Digital Media Mash Up, September - Week 1

In this Issue

Upcoming Events - In Washington, D.C.
In the News:


Upcoming Events - In Washington, D.C.

News and Entertainment in the Digital Age: A Vast Wasteland Revisited
Monday, September 12, 2011
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Featuring: Featuring Newt Minow (Former Chairman of the FCC / Sidley Austin), Dean Martha Minow(Harvard Law School), Ann Marie Lipinski (Nieman Foundation), Jonathan Alter (Bloomberg View), Terry Fisher (Harvard Law School), Yochai Benkler (Harvard Law School), John Palfrey (Harvard Law School), Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard Law School), and many more.
About: In 1961, Newt Minow - then Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission - delivered a landmark speech to the National Association of Broadcasters on "Television and the Public Interest," in which he described television programming as a "vast wasteland" and advocated for public interest programming. [1] Fifty years later, we aim to reflect upon the changed landscape of television and dramatic shifts in the broader media ecosystem, and identify lessons learned that may help to offer insight into the next 50 years of media and public discourse.
Location: Harvard University

Sifting Fact from Fiction: The Role of Social Media in Conflict
Friday, September 16, 2011
8:30AM - 12:30PM
United States Institute of Peace
Featuring: Alec Ross, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of State; Clay Shirky, New York University; Hillary Mason, Bit.Ly; Jillian York, Electronic Frontier Foundation; Marc Lynch, Institute for Middle East Studies, George Washington University; Oscar Morales, One Million Voices Against the FARC; Sheldon Himelfarb, United States Institute of Peace; Sultan al-Qassemi, UAE-based Columnist and Social Media Commentator
About: From the war in Libya to the elections in Nigeria, speculation abounds about the power of new media for social change - spawning a cottage industry of "expert" analysis of the data from social networks, which then influences government policy and public perceptions.
Location: U.S. Institute of Peace
2301 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20037

In the News

Global Censorship Update

Mexican Journalist Humberto Millan Salazar Found Dead
Humberto Millan Salazar, who edited an online newspaper and presented a news programme on local radio, had been kidnapped by armed men on Wednesday. (BBC, 8/25)

Suspected North Korean Cyberattack on a Bank Raises Fears for S. Korea, Allies
After nearly half of the servers for a South Korean bank crashed one day in April, investigators here found evidence indicating that they were dealing with a new kind of attack from an old rival: North Korea. (Washington Post, 8/29)

Courts Block Bank Accounts of Google Brazil for Refusing to Take Down Blogs Deemed Offensive Toward Mayor
The courts in the Brazilian state of Ceará blocked access to $140,000 in the accounts of Google Brasil after the Internet giant refused to take down a series of blogs with content "offensive" toward the mayor of Várzea Alegre, according to the news agency AFP. (Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, 8/29)

Freelance Journalist Elena Bondar Under Investigation
Elena Bondar, a freelance journalist who was briefly detained at Tashkent airport on 22 August, has been notified that she is to be prosecuted for not declaring the professional material that was seized from her at the time, and that the material is to be examined by a censorship committee. (Reporters Without Borders, 8/30)

China Calls for Crackdown on 'Toxic' Internet Rumours
Xinhua news agency article is latest state media report warning about danger of harmful information spread via microblogs (Guardian, 8/30)

How China Pursues Its Internet Control Obsession
The authorities continue to reinforce their control of the Internet in China, which held its 10th annual China Internet Conference on 23 August in Beijing. (Reporters Without Borders, 8/31),40884....

Digital Media News Affecting Activists

'Don't Follow Me' Register Introduced by Online Advertisers
Several Dutch newspapers have signed up to a European initiative which will allow internet users to stop advertisers using text files known as cookies to track their web behaviour. (, 8/30)

Digital Citizenship & Media Literacy Beat Tracking Laws and Monitoring
As we start the school year, there are two trends in online child protection that are worthy of scrutiny. (Huffington Post, 8/30)

Digital Publishing Guidelines
These guidelines for digital publishing are meant to guide Washington Post journalism as we deliver news and information in a rapidly changing media environment. We consider these guidelines to be a "living document" that we will continually modify and update based on feedback from our journalists, from our readers, and from our perceptions of our changing needs. (Washington Post, 9/1)

Online Anonymity: Comments Not Disabled on This Post
IN THE recent debate over whether every internet user should be somehow required, possibly by law, to identify himself by a real name, the popular blog site BoingBoing would have been expected to adopt a firm stance. (Economist, 9/2)

Update on Digital Media Companies and Outlets

Facebook Pays for Security Loopholes
Facebook has spent $40,000 (£25,000) in the first 21 days of a program that rewards the discovery of security bugs. (BBC, 8/30)

DOJ Files Antitrust Suit to Block AT&T Merger With T-Mobile
The U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against AT&T on Wednesday seeking to block its $39 billion merger with T-Mobile. (CNN, 8/31)

United States and United Kingdom Respond to Censorship of Riots

U.K. Government Won't Ban Social Media in Emergencies
Cooler heads seem to have prevailed - for now. At a meeting between U.K. authorities and representatives of Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion yesterday, U.K. Home Secretary Teresa May announced that the government has "no intention of restricting internet services" at this point, but were instead focused on how social media could be used more constructively during emergencies. (Time, 8/26)

FCC Asked for Declaratory Ruling That BART Shutting off Mobile Phone Service Was Illegal
We'd already noted that the FCC was investigating whether or not BART broke the law when it decided to turn off mobile phone service in an effort to stop some protests (a direct attack on a specific form of speech). (Center for Democracy & Technology, 8/31)

Digital Media in the Middle East

Hunted by Regime, Tripoli Activist Kept Flame of Protest Burning
For six months, he ran a clandestine protest movement under the noses of the Gaddafi regime in its supposed stronghold of Tripoli. (Washington Post, 8/29)

WikiHistory: Did the Leaks Inspire the Arab Spring?
Almost two weeks before the desperate young fruit-seller Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire on a street in Tunis and a full month before the uprising that ensued, touching off the "Arab Spring" that is still unfolding, the rationale for revolution appeared on the Internet, where it was devoured by millions of Tunisians. It was a WikiLeaks document pertaining to the unexampled greed and massive corruption of Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and all his money-hungry family. (World Affairs, July/August 2011)

Pakistan to Ban Encryption Software

Virtual Watchdog: Internet Users Banned from Browsing Privately for 'Security Reasons'
In an effort to ramp up the monitoring of internet security, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has directed all ISPs to prevent internet users from using technology that would allow them to privately browse the internet. (The Express Tribune, 8/28)

Pakistan to Ban Encryption Software
Internet service providers will be required to inform authorities if customers use virtual private networks in government crackdown (Guardian, 8/30)

Pakistan: Ban on Internet Encryption a Violation of Freedom of Expression
The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority has served legal directives to all internet service providers in the country requiring that they implement an earlier regulation banning in the name of anti-terrorism all internet encryption. (Article 19, 9/2)

Wikileaks Posts Cables and Gets Hacked

WikiLeaks Web Site Crashes
The WikiLeaks Web site crashed late Tuesday in an apparent cyberattack after the accelerated publication of tens of thousands of once-secret State Department cables by the organization raised new concerns about the exposure of confidential American diplomatic sources. (New York Times, 8/30)

WikiLeaks Prompts New Diplomatic Uproar
News organizations in dozens of countries are panning for nuggets in the latest and largest dump of diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks, which last week suddenly accelerated its posting of the confidential State Department documents. (New York Times, 8/31)

Flood of WikiLeaks Cables Includes Identities of Dozens of Informants
A torrent of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks has been published in the last few days, with at least 170 of them naming sources whose identity was meant to be protected, according to an analysis of the documents by CNN. (CNN, 8/31)

Social Media Could Hinder Revolutions

In Unsettled Times, Media Can Be a Call to Action, or a Distraction
THE mass media, including interactive social-networking tools, make you passive, can sap your initiative, leave you content to watch the spectacle of life from your couch or smartphone. (New York Times, 8/28)

Facebook, Twitter Hinder Revolutions
Deprived of the internet, people get off their tushes and fight (Newser, 8/30)


Why Schools Should Stop Banning Cell Phones, and Use Them for Learning
For many schools, these are formal rules, written in school policy or in student handbooks. But as phones become more like extended appendages in everyone's lives, schools are rethinking their policies.(PBS MediaShift, 8/29)

Cleverbot Isn't Down With Journalists
Our pals at just posted a piece about "Cleverbot," which is considered one of researchers' best attempts to mimic human conversation patterns with computer intelligence. (CNN, 8/30)

The Month That Changed Tech Forever
While an earthquake and a hurricane slammed the East Coast in August, the West Coast endured a different kind of turmoil. Within a 10-day span this past month, Google reinvented itself as a hardware company, Hewlett-Packard moved to ditch PCs and become a software company, and Apple lost its iconic CEO. (CNN, 8/31)


Media Disruption Exacerbates Revolutionary Unrest: Evidence from Mubarak's Natural Experiment
Conventional wisdom suggests that lapses in media connectivity - for example, disruption of Internet and cell phone access - have a negative effect on political mobilization. I argue that on the contrary, sudden interruption of mass communication accelerates revolutionary mobilization and proliferates decentralized contention. (APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper, August 2011)