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Alfredo Lopez's Posts

  • Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 03:52

     

    As the FCC hurtles towards what seems like an approval this coming Thursday of new proposed rules that would, effectively, allow establishment of a second high-speed, higher-cost Internet, we've caught a glimpse of an interesting and infrequently noted split in the circles of...

  • Monday, April 28, 2014 - 04:32

     

    When a federal court trashed its "net neutrality" compromise policy in January, the Federal Communications Commission assured us that the Internet we knew and depended on was safe. Most activists didn't believe federal officials and this past week the FCC demonstrated how...

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 03:22

    Some are calling it a "worst nightmare". There have been dire predictions that it represents the end of the Internet or that there is, in fact, no real Internet security or that Free and Open Source Software is dangerous to use.

    One thing is sure. The week-old saga of the...

  • Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 19:18

     

    For two years, starting in 2010, the United States Agency for International Development ran a social networking service -- similar to Twitter -- for the Cuban people. Its long-term objective was to forment popular revolt against the government and de-stabilize the country.

    ...

  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 16:07

     

    "Connectivity," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a CNN interview last year, "is a human right."

    If it surprises you that one of the kings of the corporate Internet would repeat...

  • Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 01:53

     

    Federal prosecutors last week dropped several of the most significant charges facing Internet activist and journalist Barrett Brown -- charges that could have drawn a jail sentence of 105 years.

    The dropped charges, essentially "fraud" and "theft", involved Brown's...

  • Monday, February 24, 2014 - 04:35

     

    It might seem like a game of Monopoly played by real monopolies and, with a tired groan, one might be tempted to dismiss it as part of an ugly but irreversible trend. But the merger of cable-...

  • Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 04:55

    The week before last, the District of Columbia Federal Appeals Court handed down an unsurprising decision that, if applied aggressively, would destroy the Internet as we know it. It concerns the term most of us have heard, but many don't understand: Net Neutrality.

    Net Neutrality is the...

  • Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 01:58

    This past week, the Federal government threw a one-two punch that will effectively destroy the Internet as we know it. Demonstrating, once again, his talent for obfuscation and misdirection, President Obama made a speech about reforming the NSA and controlling surveillance that actually...

  • Friday, January 10, 2014 - 04:43

     

    On this website, we've speculated that one outcome of the flood of NSA-centered revelations has been to desensitize U.S. citizens and diminish outrage at what is actually revealed. We are becoming conditioned to the horror story that is the National Security Administration.

    ...
  • Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 05:03

    As the people of this country, and much of the world, observe the year-end holidays, we can look back on 2013 as the year when any illusion of genuine democracy was dashed by the remarkable revelations about the police-state surveillance that watches us. Last week, we saw a deeply disturbing...

  • Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 04:54

     

    The web designers will tell you: when it comes to websites, good design can't mask bad ideas.

    I've been thinking about that for the last six weeks as I've confronted, with waning trust morphing into enraged frustration, the remarkably complicated corridors of The Patient...

  • Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 04:51

     

    This past Friday, Internet activist Jeremy Hammond stood in a federal courtroom and told Judge Loretta A. Preska why he released a trove of emails and other information uncovering the possibly illegal and certainly immoral collaboration of a major surveillance corporation called...

  • Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 03:05

    The technology of MUSCULAR, a program jointly carried on by the NSA and its British counterpart, isn't hard to explain. Essentially, technologists at the spy agency have figured out a way to intercept data being exchanged among servers that store everything you do on Google and Yahoo.

  • Monday, October 7, 2013 - 02:54

     

    Recently, Richard Stallman published an article in Wired about Free and Open Source Software and its alternative, "Proprietary Software". As he has for 30 years now, he...

  • Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 00:53

     

    Last week, Verizon, the telephone giant, went to court to accuse the Federal Communications Commission of "overstepping its authority" and reverse the authority's over-step. It's a legal wrangle that, bottled and distributed, would be a safe substitute for sleeping pills.

    ...

  • Friday, September 13, 2013 - 02:09

     

    You're probably not familiar with Barrett Brown.

    As news coverage of surveillance, internet intrusion and the government's intense battle against privacy and privileged communications seeps into the public consciousness, Julian Assange, Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning and...

  • Friday, September 6, 2013 - 15:20

    The revelations this week by whistle-blower Edward Snowden (through documents provided to the Guardian,...

  • Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 02:50

     

    While certainly not over-shadowing the Obama Administration's military threats against Syria, the cyber attack that brought the mighty New York Times to its knees last week is a major...

  • Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 14:44

    All is abuzz and atwitter (literally) with news of the firing Friday by America On Line's boss Tim Armstrong of half of the staff of its local news project, Patch. The firing comes on the heels of Armstrong's humiliating dismissal of one of AOL's top executives during an August 9 phone call to...

  • Friday, August 9, 2013 - 02:52

     

    The term "collateral damage" is most frequently applied to the "non-targeted" death and destruction brought by bombs and guns. But it seems that our government, the master of collateral damage, is now doing it in "non-violent" ways. Take the recent situation at Lavabit.

    The...

  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 01:38

     

    The Bradley Manning verdict may seem a victory of sorts for the defense -- it's certainly being treated that way in the mainstream media -- but the decision handed down Tuesday by Court Marshal Judge Colonel Denise Lind is actually a devastating blow not only to Manning, who was...

  • Saturday, July 20, 2013 - 00:56

     

    The tumble of revelations and developments involving the Internet has produced a pastiche of truths that, when examined closely, show links between what might usually be considered separate news stories.

    This week we encounter a stunning ruling by the judge in the Bradley...

  • Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 13:45

     

    To gauge the real impact of a historic development like "the Snowden revelations", it's sometimes useful to examine how wide it's being felt. An illustration: Jay-Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail" Samsung cellphone app. I've a feeling some may not know what I'm talking about because,...

  • Monday, July 1, 2013 - 18:54

     

    In one of the most innovative uses of the bizarre rules of international travel, whistle-blower Edward Snowden sits in an airport transit lounge outside the customs barrier that is Russian enough to not invade but not Russian enough to claim the Russians are hiding him. He has now...

  • Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 19:27

     

    If Edward Snowden's goal in blowing his whistle was to spark a public debate about privacy and surveillance, he has marvelously succeeded.

    Everybody's talking about Snowden, his revelations and their significance. The talk, predictably, is contentious and divided. But...

  • Friday, June 7, 2013 - 14:27

     

    This past Thursday (June 6), The Guardian (the British newspaper) and the Washington Post simultaneously reported that the National Security Agency has been collecting staggering amounts of user data and files from seven of the world's most powerful technology companies.

    ...

  • Monday, June 3, 2013 - 15:36

     

    It's the nature of the shallow, consumer-driven, dream-drunken culture our society tries to impose on us that we popularly adopt terms without knowing what they mean and, more often than not, they don't mean much of anything.

    Such is the case with "the Cloud".

    ...

  • Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 13:50

    Toward the end of Roman Polanski's masterpiece "Chinatown" an exchange takes place between "hero" Jake Gittes and the super-rich Noah Cross when Gittes finally realizes that Cross has seized control of Los Angeles' water supply.

    "I just wanna know what you're worth," Gittes explains. "...

  • Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 00:07

    "Paranoia," said Woody Allen, "is knowing all the facts." By that measure, we're becoming more and more "paranoid" every day.

    This week, we learned that the Obama Justice Department...

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 18:58

    This Summer, a team at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has undertaken a remarkable project: to recreate the first web site and the computer on which it was first seen.

    It's a kind of birthday celebration. Twenty years ago, software developers at the University of...

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 18:47

     

    One thing is clear amidst the shower of confusion and contradiction that bathes the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing: the legal and technological structure of a police state is in place and can be quickly activated. As if on cue, while the hunt for the bombers was ongoing...

  • Monday, April 15, 2013 - 16:09

     

    If it wasn't clear up to now, it was made crystal clear last week. The co-defendent in the Bradley Manning trial is the Internet itself.

    In one of the case's most disturbing pre-trial hearings, Judge Col. Denise Lind ruled last week that prosecutors can offer as evidence...

  • Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 01:14

     

    Last week the governments of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom fired a warning shot at Google and it appears they're reloading...

  • Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 02:44
  • Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 18:15

     

    Sometimes a story breaks that touches so many issues that one is left with mouth agape. The recent news involving technology "evangelist" Adria Richards is one such story and it's burning across all kinds of media and cutting an intense divide within the techie community. It's...

  • Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 03:27

    Last week, a top U.S. government intelligence official named James Clapper warned Congress that the threat of somebody using the Internet to attack the United...

  • Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 14:08

     

    The recent order by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, forbidding Yahoo employees from doing their Yahoo work at home, might seem justified. After all, companies tell their employees what to do and Mayer might have good reasons for this edict. But the memo and its fallout raise serious and...

  • Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 14:36

     

    If it wasn't so harmful, it would be funny: a marketing battle between the two technology giants Microsoft and Google over who lacks integrity and is exploitative. It's been going on for a while and with every thrust and block the thing becomes more grotesque and more revealing...

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 09:49

    In the madness of our media-fed consciousness, the greatest threat to an informative news story is time. Given enough time, and the dysfunctional and disinformative way the mainstream media cover news, even the most important and revealing story quickly dies out.

    That is, unless we who...

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