Technology & Telecommunications

More than 5,000 police agencies across the country have purchased Tasers since 2000. Amnesty International documented hundreds of cases in the last three years in which Taser-happy police used the weapon on everyone from disturbed children to old men and women to a Florida man - strapped down on a hospital bed - who wouldn't provide a urine sample.
We want to firmly and unequivocally state our intention not to participate in the World Bank Development Gateway project. That while the Development Gateway purports to promote local community organisations and their information initiatives, its true intention is to control the development information discourse to promote its own particular perpectives.
Precision farming: high tech corporate responsibility or agribusiness expansion? We look at the use of satellites and new technology in farming.
U.S. Air Force officials has begun to hire private companies to fly drone aircraft operating over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The unprecedented move is in response to demands from the Obama administration to dramatically expand the drone war just as the Pentagon faces a critical shortage of military pilots.
A corporate espionage case unfolding in France involves some of the biggest French companies, including Électricité de France, the world's largest operator of nuclear power plants, and Vivendi, the media and telecommunications conglomerate. The story has the elements of a corporate thriller: a cast of characters that includes former French spies and military men, an American cycling champion, Greenpeace activists and a dogged judge.
YPF, the Argentinian state-owned oil company, has signed an agreement with Chevron in the U.S. to extract shale gas and oil using fracking technology in the southern Andes mountains. Local environmental and indigenous activists are gearing up for a fight to stop the controversial technology.
Who should your computer take its orders from? Most people think their computers should obey them, not obey someone else. With a plan they call ''trusted computing,'' large media corporations (including the movie companies and record companies), together with computer companies such as Microsoft and Intel, are planning to make your computer obey them instead of you. Proprietary programs have included malicious features before, but this plan would make it universal.
Africa is being ripped off -- to the tune of some $500m a year -- simply for hooking up to the World Wide Web, say Kenyan internet company chiefs. And this extra cost is partly to blame for slowing the spread of the internet in Africa and helping sustain the digital divide, they contend.
A new cache of Wikileaks documents on the secretive surveillance industry uncovers 160 companies in 25 countries that make $5 billion a year selling sophisticated surveillance technology to security authorities around the world to secretly carry out mass surveillance of people via their phones and computers.
If the Bush administration lets large media conglomerates and local telephone companies have their way, the Internet as we know it -- that free-flowing, democratic, uncensored information superhighway -- could soon be a thing of the past.