16 April 2003

I just stumbled on this, which was published last summer, just after an underinformed European Parliament voted to overturn Europe's strong privacy protections and allow up to seven years of data retention:

An early draft of the White House's National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace envisions the same kind of mandatory customer data collection and retention by U.S. Internet service providers as was recently enacted in Europe, according to sources who have reviewed portions of the plan.

But a Justice Department source said Wednesday that data retention is mentioned in the strategy only as an industry concern -- ISPs and telecom companies oppose the costly idea -- and does not reflect any plan by the department or the White House to push for a U.S. law.

In Ireland, our government secretly brought in mandatory three-year retention a year ago as a 'temporary measure' and is now aiming to make that permanent. So far, only one invitation-only consultation session has been held. Interesting that the US, as early as last summer, was insisting it had no intention of bringing in a similar law, and accepts that it would be extremely costly for industry. In Ireland, we are still waiting for the heads of a Bill to be introduced on this issue. Since legislation must be in place by autumn, expect this draft legislation any time. And expect the proverbial crap to hit the fan at that point. Most businesses in Ireland -- and especially, most US multinationals -- are still completely unaware of these plans, and when I've spoken to them about them, expressed disbelief and shock. Even some key people in the Irish Industrial Development Authority, the body that promotes inward investment, are unaware of this proposal. No surprise when so far, it's been a deliberately stealthy imposition, via a secret Cabinet ministers motion, of a regime whose implications no one -- not even the pro-business-climate Progressive Democrats -- to whose party the relevant minister belongs -- seem to understand.

11:18:38 AM  #   your two cents []

137 More Oil Wells Liberated for Democracy:

"For decades, these oil wells have suffered untold misery under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule," said U.S. Commander General Tommy Franks, speaking from southern Iraq's Rumailah oil fields, the site of the liberation. "With this victory, these long-oppressed wells will soon pump their first barrels of crude as free and equal wells in the global petroleum marketplace. They will join the ranks of the world's liberated oil wells, enjoying the same rights as their democratic brethren around the globe."

10:44:43 AM  #   your two cents []
Boing Boing Blog: iCommune is back. iCommune -- the app that allowed OS X users to easily share their iTunes music libraries -- is back. Apple sent a nastygram to the author, claiming he'd violated his license agreement by making iCommune as an iTunes plugin, and so he's rewritten it as a stand-alone app. Link
10:37:30 AM  #   your two cents []
Yahoo's Koogle leaving board. Former Chief Executive Tim Koogle resigns from Yahoo's board, the latest of many changes since Terry Semel was named CEO two years ago. [CNET News.com]
10:35:54 AM  #   your two cents []
Boing Boing has this: Artist wants to retrieve her oils from Saddam's palace. From the article, this great quote from the artist, about the picture at left:

'Rowena said she still can't believe something in her artwork might have touched a chord in someone as evil as Saddam. "That would be a horrifying thought," she said. "He in his twisted mind must have read something into it."'

What can one say, but: "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

10:31:07 AM  #   your two cents []
The copyright cops strike again. Two researchers at a computer security conference are served cease-and-desist orders moments before they're scheduled to speak. [Salon.com]
10:19:45 AM  #   your two cents []
Robert Morley. "Anyone who works is a fool. I don't work - I merely inflict myself upon the public." [Quotes of the Day]
10:16:15 AM  #   your two cents []
"Rafiq Harari, Lebanese Prime Minister, resigns. Many of you will already know that Lebanon is under Syrian control. Given that Hariri was expected to form the next government, this has come as a total surprise. Something is going on behind the scenes." [Paris blog]
10:15:20 AM  #   your two cents []
Doc Searls Weblog: "Robert Fisk: Library books, letters and priceless documents are set ablaze in final chapter of the sacking of Baghdad. While we went to some trouble not to train WSDs (Weapons of Selective Destruction) on Iraqi cultural treasures, we don't seem to have done much to save them from their own people. Donald Rumsfeld shrugs off charges that we basically didn't give a shit. The British Museum, funded by a private donor, is sending a task force of conservators and curators to Iraq, where, presumably, they'll be able to do... something."
10:12:03 AM  #   your two cents []
From the Guardian's onlineblog.com: Engelbart Interviewed. Switch has published an interview with Doug Engelbart, who set computing on its current course by demonstrating hyperlinks and a mouse-operated windowing computer system -- in 1968. [Thanks to Slashdot for the link.]
10:09:25 AM  #   your two cents []

Plan Would Use Software, Not Devices, to Fight Piracy. "Most people view this as a war between Hollywood and technology companies. But I view it as the security industry has done a terrible job of attempting to solve Hollywood's piracy problem." [New York Times: Technology]

And then there's this (of course, keep in mind that Diffie does work for M$ arch-rival Sun...): EE Times: Cryptographers sound warnings on Microsoft security plan. Whitfield Diffie, a distinguished engineer at Sun Microsystems Laboratories, said an integrated security scheme for computers is inevitable, but the Microsoft approach is flawed because it fails to give users control over their security keys. [Tomalak's Realm]

10:05:22 AM  #   your two cents []