Schumer wants to use CRA to undo net neutrality repeal

Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica as ever explains clearly how using the CRA to undo the FCC vote could work as well as the political likelihood of such an action succeeding. Part of me likes open internet supporters in Congress using the same act to preserve existing neutrality rules that was also used to undo consumer privacy protections earlier in the year. Another part of me wishes legislators would get on with what I think is really needful: a new piece of legislation to establish clear regulatory authority and constraints that is far better in step with the reality of the Internet than decades old telecom law.

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One Reason I am Increasingly Struggling to Speak about Tech Policy

Technology policy is hard to follow for the interested and invested. It is harder for a blogger and podcaster like me who wants in some way to make the legitimately complex issues in some way more understandable, to hopefully increase the number of people engaged in the very important, public discourse around these policy matters.

Mike Masnick at Techdirt unpacks a bit of Internet outrage around yet another tone deaf move by current FCC chair Pai. The sentiment that I think best sums up a piece that still is definitely worth the read is rightly angry but for the wrong reasons.

Why this is demotivating to me, on top of an an unrelated and overall lower energy level lately for all things technology lately, is that it makes the actual policy work so much harder. Signals from the public like open protests and calls to representatives are a very important contribution. However, when the rationale expressed in them is off base, if fuels exactly the kind of disregard that was critical to Pai and his supported in rolling back the rules around Network Neutrality.

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Firefox adopts technique from Tor to blunt browser fingerprinting

The change, to curtail access to the Canvas API, is incremental and likely to be limited in how it is visible to regular users. However it signals some progress in a collaboration with the Tor project to incorporate code and ideas that benefit the privacy features of Firefox and Tor Browser. The Register’s write up includes a pretty good explainer on fingerprinting and why finding ways to mitigate it is important.
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Google’s reCaptcha cracked again

A couple of important points here. What was theoretically broken was the audio alternative option in reCaptcha. Bad but not as bad as it could be. What is probably worse, though, is that an exploit has been previously published of this same option, in fact using Google’s own voice processing API’s against it. Nothing about how Google can or will shore up this vulnerability.
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FCC chair’s battles extend beyond net neutrality

Wherever you may fall on the budget concerns of an uncapped program like Lifeline, Jon Brodkin’s piece contains enough to worry about in terms of Pai’s continuing dismantling of his predecessors service to the public interest. Re-raising the bar on ISPs wanting to offer subsidized service, regardless of the cap issue, clearly says a lot about Pai’s stance of meaningful adoption and access.

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Lessons for technologists from historical resistance

This piece Cory shares works on a couple of levels. 1st is the simple history of how tech workers interfered with the Nazis, a theme that reminds me in all the best ways of the history and historical fiction I have read around WWII code making and breaking efforts. Perhaps more importantly, here, Cory shares a plea for modern tech workers to consider what they can do to help protect those at most risk in ways similar to our historical antecedents, translated forward to today.
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