The laws that govern your digital rights are being rewritten in secrecy by trade representatives from countries around the world.
It’s known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), or more commonly referred to as the “secret copyright agreement”.
The unusual obscurity surrounding these negotiations has many worried that corporate interests are taking a front seat over what should be an open and transparent process.
It began in 2006 when the US submitted a draft proposal to Canada and now has spread around the world with several rounds of meetings being held in different cities. The most recent round of meetings were held in Guadalajara, Mexico.
An unsettling picture is emerging, one where the US along with a coalition of countries, are seeking to create tighter more uniform restrictions on digital data.
There are groups of notable organizations and concerned individuals who are dedicating much of their time to analyzing and investigating the implications of the ACTA.
The following is a list of some of the best sources for ACTA related information.
You may want to be more cautious the next time you use an ATM.
It is called ATM skimming, and it involves the scanning, or skimming, of your credit card’s magnetic strip, and the capturing of your PIN number from a nearby camera.
Thieves use inexpensive parts, many available online, to construct authentic looking facades on ATMs. They place a dip reader, or card reader, over the debit card entry slot. Your card is skimmed as it slides into the bank’s official card slot.
The card’s data is harvested along with a video capture of you entering your PIN. The contents of your card’s magnetic strip are cloned onto blank cards where thieves quickly visit different ATMs and drain all of your funds.
You can see a breakdown of the components here.
Click the link below to see a list of three important steps you can take to protect yourself from this growing fraud.
A landmark ruling by the Supreme Court asks citizens to use the Internet to connect the dots between corporate influence and their political candidates.
Thursday’s ruling by the Supreme Court (large pdf) has serious implications on the future of US elections. In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled that corporations can spend money from their general treasuries to support political candidates.
This landmark decision overturns two legal precedents that have restricted the amount of influence corporations have in impacting the outcome of elections. The court believes that corporations are entitled to the same free speech rights as individuals.
The court recommends that citizens and shareholders of corporations use online campaign finance data to determine whether or not their candidates and corporations are too close for comfort.