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“There are three categories of hackers: Russian criminals trying to rob us blind; the Chinese who are trying to steal our secrets; and then there’s Anonymous, and a lot of them are like merry pranksters. ...We're treating them all the same.”—
CHESTER WISNIEWSKI, senior security adviser at electronic security firm Sophos, in response to the recent indictment of Reuters deputy social media editor Matthew Keys; Keys was charged with aiding hackers who defaced the LA Times website.
Keys faces up to 25 years and fines of $250,000 if convicted.
While the hackers who do real damage go unscathed.
We’re treating them all the same.
(via the New York Times)
Reporter asks White House Press Secy. if Afghan blast "terrorism"
UPDATE: The reporter who asked the question is Amina Ismail, a journalist at McClatchy. I urge you to thank her for asking it (her twitter handle is @AminaIsmail) because I can’t imagine it was easy given how extremely rare and frowned upon it is to challenge the dominant “war on terror” narrative, especially as a female reporter with an Arab-sounding name. And Amina, if you’re reading this, thanks for kicking ass!
* * * *
Matthew Keys, the social media editor at Reuters, posted audio of a reporter asking White House Press Secretary Jay Carney if U.S. bombings that kill innocent civilians in Afghanistan constitute an “act of terror” given the labeling of the Boston Marathon bombing as “terrorism”. She specifically refers to a U.S. airstrike earlier this month that killed 11 children, just the latest in a seemingly endless line of Afghan civilian deathsat the hands of the U.S. government.
Carney completely dodged the questions, pointing instead to the 9/11 terrorist attacks to justify U.S. bombings in Afghanistan. After a long-winded answer excusing U.S. conduct, Carney concludes, “ we take great care in the prosecution of this war.”
REPORTER: I send my deepest condolence to the victims and families in Boston. But President Obama said that what happened in Boston was an act of terrorism. I would like to ask, Do you consider the U.S. bombing on civilians in Afghanistan earlier this month that left 11 children and a woman killed a form of terrorism? Why or why not?
JAY CARNEY: Well, I would have to know more about the incident and then obviously the Department of Defense would have answers to your questions on this matter. We have more than 60,000 U.S. troops involved in a war in Afghanistan, a war that began when the United States was attacked, in an attack that was organized on the soil of Afghanistan by al Qaeda, by Osama bin laden and others and more than 3,000 people were killed in that attack. And it has been the President’s objective once he took office to make clear what our goals are in Afghanistan and that is to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately defeat al Qaeda. And with that as our objective to provide enough assistance to Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan government to allow them to take over security for themselves. And that process is underway and the United States has withdrawn a substantial number of troops and we are in the process of drowning down further as we hand over security lead to Afghan forces. And it is certainly the case that I refer you to the defense department for details that we take great care in the prosecution of this war and we are very mindful of what our objectives are.
At the very least, this serves as another example of the utter meaninglessness of the word “terrorism”.
“What we have here is another potential [Aaron] Swartz-type situation where every incentive is telling prosecutors to go after [Matthew] Keys as aggressively as they did Swartz, if not more so.”—Is One Act of Cyber Vandalism Worth 25 Years in Jail? - NationalJournal
How to Build Newsy Twitter Lists
Last week we posted this, and the point was basically: in order to have an excellent, interesting, informative, useful Twitter experience, we need to become great Twitter list builders.
So, here’s Matthew Keys, who does social media for Reuters, on how to build awesome Twitter lists for news events. But it really applies to anything—a beat you want to stay on top of if you’re a journalist, a topic you’re exploring as a professional, etc. See here to read the full list of tips, because what follows is our abridged version:
1. Tap into local news organizations:
- If you happen to know the names of the television stations, newspapers and news radio stations in a particular area where a news event is happening, great! Look up their Twitter account and add them to the list.
- If you don’t, here’s a trick: Google “[city name] ABC station” or “[city name] newspaper.” Generally, I’ll search Google five times: Four times to look for the affiliates of the big four TV stations (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX) in a city, and a fifth time to look for a local paper. Some major cities, like New York, San Francisco and Minneapolis, also have all news radio stations, so it’s worth looking for those too.
2. Tap into journalists/reporters covering the event/beat:
- The “News Team,” “Bios” or “About Us” pages of most local news websites will often include the Twitter accounts of journalists who are active on social media accounts. Branded accounts for most local news organizations will also re-tweet their reporters, so keep an eye out for that too.
3. Include law enforcement, government officials, community leaders:
- Government officials are often known to make remarks or offer guidance following a large news event (like a crime that has a communal impact or a severe weather event). Depending on the event, you may want to consider adding the Twitter accounts of local mayors, city councilmembers, congressmen and governors. (Example: During Hurricane Sandy, the Twitter accounts of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie offered valuable information on gas rationing, mass transit, where to find shelter, what numbers to call in both emergencies and non-emergencies, and so on).
4. Seek out local, county, state and federal agencies and charities:
- Many local, county, state and federal agencies are also embracing social platforms to push out near-real-time information. The National Weather Service has several “experimental” Twitter accounts, broken down by region, that move urgent weather information and forecasts for a particular area (one example would be @NWSBayArea, the Twitter account for the San Francisco Bay Area in California). The US Geological Survey has a Twitter account, @USGS, that tweets major earthquakes when they happen.
5. Embrace eyewitnesses and “citizen journalists,” but be cautious:
- Choosing citizen journalists for news lists can be tricky. Often, citizen journalists lack the kind of news judgment needed to objectively report on a news event, but that doesn’t mean citizen journalists are inherently biased or inaccurate. I tend to use eyewitnesses and citizen journalists sparingly in my own Twitter lists, but I have discovered some who produce truly compelling content and are objective in the broadcasting of their information. Be picky when adding eyewitnesses and citizen journalists to lists, but make a mental note of one or two individuals if they’re producing good content (and always remember to credit them if you use their information or content in your product).
Bonus: He also shares tips on how to find breaking news photos on Twitter.
Now, build away!
“At a young age you can have more influence than at any time in journalistic history and the mistakes you make at a younger age are more visible than ever before.”—
Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, Columbia University, to the New York Times about last week’s indictment of Matthew Keys. The 26-year-old deputy social media editor at Reuters was charged by federal prosecutors with assisting members of Anonymous in defacing a 2010 Los Angeles Times story. Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Keys could face fines of up to $750,000 and 25 years in prison.
New York Times, Hacker Case Leads to Calls for Better Law.
The hackers changed the headline of a Times story from “Pressure Builds in House to Pass Tax-Cut Package” to “Pressure Builds in House to Elect CHIPPY 1337.”