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>Privacy – last week’s topic is always a great learning experience! Thanks to everyone for your contributions to the discussions. It is always sad to hear about your personal experiences with privacy and identity theft, but everyone has a much better understanding of the potential problems. Sharing your experience may save others from having similar problems.

The WikiEducator assignment provides great feedback to WikiEducator.org. This is a very ambitious project to make education open and free. Everyone involved is learning as they go, so suggestions and feedback are greatly appreciated. It is nice to know that you are part of the ongoing development and improvement of this wonderful resource.

Blogging is a whole new form of communication and publishing that was not possible without the web. These are greatly changing the whole news publishing business.

The topic for the coming week is 3. Freedom of Speech.

Freedom of speech takes on important new meaning in cyberspace. While it is possible for repressive regimes to control print and broadcast media, it is much more difficult to control online publication.This is especially true when the source of the information is outside the jurisdiction of those endeavoring to control speech.

This text in the notes was written before Google and the Chinese government were involved in negotiations that failed to resolve their differences. I plan to update the text but it may be weeks or months before we see where this goes. This just demonstrates how quickly the world is changing, especially where advanced innovative technologies, hackers, corporate interests and government intervention meet.

A reminder to everyone that distance learning courses require considerable personal commitment and time management to complete successfully. The assignments and due dates are intended to help you stay on top of the course work and provide flexibility. However, if you get behind, it is really difficult to catch up. So make every effort to stay current. Please let me know – in advance, if possible – that you can not complete some assignments on schedule. Otherwise points will be deduced to late submissions. Late submissions are better than no submissions – some points are better than none. However, if you are serious about your work in this course, please keep to the course schedule.

There are lots of new issues and ideas to explore this week. Freedom of Speech has never been more important, now that the internet and other communications technologies have allowed hundreds of millions of people to speak up and be heard around the world. Some of these people have never been outside their village or their country, and now they are communicating with people they could only imagine existed. It is pretty amazing when you think about it!
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