At the outer reaches of my mind, sort of just before the end of the observable universe, I seem to have a fragment of memory, perhaps a few quarks worth, about reading something about Echelon. But, well, I really didn't remember anything about it.
"Look up "Total Information Awareness," a massive, multi-faceted program that was designed to spy on Americans. The project was, ostensibly, dropped. But many of its provisions have been hidden in other measures and executive orders."
- Yup, I'm aware of the TIA program. Are you familiar with the Echelon program that has existed in America since the 1960s during the cold war era, and has expanded into the international spy network? "ECHELON" monitors all sorts of telecommunications signals intelligence.
Every so often a U.S. politician will promote government funding of campaigns, but it never gets off the ground. There are always arguments for why it's a bad idea, such as governments shouldn't finance campaigns because of the potential to control speech, and if the government equalizes financial factors, the non-financial factors that affect elections might become too important (yeah, like intelligence and honesty!).
There also are issues of what candidates should receive financing, especially fringe candidates who don't have any chance of winning, and at what point in the campaign process should financing become available.
It's a complicated issue, but I think it could be resolved.
The content companies haven't slowed down in their efforts to get bills passed that are similar to SOPA and PIPA. And, just look at ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) approved by the EU; it's a nasty piece of work.
Also, the U.S. continues to pressure countries to approve user-hostile legislation. Frankly, I'm surprised at the Obama Administration, even though it wasn't in favor of SOPA/PIPA as written.
As long as there are lobbyists with warchests and SuperPACs, our political process is dangerously compromised. I'd like to see national politicians receive a certain amount of money from the government for campaigns, and that's it. Any politician who uses more than that amount would be fined and, possibly, imprisoned. If the crime wasn't found out until after an election, the convicted politician would be dismissed from office.
Well said Alan. It is, in my opinion, a case of We the people have the best govenment that money can buy. And most ofm our elected officials are bought and old on a daily basis... This round of attacks by the recoring industry is only a shot across the bow. The battle to eek every single penny out of their "intellectual property" hasn't begun in earnest as of yet. They're still testing the political lackeys to see who will finally come through for them.
There isn't too much obfuscation by the content companies about what their motives are. They want to stamp out all piracy and impose whatever restrictions they can get away with to accomplish those goals. They want to control your consumption of content.
Politics is insidious. Calling politicians and lobbyists roaches might be doing roaches a disservice. Perhaps "demons" might be a better comparison.
Look up "Total Information Awareness," a massive, multi-faceted program that was designed to spy on Americans. The project was, ostensibly, dropped. But many of its provisions have been hidden in other measures and executive orders.
As for legislation that effects not just Americans, you might have read about the U.S. pressuring Spain to pass SOPA/PIPA-type regulations which were recently enacted.
Businesses helped neighbors with Internet access and mobile device charge-ups during Sandra. Following that example, enterprises should consider preparing Internet disaster plans to help the public during disasters.
Facebook's Graph Search may face some profound challenges and risks, first, because Facebook users haven't been thinking of their posts as product reviews; and second, because Facebook will now have to contend with the social-network equivalent of SEO "gaming" of results.
MySpace is reinventing itself by focusing on content, but it's too late, and other social networks should learn from its example by looking toward a telco payment model if they want to sustain user commitment and their own revenue.
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