With the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, what has been called the “first information war” has taken a critical turn. The U.S. government, furious at the publication of thousands of classified and confidential pieces of diplomatic correspondence, has every intention of making an example of Assange to deter other would-be tamperers with American state secrets. WikiLeaks, be it recalled, has also provided a window on U.S. actions in Iraq by releasing classified videos showing U.S. helicopters machine-gunning civilians and committing other atrocities. Wikileaks has certainly enraged the American empire before, but now, it seems, Rome-on-the-Potomac is determined to strike back.
Are online TV alternatives prompting a mass exodus of viewers from cable and satellite television services? That depends on who you’re talking to. With the influx of such Internet-based video offerings as Hulu, Netflix, Google TV, Apple TV, and other Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) services, which allow individuals to watch programs on TVs as well as laptops, iPods, smart phones, and other mobile devices, some industry observers predict that more and more viewers will soon be opting out of traditional TV.
In spite of rising security fears, 33 of our states are allowing some fax, e-mail, or Internet ballots this year. Adding to concerns is news of a security breach in a Washington, D.C., pilot Internet vote. The system was put online for a test in September.
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), with the help of UC Berkeley’s Samuelson Clinic, filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to determine the scope of social network surveillance conducted by the agency during the Obama inauguration.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently attracted attention with his strange vision of a technological utopia, which is an odd blend of the unimaginative (cars that can drive themselves) — and the disturbing, as CNET’s Tom Krazit declared: "Schmidt and Google never seem to understand how much they freak some people out when they evangelize a future that de-emphasizes the role of people in their day-to-day lives."
“The Homeland Security Department plans to test futuristic iris scan technology that stores digital images of people's eyes in a database and is considered a quicker alternative to fingerprints,” USA Today reported September 13. The new technology reportedly can scan irises from as far away as six feet, rather than the traditional several inches.
When the Founding Fathers adopted the Bill of Rights guaranteeing that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” few could possibly have forseen that any person of modest means could publish a truth accessible to the entire world (via the world wide web) to be read or viewed by potentially hundreds of millions.
Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love. The home of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were drafted. The town where blogging costs $300.