Citizen Media Watch

juni 2nd, 2007

Law enforcement in virtual worlds

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Interesting Washington Post piece on law enforcement in virtual worlds like Second Life or the game World of Warcraft.

Two years ago, Japanese authorities arrested a man for carrying out a series of virtual muggings in another popular game, Lineage II, by using software to beat up and rob characters in the game and then sell the virtual loot for real money.

The key question is whether for instance rape, child abuse, mugging and killing online should be compared to these acts in the real world. And if so, which country’s laws should the crimes fall under.

Philip Rosedale, the founder and chief executive of Linden Labs, said in an interview that Second Life activities should be governed by real-life laws for the time being. He recounted, for example, that his company has called in the FBI several times, most recently this spring to ensure that Second Life’s virtual casinos complied with U.S. law. Federal investigators created their own avatars and toured the site, he said.

In coming months, his company plans to disperse tens of thousands of computer servers from California and Texas to countries around the world in order to improve the site’s performance. Also, he said, this will make activities on those servers subject to laws of the host countries.

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juni 2nd, 2007

Gillmor at Where2.0: Where are the journalists?

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

I just read Dan Gillmor‘s comment on the Where2.0 conference in San Jose, which was all about location, geotagging, mashups etc. Gillmor is wondering why few journalists are there.

I don’t mean reporters who may be covering the conference. No, I’m talking about “database journalists” who use technology to help tell stories better. They should be here because some of the technology being shown here could easily be the basis for some extraordinary community information — if journalists have the common sense to use it.

Mapping and data that can be geo-coded — put into databases that can populate or link to maps — are an enormously powerful tool. It’s mind-boggling to me that more news organizations aren’t taking advantage of the possibilities, or, in most cases, even bothering to learn what’s possible.

Geotagging is opening up great possibilities for journalists. But we need to use these possibilities, learn more about them. Others will.
Wishing I could have gone to Where2.0.

Also wish I could have gone to Reboot. Seems like it was a great success.


juni 2007
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