All posts by Midnightschildren

Big Data and Privacy

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Media Alliance joined sixteen other grassroots media group in a letter to the White House embracing a rights-model for the handling of big data.

The letter states “we believe that big data creates significant new risks of racial injustice. In order to ensure a fair and inclusive future for our nation’s communities of color, and to enable the potential benefits of these new technologies to be fully realized and broadly shared, it is vitally important that the emerging policy framework for big data explicitly acknowledges and address issues of racial discrimination”. Continue reading Big Data and Privacy

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Coalition Demands Privacy Protections For Teens on Facebook

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Center for Digital Democracy

The Center for Digital Democracy, joined by a coalition of public health, child advocacy, and media justice groups, today filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in a case concerning teen privacy online. In Fraley v. Facebook, the social networking company was sued for violating the privacy of users of all ages, and the company settled with class-action attorneys before going to litigation. Facebook’s proposed settlement, which was eventually approved by the U.S. District Court, does not protect teen users from appearing in sponsored advertisements on Facebook, even though seven states forbid this kind of appropriation without parental consent Continue reading Coalition Demands Privacy Protections For Teens on Facebook

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Pew Cell/Phone Internet Survey Documents Impact of Data Caps

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Pew Internet Center

A study by the Pew Internet Center documents the enormous number of US adults who gain much or all of their Internet access via smart phones. This suggests that trends towards the imposition of data caps will hit the smart-phone dependent population especially hard. Continue reading Pew Cell/Phone Internet Survey Documents Impact of Data Caps

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AT&T and Verizon: What Digital Divide?

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by Gerry SmithHuffington Post

To help close the digital divide, the Federal Communications Commission is offering phone companies millions of dollars to expand high-speed Internet service to rural Americans.

But the nation’s two largest phone companies — AT&T and Verizon — have told the FCC to keep the money. Continue reading AT&T and Verizon: What Digital Divide?

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Fahrenheit 451

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by Andrew CoutsDigital Trends

Government-imposed online censorship has become increasingly prevalent over the past few years. And the current legislative trends from governments around the world point to a future filled with blocked websites. But simply stopping this from happening is only one part of the battle. When censorship does happen, we need a sign that clearly tells us that that’s the reason for a site’s inaccessibility.

Enter Tim Bray, a software developer at Google who has proposed a solution: a “451″ error code that displays anytime you visit a site blocked by the government. The number 451 is in honor of late author Ray Bradbury whose science fiction classic Fahrenheit 451, first published in 1950, warned of a dystopian world defined by government-imposed censorship (in the form of burning any house that contains books). Continue reading Fahrenheit 451

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SXSW Misfire – The Human Hotspot

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by Emily PriceMashable.com

In what has become a highly controversial move, advertising agency BBH transformed some of Austin’s homeless people into mobile hotspots during SXSW Interactive. Thirteen homeless from Austin’s Front Steps shelter donning an “I’m a 4G hotspot” T-shirt and armed with a MiFi were strategically placed throughout SXSW and offered internet access around their personal location to attendees. Continue reading SXSW Misfire – The Human Hotspot

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