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Canadian Government Wants To Regulate Social Media Like Broadcast

It's Canada's turn in the carousel of attempts at terrible internet regulation around the world. The ruling Liberal party, which professor and internet law researcher Michael Geist has called the most anti-internet government in Canadian history for its wide variety of planned new internet laws, has been working for months on a bill to amend the Broadcasting Act and greatly broaden its scope, giving the CRTC (Canada's counterpart to...

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Disney Got Itself A 'If You Own A Themepark...' Carveout From Florida's Blatantly Unconstitutional Social Media Moderation Bill

Earlier this year, we noted that a wide variety of states (mostly those controlled by angry, ignorant Republicans) were looking to pass blatantly unconstitutional bills that sought to force social media companies to host all speech and not moderate. As we noted in that article, Florida seemed to be leading the way, and now both houses of the Florida legislature have passed the bill that is blatantly unconstitutional, and will only...

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Boris Johnson's Phone Number Leaks: Turns Out He Uses End-To-End Encryption... While Trying To Ban It For Everyone Else

Well, look at that. The gossip newsletter Popbitch revealed UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's personal phone number (in a somewhat hilarious way). The latest edition included this up at the top: 0ver the last few weeks, Boris Johnson has taken a lot of flak for refusing to change his personal mobile number. Critics say it’s highly irresponsible that any 7om, Dick or Harry could just freely add the PM on WhatsApp and strike up a...

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Verizon's Media Failure Is Complete As Company Eyes AOL/Yahoo Sale

Back in 2014, Verizon decided it wanted to get into the media business. So it launched a website dubbed "Sugarstring." It didn't go very well. The website immediately gained attention for the fact that Verizon informed new journalist hires that they couldn't write about surveillance or net neutrality, two subjects Verizon is intimately involved in. The backlash was immediate, employees realized it was a shitshow and headed...

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Basecamp Bans Politics, An Act That Itself Is Political

On Monday, Basecamp CEO Jason Fried came out with a blog post announcing not only a cutback in employee benefits, but that it would be banning social and political conversations on the company's platforms as well: "These are difficult enough waters to navigate in life, but significantly more so at work. It's become too much. It's a major distraction. It saps our energy, and redirects our dialog towards dark places. It's not...

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US Postal Service Is Surveilling Social Media Services Because It Apparently Has Plenty Of Time And Money To Waste

The United States Postal Service is still in the spying business. The USPS has been scanning pretty much every piece of mail that runs through its system, creating a massive database of metadata that serves whatever purpose the USPS imagines it does. "National security" or whatever the fuck. When not helping the DEA find cash and the occasional drug shipment, the USPS is also apparently keeping tabs on social media users....

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Publix Gets Social Media Accounts Advertising Its Sandwiches Taken Down For Some Reason

For sure, the most frustrating examples of dumb trademark disputes are when one party bullies into silence another party for doing something that actually helps the bully. If you need an example of this, you can look to the time Olive Garden tried to take down AllOfGarden.com, a site with a satirical take on the Olive Garden menu. That example is particularly instructive for two reasons. First, AllOfGarden was essentially a...

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Senator Marco Rubio: Speech I Disagree With Is Pollution

Senator Marco Rubio keeps trying to act Trump-like, but he just can't pull it off. He actually knows what he's saying is bullshit and unlike some other politicians, it's pretty obvious when Rubio is play-acting populist nonsense, rather than having any real conviction behind it. His latest is a NY Post opinion piece in which he takes on the new favorite punching bag of Republicans-who-have-no-principles-left: what is stupidly being...

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Patent Troll Sable Networks Apparently Needs To Learn A Lesson: Cloudflare Wants To Destroy Another Troll

In The Princess Bride, the character of Vizzini famously says: "Ha ha, you fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia,' but only slightly less well-known is this: 'Never go in against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line.'" I don't know if it's surpassed either of those yet, but quickly moving up the list would be "Never try to patent troll...

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Signal Founder Cracks Cellebrite Phone Hacking Device, Finds It Full Of Vulns

A pretty hilarious turn of events has led to Cellebrite's phone hacking tech being hacked by Signal's Moxie Marlinspike, revealing the tech law enforcement uses to pull data from seized phones is host to major security flaws. According to Marlinspike, the Cellebrite came into his possession thanks to some careless package handling. By a truly unbelievable coincidence, I was recently out for a walk when I saw a small package fall...

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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is That One Guy with a response to Josh Hawley's politically-motivated call to break up companies: 'Only companies I agree with deserve rights!' I am shocked that insurrectionist Hawley is an enemy of the first amendment as well, why it's getting to the point that I'm starting to suspect that he thinks the law's entire purpose is to serve him rather than the public in...

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This Week In Techdirt History: April 18th - 24th

Five Years Ago EU regulators were busy this week in 2016, trying to force YouTube to be more like Spotify and going after Google for antitrust regarding Android, which prompted Microsoft to drop all its own antitrust complaints about Google and vice versa, while both companies claimed the timing was just a coincidence. The FISA court was still uncovering surveillance abuses by the feds while the EFF was suing the DOJ for refusing to...