Michael Avesian

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Wiki Article #2

1)Using this week’s assigned readings as a starting point, give a succinct explanation of what Anonymous, SOPA, and PIPA (Protect IP) are.:

The government is trying to get tougher on copyright laws and punish those who infringe on them. Bills and laws have been introduced, by the government, to combat against copyright infringement and the trafficking of counterfeit goods. The Protect IP Act (IPA) was a proposed law introduced to the Senate on May 12, 2011. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was a proposed bill introduced to the House on October 26, 2011. Both of these proposed pieces of legislation have similar goals and seek to restrict the use of information.

-Protect IP Act (IPA) provides for enhancing enforcement against rogue websites operated and registered overseas. This proposed law seeks to stop the distribution of illegal copies or counterfeit goods done by these websites, mostly by blocking any connection to foreign websites. People who object this proposed law state that it would impact free speech, impact business and innovation ideas, and have a bad impact on online communities.

-Stop Online Piracy ACT (SOPA) would allow copyright holders to seek court orders against websites, outside of U.S. jurisdiction, accused of enabling copyright infringement. The main goals of this bill are to protect the intellectual property of content creators and to protect against counterfeit drugs. This proposed bill would hold a maximum of five years in prison for the unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content. Opponents to this proposed bill state that it would have an effect on free speech and innovation.

-Anonymous is a loosely associated international network of hackers. This group s anonymously states their opinions on the web and has the ability to hack into virtually any website they would like. They have a loose command structure and operate all around the world on ideas rather than directives. In the past, Anonymous has hacked into websites and exposed individuals who have done bad things. An example of a hack done by this group was in regards to the Chris Forcand arrest. In this case, Anonymous exposed an individual of sexual crimes against a child well before the police were able to. Anonymous can be looked at as a vigilante group who exposes individuals who do bad things.

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

Hacker groups such as anonymous like movements that protect online privacy. Ananymous is a group that likes to remain private and keep their identities hidden. Based on their previous hacks it is clear to see that hacker groups, such as Anonymous, like online privacy movements. On November 20, 2013, Anonymous announced plans to target the National Security Agency for spying on internet activity of Americans and attempting to censor the internet. While they are for the protection of online privacy, Anonymous still exposes individuals who do bad things. This group believes in protecting online privacy and allowing individuals to use the web at their free will, but exposes those who use it in negative ways. Anonymous most likely does not support the SOPA and PIPA bill proposals. Both of these bills attempt to restrict the internet and infringe on Americans free of speech. Anonymous speaks out as they would like and are clearly not for restricting the speech of individuals.

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

The readings regarding online privacy illuminate the recent events surrounding Edward Snowden. Proposed laws such as SOPA and PIPA restrict freedom of speech. The US Patriot Act infringes on personal freedoms, giving the government the ability to look at peoples personal information. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act(CISPA) seeks to allow greater information sharing between the government and private companies such as Google, Facebook, or twitter. All of these programs give the government the ability to look at peoples personal information and impedes on our privacy. Edward Snowden was a governmental worker who exposed thousands of documents from the U.S. government, stating they infringe on citizens privacy. Edward Snowden got fed up with all of the secret programs and spying done by the United States government. Edward states that giving up privacy rights does no good for the government. Edward also states that there is too much faith in the Intelligence system, and not enough input on these programs from the public. In Edwards opinion, the government programs seeking to look at personal information will have no benefit and only go against individuals freedoms.

Works 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.

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

Wiki Article #1 on EverQuest

Summary of Game:

EverQuest was introduced on March 16, 1999 by Sony Online Entertainment. In 1996, John Smedley originally came up with the game. Soon after, EverQuest was designed by Brad McQuaid, Steve Clover, and Bill Trost. Lastly, In 1999, Sony's 989 Studios (AKA Sony Online Entertainment) developed the game. EverQuest was a text-based MUD (Multi-User Dungeon), and 3D game unlike previous video games. With being the first 3D MUD, EverQuest raised up to 225,000 users by 1999 and 450,000 users by 2003. In EverQuest, players are able to customize a character and live their life through a medieval fantasy world. As players progress they gain more spells, abilities, and possessions to become more powerful and prestigious in the online community.

The fact that there was over 500 zones to play on, and the ability to duel other live players, made EverQuest very popular. Along with all that it had to offer, 21 expansions that arose from its original version kept EverQuest popular through the years.

Summary of Article:

In Past-Time: Re-Educating EverQuest, Emily Bembeneck talks about the history of EverQuest and player's memories. In the article, Bembeneck discusses the fact that most players are high-level veterans who only play in a few areas on the game. Most of the worlds in EverQuest are empty so Sony launched a server called Flippy Darkpaw on February 15th, 2011, to combat with that problem. This new server allowed users to experience the old days by freezing the game at any moment before expansions were made, and voting on whether or not to unlock the expansion. The point of this new server was to allow users to relive the past. The author believes that the past is lost, however, because the worlds have been changed. There have been graphical updates, game changes, and certain abilities removed from the game. According to Bembeneck, personal changes within humans make it impossible to experience EverQuest as we once did. Bembeneck states, "With all of the game changes, it is impossible to remember how things were in the Beginning (Bembeneck)." Overall, Bembeneck believes that although users are re-encountering the world of EverQuest, it is like they are experiencing the game for the first time due to all of the game changes and personal changes within the user.

Importance of the Game

Bembeneck shows the importance of the game in relation to its updates for users. There was initially a social importance for EverQuest with its multiplayer abilities. Veteran users originally grouped up in certain locations on the map and formed bonds with the game and with one another with the MUD (multiplayer) aspect. There is also a cultural importance talked about with EverQuest. Most users are veterans and have been playing the game since its original launch in 1999. Over the years players have followed its 21 expansions and lived through tons of game changes and updates. EverQuest is not just a game to most users, it is a virtual life for them. Bembeneck shows the cultural importance by talking about users and their memories of the game. Most users have been playing EverQuest for so long that Sony has come up with a server that allows users to vote on new expansions and allow them to continue playing in past-time if they choose. Users like to be able to choose what updates to accept, to relive their past with the game and keep their online experience how they want.

Debate In Post:

The commentators of the article as a whole agree with Bembeneck. They see Bembeneck's view of self-changes affecting memories of the game as a very interesting and true thought. One user even compared this to rereading their favorite books. The commentator said that when they reread their favorite childhood books, they see new meaning and symbolism that they never saw before. Another user said the fact that "corpse retrievals" were removed from recent versions of EverQuest could be a deal breaker for some users. For some players, the fact that things were removed from the game could ruin their memories of what it used to be. All of the comments go along with Bembeneck's view that game changes, along with personal changes within individuals, ruin memories of how the game used to be.

I have never played EverQuest, but agree with the author and commentators. When I go back on things that I enjoyed as a child, many things seem very different due to my own personal changes. Sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a bad way, personal changes affect how I see things from my past. While occasionally changes will make me see new and interesting things in a game, sometimes they make me see the bad in things I once enjoyed. For example, while I once enjoyed playing Grand Theft Auto, the violent and immoral side of things now draw me away from playing the game. Games change and people change, as a result so do people's memories.

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.