Safarigate: Benign Behavior or Malignant Breach?

Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google has purposefully circumvented Safari’s privacy settings, allowing it to track the behavior of users on non-Google sites. These findings contradicted Google’s own instructions as to how users worried about privacy settings could avoid tracking. The report was based off of research at Stanford that had identified four different advertising companies who utilize known exceptions to Safari’s privacy feature that blocks third-party cookies. Naturally, the idea that Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 17, 2012

As the Library of Congress commences its triennial consideration of rulemaking updates to DMCA anti-circumvention provisions, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has filed harsh responses to third-party requests for the express exemption of DVD ripping. The rule allowing for consumer jailbreaking of iPhones, adopted originally in 2010, is also up for reconsideration in the same proceedings. Apple’s legal battle with Samsung over mobile device patents has expanded to comprise 8 patents and 17 Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 10, 2012

The Federal Circuit refused to privilege a Google email detailing alternatives to using Java in Android and Chrome.  The email, sent from an engineer to Google’s VP of Android and senior counsel, concluded that no better alternative existed, but suggested it stress the viability of Objective C in licensing discussions with Oracle.  The court held that because the email seemed more closely related to business negotiations than legal issues like infringement, sufficient doubt existed to Continue Reading →

ACTA: Activists Stay Alert in the Aftermath of SOPA

Earlier this century, the entertainment industry attempted to vanquish illegal downloading and the online services that made it possible. Remember the injunctions against Limewire and Napster? The astronomical RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) lawsuits filed against more than 35,000 individuals who downloaded and shared a handful of copyrighted music files? The industry achieved mixed results: the RIAA decided to abandon its suits against individuals, but Limewire is still enjoined from distributing its peer-to-peer file Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 3, 2012

In Washington, the House and the Senate backed competing spectrum incentive auction bills, which would encourage current licensees to sell their under-utilized frequencies at auction to wireless carriers.  Lawmakers in both chambers want to package it with the payroll tax extension, which is expected to pass before the end of February.  Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt called the House legislation “the single worst telecom bill” he’d ever seen and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) called on Continue Reading →