On the same day that Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Verhagen announced efforts to prevent the export of internet filters to repressive regimes, State Secretary of Justice and Security Teeven announced the introduction of the national blacklisting of websites. The press conference expressly ‘filtered out’ critical Dutch civil rights organization Bits of Freedom and consumer rights organization Consumentenbond.
The Minister of Economic Affairs stated Monday that companies should support internet freedom and that the danger of exporting filters to repressive regimes is that they can be used to withhold information from civilians. A good start of the day for Dutch cyberactivists, breathing a sigh of relief to see that the government actually seems to understand what they’re talking about.
However, later the very same day the State Secretary of Justice and Security announced a ‘download ban’ making the unauthorized downloading of copyrighted material illegal. Although it was stated that the privacy of internet users who only download limited amounts of copyrighted material from unauthorized sources is protected, the actual definition of ‘limited’ has not been given.
Banned in Ireland when it first appeared in 1932, and removed from shelves and objected to ever since, Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World is still making waves today.The novel of a dystopian future was one of the most complained about books in America last year, with readers protesting over its sexually explicit scenes, “offensive” language and “insensitivity”.
Take a look at the American Library Association Challenge Reporting Form
Earlier this year, we wrote about computer security expert, Tor developer and Wikileaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum, who was regularly being detained and intimidated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials each time he (a US citizen) traveled into the country. If you follow Jacob’s Twitter feed, you get detailed descriptions each time he flies back into the country of the hassles he has to go through. Every time he’s detained and never once given an explanation for why or what is being searched for. He’s often lied to and frequently told that it’s a “random” search. He certainly knows enough that he wipes all of his electronic equipment before traveling across the border.
In the latest case, upon returning from a conference in Europe by flying into Houston, Appelbaum again asked his detainers why he was being detained, and was once again not given a straight answer. He knows that there’s something on the screen that they pull up on their computers, but they refuse to provide him with any info. This time, they even went so far as to redefine detainment, telling him that he wasn’t being detained, but that he just couldn’t go until they were done with him. Perhaps he should send Homeland Security a copy of a dictionary with the definition of “detained” highlighted.
The anti-gay Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is going on the attack against “those who are distorting the truth about priestly sexual abuse.”The group bought an expensive full-page ad in The New York Times Monday that places the blames for the church’s scandals on “homosexuality, not pedophilia.”And perhaps most shockingly, it also claimed that some children were active participants in the abuse.“The refrain that child rape is a reality in the Church is twice wrong: let’s get it straight — they weren’t children and they weren’t raped,” self-appointed Catholic League president Bill Donohue wrote in the ad.
Tasers. Brand-new SUVs. A top-of-the-line iPad. A fully loaded laptop. In the year since the Gulf oil spill, officials along the coast have gone on a spending spree with BP money, dropping tens of millions of dollars on gadgets and other gear — much of which had little to do with the cleanup, an Associated Press investigation shows.
Air France Flight 7 F-HPJD bound for Paris, was taxiing on a runway when its left wingtip struck the tail of Comair Flight 6293, which had just landed from Boston and was taxiing to its gate at Kennedy, one of the nation’s busiest airports, Peters said.
Both jets were being towed to a ramp area for inspection, Peters said. The extent of the damage was unknown.
The FAA didn’t immediately say how many people were on the double-deck Airbus A380, which can carry 525 passengers in a three-class configuration or more than 850 in a single-class configuration. Air France didn’t immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
The Comair CRJ 700 Regional Jet was carrying 62 passengers and four crew members, said Betsy Talton, a spokeswoman of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc., for which Comair operates regional flights. All the passengers were taken off the plane and into a terminal, she said
On April 12th, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alexseyevich Gagarin became the first human in space. His remotely controlled Vostok 1 spacecraft lofted him to an altitude of 200 miles and carried him once around planet Earth. Commenting on the first view from space he reported, “The sky is very dark; the Earth is bluish. Everything is seen very clearly”. His view could have resembled this image taken in 2003 from the International Space Station. Alan Shepard, the first US astronaut, would not be launched until almost a month later and then on a comparatively short suborbital flight. Born on March 9, 1934, Gagarin was a military pilot before being chosen for the first group of cosmonauts in 1960. As a result of his historic flight he became an international hero and legend. Killed when his MIG jet crashed during a training flight in 1968, Gagarin was given a hero’s funeral, his ashes interred in the Kremlin Wall. Twenty years later, on yet another April 12th, in 1981, NASA launched the first space shuttle.
Remember Paul Ceglia?
He’s the fellow in upstate New York who sued Mark Zuckerberg last July, claiming that, way back in 2003, Zuckerberg had agreed to give him a 50% ownership in the project that became Facebook.
But now Paul Ceglia has refiled his lawsuit. With a much larger law firm. And a lot more evidence.
And the new evidence is startling.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation joined civil liberties and privacy groups in criticizing a proposal from the San Francisco Entertainment Commission that would require all venues with an occupancy of over 100 people to record the faces of all patrons and employees and scan their ID’s for storage in a database which they must hand over to law enforcement on request.
Sony dropped its jailbreaking lawsuit against PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz on Monday in exchange for promises the New Jersey hacker would never again tinker with the game console or any Sony product, records show.
Dear Sony – I’ll make you the same deal, no wait, an even better deal: I won’t even touch any Sony product ever again. And you won’t even have to sue me to get this deal!
Juan E. Mendez, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, said his request for a private interview with Manning was denied by the Defense Department on Friday. Instead, he has been told that any visit must be supervised.
Mendez has been seeking to determine whether Manning’s confinement at a military brig at Quantico amounts to torture, following complaints about his treatment and an incident in which the private was forced to strip in his cell at night and sleep without clothing.
“My request . . . is not onerous: for my part, a monitored conversation would not comply with the practices that my mandate applies in every country and detention center visited,” Mendez said in a statement Monday, noting that at least 18 countries have allowed unmonitored interviews.
A simple conclusion: yes, it’s indeed torture and the US knows it.