"the government is probably watching you with it anyway…"
"the government is probably watching you with it anyway…"
A new report details how corporations are increasingly spying on nonprofit groups they regard as potential threats. The corporate watchdog organization Essential Information found a diverse groups of nonprofits have been targeted with espionage, including environmental, antiwar, public interest, consumer safety, pesticide reform, gun control, social justice, animal rights and arms control groups. The corporations carrying out the spying include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Wal-Mart, Monsanto, Bank of America, Dow Chemical, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Chevron, Burger King, McDonaldâs, Shell, BP, and others. According to the report, these corporations employ former CIA, National Security Agency and FBI agents to engage in private surveillance work, which is often illegal in nature but rarely â if ever â prosecuted. Weâre joined by Gary Ruskin, author of the report, “Spooky Business: Corporate Espionage Against Nonprofit Organizations,” and director of the Center for Corporate Policy, a project of Essential Information. Click here [http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2013/11/25/pt_2_us_corporations_enlist_ex_intelligence] to watch part 2 of this interview.
The EU executive is threatening to freeze crucial data-sharing arrangements with the US because of the Edward Snowden revelations about the mass surveillance of the National Security Agency. via Pocket
The community that built the largest encyclopedia in history is shrinking, even as more people and Internet services depend on it than ever. Can it be revived, or is this the end of the Web’s idealistic era?
The sixth most widely used website in the world is not run anything like the others in the top 10. It is not operated by a sophisticated corporation but by a leaderless collection of volunteers who generally work under pseudonyms and habitually bicker with each other. It rarely tries new things in the hope of luring visitors; in fact, it has changed little in a decade. And yet every month 10 billion pages are viewed on the English version of Wikipedia alone. When a major news event takes place, such as the Boston Marathon bombings, complex, widely sourced entries spring up within hours and evolve by the minute. Because there is no other free information source like it, many online services rely on Wikipedia. Look something up on Google or ask Siri a question on your iPhone, and you’ll often get back tidbits of information pulled from the encyclopedia and delivered as straight-up facts.
Yet Wikipedia and its stated ambition to “compile the sum of all human knowledge” are in trouble. The volunteer workforce that built the project’s flagship, the English-language Wikipedia—and must defend it against vandalism, hoaxes, and manipulation—has shrunk by more than a third since 2007 and is still shrinking
Hey you, reading this! You’re knowledgable about something. Hop on board and edit within your expertise!
But the TPP and its promoters are full to the brim with ironies. It is quite amazing that a treaty like the TPP can still be promoted as a “free trade” agreement when its most economically important provisions are the exact opposite of “free trade” – the expansion of protectionism.
Google’s war on anonymity during its involvement in NSA controversy has imploded as its move to force YouTube commenters to use Google Plus - and its unwanted “real name” policy - has backfired.
On November 6, Google changed its YouTube property to only allow comments from Google Plus accounts, thus de-anonymizing commenters, as the principal element of its site-wide comments overhaul.
When did google change their company motto from “don’t be evil” to “say one thing, do another?”
Klayman’s suit is the first to challenge the legality of the NSA spy program.
He claimed the program violates the privacy rights of over 300 million citizens by accessing their cell phone, Internet and social media communications without considering whether they have any connection to terrorists or terrorism.
The authors of this NY Times piece ask an interesting question about the compatibility of Snapchat’s imagined world and Facebook’s:
As for Snapchat, its compatibility with Facebook is unclear. Snapchat is centered on impermanence and offers privacy and anonymity. Facebook constantly pushes users to share more and is rooted in real-world identities and creating a permanent, largely public record of people’s daily lives and interactions.
Given these differences, the Snapchat bid looks like an attempt to corral back some of the cool factor in the form of young eyeballs. Three years ago, Snapchat did not even exist, and Facebook, with a valuation of $100 billion before its public offering, was the hot company. Now with younger users preferring Snapchat — which says it processes nearly as many photos as Facebook each day — Snapchat may well have the upper hand.
“It’s head-scratching,” said Christopher Poole, 25, the founder of 4chan, the message board. “From a business perspective, I understand it. But from a cultural perspective, it’s like, ‘Wait, what?’ ”
Mr. Poole said Facebook’s aggressive pursuit of Snapchat may point to an identity crisis of sorts.
“Does that mean that they’re willing to embrace an alternative to Facebook identity, or does it mean that they feel that threatened by it that they’d leave their own wheelhouse?”
But what of the larger question: is society (starting with the Snapchatting young) rejecting the Facebook notion of a single, unchanging identity and a global social network based on publicy? Yes. The fall of Facebook has started. Peak Facebook has already passed or will soon. Why?
The Benthamite underpinnings of Facebook are becoming unpopular. Young people in particular don’t want their teachers, parents, employers, and even all their friends to know everything going on in their lives. Oh, and the government. People want to have multiple, contextually defined identities, different circles of knowing, different non-overlapping rules of attraction. Everything is not everything.
Google is involved in a huge brouhaha now about imposing Google+ ‘real identities’ on YouTube commenting, which is an echo of the same shout for identity freedom.
My bet for the next answer is on social operating systems, although Google is moving down a dark road with Google+ identities, and Apple seems oddly reluctant to do anything social, natively. Perhaps the failure of Apple’s Ping has frightened them off it.
Maybe we should be on the lookout for some crazy developers that build streaming at the OS level, or near to it. Dropbox and other virtual distributed file systems are close enough to do something like that, constantly syncing in the background, and implementing a distributed model of sharing. Imagine if Dropbox supported plugins to provide the equivalent of Snapchat, or Facebook-like sharing of updates with friends, but where the user can define the visibility of interactions, not Facebook. And — if they want — users could opt to share some things in closed contexts, like private accounts on Twitter, and others in more open settings. People are after a spectrum of identity sharing, and Facebook just won’t go there.
The scene was set in pretty catastrophic terms by futurist Gerd Leonhard who foretold a bleak future where users disconnect entirely from sharing any of their data and withdraw into an anonymous existence as a response to being mistreated by brands, governments and technology firms.
Gerd Comments: this is NOT what I said ;)
The sense of entitlement that tech firms and brands have for user data is indicative of addiction. It shows that the industry is highly resistant to new models, regardless of their efficacy. If big data is so valuable, how do you explain the utter failure of facebook advertising, which is consistently less than half the industry standard in terms of click-throughs and return on investment? They claim to have hundreds of data points on a billion users, and despite that and their aggressive pushes into mobile advertising and external monitoring they can’t get that number up.
It’s time for a new model, and my money’s on stack.fm. :)
Two weeks ago, Facebook announced that it hit one million advertisers using the site for the first time ever. And boy does it show. Something has changed with Facebook in recent months, and it’s not just another redesign that has people up in arms writing chain letters and staging online sit-ins in […]
I think the longer, bigger term issue for a lot of global companies is that if the fears about privacy go to a point where people would attempt to find ways to have more localization.” In other words, merchants might want their transactions processed through servers on home soil, rather than through the credit card giant’s facility in St Louis
Google’s Schimdt fails to see that the corporate espionage used to sell ads is no different and just as dangerous to individual freedom and democracy. This from the guy who said, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”