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"There are many concurrent ongoing dangers in the world of Free Software. Among them, you will finde software patents, hidden restrictions in obnoxious licences and trademark lawsuits which seem to be absolutely unavoidable unless one has deep pockets filled with money for defence. Recently, expensive interoperability clauses have been added to the mix. Formerly, protection against such issues was achieved by adding condemnations to existing licences. With the GPLv3, such protection comes built-in. (This change is still argued about, but it’s certainly a good idea to not having to draft up the clauses on your own. The GNU project is known to be political in many ways, and in most cases that’s a good thing.)

"ASIO and law enforcement agencies will be able to track the movement of people through their mobile phones secretly, without obtaining a court warrant, under new laws, legal and civil liberty groups are warning.
Mobile various

The Law Council of Australia says mobiles will effectively become tracking devices

Agencies will also be able to monitor the sending of emails, trace where people browse on the internet and check the destination of mobile telephone calls without warrants, under planned changes to telecommunication interception legislation.

Data able to be secretly collected in "real time" includes the geographic location of mobile phones whenever they are turned on and linked to a relay tower.

"A court decision reached last month but under seal until Friday could force Web sites to track visitors if the sites become defendants in a lawsuit.

TorrentSpy, a popular BitTorrent search engine, was ordered on May 29 by a federal judge in the Central District of California in Los Angeles to create logs detailing users' activities on the site. The judge, Jacqueline Chooljian, however, granted a stay of the order on Friday to allow TorrentSpy to file an appeal.

The appeal must be filed by June 12, according to Ira Rothken, TorrentSpy's attorney."

"TorrentSpy has promised in its privacy policy never to track visitors without their consent.

"Despite recent changes in Google’s data-retention policy, data protection officials from 27 European countries have written to Google warning that the search giant may be in breach European privacy rules because of the way it stores data on individual searches.

Google previously kept consumers’ data as long as it was needed. The company now plans to keep server log data, but will enhance the ability to make it anonymous after 18 to 24 months.

EU spokesman Pietro Petrucci said the group, which advises the European Commission and EU governments on data protection issues, wants Google to address concerns about the company’s practice of storing and retaining user information for up to two years, and whether the company had “fulfilled all the necessary requirements” on data protection." -- Read more

Really tiny RFID tags

The world's smallest radio frequency identification tags have been unveiled by Japanese electronics firm Hitachi. The minute devices measure just 0.05mm by 0.05mm (0.002x0.002in) and to the naked eye look like spots of powder. They are thin enough to be embedded in a sheet of paper. Read more and more.

Apparently the smallest RFID antenna is about 4mm, so one wonders if such extreme miniaturization is really necessary.

Now any tiny piece of thin wire you find on your clothing could in theory be a functional RFID tag... Should we be worried about our privacy? A commenter on Bruce Schneier's blog offers this solution against being tracked: