Digital Democracy

A blog for the course New Media and a Democratic Society

Archive for August, 2010

Internet and Democracy

Posted by clocke22 on August 30, 2010

Morozov’s article reminds us that the great democratizing power of the Internet is only one side of the story; the Internet can also be used to subvert free expression and discourse.  This article drew to mind language drafted by Congress when passing the Telecommunications Act of 1996, specifically section 230, which provides immunity from civil liability for internet service providers and websites stemming from tortuous or illegal content posted by users.  The introduction to this provision nicely lays out Congress’ predictions for the Internet and its policy directions, many of which Morozov refers to in the beginning of his article.  “The Internet and other interactive computer services offer a forum for a true diversity of political discourse, unique opportunities for cultural development, and myriad avenues for intellectual activity” is one of the findings made by Congress.  The provision can be found here:—-000-.html.

An explanation of the law:

Some of the technical terms Morozov used that I looked up further were: SEO services such as, mashups, DDoS and crowdsourcing.   When looking up mashups, it was hard to cull out the Internet mashup references from the music mashup references (and for the record, I am a huge fan of Glee and its mashups!). provided a fairly straightforward explanation, and I was actually surprised to see that mashups are not really new and that I have already been using them: IBM offered a more credible and more detailed explanation:  As IBM explained, the term actually comes from the music scene.   Next, I researched the DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack.  Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute website offered a fairly straightforward description of a DDoS:  I especially appreciated the analogy to a phone line being busy—I would compare it to what happens when you call in to a radio call-in contest.


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Let me introduce myself…

Posted by clocke22 on August 27, 2010

Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland

My name is Christina Locke and I am taking New Media and a Democratic Society during the Fall 2010 semester.  I am a Ph.D. student focusing on media law.  I graduated from the joint M.A./J.D. program in 2007 and practiced law in Atlanta.  After I finish in the program this time around, I hope to teach media law and journalism at either a j-school or law school.  I think this class will be a great help in writing my dissertation, which looks at the use of new media in legal reporting.

I am from Okeechobee, Florida, where I worked as a reporter, a job I really loved.  At one point growing up we lived on a few acres and had LOTS of animals, including two donkeys, four pigs, a calf, two Shetland ponies and two horses.  That was lots of fun and one day I’d like to have a mini-farm of my own:)  I love to travel and this past May I went to Iceland.  It was really beautiful and reminded of how they describe places in fairy tales.  Before that, I have mostly traveled to South America.  Margarita Island, Venezuela, is one of my favorites. 

I work at the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information (3208 Weimer, back by the radio stations), so if you ever have any questions about public records or meetings, come see me!

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