The flawed bill fell two votes short of what was needed, creating an odd situation where the bulk collection of communications records and other metadata can continue for now, but some of the underpinning legislation becomes likely to expire in mid-2015.
Nine big tech powers really want the USA Freedom Act — which would curtail some of the government’s data gathering activities — to pass and are pushing the Senate to get that done.
Congress was poised to go forward with patent reform this week but an unexpected hold-up in the Senate suggests the process could be in trouble.
Microsoft and its allies delivered a big blow to a plan to fix the software patent mess. Here’s an account of what happened and why forces in the Senate could still bring real reform.
There are many in Washington itching for a shot at the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions generally who may try to seize on the bi-partisan support for cell phone unlocking as a vehicle to re-open the law.
An alarming story about a Senate plan to let federal agencies read your email turns out to have been a false alarm. Unfortunately, fears over online privacy mean such stories travel quickly — and that we’re likely to see the media crying wolf in the future.
Patrick Leahy, co-founder of startup Firefly, turned down a prestigious Wall Street investment banking internship to build software that takes the messy plug-ins and downloads out of web-based customer support services.
If you’ve never been to a hackathon, give it a shot even if you can’t stick it out for the full ride. AngelHack Boston entrants started coding at noon on Saturday and finished 30 hours later. I was there for 10. Here’s what I learned.
Anti-piracy legislation has traditionally been one of the few areas of genuinely bi-partisan action on Capitol Hill. Insofar as the issue was controversial, the conflicts were either generational (see: “series of tubes”) or regional (Northern vs. Southern California). SOPA, after all, was introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a deeply conservative Republican from a very red district. PIPA, on the other hand, was drafted by Sen. Patrick Leahy, the liberal senator from Vermont and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the wake of The Great Blackout, however, there are signs of increasingly partisanship on the issue. During the Republican primary debate last night, the candidates were asked (via Twitter) about SOPA and three of the four denounced it in unusually partisan terms. Newt Gingrich blamed it on “Hollywood liberals” (no doubt news to Lamar Smith), Ron Paul called it big government and Mitt Romney said he opposed it because “I’m standing for freedom,” whatever that meant. Only Rick Santorum expressed support for “the goals” of SOPA and PIPA, if not for the bills themselves. Meanwhile, as the Wall Street Journal points out this morning, most of the remaining supporters of SOPA are now Democrats.
If you’re just hearing about SOPA and PIPA, the complexity of these controversial bills can seem daunting. Here’s your quick guide to the proposed pieces of legislation and a one-stop shop of resources that can help you learn much, much more.