Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
|The Google side of the YouTube blocking|
According to a lengthy article published Friday in the New York Times Magazine, in March 2007, Nicole Wong, the deputy general counsel of Google, was notified that there had been an abrupt fall in activity on YouTube in Turkey and that the Turkish government was blocking access to YouTube for virtually all Turkish Internet users.
Upon this Wong and her colleagues rushed to figure out which videos provoked the court order. After identifying the video, a parody news broadcast insulting Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Turkey, Wong called on Turkish authorities to reconsider their decision, pointing out that YouTube users had already voluntarily removed the original offending video.
But after the video was taken down, Turkish prosecutors objected to dozens of other YouTube videos they claimed insulted either Atatürk or Turkishness. After having many of the videos translated into English, Wong and her colleagues set out to determine which ones were, in fact, illegal in Turkey Ğ which would be a violation of YouTube’s terms of service that prohibit speeches of hatred but allow political speech; and which constituted expression Google and YouTube would try to protect. This was when differences of opinion emerged between the team members.
"There was a vigorous internal debate between Wong and her colleagues at the top of Google’s legal pyramid." Wong, who had to play mediator, decided that Google, by using a technique called IP blocking, would prevent access to videos that clearly violated Turkish law, but only in Turkey. For a time, this solution seemed to work for the Turkish judges, who reopened access to YouTube.
But last June a Turkish prosecutor made a demand that Google block access to the offending videos all over the world, to protect the rights and sensitivities of Turks living outside the country. Google refused, arguing that one nation’s government should not be able to set limits of speech for Internet users worldwide. As a result Youtube has remained blocked in Turkey.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Three Henry Puffer Grade School first-graders last week stood face to face with their principal.
And then they threw pies at him.
The school participated in a Thanksgiving fundraiser to help 12 of the school’s families buy a turkey. Each classroom was also given a list of canned food items needed to complete a Thanksgiving dinner. This was the first year for the fundraiser and the school raised $385.
The first-grade class raised the most money, and as a reward, classmates Elisabeth Delegan, Isabella Marrandino and Joshua Reams, all of Downers Grove, were randomly chosen to hurl a whipped cream pie at Principal Todd McDaniel.
McDaniel came prepared with a trash bag tarp. And he needed it.
Although Isabella and Joshua’s throws came close, Elisabeth hit a bull’s eye.
“It’s all in good fun and as long as it goes to a good cause, it is certainly worth while,” McDaniel said.
Katie Hurckes teaches sixth grade and is the student council adviser. She said the student council collected the money during lunch periods and tallied each class’ donations.
“We were really proud of the students,” Hurckes said. “Not only to just help out, but to help other families in the school.”
She said students could bring up to $1 a day. For every 10 cents raised by a student, their class received a stamp on the feathers of a giant turkey made out of construction paper hung on a wall in the cafeteria.