Stop the Secrecy


Crashing Down to Earth.

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 13:54 -- Eva Prkachin

In 2013, Canadian astronaut and all around cool dude Commander Chris Hadfield sang, recorded, and filmed a cover of David Bowie’s stargazing classic “Space Oddity.” The music video was a fitting tribute to the Bowie hit and Hadfield’s time aboard the International Space Station. On the anniversary of his return to Earth, Hadfield’s one-year license to use the song expired and he was forced to take the video down from YouTube.

Technology has enabled us to send a man into space for months at a time, where, in addition to conducting important scientific research, he shared his experiences with the rest of us on the ground via social media and live satellite feeds. Despite these incredible technological advances, laws for sharing and collaborating online have lagged behind for decades, resulting in scenarios like the above. Here’s a brief run-down of why rules for sharing and collaborating online need to be modernized and what you can do to help.

Use the Internet to save the Internet - and win an incredible pro-Internet prize pack

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 10:11 -- Thanh Lam

At OpenMedia, we love sharing and collaborating with our global community when it comes to formulating effective and game changing digital policy.

That means using the Internet to save the Internet. It also means reaching out to one another, to converse, to deliberate and of course, to combine our own unique strengths -- as well as sharing our weaknesses -- to create something that's bigger and more beautiful than our own individual efforts: a citizen-created plan for a positive and inclusive digital future.

Mythbusters: Internet Censorship edition

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 11:04 -- Thanh Lam

Back in the 1980s, there was a huge fear that video would kill the radio star - a sentiment most shockingly expressed by Jack Valenti, former President of the MPAA (Movie Picture American Association) when sounding the alarm about the arrival of the VCR:

"I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."

This was, of course, in 1982. Over thirty years later, it's safe to assume that the VCR has not led to the untimely demise of American film producers. The opposite holds true -- we're chortling away at how ridiculous and outdated VCRs now seem (remember having to actually rewind those tapes?). Nostalgia aside, we should take a second to realize that while the technological landscape has changed, the myth that new technology will be the ruin of creativity and our cultural richness still very much persists.

The fight for Internet freedom must not only go on, but go global

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 13:39 -- Thanh Lam

So here’s the deal: the future of the open Internet is on the line. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an international trade deal involving 12 Pacific Rim countries, threatens to make the Internet we know and love more expensive, censored, and policed. The TPP has huge implications for all of us - but let’s zoom in on one of the countries taking part to get an idea of the impact.

Vietnam, a participating TPP country, has a population of nearly 89 million. Over 30 million of them are Internet users. That’s 39% of the population (according to the World Bank). For what many would deem a “developing country”, that’s more than a third of the population.

The Internet wasn’t established in Vietnam until the 1990s when, after much deliberation, the government finally gave its consent. Internet usage rates increased exponentially, but not without extensive restrictions on Internet freedom. Blocking and filtering content have long been a part of Vietnam’s Internet regulation practices, but the explosion of social media was unexpected, giving rise to unprecedented ways for citizens to connect and, more importantly, organize. Social networking sites such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook allowed activists, journalists and everyday citizens to find solidarity with one another, giving them the courage to speak out against the government’s corrupt practices.

PC Advisor: Comcast and Time Warner rank dead last in satisfaction as merger looms

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 15:17 -- Eva Prkachin

Could the potential Time Warner/Comcast merger create America's least satisfied customers?

Article by Jared Newman for PC Advisor

Comcast and Time Warner Cable could become America's most loathed TV and Internet provider if they are allowed to merge, as customer satisfaction with both companies has plummeted.

In the latest survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (via DSL Reports), the two companies landed at the bottom of the list for both TV and Internet services.

Gizmodo: Big Telecom is spending big money on the Internet Slow Lane

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 14:46 -- Eva Prkachin

Over 100,000 people have spoken out against the Internet Slow Lane. Now, Big Telecom is running scared, and spending millions to lobby for their Slow Lane plan. Send decision-makers a clear message:

Article by Adam Clark Estes for Gismodo

Who's spending the most to win the hearts and minds of Congress in the war on net neutrality? Verizon and AT&T, of course. Followed by—guess who?—Comcast. In other words, the companies that stand to lose money if the internet remains free and open are trying to shut it down.

Ben Swann: A chat with David Christopher about FCC's new net neutrality proposal

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 15:30 -- Eva Prkachin

“It’s simply a matter of fairness at the end of the day. It’s a matter of freedom. Because if you’re sitting at home, you want your media content from an independent outlet, you should have the right to access that content on the same basis as you would any media from the big guys.” Our own David Christopher says it best.

Article by Ben Swann

David Christopher of appeared on Ben Swann’s radio program to talk about net neutrality and the widely debated issue of the future of unconstrained internet. New media, as opposed to traditional print and television media owned by large corporations, heavily relies on the internet to disseminate information. Much of new media is run by small, independent companies.