Friday news roundup

Here’s a summary of recent news related to technology and freedom. If I find enough links, I’ll make this a regular Friday feature in addition to the Tuesday and Thursday posts, under the Newsbits category.

A US Appeals Court has said it won’t reconsider its decision to stop the DoJ from making Microsoft turn over email held outside the US. The DoJ claimed a US search warrant can let it search anywhere in the world.

Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions has said that the government should be able to “overcome” encryption. He didn’t explain, but the EFF considers this a “clear endorsement of backdooring.”

Orders have come down through multiple federal agencies, instructing employees not to communicate with members of Congress and the press. This will doubtless increase the demand for secure and anonymous communication channels. The Freedom of the Press Foundation has suggested using SecureDrop for media tips.

There’s a report that Internet connections have been cut off in major towns in the English-speaking parts of Cameroon. Cameroon’s minister of post and communications warns that “irresponsible” use of social media can get people up to two years in jail.

China has shut down Mao Yushi’s website. Mao Yushi is a critic of Mao Zedong and a winner of the 2012 Milton Friedman Prize.


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Gary McGath

I am a freelance writer, author of the books _Files that Last_ and _Tomorrow's Songs Today_, with a strong background in software development, file formats, and digital preservation.

One thought on “Friday news roundup”

  1. Feh. Much of this isn’t good (pleasant) to hear, but is necessary to be aware of. Thanks for the post.

    Re DOJ / Microsoft: Judge Carney’s comment almost invites the Amateur-in-Chief & Co. to push for law more to his liking, i.e., “snoop at will”. As quoted in the article:

    “We recognize at the same time that in many ways the SCA has been left behind by technology,” Carney wrote in Tuesday’s decision. “It is overdue for a congressional revision that would continue to protect privacy but would more effectively balance concerns of international comity with law enforcement needs and service provider obligations in the global context in which this case arose.”

    Orange Julius Caesar*, of course, doesn’t give two (insert expletive)s about protecting anyone’s privacy but his own.

    * large sign outside the anarchist storefront here. I may post a photo of it.

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