Five Years Ago
This week in 2014, new revelations about New Zealand’s mass surveillance garnered an angry response from the Prime Minister, who then tried to disprove the claims with declassified documents that did not in fact address them. Soon, a former New Zealand official came forward with his own story of being told to “bury” unflattering documents. Meanwhile, the CIA’s John Brennan was refusing to tell the Senate who okayed spying on senators, we learned more about Yahoo’s legal battle with the NSA, and the UK’s GCHQ was facing another lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2009, we looked at a variety of questions about IP law, like why we let juries set patent award damages when they keep getting overturned by appeals courts, is copyright compatible with privacy, and why do content creators get control over derivative works? Charlie Brooker delivered a scathing rant against Damien Hirst for his legal action against one such derivative-work creator, and tied it into the issue of file sharing — since UK recording artists were speaking out against the idea of kicking file sharers off the internet, which was really irritating industry insiders and leading them to simply pretend it wasn’t happening. Amidst all this emerged the beginning of what would turn out to be a bit of an ongoing spat between Techdirt and Lily Allen.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2004, the war against all sorts of abuses of the growing internet was still raging in weird ways: Symantic was trying a new system to fight phishing, the anti-spam industry was a still-growing patent thicket, China was claiming it would help fight spam, and nobody liked California’s anti-spyware bill — perhaps because it didn’t make sense to attempt a legal definition of spyware. Meanwhile, Nokia and other mobile companies were working on mobile file-sharing systems which, as one might imagine, had entertainment industry folks and wireless carriers kind of freaking out.
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