Controversial Reads 061221

Ten years ago this spring, two million Tunisians came together on Facebook to transform their pent-up fury at their country’s authoritarian government into a four-week revolution that toppled the longtime dictatorship of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali

As it turns out, the internet is not that exceptional after all. It may be one of the greatest inventions since the printing press, as the cliché goes, and it has unquestionably revolutionized communication and commerce. But as David Pierce observed in Protocol shortly after the January 6 Capitol riot, “Everything is IRL” now. “[T]he barriers between online and offline life have disappeared completely.”

The one-two punch of the recent and upcoming executive orders on supply chains and cybersecurity may well be this jump-start and set the foundation for a significant and much-needed shift in US grand strategy.

Technology has its undeniable benefits in the workplace, but a sweeping reliance leaves people alienated, stripped of a common purpose and motivation to be loyal to their employer.

Still, inviting the ire of the entire East Coast and commanding headlines of major news publications for a week was certainly not what the DarkSide ransomware group had in mind when they targeted Colonial Pipeline’s IT infrastructure.

Common sense scrutiny proves the Internet and Big Tech are not the mythic result of laissez faire free market capitalism, but the real product of massive U.S. Government (USG) intervention via U.S. Internet industrial policy in Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

Did you know that about one in five US adults say they get their news primarily through social media? However, in addition to news, social media platforms have become incredibly efficient tools for spreading propaganda and disinformation credited with interference in elections in US, Mexico, France, Philippines and the Brexit referendum.

Public health infrastructure in the United States has been underfunded for decades, and its underlying tech infrastructure is outdated and clunky. Health departments relied on fax machines and paper printouts to ferry data around.

Who is this gang of thieves? The “gang” in question is the government of a country with a population four times that of the United States, a booming gross domestic product second only to America’s, and a totalitarian political system with global ambitions.

We don’t need instant information download – we need to develop resilience and patience in our learning that will serve us well wherever life takes us.

Facebook was happy for months to stifle any mention of the theory that COVID-19 emerged from a lab leak in China. That’s zero for two, on two huge stories, with both errors pointing in the same political direction. Section 230 was supposed to give us a free flow of information, but instead, it’s given us efficient speech suppression.

The IRTF is a research-oriented part of the larger IETF structure. It has a number of research groups, one of which, DINRG, is looking at decentralized Internet Infrastructure.

The Council of Europe Cybercrime Committee’s (T-CY) recent decision to approve new international rules for law enforcement access to user data without strong privacy protections is a blow for global human rights in the digital age.