Reflections on Digital and Online Civil Liberties


I've lost count of the number of times that I have literally seen eyes glaze over when trying to explain to people why digital and online civil liberties are important. I'll say something like "hey, that's a nice iPhone, but do you realise that even though you own it, Apple don't think you should be able to do certain things with it?", or "There's this great zombie game coming out, but you won't be able to buy it in Australia because there's no R18+ classification rating!"

It is hard to get people motivated to care about something when they feel they have no direct, immediate interest in it. Some people don't want to jailbreak their iPhones. Some people don't want to play violent video games, or mod their console to extend its functionality. Some people don't care that their DRMed music or video collection might one day just stop working. Some people don't even care that the government is planning to censor the Internet! Unfortunately, many people learn to care about these things the hard way - when it's too late.

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