Internet

President Obama speaking to supporters in a pipe yard in Cushing, Okla. in 2012, where the Keystone XL Pipeline connects on its way from Canada to the Gulf Coast.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

President Obama travels to Oklahoma Wednesday where he will announce a new initiative to expand broadband access to homes in low-income areas.

The president will make the announcement at Durant High School in the capital of the Choctaw Nation in southeastern Oklahoma.

Obama’s ConnectHome initiative will expand broadband coverage to 275,000 low income households in 27 cities and the Choctaw Nation. The White House estimates it’ll bring broadband into the homes of nearly 200,000 low income children.

Rebecca and Suzette Grillot talk about protests in Hong Kong on the anniversary of the handover back to China, and remember Nicholas Winton, a British humanitarian who rescued more than 600 children during the Holocaust. He died Wednesday at the age of 106.

Rebecca Cruise talks with journalist and activist Rebecca MacKinnon about information freedom in the digital age. The Internet allows people to organize politically and instantly share information across the globe. But an open web isn’t always guaranteed.

dark keyboard and mouse
Michael Schreifels / Flickr

When President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act last month, he said the measure would “strengthen civil liberty safeguards” in government surveillance programs. The Freedom Act includes reformed provisions from the PATRIOT Act and was meant reign in government surveillance activities.

Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez raised a red flag over Internet privacy at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

Ramirez said “smart home” hacking would be a growing problem this year, as consumers increasingly connect everyday objects to the Internet.

Rebecca Cruise explains how a proposed internet tax drew tens of thousands of Hungarians to the streets of Budapest in protest, and Joshua Landis provides an update on a victory by secularists in Tunisia’s elections.

Later, a discussion with Oklahoma City imam Imad Enchassi. As a child in Lebanon’s refugee camps, he witnessed the massacre of thousands of his fellow Palestinians. Suzette Grillot talks about humanitarian work in the Middle East with Enchassi and Oklahoma City University political scientist Mohamed Daadoui.

Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban at a European People's Party summit in Brussels, October 2014
European People's Party / Flickr Creative Commons

Prime Minister Viktor Orban cancelled plans to tax internet usage in Hungary on Friday after mass protests across the country.

The protests began in Budapest on Sunday as tens of thousands of Hungarians flooded the streets of the capital.

The proposed measure would have taxed internet usage at a rate 150 Hungarian forint, or about 60 cents, per gigabyte of data. After this week’s initial protests, Orban announced a monthly tax cap of 700 forint, or about $3.00, per internet subscription for individuals and 5,000 forint, or about $20.00, for companies.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise talk about the righting of the Costa Concordia cruise liner off the coast of Italy, and the two-hour outage of Iran's internet firewall that allowed citizens access to social media. 

Later, a conversation with New Zealand filmmaker Costa Botes. He’s directed documentaries about Canadian sled dogs, a cross-dressing attorney, and the inventor of the Jelly Belly jelly bean.
 

computer screen with Twitter search results for Iran
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Word of the opening of Iran's blocked social media sites was spread, of course, by social media itself: in celebratory tweets and breathless Facebook posts.

Hours later, the same sites Tuesday chewed over the sobering reality that the four-year-old firewalls were back in place.

"We've seen what social media does in other parts of the Middle East in terms of organizing protests and resistance to their governments," says Suzette Grillot, the Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma. "So it raises issues of censorship, but also the critical importance of social media in the public life."

Peter Gabriel's 'Interspecies Internet'

Jul 9, 2013

The internet helps to connects people all over the world, but what if the internet could also connect dolphins, apes, elephants and other species with one another — and also with us?

That’s the goal of computer scientist Neil Gershenfeld. Gershenfeld — who runs the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT — is partnering with Vince Cerf, one of the founders of the internet, cognitive psychologist Diana Reiss and musician Peter Gabriel to create an interspecies internet.