Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Podcast 2

Here is the link to my Copyright in the Digital Era Podcast.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Online Privacy

When a celebrity or someone in the media spotlight are admitted into the hospital one of the first deviant acts the paparazzi do is to search for the medical reports, which are usually easy to access online. In a place where one should feel safe, they have to worry about paparazzi searching for any kind of information alluding to why they are in the hospital. Another situation where records are easy access to the public is when one is arrested. These types of situations put people at a high risk for invasion of their own privacy.

People argue all the time that the paparazzi or normal spectators are invading their privacy, but in all actuality up to a certain extent they aren’t. Once a line is crossed that is when privacy invasion occurs. Privacy invasion occurs almost daily when normal citizens go online. This usually happens when one tries to by an item online using their credit card. A similar situation is when one’s bank account is hacked into because the security question and password were easy for a hacker to guess.

The question we ask is how do we protect ourselves from our own information leaking out onto the Internet? Many identities have been stolen from people trusting the sites that they give their credit card numbers to. Others trust their online banks to make sure no one can hack into their bank account and steal their money. There have been many researchers’ to test the methods of how people go about stealing these identities. One of these researchers’ is a Rutgers computer scientist named Danfeng Yao. She and her students came up with a new tactic to help strengthen online privacy and make it more secure.

When most people login to their emails or bank accounts they are asked to enter in their password and answer a few short security questions. These questions usually pertain to something that can be easily remembered but also easily guessed by a hacker. In an article called Computer Scientists Work To Strengthen Online Security, Yao talks about her new form of questions to be asked when signing onto an account online. She states, “We call them activity-based personal questions, sites could ask you, 'When was the last time you sent an e-mail?' Or, 'What did you do yesterday at noon?’” Studies from this research have shown that the harder the questions are the less likely the potential intruders will be able to answer them right. Yao said, "We want the question to be dynamic, the questions you get today will be different from the ones you would get tomorrow."

With Yao’s tactic in place, the hope is that the hundreds of online privacy attacks a day will be narrowed down and the number of people’s identities that are stolen a day will be lessened. My view is that everyone should do their part in making it harder for hacker’s to steal their identities. They should make their passwords and security questions something that they will only know and understand. Once that happens, I am sure we will see once again that people can have privacy online.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Conflict in the Digital Age

When most of the U.S. thinks of conflict in the cyber world they probably think about people sending hate e-mails to each other or putting advertisements out on the web that reflect the other’s business or company in a bad light. What the average citizen doesn’t know is that our government is attacked on a daily basis by other countries and by terrorists inside our own country with cyber warfare. The U.S. government has been building a team over the years of people that are extremely knowledgeable in the area of cyberspace and cyber warfare.

The Pentagon is looking to put forth a new strategic military plan so that the armed forces will be prepared to begin offensive and defensive computer warfare in cyberspace. In an article titled Pentagon Plans New Arm to Wage Cyberspace Wars David Sanger wrote, “Mr. Obama, officials said, will announce the creation of a White House office that will coordinate a multibillion-dollar effort to restrict access to government computers and protect systems that run the stock exchanges, clear global banking transactions and manage the air traffic control system.” The hopes with the new White House office, is that it will become more aware of the thousands of cyber attacks against the United States.

It is yet undecided whether the National Security Agency or the new military command will team up together or only one of them will be assigned to the duty of offensive cyber operations. Sanger wrote, "It is a recognition that the United States already has a growing number of computer weapons in its arsenal and must prepare strategies for their use — as a deterrent or alongside conventional weapons — in a wide variety of possible future conflicts.” In 1998, to prevent the U.S. and Nato planes from being attacked the U.S. hacked into the Serbian Air traffic control and deterred the Serbian planes from attacking our own.

One half of the cyber attacks originate from inside the U.S. It has been said that cyber war games are available to various age ranges and when playing them it is like being in a real battlefield situation. So who is to say that when some of those kids get older and more intelligent, some might get really upset with the government and take their knowledge of cyber warfare and try to use it on the U.S. government. Other attacks on the cyber world of our government are from foreign countries trying to terrorize our government. If the new White House office helps prevent these attacks from happening I am all for it. We need to keep our government safe from these attacks so that the citizens of the United States can be safe.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Digital Divide

The Digital Divide is affecting many people within the United States in various ways. The Digital Divide is America’s population that has access to technology and the population of people who do not have access to technology. Some are affected by the knowledge of technology and the ability to own such technology. Others have stepped in to a whole new type of digital divide that is between those with high-speed Internet access and those with low-speed Internet access.

There are many types of non-profit organizations that are working to bridge the digital divide. One of these organizations is called Charity in the Community (CITC). It is based out of Chicago and was started seven years ago by Henry Razor. Razor said in the article by Sandra Guy of the Chicago Sun-Times that, “Broadband access is a quality-of-life issue. We see people who stand in line or walk long distances to the library just to fill out a job application or do school work. If people -- and I'm talking in large part responsible people -- cannot afford access, it might as well be available in China."

With this organization a program was started that teaches local residents in the Chicago area the in’s and out’s of the Internet and the Windows operating system in a four month span. The people that have completed this program have gone on to get jobs that satisfy computer experience requirements.

In the article by Guy called Programs open Web access, bridge digital divide stated, “Two studies released last month reveal the need for such programs due to the continued magnitude of the digital divide: A report from the University of Illinois at Chicago revealed nearly 40 percent of Chicagoans have little or no access to the Internet, primarily in low-income and non-native-English-speaking neighborhoods.” That’s why the CITC program is particularly important to the low income and minority households that might not be able to afford such technologies.

Another person dedicated to bridging the digital divide is Andrew J. Vass, who started Technology for Humanity. This program brought the access of technology to minority and underprivileged communities, people with disabilities, and other people in need of technology. Guy stated in her article, “The term "access" means providing a variety of support such as mentors, trainers, internships, computer maintenance and other support networks.”

With this type of support and help from others that have experience in new types of technology more people will be able to begin to learn types of technology and have at least one computer system in their household so that the gap of the digital divide will be lessened.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Facebook-It's Not Just For Students Anymore

The online world today offers something for everyone. Because the internet is a public domain, it is available for use by all people regardless of age. Today, there are many older and professional people using the internet for personal growth and satisfaction. From online banking and bill paying to personal relationships and networking, mature people are utilizing online technology to enhance their lives.

In our society individuals use outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and My Space to create an identity that defines who they are. Author Charles Cheung talks in the book Web Studies about Identity Construction and Self-Presentation On Personal Homepages. In this he list that a person has three identities. These are reflexive, ascribed, and the virtual identity. Most people that are on Facebook are showing their reflexive identities to friends and acquaintances. A person’s reflexive identity will show how he or she perceives himself or herself at any given time in their life. This identity will change as their roll in life changes. For example, students will use Facebook to communicate with friends, meet new people, or share pictures. A busy mother might chat with friends on an online network to plan events for children, create a carpool schedule, or make plans with other mothers. A busy father might go online to keep up with his families’ activities while he is traveling.

Just as the college student, the busy Mother, and the business professional use the Internet for socialization and to stay organized, mature adults use avenues such as Facebook or other online sites to stay in touch with people and events in the world today. Some use Twitter to voice opinions and learn what others have to say on a variety of topics. Networking sites like Facebook offer an opportunity to locate and renew friendships, share memories and pictures, plan events, and even meet new friends. In her article titled Help! My Mom’s on Facebook and Cooler than me!, Leslie Ventura said “These web sites have woven themselves into the fabric of human nature.”

Many young people are not happy that their parents and Grandparents are now active on these networking sites. We must face the facts. In her article, Ms.Ventura said, “You can run from it or you can embrace it. Either way, the technology we once thought was ours alone is now available to all ages.” Mature adults continue to use more technology in their everyday lives. The ability to learn, to voice opinions, plan financially, and to keep in touch with friends and family is important to people of all ages, from young to mature adult! We must learn to cohabitate in our public domain!