Internet at Liberty Conference organized by Google

Budapest September 20 – 21, 2010

Last two days I have spent at the conference called Internet at Liberty jointly organized by Google and Center for Media Communication Studies on the base of Central European University.

More than 300 people have arrived here in Budapest to discuss the issues of internet restrictions and liberty, to create new network of people working in the same field and simply to share the common experiences.

Internet liability became a central topic in discussions taken place in the first day. Should Internet Service Providers ISP be responsible for the content the users upload? Or they are not responsible at all and should be left alone? How should we deal with gaps in legislation in various countries in the world? Should there be any legislation at all?

I assume that legislation should be provided in many cases. Unfortunately governments use it in their own interests to impose more restrictions than needed. In this case only the civil society being a watchdog can stop the abusive governmental line. In the meantime the absence of legislation provides room for cyber crime. The issues of hate speech are becoming more and more sensitive. In the developed world hate speech in the net may be considered a freedom of expression and speech. The line between two is highly blurred. What should be done when xenophobic expressions lead to and encourage the bloodshed? This is uneasy question with no universal answer on it.

Governments are abusing privacy more than ever and the Blackberry example (http://www.thestar.com/business/companies/rim/article/856052–time-to-compromise-un-official-urges-rim) is just another proof of it. In this situation we need to protect the infrastructure. There is a clear disconnection between security ppl and ppl on the ground.

In the situation when even using a simple browser is not secure one solution was proposed. The proxies should be implemented into the browsers automatically and this move should be pushed. It is worth mentioning that the proxy servers are built inside in some browsers in countries with the hostile atmosphere.

The good thing about these types of conferences is a possibility to share and exchange the knowledge. Particularly I got to know about the web site called Security in a Box (security.ngoinabox.org). It provides the detailed toolkit how to protect ourselves online, how to protect data on our computers; the tools on how to encrypt and hide the very existence of the data on your computer. All these tools are of the primary importance for political bloggers operating in authoritarian regimes.

Creators of this web site suggest that you should use different passwords for every type of services. Security in a box provides the tools to solve this issue. There is a platform providing he sort of services of encripted database of your passwords. This tool is called KeePass, it helps you to store ur passwords thus you can no longer memorize various passwords bur store all of them in one program which can access only you. In this case you should only memorize the password for the KeePass and copy/paste the necessary password for let’s say facebook.

Various malicious programs may break your security as well, they can send  valuable data from your computer to the net, so then someone can simply access it (e.g. the details of your bank account, social security number, etc.)

In order to avoid these situations you should follow the simple security steps:

  • Be careful when you are installing software. Sometimes there are some programs which pretend to be an antivirus system, but in the reality they may be a spyware ones.
  • Don’t open the attachments in the emails from ppl whom you don’t know.

In general Security in a Box provides you with all types of suggestions on how to make yourself secure in the net. We just need to be careful

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