government

Tue
05
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

British Government Toying with Video Game Ratings

The British government is considering treating video games in the same way it treats movies by imposing legally-binding age limits. At the moment, video games are covered by a voluntary industry code. The current administration says they could come ... under the authority of the British Board of Film Classification, which rates movies. At the moment the BBFC only acts over video games which are so violent or sexual that they are banned from sale to anyone under 18, affecting 3-4% of games. It appears the government is particularly concerned about games which, while having milder content, could ... (view more)

Wed
11
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

European Country Debates Spying On Citizens

Think regular old spyware is bad? How about government-inspired spyware? Most Americans probably forget the 'liberties' their government takes in intercepting phone and Internet traffic. Across the pond, Sweden is the latest European country whose ... national security worries have made spying on citizens the subject of a contentious bill. The government is debating implementation of a plan similar to an American surveillance program launched in 2001 that would facilitate the Ministry of Defense in 'combating terrorism'. The bill was originally introduced and rejected three years ago, but was ... (view more)

Mon
26
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Cisco Denies Aiding Chinese Web Censorship

Cisco has denied a human rights activist group's claims that the company is helping China's government censor access to websites among its population. The claims came after the Global Internet Freedom Consortium (a group which campaigns against ... Internet censorship and produces tools for getting round government firewalls) published a leaked slide from a 2002 Cisco presentation about potential business in China. The group claims the slide, which refers to China's Internet monitoring scheme being used to combat Falun Gong (an outlawed spiritual group the slide describes as "an evil cult"), ... (view more)

Fri
09
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Cuban Government Says 'Ok Computer'

Have you ever wondered what life would be like without your computer? Most people can't even fathom it. Would it surprise you to know that until last month, Cubans were restricted from owning computers, surfing the Internet, or having cell phones? ... Until recently, the communist Cuban government (under Fidel Castro) restricted all non-essential expenses, such as air conditioners, luxury cal rentals, and toasters. Average Cubans were not allowed any of these indulgences. (Source: iht.com ) In most countries, computers, Internet access and cell phones are an everyday, often integral, part of life ... (view more)

Thu
07
Feb
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Black: Coming to a TV Screen Near You

A year from now, your television could be defunct. If you're one of the 21 million Americans that the Government Accounting Office says have an analog TV the 17th of February 2009 could be an awful boring day. That's when analog TV signals will no ... longer be broadcast. (Source: nytimes.com ) The surprising fact, according to the Communications and Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), is that most people are unaware of the impending stoppage. Many seem to think that all the advertising and promotion of Digital TV is simply a merchandising ploy. In fact, many people don't even ... (view more)

Thu
29
Nov
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Syria Slams the Door on Facebook

In a strange reversal from two summers ago, last week young Syrians sought 'refuge' in neighboring Lebanon. The alleged reason for this exodus? Facebook. In a move to further restrict free speech and political activism in the country Bashar Assad's ... government shut down access to the fast-growing social network. (Source: globeandmail.com ) Advocate Dania al-sharif told Reuters last week that, "Facebook helped further civil society in Syria and form civic groups outside government control. This is why it has been banned." (Source: reuters.com ) Officials were apparently concerned that Israel ... (view more)

Thu
15
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Lawsuits Debate Privacy versus Safety

"Privacy no longer can mean anonymity. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people's private communications and financial information." That was Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Donald Kerr, who ... recently called for a new perspective on privacy as Congress scrambles to address complaints concerning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for a second time. Last summer, lawmakers hurriedly loosened the restraints on the bill, allowing government officials to tap into phone calls without a court order on the grounds that there ... (view more)

Thu
06
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

The German Version of Big Brother

Ah, the modern wonders of 21st century technology. We live in a world where illegal wiretapping is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to violations of civil rights violations against U.S. citizens. Now, Germany reportedly wants to get ... involved in spying on citizens using tech, too. German officials want to use Trojan horse software to secretly monitor potential terror suspects' computing habits. German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is trying to include using Trojan horses as part of a broader security law being considered by the German government, alleging that judicial approval ... (view more)

Thu
06
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

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)

Mon
20
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

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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