WikiLeaks – Alternative Internet Medium and Watchdog Platform – and the Critique of the Power Elite

The truth about the WikiLeaks Afghanistan documents is that the platform has the potential to make visible the scale of brutality, violence, and horror of warfare and military conflicts. WikiLeaks can be seen as an alternative media project: it tries to provide information that uncovers the misuse of power by powerful actors, it is an Internet-based medium that enables critiques of power structures. The problem of the WikiLeak self-description is that in the first third of the text, only documenting government corruption is mentioned, whereas documenting corporate irresponsibility and corporate crimes is not. The problem that remains is that in the WikiLeaks self-description, corporate crimes and corporate corruption are only mentioned late and that the notion of civilizing corporations is adopted.

The Google Street View Surveillance Machine

It is a fact that Google has while taking panorama photographs of streets in cities all over the world (in 34 countries) for its Street View application also collected information about wireless networks and data from open wireless networks that are not password-secured. Maybe it is time to stop talking about corporate social responsibility and to start focusing on the analysis, exposure, and investigation of corporate social irresponsibility.

Google Buzz: Economic Surveillance – Buzz Off! The Problem of Online Surveillance and the Need for an Alternative Internet

Google Buzz is part of Google’s empire of economic surveillance. It gathers information about user behaviour and user interests in order to store, assess, and sell this data to advertising clients. Google’s online product advertising for Buzz says: “The first thing we all do when we find something interesting is share it. More and more of this kind of sharing takes place online. Google Buzz is a new way to share updates, photos, videos, and more”.

Do people really want to share vast amounts of private data and location data not only with their friends, but also with Google? Can Google be considered as a friend of all humans, or doesn’t it rather accumulate power that can also cause great harm to humans? Do people really always want to tell others where they currently are? Are people really interested in sharing their location data not only with selected friends, but also with Google?

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CfP: Call for Chapter Abstracts for the Book “The Internet & Surveillance”

CfP: Call for Chapter Abstracts for the Book “The Internet & Surveillance”
Editors: Christian Fuchs, Kees Boersma, Anders Albrechtslund, Marisol Sandoval