All posts tagged: Internet

Danger in the online and real word

The term “stranger danger” was coined as a warning to children: beware the unknown adult, proceed with caution and be very careful what personal information you reveal. The question is, do adults take their own advice? Perhaps most would be more guarded and make sure they know who they are dealing with before revealing too much about themselves. But our relationship with “strangers” has been evolving and social media has torn down some of the barriers that used to protect us. Now a relative stranger could be a Facebook “friend” and evidence shows that sexual predators are using this to their advantage. How we transition from stranger to non-stranger relationships is a relatively unexplored strand in research, with little recognition paid to the fact that the internet has completely transformed our level of engagement with strangers. At the same time other studies are showing how the rate of reporting sexual offences to conviction is low. A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) concluded that 1 in 4 sexual offences should have been recorded …

Keeping the internet fair

It’s not often you hear large corporations arguing in favour of government regulations. But a group representing some of the world’s biggest technology companies, including Google and Facebook, is doing just that. They want the US government to abandon its plan to repeal the laws preserving net neutrality, the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all internet traffic the same and not block, slow down or otherwise discriminate against particular websites or online services. The US Federal Communications Commission recently received 10m comments in its consultation on the subject and they largely opposed the plans. Yet the regulator seems determined to follow through with a repeal of the net neutrality rules. There are undeniably good arguments on both sides and finding a consensus is hard. But the main problem is not that the current rules preserving net neutrality are unbalanced. There’s a more fundamental question about whether we needed such rules in the first place. If not, repealing them won’t spell the disaster that activists fear. In fact, it would mean net neutrality …