Facebook's "Free Basics" and colonialism: an argument in six devastating points

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Though India's independent telcoms regulator has banned services like Facebook's "Free Basics" -- which bribed phone companies to exempt Facebook's chosen services from the carriers' punishing data-caps -- the debate rages on, as Free Basics has taken hold through many poor countries around the world. Read the rest

Honda's lawyers want Jalopnik to dox a whistleblower

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"HondAnonymous" is a commenter on Jalopnik, a Gawker site about cars, who claims to work at Honda's R&D facility. Read the rest

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace

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In 1996, in the midst of the Clinton administration's attack on the Internet and cryptography, Grateful Dead lyricist and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow sat down in Davos, Switzerland, where he'd been addressing world leaders on the subject of the Internet and human rights, and wrote one of net-culture's formative documents: The Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace.

Read the rest

One hundred of history's most influential jokes

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Vulture presents a lengthy (and very funny) annotated history of "100 jokes that shaped modern comedy," with embedded audio (and sometimes video) of the jokes themselves, going all the way back to 1906's Nobody by Bert Williams -- transferred from wax cylinder to shellac disc to Youtube. Read the rest

Model forwards unsolicited dick pix, chat transcripts to girlfriends of her harassers

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Emily Sears has a longstanding, devastatingly effecting procedure for handling the unsolicited dick pix, wanking videos, and sexist come-ons she receives from creepy Internet randos: she researches their girlfriends and messages them with screengrabs of the whole thing. Read the rest

Hacker puppets and Jean Claude Van Damme demonstrate how the internet crosses the ocean

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Gus writes, "How does the Internet cross the ocean? Ask a random person and they will probably guess 'satellites' — it just seems easier than wires, right?" Read the rest

Snowshoeing: small-batch spam that's less targeted than spear-phishing

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Snowshoe spam has a "small footprint" -- it is sent is small, semi-targeted batches intended to sit below the trigger threshold for cloud-email spam filters, which treat floods of identical (or near-identical) messages as a solid indicator of spam. Read the rest

Spanish-language broadcasting titan Univision buys controlling interest in The Onion

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<insert ¡Ay, caramba! joke here> Read the rest

India's Internet activists have a SOPA moment: no "poor Internet for poor people"

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My latest Guardian column, 'Poor internet for poor people': India's activists fight Facebook connection plan, tells the story of how India's amazing Internet activists have beaten back Facebook's bid to become gatekeeper to the Internet for the next billion users. Read the rest

Dear Comcast: broadband isn't gasoline

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Comcast's CEO Brian Roberts has been doing a lot of spinning lately to explain his company's plan to increase its prices (already some of the highest in the developed world) by turning on usage caps and charging up the wazoo for people who exceed them. Read the rest

Tools, ads, and bad defaults: Web bloat continues unabated

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The Website Obesity Crisis, Maciej Ceglowski's (previously) Web Directions talk, documents the worsening epidemic of web-site bloat, and dissects the causes. Read the rest

Facebook's FUDdy, full-page anti-Net-Neutrality Indian newspaper ads

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Facebook is desperate to ensure that the Internet never takes hold in developing nations -- they want a walled garden that they get to own and operate. Read the rest

IETF approves HTTP error code 451 for Internet censorship

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The 451 HTTP error code, first proposed in 2012 as a tribute to Ray Bradbury's classic novel is now an IETF standard and is the preferred error message for a server to send to a browser when content is blocked for legal reasons. Read the rest

New EU rules would ban under-16s from social media

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A last-minute change to pending EU data-protection rules will ban under-16s from using social media without explicit parental consent -- the rules are up for a vote on Tuesday. Read the rest

IXmaps: a tool to figure out when the NSA can see Canadians' data

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Canadians' data requests overwhelming flow through US cables, even when the communications are within Canada. Since the NSA takes the view that it is legally entitled to collect, inspect and retain foreign communications, this means that almost all Canadian communications are being spied on by a foreign power. Read the rest

European Commission resurrects an unkillable stupid: the link tax

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Meghan writes, "You've probably never been kept awake at night worrying about a European Commission communication. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be. Today the Commission published its roadmap for EU copyright reform, and despite the fanfare around portability of Netflix, it's clear that the bad idea known as 'ancillary copyright' has come back -- from the dead! -- to haunt us." Read the rest

China's top Internet censor: "There's no Internet censorship in China"

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Lu Wei is chief of China's State Internet Information Office, a man they call "the gatekeeper of the Chinese internet." According to him, the world's most notorious and ambitious system of Internet censorship is actually just "management." Read the rest

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