/ / Articles, News

In my latest Locus column, “Demon-Haunted World,” I propose that the Internet of Cheating Things — gadgets that try to trick us into arranging our affairs to the benefit of corporate shareholders, to our own detriment — is bringing us back to the Dark Ages, when alchemists believed that the universe rearranged itself to prevent them from knowing the divine secrets of its workings.
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Mr Robot is the most successful example of a small but fast-growing genre of “techno-realist” media, where the focus is on realistic portrayals of hackers, information security, surveillance and privacy, and it represents a huge reversal on the usual portrayal of hackers and computers as convenient plot elements whose details can be finessed to meet the story’s demands, without regard to reality.
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/ / News, Podcast

I’m keynoting the O’Reilly Security Conference in New York in Oct/Nov, so I stopped by the O’Reilly Security Podcast (MP3) to explain EFF’s Apollo 1201 project, which aims to kill all the DRM in the world within a decade.
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The Electronic Frontier Foundation has just filed a lawsuit that challenges the Constitutionality of Section 1201 of the DMCA, the “Digital Rights Management” provision of the law, a notoriously overbroad law that bans activities that bypass or weaken copyright access-control systems, including reconfiguring software-enabled devices (making sure your IoT light-socket will accept third-party lightbulbs; tapping into diagnostic info in your car or tractor to allow an independent party to repair it) and reporting security vulnerabilities in these devices.
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Earlier this month, I gave the afternoon keynote at the Internet Archive’s Decentralized Web Summit, and my talk was about how the people who founded the web with the idea of having an open, decentralized system ended up building a system that is increasingly monopolized by a few companies — and how we can prevent the same things from happening next time.
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I have an editorial in the current issue of Communications of the Association of Computing Machinery, a scholarly journal for computer scientists, in which I describe the way that laws that protect digital locks (like America’s DMCA) compromise the fundamentals of computer security.

At the Electronic Frontier Foundation, we’re anxious to talk with computer scientists whose research is impeded by DMCA and laws like it, and to discuss how they can improve their odds of coming out on top in legal challenges. It’s part of the Apollo 1201 project to kill all the world’s DRM within a decade.
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