Articles and Columns for December 2022 Inventing the Dark Web – This paper by Thais Sardá, Simone Natale, and John Downey examines how the deep Web, i.e., Web sites that are not indexed and thus are not accessible through Web search engines, was described and represented in British newspapers. Through an extensive content analysis conducted …
This paper by Thais Sardá, Simone Natale and John Downey examines how the deep Web, i.e., Web sites that are not indexed and thus are not accessible through Web search engines, was described and represented in British newspapers. Through an extensive content analysis conducted on 833 articles about the deep Web published between 2001 and 2017 by six British newspapers, the authors demonstrate that these technologies were predominantly associated with crime, crypto markets and immoral content, while positive uses of this technology, such as protecting privacy and freedom of speech, were largely disregarded. The consistent association by the British press between the deep Web and criminal and antisocial behaviors is exemplary of a recent “apocalyptic turn” in the imaginary of the Web, whereby Web-related technologies are perceived and portrayed in more negative ways within the public sphere. The authors argue that the use of such negative concepts, definitions and associations engender distrust about uses of the deep Web, propagating user stereotypes that reflect what the authors argue to be an overall criminalization of privacy.
Going Grey and Facing Age Discrimination: Moving Towards an International Treaty on the Rights of Older Persons
For more than two decades attorney Catherine Morris has conducted research, education, and advocacy in the field of international human rights. Her article illuminates an issue that impacts vast numbers of people regardless of nationality. Concerns for the well being of older persons are rarely framed as human rights issues entrenched in age discrimination. This may now be changing after the shocking revelations of maltreatment and excess deaths of older persons in Canadian care homes in 2020. In the United States, the CDC continues to report that 90% percentage of COVID-19 deaths compromise those 65 and older. In both Canada and the U.S. the epicenter of the mortality burden of Covid is among those referred to as “elderly.” Morris states the abuses exposed in 2020 were predictable consequences of Canada’s longstanding neglect of older persons’ fundamental rights. Decades of efforts by Canadian civil society organizations (CSOs) along with international CSOs, and UN human rights bodies may now be gaining traction in a drive for a United Nations (UN) treaty to spell out and guarantee the fundamental human rights of older persons around the world. But efforts may continue to stall until leaders in Canada and other countries come to grips with the root cause of the abuses – endemic ageism.
Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, and his controversial statements and decisions as its owner, have fueled a new wave of calls for regulating social media companies. Elected officials and policy scholars have argued for years that companies like Twitter and Facebook – now Meta – have immense power over public discussions and can use that power to elevate some views and suppress others. Critics also accuse the companies of failing to protect users’ personal data and downplaying harmful impacts of using social media. As an economist who studies the regulation of utilities such as electricity, gas and water, Theodore Kury, Director of Energy Studies at the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center, wonders what that regulation would look like. There are many regulatory models in use around the world, but few seem to fit the realities of social media. However, observing how these models work can provide valuable insights.
Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: How to Wipe a Computer Clean of Personal Data; AI paper mills and image generation require a coordinated response from academic publishers; US House boots TikTok from government phones; and How to Use ChatGPT and Still Be a Good Person.