A number of websites and blogs in Malaysia will be going offline for one day in a black-out protesting against changes to a law that they say will be to the detriment of free speech online.
In lieu of the normal home pages will be black screens critical of the Evidence Act which was revised in April, for Internet Black-out Day. Those opposed to the Evidence Act say that it will make people unfairly liable for content published from networks and personal devices, while officials have denied that the changes to the act are intended to silence critics ahead of an election.
According to the Agence-France Presse news agency, the revision had been described by the Centre for Independent Journalism in Malaysia as ”a bad law passed in haste and does not take into account public interest and participation”. There are calls for the law to be either changed or abandoned entirely.
One of the issues that has caused the most alarm is the burden of proof placed on internet users. Premesh Chandran, founder of online news site Malaysiakini, said on the company’s site:
“In other words, if defamatory comments are posted on a blog, the blog owner is likely to be sued or charged with criminal defamation.”
The governing parties in Malaysia have been in power for over 55 years, but in recent years online media has exposed corruption scandals, and the internet at large has been instrumental in helping to sway large numbers of voters from supporting the governing coalition.
State censorship is a cause for concern in many, if not all countries across the globe. Even in western democracies there are lobbyists and privacy groups who feel that any moves to influence or control what people say online are affronts to freedom of speech. What is your view on this?
Last year at DADapp we launched a competition on our Facebook page for one lucky entrant to win a shopping trip to New York City or £1,000. Earlier this month we found our winner, who is Gemma Beese from Langstone in Newport, South Wales!
This is the second piece of good luck to come Gemma’s way in the last few weeks. She recently found a new job after being unemployed for a year, and as much as she liked the idea of travelling to New York for a shopping trip, taking the cash alternative was ultimately the more sensible option.
Julian Ranger, DADapp CEO, travelled to Wales to personally deliver Gemma’s cheque. Speaking to Julian she said “I’m absolutely thrilled to have won this money. I don’t know exactly what I’ll spend it on yet, but I think some of it will go towards driving lessons.”
The competition was run as a means of promoting the latest version of the DADapp private sharing software. The recent release incorporates DADapp’s 2D Private Sharing which allows private sharing of photos, documents, files and other media between users on a secure, private network.
A rather amusing video from The Onion News Network landed in my inbox this morning. Now I must confess, I had no prior knowledge of the satirical nature of the site, and so I began to watch in blind faith what appeared to be a legitimate news room style debate about how much the CIA had reduced its costs by inventing Facebook and other social networks.
What I now realise is a tongue in cheek sketch about how much information we share online without batting an eyelid does actually raise some very interesting points. Would it be that far-fetched to imagine that governments around the world are using Facebook and other social networks as an admittedly crude, but exceedingly cheap form of surveillance?
If you haven’t seen it, I won’t ruin your enjoyment of the clip by repeating it verbatim, but one quote from a ‘panelist’ does carry some weight, even if the antagonist (the CIA) has nothing to do with Facebook in real life (as far as we are aware): “one of the key reasons [for success] is that the CIA has been so thorough in convincing the nation that constantly sharing information about everything you’re doing is some how desirable instead of deeply unsettling.”
As it’s Friday, and of course April 1st, we thought it would be fun to have a look at some of the best wind-ups and pranks from today and years gone by. The first one I clocked this morning was on the BBC website.
Now, I’m normally on high alert for these things, ever since I fell for their flying penguins prank a few years ago. In my defence, the trailer for their ‘nature programme’ was incredibly well produced and had added authority courtesy of its narrator – Sir David Attenborough, one of my favourite people of note. But this morning I saw the headline about Dan Snow’s Filthy Cities programme on BBC2, and how you could collect an accompanying scratch and sniff card from your local library. I was undecided - surely a scratch and sniff to go with a TV programme is within the realm of possibility? As I posed the question around the office, my colleagues were quick to point and laugh. April Fools Day 1, Andy 0.
But I didn’t fall for LinkedIn’s rather ingenious prank. Logging on this morning, I saw some rather familiar, yet unexpected names in the ‘People You May Know’ box:
Very good indeed, but I’m not taking the bait on that one. TechCrunch is compiling a list of the best wind-ups to hit the web today. Some of the highlights over there are stories about the introduction of ‘Gmail Motion’ that allows you to control Gmail with your body, and a further jape from Google, in this case advertising a job for an “autocompleter”. The role entails “successfully guessing a user’s intention as he or she starts typing instantly. In a fraction of a second, you’ll need to type in your prediction that will be added to the list of suggestions given by Google”.
- It looks like someone’s had a bit of a ‘mare.
Another joker in our office managed to convince a few of us – not me I might add – that he’d knocked his monitor off his desk whilst wiping the screen… However, it’s nothing more than a clever background.
So what practical jokes and wind-ups have been tickling you today? Let us know with your comments.
Great infographic on how storage has grown and serves as a good reminder of what memory hogs we’ve become. (via Geekologie)
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