This Week In Techdirt History: October 29th – November 4th


from the so-it-was dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2018, we wrote about a session of our election simulation game, Machine Learning President, that we played in Chicago. The EFF sued cops in California for refusing to hand over stingray documents, a Florida appeals court said handing over passwords is protected by the fifth amendment, and Senator Wyden released a draft bill of federal privacy rules. The FCC falsely declared community broadband to be an attack on free speech, while Verizon obliterated Ajit Pai’s justification for killing net neutrality. And the Copyright Office extended anti-circumvention DMCA exemptions to cover all filmmakers, not just documentarians.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2013, the NSA revelations continued with a leak that showed the agency had collected millions of phone records from Italy and Spain, leading Mike Rogers to cluelessly claim that the French should be celebrating this news. Rogers was also insisting that Congress knew about the NSA spying on foreign leaders and attacking fellow representatives who said they had no idea, and agency officials were furious that the White House claimed not to know about it. Then another big revelation (that the NSA had infiltrated Google and Yahoo servers) arrived while Keith Alexander was on stage, and the agency was quick to issue another non-denial denial. Finally, Congress introduced a bill to stop the worst NSA abuses, while Senator Feinstein countered with her own bill that would actually legalize the illegal status quo.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2008, we saw one of the first panics about terrorists using Twitter, while Turkey was busy banning websites left and right. Universal Studios went on the attack against Redbox DVD rentals, and it soon came out (unsurprisingly) that the company was planning to launch its own DVD kiosks. A judge slammed the RIAA’s lawsuit tactics, as bigger guns came out in an attempt to show its lawsuits are unconstitutional. We also lamented Google caving and settling the lawsuit over its book scanning project. And then, the CAFC issued its ruling in the Bilski case that appeared to greatly limit software and business model patents but left open some big loopholes.

Filed Under: history, look back

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