Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Every ATM snaps your mug, and each time you get into a taxi your photo is recorded as well. According to the BBC, our images are captured an average of 300 times each day. While we've grown used to these security cameras in our malls and at stoplights, the influx of surveillance cameras in our public spaces should be of great concern to everyone.
As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago has 560 crime cameras that are actively monitored for criminal activity. In London there are more than 10,000 cameras. These so-called "crime cameras" have multiple roles: they are intended to provide evidence of crimes when they occur, they are meant to deter criminals, and they are a reminder that Big Brother is watching.
When Creative Commons first surfaced, it was heralded as a means to share media without being ensnared by the complications accompanying traditional copyright.
With six different licenses available, media creators were provided the opportunity to dial in the exact rights they wanted. Or at least that was the plan.
In reality, this bevy of choices has led to significant confusion and as CNN reports, 16 year-old Alison Chang recently learned her picture is being used for a Virgin Mobile ad campaign in Australia. She didn't give her permission, and it appears that the ads exploit confusion around Creative Commons.
When creating a broad forum or social-networking site like Facebook, deciding what, if any, content should be prohibited is always a difficult decision. Pornography and unauthorized copyrighted material are usually forbidden, but any other restrictions will often spark calls of censorship and accusations that the forum infringes on the freedom of speech guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. In reality, the constitution doesn't dictate what must be allowed in these circumstances, just as you are permitted to make certain subjects off-limits in your own home. Despite the fact that there is no constitutional issue, there is a perception of one, and the concerns about censorship are very real and do have merit.
Lately, Facebook has been dealing with a growing controversy surrounding one of its groups. F**k Islam has more than 800 members, has generated almost 20,000 wall posts, and sparked a number of similar groups in addition to a host of groups built around their opposition to the group's existence. The debate has recently spilled into The New York Times.… Read more