Joshua Waring

ITS 360 Hmwk #5

Due: 3/8/19


What Would You Do?

1)      I would politely ask the neighbor if they had been leaving the negative reviews on my website.  I would ask them politely to stop if I thought they were leaving the negative reviews.  If that still did not work, I would contact YELP to contest the reviews and see if I could get them removed.  Finally, if none of the above worked, I would seek legal advice about a possible lawsuit against my neighbor if I was certain they were behind the reviews.  I would need proof they were indeed leaving these reviews, and I would need evidence that the reviews were libelous.

2)      I would recommend that he contact the human resources department first, using an anonymous email if necessary. Posting to a corporate blog site could get him in legal trouble if he accused the company of racial and sexual discrimination, and the company could most likely track his ip and in the end find out who sent the emails, even if he used a remailer.  I would only recommend posting to the blog as a last resort, and I would encourage him to be very careful not to post any direct accusations or anything that could get him in trouble for defamation.

Critical Thinking Q’s

1.1)  I believe Techdirt is worth defending, as it seems like a legitimate source for [opinion] articles regarding tech information and news.  I think it is not only an important media source worth defending, but that it also should be defended otherwise there will be precedent for future attacks on media or news sources.  I don’t think Techdirt should be sued for defamation just because they hosted an article that expressed doubts about Ayyadurai’s claims.

1.2)  I think that Ayyadurai does present a strong case for his side of the story.  However I think the legitimacy of his claim largely depends on the definition of “email” to decide who invented it, and when.  It does appear that there is enough evidence supporting his claim to being the inventor, and there are news articles published that present research and investigations that back him up.

1.3)  Masnick and his attorney can use precedence from other lawsuits against media resources to at the very least explain why they shouldn’t be sued for the article, whether or not it is a valid article or not.  Masnick can also show how available proof at the time did not necessarily guarantee that Ayyadurai was the creator of email, so how could they know better?  Ayyadurai and his attorney would probably use the article itself and break it into pieces to show how it affected Ayyadurai and harmed his reputation.  Demanding social media sites take down posts supporting Masnick is a losing strategy.  This will just frustrate and enrage more people, as everyone feels they have to right to be heard.


2.1)  I think that an alternative sovereignty model that countries similar to China might accept would be one that provides citizens easy access to the internet and wifi, but in exchange blocks a minimal amount of sites that the country deems contradictory to their political viewpoint.

2.2) I think global Internet users would be outraged for the most part, as most people in the more advanced countries expect a certain amount of privacy, and they would see this as a stepping-stone to further monitoring and censorship of their social media and internet activity in their own countries.  I think that a company shouldn’t change its ethics just so it can get a foothold in the Chinese marketplace.  While there is often a great benefit due to China’s large population and relatively low labor cost, a company should hold true to its policies in other countries, and if they really want to gain a foothold in China,  they should do so using different products to provide [a sense] of security to customers in other countries.

2.3)  I feel that any barrier for “fake news” could be quickly turned into a larger barrier for legitimate news deemed fake by the current administration.  I feel like pornography should be blocked on the internet as I am a Christian and believe it is wrong, but I know I’m in the vast minority when it comes to this case.  I also think hate speech on the internet needs to be “toned down”, but it is hard to monitor and decipher what qualifies as someone being hurtful and someone being hateful.  As hate speech is illegal in the US anyway, any barrier to it wouldn’t qualify as a barrier to freedom of expression, even if it did work (If anything, I believe people should change [their behavior], more than I believe policies need to change, as policies won’t change [in a democracy] until the people’s opinion changes).