Source Code: News Links for Digital Rights
My go-to links for digital rights news.
As the humble author of your Daily Digital Digest I've been asked to share some links which I frequent for news on copyright, net neutrality, privacy, secret trade deals and more. The the links I post every week day can come from any number of sources, some of them more often than others. So here are my go-to links for digital rights news:
I've been following Dr. Geist since at least 2009; back then he was a strong opponent of Bill C-61, a copyright reform bill that ultimately failed. But Geist's important work goes on, with each new post on the blog bearing his name a valuable treatise on the state of this country's copyright, net neutrality, privacy and/or telecom affairs.
As a freelance journalist Mr. Nowak's work can sometimes be hard to track down; fortunately for me he started a new blog in 2014 where all of his writing can be found. Not all of it is relevant to digital rights, but what is is invaluable. I've had the pleasure of meeting Peter in person, and can affirm that he's one of the good guys!
iPhone in Canada / Mobile Syrup
Canada's two prominent mobile tech blogs can be an unexpectedly good source for topics pertinent to digital rights, like Mobile Syrup's in-depth coverage of Bell buying MTS, for example.
On any given day the glorious mess that is the Canada subreddit might be hiding a gem or two on its front page; if nothing else it's a dependable source for angry redditors complaining about their Internet bills.
USA and Beyond
Technically a Canadian but currently residing in the USA, Doctorow was among the first bloggers to post about ACTA in 2009, actually re-blogging a more in-depth post by our own Michael Geist. That seems to be his style, using Boing Boing as a personal repository for whatever he finds interesting and/or important in the moment. He also contributes to another site you may have heard of...
How can you not love a digital rights organization whose co-founder was once a member of the Grateful Dead? From his Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace in 1996 right through to the organization's current campaigns the EFF has continued to be an important pro-user voice in the fight for digital rights. They sell pretty cool stickers, too!
I have to give kudos to this site for the simple reason that I shamelessly ripped off their morning links idea... twice! Once for the Daily Digital Digests here on Open Media, and also for a week-daily round-up of mobile phone news that I post to HowardForums.com.
But the site still earns a spot on this list for their informative front-page blog posts on net neutrality issues and ongoing carrier shenanigans. There's a lot more to DSL Reports than just updates on ISP outages and router troubleshooting.
Once again, reddit can be a great resource if you know where to look. The privacy subreddit delivers exactly what you'd expect, while r/cyberlaws has a broader scope which may include news on other topics like software patents. Finally, r/technology has by far the most subscribers of the three, so it's where I go to gauge the popularity of links from the other two subreddits. Clever, eh?
Mike Masnick's tech blog is celebrating 20 years of snarky headlines—did you know that the term "the Streisand Effect" was first coined there in 2005? Fortunately, Techdirt's coverage of digital rights news stretches far beyond celebrities' misunderstandings of the Internet, and anything posted by Karl Bode, Glyn Moody or Masnick himself is particularly worth a look.
Created in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks, edited by Glenn Greenwald and bankrolled by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, The Intercept has from the start been a go-to source for stories about NSA surveillance. They produce a weekly podcast as well, recently featuring an interview with Snowden himself from South By Southwest.
You could justifiably fault TorrentFreak for its brazen weekly listings of top illegal movie downloads; if you can look beyond that you'll be rewarded with a steady stream of news about copyright reform, or lack thereof. TF has been a particularly good source for ongoing news on the saga of Kim Dotcom.
Nilay Patel's 2014 screed on net neutrality got my undivided attention; when you consider that both The Verge and its parent company, Vox Media, are owned in part by telco conglomerate Comcast, that editorial is even more impressive. If you can endure the site's unwavering affection for Apple products—they're known in some circles as iVerge—they do some excellent reporting on digital rights issues. Check out the videos on the Vox YouTube channel as well!
Canadian success story VICE has transformed from a Montreal sleaze-rag into a bona fide media empire, and the Motherboard is the hub their "multi-platform" technology reporting—including but not limited to podcasts, videos and text. Canada's own Justin Ling is a frequent contributor on the text front, and from what I've read seems to be one of our country's foremost experts on CSIS.
And that's where your links come from!