'We’re not sneaky, we're dads from the Midwest'
Plus: 'DMCA takedown in personal folders?'
Outraged of Twitter
Outraged Twitterers posted a variety of replies, mostly expressing their disbelief that Dropbox could use DCMA in a personal folder:
There have been some questions around how we handle copyright notices. We sometimes receive DMCA notices to remove links on copyright grounds. When we receive these, we process them according to the law and disable the identified link.
We have an automated system that then prevents other users from sharing the identical material using another Dropbox link. This is done by comparing file hashes. We don't look at the files in your private folders and are committed to keeping your stuff safe.
Also this week, in a PDF description of his new Connectivity Lab, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg explained why his idea of using drones to get the world online was oh so much better than, say, Google's Loon balloons:
We want to be able to precisely control the location of these aircraft, unlike balloons.
With the efficiency and endurance of high altitude drones, it's even possible that aircraft could remain aloft for months or years. This means drones have more endurance than balloons, while also being able to have their location precisely controlled.
And finally, a controversial browser plug-in that allowed people to discern LinkedIn users' private email addresses has been withdrawn by its developers. Sell Hack's "Hack In" button on LinkedIn profiles would display email addresses of users so people could connect directly with them instead of through the business network – when it worked at a any rate. But the network's lawyers soon caught on to the plug-in and sent the developers a cease-and-desist letter.
Though it came across as a hack of some kind, the service was actually using publicly available information and guesswork to come up with email addresses, rather than actually mining data from LinkedIn's systems. The devs behind the service bemoaned their fate, but said they weren't out of the game yet:
We are building a better product that does not conflict with LinkedIn’s TOS. We’ve been described as sneaky, nefarious, no good, not ‘legitimate’, amongst other references, by some. We’re not. We’re dads from the Midwest who like to build web and mobile products that people use.
But security consultant Graham Cluley wasn't too impressed with this explanation:
The 'dads from the Midwest' who make up the Sell Hack Team might do well to be a little more transparent if they release new versions of the tool, and be clearer about what they are doing and what they aren’t doing, if they want to gain the trust of internet users.
It remains to be seen if LinkedIn will ever look kindly on a service which put a 'Hack in' button on every one of their over 200 million active user accounts. ®