The Internet’s watershed political moment in the U.S. arrived this week. You can Google it. The role of Google itself, however, in the so-called Web blackout is more interesting than a quick Google search would indicate.
When cybersecurity problems arise, the best response is to adopt a patch as soon as it’s available. You don’t want to wait for an entirely new operating system to be created, and you really don’t want to use such a system until it has been debugged.
More than 5 billion additional people will connect to the Internet in the next 20 years, and most of the newcomers will not speak English. This next generation will use the Internet in ways we cannot imagine, and its innovations will change the world.
Can U.S. citizens count on using the Internet and cell-phone networks to communicate in high-stress situations? The Federal Communications Commission is about to examine that question. Public interest and the law both require that channels stay open.
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision last year to allow corporations and unions to make unlimited campaign contributions, Americans in the coming year may be blitzed by $1 billion of essentially anonymous television ads.
When Brazil’s government buys anything from fighter jets to a fancy villa, details are available online within 24 hours. Such disclosures are a powerful way to combat corruption, and are a model for official openness that could inspire other nations.
On Feb. 3, President Barack Obama and the entire West Wing lost access to e-mail for more than seven hours. A tree-trimmer had accidentally cut the lines running out of the White House data center. White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer sent a bulletin via Twitter -- the only way he could get the news out, he said -- letting the world know that “Verizon is working to solve the problem.”
Terry Huval is a large, friendly man with a lilting Southern accent who plays Cajun fiddle tunes in his spare time. He is also the director of utilities in Lafayette, Louisiana. “Our job is making sure we listen to our citizens,” he says.