Top stories on the Internet this week: a new policy paper on Net Neutrality, the anti-NSA rally, new leaks, new copyright legislation proposals, and companies talk about the need to adopt new business models.
AccessNow, one of the most prolific international human rights organizations has released a new policy paper on Net Neutrality, which is a result of their one year of struggles to raise awareness on net neutrality and stop network discrimination in Europe.
These past weeks have seen the release of a new online university, Iversity. Among the courses they offer, the Public Privacy: Cyber Security and Human Rights course attracted our attention immediately. It will “explore the connection between cyber security and human rights.” At the final of the course, students taking it will get to know “how human rights are used in the debate about Public Privacy; how individual, societal, political and governmental actors interact in this context; and what cyber security in consistency with human rights is about.”
After last week’s launch of Stop Watching Us, the first major event of the campaign took place on the 27th of October. The activists behind Stop Watching Us have organized an anti-NSA rally in Washington DC, which brought together thousands of people in a protest against the agency’s unconstitutional surveillance of both American citizens and the world.
The new revelations about NSA tapping on other countries’ officials’ phones (and not only officials), such as Angela Merkel’s, and their late reactions to the whole surveillance business raise some questions: why so late, why is no-one doing anything for Edward Snowden and why aren’t they offering him asylum? Nevertheless, there are some people out there who care about Snowden’s fate and who are trying to help through an online fund raising and awareness campaign. Similar actions have been taken for Julian Assange, Barrett Brown, Jeremy Hammond, and Chelsea Manning. In the meantime, Snowden got a tech suport job in Russia!
For your online safety, here are Ten Steps You Can Take Right Now Against Internet Surveillance. In case you are not yet completely sure what’s all the fuss around surveillance and privacy, take a look at Electronic Frontier Foundation’s article on why anonymity is important for every one of us or pay what you want for VODO’s Big Brother Bundle – an essential collection of games, graphic novels, documentaries, music and books from some seriously talented creators.
The copyright scene has been quite busy this past week. In Ireland, new proposal for the copyright legislation has been submitted that aims to provide a framework for fair use of online content. In Italy, Electronic Communications Authority also submitted a draft regulation “which allows for blockades and seizures of websites that fail to respond to a takedown notice within three days”. ISPs in the UK are forced by the law to block the access to 25 of the largest copyright infringing websites.
A new study on game piracy in UK, got several game companies’ representatives saying some sensible words (hey, MPAA and RIAA, listen to this): “Tiga’s survey shows that many games businesses continue to find the most effective response to the problem of piracy is to adopt new business models, such as subscription based services and free to play games”, said the study’s chief executive Dr Richard Wilson.
Another game company, Deep Silver, says that they usually ignore piracy: “It’s not something that is new; it’s something that has been part of our business for decades… As a publisher, you just live with it. […]I think we just need to make sure that the games we publish are worth the money, and certainly there is always this piracy situation that any publisher has. No publisher can tackle [it], really.“