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Critical Thought: Net Neutrality will save the Internet

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 08:23 -- Eva Prkachin

Big Telecom wants to build an Internet slow lane to squeeze more money out of Internet users. That's bad enough. But there's a much more troubling consequence of restricting Internet traffic, and it threatens to undermine the free flow of knowledge and information that makes the Internet great.

Article by Bob Castleman for Critical Thought

Net Neutrality is often argued in terms of tiered services, equal access, bandwidth throttling, innovation by start ups and other issues related to the mechanics and economics of the Internet. But beneath this raucous fray lies a more dangerous and less talked about issue - that being the control of information in general. How is it that we receive our information and how is it that we decide its value? Through how many filters has the “real story” been passed before it arrives on our devices? What is the difference between The Arab Spring and The Great Firewall of China if not free versus restricted flow of information?

Gizmodo: Hungarians take to the streets to protest "Internet tax"

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 14:41 -- Meghan Sali

Thousands of Hungarians took to the streets of Budapest this past Sunday night to push back against the proposed "Internet tax" that would place a levy on every gigabyte of transferred data. Turns out the people weren't fans of the new plan.

Article by Atilla Nagy for Gizmodo

There was something strange in the air in Budapest on Sunday evening. Mostly, it was computer parts and outdated peripherals—flying through the closed windows of the headquarters of the ruling political party, called Fidesz.

Motherboard: You'll have to get through Congress first

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 13:51 -- Eva Prkachin

FBI Director James Comey is hopping mad that Apple and Google are starting to encrypt their phones by default, and wants to force them to build backdoors for spying. Too bad there's a little thing called democracy.

Article by Jason Koebler for Motherboard

The FBI's director wants Congress to force force Apple and Google to do away with default smartphone encryption. Congress, however, doesn’t look to be with him.

Last week, FBI director James Comey suggested that encryption "threatens to lead all of us to a very dark place" and suggested that if Apple and Google don't remove default encryption from iOS and Android then "Congress might have to force this on companies."

BGR: Cord-cutting is reshaping the cable industry

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 14:15 -- Eva Prkachin

Will giant cable companies ever catch up with cord-cutting?

Article by Brad Reed for BGR

Big providers like Comcast and Time Warner Cable may want to cling to the past but it looks like smaller cable providers seem to know that cord cutting is actually the future. The Wall Street Journal reports that smaller cable providers are increasingly placing more emphasis on their broadband offerings and less on TV packages as consumers have shown that they would much rather have a faster Internet service than hundreds of channels they never watch.

The Guardian: U.N. report criticizes bulk spying

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 13:33 -- Eva Prkachin

Mass surveillance is “corrosive of online privacy” according to U.N. special report.

Article by Owen Bowcott and Spencer Ackerman for the Guardian

Mass surveillance of the internet by intelligence agencies is “corrosive of online privacy” and threatens to undermine international law, according to a report to the United Nations general assembly.

Power to the people (through the Internet)

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 12:47 -- Meghan Sali

This article is a part of a series on the Our Digital Future report, our crowdsourced roadmap for Free Expression that proposes fair and balanced copyright reform for the 21st Century. See Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

One thing we hear over and over again from our community is that they value the ability of the Internet to foster creativity and advance human progress. It often provides us with solutions to some of our most stubborn problems. Here at OpenMedia, we talk about “the possibilities of the open Internet,” and it’s something we all keep coming back to.

Here are just a few of the ways that we - and when I say we, I mean all of us here on this planet - have made good on these possibilities so far:

Motherboard: These towns and cities are taking the Internet into their own hands

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 15:25 -- Eva Prkachin

What do you do when Big Telecom keeps skipping your city over for crucial infrastructure upgrades?

Article by Jason Koebler for Motherboard

More than two dozen cities in 19 states announced today that they're sick of big telecom skipping them over for internet infrastructure upgrades and would like to build gigabit fiber networks themselves and help other cities follow their lead.

You Spoke, We Listened: The 2014 OpenMedia community survey

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 16:54 -- Eva Prkachin

Guest blog by Volunteer and Open Media Community Member Liam McCosh

As a volunteer who helped analyze and interpret the results of this year’s survey, I am thrilled to see that our diverse community is just as passionate about a free and open Internet as I am. Growing up with the Internet, I have seen how crucial it is to our day-to-day life. I believe we have to stop censorship and unnecessary regulation of the Internet. When I’m old, I don’t want to be telling younger generations about the glory days of the Internet before restriction – I want it to be as free as it ever was!

By volunteering at OpenMedia, I got a chance to be part of the team that is fighting to keep the Internet the way we want it.

This year’s survey had a remarkable international turnout! More than half of respondents were from outside Canada, in comparison to last year where international respondents only made up less than 10 percent. We’re thrilled to know that community members around the world are just as concerned about the Internet in their home countries as we are in Canada.

Express yourself, don’t repress yourself

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 16:13 -- Meghan Sali

This article is a part of a series on the Our Digital Future report, our crowdsourced roadmap for Free Expression that proposes fair and balanced copyright reform for the 21st Century. See Part 1 here.

Put on your glasses, nerds, it’s gonna be a wild ride.

A new leaked draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) Intellectual Property chapter was released by Wikileaks late last week, and although the provisions change from leak to leak, this one confirms our greatest fears: it’s still going to censor our Internet.

New Zealand Herald: Plot thickens in new revelations about New Zealand spying

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 14:16 -- Eva Prkachin

Has New Zealand been spying on friendly countries on behalf of the United States?

Article by Adam Bennett for the New Zealand Herald

New documents released by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden suggest New Zealand's embassies have been involved in spying on friendly nations on behalf of the United States, just as this country is seeking all the support it can get to win a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

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