Persuasion and Privacy in Cyberspace: The Online Protests over Lotus MarketPlace and the Clipper Chip

Overview

What happens when the Internet is used as a forum for public debate? Do the speed and power of computer-mediated communication foster democratic discourse and protest? This fascinating book examines two examples of social action on the Internet - the organized protests against Lotus MarketPlace and the Clipper chip - in order to evaluate the impact of the net on our social and political life. In 1990, Lotus Development Corporation announced the forthcoming production of a direct-mail marketing database that would...
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Overview

What happens when the Internet is used as a forum for public debate? Do the speed and power of computer-mediated communication foster democratic discourse and protest? This fascinating book examines two examples of social action on the Internet - the organized protests against Lotus MarketPlace and the Clipper chip - in order to evaluate the impact of the net on our social and political life. In 1990, Lotus Development Corporation announced the forthcoming production of a direct-mail marketing database that would contain the names, addresses, and spending habits of 120 million American consumers. A grassroots outcry on the Internet resulted in decision by Lotus to cancel the project. In 1994, the U.S. government proposed a new encryption standard called the Clipper chip, which, for the purposes of national security, could decrypt any message on any telephone in which it was installed. This encryption standard was implemented, despite opposition in the form of an online petition of more than forty thousand signatures. Laura J. Gurak tells the full stories of these protests, analyzes the resulting rhetoric and the reasons for the different outcomes, considers positive and negative aspects of computer-mediated communication, and challenges claims about cyberspace as a bastion of free speech by pointing out problems of access, structure, and gender bias on the Internet. In addition, because both cases involved technologies that raised concerns about the right to privacy on the Internet, she discusses issues of privacy in cyberspace.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300069631
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1997
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 5.71 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Persuasion, Community, and Cyberspace 1
2 The Case of Lotus MarketPlace 19
3 The Case of the Clipper Chip 32
4 Exigence in Cyberspace 44
5 Structures of Online Communication 66
6 Ethos, Flaming, and Inaccuracy 84
7 Gender in Cyberspace 104
8 Big Brother the Corporation and Big Brother the Government 114
9 Epilogue: Privacy, Persuasion, and Communities of the Virtual Future 130
App Working and Researching on the Internet 137
Notes 147
Glossary 161
References 165
Index 175
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