Saturday, July 18, 2009

Censorship through Kindle
and Other Devices

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, and author.

The joys of reading and the agony of censorship, which almost half the population seems to be okay with, can be experienced by readers who own a Kindle.

If you had downloaded George Orwell’s famous novels “1984” and “Animal Farm” you no longer have them on your Kindle because the publisher decided it did not want to give the rights to Kindle, so used its wireless connection to each Kindle to delete copies on the owners' Kindles and refunded their money.

If you have decided to call your friends on your iPhone or other network tethered devices you need not feel so superior.

Daughter sent THIS to me and you too should read it and be aware:

"tethered appliances," that is, appliances like the Kindle and the iPhone that feature a combination of hardware and software services connected by a network. The manufacturer of the tethered appliance can easily discover what consumers are doing with the product, can restrict what end-users do with the hardware, and can alert the features of the product by remote control. It simultaneously offers the possibility of privacy invasions and retroactive alterations of features. The Kindle story shows that it also offers the possibility of private censorship.


alice, uptown said...

so much for the right to privacy. you play with big brother's toys, and you pay a price, as you so aptly point out.

Jack Steiner said...

It is a double edged sword. Very troubling.

The Misanthrope said...

Hi Nancy, It's a price I will avoid paying as long as possible.

Hey Jack, as they used to say in the old "Laugh In" television series: "Very true, but sad." If a Laugh In reference is not an aging tell I don't know what is.