EU members say they voted accidentally on copyright changes

That messy new EU legislation that'll fracture the internet into three? It'll become law because a group of lawmakers literally voted the wrong way by accident... and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

10 different representatives came out after the results were in to say that they didn't understand the vote, largely because they thought voting would proceed for a different amendment first that would have seen the text debated before the final vote. That amendment was rejected by just five votes, and would have blocked the law being passed yesterday.

One immediately would assume this means there's new hope for discussing these laws again before they go through, but that's not the case: corrections of the record, which have been filed for these ten members of parliament, have zero effect either way. 

It's a disastrous revelation that will go down in history: Europe broke the internet because it has a terrible voting system, and even if a big enough group comes out to say something, it doesn't even matter.

The copyright directive is now on its way to the European Council, which will put the final approval on the text and make it into law in the next few weeks (there's a slim chance it could block it, but it would be unprecedented). 

The EU is loudly touting the law as a "win" but it's nothing more than an embarrassing mess, likely to hurt us for years to come. Even for me, as a creator, this has worrying effects: can I link to news articles? Should I avoid European news sources? There are no clear answers, and it's still about to become law.

FTC to investigate ISP privacy practices

An interesting development from the FTC: it's filed surprise orders for information with U.S. internet providers asking them to hand over logs and other information about what data they store on their customers and how it's used.

The orders went out to the big ISPs, including AT&T, Comcast/XFinity Google Fiber, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Verizon Wireless. 

The study hopes to understand what information is stored about consumer habits and their devices, whether or not ISPs have any practices for aggregation or anonymization of data, where it's stored, and what procedures they use.

It's an unprecedented probe: we never really see inside the inner workings of providers, and I don't think they're just fishing here—there's going to be some skeletons in these closets. For example, Verizon is in the content business, and it's tried in the past to target its own customers with 'supercookies' so I'd be surprised if it isn't doing something similar behind the scenes.

It's unclear what will happen from here—or if the information will become fully public—but they have 45 days to respond, at which point we'll likely begin to understand what they're actually up to when nobody is looking.

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