The Switchboard: Five tech policy stories you need to read today

October 4, 2013

(Photo by anthony kelly)

European organizations file lawsuit against Britain over vast digital surveillance. "Three United Kingdom-based nonprofit organizations and a German Internet activist have filed a lawsuit against the British government at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), arguing that the UK's electronic spying network is illegal," Ars Technica reports. "Documents provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have shown that the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the sister organization to the NSA, has been one of the most prominent players in digital surveillance, particularly of European traffic."

Intellectual Ventures curbs patent buying amid fundraising effort. Intellectual Ventures, the world's largest patent troll, "has curtailed its patent buying in the past few months, according to sources familiar with its patent market activity, as it seeks to raise new funds," Reuters reports. "Created in 2000, Intellectual Ventures to date has raised about $6 billion and acquired 70,000 patents and other intellectual property assets. The company is currently attempting to raise $3 billion more."

Piracy isn’t killing the entertainment industry, scholars show. "The London School of Economics and Political Science has released a new policy brief urging the UK Government to look beyond the lobbying efforts of the entertainment industry when it comes to future copyright policy," TorrentFreak writes. "According to the report there is ample evidence that file-sharing is helping, rather than hurting the creative industries. The scholars call on the Government to look at more objective data when deciding on future copyright enforcement policies."

California's new "online eraser" law should be erased. "People mocked Google CEO Eric Schmidt for his 2010 suggestion that teenagers should change their names when they turn 18 to avoid the indiscreet and ill-advised Internet posts they made as youths," writes Eric Goldman. "The California legislature thought it had a better solution for this problem and enacted a law, SB 568 (California Business & Professions Code Sec. 22581), that allows kids to use an 'online eraser' to wipe away some of their past posts. Unfortunately, California's solution is no less mockable than Schmidt's."

Twitter files for $1 billion IPO, revealing ambitious spending in pursuit of fast growth. "Twitter unveiled the plans for its long-anticipated public offering on Thursday, revealing the inner workings of a company that is devoting considerable resources to keep up its breakneck growth," reports our own Hayley Tsukayama. "Under the ticket symbol TWTR, the social network said it will seek to raise $1 billion by selling stock to the public, though that figure is likely to change as the offering date gets closer."

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Business

business/technology

the-switch

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters