Author Archives: ksotello

RIAA and Google

The RIAA has released a report stating that Google’s efforts to limit the rankings of serial offenders of digital piracy has not been very effective at all. The RIAA says that 98% of the time popular pirating websites show up well in the top 10 with Amazon anchoring the end of this list around half the time.

The RIAA began their research in December limiting their searches to the name of the artist, the name of the track followed by either mp3 or download. The study finds that less than half of the top ten websites that pop up have recieved more than 1,000 copyright removal requests by January. In conclusion the RIAA is saying that Google has not demoted (or effectively demoted) any of the top pirating websites that frequently popped up during the RIAA research.

The article goes on to say that Google needs to try to work out deals with record producers and other content producers in order to stock up on its Google Play storefront, but says that if these companies aren’t comfortable with the efforts that Google is taking to limiting the search results of pirating websites (or limit pirated material currently on its own YouTube), they may have a hard time gathering this content.

So what does this mean for the future of search engines and the way we look for content in our everyday lives? What will this mean for Google in the long run?

Creating effective algorithms to search and demote websites that violate copyright law doesn’t seem to be working. Could this lead to changing the way Google does business in the long run?

I’m sure there are companies that will limit your online presence for a fee, and if there aren’t any that could be a big money making business in the future. Could these types of organizations sprout up to fight against websites that promote illegal material?

Here is the link to the article on Slashdot.

Unit 61398

Was listening to NPR this morning and found this little gem.

A military unit from the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) known as Unit 61398 or “Comment Crew” has been hacking into U.S and other foreign firms to gather intellectual property, infrastructural data and other information that could be useful to the Chinese Government.

This hacking unit has been effectively gathering such information since as early as 2006 and has been using the intellectual property int order for China to be able to keep with the same corporations that the information is being taken from.

A group called Mandiant were the ones who traced the data back to Shanghai China and into a building which houses the military unit.

Another issue comes from the data retrieved about electrical grids and gas lines. Such data could be used to a very harmful degree.

I know that we discussed in class that intellectual property could not be stolen and that this would be considered to be found information by the “Comment Crew”, but I could see how this could in fact be considered stolen and creates a huge advantage to competing companies abroad.

Could these companies IPs be considered stolen? What about the trade secrets that were probably found as well? Would this have been viewed differently if a U.S based company was hacking competitors in order to gain an upper hand?

The eye in the sky

An article on talks about a new type of surveillance camera called the ARGUS-IS which is capable of recording an area “half the size of Manhattan”. The articles goes on the say that “The newest in the family of “wide area persistent surveillance” tools, the system can detect and track moving objects as small as six inches from 20,000 feet in the air.” This technology also allows the operator to search for “suspicious activity” even after the recording has been made.

Could something like this eventually be an attack on the populations fourth amendment rights? What if a drone picks up what would be considered “suspicious” and could then fall under the Patriot Act? Would that persons fourth amendment rights really matter?

Here they list a few different ways local police and government officials are using such technology and also give a map where drones are being used. In the event of drug trafficking I could see how this could be beneficial as well as for fighting forest fires.

From what we’ve learned in class a Kantian view would make this morally wrong, as this would cause a lot of unrest within the population and would minimize “happiness” if applied universally. The same would fail in accords to utilitarian points of views. But what about cultural relativism?