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AT&T “Hacker” gets 3.5 years in Prison due to finding a Security Hole.

Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer gained access to AT&T’s server and obtained over 100,000 iPad users’ email addresses. He then published these iPad users’ personal information to a website called “Gawker”, and explained that he was just “exposing a flaw” in AT&T’s security. On Monday, March 18th, he received a maximum prison sentence of 3 and a half years. Internet activist groups around the world think that this sentence is excessively harsh. I picked this article (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130318/23033422370/expose-blatant-security-hole-ats-servers-get-35-years-jail.shtml) because I thought it was very opinion based, and I was wondering others opinions on the whole case. The author of this article thinks that it isn’t actually hacking or breaking in, “it’s just exploring a totally broken system”. In my opinion, I don’t think that it is necessary for a three and a half year sentence to be pinned on a guy who just found a loophole in the system. The $73,000 he has to pay to AT&T is kind of something that upsets me as well. It states that the reason for the fine is because of “damages”. I don’t really think that Weev did any damage to AT&T, it’s not like he compromised AT&T’s website, and didn’t “damage” it. The only damage that he did was giving out personal information of the iPad users, and embarrassing AT&T. There seems to be a trend in harsh sentences towards Internet Activists, just like Aaron Swartz when he was facing with over 50 years in Federal Prison. 

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Types of Information being censored on the Internet worldwide

CHART

This chart represents the types of information that is censored online world wide. Blogs ranked the highest with 20% while Militant groups ranked the lowest with only 1%. I think that Blogging websites get blocked the most because bloggers may criticize the government or laws that the government applies, and anybody could be a blogger, thus increasing the numbers of bloggers world wide. For example, currently in Vietnam, they are putting bloggers in jail for spreading ‘anti-state propaganda’. I think that Militant groups are least censored due to the lack of militant groups. There has to be more bloggers than militant groups on the internet.   I got this information from Open Net Initiative (ONI).

A quote from Aaron Swartz

Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves” ~Aaron Swartz.

Aaron Swartz was an internet rights activist who killed himself on January 11, 2013 as he was facing several charges from the FBI related to downloading and publishing over 2.7 million documents. I find that the quote is simple yet powerful. I understand what he means by information being power, and it reminds me of some countries where the government withholds information from people, like they don’t want the citizens to have any power.  

R.I.P Aaron Swartz (1986-2013)

Iceland attempting to ban Internet Pornography.

The government in Iceland is in the process of filtering people from accessing pornographic websites. They believe that the ban would “reduce damage and harm to women and children.” People are opposed to this because they consider it censorship, while the government of Iceland considers it a protection of children. In my opinion, parents can prevent their own children from viewing pornography by monitoring what the child is doing at home, not affecting everybody else in Iceland. People that want to harm women or children probably aren’t influenced solely by porn, but are probably mentally ill. What do you guys think? Is this censorship, or just protection?

Video

GOOD: Internet Censorship

This video talks about how Internet Censorship can take many different forms in many different places. It shows countries where the government controls what people can and cannot see online. The video also talks about filters. The filters search for content that the government doesn’t want people to access, and it’s interesting to find out that the companies that make and provide the filtering software are American corporations, for example google or microsoft.

An Introduction…

Hello, I am a student who is going to be writing blog posts about my ISU (Independent study unit), which is the censoring of the web around the world. On this blog, I’ll be posting articles and my thoughts and opinions on the article. For example, internet access in North Korea is illegal, and only a few government officials have the rights to use it. The rest of the citizens have access to the country’s own internet, called Kwangmyong. What are your thoughts about Internet censorship? Leave a comment if you’d like to voice your opinion as well.