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Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

SXSWi 2014: Glenn Greenwald on Social Media, Surveillance and the Purpose of Journalism

greenwald-sxswSXSW attendees packed into an Austin Convention Center exhibit hall earlier this week to hear from a guest who wasn’t even in town — editor and journalist with First Look Media’s The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald.

Widely known as an associate of Edward Snowden, a former government employee who leaked hundreds of documents on the NSA’s surveillance program, Greenwald was invited to discuss his work and the future of democratic journalism via Skype. In his virtual conversation with Personal Democracy Media editorial director Micah Sifry, Greenwald was his usual unabashed, passionate self expressing his thoughts on the power of social media, government surveillance initiatives, constitutional rights and his role as a journalist:

On social:

For a man who is busy trying to expose what he believes are great injustices to the American public by reporting from all over the world, Greenwald is a pretty active Twitter user. And as the former Guardian writer said Monday, he’s a fan of the platform. “I actually do think it’s a really good medium.” Referring to social as the “biggest difference between today’s online journalism and establishment journalism,” he said its best benefit is that the availability of reader feedback it provides “keeps you honest.”

“I do think online interaction, unpleasant and annoying as it may be, is a really important form of accountability,” Greenwald said. In the old days, legacy media reporters and columnists “were completely insular people who spoke to the world in monologue form … to passive readers. Now, if you are a journalist, you’re going to constantly hear from people … who have a lot of important things to say.”

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Big Name Websites Protest SOPA

Some of the sites U.S. Internet users rely on most plan to take part in an online protest Wednesday, Jan. 17, against SOPA — the Stop Online Piracy Act — and related bill PIPA — PROTECT IP Act — currently under consideration.

We here at 10,000 Words have covered what the act is about before and why it would matter for journalists. But this net-wide protest by some of the Internet’s biggest names is big news, and will hopefully bring attention to the masses of people who will be affected by the restrictions it would impose but haven’t yet heard of it — those people who visit these sites but don’t follow Congress or Internet/media industry news.

How The Stop Online Piracy Act Could Impact Journalists

Unless you’re wholly entrenched in the daily goings on of Internet and copyright law, SOPA might be one of those things you hadn’t even heard of until this morning, when sites like BoingBoing and Tumblr and GigaOm launched posts explaining and condemning it. SOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill introduced into the House that, according to a New York Times OpEd, “would empower the attorney general to create a blacklist of sites to be blocked by Internet service providers, search engines, payment providers and advertising networks, all without a court hearing or a trial. [SOPA] goes further, allowing private companies to sue service providers for even briefly and unknowingly hosting content that infringes on copyright.”

Sounds pretty scary, right? The SOPA hearings started in the House today, and that’s why today has been declared American Censorship Day. Numerous companies and websites are attempting to raise awareness about SOPA in an attempt to “save the Internet” and hopefully block the passage of the law. But so far, according to Techdirt, the odds are stacked 5 to 1 in favor of passing the bill.

SOPA has many implications for casual Internet users, but for journalists the repercussions of SOPA passing could be immense. Here are a few ways in which the passage of SOPA could impact journalists and their organizations.

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