December 2012, Week 3


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Thu, 20 Dec 2012 21:01:07 -0500
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Media Bits & Bytes - Good News, Bad News Edition

December 20, 2012

Published by Portside

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Deck the Halls With Internet Freedom

By Josh Levy

December 20, 2012
Free Press - Reform Media, Transform Democracy


2012 was a huge year for Internet freedom.

Together we stopped SOPA and PIPA, bills that would have
dismantled the open Internet in the name of copyright
enforcement. We forced AT&T to relent when we caught it
violating Net Neutrality and harming consumers by blocking
the FaceTime video-calling app. We stopped the march toward
privacy-killing cybersecurity legislation.

And we put forward a vision of Internet freedom for all: The
Declaration of Internet Freedom was translated into more
than 70 languages and signed by thousands of organizations,
multiple members of Congress and even the president of Costa

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China tightens 'Great Firewall' internet control with new

By Charles Arthur

December 14, 2012
Guardian (UK)


China appears to be tightening its control of internet
services that are able to burrow secretly through what is
known as the "Great Firewall", which prevents citizens there
from reading some overseas content. Both companies and
individuals are being hit by the new technology deployed by
the Chinese government to control what people read inside
the country.

A number of companies providing "virtual private network"
(VPN) services to users in China say the new system is able
to "learn, discover and block" the encrypted communications
methods used by a number of different VPN systems. VPNs
encrypt internet communications between two points so that
even if the data being passed is tapped, it cannot be read.
A VPN connection from inside China to outside effectively
starts internet connection outside the "Great Firewall" - in
theory giving access to the vast range of information and
sites that the Chinese government blocks.

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Argentina Declares Media Law Constitutional, Begins Process
To Break Up Grupo Clarin

By Almudena Calatrava

December 17, 2012
Huffington Post


Argentina's government told the country's largest media
conglomerate on Monday that it has begun a process to break
up the company and auction off its media licenses. Grupo
Clarin has battled with President Cristina Fernandez for
years. The government will make the conglomerate and other
companies comply with the law, which bars any company from
owning too many different media properties.  The 2009 law
was tweaked in Congress to specifically target Clarin, the
only company that runs afoul of all its major anti-monopoly
clauses. The media group has been at odds with the
government since it criticized Fernandez's handling of a tax
on the key agricultural industry and a massive farmers
strike in 2008.  Since then, critics of Fernandez's
government say she's been out to break up the media empire.

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Confusion on Internet future

By Rob Lever

December 15, 2012
The Australian


The freewheeling, unregulated internet seemed to survive a
push for new rules at a UN treaty meeting, but the collapse
of talks leaves unanswered questions about the web's future.

A total of 89 countries endorsed the global treaty on
telecom regulations at the UN's International
Telecommunication Union (ITU) gathering in Dubai on Friday,
but the United States and dozens of others refused to sign,
saying it opened the door to regulating the internet.

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NRA Deactivates Facebook Page

By Neal Ungerleider

December 17, 2012


The National Rifle Association (NRA) deactivated its
Facebook page on Saturday, December 15, just one day after
the Newtown school shooting. Last week, the NRA boasted on
its page about the organization's 1.7 millionth "like" on
Facebook. Since the Connecticut tragedy, the NRA has neither
issued a public statement nor posted anything to its Twitter

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Hackers target Westboro Baptist Church after Newtown threat

By Steven Musil

December 16, 2012
CNET - News


A group attached to the online hacktivist group Anonymous
claims to have hacked the Web site of the Westboro Baptist
Church in response to plans by the controversial church to
picket the funerals of those massacred Friday at a school in
Newtown, Conn.

As part of a campaign dubbed #OpWestBoro, KY Anonymous said
yesterday it posted the personal information belonging to
members of the extremist organization, which is best known
for conducting protests designed to disrupt the funerals of
members of the military killed in action. The data dump
included the names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and
physical addresses of dozens of alleged members of the
religious organization. Along with the data, KY Anonymous
posted a video in which it pledged to derail the church's

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"don't Forget Your Court Date"
How text messages and other technology can give legal
support to the poor.

By Kat Aaron

December 7, 2012


Like everyone else, lawyers for the poor are trying to do
more with less, increasingly, that means turning to tech,
using new tools to deliver information to clients, support
volunteer lawyers, and improve their own systems. They're
using text messaging, automated call-backs, Web chats, and
computer-assisted mapping.

For simple questions, technology can help deliver
information to clients. For more complicated problems, only
a lawyer will do. Unfortunately, there aren't enough lawyers
to go around, particularly true outside of cities. So five
years ago, Georgia Legal Services created virtual office
kits, with laptops, portable printers, and scanners. They
also got an assist from Sprint, which provided free air
cards for mobile Internet access and an "extremely low data
rate" for unlimited usage. Legal Aid Service of Northeastern
Minnesota is developing a set of checklists for specific
issues, optimized for tablets, that lawyers can use when
they're volunteering.  Prairie State Legal Services in
Rockford, Ill., is using its "incredible mass of data" to
develop a mapping project, plotting addresses and legal

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Nurses using smartphones to fill IT gaps

By Mike Miliard, Managing Editor

December 3, 2012
Healthcare IT News


More than two-thirds of hospitals surveyed for a new study
reported that nurses aren't using tablet computers because
first-generation tablets weren't a good fit for bedside
nursing, but they do use their personal smartphones while on
the job for personal and clinical communications. The report
showed 69 percent of hospitals indicated that their nurses
use their personal mobile devices to fill in communication
gaps with the technology provided by hospital IT departments
- which some nurses find difficult to use and complain has
limited functionality, researchers found.

Still, IT support for those devices is lacking because
supporting nursing `Bring Your Own Device' initiatives would
require hospital IT to define comprehensive mobile
governance strategies and to deploy enterprise-class tools
to centrally monitor, manage and protect mobile devices,
apps and data. Hospital IT must provide a more reliable and
scalable wireless infrastructure to support an increasing
number of wireless users, devices and applications required
at point of care.

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Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos

By Declan McCullagh

December 17, 2012
CNET - News


In its first big policy shift since Facebook bought the
popular photo-sharing site,  Instagram stated that it has
the perpetual right to sell users' photographs without
payment or notification, a dramatic policy shift that
quickly sparked a public outcry.  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

Facebook's new rights to sell Instagram users' photos come
from two additions to its terms of use policy. One section
deletes the current phrase "limited license" and, by
inserting the words "transferable" and "sub-licensable,"
allows Facebook to license users' photos to any other
organization. A second section allows Facebook to charge
money. It says that "a business or other entity may pay us
to display your... photos... in connection with paid or
sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to
you." That language does not exist in the current terms of
use. The new intellectual property policy takes effect on
January 16, and there's no way to opt out.

[Note from Nan Otek - since this policy was announced,
Facebook has declared that there is no intent to exploit
users photos and will soon "clarify the language" of the new
terms of service.]

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'Covering Torture' Study Looks At How Media Refers To

By Jack Mirkinson

December 13, 2012
The Huffington Post


A new study has taken a close look at how American media
refers to torture. The study, by ReThink Media, looked at
the coverage of 50 media outlets between October 2010 and
October 2012, and examined whether or not they used the word
"torture" when referring to American interrogation
practices, or whether they used phrases like "harsh
interrogation techniques" instead.

The reluctance of many media organizations to use "torture"
has long been a sticking point with many media critics.
Previous studies showed that, once the Bush administration
started waterboarding people, major media outlets stopped
referring to the method as torture. Things have apparently
improved since then.  Generally, print media is better than
television at not using euphemisms. Overall, cable news
leaned very heavily towards euphemisms, using them nearly 73
percent of the time, while print outlets used them 48
percent of the time.

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Clear Channel Donates WDTW-A/Detroit To MMTC

Via Joe Torres, Free Press

December 11, 2012
All Access Music Group


CLEAR CHANNEL is donating another AM station to the MINORITY
A/DETROIT.  The 5,000-watt progressive talk station will be
given to the MMTC under the MMTC-CLEAR CHANNEL Ownership
Diversity Initiative, and then sold to a minority owner.

Throughout the years, CLEAR CHANNEL's donations have been
instrumental in helping MMTC secure ownership and training
opportunities for minorities and women across the country.
Many of MMTC's buyers of these stations have ventured into
interesting, unique, diverse programming to fill niche needs
in the local communities. Having a station and transmitter
donated in a major market like DETROIT is a huge asset for
the MMTC mentoring and advocacy programs.

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A Look at Newspapers Turning a Profit -- Yes, There Are Some
-- and Those That Are Not

By Nat Ives

December 17, 2012
Advertising Age


Speculation surged last week that Michael Bloomberg, New
York's billionaire mayor and founder of Bloomberg LP, might
buy The Financial Times, after The New York Times reported
he'd been thinking about it. The paper's not for sale, but
the report begged a related question: are newspapers a good
buy in 2013?

Despite all the talk about newspapers being a dying
business, plenty of them are profitable. That includes the
FT, which will probably have an annual profit equivalent to
some $32 million. What about other newspapers of note?

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