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Current Topic: Internet Civil Liberties

Bush wants Google search data
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 6:21 pm EST, Jan 20, 2006

The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.

The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.

In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Justice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.

Here we go... Many of us, Decius in particular, were predicting this. Only difference, is we didn't think Google would take a stand.

Bush wants Google search data

Justice Department in War Against Porn, chilling effects hit SuicideGirls
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 4:56 pm EDT, Sep 25, 2005

According to the Washington Post, the new anti-obscenity squad, which will consist of eight agents, a supervisor, and assorted staff, will be responsible for accumulating evidence to use against those that produce and distribute criminally obscene content. So what constitutes criminal obscenity, and how does that relate to our first amendment rights? Under current American law, the Miller test is the means by which the courts determine if content is obscene and consequently not eligible for first amendment protection. The Miller test evaluates the literary, artistic, political, and scientific value of content as well as contemporary community standards. If content or expression is well within accepted community standards or it has intrinsic value, it does not constitute criminal obscenity. According to an electronic memo from FBI headquarters, established legal precedents indicate that conviction is most likely in cases where the content "includes bestiality, urination, defecation, as well as sadistic and masochistic behavior."

The War Against Porn rages on, to the dismay of anyone with a realistic view of civil liberties and free expression. I'm all for hanging folks from the trees that exploit minors. Sure, lets pull the stockades out of the basement, line them on both sides of the DC Mall, and stick the child pornographers in them. Of course, we do have the 8th amendment, so I'm not about to hop into the car with a bushel of tomatoes and head to DC..

Someone at the Justice Department needs to read over the 1st. Wait, correction.. Several people at the Justice Department needs to have sessions similar to what they did to the guy in A Clockwork Orange. Rather than pure scenes of violence, they need to be shown cops breaking up raves, the Waco raid, feds seizing fetish pornography collections, all manors of law enforcement doing illegal searches, et cetera, you get the idea.. Occasionally the soundtrack of explosions and screeching metal would stop, some heavenly music would start, the 1st and 4th amendment would scroll on the screen, they would be given a chance to blink, and then the cycle would repeat. After their "session", they would be forced to sit in a room for an hour to contemplate, its walls lined with plasma displays showing the events of September 11th, the Oklahoma City bombings, rooms filled with meth heads, et cetera. Maybe they would come out the other side with an image in their heads of what's important.

If you want to post pictures of yourself getting peed on, go for it. I have nothing against consenting adults doing nasty fetish crap, and neither should anyone else. Its a form of expression. Granted, its one focused on sexuality, rather than the more palatable ideas we are used to defending. Its still a form of expression, that many consider art, and the people's right to do it and share it should be protected. I jus... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]

Justice Department in War Against Porn, chilling effects hit SuicideGirls

Wired News: Open Internet, We Hardly Knew Ye
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 7:52 pm EDT, Sep 16, 2005

The better world is one in which we don't need to seek permission or risk punishment to do cool stuff that makes the world a better place. In the early days of the internet, a lot of people felt that we'd found that better world. Thanks to the internet's open protocols, many of the most useful innovations, from the web to instant messaging to internet telephony, emerged without developers needing anyone's permission to run their cool new code.

But under a permission-only legal regime, the volunteers would have had to contact every site with listing data and ask for authorization to use the information first. With dozens of sites popping up in the days following the storm, getting permission would have taken a lot of time -- if the site owners could even be reached and convinced of the merit of the idea in the first place.

On the internet, having to ask permission first can kill the creation of a useful new tool.

The law should treat the internet as open by default -- a public resource rather than a gated community. This doesn't mean that we can't protect our networked computers or data with copyright law, passwords, firewalls or perhaps even terms-of-service agreements. But rather than asking whether a user obtained permission to access computers connected to the internet, the law should ask whether the owner did anything to prevent public access.

Jennifer Granick has an article on Wired talking about risks to the open Internet, using the situation surrounding as an example. According to a post on her blog, they have already received a cease and desist letter from one of the sites they are collecting information from.

Jennifer is going to be writing columns for Wired bi-weekly. She is one of the best cyberlaw people in the world, so I expect them to be good. Recently, she represented MemeStreamer Mike Lynn during the initial fallout from his BlackHat presentation on flaws in Cisco IOS. It should be noted that she did this pro-bono. Feel the good karma..

Wired News: Open Internet, We Hardly Knew Ye

Your ISP as Net watchdog | CNET
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 12:25 am EDT, Jun 17, 2005

The U.S. Department of Justice is quietly shopping around the explosive idea of requiring Internet service providers to retain records of their customers' online activities.

Your ISP as Net watchdog | CNET

China Orders All Web Sites to Register - Yahoo! News
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 11:09 am EDT, Jun  7, 2005

Authorities have ordered all China-based Web sites and blogs to register or be closed down, in the latest effort by the communist government to police the world of cyberspace.

"The Internet has profited many people but it also has brought many problems, such as sex, violence and feudal superstitions and other harmful information that has seriously poisoned people's spirits," the MII Web site said in explaining the rules, which were quietly introduced in March.

"There's a 'Net Crawler System' that will monitor the sites in real time and search each Web address for its registration number," said one document listing questions and answers about the new rules. "It will report back to the MII if it finds a site thought to be unregistered."

China Orders All Web Sites to Register - Yahoo! News

Minnesota court takes dim view of encryption | CNET
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 6:52 pm EDT, May 25, 2005

] We find that evidence of appellant's Internet use and the
] existence of an encryption program on his computer was at
] least somewhat relevant to the state's case against him,"
] Judge R.A. Randall wrote in an opinion dated May 3.

The fact that PGP was present on a persons computer was considered relevent in this case. The mere fact that PGP was there makes it more likely that this person was involved in crime.

Minnesota court takes dim view of encryption | CNET

Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005: A Country Study
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 6:45 pm EDT, May  9, 2005

] China's Internet filtering regime is the most
] sophisticated effort of its kind in the world. Compared
] to similar efforts in other states, China's
] filtering regime is pervasive, sophisticated, and
] effective. It comprises multiple levels of legal
] regulation and technical control.

Interesting details on China's internet filtering, with links to information about other countries...

Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005: A Country Study

Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 7:48 pm EDT, May  6, 2005

] This morning, the DC Circuit of the US Court of Appeals
] struck down the loathsome Broadcast Flag, ruling that the
] FCC does not have the jurisdiction to regulate what
] people do with TV shows after they've received them.

Great news!


Wired News: California bans anonymous speech on the Internet
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 12:56 pm EDT, Sep 28, 2004

] Now, any Californian who shares files with more than 10
] people must add their e-mail address to the file. Those
] who break this law could be fined up to $2,500, spend a
] year in jail or both.

Anonymous speech on the Internet is now illegal in California. The MPAA is coming to your state next.

Wired News: California bans anonymous speech on the Internet

RE: Stargate Information Archive - Federal Charges Filed Against SG-1 Archive
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 5:17 pm EDT, Jul 27, 2004

Decius wrote:
] UPDATE: There are some very interesting posts flying
] around about this guy being an ebay scam artist:
] People he has screwed are all over the place talking about it
] in the context of this story. Kind of brings his credibility
] into question.

There is some seriously important information missing from this story. Its the only way I can rationalize it. This one needs to develop. This guy could be a serial con artist and this is just charge #1..

] Moving copyright cases into the criminal justice system was
] bad, bad, bad law. It seems like we're going to get a stiff
] lesson in why.

Going at him using the criminal end of the system using streaming videos as a charge seems odd. It implies very auspicious circumstances..

The Patriot Act being used is very disturbing. We were told that would not be used in domestic criminal matters. That at the very least implies that they could have gotten his ISP finical records another way, and they were just doing their records harvesting in the easiest way available (which I don't like). I would like more details on this.

This entire story is a little thick. Things don't fit.

However, some other things fit perfectly. If lets just say iBook, tape drive, etc, came via some scam or fraud the FBI were aware of, sending the stuff back broken after lawyer demands is exactly the type of thing I could picture happening.

RE: Stargate Information Archive - Federal Charges Filed Against SG-1 Archive

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