Tag Archives: protection

The Internet Constitution: necessary?

Brazil’s novel and highly praised Marco Civil da Internet, essentially an Internet Constitution, has cleared the house and is becoming law. The new law addresses freedom, privacy, and net neutrality and has been in the works since 2009. The recent issues between the NSA and Brazil spurred Dilma to put the bill before the house, where it passed despite some backlash. Prior to the bill there were no specific rules about how ISPs (internet service providers) were required to hold and retain data. Now, the law requires ISPs to hold user data for six months, which will significantly change the practices of some ISPs who, when unregulated, held user data for numerous years. In addition, the law will ensure freedom of speech on the internet, a factor which has been exceedingly popular among the younger generation. Check out some other specifics about the bill here. 

So what does this have to do with ICT and our class? We’ve been discussing the web a lot recently, and it has increasingly become both a powerful mechanism to be used for development, but also a huge threat to national security, sovereignty, and freedom of speech. Especially after Snowden and the NSA occurrences, many nations are a little on edge, especially booming nations like Brazil. Taking steps which establish rules and regulations for things like privacy protection, freedom of speech, and neutrality is indicative of a nation which is both recognizing its erstwhile faults regarding the web and its usage, and taking the initiative to address those faults before they become the source of a national catastrophe. Establishing regulations for privacy on the Brazilian web will allow users a sense of security that Americans are now starting to question, despite having pre-existing rules (though perhaps not all followed) regarding these issues.

But what about developing countries who are leap-frogging to the internet age without time to develop precautionary and protective regulations or measures? These countries have been placed at a huge risk and will need to catch up fast in order to ensure the safety of their citizens and the privacy and security of their citizen’s information. It looks like this leap-frog will have to be followed by an even bigger leap-frog.

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Easy Ways to Protect Your Computer from the Invisible Tracker

As technology progresses so does access to personal information from third parties on your personal computer. As a result, keen “cookie” surveillance is becoming an unexpected, inherent necessity to protecting your information and keeping your computer healthy. No, I’m not referring to the kind of cookies you eat, but rather the small tracking files dispersed from major websites and browsers that are used to disperse adds and other inconvenient obstacles that affect your daily browsing. And who better to control the access than YOU, the user.

In her article, “How to Avoid the Prying Eyes,” Jennifer Valentino-Devries relays valuable information on how to stop the invisible eyes of these trackers from “watching” you. These “simple steps” include:

  • Upgrading to the most relevant version of your internet browser
  • Frequently deleting the “cookies” collected from daily web browsing
  • Limiting the installation of “new cookies” from third parties by adjusting browsing settings

The article even provides links to the major browsers you should look out for, and more advanced ways to protect your information if the need be!

With the ever-expanding facets of the Internet, privacy is a growing concern that should be taken seriously and approached with the right precaution. I’m glad someone’s finally made it easy for me. I found this article extremely useful because now I can take the steps myself to prevent the problem ahead of time rather than having to borrow a friend’s car to drive to the Macstore or leave my computer with Technology Services for a week to get it fixed by someone else (if you haven’t guessed, I haven’t always had the best of luck when it comes to computers). It’s a frequent problem most computer owners and users don’t even realize they have, but, like I said, can cause more problems than it’s worth. So be smart, and protect yourself now.