Hyping issues up: distortions when it comes to internet

1 – “The Real Problem With Internet Comments Isn’t Anonymity” (TechDirt, 12 April 2010). That I would agree; people before internet could be anonymous for the better or for the worse (blackmail…). They could also be discovered and were accepting the risk; so why not now? Why the internet should change anything in us allowing anonymity? What we need is better education for people to understand the impact of their behaviours and better policing, but not an end to anonymity.
Judge Who Was Revealed As Anonymous Commenter Sues Newspaper For $50 Million” (TechDirt, 8 April 2010)
Israeli Supreme Court Says There Is No Legal Way To Reveal Anonymous Commenters Online” (TechDirt, 1 April 2010)
Columnist Claims Anonymity Is Bad For Our Country (TechDirt, 31 March 2010)

2 – “Dear Journalists: There Is No Cyberwar” (TechDirt, 9 April 2010). I don’t completely agree. Governments use and will use the new technologies to attack and the disruptions will be different.

3 – As Cyberbullying Moral Panics Heat Up, Actual Rates Of Cyberbullying Decreasing (TechDirt, 9 April 2010). Well yes and no. Cyberbullying is a problem like its off-line version, but it is probably not so much of a problem as it is made up.

Similar distortion in the understanding of the law in order to catch behaviours we find offensive but which are not necessarily legal:
Son Gets Mom Charged With Harassment Over Facebook Account Hijacking (TechDirt, 8 April 2010) – apparently, the son lets the computer logged in; that is unauthorised access in the UK!
And if this is true, it is even worse: Sarkozy Kicks Off Criminal Investigation Into Blog/Twitter Reports He Had An Affair (TechDirt, 7 April 2010)

4 – or distortion in the use of the law: “Court Says President Bush Violated Wiretapping Laws With Warrantless Wiretap” (TechDirt, 31 March 2010) with Wired having published the decision from NorthDistrict Court of California http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2010/03/walker.pdf

This affair echoes two others about procedure and the difficulties to conceptualise it:
Leaving Your WiFi Open Decreases Your Fourth Amendment Rights To Privacy?” (TechDirt, 10 February 2010) – I can’t see how there is less privacy if you leave your mobile phone or your landline accessible to people from the outside
Duh, Don’t Leave A Thumb Drive With Child Porn Plugged Into A Shared Computer” (TechDirt, 22 April 2010) – no expectation of privacy for a US court when the thumb drive is plugged in. I would agree (like Masnick and unlike Kerr with whom I seem to disagree quite a lot – he writes on VWs). Kerr argues the thumb drive is like a suitcase in a public space; inaccurate if it is plugged in as everybody can see what’s in it, like an open suitcase (aka Masnick).

and see “Les points-clés du projet de loi Loppsi” (LeMonde, 09 February 2010)

About Audrey Guinchard

Senior Lecturer @ University of Essex (UK)
This entry was posted in Anonymity, Countries - France, Cyberwar, Investigation-2- Interception of communication, Offences - Hacking (unauthorised access), Offences - Harassment, Social networking - Facebook. Bookmark the permalink.

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