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Principles for sound Internet policy: Internet for Everyone

By Cory Doctorow on Civlib

The Internet For Everyone project is a set of motherhood-grade principles for Internet access in the US; they’re collecting signatories to present to Congress:
Access: Every home, business and civic institution in America must have access to a high-speed, world-class communications infrastructure.

Skype Cannot be Trusted, Period

By Dan Gillmor on Free Speech

As Salon notes in “Skype sells out to China“, the eBay-owned service has collaborated with a Chinese company to enable spying on the allegedly encrypted messages that Skype users send each other to and from, and within, China. This disgusting sellout should surprise no one.


The Future of Widgets on Facebook: Dead

By Nick O’Neill on News

When Facebook released their platform last year, the company generated more buzz in the Valley since Google went public. Thousands of developers flocked to their platform and now more than 40,000 applications have been built. Many of the early applications were widgets and one application in particular, Bumper Sticker, attracted over 12 million installs and was reaching more than 1.5 million active daily users at one point.

Part III: Technorati – The "how" of blogging

By Katherine Thompson

The third part of Technorati‘s report, "State of the Blogosphere 2008" was released today. We have been covering the release of the report each day it has been released.

Revolutions Without Revolutionaries? Network Theory, Facebook, and the Egyptian Blogosphere

Facebook made a splash when it attracted 70,000 members to a group supporting an Egyptian general strike. But were these committed activists or fly by night fans? David Faris on the politics of social networking sites.

Environmental Activism and the Internet

Campaign: Ali Ardekani videoblogs about the everyday life of a Muslim

A few weeks ago, Talia wrote about the Ramadan blog that had been started by three Muslims giving their perspectives on the Holy Month.  This week, I wanted to highlight another activism campaign along the same vein.

Future of Social Web: System and Practices

By Allen Stern

Jeremiah Owyang has posted his thoughts on what may come in the long-term for the social web, beginning with the increasing relevance of activities like friending: Why ‘Friending’ Will Be Obsolete. He writes that as the system learns about our behaviors, preferences, and relationships that it will be able to automate and supply information we normally have to declare explicitly today. I couldn’t agree more.

Jeremiah summarizes his model like this:

Campaign: Somali Press Freedom on Facebook

By Talia Whyte on Somalia

Description:Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to work as a journalist. According to reports, the Somali press is targeted by hired killers and face discrimination from transitional President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed’s administration. Press freedom group Reporters without Borders’ 2008 annual report shows that journalists are under siege. “Eight dead, four injured, some 50 journalists in exile, and others holed up at home after abandoning their work in fear. To this terrible toll, must be added 53 journalists arrested while doing their job either in southern Somalia, where the capital Mogadishu is sited, in semi-autonomous Puntland in the north or in the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland in the north-west.” But now Somali journalists are fighting back online.

Tools Being Used: Facebook

Campaign: Iran – Protesting Online Against the Canadian Embassy

By Hamid Tehrani on Petition

Description: About 670 Iranian-Canadians have signed a petition to Ottawa’s political leaders protesting what they say is worsening discrimination against Iranians who want to visit Canada, some of them internationally known dissidents on the blacklist of the regime. Only a minority of several hundred Iranian artists and intellectuals invited to Toronto events this summer were granted visas.

Tools: Blog, Petition, Email

‘Ten Commandments’ for Christian Bloggers

By Munir Umrani on Religion Bloggers

"Christian bloggers have been given a new set of ‘Ten Commandments’ aimed at delivering them from the temptations of online arguments," the Daily Telegraph of London reported September 27, 2008, in an article headlined "Bloggers given new Ten Commandments by church leaders." 

According to reporter Alastair Jamieson:

Intelligence Community Continues Using Facebook for Recruiting

By Nick O’Neill on News

Last year it was revealed that the CIA had launched a recruiting campaign on Facebook. It appears that Secret Intelligence Service in the United Kingdom has decided to log-on to Facebook as well for recruiting purposes. The organization has launched advertisements including one which according to the Guardian says “Time for a career change? MI6 can use your skills. Join us as an operational officer collecting and analysing global intelligence to protect the UK.”

Campaign: Facebook used to “Sto

p AFRICOM”

By Talia Whyte on AFRICOM

Description: The headquarters for the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) became fully activated yesterday in Stuttgart, Germany. Under the command of the U.S. Department of Defense, AFRICOM serves the military arm for all of Africa except Egypt. However, AFRICOM has met with strong resistance from the worldwide African Diaspora who feel that the United States is not only exploiting the continent for its natural and human resources in a new form of colonialism, but it is also militarizing and forcing Africa in the War on Terror with the help of oil companies and military contractors. Activists are now planning protests around the world to showcase resistance to AFRICOM.

Digital Tools Being Used: Facebook

Guide to Bluetooth Security

Source: National Institute for Standards and Technology

To improve the security of Bluetooth implementations, organizations should implement the following recommendations:

Organizations should use the strongest Bluetooth security mode available for their Bluetooth devices.

The Bluetooth specifications define four security modes, and each version of Bluetooth supports some, but not all, of these modes. The modes vary primarily by how well they protect Bluetooth communications from potential attack. Security Mode 3 is considered the strongest mode because it requires authentication and encryption to be established before the Bluetooth physical link is completely established. Security Modes 2 and 4 also use authentication and encryption, but only after the Bluetooth physical link has already been fully established and logical channels partially established. Security Mode 1 provides no security functionality. The available modes vary based on the Bluetooth specification versions of both devices, so organizations should choose the most secure mode available for each case.

Zotero Sued?!?!

By Eric Kansa on projects

Cory Doctorow, an author and vocal advocate for digital civil liberties, recently reported on Boing-Boing that Reuters is suing George Mason University and Dan Cohen in relation to the popular Zotero citation management system. For those of you don’t know, Zotero is a free and open source pluggin for the Firefox browser. Zotero is a fantastic tool for scholars, since you can use it to automatically copy citation information from many important academic, library, and commercial collections (including JSTOR, Elsevier publications, Amazon, and many more) and build your own bibliographic database. You can also use Zotero to copy webpages and articles to maintain your own personal archive for later reference.

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