Government

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)

Fri
09
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Texas Refuses Facebook Friend Request

Facebook has made a deal with state attorney governors to better protect child members from online predators. The site is developing a system to ensure new members are telling the truth about their age, and they'll also add in an automatic warning ... to under-18s whenever they are about to give personal information to an adult. In addition, they'll crack down on members who change the date of birth listed on their profile. As with a similar agreement made earlier this year by rivals MySpace, only Texas decided against signing-up. It's not yet clear why they've opted out this time, but in the ... (view more)

Fri
09
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Photo-Enforcement Technology Replaces Officers On Patrol

It's no secret that most of us are guilty of driving with a "lead foot". Sooner or later, we all think twice about going just a little faster to get to our desired destinations. Often, it's not the risk of an automobile accident that deters us from ... putting the "pedal to the metal", it's that at any moment a police car zoom up behind, lights flashing. But what if there were no more officers on road patrol? How many of us would go just a little faster knowing that there would be no consequences for such actions? In some states and municipalities, police officers have stopped patrolling certain ... (view more)

Thu
28
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Oopsie: Pakistan Government Breaks YouTube

Pakistan's government appears to have blundered big-time in an attempt to block its citizens viewing videos on YouTube. The state-run Pakistan Telecom attempted to perform what amounted to a hijacking of YouTube's web server addresses. The idea was ... that anyone attempting to access the site through a Pakistani Internet provider would automatically be re-routed to a different address. Unfortunately, it seems the technical detour was mistakenly copied to a Hong Kong server. From there, it was automatically repeated to all connected servers and, given the nature of the Internet, was almost ... (view more)

Thu
14
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

British Government Threatens to Pull the Plug on Downloaders

The British government is considering plans to force Internet service providers (ISPs) to cut off any users who illegally downloading files. They are looking at a range of possible systems to force ISPs to stop customers downloading; the most likely ... to become law is a three-strike system under which ISPs will email warnings to customers they suspect of downloading movies or music without the copyright holder's permission. If the customer continues to do so, they'll face a suspension. A third offence will see their account cancelled. Internet firms which refuse or otherwise fail to enforce the ... (view more)

Wed
13
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Government Changes Policy After Blog Comments

If you think the government doesn't listen to people, you're in for a shock. The Transport Security Administration (TSA), which sets the rules for airport security, changed its policy as a direct result of comments on its new blog. The blog, titled ... 'Evolution of Security', aims to explain changes in policy and explain confusing procedures, such as the rules about carrying liquids in hold baggage. It also answers common questions such as why military personnel and veterans have to go through screening, and even includes videos of staff explaining policies to passengers. The site invites ... (view more)

Fri
07
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Radical Bloggers Scrutinized by Congress

In April, bill 1955, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (VRAHTPA), was introduced in Congress. If passed, the legislation would create a a new commission that would be charged with monitoring citizens with "extremist ... belief systems" and anyone who may be suspected of "ideologically based violence." (Source: news.com ) The following is an excerpt from VRAHTPA: "Congress finds the following: The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the home grown terrorism process in the United States by providing access ... (view more)

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