Your Rights Online
* Oracle v. Google Decided: Court Says Android Uses Java Fairly, on the settlement and (perhaps) the final chapter in a big legal battle over smartphone operating systems. For IEEE Spectrum on May 27, 2016.
* Chilling Effects Watch: Oracle v. Google, on the ongoing lawsuits by Oracle over Google's Android operating system. Android uses interfaces created by Sun Microsystems' Java programming language (which is now owned by Oracle). Oracle tried belatedly to cash in on Google's success by exercising copyright claims over Android. If Oracle won, the expert interviewed here said, it could have some serious consequences for the rest of us. For IEEE Spectrum on May 25, 2016
* China is one of the 25 countries found to systematically filter its citizens’ Internet content.
”In the dot-com heyday of the ’90s and early 2000s…there was a myth that the Internet can’t be controlled,” says Ronald Deibert, a researcher at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab. ”There was some mysterious, magical property associated with it that will route around censorship.” The most exhaustive study yet of Internet censorship—Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering, published this month by the MIT Press—pretty much disproves that notion.
The report’s authors, the OpenNet Initiative—a multidisciplinary team at the University of Toronto, and Cambridge, Harvard, and Oxford universities—sent investigators to 41 countries that had been rumored to filter Internet content, whether to silence political dissent or to block access to pornography or religiously and culturally divisive material.
ONI set out to objectively confirm or invalidate the reports. It found that the situation was worse than the rumor mill suggested. ”The big thing is that the scope, scale, and sophistication of Internet content filtering is on the rise worldwide, and it’s really an alarming increase,” says Deibert, one of the book’s editors and contributors.
An article for the Nov. 2007 issue of IEEE Spectrum. Photo by Ryan Pyle/Corbis