All posts by Midnightschildren

California Enacts Law Protecting Consumer Privacy, But There is Still a Ways to Go

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By Alexis Collins. Originally posted on Dissent Wire

The 2018 California Consumer Privacy Act is a law that will require technology corporations, such as Google and Facebook, to drastically alter their business models regarding data collection and privacy regulations. The legislation was unanimously approved by the state legislature on June 28 and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) the same day. The bill’s quick turn around resulted from pressures that legislators faced from an upcoming November ballot initiative, which would have created more stringent privacy rules. It will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Continue reading California Enacts Law Protecting Consumer Privacy, But There is Still a Ways to Go

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Profiles in Corruption: How Telecoms Control the State Legislature

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by Chris Witteman and Tracy Rosenberg. Originally published in 48 Hills. 

The last couple of weeks have not been good ones for those who see communications as a social justice issue.

The 2015 Open Internet Order, which ensured Internet neutrality and fairness, was finally stripped out of the law books per order of the Trump FCC, now run by a former lawyer for Verizon. San Francisco’s plan for a publicly-owned fiber broadband network was put on hold, and all indications are that Mayor Breed will likely bow to AT&T and Comcast by keeping it from resurfacing. And California’s own net neutrality bill, designed to reverse what Trump’s FCC had done, got ambushed by an upstart young Assemblymember. Continue reading Profiles in Corruption: How Telecoms Control the State Legislature

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Counterspin: Tracy Rosenberg on ICE’s Corporate Collaborators

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This week on CounterSpin: “As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border,” the global tech company declared in a statement. “Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II.”  The same Microsoft bragged a few months ago about ICE’s use of its Azure cloud computing services to “accelerate facial recognition and identification” of immigrants, though the post has since been altered to omit the phrase “we’re proud to support this work with our mission-critical cloud.”

The spotlight on the White House’s inhumane agenda on immigration and immigrants is exposing more than the devastatingly cruel practices in force at the border, but also the numerous big corporate and institutional players that are—often invisibly—enabling that agenda. And just like the agenda, the impact of these collaborations extends well beyond immigrant communities. We’ll talk about all that with organizer/advocate Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of Media Alliance and co-coordinator of Oakland Privacy.

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Propaganda Review Issue 1, Volume 2 1987-1990

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Everything old is new again. One of the advantages of being a venerable organization is that your ancestors have already taken a go at issues and problems recurring today.

Propaganda Review was a Media Alliance magazine that explored techniques of manipulation, our vulnerability to them, and a society obsessed with the engineering of consent.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

So, with the generous help of William Bowles, we are embarking on the project of excavating as much of Propaganda Review as we can in order to make it available for a bit of context in today’s “fake news” debate.

In this edition, you’ll hear from:

  • James Zogby on the perverse distortions in coverage of the Palestinian resistance. “Consider the number of articles about what
    the breaking of hands is doing to the souls of those young Israeli soldiers who are subjected to this kind of brutality-they are subjected to the brutality, not the fingers of the hands whose bones they’re breaking. There is far more concern for the souls of the Jews
    than for the bodies of the Arabs”. 
  • Barbara Haber on the mythic legacy of previous social change movements on young organizers. “The students were
    sharply aware of the power of media imagery to make and
    break movements.”
  • Peter Kornbluh on the Reagan-era State Deapartment’s Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD). “The OPD became a “vast psychological
    warfare operation”  aimed at Congress and the American people.”
  • Claude Steiner and Charles Rappleye on propaganda scholar Jacques Ellul. “Citizens crave propaganda from  the bottom of
    their beings. And propagandists respond.”
  • Jay Rosen on the follies of conventional election coverage by the press. “In the sheer overkill the press creates, one senses a desperate  attempt to affirm public interest in the election ritual.”
  • Nina Eliasoph on the perils of polls. “Polls are good for
    finding out what people think they should say  to pollsters.”

Continue reading Propaganda Review Issue 1, Volume 2 1987-1990

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The Online Privacy Quickie Sell-Out Deal

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They could restore it but…..

At a time when it is difficult to pay attention to much besides the disaster that is the Trump adminstration’s”family separation policy”, the CA Legislature is rushing through an evisceration of online privacy, in a shameful ending to AB 375. The bill was  introduced with much fanfare in 2017 by Assembly privacy chair Ed Chau to replace FCC broadband privacy regulations repealed by Congress. Continue reading The Online Privacy Quickie Sell-Out Deal

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