Government

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)

Thu
04
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Homeland Security's RFID Tags Can Be Used to Track Users

U.S. residents living in a state bordering Canada or Mexico may reportedly be given a remotely readable driver's license designed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to identify U.S. citizens as they approach the nation's borders as a way ... to save time and simplify border crossings. The DHS was created after the attacks of 9/11/01 . Residents may want to think twice before signing up for the department's new program. The licenses come equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags that are readable through wallets, pockets or purses from as far away as 30 feet. Tiny ... (view more)

Thu
07
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Laptops and Electronic Devices Subject To Detainment at U.S. Borders

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reportedly decided that the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reserves the right to seize -- for an indefinite amount of time and without probable cause -- documents and electronic media or copies ... thereof for further review, as well as make copies of, and "analyze the information transported by any individual attempting to enter, re-enter, depart, pass through, or reside in the United States." The documents and electronic media may be detained for further review, either on-site at the place of detention or at an off-site location. Translated, ... (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)

Mon
04
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Insiders Say Comcast Will Get FCC Censure

It appears increasingly likely that Comcast will face a formal rebuke from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its 'throttling' policy in which Internet access was deliberately slowed for those using peer-to-peer download services. The ... FCC won't announce any decision until its monthly meeting on Friday, but Reuters reports five of the nine commissioners have already agreed to uphold a complaint of throttling. (Source: guardian.co.uk ) That won't come as a major surprise, since FCC chairman Kevin Martin had already announced he considered Comcast's actions wrong and that he'd be ... (view more)

Wed
23
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Cross-border Texting Getting Cheaper In Europe

European mobile phone users should see the cost associated with 'texting' other countries on their continent drop by around two-thirds if regulators have their way. The European Commission is to crack down on network carriers which charge 'rip-off' ... prices when sending a text message (also known as an SMS) to somebody in another country. According to the European official in charge of telecoms, Viviane Reading, texts from one country to another cost more than 10 times as much as those sent domestically. She says the fees carriers impose are around 32 times the actual costs they incur in ... (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)

Thu
22
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Supreme Court Makes Even Offering Explicit Images of Children Illegal

The Supreme Court has ruled that merely offering to give someone else explicit images of children is illegal, even if the pictures or videos don't actually exist. The ruling applies to all means of communication, but obviously most cases today ... involve the Internet. The specific case in question involved the crime of "pandering" images of children, defined as promoting material (real or 'purported') in a way designed to convince people that it is explicit. In this case, a Florida man named Michael Williams had been arrested after using an Internet chat room and offering to trade nude pictures ... (view more)

Tue
13
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Congressman Calls For Second Life Ban In Schools

A member of Congress who campaigns for tighter controls on how children access the Internet says it should be illegal for schools and libraries to provide access to the online game Second Life. Described as a 'virtual world', Second Life allows ... players to create their own characters and interact with others in a surprisingly wide range of activities. Some comedians and singers have given performances 'inside' the game, while one computing firm held Second Life job interviews for a real-world post. But it's more adult activities such as (entirely fictional) drug dealing and prostitution which ... (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)

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