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They’re kidding, right?

India wants to set up a system whereby the United Nations would rule the Internet.

The Internet is governed by “a voluntary, multi-stakeholder group called ICANN or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.” This group, headquartered in California, ensures that the Internet is free and mostly decentralized. ICANN has a Government Advisory Council (GAC), and invites governments across the world, including India, to participate.

But that is not good enough for India, which wants to set up a different system wherein the United Nations would rule the Internet.

The details of this effort are alarming. Be sure to click this link, read the piece, and let your congressional reps know what you think.

In neighboring Pakistan, the Ministry of Information Technology blocked access to Twitter for what it says was “blasphemous material posted by users” on the social networking site. Another official said “the ban would be lifted after ongoing discussions between the Pakistan government and Twitter about the allegedly blasphemous material are resolved,” according to a Reuters report. The ban was subsequently lifted after several hours.

Facebook IPO: Hope and optimism?

Well, for all the hype and hyperventilation, Facebook’s initial public offering ended where it began – at $38 a share. But it still made founder Mark Zuckerberg a wealthy man, with holdings of 503.6 million shares – the equivalent of about 31 percent of the company – worth $19.1 billion at the initial public offering price.

A day later he and his longtime girlfriend married. Zuckerberg posted the announcement on his Facebook timeline Saturday evening, adding a life event reading “Married Priscilla Chan.”

But the real story is, what comes next?

Facebook is under the gun to perform for Wall Street or face the same fate as Yahoo! and AOL. How creative must Facebook become to successfully expand its monetization and grow the company into a profitable investment for its shareholders? Can FB do that without alienating its billions of users? How many different revenue streams can Zuckerberg and company develop through diverse advertising arrangements and technology? Can Facebook capitalize on the exploding numbers of iPhone and Android users now accessing Facebook? How will Zuckerberg boost his bottom line? Can he? The pressure is on.

Pleased to meet you

Introducing Facebook’s 10 new billionaires. Will all that new Palo Alto wealth generate millions in tax revenues for California?

Can anything ever replace Facebook? Will there be a next generation after Facebook?

And finally, file this one in the “What business is it of theirs?” category.

U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Bob Casey, D-Pa., said last week they intend to submit legislation they’ve dubbed the “Ex-PATRIOT” – “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” – Act. Why? Because these politicians want to punish Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin for relinquishing his U.S. citizenship in what they say is a “scheme” to “help him duck up to $76 million in taxes.”

Their plan would bar individuals like Saverin, who resides in Singapore, from ever reentering the United States again. We wrote about Saverin in last week’s Surfin’ Safari.

So what does the Facebook co-founder see for Facebook’s future?

Tell me why this isn’t creepy

Let’s say you’re seated at a bar, sipping a cold one, minding your own business. Next thing you know, you find out your image is being live streamed to the world via a camera tucked away, out of site.

Is that an invasion of privacy? Evidently the makers of SceneTap don’t think so. SceneTap is a biometric “barhopping” app that’s hit the bar scene in San Francisco and is one of several private companies using the military’s biometrics, or facial recognition, to database your face.

According to Activist Post, “One of the latest military-grade systems can now scan 36 million faces per second, or every face in the U.S. within 10 seconds. It is a technology that has trickled down from use in war zones like Afghanistan to catalog potential terrorists, to U.S. border control applications for combating illegal immigration, to FBI crime detection, to post-riot analysis and right on down to establishing personal ID for a wide range of private companies. … We are already in a situation where facial recognition is beginning to permeate our daily lives as a form of government surveillance.”

The technology is being rolled out in 25 San Francisco bars. Here’s a list of them. According to the article, nightlife visitors in the City by the Bay have already been live-streamed from their local haunts against their knowledge. Here’s a list of nearly 50 bars participating in a similar app called BarSpace.

Twitter tracking your moves on Web

Did you know that Twitter leaves cookies on your computer that track where you go on the Internet? According to Lifehacker, as long as there’s a “tweet this” or “follow me” button on the site, Twitter harvests information on where you are. Read how and what you can do to stop it from happening.

Another new feature out there by Twitter will offer suggestions on who you might be interested in following.

Join the party on Twitter where the lft is getting clobbered by conservatives, at least according to this writer at Powerlineblog.

“Faster than good news can get its pants on”

With Twitter, nothing is a secret anymore. Case in point: Within moments of a U.S. drone’s missiles clandestinely slamming into a convoy of vehicles in a remote part of Yemen and killing three alleged militants, the strike was posted on Twitter, alerting the world.

“The most powerful organization on earth”

Hacktivist group Anonymous claims, “Right now we have access to every classified database in the U.S. government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not if. You know how we got access? We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems.”

Are they terrorists? Read this and then decide.

Bits & Bytes

 

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