from the it-can’t-unhappen dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2015, a missing document from the FISA court docket suggested that there was yet another undisclosed bulk records collection program hiding somewhere, while newly-released Wikileaks documents revealed that, despite its denials, the NSA was engaged in economic espionage, and a fresh FISA order authorised “as-is” phone recrod collections for the next six months. Just like today, the FBI was on an anti-encryption streak, fearmongering about “going dark” despite actual wiretaps almost never running into encryption. And the MPAA was launching another ad campaign against piracy… targeted at paying customers, for some reason.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2010, we looked at the list of ten questions for ACTA negotiators that were being taken to a meeting in Sweden, and unsurprisingly got more of the same old stuff for answers. We looked at an economic analysis of the Viacom/YouTube decision, and then at the new important ruling of the week: the Supreme Court’s narrow take on Bilski, which let business method and software patents survive while leaving the door open for future cases that might change things — all of which required a bit of tea leaf reading to determine what the court was truly thinking about software patents.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2005, the Supreme Court issued its expected rulings in both the Grokster and BRand X cases, with a mixed bag of results — while former RIAA boss Hilary Rosen suddenly realized this kind of fight was probably harming the RIAA’s future. A Taiwanese court ruled that file sharing software is perfectly legal, while Sweden’s terrible file sharing law went into effect. Meanwhile, AMD resurrected its antitrust attack on Intel, and took out a bunch of ads to make its case to the public, though we wondered if the public would actually care.

Filed Under: history, look back

Categories: Technology