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Our internet and the law

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Jamillah Knowles | 08:12 UK time, Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Hello Outriders!

This week on the podcast we look at some of the problems netizens are facing when it comes to access and sharing online. SOPA, the stop online piracy act and PIPA - protect IP bills have been making headlines from the United States, where the bills were designed and all over the web where protesters showed that they did not want this sort of legislation to be passed.

It's a tricky topic as there are many protesters raising their voices against the laws and there are plenty of people who support these ideas too.

Indian internet

Along with these headlines about legislation in America, there are many other places around the world that are debating how best to manage a population that has an increasing presence on the internet.

In India, a court case is continuing that may affect how social networking websites work. Not in relation to copyright material, but as a reaction to offensive content being spread and shared.

So, what do they mean by offensive content and who are the big names in this case?

Friend of Outriders, Nishant Shah, is the Co-Founder and director of research at the Bangalore based Centre for Internet and Society, he explained the case and more about the effects of a possible outcome.

The case continues and no doubt we'll be following along to find out how our Indian outriders may be affected.

Last week also saw a huge story of the web as content sharing website Megaupload was taken down and the site's owners were charged with copyright violation.

As a response, the loose network of hackers and activists known as Anonymous activated their own take down campaign, targeting the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Motion Picture Association of America.

Upload down

Many users of the MegaUpload site watched countless hours of video posted by other people with accounts on the site, copyright or otherwise, but the shut down does not just mean that people are no longer able to watch videos, it also means that people who had put files on that site, are currently unable to access them.

One such customer is Jay Springett, who is a technology consultant, photographer and musician. I asked him how he came to use the site and if he had heard anything about getting his files back.

Well, we hope that Jay does get his raw files back and I grateful to him for talking to us about his experience - it's good to have a reminder about our information and files online. Take care of what you own and think twice about the reliability of the cloud. Though you may never be in this situation - and we hope this is the case, it's always a very good idea to keep copies of your own files, you never know what might be ahead as the internet changes.

Well, thanks to our guests as ever and of course you too can share your internet adventures or experiments with electrical things. Drop me a line at outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, tweet at me on Twitter where we are @BBC_Outriders or search for Outriders on Facebook and Google+ to add us to your feed.

Until next week!
~ Jamillah


  • Comment number 1.

    - I suspect the Jay Springett, Megaupload story is a little tongue in cheek & and I seriously doubt it's 100% true. He works as a Technology Solutions Manager yet he supposedly made big mistakes.
    1. He said the raw data files filled his PC so had to delete them ? Que ? that must be a hell of a lot of data ..drives are like 300GB + these days ..and he uploaded it all it must have been 10s of gigabytes ..that would have slowed the internet down for the rest of us. Surely what he should have done is sent the jpegs first, then said to the customer "once you pay the money I'll send you the large originals"
    2. He didn't keep proper backups ... 1st of computing
    3. Surely tech people know it's easyish to use file recovery software to get back deleted files on his computer yet neither he nor Jamillah mentioned this.. Also surely most of his photos are still on the original camera chips
    4. His analogy of police burning down a storage depot cos someone put "some stolen " stuff there is way off more like he approached a some guys who wear dark glasses and carry violin cases who run a storage depot 99% full of stolen stuff. The police have not "burnt" his files, he can apply to the court just like you can in the case of a physical storage depot.
    5. why's he got his face covered in the photo ? Surely that is suspect when people turn up to demos with their face covered, same on the net.

    bye stew


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