The Internet Strikes Back

After SOPA and PIPA: the Entertainment Industry Needs to Adapt not Resist

The 18th January saw the Internet rise up and rear its head in an unprecedented show of force, with online giants such as Google, Wikipedia and Reddit leading a massive campaign against SOPA and PIPA, the planned anti-piracy bills being debated in the US Senate and Congress. Perhaps most hard-hitting, especially to students, was the terrifying ‘black-out’ of Wikipedia, which asked hapless users to “imagine a world without free knowledge.” Social networking sites soon began to buzz with talk about the dangers of the planned piracy bills, and by the end of the day political support for the bills had crumbled. American lawmakers and politicians began to realise just how much they had underestimated the power of the internet. Continue reading

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Afghanistan Ten Years On: View from the Frontline

Phil, a Lance-Corporal in the British Army, reaches into his wallet and shows me the Taliban bullet that only narrowly missed him during his tour in Afghanistan last year. An old school friend who is now a Lance-Corporal in the British Army, Phil spent six months as a recovery mechanic embedded with the Scottish Guards just north of Lashkar Gar, Helmand province. His unit was subject to one of the fiercest tours of 2010, with nearly seven-hundred contacts with the enemy over seven months. Now, exactly one year today since his return and in the wake of the tenth anniversary of the initial US-led invasion, I ask him what he thinks about this seemingly endless conflict… Continue reading