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  • Gerrit Eicker 09:37 on 5. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Copyleft, , , , , , , , , , , , , , GNU, GNU Project, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Proprietary Software, , , Respect, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Surveillance 

    Stallman: Facebook and Google Plus mistreat their usersFacebook does massive surveillance; http://eicker.at/Surveillance

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:37 on 5. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Stallman interview on RT (Russia Today) and video on YouTube: “Facebook and Google Plus mistreat their users… Facebook does massive surveillance. If there is a ‘like’ button in a page, Facebook knows who visited that page. And it can get IP address of the computer visiting the page even if the person is not a Facebook user. So you visit several pages that have ‘like’ button and Facebook knows that you visited all of those, even if it doesn’t really know who you are… Free software literally gives you freedom in the area of computing. It means that you can control your computing. It means that the users individually and collectively have control over their computing. And in particular it means they can protect themselves from the malicious features that are likely to be in proprietary software… This doesn’t automatically give you freedom in some other area of life. To get that you have to fight for it. But human rights support each other. In an age when a lot of what we do, we do with computers, if we don’t have freedom in our computing, that makes it harder for us to defend or fight for freedom in other areas. You loose one set of rights – and it’s harder for you to keep the others…

      VB: “Social networks are under constant scrutiny by their users but also privacy watchdogs as companies add more sharing tools to to connect millions of people from over the world. – Facebook, created by Mark Zuckerberg, hit the headlines over the past week after its co-founder admitted the company had made ‘a bunch of mistakes’, agreeing terms with the FTC to make its networks more transparent and allow users to control their own levels of privacy. – However, there are many that believe companies like Facebook and Google aren’t helping their users, insisting that they are mistreating them. Richard Stallman, creator of the GNU Project and founder of the Free Software Foundation, is one such person, believing that not only do Facebook and Google mistreat users on their social networks, they are putting some people in danger. … Circling back to social networking and the privacy implications involved, many still believe Facebook and Google are working hard to track users across the web, extracting their preferences and information for their own gain. Facebook has said moved to employ two dedicated members of staff to oversee its privacy practices on its website, also agreeing to have its practices audited by the FTC on regular intervals. – Stallman might not believe that Facebook is doing all it can to remain transparent but with the FTC on its back, it is a case of making sure it does to ensure it doesn’t land itself in more hot water. With upwards of 800 million people, Facebook’s growth shows no signs of slowing, suggesting many people simply don’t care about the information they share with third-parties.”

      Wikipedia: “Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often shortened to rms, is an American software freedom activist andcomputer programmer. In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project to create a free Unix-like operating system, and he has been the project’s lead architect and organizer. With the launch of the GNU Project, he initiated the free software movement; in October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation. – Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, and he is the main author of several copyleft licenses including the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license. Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management, and what he sees as excessive extension of copyright laws. Stallman has also developed a number of pieces of widely used software, including the original Emacs, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU Debugger, and various tools in the GNU coreutils. He co-founded the League for Programming Freedom in 1989.”

      Winer: “Why I stand up for Stallman – But I still see it going on for Stallman, and that makes me feel ill. I think a guy like Stallman should be heard and we should think about what he says. And if you disagree, have the self-respect to express it with dignity. And if people start getting personal about it, there should be moderators around to put a stop to it at least stand up to it. No one should stand alone when being subjected to personal attacks. … What Stallman does is what any good blogger would do. He says what he thinks. And if you really listen to what he says, you’ll learn something. Probably the biggest thing you’ll learn about is your own fear. Because there’s something about Stallman that scares a lot of people. They wouldn’t try to isolate him so much, if he didn’t evoke their fear.

  • Gerrit Eicker 13:03 on 5. December 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , Anarchy, , , , , , Corruption, , , , , , , , , , , , , Ideology, , , , Informational Self-determination, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Reporters Without Borders, Respect, , RWB, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    WikiLeaks: Pros and Cons 

    The impact of WikiLeaks? Duty to basically reconsider and agree on informational self-determination; http://eicker.at/WikiLeaks

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 13:04 on 5. December 2010 Permalink | Reply

      WikiLeaks: “…is a not-for-profit media organisation. Our goal is to bring important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for sources to leak information to our journalists (our electronic drop box). One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth. We are a young organisation that has grown very quickly, relying on a network of dedicated volunteers around the globe. … WikiLeaks has combined high-end security technologies with journalism and ethical principles. Like other media outlets conducting investigative journalism, we accept (but do not solicit) anonymous sources of information. Unlike other outlets, we provide a high security anonymous drop box fortified by cutting-edge cryptographic information technologies. This provides maximum protection to our sources. We are fearless in our efforts to get the unvarnished truth out to the public. When information comes in, our journalists analyse the material, verify it and write a news piece about it describing its significance to society. We then publish both the news story and the original material in order to enable readers to analyse the story in the context of the original source material themselves.”

      Wikipedia: “The term informational self-determination was first used in the context of a German constitutional ruling relating to personal information collected during the 1983 census. – In that occasion, the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled that: ‘[…] in the context of modern data processing, the protection of the individual against unlimited collection, storage, use and disclosure of his/her personal data is encompassed by the general personal rights of the [German Constitution]. This basic right warrants in this respect the capacity of the individual to determine in principle the disclosure and use of his/her personal data. Limitations to this informational self-determination are allowed only in case of overriding public interest.‘ – Informational self-determination is often considered similar to the right to privacy but has unique characteristics that distinguish it from the ‘Right to privacy’ in the United States tradition. Informational self-determination reflects Westin’s description of privacy: ‘The right of the individual to decide what information about himself should be communicated to others and under what circumstances‘ (Westin, 1970). In contrast, the ‘Right to privacy’ in the United States legal tradition is commonly considered to originate in Warren andBrandeis’ article, which focuses on the right to ‘solitude’ (i.e., being ‘left alone’) and in the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which protects persons and their belongings from warrantless search.”

      Democracy Now: “Goodman: ‘…not all transparency advocates support what WikiLeaks is doing. Today we’ll host a debate. Steven Aftergood is one of the most prominent critics of WikiLeaks and one of the most prominent transparency advocates. … We’re also joined by Glenn Greenwald. He’s a constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger for Salon.com who’s supportive of WikiLeaks.’ … Aftergood: ‘I’m all for the exposure of corruption, including classified corruption. And to the extent that WikiLeaks has done that, I support its actions. The problem is, it has done a lot more than that, much of which is problematic. It has invaded personal privacy. It has published libelous material. It has violated intellectual property rights. And above all, it has launched a sweeping attack not simply on corruption, but on secrecy itself. And I think that’s both a strategic and a tactical error. It’s a strategic error because some secrecy is perfectly legitimate and desirable. It’s a tactical error because it has unleashed a furious response from the U.S. government and other governments that I fear is likely to harm the interests of a lot of other people besides WikiLeaks who are concerned with open government.’ … Greenwald: ‘If you look at the overall record of WikiLeaks – and let me just stipulate right upfront that WikiLeaks is a four-year-old organization, four years old. They’re operating completely unchartered territory. Have they made some mistakes and taken some missteps? Absolutely. They’re an imperfect organization. But on the whole, the amount of corruption and injustice in the world that WikiLeaks is exposing… I criticize them, for instance, for exercising insufficient care in redacting the names of various Afghan citizens who cooperated with the United States military. They accepted responsibility for that, and in subsequent releases, including in the Iraq document disclosures, they were very careful about redacting those names.'”

      Reporters Without Borders: “Wikileaks has in the past played a useful role by making information available to the US and international public that exposed serious violations of human rights and civil liberties which the Bush administration committed in the name of its war against terror. … But revealing the identity of hundreds of people who collaborated with the coalition in Afghanistan is highly dangerous. It would not be hard for the Taliban and other armed groups to use these documents to draw up a list of people for targeting in deadly revenge attacks. … Nonetheless, indiscriminately publishing 92,000 classified reports reflects a real problem of methodology and, therefore, of credibility. Journalistic work involves the selection of information. The argument with which you defend yourself, namely that Wikileaks is not made up of journalists, is not convincing. Wikileaks is an information outlet and, as such, is subject to the same rules of publishing responsibility as any other media.Wikileaks must provide a more detailed explanation of its actions and must not repeat the same mistake. This will mean a new departure and new methods.

      Reporters Without Borders: “…condemns the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure being directed at cablegate.wikileaks.org, the website dedicated to the US diplomatic cables. The organization is also concerned by some of the extreme comments made by American authorities concerning WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. … We stress that any restriction on the freedom to disseminate this body of documents will affect the entire press, which has given detailed coverage to the information made available by WikiLeaks, with five leading international newspapers actively cooperating in preparing it for publication. – Reporters Without Borders would also like to stress that it has always defended online freedom and the principle of ‘Net neutrality,’ according to which Internet Service Providers and hosting companies should play no role in choosing the content that is placed online.”

      Preston/Guardian: “Be clear, right from the start. Any editor presented with a quarter of a million US State Department documents on a WikiLeaks plate has a duty to sift, check – and publish. Newspapers exist to get news into print, not shilly-shally around as pompous (and, alas, often American) champions of the public’s right not to know too much. And if, thus far, the most unexpected story of the lot is Washington’s inability to keep its diplomatic traffic secret, that’s a public service, too. … At which point – casting aside assorted bits of legislation, editing codes and sheaves of moral guidance – a more basic test applies. Do you, printing the WikiLeaks bumper bundle, feel queasy or certain you’re trying to do the right thing? How would you feel if you didn’t print them? And, equally, would you feel chastened, angry, maybe ashamed, if your telephone hacking exploits were laid out to the full by Private Eye?” (Guardian’s WikiLeaks-coverage)

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