Monthly Archives: September 2011

Priv3 for Firefox — Block Social Networking Trackers

I think anyone who uses social software wants Priv3: Practical Third-Party Privacy, especially as tracking by these outfits seems on the rise:

How Priv3 Works

Blocking simple "web bugs" or "trackers" is fairly straightforward, because doing so does not harm your web surfing experience. By contrast, completely blocking social networking features is counterproductive, because doing prevents you from actually using these features—say to leave a comment, or to "like" something—when you would like to do so.

Therefore, Priv3 does not block third-party interactions completely. Instead, it selectively suppresses the inclusion of third-party web cookies when your browser pulls in content from the social networks, but does provide them if you decide to interact with the social networking features. You still see the number of "likes" the page has accumulated on Facebook or the comments other people left using Facebook’s discussion mechanism. Facebook however only learns the IP address of the computer you are using.

Should you decide to interact with the social feature, Priv3 detects any mouseclick or keystroke directed at the feature. It then reloads it with your session cookies and passes on the click or keystroke, thus revealing your identity to the social network and informing it of your desired action.

Priv3’s Currently Supported Social Networking Sites

Priv3 currently understands the interactive features of the following social networks:

Google +1

We will expand the list in the future, as needed.

Posted in Software | 7 Comments

I’m Back

I seem to have survived my trip to Oxford. Anything happen while I was away?

Posted in Talks & Conferences | 3 Comments

Bruce Schneier’s “Three Emerging Cyber Threats”

I agree with Bruce’s Three Emerging Cyber Threats, especially the first two. Haven’t thought enough about the third, but maybe I should.

Posted in Internet | Comments Off on Bruce Schneier’s “Three Emerging Cyber Threats”

Fighting the ICANN Marshmallow

ICANN seems to have improved since its early days, but hasn’t, it seems, transcended its secrecy DNA. Kieren McCarthy, former insider, now critic, fights with the marshmallow that is ICANN faced with any request by powerless outsiders. How long can the ICANN Board hide its secret meeting?

The issue: did the Board have a secret meeting to discuss whether to keep its (now-departing) CEO? Note that having a meeting to discuss a sensitive personnel matter and then not disclosing the minutes would not be controversial — even radical ICANN transparency types like me could agree that’s appropriate. The issue is whether there actually was the secret meeting Kieren suspects, and if so why the coverup?

Posted in Internet | Comments Off on Fighting the ICANN Marshmallow

‘There Will Be Lawyers’

Virtual Reality as the next growth industry for litigation? Might be:

One of the most interesting apps that someone produced was a virtual tee-shirt shop.

“He put it in the 20 most expensive shopping streets in the world, selling t-shirts.”

Stop and think about that for a minute. He built a virtual shop where a real one already existed. His shop was accessible via a mobile phone, the real one was accessible through, well, being real. That means that real space and virtual space can be owned by different people.

It actually starts to alter the most fundamental aspect of an economy, property ownership. While only one person can own the real space, anyone can own the virtual space.

“We are democratizing space,” says Mr. Van der Klein with no exaggeration. “Space needs to be opened up to allow people to contribute to it.”

If you are a store owner on say, the Ku’Dam or the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, how well do you think that is going to go down? But just because you own the physical space of your building, do you own the virtual space as well?

There will be lawyers.

Tech Europe – WSJ, Augmented Reality Start-Up Ready to Disrupt Business, via slashdot.

Posted in Law: Internet Law | 1 Comment

New Paper on the Regulation of Online Anonymity

I’ve posted a first draft of my new paper, Lessons Learned Too Well, on SSRN. The paper, which is about the regulation of online anonymity, was written for a conference being held next later this week to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Oxford Internet Institute, A Decade in Internet Time: Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society.

I’m the sort of person who prefers to post only more polished drafts — this one has a couple holes I know about and no doubt many I don’t know about too. But the symposium organizers asked us to post our papers on SSRN, and so there it is.

Comments very welcome, either below or in email.

I’m leaving for the UK tomorrow in order to give myself a bit of time to recover from jet lag before it begins, this being my first solo international journey since all my medical excitement. Posting may be light for a few days.

Below I post the introduction, which I thinks gives you some idea of what it’s all about:
Continue reading

Posted in Internet, Law: Internet Law, Law: Privacy, Talks & Conferences, Writings | Comments Off on New Paper on the Regulation of Online Anonymity