Tagcensorship

Twitter works on technology to evade censors in China and Iran

iran internet cafe

Twitter, the internet social network, is developing technology it hopes will prevent the Chinese and Iranian governments being able to censor its users. […]

Mr Williams, speaking at the World Economic Forum, said he admired Google for its decision last month to confront China over censorship and cyberattacks on its service, but said Twitter was too small to take a similar stand.

“We are partially blocked in China and other places and we were in Iran as well,” he said. “The most productive way to fight that is not by trying to engage China and other governments whose very being is against what we are about. I am hopeful there are technological ways around these barriers.”

Mr Williams said Twitter had an advantage in evading government censors through operating as a network of internet and mobile applications, rather than as a single website. “Twitter is a network that is accessed in thousands of ways.”

Financial Times: Twitter works on technology to evade censors in China and Iran

(via Wired)

Top 25 Censored Stories for 2010

1. US Congress Sells Out to Wall Street
2. US Schools are More Segregated Today than in the 1950s
3. Toxic Waste Behind Somali Pirates
4. Nuclear Waste Pools in North Carolina
5. Europe Blocks US Toxic Products
6. Lobbyists Buy Congress
7. Obama’s Military Appointments Have Corrupt Past
8. Bailed out Banks and America’s Wealthiest Cheat IRS Out of Billions
9. US Arms Used for War Crimes in Gaza
10. Ecuador Declares Foreign Debt Illegitimate
11. Private Corporations Profit from the Occupation of Palestine
12. Mysterious Death of Mike Connell—Karl Rove’s Election Thief
13. Katrina’s Hidden Race War
14. Congress Invested in Defense Contracts
15. World Bank’s Carbon Trade Fiasco
16. US Repression of Haiti Continues
17. The ICC Facilitates US Covert War in Sudan
18. Ecuador’s Constitutional Rights of Nature
19. Bank Bailout Recipients Spent to Defeat Labor
20. Secret Control of the Presidential Debates
21. Recession Causes States to Cut Welfare
22. Obama’s Trilateral Commission Team
23. Activists Slam World Water Forum as a Corporate-Driven Fraud
24. Dollar Glut Finances US Military Expansion
25. Fast Track Oil Exploitation in Western Amazon

Project Censored: Top 25 Censored Stories for 2010

WTF Jackie Chan?

The actor told a forum on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, whose attendees included Wen Jiabao, the Chinese prime minister, he was not sure “freedom” was necessary.

Chan, 55, whose latest movie, Shinjuku incident, was banned in China, was asked about censorship and restriction on the mainland. He expanded his comments to discuss Chinese society in general.

“I’m not sure if it is good to have freedom or not,” he said. “I’m really confused now. If you are too free, you are like the way Hong Kong is now. It’s very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic.”

He added: “I’m gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we are not being controlled, we’ll just do what we want.”

His comments were applauded by the Chinese audience, but triggered fury in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Telegraph: Jackie Chan says Chinese people need to be ‘controlled’

Update: Chan’s comments may have been intentionally or unintentionally mistranslated.

Police raid home of Wikileaks.de domain owner over censorship lists

Shortly after 9pm on Tuesday the 24th of March 2009, seven police officers in Dresden and four in Jena searched the homes of Theodor Reppe, who holds the domain registration for “wikileaks.de”, the German name for wikileaks.org. According to police documentation, the reason for the search was “distribution of pornographic material” and “discovery of evidence”. Police claim the raid was initiated due to Mr. Reppe’s position as the Wikileaks.de domain owner.

Police did not want to give any further information to Mr. Reppe and no contact was made with Wikileaks before or after the search. It is therefore not totally clear why the search was made, however Wikileaks, in its role as a defender of press freedoms, has published censorship lists for Australia, Thailand, Denmark and other countries. Included on the lists are references to sites containing pornography and no other material has been released by Wikileaks relating to the subject. […]

The raid appears to be related to a recent German social hysteria around child pornography and the controversial battle for a national censorship system by the German family minister Ursula von der Leyen. It comes just a few weeks after a member of parliament, SPD minister Joerg Tauss had his office and private house searched by police. German bloggers discussing the subject were similarly raided.

Full Story: Wikileaks

(via Cryptogon)

In Australia, banned hyperlinks could cost you $11,000 a day

The Australian communications regulator says it will fine people who hyperlink to sites on its blacklist, which has been further expanded to include several pages on the anonymous whistleblower site Wikileaks.

Wikileaks was added to the blacklist for publishing a leaked document containing Denmark’s list of banned websites.

The move by the Australian Communications and Media Authority comes after it threatened the host of online broadband discussion forum Whirlpool last week with a $11,000-a-day fine over a link published in its forum to another page blacklisted by ACMA – an anti-abortion website.

Full Story: Sidney Morning Herald

(via Xtal)

How an Italian judge made the internet illegal

Italian bloggers are up in arms at a court ruling early this year that suggests almost all Italian blogs are illegal. This month, a senior Italian politician went one step further, warning that most web activity is likely to be against the law.

The story begins back in May, when a judge in Modica (in Sicily) found local historian and author Carlo Ruta guilty of the crime of "stampa clandestina" – or publishing a "clandestine" newspaper – in respect of his blog. The judge ruled that since the blog had a headline, that made it an online newspaper, and brought it within the law’s remit.

How an Italian judge made the internet illegal – The Register.

(via Cryptogon)

Max Hardcore goes to jail, real torturers stay free

Because I’ve been busy with Esozone stuff, I haven’t posted about something with potentially far reaching consequences: Max Hardcore has been sentenced to prison for distributing “obscene” material.

Because the films which Little produced included scenes involving sadomasochism, the Bush DOJ alleged, and the federal court found, that the films were not merely pornographic, but also “obscene,” and thus illegal (Little’s lawyers argued, unsuccessfully, they were intended primarily for distribution in Europe, where such films are legal). Ironically, Little’s defense to the obscenity charges was quite similar to the defense which the Bush DOJ itself, years earlier, had embraced in order to claim that Bush officials were not engaged in “torture” when subjecting helpless detainees to gruesome treatment: namely, because the acts in question didn’t involve the infliction of severe pain, they weren’t illegal.

There was no suggestion that any serious violence was ever inflicted or that the adult actors in the film were anything other than completely consensual. But the court found that the depiction of severe pain was not required for conviction; instead, mere humiliation and degrading treatment was sufficient to render the films criminal and to warrant a long prison sentence. As the judge put it: “This is clearly degrading, clearly humiliating and intended to be so.” So, having already bankrupted Little with the DOJ’s prosecution, it’s now off to federal prison — for the next 4 years of his life.

But for our highest government officials, including the ones responsible for this prosecution, we have a different story altogether. In 2002, the Bush DOJ radically re-defined “torture” and illegal treatment of detainees to exclude anything that falls short of “the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.” The DOJ’s John Yoo even decreed that the President could legally order “‘scalding water, corrosive acid or caustic substance’ thrown on a prisoner” and possibly even “slitting an ear, nose or lip, or disabling a tongue or limb.”

Full Story: Salon

(hat tip: majikthise)

Should Mein Kampf Be Un-Banned in Germany?

Adolf Hitler’s notorious Mein Kampf (My Struggle), a manifesto posing as autobiography, has long been banned from German bookshelves “out of a responsibility and respect for the victims of the Holocaust.” But 83 years after it was first published, some Germans argue it should be made available again in order to drain it of whatever power it might still have.

A debate over the book is slowly growing in Germany, in part because Mein Kampf’s copyright, held by the state of Bavaria, will expire in 2015. Then the book will enter the public domain, and anyone will be able to reprint the text. Academics and officials who fear that a flood of new editions may be abused by far-right extremists are now demanding that a carefully researched and critical edition of the 800-page tome be prepared as a way to demystify it.

Full Story: Time

(via Hugh Scott Douglas)

List of banned books and why they were banned

“The details listed below are excerpts taken from the Banned Books Resource Guide by the American Library Association, and Ready Reference Censorship, Copyright 1997, Salem Press (ed. Lawrence Amey et al.). In some cases, my own pithy comments have been added.”

Forbidden Library.

(thanks Dug!)

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