Monday, December 05, 2005

Blogs, privacy, protection

Jason Burks (They Call Me Jason …) noted a Nov. 7, 2005, article detailing the release of IBM's Public Image Monitoring Solution. The software, "assesses the tone of blogs and posts: positive, negative or neutral. It also identifies hot topics of discussion. For example, using the software to look at a particular make and model car would return content about fuel economy, roominess and safety."

As Jason points out, "The battle for freedom of speech might get a little trickier if this thing catches on."

This relates to a recent Forbes magazine article [Attack of the Blogs (They destroy brands and wreck lives. Is there any way to fight back?)]. Commenting on the article at the time, I wrote, "... how the business community is affected by blogs, how bloggers feed off of each other and how misinformation (either intentionally or unintentionally) spreads fervently ... It's difficult, the Forbes article points out, to fight a blog attack because of specific laws protecting the digital community. Therefore, it's harder to fight the libel often found in these extreme blogs much less track down the typically anonymous bloggers."

Basically, at this point and time, bloggers are able to get away with breaking the law because there really is no cyberspace law. Yet.

The first amendment protects freedom of speech in the United States. However, it doesn't guarantee full absolution for anything a person says or writes. There is always the potential for retribution no matter if what you have to say is right.

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