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First POST: Today's Big Disaster

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, February 13 2014

Comcast's bid to buy Time Warner Cable could be a huge disaster for consumers and Internet users in America; the connections between online resistance, state surveillance, and data-driven political targeting; more roundups of The Day We Fight Back; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Which Half a Glass?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, February 12 2014

Was "The Day We Fight Back" a boom or a bust?; understanding how the NSA tracks people's physical locations; using Facebook to protest "Third World" schools in Los Angeles; and much, much more. Read More

The Day We - But Not Wikipedia - Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, February 11 2014

Screen shot of the defunct Wikipedia planning page for The Day We Fight Back

Drop by the Wikipedia main page today and you will find a featured article on the constellation Perseus. Conspicuously absent is The Day We Fight Back banner so many other websites like reddit, Boing Boing, and Upworthy are flying. Nor did they set Edward Snowden as the featured article, as someone suggested in a thread on what, if any, action should be taken today. Although it was discussed in multiple Wikipedia forums, no consensus was ever reached, and so Wikipedia is sitting this one out.

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First POST: Fight Club

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, February 11 2014

More than 6,000 websites and organizations are "fighting back" against NSA mass surveillance today; Not included among them, Wikipedia, which was critical to the anti-SOPA/PIPA coalition; a new mobile app Secret seems in tune with the new privacy zeitgeist, or is it?, and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Snowden and the War On Whistleblowers: An Interview With Annie Machon

BY Carola Frediani | Tuesday, February 11 2014

Annie Machon, a former British intelligence officer turned whistleblower, was known in the 1990s for disclosing illegal wiretapping, among a number of alleged crimes, by the UK Security Service, MI5. She is now again in the spotlight for creating a fund to help Edward Snowden and protect others like him. Machon talks to techPresident about her new initiative, the Courage Foundation to Protect Journalistic Sources, as well as her thoughts on mass surveillance and its erosion of civil liberties. Read More

Tomorrow the Internet Puts Collective Foot Down to Say "No" to Mass Surveillance

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, February 10 2014

Just over two years after the successful action against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), Internet companies are banding together once again to protest mass surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA). The Day We Fight Back was announced January 10, the eve of Aaron Swartz's death, and will take place February 11. More than 5,000 websites will participate tomorrow in a concerted effort to get people to tell Congress to protest mass surveillance, oppose the FISA Improvements Act and support the USA Freedom Act. The Day We Fight Back is an even more ambitious campaign than Stop SOPA; participants are not trying to stop legislation, they're trying to pass it, no small feat in today's political climate.

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WeGov

"Prism On Steroids" At The Russian Olympics

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, January 28 2014

Beefing up surveillance (Jedimentat44/Flickr)

New Internet legislation in Russia is scheduled to go into effect on February 1, just one week before the XXII Winter Olympics Games begin in Sochi. Less than a year after Russia outlawed “homosexual propaganda” online (or off), it has now set its sights on the use of social media platforms to organize protests. Starting in February, Internet providers can be ordered to block sites if someone tries to organize “participation in mass public events.”

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What Swartz, Lessig, Assange & Snowden Have to Teach Us

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, January 27 2014

Is the lone hacker-whistleblower model of change working? (flickr: Meet the Media Guru/biatch0r/Robert Douglass/Doc Searls)

The following is the text of the remarks I made yesterday at "As Darkness Falls," an international conference that took place this past weekend in Berlin, which was focused on "Theory and Practice of Self-Empowerment in the Age of Digital Control." (People here are taking the NSA surveillance revelations very seriously.) One of my co-panelists was Jacob Applebaum, an independent hacker and security expert who works on Tor, whom I refer to as Jake at one point in my comments. Video of our full panel should be posted online soon. Read More

Obama Confronts German NSA Skepticism in TV Interview But Doubts Remain

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, January 21 2014

Obama tells Claus Kleber, no point in having intelligence if you're restricted to reading media reports (credit: Screenshot/ZDF)

President Obama directly confronted some of the significant skepticism toward U.S. surveillance among the German public in an exclusive interview with German public broadcaster ZDF following his speech Friday. Beyond emphasizing the importance of restoring a trust in German-U.S. relations and dispelling worries about surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel, the interview's back-and-forth also prompted Obama to spell out the necessary balance he sees between U.S. responsibilities as a country with the most advanced capabilities and inevitable innovation in the area of digital surveillance. German reaction to the interview and the speech was muted, with many German news commentators expressing concern that Obama's vision is in effect a new world order upending established concepts of privacy, rule of law and limited surveillance. Read More

WeGov

As Govt Ups Censorship of Microblogs, Chinese Netizens Migrate to Other Platforms

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, January 17 2014

Zhihu, a newer online platform allows for more liberal discussions than the oft-censored Weibo (credit: screenshot)

If you’re in China, don’t get too attached to your microblog. Sooner or later, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will begin to censor it and you’ll either have to suck it up or move on. New data shows that most are choosing the latter, migrating from the popular microblog Weibo to the (seemingly) more private instant messaging service WeChat, as well as new debate platforms like Zhihu (“Did you know?”), which currently allows users to ask tough questions. Read More