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Saving Kittens for Internet Freedom

Posted on January 2, 2013 and read 2,263 times

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kerrie finch Saving Kittens for Internet FreedomKerrie Finch
CEO & Founder

Internet kitties, a well-known phenomena with them being furry, funny, crazy and cute but what if a cat gets threatened with playful punishment? A joint venture between digital studios Wellington/Amsterdam based Resn, rehabstudio and Stinkdigital ran a 24 hour internet telethon event at to save the kitten called Webster. The goal of the campaign was to raise awareness for the freedom of the internet and possible threats like the new legislation called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. What’s the story from a high up in the sky Finchie perspective?

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When Tim Berners Lee and Robert Cailliau created the World Wide Web they envisioned a common space to share information and communicate freely. And with success, the World Wide Web has shaped up to be that for more than a decade. The WWW has become a place in society for both recreational and work-related goals. Obviously, a technology that is this widespread and accessible could affect other layers of our society; for example, the economics and the legal system.

A simple and well known example in the earlier days of the internet was the downloading service called Napster. It showed how easy it was to download and share digital content like music, videos and software. More interestingly, it showed how the established frameworks for music production and sales didn’t innovate and embrace new technologies. Their response wasn’t adapting and looking into new ways to create revenue and benefit from new sales opportunities but swinging with the ban hammer suing Napster and similar services.

Years have passed, and industries have embraced the internet and the technologies and devices that go with it. But on the legal front barely anything has changed. At the end of 2011 there was a lot of commotion around two American legislations, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) greatly aimed towards more governmental control, and thus influence, if the legislations would be accepted.

The public uproar caused by the previously named bills was enormous with WordPress, Wikipedia, Google and other companies going on black for a day to create awareness amongst the internet population and how threatening these legislations can be for the freedom of the internet. The blackout resulted in the shift of votes and ultimately leaving the legislation to die. Though it was a victory, it was just a small one in the ongoing fight for internet freedom. New legislations are rising up to take its place, like CISPA and a recently leaked plan where countries like Russia, China and Egypt would gain control over the internet in their respective countries. Even though the plan didn’t get the support it hoped for at The International Telecommunications Nation, it shows that these governmental movements are ever ongoing.

After the 24-hour event, Webster the kitten was saved and hundreds of people signed the petition. It was an unorthodox way to create attention and awareness but the creative masterminds at Resn, rehabstudio and Stinkdigital really made it work. However there is never enough support for this issue.




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