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Federal judges evaluated the privacy and free speech implications of a California law that would create a database of online identities for sex offenders, noting the shift in public sentiment around such data collection since voters passed the law last November and today, as revelations about the US’s monitoring of online communications continue to emerge.
“We’re living in a post-Snowden world,” said Judge Jay Bybee of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, referencing the surveillance practices revealed by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden and questioning whether a database of email addresses and online identities intended to help solve sex crimes could be used to monitor people’s political speech.
Mr Bybee was one of three judges hearing oral arguments in a case about Proposition 35, the California law that requires convicted sex offenders to register their email addresses and user names for online news sites and social networks. The initiative was passed by a majority of voters last November, after receiving financial backing from Chris Kelly, Facebook’s chief privacy officer between 2005 and 2009. Read more
Twitter’s chief executive Dick Costolo is facing intense scrutiny about when the messaging site will go public. His appearance at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco taught us little about that, instead going back to first principles of managing a company – whether brand new or about to IPO. Read more
Snapchat’s investors were betting on growth first, monetisation later when they put $60m into the pioneer of ephemeral messaging.
That growth is continuing apace, Snapchat’s co-founder and chief executive Evan Spiegel said on Monday, with 350m “snaps” sent every day last month, up from 200m in June.
But the LA-based company is slowly starting to think about ways to make money, too, saying that Chinese internet giant Tencent – which makes much of its income from in-app purchases – was a “role model” for Snapchat. Read more
In the past year, however, that’s started to change. Snapchat brought ephemerality to photo sharing, Nextdoor is reconnecting real-world neighbours and Whatsapp, WeChat and Line are fighting for mobile instant-messaging dominance.
That includes both new features for users – and new ways to make money from the body of data it’s collected, with third parties. Read more
It takes some nerve to sell a company for $850m and then describe it as “the biggest repository of online cock and balls ever recorded”.