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There were lots of good sites reported, many really good probing questions and thoughtful replies in the discussions for Privacy and Freedom of Speech.

There were lots of good tips and references for protecting your privacy online and ways to avoid being the victim of identity theft. These are really serious. Often in this class a student or a family member has had to deal with some form of identity theft. The national average is about 1 in 20 so it is not surprising.

from http://www.identitytheft.info/victims.aspx

Approximately 15 million United States residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion.

On a case-by-case basis, that means approximately 7% of all adults have their identities misused with each instance resulting in approximately $3,500 in losses.

Close to 100 million additional Americans have their personal identifying information placed at risk of identity theft each year when records maintained in government and corporate databases are lost or stolen.

So please continue to take precautions so you and your family aren’t statistics, too.

Freedom of Speech is important to consider. There is a problem for society if people who are free to say anything they want abuse the privilege and use it to disrupt law and order that keeps society civil. On the other hand, there are many countries that deny freedom of speech to their citizens in an attempt to gain or retain control over the population through repression and force. Through the internet, we are watching the delicate balancing of these ideas everyday.

The blogs were great. Thanks for passing along your favorites. Some were new to me, so I appreciated your selections too and have forwarded several to friends.

Coming up… Copyright is in the news frequently. There have been good copyright protections for books and recorded music for many years, but the advent of the internet and other digital media has added so many new issues to consider. The existing laws are being expanded and re-interpreted to include situations that weren’t even possible a few years ago. Copyrights are very much in flux and the finer details are beyond the scope of this course, and most copyright attorneys, for that matter. However, there is lots that you should know as a consumer and as a creator.

Enjoy!

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