Three things learned from the Snowden files

The line they crossed separates the possibly legitimate, though dirty and distasteful tactics of spies from the impossible-to-justify, ?let?s hope it never becomes public? stratagems of an out-of-control surveillance establishment.

Before the year ends, I wanted to capture a few points that stand out for me about what is unquestionably the biggest news story of 2013.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk ? regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing?

 

Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Edward Snowden is an ?important part of the system? in protecting the open Web

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web, has come out in support of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, saying that the PRISM surveillance program leak did the world a favor. As a guest editor on the BBC?s Radio 4 Today program, Berners-Lee called Snowdwn a ?really important part of the system.?

2013 in Review: What a Year for Patent Reform

As the year draws to a close, EFF is looking back at the major trends influencing digital rights in 2013 and discussing where we are in the fight for free expression, innovation, fair use, and privacy. Clickhere to read other blog posts in this series.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. In 2013, patent trolls continued to run rampant, suing everyone from app developers to small businesses to podcasters. But the trolls’ abusive tactics finally caught up to them in the policy arena?to put it lightly, they had a miserable year. All three branches of government have set their sights on patent reform, and the fundamental question of the patentability of software has reentered the conversation.

2013 in Review: Encrypting the Web Takes A Huge Leap Forward

As the year draws to a close, EFF is looking back at the major trends influencing digital rights in 2013 and discussing where we are in the fight for free expression, innovation, fair use, and privacy. Clickhere to read other blog posts in this series.

This year the public got some hints of the scale on which governments are using electronic surveillance to spy on all of us. We learned how pervasively compromised our communications infrastructure is, and how cavalierly governments have spliced, bribed, lied, hacked, cozened, and secret-ordered their way into network backbones. We saw that individual Internet engineers were seen as legitimate hacking targets. We saw that spy agencies speak casually of mastering, controlling, dominating the Internet.

 

BitTorrent Zeitgeist: What People Searched for in 2013

During December, all self-respecting search engines produce an overview of the most popular search terms of the past year.

These lists give insight into recent trends, and in 2013 Nelson Mandela, Paul Walker and iPhone 5s were the top trending searches on Google.

 

Study shows removing DRM increased music sales

Intellectual Property Strategy and the Long Tail: Evidence from the Recorded Music Industry [PDF], a new working paper from University of Toronto Strategic Management PhD candidate Laurina Zhang documents the rise in sales experienced by the music industry following the abandonment of DRM in digital music offerings.

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