Anonymous and the Real World Implications of 'Hacktivism'
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The Internet's been a crucial facilitator of the Arab Spring, but it can be used for malicious purposes as well as political creativity. How important is anonymity and those calling themselves "Anonymous?" Also, the Greek referendum threatens debt plan, roils world markets, and a change in sentencing law for crack cocaine eliminates a perceived injustice to African Americans.
Banner image: Screen grab from one of Anonymous' many YouTube videos
Greek Referendum Threatens Debt Plan, Roils World Markets ()
Greek Prime Minister Papandreou's cabinet has approved his call for a national referendum on the deal to save the Eurozone. But Papandreou's government may not survive a no-confidence vote at the end of this week. In the meantime, other European leaders are applying all the pressure they can. Alkman Granitsas is Greece and Cyprus Bureau Chief for Dow Jones Newswires and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal.
- Alkman Granitsas: Dow Jones Newswires
'Anonymous' and Privacy on the Internet ()
With hangings, beheadings and mass murders, drug cartels have created a culture of fear in Mexico, which extends even to the Internet. A YouTube video that went viral has drawn attention to a cyberspace collective calling itself "Anonymous." By threatening to expose civilians connected to the murderous Mexican drug cartel, Los Zetas, did Anonymous reveal a strain of vigilante justice or just an elaborate hoax? The incident is just one example of an Internet subculture that provides an outlet for discontent and the power to raise havoc in both cyberspace and the real world. We hear about the evolution of "hacktivism," the "hivemind" and the controversy about anonymity and security on the Internet.
- Damien Cave: New York Times, @damiencave
- Quinn Norton: Wired, @quinnnorton
- Dave Marcus: McAfee Labs
- Cole Stryker: writer
Crack Sentencing Reforms Take Effect ()
Twelve thousand inmates are eligible for release from federal prisons due to reforms of sentencing laws for crack cocaine. Cocaine is illegal in all its forms but, in federal sentencing law, there's a disparity between crack and powder. The penalty for possession or distribution of crack used to be 100 times greater than for powder. Critics called the old laws unfair, especially to African-Americans. Now, the difference is just 18 to one. Congress made the change a year ago. Now the Sentencing Commission has made the change retroactive. Michael Nachmanoff is the federal public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia.
- Michael Nachmanoff: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
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