from the so it was dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2016, calls were continuing for the outgoing Obama administration to save the CIA torture report from being buried, while the White House agreed to preserve but not declassify it and at least one copy was preserved in Obama’s archives. Facebook was announcing new measures to deal with disinformation while Iran was using the “fake news” scare to justify widespread censorship. Ajit Pai made it clear that net neutrality was on the way out while Tom Wheeler resigned rather than stay on as a commissioner. Meanwhile, after so many years of the Prenda saga, John Steele and Paul Hansmeier were indicted and arrested.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2011, Rupert Murdoch was personally lobbying for SOPA (as were sixteen former Judiciary Committee staff thanks to the revolving door) while RIAA boss Cary Sherman was defending it in the New York Times and MPAA boss Chris Dodd was getting desperate. Lamar Smith released an updated version of the bill that was still a disaster for cybersecurity (among other things) and even snuck in a new private right of action for shutting down sites. A nearly-twelve-hour markup session was a fiasco, and we also heard the first murmurs about a Wikipedia blackout in protest. Also, this was the week that Mike published his 40,000th Techdirt post.
Fifteen Years Ago
This week in 2006, we saw an overbearing proposal to protect kids online while Germany was considering an insanely draconian law to punish creators and players of violent video games and a Japanese court issued a worrying ruling about liability for software makers. It was becoming increasingly clear that the Zune would not be a hit, and people were starting to realize that Second Life might not be as big a hit as the hype implied. The rumors about Apple’s mysterious “iPhone” were joined by more dubious rumors of an Apple MVNO to sell mobile service directly. And major labels were ignoring the demand for DRM-free music while Bill Gates was admitting DRM was broken, though not doing anything about it.