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Category Archives: Censorship

I Invented the World Wide Web. Here’s How We Can Fix It

The New York Times Opinion – I Invented the World Wide Web. Here’s How We Can Fix It. I wanted the web to serve humanity. It’s not too late to live up to that promise. By “My parents were mathematicians. My mother helped code one of the first stored-program computers — the Manchester Mark 1. They taught me that when you program a computer, what you can do is limited only by your imagination. That excitement for experimentation and change helped me build the World Wide Web. I had hoped that 30 years from its creation, we would be using the web foremost for the purpose of serving humanity. Projects like Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap and the world of open source software are the kinds of constructive tools that I hoped would flow from the web. However, the reality is much more complex. Communities are being ripped apart as prejudice, hate and disinformation are peddled online. Scammers use the web to steal identities, stalkers use it to harass and intimidate their victims, and bad actors subvert democracy using clever digital tactics. The use of targeted political ads in the United States’ 2020 presidential campaign and in elections elsewhere threatens once again to undermine voters’ understanding and choices.

We’re at a tipping point. How we respond to this abuse will determine whether the web lives up to its potential as a global force for good or leads us into a digital dystopia. The web needs radical intervention from all those who have power over its future: governments that can legislate and regulate; companies that design products; civil society groups and activists who hold the powerful to account; and every single web user who interacts with others online…

How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results

WSJ.com: “More than 100 interviews and the Journal’s own testing of Google’s search results reveal: Google made algorithmic changes to its search results that favor big businesses over smaller ones, and in at least one case made changes on behalf of a major advertiser, eBay Inc., contrary to its public position that it never takes… Continue Reading

The Internet Dream Became a Nightmare. What Will Become of It Now?

The New York Times Magazine: “In this special Tech & Design Issue of The New York Times Magazine, we ponder the internet’s future at a time when that future has never felt more unsettled. It isn’t just about Facebook and the other American tech giants, which no longer enjoy the rapid growth that characterized their… Continue Reading

Freedom on the Net 2019 The Crisis of Social Media

Freedom House – “Governments around the world are increasingly using social media to manipulate elections and monitor their citizens, tilting the technology toward digital authoritarianism. As a result of these trends, global internet freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year, according to Freedom on the Net 2019, the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment… Continue Reading

Publication of Mueller Report’s Secret Memos Begins

“BuzzFeed News sued the US government to see all the work that Mueller’s team kept secret. We have published the first installment, with revelations about the Ukraine conspiracy theory, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, and more… In response to a court order, the Justice Department released the first installment of documents: hundreds of pages of summaries… Continue Reading

Trump to Tell Federal Agencies to Cut New York Times, Washington Post Subscriptions

WSJ.com – The move comes days after President Trump told his staff to cancel the White House’s print subscriptions to the Post and the Times.  “The White House is planning to instruct federal agencies to not renew their subscriptions to the New York Times and the Washington Post, administration officials said, escalating President Trump’s attacks… Continue Reading

BBC News launches ‘dark web’ Tor mirror

BBC News: “The BBC has made its international news website available via Tor, in a bid to thwart censorship attempts. Tor is a privacy-focused web browser used to access pages on the dark web. The browser can obscure who is using it and what data is being accessed, which can help people avoid government surveillance… Continue Reading

The Authoritarian’s Worst Fear? A Book

The New York Times – “Governments are spending a remarkable amount of resources attacking books — because their supposed limitations are beginning to look like ageless strengths. Around the world, many authoritarian regimes — having largely corralled the internet — now have declared war on the written word, their oldest enemy. The received wisdom after… Continue Reading

Why America Needs Whistle-Blowers

The New York Times – Opinion – They are not partisans but stewards of our constitutional democracy. By Allison Stanger. Dr. Stanger is the author of “Whistleblowers: Honesty in America From Washington to Trump.” “In accusing the intelligence community whistle-blower of partisanship and treason, President Trump has redefined whistle-blowing to serve his private interests rather… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court showdown over LGBTQ discrimination, explained

Vox – “The Supreme Court will hear three cases next Tuesday that ask whether it is legal to fire workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That alone is enough to make them three of the most important employment discrimination cases in many years. But there are additional layers to these cases, layers… Continue Reading

How The Times Uses FOIA to Obtain Information the Public Has a Right to Know

The New York Times – Our lawyer provides an update on why we’re still filing so many Freedom of Information Act lawsuits – “…what we face every day in The New York Times’s legal department as we continue to push against government secrecy through the use of FOIA. Whether it is helping our reporters as… Continue Reading

Misinformation Has Created a New World Disorder

Scientific American – Our willingness to share content without thinking is exploited to spread disinformation – By Claire Wardle = “As someone who studies the impact of misinformation on society, I often wish the young entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley who enabled communication at speed had been forced to run a 9/11 scenario with their technologies… Continue Reading