Tag Archives | Social Network

How to Protect Ourselves on Social Networks and from Data Collection Systems of Governments and Corporations

via chycho
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I. What’s Going On

Online, we are both a product for corporations and a person of interest to governments (2, 3).

Corporations are taking advantage of these times by changing their privacy policies so that they can track us, use us, and sell us whatever their algorithms decide that we need or want based on data they have acquired about our movements, contacts, desires, fantasies, or kinks. Governments on the other hand are using our data to make sure that we will never acquire enough power to change any policies that we deem to be a threat to our happiness, livelihood, or survival. In essence, we are at war with these organizations and we should act as such:

“…this is truly unprecedented in history. And what we’re seeing is secrecy and surveillance are completely subverting security and liberty, not just in the United States, but for many, many citizens around the world.”

This corporate misconduct and government surveillance is threatening the internet (2, 3), the original purpose of which was to create an “open architecture networking” system where “a globally interconnected set of computers” would allow “everyone” to “quickly access data and programs from any site”.

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Phone Snooping ‘Prevented Riots’

Photo: Riemer Palstra (CC)

Photo: Riemer Palstra (CC)

To tweet or not tweet where you’re rioting next? One option was to shut down social networks so that rioters couldn’t mass communicate. The other option was to allow them to tweet and text, then read their messages to find out what they’re planning next. The latter was able to prevent attacks on the Olympic site and London’s Oxford Street. BBC reports:

Police say they prevented attacks by rioters on the Olympic site and London’s Oxford Street after picking up intelligence on social networks.

Assistant Met Police Commissioner Lynne Owens told a committee of MPs officers learned of possible trouble via Twitter and Blackberry messenger.

But Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin said he had considered asking authorities to switch off social networks.

He said they provided intelligence but could also be misleading.

A number of politicians, media commentators and members of the police force have suggested that Twitter and Blackberry Messenger (BBM) had a role to play in the riots.

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Google Launches Latest Social Network: Google+

google-plus-360It seems when you get tired of one social networking site another appears. Google+ is the new answer for those of you who are tired of Facebook, or just enjoy creating new online profiles of yourself. Via Mashable:

Google has finally unveiled Google+, the company’s top secret social layer that turns all of the search engine into one giant social network.

Google+, which begins rolling out a very limited field test on Tuesday, is the culmination of a year-long project led by Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of social. The project, which has been delayed several times, constitutes Google’s answer to Facebook.

The search giant’s new social project will be omnipresent on its products, thanks to a complete redesign of the navigation bar. The familiar gray strip at the top of every Google page will turn black, and come with several new options for accessing your Google+ profile, viewing notifications and instantly sharing content.

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Cellphones Gain Population In Prisons,Though Banned

Photo: United States Department of Homeland Security employee confiscating a cellphone during a pat-down inspection

Photo: United States Department of Homeland Security employee confiscating a cellphone during a pat-down inspection

What do prisoners do for fun? Play games on Facebook, text their friends, and organize strikes via their smartphones. Though prisoners are locked up and cut-off from the outside population, they are finding ways to become and remain part of the digital society. The New York Times reports:

A counterfeiter at a Georgia state prison ticks off the remaining days of his three-year sentence on his Facebook page. He has 91 digital “friends.” Like many of his fellow inmates, he plays the online games FarmVille and Street Wars.

He does it all on a Samsung smartphone, which he says he bought from a guard. And he used the same phone to help organize a short strike among inmates at several Georgia prisons last month.

Technology is changing life inside prisons across the country at the same rapid-fire pace it is changing life outside.

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Facebook’s Asocial Mark Zuckerberg

100920_r20016_p233Two weeks before the theatrical release of The Social Network, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gets an in-depth interview/profile in the New Yorker. “Zuck” comes across as enigmatic, unfeeling, and awkward — an odd person to be reshaping the nature of social interaction and connection on a global scale:

The typical complaint about Zuckerberg is that he’s “a robot.” One of his closest friends told me, “He’s been overprogrammed.” Indeed, he sometimes talks like an Instant Message—brusque, flat as a dial tone—and he can come off as flip and condescending, as if he always knew something that you didn’t.

Despite his goal of global openness, however, Zuckerberg remains a wary and private person. He doesn’t like to speak to the press, and he does so rarely. He also doesn’t seem to enjoy the public appearances that are increasingly requested of him.

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Apple Launches New Music Social Network: Ping

PingIn case there weren’t enough social networks, Apple’s Ping is the network for music, not friends. From NY Times:

On Thursday morning, Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, showed off a new social network for music called Ping. It runs inside the newest version of Apple’s iTunes software. Ping also works on the latest software for iPhones and iPod Touches. (Apple hasn’t made it available for iPad this time around.)

Ping, Mr. Jobs said onstage at the announcement event in San Francisco, lets its users answer three burning questions: “What are my friends listening to? What are my favorite artists up to? What concerts are my friends going to?” And, he said, it resolves the driving need, “I’ve got to share this with my friends!” (It also answers the question: “Can I buy that song right now?”)

How does Ping work? Mr. Jobs describes it as “sort of like Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes.

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Facebook Alternative, Diaspora, To Launch September 15

Diaspora (in Greek, διασπορά – “a scattering [of seeds]”) is any movement of a population sharing common national and/or ethnic identity. The new Facebook? Via Wired:

Diaspora, a nascent open competitor to Facebook that raised $200,000 from online contributors (including, ahem, the top dog at Facebook) will launch its much-anticipated service Sept. 15, the company said in a blog post Thursday.

The project aims to create a social network that puts users in charge of their own data — or as Diaspora puts it, a “privacy-aware, personally controlled, do-it-all open source social network.”

Diaspora was started by four New York University students earlier this year after hearing a talk from Free Software guru Eban Moglen, who said Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg had done more harm to the world than anyone his age ever had.

Diaspora’s idea of taking on the social network giant gained momentum and wide publicity in the spring, following yet another controversial Facebook attempt to make users share more information publicly.

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