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Global treaty could ban file-sharers from Internet after ‘three strikes’

Global treaty could ban file-sharers from Internet after ‘three strikes’
File-sharers could be jailed under proposed ACTA provisions

Raw Story
November 4, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMIUwxEgVpY

Leaked details of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement being negotiated in secret by most of the world’s largest economies suggest Internet file-sharers could be blocked from accessing the Internet if they are repeatedly accused of sharing copyrighted material, say media and digital-rights watchdogs.

And the worst-case scenario could see popular Web sites like YouTube and Flickr shut down because of a provision in the treaty that would force them to monitor everything uploaded to the site for copyright violations.

Internet law professor Michael Geist published details of “leaked” portions of the discussions on ACTA on his blog Tuesday, as a new round of ACTA negotiations began in Seoul, South Korea. The US, along with all the countries of the European Union as well as Japan, Canada, Australia and a handful of other countries, are involved in the negotiations.

“The provisions would pave the way for a globalized three-strikes and you’re out system,” Geist blogged Wednesday, referring to a proposal from copyright holders to have Internet service providers cut off service to anyone accused at least three times of illegally sharing copyrighted material.

DARPA Plans for Interplanetary Internet

 



Chinese youth beaten to death at net addiction bootcamp

Chinese youth beaten to death at net addiction bootcamp

Joe Fay
The Register
August 4, 2009

China’s anti-internet addiction industry has claimed another victim, after supervisors at a rehabilitation camp allegedly beat a 16 year old inmate to death.

Deng Senshan had been sent to Guangxi Qihuang Survival Training Camp to “cure” him of his internet addiction, the AFP reports. His parents were paying $1000 for the treatment.

However, the youth ended up in solitary confinement shortly after arriving at the establishment, and was subsequently beaten to death by supervisors for “running too slowly”, according to the news agency.

Local police confirmed they were investigating the death of a high school student, allegedly at the hands of his supervisors.

China is in the grip of acute paranoia over the threat of internet addiction to its youth. Efforts to cure the young of their affliction range from the bizarre to the brutal, by way of out and out quackery.

Read Full Article Here

 



Australia To Enforce Mandatory Internet Censorship

Australia To Enforce Mandatory Chinese-Style Internet Censorship
Government to block “controversial” websites with universal national filter

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
October 29, 2008

The Australian government is set to impose Chinese-style Internet censorship by enforcing a universal national filter that will block websites deemed “controversial,” as part of a wider agenda to regulate the Internet according to free speech advocates.

A provision whereby Internet users could opt out of the filter by contacting their ISP has been stripped from the legislation, meaning the filter will be universal and mandatory.

The System Administrators Guild of Australia and Electronic Frontiers Australia have attacked the proposal, saying it will restrict web access, raise prices and slow internet traffic speeds.

The plan was first created as a way to combat child pornography and adult content, but could be extended to include controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia,” reports the Australian Herald Sun.

Communications minister Stephen Conroy revealed the mandatory censorship to the Senate estimates committee as the Global Network Initiative, bringing together leading companies, human rights organisations, academics and investors, committed the technology firms to “protect the freedom of expression and privacy rights of their users”. (Complete black is white, up is down, double talk).

Human Rights Watch has condemned internet censorship, and argued to the US Senate “there is a real danger of a Virtual Curtain dividing the internet, much as the Iron Curtain did during the Cold War, because some governments fear the potential of the internet, (and) want to control it.”

Speaking from personal experience, not only are “controversial” websites blocked in China, meaning any website that is critical of the state, but every website the user attempts to visit first has to pass through the “great firewall,” causing the browser to hang and delay while it is checked against a government blacklist.

This causes excruciating delays, and the user experience is akin to being on a bad dial-up connection in the mid 1990’s. Even in the center of Shanghai with a fixed ethernet connection, the user experience is barely tolerable.

Not only are websites in China blocked, but e mails too are scanned for “controversial” words and blocked from being sent if they contain phrases related to politics or obscenities.

Googling for information on certain topics is also heavily restricted. While in China I tried to google “Bush Taiwan,” which resulted in Google.com ceasing to be accessible and my Internet connection was immediately terminated thereafter.

The Australian government will no doubt insist that their filter is in our best interests and is only designed to block child pornography, snuff films and other horrors, yet the system is completely pointless because it will not affect file sharing networks, which is the medium through which the vast majority of such material is distributed.

If we allow Australia to become the first “free” nation to impose Internet censorship, the snowball effect will only accelerate – the U.S. and the UK are next.

Indeed, Prime Minister Tony Blair called for Internet censorship last year.

In April 2007, Time magazine reported that researchers funded by the federal government want to shut down the internet and start over, citing the fact that at the moment there are loopholes in the system whereby users cannot be tracked and traced all the time. The projects echo moves we have previously reported on to clamp down on internet neutrality and even to designate a new form of the internet known as Internet 2.

Moves to regulate the web have increased over the last two years.

– In a display of bi-partisanship, there have been calls for all out mandatory ISP snooping on all US citizens by both Democrats and Republicans alike.

– In December 2006, Republican Senator John McCain tabled a proposal to introduce legislation that would fine blogs up to $300,000 for offensive statements, photos and videos posted by visitors on comment boards. It is well known that McCain has a distaste for his blogosphere critics, causing a definite conflict of interest where any proposal to restrict blogs on his part is concerned.

– During an appearance with his wife Barbara on Fox News in November 2006, George Bush senior slammed Internet bloggers for creating an “adversarial and ugly climate.”

– The White House’s own de-classified strategy for “winning the war on terror” targets Internet conspiracy theories as a recruiting ground for terrorists and threatens to “diminish” their influence.

– The Pentagon has also announced its effort to infiltrate the Internet and propagandize for the war on terror.

– In an October 2006 speech, Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff identified the web as a “terror training camp,” through which “disaffected people living in the United States” are developing “radical ideologies and potentially violent skills.” His solution is “intelligence fusion centers,” staffed by Homeland Security personnel which will are already in operation.

– The U.S. Government wants to force bloggers and online grassroots activists to register and regularly report their activities to Congress. Criminal charges including a possible jail term of up to one year could be the punishment for non-compliance.

– A landmark November 2006 legal case on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America and other global trade organizations sought to criminalize all Internet file sharing of any kind as copyright infringement, effectively shutting down the world wide web – and their argument was supported by the U.S. government.

– A landmark legal ruling in Sydney goes further than ever before in setting the trap door for the destruction of the Internet as we know it and the end of alternative news websites and blogs by creating the precedent that simply linking to other websites is breach of copyright and piracy.

– The European Union, led by former Stalinist John Reid, has also vowed to shut down “terrorists” who use the Internet to spread propaganda.

– The EU data retention bill, passed after much controversy and implemented in 2007, obliges telephone operators and internet service providers to store information on who called who and who emailed who for at least six months. Under this law, investigators in any EU country, and most bizarrely even in the US, can access EU citizens’ data on phone calls, sms’, emails and instant messaging services.

– The EU also proposed legislation that would prevent users from uploading any form of video without a license.

– The US government is also funding research into social networking sites and how to gather and store personal data published on them, according to the New Scientist magazine. “At the same time, US lawmakers are attempting to force the social networking sites themselves to control the amount and kind of information that people, particularly children, can put on the sites.”

Governments are furious that their ceaseless lies are being exposed in real time on the World Wide Web and have resolved to stifle, regulate and control what truly is the last outpost of real free speech in the world. Internet censorship is perhaps the most pertinent issue that freedom advocates should rally to combat over the course of the next few years, lest we allow a cyber-gag to be placed over our mouths and say goodbye to our last medium of free and open communication.

 

DARPA building search engine for video surveillance footage

Ars Technica
October 21, 2008

The government agency that birthed the Internet is developing a sophisticated search engine for video, and when complete will allow intelligence analysts to sift through live footage from spy drones, as well as thousands of hours worth of archived recordings, in order to spot a variety of selected events or behaviors. In the past month, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced nearly $20 million in total contracts for private firms to begin developing the system, which is slated to take until at least 2011 to complete.

According to a prospectus written in March but released only this month, the Video and Image Retrieval and Analysis Tool (VIRAT) will enable intel analysts to “rapidly find video content of interest from archives and provide alerts to the analyst of events of interest during live operations,” taking both conventional video and footage from infrared scanners as input. The VIRAT project is an effort to cope with a growing data glut that has taxed intelligence resources because of the need to have trained human personnel perform time- and labor-intensive review of recorded video.

The DARPA overview emphasizes that VIRAT will not be designed with “face recognition, gait recognition, human identification, or any form of biometrics” in mind. Rather, the system will search for classes of activities or events. A suggested partial list in the prospectus includes digging, loitering, exploding, shooting, smoking, following, shaking hand, exchanging objects, crawling under a car, breaking a window, and evading a checkpoint. As new sample clips are fed into the system, it will need to recognize the signature features of new classes of search terms.

Read Full Article Here

 

EU Set to Move ‘Internet of Things’ Closer to Reality

Daniel Taylor
Old-Thinker News
November 2, 2008

If the world-wide trend continues, ‘Web 3.0′ will be tightly monitored, and will become an unprecedented tool for surveillance. The “Internet of Things”, a digital representation of real world objects and people tagged with RFID chips, and increased censorship are two main themes for the future of the web.

The future of the internet, according to author and “web critic” Andrew Keen, will be monitored by “gatekeepers” to verify the accuracy of information posted on the web. The “Outlook 2009″ report from the November-December issue of The Futurist reports that,

“Internet entrepreneur Andrew Keen believes that the anonymity of today’s internet 2.0 will give way to a more open internet 3.0 in which third party gatekeepers monitor the information posted on Web sites to verify its accuracy.”

Keen stated during his early 2008 interview withThe Futurist that the internet, in its current form, has undermined mainline media and empowered untrustworthy “amateurs”, two trends that he wants reversed. “Rather than the empowerment of the amateur, Web 3.0 will show the resurgence of the professional,” states Keen.

Australia has now joined China in implementing mandatory internet censorship, furthering the trend towards a locked down and monitored web.

The Internet of Things

Now, the European Union has announced that it will pursue the main component of Web 3.0, the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media for the EU, “The Internet of the future will radically change our society.” Ultimately, the EU is aiming to “lead the way” in the transformation to Web 3.0.

Reporting on the European Union’s pursuit of the IoT, iBLS reports,

“New technology applications will need ubiquitous Internet coverage. The Internet of Things means that wireless interaction between machines, vehicles, appliances, sensors and many other devices will take place using the Internet. It already makes electronic travel cards possible, and will allow mobile devices to exchange information to pay for things or get information from billboards (or streetlights).”

The Internet of Things consists of objects that are ‘tagged’ with Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RFID) that communicate their position, history, and other information to an RFID reader or wireless network. Most, if not all major computer companies and technology developers (HP, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, etc.) are putting large amounts of time and money into the Internet of Things.

Cisco and Sun Microsystems have founded an alliance to promote the Internet of Things and further its implementation.

South Korea is at the forefront in implementing ubiquitous technology and the Internet of Things. An entire city, New Songdo, is being built in South Korea that fully utilizes the technology. Ubiquitous computing proponents in the United States admit that while a large portion of the technology is being developed in the U.S., it is being tested in South Korea where there are less traditional, ethical and social blockades to prevent its acceptance and use. As the New York Times reports

“Much of this technology was developed in U.S. research labs, but there are fewer social and regulatory obstacles to implementing them in Korea,” said Mr. Townsend [a research director at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California], who consulted on Seoul’s own U-city plan, known as Digital Media City. ‘There is an historical expectation of less privacy. Korea is willing to put off the hard questions to take the early lead and set standards.’

An April 2008 report from the National Intelligence Council discussed the Internet of Things and its possible implications.

A timeline shown in the April 2008 NIC report

The report outlines uses for the technology:

“Sensor networks need not be connected to the Internet and indeed often reside in remote sites, vehicles, and buildings having no Internet connection. Smart dust is a term that some have used to express a vision of tiny, wireless-connected sensors; more recently, others use the term to describe any of several technologies that range from the size of a pack of gum to a pack of cigarettes, and that are widely available to system developers.

Ubiquitous positioning describes technologies for locating objects that may reside anywhere, including indoors and underground locations where satellite signals may be unavailable or otherwise inadequate.

Biometrics enables technology to recognize people and other living things, rather than inanimate objects. Connected everyday objects could recognize authorized users by means of fingerprint, voiceprint, iris scan, or other biometric technology.”

These trends towards internet censorship and the internet of things are undoubtedly going to continue, but restricting your free speech and violating your privacy will be harder with your outspoken resistance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I3T_kLCBAw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKZm34jsNHY

DARPA spies on analyst brains; hopes to offload image analysis to computers
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20..-image-analysis-to-computers.html

Security services want personal data from sites like Facebook

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/oct/15/terrorism-security

UK.gov says: Regulate the internet

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/20/government_internet_regulation/

 



Telecom & Internet Companies to Check Texts and E-mails

UK Telecom & Internet Companies to Check Texts and E-mails

Alan Travis
London Guardian
August 13, 2008

Local councils, health authorities and hundreds of other public bodies are to be given the power to access details of everyone’s personal text, emails and internet use under Home Office proposals published yesterday.

Ministers want to make it mandatory for telephone and internet companies to keep details of all personal internet traffic for at least 12 months so it can be accessed for investigations into crime or other threats to public safety.

The Home Office last night admitted that the measure will mean companies have to store “a billion incidents of data exchange a day”. As the measure is the result of an EU directive, the data will be made available to public investigators across Europe.

The consultation paper published yesterday estimates that it will cost the internet industry over £50m to store the mountain of data.

Conservatives and Liberal Democrats last night branded the measure a “snooper’s charter”.

When the measure was floated after the London bombings in 2005 by the then home secretary, Charles Clarke, it was justified on the grounds that it was needed to investigate terrorist plots and organised crime. But the Home Office document makes clear that the personal data will now be available for all sorts of crime and public order investigations and may even be used to prevent people self-harming.

Read Full Article Here

UN Report Blasts UK On Free Expression
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/aug/15/labour.idcards

Zero Privacy In UK
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/13/privacy.privacy

Google Ordered To Unmask Mystery Blogger
http://blog.wired.com/business/2008/08/google-ordered.html

Air Force Suspends ‘Cyber Command’ Program
http://www.informationweek.com/news..wArticle.jhtml?articleID=210003721

Blogging Is Not A Crime
http://www.techcrunch.com/20..-a-crime/comment-2439303

 



Fairness Doctrine May Give Web Control to Government

Fairness Doctrine Might Give Control of Web Content to the Government

Business and Media Institute
August 12, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIDukx138UA

There’s a huge concern among conservative talk radio hosts that reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine would all-but destroy the industry due to equal time constraints. But speech limits might not stop at radio. They could even be extended to include the Internet and “government dictating content policy.”

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell raised that as a possibility after talking with bloggers at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. McDowell spoke about a recent FCC vote to bar Comcast from engaging in certain Internet practices – expanding the federal agency’s oversight of Internet networks.

The commissioner, a 2006 President Bush appointee, told the Business & Media Institute the Fairness Doctrine could be intertwined with the net neutrality battle. The result might end with the government regulating content on the Web, he warned. McDowell, who was against reprimanding Comcast, said the net neutrality effort could win the support of “a few isolated conservatives” who may not fully realize the long-term effects of government regulation.

“I think the fear is that somehow large corporations will censor their content, their points of view, right,” McDowell said. “I think the bigger concern for them should be if you have government dictating content policy, which by the way would have a big First Amendment problem.”

“Then, whoever is in charge of government is going to determine what is fair, under a so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine,’ which won’t be called that – it’ll be called something else,” McDowell said. “So, will Web sites, will bloggers have to give equal time or equal space on their Web site to opposing views rather than letting the marketplace of ideas determine that?”

McDowell told BMI the Fairness Doctrine isn’t currently on the FCC’s radar. But a new administration and Congress elected in 2008 might renew Fairness Doctrine efforts, but under another name.

“The Fairness Doctrine has not been raised at the FCC, but the importance of this election is in part – has something to do with that,” McDowell said. “So you know, this election, if it goes one way, we could see a re-imposition of the Fairness Doctrine. There is a discussion of it in Congress. I think it won’t be called the Fairness Doctrine by folks who are promoting it. I think it will be called something else and I think it’ll be intertwined into the net neutrality debate.”

A recent study by the Media Research Center’s Culture & Media Institute argues that the three main points in support of the Fairness Doctrine – scarcity of the media, corporate censorship of liberal viewpoints, and public interest – are myths.

 

Some Web Firms Say They Track Behavior Without Explicit Consent

Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post
August 12, 2008

Several Internet and broadband companies have acknowledged using targeted-advertising technology without explicitly informing customers, according to letters released yesterday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

And Google, the leading online advertiser, stated that it has begun using Internet tracking technology that enables it to more precisely follow Web-surfing behavior across affiliated sites.

The revelations came in response to a bipartisan inquiry of how more than 30 Internet companies might have gathered data to target customers. Some privacy advocates and lawmakers said the disclosures help build a case for an overarching online-privacy law.

Read Full Article Here


Anti-War Website Operator Threatened By Armed Thugs

Anti-War Website Operator Threatened By Armed Thugs

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
August 7, 2008

The operator of a leading alternative news and strongly anti-war website has become the target of nefarious thugs apparently in the employ of the U.S. government who have continually harassed him and ordered him to shut down his website.

Tom Feeley, owner and editor of InformationClearingHouse.info, has endured public harassment, home invasions, death threats and threats to his family simply for running a website.

Counterpunch writer Mike Whitney has circulated an e mail describing what happened to Feeley in an attempt to draw attention to the matter.

Whitney writes that earlier this week Feeley’s wife was startled to suddenly discover three well dressed men standing in her kitchen who told her that Tom must “Stop what he is doing on the Internet, NOW!”

To emphasize the point, the thug pulled back his jacket to reveal a gun while barking out the warning.

Tom’s wife was hysterical and refuses to go back to the house. She contacted the FBI but was told there was nothing they could do.

According to Whitney, “The well-dressed man told Tom’s wife that he knew where her son lived, what line of work he was in, and how many children he had.”

Subsequently, two men in a parked car a block from Tom’s mother’s house were spotted using laptops and sped off when they were approached by Tom’s son.

A similar incident had happened four years previously, when Feeley was approached by a stranger in the parking lot of Long’s Drug store in Southern California, after being forced to remain in his car by an accomplice who blocked him from opening the car door. The man told him, “You need to stop what you are doing on the web”.

Tom said the man was overweight and had his shirt untucked. Tom was taken aback, but (after collecting himself said) “What the fuck? Who do you think you are telling me what I can do?”

The man answered, “Tom, I’m just giving you some good advice. You should take my advice, Tom.”

Alex Jones has experienced similar intimidation tactics on several occasions in the past, particularly the scenario that happened to Tom in the parking lot as well as thinly veiled threats against his family.

In every single instance, the best response is to stand up and be vocal in the face of such harassment. Mafia-like thugs only continue to feed on those who put up with such treatment. The most dangerous thing to do is cower and acquiesce to the will of tyrants.

These kind of tactics will only succeed if the thugs think their actions can have any kind of effect. Every time someone in our movement is intimidated or harassed, we should respond only by re-doubling and intensifying our efforts.

I’ll tell you this about Tom Feeley; he is no bullshitter,” writes Whitney, “He is the “real deal” and completely committed to exposing the mob that is presently running our country. He does not understand why, (as he says) “They are reaching down SO far to get someone who just runs web site”. But, the truth is, they are. Someone wants him to “shut up” and they apparently have the muscle to do it. He knows he is in danger.”

Feeley is ditching his cellphone and maintaining a low profile but to his credit, refuses to cave in to the threats and will continue to publish his website.

Drawing attention to Feeley’s situation is of paramount importance to ensure his protection and also to combat head on attempts to create a chilling atmosphere and intimidate journalists and website publishers.

Thoughts On The Harassment Of Tom Feeley
http://www.infowars.com/?p=3829

Huffington Post: Still Banned in Beijing
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-w..n-post-still-ban_b_116635.html

Major International Transport Hub Censors Political Websites
http://www.prisonplanet.com/major-..ub-censors-political-websites.html

IOC Faces Heat Over Internet Restrictions
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/feedarticle/7696295

 



China Spying On Internet Use In Hotels

China Spying On Internet Use In Hotels

AP
July 29, 2008


Foreign-owned hotels in China face the prospect of “severe retaliation” if they refuse to install government software that can spy on Internet use by hotel guests coming to watch the summer Olympic games, a U.S. lawmaker said Tuesday.

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., produced a translated version of a document from China’s Public Security Bureau that requires hotels to use the monitoring equipment.

“These hotels are justifiably outraged by this order, which puts them in the awkward position of having to craft pop-up messages explaining to their customers that their Web history, communications, searches and key strokes are being spied on by the Chinese government,” Brownback said at a news conference.

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Brownback said several international hotel chains confirmed receiving the order from China’s Public Security Bureau. The hotels are in a bind, he said, because they don’t want to comply with the order, but also don’t want to jeopardize their investment of millions of dollars to expand their businesses in China. The hotel chains that forwarded the order to Brownback are declining to reveal their identities for fear of reprisal.

Earlier this year, the U.S. State Department issued a fact sheet warning travelers attending the Olympic games that “they have no reasonable expectation of privacy in public or private locations” in China.

“All hotel rooms and offices are considered to be subject to on-site or remote technical monitoring at all times,” the agency states.

The Public Security Bureau order threatens that failure to comply could result in financial penalties, suspending access to the Internet or the loss of a license to operate a hotel in China.

“If you were a human rights advocate, if you’re a journalist, you’re in room 1251 of a hotel, anything that you use, sending out over the Internet is monitored in real time by the Chinese Public Security bureau,” Brownback said. “That’s not right. It’s not in the Olympic spirit.”

Brownback and other lawmakers have repeatedly denounced China’s record of human rights abuses and asked President Bush not to attend the Olympic opening ceremonies in Beijing.

Brownback was introducing a resolution in the Senate on Tuesday that urges China to reverse its actions.

Read Full Article Here


China To Censor Internet During Olympics

AP
July 29, 2008

China will censor the Internet used by foreign media during the Olympics, an organising committee official confirmed Wednesday, reversing a pledge to offer complete media freedom at the games.

“During the Olympic Games we will provide sufficient access to the Internet for reporters,” said Sun Weide, spokesman for the organising committee.

He confirmed, however, that journalists would not be able to access information or websites connected to the Falungong spiritual movement which is banned in China.

Other sites were also unavailable to journalists, he said, without specifying which ones.

Olympic panel ends ban, says Iraq can go to games
http://home.peoplepc.com/..3421_1334520080729-294375139

China Hits Back At U.S. Stands Firm On Internet
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/2008073..sGtapUp0mOsYxUinOROrgF

Google Says Privacy Doesn’t Exist, Get Used To Everyone Knowing Everything About You
http://www.informationweek.com/b..R0QSNDLPSKHSCJUNN2JVN