Until the early 90s most of the phone calls we received were from friends, family or the occasional wrong number. By 1991 telemarketing became a big business which led to widespread abuse and resulted in the passage of the FTC Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. This act established the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry but it was not until 2003 that registration on the Do-Not-Call list became available.
Unfortunately, most of us know by now that listing your phone numbers on the federal Do Not Call Registry is, for the most part, a joke but it is something you must do. Among the loopholes are provisions that election campaigners and organizations that you have done business with in the past can ignore your entry on the list.
This last provision is particularly troublesome. How many times have you received a call from a telemarketer whose charitable organization you have never heard of before thanking you for your previous support? If this has happened to you then your phone number has been shared on a sucker list with other similar unscrupulous organizations. Continue reading
Periodically the Internet comes under attack by governments who either want to control, censor or tax it. This time the desire to control the Internet was probably precipitated by the recent Wikileaks release of State Department cables that left officials scrambling to control the disaster. But this piece is not about Wikileaks or any isolated incident that has occurred and will, undoubtedly, occur again in the future. It is about government control of a resource that is at its foundation about free expression and the free exchange of information as originally conceived by the DARPA inventors in the late 70s.
Prior to the Internet the free press served as a sort of watchdog on our culture, the goings on of governments, and a forum for the free expression of the people, what’s left of it still does. Today the internet serves much the same purpose especially as the traditional media tries to figure out how to survive in the age of the world-wide web and make use of this resource. Indeed for some, rightly or wrongly the Internet IS the press. Of critical importance the internet has also given a voice and an outlet to the people through blogs in addition to the millions of web sites. Continue reading
Posted in government, internet
Tagged cyber attack, DARPA, FCC, freedom, hackers, internet, internet censorship, internet tax, net neutrality, wikileaks