links for 2009-04-22

  • When President Obama – in one of his first official acts – committed his new administration to an "unprecedented" level of transparency, EFF applauded the change in policy. Likewise, when Attorney General Holder, at the President's direction, issued new guidelines liberalizing agency implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we welcomed it as a "particularly promising development." But we also noted that it remained to be seen whether reality would match the rhetoric as the new policy was applied, particularly in the context of pending lawsuits – several of which EFF is pursuing – that challenge Bush-era decisions to withhold requested information.
  • Frankfort, KY – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky (ACLU of Kentucky) on Friday urged the Kentucky Supreme Court to uphold an appeals court ruling that blocked state officials from ordering out-of-state registrars to turn over control of over 100 overseas Internet domain names accused of violating state gambling laws.
  • In a reprise of his famous argument against DRM delivered to Microsoft executives in 2004, Cory Doctorow recently appeared before book publishers at the O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference to explain to leaders of the publishing industry why DRM on digital books is bad for customers, bad for authors, and bad for business.
  • Reports in Congressional Quarterly and the New York Times indicate that a National Security Agency (NSA) wiretap authorized by the FISA Court recorded Rep. Jane Harman trading political favors with a suspected Israeli agent. When the FBI attempted to open a criminal investigation into the matter, Attorney General Gonzales allegedly intervened because he "
  • Recent high-profile media coverage suggests a large percentage of the US population participates in online social networking and microblogging, but over half of Americans (51%) do not use Twitter or participate in either of the two largest social networking sites – MySpace and Facebook – according to (pdf) a recent Harris Poll from Harris Interactive (via MarketingCharts).
  • Social news site Digg is axing its ad partnership with Microsoft a full year before the deal is set to expire – and will rely on its own sales force to sell ad inventory, CNET reports.

    The 3-year contract, which began in mid-2007, was a big win for Microsoft, beating Google for ad selling on a site with over 17 million visitors a month. (In March '08, Microsoft and Google reportedly had a small and uneventful bidding war over Digg.)

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