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Today: Tue, July 22 2014  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
26 July 2014
Down the Memory Hole
by John Engle
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

While it may be embarrassing to have damaging information floating forever online, it is a necessary component of the openness demanded by the people born into this era. The press cannot be silenced because what they say is embarrassing. People have a right to access the information made public online and journalists have a right to publish their work without fear of it being shut down for sake of those they would expose.

21 July 2014
Why is No Snoopers' Charter Important?
by Liberty
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

The two governing principles of our unconsolidated Constitution are parliamentary sovereignty and the Rule of Law. This Bill disrespects the first principle by containing a programme agreed between party leaders, denying the legislature time for scrutiny, amendment or even proper debate. The Bill shows contempt for the second principle by attempting to overrule rather than comply with a Court judgment.

19 July 2014
DRIP, DRIP, DRIP - where did our rights go?
by Liberty
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

Well, the status quo is bad enough. It’s also unlawful, as the EU Court of Justice confirmed in April when it said that blanket data retention was a breach of our basic human rights.

DRIP ignores the Court and recreates blanket surveillance powers that’ll affect all of us – allowing the Government to command retention of the entire population’s communications data for 12 months.

But the Bill goes much further. It grants Ministers astonishing new powers to pursue their thwarted “Snoopers’ Charter” – not just in the UK but across the globe.

14 July 2014
While Government Watches You, Who Watches the Government?
by Liberty
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

Today the Government revealed it will rush through “emergency” legislation, allowing the Home Secretary to require blanket and indiscriminate retention of our personal communications data by phone and internet providers.

That’s information about your phone calls, text messages, emails and more.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg insist they’re only maintaining capability. But their existing blanket surveillance policy has been found unlawful in the courts for breaching human rights.

We’re assured this is a paedophile and jihadi “emergency”, but the Court of Justice of the European Union judgment the Government is ignoring was handed down over three months ago.

And this isn’t just snooping on suspects but on each and every one of us.

13 July 2014
This isn't snooping on suspects but on everyone
Fury at David Cameron's snoop laws "stitch-up"
by James Lyons
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

Mr Cameron said firms were weeks away from deleting records after the Euro decision that holding data interfered with respect for private life.

But senior Tory David Davis accused the coalition of staging a “theatrical emergency”, since the ruling was in April.

At a meeting today Mr Miliband’s decision to back the laws was questioned by Shadow Cabinet ministers including policy chief Jon Cruddas.

And in the Commons Shadow Minister Steve McCabe branded Home Secretary Teresa May “Mrs Snoop”.

03 April 2014
Protecting Children, Enslaving Adults
by Sean Gabb
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

This is the intention of the proposed law on pornographic video. Hardly anyone likes to admit to masturbating. Almost no one likes to say what he watches while masturbating. Having to prove identity before watching something would, for many people, have the same effect as an outright ban. The problem with an outright ban is that enforcement has to go before a jury, and juries will not usually convict for anything unless it involves children or animals or considerable violence. It also looks bad. Our modern rulers are squeamish about censorship laws. Where possible, they like to censor at one or more removes. Forcing people to identify themselves – “for the sake of the children” – is the perfect cover for stopping adults from masturbating at home.

03 February 2014
Netherlands Court Orders End to Pirate Bay Ban
by the BBC
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

A Dutch court has told local internet service providers they can restore access to The Pirate Bay.

The ISPs had been ordered in 2011 to stop internet addresses linked to the file-sharing site working.

But the Hague Appeals Court has reversed the decision on the basis it had proved "ineffective" at reducing copyright infringement.

26 January 2014
A Breach of Our Most Sacred Right
by M B Slack
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

But there is a much bigger point in all of this. There are strong suspicions that the FISA court has reinterpreted the Fourth Amendment to allow it to grant these warrants.

In doing so, it twists and manipulates the vision of the Founding Fathers.

If the Fourth Amendment was altered in such a way, it means that American citizens no longer have a right to privacy. And without privacy, there can be no freedom.

26 December 2013
How private is your private life?
by Liberty
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

In May 2013 the Draft Communications Data Bill was notable by its absence from the Queen’s Speech. It would have required internet and phone companies to retain records of our calls, emails, texts and web visits.

It now appears those who failed to make the case for the Draft Comms Bill already smuggled a more intrusive Snoopers’ Charter for blanket surveillance through the back door.

Liberty has filed a claim against the British security services for their role in PRISM and Tempora. We will be lobbying and campaigning for urgent amendment to the outdated laws governing surveillance and an end to blanket surveillance of the population. Please donate or join Liberty today to ensure this vital campaign work continues.

01 December 2013
Britain's Idiotic "Opt-in" Porn Ban
by Brendan O'Neill
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

It is one thing for the adults in an individual household to take measures to prevent their children from seeing porn; many do that, and good luck to them. But it is another thing entirely for ISPs, cajoled by officialdom, unilaterally to enforce child-protection measures on almost every home in Britain.

That interferes with private life, with parental authority, with the sovereign rights of individual families to determine, relatively free from everyday social mores and expectations, what their values and ideals should be. Using children as a moral shield, Cameron is sticking his foot in the door of family life, assuming the authority to switch off porn on everyone’s internet just as surely as our mums would switch off our TV sets when it got ridiculously late.

22 October 2013
Monkeywrenching the NSA
by Carl Bussjaeger
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

Now that we know the NSA has a bit of trouble with spam, a nasty little thought has occurred to me. Sure, people like to append standard sig lines, chock full of "terrorist" keywords, to all their emails to screw with them. But just maybe...

13 September 2013
Legal Consequences of NSA et. al.?
by David Friedman
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

It appears that U.S. firms deliberately put back doors into the encryption provided by their programs in order to let the NSA access material. If such firms advertised their encryption as secure, are they at risk of suits for damages, possibly class actions on behalf of all customers who bought software whose characteristics had been deliberately misrepresented?

21 July 2013
Internet Fascism and the Surveillance State
by Ben O'Neill
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

The NSA presents its surveillance operations as being directed toward security issues, claiming that the programs are needed to counter terrorist attacks. Bald assertions of plots foiled are intended to bolster this claim. However, secret NSA documents reveal that their surveillance is used to gather intelligence to achieve political goals for the US government. Agency documents show extensive surveillance of communications from allied governments, including the targeting of embassies and missions. Reports from an NSA whistleblower also allege that the agency has targeted and intercepted communications from a range of high-level political and judicial officials, anti-war groups, US banking firms and other major companies and non-government organizations. This suggests that the goal of surveillance is the further political empowerment of the NSA and the US government.

21 January 2013
Aaron Swartz's Final Code
by Rob Fischer
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

That the Justice Department would try to lock Swartz up for half his life on what amounted to a nonviolent act of protest suggests it too saw his capacity to affect change. He was to be a model of deterrence. So much more in the way of information sharing is possible than what the laws of intellectual property allow. Only punitive examples can keep the enterprising and curious from unlocking content that delights and stimulates millions. In a statement posted online following his death, Swartz’s family wrote: “Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach.” At Swarz’s funeral yesterday morning, his father said his son was “killed by the government.”

27 December 2012
Should there be an Automatic Filter of Pornographic Web Sites?
by Sean Gabb
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

The precedent of filtering access to pornography would soon be applied to filtering "hate speech" - and that this would be used to censor disagreement by Christians with gay marriage, or plain political dissent.

26 December 2012
A Message from Google
by Vint Cerf
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

Some governments sought to use the recent meeting of the International Telecommunication Union in Dubai to increase censorship and regulation of the Internet. At the conclusion of the meeting last Friday, 89 countries signed the treaty, while 55 countries said they would not sign or that additional review was needed. We stand with the countries that refused to sign, and we stand with you.

03 December 2012
A free and open world depends on a free and open web
by Google
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

24 July 2012
Make sure the internet never loses. Ever
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

The Internet Blackout was just the beginning. Together, our websites and personal networks can mobilize the planet to defend the internet from bad laws & monopolies. Are you in?

07 July 2012
No Snoopers' Charter
by Liberty
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

Despite a 2010 Coalition pledge to “end the storage of internet and email records without good reason” the Government has recently announced plans to store more of these private records. The Government’s Draft Communications Data Bill proposes to increase the collection and storage of “communications data” – records of email, text and phone calls – for the entire population. Instead of reversing already problematic powers that allow for mass surveillance, the Coalition now proposes to go much further: creating a Snoopers’ Charter by any other name.

05 February 2012
SOPA is the Sympton, Copyright is the Disease
by Stephan Kinsella
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

The problem is that all the people opposing SOPA undercut their opposition by acknowledging the importance of copyright and IP, by condemning piracy. It is admirable that they are taking the ride side of the chasm caused by their cognitive dissonance, but dissonance it is. If you support copyright, you oppose piracy, and you support the state’s existence and its attempts to enforce these “property rights.” You cannot have both copyright, and Internet freedom/freedom of speech. The threat here to property rights, to individual rights, to Internet freedom and freedom of speech and expression and the press comes from copyright itself. We must strike at the root. SOPA is just a symptom of the disease. The disease is copyright. Everyone is trying to treat the symptom–enforcement efforts like SOPA–with half-hearted treatments like labeling the response “disproportionate” or going “too far.” This is like trying to treat a brain tumor by taking Tylenol–sorry, acetaminophen–in response to the headaches caused by the tumor. All opponents of SOPA and censorship, all denizens of the web and proponents of freedom, must oppose copyright itself (and patent too).

18 January 2012
WUWT Supports the SOPA/PIPA Blackout
by Anthony Watts
 sub-topic» Internet Freedom

If you support a free and open Internet, let your legislators know, no matter what country you live in. This is global issue. If you live in the USA, you can find your elected state representatives here and send your concerns.