Monday, July 7, 2008

Virtual Free Speech and the Subpoena

The Freedom Forum is a Washington, D.C. based, nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. Their focus is on three priorities: the Newseum, the First Amendment and newsroom diversity. The graphic is from site.

One thing I repeat often is that there is no such thing as true privacy online. If it isn’t data you are providing voluntarily, it is data being collected on you through other channels. Sometimes they are to help the user experience, sometimes they are tracking to sell you more effectively and sometimes they are in pursuit of becoming the greatest aggregator of data oN THE PLANET!!!!!

Sorry, carried away.

Anyway, the most frequent flow of private information comes from you voluntarily. This is from your flickr, MySpace, Facebook, Blogger, Tagged, Linkedin, Tagged, Twitter, Konnects, YouTube account. As I am sure you have all of those.

Pictures, opinions and important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries are collected over time.

Off course the warning has always been against someone using search engines, hacking tools or acquired passwords to get all the goods.

Just keep in mind that all it really takes is one subpoena. For an overview on this and the current news cycle regarding Google having to turn over data files on YouTube usage, the New York Times has a good piece.

By the way, not everything you say and do online will stay there, whether you want it to or not. As the pressure grows on online communities to avoid lawsuits, violations and continue to expand to the general public, the restrictions on what you can and do say will increase and the enforcement may simply come in standard policies.

Like a tagger who wants to make his mark on a community wall, someone may immediately paint over it (delete it). Yay!! (my opinion)

Like the dissenter who wishes to expose oppression, he/she can be silenced (account deleted). Boo!! (my opinion)

The free speech debate is going to heat up and based on community preference it will find its middle ground.

For a good opinion piece on free speech and online community Yahoo news carried this.

Heck, while you are at it, check out

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