from the looking-back dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2014, while congress was gearing up to push a dangerous cybersecurity bill and one court was telling the DOJ that “state secrets” isn’t a magic wand, we were hoping an important lawsuit about NSA surveillance would go forward despite the nutty plaintiff. A former NSA lawyer was hilariously warning Google and Apple that Blackberry failed because of ‘too much encryption’, while James Comey was just angrily demanding backdoor keys, and in the UK the GCHQ was straight-up blaming the tech industry for facilitating murder.
Ten Years Ago
This very same week in 2009, the Obama administration was playing the “state secrets” card in a warrantless wiretapping case, not long after promising to change its state secret practices. Meanwhile, the MPAA was telling the FCC that file sharing would kill the internet, hot on the heels of getting 60 Minutes to air a full show of unalloyed MPAA propaganda about piracy — even as yet more studies were showing file sharers buy more media (just like how DVRs were helping, not hurting, TV) and attacks on file sharing just drive people further underground. But the latest leaks showed the copyright folks were planning on getting their way in one place: ACTA, which was looking like an entertainment industry wishlist.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2004, long before today’s concerns about social media and politics, the big question was if political spam could influence elections. The MPAA was in the news too, foolishly following in the RIAA’s footsteps and suing 200 file sharers — while DVRs were just starting to truly catch on. Phones were transforming tech with voicemail on the way out in favour of SMS and camera phone photos showing up on the front pages of newspapers. And the broadband providers were still fighting their vicious fight to ensure municipal broadband never happens.