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Little Brother inspired Google to encrypt its users’ traffic




On yesterday’s “This Week in Google,” a Google engineer called Matt Cutts revealed that the company started encrypting its queries in 2008 after reading my novel Little Brother, in which one of the plot-elements is a guerrilla movement that gets a friendly ISP to encrypt a lot of its traffic so that the movement’s own encrypted connections won’t stand out. I am incredibly honored and flattered to learn about this!

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For me today Little Brother is less fiction than I thought when I first read/heard it. The free german audiobook (11 hours, 600MB) made by Christian Wöhrl and Fabian Neidhardt, licensed under CC, was great. I regret that the license of Homeland doesn’t allow such fan-made projects anymore…

Chapter One is available under a derivative friendly license and can be translated to Deutsche. So long as you derive from the Internet Archive’s copy anyway. And one should be very explicit in the source to prevent any confusion, mayhaps even using as the primary host for this file.

Mr. Doctorow may have inadvertently licensed the Homeland book cover under CC by-nc-sa as well by personally uploading it as cover art for this episode of his podcast. One may now be able to include the cover with the e-text as long as this version is sourced. However, I shall leave others more adventurous (and richer than I) to test the legality of such usage in the courts. The XML data leaves no question about whom the original uploader is, so he has either violated his contract, or he has much more latitude in usage than he leads the public to believe.

I know I have attorneys that follow this tumblog, I would be interested in their take on this matter (not legal advice blah blah, we know. you’re free to opine and shoot the shit however, even encouraged).

German copyright law is very strict. We also have something called “flying court” - meaning that the plaintiffs could sue you at any court they want (preferably Hamburg, this court almost always rules in favour of plaintiff).

My personal opinion is: I just don’t want to struggle with laws/licences/etc. There are GPL violations by companies of my own code out there. The whole license system sucks!

German government spyware is ready for deployment

According to an answer of the German government to an official parliamentary question by the left party, the self-developed “Federal Trojan” is ready for deployment. This government spyware was developed by the german federal police (BKA) after Chaos Computer Club revealed serious constitutional problems of the formerly used “Digitask” trojan in 2011.

Development budget was about 2 million Euro. 

CSC Germany (a subsidary of CSC US with close ties to the NSA) is ordered to audit the code on “constitutionality”… that seems to be a joke, but it isn’t!


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