Suicide Options for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

I have another post up on ReadWriteWeb that went up just after Christmas covering people who are choosing to leave Facebook or considering doing so along with the tools to help them.

Fed Up with Facebook Privacy Issues? Here is how to End it All.

It highlights two different Web 2.0 suicide machines; one is an art project called Seppukoo.com .

The service creates a virtual memorial for you and posts you on a suicide wall & they give you points for how many friends you had and how many of them choose to follow you to the “after life”. The leader board is here.  You can see the RIP page for one of the creators of the service – Gionatan Quintini here.

It received a cease and desist from Facebook and responded.

The response is not covered in the article (it wasn’t out when I wrote it). It has some great quotes that sound like language coming from the user-centric identity community.

5. My clients have the right to receive information, ideas, and photographs from those people whom are the legitimate proprietors of this data and can decide to share this data or to store it, with the prior consent of its respective owners. All of this is freedom of expression and the manifestation of thought and free circulation of ideas that is accepted and guaranteed in Europe and in the U.S.A.

6. Facebook cannot order the erasure of data that does not belong to it, acting against the free will of the owners of such data. This is not protection of privacy, but rather a violation of the free will of citizens that can decide freely and for themselves how to arrange their personal sphere.

We shall see how Facebook responds to this.

Web 2.0 Suicide Machine is more comprehensive – covering LinkedIn & Twitter as well.

Here is the previous Read Write Web post on the changes in what is and is not public.

Identity Dispute on Twitter

From Slashdot

SpuriousLogic spotted this story on the BBC, from which he excerpts:

“The High Court has given permission for an injunction to be served via social-networking site Twitter. The order is to be served against an unknown Twitter user who anonymously posts to the site using the same name as a right-wing political blogger. The order demands the anonymous Twitter user reveal their identity and stop posing as Donal Blaney, who blogs at a site called Blaney’s Blarney. The order says the Twitter user is breaching the copyright of Mr. Blaney. He told BBC News that the content being posted to Twitter in his name was ‘mildly objectionable.’ Mr. Blaney turned to Twitter to serve the injunction rather than go through the potentially lengthy process of contacting Twitter headquarters in California and asking it to deal with the matter. UK law states that an injunction does not have to be served in person and can be delivered by several different means including fax or e-mail.”

Legal Haze for Social networks. Identity and Freedom of Expression.

200907091809.jpg

The picture pretty much sums the conundrum up.

Is it ok for individuals to promote pot on these social networking services?

Should social networks allow marijuana dispensaries to have organizational presences?

(from an e-mail from Fast Company promoting this article)

The question is, whose laws do social networks have to follow? The Web may seem borderless, but as companies like Google and Yahoo have found in China and, more recently, Twitter and Facebook found in Iran, virtual boundaries do exist. So what’s a company like Facebook or Twitter to do? It will be interesting to see how Silicon Valley finesses this one, particularly because the companies are based in California where the dispensaries are considered legitimate enterprises (at least in the eyes of the law).

I poked around on twitter and found a whole Marijuana movement

along with the Stoner Nation Facebook page and Stoner Nation Twitter and on Blogger and their own site.

Interestingly I searched in Facebook to find the stoner nation page and it was not listed when typed as two words but was when I typed it the way their name is listed as one word – StonerNation .

It is not a surprise to see seems there are many fans of Stoner Nation who are using Facebook accounts without their real names. Like Oregon Slacker , Stoner Stuff, and Drink Moxie.

I think this liminal space between the legal and illegal (at least this is factually the case in california) is quiet interesting. The freedom to express oneself and organize around change is something that is important to maintain on the web – clearly these three people have chosen to weave a line – expressing their opinion and support and involvement around marijuana online and not releasing their “real names” on facebook or twitter where they are expressing support and involvement in movement organizing but making the choice that saying who they are may negatively affect them in their ‘daily life’ – whether it be a small town where they live that would be unaccepting or a profession they hold that would not be understanding. I think these rights and issues go beyond “just” drug use but also extend to sexual and other minorities. The marijuana community is activating right now because there is a ballot initiative here in 2010 to legalize pot and tax it (potentially generating 1.2 billion dollars in revenue annually for the state).

I think a question we all have in building the evolving open and social web is how do we support citizens having the freedom to express themselves online and in social contexts. What are the particulars of online identity that enable this as a possibility and don’t rule the fundamental right of freedom of expression out? I am specifically thinking about the equivalent to anonymously joining a social movement march in the physical world.

US government Official says ‘no more anonymity’

From Slashdot:

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, a deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguards people’s private communications and financial information. “Protecting anonymity isn’t a fight that can be won. Anyone that’s typed in their name on Google understands that,” said Kerr. Kurt Opsahl of the EFF said Kerr ignores the distinction between sacrificing protection from an intrusive government and voluntarily disclosing information in exchange for a service. “There is something fundamentally different from the government having information about you than private parties. We shouldn’t have to give people the choice between taking advantage of modern communication tools and sacrificing their privacy.” Kerr’s comments come as Congress is taking a second look at the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act, requiring a court order for surveillance on U.S. soil. The White House argued that the law was obstructing intelligence gathering.

2257 Laws, Sex Workers and Privacy

Sex on the Internet, The Realities of Porn, Sexual Privacy, and How Search Affects Them All. Google Tech Talk by Violet Blue, October 12, 2007

This is an hour long presentation by Violet Blue. It is quite interesting covering a range of issues about sex and privacy online. The most interesting one directly related to identity was 2257 laws. Go to 32:30 in the video to see her discussion of this topic.

It mandates producers of pornography document the ages of those who perform in their films and that this documentation regularly is a photo of the performer with their ‘government issued ID and Social Security Card’ thus revealing basically all the information you need to steal their identities.

The 2257 legal requirements have the potential to become a business opportunity for some enterprising identity company to meet these requirements in a privacy protecting manner.

UPDATE:
Majority on partially divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel strikes down as facially unconstitutional the recordkeeping requirements federal criminal law places on producers of images of “actual sexually explicit conduct” to verify the ages of those depicted in the images: Describing the federal statute at issue, the majority opinion explains, “The plain text, the purpose, and the legislative history of the statute make clear that Congress was concerned with all child pornography and considered recordkeeping important in battling all of it, without respect to the creator’s motivation.” The majority proceeds to hold the statute facially overbroad and then strikes down the law as unconstitutional.

Who is free to travel?

Peace Activist apparently are not.
Medea Benjamin founder of CODEPINK and retired Colonel and diplomat Ann Wright were both denied entry into Canada.

“The fact that the FBI has put us on this list. The National Crime Information Center Computerized Index is a form of political intimidation. The list is supposed to be for felony and serious misdemeanor offenses.

“We don’t qualify– it’s for sex offenders, foreign fugitives, gang violence and terrorist organizations, people who are on parole, a list of eight categories all together.

To be criminally rehabilitated, they would have to do a huge amount of paperwork and state that they were no longer going to commit the “crimes” they were convicted of.

Wright told OpEdNews “We were told (by the canadian border agents) if we tried to enter Canada again, we would be officially deported from the country, which is “big trouble. ‘We’ve warned you not to come back until we are criminally rehabilitated.’

Wright asserted, “We will never be criminally rehabilitated since we intend to continue to engage in non-violent peaceful protest of Bush administration policies, particular the war on Iraq and we intend to peacefully and nonviolently protest all of these until they end. They can lead to arrests for civil disobedience, like refusing to move from the fence in front of the whitehouse or standing up and speaking at congressional hearings.”

Save Internet Radio

SaveNetRadio.org
I read The Day the Music Dies in the SF Weekly yesterday. I had heard about this issue but didn’t realize it was so pressing. I am a huge Pandora Listener – I love it because I don’t remember music names and stuff…I don’t have a “music brain” but I like music…so I put in a song I like and it plays more like it.

I encourage you if you are in America and have a congress person call them. (I can’t vote so I feel weird engaging in the political process until I can.)

German Data Retention, NSA doesn’t Trust itself & FBI and “spying student” profiles

From Slashdot:

“Google is threatening to shut down the German version of its Gmail service if the German Bundestag passes it’s new Internet surveillance law. Peter Fleischer, Google’s German privacy representative says the new law would be a severe blow against privacy and would go against Google’s practice of also offering anonymous e-mail accounts. If the law is passed then starting 2008, any connection data concerning the internet, phone calls (With position data when cell phones are used), SMS etc. of any German citizen will be saved for 6 months, anonymizing services like Tor will be made illegal.”

Well if the can’t collaborate maybe they can’t spy on us all that well?
Linked to the Baltimore Sun from Slashdot:

NSA employees also do not trust one another, which has left the agency fragmented and in search of a “unity of purpose,” according to a task force report released to employees late last month.”What we need is fundamental change in the way we manage NSA and what we expect of management and ourselves,” concluded the study, which was led by George “Dennis” Bartko, the NSA’s deputy chief of cryptanalysis. The Sun obtained unclassified portions of the report and eight related documents.

From Presssec:

US university students will not be able to work late at the campus, travel abroad, show interest in their colleagues’ work, have friends outside the United States, engage in independent research, or make extra money without the prior consent of the authorities, according to a set of guidelines given to administrators by the FBI.

linked to from Slashdot:

“FBI is offering to brief faculty, students and staff on what it calls ‘espionage indicators’ aimed at identifying foreign agents. Unexplained affluence, failing to report overseas travel, showing unusual interest in information outside the job scope, keeping unusual work hours, unreported contacts with foreign nationals, unreported contact with foreign government, military, or intelligence officials, attempting to gain new accesses without the need to know, and unexplained absences are all considered potential espionage indicators.”

Yeah! for the Fourth Amendment

I have been worried about this for a while (see this post from Dec 2006 and way back when in August 2005 when I first was alerted to this issue) Just when things were looking really grim on the online privacy front this ruling came in…..from Wired Blogs:

The ruling by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio upheld a lower court ruling that placed a temporary injunction on e-mail searches in a fraud investigation against Steven Warshak, who runs a supplements company best known for a male enhancement product called Enzyte. Warshak hawks Enzyte using “Smiling Bob” ads that have gained some notoriety.

The case boiled down to a Fourth Amendment argument, in which Warshak contended that the government overstepped its constitutional reach when it demanded e-mail records from his internet service providers. Under the 1986 federal Stored Communications Act (SCA), the government has regularly obtained e-mail from third parties without getting warrants and without letting targets of an investigation know (ergo, no opportunity to contest).

It is sort of odd that it is about penis spam but hey – freedom is freedom is freedom.

To reach its decision, the court relied on two amici curiae that presented compelling arguments for shoring up current privacy law with respect to e-mail. The article is worth reading in full.

Sex offender mixup on MySpace and AmeriTrade Spam

Last week there were some interesting identity developments.

summary: Ms. Jessica Davis had her Myspace profile eliminated because it matched a name in a sex offender database. She tried to resolve it with Myspace but they were very unhelpful. She went to the press after learning about a new information sharing agreement between MySpace and states attorney generals. She is planning to go into law and public service and did not want to be in a position for the rest of her life defending her innocence because they put her in some database.

AmeriTrade Spam: “On April 14, 2007, I signed up for an AmeriTrade account using an e-mail address consisting of 16 random alphanumeric characters, which I never gave to anyone else. On May 15, I started receiving pump-and-dump stock spams sent to that e-mail address. I was hardly the first person to discover that this happens. Almost all of the top hits in a Google search for “ameritrade spam” are from people with the same story: they used a unique address for each service that they sign up with, so they could tell if any company ever leaked their address to a spammer, and the address they gave to AmeriTrade started getting stock spam. “

Genetic Non-Descrimination bill in house

From Slashdot….on New Scientist.

Soon it will be illegal to deny US citizens jobs or insurance simply because they have an inherited illness, or a genetic predisposition to a particular disease.

On 25 April, the House of Representatives voted 420 to 3 to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The Senate is expected to endorse the act within a few weeks, which is also supported by President Bush. “I am so stunned by the majority,” says Sharon Terry, president of the Genetic Alliance, a charity lobbying for the rights of people with inherited illnesses.

“Clearly the House finally understood the incredible significance this has. The American public can now access genetic tests, feel safe about their genetic information not being misused and participate in research that involves genetic information.”

This is all good news. I also got me wondering about a form of discrimination that I think about regularly and face it is what I call “where I happened to emerge out of my mothers womb.” This fact my place of birth has incredibly little do with who I am the content of my character who I am where I fit in my social context how much I contribute to the society I live in but is regularly requested by institutions.

Credit Checks by the Government ‘legal’

More privacy invasion by the Executive Branch:

Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday the Pentagon and CIA are not violating people’s rights by examining the banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage in the United States.

Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, the new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said his panel will be the judge of that.

National security letters permit the executive branch to seek records about people in terrorism and spy investigations without a judge’s approval or grand jury subpoena.

CALEA in the news

So my legal namesake CALEA has been a source of interesting eyebrow raising for those who know its name when they are introduced to me.

Today it is in the news again.

Paul Kouroupas, vice president of regulatory affairs for Global Crossing, strongly criticized the Federal Communications Commission’s broadening of a 1994 law–originally intended to cover telephone providers–as disproportionately costly, complex, and riddled with privacy concerns. His company is one of the world’s largest Internet backbone providers.

“Our customers are large Fortune 500 companies–not too many of those companies are conducting drug deals or terrorist activities out of Merrill Lynch’s offices or using their phones in that way,” Kouroupas said at an event here sponsored by the DC Bar Association. “By and large we don’t get wiretap requests, yet we’re faced with the costs to come into compliance,” which he estimated at $1 million.

At issue is an order issued last fall by the Federal Communications Commission that set a deadline of May 14, 2007, by which most broadband and Internet phone providers are required to reengineer their networks for easier snooping by law enforcement. The move expanded the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, which Congress wrote to impose obligations on telephone companies, but not Internet providers.

Concerning acts of legislation

I just read a link to this on Slashdot. I am quite concerned about what it says.

In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President’s ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions.

Public Law 109-364, or the “John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007″ (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a “public emergency” and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to “suppress public disorder.”

President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is “martial law.”

Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion for its ill-advised adventures, is entitled, “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies.” Section 333, “Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law” states that “the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of (“refuse” or “fail” in) maintaining public order, “in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.”

For the current President, “enforcement of the laws to restore public order” means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose against “disorderly” citizenry – protesters, possibly, or those who object to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event.

The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, so called “illegal aliens,” “potential terrorists” and other “undesirables” for detention in facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton. That’s right. Under the cover of a trumped-up “immigration emergency” and the frenzied militarization of the southern border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush administration.

AOL Subscribers are Sue

This was reported by Komonews:

Three AOL subscribers who suddenly found records of their Internet searches widely distributed online are suing the company under privacy laws and are seeking an end to its retention of search-related data.

AOL ought to at least try to shut down those sites or block them from its own search engines. And he said the company should stop collecting such records and destroy any it already has.

AOL currently keeps data linked to specific subscribers for up to 30 days and other data, such as the search records released, for longer. Data retention is standard practice among Internet search engines, which use such information to refine their services.

Freedom to Network denied by House Bill – Action needed now.

This is really FREEKY – DOPA “Deleating Online Predators Act” passed the house!!!! I blogged about this before Congress Targets Social Network sites – to be blocked from Schools and Libraries I then had a blog exchange with a parent about where the line was to protect children but I never thought it would actually become law. This whole thing highlights again the need to organize ‘technical’ people…Silona Bonewald is beginning the League of Technical Voters.

Fitzpatrick’s the sponsor highlights these elemetns of the bill in his press release:

  • H.R. 5319 requires schools that receive Federal Universal Service Funding to prevent the access of children to a chat room or social networking website. Schools may disable protection measures in order to allow use by students with adult supervision for educational purposes, or by adults;
  • H.R. 5319 requires libraries that receive Federal Universal Service Funding to prevent the access of children without parental authorization to a chat room or social networking website;
  • H.R. 5319 requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create a website and issue consumer alerts to inform parents, teachers and school officials about the potential dangers on the Internet, specifically online sexual predators and their ability to contact children through social networking sites and chat rooms.

Dana Boyde wrote this post.

When i expressed my concern over DOPA, everyone told me i was being paranoid, that it would never pass, that it was too absurd. DOPA passed. By a 410-15 vote. Dear god.

and this one…
Anti Social Networking legislation

Earlier, i spoke about how the MySpace panic was likely to cause legislation proposals. Today, Congressperson Fitzpatrick proposed legislation to amend the Communications Act of 1934 “to require recipients of universal service support for schools and libraries to protect minors from commercial social networking websites and chat rooms.” This legislation broadly defines social network sites as anything that includes a Profile plus an ability to communicate with strangers. It covers social networking sites, chatrooms, bulletin boards. Obviously, the target is MySpace but most of our industry would be affected. Blogger, Flickr, Odeo, LiveJournal, Xanga, Neopets, MySpace, Facebook, AIM, Yahoo! Groups, MSN Spaces, YouTube, eBaumsworld, Slashdot. It would affect Wikipedia if there wasn’t a special clause for non-commercial sites. Because many news sites (NYTimes, CNN, the Post) allow people to login and create profiles and comment, it might affect them too.

Because it affects both libraries and schools, it will dramatically increase the digital divide. Poor youth only gain access to these sites through libraries and schools(1). With this ban, poor youth will have no access to the cultural artifacts of their day. Furthermore, because libraries won’t be able to maintain separate 18+ and minor computers, this legislation will affect everyone who uses libraries, including adults (2).

This legislation is horrifying and culturally damaging. Please, all of you invested in social technologies, do something to make this stop.

This was one woman’s thoughts while at BloGher:

And so while I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people showed up for the edublogging session, and how they really wanted to talk about all kinds of Web 2.0 and learning topics (and how challenging so many of them felt sifting through the Web to find helpful sites on pedagogy and technology integration, on places for teachers to gather) I was dismayed by the lack of substantive talk about what’s going on with the Internet and kids. And in fact there were very very very few teens in attendance. And teens of color?

Maybe I just felt uneasy in a crowd of women who were basically having a ball blogging and meeting other women who blog and whose lives have changed through finding this means of expression. Maybe I’m too wrapped up in the future, on trying to reform education. Maybe I should have sat down with a couple of Yahootinis and stopped thinking about DOPA. But I can’t…it’s too big…


(Found Congressman Inslee’s remaks from 7/26/06 via http://thomas.loc.gov)

Mr. INSLEE. Mr. Speaker, I hate to spoil this garden party, but this is not, in truth, suburban legislation, it is substandard legislation. And the reason for that is that it is, in effect, a good press release, but it is not effective legislation addressing a huge problem threatening our children.

The reason I say that is, after sitting through many hearings in the Commerce Committee about this enormous problem, I reached one conclusion. After listening to those thousands of children who are being abused on these horrendous occasions across this country, I concluded that this legislation would not save one single child one single time.

What we learned is that the problem is not in our schools. These kids are not hanging in the library with these sexual predators. They are hanging around in their dens, in their basements, in their living rooms, and in their upstairs bedrooms. That is where we have to get to the problem.

If you look at the problem here on this chart, only 10 percent of the abused kids are online and hardly any of them from schools. A tiny, tiny, infinitesimal portion. This will not solve the problem.

Now, there are things we can do, but, unfortunately, this legislation doesn’t do a single one of them. I used to prosecute cases, so I know a little bit about law enforcement. I raised three kids, so I know a little bit about the terror of worrying about your children. But what this legislation does not do is the three things we need to do.

Number one, we have to give resources to law enforcement to prosecute these horrendous monsters. We had detective after detective come to our hearings and say, give us some money; we can prosecute these people. This doesn’t give them a penny.

Number two, we need to protect the data. What the detectives told us is that this data, once it disappears, they can’t find the culprits. Now we could require the data to be maintained for a year or two, like we are trying to do. This bill doesn’t do that.

Third, what this bill could do is provide some real meaningful tools for our schools to educate our children on how to avoid these monsters on the Internet. This doesn’t do that.

The three effective things that we could do to really save our kids is not done in this legislation.

Now, why is this such a pathetic wave at trying to do something? Why has Congress failed so miserably here? There is a reason for that. The reason is we want press releases, without having to do the hard work to do legislation. That is why we didn’t go through the Commerce Committee to have a markup on this bill so they could rush this thing to the floor and have their suburban agenda.

Well, speaking as a parent who represents 650,000 people, and probably 200,000 parents in suburbia, I think suburban parents, urban parents, rural parents, big-city parents and little-city parents deserve real legislation to stomp out the monstrosity that is going on on the Internet and not these little press releases. We can’t go home and just say that we are heroes without having really done something.

When I go home, I am going to tell my constituents that, yes, maybe there are some headlines, but there wasn’t real relief. And I look forward to the day when this Congress gets down to the nitty-gritty and really does something about this terrible problem.

BrandX and Identity Implications

I had dinner with Susan Crawford this week (btw: she says hi to all you XNS guys :) We talked about the lesser talked about Supreme Court Decision this week BrandX. Basically the FCC can now impose “social policies” which can be very onerous and costly. They could effectively kill VoIP services. It also seems that it has implications for our work building an identity meta-system on the net. If it classified as an information service? Any lawyers in the crowd who want to help us identity folk figure this out?

In BrandX, Justice Thomas gets very confused about the internet and ends up essentially announcing that everything a user does online is an “information service” being offered by the access provider. DNS, email (even if some other provider is making it available), applications, you name it — they’re all included in this package. And the FCC can make rules about these information services under its broad “ancillary jurisdiction.”

This is very very big. This means that even though information services like IM and email don’t have to pay tariffs or interconnect with others, they may (potentially) have to pay into the universal service fund, be subject to CALEA, provide enhanced 911 services, provide access to the disabled, and be subject to general consumer protection rules — all the subjects of the FCC’s IP-enabled services NPRM. I’ve blogged about this a good deal, and now it’s coming true: the FCC is now squarely in charge of all internet-protocol enabled services.