Category Archive: Public opinion

How a surprising blog post helped shift Japan’s perception of civil liberties

By Simon Davies In recent days a rather odd sequence of events has unfurled in Japan which has led some observers to speculate that this endlessly surprising nation is starting to wake from its 40-year slumber over privacy and civil liberties. Over the past few decades the Japanese population has been ambivalent about rights issues, …

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Right or wrong, it’s time for Google to disclose its relationship with government

By Simon Davies Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has repeated claims that Google is up to its neck in the machinations of the White House Administration. This claim raises some critically important questions. Speaking this week via video link to the 19th International Symposium on Electronic Art Assange warned “Google wants to ingratiate itself in the …

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How a forgotten wheelie-bin campaign may offer surprise insights into campaigning against PRISM

By Simon Davies It would be hard to overstate the extent of public outrage at the moment about the NSA PRISM scandal. I can’t recall an issue for many years that has triggered such widespread anger. The response is also noteworthy because it cuts across national boundaries and demographics. From the local pub in Hertfordshire …

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Google shows its true colours – and they’re not the colour of money

By Simon Davies Last Saturday, Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, had an interesting comment piece published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper that caused some readers to choke on their breakfast cereal. The article was placed as a response to recent revelations that Google has for years evaded the payment of UK taxes. With irony mischievously dripping …

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The Big Brother Awards gears up for a renewed assault on the privacy invaders

By Simon Davies Fifteen years ago today, while drinking with friends in a chaotic London pub, I came up with a whacky idea that somehow ended up taking off around the world. The initiative that emerged from that day – the Big Brother Awards – has caused more grief for invasive organisations than any single …

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The hidden story behind Facebook’s privacy changes – and why your data has suddenly become a lot more valuable

By Simon Davies Desperate for a positive news story about Facebook, the world’s media is in hyperdrive over changes to the site’s new privacy settings. I mean, gosh, they are now so easy to use. “Facebook caves in to privacy pressures” declared the stately Financial Times. “Facebook’s privacy evolution crawls another step out of the …

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People aren’t conflicted about privacy – they just appear that way

By Simon Davies People often ask me to explain why privacy seems such a incongruous concept. Why is it that people who proclaim to love privacy will sometimes cheerfully give it away? Why do some people who oppose ID cards because they are instruments of government intrusion, contemporaneously support national security powers that are an …

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India’s first major privacy survey reveals deep concern over intrusion

By Simon Davies India’s largest-ever privacy survey has revealed a high degree of concern over encroachment into private life. The survey, published earlier today, polled the views of more than ten thousand people and concluded that Indian residents believe the threat of privacy invasion is now largely out of control. The survey – which was …

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