Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Actual NSA impact on the Internet up to question today

Nothing puts libertarians and liberals on the same side as a government that actually spies on everybody, "big brother" style. Spooky--literally spooks.

There were supposed to be NSA hearings today; Glenn Greenwald was supposed to testify, but it's all canceled. Some just don't like getting spied on; others say they've got nothing to hide, so, so what; still others worry about being wrongfully tracked for bogus reasons.  And there are those who always use "handles", not names, online, and that brings us to why I use my pen name, I'm not worried.  Not as Clara, anyway.  Real enough to be a real person but not real enough to warrant tracking. It's not like this name provides any secrecy for the person behind the pen, as such--it's a poorly kept secret, if it is, and it was actually more of a gag than anything else (one of these days I'll explain that)--still, online, it has its benefits in terms of maintaining privacy, at least.

Taking a step back, we can see that we have industry wanting people to feel secure enough to bank online.  Then we have the NSA which has special privileges to mine that data, and we're back to feeling insecure about doing business online.  Business vs government, yet again.  Something's eventually gotta give--this can't end well.

Believe it or not, this brings us to the nuances of copyright law as it pertains to the Internet, and I know you guys have noticed my header citing the Fair Use clause of that law (17USC107).  What needs to be mentioned is the legal standing of the Internet as a public environment which, like a public sidewalk or a public park, no individual can legally expect privacy, and which, for purposes of copyright, constitutes publication.  Anything you write and hit Send on is considered a publication and that's why you're also prohibited from copy/pasting entire articles written by the original author (copyright holder) without permission, even if you post proper attribution, and even with a link back. What you're doing, if you do that, is re-publishing without permission.

Don't expect freedom of speech, either, because all internet service providers are corporations and either you agree to their Terms of Service or you get no access. This brings us back to the NSA and any agreement by a corporation as part of their terms of being licensed to operate as a service provider.  Terms and conditions rule on the Internet, and yet most people don't read 'em when they click on the box that says they agree with 'em, and they're subject to change without notice.

Anybody with a server for Internet service has a copy of everything you've ever posted regardless of whether you think it's private or not.  Nothing is private on the Internet. Secure, maybe, but never private.  If you want private, go back to snail mail and landlines.

Oh--almost forgot to mention, regarding copyrights on the images I've posted, especially regarding any worries I may have about posting my artwork: Nothing I've posted is full sized, everything is of lower quality than the originals.  Other people address this situation by using watermarks, and that's a personal preference. It's one I do not choose to use.  Basically, I like sharing because I'm not selfish.

I can almost hear the old timers of the now-defunct Michael Moore board laughing their arses off because I used to make a major issue out of copyright ownership over words I posted--but the deal there was that people would quote what you said, rewrite what you wrote and call it a "correction", such that you would be attributed to words you didn't actually write.  It's another good reason to stick with social media instead of a board.
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