New York Times: Accused of ‘Terrorism’ for Putting Legal Materials Online. “Carl Malamud believes in open access to government records, and he has spent more than a decade putting them online. You might think states would welcome the help. But when Mr. Malamud’s group posted the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the state sued for copyright infringement. Providing public access to the state’s laws and related legal materials, Georgia’s lawyers said, was part of a ‘strategy of terrorism.'”
Boing Boing: Jimmy Fallon played a video game on air, meaning that streaming your own game gets you taken down as a pirate, thanks to NBC. “NBC (and the other broadcasters) provides copies of its shows to Youtube’s Content ID filter, which is supposed to protect copyright by blocking uploads of videos that match ones in its database of claimed videos. That means that if you own the copyright to something that is aired on NBC, any subsequent attempts by you or your fans to upload your work will be blocked as copyright infringements, and could cost you your Youtube account. The latest casualty of this is the video game Beat Saber.”
BBC: Facebook copied email contacts of 1.5 million users. “Facebook ‘unintentionally’ uploaded the email contacts of more than 1.5 million users without asking permission to do so, the social network has admitted. The data harvesting happened via a system used to verify the identity of new members, Facebook asked new users to supply the password for their email account, and took a copy of their contacts.”
Ars Technica: Twitter blocks EFF tweet that criticized bogus takedown of a previous tweet. “Twitter and Starz have given us a new example of how copyright enforcement can easily go overboard. At Starz’s request, Twitter blocked an April 8 tweet by the news site TorrentFreak, which had posted a link to one of its news articles about piracy.” The tweets have been restored, but this is not a good look.
Business Insider: Facebook accidentally put hidden messages like ‘Big Brother is Watching’ and ‘The Masons Were Here’ in ‘tens of thousands’ of VR controllers. “Facebook said it accidentally hid bizarre and ‘inappropriate’ messages inside ‘tens of thousands’ of virtual-reality controllers, including ‘Big Brother is Watching’ and ‘The Masons Were Here.'” This company is worth over 500 billion dollars.
Ars Technica: Congress is about to ban the government from offering free online tax filing. “Just in time for Tax Day, the for-profit tax preparation industry is about to realize one of its long-sought goals. Congressional Democrats and Republicans are moving to permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electronic tax filing system.”
Krebs on Security: Facebook Stored Hundreds of Millions of User Passwords in Plain Text for Years. “Hundreds of millions of Facebook users had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by thousands of Facebook employees — in some cases going back to 2012, KrebsOnSecurity has learned. Facebook says an ongoing investigation has so far found no indication that employees have abused access to this data.” Un-freaking-believable.