Online Life

The Internet gives people a fresh way to connect — but it can also be a new place for old biases to reassert themselves. We’re keeping an eye out for new problems, and creative new ways to address them.

What can your ISP see? Facts to keep in mind as you consider the FCC’s new privacy proposal.

The FCC just proposed privacy rules for Internet service providers. Here are some key technical facts.

Facebook will make it easier to use the “name people know you by.”

Facebook’s “real name” policy has long attracted scrutiny and controversy. In October, The Nameless Coalition — a group of 75 human rights, digital rights, LGBTQ, and women’s rights advocates — sent Facebook an open letter, calling on the company to make changes to the policy. Now, in response, Facebook will make some changes.

Google’s new ‘Timeline’ makes location history easier to use — or abuse.

Last week Google announced “Your Timeline,” a new feature that displays the totality of a person’s movements throughout the day, in an eerily complete record. Though the feature relies on location data Google has collected for years, the creation and promotion of Timeline — as an easy and organized inventory of users’ past movements — raises new risks.



Teens Should Not Face Criminal Sanctions For “Sexting”

Four Chicago-area teens who uploaded sexually explicit videos of themselves to Twitter now face felony child pornography charges. Is criminal prosecution really an appropriate response?

Phones Define Internet Access for Many, Says New Report

A new Pew study highlights the increasingly stratified nature of America's Internet. The study finds that poorer communities and communities of color are disproportionately “smartphone-dependent,” relying on mobile phones rather than computers for day-to-day online activity.