“The advent of the Internet has changed the traditional conditions of identity production,” reads a study from 2008 on how people presented themselves on Facebook. People had been curating their presences online for a long time before Facebook, but the fact that Facebook required real names and, for a long time after its inception, association with an educational institution made researchers wonder if it would make people hew a little closer to reality.
As the study concluded, “identity is not an individual characteristic; it is not an expression of something innate in a person, it is rather a social product, the outcome of a given social environment and hence performed differently in varying contexts.” Because Facebook was so susceptible to this “performance,” so easily controlled and curated, it quickly became less about real people and more about highlight reels.
We came to Facebook to see other real people, but everyone, even casual users, saw it could be gamed for personal benefit. Inflicting our groomed identities on each other soon became its own problem.
via How we ruin social networks, Facebook specifically | Ars Technica.
Amid heightened security concerns and terrorist threats, Russian security forces have constructed a powerful surveillance system designed to monitor the movements and communications of virtually everyone on the ground at Sochi. The aim is to deter attacks and unrest through blanket monitoring, though there are fears that the Kremlin is going too far.
“The Russian secret services are just obsessed by the idea of … total control,” says Irina Borogan, an investigative journalist for Moscow-based watchdog Agentura.ru. Last year, Borogan and Agentura editor-in-chief Andrei Soldatov published a series of reports on the surveillance programs that Russia is implementing for the Winter Olympics, which run from February 7th through the 23rd.
Their investigation shed light on a security system of remarkable breadth — one capable of gathering not only metadata, but actual phone conversations and internet activity. In an interview with The Guardian, one security expert described the program as “PRISM on steroids,” referring to the controversial data-gathering system used by the US National Security Agency NSA.
via Spy games: behind Russia’s massive Olympic surveillance program | The Verge.
The makers behind the popular mobile game Candy Crush Saga have received a sweet treat from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Almost a year after King.com Limited initially filed a trademark claim for the word “candy,” the filing was approved by the USPTO Wednesday.
via Sweet Deal: ‘Candy Crush’ Developer Trademarks the Word Candy.
This weekend, word started leaking of a new promotion offering Machinima video partners an additional $3 CPM i.e., $3 per thousand video views for posting videos featuring Xbox One content. The promotion was advertised by Machinima’s UK community manager in a since-deleted tweet, and it also appears on Machinima’s activity feed on Poptent, a clearinghouse for these kind of video marketing campaigns. The Poptent page also mentions an earlier campaign surrounding the Xbox One’s launch in November, which offered an additional $1 CPM for videos “promoting the Xbox One and its release games.”
According to a leaked copy of the full legal agreement behind the promotion, video creators “may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One, or any of its Games” and must keep the details of the promotional agreement confidential in order to qualify for payment. In other words, to get the money, video makers have to speak positively or at least neutrally about the Xbox One, and they can’t say they’re being paid to do so.
via Stealth marketing: Microsoft paying YouTubers for Xbox One mentions | Ars Technica.
The Federal Communication Commission’s net neutrality rules were partially struck down today by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which said the Commission did not properly justify its anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules.
Those rules in the Open Internet Order, adopted in 2010, forbid ISPs from blocking services or charging content providers for access to the network. Verizon challenged the entire order and got a big victory in today’s ruling. While it could still be appealed to the Supreme Court, the order today would allow pay-for-prioritization deals that could let Verizon or other ISPs charge companies like Netflix for a faster path to consumers.
Security researcher Jacob Applebaum gave a talk at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany yesterday outlining how the NSA has had the capability to break into an iPhone and siphon off of all the communications and activity on the device since 2008. German publication Der Spiegel also has its own extensive report showing that the NSA has a program called DROPOUTJEEP that is the codename of the iPhone hack.
In addition to the iPhone hack, the NSA has a unit called TAO—Tailored Access Operations—that has the primary duty of intercepting and bugging hardware phones, laptops, servers that various reports have stated HP and Cisco servers. Basically, the NSA can get at whatever it wants just about anywhere it wants. Der Spiegel also reports that the NSA has successfully tapped undersea fiber optics cables running from Europe, through the Middle East to Asia.
via The NSA Spies On America’s Favorite Device—Time To Get Angry – ReadWrite.
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