An Important Week To Speak Up To Protect Innovation And Privacy

from the two-important-issues dept

Two separate, but equally important, issues are getting extra attention this week, and if you're concerned about innovation you should speak up on both of them. First, it appears that the House is set to vote on the Innovation Act, the patent reform bill. While we're extremely disappointed that Microsoft and IBM were successfully able to water down an important part of the bill, it's still important to get this bill passed. First off, there are a number of other good anti-troll aspects to the bill. Second, the Senate bill still has the "covered business methods program" which got stripped from the House bill. This is the part of patent reform that will make it much easier to get bad patents invalidated faster. For now, it appears that there's strong support from Senator Chuck Schumer for this particular part of the legislation in the Senate, so even if it's not in the House bill, it's possible it'll come back later. But if the House can't even pass the bill in the first place, it will definitely delay any patent reform. As such the Trolling Effects site has set up a tool to reach out to your Representative. Please use it. Phone calls can make a really big difference in getting Representatives to take an issue seriously, and this is a serious issue that needs support.

The second issue is what's known as ECPA reform -- which may sound boring, but is incredibly important. These are the very out of date rules concerning when law enforcement needs (and more importantly, when they don't need) to get a warrant to sniff through your personal data. A bunch of consumer rights groups, privacy rights groups and internet companies are all teaming up on Thursday for a day of action to get people to call upon Congress to finally update ECPA to protect your privacy. There's a White House Petition on this, and there are some solid indications that if that can get over 100,000 signatures, the White House may finally be willing to move on this, despite very strong resistance from the likes of the SEC and IRS who like that they get to snoop through your emails without a warrant. I'll be taking part in a Reddit AMA about ECPA reform on Thursday, and a bunch of companies and sites will be promoting ways to contact Congress about ECPA reform on that day as well. Oh, and also the folks over at TechFreedom have put together this astoundingly awesome infographic about "what's so bad about ECPA" that you should check out.

So, again, use today and tomorrow to let Congress (and your friends) know about the importance of passing patent reform, and on Thursday speak up about ECPA reform. These two issues are both quite important in encouraging innovation while protecting our privacy.
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Filed Under: ecpa reform, innovation act, patent reform, patents, privacy, speak up

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  • identicon
    Brazenly Anonymous, 3 Dec 2013 @ 7:09pm


    Oral - of or related to the mouth.
    Aural - of or related to the ear.

    We can therefore conclude that, according to the ECPA, you can't hear someone talking to you unless they use a wire and you can't talk into a wire, so phonic (of or related to sound) communication is impossible and doesn't need to be protected.

    Please call up your reps and educate them on basic anatomy and Romance language usage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2013 @ 8:19pm

    or fire your reps... which ever works the best

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    vic kley, 4 Dec 2013 @ 10:58am

    Tell Your Representative to Vote NO! reject Masnik's Bosses

    It certainly is true that your lies and distortions for the large corporations that pay your company have been promulgated across the country.

    Your vicious slander and witch hunt for Trolls has contributed to making Congress attack an illusion and put forward bills which will destroy small inventors and small start-ups.

    You pretended to be concerned about certain kinds of software abuse but your utter lack of comment on the actual bills which target all start-ups and all inventors shows your true character.

    I'm sure that your small entity will do well being protected by U.S. Copyright law while other small entities die for foolishly relying on U.S. Patent law to protect their creations from your bosses the large corporations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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