Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Nov 2021)

Digital Nomad

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed hearing about decentralized blogging, reading through the twitter thread of underacted google & facebook advertising complaint and of course  Facebook and its effect on gen-z with yet another whistle blower leaving the sinking ship.

To quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

You are seeing aspects of this with seeing John Oliver covering misinformation outside the English language, some young people questioning our capitalistic society, Mozfest 2022’s call for proposal and experiencing unified messaging on my devices


Personal data stores in the lime light

Ian thinks: Wired do a reasonable job explain some of the benefits, there are a lot more important aspects of personal data stores than beating others, like sovereignty and trust. Said as someone who worked on related work in the past.

The future of social networks with James Vasile

Ian thinks: James is a seasoned expert in this space and this interview is good covering a lot of ground including Project liberty’s DSNP. Even if you are new to this space, its accessible and understandable.

Visa & Mastercard regulate the internet by stealth?

Ian thinks: No matter what you think of adult sites, there is a complicated problem which should not be left companies which are only interested in maximising their own profits.

Misinformation works in all languages

Ian thinks: Its good to see mainstream John Oliver covering the huge problem of dis/misinformation outside the English language. Also great to see them not jump to the conclusion encryption is the problem.

The clear amplification of social media

Ian thinks: Adrian’s kickback is something I wasn’t super aware of but its a clear sign of the massive amplification of social media for good and bad, depending where you stand.

Digital nomadic dreams and border-less countries

Ian thinks: Although the digital nomad lifestyle is something I am personally interested in, I think the notion of Plumia is a worrying trend of a new kind of digital elite dream. Which needs to be put in check before it runs wild.

The mystery of Satoshi bitcoin creator, solved?

Ian thinks: I have to say this is the best case for the mystery of Satoshi (the creator of bitcoin). Recently it looks like his wallet has been used too?

Facebook: a little empty, a little sad; a place where a few voices get most of the attention

Ian thinks: Although turning your Facebook timeline back into a timeline doesn’t even start to touch the fundamental problems. I loved the end quote, which speaks volumes.

NFTs challenging the status quo

Ian thinks: Beyond the hype, scams and general nonsense. I am seeing signs of NFTs being used to genuinely disrupt the status-quo. From the portability of bought in game goods, new models of film making and of course the new NFT royalties standard.


Find the archive here

Facebook chooses money over public health

Its not a surprise at all. (If you are surprised, you haven’t been paying attention)

Haugen follows other whistleblowers including Zhang (who didn’t get the press she should have got).

Simple as this Facebook (a company bound by the laws of a company) chooses profit over people. Of course they are not the only company to do this and they won’t be the last (looking at you big tobacco, oil companies, etc). I won’t even get into the other tech companies either.

Its time for the metric of success to change, but before that can happen we need to support some of the alternatives which respect and support human kind not try and end it. I have said over and over again, scale is the enemy of human kind and looking at how much stress Facebook’s outage on Tuesday caused. I’m more confident I along with others are right on point.

Time for different types of institutions which are not bounded by the laws of a company to show the way. Its time for a public service internet…

Goodbye 2013, welcome to the post Edward Snowden era

Truth is coming and cannot be stopped - Edward Snowdon

As the year draws to an end, there is one thing which stands out well in front of all other things which happened in 2013.

Edward Snowden coming forward as a whistleblower and releasing globally critical information. There is literally no bigger event which happened in 2013 like Edward Snowden’s mass leak of National Security Agency documents. Frankly Edward Snowden deserves he’s own day, to remind us of this turning point.

Yes I am saying he’s not just a hero but deserving of many achievements including Time’s person of the year.

Just today in the Guardian, Snowden said how he had won.

The whistleblower Edward Snowden has declared “mission accomplished”, seven months after revelations were first published from his mass leak of National Security Agency documents. The documents, which were passed to the Guardian, as well the Washington Post and other publications, revealed how technological developments were used by the US surveillance agency to spy on its own citizens and others abroad, and also to spy on allies, such as the US on Germany and Australia on Indonesia.

In 14 hours of interviews  with Washington Post journalist Barton Gellman, Snowden said: “For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished.” He continued: “I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself. “All I wanted was for the public to be able to have a say in how they are governed.”

Channel4 have also gotten in on the action by getting Snowden to deliver the alternative Christmas message.

Six months ago, Snowden, a computer analyst turned whistleblower, brought to global attention top-secret National Security Agency (NSA) documents leading to revelations about widespread United States surveillance on phone and internet communications.

Snowden lays out his vision for why privacy matters and why he believes mass indiscriminate surveillance by governments of their people is wrong.

Something I will not be missing! Even if it means firing it up on my tablet or phone. Maybe I could hijack the TV via the newly bought Chromecast I installed on my parents TV?

Now down to business…

I’ve been watching the coverage of Edward Snowden’s leaks and watching how the NSA, GCHQ, etc have all come out and denied most of whats come out. But the sheer amount of data and facts is just so overwhelming. Even the embarrassed Cameron started to hit back at the media saying they are irking it out slowly for higher audiences.

What ever Cameron… The thing which has shocked me the most is with these super high profile leaks, most still don’t know who Snowden is or connect what this means with there own lives. If you were paying attention you would support the Open Right Group.

I asked my family if they knew who Edward Snowden was. Mum and Dad said no, sister said yes. Once explained who he was, (the NSA whistleblower) a little discussion erupted. Only a short one because there was some crap on TV which everyone was watching except me. My dad declared whistleblowers should be put to death for treason against their own country.

Now I’m sure there are many people who have this view. Although I’m angry at this view, I’m equally angry at ourselves for not making the connection with their own lives. The same people who think a porn filter will stop pedophiles from using the internet to share media and don’t really care that people might actually need the help of the resources its actually blocking.

These things all seem disconnected but actually they are connected in ways you don’t want to know.

2014 will mark the post Snowden era and a new era of data privacy and transparency. The question is if the every day person will get it? And when? Maybe some parts of the media end up boiling it down to a non issue between what Nigela’s done to her face and a stupid campaign to save the young from the evils of p0rn. As my dad said, “we all thought the government was spying on us” but to know it and have it spelled out so graphically is something else all together.

On the eve of Christmas I should be more happy, but I can’t help but feel 2014 is going to highlight the widening digital literacy gap between those who understand and those who don’t. The true digital divide…

You think 2010-2012 with Anonymous, The Pirate Party and Lulzec was crazy, you seen nothing yet! Before it was paranoia, now its really happening and at a level which shocked all of us.