Johnson government using Cambridge Analytica strategies

9 August 2019 — True Publica

By TruePublica: Boris Johnson was advised by Lynton Crosby throughout his Tory leadership race. As far back as 2013, Crosby has been a controversial figure to the Conservative party. There was a concern then that he influenced government policy in favour of his company’s clients. He got the Tories to dump plain packaging on cigarettes and curbed restrictions on alcohol. Through his business activities, Crosby has been seen as an enemy to those who advocate for the rights of asylum seekers, indigenous people, women seeking abortions and gay marriage activists. He was found to have been lobbying for the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, which promotes fracking. Since Crosby became Tory election strategist in 2012, the government then dished out tax breaks for the oil and gas industry. Fracking opponents alleged a link at the time and is now accused of using Cambridge Analytica style campaigns to the results the Tories wants.

Continue reading

Facebook vs Citizens by Meg Sherman

21 July 2019 — Dissident Voice

Facebook as an Unnecessary Evil

A wonderfully written recent article on the ethics of Facebook Inc provoked me to think about my own position. It’s oft said in defence of the software that Facebook is a forum for progressive public debate, an ideal and desirable stimulus for democracy. So I was pleased the article stimulated a lively exchange of ideas on a contentious issue, the ethics of Facebook itself.

Continue reading

Human rights imperialism, social media censorship and the fraud of Facebook’s “Oversight Board” By Kevin Reed

2 July 2019 — WSWS

On June 27, Facebook published a report entitled “Global Feedback and Input on the Facebook Oversight Board for Content Decisions” on the progress of its plan to create an international review committee to oversee its censorship regime. A careful examination of this report shows that the real purpose of the planned Oversight Board—contrary to Facebook’s pretensions of creating an “external appeals process” and safeguarding “free expression and safety for all users of our platforms”—is to expand and systematize social media censorship in defense of world capitalism.

Continue reading

Facing up to Libra by michael roberts

29 June 2019 — Michael Roberts

Libra is the name that Facebook, the global social network company, is calling its planned international digital currency.  What is Facebook’s purpose with this planned new currency?

According to Facebook, Libra is “a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people”. In its statement, the company says that: “The world truly needs a reliable digital currency and infrastructure that together can deliver on the promise of “the internet of money.” Securing your financial assets on your mobile device should be simple and intuitive. Moving money around globally should be as easy and cost-effective as—and even more safe and secure than—sending a text message or sharing a photo, no matter where you live, what you do, or how much you earn. New product innovation and additional entrants to the ecosystem will enable the lowering of barriers to access and cost of capital for everyone and facilitate frictionless payments for more people.”

Continue reading

How to fend off automated censorship

27 June 2019 — Open Rights Group

You have until Monday 1 July to make you views known!

The Internet in general and social media in particular play a central role in protecting free expression in society. But the Government’s new plan to make social media safer could change that by ushering in a new era of automated censorship.

The window to comment on the Government’s Online Harms White Paper closes on Monday.  William can you take a minute to tell the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that social media regulation must protect the right to free expression?
Continue reading

The Omnipresent Surveillance State: Orwell’s 1984 Is No Longer Fiction By John W. Whitehead

10 June 2019 — The Rutherford Institute

John Whitehead“You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”—George Orwell, 1984

Tread cautiously: the fiction of George Orwell has become an operation manual for the omnipresent, modern-day surveillance state.

Continue reading

Internet Free Speech All but Dead By Philip Giraldi

11 June 2019 — Global Research

Unelected, unnamed censors are operating across the Internet to suppress “unapproved” content.

The Internet was originally promoted as a completely free and uncensored mechanism for people everywhere to exchange views and communicate, but it has been observed by many users that that is not really true anymore. Both governments and the service providers have developed a taste for controlling the product, with President Barack Obama once considering a “kill switch“ that would turn off the Internet completely in the event of a “national emergency.”

Continue reading