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Norwegian Data Inspectorate rules use of Google Apps by companies breaches Norweigian law, cites US Patriot Act

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 21:49 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy


Datatilsynet, The Norwegian Data Inspectorate has effectively outlawed many corporate uses of Google Apps within Norway on privacy grounds.

Reports are only just emerging (in Norwegian) that a “Notice of Decision” dated 16th January (pdf, Norwegian) states that Norwegian companies that make use of Google “cloud” services, (known locally nettskyløsning – essentially Google Apps) with its standard terms “violate the law”.

It is unclear at this stage whether the opinion will be challenged in the courts.

The Norwegian authorities cite the US Patriot Act, which gives “U.S. authorities the ability to monitor terrorist suspects without charge or trial” amongst the reasons why a US-lead data protection initiative known as US-EU Safe Harbor was insufficient in itself to guarantee compliance with strict Norwegian data protection laws.

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  1. Since you never know where a piece of hosted software may store its data, that seems pretty close to saying “all SaaS is illegal for Norwegian companies to use”. Not just Google Apps, but Bootcamp, Dropbox, iCloud, Office Live, you name it.

Stephen Colbert – South Carolina Speech Rally (January 20, 2012)

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 21:43 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2012

“…because if Corporations are people, people with a Constitutional right to influence our elections, then I promise you: Government of those people, by those people, and for those people, shall not perish from this Earth.”

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  1. Is that really Cain who shows up at the end, or a double?

  2. That was indeed Herman Cain. They planned to do a stump speech together in SC before the vote.

The Gingrich Who Stole South Carolina

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 21:36 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2012

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

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In Which I Fix My Girlfriend’s Grandparents’ WiFi and Am Hailed as a Conquering Hero (McSweeney’s)

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 21:23 by Desiato in category: Funny!


The people did beseech the warrior to aid them. They were a simple people, capable only of rewarding him with gratitude and a larger-than-normal serving of Jell-O salad. The warrior considered the possible battles before him. While others may have shirked the duties, forcing the good people of Ferndale Street to prostrate themselves before the tyrants of Comcast, Linksys, and Geek Squad, the warrior could not chill his heart to these depths. He accepted the quest and strode bravely across the beige shag carpet of the living room.

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  1. Copyright will soon be extended to works of 6000+ years old (and any derivatives, including satire), sold to the highest bidder on the planet, and the unknown originator will have his posterior sued off.

Sarah Ferguson will not be extradited to Turkey

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 20:57 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


There is no prospect of Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, being extradited to Turkey to face criminal charges over her undercover reporting for a TV documentary on Turkish orphanages, a British interior ministry source said on Friday.

Turkey sought Ferguson’s extradition after a Turkish court accused her of “breaking the law in acquiring footage and violating the privacy of five children” while making the documentary in 2008, Turkey’s Anatolian news agency said.

The charges carry a maximum jail term of 22 years six months.


A ministry source said there was no question of the Duchess being extradited to Turkey. “It has to be an offence in both the countries’ laws. It’s not an offense in U.K. law, so the duchess won’t be extradited,” the source told Reuters.

Obviously, this won’t be a problem in the case of Richard O’Dwyer, who is being extradited to the US for copyright infringement for posting links – not an offense in the UK.

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  1. I guess Mr. O’Dwyer isn’t a washed-up, fat, fading, minor celebrity who’s bonked some of the British Establishment? (Did I say that out loud?)

  2. Well, can’t give up double standards, that’s our main weapon. Or was that surprise?


Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 16:32 by Paul Jay in category: News

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  1. You gotta hand it to Bill Clinton, he is a game changer. The man made adultery (and nearly made sexual harassment) politically correct.

Snarky tweets

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 15:11 by Desiato in category: Commentary, Funny!


Newt Gingrich [was] asked what he’d have done with Terry Schiavo. Well, duh! He would have divorced her!


Romney paid the Mormon Church 15% of his income. Paid America only 13.9%. There are no LDS leaders living in poverty. Any questions?


Mitt Romney’s tax rate = 13.9%. Obama = 26%. That a Kenyan Muslim Socialist loves America twice as much as Romney? Priceless!

Love this guy.

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  1. The GOP believes the best way to support the troops is to keep them in places where they are shot at.


  2. “Only in John Boehner’s America is talking about income inequality worst than actual income inequality.”

    “A Tea Partier calls Elisabeth Warren a “Socialist Whore.” There they go again with phrases they don’t understand. A whore is a capitalist!!”

    “Phil Collins isn’t his real name. That’s just a pseu pseu pseudonym.”

    “I wish I invested in poverty. It’s up 53% since 2000.”

Metric Jesus

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 15:10 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News

I think most people will stick with the Imperial system, where you get twelve Disciples to one Jesus.

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  1. Funny. But to quote Wikipedia, “Most critical historians agree that Jesus existed and regard events such as his baptism and his crucifixion as historical.” So this seems like a lot of multiplying by 0… :-p

  2. If you believe everything allegedly said by Mr. Christ, I’ve got some Lost Scrolls and some Pieces of the True Cross that I can swap for money…

Health care

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 15:05 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself

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Why was MegaUpload really shut down?

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 14:59 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


In December of 2011, just weeks before the takedown, Digital Music News reported on something new that the creators of #Megaupload were about to unroll. Something that would rock the music industry to its core. (http://goo.gl/A7wUZ)

I present to you… MegaBox. MegaBox was going to be an alternative music store that was entirely cloud-based and offered artists a better money-making opportunity than they would get with any record label.

“UMG knows that we are going to compete with them via our own music venture called Megabox.com, a site that will soon allow artists to sell their creations directly to consumers while allowing artists to keep 90 percent of earnings,” MegaUpload founder Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz told Torrentfreak

Not only did they plan on allowing artists to keep 90% of their earnings on songs that they sold, they wanted to pay them for songs they let users download for free.

“We have a solution called the Megakey that will allow artists to earn income from users who download music for free,” Dotcom outlined. “Yes that’s right, we will pay artists even for free downloads. The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works.”

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  1. That is an *excellent* story to have ready when your piracy-heavy site gets shut down…

Ruling could force Americans to decrypt laptops

Posted on January 24th, 2012 at 13:46 by John Sinteur in category: News


American citizens can be ordered to decrypt their PGP-scrambled hard drives for police to peruse for incriminating files, a federal judge in Colorado ruled today in what could become a precedent-setting case.

Judge Robert Blackburn ordered a Peyton, Colo. woman to decrypt the hard drive of a Toshiba laptop computer no later than February 21 — or face the consequences, presumably including contempt of court.

So much for the 5th.

Any worthwhile amendments left?

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  1. Hopefully this’ll go to the Supreme Court. They just unanimously ruled that placing a GPS on someone’s car constitutes a search/invasion of privacy.

    The article has some good discussion about arguments on both sides. I think the comparison with a key to a safe holding incriminating documents (which it claims a defendant can be compelled to give up) seems like a very close analogy. Similarly, being required to give blood to check if one was driving drunk seems pretty close, too.

  2. The safe holding documents is simple: dear police, just use force to open it. Encryption? Just use force to break it. Oh, you can’t? Your problem.

    The blood check sample is more interesting. Indeed, it should go the the SC.

  3. Well, we’ve already trashed the 10 Commandments. Why should the Constitution be exempt from the depredations of hypocrites and poltroons?

  4. @John: you’re saying that the police can just open the safe without action by the defendant. That’s not the scenario addressed in the article–it says there are precedents for forcing the defendant to surrender the key.

    You can also take a blood sample without the defendant cooperating–hold them down while you draw some blood. (Is this materially very different from holding a suspect in custody while you wait for them to poop out the cocaine-balls they swallowed? I’m not sure.)

    So the safe key situation actually seems like a closer analogue to me.

    The key indeed seems to be whether the 5th Amendment protects a defendant only from being forced to communicate, or whether it frees the defendent from having to cooperate. The examples I cited suggest that courts have not deemed defendants safe from coerced cooperation.