This Week In Techdirt History: September 2nd – 8th

Five Years Ago

This week in 2013, the NSA revelations continued with the discovery that the US was launching hundreds of cyberattacks and that AT&T had employees embedded in the government to provide real-time phone call searches. The various excuses and half-measures were coming frequently, with a former agency boss saying surveillance is important but the NSA should just lie less, President Obama saying the NSA needs more checks and balances while simultaneously claiming the existing ones are working well, and the agency itself asserting that it only spies on bad people while leaving open a giant loophole that covers spying on everyone else.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2008, there were two huge launches from Google: they introduced the Chrome browser, and the Android Market for apps (which they touted heavily as being more open than Apple’s App Store. AT&T was bragging about the pursuit of patents while US Customs was raiding trade show booths over patent infringement. Facebook was, rather heavyhandedly, blocking all links to the very useful resource of BugMeNot. And we were starting to see how the proliferation of GPS-enabled devices was becoming a tool of the police.

Fifteen Years Ago

There was a big launch this week in 2003 as well, with the folks behind Kazaa (who had also recently made the ill-advised choice to send DMCA notices to Google) launched the soon-to-be-nearly-ubiquitous Skype. It was also the very early days of the RSS protocol, and our post questioning whether it was a bit overhyped somehow got us lumped in with the supposed “RSS backlash”. Meanwhile, the RIAA was preparing to upgrade its legal campaign from subpoenas to actual lawsuits, while also offering a hilarious amnesty program for anyone who would sign a file sharing confession and delete all their songs.

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