Tech at Night: CISPA moves on. Ayotte takes on the Sales Tax. Google defeats Viacom.

Tech at Night

So yes, CISPA passed the House. Unsurprisingly, Anonymous isn’t happy, what when as things stand Lulzsec already is getting hammered. Greater information sharing is a threat to online anarchists, as well as foreign private and state actors.


The bill now goes to the Senate, where Jay Rockefeller may stall on an ego-driven separate bill. I think the bill’s a good idea. It’s not perfect, but not all of the criticisms floating around are correct. In particular, SOPA is a red herring, and totally unrelated. CISPA is about information sharing, not regulation.

As I said previously, the ECPA’s email search regulations were written for an older technical era, and are already out of date. This is common when government tries to touch fast-moving technology. we can fix ECPA but again, this is a lesson in why not to regulate.

Kelly Ayotte is going to war against the sales tax compact aimed at online sales. I find this interesting because New Hampshire doesn’t even have a sales tax. I guess Ayotte fears this is a step toward a true national sales tax. I think the answer to that is to add greater safeguards, not to defeat the whole bill. Let the states that want the compact, have the compact.


Google wins its case against Viacom, defending the DMCA against attacks by Viacom. Basically, Google was following the letter of the law on DMCA’s copyright infringement rules, but Viacom decided that wasn’t good enough. Google won. I think this a good thing, because for the most part, DMCA was a reasonable compromise on copyright issues. In this case, to do otherwise would threaten Youtube and all sorts of other websites entirely! Innovation would be damaged.


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