Digital Freedom

  • Today, our rights and the overall quality of our life heavily depend on how software is used around us. This is true also for people (including children) who don’t care much about computers, or don’t even have one. This is whyin 2006⁄2007 I wrote a Family Guide to Digital Freedom and an associated website. My goal was to try to explain, in one place and in the simplest possible way, what everybody should know about software, digital technologies and digital culture, in order to protect their rights.
  • (Historical note: I originally published this on 2008/01/12 at digifreedom.net, the website I set up as an online counterpart to that Family Guide to Digital Freedom which later on became the basis for my basic course. I have moved it here on April 24th, 2012, because I think the advice below it’s a perfect complement to something else published on this website in the same month (With leaders like these, Free Software will never win), and because here you can add your comments)
  • The 2007 edition of the Family Guide to Digital Freedom consists of less than 60 chapters. Almost all of them are very short (the printed version was slightly above 200 pages). Some of the longest chapters have been divided in two parts for this online version. Before reading the Guide, please read its announcement and disclaimer. Please also note that these days I teach online the same topics in the Digital Citizens Basics course
  • Is that really you?

    (this page is part of the Family Guide to Digital Freedom, 2007 edition. Please do read that introduction to know more about the Guide, especially if you mean to comment this page. Thanks) In a digital world, complete and real anonymity online is a mere illusion unless you take a lot of steps, including several ones which may very likely be illegal or not allowed by the contracts offered by any Internet Access Provider.
  • (this page is part of the Family Guide to Digital Freedom, 2007 edition. Please do read that introduction to know more about the Guide, especially if you mean to comment this page. Thanks) What do a UK prime Minister, a US warship and a fighter plane have in common? They all were put in danger, or at least in quite embarrassing situations, because of poor design, use or understanding of software, or at least of the policies that should regulate its use.
  • (this page is part of the Family Guide to Digital Freedom, 2007 edition. Please do read that introduction to know more about the Guide, especially if you mean to comment this page. Thanks) “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.” George Orwell, 1984In the context of this book, “the past” consists of both the corpus of already existing creative works, locked by extending copyright beyond decency, and the huge quantity of digital documents already saved in proprietary or unknown file formats.
  • (this page is part of the Family Guide to Digital Freedom, 2007 edition. Please do read that introduction to know more about the Guide, especially if you mean to comment this page. Thanks) The hidden cost of software on all citizens, including those who don’t even use a computer, has been already described at the beginning of this book. In addition to all that, there is another tax forced on all students, families, schools and businesses from the entertainment industry.
  • (this page is part of the Family Guide to Digital Freedom, 2007 edition. Please do read that introduction to know more about the Guide, especially if you mean to comment this page. Thanks) How Would You Like Your Network, Sir? Smart Or Stupid? Net Neutrality is a somewhat misleading definition for the principles that, until today, have de facto ruled Internet based communications: access to the network should be open, at the same conditions, for every legally operating publisher or service provider.
  • (this page is part of the Family Guide to Digital Freedom, 2007 edition. Please do read that introduction to know more about the Guide, especially if you mean to comment this page. Thanks). This page also gives a general idea of what you would learn and discuss in the Digital Citizens Basics course The Family Guide to Digital Freedom explains, in one place and in normal language, what everybody should know about software, digital technologies and digital culture, and above all the real reasons why they should care.