Interview with Paul Falzone: Digital Democracy vs. Digital Divide

Paul Falzone is the Founder and Director of Peripheral Vision International (PVI), a consulting firm devoted to fostering the development of media for social change. Currently operating primarily in Uganda, PVI is involved in the production and distribution of edutainment programs for audiences in East Africa. With a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School at Penn, Falzone is an award-winning producer of film and video, in addition to having conducted research on the uses of visual media for social advocacy.

In this interview, Falzone talks about the role of digital media in the work that PVI has been supporting in Uganda, with a special focus on a program called Newz Beat, in which the news is delivered by rapping ann9uncers. The program’s existence has been made possible by the availability of relatively low-cost digital equipment, used by the program’s creators to achieve a high level of technical quality. In that sense, digital media have broadened the range of participants in Uganda’s media system. At the same time, though, the distribution of Newz Beat is hampered by the limited reach of Uganda’s electrical network and the scarcity of digital screens in people’s homes. In response to this obstacle, the Newz Beat team has developed a system of physical distribution via DVDs that are exhibited on TV screens in public places.

PM: In what ways is News Beat a reflection of the development of digital technology for the creation of audio-visual media?

PF: To the casual viewer in Uganda, Newz Beat is a big budget production, taking place on a slick, glowing set. The reality is somewhat humbler.  Newz Beat is recorded in front of a plain white wall covered by a green “chroma key” sheet.  The futuristic desk that the anchors sit behind is a folding plastic table also covered with a green sheet.  This “virtual set” liberates the media producers from the physical constraints of the television studio and allows them access to any visual they can imagine (or more accurately, to any visual they can download from the internet).

In the old days of celluloid film, cameras were bulky and difficult to use.  Film had to undergo expensive processing that could take days.  Filmmakers had to “shoot and pray” that the film was not damaged or put in the camera incorrectly and ruined altogether. Lighting was mathematically estimated based on light readings rather than seen in real time. Sound was captured separately, which came with a whole separate set of challenges. By comparison, Newz Beat’s producer, Shadie, films the program with a digital SLR camera.  It shoots in all quality of light and provides him immediate access to the footage.   Its digital storage is so cheap as to border on free. Within only a few hours, Shadie has filmed all of the “raporters” (rapping reporters), downloaded the video to his laptop and is headed back to edit the footage, where the real impact of the digital revolution is even more apparent.

PM: How affordable is the editing equipment that he uses?

PF: Though it has come down radically in price over the years, new professional editing software in the West can still cost a thousand dollars or more.  But virtually all of the software one encounters in Uganda is bootleg.  Even the high end hotels will often be running pirated copies of Windows in their business centers. Yochai Benchler once wrote that “Property is a hindrance, not an aid, when peer production of a public good like information is possible.” Whether you agree or disagree, the fact is that open and easy access to software is a boon to producers of media working on tiny or nonexistent budgets. And it allowed Shadie to overcome the last obstacle to becoming a mediamaker.

PM: What are the challenges involved in the distribution of Newz Beat?

PF: The dark side of digital democratization is a deepening digital divide, particularly in the developing world.  Newz Beat provides us an entry point to explore this tension. After years of postponing, Uganda finally switched from an analog to a digital television signal in late 2015.  This switchover required home television users to either buy a digitally compliant television, a costly decoder or a monthly digital television subscription. While the digital switchover has created more bandwidth for television networks to create more channels, it also seems to have actually decreased the number of people who can receive these channels, because of the extra expense.

Newz Beat can (and does) post its output to YouTube, Soundcloud and Facebook, while also distributing through mainstream broadcast channels, but if most of the audience isn’t online, what is the point? Newz Beat’s raporters can translate the news, but how do they translate transmedia distribution systems in a context that is not only largely pre-digital, but pre-electrical?

PM: How has Newz Beat dealt with this problem?

PF: In response to the challenges of distributing via traditional media, the Newz Beat team has created an approach to distribution that can be described as “parallel broadcast” or “parabroadcast.” In Uganda, ambient television is the primary televisual medium and can be found in buses, bars, restaurants, beauty salons, shops and small pirate cinemas called “bibanda” where customers pay about ten cents to watch action movies and music videos on television screens. Since its launch, Newz Beat has been distributed to more than 35,000 of these screens, many in the most remote regions of the country, via a straight-to-DVD program called Crowdpullerz that bundles Ugandan music videos with Newz Beat, Public Service Announcements and other social content.

Interview with LORIN ROSER: Digital Media, Architecture, Animation

Lorin Roser is a distinguished architect based in New York City. He is also a remarkably versatile artist who is equally fluent in visual media and in music. I interviewed him on the occasion of his participation in the New Museum’s IDEAS CITY Festival, which featured Roser’s recent work in collaboration with painter Nina Kuo. As Roser points out in the interview, there is a direct connection between his art and his experiences as an architect. Roser belongs to the cohort of architects whose working methods were transformed by the advent of digital media. By adopting computers in the process of architectural design, architects gained tremendous new powers in the representation of space. The transition from a two-dimensional architectural plan to a photorealistic representation of a three-dimensional structure could now be accomplished by a machine instead of human labor. Moreover, that machine could shift the representation’s point-of-view (from front to side to overhead to anything in-between) automatically, and it could produce a whole series of shifting points-of-view as well. In other words, computers made it much easier for architects to visualize the experience of moving in and around a 3D space.

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At the same time that this development was occurring in architecture, a very similar process was taking place in animated movies. In the late 1990s, when computer-generated images replaced hand-made animation in big-budget Hollywood cinema, the most striking thing about digital animation was not greater realism in its characters’ shapes (which remained, in many cases, quite cartoonish) nor greater realism in its characters’ movements (which hadn’t yet benefited from the full development of motion-capture technology) but, rather, greater realism in the representation of the 3D spaces occupied by those characters. This affinity between digital design in architecture and digital animation in movies has been an important factor in Lorin Roser’s work as an artist. Using digital tools originally designed for architectural visualization, Roser has been creating animated videos about the structure of urban spaces. Taking as their starting point the urban forms envisioned by the immensely influential architect Le Corbusier, Roser’s animations use random manipulations to explore a world of hitherto unseen shapes and structural possibilities. In my discussion with Roser, I started out by asking him for a capsule description of his current work.

PAUL MESSARIS: Could you give us a brief overview of CorbuRuption, i.e., the project that is going to be featured at the New Museum’s IDEAS CITY Festival?

LORIN ROSER:  The animation shows the hidden structure of the Invisible City. The forms of the architect, Le Corbusier, are deployed using physical simulation algorithms. The resulting eruption generates possibilities unforeseen by Urban Renewal.

MESSARIS: What kinds of digital tools have you used for this project? And, as a follow-up question, could you comment on how digital media have influenced your work as an artist, not just in this project but over your career as a whole?

ROSER:  The structures were modeled in the computer using Autodesk software and rendered in VRay. I began using CGI to enable architectural visualization. I began doing 3d when Tom Hudson was developing consumer software at the same time he did the T-1000 mirror man for Terminator 2  [1991]. Visualization is a great tool for architecture because building bricks and mortar is so expensive and computer animation mimics the unfolding of space as you walk through a building. Now I am obsessed with using math to create music and form. The computer excels at this type of exploration.

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MESSARIS: In your statement of purpose, you imply that you hope your current project will contribute to a new understanding of public space on the part of your audience. At the risk of violating the boundaries between audio-visual meaning and verbal messages, would you care to spell out this aspect of your goals in a little more detail?

ROSER: Corbusian ideals were corrupted by Urban Renewal into stark (not Tony Stark) housing projects, which sometimes needed to be demolished (e. g., Pruitt-Igoe). By using stochastic amalgamation I hope to show the formal beauty that might be possible using these same historical forms. In Richard Bender’s A Crack in the Rearview Mirror, he makes an argument for utilizing the computer to increase the diversity of design versus homogenizing fabrication. Three hundred years ago a matched pair of objects was a desirable thing. Now we long for bespoke items tailored to our disappearing identities.

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MESSARIS: Your work appears to draw on a variety of cultural traditions. For example, one of your earlier projects with Nina Kuo featured animation based on painting that was described as “Asian-inspired.”  We live in an age of increasingly hybrid cultures, and, in my field, there is much discussion of the fact that audiences around the world are increasingly attracted by cultural hybridity in audiovisual media – for example, the hybrid styles of Bollywood dance scenes or of Korean music videos. Would you care to comment on this phenomenon as it pertains to your own work or to work that has influenced your own? What is your understanding of the growing international appeal of hybridity in art and culture?

ROSER: Globalization and the Internet meld cultures in a creative way. As the recent exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum on Chinoiserie in design showed, this is not a new phenomenon, but technology has increased the pace of these developments to a dizzying degree.

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The Digital Transformation of Visual Media: 5 Key Developments

I was recently looking at old syllabuses from my introductory graduate course on visual communication, and I noticed an interesting trend: the rate of change from one year’s syllabus to the next one’s has been much more rapid in recent years than in the past. The major reason for this trend is that visual media themselves have been changing so rapidly in recent years as a result of digitization. Moreover, to a considerable extent these changes have entailed genuine innovations in the forms and functions of visual media. In other words, while some developments in digital media are mainly concerned with doing a better job in tasks that older, analog media were not very good at (for example, 3D movies), digitization has also enabled visual media to do some things that analog media couldn’t do at all.

What are the most significant developments in the digital transformation of visual media? Opinions undoubtedly differ, depending partly on one’s time-frame. In the 1990s, when Photoshop was still new, the manipulation of photographic truth was a major focus of research in visual communication. Today, photo-manipulation software is a mature technology, and, while the concerns it gave rise to have by no means gone away, the most eye-catching changes in the visual media landscape seem to be happening elsewhere.

Digital Composite WITH GAPS 12 percent

From my perspective, there are at least five big developments whose impact is still very uncertain – and, therefore, very deserving of closer scrutiny. In my view, these five developments will need to figure very prominently in the future work of visual communication researchers if our field is to keep up with the explosively rapid evolution of digital media.

For more than a decade, digital animators have been working towards the attainment of two major milestones in the development of visual media: first, the achievement of “perfect photorealism” – i.e., the ability to mimic not just the momentary appearance of visual reality (as in present-day digital images) but also its appearance over time (without relying on motion capture, which is essentially a relic of traditional cinematography); second, the ability to simulate the appearance (over time) of actual people, such as deceased actors. These developments have received some attention from media scholars, but it may be fair to say that, for now, the most promising lines of inquiry actually come from outside of communication, in studies of people’s responses to humanoid robots and visual displays. Research on the much-discussed but little-understood “uncanny valley” phenomenon is a good example of this area of scholarship

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5152RJW7dKc

As computers and, hence, digital media have become cheaper, aspects of image creation that previously required substantial resources have become increasingly affordable and accessible, resulting in a democratization of visual production. This development is evident not only in the ubiquity of photographic and video devices, but also in the increasing ease with which photographs and video can be manipulated. (The emergence of consumer-level editing software in the late 1990s was a particularly noteworthy innovation for anyone who had previously had the extremely cumbersome experience of editing in celluloid-based film.) While there is a growing body of good scholarly writing about the dissemination of nonprofessional images (which I will refer to further in the next paragraph), there is surprisingly little systematic research on everyday people’s manipulation of images.

As I have implied above, I think it is useful to distinguish the democratization of visual distribution, for which, of course, we can thank the Web, from the democratization of production. The radical transformation in the distribution of new visual media is one of two items (out of my list of five topics) that have already been written about quite widely by media scholars. There are several books about YouTube, and a growing number of studies of Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, and other platforms.

The fourth item on my list (although, chronologically, it is actually the first) has to do with the emergence of videogames as a major visual medium. This phenomenon can be seen as part of a broader evolution in audiovisual technology, allowing the users of that technology (gamers, etc.) to project a controllable visual avatar of themselves into a virtual environment. In contrast to the previous two items on my list, the emergence of this type of avatar represents a qualitative (i.e, not just quantitative) break with the past. There is nothing in previous visual media that can give the user the same experience of an externally viewable but internally controlled projection of one’s self. Research on the visual aspects of avatars suggests that they can have profound implications. For example, they can have enduring effects on gamers’ or VR users’ aggressiveness, sociality, and attitudes towards people who are demographically different from their real selves.

The final item on my list is also related to games and other media that provide their users with the experience of interactive virtual environments. The ability to affect a virtual environment through one’s own actions represents another significant break with the past history of visual media. The purposive use of virtual environments as means of low-consequence training for high-consequence real-world activities (e.g., flight simulation, practice surgery) has been studied quite extensively by researchers from a wide variety of disciplines, including communication. Moreover, communications researchers have also devoted considerable attention to the more nebulous cultural consequences that may flow from people’s experiences in virtual worlds. All the same, I think it’s safe to say that to date we have barely glimpsed what lies ahead in this area of visual media. Perhaps more than in any of the other areas on this list, the technology and the social practices associated with this area seem to be changing more rapidly than our projections. PM

“La La La” (Brazil 2014) – A Visual Analysis

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-7knsP2n5w

“La La La” by Shakira (featuring Carlinhos Brown) was the theme song for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Its music video’s editing effectively enhances the song’s lively, powerful beat. Researcher Carol Vernallis claims music video editing employs quick, noticeable and disjunctive cuts on the beat to emphasize the rhythm of the song (1). The video for “La La La” is a montage of clips cut in time to the song’s rhythm, further enhanced by a very slight offset between image and sound. The dancing, drum-beating and mouthing of lyrics are visual cues of movement that match the rhythm, and thus engage the viewer and maintain continuity throughout the video.

The people and animals running and acrobats flipping behind Shakira exemplify diegetic associational montage, whereby various images are juxtaposed within the same space to convey a meaning. They reflect both the energy of the song and the soccer event it represents. Moreover, the video features many famous soccer players, which can be considered a montage extension via celebrity endorsement. I am not as convinced by the colorful explosions (2:26), nor the ball shattering ‘glass’ (2:49), because these images appear to be more obviously computer-generated, which I think detracts from the nature-oriented, tribal themes in the video.

Generalizational montage is also applied, whereby the sequence of images of faces, bodies and flags of several nationalities conveys that “everyone” is involved. This successfully communicates the world coming together for the event, united by this common goal (pun intended).

Works cited:

(1) Vernallis, Carol. “The Kindest Cut: Functions and Meanings of Music Video Editing.” Screen Vol. 42. No.1. (2001): 21-48. Print.

OnePlus One: The Best Phone You’ve Never Heard Of

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Most technology enthusiasts wouldn’t hesitate to call the OnePlus One the best Android smartphone of 2014, if not just for its incredible value. But if you’re like most people, you’ve probably never heard of it. Unlike most technology advertisements which aim to reach as many potential consumers as possible and win their allegiance, the sole promotional video for the critically acclaimed OnePlus One is largely inaccessible to the general public. Like the video, which is unlisted on YouTube and can only be accessed from the manufacturer’s site, the phone is only available for purchase to those with highly coveted invites. To put it into perspective, in half a year, OnePlus has sold just 500,000 units, while the Apple’s iPhone 6 – released under three months ago – has sold nearly 40 million units. OnePlus has done all this with a marketing budget of a mere $300 – the same cost as a single device. Research shows that this obscurity and exclusivity is part of the two-step flow of advertising, in which incomprehensible or difficult to comprehend advertising is made more accessible by select influential people.

The first half of the advertisement features just one person, the creator, along with a montage of the designing, prototyping, and manufacturing process. We get a glimpse into the minimalistic, yet sophisticated and experimental thought process that went into choosing the materials, form factor, and hardware of the phone; we see the precision and delicacy in the manufacturing and also the elegance and quality of the phone itself. The frequent cuts and edits provide a dynamic and powerful experience that engages and draws the viewer in. However, little in the edited montage sequence informs the viewer of anything about the device; it isn’t until after halfway through the advertisement that any information is shared with the viewer. Here, subtle use of computer graphics imagery and effects provides seamless transitions between information blurbs and further conveys the sense of sophistication and modernization the company wants associated with the phone.

The Sims 4 Youtube Ad Analysis

The Sims 4 is a dynamic simulation game in which the controller plays the role of God, directing the lives of the characters (Sims) in the game. In this YouTube advertisement, the directors use an element of mystery to increase suspense and maintain viewers’ attention from the beginning of the ad to the end. It begins with a green light casting a glow over a city as the cast of the ad stares at it in wonder.

Since the avatars used in the game are simply idealized versions of the humans playing behind them, they serve as links between the audience and advertisement. During the climactic point of the ad, creators combine the two worlds and show humans and CGIs (computer generated images) interacting together in the same environment for a substantial amount of time. This was a good move on their part because studies have shown that human beings prefer realistic over non-realistic images. That last statement may make the decision to use CGIs seem risky. However, since this is the fourth installment of the game, its creators were most likely targeting current players by highlighting the game’s new improvements instead of focusing on attracting new customers.

One of the improvements being made to the game is the more “realistic” look that avatars now possess. To accomplish this, the game’s creators made characters’ faces look more neotenous (youthful and innocent). People tend to be more attracted to these types of faces so the ultimate goal for the creators of the ad would be to make viewers associate that attraction with the advertised product itself.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBQ6MFsJJsw

 

FKA twigs – “Water Me” Post-humanist Aesthetic Spellbinds Viewers

The one-take music video for “Water Me” by FKA twigs mesmerizes with little onscreen action to compensate for the lack of cuts by employing a post-humanist aesthetic, thus hypnotizing spectators through a series of deviations from known human movement and form.

The digitally manipulated appearance of the subject, FKA twigs, and insertion into a digital world transform her into an avatar-like being or an object representing real human form. She delivers the song deadpan in direct address against a solid sea-foam green backdrop. It’s especially important to pay attention to the increasing neotony, baby features on an adult person, throughout the video. Her nose shrinks and her eyes enlarge to the point where they look like they may pop.

The unrealistic computerized movements in this video are the result of animation of a real person. While traditional filmmaking tries to seamlessly disguise technique, the desire to decode how this was made is what grabs attention. Her timely head bobs, unable to achieve without CGI assistance, simplify rhythm perception through movement rather than cuts. And because the entire beat is matched to movement and slightly offset, with the image coming first, we subconsciously anticipate sound.

The gigantic iridescent CGI tear that rolls down FKA twigs’s perfectly airbrushed cheek mid-video opens a dialogue that comments unfavorably on pop culture’s constant deviation from reality. The eerily illusory image of the artist becomes increasingly unrecognizable as the video progresses, making a statement that instructs viewers to only participate in this deceptive digital trend if they are aware that it is inherently separate from the real.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFtMl-uipA8

Why the Overwatch Trailer Calls for a New Type of Shooter Game

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Blizzard Entertainment has a new debut: Overwatch, a Pixaresque Windows shooter game with a rumored 2015 beta release. Blizzard, known for its MMORPG World of Warcraft, has taken an exciting step in the development of this game.

The trailer opens with a Ken Burns Generalization Montage – an effect that combines still images with slight camera movement to create a feeling of ‘everyone together’. This montage combines a variety of push in and pull out movements in addition to multiple heroic angles (angles shot from below or above the subject to generate a sense of boldness) to create intensity. This opening, revealed to be a documentary lionizing the past, transitions into a wide shot of two neotenous boys. Neoteny, an effect most prominent in Japanese anime, shows bigger eyes and puffier cheeks for more child like faces. It’s generally appealing to audiences especially when audiences know the subjects aren’t real. This softer and gentler approach to a shooter game is a bit novel in a field crowded with games like Call of Duty. Beautifully animated characters fighting in steadily edited sequences exhibit that this game entails a potentially more casual gaming experience. Experienced gamers may find this gameplay a bit slow since their manual skills are highly developed (gamers learn skills like spatial recognition and response time); however, there is no halt to the excitement as the trailer reveals. Digital animation grants existence to unrealistic things in a realistic environment, and Overwatch epitomizes a shooter game mentality within kid-friendly environments.

Opinion: Prism’s ‘Chilling Effect’

In a recent op ed in the Orlando Sentinel I argued that Prism contributes to an overall 'chilling effect' on internet speech in America today and speculated about how this might be changing online privacy. I included references to a recent Times book review by Julian Assange. Here's the link. Enjoy!

Prism: A Handy Timeline

In a recent TEDx talk, I made some points about Facebook privacy and online identity. Specifically, I talked about my research on how college seniors manage their Facebook presence while approaching the job market. I also talked about how, as information becomes increasingly integrated social networks like Facebook may exert a “chilling effect” on free expression, while Facebook itself is an “iceberg” of unseen personal data.
We can fast-forward to last Thursday and revelations regarding the NSA’s Prism program. Here is a handy timeline of what we know:
 
Wednesday:
A leak to The Guardian revealed that a top-secret US court order required Verizon to provide phone records for millions of Americans.
 
Thursday:
The Guardian broke the story that the NSA had direct access to the servers of major U.S. internet companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. Beginning in 2007 a program called Prism allowed the NSA to monitor “email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP (Skype, for example) chats, file transfers, social networking details, and more,” and this “opens the possibility of communications made entirely within the US being collected without warrants.” The companies denied any knowledge (Greenwald & MacAskill 2013).
Also according to The Guardian the GCHQ (the British equivalent of the NSA) was also getting information from these sources as provided by a service set up by the NSA.
The Washington Post explained that Prism is court-approved and focuses on foreign communication that flows through U.S. servers (Gellman & Poitras 2013). Prism is the greatest contributor to the President’s Daily brief, and 1 in 7 intelligence reports; the NSA is increasingly reliant on the program. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) tried to warn Americans about a classified “back-door loophole” for content of innocent Americans.
According to Fisa (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), communications intercepted by the NSA must be between foreign nationals, but Prism only requires that intelligence agents are 51% certain that one party engaging in communication is a foreigner on foreign soil. The justification, apparently, for the expanded scope of power is that the majority of the world’s internet traffic flows through the United States.
In an interview with the Fold, The Washington Post reporter who broke the story about Prism, Barton Gellman, explained that his source was willing to take the risk because he believed what the NSA is doing “exceeds all reasonable boundaries of privacy or necessity” and that he sees himself as a whistleblower acting out of conscience.
Loren Thompson at Forbes.com claims that Prism “makes sense.”
Will Mason, one of my advisees at Stetson University, decodes Prism the day the story breaks, trumping his teacher in Masons Musings: “The loopholes in this system are even bigger than the plot holes in an M. Night Shyamalan movie.”
 
Friday:
President Obama defended recently revealed surveillance programs as “legal and limited.” He claimed that Congress and the Courts had authorized the programs. Senator Dick Durbin, an ally to the President, disagreed, pointing out that only top Congressional leaders were briefed and that the type of data mining implied “pushes the role of government to the limit” (Baker & Sanger 2013).
Google CEO Larry Page and David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer responded to the accusations of government collusion in a blog post, saying they had never heard of Prism until the story broke, nor had they encountered the type of sweeping legal order that Verizon received (Google Blog 2013). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded similarly in a Facebook status update.
The New York Times reported that the tech companies begrudgingly cooperated with requests to facilitate government access to the personal information of American citizens. The companies are legally required to share information with the government in response to a legitimate Fisa request, but they are not required to streamline the process. Twitter opted out, while discussions with Google and Facebook apparently involved the creation of a secure portal (in some instances, on company servers) through which the government might be provided with personal data. So, instead of a “back door,” according to the Times these companies were essentially asked to build a virtual safe “and give the government the key” according to anonymous sources briefed on the negotiations. The Times points out that the tech companies could genuinely claim ignorance precisely because those employees whose job it is to comply with Fisa requests are forbidden from discussing details even with other members of their company (Miller 2013).
Forbes.com noted that The Washington Post softened the language surrounding some of its earlier claims regarding Prism, for example, by emphasizing that the government draws information from tech companies’ servers (Hall 2013).
 
Sunday:
29-year-old former NSA-contractor Edward Snowden is revealed as the whistleblower for Prism; he is in Hong Kong, but faces an uncertain future in terms of protection from the Chinese government and extradition
Hunter Assistant Professor of Film and Media Bill Herman’s take on the situation at Shouting Loudly, in which he correctly states: “If what Snowden did lands him in prison, being there next to him would be an honor. If blowing the lid off a giant, proto-police-state phone and internet surveillance operation is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” Unlike Bill, I can’t work the NSA into my schedule until next week.
 
Monday:
International outcry regarding the NSA’s Prism program; a Pew study shows that 56% of those polled find the NSA’s tracking of phone calls in an effort to curtail terrorism acceptable; 41% did not find it acceptable; a slim majority said the government should not be able to monitor email to curtail terrorism (Hampson 2013).
Montclair Assistant Professor of Media Joel Penney wrote compellingly about how Snowden’s action draws attention to a growing Restore the Fourth Amendment movement on Reddit. In his blog, Viral Politics, he wonders openly if this is the tipping point for privacy to become a major global issue.
 
Tuesday:
Snowden disappears from Hong Kong; Likeable CEO Dave Keppen suggests, “Social media has made the world more transparent in general and that translates into more support for Snowden than you might have seen 5 years ago” (Hampson 2013). This could also bode well for Snowden.
 
According to Wired.com the rest of the Prism slides are too controversial to publish (Zetter 2013).
 
House Speaker Boehner denounced Snowden as a “traitor” (Weisman 2013).



 
References
 
Baker, P. & Sanger, D.E. (2013). “Obama Calls Surveillance Programs Legal and Limited.” The New York Times, Friday, June 7. Retrieved 6/10/13 from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/08/us/national-security-agency-surveillance.html?pagewanted=all
 
Gellman, B. & Poitras, L. (2013). “U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program.” The Washington Post, June 6. Retrieved on 6/10/13 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html
 
Google Blog. (2013). “What the…?” June 7. Retrieved on 6/11/13 from http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/what.html?m=1
 
Greenwald, G. & MacAskill, E. (2013). “NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others.” The Guardian, Thursday, June 6. Retrieved on 6/10/13 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data
 
Hall, J. (2013). “Washington Post Updates, Hedges on Initial PRISM Report.” Forbes.com, June 7. Retrieved 6/10/13 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanhall/2013/06/07/washington-post-updates-hedges-on-initial-prism-report/
 
Hampson, R. (2013). “Is Snowden a traitor or a public servant?” USA Today, June 11. Retrieved on 6/11/13 from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/10/snowden-leaks-nsa-privacy-terrorist/2408803/
 
Miller, C.C. (2013). “Tech Companies Concede to Surveillance Program.” The New York Times, June 7. Retrieved 6/11/13 from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/08/technology/tech-companies-bristling-concede-to-government-surveillance-efforts.html?pagewanted=all
 
Thompson, L. (2013). “Why NSA's PRISM Program Makes Sense.” Forbes.com, June 7. Retrieved 6/10/13 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2013/06/07/why-nsas-prism-program-makes-sense/
 
Washington Post, The. (2013). "NSA leak: Source believes exposure, consequences inevitable." The Fold. Friday, June 7. Retrieved on 6/11/13 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/video/thefold/nsa-leak-source-believes-exposure-consequences-inevitable/2013/06/07/fb15c0fe-cf94-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_video.html
 
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