Huge Protests Across Europe Protest Article 13; Politician Lies And Claims They Were Paid To Be There

Found on Techdirt on Monday, 25 March 2019
Browse Politics

German MEP Daniel Caspary, who chairs the large CDU/CSU group in the EU Parliament told a German publication a completely made up lie -- reminiscent of the kind of "fake news" propaganda that has been used elsewhere, that all of the protesters were actually paid to be there.

A major political leader is so infatuated with his false belief that real people couldn't possibly be upset about the plan to fundamentally move away from an open internet, that he insists Google must have paid the protesters €450 each to show up.

Either way, no matter what lies politicians tell themselves, they might want to think about so many people coming out to protest over this issue, especially given that the next EU Parliamentary elections are in just a few months.

Big media pay politicians to make the laws they want. Usually that is the first step towards their downfall. However, when that happens, the same politicians will refuse to see the reasons and always blame the "enemy".

Axel Voss Says Maybe YouTube Shouldn't Exist

Found on Techdirt on Thursday, 14 March 2019
Browse Politics

Last week, we pointed out that he was making provably false statements about Article 13, and wondered why he'd be doing that. But the more he talks, the more I'm wondering if he simply doesn't understand the basics of either copyright law or the internet.

So how is it that Axel Voss is considered an authority on this? He doesn't seem to understand that every new work is covered by copyright, so any website that hosts user-uploaded content -- audio, video, text, images, etc. -- is subject to this law.

Stupid people say stupid things. It's always been like that. The problem today is that stupid people can get jobs other than being the village idiot.

US tells Germany to stop using Huawei equipment or lose some intelligence access

Found on The Verge on Tuesday, 12 March 2019
Browse Politics

The Trump administration has been pressing allies to end their relationships with Huawei, but Germany, moving ahead with its plans, has not moved to ban the company from its networks.

According to the Journal, a letter sent from the US Ambassador to Germany warns the country that the US will stop sharing some secrets if it allows Huawei to work on its next-generation 5G infrastructure.

At least they are open and direct about it. The sad thing however is that there are not that many alternatives, considering that almost every major manufacturer produces in China; so every hardware could have backdoors.

Revealed: Facebook’s global lobbying against data privacy laws

Found on The Guardian on Sunday, 03 March 2019
Browse Politics

Facebook has targeted politicians around the world – including the former UK chancellor, George Osborne – promising investments and incentives while seeking to pressure them into lobbying on Facebook’s behalf against data privacy legislation, an explosive new leak of internal Facebook documents has revealed.

The documents, which have been seen by the Observer and Computer Weekly, reveal a secretive global lobbying operation targeting hundreds of legislators and regulators in an attempt to procure influence across the world, including in the UK, US, Canada, India, Vietnam, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia and all 28 states of the EU.

If that does not underline the need to make privacy and data protection an important issue, then what else? Facebook knows very well that its entire business model is about to collapse when other nations realize the dangers of total surveillance and come up with similar laws.

German Politician Thinks Gmail Constituent Messages Are All Faked By Google

Found on Techdirt on Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Browse Politics

Schulze must have thought he was really on to something in claiming he had real proof of Google astroturfing. In a tweet (in German) he claimed that because all of the complaints he's getting seem to come from people with Gmail addresses, it's proof of fakery. No, really.

To claim that seeing Gmail emails proves Google is astroturfing is... nutty. And, it would appear that Schulze's followers recognize just how idiotic this looks.

The Internet is still Neuland for politicians.

Article 13 Was Purposefully Designed To Be Awful For The Internet; EU Moves Forward With It Anyway

Found on Techdirt on Monday, 11 February 2019
Browse Politics

This happened despite the fact that there's basically no one left who supports this version of Article 13. The public is widely against it. The internet companies are against it. And, perhaps surprisingly, even the legacy copyright companies -- who pushed so hard for this -- are still angry about the result, which they insist is too lenient on the internet.

It would, effectively, make it nearly impossible for any website to ever host any user-generated content. In nearly all cases it would require expensive and problematic upload filters.

What's to complain about? The best politicians you can buy with money are sitting in Bruessel, next to lobbyists with money-filled suitcases.

India Pushes Back Against Tech ‘Colonization’ by Internet Giants

Found on New York Times on Monday, 03 September 2018
Browse Politics

In recent months, regulators and ministers across India’s government have declared their intention to impose tough new rules on the technology industry. Collectively, the regulations would end the free rein that American tech giants have long enjoyed in this country of 1.3 billion people, which is the world’s fastest-growing market for new internet users.

“It’s not about protectionism. It’s about saying if 10 laws apply to me, the 10 laws should also apply to someone else operating in India,” said Rameesh Kailasam, chief executive of, a newly formed lobbying group that represents local investors and start-ups, including MakeMyTrip and the ride-hailing company Ola.

That's an idea more countries should embrace to increase competition and fairness.

Kim Prepared to Cede Nuclear Weapons if U.S. Pledges Not to Invade

Found on New York Times on Sunday, 29 April 2018
Browse Politics

In a confidence-building gesture ahead of a proposed summit meeting with President Trump, a suddenly loquacious and conciliatory Mr. Kim also said he would invite experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States to watch the shutdown next month of his country’s only known underground nuclear test site.

But skeptics warned that North Korea previously made similar pledges of denuclearization on numerous occasions, with little or no intention of abiding by them. Mr. Kim’s friendly gestures, they said, could turn out to be nothing more than empty promises aimed at lifting sanctions on his isolated country.

Kim must be aware that a peace treaty, along with the opening of the borders, will soon bring his regime to an end. The political and military system in North Korea will collapse when the people get unfettered access to global information.

Germany coalition talks: SPD backs talks with Merkel

Found on BBC News on Sunday, 21 January 2018
Browse Politics

Mrs Merkel's centre-right CDU and its Bavarian CSU ally have been unable to form a government since September's inconclusive election.

Initially the SPD ruled out governing with Mrs Merkel in charge again. But leader Martin Schulz changed his mind after CDU/CSU coalition talks with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and Greens broke down.

At least the politicians are not completely unable to act: NRW has decided to increase the parliamentary allowance by 90%.

German government wants ‘backdoor’ access to every digital device: report

Found on The Local on Tuesday, 05 December 2017
Browse Politics

Germany’s Interior Minister wants to force tech and car companies to provide the German security services with hidden digital access to cars, computers, phones and more, according to a media report from Friday.

De Maizière also wants the security services to have the ability to spy on any device connected to the internet. Tech companies would have to give the state "back door" access to private tablets and computers, and even to smart TVs and digital kitchen systems.

Good luck with that after the experiences with the Stasi.