Tag Archives: internet

The physical network behind surveillance – an extraordinary video about Cornish internet apparatus


The path to the beach at Porthcurno - geograph.org.uk - 1298346
The path to the beach at Porthcurno, Cornwall. The diamond-shaped sign indicates the presence of underground cables, of which there are many buried under the beach, this place being the landfall of many cables under the Atlantic Ocean. The small building houses the terminals of these cables.

Here on Liberal Democrat Voice, we often debate the subject of government surveillance. But do we ever consider the actual physical network of cables and buildings which underpin that surveillance?

Videographer Mark Thomas has published an extraordinary video on You Tube which shows cables, manhole covers, buildings and the like, to give a detailed picture of how the network, which presumably facilitates surveillance of data, works on the ground.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Opinion: The final frontier of the electorate

web snoopers charterAt the core of the problems we’ve faced over the last few days is the daunting realisation that something has to change. But in the ensuing skirmish over what to change, it has become apparent that it is not the leadership. The #libdems4change movement has not provided a political coup in the party. But it has provided a mental one, a revolution of hearts and minds. Not towards a new way of thinking, but towards a new vigour in pursuing our cause. In many ways, it had to happen.

I …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 12 Comments

The Independent View: Positively fighting back online

Circuit Bending Orchestra: Lara Grant at Diana Eng's Fairytale FWith the seemingly endless news of global and domestic extremism –  whether about the 250 girls kidnapped in Nigeria, the 500 Britons reportedly waging jihad in Syria, or the worrying allegations made against several Birmingham schools – it is rare that a report devoted to countering extremism should fill us with positivity. However, research released last week by Quilliam about the state of online extremism should encourage us all, not …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Jenny Willott MP writes…Cracking down on copycat websites

imageThe internet has made life a lot easier in many ways for many people – I can hardly imagine a time when I wasn’t able to make online bank transfers, get a grocery shop delivered or book a holiday online. However, as we all spend more time online and use the internet to do increasing numbers of things, new problems and challenges arise which we have to address.

People deserve the same protection online as they get offline, and we need to make sure that we have the ability and resources to ensure this is the case.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Opinion: Cameron’s false porn panacea

From suggesting that the Blackberry messenger service be shut down during the 2011 riots, to proposing that the food standards agency can monitor your home internet usage It’s clear that Cameron, or those around him, have a limited appreciation of how the internet works.

Yesterday Cameron announced another clanger – default internet filtering for every household in the country, so unless you tell you ISP otherwise, pornographic content would be blocked – or at least some porn, as Cameron was today forced embarrassingly admit that the Sun’s Page 3 topless models wouldn’t be blocked.

So isn’t it a good idea to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 15 Comments

Opinion: Cameron’s porn ban – what does it mean?

 "PC Baan" internet cafe in Seoul, Korea - Some rights reserved by HachimakiDavid Cameron is out to make the world a safer place by tackling what he sees as the problems caused by pornography. We don’t really know the details of the policy yet, but with Cameron doing the rounds on TV and radio today we’ve got a reasonable idea of what he’s got in mind.

Block pornography by default
Web filtering software is very common – most schools and businesses have it installed. It does a passable job of blocking access to undesirable sites whilst allowing others. Inevitably, some sites that you don’t want to block get caught up, but by and large the filters work OK.

Cameron’s concern is that they aren’t being extensively used by parents of younger children, and the suspicion (probably rightly) is that in many cases it’s because parents aren’t tech savvy enough to know they exist or how to implement them.

So this main headline item – that ISPs all implement filtering software for all customers, and that it be turned on by default (with someone in the household having to make a positive decision to turn it off) – is a “nudge” policy.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 45 Comments

Can you believe in free speech and moderate comments?

The Telegraph’s assistant comment editor, Tom Chivers, has written a thought-provoking article about moderating comments on web sites. In it he tackles the apparent mismatch between a website advocating free speech while disallowing some comments under its articles:

It’s a funny thing. You write a piece saying that the state shouldn’t outlaw rudeness and insults, and about one

Posted in Online politics | 8 Comments

It’s “Let’s Make Nice Month”: experimental change to LDV’s comments policy

The Internet is a fantastic place. It can also be an angry place. Lib Dem Voice has a high quality of passionate-but-reasoned debate in our comment threads, with many of our 30,000+ readers contributing their thoughts and enjoying LDV’s role as “Our place to talk”.

However … it’s not unknown for debate on LDV to get heated, for commenters sometimes to get personal with the authors of articles, or with each other. The editorial collective has generally adopted a laissez faire moderating policy: save a handful of exceptional circumstances, comments are left untouched.

Partly this policy has been driven of …

Posted in Op-eds and Site news | Also tagged and | 48 Comments

First-Past-The-Post: the ‘safe seats’ system that breeds lazy, corrupt MPs

Calls for the First-Past-The-Post voting system to be abolished in the UK were given a real kick-start last year after it became clear – thanks to the work of Lib Dem blogger Mark Thompson – that it was MPs with large majorities who were more likely to be implicated in cheating the expenses system.

It’s obvious if you think about it: if you were given life tenure in a safe seat where the Labour/Tory majorities are weighed not counted, how concerned would you be with the irksome business of being transparent and accountable? To put it bluntly – as …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 21 Comments

“Soc-Nets and Web Strategies Can’t Replace Door-to-Door”

An interesting piece from the American Campaigns & Elections site which acts as a salutary reminder that, for all the impressiveness of Obama and his use of the internet, there’s rather more to campaigning:

Two recently released surveys on how Americans perceive brands and make decisions gives us geeky political junkies an idea of how different campaign tactics work to win votes. The first survey, released by Harris Interactive last week, indicates that while adults “use a mixture of traditional media and new media, including those that would constitute ‘push’ (advertising and websites) and ‘pull’ (information from neutral, informal communication),” Americans are persuaded (and informed) most by face-to-face communication.

Posted in LDVUSA and Online politics | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Opinion: We Must Fight Against the End of Our Internet

Our Internet is a place that we, as individuals, have built for ourselves. It is a place where anybody can, with a little bit of money, build their own house and hang whatever curtains they like. It is a place where knowledge, art and music (rightly or wrongly) can be freely shared across the globe, and where we can connect with people of all shapes and sizes and of all walks of life.

I am only a youth, but I know Australians, Americans, Canadians, French, Dutch, Swedes, Finns, and many more nationalities besides. Think back to when you were young …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 9 Comments
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