Sunday, October 9, 2011
This woman in the UK, Luminita, was sent an email by her former husband, Josef Marin. When she clicked the attachment, however, the video attached turned out to be pretty gruesome, it was a video of a half-naked women being kicked by a group of men. Not long after, a man stood over her and dropped a concrete block on her head. The message that came with the attachment was to the effect that this was how the Old Testament recommended that adulterous women be treated. He also added 'Thank Jesus. He will destroy.' That's the way to go, if you're a total douche - quoting the Bible to strike fear into the heart of the 'erring' Christian.
Thankfully, he was sentenced to suspended nine-month jail sentence, a three-year restraining order and put on a three-month curfew. Now I wonder what a Filipino would get when he does something like this?
Taken from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2046759/Christian-Josef-Marin-frightens-ex-wife-video-woman-stoned-death.html#ixzz1aIb9ZjuT
On the subject of penalties, the couple behind the infamous "crush videos" had been caught in La Union last August. Dorma "Chita" Ridon and Vicente Ridon is a Filipino couple who had been making "crush videos" - videos which featured young women mutilating and torturing animals to death. They cut off rabbits' ears, poked stiletto heels into dogs' eyes and cut off legs or crushed the heads of other animals. These videos were sold over the net for $80-200 per download to fetishists who got off seeing such cruelty.
They were charged with child abuse under RA 7610 and violations against the animal welfare act RA 8485 - BUT!! they were released on bail. Great.
Taken from: http://www.femalenetwork.com/pets/update-crush-video-culprits-caught
What's a super-injunction?
According to this article, a super-injunction "stops anyone publishing information about the applicant which is said to be confidential or private - but also prevents anyone from reporting that the injunction itself even exists."
As soon as I read that, I thought, that's so meta. [Although it can get more meta - but more on that later.]
Getting a super-injunction, which isn't exactly provided for by the English law, is apparently a remedy that judges of civil courts in England and Wales have derived from an "interpretation" of existing laws to protect an applicant's privacy.
How does it work? The same article illustrates:
Since the gag order seemed to apply only to newspapers and media outfits, people found a way around the whole thing and posted the information about these super-injunctions on non-UK hosted websites, including Twitter."Taking a hypothetical case, a Premiership footballer asks the High Court to stop a kiss-and-tell story from appearing in next weekend's papers, saying that he is a victim of wrongdoing and blackmail by the other party.If the judge agrees to a super-injunction, the newspaper cannot report the allegations - and it is also prevented from saying that the footballer went to court to gag the paper. If the newspaper breaks the injunction, the editor could be prosecuted for contempt of court."
But Twitter Inc. was sued. Lawyers challenged Twitter in court to reveal the identities of Twitter users who violated super-injunctions. Tony Wang, the head of Twitter in Europe, said they were ready to "hand over user information to the authorities where they were 'legally required.'"
We don't have super-injunctions in the Philippines (yet?), and our privacy laws aren't as, well, complex, as those found elsewhere, but the idea is alarming. Users might now have to think about the extent of the relative freedom they have online (on Twitter especially) in a time when super-injunctions are possible, and social network platforms who are always "ready to cooperate."
This article looked into the future of injunctions and discusses the author's funny take on it:
"There is, of course, an obvious next step: the meta-injunction. This is a form of legal suppression so all-injuncting that it is illegal for me to tell you that there is such a thing. I have only just coined the term, and already I am risking jail. Whatever you do, don't call my lawyer."
#16 - Somayyah Abdullah
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15]
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Yesterday while driving on my way to school, I was floored with the news of Steve Jobs’ passing. I don’t know the man personally and while I have owned and currently own a few Apple gadgets, I am by no means an Apple-head. I would have no problems living without them. In fact, in my more youthful (idealistic) days, I was mildly anti-consumerist which disposition would conflict with the ‘Apple-ization’ of this world. Thus, it is quite perplexing that the news had overwhelmed me: how could the death of a stranger unsettle me? Throughout the day, news of his death, commentaries and tributes filled traditional, internet, and social media sites. In an elevator, I overheard a conversation between two sanitary technicians (probably never owned a Mac or even an iPod). One of them said, expressing his grief, “nakakalungkot.” I think more than the gadgets he’d given us (which I no doubt acknowledge as cool), he’d given us a much greater gift. He’s shown us a level of inventiveness that can only be described as transcendent. In an age of conformity, he was unique. It wasn’t just the products that were different, it was his thinking. His brilliance while otherworldly was grounded in this reality – this, I conjecture, is what makes Apple so intimately relevant yet paradigmatically revolutionary. Though Apple may continue to produce successful iterations of their product line, they are precisely just that, just iterations of his genius. Rest in peace Mr. Steve Jobs.
For a medium that supposedly entails the least start-up costs, the internet sure is proliferated by numerous virtual monopolies. Take Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Amazon, for instance. I mean, the internet’s supposed to be this really cheap platform for different business enterprises or service providers. It make this inexpensiveness possible by the fact that cyberspace is a piece of realty which is practically free. There is no longer any need to establish a separate physical store for your business, which would have been a significant expense to consider. And, through one’s presence in cyberspace, theoretically everyone with access to the internet would have access to the business established virtually. But, despite the fact that entry costs have been greatly reduced and the fact that information about one’s business is made freely accessible to the public (which is almost free advertising) through this technological development, monopolies still seem to crop up, even among dotcom businesses, which thrive primarily in the internet.
I know this is only to be expected. After all, virtual presence is not the only thing to consider in any business model. You would never really be able to take away the need for a physical location, even if it isn’t really a separate physical store. The internet is only an avenue for availment of the services or the products. These services and products still have to be performed or delivered in the real world. And this also entails costs.
There are probably even other factors which explain the phenomenon of virtual monopolies. But one realization I’ve had is this: the internet does not solve all the problems. It’s not a panacea that instantly makes all the issues disappear. It was never meant to be a crutch which we were supposed to lean on. Instead, it was only supposed to be an added tool which makes things more convenient. As can be seen in the situation of monopolies, even this age and world of free information has not resulted in the free market envisioned by John Smith.
Still, I do not want to take away from the contributions that the internet has made. It has undeniably changed all our lives. But we can’t simply just rely on it completely. Time may come when we may be able to do that. But, for now, there are problems which we will have to solve for ourselves.
Aldous Benjamin Camiso, Blog Entry #16.
Quite recently, transcripts of phone calls of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi were leaked. Leakages include his expression of contempt for his country and a desire to leave it; "a crude insult" at German leader Angela Merkel; and boasting of "'doing eight girls" in a night with a joke that with all his sexual activity, he was only prime minister 'in [his] spare time.'"
Deluged in so much leakages, Berlusconi and his government are now trying to restrict online publication of police wiretapping transcripts.
The remedy (to plug holes for further leakages) came in the form of bill: the "DDL intercettazioni" (Wiretapping Act) Section 29 of said Bill imposes "a requirement to all websites to publish, within 48 hours of the request and without any comment, a correction of any content that the applicant deems detrimental to his/her image." That or be fined with as much as a €12,000. Catch is, nothing in the proposal provides for a verification process of the accuracy of the corrections, much less a process of judicial review.
For the government and figures like Berlusconi, it is a remedy.
For the mass of bloggers, such is a legally-clothed anti-speech freedom move…even fascism, when nude. And it isn’t the first time the government threatened a strip off.*
With right to freedom of speech (Art.21 of Italy’s Constitution) as their battle cry, anti-gagging protests were launched all over Italy last week, in response to the government’s attempt to stifle blogging.
According to Wikipedia’s editor: “ [they] have always been available to review—and modify, if needed—any content deemed to be detrimental to anyone, without harm to the project's neutrality and independence." Further, they argued that the existing defamation law gives ample protection to Italian personalities unfairly maligned by online posts.
These days, such series of events on the other side of the globe (but still well within our virtual “world”) serve more of a caveat than a piece of news. Nothing new, but always a threat. Bloggers may speak all they want now, but the last say belongs to those who legislate. Once blogging is gagged, we may speak no more. Or maybe, just speak less. Less, but louder…stronger. In any case, I highly doubt that threats of suppression, Italian or not, could block a raging river from pouring out. Either water will find its way and seep through holes… or it will wear down the blockade slowly...or it will tear it down completely, violently. So when government threatens: bloggers beware. Bloggers retort: dare.
Crisela Bernardino, entry# 16
Crisela Bernardino, entry# 16
* http://italychronicles.com/italys-politicians-try-to-ban-blogs-again/ sources: http://www.businessinsider.com/italys-facist-style-blog-gagging-2011-9; http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/10/italian-wikipedia-replaces-every-page-with-free-speech-protest.ars
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
My class in Public Officers and Election Law is coming to a close- we are now at election law. After spending some (read: a lot of) time reading the required material, we were told to disregard some of them because provisions have become obsolete due to the Automated Election System. Being the diligent student that I am (HAHA), I’ve since given up on reading the text and just settled for reading the law. At times like these (finals!!!!), practicality is the answer.
Speaking of practicality and the AES, the COMELEC has re-considered the idea of using the internet for overseas absentee voters (OAVs). Under RA 9189, absentee voters may cast their votes personally at embassies or via mail. This law would have to be amended if internet use is to be allowed. If internet voting is used, the problem of low turnout from OAVs would be addressed, since the main hindrance for their participation is inconvenience. With easy access, more Filipinos abroad would be encouraged to exercise their right to suffrage.
In class, the professor stated that much of the dangers that faced elections before like dagdag-bawas, turtle-paced canvassing, flying voters, etc. were answered by the computerization of elections. Given the possibility of the use of the internet, what new dangers can come up? The main and biggest concern of COMELEC is security. Votes can be hacked and tampered with, access to the voting site can be denied, voters can be lured to fake websites. If the COMELEC pushes through with this proposal, they would have to adopt a system that is safe and free from attacks. They would also need to secure public confidence in this system to ensure participation. Who knows, if this can be done successfully abroad, maybe someday, it can be adopted for domestic elections.
Krystel Jehan M. Bautista, entry no. 16
|Image Source: http://www.journalism.org|
First, there was the dubious news article regarding the attempt of now infamous legislator Winston Castelo to pass a bill seeking to limit the quantity of merchandise based on the Angry Birds franchise. Then, there was the much-lamented and oft-talked about DPWH fiasco depicting three public officers photoshopped to look as if they were standing on rocky ground “apparently looking for a lost cat that strayed from its owner during the devastation of typhoon Pedring.” It seems the internet world is never bereft of pranksters out to “punk” the rest of the netizens Ashton Kutcher-style.
But of course, the netizens certainly weren’t laughing when the news first came out. When word got out that Castelo (well-known for the Anti-Planking Bill) allegedly passed a bill aiming to monitor the quantity, quality and diversity of items bearing the angry birds likeness, people were outraged. In fact, the alleged bill even became a twitter trending sensation! Good thing for us though, that it was all just one big fat joke.
What is more distressing however, is the photoshopped DPWH picture showing three stooges standing right in the middle of the scene pretending to be seriously assessing the situation. Unfortunately, this one was indeed photoshopped as reported. According to the DPWH, an over-eager employee, in his misguided attempt to please his boss, took it upon himself to photoshop 3 DPWH officials on the picture and posted the same without any official clearance. Said over-eager employee is now fired for his “initiative.” While the picture may have originally been intended to fool the public, ultimately the prank fell flat on DPWH’s face. In the end, the joke was on DPWH who became a laughingstock not only of the Philippines, but of the entire world.
All these news articles can be found in the satirical news website “So, What’s News?” Perhaps a fan of “Yes Men,” the people behind the abovementioned fictitious news website must have gleaned inspiration from the producers of the film documentary showcasing the adventures of 2 well-meaning environment crusaders trekking all over the world disguised as spokespersons of big bad corporations.
In the spirit of fun and bursting with idealism, “So, What’s News” is reminiscent of the New York Times future edition published by the Yes Men reporting only the seemingly improbable and too-good-to-be-true news articles. The only difference between the Yes Men’s newspaper and “So, What’s News” however, is that the latter publishes news articles that are so completely stupid, it just had to be true! And to make things worse, people actually believe it!
What does that speak of the Filipino people? More importantly, what does that speak of our public officials and government authorities? There’s an old saying that goes: “there is a kernel of truth behind every joke.” I guess at this point, the question we should be asking ourselves is, “who’s laughing now?”
India has always been known for it’s amazing connectivity, beating out other giants such as China and Brazil. To complement this strength, they Indians will be pioneering the record cheapest tablet computer to date, costing an incredible $35. The AAKASH tablet computer will be making the most of the strong connectivity provided with India since it will also be featuring wi-fi technology. It will be launched by DataWind, a British company, with a 100,000 initial copies for students, with many more units to be released in the next few months. Before the AAKASH, the other serious competition was the Amazon’s KindleFIre which costs $199 as compared to Apple’s iPad.
This project is part of their nations new policy of bridging the public’s connectivity with technology with devices such as mobile phones and the internet. From 2000-2010, the number of connected individuals has increased 15 fold. However as of this date that number is only 8% of the population, as opposed to the 40% of China. The concentration of purchasers only belong to the wealthier sector, which is why even if India is the fastest growing market with 19 million subscribers every month, they are only concentrated on the upper section of the economic pyramid. The AAKASH will be using the Google Android functionality. Despite the promise of providing affordable technology over wider markets, critics are pessimistic claiming that the product will have a very mediocre touch screen and will be very slow. For $35 however, how can anyone complain?