It has been reported today that 26-year-old Reddit co-owner, hacker and Internet activist, Aaron Swartz, has committed suicide
January 11, 2013. The news broke when his uncle, Michael Wolf, commented to The Tech
.The Tech reports this was confirmed
“The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is, regrettably, true,” confirmed Swartz’ attorney, Elliot R. Peters of Kecker and Van Nest, in an email to The Tech.
Aaron who was also an Internet activist co-founded Demand Progress, a political action group that campaigns against Internet censorship. From a youg age Aaron showed himself to be a 'computer whizz kid'. Aged 14 Swar
tz co-authored the now widely-used RSS 1.0 specification. Swartz
had brushes with the law. CNN reports,
In 2011, he was arrested in Boston for alleged computer fraud and illegally obtaining thousands of documents from protected computers. Two years earlier, the FBI investigated him after he released millions of U.S. federal court documents online. No charges were filed.
Reddit is a hugely popular website that enables users to post images ad links and rate them. An online message board. Today, after the news of the suicide became public, one Reddit user wrote, "Great minds carry heavy burdens." In spite of his young age Aaron had fought a long battle with depression. He admitted in the past to having experienced suicidal thoughts.RIP
We in the West are under threat from our governments, that is our Internet freedom is under threat. Canada, the USA, the UK and more have implemented some restrictions on our Internet privacy and they plan to take these restrictions further.
The reasons given tend to be to stop child pornography and terrorism. Both of these are used as examples as law abiding citizens will obviously oppose them. They are however used to intimidate and scare rather than telling the truth.
It is a fact that uprisings such as the Arab Spring involved people mobilised by way of Facebook and Twitter. In the Summer 2011 UK riots thugs used Blackberry phones in order to out fox the police.
Tightening laws regarding our Internet freedoms will have little impact on thugs, child pornographers and terrorists. They will simply find another way. Like a criminal hell bent on stealing an old Master from a gallery, where there is a will there is a way.
All that the proposed laws will do is alienate citizens, intrude on our freedom and privacy, open the door for corrupt officials to abuse the system and allow governments to believe they can then go one step further.
Today July 11, 2012, Russia followed the West. Russia's lower house of parliament yesterday passed a censorship bill in its third and final reading, despite criticism of censorship from the country's most popular websites. Originally the Russian authorities only planned to censor information deemed harmful. In common with other governments it has now changed its mind.
Yesterday the Russian Wikipedia website had a black out in protest. SOPA
, the western stop online piracy act, caused fury in the West and it seems the Russian proposals are doing the same in that country.
Last night a government re-think led to a hard list of what will be censored under the new law. According to RT the list now includes, web pages which advocate suicide, substance abuse, excessively risky behaviour, and child pornography. There will be a black list of sites deemed unsuitable for children but ultimately this will limit the Internet freedom of the Russian people.
The Soviet Union used strict censorship and more to control its people. New Russia looks set to go the same way. There has already been an election this year which many claim was rigged.The West has a crumbling economy with the prospect of even higher unemployment, more poverty, conflicts and a brutally damaged environment. Allowing people freedom or the means to mobilise in such dire circumstances will not be desirable, will it?Read More Here http://www.rt.com/news/wikipedia-yandex-censorship-bill-936/http://questgarden.com/51/61/3/070519135841/process.htm
Tags: Russian Internet snooping, Russian Internet censorship, internet privacy, SOPA, western Internet snooping
With the US administration attempting to rein in the Internet it may be worth casting an eye back to the person credited with inventing this wonderful highway of information. WWW may not be perfect,but what is in this world? It has however become an integral part of 21st Century living.Yesterday's postponement of the controversial SOPA, stop online piracy act, and PIPA, protect IP act,
on face value seems a victory for common sense. However it has more likely been the result of two single things.One the impending 2012 US election and two last Wednesday's Internet black-out by many companies. The chaos caused and the ensuing protests lobbied at US authorities finally hit home.So what has all this to do with who is credited with inventing the Internet, I hear you ask? Well the way that the US authorities have been behaving off late toward the WWW might make you believe it belonged to them and them alone.So hold onto your hats folks it was
"A graduate of Oxford University, Tim Berners-Lee who invented the World Wide Web"
Here is a little of his online Bio:-"A graduate of Oxford University, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing while at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, in 1989. He wrote the first web client and server in 1990. His specifications of URIs, HTTP and HTML were refined as Web technology spread. He is the 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence ( CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he also heads the Decentralized Information Group (DIG). He is also a Professor in the Electronics and Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton, UK. He is the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a Web standards organization founded in 1994 which develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential. He is a founding Director of the Web Science Trust (WST) launched in 2009 to promote research and education in Web Science, the multidisciplinary study of humanity connected by technology. Tim is a Director of the World Wide Web Foundation, launched in 2009 to coordinate efforts to further the potential of the Web to benefit humanity. He has promoted open government data globally and is a member of the UK's Transparency Board"Sounds an amazing guy. Whilst some users abuse the Internet Tim must be appalled at what the US government was proposing. SOPA was being demanded by media moguls such as film makers in Hollywood and News Corp. We all know about News Corps standards don't we? Their equivalent in the UK has been under investigation for corrupt practices. It hardly seems right that they should be pushing for legislation of this kind.As TEK reported yesterday some form of legislation may in the end be inevitable but it should be a well thought out agreement which includes all sections not simply the "money men"
. As it is called the WWW it should maybe be something worldwide. Times are changing and the opposition will have to get used to that. They need to embrace the changes rather than simply try to stop them. In truth it seems that western governments love the freedom the Internet gives to say the Middle East but wants to control the level of freedom its own people have. If it manages to do it will no longer be a highway of information. It could lead to Big Brother taking complete control of the Web and result in its demise.
If you use the Internet you must have seen the initials SOPA bandied about. It refers to the US Stop Online Piracy Act. Many in the media industry had lobbied officials about the lost revenue online piracy costs the industry. Whilst media moguls still make mega bucks, in time this piracy could put an end to huge parts of the industry.
This week sites like Wikipedia held a 24 hour black-out in protest against the proposed online piracy act. This is because, in simplistic terms the act may seem fair, but it could have a far reaching damaging effect on the world-wide-web. The Internet has been bombarded with complaints about SOPA and its potentially negative effects. Finally the protests have been heard and SOPA has been postponed.
An announcement by U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) stated that the government "will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution." He went on to say, "It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products."
This happens to many countries around the world though and it is fair to say governments will have to decide how they will tackle such issues. The Internet is a powerful tool which will suffer if regulated too tightly. SOPA is not a good move forward though. It should be a case of back to the drawing board whilst politicians work out a sensible plan.
As the proposals stand they would be far too restrictive and so self defeating. In the GOP debate of Thursday January 20, 2012, the remaining four candidates tried their best to alienate themselves from the online piracy issues. They will not want to jeopardise their GOP campaigns. None of them though promised that if they were returned to office they would not instigate such an Act.
Perhaps today's postponement is more down to the 2012 election than much else. Both sides will be aiming to secure the support of the biggest majority of the population. They need to remember the old adage thabout not beig able to please everyone though. Sometimes in trying to do so you actually please no-one.
The good news for now though is that SOPA and PIPA have been postponed indefintely. It is expected that some form of legislation will sooner or later be implemented but perhaps now it will be something that is acceptable to all. For now it is a victory for the Internet and its many users.