… Read the rest
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.
Tag Archives | Cyberculture
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
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...
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:
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...
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...
If you are thinking about tweeting about clouds, pork, exercise or even Mexico, think again. Doing so may result in a closer look by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In a story appearing earlier today on the UK’s Daily Mail website, it was reported that the DHS has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor social networking sites when looking for “signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.” The list was posted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center who filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act, before suing to obtain the release of the documents. The documents were part of the department’s 2011 ’Analyst’s Desktop Binder‘ used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities’.
The bill’s backers, according to the mag, want to curtail “mean-spirited and baseless political attacks” and “spotlight on cyberbullies by forcing them to reveal their identity.”
The legislation would make New York-based websites, such as blogs and newspapers, “remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post.”
The measures would also apply to messages on social networks and message boards or “any other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages,” Wired points out, and requires that sites offer “a contact number or e-mail address posted for ‘such removal requests, clearly visible in any sections where comments are posted.'”…
Read More: Village Voice