Questionable business models affect the perception of the new Facebook/Whatsapp Privacy Policy

Facebook changed its data management strategies and decided to use data generated by WhatsApp. The “people of the network” are up in arms. Many threaten to switch to Telegram or Signal. Some do so. Then everything goes back to the way it was. Originally published in Italian by Infosec.News

It is not the first time that ‘alarms’ about this or that fundamental right have provoked gut reactions that, in practice, translate into little. Once again, as shown by the many data theft cases by this or that multinational company, no one is shocked.

That is how it is, everyone thinks. However, does it have to be that way? Continue reading “Questionable business models affect the perception of the new Facebook/Whatsapp Privacy Policy”

An early reading of the Facebook v Business Competence trials

Unfair competition by feature plagiarism. The Courts of Milan issue two verdict that might pose severe problems to the software industry by Andrea Monti – originally published in Italian by Diritto di internet

The two judgments of the Tribunal  and the Court of appeal of Milan rewrite the parameters for the assessment of software duplication in the context of deceptive conduct by favouring the external appearance (interface and functionality) over the traditional approach based on the comparison of the analysis (design) and the source code (implementation/expressive method).

The opportunity missed by the judgments, based as to the an on external similarities of the two pieces of software at issue, is to indicate how Article 2(I)(8) (which excludes from copyright protection

the ideas and principles underlying any element of a program, including those underlying its interfaces. The term program also includes the preparatory material for the design of the program itself

 and Art. 45 of Legislative Decree 30/05 which, in paragraph II, excludes the legal protection of mathematical methods (i.e. algorithms).

The effects of these decisions on the software industry, historically based precisely on the replication of functionalities, and the structure of liability under industrial law are still to be assessed.

Where is the beef in the T&T (Twitter&Trump) outrage?

Some newspapers are outraged about the closure of the former US president’s account. Instead, they should re-think their role and contents they deliver by Andrea Monti – Originally published in Italian by Infosec.News

Frankly, it is hard to understand the outrage about Twitter & Trump and, in general, about the “power” of social networks to silence anyone.

Unlike newspapers, Twitter, Facebook and Google are private companies. They provide services against the acceptance of a contract. The contract gives them the power to accept as a customer whomever they want, to do what they want with the published content and to close accounts at will. Not unlike proprietary software producers who reserve the right to withdraw – at their discretion – the licence they have paid for, which is often very expensive.

Twitter & C. do nothing different from newspapers and ‘traditional’ media. Indeed, one could even say that the latter do worse, in the name of adherence to the ‘editorial line’. We witness political factionalism, superficial and coarse information, or ‘free inspirations’ from foreign newspapers passed off as original articles every day. Just as, daily, we witness the ‘usual celebrities’ talking about everything and anything on any television programme, even beyond their sectoral expertise. Continue reading “Where is the beef in the T&T (Twitter&Trump) outrage?”

The responsibility of media and intellectuals for the power of big-tech and the safety of Institutions

Media and intellectuals no longer anticipate reality, but merely follow it. The building of a civil conscience pays the price by Andrea Monti

After Twitter decided to close former US president Trump’s accounts, Italian media and intellectuals  “discovered” the power of technological platforms and launched a “democracy alarm”.

They come good last and more than twenty years late (better late than never) on such an issue desperately signalled at international level by civil rights associations such as the American EFF, in Europe by EDRI) and, in Italy, since 1994, by ALCEI. Continue reading “The responsibility of media and intellectuals for the power of big-tech and the safety of Institutions”