Articles tagged: consumers

What is ‘free’ about the web?

May 23, 2009

Perversely, Web 2.0 has become synonymous with an American mythology of freedom. But information technology works best in small well-organised political units with high levels of social protection. So there is every reason to believe that the net works best with another notion of freedom – the security of knowing that failure will not have catastrophic consequences. The risk-taking and entrepreneurial culture of the wild web frontier is more likely to occur where there is a social safety net to catch you if you fall. By Daniel Taghioff Watch Jeff... More

Hurrah! BBC licence fee increase preserves a bourgeois Pravda

May 22, 2009

But for how long? On 19 May, the Tory motion to freeze any increase in the BBC licence fee was defeated by 334 to 150 votes in the House of Commons. The compulsory tax of £11.62 per month on every household with a TV or radio, enforced by highly democratic ‘we know where you live’ threats to prosecute evaders, will increase to £11.88 per month. Hardly a sum to break the bank, and still good value, compared to a Sky subscription, we might say. The Tories had argued that in... More

What part of surveillance society don’t you understand, Jacqui?

April 27, 2009

It almost beggars belief that the UK government, rebuffed in its anti-democratic plans to use the EU Data Retention Directive as a cover to create a database of all communication between citizens, is ploughing the same sordid furrow, using public data from social networking sites to to create ‘profiles’ of potential subversives. We wrote about this last month: Your-mentally-challenged-sociopathic-big-brother-is-hacking-facebook so I won’t go over old ground, but today’s BBC news rehash of the argument shows that the government is so far removed from reality and public opinion that it is... More