Joshua Eaton

Independent Journalist

Page 2 of 21

Can Tweeters Be Tamed?

It was a simple tweet, with just a hint of edge. After police used tear gas and rubber bullets against Black Lives Matter protesters in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 6, Kaya Oakes, an author and lecturer who teaches writing at the University of California, Berkeley, posted a note offering students injured in the protest extra time to finish an assignment.

“If any of my #Berkeley students were teargassed, batoned, or shot w/rubber bullets last night, you can have an extension on your essay,” Ms. Oakes tweeted.

The tweet was tongue-in-cheek, according to Oakes, but it was also a show of support for what she thought was a largely peaceful protest that police met with undue force. But after conservative pundit Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy blog picked up Oakes’s tweet, it took on a life of its own. Over the course of the next two days, Oakes’s tweet showed up on the blog of Megyn Kelly at Fox News, the Fox and Friends’ Facebook page, and a local CBS affiliate.

Read the rest of this article by Harry Bruinius, to which I contributed reporting, at the Christian Science Monitor …

In Tibet, Bloggers Post at their Own Risk

These are treacherous days for anyone in China who dares to publicly criticize government policy, especially when it comes to Beijing’s handling the troubled ethnic minority regions of Tibet.

A Tibetan blogger named Druklo is one of the latest people to find that out the hard way. Druklo was arrested by Chinese police in a part of Qinghai province that Tibetans call Rebkong, according to a Tibetan friend who now lives in exile. The friend asked to remain anonymous out of concern that making their friendship public might put Druklo at greater risk.

Read the rest of this article at Public Radio International …

Lawmakers Revive Support for Aaron’s Law to Reform Anti-Hacking Statute

In 2011, her partner, the Internet activist Aaron Swartz, snuck into a wiring closet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and downloaded millions of scholarly articles from an online database. He was later arrested and prosecutors charged him with violations under the fraud and abuse act that carried up to 35 years in prison. Before any trial or deal with federal prosecutors, however, Mr. Swartz, 26, committed suicide.

Swartz’s friends, family members, and fellow activists blamed his death on an overzealous prosecution and a harsh application of the federal anti-hacking statute.

As a result, in June 2013, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D) of California introduced a bill known as “Aaron’s Law” to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which critics such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation have long complained has been so abused that it stifles security research and hampers innovation.

Read the rest of this article at the Christian Science Monitor …

Scaling the Firewall: Ways Around Government Censorship Online

When Turkey temporarily blocked more than 100 websites — including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — earlier this month in an effort to censor a photo that authorities there called “terrorist propaganda,” the blackout generated an uproar across the Web and #twitterisblockedinturkey became a top trending hashtag on Twitter.

Online censorship is something the Turkish people are becoming accustomed to, and are increasingly finding ways around. And they are hardly alone in facing regular online outages.

Read the rest of this article at the Christian Science Monitor …

Burner Promotion Shows How Much Phone Numbers Reveal

It can be unsettling to watch a computer spit out your personal information before it even knows your name. Especially when the information appears in a terminal font, superimposed over a map of your area.

That’s probably what you’ll see if you take the Burner Challenge, which uses your phone number to show you just how much information those digits can reveal – everything from names of acquaintances, to lists of old employers, to your current and previous addresses. And it’s all gleaned from public sources.

Read the rest of this article at the Christian Science Monitor …

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