technews.am is a new community for breaking news across the technology sector. We are still in Alpha, so please bear with us.
Why re-invent the wheel when you can copy from millions of years of evolution? Okay, so there aren't that many animals that use the wheel for locomotion, but there are plenty of other tricks that biology has figured out. Around and around we go, when the futility will stop, nobody knows. I'm referring, of course, to a large swath of government and industry groups around the world that apparently just love to play whac-a-mole with torrent sites, which don't host infringing files. We've pointed out before how stupid it was for people like Jammie Thomas and Joel Tenenbaum to fight the copyright infringement lawsuits launched against them. This will come as no surprise to anyone, but NSA boss General Keith Alexander is pestering Congress for a new law which would provide blanket immunity for companies helping the NSA collect data on everyone. Add Al Gore's voice to those who are speaking out against the NSA's dragnet surveillance practices. The former Vice President not only said the practice was un-American, but also unconstitutional in violation of the 4th Amendment. We already discussed how bizarre it is to see NSA defenders trying to claim both that this story is nothing new and a huge danger to America, but that kind of thing continues. Retired federal judge Nancy Gertner, who has appeared in stories here for years (she was the original judge in the Tenenbaum trial, and also spoke out about how US attorney Carmen Ortiz handled the Aaron Swartz case), has now highlighted a very important point about all of the NSA surveillance stories: at the heart of much of it is the secretive FISA court, and that court should not be trusted. We already commented on FBI director Robert Mueller arguing that the NSA's mass surveillance techniques would have prevented 9/11, and now it appears that Dick Cheney is agreeing with this fictional scenario in which his crystal ball says what might have happened:
"As everybody who's been associated with the program's said, if we had had this before 9/11, when there were two terrorists in San Diego — two hijackers — had been able to use that program, that capability, against that target, we might well have been able to prevent 9/11," Cheney said on "Fox News Sunday.
As we've noted before, Hadopi has been a colossal failure on just about every metric, and now seems on the way out.
Last week, we thought it was ridiculous enough that the DoD (of which the NSA is a key part) had reminded all staff that they were not allowed to look at any of the leaked NSA documents, even if they came across them in the press.