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Dead Ends on the Information Superhighway

The freedom to journey the web is largely taken for granted here in North America. Unfortunately, that's hardly the case in Asia, where mere images (or videos) are scrutinized for their most basic and even remote meanings. Two stories on this ... reality are emerging right now, and they're both fascinating glimpses of political environments Americans struggle to comprehend. And, despite that rather comforting disconnect, the United States plays a role in both accounts. The first involves (relatively) popular search engine Yahoo Inc, which is facing a lawsuit by imprisoned Chinese political ... (view more)

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A High-Tech Big Brother Plan

In a couple recent articles by myself and my colleague Brandon Dimmel , we've mentioned the Big Brother concept a couple of times. Now we can talk about the worst Big Brother case scenario known to modern man (and woman). When used correctly, the ... concept of Big Brother can be beneficial to everyone's safety and security. When used as a tool to maintain complete control over an entire country, there is always the possibility of mind-numbing civil rights violations, too. At least 20,000 police surveillance cameras are reportedly being installed along streets in southern China. These will soon ... (view more)

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Microsoft, The DoD and Windows

After coming across the information from the "Does Windows Vista Send Information to the Government?" story , I decided to do a little research on Microsoft, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Security Agency (NSA). What I found was ... very interesting, and it raises some serious questions. It's not clear what software was being used by my source as I wrote that previous post. He may be using some sort of file sharing or peer 2 peer (p2p) program. He posted pictures of a log from the peerguardian 2 program, software that isn't listed as compatible with Windows Vista. Just because ... (view more)

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Canadian iPod Tax Approved

The Copyright Board of Canada has given the OK to a tax being placed on iPods and other removable storage memory cards that could be used for private copying. The approval comes despite strong oppositions from both the Canadian Storage Media ... Alliance and the Retail Council of Canada. Kim Furlong, Director of Federal Government Relations with the Retail Council, said that the tax is a dangerous approach. "It's like going into Best Buy and learning the computer is a hundred dollars more just because the government thinks you might download music. It's effectively a hidden tax," she said. ... (view more)

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Flickr, Freedom, and the Fastest-Growing Economy in the World

Take a moment and thank heavens you live in a free, democratic country. In Canada and the United States, there are (almost) no restrictions on snapping photos and immediately posting them online for anyone to see. While some exceptions may apply, ... even videos of an intoxicated President Bush have made their way to YouTube without FBI or CIA interference. Unfortunately, this kind of freedom eludes the world's fastest-growing economy. Everyone remembers Tiananmen Square. The image of one, solitary man blocking a series of tanks from passing is unforgettable. For nearly two decades this scene ... (view more)

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Big Brother is Watching: Talking Cameras invade Britain

British Homeland Security has put a new spin on video surveillance. By introducing CCTV cameras equipped with loudspeakers, security staff may now verbally berate those seen committing crimes. The cameras will have a two-way speaker system that ... allows staff to talk and respond directly to the perpetrator. The British government has high expectations for the talking cameras, because many believe that their presence will deter those considering breaking the law at the risk of public embarrassment. British Homeland Security forces have already reported a significant decline in crime rates in the ... (view more)

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Don't Use Vista: UK Government Warns

There are no "must-have" features in Vista. It's a "high-risk strategy" to get it early. Installing the operating system within the next twelve months brings about a set of "technical, financial and organizational challenges." That harsh critique of ... Vista comes from an unlikely source: an agency of the UK government. The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) "strongly recommends" schools to stay away from Vista for at least a full year. "There is not a case for schools to deploy it unless it is mission-critical stable," Becta technical consultant Tom McMullan stated ... (view more)

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Google Says 'NO' to US Government Request to Hand Over Search Data

When the U.S. Government requested search data from the web giants, Yahoo! and MSN said "yes" and Google said "no," forcing the matter into the courts. The government's position is that this request would aid in its efforts "to understand the ... behavior of current web users, to estimate how often web users encounter harmful-to-minors material in the course of their searches, and to measure the effectiveness of filtering in screening that material." Additionally, the government wants to know what "web sites people find through the use of search engines, to determine the character of those sites ... (view more)


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