23 October 2013

The ground for fruity yet important web developments is fertile. Here is a mixed, exploratory list of possible, progressive and miscellaneous project sketches.

If any of these are already in existence, I’d love to hear about it, if not, I’d be intrigued to see someone make them.

UK Web Filter Solidarity

The UK government has introduced a default filter, run by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on all web connections to block porn, extremist and also esoteric as well as other material of questionable relevance.

That material is to be judged according to the moral sensibilities of the government and ISPs.

The law is problematic for so many reasons.

It has already led to sites, such as sex education resources, being improperly blocked. A cute illustration of how fallible it is was seen when the porn filter blocked the website of a politician who campaigned for it.

Besides this, there are good arguments against this move forcing all web users to declare their intention to download porn and other ‘deviant’ material. Designed to protect children from troubling content online, the law would shift responsibility from parents who give children web access to others who access whatever the government deems unsavoury.

General esoterics

This is an experimental idea requiring wider strategy before effective deployment, but the core thought may prove useful.

The protest widget automatically includes ‘esoteric’ material on a site in order to have it blocked by the ISP.

Adding the widget code to your site drops in select keywords (possibly hidden from visible browser rendering) which are picked up by the filter, thereby having your site blocked, and infuriating users. The block can eventually be lifted with whitelisting.

The outcome, particularly of a coordinated effort, would be to highlight the reality of creeping government censorship, particularly as many people won’t have experienced it (and it’s problems) in action.

Chances of success

The chances without massive support from large sites may be low. However, given the titillating subject matter, participation in such a protest could garner media exposure for the sites in question.

There may also be SEO and other negative side-effects from incorporating this sort of copy in one’s site, but the kudos and visibility of protest could outweigh that.

Citizen’s privacy security

As experts and laymen scramble to make sense of mass online surveillance, novel web schemes can assist citizens in working out where their data is safe.

This idea has been mooted by Cory Doctorow and others, but it bears repeating to encourage execution.

Dead man’s switch sign up list with question.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/sep/09/nsa-sabotage-dead-mans-switch

Death party playlist / Cultural will

Want boring old pa to choose the sounds at your funeral? Definitely not. Make your final playlist here, and while you’re at it, define the terms of the entire party.

Where should the wake be, who can come, even your recommendations for who should get together – cupid from beyond the grave.