Following on the New York Times's decision to continue its critical coverage of China, despite the Chinese government's retaliation against it, Dan Gillmor calls on journalists and news organizations to abandon the pretense of "neutrality" and take a partisan stand for free speech in questions of censorship, surveillance, net neutrality, copyright takedown, and other core issues of speech in the 21st century.
What are these choke points? The most obvious is what’s happening to the Internet itself. In America and a number of other countries the telecommunications industry — often working with government, and in some cases outright owned by government — is deciding, or insisting on the right to decide, what bits of information get to people’s devices in what order and at what speed, or whether they get there at all. This is what network neutrality is all about in the U.S.: whether we, at the edges of the networks, get to make those decisions or whether telecom companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T will ultimately have that power, as they insist they need. The worries about corporate media consolidation in the 1990s seem quaint next to this kind of consolidation. Free speech? It’ll be as free a Comcast et al want it to be if they get the upper hand.
Surveillance, too, has become a method for government — again, often working with big companies — to keep track of what journalists and activists are doing, well beyond the avowed mission of stopping terrorism and solving crimes.
When it comes to free speech, journalists should be activists [Dan Gillmor/Backchannel]
Today marksed the largest street protests ever in the history of internet freedom struggles, with more than 100,000 Europeans participating in mass demonstrations across the region -- more than 50 cities participated in Germany alone! From Netpolitik's early summary (English robotranslation): "In Berlin, the demonstration was about half an hour, if you waited along the […]
Just in time for a continent-wide day of street demonstrations against Article 13 and the new Copyright Directive, British rapper Dan Bull (previously) has released a furious, amazing new song about the regulation: Robocopyright. More than a 100 MEPs have pledged to vote against the measure on Monday, and it's not too late for you […]
With only days to go before the final EU debate and vote on the new Copyright Directive (we're told the debate will be at 0900h CET on Tuesday, 27 March, and the vote will happen at 1200h CET), things could not be more urgent and fraught. That's why today's announcement by Poland's Platformy Obywatelska—the second-largest party in […]
Are you super organized? You’re going to love the Genius Pack G4 and its seemingly limitless, well-placed compartments. Not that organized? You’re still going to love this piece of luggage because it’s so well thought out that it practically does the packing for you. We’ve all tried to stuff a piece of carry-on so full […]
Despite government legislation and improving caller ID technology, robocalls and scam artists are rampant on the phone lines – up to 35 billion a year in the US alone. They can be annoying at best and a financial threat at worst, but there’s a way to take security into your own hands. One good example […]
If you’re a Mac user, you thrive on simplicity. Everything in its place and a place for everything. Unsurprisingly, there’s a ton of great organizational apps out there for Mac, and now someone’s had the great idea to bundle them all together. Whether you’re running a demanding business or just getting through the day to […]