzFeed

Encryption: A Worldwide Survey of Encryption Products – Berkman Center Research Publication (Bruce Schneier, Kathleen Seidel, and Saranya Vijayakumar) (pdf at this link; 24 pages)

CyberWarfare and Hacking:

These Are the Cyberweapons Used to Hack Sony – MotherBoard

U.S. Had Cyberattack Plan if Iran Nuclear Dispute Led to Conflict – New York Times

New Chinese Media Restrictions: Beijing is Banning all Foreign Media from Publishing Online in China – Quartz

Facebook Free Basics: Nothing Is Free, Not Even Facebook Free Basics – Om Malik; see also India Just Banned Facebook’s Controversial Free Internet Plan – BuzzFeed

FISA Amendments Act: Trends and Predictions in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance: The FISA Amendments Act and Beyond – David Kris at LawFare

NSA Reorganization: National Security Agency Plans Major Reorganization – Washington Post; related: Opinion: How NSA Reorganization Could Squander Remaining Trust – Jason Healey at CSM’s Passcode; and NSA Reorganizing – Bruce Schneier; and Good Defense is Good Offense: NSA Myths and the Merger – Susan Hennessey at LawFare

Internet Law: Surveying Ten Years Of Top Internet Law Developments – law professor Eric Goldman at his Technology & Marketing Law Blog

Future Computing and Emerging Technologies:

What’s Next in Computing? (February 21, 2016) – venture capitalist Chris Dixon

Ten Breakthrough Technologies: 2016 – MIT Technology Review

Copyright Reform: White Paper on Remixes, First Sale, and Statutory Damages (pdf; 117 pages) – Commerce Department’s internet policy task force; see also: Repairing Damages: The Commerce Department’s Copyright White Paper – CDT


Tech Policy for Startups – CDT’s suite of resources on tech policy for start-ups and entrepreneurs

Fixing the Inequity of Startup Equity – TripleByte

General Interest

Stop Paying Executives for Performance – Dan Cable and Freek Vermeulen in the Harvard Business Review

This Former Ad Agency CEO Says the Ad Industry Has Three Major Delusions Holding It Back – Business Insider

The Law of Banksy: Who Owns Street Art? (pdf; 36 pages) – Peter Salib in the University of Chicago Law Review (Vol. 83, No. 4, 2016)



Law, Tech and Policy

Cybersecurity: How Does the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 change the Internet Surveillance Laws? – Orin Kerr in the Washington Post


The Trouble with the TPP – Canadian law professor, Michael Geist, is blogging every weekday until February 4th on what he believes are the significant problems with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The link is to his first daily post in the series

Human Rights Watch’s TPP Q&A

Trans-Pacific Partnership is a Wonderful Idea . . . for China – Dan Breznitz (University of Toronto) in the Globe and Mail

See also: my earlier posts on the TPP – here and here

EU vs. US on Data + Privacy:

The Transatlantic Data War – Europe Fights Back Against the NSA – Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman in Foreign Affairs

Time to Get Serious About Europe’s Sabotage of US Terror Intelligence Programs – Stewart Baker at his “Skating on Stilts” book-related website; “Skating on Stilts” has been released as a free creative commons book available here

More on Privacy: Lawrence Lessig: Technology Will Create New Models for Privacy Regulation – Wall Street Journal, and A Few Keystrokes Could Solve the Crime. Would You Press Enter? – Jonathan Zittrain at JustSecurity

Internet Access: How Facebook Stumbled On Its Quest to Give Internet Away For Free – BuzzFeed; See Also: Tech’s ‘Frightful 5’ Will Dominate Digital Life for Foreseeable Future – New York Times

Whistleblower Protections: Protect Intelligence Whistleblowers – Mieke Eoyang in Democracy Journal, and PEN America’s report Secret Sources: Whistleblowers, National Security and Free Expression (pdf; 40 pages)

Freedom of Information Act Reform: Here’s How the Senate Should Fix the FOIA Reform Bill – EFF

Cybercrime: Judges Struggle with Cyber Crime Punishment – The Hill


How Tor Works: Part One; Part Two – Jordan Wright

How Tor’s Privacy was (Momentarily) Broken, and the Questions it Raises – The Conversation

Shari Steele on Online Anonymity: Tor Staff are ‘Freedom Fighters’ – Guardian

IoT: DMCA and the Internet of Things and The Internet of Things that Talk About You Behind Your Back – Bruce Schneier at his Schneier on Security. See also: The problem with self-driving cars: who controls the code? – Cory Doctorow in The Guardian

Robots: Robots in War: the Next Weapons of Mass Destruction? – UCBerkeley professor, Stuart Russell; Related: What If: Robots Go to War? Davos World Economic Forum (video; substance begins at 3:40)

The Mobile Internet: 16 Mobile Theses – Benedict Evans

IP and Startups: Oculus Faces Messy Ownership Claims Over Its Head Mounted Display: Total Recall v. Luckey – Technology & Marketing Law Blog

Tech and Age Discrimination: Is Ageism in Tech an Under-the-Radar Diversity Issue? – FastCompany, and Here’s How to Start Closing Silicon Valley’s Age Gap – Steven Levy

General Interest

The Millions’ Great 2016 Book Preview and The Morning News 2016 Tournament of Books

What Sean Penn Teaches Us About How Not to Chat with a Fugitive – The Intercept; See also: How DEA Agents Took Down Mexico’s Most Vicious Drug Cartel – The Atlantic, and Censor or Die: The Death of Mexican News in the Age of Drug Cartels – Washington Post



Law, Tech and Policy

CISA update: Lawmakers Have Snuck CISA Into a Bill That Is Guaranteed to Become a Law – MotherBoard. See also: OmniCISA Pits DHS Against the FCC and FTC on User Privacy – Jennifer Granick at JustSecurity. And previously: Cyberlaw Professors Oppose CISA

Do Not Track: FCC Says It Will Not Require Websites to Honor ‘Do Not Track’ – Covington’s InsidePrivacy. Reaction: The FCC’s DNT Decision: The Right Call, For Now – EFF. See also: How ‘Do Not Track’ Ended Up Going Nowhere – Re/Code; Understanding ‘Do Not Track’: Truth and Consequences – Jason Kint at Re/Code; and Court Says Tracking Web Histories Can Violate Wiretap Act – Wired

CFAA: Court (2nd Circuit): Breaking Your Employer’s Computer Policy Isn’t a Crime – EFF; See also The CFAA Meets the ‘Cannibal Cop’ in the Second Circuit and Maybe Beyond – Orin Kerr at the Washington Post

European Developments: European Court of Human Rights says Blanket Surveillance is a Violation – ArsTechnica, and Did the European Court of Human Rights Just Outlaw ‘Massive Monitoring of Communications’ in Europe? – CDT. Also: European Parliament Rejects Amendments Protecting Net Neutrality – Verge, and The European Parliament Just Dealt a Major Blow to Net Neutrality – Business Insider

National Security Letters: See for Yourself for the First Time What User Data the FBI Demanded in a National Security Letter – Reason; and Scope of National Security Inquiry is Revealed – New York Times


The Growing Problems with the Sectoral Approach to Privacy Law – Daniel Solve at the Privacy+Security Blog

Key 2015 Privacy Papers Selected as ‘Must Reads’ for Policymakers – TAP

Predictive Policing: Microsoft is Building an App that can Predict Criminal Behavior – Business Insider. See also: The Constitution Can’t Defend You From Predictive Policing and Here’s Why – .Mic

Consumer Reviews: Senate Commerce Committee Approves Consumer Review Freedom Act – Technology & Marketing Law Blog. The Act was subsequently approved by the Senate.


Your Unhashable Fingerprints Secure Nothing – Hackaday

Let’s Encrypt has begun issuing free HTTPS certificates in its public beta

General Interest

Her Code Got Humans on the Moon and Invented Software Itself – Wired profile of Margaret Hamilton

26 Charts and Maps that Show the World is Getting Much, Much Better – Vox

Write Like You Talk – Paul Graham

The Interactive, Annotated Edition of ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener’ You Always Wanted – Slate

The Entire Season: An Elegy for Charlie Trotter – Matthew Gavin Frank writing at Electric Literature

  “At least twice in human history, individual people decided to avoid global nuclear war: [one], [two]” – Jeffrey Paul (@sneakdotberlin): October 26, 2015. See also: Newly Declassified Documents Reveal How America Missed a Major Nuclear War Scare – The Week



Law, Tech and Policy

Summary of the “Happy Birthday” decision: Chain of Title Proves Fatal to “Happy Birthday” Copyright Claim – Tyler Ochoa at The Technology & Marketing Law Blog; See also, the court’s decision (pdf)

Another notable copyright decision: Appeals Court Strikes a Blow for Fair Use in Long-awaited Copyright Ruling – ArsTechnica; See also: 9th Circuit Sides With Fair Use in Dancing Baby Takedown Case – The Technology & Marketing Law Blog; and the court’s opinion (pdf)

Microsoft Email Case (wikipedia): The $98.6 Billion E-Mail – Microsoft is Fighting a Case in Federal Appeals Court that may Decide the Future of U.S. Cloud Computing – Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Administrative Subpoenas: Here’s a Way the Government Can Easily Get Your Phone Records Without Even Asking a Judge – Washington Post

The Fifth Amendment and Passcodes: Fifth Amendment Protects Passcode on Smartphones, Court Holds and A Revised Approach to the Fifth Amendment and Obtaining Passcodes – Orin Kerr at the Washington Post

OPM Hack Update: OPM Says 5.6 million Fingerprints Stolen in Cyberattack, Five Times as Many as Previously Thought – Washington Post

On the Internet of Things: Why The Internet of Things Is Going Nowhere The Next Phase of the IoT is Stuck Unless We Replace Crummy Outdated Technology – Pat Burns. See also, The Price of the Internet of Things will be a Vague Dread of a Malicious World – Marcelo Renesi, and Internet of Things That Lie: the Future of Regulation is Demonology – Cory Doctorow

Moore’s Law: Smaller, Faster, Cheaper, Over: The Future of Computer Chips – New York Times; Also at the New York Times: IBM Scientists Find New Way to Shrink Transistors

Apple: On Apple’s Incredible Platform Advantage – Steve Cheney on Apple’s computer chip advantage

General Interest

Scouring the Web to Make New Words ‘Lookupable’ – New York Times

Angus Deaton Wins the Nobel Prize in Economics:

The Nobel Committee’s explainers (pdf): for general readers and for technical readers

Angus Deaton: A Skeptical Optimist Wins the Economics Nobel – New Yorker

Five Minutes with Angus Deaton: ‘If the rich can write the rules then we have a real problem’ – London School of Economics

A Cockeyed Optimist – Angus Deaton’s ‘Great Escape’ – New York Times

Svetlana Alexievich Wins the Nobel Prize in Literature:

Everything You Need to Know About Svetlana Alexievich – The Guardian

Svetlana Alexievich’s Chorus of Fire – New York Times

Voices from Chernobyl(book excerpt) – Paris Review

Meanwhile: 2010 Peace Laureate Languishes in Chinese Jail in Face of International Indifference – Reporters without Borders

On David Carr: Press Rewind – What One Journalist Learned by Vicariously Sitting in on David Carr’s Master Class – Brendan Fitzgerald at The Morning News; See also, previously: We Need a David Carr Portable Companion; Here’s the first Draft – Karen Wickre at BackChannel/Medium



Law, Tech and Policy

Why It’s Hard to Sue the NSA: You Have to Prove It Spied on You – Wired

Tech Companies May be our Best Hope for Resisting Government Surveillance – Ryan Calo at Fusion; and his related academic paper: Can Americans Resist Surveillance?

A New Design (Indistinguishability Obfuscation or IO) for Cryptography’s Black Box – Quanta

Don’t Worry, Smart Machines Will Take Us With Them; Why Human Intelligence and AI will Co-Evolve – Stephen Hsu at Nautilus

Why Are There Any Jobs Still Left? Technology Eliminates Jobs, Not Work – Reason

Securing Today’s Data Against Tomorrow’s Quantum Computers – MIT Technology Review; Related: NSA Plans for a Post-Quantum World – Schneier on Security

A Bit of Internet History, or How Two Members of Congress Helped Create a Trillion or So Dollars of Value – David Post in The Washington Post

The Web We Have to Save: The Rich, Diverse, Free Web that I Loved — and Spent Years in an Iranian Jail For — is Dying; Why is Nobody Stopping It? – Medium

What Ever Happened to Google Books? – Tim Wu at The New Yorker

DIY Tractor Repair Runs Afoul Of Copyright Law – NPR

General Interest

We Need a David Carr Portable Companion; Here’s the first Draft – Karen Wickre at BackChannel/Medium

Harvard Linguist Points out the 58 Most Commonly Misused Words and Phrases – MetroWest Daily News on Steven Pinker’s book, The Sense of Style

How to Fix Twitter: Twitter’s 140-character Limit Doesn’t Get You Better Writing – Dave Winer; Why Twitter Must Blow Past 140 – Dave Winer; Should Twitter Lose the 140-character Limit or Would that be Suicide? – Mathew Ingram at Fortune; The Network’s the Thing – Eugene Wei

Richard Stallman: How I Do My Computing –

Two from BuzzFeed: Scientists Are Hoarding Data And It’s Ruining Medical Research – Ben Goldacre; Here’s What Actually Gets Terrorists To Tell The Truth — And It’s Not Torture – Peter Aldhous


Recommended: Law, Tech and Policy

Opinion: The Reasonable Expectation Fallacy – Dan Geer writing at CSM’s Passcode

The Intercept on XKEYSCORE: XKEYSCORE: NSA’S Google for the World’s Private Communications and Behind the Curtain; a Look at the Inner Workings of NSA’s XKEYSCORE

Hackers Installed Sophisticated Malware on U.S. Computers. Why Doesn’t Anyone Care?; The Worm was Designed to Gather Intelligence on the Ongoing Iranian Nuclear Talks – Reason on the Duqu2 worm

Cyber-Espionage Nightmare; A Groundbreaking Online-spying Case Unearths Details that Companies Wish You Didn’t Know About How Vital Information Slips Away From Them – MIT Technology Review

Introducing the ‘Right to Eavesdrop on Your Things’; Data Privacy is a Big Enough Deal that Americans Need a New Right – Stanford professor Keith Winstein at Politico

Presentation by Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz on how “Mobile is Eating the World”

As More Tech Start-Ups Stay Private, So Does the Money – Farhad Manjoo in the New York Times

The Rabbit-Hole of ‘Relevant’ – Mattathias Schwartz in the New York Times:

“When a law has a name like ‘Patriot’ or ‘Freedom,’ it’s a sign that you should read the fine print. Somewhere down there, in the terraced subclauses of some forgettable subsection, is a word with a special meaning, a word that offers shelter and concealment to whatever it is that the law actually does.”

Three Pieces on the Open Web: Dave Winer – Key Concept of the Open Web: Working Together; David Weinberger – The Internet That Was (and Still Could Be); As Corporations Like Facebook Gain Control Over More and More Online Activities, the Web’s Core Values are at Stake; and Dries Buyteart – Winning back the Open Web.

The Wait-for-Google-to-Do-It Strategy; America’s Communications ­Infrastructure is Finally Getting Some Crucial Upgrades Because One Company is Forcing ­Competition When Regulators Won’t – MIT Technology Review

A New Wave of US Internet Companies is Succeeding in China—By Giving the Government What it Wants – Josh Horowitz at Quartz

The End of Advertising As We Know It – Michael Wolff



Law, Tech and Policy

Got Your Number: Cyber-attacks Make Us Rethink the Idea of Social Security Numbers – California Magazine

Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends presentation

What is Code? – an excellent long-read by Paul Ford in Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Tomorrow’s Advance Man – Marc Andreessen’s Plan to Win the Future – New Yorker

Why the Blockchain Matters – Reid Hoffman at Wired UK

Quantum Computing is About to Overturn Cybersecurity’s Balance of Power – Washington Post

What is ‘Cybersecurity Law’? – Orin Kerr in The Washington Post

According To The Government, Clearing Your Browser History Is A Felony – TechDirt;   Also, When It’s a Crime to Withdraw Money From Your Bank – New York Times

General Interest

The Fallen of WWII – a captivating visualization (I watched the video (18 minutes); there is also an interactive version) of WWII casualties, including in relation to post-WWII conflicts. Highly recommended.

The Rise and Fall of Silk Road (part I and part II) – Wired; and Sunk: How Ross Ulbricht Ended up in Prison for Life – Inside the Trial that Brought Down a Darknet Pirate – ArsTechnica

26 years after Tiananmen, Chinese Millennials are Forgetting to Fear their Government – Gwynn Guilford at Quartz

Do You Fear an Elite Population of Enhanced Babies? – FuturePundit

These Stunning Photos of New Zealand’s Largest Gang Will Give You Sleepless Nights – Vice

Recommended Video: Vinod Khosla @ The Stanford Graduate School of Business: “Failure Does Not Matter – Success Matters.” As is readily apparent from the video, Khosla has a very healthy ego, for the most part earned. There are various versions of this talk on the web, but this recent appearance at Stanford GSB is one of the better. The key portion is from the beginning to 35:30 (when the audience questions begin).



Law, Tech and Policy

An Updated Readers’ Guide on Section 215 and the USA Freedom Act – Just Security

Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer – Quanta

All Job Increases Since 2001 are in Non-Routine Work – FuturePundit, commenting on Is Your Job ‘Routine’? If So, It’s Probably Disappearing – Wall Street Journal. But with a bit of the contrary view – Be Calm, Robots Aren’t About to Take Your Job, MIT Economist Says – Wall Street Journal. Also: ProfessorDavid H. Autor’s (MIT) paper Polanyi’s Paradox and the Shape of Employment Growth (pdf; 47 pages), which is cited in the WSJ article. From the abstract: “A key observation of the paper is that journalists and expert commentators overstate the extent of machine substitution for human labor and ignore the strong complementarities. The challenges to substituting machines for workers in tasks requiring adaptability, common sense, and creativity remain immense.”

The Computers are Listening; How the NSA Converts Spoken Words Into Searchable Text (part 1) and (part 2) – The Intercept

With Lock Research, Another Battle Brews in the War Over Security Holes – Wired

Tor Browser 4.5 is Released – The Tor Project; plus there’s a relatively recent new version of SecureDrop (0.3) – Announcing the New Version of SecureDrop, with the Results from our Third Security Audit (March 23rd) – Freedom of the Press Foundation and related commentary at BoingBoing. Also: The People Who Risk Jail to Maintain the Tor Network – Motherboard/Vice

Smartphone Secrets May Be Better Than a Password – MIT Technology Review, and the related academic paper ActivPass: Your Daily Activity is Your Password (pdf; 10 pages)

Encrypting Your Laptop Like You Mean It and Passphrases that You Can Memorize, but that Even the NSA Can’t Guess – Micah Lee at The Intercept

SEC Adopts Rules to Facilitate Smaller Companies’ Access to Capital – the SEC’s press sheet and fact sheet on its revisions to Regulation A. Also: pdf of the Final Rules and supplementary information (454 pages).

The Mission to Save the Internet by Rewiring it from the Name Up – Motherboard/Vice

China Rates its Own Citizens, Including Online Behavior – Volkskrant; and Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014-2020) – China Copyright and Media

General Interest

Natural Police: Seen through Game Theory, Cancer and Police Corruption are Pretty much the Same Thing, and for One of Them, There’s a Cure – Aeon

Where the Real Skyscrapers Are; Hint: North Dakota – ArchDaily on TV masts as some of the tallest structures in the world

The Messy Business of Reinventing Happiness: Inside Disney’s Radical Plan to Modernize its Cherished Theme Parks – FastCompany

ZPM Expresso and the Rage of the Jilted Crowdfunder – New York Times; but see Professor James Grimmelmann Riskstarter; Kickstarter is a Tool for Managing Risk. Also: A Crowdfunded Startup Explains why Crowdfunding can be a Complete Disaster – Verge

New Study Shows that People Stop Listening to New Music at 33 – A.V.Club





Law, Tech and Policy

Why Security Pros Don’t Like Obama’s Proposal for Antihacking Law – Christian Science Monitor’s Passcode

Edward Snowden’s Impact – an assessment by law professor Orin Kerr in The Washington Post

U.S. Secretly Tracked Billions of Calls for Decades – USA Today

How the Computer Got Its Revenge on the Soviet Union; Condemned as a Capitalist Tool, the Computer Would Help Expose the USSR’s Weakness – Nautilus

Internet Privacy, Funded by Spooks: A Brief History of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) – Pando Daily

The Anti-Information Age; How Governments are Reinventing Censorship in the 21st Century – The Atlantic

Will Deep Links Ever Truly Be Deep? – The Buzz over Linking Mobile Apps Obscures Links’ True Potential to Create Profound Networks of Knowledge and Share Power More Widely – Scott Rosenberg at Medium’s Backchannel

The GNU Manifesto Turns Thirty – The New Yorker; the text of the GNU Manifesto written by Richard Stallman at the beginning of the GNU Project in March 1985 (including subsequent clarifying footnotes)

No, Entrepreneurs, Most of You Don’t Need Angel Investors or Venture Capitalists – Washington Post

16 ideas from Marc Andreessen for a More Dynamic US Economy – Marc Andreessen’s twitter stream @pmarca (excerpted at the American Enterprise Institute’s public policy blog)

4chan’s Overlord Christopher Poole Reveals Why He Walked Away – Rolling Stone

General Interest

Fifty Great Genre-Bending Books Everyone Should Read – Flavorwire

The 100 Best Books of the Decade So Far – The Oyster Review

The 100 Best Films of the Decade So Far – A.V. Club











Law, Tech and Policy

Reddit, Kickstarter, and Others Plan Net Neutrality ‘Day of Action’ on September 10th – The Verge. At Battle for the Net, suggestions for participating on September 10th, including adding a code snippet to one’s website to display a symbolic “loading” icon.

Twitter CFO says a Facebook-style Filtered Feed is Coming, Whether You Like It or Not – GigaOm. Key question: will there be an opt out?

The Masked Avengers – How Anonymous Incited Online Vigilantism from Tunisia to Ferguson – The New Yorker.

Chattanooga’s Gig: How One City’s Super-Fast Internet is Driving a Tech Boom – The Guardian.

Notes on the Celebrity Data Theft – Nik Cubrilovic at New Web Order. One of the best pieces so far about the recent leak of confidential celebrity photos.

Can I Use that Picture? The Terms, Laws, and Ethics for Using Copyrighted Images – The Visual Communication Guy.

General Interest

Meet the Father of Digital Life – This Maverick Forerunner of Artificial Life and Animation Remains Largely Unknown – Robert Hackett writing at Nautilus on Nils Aall Barricelli.

The Ice Bucket Challenge Isn’t Going Away, But Giving Money to Disease-Specific Charities is Still a Bad Idea – a contrarian position by Felix Salmon at Slate.

Made for China: As US audiences Tire of Big Budget Spectacle, Hollywood Designs its Blockbuster Product for the Ever-Expanding Chinese Market – Shawn Wen at The New Inquiry.

Related: I’ll Skip ‘Star Wars: Episode 13,’ Thanks – Megan McArdle at BloombergView, and

‘Memphis’ and the Beauty of Plotless Movies Should You Watch a Dreamy, Gorgeous, Intensely Slow-Moving R&B Odyssey? Here’s Why Movies Like this Still Matter – Andrew O’Hehir (the best movie critic working today) at Salon.

Seventeen Brilliant Short Novels You Can Read in a Sitting – Electric Lit.



Law, Tech and Policy

A Convicted Hacker and an Internet Icon Join Forces to Thwart NSA Spying – Wired. Related: Inside Citizen Lab, the ‘Hacker Hothouse’ Protecting You from Big Brother — ArsTechnica.

Singapore is Testing Whether Mass Surveillance and Big Data can not only Protect National Security, but Actually Engineer a More Harmonious Society — Foreign Policy.

On the 35th anniversary of the case which introduced the 3rd party doctrine (i.e., people have no expectation of privacy in information they expose to others (e.g., telcos and other businesses)): Smith v. Maryland Turns 35, But Its Health Is Declining — Electronic Frontier Foundation.

General Interest

At Medium, Rex Sorgatz’s four part series on art and authenticity: Part I: This is Not a Vermeer; Part II: Uber for Art Forgeries; Part III: Forgeries Gone Wild; and Part IV: The End of Authentication.

The Scope of Ai Weiwei’s Imagination – photo essay in Hyperallergic on the recent “Ai Weiwei: Evidence” exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum in Berlin. Also: The Long Game: On the Repression of Ai Weiwei and Jafar Panahi — Full Stop.

David Foster Wallace on Writing, Self-Improvement, and How We Become Who We Are – Maria Popova at Brain Pickings. Related: mp3 of WBUR/The Connection radio program featuring David Foster Wallace and “Modern American Usage” editor/author, Bryan Garner, discussing English language usage.