If Google doesn’t like your name, it can block you; if Facebook doesn’t like your status, it can delete it; and if Twitter gets a takedown request for your message, it will disappear. Our freedom of speech relies on these new information gatekeepers.
When kids feel connected and have a strong sense of belonging to the school community, they do better in school. They persist in school at higher rates and achieve at higher rates. … It’s pretty promising that engaging in social networking sites could help them to develop and deepen their bonds over time.
Facebook seeks exemption from ad disclosures
Palo Alto-based social networking giant Facebook is seeking an exemption to rules that would require political advertisements on the site to disclose the source of their funds, according to a letter submitted to federal regulators by company attorneys.
The letter, first obtained by Talking Points Memo, argues that limits on the size of Facebook ads makes including required disclosure language impractical. Federal campaign regulations require political advertising to disclose who paid for and authorized it, but the Federal Election Commission has allowed exceptions in certain cases.
Facebook is seeking an exemption similar to those that apply to bumper stickers, text messages, buttons and other small items. Ads on the social networking site are limited to a 25-character title and 135 characters of body text, according to the memo. A disclaimer (think “Paid for by Obama for America”) can take up a significant amount of that space. Read more
(Photo: phil dokas/Flickr)
Will Bunk and McNulty abandon ‘The Wire’ for your instant messages?
Police surveillance expert Christopher Soghoian of Indiana University says the popular Hollywood image of investigators hiding in an unmarked van as they listen to wiretapped conversations is a relic of the past. Today, eavesdropping is far more sophisticated. Now police and the FBI can learn virtually anything they want “from the comfort of their own desks.” Much of this work isn’t actually done by police themselves, but by businesses you rely on every day to communicate.
Consider the extraordinarily detailed data captured by tools we all use: instant messages, stored emails, web-browsing history, geo-location from mobile phones and much more. Soghoian says little is known about how police exploit these technologies, because few statistics are available. That means the breadth of police surveillance is hidden from public scrutiny, raising questions about accountability, privacy and civil liberties in the United States. In the U.S., laws were specially created decades ago to regulate traditional surveillance techniques like wiretapping after years of abuse.
Soghoian says in a new report:
"Over the last decade, law enforcement agencies have enthusiastically embraced many new sources of investigative and surveillance data for which there are no mandatory reporting requirements. As a result, most modern surveillance now takes place entirely off the books and the true scale of such activities, which vastly outnumber traditional wiretaps and pen registers, remains unknown."
Photo courtesy of AMERICANVIRUS via Flickr