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[News] [SOT] UK Government Cracks Down on Free Speech and Privacy

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UK.gov says: Regulate the internet

,----[ Quote ]
| As unemployment looks set to soar in the months ahead, quangocrat and soon to 
| be outgoing head of Ofcom Lord David Currie appears to have discovered a 
| cunning plan to find jobs for tens of thousands. The time for regulating the 
| internet is nigh – and Ofcom could be the body to do it.   


The usual excuses: "terrorism", "think about the children", etc.

Passports will be needed to buy mobile phones

,----[ Quote ]
| Everyone who buys a mobile telephone will be forced to register their 
| identity on a national database under government plans to extend massively 
| the powers of state surveillance.  
| Phone buyers would have to present a passport or other official form of 
| identification at the point of purchase. Privacy campaigners fear it marks 
| the latest government move to create a surveillance society.  



EFA expresses alarm at Government "Internet censorship"

,----[ Quote ]
| Online civil liberties organisation Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) has
| hit out at what it believes what it believes is a creeping censorship of the
| Internet by the Australian Government.
| [...]
| "The news for Australian Internet users just keeps getting worse," said EFA
| Board member Colin Jacobs. "We have legitimate concerns with the creeping
| scope of this unprecedented interference in our communications
| infrastructure. It's starting to look like nothing less than a comprehensive
| program of real-time Internet censorship."


No opt-out of filtered Internet

,----[ Quote ]
| Australians will be unable to opt-out of the government's pending Internet
| content filtering scheme, and will instead be placed on a watered-down
| blacklist, experts say.


Conroy announces mandatory internet filters to protect children

,----[ Quote ]
| "Labor makes no apologies to those that argue that any regulation of the
| internet is like going down the Chinese road," he said.



Australia to get net censorship

,----[ Quote ]
| The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will be able to
| force content providers to take down offensive material and issue notices for
| live content to be stopped and links to the content deleted.  


Major Aussie ISP Telstra BigPond shafts open source OpenOffice

,----[ Quote ]
| Australia’s largest Internet service provider Telstra BigPond has removed the
| free open source office suite OpenOffice from its unmetered file download
| area following the launch of its own, free, hosted, office application,
| BigPond Office.  
| [...]
| Our reader was outraged by Telstra’s move, which he sees as an attack on the
| open source software movement.
| “The principle of the matter upsets me,” he said. “The fact that BigPond has
| removed previously allowed open source software is un-ethical. They are
| discriminating against me, even though I pay the same as other customers.  
| They are attacking the Free Software movement.”  


Australia to extend web censorship

,----[ Quote ]
| Privacy advocates take a dim view of this proposal, naturally. Roger Clarke,
| chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation, said "This government's extremism
| has reached new heights today." He asked "How can a politician claim the
| right to hold office if they set out to undermine the critical democratic
| right of freedom of speech, and blatantly decline to evaluate the impact of
| measures put before the Parliament?"    


Suit against blogger weaves legal web in Paris, Texas

,----[ Quote ]
| But there is little case law in Texas or nationally to give judges a standard
| for when to expose anonymous postings on the Internet.  


Web 'censorship' bill brings police state one stop closer  

,----[ Quote ]
| Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) has slammed moves to give the Federal
| Police powers to ban access to certain Internet content as "another step in
| Australia's descent into a police state".  


Howard row over Wikipedia edits

,----[ Quote ]
| Staff in the Australian prime minister's department have been accused of
| editing potentially damaging entries in online encyclopaedia Wikipedia.


AT&T admits it censored other bands

,----[ Quote
| It looks like Pearl Jam isn't the only band that has had its politically
| charged comments bleeped from concerts streamed from AT&T's Blue Room Web
| site.  
| [...]
| AT&T quickly apologized for the incident and blamed the company that handles
| the Webcasting for performances on Blue Room.


AT&T slams Google over open-access wireless proposal

,----[ Quote ]
| AT&T has asked Capitol Hill not to enable an open nationwide wireless
| spectrum, claiming that Google's lobbying of such a network is a bid by the
| search giant to obtain broadband airwaves at bargain-basement prices.  


Microsoft and MySpace join Govt's fight against online predators

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has joined the likes of MySpace and the child protection advocacy
| group Bravehearts to help launch an extension of the Federal Government’s
| NetAlert initiative, the Consultative Working Group.  


Australia's porn-blocking plan unveiled

,----[ Quote ]
| While individual filters will be available beginning later this month,
| ISP-level blocking may take some time to implement. The Australian
| Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is currently planning a trial of
| ISP-level filtering in Tasmania that will inform the government's decision on
| a national launch.    


Yahoo!, Microsoft ink web pact with Chinese government

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft and Yahoo! have signed a pact with the Chinese government
| that "encourages" the big name web players to record the identities of
| bloggers and censor content. So says Reporters Without Borders, an
| organization that fights for journalistic rights across the globe.  


Chinese Internet dissident committed to mental hospital

,----[ Quote ]
| "It is not acceptable that Chinese authorities use such methods to silence
| citizens who have merely peacefully voiced their opinions", expressed the
| organisation in an announcement. Apparently authorities have not abandoned
| the practice of punishing those who have exposed the abuse of power and
| defied censorship by compulsorily committing them to mental institutions.    

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