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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.

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Latest update : 2011-02-10

U.S. ponders on/off Internet button

A bill which would allow US internet connection to be switched off stirs anger. Activist Wael Ghonim is the Egyptian protesters’ new hero. And acrobats perform an amazing basketball demonstration.

U.S. ponders on/off Internet button

Should Barack Obama be granted the right to switch off internet in the US? The debate has been relaunched in the country after web connection was cut in Egypt for several days, following request by the authorities. A bill which would allow Washington to deactivate the Internet in the case of a major crisis is currently being considered by Congress. A bill strongly criticised online.

Organisations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which campaigns for online freedom of expression, have expressed their concern. Cindy Cohn, head of the NGO’s legal department, feels that the Egyptian example highlights the dangers this bill could represent for democracy and civil liberties.

Fears which the Senators behind the project have tried to allay. They say that the law contains safeguards preventing the President from refusing Americans access to the Internet and that the measure aims above all to protect infrastructure in the case of cyber attack.

A declaration which fails to reassure this female video blogger, Molly, who has imagined ways to bypass the restrictions.

Because according to Mike Elgan from the Computer World site, it would be technically possible to override the measures. He says that the connection cuts in Egypt did not prevent the country’s net users from accessing the Internet by other means.

 

Wael Ghonim, Egypt’s new hero

Arrested on January twenty seven, Egyptian cyber activist, Wael Ghonim was released on Monday after twelve days in captivity. A release welcomed with relief on the local web, at a time when many net users had mobilised to secure a swift release for the Middle East and North Africa Google representative.

The US giant was also one of the first to react following Ghonim’s release, via their Twitter account. Google was particularly active during his imprisonment; creating this blog to gather information on the activist’s detention conditions and expressing joy at seeing him free at last.

A feeling shared by Ghonim himself, who a few hours after his release, thanked supporters for their efforts in several Twitter messages. Messages in which he declared that freedom is a blessing for which we must fight. Something that he also reiterated in two TV interviews widely broadcast online, in which he explained that the true heroes of the Egyptian revolution are those who demonstrate each day in the street and that repression against them must stop.

During interviews, Wael Ghonim also admitted to being the administrator of the very influential and active Facebook group contesting the current regime: “We Are All Khaled Said”, created in homage to the young man beaten to death by police in June, 2010. A revelation which caused many net users such as Cairene Girl to praise his courage and commitment to the current struggle for increased democracy in the country.

Commitment also applauded by the occupants of Tahrir Square, who offered a triumphant welcome to the cyber militant on Tuesday, as shown by these images broadcast online.

And as a sign that Ghonim is considered a real hero by many Egyptians, a Facebook group has appeared asking him to become spokesperson for the movement against Hosni Mubarak’s regime. A group which boasts over 217,000 supporters of the young cyber activist’s cause.

 

Lovely faces

They stole private information from a million Facebook users and created a fake dating site using this data base. Baptised “Lovely Faces”, this scheme was the brainchild of two Italians: media theoretician, Alessandro Ludivino and artist, Paolo Cirio. The two gathered public information from thousands of net users: name, nationality, hobbies and profile photo. The aim being to raise awareness among social network members as to the risks of impersonation.


Dancers among us

This series of photos is called “Dancers among us” It’s the work of American photographer Jordan Matter and showcases professional dancers who made New York into their playground. In the street, subway, at the stadium or museum, the decor is familiar and the movements are inspired by everyday life; with a theatrical twist. A way for the photographer to pay tribute to these artists’ talent, which can be expressed at any time and in any situation.

 

Video of the day

Calling all fans of strong sensations and acrobatics of all types! This spectacular video recently posted online by the members of the ‘dunking devils’ team should impress more than one basketball fan. These young American stuntmen have compiled all of their most incredible dunks achieved in their various performances around the world. A video which will quite simply take your breath away.


 

By Electron Libre

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