John Oliver talks about Government Surveillance

JohnOliver_LWT_KeyArt_FinalSome time ago, I had a post that showed a Youtube video from Last Week Tonight, in which John Oliver explained Net Neutrality in the best way possible.

This time, I would like to share a video about Government Surveillance. In the video, apart from the expected joking about, John Oliver tells us that the Patriot Act will be due for reauthorization on June 1st of this year. In the Patriot Act, there is a section, 215, also called the library records section, that grants the U.S. government the power to ask for tangible things in its fight against terrorism. It has been set up in such a broad way, that it is basically a blank check. Now, I will not go further into explaining this, as the video does a much better job at this.

There are two lessons to be learned from the video. One is that a lot of people have “forgotten” about who Edward Snowden is, and the things he brought to light. Some people even thought he was Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, which is not a good thing.

However, the most important lesson to be learned from this, and one that is put forward in the video as well, is that most people cannot actually grasp the concept of how far-reaching the NSA programs were. This is especially if you try to explain it to them in the “techy” language that is inherent to the discussion. However, once you simplify the discussion, and put it into a context people can relate to, they are a lot more susceptible to the problem at hand.

Have a look at the video after the break and see for yourself.


Welcome to BenWeb

MasswelcomematHello and welcome to BenWeb!

I started my first site back in 2001, when I spent a year in Canada on an exchange. That site slowly evolved from a “monthly diary” to something more akin of a blog. After a while, it became clear to me that manually editing HTML files was a bit tedious. So I started looking for a CMS and found one in the shape of e107. This was in 2004, or something.

e107 really is nice, and it served me well for nearly a decade, but, unfortunately, development has slowed quite a bit, and the new version (v2) has been in development for nearly 6 years now, with not a clear date of release in sight. So, the time came for me to switch to something new.

Having helped a friend in setting up her own blog (LIMWZ Beauty Blog), as she is not that technical, I started to work with WordPress and was quite impressed. It does have a lot of options and plugins, that seem to be able to mimic what I want/need in my site.

Having found a theme, Customizr, I started fiddling around with plugins, testing, and trying. I am used to being able to customize who gets to see what in e107, but WordPress does not seem to offer that kind of functionality out of the box, so the search was on for more plugins.

To make a long story short: you are looking at the current end-result. There will definitely be some more tweaking, and updating, and posting, and trying, but you, as the reader, should not notice that.

Now I just need to start looking into my old sites and find out if there is stuff that I want to “migrate” to this site… Oh well… Gives me something to do after work…