Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Is Russia trying to censor the Internet?

According to the New York Times, Russian lawmakers have approved legislation that would strengthen its ability to control its citizens' Internet activity. The bill will impose hefty fines for unsanctioned protests and it has reinstituted criminal charges for slander. According to Alla Zabrovskaya, public relations director of Google Russia, the proposed law may also enable the government to blacklist whole domains when only part of the hosted content is illegal.

The bottom line is that while social media was created to encourage interaction and collaboration with people from around the world, there are still some institutions that are afraid of what may happen if too many people speak with each other and voice their opinions.

To learn more about these issues you may contact me at www.shearlaw.com

Copyright 2012 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.

Is Washington State's Facebook Voter Registration Application a Danger to Democracy?

Should voter registration be entrusted to Facebook? According to the Associated Press, Washington State believes Facebook should be utilized to register new voters. Washington State has had online voter registration since 2008 and approximately 475,000 registrations or changes have been processed since the program's inception.

The big question is can Facebook be trusted to be part of the voting process? In 2009, a judge approved a $9.5 million dollar settlement over Facebook's Beacon program because of privacy issues. Last year, Facebook reached a privacy settlement with the FTC because of privacy problems. Within the past month, it appears that Facebook has agreed to pay approximately $20 million dollars because of privacy issues regarding its Sponsored Stories program.

While I applaud unique and creative ways to utilize social media, should Facebook be utilized to register to vote when it appears to have a problem with protecting its users' privacy?

To learn more about these issues you may contact me at www.shearlaw.com.

Copyright 2012 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.