There has been quite a lot of ‘hacking’ going on lately, with the activities of LulzSec and Anonymous being the primary troublemakers. Tens of thousands of online email and forum account details have been leaked to the public.
I am an internet junkie. I fully admit it. One day I may just have to go to an IA meeting. You know, Internet‘s Anonymous. haha. There are many debates about the benefits of global and instant communication and whether it improves the lives of people. Very similar to our parents and their parents before them with TV, radio, and telephones.
With such a huge shift in the way people communicate and gather information, how would you adapt if the internet didn’t exist anymore? With Egypt pulling the plug on its citizens last week, the threats of making governments accountable through Wikileaks cables, censorship, bandwidth throttling, etc…, there is always a threat looming that one day the internet may disappear, whether by governments in power, or more nefarious means(anonymous, hackers, terrorists, etc…).
I argue that the world would be a more oppressive and closed society without the internet. It has advanced to the point where essentially most of the world’s population can gain some access. As a global community, the internet is a way to keep regimes accountable, question globalization, see the effects of economic decisions on 3rd world countries, not to mention as a counter-balance to the Corporate run news agencies that tend to pick a side and not report both sides of the story. All good right?
But, when we rely on the internet to educate ourselves, we are missing an important step in progress. Time. The time it takes to problem solve, to form an opinion, read a book, physically or mechanically try and try again, work out a puzzle. We are becoming a society of instant gratification and instant answers, instant fast food. We simply look up the solution to the problem online. We don’t have to think or work it out!
To top it off, the answers are fed to us by large US companies(Google, Microsoft, Yahoo) looking to make money, mostly through advertisers trying to convince us to buy their stuff. In the span of a couple of generations, we are losing the skills passed down generation by generation because we can just go and look it up, or buy it. What happens then, when you can’t look it up anymore? Just a thought.
I am not one for feeling threatened by doing completely LEGAL things like having an opinion. The US government has subpeoned Google, Twitter, and Facebook for user data relating to anyone related to Wikileaks. Is following someone make you related to them and a suspect of a crime? Honestly, I read 1984 a long time ago, but this is getting ridiculous. Since when does agreeing with a news organization releasing stories about corruption in government make you a target of the courts?
I think a lot of my feelings around this stem from my student politics past. I have a hard time accepting people overstepping their authority and clearly the US government is doing that. Scare tactics? You bet.
I still feel that releasing the cables will inevitably make for more accountable government. So, support Wikileaks. Be proud to stand up for honesty, accountability, and justice for the wrong-doings of a few corrupt governments and their leaders…
There is a major freedom of information movement going on right now on the web. Wikileaks. You may have heard of it? Wikileaks has been releasing ’embarrassing’ yet truthful international cables involving diplomats, corporations, governments, courts. The extent of all the information leaked is still being felt. The international government and major media response? Appalling to say the least. The governments of the world are on the attack. Some are going so far as to suggest the assassination of the Julian Assange including representatives of my Canadian government! On top of that, crazy trumped up charges against the founder of Wikileaks as part of a smear campaign. Wikileaks is simply a publisher of all these documents. They didn’t spy on anyone, steal anything, bribe, or commit espionage. They simply posted what OTHER people have given them…Much like any newspaper, blog, evening news broadcast, etc…I think this is an outrage! We need more sites like Wikileaks! Lots more. There is a current online campaign to make it impossible to take down Wikileaks. At the time of this writing, there are over 2000 mirror sites up and running! If I had the resources, I’d do the same…
I am going to host all the desktop wallpapers on my site(see gallery below) for anyone to save and distribute at your leisure. Spread the word…Donate if you can, mirror the site if you have the resources, and let all our governments know that we are watching them…