From: Nathan J. Nelson

To: Dr. Tucker, Shin-Ping

Subject: Homework 5

                                    19 February 2019



Two frequently heard phrases associated with the topic of freedom of speech are: “ I disapprove of what you are saying but  I will defend to the death your right to say it” and “ It is easy to believe in freedom of speech for those with whom we agree”. Craft a phrase that communicates your feelings about freedom of speech.

While you may have the right to run your mouth, I have the right to disagree, or, walk-away.


To what degree does monitoring of internet activity by various government agencies impact your freedom of expression? Explain your answer.

The monitoring of internet activity plays no role in the way that I use the internet and its various sites. While you may ask but aren’t you worried that the government is watching you? I will reply, no, I am not doing anything that I need to be nervous or afraid of.




What would you do?

1. You run a small bakery and are shocked when friends tell you about several negative reviews of your bakery on Yelp. After reading the reviews, you have a very strong suspicion that they were all written by a neighbor with whom you have had sever disagreements over the past year. The next day, you see this neighbor on the street in front of your house, what do you do?

Personally, I would not confront the individual directly, I would contact an attorney to subpoena the IP addresses of the individual(s) responsible to verify their identity. If indeed it is my neighbor, I would work through existing laws versus direct contact. I.e. John Doe anonymous laws. 


4. Imagine that you receive a strongly worded hate email at your school or job that threatens physical violence toward you. What would you do? Does your school or workplace have a policy that covers such issues?

I would immediately report the email to the information technology services department, campus safety, and the local police to determine whether or not there is a credible threat. By allowing the authorities to handle the situation, you take yourself out of the equation by escalating a situation in which the sender may have just been being a “jerk” and never truly meant any acts against you.

Most institutions, to include UWS have policies set in place to handle situations  


Cases China’s Great Firewall

1.   Can you describe an alternative internet sovereignty model that might be acceptable for these counties yet still allow some modicum of freedom of expression?

No, I cannot think of a different model that would appease the Chinese government. Their current model allows them to monitor, takedown, or censor anything that the government deems inappropriate. In this case, anything they feel is in direct conflict with Chinese rule. No government who has that much control over their people would sacrifice their power over the direct influence over their people.

2.   How might global internet users react to a Facebook or YouTube that censors its users’ posts and monitors its users to comply with laws in China? What ethical and economic factors should an information technology company weigh when considering whether to enter the Chinese marketplace?

Some U.S. users may feel betrayed if they found out that their favorite social media sites were allowing the Chinese government to spy on them or to influence whether their posts are seen or not. As for tech companies and their thought processes, they need to weigh not only what their investors think, but their current customer base as well.


3.   Can you identify any barriers to freedom of expression on the internet that not only are acceptable to you, but you would like to see implemented?

Anything that blocks snuff films, child pornography, bestiality, and other highly offensive and illegal sites are completely acceptable to me. They have no place in a descent society.


Cases Techdirt Sued for Defamation

1.   Do you think that Techdirtt is an important independent media resource worth protecting or should it be subject to strong scrutiny and pressure to shut down?

No, I do not believe that Techdirt is an important media outlet, however, when we start to pick and choose what we deem “important” news, we are one step closer to a state that controls the content of the internet because we don’t see value in a given site. Had the owner of the site refrained from name calling, perhaps this incident wouldn’t have occurred.  


2.   Do you think that Ayyadurai presents a strong and convincing argument that he invented email?

I am sure that he believes he created the internet and some of the ways that it works and feels, however, the D.O.D. service already had some of these features prior to this.


3.   What measures might Masnick take to defend himself and his organization in this defamation lawsuit? What measures might Ayyadurai and his attorney take to strengthen his case against Masnick? Is demanding that social media sites take down posts supporting Masnick a winning strategy?

Apologize for the name calling and show that the Defense Department and ARPNET had a similar setup prior to his release. Demanding that social media sites take down support of Masnick is just censorship and therefore not a winning strategy.