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    Polinter11 Polinter11 Presentation Transcript

    • Y490 Politics of the Internet November 15, 2011
    • Some of our original concerns:
      • Does the Internet make it possible for there to be more diversity in the political views expressed in the public sphere?
      • How do we compare the media on the Internet to the media that were previously available?
      • Does the greater amount of user-generated content in blogs and social networks result in stronger democracies?
    • User-Generated Content and Applications
      • Blogs and Vlogs
      • Web 2.0 applications
        • Facebook
        • Other social networking sites
          • Twitter
          • eBay
          • Amazon reviews
          • IMDB reviews and other content
          • Craigslist
          • Wikipedia
          • Flickr
    • The Long Tail Hypothesis Pareto Distribution (aka Power Law)
    • Another Way to Look at the Long Tail
    • Questions
      • Will the people on the left side of the long curve be hurt by the people on the right side? If so, what is gained and lost?
      • Does bad behavior by the little guys ruin it for everybody?
      • How can people protect themselves against network mischief?
    • Zittrain Contrasts PCs with iPhones PC iPhone Type of Technology Generative Appliancized/ Tethered Type of Software Open Proprietary Type of Network Anarchic Controlled
    • Definition of Generativity
      • “… a system’s capacity to produce unanticipated change through unfiltered contributions from broad and varied audiences…” (p. 70)
    • Features of a Generative System (pp. 71-73)
      • Leverage
      • Adaptability
      • Ease of mastery
      • Accessibiity
      • Transferabiity
    • Basic Propositions (Zittrain, p. 64)
      • The IT ecosystem functions best with generative technology at its core.
      • Generativity instigates a pattern both within and beyond the technological layers of the IT ecosystem.
      • Proponents of generative IT systems ignore the drawbacks attendant to generativity’s success at their peril.
    • Layer Model
      • Highest: Content
      • Intermediate High: applications
      • Intermediate Low: operating systems
      • Lowest: physical
    • Advantages of Layers
      • Engineers can tinker with one layer without necessarily affecting the other layers.
      • The hourglass shape means that there is lots of room for innovation above and below the operating systems and protocols levels.
    • Problems with Generative Technologies and Anarchic Networks
      • Malware: worms, viruses, trojan horses
      • Incompatibilities in hardware and software which create difficulties for beginners (steep learning curves)
      • Use by criminals, political extremists, hate mongers, pornographers, child molesters, cyberstalkers
      • Vulnerability to cyber attacks of various kinds that go beyond malware (e.g. denial of service attacks, identity theft)
    • Identity Theft
      • The blanket term for any type of crime wherein the offender uses another individual’s legitimate personal information to commit acts of fraud or deception, typically for illicit financial gain
      • Where a person’s identification details are obtained through various covert methods, from rifling through the contents of household dustbins to “phishing.’
          • Phishing is a form of fraud where the criminal pretends to be a reputable organization that needs information about some business you may have done with them
    • Identity Theft and Fraud
      • Identity theft is not really a specific kind of fraud, but an act that leads a person to be able to commit fraud
      • Fraud generally is the attempt to convince for any reason that you are someone other then yourself.
      FTC video on identity theft
    • Examples of Hate Speech on the Internet
      • Nazis and Neo-Nazis
        • Sale of Nazi objects (involving EBay)
        • French policies (involving Yahoo based sales of Nazi stuff)
      • Hate groups
      • Hate Watch
    • Dangers Inherent in Tethered Systems
      • Network service can reprogram appliances at will (through their periodic updating of appliance software)
      • Some appliances can record private information and make it available to those with access to the network (police for example)
      • Tethered networks can be used for censorship
      Controversy over Amazon e-books
    • Examples of Censorship on Tethered Networks
      • Skype in China is used to censor words like Falun Gong and Dalai Lama
      • Google.cn makes searches for Falun Gong and Tibet fail
      • FBI can use OnStar for surveillance
      • Use of cameras in mobile phones?
      Flexispy software for cell phones
    • The News Corporation Scandal
      • News of the World tabloid in UK hacks into cell phones of Prince Harry and others to get sensational stories
      • Photo of Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party
      • 2002 kidnap and murder of a British schoolgirl, Milly Dowler
      • Exposure of top level News Corporation approval of illegal phone hacking in 2011
    • Should Cell Phones Networks be more like the PC-Based Internet?
      • Cell phone operators clearly are opposed to this
      • Should “net neutrality” be extended to cell phone networks?
      • Should we personally favor PC-like Google-Android platforms over more tethered platforms like Apple’s iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad?