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Battle for the Internet

by Jonathan Hankins [1], 5 November 2012

Earlier this year the Guardian newspaper ran an interesting series entitled 'Battle for the Internet'. The series is available online [2] and makes a very interesting read.

Over 7 days the series looked at many aspects of internet growth and its effect upon society. Many of the problems addressed have been raised on this website over the years, and an interested reader can gain a good all round understanding of many issues from a concise editorial page.

Day 1: the new cold war

Articles address the Russian governments attempt to purge Western influences from the visible web, the current state of microblogging in China, US government expenditure on supporting anti censorship activism and Google's perspective on threats to the Internet.

Day 2: militarization of cyberspace.

The US and China have been playing cyberspace war games in an attempt to defuse tension surrounding possible government involvement in cyberspying and document theft.

Day 3: the new walled gardens.

One article discuss government attempts to pass legislation that would give greater powers to snoop on Internet use, including seemingly draconian measures being pushed through in the UK. Another describes how the expansion of Internet giants such as Facebook and the mass use of smartphones and iPads may in fact reduce a user's capacity to access information that is not explicitly supplied to them by their particular provider.

Day 4: the IP wars.

One article debates whether patenting rights over software stifle innovation, with a second piece opening a discussion into how copyright and IP issues can cope in the new era of digital information.

Day 5: 'civilizing' the web.

How can we stand on the issue of free speech on the Internet? The issue of anonymity and institutional calls for liberty (in the face of opposing actions) are also developed.

Day 6: open resistance

A list of the Guardian's top 20 fighters in the battle for internet freedom and an article about 'hactivism' as a means of combating 'officialdom' on the web.

Day 7: the end of privacy

Big Data issues are addressed along side Google's capacity and propensity for collecting personal data.

A thought provoking and well informed series that I am sure Bassetti Foundation readers will enjoy.


(Image: Retro War Map [3] by Surian Soosay ssoosay from Flickr)

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  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Jonathan Hankins
  2. 2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/series/battle-for-the-internet?CMP=BACxx3736I2
  3. 3] http://www.flickr.com/photos/ssoosay/4623758083
CC Creative Commons - some rights reserved.
cc - work by Surian Soosay ssoosay from Flickr


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