Canadian web users campaigning against government plans to increase Internet monitoring. Online mobilization for a Palestinian activist. And a collection of dog photos, taken underwater.
Canadian web users against Internet monitoring
Last week, Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews unveiled plans for an Internet surveillance bill aimed at combatting online child pornography. The act will, amongst other things, give the police unprecedented new powers in monitoring online communications.
The bill has raised concerns over online privacy rights. Over 100 000 people have already signed this e-petition opposing the proposed legislation; it has been described as both a major intrusion into people’s personal lives and costly for public finances.
Many Canadian web users have taking to Twitter to express their opposition, with a touch of irony. They have been posting under the hashtag “tell Vic everything”, sharing all the mundane insignificant details of their everyday life with Vic Toews.
This account called « Vikileaks » was also set up on the micro blogging site, again targeting the Minister. It released details about his private life over a several day period. Online news source “The Ottowa Citizen” reported that the Twitter thread was being updated by a computer within the Canadian parliament. The Conservative Government went on to accuse the opposition of being behind the thread, which has now been closed. This particular affair has made the already heated debates surrounding the controversial bill even hotter.
Online mobilization for a Palestinian prisoner
Web users have been voicing their support for Khader Adnan under the Twitter thread "dying to live". The 34 year old Palestinian activist has now been on hunger strike in protest of his detention for over two months. He was arrested in December for apparently posing a threat to Israeli security, but he has yet to be charged with any offence.
Web users from all over the world have called for his immediate release in web cam videos which have been compiled in this video made by the “Occupied Palestine” blog. They feel the Israeli authorities are abusing “administrative detention”, which allows prisoners to be held without charge or trials for periods of up to six months, periods that can be renewed indefinitely.
The campaigning appears to be gaining ground, even though international media have been criticized for not covering the story. Twitter users have been posting under the hashtag “cover khader”, urging newspapers and news channels to write about or discuss Khader Adnan.
And web users have singled out Nick Kristof in particular. The New York Times columnist is well respected for his detailed coverage of events in the Arab World, and now Twitterers are lobbying the journalist under the hashtag WaitingforKristof, urging him to cover the Khader Adnan story; he has yet to oblige.
Mr Adnan’s supporters say time is of the essence. He has been on hunger strike for over 60 days and fears are growing for his health. The doctors recently authorized to examine him say he has lost 30 kilos and is in immediate danger of death.
Hilarious, frightening, or just plain unnerving … these photos of dogs underwater are setting social networks abuzz. They were uploaded to Facebook a little over a week ago and were an immediate hit. A few months ago Californian photographer Seth Casteel took out a loan to buy the underwater camera needed to take these shots. It was a good investment, as he is now inundated with orders.
Now trending on social networks
An article published on the web site of British daily « The Telegraph » on Sunday has stirred up controversy in the UK. The newspaper claims that the 17 century ancestors of Richard Dawkins, (a prominent British biologist, who is particularly known for popularizing the theory of evolution), were slave owners and their fortune was partly created by forced labour. He is now facing calls from critics to apologize for his family’s past. Many web users have leapt to his defense saying he should not be judged by the acts of his ancestors, and in no way should he have to answer for them.
Video of the day
American rock band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, has released the video clip for their latest single “Look around” online. It’s an interactive experience so web users can in fact control the camera, zoom in wherever they choose, move from room to room… there’s also a whole load of hidden photos and videos which will give fans a ‘behind the scenes’ insight into the “making of”…