Create an Account
username: password:
  MemeStreams Logo

It's always easy to manipulate people's feelings. - Laura Bush


Picture of Decius
Decius's Pics
My Blog
My Profile
My Audience
My Sources
Send Me a Message

sponsored links

Decius's topics
   Sci-Fi/Fantasy Literature
   Sci-Fi/Fantasy Films
   Electronic Music
  Finance & Accounting
  Tech Industry
  Telecom Industry
  Markets & Investing
Health and Wellness
Home and Garden
Current Events
  War on Terrorism
  Cars and Trucks
Local Information
  United States
   SF Bay Area
    SF Bay Area News
  Nano Tech
  Politics and Law
   Civil Liberties
    (Internet Civil Liberties)
   Intellectual Property
  Computer Security
  High Tech Developments

support us

Get MemeStreams Stuff!

Current Topic: Internet Civil Liberties

My DOPA MySpace Bulletin
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 4:29 pm EDT, Jul 29, 2006

I'm sure that many of you have seen the rash of news media reports this year discussing the use of MySpace by online predators to contact young children, and calling on the government to "do something" about it. While this certainly does happen, I don't know how widespread the problem is, and I suspect the news media has overhyped it because it makes for dramatic television. The U.S. House responded on July 28th, 2006 by passing the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA), by a landslide margin (410-15). I find this legislation to be deeply troubling, and that is why I am posting this bulletin.

There are many ways that Congress could have decided to respond to the problem of online predators. The most obvious approach is to seek to educate children and their parents about the danger of interacting with strangers online, in exactly the same way that we educate them about the danger of interacting with strangers in real life. DOPA creates the appearance of attempting to do this by directing the Federal Trade Commission to establish a website with this sort of information on it, but its primary purpose is different. DOPA's primary purpose is to make it illegal for any school or library which receives federal funding (about 2/3rds of them) to allow people under the age of 18 to use any website that enables users to create a personal profile, keep an online journal, chat with friends, or otherwise express themselves.

The United States Constitution protects certain fundamental human rights. Foremost
among these are the right to freedom of speech and the right to freedom of association. We protect these two rights in particular because they are prerequisites to democracy. The ability to vote for the representative of your choosing requires an environment in which you can consider and discuss the options freely. It is obvious that much of our democratic discourse has moved online in the past decade. Given how important these rights are to our identity as Americans, I am deeply troubled that so many of our representatives would be so eager to pass a broad prohibition on online discourse by minors.

DOPA will have three primary effects. The direct impact will be to remove online social communication tools from most schools and libraries. I'm talking about websites like MySpace, Facebook, Livejournal, Friendster, Google Groups, Blogger, Slashdot, and MemeStreams, as well as instant messagers like AIM and other chat software. Even adults will find it difficult to access these resources from libraries as they'll be forced to ask that library administrators remove blocks and filters for them. The secondary impact is that DOPA sends a message to schools and libraries that don't receive federal funding, as well as parents, that a complete ban on the use of online communications tools is a reasonable response to the problem of online predators. It is no more reasonable then prohibiting teenagers from going outside of their... [ Read More (0.3k in body) ] » Lawsuit on NSA Domestic Surveillance Can Go Forward, Court Rules
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 12:11 pm EDT, Jul 21, 2006

Judge Vaughn Walker of the Northern District of California handed down an important ruling today rejecting motions to dismiss EFF’s lawsuit against AT&T for its participation in the NSA domestic surveillance and call records program.

I am very, very suprised by this result, and thats a good thing. » Lawsuit on NSA Domestic Surveillance Can Go Forward, Court Rules

Legal loophole emerges in NSA spy program | CNET
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 2:31 pm EDT, May 18, 2006

A hearing on the Bush administration's request to dismiss the case on national security grounds has been scheduled for June 23.

I guess I misread one of the EFF's postings. It will be a month before they discuss whether or not they're going to allow this case. The article here seems to indicate that AT&T may have other ways of shutting this down quickly.

Legal loophole emerges in NSA spy program | CNET

Boing Boing: Proposed law requires schools to censor MySpace, LJ, blogs, Flickr
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 9:56 pm EDT, May 11, 2006

A new bill called DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act) will require schools and libraries that receive federal funding to block access to social networking sites like MySpace and FaceBook, and is written so broadly that it plausibly could encompass blogs, mailing lists, and sites like Flickr.

All this news is trite in relation to the NSA revelation, but if you're looking for more bullshit, consider warrantless searches for individuals crossing borders with pirate DVDs.

Boing Boing: Proposed law requires schools to censor MySpace, LJ, blogs, Flickr

No to Global Online Freedom Act, Yes to Global Internet Freedom Act!
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 11:46 pm EDT, May  1, 2006

So, rumination on the Global Online Freedom Act (HR4780) introduced in Congress with much fanfare back in February eventually led me to conclude that its a bad idea. While well intentioned, the export restrictions that it would impose are overbroad, and the controls on server hosting make doing any sort of business in China or other targetted countries either extremely difficult or impossible.

I am very strongly opposed to several misinformed calls to add Internet filtering software to the U.S. Munitions List. This is a knee jerk reaction made by people who have no experience dealing with U.S. export controls and do not understand how they operate. While an export rule makes sense, it should be limited only to repressive states that engage in political censorship, apply only to deals with government and telecommunications entities in those states, and it should be administered by BIS and not the State Department. There is absolutely no reason that the federal government ought to be involved everytime someone in the U.K. wants to buy a copy of Net Nanny for their home P.C. That level of scrutiny is designed to protect people from being killed and it is not justified by everyday use of censorware in private homes and businesses. ITAR regulations are not a political plaything. Such a policy would likely draw important resources away from problems that are far more critical to national security (PDF).

At the time I was thinking that no matter how effective the United States is at keeping these countries from getting access to American Internet filtering technology, if those countries can't source the stuff here they will source it somewhere else. What people who live in these places really need is better technology for subverting these filters. The U.S. ought to be looking to do ... [ Read More (0.3k in body) ]

No to Global Online Freedom Act, Yes to Global Internet Freedom Act!

Boing Boing: Bush administration wants mandatory website labeling
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 3:57 pm EDT, Apr 21, 2006

Web site operators posting sexually explicit information must place official government warning labels on their pages or risk being imprisoned for up to five years, the Bush administration proposed Thursday.

Boing Boing: Bush administration wants mandatory website labeling

ISP snooping gaining support | CNET
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 4:44 pm EDT, Apr 14, 2006

The explosive idea of forcing Internet providers to record their customers' online activities for future police access is gaining ground in state capitols and in Washington, D.C.

Top Bush administration officials have endorsed the concept, and some members of the U.S. Congress have said federal legislation is needed to aid law enforcement investigations into child pornography. A bill is already pending in the Colorado State Senate.

Youch! I think the sheep are primed and ready for this step.

ISP snooping gaining support | CNET

LawGeek: New Jersey Assemblyman introduced bill to force online identification
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 12:55 pm EST, Mar  4, 2006

Peter J. Biondi, NJ Assemblyman for District 16, has introduced A1327, a bill to force every ISP and website with comments/forums to demand user identification from every single poster (called an "information content provider" in the bill). The bill also forces all ISP and websites to turn over that information upon demand to anyone who claims to have been defamed, without any legal process or protections:

Well, it appears Seigenthaler's stupid campaign to remove due process protecting the identity of Internet posters, based on the inane assumption that claimants are always good guys who always have a legitimate claim, has gotten traction in the New Jersey legislature. MemeStreams users in New Jersey ought to contact their local representatives and calmly and respectfully explain that for every human problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.

Talking points:
1. Anonymous and pseudononymous speech has a long history of political significance in our country.
2. People seeking to identify Internet users do not always have a legitimate claim. Sometimes they are stalkers or other criminals.
3. Having a court decide whether Internet Services are required to turn over personal information about their customers creates a process which validates the legitimacy of a claim before personal information is forcibly disclosed.
4. Internet message boards are often informal things run by hobbyists. Information collection and reporting requirements create barriers to entry for those seeking to operate message boards, which has a deleterious effect on the free flow of discourse critical to our democracy.

LawGeek: New Jersey Assemblyman introduced bill to force online identification

DMCA axes sites discussing Mac OS for PCs | Tech News on ZDNet
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 6:27 pm EST, Feb 17, 2006

Apple Computer appears to have invoked the Digital Millenium Copyright Act to stop the dissemination of methods allowing Mac OS X to run on chips from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

DMCA axes sites discussing Mac OS for PCs | Tech News on ZDNet

Bill aims to fight Net censorship - The Boston Globe
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 9:45 am EST, Feb 17, 2006

The Global Online Freedom Act is sponsored by Smith and five of his colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans. It would make the free exchange of ideas on the Internet a central concern of US foreign policy.

For example, no US firm could locate its Internet server computers inside one of these countries. Smith said that China or other repressive countries would still be able to subpoena an American Internet provider. But the subpoena would pass through the US legal system.

In addition, the bill would make it illegal for any US company to censor Internet information hosted on a US government website. Thus, Google Inc., which offers censored Internet searches inside China, would be barred from blocking access to the website of the Voice of America or Radio Free Asia.

The bill could mean trouble for US firms like Cisco Systems Inc., which sell Internet switching hardware. It calls on the Commerce Department to set up export controls on such equipment.

Bill aims to fight Net censorship - The Boston Globe

(Last) Newer << 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 >> Older (First)
Powered By Industrial Memetics