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James Firth
Attended University of Nottingham, Nottingham
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James Firth

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T-PIM's O'Clock for the Grey Guilty
Oh goody, another inane debate around why a system built by humans for humans can't be perfect. The grey guilty: " dangerous" terrorists living in the UK that the government, police and security services would like to see locked up or deported... And if it ...
Oh goody, another inane debate around why a system built by humans for humans can't be perfect. The grey guilty: "dangerous" terrorists living in the UK that the government, police and security services would like to see lo...
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James Firth

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The new nuclear economy: but would the right-wing government have been better off building the plant and leaving the market unrigged?
Here's a thing - I'm actually quite good at modelling costs. So when the Energy Secretary yesterday announced an effective tax on electricity bills to support the building of a £16bn nuclear power station at Hinkley Point I n...
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Big privacy story - US email service Lavabit shuts its doors, strongly hints that a secret surveillance court order would have put its customers' data at risk - but it can't talk about any court order because that's what secret justice is all about. Just so happens this is the email service used by Edward Snowden.  Lavabit founder advises against using any company with ties to the US to store their private data...
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James Firth

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Finally David Cameron says something sensible about the internet. Right-minded folk should boycott websites which don't do enough to stem anti-social behaviour: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23612792 - but this is only half of the story, education is needed too.
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James Firth

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When a teenager takes their own life it's bloody awful... One thing to note here is that the bullying allegedly happened not on Twitter - a company in the press at the moment for their "lack of action" over abuse - but on ask[dot]fm...  No sooner is one platform sanitised than the kids move to other places to interact. 

Instead of the sole focus being on platforms to deal with abuse we have to do more to equip young people to deal with the web. That involves prevention, ie avoid getting into all-out flame wars in the first place; handling threats and negative comments; teaching how to hit the off or ignore button and take a break in the real world; and, in the case of substantive threats to life, taking up the issue with police.

It's easy to make a noise and say that social media platforms and web companies "must do more" but it's a rich and complex problem which cuts through the whole of modern society. 

There is not one simple solution - like censoring/blocking sites that don't take a duty of care - as others will pop up. 

I'm not defending the abusers in any way but part of the solution has to be to help the victims deal with abuse and ignore unsubstantiated threats; this goes against the current noise being made of late in the mainstream press - looking for the platforms, police and censorship to fix the problem - but the web as it is there will always be a way to upset someone online.  If we want to prevent the level of despair that leads to suicide we need to teach young people how to (a) limit their exposure to threats and (b) deal with them when they happen.
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Agree, but I believe many of the most severe problems don't stem from "evil" individuals, but from ordinary kids who lose the plot online because of what psychologists call cues-absent communication.  You don't get to see the face or hear the voice of the person you're talking to, so the instinctive self-moderator which stops normal people causing severe distress doesn't kick in.  Kids need to be taught this in school - to help them be more in control of their behaviour.
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James Firth

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If you've ever bothered reading a software license of the sort that comes with everyday software you'd probably struggle to cope with the rage against unfair and restrictive practices. For example, as a small business owner I...
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If we put responsible journalists who handle leaked sensitive data in the firing line leakers will have few other options than to dump the whole lot unedited and unredacted...
It's hard to see the detention of David Miranda and seizure of his data or the arrival of GCHQ spooks at a national newspaper's offices to witness the destruction of hard disks as anything other than a warning shot across the...
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James Firth

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Russia's anti-gay crackdown - seems far worse than "just" banning promotion of homosexuality, and could get even worse if rumoured new laws are true. What is a shame is the US lost some of the moral high ground on the Snowden, Manning affairs, surveillance, drone assassinations and Gitmo - but mustn't forget at least many civil rights still exist in the west (until Cameron's Tories trash the Human Rights Act, assuming they get chance)... 
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James Firth

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All sense of proportionality left in the building please leave by the nearest exit to claim asylum in a Latin American country of your choice.

Russia's ongoing support for Iran or its opposition to whatever the west proposes in Syria where over 20 million are blighted by civil war is all part of "normal" US-Russia relations, but their position on Snowden has really pissed off the president.

One man, a mere "hacker", a man who's not worth "scrambling jets" or "twisting arms", is the reason given for  Obama cancelling a meeting with Putin.  What a selfish position to take when Syria should be topping the agenda.
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If we needed yet more proof that ALL internet comms are tapped... "I'm looking for everyone in Sweden that visits a particular extremist forum" - "The XKeyscore program also allows an analyst to learn the IP addresses of every person who visits any website the analyst specifies." http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/31/nsa-top-secret-program-online-data
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Have him in circles
402 people
Alec Muffett's profile photo
Ed Kel's profile photo
Kit Rakkar's profile photo
Alan Bell's profile photo
Glenn Le Santo's profile photo
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CEO of Open Digital Policy Organisation
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Introduction
White hat lobbyist and digital policy geek. Co-founder and CEO of Open Digital Policy and one-time (failed) council candidate. I invented something once.
Education
  • University of Nottingham, Nottingham
    Physics, 1994 - 1997