The 5 Biggest Reveals From Apple’s Motion To Dismiss The FBI’s Court Order

from Macworld On Thursday, Apple filed a motion to vacate the court order compelling the company to create a hackable version of iOS that the FBI can use to break into the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. In the filing, Apple’s main argument is that its software is protected speech, and that the government’s motion for Apple to fabricate software that contradicts its beliefs is a violation of its First and Fifth Amendment rights. We read through the 65-page filing, and spotted the following revelations.  More here.

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The Apple Case Will Grope Its Way Into Your Future

from NYTs To understand what’s at stake in the battle between Apple and the F.B.I. over cracking open a terrorist’s smartphone, it helps to be able to predict the future of the tech industry. For that, here’s one bet you’ll never lose money on: Digital technology always grows hungrier for more personal information, and we users nearly always accede to its demands. Today’s smartphones hold a lot of personal data — your correspondence, your photos, your location, your dignity. But tomorrow’s devices, many of which are already around in rudimentary forms, will hold a lot more. Consider all the technologies we think […]

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Apple’s FBI Battle is Complicated. Here’s What’s Really Going On.

From Wired The news this week that a magistrate ordered Apple to help the FBI hack an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooter suspects has polarized the nation—and also generated some misinformation. Those who support the government say Apple has cooperated in the past to unlock dozens of phones in other cases—so why can’t it help the FBI unlock this one? But this isn’t about unlocking a phone; rather, it’s about ordering Apple to create a new software tool to eliminate specific security protections the company built into its phone software to protect customer data. Opponents of […]

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What Breaking Up the Banks Wouldn’t Fix

from The Atlantic Nearly a decade ago, as the entire financial system was collapsing, the bank where I worked, Citibank, was deemed too big to fail. Many other banks were also in the same situation, and also bailed out and allowed to live. And live on they do. Today Citibank, and the other banks, are just as big. This is causing some policy makers to worry. Neel Kashkari, who helped structure the bailout, is now president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. On Tuesday he gave a speech, stating that those big banks pose an “ongoing risk to our economy.” It […]

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Tim Cook Says Apple Will Fight Us Gov’t Over Court-Ordered Iphone Backdoor

from ars technica Apple chief Tim Cook has attacked the recent court order that compels Apple to unlock and decrypt the San Bernardino gunman’s iPhone. “Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the US government,” says an open letter published by Cook early this morning. Late yesterday, a federal judge in California ordered Apple to help the US government (the FBI) unlock and decrypt the iPhone 5C belonging to Syed Rizwan Farook, who shot up an office party in San Bernardino in December 2015. In the past, […]

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“No Cost” License Plate Readers Are Turning Texas Police into Mobile Debt Collectors and Data Miners

from EFF Vigilant Solutions, one of the country’s largest brokers of vehicle surveillance technology, is offering a hell of a deal to law enforcement agencies in Texas: a whole suite of automated license plate reader (ALPR) equipment and access to the company’s massive databases and analytical tools—and it won’t cost the agency a dime. Even though the technology is marketed as budget neutral, that doesn’t mean no one has to pay. Instead, Texas police fund it by gouging people who have outstanding court fines and handing Vigilant all of the data they gather on drivers for nearly unlimited commercial use. […]

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Should You Be Able to Patent a Human Gene?

from TED A decade ago, US law said human genes were patentable — which meant patent holders had the right to stop anyone from sequencing, testing or even looking at a patented gene. Troubled by the way this law both harmed patients and created a barrier to biomedical innovation, Tania Simoncelli and her colleagues at the ACLU challenged it. In this riveting talk, hear the story of how they took a case everybody told them they would lose all the way to the Supreme Court. More here.

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In Religious Arbitration, Scripture Is the Rule of Law

from NYTs A few months before he took a toxic mix of drugs and died on a stranger’s couch, Nicklaus Ellison wrote a letter to his little sister. He asked for Jolly Ranchers, Starburst and Silly Bandz bracelets, some of the treats permitted at the substance abuse program he attended in Florida. Then, almost as an aside, Mr. Ellison wrote about how the Christian-run program that was supposed to cure his drug and alcohol problem had instead “de-gayed” him. “God makes all things new,” Mr. Ellison wrote in bright green ink. “The weirdest thing is how do I come out […]

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In Arbitration, a ‘Privatization of the Justice System’

from NYTs Deborah L. Pierce, an emergency room doctor in Philadelphia, was optimistic when she brought a sex discrimination claim against the medical group that had dismissed her. Respected by colleagues, she said she had a stack of glowing evaluations and evidence that the practice had a pattern of denying women partnerships. She began to worry, though, once she was blocked from court and forced into private arbitration. Presiding over the case was not a judge but a corporate lawyer, Vasilios J. Kalogredis, who also handled arbitrations. When Ms. Pierce showed up one day for a hearing, she said she […]

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Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice

from NYTs On Page 5 of a credit card contract used by American Express, beneath an explainer on interest rates and late fees, past the details about annual membership, is a clause that most customers probably miss. If cardholders have a problem with their account, American Express explains, the company “may elect to resolve any claim by individual arbitration.” Those nine words are at the center of a far-reaching power play orchestrated by American corporations, an investigation by The New York Times has found. By inserting individual arbitration clauses into a soaring number of consumer and employment contracts, companies like […]

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California Cops, Want To Use A Stingray? Get A Warrant, Governor Says

from ars technica On Thursday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that requires police get a warrant to use a stingray during investigations. The devices, which are also known as cell-site simulators, are usually used to locate a phone but can also in some cases intercept calls and text messages. The law, known as the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act, imposes other sweeping new requirements to enhance digital privacy, and imposes a warrant requirement before police can access nearly any type of digital data produced by or contained within a device or service. “Governor Brown just signed a law that says ‘no’ to […]

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Do Lawyers Need Offices Anymore?

from The Atlantic VLP Law Group is a successful young firm by just about all measures: It employs about 50 attorneys. Its business is growing, and it counts startups and Fortune 500 companies among its clients—some of them even Fortune 10 companies. And its lawyers never go to an office.  VLP is one of several “virtual” law firms that are seeking provide legal services on the level of a traditional firm’s while dispensing with office space and having their attorneys work remotely, whether from home, a coffee shop, or a coworking space. On top of saving firms money on rent and reducing […]

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Victory in California! Gov. Brown Signs CalECPA, Requiring Police to Get a Warrant Before Accessing Your Data

from EFF Californians can rest assured that law enforcement can’t poke around in their digital records without first obtaining a warrant. Today, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed S.B. 178, the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA). After months of pressure from public interest groups, media organizations, privacy advocates, tech companies, and thousands of members of the public, California’s elected leaders have updated the state’s privacy laws so that they are in line with how people actually use technology today.  CalECPA protects Californians by requiring a warrant for digital records, including emails and texts, as well as a user’s geographical location. […]

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Beyond VW Scandal: Home Appliance Industry No Stranger to Tricks

from NYTs The emissions scandal at Volkswagen was the latest instance in the auto industry’s long history of skirting safety or environmental rules, with regulators now vowing to establish more stringent tests. Makers of consumer appliances and electronics have gone down a similar path, but tight federal standards and frequent testing have made it harder for manufacturers to skirt the rules. Still, consumer groups and advocates said regulators must remain vigilant because the pace of technological change and innovation often exceeds the speed at which federal standards can be established. Common household items are packed with more electronics than ever, […]

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Today, All Stores In The US Should Accept Chip-And-Pin Cards. Yeah, Right.

from ars technica Way back in 2012, MasterCard and Visa agreed that by October 1, 2015, every retailer in the United States would have to have new terminals that would accept chip-and-PIN cards, like those that were found in most of Europe, as well as in Australia, Brazil, and a variety of other countries. Those countries ditched magnetic stripe cards, like the ones the US uses primarily today, more than a decade ago to mitigate credit card fraud. October 1, 2015 is now upon us, and the changeover to chip cards in the US is patchwork at best. Over the […]

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3-D Printed Gun Lawsuit Starts the War Between Arms Control and Free Speech

from Wired THIS WEEK MARKS the two-year anniversary since Cody Wilson, the inventor of the world’s first 3-D printable gun, received a letter from the State Department demanding that he remove the blueprints for his plastic-printed firearm from the internet. The alternative: face possible prosecution for violating regulations that forbid the international export of unapproved arms. Now Wilson is challenging that letter. And in doing so, he’s picking a fight that could pit proponents of gun control and defenders of free speech against each other in an age when the line between a lethal weapon and a collection of bits is […]

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The Trouble With Online Defamation

from Medium I frequently receive calls or emails from people asking for help with online defamation, usually on Facebook. The people who contact me are often at their wits’ end and want to sue the people defaming them, thinking that will fix the problem. Unfortunately, that can often make it worse. The challenge with online defamation is that the usual legal approach can aggravate the harm being suffered and the better course of action doesn’t necessarily fix anything. Dealing with online defamation is often a matter of damage control and this is primarily due to the social Web’s nature. Social […]

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Antitrust Scrutiny for 3 Big U.S. Theater Chains

from NYTs A simmering federal investigation into whether the big movie theater chains are misusing their market clout to keep new films away from independent competitors gained steam on Tuesday. Cinemark Holdings, the nation’s third-largest movie theater operator, disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had received a civil investigative demand for information from the antitrust division of the Justice Department. Cinemark’s two bigger competitors, Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Entertainment, on Monday alerted shareholders to similar requests. Together, the three chains control about 42 percent of the nation’s movie screens. For months, the government has been looking into […]

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What Are the Limits of ‘Religious Liberty’?

from NYTs ‘‘I can’t. It’s against my religion.’’ Americans tend to handle religious objections with care, personally and politically. When a guest says, for example, that he can’t eat the food being served because it’s not kosher or halal, the host usually hastens to find an alternative. And when people resist following a law on the basis of faith, the government and the courts may try to accommodate them. It’s an American legacy that dates back to before the founding, when some of the original colonies were set up as havens for religious dissenters. Under the banner of belief, Quakers […]

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United States: Federal Trade Commission Issues First-Ever Guidance On “Unfair Methods Of Competition”

from bizlitnewsblog Section 5 of the 1914 Federal Trade Commission Act declares that “unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce” are unlawful. The Act also empowers the Commission to prevent persons, partnerships, and corporations from using “unfair” methods of competition. But the FTC, notes the Wall Street Journal, “has never formally defined what it means to compete unfairly.” Well, had never. On August 13, 2015, the FTC released a statement – its first ever— of three “principles” to which it “adheres” “[i]n deciding whether to challenge an act or practice as an unfair method of competition in violation of Section 5 on […]

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