11 Jan

Electronic Frontier Foundation – EFF Calls for Immediate Action to Defend Tunisian Activists Against Government Cyberattacks

Demonstrations and protests over unemployment and poor living conditions have been ongoing in Tunisia since the beginning of December, but last week the Tunisian government turned up the heat on bloggers, activists, and dissidents by launching a JavaScript injection attack that siphoned off the usernames and passwords of Tunsians logging in to Google, Yahoo, and Facebook. The Tunisian government has used these stolen credentials to log in to Tunisians’ email and Facebook accounts, presumably downloading their messages, emails, and social graphs for further analysis, and then deleting the accounts entirely.

via Electronic Frontier Foundation – EFF Calls for Immediate Action to Defend Tunisian Activists Against Government Cyberattacks. Umm, wow, glad I don’t live in Tunsia.

24 Jul

Friendly Atheist – An Iowa College’s Response to Blasphemy Day

This is why Blasphemy Day is so important and why I’m now such a strong supporter of it.

It’s not about mocking religion or calling a believer names.

It’s about the freedom of speech and the idea that religion (along with other strongly-held beliefs) should be open to criticism.

No one should be able to silence you because they don’t like what you say.

via Friendly Atheist – An Iowa College’s Response to Blasphemy Day. Couldn’t agree more.

28 Apr

Anti-Piracy Group Says: ‘Child Porn Is Great’ Since It Gets Politicians To Block File Sharing Sites – Techdirt

Of course, those filters don't actually work, and using them to force entire sites to be blocked, despite them having a relatively tiny proportion of such content isn't just dishonest and underhanded, but dangerous. We're all in favor of trying to stop child porn, but you do that by focusing on the source, not by putting up filters willy-nilly in a misguided attempt to get politicians to also protect your business model.

via Anti-Piracy Group Says: ‘Child Porn Is Great’ Since It Gets Politicians To Block File Sharing Sites – Techdirt. How much a slime ball do you have to be to use child porn to keep your obsolete business model profitable?

28 Apr

Threats Don’t Justify Speaker Ban – Casper Star-Tribune

Threats of violence alone do not justify preventing someone from speaking on campus, U.S. District Judge William Downes told University of Wyoming President Tom Buchanan this afternoon.

via Threats don’t justify speaker ban – Casper Star-Tribune. Good move, threats and violence shouldn’t limit someone’s right to speak, as long as the person speaking is aware of the risks and accepts them.

11 Mar

There is an inverse relationship between level of anonymity and quality of conversation – 37signals

And wow, what a difference it makes. Trading anonymity for accountability has led to radically improved conversations.

via There is an inverse relationship between level of anonymity and quality of conversation – (37signals). 37signals finds value in disallowing anonymity for their conversational sites.

02 Feb

Be Careful What Your Bumper Sticker Says – Wired.com

“Plaintiffs simply have not identified any First Amendment doctrine that prohibits the government from excluding them from an official speech on private property on the basis of their viewpoint,” Judge Paul J. Kelly wrote for the majority Wednesday.

via Be Careful What Your Bumper Sticker Says | Threat Level | Wired.com. Ridiculous, the ability for the government to silence or dismiss voices that they or parts of the government wish to not hear is not a valid reason to eject someone from a Presidential speech. The property holder surely has a reasonable case here of being able to eject people from their property they disagree with, but not the government.

26 Jul

Freedom of Speech Means Freedom to Say Anything

Freedom of speech, means the freedom to say anything irregardless of it being stupid or mean. Now granted you do have to have reasonable limits of freedom of speech in order for society to operate, the standard screaming fire in a crowded building clause. But freedom of speech means just that, you can’t operate in society without people sometimes saying things that are just plain stupid, mean or wrong. It’s the nature of being human that some people are just plain stupid or mean. This gets multiplied via the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory in an online environment.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t create an environment whereby experts can debate topics. What it means is that those debates are not going to be decided by pundits or other experts or the intellectuals of the world, but average citizens who will discuss a range of issues without any formal training in the area or any real understanding of the issues.

Just this week I had two people ask if atheism (No religious preference is acutally the fastest growing answer to what religion you are and one if four people aged 188 to 22 consider themselves atheist) meant that the person worshiped the devil. Ummm, no. These were both college students and fairly intelligent. They just didn’t know. That’s a problem, but does that mean those students shouldn’t be allowed to comment on religion in America. I would argue it may make their opinion not as valuable but it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have a voice.

One of the students in particular once understanding what atheism was able to express reasons beyond a standard “The Bible says so” or “Because I feel God” response to why atheism wouldn’t fit for her.

So no Robert Scoble I don’t think the comment trolls should be deleted. Are they stupid, absolutely, are they wrong, almost certainly yes, should their voice be deleted, never.

That isn’t to say that he can do whatever he wants to on his blog and delete who he wishes. That also isn’t to say that I don’t desire meaningful and intelligent conversation. There is however a problem when to have a meaningful conversation you have to lock everyone out who you perceive has nothing to add to the conversation.

I don’t want that and I won’t do that.