What you got to hide???


If you have nothing to hide and are not involved in illegal activity, what are you worried about???



It is interesting to think about because I’m sure most of us do not necessarily have anything to hide but the principle of having these liberties infringed hits a lot of us hard. Like we see with anti-terrorism laws, most people accept that the government’s movements are for the “greater good” of society; hence they will go un-challenged by the majority.


It does make me question my own stance on it though and I think subconsciously I have accepted that, through my various online accounts, a lot of my information is out there and probably owned and accessible by large corporations as well as the government. Yeah it sucks. But I, like many others, go with convenience of keeping these accounts, and tend to shut out the fact that my life is basically owned by someone else. It’s as if the corporations know that I’m lazy and will be quite willing to forfeit my cyber liberties in order to have my accounts linked, personal information available and credit card details saved for future use.



I mean I’m not a terrorist, so what have I got to hide, right? But why should they have the right to gather info on me and use it against me when I have done nothing wrong? Still torn on these issues…


Could this be a step towards fighting abusive online activity?…

A new website based in Pakistan is working towards exposing online users who post comments or jokes with hateful, homophobic, racist or misogynistic content. (http://nafrataggregator.org)  People are encouraged to post pictures or screen shots of users and their comments in order to compile them in different categories from hate and misogyny to homophobia and even rape jokes among others. Upon checking out the site, you could conclude that some of the comments featured are not necessarily hateful or ill intentioned, but overall it is very well intentioned and could prove to be effective in the long term. Especially coming from a country considered quite conservative with many laws targeting homosexuality, it is interesting that the concept is utilised in Pakistan and shows positive progression.

A similar, perhaps more sophisticated example of a similar model is the tumblr page “Public Shaming” ( http://publicshaming.tumblr.com ) where more high profile online users are exposed for their twitter comments or public outbursts. Semi-famous actor Kal Penn of the ‘Harold and Kumar’ movies is featured for his advocacy of the City of NY’s ‘Stop, Question, Frisk Policy’ via Twitter. Penn, also followed it up with a response to one of his followers who highlighted the racist nature of the policy, stating that Blacks and Latinos are the ones committing the crimes and the profiling is justified. Also featured on the Tumblr site are people’s offensive Facebook responses and comments often with their full names and photos.

Overall, while these examples and other similar sites show a drop in the ocean of the abusive and unaccounted for comments that flood the internet forums and comment sections every day, I think that they are working towards making users more accountable for their actions and could contribute to some actually stopping and thinking before they type.

This contributes to the discussion of how the internet can be regulated by its users rather than necessarily from government forces and restrictions. Is this an effective way of making people more accountable for their words? Is it at least a step in the right direction? What more could be done to stop online abusive behaviour?


“Boarders without borders”

A Canadian bloke I met in Mexico while on exchange at the start of this year has been making films and documentaries for some time. He became one of my best mates and I want to help him promote some of his projects plus he happens to be one of the most talented dudes I know. This is short doco about building a skateboard ramp in a small Columbian town while promoting the sport of skateboarding and providing an outlet for disadvantaged youths. This is one of many projects my mate Andrew has pumped out, most of which have and will contribute positively to the world in some way so big ups to my man!..