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How do we determine who has the right to access information and knowledge? Stefan Landreau Amanda Hang Kevin Murphy.

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Presentation on theme: "How do we determine who has the right to access information and knowledge? Stefan Landreau Amanda Hang Kevin Murphy."— Presentation transcript:

1 How do we determine who has the right to access information and knowledge? Stefan Landreau Amanda Hang Kevin Murphy


3 WikiLeaks ' "WikiLeaks is a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for independent sources around the world to leak information to our journalists. We publish material of ethical, political and historical significance while keeping the identity of our sources anonymous, thus providing a universal way for the revealing of suppressed and censored injustices." "We open governments"

4 WikiLeaks Non-profit organization that dedicates themselves to leaking secret government cables to the public The WikiLeaks Servers went live on 4th October 2006 Was founded by Julian Assange in an attempt to allow the public to view what he considers they have the right to know

5 The WikiLeaks Scandal On November 28, 2010 WikiLeaks announced that they had 251,287 United States Embassy cables that they were planning to release periodically throughout the next couple of months Once they began to release the cables the United States government and governments around the world began to react adversely, for some of the cables included confidential information on their country Is it right to release the documents to the public? Does Julian Assange appear to think that governments have the right to privacy?

6 How we determine who can access information and knowledge In several modern societies, access to information has been referred to as a right of the public In certain situations, governments deem some information not suitable for exposure to the public; it is classified as sensitive or irrelevant to the situation of the masses These two cases often infringe upon one another, as governments feel that some information should not be released to the public, while the public believe it is their right to have access to this information

7 Aspects of determining who has the right to information Language - We can interpret different documents to determine when certain people should have access to knowledge Ethics o Based on the situation, we can determine when it is ethical to expose people to information, based on its severity and the extent to which the information is withheld o Also, when the information could potentially become a threat to our security, we enter the ethical dilemma about whether security or honesty to the public is more important Reason - We must use reason to draw conclusions from specific instances about when people should have access

8 Definitions Information: the communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence Knowledge: the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association (2) :acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique Property: a quality or trait belonging and especially peculiar to an individual or thing Intellectual Property: property (as an idea, invention, or process) that derives from the work of the mind or intellect; also : an application, right, or registration relating to this Theft: the act of stealing; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it

9 Intellectual Property Intellectual property is an idea or invention that a person can claim as theirs To claim something as Intellectual Property, one can copyright, trademark, patent, claim industrial design rights, and as a trade secret Government documents can not be considered intellectual property and thus it is public domain making releasing it technically legal and not against the law

10 Plagiarism Plagiarism: the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work Plagiarism can be considered a specific case of intellectual property theft o The theft is continued further, with the work as a whole being copied/imitated without giving due credit to the original work

11 Freedom of Information Act Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 4, 1966 Allows the public to access previously unreleased information controlled by the United States Government Enacted because people have the right to know, but also because certain types of information should not be disclosed The Freedom of Information Act includes nine exemptions which address sensitivity and personal rights The exceptions were also modified in 1976 to clarify and put forth the specific details "[Wikileaks] Could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act." - Time Magazine

12 Freedom of Information Act - Exceptions Issues dealing with foreign policy and national defense Rules and practices of a federal agency (Modified in 1976) Information regarding national defense, rules and practices of an agency and information surrounding a crime Trade secrets and/or financial information Medical files or similar documents that would infringe on personal privacy Law enforcement actions that would compromise someone's right to a free trial or unwarranted invasion of someone's privacy

13 Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA ) Allows the government to censor or block websites that infringe on copyright laws. Would give the Attorney General jurisdiction over websites that participate in "infringing activities"

14 Limewire "This is an official notice that Limewire is under a court ordered injunction to stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software. Downloading or sharing copyrighted content without authorization is illegal."

15 Censorship Censor: to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable ; also : to suppress or delete as objectionable Access to knowledge is often restricted through the censorship of the press Censorship of the press is usually related to freedom of speech Freedom of the Press - the right to freedom of expression and communication through the means of published material Reporters Without Borders - a non-governmental organization defending the freedom of press and protecting journalists worldwide

16 Censorship of the Press Worldwide Reporters Without Borders' Press Freedom Index o Based on countries' press freedom records o As of 2010, Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland are tied for first o The U.S.A. is ranked 20th on the list, followed by Canada o Cuba ranks 166th on the list, China ranks 171st, and North Korea is 177th and Eritrea ranks last at 178th.

17 Internet Censorship One of the most common modern forms of censorship of the press is the censorship of the internet Apparent difficulty of Internet Censorship Several nations worldwide severely limit public access to the internet or certain sites o Reporters Without Border's Internet Enemy list: Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam OpenNet Initiative

18 Internet Censorship in the United States Access to the internet itself is not censored or prohibited in the United States Publishing things online may be monitored or restricted, though, given a violation of copyright laws or intellectual property Private instances of internet censorship do take place To what extent do you think governments should censor internet use?

19 Internet Censorship in China Golden Shield Project - "Great Firewall of China" Certain websites are blocked using a variety of methods: o Blocking IP addresses o Filtering URL's based on specific keywords o Blocking certain domain names o Terminating TCP packets based on detection of keywords

20 Consider the following: Your teacher finishes grading your most recent test, but you already know you did poorly. A classmate of yours obtains all of the scores for each student in the class. Before the teacher can return your graded tests with their scores, this classmate then decides to make these grades public, claiming that it is necessary for everyone to not only know how they did on the test, but know how they compare amongst their classmates. Do you: 1.Check out the grade sheet because you have a right to this information, and you are interested in seeing everyone else's scores 2.Decline to see the grade sheet, claiming that the information is private, and your classmate had no right to publicize it

21 Who has the right to access information and knowledge? In many cases, the government puts forth legislation that attempts to limit or monitor access to information Access to information is often seen as a right. However, this is under the condition that the access of this information will not lead to violation of intellectual property, copyright laws, or jeopardize the security of a nation It is therefore dependent on the situation itself; some situations should be exposed to the public, as they have few possible repercussions, yet some could understandably be held from the public, because of their severity and potential consequences

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