What Is Wikileaks?

Posted July 26th, 2010 at 2:15 pm (UTC-4)
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How One Website is Changing Journalism

Wikileaks first came online in 2007, promising any individual a forum to anonymously publish previously classified, hidden or sensitive documents and make them publicly available.

The idea was relatively simple: given the viral nature of the Internet – and the ease of duplicating digital documents – once secret information was published, it could never become secret again.

From this one idea, hundreds of thousands of secrets have now become public.

Read more after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

From Fantasy to Reality

Posted July 22nd, 2010 at 2:34 pm (UTC-4)
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How Virtual Gaming is Changing Real War

PC Gamers – from dungeon-crawlers and dragon slayers to all-out World of WarCraft fanatics – are often dismissed as being out of touch with reality.

But the allure of PC games and their ability to engage and transfix have become a powerful recruitment and training tool.

VOA’s Aida Akl has more on the shift from fantasy to reality here.

When Information Goes Bad

Posted July 21st, 2010 at 3:06 pm (UTC-4)
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And How the Internet Can Make It Worse

The recent online posting of part of a government official’s speech – and her subsequent firing – have created a firestorm in the United States around the always sensitive issues of race and responsibility. But it’s raising serious questions about the Internet as well, and what some are calling a failure of journalism.

VOA’s Doug Bernard has this exploration after the jump.  Read the rest of this entry »

Virtual Life and Digital Death

Posted July 15th, 2010 at 3:18 pm (UTC-4)
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As social networking websites grow more popular and complex, users develop something like a virtual life online. People meet, argue, have relationships, and mark major life events.

But what happens to your digital self when you die? VOA’s Jessica Stahl has this exploration of digital life beyond the “Great If” here.

Opening Up the Middle Eastern Internet

Posted July 1st, 2010 at 3:40 pm (UTC-4)
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For millions around the world, the Internet is less a super-highway and more an obstacle course – complete with virtual hazards, roadblocks and detours. As more and more governments start filtering content – or blocking access outright – users are left with an Internet full of holes.

Now there’s a new anti-censorship tool – called alkasir – specifically designed for Middle East users.  But is alkasir guilty of the same censorship it’s trying to combat?

VOA’s Doug Bernard has more in this look.

Private Issues; Public Debate

Posted June 11th, 2010 at 5:32 pm (UTC-4)
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The Senate Judiciary Committee June 28th starts hearings on whether to confirm Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan to the nation’s highest court. Nominees are typically grilled on traditional issues such as abortion and gun ownership rights.

But a new issue is likely to arise this time: privacy in the digital world.  VOA’s Doug Bernard spoke with Marc Rotenberg, President of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and has this preview.

Russian Bloggers Go Where Traditional Media Won’t

Posted June 10th, 2010 at 1:42 pm (UTC-4)
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The Russian Internet community is widely discussing a recent encounter between one of Russia’s best known rock musicians, Yuri Shevchuk, and the country’s powerful prime minister, Vladimir Putin. During a meeting in St. Petersburg, the singer confronted the politician with bold questions about the future of democracy in Russia.

Russian rock star Yuri Shevchuk was one of several cultural leaders invited to meet with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Long known as an outspoken opponent of the Kremlin, Shevchuk seized the day.

VOA’s Anya Ardayeva has more on what he did, and how Russian bloggers responded, here.

Is China’s Cyber-Censorhip a Model for Others?

Posted June 8th, 2010 at 1:54 pm (UTC-4)
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China has announced its Internet policy, releasing an official “white paper,” which both hails the space the Web creates for citizen voices and reaffirms Beijing’s commitment to the “Great Firewall” of censorship.

VOA’s Kate Woodsome spoke with Geordie Guy, the vice-chair of the Internet freedom group Electronic Frontiers Australia, about how other governments are taking cues from Beijing.

More, and her interview, here.

iPad, or e-Distraction?

Posted May 14th, 2010 at 3:27 pm (UTC-4)
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It’s not yet clear whether the iPad will become the next hot ‘must-have’ gadget or just another flash in the digital pan. But this much is certain: it’s now at the center of a heated national debate – one that involves technology, responsibility, and President Barack Obama.

VOA’s Doug Bernard has more here.

The Internet Springs a Leak

Posted May 13th, 2010 at 2:26 pm (UTC-4)
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The recent posting of U.S. Defense Department video on the Wikileaks website has rekindled an old debate over leaking sensitive documents. But now it’s not just about the public’s right to know vs. the government’s right to secrecy – it’s also about the global reach of the World Wide Web.

VOA’s Doug Bernard spoke with Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, and others working to spread more sunlight on the web; his full report can be found here.

What’s Digital Frontiers?

What’s Digital Frontiers?

The Internet, mobile phones, tablet computers and other digital devices are transforming our lives in fundamental and often unpredictable ways. “Digital Frontiers” investigates how real world concepts like privacy, identity, security and freedom are evolving in the virtual world.

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