Brittney Smith

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Wiki Post Number Two

1.) SOPA, PIPA (Protect IP) and Anonymous:

SOPA an acronym meaning Stop Online Piracy Act, was first proposed on October 26, 2011. This bill was created in order to protect the intellectual property of content creators, and to enable the government to take protection in opposition of counterfeit drugs. With the passing of this bill the government is able to legally enforce the rights of copyright holders. Through SOPA, law enforcement can take action against those who participate in online copyright infringements and the online trafficking of counterfeit goods. Copyright holders are able to seek justice against pirating websites located outside United States jurisdiction. Those prosecuted for unauthorized streaming of copyright content could be jailed for a maximum of five years in prison. Those averse to the act feel this bill would infringe on their freedom of speech and innovation.

PIPA also referred to as the Protect IP Act, and Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act. Enacted in order to allow the United States government to curtail those trying to gain access to both domestic and foreign sites in order to cultivate profits from pirated goods. Those in opposition to PIPA feel it would disturb business and innovation ideas, infringe on freedom of speech, as well as negatively impact online communities. The Protect IP Act was introduced to the Senate on May 12th, 2011, but was postponed to pass due to online protests conducted on January 8th, 2012.

Anonymous is an international network of hackers who conduct piracy on a discrete basis. The group’s main focus is to illustrate their opinion on topics such as religion and government through online attacks in the form of nonviolent protests. Anonymous constructed as a vigilante group, exposes individuals, corporations, and government organizations with their ability to virtually hack into any website. While unidentifiable, anonymous is organized and a hinder to those they expose further promoting bills such as SOPA and PIPA. Overall, Anonymous distributes the images they feel should be issued to the online community regardless of individual property rights.

2) How do groups of hackers, like Anonymous, relate to movements to protect online privacy?:

Movements to protect online privacy began in relation to groups of hackers, such like those involved with Anonymous. With the growth of technology, and the growth of the population using technology the means to access private information is larger than it ever was before. iCloud, iPAY or just by simply storing a password on a device allows a cybercriminal to gain access to your private information. Due to cyber attacks, and online piracy a push for new laws have begun. Laws such as SOPA or PIPA would not have been necessary without online hackers and the invasion of privacy being conducted on the Internet everyday. We are enabled by groups such as Anonymous to protect ourselves, and our private information we have stored on our devices. Anonymous reminds us that even large corporations and government organizations are not unscathed when it comes to online privacy. Leading individuals such as myself to push for laws and other means of justice to protect what is left of online privacy. As well, by remaining anonymous this vigilante group is also instilling the notion that such injustices can be done with the advancements of technology. We are all vulnerable in terms of privacy and the Internet contributing to the growth of movements in order to protect online invasions from happening.

3) How do these readings relate to and illuminate the recent events surrounding Edward Snowden?:

Edward Snowden is known most recently as a former CIA agent who leaked classified information pertaining to the government unjustly monitoring the public. Similar to those working with the group Anonymous, Edward Snowden is an elite hacker. Having worked for both the CIA and the NSA, Snowden had access to various top-secret documents. After leaking information from the U.S. National Security agency revealing a multitude of global surveillance programs, Snowden was viewed as a whistleblower and in contrast a patriot or a hero. With society viewing Snowden in a similarly fashion of Anonymous, because his identity was revealed he was forced to flee the United States. Snowden’s revelations exposed the secret collecting of mass phone and Internet data of the people, conducted by the government infringing on civil liberties. Leaving the United States to strike a balance between matters of national security and information privacy rights. While act such as SOPA and PIPA push for the rights of Copy right and intellectual property, in contrast acts such as the US Patriot Act deny these rights. The US Patriot Act allows the government to wrongfully access the person information of their citizens. By better understand how counteracting these bills are in regards to our privileges. By upholding bills such as SOPA and PIPA as well as the US Patriot Act we are limiting the power of ourselves as individuals but promoting the means of the government. Though, in doing so we are dissimilarly protecting ourselves from those who could potential harm us, such as inimical hackers.

Work Cited:

"Anonymous." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 30 June 2015.

"Protect IP Act." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 30 June 2015.

"Stop Online Piracy Act." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 30 June 2015.

Harvey, Jason. "A Technical Examination of SOPA and PROTECT IP." Blog.reddit. N.p., 17 Jan. 2012. Web. 30 June 2015.

"What Impact Have Snowden’s Revelations Had?" Courage Snowden. The Courage Foundation, n.d. Web. 02 July 2015.

Williams, Brian. "Edward Snowden Interview." NBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2015.

Wiki Post Number One

EverQuest’s History:

EverQuest was released on March 16, 1999 having been produced by Sony Online Entertainment. Originally the format for EverQuest was created by John Smedley in 1996, and later was designed by Steve Clover, Brad McQuaid, and Bill Trost. About three years later in 1999, Sony’s 989 Studios developed EverQuest and successfully released the first 3D Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) video game. In EverQuest’s first year of release it gained up to 225,000 users, and by 2003 earned about 450,000 users. The games popularity arose due to the medieval fantasy world in which players are able to create a character and live virtually. EverQuest provides over 500 different zones where a player can roam the virtual landscape, duel each other and fight monsters or enemies for treasures and experience points. As a player progresses in EverQuest they are able to gain spells, sharpen abilities, acquire possessions to move up in the ranks of the online community. EverQuest allows play versus play combat, player guilds, and interaction with other through role play. Over the years, Sony continued to gain popularity by developing twenty-one expansions to the original version of EverQuest. Gamers are able to enjoy the original version of EverQuest, including graphics, new paths, re-designed skills.

Past-Time: Re-Educating EverQuest Article Summary:

Throughout the article Emily Bembeneck discusses the backstory of EverQuest as well as how production came about. In Past-Time: Re-Educating EverQuest, Bembeneck reminisces about the original version of the game, and how players can only hold on to their primary experience of the virtual world. She explains that this is due to the progression, and advancements of both skills and text, which have created a version of EverQuest never experienced before. The author feels that even though most players of EverQuest are veterans, they are able to reencounter the virtual world in a way they have never before. This is in part a result of a server called Flippy Darkpaw, which was released on February 15th 2011 by Sony. The new server allows players to freeze the game and choose whether they would like to unlock an expansion. This allows users to relive the past. While attempting to recreate the original version of EverQuest, players will never be able to experience things as they were. According to Bembeneck, this is because the tools of creation as well as the creators have changed. In short, Bembeneck believes that the experience a player will live in EverQuest will seem brand new due to advancements in both the structure of the game, and the user themselves.

Importance of EverQuest:

The author illustrates the importance of EverQuest in relation to both social and cultural importance. With EverQuest being one of the first graphical MMO to be produced commercially, a new gaming community was formed. After first being launched, the server was able to hit full capacity, and many veterans as well as new users play still today. Users would group together in specific areas and would form bonds through role-play, duels and other multiplayer aspects. Culturally, EverQuest has established itself within the video-game community allowing gamers to forge connections to the game itself. Having been around almost two decades, EverQuest has become more than just a video-game. With players being able to create virtual identities, and ulterior lives making memories was something that came with playing. Bembeneck discusses how many users have been playing EverQuest for so long, Sony has developed a server that allows a user to continue playing in past-time if they were to choose so. This allows them to relive previous gaming experiences, and construct their virtual lives the way they choose.

EverQuest Debate:

The article “In Past-Time: Re-Educating EverQuest” did not seem to generate any debate; the commentators agree in unanimity on Bembeneck’s ideas. They seem to find the article fascinating, and one user compared the reliving of EverQuest to rereading a favorite book from your childhood. By re-experiencing the game this commenter agrees with Bembeneck’s thought of redefining the way in which you gauge the virtual world. Another commenter regards the idea of new experiences within EverQuest being a result of you changing as much as the game itself changing. As an example, the commenter describes playing older games from his youth giving him a similar feeling, but before the article he had never thought more in depth about this perspective. The last user to comment on the article discusses removals from the game, and how this could affect the memories of a player, as touched on by Bembeneck. Overall, the comments correlated with Emily Bembeneck’s view that EverQuest having progressed throughout the years, as well as you as a player having changed results in only memories of a video game that has been transformed. Personally, I have never played EverQuest, but I do agree with both the author and commentators. While you may be able to relive something twice, the experience will never be as it once was. This may be a result of personal changes in addition to advancements of other areas. For example, as a child I would often play house, recreating the same household format time and time again. While I consistently played and the format of the game remained similar, playing house never reconstructed the same experiences or end result as the time I played before. As well, I as a person have changed over the years leading me to view a game of house very different than how I would as a child. If I were to play EverQuest when originally produced in 1999, I believe that I too would enjoy the Flippy Darkpaw feature, allowing me to unlock expansions as I choose. Experiencing the new landscape and features of EverQuest would be enjoyable, as would being able to re-play past experiences.

Works Cited:

Bembeneck, Emily. "Past-Time: Re-Encountering EverQuest." Play The Past Rss. N.p., 16 Feb 2011. Web. 07 June 2015.

"EverQuest." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 June 2015.