Social media, the first amendment, and data security issues are closely related to recent news events that raise fascinating concerns and questions.
In San Francisco, attempts were made to thwart protesters who planned to disrupt transit services when Bay Area Rapid Transit authorities temporarily suspended cellular service on multiple subway platforms. This triggered an avalanche of reactions and debate on both sides of the issue. The hacker group Anonymous, which attacked myBart.org, damaged the site and shared personal information about 2,400 BART runners, and even organized a later demonstration, is perhaps the most notable and certainly the most vicious group to be opposed to the action of BART.
However, it was not only the vigilante group that acted as a result of BART's decision to thwart protesters by disrupting cell service; the Federal Communications Council has also opened an inquiry into this matter.
Was the temporary halt of BART reasonable given the public safety concerns of the transit authority, which designates areas of freedom of expression for public events in a safe manner outside of public safety? its train and subway platforms? Have the rights to freedom of expression of protesters been violated? What about other users who may have tried to reach a child, parent or even emergency services during the period when cell service was interrupted? Is it worth the cost of trying to prevent potentially dangerous events?
Although all of these issues are resolved, BART's professional reputation has certainly been compromised. Politicians question the decision-making process and the lack of leadership of the organization, some even comparing the BART with the former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, who ended the cell service of the Tahrir Square in response to peaceful protests held earlier this year.
A few days before the San Francisco incident, social media was first broadcast as a villain and then as a hero on the other side of the pond in London. First of all, the rioters used BlackBerry Messenger to organize extremely destructive and disturbing lawless acts days. In the aftermath of the riots, however, volunteers were recruited and considerable clean-up efforts were made via Twitter and Facebook, which helped to recover the role of social media in this unfortunate episode in the eyes of Londoners and others. observers.
Back in California, Anonymous again makes threats, this time to Fullerton, where the self-defense organization claims retaliation for the alleged murder, by the Fullerton police, of the killing of a man schizophrenic homeless. YouTube's anonymous video is both fascinating and disturbing with its hidden spokesperson, computer-modulated voice and requirements.
So where will this story end? His conclusion remains to be written. Debates around the use of social media platforms to spur action, the use of cyber-attacks to demand justice from vigilantes and threats to the rights of the First Amendment and the security of However, the data are too important for any of us to ignore. Where do you stand on these questions? Which of these threats do you find most worrying?