April 2013 Archives

Chapter 15: Breaking Away

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Chapter 15 starts off by describing Topiary, as well as many of the other Anonymous members, backing away from Anonymous after Backtrace. Olson stated that by June of 2011, at least seventy-nine people in eighty countries would be arrested in connection with Anonymous (p.223). Overall, many user's were paranoid and afraid they be identified. Olson's main objective in this chapter is to show a chaotic downfall of Anonymous. Attacks were going on that were so drastic, and users were turning on one another. Another attack was directed towards Sony. Anons were upset that Sony had sued George Hotz after he had figured out how to jailbreak the PlayStation 2 game console and then sharing this information with others on his blog post. The Anons took revenge of course and launched a DDos attack on several Sony websites and its PlayStation Network for gamers, bringing it down and offline for millions of gamers. They brought the Sony websites down with their basic philosophy in mind, claiming that what Sony did to George was, "anti-freedom", "anti-expression", "anti-individulasim", and therefore, "anti-Anonymous" (p.227). Eventually Anons called the whole thing off, yet the PlayStation Network was still down and gamers personal and financial details were compromised, costing Sony over $1 billion (p.228). The Sony Operation was said to be hijacked by hackers who tried to use the attack as a cover up. Anonymous starts to look like a mess here, a joke, even having "a dishonorable feel to it" (p.228), their whole philosophy is in shatters. I think Olson really sets up the stage here to describe the Anonymous downfall, without it's key players. He leaves us with Topiary observing the whole thing, and wanting to get the HBGary hackers back together. He wants to show Anonymous something new, and "jaw-dropping" (p.230). Is Anonymous going to make a comeback?!

Anonymous

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In chapter 14 of Anonymous, Emick is talking about the anti-anonymous group that is trying to hunt down some of the group members. On page 205 it states, "Emick's goal was to show the world what Anonymous really was- vindictive, corrupt, and not really anonymous at all." This to me is very risky of Emick. She knows the world and what goes on with anonymous, but now she wants to risk everything to try and figure out who the people behind it are. On the same page it also states," it was the cruelty she was seeing more and more throughout the network.." This was her motivation to pull away from anonymous and try to help find out who was behind all of this. Emick formed a group of 6 people with her friend Byun to help try to bring Anonymous down, as Emick stated to Byun on page 209, "someone needs to stop them before something bad happens." They managed to compile a list of names and leaked it to the press. This took a lot of time and courage to do in my opinion, to announce that you had a hand in trying to uncover some of the members of this huge group. What amazes me is that a few years later, Emick actually outed herself at a conference saying she was the one who had leaked the list. Her knowing the power of this organization, and still leaking herself as the person who leaked the list is very risky in my point of view. In the end though after all of the work Emick put in, she was asked by the FBI to assist with their investigation on one of the people she had found information about. Overall, chapter 14 was actually a nice change of pace for the book. It wasn't all about the actual hackers' missions, but about trying to find out who was behind some it all. This book is extremely different from all the other ones we have read and keeps my attention.

Anonymous

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In chapter 14 of Anonymous, Emick is talking about the anti-anonymous group that is trying to hunt down some of the group members. On page 205 it states, "Emick's goal was to show the world what Anonymous really was- vindictive, corrupt, and not really anonymous at all." This to me is very risky of Emick. She knows the world and what goes on with anonymous, but now she wants to risk everything to try and figure out who the people behind it are. On the same page it also states," it was the cruelty she was seeing more and more throughout the network.." This was her motivation to pull away from anonymous and try to help find out who was behind all of this. Emick formed a group of 6 people with her friend Byun to help try to bring Anonymous down, as Emick stated to Byun on page 209, "someone needs to stop them before something bad happens." They managed to compile a list of names and leaked it to the press. This took a lot of time and courage to do in my opinion, to announce that you had a hand in trying to uncover some of the members of this huge group. What amazes me is that a few years later, Emick actually outed herself at a conference saying she was the one who had leaked the list. Her knowing the power of this organization, and still leaking herself as the person who leaked the list is very risky in my point of view. In the end though after all of the work Emick put in, she was asked by the FBI to assist with their investigation on one of the people she had found information about. Overall, chapter 14 was actually a nice change of pace for the book. It wasn't all about the actual hackers' missions, but about trying to find out who was behind some it all. This book is extremely different from all the other ones we have read and keeps my attention.

We are Anonymous

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What I find interesting when reading Chapter 16 in We Are Anonymous is when Sabu believed Anonymous's greatest power was its lack of hierarchy. I would disagree, although Anonymous seems to want everyone involved, there are those who stand out and are the "leaders" of Anonymous. I would consider Topiary, Sabu, and Kayla to be more of the role models, they are even more so now that they have started a new group called LulzSec. Even though they were trying to get away from the label Anonymous, they still brought many of its followers with them while making the Twitter account. Outsiders who aren't in Anonymous even think these are the same hackers from Anonymous. Looking back on the past Chapters I could see some levels of hierarchy, especially within the HBGary hack because of the elite groups they had for what they were each specifically doing. They even made some groups private so other Anonymous users couldn't see. Anonymous is just like any other group. They have the leaders and they have followers. Now I know not all of them are followers. The group is unique in the fact that many group members do their one thing on a regular basis just not as noticeable or damaging than those who are mainly the leaders. Also, it is different because it typically seems the leaders are more inclined to let those they see with potential in on an attack, when most groups aren't as welcoming. Since the group is Anonymous they don't really have much to judge on physical appearance or communication qualities (referencing to in person people skills), just what they specifically do on the Internet. All in all this book has been very interesting to read, I don't know much about hacking and the group Anonymous, but hearing their side of the story opens my eyes up a little to those behind the computer screen and what their thought process is in doing these hacks. Although, I might not agree with everything they do, there are some hacks, like the HBGary hack that makes a bit of since to me because in essence that attack was about saving those innocents he was going to give over to the officials. I am interested in how the ending comes together.

In chapter 14 of We Are Anonymous Parmy Olson argues that anti-hacker groups are becoming important in the hacker world to find the hacker's identity. Prior to this chapter, Olson had provided multiple examples of some behavior that some members of Anonymous didn't support. These examples made one person, Jennifer Emick, create an anti-hacker group with others to help discover the identities of Anonymous members.

As discussed earlier in the semester, an essential part of analyzing rhetoric is the ethos appeal. The ethos appeal deals with the composer's credibility while stating the argument. Anonymous works slightly different because the members have nicknames or false names instead of their true identities being open to the public. In fact, Anonymous makes it difficult to find their true identities. Rather the group as a whole provides ethos to the public from examples of taking down certain websites. Having group members be able to hide their identities from people provides a sense of credibility as being a good hacker.

Emick is a prime example of a person that wants to know who is all behind the Anonymous attacks. Emick is quoted in the book saying, "Emick saw young people who wanted to be part of a group of nameless bullies because they were getting picked on at school" (206). Emick begins a group called Backtrace with other people to investigate the members of Anonymous. Throughout the chapter Olson writes about examples that Backtrace did in order to find certain names of hackers. In the end, Backtrace released a list of 70 actual names of the hackers. Even though the list contained these names, not all were correct. Olson states, "What they [hackers] didn't know was that while Backtrace had been wrong on many names, a few, including Sabu, had been spot on" (215).

The reason anti-hacker groups are important is because one name may lead to more names or scare hackers from still hacking. The issue in remaining hidden for hackers shows their ethos of a god hacker being compromised. With the hacker's ethos taking a hit, they might stop their hacking or slow down. As Olson highlighted in chapter 14, more anti-hacker groups could help slow down the hacking groups like Anonymous.

In Chapter 13 of "We Are Anonymous" Parmy Olson writes this: "Chanology and Operation Payback had shown that if they were manipulated in the right way, Anons in their hundreds would suddenly want to collaborate on a raid or project. But the key to that was making the raid fun and exciting." (p. 195)

This has been a constant key to Anonymous operations, not only to persuade masses of people into participating in an operation or "raid" but to make them feel like they're actually part of something big, even if the role they're playing is less than significant. This is an odd trait within the collective considering that the most successful Anonymous operations in history have been carried by small handfuls of people (like in the case of LulzSec). Yet, recruitment drives are constant for a very specific reason.

A good example of this are DDOS attacks, which Olson describes as being waged by two types of soldiers: those using the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) and those commanding vast legions of zombie computers called botnets. (p. 74) As Olson points out in that same section, botnets are vastly more powerful than LOIC, which is comparatively a popgun that requires thousands upon thousands of users all firing it at once to inflict notable damage. Olson also points out that as Anonymous matured and grew, the need for LOIC became less and less necessary to actually bring websites down. (p. 74)

Yet, well into 2011, Anons were still being asked and persuaded through ominous "Message to Scientology"-styled videos to participate in big DDOS attacks, even though the operations were primarily being carried out by a handful of large botnet commanders.

The reason for this was simple: botnets are very difficult to track and bring down. LOIC however, despite what the software claims, does not protect those who use it from having their IPs tracked. Many additional steps are required for those firing that cannon to keep their location safe. But many users didn't realize that, nor were they made explicitly aware of this.

Therefore the need for mass participation was simple: let the "newfags" fire LOIC at the target while the botnets are hitting the website. The website goes down and the other Anons in the attack think they've done something great and are willing to help with further operations. The illusion of participation and success excited many to join the cause against the enemies of WikiLeaks and later the entirety of the cybersecurity industry.

The Paypal attack described by Olson (p. 110) was largely carried out by botnets. Yet, those who were arrested months later -- many of them 16-year-olds in highschool who had their houses raided by SWAT teams -- were using LOIC to attack financial institutions, while those controlling botnets remained at large and unknown until much later. The main perpetrators, those running LulzSec, were found and tracked much later than they would have been had the FBI not been running around chasing false or insignificant leads tracking those using LOIC.

The individualist and anonymous nature of the collective lends itself to the weakest being picked off and sacrificed to the feds without barely a care. And that's the danger of getting involved with Anonymous without entering with eyes wide open: they will manipulate you into participating and then let you take the fall.

Anonymous

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Well I have to say that my eyes have been opened by this book. I admit that hacking was one of those things I knew and probably still know very little about. I find it interesting how Parmy Olson discusses the different people who are involved in Anonymous and what their goals and desires are. These aren't just pimply 15 year olds who can't get a date and don't know how to function socially. In most cases they are adults who have normal lives. That scares me. The desire some of these individuals have to cause chaos and destrustion in others lives seems almost pathological. Many times Olson refers to the hackers "need" to hack almost like it is an addiction. Especially Kayla who is shown to have an almost obsessive-compulsive need to hack. It seems that she does it for no real political or philosophical reason but she just because she can. It seems to me that many of these individuals develop almost a god complex. They mess with peoples online lives just because they have the power too. It makes them feel strong and superior. They many times just come off as the pocket protector group who have been given a super power so they then become the school yard bullies. The "I'm stronger then you now so I'm going to beat you up and take your lunch because you made fun of me". It's unfortunate because I think some of these individuals really do want to point out corruption and hold government and large corporations accountable for their actions but their message gets lost behind the malicious actions of the ones who do it for petty reasons.

I'm glad I am reading this book it is giving me an insight into something that I thought never really concerned me and would have no impact on me. However, I am coming to realize in the "networked" world that we now live in these things do impact me and so I should really attempt to understand it. The concept of six degrees of seperation applies here, however, I feel that with the interconnectedness of the internet there are now much fewer then six degrees seperating us all. We are coming closer and closer to being one global community and so the actions of Anonymous, Wikileaks and other similar entities on groups and organizations that I have no tangible connect too, do affect me. And so, to be a good global citizen I think we should concern ourselves with the actions of such groups. We need to not only hold governement and big business accountable but also these groups because they have a tendency to bring out the worst in some individuals and with no structured heirarchy within the organization there are no rules and you get what I like to call the "Lord of the Flies" effect. Where everyone is out to do what is best for their own goals and they will do anything to achieve them no matter what the consequences are.

Reading this book has completely blown my mind away. I'm not going to lie; I have been very naïve as to what I thought other individuals could do with the information one has shared on the Internet. After reading the first half of this book, I have already become extremely conscious of what I think is appropriate to share online. It is important for people to be mindful of what they share and to know their information is never entirely private or secure. This book has made me aware of how powerful some Internet users are.
In chapter nine, The Revolutionary, it reveals Monsegur's (Sabu) history and how he became an Anonymous veteran. In the beginning of the chapter, it explains Monsegur's childhood and how his interest in hacktivism arose. On page 135, a quote from the "The Hacker's Manifesto," written by Lloyd Blankenship said, "My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for." This line is what made Monsegur the person he is today. He enjoyed the idea challenging authority members. Growing up as a child, he felt disrespected and misunderstood by many authoritative individuals that surrounded him. Monsegur expressed that, "online he could live out his ambitions and avoid the disrespect he felt from figures of authority" (137). When "Sabu" was created in the Anonymous chat rooms, Monsegur's hacking routine quickly developed. He eventually was able to shut down entire systems and create a stir among large regions.
What I thought was extremely disturbing was the fact that he was able to use another Internet users computer to hack Tunisia's government because of their aggressive Internet censoring of its citizens. Although this individual volunteered to be his proxy into Tunisia's Internet, it was evident that Monsegur used him to boost his own self-image. He wanted to make a big impact and would do anything he could do achieve it. On page 139, he states, "We humans suffer from egos." This statement was proved true when Monsegur said he did not feel guilty after his volunteer was arrested. It was a mission he desired to complete and he did not let anything prevent that from happening or feeling satisfied about his accomplishments.

Parmy Olson: WE ARE ANONYMOUS Chapters 1-3

"Ruining people's lives gave William a thrill, and a sense of power unlike anything he had felt in the outside world. The only other time he felt anything similar was when he would quietly slip outside his house in the dead of night, meet up with a few old friends, and spray colorful graffiti on the local walls or trains" (Olson, p. 30).

Upon reading the beginning of We Are Anonymous, I am enraged at Topiary, Sabu, and Kayla for viciously ceasing control of Aaron Barr. An Internet assault of this caliber is personal and highly destructive. The Internet Centrist perspective would argue that the Internet is creating new opportunities for conflict, immorality, and evil behavior, like using the discovered password to expand beyond email to Barr's Facebook, twitter, Yahoo!, and World of Warcraft accounts. Overachieving beyond their goal of accessing email was malicious. I believe that intentional destruction of others is nothing new and that it cannot be attributed to the capabilities of the World Wide Web. The new media platform encourages different kinds of human conflict, and the most fascinating part is the psychological patterns that remain consistent through past, present, and future. The 'group think' mentality happens among hackers separated by states, countries, continents, and hemispheres. These hackers are a unique breed with talent and skills most of the population will never acquire. Their potential for inflicting immense distress upon any and every chosen victim is daunting. The group 'Anonymous' believes information should be free. They are knowledgeable. Knowledge is power, but they use their knowledge to unjustly demolish people that do not agree with their beliefs. For this reason, their ability and actions demonstrated in the beginning of the book are negative examples so far of what humans can implement using free information. So far, the text fails to get the reader to understand these hackers or their ferocious mission: "We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us." The text successfully demonstrates that this army is powerful, and this army seems hypocritical.

I plan to approach the rest of this book looking at the capabilities and tendencies of all humans alike despite the Internet platform as an enabler. Humans that hack, humans that vandalize, humans that break the law, and humans that attack one another... Evengy Morozov describes Wicked Problems in his book The Net Delusion, and Olson's first chapters of We Are Anonymous demonstrate some of the Wicked Problems that permeate humanity, especially our evil tendencies. Finally, I think the "group think" aspect is just as powerful as the anonymity of the group when it comes to taking action against others.

We Are Anonymous

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Privacy seems to be one of the main ideas behind this book and the group Anonymous believes that all information should be free. So far after reading the tale about Aaron Barr who was hacked and William and Poole who deal with more of the backside of hacking, it really makes me nervous about my privacy on the internet and also to the many things the Internet holds that I am unaware of.
As I wrote in a previous blog entry, privacy seems to have become a big deal on the Internet, and this book points out as too exactly why, but yet also that truly nothing is private on the Internet. Between page 38-42, Olson explains what William was doing with Jen's Facebook- a girl who he doesn't know. "He clicked on the girl's photo again and decided he had nothing to lose by pursing a night of fun and justice" on page 38 is a great quote to describe the twisted people that use to Internet and hacking for their own fun and games, by possibly destroying people's lives.
Although it was a good gesture to message the girl and alert her someone (him) was hacking her Facebook, but by blackmailing her into sending him nude pictures of herself in order to prevent more damage, is where I personally get horrified. The way my parents introduced and allowed me to use the Internet when I was younger, has caused me to be extremely cautious and weary when it comes to posting anything personal on the Internet, because of fears like this. Even though there was someone out to get Jen, which is why someone ended up hacking into her Facebook, the reality that there are people out there who enjoy sitting and trying to hack into other peoples personal accounts, and causing potential life changing consequences is where the dark side of the internet comes alive.
It's scary to think that someone could be halfway around the world, hacking into my many accounts that hold private information, just because they believe information should be free, but yet there's the other side who believe information should be private and should have the right to do so also. I think it's interesting to hear how others believe information should be free and to see how they take advantage of that, but so far this book is make me rethink ever putting any personal information on the web again.

We are anonymous

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Interesting book! So far I am intrigued and it's not quite what we have read before... Yes there are some areas I would be fine without that are a little too much for me to handle, but whatever.
I am wondering how the author has gotten a hold of all the information about these "hackers", because they are supposed to be unknown people. So where does the author go to find them when nobody else can?

"Rumor even had it that she'd stabbed her webcam with a knife one day, just in case someone took over her PC and filmed her unaware (chap 1. pg 11)." This made me question my own internet security and almost want to stab my own webcam if this is a risk. However, I don't see myself as a person that interesting, so I am not too worried about it. But the camera is pointed right towards where I sleep.

On top of this I would have to say that this Aaron Barr is not a smart person... "On a whim, one of them decided to check to see of kibafo33 worked anywhere else besides Barr's e-mail account (chap 1, pg 14)." This Barr person is head of a internet security thing and is investigating a bunch of hackers, then he uses the same password for everything? Even I know better than that!

The thing that disturbed me most so far I think, is how sleazy these hackers can be. The have the ability to sneak through back doors to get onto everyone's private computers and take advantage of them. "Give me the nude photos of yourself and I'll stop everyone else hacking you (chap 2, pg 40)." I feel like anyone can take advantage of this and that is just sick to me. Fair enough that William is actually helping this girl, but it creeps me out.

So far I am not sure where this book is taking me. I might end up deleting everything off my computer and blowing it up or "swallow a mini SD card (chap 1, pg 11).

We Are Anonymous

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Parmy Olson did a really nice job on this book. I'm just not quite sure how she was able to get these people who pride themselves on being anonymous to give out so many details. But regardless, this book is far more interesting to me than the last few we have read.

So throughout the first few chapters of the book Olson argued, at least at this point of their existence, that Anonymous has very little structure. Brought about by tech-savvy teens and young adults with way too much time on their hands and a knack for pranks, Anonymous had humble beginnings. For those of us who don't know a lot about Anonymous, like myself, we will find out how much of a hierarchy is developed over time.

Now what the book hasn't done, at least yet, is have a stance either way as to Anonymous' actions. Perhaps this is for the best as the book can remain neutral and the readers can judge for themselves whether or not 'the ends justify the means'. In other words, do you agree that any action, legal or otherwise, should be taken to do/get what you want?

This point is at the heart of chapter one. Aaron Barr wasn't very smart trying to ID Anonymous members. His methods were flawed; he figured that once an Anon member signed off of IRC and then became active on Facebook or Twitter, he had the same person. Now I know the days of chat programs are nearly gone but at one time people used things like MSN or AIM to chat online. While you had your chat program open you could still surf the net, type an email, or do whatever you want so being active on chat doesn't exclude you from doing other things. So after news got out that he had compiled his list of online names with real names and locations of Anonymous members and was ready to talk to the FBI was Anonymous justified in attacking him? You would have to guess that many of these names were wrong, a lot of people could get in trouble for no reason. Many members didn't even do anything illegal. How can you prove what you did or didn't do when the whole point is to be anonymous?

Impact on Old Media

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The impact on old media has been a very prevalent topic in this book, especially in the last few chapters. We place value on the ability to acquire mass amounts of information using the smallest devices, so single function television and telephone aren't as relevant. The new media today has far greater computing power and is more efficient! There was a quote in the book that states "It has become cliché that we carry in our smartphones more computing power than the first manned space flights did." I was very surprised when I read this quote because I have never really thought of what goes into technology. How can this much computing power go into something that we can fit in our pockets?? Just like how we were talking about in class about the difference between the Iphone now and what they used in the past. Is there really a difference? I think so. Even though they both have the same idea, technology today is much faster, much smaller, more convenient, and the biggest difference of all is we can now multi- task in what we do. People start to get rid of technology that can only do one thing, like their landline phones, and use newer means of technology, like the smartphone where they can talk, text, surf the web, all at the same time! And as our technology changes, we change as a society. What I mean by that is what was know as a "social" society is now more virtually social. "As mobile devices become smaller and more aware of where they are located, and as objects become more intelligent and communicative, people could have greater dialogues with the world around them..." This quote tells us that as technology changes, we change with it. Now that we have more virtual technology, we become more communicative online rather than face to face. We are now not limited to one to one communication, but now we have many to many communications ! When will enough be enough? Do you think our technology will ever reach a peak?

Blog Post 3: Chapter 10

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In Chapter 10, Rainie and Wellman focus on how to function effectively in this changed world. To start off, my favorite sentence from this chapter describes how network operating systems can transform individuals as they participate in this changed world, "their sense of self transforms from a hard unitary shell to a reconfigured amoeba with situationally changing pseudopods" (p.256). The main theme in this chapter is described through one case, Linda. They describe her journey starting off as a struggling divorced woman who eventually grows through her expanding networks. She adopts technology and the Internet into her daily routine, which allows her to thrive in different aspects of her life, like furthering her career, economic situations, and her personal relationships. Rainie and Wellman choose Linda's story, to argue and demonstrate that "those with diverse, broad-ranging networks are often in better social shape and have greater capacity to solve problems than those who have smaller networks," (p. 265). I agree with this because I feel that a wider scope of networks allows individuals to reach out to more resources and have connections when needed and it "breeds more support" (p.266). Individuals in tight social networks may feel restricted and limited in how far they may excel.
Linda states on page 259, "I didn't feel quite comfortable with it until I had actually sat down with somebody and physically checked out the campus." Though Rainie and Wellman have compelling arguments in this how-to-do like chapter on how we should be the best networked individuals, Linda's statement brings me back to how physicality is still important to me. I think that networking is a great for allowing the free flow of information, resources, and making connections, but as an adjunct. I feel like I can only find comfort and closure with physicality and face-to-face networks.

Rainie and Wellman cite the stat "57 percent of American internet users had searched for material about themselves online" (p. 267), which suggests a slim majority of people spend at least some time Googling themselves. Monitoring online reputation has become increasingly important to people, especially as privacy decreases, data collection algorithms become more invasive and companies increase their savvy about Internet background checks and social media when it comes to hiring and maintaining employees.

However, all these reputation monitoring exercises are futile gestures. Rainie and Wellman very accurately point out "that the most successful networked individuals have networking literacy" (p. 274). Those who have gained a comprehensive understanding as to how data flows and is shared, compiled, bought and sold by corporations and governments alike across the network will know that privacy is virtually dead. The authors also state: "Information itself has become networked and more densely packed, making peoples experiences with it more immersive and participatory." (p. 256) People have uploaded their lives in minute detail to the Internet and its various social networks, information that has become a valuable commodity being traded among the digital giants.

Facebook already tailors ads to users based on conversation topics in private messages between people. Websites like Spokeo sell personal information on anyone, including social media accounts and activity past and present. Information in cyberspace can never truly be forgotten, as websites like the Wayback Machine prove every day while each and every bit of data is logged and made available to anyone with a mouse, a screen and an Internet connection.

Any information ever shared about a person is accessible to someone, and therefore potentially to everyone since the privacy and security of information has been shown to be bolstered by walls of paper rather than fire. Hackers publically dump personal details on people each day with ease and the last few years have shown even government documents and data are not safe.

Eventually, people will need to understand that if they don't want anyone to know about something, it shouldn't be on the network. For some people, it's too late, the evidence can never be entirely erased. As the public comes to this realization sometime in the future, it will have to accept that people are people. They drink, party, have sex and other fun things. They get in trouble and do things they regret. And increasingly, it all ends up online. Will the U.S. presidential candidates of the future have to answer for offensive tweets made during their youth? Or will society just accept that the Internet is a free and open exchange of expressions and ideas, a permanent record of everyone's wins and failures? Hopefully the latter, because we'll otherwise drive ourselves to paranoid insanity as a society trying to combat the very nature of the Internet itself while simultaneously embracing what else it gives us.

In Chapter 10 in Networked, Rainie and Wellman discuss how people can thrive as a networked individual. They state, "that the most successful networked individuals have networking literacy" (274). To have networking literacy people must follow the proper steps to showcase themselves well and learn information from others. One aspect of networking literacy that was interesting to me was the section monitor and manage your reputation--your brand. They state that it is important for people to monitor their reputation because more information is accessible to others through the Internet. I agree with their statement, but I argue that people need to understand the risks of posting personal information to the Internet more. I believe that most people do understand some risks, but not to the fullest.

As a senior, I am constantly looking for jobs after school. Even though I have a couple jobs options as of now, I need to be careful protecting my image. A questionable post about anything could provide the wrong reputation of myself to anyone that can see it. As a result of monitoring my reputation, I have searched myself to see if anything bad comes across with my name. Rainie and Wellman's stat of, "57 percent of American internet users had searched for material about themselves online" (267) seems low. This stat explains to me that more people should be searching the internet for anything that could be posted about themselves.

For the future, people will need to monitor their online reputation more. Social media and websites are vital elements to our society that will continue to be more involved in people's lives. If people aren't aware of taking the necessary steps to protecting themselves, they could find it harder to get jobs or loans. Our society should focus on educating people how to protect and monitor their online reputation.

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