Thursday, June 19, 2014

Perhaps there's an App for that, and I could get in on the fun? Perhaps a bounty for finding cars on the “Repo” list? Or for finding stolen cars?
Tim Cushing writes:
Private companies engaging in large-scale surveillance are pushing back against the push back against large-scale surveillance… by filing lawsuits alleging their First Amendment right to photograph license plates is being infringed on by state laws forbidding the use of automatic license plate readers by private companies.
Now, these laws aren’t saying law enforcement agencies can’t use these readers. They can. What they do say (or did… Utah’s law was amended after a lawsuit by license plate reader company Vigilant) is that private companies, like repossession firms and tow truck services, can’t use these readers. But apparently they do, and those who manufacture and support the equipment would like to continue capturing this market.
Read more on TechDirt.

Is there a real strategy here or is this merely a “me too” project?
Jeryl Bier reports:
The U.S. Postal Service is seeking a company to help develop a program called the Internet of Postal Things. The Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC), part of the Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), is looking for a supplier “who possesses expertise and critical knowledge of the Internet of Things, data strategy and analytics, and the Postal Service’s operations, infrastructure, products and services.” The OIG is exploring ways for the Postal Service to benefit from the technology that provides “virtually unlimited opportunities to collect and process data from any device, infrastructure, machine and even human beings.”
Read more on The Weekly Standard.
[From the article:
The application of sensors and other data collection technologies to the various components of the postal infrastructure (vehicles, mailboxes, machines, letter carriers etc.), combined with powerful software and analytical tools, could help the Postal Service bring data management to the next level. It would create new rich data sources that could help the Postal Service improve operational performance, customer service, create new products and services, and support more efficient decision-making processes. The “Internet of Postal Things” could also have a positive spillover effect on other adjacent non-postal sectors, as the information collected by and for the Postal Service could be useful to others. [Oh, they want to sell the data. Now I get it. Bob]

“For shame, FCC!” See how well that worked?
FCC boss says he'll SHAME broadband firms for fibbing on speeds
Federal Communications Commission boss Tom Wheeler has said that he will issue written warnings to some US broadband carriers following an investigation that found some companies are still not delivering advertised speeds.
Wheeler said that while the broadband market as a whole is doing a better job of offering users promised download speeds, some companies are still not able to give users the levels of performance offered in ads.
Overall, the 2014 Measuring Broadband America report found that providers are delivering at or above their advertised speeds during peak hours. The report noted that DSL companies average 91 per cent of advertised rates during peak hours, while cable services average 102 per cent their advertised rates and satellite service, 138 per cent.

I'm looking for something to do with Big Data, perhaps a joint research project?
Babak Siavoshy writes:
Exposure to technology could of course cut both ways. Perhaps tech savvy judges will be more used to — and therefore more amenable to — daily tradeoffs between privacy and convenience. Or perhaps familiarity with technology simply gives judges more nuanced attitudes towards privacy, but does not affect their overall voting pattern on privacy/tech issues one way or another.
If there are law students out there looking for an interesting research project, it would be fascinating to see if there’s a correlation between judicial age, or other factors reasonably associated with tech savvy, and judicial decision making on legal issues involving privacy and emerging technologies — and if so, which way it cuts. And if readers know of existing work in this area, do share.
Read more on Concurring Opinions.

Poor Kim Dotcom. I don't think anyone likes him.
The High Court has ruled that research material used for a book about internet businessman Kim Dotcom is not protected by the Privacy Act, because the book is not journalism.
The Crown wants access to research material from a book called The Secret Life of Kim Dotcom as it prepares a court case against the internet businessman.
Normally, journalists’ research material is protected from Privacy Act requests, but Justice Winkelmann found the exemption only covers news articles and programmes, not books.
Read more on Radio New Zealand.

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