Question: How free is the internet? Answer: Less than free in certain countries. Further answer: And becoming even less free in other countries — witness Vietnam, discussed briefly below.
At the start of this month, a law went into effect in Vietnam that mandates removal of online content considered offensive to the Vietnamese government. According to SoyaCincau.com, the law was put on the books “under the pretenses” of Cybersecurity, but what it actually does is require the takedown of content deemed “toxic” by the government.
Continue reading Internet Companies Must Take Down Anti-Government Content in Vietnam
When the internet exploded beyond the early confines of US military and academic communications in the late-1990s, the US Congress believed that the internet should grow and flourish relatively unfettered by potential litigation and government regulation. This was reflected in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which generally provides that internet service providers are not liable for content posted by third parties on their websites.
However, the pendulum may be swinging in the other direction in the US, as there have been concerns about false information posted online by foreign interests that has been intended to influence elections. There also has been worry about the ability of terrorists and other bad actors to organize and develop plans of harm and destruction by utilizing the internet to further those negative pursuits.
Other countries share the foregoing worries. And there have been some consequent tightening controls on the internet. Of course, there is a balance to be struck. On the one hand, there is a merit to seeking to prevent harm by terrorists. On the other hand, internet restrictions should not be implemented to thwart valid free speech, dissent and organization while seeking improperly to consolidate governmental societal control. Continue reading Internet Controls — Thwarting Terrorism or Silencing Dissent?
Corporate America and companies around the globe are spending vast amounts of money trying to keep up with all sorts of threats in this new digital age. So, how are companies really doing?
Unfortunately, not so well. Indeed, according to PwC’s 2017 Digital IQ Survey, as reported by PR Daily, barely more than half of IT executives from the US and 52 other countries reported that their companies have a “strong digital IQ.” This is down from 67 percent so reporting in 2016, and 66 percent in 2015. Continue reading Tech Acumen: Many Companies Falling Behind
Every single day, billions of people spend countless seconds, minutes, and hours on social media. Why?
This occurs in part because it is the business of social media companies to do their best to hold you captive. They want their sites to be “sticky,” so that you spend your time (and ultimately your money) there.
Thus, at bottom, as businesses that have as their appropriate mission the duty to maximize profits for shareholders, they compete fiercely for the attention of social media users.
Continue reading Breaking Out of the Social Media Loop
Has our ability to stay present in the real world largely been destroyed by the internet? If so, how has that happened? If we erected internet “stop signs” would we be better off?
While we were saturated with different sources of information, news, and entertainment as recently as the Twentieth Century, those sources had naturally occurring stop cues that allowed us to pause and consider disengaging from the sources. Continue reading We Need Internet Stop Signs
When we think of addictions, we typically think of alcohol and drugs. But, are many of us addicted to the internet? The answer apparently is a resounding “yes.”
Indeed, according to a study conducted by scientists in Italy and the United Kingdom, habitual internet users often experience heightened heart rates and blood pressure when they go offline. And, according to an article posted on Scroll.in, these physical changes are similar to those found in people who cease their frequently used sedatives and opioid drugs. Continue reading Addicted to the Internet?
All countries are not the same when it comes to online freedom and security issues. This is borne out by recent statistics published by Richard Patterson of Comparitech.
When it comes to the amount of freedom offered by countries on the internet, a scale of 1 to 100 is implemented, with 1 being the absolute best possible, and with 100 being the worst. While the United States comes in with a relatively low score of 18, the US is not ranked the most free. Indeed, both Iceland and Estonia have a very low score of 6, with Canada next at 16, then the US at 18. Other relatively free countries include Germany at 19, Australia at 21, Japan at 22, the UK at 23, and South Africa and Italy both at 25.
Continue reading Internet Freedom and Security Statistics Across Countries
The internet is a relatively new phenomenon. But the following fascinating facts, provided by Inc.com, demonstrate that the internet has gained rapid and ubiquitous traction.
For example, while it took 75 years until telephones were used by 50 million users, Pokemon Go was adopted by 50 million users in only 19 days!
Continue reading Fascinating Facts About Tremendous Internet Growth
At times, it can seem like technology is bringing us down …
We frequently hear about: cyberbullying of teens; online intellectual property infringement; various forms of identity theft, hacking, privacy and security violations, and cyber crime; cyber warfare; illegal sales of munitions and slaves and the organization of terrorist activities on the Dark Web; political email scandals; potential foreign Internet influence over US political elections; and the list goes on and on.
But during this Thanksgiving and holiday season, not only can we be thankful for our family and friends, we also can be grateful for the many benefits of technology.
Continue reading Thankful for Technology