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computer robot zombies

August 11, 2014

Robots and zombies. They are both slaves. The computerized zombie is a significantly more powerful threat than the original creature.

CUTimes: “Russian Credentials Breach: Threat of the Week” by Robert McGarvey:

it was an array of robots– a zombie army of computers contaminated with malware that let the criminals take control – that were programmed to hunt for network vulnerabilities.

The Washington Post editorial calls for action: “The growing scourge of cybercrime demands action from Congress“:

Russian hackers strung together networks of virus-infected zombie computers known as botnets that were programmed to do their bidding.

And so therefore, The Washington Post (newly owned by internet-mega-billionaire Jeff Bezos) insists Congress must act! Yes, this zombie-robot fear is setting the stage for legislative lobbying on cybersecurity.

GovInfoSec: “Senate Weighs Botnet Busting Changes” b Mathew J. Schwartz:

Some botnet operators – known as botmasters or bot herders – directly use their collection of infected, or zombie, PCs to launch attacks.

ECNS: “Exploiting subconscious, shared fears“:

Jiangsu Normal University’s Chen has studied the differences between zombies in Hong Kong and Western movies. The 1990s witnessed a series of classic Hong Kong-made zombie movies, starring actor Ching-ling Lam, but the Chinese undead are very different from their Western counterparts. For example, Chinese zombies – called jiang shi, literally “stiff corpses” – hop to move, while Hollywood zombies simply stagger. Unlike Western zombies, they don’t eat flesh, or bite people to drink their blood. Instead, they drink qi, or “life energy”.

Meanwhile at Ars Technica:”The six tech policy problems Congress failed to fix this year” by Joe Mullin:

One: Pass anti-troll patent reform
Two: Reform ECPA, and finally grant due process for e-mail privacy
Three: Reform our vague anti-hacking laws
Four: Bring out-of-control intel agencies to heel
Five: Do something on immigration
Six: Pass a strong, permanent “right to unlock” bill

Cybersecurity means tracking us on the internet, so let’s be sure that all of this legislation (because clearly we do need some) must include strong protections for both privacy AND fair use.

Seattle PI: “The Fair Use Defense – Part 3: Information Must Flow To The Sciences & Arts” by Timothy B. McCormack:

For example, Tina is a scientist who wants to publish a revolutionary report on global warming. For the more imaginative, Tina has discovered the “zombie strain that threatens humanity.” … Tina is eager to release her important findings to the public … Without the doctrine of fair use, the cost of repeating all those studies would be prohibitively high and the public would be deprived of her contribution to our knowledge of global warming (and zombies).

Fair use is a defense but just because you think your use is fair doesn’t necessarily mean that a court will agree. Do you have the money to fight the case in federal court? That risk can have a serious chilling effect on speech.

Watch the ways a visual meme can be created and transformed on any given day at Imgur. This wonderful form of speech is almost entirely copyright infringement. It should absolutely be protected as fair use but it’s really not clear that it is in every case. Largely this becomes an issue of individual test cases on less than sympathetic defendants.

Consider recently ArsTechnica: “Porn studio sues immigrant who has “no idea how BitTorrent works,” wins big” by Joe Mullin about the court order of US District Judge Robert Jonker.

It’s hard to get the public outraged about an immigrant guy who has 57 porn movies stored on his computer but Judge Jonker’s order makes no mention of it being pornography. That fact doesn’t matter to his ruling, it’s copied content and it’s there on the computer, so that’s infringement as a matter of law. Recall similarly child pornography conviction for one click.

These should be concerning precedents. Everyone just assumes that what they are doing themselves is ok and only the bad people get in trouble.

Is it all a matter of public perception? Most people don’t use BitTorrent so they don’t get outraged here? Like they didn’t get outraged for Napster or Grokster? We all just let it happen. We let them teach us about their Intellectual Property, and revise it for Digital Millennia and now cybersecurity (so they can track us and charge us). Stop letting them take away our free internet – the next legislative action should include stronger protections for Fair Use and DIY rights!!!

Instead, LA Magazine spins the metaphor into a twist on the classic alcohol drink: “6 Wacky Cocktails to Try on 1886’s Summer Menu” by Garrett Snyder:

The creative juices are always flowing at 1886, the hidden bar inside Pasadena’s The Raymond. … Age of Piracy: An ode to classic tiki cocktails, this potent refresher riffs on The Zombie, mixing pineapple, lime, grapefruit, cinnamon syrup, and spiced vanilla liqueur with the unexpected combo of aged rum and single malt Scotch. It’s a doozy.

But, oh no, did my copying that excerpt use more of than was fair? Can LA Magazine sue me now? Is it piracy to steal that little snippet for the scholarly purpose of this blog about word meaning? Should internet writers and artists everywhere have to think like this and speak only in approved soundbites??? Is that the world we want to live in, where sharing is prevented by surcharges?

Also, speaking of Robots and Zombies, consider the celebrity name Rob Zombie. Rob Zombie is raising money independently through the internet and making really cool animation.

And recall also “Zombie Zero worm malware” and other zombie hackers and computers.

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