U.S. vs. Lori Drew MySpace suicide

This case is pretty interesting and sad. It is viewed in legal circles as a landmark in Internet law as it is said to be the first time the federal statute on accessing protected computers has been used in a social-networking case. This is a case of a 49-year-old Missouri woman who is accused of taunting a 13-year-old girl on the Internet to the point where she committed suicide. Although the case is about whether Drew violated the terms of service of the MySpace social networking site, not about whether she caused the suicide of Megan Meier.

On MySpace you can be who you wish, and this is what Drew did, she used a pseudonym of a teenage boy to lure Megan into an online romance driven by not so friendly motives that ended in suicide.

We collectively have the power!

After 8 long years of Bush – a fresh start. Visit AVAAZ.org the World in Action. People around the world are seizing this historic and hopeful moment to send a flood of global messages to Obama for peace, concern for the climate and for collaboration. The voices of the many have potentially the power to influence policy makers around the world.

In fact “we each of us have a voice irrespective of gender, geography, creed, education etc. and in the information society these voices can influence policy makers in our world, and help them to make decisions that favour the majority as opposed to the minority.”

Do you trust your government?

A very interesting article concerning the use of the government as a ‘trusted third-party’ in private sector transactions, e.g. proving that you are 18 or 18+ online. Vikram Kumar works for New Zealand’s State Services Commission on the All-of-government Authentication Programme. As he puts it, “… that means my working and blog lives intersect….” In this discussion of the Third Law of Identity, he argues that in New Zealand, where the population of the whole country is smaller than that of many international cities, people may consider the government to be a “justifiable party” in private sector transactions.

You know I wonder if the same could be said of Sweden with just a population of 9 million? I find -after living here just 5 years- that the trust that the Swedish individual has in the government is amazing when compared with countries such as the UK and the US. For example Swedes really can’t understand the fuss being made about the British ID scheme, In Sweden children are born with a personal ID number -you know, in addition to 5 fingers/toes and the bare necessities for survival ;-). In Sweden I believe that Vikram’s arguments are almost plausible, almost possible to work……Although as a Brit myself I find this a bit scarey…

Identity management is dead?

You know there’s an awful lot of chat (Kim Cameron, Dave Kearns, Eric Norlin) going on about identity, meta-directory systems, etc., sparked by HP’s announcement on change of focus concerning their identity management product. Burton Group has been contacted by HP customers who report that HP is no longer going to seek new customers for its Identity Center product. There are even claims that ‘a meta-directory is ‘dead’.

It is the meta-directory that carries the function of identity management in an enterprise, and identity management will NEVER be dead. Take the UK health authorities that linking up their health records, what about the linking of DNA databases at the European level, etc.., to name just a couple of examples that come to mind.

It is just that identity management once a problem solely for the enterprise -and identity management products have been developed and geared towards this goal- has now today become everyone’s problem. You and me, your children, your neighbours, school teachers, it impact each one of us. As such identity management, what it is, what it needs to provide, has during the most recent years (last 5 years) has changed significantly. Those hardened directory engineers amongst us have become confused because of this, because we have not really got it yet, what has happened? The management of our Identity (not identity management) has grown its own set of legs and is running without us. We can have several identities, physical and virtual. Everything linked to our identity has the potential to impact our reputation. It is not that identity management is dead, it is just that it has changed, it is more than just meta-directories, although they still play a significant role behind the scenes.

Additional privacy controls in Facebook

First SPAM your friend, and now Facebook said on Tuesday it is introducing new privacy controls that give users of the fast-growing social-network site the ability to preserve social distinctions between friends, family and co-workers online. But only 25 percent of existing users have bothered to take control of their privacy using Facebook’s existing personal information settings, the company said in a statement. Read more…

Mark Zuckerberg admits execution blunders with beacon!

In a BusinessWeek keynote Q&A at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW), Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg admitted to execution blunders in attempts to bring the site into financial prosperity. Read more….

Online harmonisation in this world?

So it seems that Pakistan is blocking ‘blasphemous’ videos causing chaos due to routing miscalculations and error on the worldwide network. It seems that Pakistan’s attempts to block YouTube from their own population disrupted YouTube access around the world. This problem was gradually repaired (though still points to serious infrastructural issues). Read more in Lauren’s post

Then there is China that sensors Google’s search engine. The difference between the two, is that the first felt strongly about video content that shouldn’t be viewed locally that subsequently disrupted access for many YouTube users worldwide, whereas the second is a political decision for a country, that impacts only that country.

It is a challenge, globalisation, free speech and this conflict with our differing cultures, perceptions, opinions, etc. I guess the future will bring a harmonisation… at least online, I guess we can always dream…..