"dan gillmor"

Videoing police violence is the new "See something, say something"

It's practically a civic duty in the age of #Ferguson, #Gezi, #Occupy and more. Read the rest

How foundations can help to decentralise the net

Dan Gillmor presents a wish-list of programmes that he'd like to see foundations funding to promote the open, independent Web. As he points out, the Internet is almost entirely without a "common" space that is neither controlled by governments, nor by corporations. These kinds of institutions seek to centralise power and control, while a decentralisation was what made the Internet so disruptive, exciting, and positive. Read the rest

Pro-freedom, anti-surveillance speech from an imaginary future US presidential race

In the Guardian, Dan Gillmor ghost-writes a speech for any presidential candidate who wants to enter the 2016 race on a freedom and transparency ticket. It's a stirring air and is an outstanding piece of design fiction that implies a specification for a new American politics of freedom and transparency set against the corrupt cesspit of total surveillance and lies. In Gillmor's upcoming race, it's Freedom versus the unholy trinity of Orwell, Kafka and Huxley. Read the rest

Internal audit shows NSA often breaks privacy rules, made thousands of violations a year

The Washington Post today published several big scoops related to the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. The paper's investigations were triggered by documents leaked to them "earlier this summer" by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. He has sought political asylum from a number of nations, and is currently in Moscow. The U.S. wants to charge him with espionage for his revelations.

Barton Gellman writes about an internal NSA audit document which shows that since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, it has broken privacy rules thousands of times per year--and sometimes because of typos.

Read the rest

Criminalizing Journalism: Manning, Media and You

On Tuesday, Bradley Manning was acquitted of “aiding the enemy” for leaking 700,000 classified government documents, including a video of an American airstrike in Baghdad that killed 12 civilians, among them two Reuters journalists. Read the rest

The United States of Surveillance

"As we Americans watch our parades and fire up our grills this 4 July, the 237th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence – the seminal document of the United States – we should take the time to ask ourselves some related questions: how did we come to this state of mind and behavior? How did we become so fearful and timid that we've given away essential liberties? Do we realize what we're giving up? What would the nation's founders think of us?" Dan Gillmor, in an opinion piece at guardian.co.uk. Read the rest

Tech journalism

Dan Gillmor sez, "This is a story about a story about a rumor of an invitation to an announcement of a product launch.

Needless to say, the company involved is Apple." Read the rest

Twitter does something really, really, really stupid - will they fix it?

Update: Twitter has officially apologized for part of its actions in this story.

You've heard by now that Twitter suspended Guy Adams, a journalist from the UK paper The Independent after Adams posted the email address of an NBC exec and urged his followers to send in email complaining about the network's (shamefully bad) handling of its Olympics broadcasts. Dan Gillmor in the Guardian has some context about how totally, boneheadedly stupid Twitter is being here, and what they need to do to fix it.

Adams has posted his correspondence with Twitter, which claims he published a private email address. It was nothing of the kind, as many, including the Deadspin sports blog, have pointed out. (Here's the policy, which Adams plainly did not violate, since the NBC executive's email address was already easily discernible on the web — NBC has a firstname.lastname@ system for its email, and it's a corporate address, not a personal one — and was published online over a year ago.)

What makes this a serious issue is that Twitter has partnered with NBC during the Olympics. And it was NBC's complaint about Adams that led to the suspension. That alone raises reasonable suspicions about Twitter's motives.

Now, Twitter has been exemplary in its handling of many issues over the past several years, including its (for a social network) brave stance in protecting user privacy; for example, it has contested warrantless government fishing expeditions. So I'm giving the service the benefit of the doubt for the moment, and hoping that this is just a foolish — if possibly well-meaning — mistake by a single quick-triggered Twitter employee.

Read the rest

Dan Gillmor's next project, "Permission Taken" - the theory and practice of "going free" with your technology

Dan Gillmor has posted the outline of "Permission Taken," a new project he's taken on to explain what he's gone through in his journey from using proprietary systems to open and free ones. Gillmor -- one of Silicon Valley's best-respected columnists -- is a sophisticated technology user, and he's always understood that there is value to going free/open, as well as costs in terms of learning how to do things differently. Over the years, Gillmor's experience with technology and technology companies started to tip the scales for him, so that the value outweighed the cost. "Permission Taken" is part philosophical treatise, part practical guide. It looks really interesting and incredibly useful. Dan sent me an earlier draft of this outline for comment and I was immediately impressed. Now, he's inviting public comment from everyone.

Not many years ago, I was a happy acolyte in the Church of Apple. I spent most of the day using a Macintosh laptop. I used an iPhone. I had a Facebook account with hundreds of “friends,” and used Google’s search engine almost exclusively. While I worried about misuse of my information by third parties, I didn’t do much about it. I was so in love with technology that I adopted the latest and greatest without considering the consequences.

I still love technology, and believe it plays a transformative role in our lives. But as I’ve learned more about how it works, and how powerful interests want it to work, the more I’ve realized the need to make some changes.

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SOPA/PIPA aren't a failure to understand the Internet; they arise from self-interested fear of free speech

Writing in the Guardian, Dan Gillmor argues that SOPA and PIPA aren't foolishly extreme because their proponents don't understand the net; rather, they are extreme because their proponents understand that the net breaks the monopoly of the powerful over communications and organizing.

So, why do they make unsupportable statements?

Because they don't dare make an honest argument. If they were saying what they believe, it would go roughly this way:

"The internet threatens our longstanding control of information and communications, and that is simply unacceptable. Therefore, it is essential to curb the utility of the internet for everyone else."

Stop Sopa or the web really will go dark Read the rest

Why "earn" is a poor word-choice when describing the profits of the 1%

Dan Gillmor sez, "When we report the 'earnings' of the 1%, the media are often distorting reality. The 99% should demand that we use more neutral -- and accurate -- words."

To be sure, one of the meanings of "to earn" is "to profit financially" – but it is not the only one. The other major meaning is related to whether someone has deserved his or her gain, which may or may not be about money. Because the word has both connotations, we tend to attach both when the topic is about financial profits.

If we know anything about the recent income and accumulated assets of the now notorious 1%, it is that much of this wealth, by any rational standard, is undeserved. This applies especially to the Wall Street bankers who looted the global economy with sleazy tactics and, sadly, also with impunity.

That is why, if I was the editor in charge of any news organisation, I would flatly ban the use of the word "earned", when "profited" or "made" (as in money) would be much more accurate, or at least neutral. I would not try to say who "deserved" profits; only that profits were made.

Occupy language: the struggle over meaning

(Thanks, Dan!) Read the rest

Taibbi: Occupy Wall Street is Bigger Than Left vs. Right

At Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi on right-wing efforts (yeah, including Breitbart) to turn the "Occupy Wall Street" movement into a liberal-left conspiracy. "Don't fall for it," he writes. (via Dan Gillmor) Read the rest

How the FCC failed the nation on Net Neutrality

Writing in Salon, Dan Gillmor takes a crack at explaining what a cowardly let-down the FCC's cop-out Net Neutrality rules are:

But when it came to rules that might boost network neutrality -- the notion that end users (you and me) should decide what content and services we want without interference from the ISPs -- the FCC's order paid lip service to the concept while enshrining its eventual demise. In theory, land-line carriers (traditional phone and cable companies, for the most part) won't be allowed to play favorites. In practice, the new rules invite them to concoct new kinds of services that do precisely that.

But even that fuzzy concept won't apply to mobile carriers, which means that discrimination will be explicitly permitted by companies like AT&T and Verizon for customers of the iPhone and iPad, among other devices that are increasingly the most important entry point to the Internet.

The rules are also an open invitation to ISPs to spy on their customers. Genachowski's repeated references to users' right to use "legal" content were code words for the entertainment industry's push to have ISPs become their enforcement arms in the copyright wars. Hollywood wants your ISP to watch everything people do, and then block users who are alleged to be infringing.

The FCC's weak new "open Internet" rules

  WTF: FCC cites Android as reason we don't need wireless Net ... Tim Wu on Net Neutrality/Google-Verizon betrayal - Boing Boing FCC loses big in court's Comcast ruling over Net Neutrality ... Read the rest

Dan Gillmor's Mediactive: masterclass in 21st century journalism demands a net-native news-media

Dan "We, the Media" Gillmor's latest book, Mediactive is a master-class in media literacy for the 21st century. Gillmor, a former star reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, serial entrepreneur, and journalism professor, has produced an extraordinary text that disrupts the current poor-me narrative of failing journalistic business models and counters it with a set of sensible, entrepreneurial proposals for an Internet era news-media that invites broad participation without surrendering critical thinking and healthy skepticism.

Mediactive is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the dismal state of current media -- partisan and bickering, financially troubled, insufficiently critical of power and overly sensitive to Internet upstarts. Gillmor explains how reporters can (and sometimes do) use online media to get their stories straight, and in so doing, explains how you can do the same, and become a smarter consumer of, participant in, and maker of news. This is a crash-course in being a better consumer of the news, asking active questions about how the news you see and hear and read is constructed.

Part two is an information age journalism program encapsulated in a swiftly moving section on using tools and systems to make better news. Even if you're not planning on starting up your own blog, wiki, mailing list, or even a newspaper, this section should be required reading for anyone hoping to understand how smart use of the right tool can put the news in the service to its community, structured around the values of truth, humility, and honor. Read the rest

TSA head: We know nothing of Chertoff's pornoscanner conflict of interest. Also, who wants ice cream!

[Video Link.] At 4:55 in this (excellent) interview by CNN's Anderson Cooper, TSA administrator John Pistole claims to have no knowledge of former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff's conflict of interest regarding the recommendation to adopt Rapiscan pornoscanning devices.

(via Dan Gillmor) Read the rest

Anonymous cowards buy the US mid-term elections

Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of right wing attack ads have been aired in this US mid-term election season, but for the most part, no one knows who is paying for these ads, as the payments are laundered through shadowy political organizations that are late (or negligent) in complying with disclosure rules. Dan Gillmor has a proposal:

If I could be media czar for a day, I'd get every newspaper behind this project:

* The first step would be, with the public's help, to visit every station, get a copy of every log of political advertising, and then compile numbers at local, state and federal levels. * The next step would be to see who's benefiting from the spending, i.e. who's not being attacked, and disclose that. * Then, see if the spenders are following the law in how they describe what they're doing with the money; as NPR observed, the gaps in the forms showed that the spenders were blatantly flouting even the minimal disclosure requirements. * Then get every media outlet that cared to trumpet the results for their own regions and the nation.

That's the easy part, unfortunately. Learning how much is being spent, and on whose behalf, won't uncover the names and businesses of the anonymous cowards who are pouring so much cash into buying a new Congress. But perhaps, just perhaps, wider understanding of the vastness of this enterprise would generate sufficient public outrage to force some changes later on.

Anonymous cowards are buying the 2010 election Read the rest

Ray Ozzie leaves Microsoft

Dan Gillmor has the news that Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's visionary Chief Software Architect, has left the company. Ozzie, whose P2P startup Groove was bought by Microsoft, is admired and well-liked in tech circles as someone who believes in the transformative power of technology to improve the world. Like Gillmor, I was very hopeful for Microsoft when Ozzie was given the Chief Software Architect role after Bill Gates stepped down, and dared to dream about what Microsoft might be like if he ended up running the company -- so, like Gillmor, I'm pretty disappointed to see him go (and excited to see what he does next).

For all his qualities, Ozzie didn't push Microsoft fast enough toward the future, or else his pushing was resisted. Microsoft dallied way too long to get into the "cloud" where software becomes as much as service as a product you buy. The competition -- Google, Amazon and others -- is more entrenched now, and for all the formidable technical talent at Microsoft, the company hasn't caught up in key areas. Keep in mind, however, that Microsoft's bread and butter (and gold and diamonds) remains in the licensed-software market, where it's still an absolutely huge and immensely profitable enterprise.

It'll be fascinating to see what Ozzie does next. I find myself hoping he'll try something in the social-entrepreneurship arena. Certainly he can live with a lower paycheck than most of us.

As for Microsoft, which keeps losing (or expelling) top executives, the questions grow more urgent. Ballmer has been a better CEO than his critics say, but if the board isn't pushing him to line up a solid successor, and soon, the directors are falling down on the job.

Read the rest

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