Profile

Cover photo
Rick Falkvinge
Works at Pirate Party
Attended Chalmers University of Technology
Lives in Sollentuna, Sweden
7,881 followers|1,648,592 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTubeReviews

Stream

Rick Falkvinge

Shared publicly  - 
 
Our children aren't inheriting the liberties of our parents: the importance of "Analog equivalent rights". New column on Privacy News.

The civil liberties of our parents are not being passed down to our children. Somehow, liberties are being interpreted to only apply to analog technology, despite this limitation being nowhere in the books. This is a disastrous erosion of the fundamental liberties our ancestors fought, bled, and died to give us.

This week, there was news of a new law passed in the US House of Representatives – the lower legislative chamber in the United States – passing a bill to require a search warrant for the government to search and seize people’s e-mail. In other words, the government would need a search warrant to obtain people’s private correspondence if it happened to be transmitted electronically, which practically all correspondence is today.

This law is bizarre. It should never have passed, because it shouldn’t be any kind of necessary. When you look at the original law giving privacy protection to people’s private correspondence, can you find any passage that says “do note that this law only applies to private correspondence when it’s sent on paper”? Of course you don’t. It was assumed, since it was the only way to correspond at the time the law was written, and besides, the focus of that law was where it was supposed to be: on protecting the privacy of correspondence, not on protecting a piece of paper as such.

What twisted interpretation of the law decided that the laws detailing our civil liberties only apply in the old world’s analog environments? Who decided that the paper, and not the correspondence, was the protected part?

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/04/children-arent-inheriting-parents-civil-liberties-understanding-analog-equivalent-rights/
The civil liberties of our parents are not being passed down to our children. Somehow, liberties are being interpreted to only apply to analog technology, despite this limitation being nowhere in the books. This is a disastrous erosion of the … Continue reading
14
5
Carsten Reckord's profile photoAlan Light's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Carsten Reckord By analogy, the First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press, and everyone understands that to mean publication, even if actual presses are not used - in part because media organizations transitioned gradually and were a very powerful lobby in this regard. In any case, "effects" is a general term referring to all sorts of personal property, and so cell phones are already included, even if the police routinely break this law.
Add a comment...

Rick Falkvinge

Shared publicly  - 
 
So GCHQ is already spying on behalf of the copyright industry. Why isn't there an outcry over this change of mission? New column on Privacy News.

In what’s almost a joke story, the BBC reports that the GCHQ tracked down what looked like a leak of a Harry Potter book somewhere on the Internet and alerted the publisher to it. It turned out to be a fake version. Still, media turns the entire story into a joke and a laughing opportunity, with the GCHQ spokesperson commenting thus: “We don’t comment on our defence against the dark arts.”

This is not a joke. Not at all.

We know since earlier that the copyright industry has been extremely, extremely, hostile to privacy. Throughout Europe, that industry were adamant for the need for the hated Data Retention Directive, which was later nuked from orbit by the European Supreme Court, citing fundamental human privacy rights. The copyright industry knows that its obsolete distribution model cannot survive in the face of sustained civil liberties – specifically, the right to communicate anonymously in private – so the industry is doing all it can to erode and dismantle that fundamental civil right.

And now it turns out, in the “laughingstock” section of mass media, that there has been a change of mission of the anti-terror surveillance agencies to also spy invasively on behalf of the copyright industry, to prevent ordinary people from sharing interesting things outside of the intended distribution monopoly. Why isn’t there a public outcry and outrage over the shock and repulsiveness of this mission creep?

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/04/gchq-already-spying-behalf-copyright-industry-isnt-outcry-change-mission/
26
17
Add a comment...

Rick Falkvinge

Shared publicly  - 
 
Breaking: Supreme Court: Wikipedia violates copyright by posting ITS OWN photos of public, taxpayer-funded art. New article.

A ruling in the Swedish Supreme Court today establishes that Wikimedia, the publisher of Wikipedia, must pay compensation to the creators of original sculptures and monuments when publishing their own photos of said sculptures and monuments. Note that this isn’t about using photos without permission; the photos are used with permission. It’s the fact that the photos depict public – and taxpayer-funded – art. This is the Freedom of Panorama gone wrong, and shows just one facet of the copyright regime’s utter brokenness.

The Supreme Court concludes that Wikimedia, according to copyright monopoly law, is not permitted to publish photos of public art – photos where the photographer has explicitly permitted Wikimedia to publish them – without permission of the creators of the original monuments.

Expect this ruling to have far reaching implications for Wikipedia’s operations – and its presence in Sweden and Europe.

CLARIFICATION: This is posted on April 4. It’s not a slightly old April Fool’s joke.

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/04/supreme-court-wikipedia-violates-copyright-posting-photos-public-art/
27
20
Mikael Lundgren's profile photoAlan Cox's profile photo
2 comments
 
Just block Sweden from Wikipedia completely and wait
Add a comment...

Rick Falkvinge

Shared publicly  - 
 
European Supreme Court advisor: “Strike down Germany’s open-wi-fi-liability laws”. New column on Privacy News.

This week, the top advisor to the European Court of Justice advised the Court to rule against Germany’s liability laws for open wi-fi hotspots. While the case isn’t finished yet, most media reported it as “no liability for open wi-fi”. The case is much, much larger than that.

In most of Europe, it has been long settled that IP addresses do not identify an individual, and so, a subscriber to an Internet connection can’t be civilly liable for copyright monopoly infringements that take place on the connection. Germany circumvented this by making subscribers explicitly liable for activity on unsecured connections.

This has led to a predictable explosion of so-called speculative invoicing in Germany – where shady law firms claiming to represent exclusive-rights-holders are sending threat letters to the subscriber identities of IP addresses they discover in torrent swarms. For some reason, German ISPs are helping the law firms with this. In most of the civilized world, this practice died and was declared fraudulent about ten years ago, but it lives on in Germany.

In other words, media reports have completely missed the importance of this case. It doesn’t mean that the few copyright monopoly infringements that take place over unprotected wi-fi access points cannot be sued, as has been claimed in tech media. Rather, because of how this connects with speculative invoicing and the open wireless defense, it means that NO European private copying from home can be sued with speculative invoicing in the future, and that’s quite a bit larger.

It may take another case or two, but it looks like the German racketeering is coming to a similar swift and very welcome end. These liability laws has meant that IT patterns in Germany has lagged behind the rest of Europe by five to ten years.

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/03/european-supreme-court-advisor-strike-germanys-open-wi-fi-liability-laws/
6
2
KasiKuula's profile photoRick Falkvinge's profile photo
2 comments
 
+KasiKuula That is an excellent technical argument, which the courts are known to summarily dismiss because they can't internet.
Add a comment...

Rick Falkvinge

Shared publicly  - 
 
Obama repeats 600-year-old argument against printing press at SXSW, only directed at the Net and crypto. New column.

There’s a thread in the Technology section of Reddit right now [...] the thing is, this Reddit thread probably don’t know how correct they are.

[history lesson]

And indeed, exactly that justification was used in France to ban all use of the printing press by penalty of death (!) on January 13, 1535 – exactly the justification Obama gives in his opening speech in SXSW against the Internet and encryption.

Sometimes, you need to know a little bit of history to make sure you’re on the right side of history.

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/03/obama-repeats-argument-printing-press-sxsw-directed-internet/
25
9
Jan Bruun Andersen's profile photoAlan Light's profile photoRick Falkvinge's profile photo
3 comments
 
+Alan Light Point, though I was referring to the Reddit thread saying 600 years. But you're completely right. 480, even.
Add a comment...

Rick Falkvinge

Shared publicly  - 
 
Understanding the Net's disruption of the Power of Narrative, in historical context. New column on Privacy News.

The greatest power you can hold in any society is the Power of Narrative - the position where other people turn to you to find out what's true and what's false, and to interpret the events around us. The Internet completely upends the old structures of this power, and a lot of the conflict on the net can be traced back to this power - and specifically the transition of this power.

Let's illustrate what happens in transitions of this power. In the 14th century, books in Europe were copied laboriously by hand, by monks and nuns in monasteries. This meant the Catholic Church had an absolute control over what books existed, and of course, all of them were in Latin.

Remember, the Bible was in Latin. It only existed in Latin. And only the clergy could read Latin, and therefore, tell the masses what the Bible said. This is exactly the power imagined earlier in this article - the ability to say anything and have it taken for unquestionably true.

So the real shocker came with the so-called Gutenberg Bibles, bibles printed by the cartload in French and German, that started appearing in the streets. At this point, the Catholic Church completely panicked, because all of a sudden, people could read and verify the claims made by the church. The church was no longer needed to read the Bible in Latin. This meant that the church had lost the ability to interpret the Bible's text to its own advantage.

This led to 200 years of civil war across the entire known world, as the power of narrative transitioned multiple times, having broken the Church's previous gatekeeper position over humanity's knowledge and culture.

Now... does any of this feel familiar with regard to today's situation with the Internet's disruption of the old guard?

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/02/understanding-the-nets-disruption-of-the-power-of-narrative/
11
5
Edward Morbius's profile photo
 
Excellent point in that breaking control over narrative is a key element. See also Clay Shirky's recent essay (in Tweets...) on how, successively, cable TV, the Internet, and social media have broken open the stranglehold on political narrative within the US (and elsewhere).
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
7,881 people
Parminder Singh's profile photo
Rebekah Michel's profile photo
Kathaline Lewis (Katty)'s profile photo
Robert Toth's profile photo
Sanani Tinayang's profile photo
Ken Danieli's profile photo
Jan Alfbo's profile photo
Täpp-Anders Sikvall's profile photo
Sanna Gustavsson's profile photo

Rick Falkvinge

Shared publicly  - 
 
Subway photographer connects random photos to people’s social media profiles. Game changer! New column on Privacy News.

Егор Цветков (Egor Tsvetkov), a photographer in Russia, has taken photos of random people on the subway and connected them to social media portraits and complete profiles using face matching technology. This is a game changer.

It used to be that technology was good enough to say whether two photos appeared to be of the same person. We’ve now reached an inflection point where one input photo can (mostly) be used to find the matching person among tens of millions of people, and where the processing power used is low enough for that service to be free.

You cannot hold back the mere existence of technology. In less than five years, there will be CCTV cameras which list all the people being currently in-frame with their name and social media portrait. Shortly thereafter, law enforcement will use this for automated warrant spotting, RoboCop style – or will at least very much want to.

With the technology available as a free service, scaling up the processing power is just a matter of Moore’s Law and throwing money at it. Who’s going to provide the neural network and the photo databases? There’s obviously giants like Facebook and Google, but this would also a new potential monetization for any service where a lot of people have sent photos – like Tinder. Real-time photo matching for surveillance and convenience use.

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/04/subway-photographer-ties-random-photos-peoples-social-media-profiles/
11
2
Alan Cox's profile photoJim Pe's profile photo
3 comments
Jim Pe
 
+Alan Cox Nooooo, nothing can go wrong with this scheme!
:/
Add a comment...

Rick Falkvinge

Shared publicly  - 
 
Would you like this hypothetical telecom regulator to head up ICANN? New and important column on Privacy News.

Let’s imagine a hypothetical telecom regulator getting picked as a new head of ICANN, and the consequences it might have. ICANN is the organization regulating much of the Internet’s crucial infrastructure, and there has been a continuous power struggle between the Internet’s values of transparency and openness against the dinosaur Telecom values of walled gardens and surveillance.

Imagine a telecoms regulator heading up the Telecoms Regulation Authority in a small country that’s so small and insignificant most people on the global net-political scene just disregard it. Therefore, this particular regulator is able to claim whatever resumé he likes, as nobody would check the claims with the actual Internet community in that small country, and would be able to apply for – say – a job heading up the most important job there is defending the Internet’s values, that is, head of ICANN.

[...long description of actual events, with links...]

In summary, imagine this particular regulator in the small country having been completely at odds with the entire Internet community of that country and Internet’s values for the entirety of their career as a telecom regulator. Imagine they are so against transparency when it works against them, they would rather disappear documents and reports; imagine they are so carefree about due process, they are using their authority power to fine ISPs that don’t use mass surveillance against their own customers before the court case challenging their right to do just this is even decided.

There’s just one catch to this scenario. The person in question isn’t hypothetical.

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/04/like-hypothetical-telecom-regulator-head-icann/
9
4
Add a comment...

Rick Falkvinge

Shared publicly  - 
 
German studies eight years ago show that surveillance brings horrible self-censorship. Why is this news to the US now? New column on Privacy News.

Yesterday, a big study broke in the Washington Post about how a mass surveillance regime is dangerous to society, and shows it silences minority opinions when people know they’re being watched. Thus, it made the chilling effect go from theoretical to academic. What’s troubling is that there have been non-US studies showing this for upward of a decade – why haven’t they been referenced in the US debate?

The new study, as described by the Washington Post, illustrates how people self-censor dissenting and minority opinions in a mass surveillance regime. While this is absolutely important, and this effect must be first and foremost in any policymaking – far before any budget increase for a toy-happy surveillance department – it’s not news. This was known in large European studies almost a decade ago.

When Germany created its (most recent) mass surveillance regime with Data Retention following the 2004 Madrid bombings and the politicians’ following populist spree, there were tons and tons of studies on how this surveillance changed the behavior of ordinary Germans.

And did it? When ordinary Germans knew that every phonecall they made was being logged for the explicit and express purpose of being used against them in the future, did that change behavior in any way?

Hell yes it did.

It changed behavior enormously.

Specifically, a study by the respectable Forsa, and referenced by Heise and others, showed that HALF of Germans would stop making phonecalls that could be used against them in the future. This included a large list of phonecalls that could somehow identify them as “weaker” – suicide hotlines, drug helplines, even marriage counselling.

It’s been known at least since 2008 that mass surveillance suppresses any behavior seen as minority behavior, undesirable behavior, or weak behavior, and this is a huge effect.

So why has the US debate acted as though this hard data doesn’t even exist? Does the United States have to repeat all mistakes of others on its own?

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/03/germans-studies-eight-years-ago-show-surveillance-brings-horrible-self-censorship-news-us-now/
16
13
TheBlack Box's profile photoEdward Morbius's profile photo
3 comments
 
For related discussion (big picture), Tim Ferris's The Science of Liberty is an interesting exploration. Calls on how scientific inquiry requires democratic principles. Not quite anonymity/discussion, but getting there.
http://www.worldcat.org/title/science-of-liberty-democracy-reason-and-the-laws-of-nature/oclc/419855201
Add a comment...

Rick Falkvinge

Shared publicly  - 
 
The Gawker case is the thin edge of a two-ton concrete repression wedge. New column on Privacy News.

The media outlet Gawker has been sentenced by a Florida jury to a 115-million-dollar liability for publishing a sex tape of “Hulk Hogan” and not taking it down on a court order. What’s more, that’s before any punitive damages. This case is dangerous – it’s the thin edge of a two-ton concrete repression wedge, using the same cheap public opinion as Gawker is accused of using.

The only thing that matters in this case is what Gawker’s editor-in-chief said: "the Constitution does unambiguously accord us the right to publish true things about public figures". This is the only thing that matters. This is the only thing that must matter.

Clear heads and eyes on the ball. This is about the Press’ right to publish facts about public people. Nothing else. Whether people consider those facts trashy, and the publishing outlet equally trashy, is beside the point.

The fact that this is a sex tape, and therefore appealing to basic public opinion rather than critically important principles, is allowing government to set a precedent where published inconvenient facts about a public person can be hit by multimillion-dollar damages. Is that really a precedent you want to carry into the next presidency?

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/03/gawker-case-thin-edge-two-ton-concrete-repression-wedge/
10
4
Edward Morbius's profile photoJohn Davidson's profile photo
2 comments
 
The First Amendment tries to make this a black/white issue. The only exception to that right is whether any laws were broken in the creation or transmission of such video. If a law was broken then the right to publish becomes grey to black and the First Amendment may no apply.
Add a comment...

Rick Falkvinge

Shared publicly  - 
 
In one single image, the establishment and mainstream media show their utter ignorance of security. New column on Privacy News.

Consider this story by the New York Post, which cries out in terror that a master key to the New York City utilities has leaked. Consider that this story has passed by many people on the way to publishing, all part of the narrative-creating establishment, and consider what their understanding of the most fundamental security must look like.

Yes, that’s the key being discussed right there, the “1620” key. The New York Post is crying out in terror that this master key is on the loose, and goes on to publish the full secret of the key, in gigantic format. From this point, anybody can trivially reproduce this key.

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/03/one-single-image-mainstream-media-shows-utter-ignorance-security/
The various branches of the establishment are frequently criticized for not understanding, or even caring about, the critically important fields of privacy and security. In just one image, the New York Post shows just how bad the situation is with … Continue reading
49
27
Simon B's profile photoduane attaway's profile photoIan Freeman's profile photoRank Badjin's profile photo
9 comments
 
Most doors that can be opened with that key can be opened with a pocket knife. Just sayin.
Add a comment...

Rick Falkvinge

Shared publicly  - 
 
Apple vs Government Surveillance: As warned about for years, government is now asserting a right to SUCCEED in wiretapping. New column on Privacy News.

In a case in San Bernadino, USA, courts have ruled that the government has a right to succeed in wiretapping an old iPhone, and is requiring Apple to help out. We have warned about this for years: the ubiquitous governmental ability to attempt a wiretap is going to be mistaken for a right to succeed in such wiretapping. We've now arrived at the dangerous point where courts agree.

Starting in the early 1990s when the government attempted to ban strong encryption, and continuing through the Clipper Chip debate in the mid-1990s, the various attempts to contain open source, and the current fantasies of a "golden key", the government has consistently tried to keep strong encryption out of the hands of the masses.

We have therefore warned for a number of years that it's only a matter of time before said governments mistake their ability to attempt a wiretap on everybody for a legal right to SUCCEED in wiretapping everybody all the time. We've warned about this for years, and the day has now come. Actually, it's worse: the executive branches of governments have had this delusion for some time, but it's been contained by other, saner parts of government.

What's new in the San Bernadino case is that the courts agreed to this outlandish assertion. There are three branches of government, intended to keep each other in check. For the first time, the judicial branch agreed with the runaway executive branch in that the executive not just has a right to attempt wiretapping anybody at will, but it has a right to succeed in its attempts to do so.

This rabbit hole of eroding privacy doesn't end here, however. Don't ever think it can't get worse. The next step, once governments have asserted a bizarre right to succeed in wiretapping, is to assert a right to also understand what they're successfully wiretapping. Speaking in code? Even speaking in a foreign language? Forget about that.

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2016/02/apple-vs-government-surveillance-as-warned-about-for-years-government-is-now-asserting-a-right-to-succeed-in-wiretapping/
14
5
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
7,881 people
Parminder Singh's profile photo
Rebekah Michel's profile photo
Kathaline Lewis (Katty)'s profile photo
Robert Toth's profile photo
Sanani Tinayang's profile photo
Ken Danieli's profile photo
Jan Alfbo's profile photo
Täpp-Anders Sikvall's profile photo
Sanna Gustavsson's profile photo
Work
Employment
  • Pirate Party
    Political Evangelist, 2011 - present
  • Pirate Party
    Party Leader, 2006 - 2011
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Sollentuna, Sweden
Previously
Göteborg, Sweden
Links
Other profiles
Story
Tagline
Traveling Speaker on Information Policy
Education
  • Chalmers University of Technology
    Engineering Physics
Basic Information
Gender
Male
This is the first restaurant tab ever I've tipped in excess of 100%. And I would do it again. The meat was pure perfection, but the service was even better than the food.
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
3 reviews
Map
Map
Map