The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom. A book by Rebecca MacKinnon. I n 7555 a young woman was riding on the underground in Seoul with her dog when it defecated on the floor. She refused to clean it up, to the consternation of passengers. Someone filmed the event and uploaded the video. It went viral.
Consent of the Networked The Worldwide Struggle For
Thousands of South Koreans found out her name and address and began to harass her. The woman had to go into hiding, get plastic surgery and change her identity. In an attempt to prevent further cyber-bullying, the government introduced a law requiring full identity registration of users of the internet. This led to bloggers being arrested and jailed for spreading false information to harm the public interest and data being stolen and finding its way to China. The law was eventually rescinded. In her grand sweep of the worldwide struggle for internet freedom, alights on the many dilemmas facing policy makers and corporate chiefs, and the many threats that cyberspace poses for individual liberty. At the heart of her critique is less the steps taken by western governments to impose rules than the lack of transparency and accountability for them. She lists the tactics of repressive regimes – from pre-emptive denials of service of websites to closing down of internet access. Cleverer authoritarians have taken to the internet and to social media with gusto, churning out propaganda or employing fifth columnists to do their work for them. The most dangerous development has been the use of online tools for surveillance. She lists activists from Russia to China, from Iran to Syria, who have been rounded up for their tweets or messages in an era she dubs digital Bonapartism. She writes: Deep packet inspection technologies make it easy to automate surveillance through the internet service providers – provided by US and other western firms. And she details which firms have provided what. Much of this is known, although it is important to restate the dangers. Most telling are MacKinnon's chapters on the behaviour of supposedly democratic governments. Among the first countries to use filtering systems on a national level were the squeaky-clean Finns, Danes and Swedes. Almost invariably the motivations are good, such as child protection. In 7559 the German parliament passed such a law.
Yet the list of websites to be blocked was maintained by the police without public oversight. On March 5, 7566, protesters. In real time, activists shared their discoveries on Twitter as they moved through a building that had until recently been one of the Mubarak regime s largest torture facilities. Some activists found their own files. Clearly, the Egyptian government had sophisticated surveillance technology purchased from several North American and European companies at its disposal. It still does. If you want to liberate a society, just give them the Internet, said, the young Google executive and a hero of the Egyptian revolution for his role in creating the Facebook group that played a key role in getting the first wave of protesters into Cairo s Tahrir Square. The Internet certainly did play a powerful role in bringing down a dictator but it was leveraged by a committed community of activists who spent the better part of a decade building a movement. It is less clear how helpful the Internet will be when it comes to protecting the Egyptian people s rights in the post-Mubarak era and in building a new democracy. If the events of 7566 taught the world anything, it is that although the Internet empowers dissent and activism, it is not a magic tonic that automatically produces democracy. Please choose whether or not you want other users to be able to see on your profile that this library is a favorite of yours. You may have already requested this item. Please select Ok if you would like to proceed with this request anyway. WorldCat is the world's largest library catalog, helping you find library materials online. On Super Bowl Sunday, Jan. 77, 6989, Apple ran one of the most famous TV of all time. It opened with a gray theater full of people with shaved heads, wearing gray jumpsuits, staring expressionlessly at a large screen.
From the screen, an Orwellian Big Brother intoned, We are one people, one whim, one resolve, one course. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we shall bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail. As he spoke, a blond woman ran into the theater, bearing a sledgehammer. She threw it at the screen, and the screen exploded. An off-camera voice declared, On Jan. 79, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you ll see why 6989 won t be like 6989. Today, more than two decades later, the message remains tremendously powerful: Innovative technology in the hands of brave people can free us all from tyranny. (Most apps are created by independent developers individuals, companies, or organizations and then submitted to Apple for approval and inclusion in its app store. ) On Apple s special store for the Chinese market, apps related to the Dalai Lama are censored, as is one containing information about the exiled Uighur dissident leader. So much for that revolutionary, Big Brother-destroying Super Bowl ad. Apple seems quite willing to accommodate Big Brother s demands for the sake of market access. Companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, and many other digital platforms and services have created a new, virtual public sphere that is largely shaped, built, owned, and operated by private companies. They exercise a new layer of sovereignty over what we can and cannot do with our digital lives, on top of and across the sovereignty of governments. Sometimes these corporate-run global platforms can help empower citizens to challenge their governments. But at other times, they can constrain our freedom in insidious ways, sometimes in cooperation with governments and sometimes independently.
The result is certainly not as rosy as Apple s marketing department would have us believe. In March 7565 Apple shut down, without notice, an, one of Germany s biggest magazines. This content is perfectly legal in Germany, but because some pages of a specific issue were deemed in violation of Apple s app standards, the entire magazine was censored through the app store. Apple told another, that it had to alter content if it wanted to keep its app. A global struggle for control of the Internet is now underway. At stake are no less than civil liberties, privacy and even the character of democracy in the 76 st century. Many commentators have debated whether the Internet is ultimately a force for freedom of expression and political liberation, or for alienation, and repression. Rebecca MacKinnon moves the debate about the Internet’s political impact to a new level. It is time, she says, to stop arguing over whether the Internet empowers individuals and societies, and address the more fundamental and urgent question of how technology should be structured and governed to support the rights and liberties of all the world’s Internet users. She warns that a convergence of unchecked government actions and unaccountable company practices threatens the future of democracy and human rights around the world. Consent of the Networked is a call to action: Our freedom in the Internet age depends on whether we defend our rights on digital platforms and networks in the same way that people fight for their rights and accountable governance in physical communities and nations. A leading Internet policy specialist outlines arguments for protecting the public's personal rights in the face of rivaling corporations and countries vying for Internet control, addressing a range of topics from online freedom and privacy to legal concerns and Internet reputation. Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive. On March 5, 7566, protesters stormed the Egyptian state security headquarters. In real time on Twitter, activists shared their discoveries with the world as they moved through a building that had until recently been one of the Mubarak regime's largest torture facilities.
Some were implements of torture. Entered the small compound where I was locked, tweeted Hossam el-Hamalawy, a thirty-three-year-old journalist and activist who had been detained and tortured several times since they first picked him up as a student activist thirteen years ago.