In this edition: Reporters Without Borders releases its annual "Enemies of the Internet" list; American web users raise thousands for a homeless man; and a pencil drawing of the record-breaking Oscars selfie.
REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS’ ENEMIES OF THE INTERNET LIST
As is the case every year, Reporters without Borders released its annual Enemies of the Internet list to coincide with the World Day against Cyber Censorship on March 12. There has been a slight change this year in that instead of highlighting the countries violating online freedoms, Reporters without Borders is focusing on 31 government units and agencies that are at the heart of state surveillance and censorship systems, and hopes to draw attention to the schizophrenic attitude towards online freedom that prevails in certain countries.
As the report points out, a number of these entities are working within democracies and have spied on the communications of millions of citizens across the globe The Center for Development of Telematics in India for example, the National Security Agency, the NSA in the United States and the Government Communication Headquarters, the GCHQ in the United Kingdom. Reporters without Borders say the mass surveillance methods employed these government units are all the more intolerable because they will be used or already used by authoritarian countries to justify their own violations of freedom of information.
The report also highlights the role played by what is describes as “surveillance dealerships – the three arms trade fairs known as ISS World, Technology Against Crime and Milipol” Reporters without Borders says they facilitate online surveillance by bringing experts in communications interception or online content blocking together with government representatives from authoritarian countries.
Web users are encouraged to raise awareness about the practices denounced in the Reporters without Borders annual report, by posting under the #InternetEnemies hashtag or by replacing their profile picture or avatar with RWB`s “against online censorship” logo.
INTERNET RAISES THOUSANDS FOR HOMELESS LOTTO WINNER
When American hidden camera prankster and magician Rahat Hossain, better known online as “Magic of Rahat”, gave a winning lottery ticket to Eric, a homeless man, he got more than he bargained for. When the store clerk counted 1,000 dollars in winnings for Eric, the homeless man began to cry, turned to Rahat and said “I would like to share it”.
The video has since gone viral, racking up over 12 million views since it was posted online last week. And it`s generated a great deal of commentary from web users. Twitter users have praised the YouTuber`s act of generosity, saying they would also like to do something to help Eric.
And so Rahat has launched a fundraising appeal on the Fundly platform, to help get Eric back on his feet. And it proved extremely successful, in just a few days some 2,000 web users have pledged money raising around 35,000 dollars and counting.
And Rahat has updated them with news on Eric via Twitter where users are also asking him to film the moment he hands over the money, as the now famous homeless man is totally unaware of the fundraising campaign and the impact he has had.
NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
South African web users have been posting under the #PoliceBrutality Twitter hashtag denouncing methods employed by police as they carried out an arrest last week. Netizens have been left outraged by this footage, filmed by a Cape Town resident and posted to YouTube. We see several officers publicly strip and beat a man. Their violence has been widely condemned with South Africans calling for the officers responsible to be severely reprimanded.
STATS OF THE DAY
It’s not uncommon for celebrities to insure parts of their body, which is why British Insurance Company « Special Risks Bureau » put together this infographic, imagining what the world`s most valuable man and woman would look like. He would have Cristiano Ronaldo`s legs for example, insured at 105 million euros ad Rod Stewart`s voice, worth around 11 million euros. She would have Julia Roberts`22 million euros smile and Jennifer Lopez`s bum, valued at 20 million euros.
STAR WARS URBAN LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY
French photographer Cédric Delsaux has imagined Star Wars characters… in the real world… incorporating them into the urban landscape. We see Darth Vader deep in thought at a Dubai construction site, Princess Leia in a train station in Northern France… fiction meets reality in this collection of shots, “Dark Lens” available to view on the artist`s website.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
American artist Heather Rooney has produced a pencil drawing of that record breaking Oscars selfie. She filmed the impressive undertaking and results, which you can check out in this YouTube video…