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Weekend Reads 022318: Copyright, walls, and botnets

Rejecting years of settled precedent, a federal court in New York has ruled [PDF] that you could infringe copyright simply by embedding a tweet in a web page. Even worse, the logic of the ruling applies to all in-line linking, not just embedding tweets. If adopted by other courts, this legally and technically misguided decision would threaten millions of ordinary Internet users with infringement liability. —Daniel Nazer @EFF

Security advances throughout the centuries have been mostly technical adjustments in response to evolving weaponry. Fortification — the art and science of protecting a place by imposing a barrier between you and an enemy — is as ancient as humanity. From the standpoint of theory, however, there is very little about modern network or airport security that could not be learned from a 17th century artillery manual. That should trouble us more than it does. —Jack Anderson

Akamai’s Fourth Quarter, 2017 State of the Internet, was released today in which it states that the analysis of more than 7.3 trillion bot requests per month has found a sharp increase in the threat of credential abuse, with more than 40 percent of login attempts being malicious. Additionally, the report warns DDoS attacks remain a consistent threat and the Mirai botnet is still capable of strong bursts of activity. @CircleID

Section 1201 of the DMCA bans the bypassing of “access controls” for copyrighted works. Originally, this meant that even though you owned your DVD player, and even though it was legal to bring DVDs home with you from your European holidays, you weren’t allowed to change your DVD player so that it would play those out-of-region DVDs. —Cory Doctorow @EFF

Patrick Reames had no idea why Amazon.com sent him a 1099 form saying he’d made almost $24,000 selling books via Createspace, the company’s on-demand publishing arm. That is, until he searched the site for his name and discovered someone has been using it to peddle a $555 book that’s full of nothing but gibberish. —Krebs on Security

Citing the potential threat to law enforcement and the general public, correctional facility officials have pushed for the FCC to address the issue of contraband phone use in prisons. In a recent meeting hosted by the FCC, Department of Justice officials and local law enforcement argued for aggressive technological approaches to addressing contraband phones. —Ferras Vinh @CDT

While perhaps best known for funding academic research, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) conducts many other activities, including an annual survey of doctoral graduates called the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED). While an important data source for understanding the societal impact of doctoral education, the way in which the NSF conducts its survey offers a case study in cybersecurity through obscurity, the importance of paying attention to the entire lifecycle of data and several useful lessons to other organizations managing sensitive data in 2018. —Kalev Leetaru @Forbes

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