For today’s show, I have listed ten heroes and zeros – 7 each just for 2019 and 3 for the decade as a whole. Who would you put on your list?
- The Founders: Leonard Kleinrock (one of the founders of the Internet) and Tim Berners-Lee (founder of the world wide web) used the 50th anniversary of the internet and the 30th anniversary of the web respectively to call for the public and government to help restore the promise of both.
- Devin Nunes’ Cow: Using a Twitter account to parody and expose the hypocrisy of Rep. Devin Nunes and triggering frivolous lawsuits in the process.
- Taylor Dumpson: After becoming the first female, African-American student government president at The American University (AU) in Washington, D.C., she also became Daily Stormer’s target for racist trolls. She fought back in court and won.
- Katie Hill: The former Congresswoman and victim of cyber exploitation gave a spotlight to what victims suffer.
- MeWe: An ad-free privacy-friendly social network emerges to take on Facebook.
- John Oliver*: The host of Last Week Tonight did both a great takedown and explanation of the need for anti-SLAPP laws with his “Eat Shit, Bob!” segment.
- Greta Thunberg: The climate change activist who, through protests and social media, demonstrated how one person can make a difference and brought attention on the need for action on climate change.
- FCC Chairman Ajit Pai*: Pai said repealing Net Neutrality would help consumers, it hasn’t. (Link)
- Amazon: In 2019, Amazon was cited for its unsafe working conditions and demands on its transportation contractors.
- China*: China ramped up its Big Brother regime of censorship, surveillance and social credits. and was rated the top internet abuser for the fourth year in a row in Freedom House’s Freedom on the Net 2019 report.
- Facebook*: “They ‘trust me’… Dumb f–ks.” Mark Zuckerberg’s famous boast is no longer true for far too many reasons to state.
- PewDiePie: The internet’s top gamer and anti-semite who rescinded donation to Anti-Defamation League after a revolt by his fans.
- Donald J. Trump*: The 45th President of the United States who uses his Twitter account to spew over 13 lies per day, promote hate groups and coarsening our political debate.
- Saudi Arabia*: While continuing to jail critics such as Raif Badawi, the Saudi government got caught using Twitter employees to spy on its critics.
*Indicates repeat hero/zero.
- Danielle Keats Citron*: The author, law professor and privacy expert has been a thought leader in combatting online harassment and revenge porn. In 2019, she received a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” for her work.
- Kashmir Hill*: Throughout the decade, this repeat CLBR guest has been at the forefront of reporting on privacy issues. Don’t miss her latest expose
- Max Schrems*: The Austrian lawyer-activist who took on Facebook on privacy and won.
- Censoring Regimes and their Service Providers: According to Freedom House, in the last year social media and communication applications were blocked in at least 20 countries, and telecommunications networks were suspended in 17 countries. While the list of censoring countries includes the usual suspects, it also includes India which had 134 internet blackouts in the Kashmir region in 2018 alone.
- Facebook*: No business has done more to erode trust in the Internet.
- Cyber Rogues Gallery: China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia have emerged as the most prolific state sponsors of cyberattacks.