A little experiment on privacy in the Internet

I remember when a few years ago some of my friends were playing an online game. It was a kind of so called Browser Based Game, where many people log in every day, build some constructions, speed up production, fight each other, etc. But they also cooperate with each other by creating groups and talk (or rather usually write) with others via different sorts of instant messengers, like Skype or chats. Up till now you may think it is not related to the topic of privacy, but wait a moment. I just want to provide a good example of how easy it is to infringe someone’s privacy, or rather, to illustrate people’s lack of knowledge about protecting their privacy.

So, after some time of playing in a certain organized group of gamers, some of the players started to talk with each other about other (more personal) stuff as well. Then, at school we had classes about privacy in the Internet. So my friends decided to carry out a small private research to check whether people obey the Internet security rules. In order to do it they were trying to find their fellow gamers on different social networking services, e.g. Facebook, NaszaKlasa (OurClass, Polish portal similar to Facebook). The results were really surprising- they found many of them in half an hour! They even did not need any private information about them, sometimes even first name, city and age was enough. And, what is more, many important information, photos and other details were visible to everyone on these portals. Adding to it all the private things they were talking about on their chat, someone could be really in possession of a huge repository of details that strangers should not have.

The conclusion is that people really do not care, or rather, do not realize the threats connected with the Internet. There is no need of special techniques of spying as some people provide all necessary “weapons” against them by themselves.

P.S. Of course my friends kept all “gained” information to themselves and didn’t use it in any way. They just decided to suggest some people that they put to many personal data on their Skype account.

Something about cyber crimes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU7ho1E7yPI

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Art in cyberspace

Nowadays it is becoming more and more popular to present art with the use of the Internet and other digital devices. Since the Internet is such a powerful and widespread medium it seems almost unavoidable for art and culture to have no connections with it. But this situation has both some advantages and disadvantages. It poses also some vital questions and problems.
Let us first take a closer look at the ways in which cyberspace can be beneficial to art. First of all, it makes art available for a bigger number of recipients. Almost everyone on the world has currently an access to the Internet- via personal computers, mobile phones or PDAs- at home, at work or in many public institutions like schools, universities or libraries. What is more, the abundance of electronic devices one may use to present their works of art is also very helpful in popularizing and promoting it. It can be especially useful for young artists as it helps them to make their work known for wider audience and to become famous or at least recognizable artists. Furthermore, it also makes art more popular among young people. It seems to be common knowledge that many youngsters are not very interested in high culture and art, but, since they are the main users of the Internet and other new technologies, art, especially the digital one, becomes more attractive to them. In addition to this, new technologies and the whole cyberspace also give one wider possibilities to create and make up completely new forms of art.
On the other hand, there are also some difficulties connected with art in cyberspace. One of them is the problem of displaying the digital art. Although it is easier thanks to the Internet and other devices, it is more difficult to be done in a normal type of museum as it can be then not available to more than a few recipients at the same moment. Besides, it could be also harder due to the difficulties connected with operating the appliances. In addition to this, presenting it in the Internet poses the problem of gaining money for your work of art. Last but not least, some people watching digital art ask also the question what we should call the true art- is a graphic illustration or a picture true art or just an expression of someone’s talent in IT? But the question about the nature of art is quite antediluvian since traditional (not only digital ones) works of art also raise many controversies.
Taking everything into consideration, art in cyberspace can be a quite controversial issue. But this is usually the destiny of many new things on the world. As far as I am concerned, I think that it brings and will be bringing many positive things, and the majority of problems could be combat with time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQrnhWXmPwA – an example of digital art in cyberspace

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