Today on the net, French web users react to NSA surveillance allegations. A photographer highlighting the problem of street harassment. And a man solves a Rubik’s cube suspended in the air!
France: online reactions over NSA surveillance allegations
According to a report published in French daily Le Monde on Monday, The US National Security Agency, the NSA, has intercepted over 70 million emails, telephone conversations and text messages sent or made in France between December 2012 and January 2013. French netizens have taken to social networks in their droves to voice their shock and anger.
Many, like this Twitter user for example, are simply outraged by the NSA’s mass surveillance of private communications within France. People want the French government to deliver a firm response, urging president Hollande for example to send a very strong message to the US by withdrawing from the NATO military command.
And while a lot of web users are condemning the US intelligence services, others are saying the French authorities must have known something about the level of spying taking place. This blogger suggests the current unrest within the government and the summoning of the US ambassador over the spying report is nothing more than a communication ploy aimed at covering up the government’s inability to have prevented such mass surveillance.
The revelations have sparked widespread commentary online and have also it seems inspired online comedians who have been posting ironic and sarcastic messages for the NSA. Some asking the US agency to help them find lost emails, others are asking for copies of their recorded telephone conversations.
Photographer takes portraits of men who harassed her
This collection of shots by photographer Hannah Price was published on the site of web magazine The Morning News last week. She wants to raise awareness about street harassment by turning her lens on men who catcall her or approach her in the street. She often asks the man’s permission before taking the photos and her work has been given a mixed reaction online.
Hannah Price has received a lot of praise, both from women who have experienced street harassment for themselves, and also from men who describe this type of behaviour as “shameful”. But some are more critical.
The author of this contribution to a feminist forum says she doesn’t like how putting a face on street harassers humanizes them; this other web user says the shots may encourage men to continue cat calling and approaching women in the street.
Others are even more reproachful, the person who wrote this tweet points out that the vast majority of the men featured in the photos are black, and the collection stigmatizes a particular community. The artist herself doesn’t think the criticism is justified: in this YouTube video she explains that street harassment is a societal problem and is in no way more prevalent in one community than another.
Now trending on social networks
Kenyan web users have been posting under the #JusticeforLiz hashtag, pledging support for a 16 year old girl who was gang raped back in June and voicing their outrage and anger over faults in the country’s justice system. Web users are criticizing the authorities for failing to charge the perpetrators of the barbaric attack and demanding the immediate arrest and prosecution of the rapists. People are also sending in donations to help pay the victims medical expenses, as she suffered horrific and numerous injuries.
Google + users revolt over new ads
From November 11, Google + will start incorporating users names and profile pics into online ads. The new policy has angered many who see it as an infringement on their privacy. And although it will be possible to opt out, some have decided to protest against the new system by replacing their profile photo with that of Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, so that he will become the face of future advertising campaigns.
Video of the day
Why sit down comfortably to solve a Rubik’s cube when you could do it suspended in the air? This is what British skydiver James Wilson set out to do, becoming the first person to complete the puzzle in a Freefall Simulator wind tunnel.