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CLIP-ings: August 30, 2013

Internet Governance

Under The Sea:  Although the exact location has not yet been revealed, the UK reportedly operates a secret spy base in the Middle East to gather the region’s email, telephone and web data from undersea fiber optic cables; details of the British base reportedly emerged from Snowden leaks.

Hear Us Out:  Bitcoin proponents pitched the payment method to nearly a dozen U.S. federal agencies, including the FBI, IRS and Secret Service, in an effort to lessen impending regulation; notwithstanding, prospective regulators were still left with concerns as to virtual currencies’ illicit uses.


The Spy Who Shagged Me:  Most instances of willful misconduct by NSA surveillance employees were “LOVEINT” violations – where agents used NSA eavesdropping powers to spy on love interests; however, officials state that all LOVEINT violations were of overseas communications and that most were self-admitted.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Pro-Syrian Hacks:  After claiming credit for similar website attacks on the Washington Post, CNN and Time earlier in the month, the Syrian Electronic Army, “a pro-Syrian-regime hacker collective,” now pronounces responsibility for the most recent take-over of the New York Times’, Huffington Post UK’s and Twitter’s domain name servers.

Intellectual Property

Seeing Magenta:  Claiming trademark rights in a certain shade of magenta, T-Mobile sues AT&T pre-paid subsidiary, Aio Wireless, over use of the color in its logo; Aio claims that this latest spat between the two wireless carriers is without merit.
Software Patent Ban:  After five years of debate, and with carefully drafted language in light of TRIPS, New Zealand’s Parliament has passed a bill to ban software patents, but will still allow those already in existence to stand.

Free Expression & Censorship

A2K In Iran:  After the U.S. lifted sanctions on the export of certain consumer communications products and services to Iran, Google and Apple have each removed restrictions on its offerings in the country; these market shifts that may signal increased access to information for the Iranian citizenry despite efforts by the Iranian government to stifle it.

On the Lighter Side

Instagram-parents:  As urged in this Instagram primer for the old folks, “learning shouldn’t stop just because you almost have.”