July 2012

Parmy Olson on Anonymous and LulzSec

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Parmy Olson, London Bureau chief for Forbes, discusses her new book We are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of Lulzsec, Anonymous and the Global Cyber Insurgency. The book is an inside look at the people behind Anonymous, explaining the movement’s origins as a group of online pranksters, and how they developed into the best known hacktivist organization in the world. Olson discusses the tension that has existed between those that would rather just engage in pranks and those that want to use Annoymous to protest different groups they see as trying to clamp down on internet freedom, as well as some of the group’s most famous campaigns like the attacks against the Church of Scientology and the campaign against Paypal and Mastercard. Olson also describes the development of LulzSec which became famous for a series of attacks in 2011 on high profile websites including Fox, PBS, Sony, and the CIA.

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Christopher Sprigman on creativity without copyright

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Christopher Sprigman, professor of law at the University of Virginia discusses his forthcoming book, The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation sparks Innovation, co-authored with Kal Raustiala. The book is an accessible look at how industries that are not generally protected by intellectual property law, such as the fashion and culinary industries, are nevertheless thriving and innovative. Sprigman explains why this happens and what the phenomenon can teach us about other industries, such as the music and movie industries.

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Eli Dourado on fighting malware without laws

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Eli Dourado, a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, discusses malware and possible ways to deal with it. Dourado notes several shortcomings of a government response including the fact that the people who create malware come from many different countries some of which would not be compliant with the US or other countries seeking to punish a malware author. Introducing indirect liability for ISPs whose users spread malware, as some suggest, is not necessary, according to Dourado. Service providers have already developed informal institutions on the Internet to deal with the problem. These real informal systems are more efficient than a hypothetical liability regime, Dourado argues.

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