Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Thursday, 17 December 2009

France - Sarkozy's party in copyright breach music video

It's ironic and not a little amusing that this excruciating (and excruciatingly funny) "lip dub" video featuring lip synching politicians from the UMP party of French President Nicolas Sarkozy was produced and released without obtaining copyright permission for the use of the song, so they'll now have to cough up! (It seems the copyright owner had refused consent when they tried to clear the rights, but they went ahead anyway.)

Sarkozy was of course behind France's controversial three strikes law for disconnecting copyright infringers from the internet.

I make no comment on the quality of the lip synching or the dancing. You'll have to decide for yourself whether you'd rather have had your internet access cut off than watch it!

Via Techdirt.

©WH. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike England 2.0 Licence. Please attribute to WH, Tech and Law, and link to the original blog post page. Moral rights asserted.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Web 2.0, e-Participation in politics, & Obama's campaign

Web 2.0 in the Process of eParticipation: the Case of Organizing for America and the Obama Administration (NCDG Working Paper No. 09-001) is an interesting October 2009 paper for the National Center for Digital Government, by University of Massachusetts researchers Aysu Kes-Erkul and R. Erdem Erkul.

The “Organizing for America” (OFA) website (really, www.barackobama.com) played a major role in Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, with its unprecedented use of social media and other Web 2.0 tools to engage with the public, both supporters and voters.

The authors analyse this site from the perspective of e-participation - which as they put it "is a concept that include all the processes of public involvement via information and communication technologies".

Their conclusions:

"When we evaluate the findings of this study in terms of e-participation, we see that www.barackobama.com was a very significant initiative in engaging citizens in the political process. In addition, the popularity and amount of user-created content show the positive reaction by the general public and their willingness to get involved. However, as mentioned before, the analysis of the outcomes of this initiative in terms of e-participation requires a deeper research."

©WH. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike England 2.0 Licence. Please attribute to WH, Tech and Law, and link to the original blog post page. Moral rights asserted.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

E-voting machine hacked via return oriented programming

US computer scientists have successfully made a Sequoia AVC Advantage electronic voting machine (version 5.00D) "turn against itself and steal votes".

See the 5-minute video demo above by Hovav Shacham, a professor of computer science at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering and co-author of the report on their research - "Can DREs Provide Long-Lasting Security? The Case of Return-Oriented Programming and the AVC Advantage" by Stephen Checkoway, UC San Diego, J. Alex Halderman, U Michigan, Ariel J. Feldman, Princeton, Edward W. Felten, Princeton, Brian Kantor, UC San Diego, Hovav Shacham, UC San Diego ("DRE"stands for "direct recording electronic", in the context of voting machines).

From the report:

"We have demonstrated that an attacker can exploit vulnerabilities in the AVC Advantage software to install vote-stealing malware by using a maliciously-formatted memory cartridge, without replacing the system ROMs. Starting with no source code, schematics, or nonpublic documentation, we reverse engineered the AVC Advantage and developed a working vote-stealing attack with less than 16 man-months of labor."

The paper was presented at the 2009 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop / Workshop on Trustworthy Elections.

The news release from UCSD outlines the technique used:

"return-oriented programming, …is a powerful systems security exploit that generates malicious behavior by combining short snippets of benign code already present in the system.

The new study demonstrates that return-oriented programming can be used to execute vote-stealing computations by taking control of a voting machine designed to prevent code injection."

Hacking e-voting machines is of course an excellent way for organised crime or corrupt political parties, or even terrorists or spies from other countries, to make sure that their chosen candidates are elected into power.

I use technology a lot and am more familiar with it than most lawyers (and probably most people - here of course I assume lawyers are a subclass of people rather than a separate class, although I know some may disagree!).

So I am well aware that technology has its limitations, and it should only be used in situations where it's appropriate.

Voting, which is vital to democracy, is not one of them.

Paper voting is best because electronic voting machines are too easily subverted, as this research has shown.

I hope that this new research represents another nail in the coffin for evoting and that politicians can be persuaded away from their love affair with e-voting, to mix a metaphor.

©WH. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike England 2.0 Licence. Please attribute to WH, Tech and Law, and link to the original blog post page. Moral rights asserted.

Friday, 7 August 2009

EU information society strategy - consultation on post-i2010 priorities (2010-2015)

The EU are consulting until 9 October 2009 "to help prepare a new EU strategy for the information society, as the current i2010 strategy is coming to a close this year".

You can view the full questionnaire in PDF and view related EU documents (e.g. on ICT for a sustainable 'low carbon' economy, future high speed networks and open internet, e-government etc) before replying to the questionnaire.

This looks important as the strategy will cover a very broad ranging series of topics. Basically, almost anything you can think of that relates to technology or the internet is going to be addressed, including identity management of course.

Here's the full list of subjects:

  1. ICT for a growth and jobs agenda (priorities)
  2. ICT for a sustainable 'low carbon' economy (barriers, quick wins, longer term strategies & best practices)
  3. Improving Europe's performance in ICT research and innovation (resources, research priorities, new markets)
  4. Creating a 100% connected society and economy through a highspeed
    and open internet for all (future proof infrastructures, future of the sustained internet services growth - internet to drive innovation, promoting internet for users)
  5. Consolidating the online services Single Market (level playing field, improving consumer trust & confidence)
  6. Promoting access to creativity at all levels (users' rights in the participative web, sustainable copyright, digital content to cross borders, "development of ICT sector and of European content industry to reinforce each other", digitising cultural resources, steps to open access to content to people with disabilities)
  7. Strengthening EU's role in the international ICT arena (openness of the internet as a global issue, European dimension in international research, European voice in international fora, new models for internet governance & other global challenges)
  8. Making modern and efficient public services available and accessible to all (avoiding new digital divides, dealing with the challenges of participatory web, electronic procurement and electronic identity management, eHealth, impact of ICT on teaching and learning)
  9. Using ICT to improve the quality of life of EU citizens (bridging gaps, improving digital skills, "Enhancing the economic dimension of eInclusion", "Enforcing rights of people to go online", coping with an ageing society, "Promoting a holistic approach").

Unlike the EU's Consultation on the legal framework for the fundamental right to protection of personal data, which was notably short on consultation questions (see e.g. this speculative view as to why!), the questionnaire here does have more info on the aims of the future new strategy:

"Europe needs a new digital agenda to meet the emerging challenges, to create a world beating infrastructure and unlock the potential of the internet as a driver of growth and the basis for open innovation, creativity and participation.

Europe needs to raise its game:
• to accelerate the economic recovery and maintain its world leadership in high-tech sectors;
• to spend research budgets more effectively so that bright ideas are marketed and generate new growth;
• to kick-start ICT-led productivity to offset GDP stagnation as the labour force starts to shrink when the baby boomers retire;
• to foster new, smarter, cleaner technologies that can help Europe achieve a factor or growth; and
• to use networking tools to rebuild trust in Europe as an open and democratic society…

…Europe’s successes to date have been built on a consistent drive for fair competition in telecoms markets and a borderless market for digital content and media services. Europe’s technological leadership stems from its continuous efforts to establish a critical mass of R&D in emerging fields of ICT. It has a great capacity to capitalise on its cultural resources, such as its
vibrant and successful film and media sector and the European digital library. This overall policy thrust remains valid for the future.

However, the success of the EU ICT strategy over the last four years needs to be put in a global perspective. Today it is becoming apparent that, even in areas where it has global leadership, Europe is at risk of losing its competitive edge when it comes to new, innovative developments…"

And the questionnaire summarises issues before listing the questions they are seeking responses on.

©WH. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike England 2.0 Licence. Please attribute to WH, Tech and Law, and link to the original blog post page. Moral rights asserted.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Open Video Conference - video & journalism, art, politics etc -– videos available

Communia reports on New York University Law School’s first Open Video Conference, which covered “a wide number of topics, from the nitty-gritty world of metadata interoperability, democratization and journalism, interests of commercial players, to novel ways of production and the role the ‘pirates’ are playing…on software, politics, journalism, art, education, industry, business, technology, culture, communication, freedom, and democracy.”

From the Open Video Conference site:

“Web video holds tremendous potential, but limits on broadband, playback technology, and fair use threaten to undermine the ability of individuals to engage in dialogues in and around this new media ecosystem.

Open Video is a broad-based movement of video creators, technologists, academics, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, activists, remixers, and many others…

Open Video is the growing movement for transparency, interoperability, and further decentralization in online video…

…Open Video is about the legal and social norms surrounding online video.”

Videos of conference sessions are now available (feed for future uploads of videos) and there are also various reports of the conference.

©WH. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike England 2.0 Licence. Please attribute to WH, Tech and Law, and link to the original blog post page. Moral rights asserted.