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Small Idaho ISP 'Punishes' Twitter And Facebook's 'Censorship'...By Blocking Access To Them Entirely

Small Idaho ISP 'Punishes' Twitter And Facebook's 'Censorship'...By Blocking Access To Them Entirely

Net Neutrality  —A small Idaho ISP by the name of has decided to punish Twitter and Facebook for perceived "censorship"...by censoring them. In an email to subscribers , the company claims it will be blocking customer access to both websites by default moving forward. To access the websites, users apparently will need to contact the company to be added to a whitelist:A North Idaho internet provider sent this email out to costumers, absolutely INSANE— Coping MAGA (@CopingMAGA)While the company doesn't specify what "censorship" its customers are complaining about, the complaints were likely...

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Jan 12
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Small Idaho ISP 'Punishes' Twitter And Facebook's 'Censorship'...By Blocking Access To Them Entirely

Small Idaho ISP 'Punishes' Twitter And Facebook's 'Censorship'...By Blocking Access To Them Entirely

Net Neutrality  —A small Idaho ISP by the name of has decided to punish Twitter and Facebook for perceived "censorship"...by censoring them. In an email to subscribers , the company claims it will be blocking customer access to both websites by default moving forward. To access the websites, users apparently will need to contact the company to be added to a whitelist:A North Idaho internet provider sent this email out to costumers, absolutely INSANE— Coping MAGA (@CopingMAGA)While the company doesn't specify what "censorship" its customers are complaining about, the complaints were likely...

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Jan 12
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Not Easy, Not Unreasonable, Not Censorship: The Decision To Ban Trump From Twitter

Not Easy, Not Unreasonable, Not Censorship: The Decision To Ban Trump From Twitter

Techdirt—When I started writing this post, it was about Facebook's decision to , and at least until Joe Biden is inaugurated in a couple weeks. I had lots to say on that... and then Friday afternoon, Twitter decided to . This is a bigger deal, not just because it's permanent, rather than indefinite, but because so much of Trump's identity over the last four years (and before that) is tied up in his Twitter account and followers.Certainly, all of this has kicked off a whole new storm from across the political spectrum. You have Trump supporters who are furious and (falsely) claiming that...

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Jan 11
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A Few Reminders Before The Tired Net Neutrality Debate Is Rekindled

A Few Reminders Before The Tired Net Neutrality Debate Is Rekindled

Net Neutrality  —Bad news for folks "worn out" by the longstanding debate over net neutrality: it's about to be rekindled in a major way. But for those who are a bit too easily annoyed by having to revisit this well tread path, it's worth remembering that the debate about net neutrality is really about competition, policing monopolization, and having regulators and antitrust enforcers that aren't feckless cowards in dutiful sway to powerful natural monopolies. And either you care about these very real problems, or you don't.With the Senate falling under Democratic control in the wake of the...

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Jan 11
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Snowflake Josh Hawley Seems To Think The 1st Amendment Means Simon & Schuster Has To Give Him A Book Contract

Snowflake Josh Hawley Seems To Think The 1st Amendment Means Simon & Schuster Has To Give Him A Book Contract

Techdirt—As a reminder, Josh Hawley is who should never be near any position of power ever again. In response to his ongoing support for overturning the will of the people, book publishing giant Simon & Schuster made the totally reasonable call that it would the book he was preparing called (hilariously) "The Tyranny of Big Tech." Make no mistake about it: this was Hawley's campaign book to push for the nomination in 2024. The key authoritarian strongman move is to claim that someone else is the tyrant and that you're hear to "save" them. That's Josh Hawley's entire play over the last...

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Jan 8
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6G Hype Is Already Getting Stupid, When 5G Hype Hasn't Even Finished Disappointing Us Yet

6G Hype Is Already Getting Stupid, When 5G Hype Hasn't Even Finished Disappointing Us Yet

Wireless News  —We've noted repeatedly how fifth-generation wireless (5G) was . To spike lagging smartphone and network hardware sales, carriers, equipment makers, and the lawmakers paid to love them spent years insisting that 5G would change the world, ushering forth amazing new and the revolutionary smart cities of tomorrow. But while 5G is an important evolutionary step toward faster, more resilient networks, it's not some magical revolution, and US 5G speeds so far have proven to be much slower than overseas counterparts, and in many instances .You'd think industry and experts would...

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Jan 8
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PSA: If Someone Doesn't Accept Your Friend Request, Do Not Threaten To Kill Them And Kick In Their Front Door

PSA: If Someone Doesn't Accept Your Friend Request, Do Not Threaten To Kill Them And Kick In Their Front Door

Techdirt—We've all been there. You jump on some social media platform having met someone in this existence that passes for real life and fire off a friend request to them. And then you... wait. Sometimes you then wait some more. And then, sometimes, you're left in this terrifying, self-absorbed limbo, having tried to make this connection only to see it never accepted. Your mind races. Why didn't they accept my request? Do they not like me? Is it something I said? I know, you think, I'll just threaten to murder them and go break down their front door!Wait, what? Well, that appears to be...

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Jan 8
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Pudding-Brained 5G Conspiracies Somehow Get Even Dumber

Pudding-Brained 5G Conspiracies Somehow Get Even Dumber

Wireless News  —We've made it repeatedly clear that 5G now exists in some kind of alternate reality, untethered from this complicated mortal plane. On one side, you've got telecom giants, hardware vendors, and some politicians busy pretending that 5G is a revolutionary game changer, something you just sprinkle around to create near Utopian smart cities, smart vehicles, and . On the other side, you've got an international cabal of conspiracy theorists with a head full of pudding, who think 5G gives them COVID or is a diabolical deep state, mind-surveillance tool.While the "let's overhype 5G"...

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Jan 6
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'Going Dark' Is Bullshit, Says Yet Another Report Detailing All The Ways Law Enforcement Can Obtain Evidence

'Going Dark' Is Bullshit, Says Yet Another Report Detailing All The Ways Law Enforcement Can Obtain Evidence

Techdirt—"" is a "problem" that appears to be localized almost entirely at the federal level. While numerous options have presented themselves over the years, the FBI, DOJ, and the president's continue to claim encryption poses insurmountable problems to law enforcement. With the exception of , no one else seems to believe encryption is much of a problem.Encryption may be limiting access to the contents of a few devices and a handful of IMs, but it's really not stopping investigators from securing evidence or prosecutors from securing convictions. after after after it's been pointed out a...

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Jan 6
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Parler, Desperate For Attention, Pretends It Doesn't Need Section 230

Parler, Desperate For Attention, Pretends It Doesn't Need Section 230

Techdirt—One of the more bizarre parts of the Parler debate is the weird insistence among many in the Trumpist set that somehow taking away Section 230 will magically lead to less moderation, rather than more. This is almost certainly untrue, because assuming a shift to more traditional distributor liability rules as were considered in place , websites would potentially face liability for content that violated the law if they were shown to have knowledge of the law-violating material.We don't have to look far to see such a system in practice: it's how the DMCA's Section 512...

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Jan 6
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FBI Warns Assholes Are Now Combining Compromised IoT Devices With Swatting Because That's The Hell We Now Live In

FBI Warns Assholes Are Now Combining Compromised IoT Devices With Swatting Because That's The Hell We Now Live In

Techdirt—Late last year, it was discovered that of IoT devices were being by malicious people. It would be a stretch to call these losers "hackers," considering all they did was utilize credentials harvested from multiple security breaches to take control of poorly secured cameras made by Ring.Password reuse is common and these trolls made the most of it. Streaming their exploits to paying users, the perpetrators shouted racist abuse at homeowners, talked to/taunted their children, and interrupted their sleep by blaring loud noises through the cameras' mics.This string of events . Ring...

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Jan 6
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Philadelphia Residents On The Hook For $9.8 Million For Putting The Wrong Man In Prison For 28 Years

Philadelphia Residents On The Hook For $9.8 Million For Putting The Wrong Man In Prison For 28 Years

Techdirt —Plenty of people can ruin lives. But no one can ruin lives like .Look, we get it. Everyone likes an . But when lives are on the line, the "easy" should be subservient to the "justified." But that's not . When cops decide they like someone for a crime, . You can't close a case file without a convicted perp. And closing a case apparently means more than being right, even if it means the real perp is still on the loose.So ( coming down on Paul Newman) you get what we have here: a perp. A perp who wasn't the actual killer, but still lost more than a third of his life expectancy to...

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Jan 6
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Part Of Apple's Abuse Of The DMCA Against Corellium Thrown Out... But Part Of It Lives On

Part Of Apple's Abuse Of The DMCA Against Corellium Thrown Out... But Part Of It Lives On

Techdirt—Almost exactly a year ago, we wrote about a very troubling case in which Apple , arguing that it was copyright infringement for the company to create a virtualization tool to let users create and interact with virtual iOS devices. As we noted, virtualization is a useful tool for a wide variety of issues, including security researchers and app developers. A key part of Apple's lawsuit was that this virtualization violated Section 1201 of the DMCA. As we've explained for years, is the "anti-circumvention" part of the DMCA, and has been widely abused to try to stop perfectly...

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Jan 6
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ViaSat Asks FCC To Investigate Space X For Space Pollution

ViaSat Asks FCC To Investigate Space X For Space Pollution

Techdirt—So we've already noted how Space X's Starlink low-orbit satellite broadband service the broadband industry. The service lacks the capacity to service dense urban or suburban areas, meaning it won't pose much of a threat to traditional cable and fiber providers. With a $100 monthly price tag and $500 hardware fee, it's not exactly a miracle cure for the millions of low-income Americans struggling to afford a broadband connection, either.That said: if you're currently one of the 42 million Americans who lacks access to any broadband at all, the service, capping out at 100 Mbps, is...

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Jan 6
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Seven Years Ago, CERN Gave Open Access A Huge Boost; Now It's Doing The Same For Open Data

Seven Years Ago, CERN Gave Open Access A Huge Boost; Now It's Doing The Same For Open Data

Techdirt —Techdirt readers will be very familiar with , the European Council for Nuclear Research (the acronym comes from the French version: Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire). It's best known for two things: being the , and home to the (LHC), the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator. Over 12,000 scientists of 110 nationalities, from institutes in more than 70 countries, work at CERN. Between them, they produce a huge quantity of scientific papers. That made CERN's in 2013 to release nearly all of its published articles as one of the most important milestones...

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Jan 5
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Obscure Analytics Tool Helps Cops Make Sense Of All That Location Data They're Grabbing Without A Warrant

Obscure Analytics Tool Helps Cops Make Sense Of All That Location Data They're Grabbing Without A Warrant

Techdirt —FOIA requests, leaked documents, data breaches, Congressional testimony… all of these have led of cellphone surveillance tech utilized by . As far back as 2014, Chris Soghoian -- former ACLU "technologist" and -- was telling cops their "secret" Stingray devices .But the market for tracking people via their cellphones remains uncornered. For the most part, Stingrays (cell tower spoofers) to operate. The same goes for of historical cell site location data from service providers.The courts may be deciding there's a bit more Fourth Amendment to go around these days, but cops seem to...

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Jan 5
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How Smart Software And AI Helped Networks Thrive For Consumers During The Pandemic

How Smart Software And AI Helped Networks Thrive For Consumers During The Pandemic

GreenhouseThe Tech Policy Greenhouse is an online symposium where experts tackle the most difficult policy challenges facing innovation and technology today. These are problems that don't have easy solutions, where every decision involves tradeoffs and unintended consequences, so we've gathered a wide variety of voices to help dissect existing policy proposals and better inform new ones. —Staying ahead of modern Internet usage – including the unprecedented surge caused by the global pandemic – requires much more than just raw capacity. More than ever, networks need to be smart in order to...

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Jan 5
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Judge Refuses To Extradite Julian Assange, Citing US Prison Conditions & Assange's Mental Health

Judge Refuses To Extradite Julian Assange, Citing US Prison Conditions & Assange's Mental Health

Techdirt—Even if you think that Julian Assange conspired against the US with the help of Russia, as some allege, you should still be extremely concerned about the US's . As we've explained, the details in the indictment would that journalists do every single day. It would be a massive expansion of and would try to blame him for hacking .So, at least for now, it's good to see that a UK court has . The reasons have little to do with the sketchiness of the underlying case, but rather is a condemnation of US prison conditions. The judge notes that in Assange's current mental state, he'd likely...

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Jan 5
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Senators Tell The USPTO To Remove The Arbitrary Obstacles Preventing Inventors (Especially Women Inventors) From Getting Patents

Senators Tell The USPTO To Remove The Arbitrary Obstacles Preventing Inventors (Especially Women Inventors) From Getting Patents

Techdirt is off until the new year! We'll be back with our regular posts this weekend.Techdirt is off until the new year! We'll be back with our regular posts this weekend.Techdirt —There are plenty of issues with the patent system as we know it today, but one big one is with the system we use to award them. It's a problem because the more important we think patents are, the more important it is to ensure that the mechanism we use to grant them is capable of recognizing all the invention patent law is intended to protect. Unfortunately, however, right now the patent-review system is...

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Dec 31
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Body Camera Footage Shows Cameras Aren't Making Boston Cops Better Police Officers

Body Camera Footage Shows Cameras Aren't Making Boston Cops Better Police Officers

Techdirt—So much for body cameras giving us better law enforcement. What started as an accountability effort has turned into a and little else. Every so often, citizens win lawsuits or have charges dropped because recorded footage differs greatly from the official narrative, but those are relative anomalies. When footage would be useful, it or is .Every so often, footage that was never meant to see makes it into the hands of the public. . The recordings show bad cops will continue to be bad cops, even when they're aware (or should be) they're all wearing recording devices.Recordings show...

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Dec 31
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Girl Scouts Continuing To Fight Boy Scouts Of America Over Trademarks, Branding

Girl Scouts Continuing To Fight Boy Scouts Of America Over Trademarks, Branding

Techdirt —While Techdirt generally and myself more specifically tend to fall on the side of a more permissive philosophy when it comes to policing trademarks, there are certainly times when one entity or another crosses the line. As it happens, it seems somewhat common that those lines get crossed by parties that have themselves been quite aggressive in policing their own IP. When the Girl Scouts of America (GSA) the Boy Scouts of America in 2018 over the rebranding BSA went through after finally allowing girls to join, it was not difficult to see the GSA's side of things. Essentially, what...

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Dec 30
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Section 230 Isn't A Subsidy; It's A Rule Of Civil Procedure

Section 230 Isn't A Subsidy; It's A Rule Of Civil Procedure

Techdirt —The other day Senator Schatz tweeted, "Ask every Senator what Section 230 is. Don’t ask them if they want to repeal it. Ask them to describe it."Ask every Senator what Section 230 is. Don’t ask them if they want to repeal it. Ask them to describe it.— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz)It's a very fair point. Most of the political demands to repeal Section 230 betray a profound ignorance of what Section 230 does, why, or how. That disconnect between policy understanding and policy demands means that those demands to repeal the law will only create more problems while not actually solving...

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Dec 30
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Mitch McConnell Using Section 230 Repeal As A Poison Pill To Avoid $2k Stimulus Checks

Mitch McConnell Using Section 230 Repeal As A Poison Pill To Avoid $2k Stimulus Checks

Techdirt—As you likely know by now, President Trump is trying to use his last few weeks in office to use various levers of power remaining to him to make sure he . However, he also threw a wrench in the works of the long-overdue and way too small COVID relief package by saying that the checks to individuals should be $2,000 rather than $600. He's not wrong, but it was bizarre that his own White House was part of the negotiations that made sure the checks were smaller. It's almost as if the President and his own administration don't communicate very much.House Democrats took up the cause,...

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Dec 30
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Facial Recognition Helps New Jersey Cops Jail The Wrong Man For Ten Days [Update]

Facial Recognition Helps New Jersey Cops Jail The Wrong Man For Ten Days [Update]

Techdirt—Update: The original report from NJ.com and the man's lawyer said that Clearview was involved, however the NY Times has now reported that it , but other facial recognition technology. The post has been updated accordingly.Given facial recognition tech's predilection , the only thing surprising about its link to false arrests is how long it took. After years of live trial runs all over the world, tech used by the Detroit Police Department managed to contribute to two bogus arrests in .Despite this, the PD defended its use of the tech, even while admitting it was wrong . The PD said...

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Dec 30
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Content Moderation Case Study: Profanity Filter Causes Problems At Paleontology Conference (October 2020)

Content Moderation Case Study: Profanity Filter Causes Problems At Paleontology Conference (October 2020)

Techdirt's think tank, the Copia Institute, is working with the and its sister organization, the , to produce an ongoing series of case studies about content moderation decisions. These case studies are presented in a neutral fashion, not aiming to criticize or applaud any particular decision, but to highlight the many different challenges that content moderators face and the tradeoffs they result in. Find more case studies and .  —Summary: With the COVID pandemic still in full force, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology moved its annual meeting online. The event was due to run for an...

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Dec 29
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