Parks and Recreation and Online Privacy

Parks and Recreation is a successful NBC comedy entering its seventh and final season. Several weeks ago the show aired an episode that tackled the issue of online privacy. In this episode the fictional company Grizzl, a mish mash of Google, Facebook, and other Silicon Valley behemoths, come under attack for their data mining and privacy practices. The episode explores these issues with it’s usual satirical humor. View a 4:45 minute highlight reel of the episode below…

You can download the full 9:15 minute version here.

The episode doesn’t proselytize the beliefs of privacy advocates, in fact it often makes privacy concerns seem silly, but it raises the issue and lets the viewer come to their own conclusion. What do you think?


drone ron

Tucson’s Ethnic Studies Goes to Court

Last week Arizona’s HB2281 law banning Tucson’s Mexican American Studies program was heard before the 9th circuit federal court of appeals. A lawyer representing two former MAS students argued that the law was vague and over broad, an infringement on the free speech of students, and was created with discriminatory racial animus. Read more The […]

Charlie Hebdo, Copyright, and Sanctioning Speech

All the recent headline coverage of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack and it’s free speech implications has got me thinking about how speech is regulated both through culture and through law. For example in the United States the government allows neo-Nazi groups to form and advocate their beliefs. Most Americans abhor the messages put out […]

Arizona Bans Ethnic Studies, Again

In 2012 Arizona passed a bill (HB 2281) targeting the Mexican American Studies program in Tucson Unified School District’s schools. The state dismantled the program and received national attention in the process. Now, years laters, the Arizona head of public education, Superintendent Huppenthal, has declared more classes in Tucson to be illegal. In his last day […]

A Tale of Two White Rappers and Racial Injustice in America

The story of cultural appropriation in the United States is a long one. The story of racial inequality and of white privilege in the United States is even longer. Many people have called for a “national discussion on race” but where is such a discussion supposed to start. Concepts like racism are difficult to talk […]

A De Minimis Victory in Hip Hop

Long story short: unauthorized sampling in hip hop has been illegal since 1991 when a district court ruled that sampling constituted copyright infringement no matter how small the sample (Grand Upright Music, Ltd. v. Warner Bros. Records Inc.).  This ruling was reaffirmed in 2005 by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films. […]

Smartphones and Domestic Violence Stalking

Yesterday on NPR’s radio news show All Things Considered there was a story about smartphone spyware and the way male abusers can use smartphone’s GPS, microphone, and other features to track and stalk their victims. There were several angles of this story that interested me. For one, it relates to the intersection of gender and […]

The Internet Belongs to Everyone

I’ve recently been exploring tools to help educate others about how the internet works and more generally promote digital media literacy. The ability for internet users to understand the tools that they use and develop their ability to contribute to the web by creating their own independent media is extremely important. Below is a little […]

Take That, Janet Jackson’s Nipple #InternetSlowdown

Public advocacy groups and internet companies from across the web banned together on September 10th for an action dubbed The Great Internet Slowdown. Participating websites displayed a loading animation and a message warning visitors that net neutrality is in danger. They also provided a way for internet users to make their voices heard and let […]

#IceBucketChallenge v. #Ferguson

Since the killing of Mike Brown and the police violence that followed, I’ve struggled to make sense of what it all means and how things could ever change. I thought about the killing of Trayvon Martin, and if the outrage it sparked made any long term impact. I felt numb watching the video of Kajieme […]