We all know these stories of sources who take a risk to approach an institution and that institution doesn’t publish the information. I think that the existence of the Intercept or WikiLeaks or other outlets that are willing to publish that information creates a different media landscape…
…I don’t think what we’re doing is radical. I think it’s radical to censor information because the government asks you to. That’s radical.
Laura Poitras, Director and Producer, CitizenFour, to Wired. Laura Poitras on the Crypto Tools That Made Her Snowden Film Possible.
Context: Poitras is referring to the New York Times which withheld publication of the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program for a year at the administration’s request.
The Tools: Poitras says she couldn’t have reported CitizenFour, her documentary on Edward Snowden and the NSA leaks, without a number of Open Source tools. These included, according to Wired, “the anonymity software Tor, the Tor-based operating system Tails, GPG encryption, Off-The-Record (OTR) encrypted instant messaging, hard disk encryption software Truecrypt, and Linux.”
Additionally, Poitras used the anonymizing operating system Tails on a computer dedicated solely for communicating with Snowden, according to Wired.
There is sometimes a sense that we’ve decoupled computing from its cultural and artistic and humanistic context, and some of the trouble we might point to in the world we are living in—run by Wall Street and Silicon Valley—is perhaps a result of thinking of everything as just an engineering problem.
Today, Netflix, Etsy, Kickstarter, Meetup, reddit, Upworthy, Vimeo, WordPress and a number of other websites are participating in Internet Slowdown Day. While the internet isn’t really slowing down, the websites are mimicking what would happen if it did, by placing spinning pinwheel loading images on their sites to raise awareness about the fight for net neutrality.
NPR provides a quick review of the issue:
What is net neutrality all about?
The principle generally means that content isn’t prioritized above others, so that a user can go where he wants and do what he wants on the Internet without the interference of his broadband provider. Supporters of net neutrality protections say that without the rules, Internet service providers like Comcast and Time Warner will have economic incentives to charge content providers, such as Netflix, for “faster lanes” to get to you, the consumer. And that Netflix will have to pay up, because regulations are needed to say, “Comcast, you can’t do that.”
What can I do if I want to weigh in?
Already, more than one million comments were sent into the FCC about this issue, the most of any rule-making measure in the agency’s history. The vast majority of the comments supported stricter enforcement of net neutrality.
You can still comment. Monday is the last day the public can weigh in on the process by submitting comments to the commission.