Tag Archives: information

A Right to Online Privacy

With the recent House bill that would allow Internet Service Providers (ISP) to sell anyone’s private browsing history, it is a good time to discuss people’s right to online privacy, as well as the serious breach of net neutrality. Originally, ISP had to obtain your permission to sell your online history to anyone, but soon they will be able to sell it to whoever they want to, whenever they want to. Which, frankly, is a massive invasion of privacy.

cyber criminals
“ISP will be able to track your every move online as soon as you make it. They can, essentially, stalk you online.” Photo from: https://www.fbi.gov/image-repository/cyber-crime.jpg/@@images/image/high

What you do online is private information, unless you choose to make it public. But until you make that choice, it is a private matter. However that boundary is about to be crossed and soon it’ll be open season for every internet user. The least of it is that individual targeted ad campaigns will become the norm. Companies will analyze the data and try their best to get you to buy their product, likely at a higher rate. While that is annoying, it is not the most serious issue. ISP will be able to track your every move online as soon as you make it. They can, essentially, stalk you online. With this kind of information and power at their fingertips, the internet will no longer be a neutral entity and instead become just another method of exploitation.

There is also the fact that ISP will be taking advantage of you and making money off you, and you won’t see a dime of it. Think about it – the product they will be selling is your internet browsing history, something they wouldn’t have if you did not go online. You make the product, and they sell it off to the highest bidder. All you get are more ads to inconvenience you. Even if we ignore the invasion of privacy that is occurring here, this still isn’t a fair deal. This bill allows ISP to sell your private information and make money off something you create. All the while, you get harassed by a large amount of ads, and they profit off of you.

Translocal

Translocal is a documentary that I’m creating about transgender individuals around and in the area of Montgomery county, areas such as Blacksburg, Radford, and Christiansburg. It contains a variety of different people, from trans youth, ages of 16 to 20, and older trans people, ages 21 to 30. The people I’ve interviewed and plan to interview have, or intend to, transition from male to female or female to male. This experience, so far, as truly opened my eyes to trans culture, what it means to be trans, and how gender is fluid, and sometimes can’t be separated into strictly male and female.

The transgender flag with the title of my documentary over top of it. Graphic designed by Molly Mattox

 

As of now, I have interviewed one trans individual, Anat. I knew Ana in high school. I wouldn’t say we were close, but we were friends during sophomore year. She was kind of a loner, didn’t have many friends, and from what I saw, people weren’t very nice to her. I was basically her only friend, but at that time I didn’t know she was transgender. I wasn’t able to help her through that struggle because she never told me. I understand, now, why she didn’t. She grew up in a very religious household, a house where she was told that any changes to her body, no matter how necessary or small, were against what God had intended for her. Growing up, Ana had an overbite, one that was very extreme and she needed surgery for it. Her parents allowed her to have the surgery, but told her that God made her the way she was and that her surgery was against his plan. Hearing words like that over and over again makes it understandable that she couldn’t accept herself, let alone tell other people about her struggle.

While interviewing her, she told me that her parents don’t accept her, in fact, they think that she has a mental illness, that she’s going through a phase, and she needs help. She said that her father went as far as calling the board of medicine, filing a complaint about her physician because they support her and her transition. He attempted to ruin a doctor’s career as well as his daughter’s life because he can’t find it within himself to accept her unconditionally. These are the kinds of issues that need to brought to attention. The safety of transgender individuals is not a joke, and some people wish to harm them simply because of who they are. Transgender people are being beaten and murdered everyday because other people don’t understand people who are different from what society deems “normal.” This documentary will teach people that all trans individuals want is respect and to be treated just like everyone else, because they are.

 

 

A very tiny printing press: Writing books into DNA

There may be 70 billion copies of George Church and Ed Regis’ Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature in existence, but don’t look for it on any best-sellers list and don’t expect to pick up a copy from Barnes & Noble. On the other hand, carrying all 70 billion copies is easy because you can slip them into your pocket and still have room for your wallet and keys. Continue reading A very tiny printing press: Writing books into DNA

HIV awareness hits home

AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, attacks the body’s immune system. Dec. 1 was World Aids Day and on Nov. 30 there was table in the Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center that handed out information on this topic. At the table there were many different pieces of information that were available for Radford University students. If you were unable to go by the table, here is some information that you missed. Continue reading HIV awareness hits home