Daniel Ellsberg: Crowd Funding the Right to Know

“A cantankerous press, an obstinate press, an ubiquitous press must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know.” — Judge Murray Gurfein, Pentagon Papers case, June 17, 1971

When a government becomes invisible, it becomes unaccountable. To expose its lies, errors, and illegal acts is not treason, it is a moral responsibility. Leaks become the lifeblood of the Republic.

Whatever one’s opinion of WikiLeaks, every American should be offended that two elected officials, merely by putting pressure on corporations, could financially strangle necessary expression without ever going to court. What happened to WikiLeaks is completely unacceptable in a democracy that values free speech and due process.

via huffingtonpost.com

These people are doing great work. In an era of unparalleled person-to-person communication, it’s simply unacceptable that much of our government is invisible to the average person.

Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos

Under the new policy, Facebook claims the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, which would effectively transform the Web site into the world’s largest stock photo agency. One irked Twitter user quipped that “Instagram is now the new iStockPhoto, except they won’t have to pay you anything to use your images.”

via news.cnet.com

Incredibly creepy policy shift from the recently-acquired Facebook subsidiary, Instagram.

Four years later, Facebook votes disappear for good | Ars Technica

Facebook’s last user vote has closed, once again with a minuscule turnout compared to the size of the social network in general according to its site governance page. Only 668,872 votes were cast out of the billion active users for a turnout of 0.067 percent. Facebook is now free to enact its new privacy policies without concern for the vote results. The new policy will, among other things, remove the user vote as a necessary step in policy changes.

Why Rupert Murdoch’s bold bet on The Daily

The Daily was both a bold experiment and doomed from the start. It was bold from the point of view of a major media empire with little or no understanding of the web or mobile, and a lot of other media companies without Rupert Murdoch’s deep pockets were watching it closely to see whether they should jump, and if so how to proceed. But then many of the lessons that could be learned should have been obvious even before The Daily launched: don’t ignore the web, don’t make your content platform-specific (unless it is unique), and don’t put a paywall around something no one has ever seen before.

via gigaom.com