☞ Broken Democracy

  • The Berlusconi regime in Italy has achieved a longevity that many thought was impossible in Italian politics, but it seems one of the mechanisms it has used rests at a convergence of politics and media power that is of questionable morality. It’s bad enough having Murdock and Fox as potential kingmakers across the world, but in Italy the connection is right in hands of the head of state.
  • I’ve never trusted the Verisign-style pay-to-prove hierarchical approach to internet security and the fact this box is so freely available settles it. This box means you can’t even trust https to protect you on the web.
  • The BBC want to add DRM (digital restriction measures) to UK television broadcasts. Given we have all already paid for whatever they broadcast becuase of the license fee, and given that most of what’s broadcast is available from elsewhere, this is about controlling consumers and not about protecting rights-holders. You’ll note that control of UK consumers is being handed to an unaccountable offshore consortium. It’s also another assault on the use of open source software since it will take a legal entity to get licensed by the offshore quango. I’ve signed up to the text ORG are submitting to OfCOM and suggest you consider doing so too if you’re in the UK.
  • There’s a delicious irony about the crusty old BCS turning down a petition for debate about their “modernisation” plans (in my view more about connecting with corporate sponsors) becuase the petition was conducted on the internet and not on paper. I hope their new President is suitably embarrassed and will make sure it doesn’t happen again (the anachronistic behaviour, I mean, not the squashing of dissent which I sadly anticipate continuing).
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