Privacy Issues

Privacy on the internet has been threatened multiple times during this year 2011. Indeed, on multiple occasions, and from different parts of the world, the internet has been used to spread some information that isn’t necessarily reported on the mainstream media. Learn about the 2011 privacy issues.

Social media has made it that citizen media became more and more popular. Combined with social media, the rise of mobile phone coverage with data plans has made it that it’s easier for a regular citizen to upload photos, videos or narration of what he has witnessed on the internet. Platforms like Facebook, Youtube, WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter has been used to share pictures, videos or simple text updates for friends to follow and re-share.

But on the other hand, there has also been a lot of ways used to circumvent those attempt to block access to some internet resources. 2011 has probably been the year where we’ve heard a lot of news reporting a government that tried to implement some regulations or technical solutions to block access to some websites. To review some of the prominent events related to privacy, here is a simple list of events that are worth mentioning:

  • SOPA: this is an on-going battle of the Titans in the U.S (although it should also be a concern for us living outside of the U.S since it allows a U.S attorney to pursue any internet user who downloaded illegal movies/software). On the one hand, we have the U.S movie industry, and on the other hand, we have internet companies and users. I’ve written about this SOPA issue in detail.
  • Twitter subpoena: still in the U.S, there’s a case where one Twitter user is now sued because he publicly shared a document involving a police department
  • Arab spring and attempts to block internet: this is a story on its own. It all started with internet activists; the government tried to block some internet resources, activists found ways to circumvent those blockages, … A typical cat and mouse game, but we all know the “ending.”
  • Wikileaks: another cat and mouse game too. It all started with Julian Assange publishing confidential information from different intelligence agencies, then trying to move from server to server the hosting of the wiki … The rest is also part of history.
  • U.S Patriot Act: although not specific to 2011, this is yet another activity that is in some way considered by Internet companies (especially those in the cloud computing industry) as a threat to privacy on the internet,

Here, on How-to-hide-ip, we were mainly focusing on the use of VPN, proxies as well as other tools to protect your privacy when browsing the internet, or for accessing some geo-location limited internet resources. Chances are that this will evolve drastically in the next year. We’ll keep you posted on this blog.

Had I missed some other stories, feel free to add them in the comment section- that’s also the good part with social media and blogging: we leverage on user-generated content. Your turn now 🙂