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Internet of Things: Savior or Surveillant?

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Looking back 20 years from now, who would’ve thought anything like the internet would ever exist? Days when the most convenient source of communication were landlines and the only way to socialise was to sit together and talk. But today, everything is connected through the internet. People are addicted to it, feel life without the […]

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Whither Privacy: Unkept Promises of Social Media Apps

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Privacy is a core concern in a world where social media and mobile phone apps are the main focus for people. Sadly, most people do not realize the fact that the only privacy social media or apps leave them with is either non-existent or a miniscule amount. This is especially true for apps that target […]

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The American Nightmare: Privacy Vs Security

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Benjamin Franklin, who is regarded as one of the Founding Fathers of the nation that proudly sings the Star-Spangled Banner, once said, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”   Moving the clock ahead by about three hundred years, we have the current President of the United States, […]

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Right to be Forgotten: Privacy, Censorship or Neither?

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All of us, at some stage or the other, have typed our names into various search engines. Some have been met by a wall of fame meticulously archiving all their wonderful achievements. Others, including myself, have been met by a chronicled horror show of teenage angst and a laundry list of things we wish we […]

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To the Government: Do YOU have something to hide?

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The very term “inviolable”  (as claimed under Article 14 of Pakistan’s constitution) suggests that the right of privacy is something that can neither be broken nor be contested. Yet, as the world of technology evolves, we see a continuous disregard for individual privacy rights, with States consistently increasing control under the garb of “national security”. […]

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Understanding how HTTPS works with Ahmed, Bilal & Uncle Tipu

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The Internet is inherently collaborative in nature. Every time your computer needs to talk to another computer somewhere in the world, it breaks up the message into smaller manageable chunks called packets and hands off the packets to your router or modem. Your device then forwards the message to another router somewhere in your ISP […]

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Your personal information should not be up for grabs

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As offline protests continue against rigging in the polls, social media in Pakistan has also been taken by a storm. So enraged are voters and supporters, that they have been making use of every opportunity that presents itself to report it. Which is great. However, impulse sometimes leads us to make errors in judgment. The […]

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GNI Learning Forum 2012: Rights, practices and expression on the Internet

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The Global Network Initiative hosted its first Learning Forum in Washington DC on June 14, 2012. The discussion centred on safeguarding human rights, privacy and freedom of expression on the Internet. The other very interesting focus of discussion was on practices by businesses and Internet companies, and the engagement between them and governments where user data is […]

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The Dangers of a Content Filtration System

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What would happen if a content filtration system such as the one The National ICT R&D Fund has advertised seeking proposals for were put in place? How would it affect the privacy of Internet users in Pakistan and what kinds of abuses would it invite? A discussion by a member on a social networking site sheds light […]

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Filtering Content on the Internet

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Block, ban, censor. These seem to be the only options ever considered by the Pakistan government when it comes to the Internet. Ever since the 2010 ban on Facebook was imposed and subsequently lifted, there were whispers about the government investing in filtration software. In 2010, a blanket ban was the only option since blocking […]