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Dutch Gov’t Speaks Out Against Exporting Internet Filters; Then Introduces National Internet Filter

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 23:25 by Paul Jay in category: News


On the same day that Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Verhagen announced efforts to prevent the export of internet filters to repressive regimes, State Secretary of Justice and Security Teeven announced the introduction of the national blacklisting of websites. The press conference expressly ‘filtered out’ critical Dutch civil rights organization Bits of Freedom and consumer rights organization Consumentenbond.

The Minister of Economic Affairs stated Monday that companies should support internet freedom and that the danger of exporting filters to repressive regimes is that they can be used to withhold information from civilians. A good start of the day for Dutch cyberactivists, breathing a sigh of relief to see that the government actually seems to understand what they’re talking about.

However, later the very same day the State Secretary of Justice and Security announced a ‘download ban’ making the unauthorized downloading of copyrighted material illegal. Although it was stated that the privacy of internet users who only download limited amounts of copyrighted material from unauthorized sources is protected, the actual definition of ‘limited’ has not been given.

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Brave New World among top 10 books Americans most want banned

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 22:51 by Paul Jay in category: News


Banned in Ireland when it first appeared in 1932, and removed from shelves and objected to ever since, Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World is still making waves today.The novel of a dystopian future was one of the most complained about books in America last year, with readers protesting over its sexually explicit scenes, “offensive” language and “insensitivity”.

Take a look at the American Library Association Challenge Reporting Form

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  1. Brave New World was one of the books I read in British Literature class at my Catholic High School … junior year (1974; don’t do the math). 🙂

    What books do European libraries get complaints about? If you say none, I won’t believe you.

  2. Crikey, same here. Set book in U.K. for 13-14 year olds.
    On second thoughts, I don’t think Americans should read it. Too depressing.

  3. No one is happier that “And Tango Makes Three” tops this list than authors Parnell and Richardson. Better for sales than a Tipper Sticker.

  4. Rob, the only book I’ve got any personal experience with in the Netherlands is Mein Kampf. Owning it isn’t illegal (or it is depending on how you interpret a verdict by the supreme court from 1987), but the Dutch Government claims to own the publishing rights and has forbidden reprints. In september 2007 the secretary of education said the book should be available, but a small minority in parliament disagreed. In 2015, 70 years after the death of the author, the book won’t be covered by these rights any more and a reprint has been announced.

  5. An example for book complaints in Europe:

    In 2007, there was a huge controversy in Germany about a children’s book, published by the humanist association. The book is about a small piglet and his friend the hedgehog, who never heard about god. One day, they receive a leaflet “He who knows not God, is missing something!”. Therefore, they start on a journey to discover god and religion. After weird encounters with a jewish rabbi, a christian priest and a muslim imam, they decide that it is better to forget about all this religion, and rather have a good life instead. Without this god.

    The german religious institutions cried out in anger, and they wanted to have the book banned immediately. They tried to use a trick which is especially efficient in Germany: They accused the book of promoting anti-semitism. The real reason, of course, they couldn’t stand a book that teaches to children that religion is unnecessary.

    Fortunately, after a heated trial, the german authorities did NOT ban the book.

    Unfortunately, several public libraries refuse to include the book into their portfolio until today. In most cases because of heavy pressure from religious institutions.

You’re Not Being Detained, You Just Can’t Leave

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 21:05 by Paul Jay in category: News


Earlier this year, we wrote about computer security expert, Tor developer and Wikileaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum, who was regularly being detained and intimidated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials each time he (a US citizen) traveled into the country. If you follow Jacob’s Twitter feed, you get detailed descriptions each time he flies back into the country of the hassles he has to go through. Every time he’s detained and never once given an explanation for why or what is being searched for. He’s often lied to and frequently told that it’s a “random” search. He certainly knows enough that he wipes all of his electronic equipment before traveling across the border.

In the latest case, upon returning from a conference in Europe by flying into Houston, Appelbaum again asked his detainers why he was being detained, and was once again not given a straight answer. He knows that there’s something on the screen that they pull up on their computers, but they refuse to provide him with any info. This time, they even went so far as to redefine detainment, telling him that he wasn’t being detained, but that he just couldn’t go until they were done with him. Perhaps he should send Homeland Security a copy of a dictionary with the definition of “detained” highlighted.

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It’s raining

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 20:50 by Paul Jay in category: News

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Catholic group claimss children raped by priests were ‘homosexual’ participants, not victims

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 20:48 by Paul Jay in category: News


The anti-gay Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is going on the attack against “those who are distorting the truth about priestly sexual abuse.”

The group bought an expensive full-page ad in The New York Times Monday that places the blames for the church’s scandals on “homosexuality, not pedophilia.”
And perhaps most shockingly, it also claimed that some children were active participants in the abuse.
“The refrain that child rape is a reality in the Church is twice wrong: let’s get it straight — they weren’t children and they weren’t raped,” self-appointed Catholic League president Bill Donohue wrote in the ad.

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  1. If there is a God and if there is a hell, there is a special demon there in reserve for Bill Donohue.

  2. And I suppose that the women and girls who were molested, abused, pressured into sex, or raped were just asking for it…

    There are thousands of cases throughout the world. All kinds of crimes, including sex crimes, against people of varying ages and genders. There is no excuse imaginable.

    And still the denial.

  3. May Donahue spend all eternity splitting hot hairs in the Ninth Circle. Oh Lord.


Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 16:09 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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  1. The Glenn Beck cartoon reminds me of a joke from the former east Germany. The socialist regime had a propaganda broadcast in TV of equal quality as the Glenn Beck show, called “The Black Channel”, hosted by Karl Edouard von Schnitzler, and it was extremely unpopular.

    “Near Alexanderplatz in East Berlin, in the evening a hit-and-run traffic accident occured. Several witnesses recognized Karl Edouard von Schnitzler as the culprit.

    The police summons him for questioning. He defends himself: ‘I have an alibi. At the time of the traffic accident, I was hosting “The Black Channel” live on TV.’

    The police replies: ‘Sorry, this is no alibi, because nobody saw you'”

BP buys Gulf Coast millions in gear

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 14:16 by John Sinteur in category: News


Tasers. Brand-new SUVs. A top-of-the-line iPad. A fully loaded laptop. In the year since the Gulf oil spill, officials along the coast have gone on a spending spree with BP money, dropping tens of millions of dollars on gadgets and other gear — much of which had little to do with the cleanup, an Associated Press investigation shows.

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Airbus A380 Jumbo Jet Clips Tail Of Another Plane While Taxiing At JFK Airport

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 12:23 by John Sinteur in category: News


Air France Flight 7 F-HPJD bound for Paris, was taxiing on a runway when its left wingtip struck the tail of Comair Flight 6293, which had just landed from Boston and was taxiing to its gate at Kennedy, one of the nation’s busiest airports, Peters said.

Both jets were being towed to a ramp area for inspection, Peters said. The extent of the damage was unknown.

The FAA didn’t immediately say how many people were on the double-deck Airbus A380, which can carry 525 passengers in a three-class configuration or more than 850 in a single-class configuration. Air France didn’t immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

The Comair CRJ 700 Regional Jet was carrying 62 passengers and four crew members, said Betsy Talton, a spokeswoman of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc., for which Comair operates regional flights. All the passengers were taken off the plane and into a terminal, she said

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April 12

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 12:16 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
the highest resolution version available.

50 Years Ago: Yuri’s Planet
Credit: ISS Expedition 7 Crew, EOL, NASA

On April 12th, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alexseyevich Gagarin became the first human in space. His remotely controlled Vostok 1 spacecraft lofted him to an altitude of 200 miles and carried him once around planet Earth. Commenting on the first view from space he reported, “The sky is very dark; the Earth is bluish. Everything is seen very clearly”. His view could have resembled this image taken in 2003 from the International Space Station. Alan Shepard, the first US astronaut, would not be launched until almost a month later and then on a comparatively short suborbital flight. Born on March 9, 1934, Gagarin was a military pilot before being chosen for the first group of cosmonauts in 1960. As a result of his historic flight he became an international hero and legend. Killed when his MIG jet crashed during a training flight in 1968, Gagarin was given a hero’s funeral, his ashes interred in the Kremlin Wall. Twenty years later, on yet another April 12th, in 1981, NASA launched the first space shuttle.

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Paul Ceglia Files New Evidence In Claim He Owns 50% Of The Company

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 11:35 by John Sinteur in category: News


Remember Paul Ceglia?

He’s the fellow in upstate New York who sued Mark Zuckerberg last July, claiming that, way back in 2003, Zuckerberg had agreed to give him a 50% ownership in the project that became Facebook.


But now Paul Ceglia has refiled his lawsuit. With a much larger law firm. And a lot more evidence.

And the new evidence is startling.

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EFF to San Francisco Entertainment Commission: Don’t Turn SF into a Police State

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 8:57 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Privacy, Security


The Electronic Frontier Foundation joined civil liberties and privacy groups in criticizing a proposal from the San Francisco Entertainment Commission that would require all venues with an occupancy of over 100 people to record the faces of all patrons and employees and scan their ID’s for storage in a database which they must hand over to law enforcement on request.

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  1. Oh heck, just install the RFID chip in my neck and be done with it…

Sony Settles PlayStation Hacking Lawsuit

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 8:54 by John Sinteur in category: News


Sony dropped its jailbreaking lawsuit against PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz on Monday in exchange for promises the New Jersey hacker would never again tinker with the game console or any Sony product, records show.

Dear Sony – I’ll make you the same deal, no wait, an even better deal: I won’t even touch any Sony product ever again. And you won’t even have to sue me to get this deal!

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  1. I bet Sony is willing to drop its not-yet-started lawsuit against you. 🙂

  2. I’ll even promise to talk to as many people about it, urging them all never to even touch a SONY product. I’ll even ask all my tech savvy friends to do the same, because the are the go to people for the less tech inclined when it comes to selecting what to buy. Happy now, SONY?

  3. I was involved in the setup of a big display at an international fair. One of my roles was to choose displays and DVD players for the whole installation. Guess who wasn’t even considered due to ethical inadequacy?

U.N. diplomat is denied private meeting with WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 8:49 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


Juan E. Mendez, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, said his request for a private interview with Manning was denied by the Defense Department on Friday. Instead, he has been told that any visit must be supervised.

Mendez has been seeking to determine whether Manning’s confinement at a military brig at Quantico amounts to torture, following complaints about his treatment and an incident in which the private was forced to strip in his cell at night and sleep without clothing.

“My request . . . is not onerous: for my part, a monitored conversation would not comply with the practices that my mandate applies in every country and detention center visited,” Mendez said in a statement Monday, noting that at least 18 countries have allowed unmonitored interviews.

A simple conclusion: yes, it’s indeed torture and the US knows it.

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Why America Had A 90% Income Tax

Posted on April 12th, 2011 at 5:32 by John Sinteur in category: News

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