Technology makes it easier than ever to play fast and loose with the truthâ€”but easier than ever to get caught.
There is much to love about the Internet. But there is much, as well, to dislike — and/or to be annoyed by, and/or to resent, and/or to mistrust. In late June, the Q&A community Mancx decided to put numbers to those Internet-borne vexations. The firm conducted a survey of 1,900 American adults — adults who self-identified, it’s worth noting, as people who specifically search for information on the Internet. A group full of shoppers and cat-picture-seekers might have yielded different results.
Per Mancx’s numbers, however, the Internet as an information source leaves a lot to be desired. A whopping 98 percent of respondents don’t fully trust the information available on it. Which is a good thing, overall — skepticism! — except that 94 percent of respondents also noted the many negative effects that the Internet’s bad intel can have.
Latest Library-related report from Pew says that 12% of readers of e-books borrowed an e-book from the library in the past year. But a majority of Americans do not know that this service is provided by their local library.
A team of Canadian researchers have uncovered an unusual new example of â€œupstream filtering,â€ where online content in one country is blocked in another country due to filtering that happens in transit.
Researchers at the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, revealed that some Oman Internet users using the Omantel ISP are also being subjected to Indian content restrictions because of traffic flowing through India.
â€œIt goes to show what you can find when you begin to probe beneath the surface of the Internet, and what you see when you have governments start to mess with the openness of the Internet,â€ Ron Deibert, Citizen Lab’s director, told Ars on Thursday. â€œIn this case you have a perverse situation where citizens in one country are subject to filtering in another country.â€
I inaugurated this column in 2008 with an editorial called â€˜â€˜Why I Copyfightâ€™â€™, which talked about the tricky balance between creativity, culture, and the relationship between audiences and creators. These have always been hard subjects, and the Internet has made them harder still, because the thing that triggers copyright rules â€“ copying â€“ is an intrinsic part of the functioning of the Internet and computers. Thereâ€™s really no such thing as â€˜â€˜loadingâ€™â€™ a web-page â€“ you make a copy of it. Thereâ€™s really no such thing as â€˜â€˜readingâ€™â€™ a file off a hard-drive â€“ you copy it into memory.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century: copyright policy ceased to exist. Because every copyright policy that we make has a seismic effect on the Internet, and because you canâ€™t regulate copying without regulating the Internet.