government

Tue
06
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

British Government Wants Private Firm To Monitor Super Database Of Every Person In Britain

The British Government is contemplating the third-party construction of a super database containing the identities and location of every person in Britain. The 'super database,' which comes at the hefty cost of 12 billion British pounds, would be ... run by one or a number of private companies and would track every citizen's Internet usage, every phone call, every text message, as well as many other transactions. The government claims the database is necessary to fight terrorism and serious crime. Of course, the government also claims it would come with stringent safeguards to protect a user's ... (view more)

Mon
05
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Australian Internet Censorship Plan Meeting Heavy Criticism

Trials of Australia's mandatory censorship program will begin soon -- details of which the government is refusing to reveal -- despite a high-level report to the Rudd government that found the technology simply does not work, will significantly slow ... Internet speeds, and will block access to legitimate websites. Recently it was announced that Australia would implement mandatory Internet censorship as a way to combat child pornography and adult content. However, this strategy could be extended to include controversial websites focusing on topics like euthanasia or anorexia. Australian users ... (view more)

Wed
08
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

UK Government Mulls Monitoring Every Brit

According to recent reports from Britain, the UK government is considering a plan that would see up to twelve billion pounds spent on the monitoring and storing of citizen emails, phone calls, and browsing habits. The expansive tracking strategy, if ... implemented, would include everyone in Britain. Currently, the government has spent about a billion pounds financing similar projects; clearly, the infusion of twelve times that amount will drastically change the state's powers to probe the citizen population. The government's plan will use Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and home and mobile ... (view more)

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
Dennis Faas's picture

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
Dennis Faas's picture

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)

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