Thursday, December 08, 2005

Internet Warfare

Wired.com has an interesting article about Internet WArfare and how the Pentagon engages in it. The article talks about a secretaive military team of hackers called the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare, or JFCCNW. The team of hackers is used to help defend Department of Defense networks from being hacked into. Aside from that all we can do is guess at what other functions the team of hackers are responsible for. I think that they are commonly used to get information from whatever laptops, computers, and hardware are recovered in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world. The team is probaly more than sufficiently trained in taking out computer networks of opposing regimes or terrorists groups.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Internet and the Anti War Movement

I read Leander Kahney's article Internet Stokes Anti-War Movement. The article discussed how the Internet is helping bring the Anti War Movement into the mainstream. Also that the Internet is facilitaing in the rapid growth of the Anti War Movement. The author points out that the Vietnam Anti War Movement took years to gain momentum and have an influence on policy. This article was written in 2003 just a few months prior to the invasion of Iraq and it reports Anti War protests with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators.
Last month I attended a Anti War protest in NYC with my girlfriend that we heard about on the internet at WorldCantWait.net. I have signed onto at least a dozen websites that offer Anti War Movement mailinglists. Teenagers are a big tsrget for these Anti War websites, at the protest last month, half of the protesters were high school students. The internet has proven to be very useful in gaining broader support for the Anti War Movement.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Citizen Journalists

There is an article on Poynter Online about the rise in popularity of citizen journalists. The article mentions the pros and cons to citizen journalism. The author of the article goes through many of the new possibilities brought by citizen journalism. From everyday citizens contributing to news stories, to citizens adding to an obituary or a nightlife guide. The author also mentions that many editors are hesitant of citizen journalism because it takes away some of their power as editors. The author gives some guidelines that he believes could allow for a smooth transition of citizen journalists into the news media.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Blogging and the Mainstream Media

Blogging is gaining tremendous momentum in the journalistic and media worlds. Cyberjournalist.net reports that blogger Andrew Sullivan is moving his blog, andrewsullivan.com, to time.com. This is as big as a blog could hope to get. The trend of blogs appearing in mainstream media does not end with Time. MSNBC.com offers a whole webpage devoted to blogs. They include blogs from citizens around the country as well as blogs attributed to MSNBC's journalists, such as Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman.
I think blogs are becoming so popular in the news media because it allows for the viewer or reader of a news program to respond and interact with the journalist reporting a particular story. It also allows for the journalist to get feedback on his or her work, as well as getting an accurate idea of his or her listeners interests. I think blogging will continue to grow in popularity. Blogging is so easy to do, anyone with the right equipment could do it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Smart Mobs Reading

While reading the final chapter in Howard Rheingold's Smart Mobs, I started to become a little apprehensive about the internet and how not-private it is. On page 186 Rheingold discusses George Orwell's novel 1984. He uses Orwell's "Big Brother" as an example of how people will be surveiled. But unlike Orwell's novel, Rheingold mentions that many people voluntarily put their information over the internet where it can be stored and accessed by someone who should not have that information. I can not even count how mant times in the past year I typed in personal and financial information about myself. Often times when applying for school loans or paying biulls online you will have to give a social securtiy or bank number. How do we know that our information is being secured?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

High Times in Denver


Legalize
Originally uploaded by Sheila Steele.
USAToday.com reports that citizens in Denver, Colorado voted to legalize possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana for adults 21 or older. Critics of the new law say that Colorado state law which prohibits any possession will override the Denver law. However, this is a major victory for marijuana activists.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Great Wall of China Online



China's Tight Reign on Online Growth from the BBCNews.com discusses the attempts by the Chinese government to censor the internet for Chinese citizens. China is the country with the second most number of people online according to the article, only behind America. China is likely to surpass the U.S. in total number of online users relatively soon.
"Much has been made of the so-called Great Firewall of China that censors what people see using technology built in to the country's basic net infrastructure." There are several different ways in which the Chinese government goes about trying to censor the internet. First, they use a firewall to block certain internet addresses. Second, they can detect if someone is searching a banned topic such as Tibet.
In order to get around these restictions many Chinese citizens get access to certain sites from users in Western countries. Those who try to view censored material have to worry about the consequence of jailtime. According to the article the Chinese police have a seperate department that pursue online crimes.
I think internet censorship is wrong. Every Chinese citizen should be able to search for whatever they want on Google or go to whichever website they want. As more and more Chinese citizens become connected to the internet, I hope the Chinese government will face stronger resistence to intertnet censorship. If 750 million Chinese citizens become connected like the BBC article predicts, those users could hopefully force the Chinese government to grant more freedoms. Who knows, maybe the digital revolution in China will spawn a social or political revolution in the country as well.