Archive for ‘Media’

January 18, 2012

The Implications of SOPA and PIPA on the Internet

Written By: Joel Suss

Today, Wikipedia has taken itself offline in protest. Thousands of other sites, including the host of this blog, WordPress, are taking part by removing content or by being blacked-out, protesting the first attempt by the US government to censure and control the internet.  It is a monumental and unprecedented day in the life of the internet.

While the stated objective of the legislation, to tackle online intellectual property theft, is valid in principle, the effects were they to become law would have serious negative implications for the internet and may not even be effective in limiting piracy. Here are some important details about the two bills, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA): They would allow the attorney general to create a list of sites that must be blocked. Now here is the kicker: service to these sites may be shut off without a court hearing or trial. SOPA, the bill originating in the House of Representatives, goes even further than the Senate’s PIPA, allowing private companies to sue providers for hosting sites that infringe on copyright, even if it is unwittingly doing so. Imagine Google being bombarded with lawsuits, effectively crippling it.

Click to continue reading this post on Off the Spectrum

January 17, 2012

Generation I

Written By: Joel Suss

We are the information generation.

We can all readily witness the power of the internet in terms of social communication: from catalyzing the toppling of dictators in the Arab world to the Indignados movement in Spain. But it is the unprecedented flow of information which constitutes the real revolution of our time.

Never before has information been so accessible. We are hyper-connected. Our very existence is being fundamentally re-shaped, our brains literally being re-wired. Recent scientific studies show how the human brain is actually evolving before our eyes in response to information technology (see http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/07/13/science.1207745 to read a number of academic articles on the subject). Studies primarily demonstrate the connection between memory and the omnipresence of information, namely that we don’t need to commit anything to heart anymore since everything one wants to know is readily retrievable on the World Wide Web. What is less understood is how the information revolution is transforming our social selves.
Click to continue reading this post on Off the Spectrum

%d bloggers like this: