Tagged: privacy Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Clive 10:44 pm on October 9, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: privacy   

    Big (virtual) Brother 

    I think we probably need to be vigilant at the onslaught to our civil privacies. And it’s not only coming from Google. Times Online reported today:

    Ministers are considering spending up to £12 billion on a database to monitor and store the internet browsing habits, e-mail and telephone records of everyone in Britain. (Dave Leppard)

    … that is, if they don’t lose the plans first!

  • Clive 8:06 pm on September 11, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: , privacy   

    Google … again 

    It seems that Google’s power knows no boundaries. Now it wants to digitise thousands of pages of archived print newspapers.

    Is it such a good thing that one company has so much of our public information on its private databases?

  • Clive 10:12 pm on August 18, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: , privacy   


    Tony Judt exmines self-censhorship in his lecture “Disturbing the Peace: Intellectuals and Universities in an Illiberal Age”.

    Self-censorship is:

    1. (the lighter act of) not saying what you know to be true for fear of being unpopular, derided (eg of moon is round)
    2. (the more serious) camouflaging the truth from yourself though the use of cliches (we protect our troops, we love freedom) prophylactic self-censorship – you say something utterly redundant and meaningless (because it goes without saying in the place you find yourself) which is safe to say and it forestalls anyone from accusing you of thinking its opposite. Slogans like this are the principle means of the ritual communication within the system of power – see Vaclav Havel ‘The Power of the Powerless’.
    3. I’ll be polite if you are polite – I won’t offend your identity if you don’t offend mine ( despite the hate speech of the radio phone-in)
  • Clive 4:47 pm on August 10, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: privacy   

    McLuhan and Privacy 

    Link this quote with the essay on privacy where I argue that our understanding of privacy is a fairly short-lived blip in the history of the concept:

    Electronic media bring us in touch with everyone, everywhere, instantaneously. Wheras the book extended the eye, electronic circuitry extends the central nervous system.. Constant contact with the world becomes a daily reality. All-at-oneness is our state of being. Closed human systems no longer exist. The rumble of empty stomachs in Bombay and of roadside bombs in Bhagdad, vibrate in the living rooms of Boston. For us, the first postliterate generation, privacy is either a luxury or a curse of the past. The planet is like a general store where nosy people keep track of everyone else’s business – a twelve-party line or a “Dear Abby” column writ large. “The new tribalism is one where everyone’s business is everyone else’s and where we are all somewhat testy. Citizens of the world are back in acoustic space.

    From: Chapter 24 Media Ecology: A first look at communication theory (p. 317)

  • Clive 9:28 pm on June 20, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: , , privacy   

    Search Monitor: Toward a Measure of Transparency 

    Nart Villeneuve – Search Monitor: Toward a Measure of Transparency

    Citizen Lab Occasional Paper #1, “Search Monitor Project: Toward a Measure of Transparency“, (mirror) has been released today. This report interrogates and compares the censorship practices of the search engines provided by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! for the Chinese market along with the domestic Chinese search engine Baidu. It is based on tests conducted between November 2007 and April 2008 focused on uncovering web sites that have been censored from search engine results.

    The report finds that although Internet users in China are able to access more information due to the presence of foreign search engines the web sites that are censored are often the only sources of alternative information available for politically sensitive topics. In addition to censoring the web sites of Chinese dissidents and the Falun Gong movement, the web sites of major news organizations, such as the BBC, as well as international advocacy organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, are also censored.

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