Regulation needs surveillance

For my open post, I would like to concentrate on the aspect of privacy and mass surveillance in relation to regulation. I feel that the idea that we are watched wherever you go is most definitely a concerning one. It feels almost strange to talk about privacy and surveillance under one topic because they appose each other, or may be thats even more reason to link them.

The idea of surveillance in the real world, through cameras and police authority is one form of surveillance that I do not have a problem with, simply because it keeps the public safe and is a reliable source in prosecuting people who commit crimes in public spaces. It is arguable, but I’m confident that most people also have no issue with real world surveillance. It however seems that as soon as you bring the concept of surveillance into the digital world, everyone has a problem with it, why?

I feel its because the mass who use digital in some form see the internet as something that only requires limited surveillance because it’s not real and therefore not a threat. I now however feel that perhaps people are discovering that their actions on the internet have a real effect in the real world. A more serious example would be cyberbullying that has caused many teenagers to commit suicide. When we get to a point where people are losing their lives due to poor surveillance, it becomes a problem. This is where I feel the power of regulation needs to come in.

Regulation and surveillance in my eyes are hand in hand. Regulations are the rules, the surveillance is what is able to implement them effectively. For example, if Facebook set certain rules and regulations for people to follow, the use of surveillance can be used as a form of controlling that regulation. People seem to have a issue with this concept, but I do and always will ask why? Unless you have something to hide, you shouldn’t be concerned with surveillance online for security reasons. If it’s for serious crime/situation (life or death/terrorism), peoples privacy I think should be moved aside. I do understand that regulating all users is a difficult task, but when it is necessary, it should take priority. Going forward, I feel that the interlinking the two needs to be further developed in order to keep people feeling safe online. Do you agree or am I over-thinking it?

Lewis King

 

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Apple vs FBI

Since this week is an open post and we have been asked to blog about an issue or an example that captured our interest in this module, I thought I would blog on the topic of security. I found this topic very interesting and didn’t really expect to. During the seminar the topic of the Apple and FBI news story was discussed, this issue really captured my interest. The story is that the courts ordered Apple to help the FBI hack an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooter suspects. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook replied with an open letter basically saying, no. However, just this Monday it was reported that the FBI may have found a way to unlock the iPhone without Apple’s assistance.

So why doesn’t Apple want to unlock the iPhone? It’s not that they don’t want to, they argue that the software to do so doesn’t even exist and would have to create it and by doing so, if it got into the wrong hands could put millions of people’s security and privacy at risk. With Cook stating “In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”

Although others argue that if the phone can be unlocked the FBI have the potential to recover information that can prevent future terror attacks. Do you agree with Apple that they shouldn’t have to unlock this iPhone or to you think that they should be forced to unlock it?

“I’ve said my piece”

YouTube is the biggest and most successful video platform on the Internet. With infinite channels, this website is the home of many online based communities. As a Latin-American person, I am very proud of my culture and our quirky sense of humor. This is portrayed and transmitted to the world in one of the most famous Latin-American online communities on YouTube called Flama, more specific, a show called “Joanna Rants”. These videos are made by the Venezuelan comedian Joanna Hausmann. New York based, she posts a new “Joanna Rants” at least once every two weeks. These funny rants are usually 6 to 10 minutes long, and they cover generic topics like Most Famous Couples or Snapchat, while some of them cover some more specific Latin American topics, like rivalry between countries from this continent, different Spanish accents or Latin American Christmas traditions. She always finishes her videos with her catch phrase “Until next time, I’ve said my piece”

 

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Despite being from Venezuela, Joanna manages to bring together a whole continent via her hilarious videos. She uses their differences to link each Latin American country with the other, and also links the culture from United States. This is an example of not only a wide online community, but also one of the funniest channels available on YouTube. So don’t be affraid to check it out!

The Internet as a surveillance tool

With the semester coming to an end, I must say I’m going to miss this module. It brought to my attention such issues I’ve previously neglected or had little information about. Among my favourite topics can be mentioned Privacy and Surveillance.

❛ Surveillance is the business model of the Internet.

Bruce Schneier

We live in a world where privacy evolved from a fundamental right to an unattainable luxury, and surveillance has become synonymous with spying. It is understandable to give up on a certain part of our privacy in exchange to our security, but when enough is enough? The internet became a passive-aggressive digital territory where people’s intimacy is constantly injured by the websites’ intrusive privacy policies. Nowadays, for setting up an online account, an individual is almost forced to provide one’s personal information.

The internet’s invasive monitoring came to deny people’s right to privacy. Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. are monitoring tools programmed to gather data about people’s behaviour online. People’s personal information and other online data themselves became products sold ridiculously cheap to advertising companies, institutions or governments without our permission. Below it’s a link to an article containing instructions on how to find out what Google knows about you and how to delete that information: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/heres-how-to-download-and-delete-what-google-117031199754.html. It’s also a depicting example of how the internet can be a surveillance tool.

Media in 2016

Even though each week we were presented with new and interesting topics related to the relationship between media and society, the one I found particularly fascinating was in one of the lectures called Media Convergence.

This is a topic that started an amazing conversation in the seminar as well, being so relatable to young people.

Media convergence is constantly showing us how much the technology has developed over the years and it makes every change seem possible nowadays.

But media convergence does not work just on a technological level where you can google on your TV, receive texts on your watch, but also on a cultural one. This concerns us, the audience. We are becoming converged as well through the media and globalisation and we started to be familliar with more than just one cultural background and geography it’s seen with different eyes considering the speed and lack of boundaries in most countries in the world.

With that being said, I believe that media convergence is such a broad and interesting subject that it is really hard to capture its essence and elaborate on it in only 200 words, but it is something to think about even when we are doing things we are so used to do, such as watching Netflix on our phones.

The future of news  

News plays a much greater role in societal life than just a random post on your Facebook feed. Speaking about which, I aim to trace the future of news, keeping in mind the transformation of news. A newspaper cannot be replaced by e-news until you can use a tablet to swat a fly. Stanislaw Jerzy Lec said, “The window to the world can be covered by a newspaper.” Is the press dying in the digital age? I would say I disagree. Sure, maybe the costs are going higher and the profits are going down, but since when do we value news for its Profits and not its Purpose? Why do business magnates controlling the press run behind the wrong ‘P’? The number of people reading the newspapers in the UK has been decreasing at the rate of about 10% but at the same time the i experienced a gain of 11% readers.

Newspaper came and stayed. Then came the Internet wave and it stayed too! Then news took to social media and the upsurge continues. This tells us two things. Firstly, new formats of news have appeared and will continue to emerge but this does not mean that it outdates its predecessor. Newspapers, Internet and social media can co-exist and compliment each other. Secondly, news has catered to consumer needs by constantly changing its medium. However, what is the future after social media?

The answer is innovation. Innovation in press, internet and social media. The Independent has become the first national newspaper to go digital, but don’t foget that they also run the i which is a 40p newspapers! The Metro and Evening Standard operate free of costs. The Guardian operates on part-paid part-free basis on its digital front. Internet and social media have taken innovation to a whole new level. For example, Slow Journalism Magazine, attempts to explain and explore news after it has subsided from the mainstream and has escaped the concept of first and fast. Outlets like Vox.com are documenting news in a much more explained form. What’s interesting is that traditional news organisations are expanding their reach by using social media. For example, Sky news has its Snap Chat operation which has live blogs and feeds which are updated constantly through the day. Innovation also lies in the way newspapers are marketed, Metro went free and Independent has gone digital.

The above examples prove that news is transforming according to the needs of its consumers and innovation. Transformation of news is highly connected and dependent on media convergence. It is the interdependence among platforms where in lies the innovation in news. You will notice that it is not the death of press but the convergence of media which has just internally shifted numbers among its number of readers and its profits. It the purpose of the news that makes it novel; not its platform, not the format and not the economics of it. In all, through this module I have realised that components of media and its factors are interlinked and co-exist in the organisation. They are complimentary in nature and one cannot be explained without the help of the other, for example: media convergence and innovation, privacy and surveillance, copyrights and creativity, etc.

 

Have you noticed?

By week 5, when I was doing the suggested readings for my presentation on the following week, I have realised something that actually changed my view of this whole module.

I don’t know whether you would have experienced the same feeling as me, but I got quite excited to notice how all the lectures we were having so far, were beautifully linked with each other!

I mean, there’s a sequential correlation between the lectures’ topics. All topics together create a kind of a path within a huge web, that led us to a wide view of the media, the internet and about how we, humans, interact with both them. In other words, this whole path provided us with a great knowledge regarding our Network Society and our Media.

Captura de Tela 2016-03-23 às 15.42.47Took this image from Doug’s presentation in the first lecture. It illustrates exactly what I mean by “web“. 

I just wanted to share the simple links I’ve made from ‘Convergence and Media Industries’ to ‘The Networked Self and Ideas of Community’. The starting point is the cultural angle of online convergence, as it makes the audience become the user. This internet’s tendency has lots of implications, such as in the transformation of the news. We’ve seen news today produced by us on social media and it’s been really common to inform ourselves through these platforms instead of through traditional ones, such as newspapers. Within the readings for week 5, one in particular directly linked with the news production by users. A chapter of the Social Media Handbook discusses the ideas of community online and mentions two different students’ protests at two universities in NYC. One of them had a guy, Charlie Eisenhood, who was part of the physical occupying community at the university campus, as well as part of an online community at the same time he was on the protest. everyone outside the campus was being informed by Charlie, instead of by journalists, as he was recording and reporting online, in real-time, what was happening on the occupation.

All this correlation would easily continue later on, with Privacy and Surveillance, Intellectual Property, Regulation. As I’m already really beyond the word count, would you  –either mentally or comenting– continue linking them? 😛

Thanks for this Network Society & the Media module for such an amazing experience and for all the knowledge we could gain.