Tag Archives | Cyberculture

Julian Assange: The Price of Being A Western Dissident

Julian Assange is doing humanity a favour by exposing through the US Embassy Cables that “Oil motivates U.S. policy more than fighting terrorists,” and that the killing and torturing of tens of thousands of civilians by the US and NATO forces in Iraq and Afghanistan through the Iraq War Logs and Afghanistan War Logs were evidence of war crimes.

However, to Assange’s dismay, as a western dissident, he does not enjoy the soft-power of being a Chinese dissident; the “free” world politicians not only fail to acknowledge the nobility of his work in exposing human rights violations and war crimes committed by NATO and the US, President Obama described his act as a “deplorable documents dump”; former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich believed that he should be “ treated as an enemy combatant”; Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell called him a “high-tech terrorist”; while Sarah Palin wanted him to be “hunted down like al-Qaeda”; Other politicians including some mainstream media “pundits openly calling for his death”.… Read the rest

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Mexican Drug Lords Vs. Cybervigilantes & Social Media

John P. Sullivan and Adam Elkus write:

The Mexican drug war cannot be understood without reference to the virtual dimension. Cartels are seeking to aggressively shape the use of information within the drug war to promote an image of themselves as a source of unstoppable power and influence. Their methods range from the classic “propaganda of the deed” — killing for intimidation and effect — to psychological operations against Mexican police, military, and the public. By doing so, cartels struggle for information dominance. Civil society and press coverage of the cartel war have been quite literally silenced, pushing reportage to the margins of social media. However, the entry of cyber-vigilante organizations and use of new media by cartel gangsters have created a new dynamic that could change the rules of the game.

First, it is essential to understand that advances in information, while hailed as revolutionary, also tend to be excellent tools for facilitating the violent coercion and destruction of human life.

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How Microsoft and Yahoo Are Selling Politicians Access to You

Writes Lois Beckett on ProPublica:

Microsoft and Yahoo are selling political campaigns the ability to target voters online with tailored ads using names, Zip codes and other registration information that users provide when they sign up for free email and other services.

The Web giants provide users no notification that their information is being used for political targeting.

In one sense, campaigns are doing a more sophisticated version of what they’ve always done through the post office 2014 sending political fliers to selected households. But the Internet allows for more subtle targeting. It relies not on email but on advertisements that surfers may not realize have been customized for them.

Campaigns use voters records to assemble lists of people they’re trying to reach 2014 for instance, “registered Republicans that have made a donation,” Yahoo’s director of sales Andy Cotten told ProPublica. Microsoft and Yahoo help campaigns find these people online and then send them tailored ads.… Read the rest

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Sweden Opens Up Official Twitter Account to Entire Country

Writes Michelle Maltais in the LA Times:
If you had the keys to your country's Twitter account, what would you say? Well, Sonja Abrahamsson has caused a bit of a stir with her tweets about Jews from the @Sweden handle. This week's vox populi via @Sweden from Abrahamsson has delved into such curiosities as "Whats the fuzz with jews. You can't even see if a person is a jew," without intimate examination, she wrote in more explicit terms. As you can imagine, her tweets have caught some flack and attention. Abrahamsson, who describes herself as "a 27-year old womanlike human being from northern Sweden," is part of a government experiment entrusting its @Sweden national Twitter account to a new citizen every week...
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LulzSec Speaks: All Your Base Are Belong To Us (Video)

Says FreakOutNation:
With our Global governments stomping out dissent casually, creating distractions such as their acronymic censorship laws, only to put others forth while one is placed in temporary retirement, virtually exhausting the public until they accept authoritarianism, others have stepped up the plate. Ever since Sabu’s arrest, many in opposition to Anonymous and LulzSec thought the game was over — but it’s only reinvigorated them. The following video is done with a Star Wars theme, with the addition of powerful words and visuals:
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Microsoft Employs Many BitTorrent Pirates While Funding Anti-BitTorrent Startups

MicrosoftWrites Ernesto on TorrentFreak:
In recent weeks the anti-piracy antics of Microsoft have made the news on a few occasions. From censoring The Pirate Bay to funding BitTorrent poisoning startups, the software giant is determined to attack piracy head-on. But perhaps the company should make a start by educating its own employees first. In Microsoft’s offices around the world many company employees are using BitTorrent to download and share pirated movies. YouHaveDownloaded is a treasure trove of incriminating data on alleged BitTorrent pirates all across the world. The site, launched late last year, exposes what people behind an IP-address have downloaded using BitTorrent. This data was gathered from public BitTorrent trackers, and the founders released it to show how much information can be found on BitTorrent users who don’t hide their IP-address...
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You’re The Drive: Digital Data Can Now Be Stored In DNA

DNA SplitCarl Franzen writes at TPM Idea Lab:
Forget saving files to flash drives and cloud servers. Now, digital information can be stored in the DNA of living organisms, thanks to a breakthrough discovery by researchers at Stanford University in California. A trio of scientists successfully demonstrated the ability to flip the direction of DNA molecules in sample E.coli bacteria in two directions, mimicking the “1s” and “0s” of binary code, which is at the root of all modern computer calculations. “Essentially, if the DNA section points in one direction, it’s a zero. If it points the other way, it’s a one,” said Pakpoom Subsoontorn, a bioengineering graduate student at Stanford involved in the research, in an article on the Stanford School of Medicine website...
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