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When hackers gained access to a server used by the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, they leaked over a thousand emails and other documents that call into question much of the data that has been used to support climate change models and predictions.
2. The Great Firewall of China
Censorship has always been a hot button issue in society. China is probably the most notorious country to practice strict online censorship garnering the moniker, "The Great Firewall of China".
3. Amazon removes sales rankings of gay and lesbian books
In the spring of 2009, a number of authors and site users were outraged when they learned that Amazon had stripped the sales rankings of thousands of gay and lesbian oriented books on their site. This meant that books aimed at gays and lesbians would not be able to show up on Amazon’s search.
4. Google Street View invades privacy
Google Street View takes photos while driving through various towns and cities around the world, creating an alternate view within Google Maps.
5. Google Books indexing copyrighted material
When Google announced in 2004 that they wanted to index the content of millions of copyrighted books from university libraries as part of the Google Books project, publishers and authors took to protesting the decision by claiming copyright infringement.
6. The Net Neutrality debate
The prevalence of Net Neutrality is a big concern to people who use the Internet. In the U.S., net neutrality is practiced universally though there are no laws in place to guarantee that it remains that way. Nothing prevents Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from charging consumers different rates based on the sites they visit or the services they use.
7. Internet Service Providers throttle bandwidth consumption
Bandwidth throttling is a common practice among some ISPs to restrict excessive consumption of service resources, specifically when they’re using file-sharing services. ISPs proclaim that it helps ensure all their customers have reasonable bandwidth access, but critics assert that it’s unethical and unfair to consumers that have to pay the same price for less service.
8. The Digg Revolt
In 2007, Digg users posted the encryption keys for HD-DVD. Digg took the keys down on advice from their legal team. Digg’s users revolted, posting links to the codes and voting them up to the front page.
9. Pedophiles on MySpace
MySpace has long been popular with teenagers. Underage children use the social networking site to share photos, post videos, and document their events in their lives. At one point of MySpace’s existence, adolescent users could make their profiles public, accessible to anyone.
10. Prostitutes on Craigslist
Craigslist has an adult services category that allows users to solicit adult-oriented services from site users. It’s really no surprise that prostitution rings conducting illegal activities would eventually take advantage of the favorable situation of anonymity on the web. It has made the job of cops so hard that some have sued the site for being the largest source of prostitution.
11. Filesharing gets hammered down for copyrighted materials
Online file sharing has been happening since the early days of the Internet. But 2000 brought the first major lawsuit and take-down of a file-sharing service. Napster was sued by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) for facilitating the transfer of copyrighted material in December 1999, and was finally shut down in July 2001.
12. Protesters use social networks during Iran elections
Iran’s election protesters and demonstrators took to Twitter and other social networking sites in the wake of the 2009 election to organize themselves and garner support for their cause. Though the situation precipitated out of the web, it was escalated and brought to mass media attention via the Internet.
In February 2009, Facebook altered their Terms of Service to allow them to use and retain any content posted to user accounts indefinitely and without limitation, claiming ownership of its user’s content once it’s uploaded to their site even after a user’s account is deleted.
14. Facebook deems breastfeeding as offensive
Facebook has a strong policy against what they term "obscene" content, something most parents would embrace. But many mothers went crazy when photos of breastfeeding moms were removed from the site due to the policy of censoring obscene content. It sparked boycotts, user groups, and even a protest (a "nurse-in") at Facebook’s headquarters. The most popular group, "Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!" has nearly 250,000 members.
15. Blogger, Dooce, gets fired for blogging about work
In 2002, Heather Armstrong, aka Dooce (also the name of her blog), was fired for blogging about the company she worked for and some of her coworkers in a less-than-flattering manner. She’s possibly the first person ever fired for blogging, and definitely one of the most well known. There’s even a term that spawned from her experience: dooced (which means to lose one’s job because of one’s website according to Urban Dictionary).