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Sunday, July 06, 2003

 
"We silenced ourselves, and we blinded ourselves and we've muted our ears"

That's called Self Censorship folks. It sucks as much as any other kind of censorship

Read and hear the facts. Excellent article. You Go Michael!

Bush policies threaten our rights
LEVAR MICHAEL
Sunday, July 6, 2003
A wise man once said, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” And fooling is just what the Bush administration has been trying to do to us for the last few years.

It’s time for people to come down off of their patriotic high and start paying attention to what’s been happening here at home. The administration would have us believe that our patriotic duties require us, as good Americans, to fall in line and support the president in a time of crisis, no matter what the situation. And that’s just what many of us have done. We’ve silenced ourselves; we’ve blinded ourselves; and we’ve muted our ears to the more vague, destructive and reprehensible nature of this administration. For all of you who still choose to defend this corrupted, misguided group of swindlers that call themselves an administration, here are some facts that might change your mind.

First, let’s talk about the environment. Have you noticed anything strange about our weather patterns lately? Well, the Environmental Protection Agency has. It has just issued a scientific study about global warming and its effect on weather patterns. You might be interested to know that the Bush administration admitted to purposely changing wording in the report to water down the EPA’s findings. I guess the fact that it rained nine times more this month in D.C. than it did in Seattle wasn’t enough to convince the president that something might be wrong. Bush also recently supported a bill allowing major logging of up to 20 million acres of federal land. This bill also eliminates environmental oversight of the land before the logging begins. And things here at home haven’t been peaches and cream either.

On the economic side of things, the administration has just passed its huge tax cut for the rich by which the top 1 percent of the country will receive more than half of the tax cut itself. And one little fact the president leaves out of his speeches made to the Armed Services is that those in the military who received “tax free combat pay” will not benefit from the Child Tax Credit because they didn’t make enough money. Did I also mention we’re giving away billions of dollars to people who don’t need it; our national debt continues to grow at the fastest rate ever recorded in the history of this country. On top of this, there are still 9 million Americans who are unemployed each day.

With all of this the administration is now supporting the Family Time Flexibility Act. This bill would literally give employers the right to offer time off instead of cash overtime payment. In other words, this bill would give employers the right not to pay their workers a cash overtime payment for time worked more than 40 hours a week.

As if this were not enough, the administration also continues to impede the rights of the American people by openly violating the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh amendments of the Constitution with unlawful legislation like the Patriot Act. And now with the deregulation of the airways, the FCC has made it possible for a handful of corporations to own all of what Americans see, hear and read. It would allow one company in a specific market to own all the media outlets in that sector.

This is wrong and it must be stopped. When will we as a people begin to open our hearts, minds and eyes to the deceptions that are taking place in our country each and every day? When will we begin to understand that this president and his administration have embraced policies that have not only been destructive but have crippled the minds and will of the masses?

We as Americans must never become complacent. We must always seek out new information; we must broaden our horizons and educate ourselves on topics that have the ability to change our lives. We must never give up the fight for peace, social justice and our God-given constitutional right to speak our minds. Take the time to write or call your local representatives and let them know that you don’t support these radical right-wing policies. Let them know that we refuse to stand on the sidelines and watch as this administration destroys this country. Never give up!


LeVar Michael is a resident of the City of York.

http://ydr.com/story/op-ed/11121/





Saturday, July 05, 2003

 
9 Million "Drug Free" Drugged up kids - Forced Drugging Sucks

Joy says, give the "doctors" the one finger salute! They deserve it.

Legally DRUGGING the KIDS
" 9 million kids were prescribed Ritalin, Adderall and other drugs last year alone."

I am shocked out of my drawers to find Ritalin is still being given to kids labeled with ADD or ADHD - attention deficient disorder or attention deficient hyperactive disorder. I can remember when it wasn't even an acronym or at least bandied about as it is today. Schools have used it at whim for too many years to 'control' kids they deem hyperactive and class-disruptive. I was one of those kids, but luckily the thought of using drugs to 'control' me hadn't been heard of yet. How's this for shocking -- 9 million kids were prescribed Ritalin, Adderall and other drugs last year alone.

I got to thinking about and researching Ritalin after it was disclosed someone in the family was on it. My scale tipped way low after hearing this. I thought to self, there should be a law against this. I was pleased to find that one was just passed in May, but unpleased to find it only dealt with the cutting of federal funds to schools who coerced kids into taking it. I think it should be against the law to give this and the other drugs such as Adderall, to children. Adults get arrested for it, for cripe's sake.

"In March, Rep. Max Burns (R-GA) introduced the Child Medication Safety Act (H.R. 1170), a bill that would require states, as a condition of receiving federal education funds, to establish policies and procedures prohibiting school personnel from requiring a child to take medication in order to attend school. A non-controversial provision similar to the Burns measure was added to the Improving Education Results for Children with Disabilities Act (H.R. 1350), the reauthorization of the nation’s special education law that was approved by the House of Representatives last week.

Parents are losing their right to choose. They are being told that ADHD is a ‘neurobiological’ disorder when even the Surgeon General’s 1999 report on mental health cannot confirm this,” continued Bryson. “They are being denied access to tutoring or additional educational services for the sake of a ‘quick fix’ drug like Ritalin that some studies say is more potent than cocaine.”

I recall my best friend's plight way back when I lived in the states. Her son was wild, intelligent, and also the class clown. His teacher hated him and did everything she could to assure his life would be hell at school. She flunked him in every subject and berated him in front of the class, which only made his behaviour worse. Then she discovered Ritalin and with the backing of the school psychologist demanded he take it or else.

Tamara told them where to shove it, yanked him out of the school and packed up the family wagon, headed to Oregon, enrolled him in school where it was found that he was dsylexic and the reason for his behaviour was to cover up the fact he couldn't read. Shouldn't that be a required test of all kids are get slapped with the label 'hyper'? He was given special attention after school 'rerouting the nerves in his brain' and by the end of that school year he was reading and his behaviour was normal. The little school he attended was appalled at the way things were done in California.

This was said years ago. "The abuse of Ritalin as a recreational drug is also a problem. It was first seen in New England prep schools, according to Dr. Eric Heiligenstein, head of psychiatry for the University of Wisconsin Health Services. "Ritalin abuse was first noticed at New England prep schools where access is easy because so many students have Ritalin prescriptions -- often not warranted by medical need." According to the DEA, at least one in 30 Americans between ages 5 and 19 has a Ritalin prescription.

Because it has nearly the same chemical makeup as cocaine and speed, Ritalin is often abused. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports that Ritalin "ranks in the 'Top 10' controlled drugs stolen from doctors and pharmacies." Kids crush the Ritalin pills into powder and snort it or inject it. Last fall, four youths allegedly stole 27 bottles of pills from the nurse's office at Westford Academy, reported the Boston Herald. Sixteen of the bottles contained Ritalin. Other bottles held the depressant Lorazepam. In 1996, a girl at Duxbury High School overdosed on Ritalin and was hospitalized. With more public schools handing out Ritalin to more and more kids, there's more drug abuse. Some students even sell their Ritalin prescriptions.

More than 90% of Ritalin's market is in the United States, which says something about how Ritalin is viewed by health officials in other countries, said Breggin. Ritalin was banned in Sweden in 1968 because it was abused. Ritalin is rarely prescribed in Britain. In March, the United Nations advised the World Health Organization to investigate the use of Ritalin."

Here's an exerpt from a 1995 UN report which went unheeded..

"At present, the unprecedented high level of ADD diagnosis in children, the very widespread prescription of Ritalin and the growing abuse and black market appear to be limited to the United States. But, the INCB foresees the likelihood that this trend will soon take hold in other countries. Some of the parent groups promoting methylphenidate in the United States have announced their intention to extend their activities outside the country. The Board is therefore requesting all Governments to exercise utmost vigilance to prevent the overdiagnosing of ADD and any medically-unjustified treatment with methylphenidate and other stimulants. It has also requested the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate this matter and to provide expertise to national public health authorities."

The 1996 annual report stated this: "With abuse of illegal amphetamine-type stimulants reaching epidemic proportions, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is concerned that despite the warning it issued a year ago, the issue still requires serious attention."

This article touches on more than the death of a 9th grader - I advise reading it all as it gets conflicting after another study came out touting the benefits. "On March 21, 2000, 14-year-old Matthew Smith dropped dead of a heart attack while skateboarding. The ninth-grader had been on Ritalin since the first grade. Lawrence Smith, father of the youngster, has testified that he and his wife were forced by Michigan Social Services to put their child on Ritalin or else be charged for neglecting their son's educational and emotional needs.

"His last report card was his best," says Lawrence Smith. "But it wasn't worth it for us. Putting him on Ritalin was the worst decision I've ever made." And that's because no long-range study had been made of the effects of Ritalin on children who take it over a number of years."

Then there's this. "The long term outcome for children is another story that has often been overlooked.A report on a comprehensive follow-up study at Montreal Children's Hospital discovered that “at the end of five years, hyperkinetic children who received drugs (either Ritalin or Chloropromazine) did not differ significantly from children who had not received the drugs. Although it appeared that hyperactive kids treated with Ritalin were initially more manageable, the degree of improvement and emotional adjustment was essentially identical at the end of five years to that seen in a group of kids who had received no medication at all.”

Yesterday I spoke with several friends about the practice of giving drugs to kids who are considered 'out of control'. I wish I had pictures of the reactions. My friend Therese at first thought I meant did kids use drugs on their own and said, "well a few smoke hash." I explained I meant if the schools provide drugs. Her eyes widened and she said "Of course not - why would they do that?". I got the same reaction from Laura. Her exact words, "I'm shocked." Then she went on to say that she becomes more and more disillusioned with the US each day and how she used to believe it was heaven on earth. Her husband was shaking his head saying, "crazy Americans." I've always felt this way about drugs as an easy fix for hard to deal with kids and now that the abuse factor has entered, it's just plain crazy to prescribe this and other drugs.

This was posted on Slashdot of all places.

Re:Chemistry in ADHD (Score:5, Interesting)
by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, @10:40AM (#6233265)
I was diagnosed ADD in 6th grade. (I'm 21 now) After starting to take Cylert, my math and science scores plummeted. Which was a terrible thing for me, since math and science was what I prided myself upon. I also began having outrageous migraines.

I quit cold-turkey. In a glorious moment of defiance, I flushed the entire (very very expensive) bottle of mindsuppressor down the toilet.

My opinion - ADD / ADHD is some scientists made-up excuse for my (our) brain running faster than his. The jellous (sic) bastard ought to be so lucky.

I've learned to live with it, I've learned to avoid situations when I need to concentrate. I cope, I handle, and obviously, it's not that much of a problem. I often times think ADD actually helps my code.

I've been drug-free since that moment when I told my parents they should take the *ucking medicine and see how they like it -- then proceeded to dump the entire bottle. Quitting cold turkey didn't give me any side effects -- at least none that were worse than the stuff that damn drug did to me.

The best part was -- I could think again.

P.S. After quitting cylert, my math grade - which had gone from a 99% A the first two nine-weeks to a 68% (near failing) the third nine-weeks - went right back up to a 99%, and suddenly, everything made sense again.

To that jellous (sic) asshole of a 'doctor' that put me on that stuff, I salute you with one finger. "

These comments are from a forum under the topic "Kids and Medication"

"Posted by: Brent on January 3, 2003 10:29 PM
Agreed--too many teachers and parents are too quick to get these kids on Ritalin just because they don't fit within an accepted norm of behavior. I've heard too many horror stories about Ritalin."

Posted by: Rebecca Meyer on January 4, 2003 09:04 AM
Students who are a little bit hyper get thrown on Ritalin. Back in the mid-to-late 80s, I was a hyper kid, and my kindergarten teacher suggested that I be put on medication to deal with this. I saw a psychiatrist who said 'she's normal... she's five!'. I remember not being allowed to have cherry jello as a result of the theory that red food dye causes hyperactivity. I always got stuck with lemon, which I hate. Yes, I was a hyper kid. Yes, I hated to stay in my seat. Yes, I loved to socialize. No, I didn't need a psychotropic drug. I grew out of it and was as calm as can be by middle school."

The use is very controversial, parents so many times believe the 'experts' and allow their kids to walk out of a Drs. office with a 'script in hand. Also, the diagnosis of ADD or ADHD is sometimes done by the school, not a professional and then they're sent to get their pills, off which the doctors and drug companies are making a fortune.

All in all, in my own personal opinion, these drugs are evil, they can kill or cause brain and heart damage and they're being abused and dealt like any other drug amongst students. Parents need to bone up on both the causes and the treatments and reevaluate their decision to put their child on drugs. At least now, thanks to the new law, schools can't keep a kid out if they don't take their meds. Hopefully the next law will outlaw the usage and other methods of dealing with hyperactive kids will be found.


"Ritalin does not improve complex skills such as reading, athletic ability, and social behavior. Grades may improve, but Ritalin cannot correct a learning disability...Ritalin does not improve significant emotional problems."
--James M. Swanson


Brenda Stardom
Portugal
http://www.brendastardom.com/arch.asp?ArchID=216

Thursday, July 03, 2003

 
Free expression
[1] US high court upholds library Net censor law
[2] China tortures Net dissident, sends 5 to prison
[3] Prosecution of Vietnamese Net dissident provokes anger
[4] New WSIS human rights caucus proposal
[5] Tajikistani gov't censors news site
[6] Iran expands Net blocking
[7] Pakistani press website faces censorship
[8] Hollywood sues other DVD copying equipment makers
[9] Recording trade group Net copyright threat backfires
[10] California high court hearing in DVD program case
[11] Battle over Korean music sharing website continues
[12] Police pressure student over harmless webblog entry
[13] New study of German Internet censor plans

Privacy
[14] US politician, Hollywood push computer sabotage systems
[15] Plan to make US spy laws permanent shelved
[16] Report on TIA datamining scheme provokes alarm
[17] Verizon hands over user data to RIAA
[18] For sale: TiVo interactive television user info
[19] UK gov't forces massive Net user data info disclosures
[20] New study of Gator spyware
[21] Microsoft error exposes 200 million Internet users
[22] Japanese government passes personal info bills
[23] EU data protection chief appointment criticized
[24] Survey suggests tougher online privacy laws are needed

[...]

=====================================================
[2] China tortures Net dissident, sends 5 to prison
=====================================================
The Mainland Chinese government has sentenced 5 web operators and
writers to
multi-year prison terms each for posting controversial content on the
Internet.

Four of these people, Xu Wei, Jin Haike, Yang Zili, and Zhang Honghai,
were
reportedly part of an Internet-based organization, the New Youth
Society,
which was dedicated to exploring democracy and social reform in China.
They
have since received jail sentences of 8 to 10 years each after several
articles critical of the Chinese government appeared on their website.
All 4
men complained of abusive treatment while in detention. According to
Human
Rights in China, Xu Wei protested in court about being brutally beaten
and
tortured with electrical shocks while in custody. He had to be carried
out
of the courtroom after being knocked unconscious from striking his head
against the judge's desk, and subsequently began a hunger strike after
his
sentencing. Ann Cooper, director of the New York-based Committee to
Protect
Journalists (CPJ-a GILC member), stated that "[i]t is ridiculous that
the
Chinese Government considers the peaceful expression of one's views a
subversive act."

In addition, Huang Qi has now been sentenced to a 5-year prison term
after
visitors to Huang's site posted several allegedly "subversive"
articles. He
was the proprietor of a website designed to publicize information about
missing people that attracted postings about alleged human rights
abuses,
corruption, and political issues.

These sentences are being seen as just one of a multitude of moves that
mainland Chinese authorities have made to stifle free speech online. A
recently published study commissioned by Reporters Sans Frontieres
(RSF-a
GILC member) indicates many online avenues for expression, notably
Internet
chatboards, are subject to heavy censorship. According to the report,
messages with "banned words" such as "human rights" and "Taiwan
independence" and "SARS" are "systematically blocked," while messages
"that
contain no banned words may lead to scrutiny from "volunteers" who
"have the
ability to suspend or ban forum visitors considered vulgar or
politically
incorrect." Offenders may later be arrested; thus the Chinese
government has
arrested 4 people for online discussion of SARS-related issues.

Read Henry Hoenig, "Beijing goes high-tech to block Sars messages," New
Zealand Herald, 16 June 2003 at
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storyprint.cfm?storyID=3507534

To learn more about Xu's hunger strike, see "China Internet dissident
'on
hunger strike'," BBC News Online, 3 June 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2961286.stm

To read more about Huang's conviction, see "China Internet operator
jailed,"
BBC News Online, 19 May 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3039041.stm

For information about the sentencing of Xu and his compatriots, see
"China
jails web dissidents," BBC News Online, 29 May 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/2946526.stm

See also John Gittings, "China jails Internet dissidents," The Guardian
(UK), 30 May 2003 at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/china/story/0,7369,966696,00.html

The RSF report on Chinese censorship of Net chat boards is posted at
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=6793

See also "Information Control and Self-Censorship in the PRC and the
Spread
of SARS," U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 7 May 2003
at
http://www.cecc.gov/pages/news/
prcControl_SARS.pdf?PHPSESSID=e1cfd1d5f76d1c3
3734ec38ad0026e14

See also "China nabs 4 for spreading SARS rumours on the Internet," The
Financial Gazette, 7 May 2003 at
http://www.fingaz.co.zw/fingaz/2003/May/May7/3774.shtml

============================================================
[3] Prosecution of Vietnamese Net dissident provokes anger
============================================================
A Vietnamese doctor may soon spend more than a decade in prison over his
Internet activities.

Pham Hong Son allegedly wrote and translated several pro-democracy
papers
that were then posted on the Information Superhighway. Vietnamese
authorities had initially questioned him on this subject and confiscated
various personal items, including computer equipment and numerous
documents.
When the government denied his requests to reclaim his belongings, he
posted
an open letter on the Internet to protest their decision. Subsequently,
Vietnamese officials convicted him of spying and using the Information
Superhighway to distribute critiques of the government. He has since
been
sentenced to 13 years in jail, plus 3 years of house arrest after he
leaves
prison.

His prosecution has drawn heavy protests from free speech advocates.
Minky
Worden from Human Rights Watch (HRW-a GILC member) warned: "Vietnam's
crackdown on critics who use the Internet to peacefully disseminate
their
ideas or communicate with democracy advocates abroad appears to be
escalating. ... These harsh prison sentences and vaguely worded charges
of
spying appear designed to intimidate not only government critics, but
everyone in Vietnam who uses the Internet."

For more information, visit the Digital Freedom Network (DFN-a GILC
member)
website under
http://dfn.org/news/vietnam/son-sentenced.htm

An HRW press release on this subject is posted under
http://www.hrw.org/press/2003/06/vietnam061703.htm

Read "Vietnam net dissident jailed," BBC News Online, 18 June 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/3000278.stm

=========================================================
[4] New WSIS human rights caucus proposal
=========================================================
Controversy continues to surround preparations for an upcoming World
Summit
on the Information Society (WSIS).

The WSIS, which is being organized by the International
Telecommunications
Union under the auspices of the United Nations, is supposedly meant to
foster discussion regarding the socio-economic impact of new
technologies.
Its official goal is "to develop and foster a clear statement of
political
will and a concrete plan of action for achieving the goals of the
Information Society, while fully reflecting all the different interests
at
stake." The first meeting will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 10-12
December 2003 and the second in Tunis, Tunisia in November 2005, with
various Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) sessions to take place
beforehand.

However, even as plans are being formed for the Summit, questions have
arisen as to whether the WSIS will sufficiently address concerns of
civil
society, including issues of human rights. For example, the Association
for
Progressive Communications (APC-a GILC member) issued a detailed
analysis of
key WSIS documents (including the Draft Declaration of Principles and
Draft
Action Plan), and concluded that the papers failed to address
"sufficiently"
a number of important subjects. Among other things, APC took the WSIS
committee to task for "lacking awareness on proposals around the
'information security agenda' that threaten to further harm already
weakened
human rights in areas such as privacy and data protection" and
insufficiently acknowledging "the negative impact of Intellectual
Property
Rights on access to information and knowledge, and on technological
innovation." Furthermore, the Board of the World Association of
Newspapers
and the Board of the World Editors Forum have expressed concern "that
concepts that would regulate information and restrict the free flow of
news
are emerging in preparatory meetings for the WSIS, which is designed by
UN
agencies to produce policies for extending the benefits of information
technologies and bridging the 'digital divide' between rich and poor
societies."

In order to remedy the situation, a number of organizations have banded
together to form a WSIS Human Rights Caucus. The idea, which was
proposed
Imaginons un Reseau Internet Solidaire (IRIS-a GILC member), is to put
"Human Rights on the agenda of the WSIS," develop "detailed inputs and
contributions on how Human rights, as broadly defined, can be precisely
translated within the specific framework of information and
communication,
in order to build a common vision of this society," and to raise the
"awareness of NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and the public on
the
importance of addressing Human rights in the information society."
Several
GILC members have joined IRIS in this effort, including APC, Computer
Professionals for Social Responsibility, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties
UK,
Digital Rights Denmark, the Electronic Privacy Information Center,
VIBE! AT
and the American Civil Liberties Union.

For more regarding the WSIS Human Rights Caucus, click
http://www.iris.sgdg.org/actions/smsi/hr-wsis/

APC and APC WNSP's critique of the WSIS Draft Declaration and Action
Plan
are available via
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=12235

A World Association of Newspapers press release regarding press freedom
on
the Internet and the WSIS is available under
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/50720

For further information from APC in Spanish (Espanol), at
http://www.apc.org/espanol/news/index.shtml?x=12257
http://lac.derechos.apc.org/wsis/cdocs.shtml?x=12158

An archive of official WSIS documents is located at
http://www.itu.int/wsis/documents/listing-
all.asp?lang=en&c_event=pci|1&c_ty
pe=all

=====================================================
[5] Tajikistani gov't censors news site
=====================================================
Authorities in Tajikistan are apparently blocking access to a news
website
that includes reports that criticize the government.

Tajikistantimes.ru was launched this past March by opposition journalist
Dododjoin Atovulloev from outside of the country. According to its
creator,
the site is the only one "that dares to criticise the president,
government
and parliament and say the things the local press does not report." The
site
includes quotes from various opposition party leaders as well as
political
affairs experts regarding a Tajik constitutional reform referendum that
is
scheduled for later this month. Reports now indicate that the country's
security ministry is denying access to the site. Atovulloev, who has now
received numerous death threats, explained that the government was
blocking
his site because "they view any form of dissidence as a crime."

Several free press groups have lobbied in support of the embattled news
website. Robert Ménard, the Secretary-General of Reporters Sans
Frontieres
(RSF-a GILC member) wrote a letter to Tajik President Imamali Rahmanov,
urging him "to do everything possible to ensure that
[Tajikistantimes.ru] is
accessible again and that the independent media can develop without
obstruction."

An RSF press release on this subject is available at
http://www.rsf.org/print.php3?id_article=7011

=====================================================
[6] Iran expands Net blocking
=====================================================
The Iranian government has ordered the blocking of 15 000 sites for
displaying allegedly offensive content.

In addition to banning about 80 newspapers and magazines, Iran's
government
has extended its reach to censoring publications online. Toward that
end,
Iranian authorities have created a list of "immoral" and "political"
sites
that "rudely make fun of religious and political figures in the
country."
This list has been sent to Internet service providers (ISPs) for
blocking
purposes; reports indicate that ISPs could face court action if they do
not
comply.

In addition to the website blacklist, Iranian authorities have arrested
Sina
Motallebi, an online journalist and the proprietor of
www.rooznegar.com, in
connection with various interviews he had posted on his website, as
well as
for defending another journalist who ran a cartoon in a newspaper that
offended the government. The arrest of Motallebi has led to condemnation
from various free speech groups, including Reporters Sans Frontieres
(RSF-a
GILC member). In addition, an online petition drive for his release has
drawn thousands of signatures.

Read "Iran steps up net censorship," BBC News Online, 12 May 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3019695.stm

For further information in Italian, see "Iran, censura su 15mila siti
Internet," RAINet News, 13 May 2003 at
http://rai.it/RAInet/news/RNw/pub/articolo/raiRNewsArticolo/
0,7605,52749%5Eh
omePageStrilli%5E41%5E,00.html

See also "Bloggers unite to fight," BBC News Online, 2 May 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/2992401.stm

=====================================================
[7] Pakistani press website faces censorship
=====================================================
Pakistani authorities have blocked the country's Internet users from
visiting a prominent news website.

According to the publication's editor, Shaheen Sehbai, the South Asia
Tribune was censored because it had "done a number of stories that
exposed
government policies." Among other things, the Tribune had criticized
Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, and had taken the ruling regime
to
task for multiple human rights violations. Efforts by Pakistani
government
agents to block the website were apparently made easier because one
entity,
the Pakistan Internet Exchange, is the predominant Internet provider in
the
country, and can thereby act as gatekeeper to prevent regular Pakistani
citizens from reaching various parts of cyberspace. Sehbai also
mentioned
that, in addition to harassing his family members, the government has
published an advertisement in Pakistani newspapers asking people not to
visit the website and has warned Pakistani media not to reprint stories
published by the Tribune.

Not surprisingly, many members of the international community have
denounced
the Pakistani government's actions. Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF-a
GILC
member) issued a statement labeling the blocking of the Tribune "a
serious
violation of press freedom and of the right of Pakistanis to diverse
information and news." In the meantime, the website has been moved to a
proxy server in the hopes of circumventing Pakistani government censors.

The relocated Tribune website can be viewed at
http://anon.free.anonymizer.com/http://www.satribune.com/index.htm

An RSF press release on this subject is posted at
http://www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=7051

See Editor's Note, "SA Tribune Blockade Continues," South Asia Tribune,
8-14
June 2003 at
http://www.satribune.com/archives/jun08_14_03/index.htm

For further background information, click
http://www.oneworld.org/ppf

[...]

=============================================================
[11] Battle over Korean music sharing website continues
=============================================================
A Korean music file-sharing service has won the latest round in a
long-running series of court battles.

Soribada, meaning "sea of sound," is Korea's leading peer-to-peer
Internet
site, which allows users to swap MP3 music files. Last year, the
service had
lost in civil court to the Recording Industry Association of Korea
(RIAK),
which convinced a court to order Soribada to prohibit users from
uploading
and downloading MP3 files produced by RIAK members. In addition,
Soribada's
proprietors, Yang Jung-hwan and Yang Il-hwan, were arrested in 2001 and
charged with aiding and condoning copyright violations. If convicted,
they
each could have faced 5 years in prison.

Several weeks ago, a District Court in the nation's capital, Seoul,
dismissed these criminal charges against the Yang brothers, holding
that the
government had failed to meet the burden of proof. "When indicting a
person
on a charge of abetting, there must be a detailed description of the
crimes
of the principal offenders, which is a precondition for any indictment.
But
prosecutors failed to give clear examples and specified facts on how and
when Yang brothers helped millions of users to infringe upon copyrights
of
music producers in this case, simply listing the Internet
identifications of
users of the website as principal offenders." The decision could have
serious free speech implications; Cho Won-hee, who represented the
Yangs in
this case, noted that it "is a global trend that the court cannot call
the
service operator to account for violation of intellectual property
rights by
service users when a website service operator becomes unable to control
copyright infringements by service users." However, Prosecutors have
since
said that they will appeal the ruling.

See Kim Sung-jin, "Legal Battle on Online Music File Swapping Enters New
Phase," The Korea Times, 20 May 2003 at
http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/tech/200305/kt2003052017052311790.htm

========================================================================
==
[12] Police pressure student over harmless webblog entry
========================================================================
==
A teenager in the United States recently found herself under heavy
police
scrutiny over an innocent note she put in her online journal.

Erin Carter had written in her webblog about rumors that her high
school's
computer network had been hacked. Before the network problems were
determined to be the result of a glitch and not hacking, two local
Chapel
Hill police officers, wearing shirts with the insignia of the U.S.
Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) questioned her about her webblog entry.
One of
the police officers presented her with an unauthorized FBI business card
identifying him as a "task force agent" of an FBI "Cyber Crime Task
Force,"
leading her to erroneously believe that they were affiliated with the
FBI.

After an internal investigation by the Chapel Hill Police Department,
one of
the officers resigned - right before being presented with a termination
notice - and the other was suspended. The Department also instituted a
new
dress code policy to ensure that no one else is misled into believing
that
officers represent another law enforcement entity.

See Jon Elliston, "Chapel Hill cop resigns, another is suspended, after
Indy
expose," Durham Independent Online, 11 June 2003 at
http://www.indyweek.com/durham/2003-06-11/triangles.html

=====================================================
[13] New study of German Internet censor plans
=====================================================
A new report indicates that a local German government's web content
blocking
orders are technically "next to impossible" to implement.

The district government of Dusseldorf had previously ordered Internet
service providers (ISPs) to prevent users from reaching selected foreign
websites. While Dusseldorf officials tried to justify these efforts as
a
way to fight right-wing extremists, many members of the Internet
community
objected, saying that the order would, among other things not only
prevent
access to neo-Nazi sites, but would also censor political criticism,
entertainment files, and sexual content.

These fears were largely borne out in the report, which analyzing the
engineering issues involved in the content blocking mandates of the
Dusseldorf government, including different techniques used to deploy
blocking at the provider level. The document determines that German
ISPs are
confused about which sites to block, create misconfiguations to either
over-
or under-block sites mandated by the orders, and that, at best, only
55% of
ISPs are complying with the orders.

See Maximillian Dornseif, "Government mandated blocking of foreign Web
content," reprint of the "Lecture Notes in Informatics" article
available at
http://md.hudora.de/publications/200306-gi-blocking/200306-gi-
blocking.pdf

[...]


=================================================================
[19] UK government forces massive Net user data info disclosures
=================================================================
Reports indicate that British government officials are routinely
demanding
huge quantities of personal online and telephone data, even as they seek
wider powers for Internet snooping.

Under the controversial Regulatory of Investigatory Powers Act, the
British
Home Office has been making approximately a million yearly requests for
access to data held by net and telephone companies. According to the
Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR-a GILC member), the
list of
government agencies making these demands is not limited to the
Metropolitan
Police (127 000 requests), but also includes such bureaus as the Radio
Communications Agency (400 requests), the Financial Services Authority
(100
requests). These figures were released at a recent public debate where
the
government proposed to increase its ability to obtain personal
communication
data. The British government has already running into controversy with
net
and telephone companies over the extent of time companies should be
forced
to retain such data, with suggestions ranging from six months to seven
years.

Privacy advocates have expressed strong concern over the extent of
government data mining, who have pointed out that large amounts of
communications information, including phone numbers dialed, email
addresses
contacted, websites visited and so on are all available with scant
judicial
oversight. "The government can't just say we have the intent to prevent
crime so therefore we can do more or less what we like," says Simon
Davies,
the head of lobby group, Privacy International (a GILC member).

Read "Extent of UK snooping revealed," BBC News Online, 16 May 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3030851.stm

See also Graeme Wearden, "Whistle blown over extent of UK data
seizures,"
ZDNet UK, 14 May 2003 at
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2134686,00.html

[...]

===================================================================
[22] Japanese government passes personal info bills
===================================================================
The Japanese parliament has finally passed highly controversial
legislation
aimed at guarding personal information.

The proposed legislation was first introduced in 2001 but subsequently
encountered several delays and revisions after the media and public
protested that freedom of expression would be curtailed. Under these
rules,
Japanese citizens can ask firms to reveal what personal information is
being
kept about them, request companies to stop using personal information
about
them, or correct their files. Japanese government regulators are tasked
with
prosecuting offenders of the new laws. The legislation also calls for an
information protection council to deal with privacy grievances. To
assuage
fears concerning freedom of speech, the legislation will not apply to
the
media or publishing bodies and research institutions. The bills define
media institutions as those organizations which deliver objective facts
to
numerous, unspecified people.

Policymakers predict intense debate in the weeks following the Diet
session.
Many worry that the ambiguity and fuzzy guidelines outlined in the
legislation will do little to protect privacy, especially with regard to
government collection and dissemination of personal data.

See "Japan passes information protection bills," Mainichi Shimbun, 23
May
2003, available at
http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/archive/200305/23/
20030523p2a00m0dm020000c.ht
ml

Read "Hit and miss: A close look at what the controversial
privacy-protection bills would mean for consumers reveals numerous
flaws,"
Asahi Shimbun, 22 May 2003 at
http://www.asahi.com/english/politics/K2003052200343.html

===================================================================
[23] EU data protection chief appointment criticized
===================================================================
Privacy advocates have criticized a European Parliament (EP) committee
recommendation of an unknown Spanish magistrate for the influential
post of
European Data Protection chief.

In a secret ballot of the Committee on Citizen's Freedoms and Rights,
Justice and Home Affairs of the EP, Joaquin Bayo Delgado was chosen as
primary candidate for the post of "Data Protection Supervisor" for
Europe,
despite being completely unknown to any privacy or data protection
advocate
in Europe. The vote came more than three months of intensive lobbying by
Bayo, the Spanish government and Spanish EP members (MEP), as well as
heavy
political arm-twisting between major EP parties, many of whom reportedly
were opposed to having a candidate who might have strong pro-privacy
stances.

Not surprisingly, privacy experts are very upset over the Committee's
recommendation of Bayo. Simon Davies from Privacy International (PI-a
GILC
member) that his organization simply "cannot understand how a candidate
with
no experience or publicly stated interest in Data Protection can be
nominated for this post over many eminently qualified candidates. To the
best of our knowledge Mr Bayo Delgado is unknown to any privacy or data
protection advocate in Europe, nor has he written or spoken about the
subject it in any public presentation."

An open letter from Privacy International regarding Bayo's nomination is
posted at
http://www.privacyinternational.org/intl_orgs/eu/delgado-letter-503.html

To read a PI press release on this subject, click
http://www.privacyinternational.org/intl_orgs/eu/delgado-release-
503.html

[...]


=========================================================
ABOUT THE GILC NEWS ALERT:
=========================================================
The GILC News Alert is the newsletter of the Global Internet Liberty
Campaign, an international coalition of organizations working to
protect and
enhance online civil liberties and human rights. Organizations are
invited
to join GILC by contacting us at
gilc@gilc.org.

To alert members about threats to cyber liberties, please contact
members
from your country or send a message to the general GILC address.

To submit information about upcoming events, new activist tools and news
stories, contact:

Christopher Chiu
GILC Coordinator
American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, 17th Floor
New York, New York 10004
USA

Or email:
cchiu@aclu.org

Aloha from Hawaii Joy
Great Cartoon up on the Grow Peace Toon blog check it out
http://growpeace.diaryland.com/

 
Free expression
[1] US high court upholds library Net censor law
[2] China tortures Net dissident, sends 5 to prison
[3] Prosecution of Vietnamese Net dissident provokes anger
[4] New WSIS human rights caucus proposal
[5] Tajikistani gov't censors news site
[6] Iran expands Net blocking
[7] Pakistani press website faces censorship
[8] Hollywood sues other DVD copying equipment makers
[9] Recording trade group Net copyright threat backfires
[10] California high court hearing in DVD program case
[11] Battle over Korean music sharing website continues
[12] Police pressure student over harmless webblog entry
[13] New study of German Internet censor plans

Privacy
[14] US politician, Hollywood push computer sabotage systems
[15] Plan to make US spy laws permanent shelved
[16] Report on TIA datamining scheme provokes alarm
[17] Verizon hands over user data to RIAA
[18] For sale: TiVo interactive television user info
[19] UK gov't forces massive Net user data info disclosures
[20] New study of Gator spyware
[21] Microsoft error exposes 200 million Internet users
[22] Japanese government passes personal info bills
[23] EU data protection chief appointment criticized
[24] Survey suggests tougher online privacy laws are needed

[...]

=====================================================
[2] China tortures Net dissident, sends 5 to prison
=====================================================
The Mainland Chinese government has sentenced 5 web operators and
writers to
multi-year prison terms each for posting controversial content on the
Internet.

Four of these people, Xu Wei, Jin Haike, Yang Zili, and Zhang Honghai,
were
reportedly part of an Internet-based organization, the New Youth
Society,
which was dedicated to exploring democracy and social reform in China.
They
have since received jail sentences of 8 to 10 years each after several
articles critical of the Chinese government appeared on their website.
All 4
men complained of abusive treatment while in detention. According to
Human
Rights in China, Xu Wei protested in court about being brutally beaten
and
tortured with electrical shocks while in custody. He had to be carried
out
of the courtroom after being knocked unconscious from striking his head
against the judge's desk, and subsequently began a hunger strike after
his
sentencing. Ann Cooper, director of the New York-based Committee to
Protect
Journalists (CPJ-a GILC member), stated that "[i]t is ridiculous that
the
Chinese Government considers the peaceful expression of one's views a
subversive act."

In addition, Huang Qi has now been sentenced to a 5-year prison term
after
visitors to Huang's site posted several allegedly "subversive"
articles. He
was the proprietor of a website designed to publicize information about
missing people that attracted postings about alleged human rights
abuses,
corruption, and political issues.

These sentences are being seen as just one of a multitude of moves that
mainland Chinese authorities have made to stifle free speech online. A
recently published study commissioned by Reporters Sans Frontieres
(RSF-a
GILC member) indicates many online avenues for expression, notably
Internet
chatboards, are subject to heavy censorship. According to the report,
messages with "banned words" such as "human rights" and "Taiwan
independence" and "SARS" are "systematically blocked," while messages
"that
contain no banned words may lead to scrutiny from "volunteers" who
"have the
ability to suspend or ban forum visitors considered vulgar or
politically
incorrect." Offenders may later be arrested; thus the Chinese
government has
arrested 4 people for online discussion of SARS-related issues.

Read Henry Hoenig, "Beijing goes high-tech to block Sars messages," New
Zealand Herald, 16 June 2003 at
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storyprint.cfm?storyID=3507534

To learn more about Xu's hunger strike, see "China Internet dissident
'on
hunger strike'," BBC News Online, 3 June 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2961286.stm

To read more about Huang's conviction, see "China Internet operator
jailed,"
BBC News Online, 19 May 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3039041.stm

For information about the sentencing of Xu and his compatriots, see
"China
jails web dissidents," BBC News Online, 29 May 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/2946526.stm

See also John Gittings, "China jails Internet dissidents," The Guardian
(UK), 30 May 2003 at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/china/story/0,7369,966696,00.html

The RSF report on Chinese censorship of Net chat boards is posted at
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=6793

See also "Information Control and Self-Censorship in the PRC and the
Spread
of SARS," U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 7 May 2003
at
http://www.cecc.gov/pages/news/
prcControl_SARS.pdf?PHPSESSID=e1cfd1d5f76d1c3
3734ec38ad0026e14

See also "China nabs 4 for spreading SARS rumours on the Internet," The
Financial Gazette, 7 May 2003 at
http://www.fingaz.co.zw/fingaz/2003/May/May7/3774.shtml

============================================================
[3] Prosecution of Vietnamese Net dissident provokes anger
============================================================
A Vietnamese doctor may soon spend more than a decade in prison over his
Internet activities.

Pham Hong Son allegedly wrote and translated several pro-democracy
papers
that were then posted on the Information Superhighway. Vietnamese
authorities had initially questioned him on this subject and confiscated
various personal items, including computer equipment and numerous
documents.
When the government denied his requests to reclaim his belongings, he
posted
an open letter on the Internet to protest their decision. Subsequently,
Vietnamese officials convicted him of spying and using the Information
Superhighway to distribute critiques of the government. He has since
been
sentenced to 13 years in jail, plus 3 years of house arrest after he
leaves
prison.

His prosecution has drawn heavy protests from free speech advocates.
Minky
Worden from Human Rights Watch (HRW-a GILC member) warned: "Vietnam's
crackdown on critics who use the Internet to peacefully disseminate
their
ideas or communicate with democracy advocates abroad appears to be
escalating. ... These harsh prison sentences and vaguely worded charges
of
spying appear designed to intimidate not only government critics, but
everyone in Vietnam who uses the Internet."

For more information, visit the Digital Freedom Network (DFN-a GILC
member)
website under
http://dfn.org/news/vietnam/son-sentenced.htm

An HRW press release on this subject is posted under
http://www.hrw.org/press/2003/06/vietnam061703.htm

Read "Vietnam net dissident jailed," BBC News Online, 18 June 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/3000278.stm

=========================================================
[4] New WSIS human rights caucus proposal
=========================================================
Controversy continues to surround preparations for an upcoming World
Summit
on the Information Society (WSIS).

The WSIS, which is being organized by the International
Telecommunications
Union under the auspices of the United Nations, is supposedly meant to
foster discussion regarding the socio-economic impact of new
technologies.
Its official goal is "to develop and foster a clear statement of
political
will and a concrete plan of action for achieving the goals of the
Information Society, while fully reflecting all the different interests
at
stake." The first meeting will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 10-12
December 2003 and the second in Tunis, Tunisia in November 2005, with
various Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) sessions to take place
beforehand.

However, even as plans are being formed for the Summit, questions have
arisen as to whether the WSIS will sufficiently address concerns of
civil
society, including issues of human rights. For example, the Association
for
Progressive Communications (APC-a GILC member) issued a detailed
analysis of
key WSIS documents (including the Draft Declaration of Principles and
Draft
Action Plan), and concluded that the papers failed to address
"sufficiently"
a number of important subjects. Among other things, APC took the WSIS
committee to task for "lacking awareness on proposals around the
'information security agenda' that threaten to further harm already
weakened
human rights in areas such as privacy and data protection" and
insufficiently acknowledging "the negative impact of Intellectual
Property
Rights on access to information and knowledge, and on technological
innovation." Furthermore, the Board of the World Association of
Newspapers
and the Board of the World Editors Forum have expressed concern "that
concepts that would regulate information and restrict the free flow of
news
are emerging in preparatory meetings for the WSIS, which is designed by
UN
agencies to produce policies for extending the benefits of information
technologies and bridging the 'digital divide' between rich and poor
societies."

In order to remedy the situation, a number of organizations have banded
together to form a WSIS Human Rights Caucus. The idea, which was
proposed
Imaginons un Reseau Internet Solidaire (IRIS-a GILC member), is to put
"Human Rights on the agenda of the WSIS," develop "detailed inputs and
contributions on how Human rights, as broadly defined, can be precisely
translated within the specific framework of information and
communication,
in order to build a common vision of this society," and to raise the
"awareness of NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and the public on
the
importance of addressing Human rights in the information society."
Several
GILC members have joined IRIS in this effort, including APC, Computer
Professionals for Social Responsibility, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties
UK,
Digital Rights Denmark, the Electronic Privacy Information Center,
VIBE! AT
and the American Civil Liberties Union.

For more regarding the WSIS Human Rights Caucus, click
http://www.iris.sgdg.org/actions/smsi/hr-wsis/

APC and APC WNSP's critique of the WSIS Draft Declaration and Action
Plan
are available via
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=12235

A World Association of Newspapers press release regarding press freedom
on
the Internet and the WSIS is available under
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/50720

For further information from APC in Spanish (Espanol), at
http://www.apc.org/espanol/news/index.shtml?x=12257
http://lac.derechos.apc.org/wsis/cdocs.shtml?x=12158

An archive of official WSIS documents is located at
http://www.itu.int/wsis/documents/listing-
all.asp?lang=en&c_event=pci|1&c_ty
pe=all

=====================================================
[5] Tajikistani gov't censors news site
=====================================================
Authorities in Tajikistan are apparently blocking access to a news
website
that includes reports that criticize the government.

Tajikistantimes.ru was launched this past March by opposition journalist
Dododjoin Atovulloev from outside of the country. According to its
creator,
the site is the only one "that dares to criticise the president,
government
and parliament and say the things the local press does not report." The
site
includes quotes from various opposition party leaders as well as
political
affairs experts regarding a Tajik constitutional reform referendum that
is
scheduled for later this month. Reports now indicate that the country's
security ministry is denying access to the site. Atovulloev, who has now
received numerous death threats, explained that the government was
blocking
his site because "they view any form of dissidence as a crime."

Several free press groups have lobbied in support of the embattled news
website. Robert Ménard, the Secretary-General of Reporters Sans
Frontieres
(RSF-a GILC member) wrote a letter to Tajik President Imamali Rahmanov,
urging him "to do everything possible to ensure that
[Tajikistantimes.ru] is
accessible again and that the independent media can develop without
obstruction."

An RSF press release on this subject is available at
http://www.rsf.org/print.php3?id_article=7011

=====================================================
[6] Iran expands Net blocking
=====================================================
The Iranian government has ordered the blocking of 15 000 sites for
displaying allegedly offensive content.

In addition to banning about 80 newspapers and magazines, Iran's
government
has extended its reach to censoring publications online. Toward that
end,
Iranian authorities have created a list of "immoral" and "political"
sites
that "rudely make fun of religious and political figures in the
country."
This list has been sent to Internet service providers (ISPs) for
blocking
purposes; reports indicate that ISPs could face court action if they do
not
comply.

In addition to the website blacklist, Iranian authorities have arrested
Sina
Motallebi, an online journalist and the proprietor of
www.rooznegar.com, in
connection with various interviews he had posted on his website, as
well as
for defending another journalist who ran a cartoon in a newspaper that
offended the government. The arrest of Motallebi has led to condemnation
from various free speech groups, including Reporters Sans Frontieres
(RSF-a
GILC member). In addition, an online petition drive for his release has
drawn thousands of signatures.

Read "Iran steps up net censorship," BBC News Online, 12 May 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3019695.stm

For further information in Italian, see "Iran, censura su 15mila siti
Internet," RAINet News, 13 May 2003 at
http://rai.it/RAInet/news/RNw/pub/articolo/raiRNewsArticolo/
0,7605,52749%5Eh
omePageStrilli%5E41%5E,00.html

See also "Bloggers unite to fight," BBC News Online, 2 May 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/2992401.stm

=====================================================
[7] Pakistani press website faces censorship
=====================================================
Pakistani authorities have blocked the country's Internet users from
visiting a prominent news website.

According to the publication's editor, Shaheen Sehbai, the South Asia
Tribune was censored because it had "done a number of stories that
exposed
government policies." Among other things, the Tribune had criticized
Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, and had taken the ruling regime
to
task for multiple human rights violations. Efforts by Pakistani
government
agents to block the website were apparently made easier because one
entity,
the Pakistan Internet Exchange, is the predominant Internet provider in
the
country, and can thereby act as gatekeeper to prevent regular Pakistani
citizens from reaching various parts of cyberspace. Sehbai also
mentioned
that, in addition to harassing his family members, the government has
published an advertisement in Pakistani newspapers asking people not to
visit the website and has warned Pakistani media not to reprint stories
published by the Tribune.

Not surprisingly, many members of the international community have
denounced
the Pakistani government's actions. Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF-a
GILC
member) issued a statement labeling the blocking of the Tribune "a
serious
violation of press freedom and of the right of Pakistanis to diverse
information and news." In the meantime, the website has been moved to a
proxy server in the hopes of circumventing Pakistani government censors.

The relocated Tribune website can be viewed at
http://anon.free.anonymizer.com/http://www.satribune.com/index.htm

An RSF press release on this subject is posted at
http://www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=7051

See Editor's Note, "SA Tribune Blockade Continues," South Asia Tribune,
8-14
June 2003 at
http://www.satribune.com/archives/jun08_14_03/index.htm

For further background information, click
http://www.oneworld.org/ppf

[...]

=============================================================
[11] Battle over Korean music sharing website continues
=============================================================
A Korean music file-sharing service has won the latest round in a
long-running series of court battles.

Soribada, meaning "sea of sound," is Korea's leading peer-to-peer
Internet
site, which allows users to swap MP3 music files. Last year, the
service had
lost in civil court to the Recording Industry Association of Korea
(RIAK),
which convinced a court to order Soribada to prohibit users from
uploading
and downloading MP3 files produced by RIAK members. In addition,
Soribada's
proprietors, Yang Jung-hwan and Yang Il-hwan, were arrested in 2001 and
charged with aiding and condoning copyright violations. If convicted,
they
each could have faced 5 years in prison.

Several weeks ago, a District Court in the nation's capital, Seoul,
dismissed these criminal charges against the Yang brothers, holding
that the
government had failed to meet the burden of proof. "When indicting a
person
on a charge of abetting, there must be a detailed description of the
crimes
of the principal offenders, which is a precondition for any indictment.
But
prosecutors failed to give clear examples and specified facts on how and
when Yang brothers helped millions of users to infringe upon copyrights
of
music producers in this case, simply listing the Internet
identifications of
users of the website as principal offenders." The decision could have
serious free speech implications; Cho Won-hee, who represented the
Yangs in
this case, noted that it "is a global trend that the court cannot call
the
service operator to account for violation of intellectual property
rights by
service users when a website service operator becomes unable to control
copyright infringements by service users." However, Prosecutors have
since
said that they will appeal the ruling.

See Kim Sung-jin, "Legal Battle on Online Music File Swapping Enters New
Phase," The Korea Times, 20 May 2003 at
http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/tech/200305/kt2003052017052311790.htm

========================================================================
==
[12] Police pressure student over harmless webblog entry
========================================================================
==
A teenager in the United States recently found herself under heavy
police
scrutiny over an innocent note she put in her online journal.

Erin Carter had written in her webblog about rumors that her high
school's
computer network had been hacked. Before the network problems were
determined to be the result of a glitch and not hacking, two local
Chapel
Hill police officers, wearing shirts with the insignia of the U.S.
Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) questioned her about her webblog entry.
One of
the police officers presented her with an unauthorized FBI business card
identifying him as a "task force agent" of an FBI "Cyber Crime Task
Force,"
leading her to erroneously believe that they were affiliated with the
FBI.

After an internal investigation by the Chapel Hill Police Department,
one of
the officers resigned - right before being presented with a termination
notice - and the other was suspended. The Department also instituted a
new
dress code policy to ensure that no one else is misled into believing
that
officers represent another law enforcement entity.

See Jon Elliston, "Chapel Hill cop resigns, another is suspended, after
Indy
expose," Durham Independent Online, 11 June 2003 at
http://www.indyweek.com/durham/2003-06-11/triangles.html

=====================================================
[13] New study of German Internet censor plans
=====================================================
A new report indicates that a local German government's web content
blocking
orders are technically "next to impossible" to implement.

The district government of Dusseldorf had previously ordered Internet
service providers (ISPs) to prevent users from reaching selected foreign
websites. While Dusseldorf officials tried to justify these efforts as
a
way to fight right-wing extremists, many members of the Internet
community
objected, saying that the order would, among other things not only
prevent
access to neo-Nazi sites, but would also censor political criticism,
entertainment files, and sexual content.

These fears were largely borne out in the report, which analyzing the
engineering issues involved in the content blocking mandates of the
Dusseldorf government, including different techniques used to deploy
blocking at the provider level. The document determines that German
ISPs are
confused about which sites to block, create misconfiguations to either
over-
or under-block sites mandated by the orders, and that, at best, only
55% of
ISPs are complying with the orders.

See Maximillian Dornseif, "Government mandated blocking of foreign Web
content," reprint of the "Lecture Notes in Informatics" article
available at
http://md.hudora.de/publications/200306-gi-blocking/200306-gi-
blocking.pdf

[...]


=================================================================
[19] UK government forces massive Net user data info disclosures
=================================================================
Reports indicate that British government officials are routinely
demanding
huge quantities of personal online and telephone data, even as they seek
wider powers for Internet snooping.

Under the controversial Regulatory of Investigatory Powers Act, the
British
Home Office has been making approximately a million yearly requests for
access to data held by net and telephone companies. According to the
Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR-a GILC member), the
list of
government agencies making these demands is not limited to the
Metropolitan
Police (127 000 requests), but also includes such bureaus as the Radio
Communications Agency (400 requests), the Financial Services Authority
(100
requests). These figures were released at a recent public debate where
the
government proposed to increase its ability to obtain personal
communication
data. The British government has already running into controversy with
net
and telephone companies over the extent of time companies should be
forced
to retain such data, with suggestions ranging from six months to seven
years.

Privacy advocates have expressed strong concern over the extent of
government data mining, who have pointed out that large amounts of
communications information, including phone numbers dialed, email
addresses
contacted, websites visited and so on are all available with scant
judicial
oversight. "The government can't just say we have the intent to prevent
crime so therefore we can do more or less what we like," says Simon
Davies,
the head of lobby group, Privacy International (a GILC member).

Read "Extent of UK snooping revealed," BBC News Online, 16 May 2003 at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3030851.stm

See also Graeme Wearden, "Whistle blown over extent of UK data
seizures,"
ZDNet UK, 14 May 2003 at
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2134686,00.html

[...]

===================================================================
[22] Japanese government passes personal info bills
===================================================================
The Japanese parliament has finally passed highly controversial
legislation
aimed at guarding personal information.

The proposed legislation was first introduced in 2001 but subsequently
encountered several delays and revisions after the media and public
protested that freedom of expression would be curtailed. Under these
rules,
Japanese citizens can ask firms to reveal what personal information is
being
kept about them, request companies to stop using personal information
about
them, or correct their files. Japanese government regulators are tasked
with
prosecuting offenders of the new laws. The legislation also calls for an
information protection council to deal with privacy grievances. To
assuage
fears concerning freedom of speech, the legislation will not apply to
the
media or publishing bodies and research institutions. The bills define
media institutions as those organizations which deliver objective facts
to
numerous, unspecified people.

Policymakers predict intense debate in the weeks following the Diet
session.
Many worry that the ambiguity and fuzzy guidelines outlined in the
legislation will do little to protect privacy, especially with regard to
government collection and dissemination of personal data.

See "Japan passes information protection bills," Mainichi Shimbun, 23
May
2003, available at
http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/archive/200305/23/
20030523p2a00m0dm020000c.ht
ml

Read "Hit and miss: A close look at what the controversial
privacy-protection bills would mean for consumers reveals numerous
flaws,"
Asahi Shimbun, 22 May 2003 at
http://www.asahi.com/english/politics/K2003052200343.html

===================================================================
[23] EU data protection chief appointment criticized
===================================================================
Privacy advocates have criticized a European Parliament (EP) committee
recommendation of an unknown Spanish magistrate for the influential
post of
European Data Protection chief.

In a secret ballot of the Committee on Citizen's Freedoms and Rights,
Justice and Home Affairs of the EP, Joaquin Bayo Delgado was chosen as
primary candidate for the post of "Data Protection Supervisor" for
Europe,
despite being completely unknown to any privacy or data protection
advocate
in Europe. The vote came more than three months of intensive lobbying by
Bayo, the Spanish government and Spanish EP members (MEP), as well as
heavy
political arm-twisting between major EP parties, many of whom reportedly
were opposed to having a candidate who might have strong pro-privacy
stances.

Not surprisingly, privacy experts are very upset over the Committee's
recommendation of Bayo. Simon Davies from Privacy International (PI-a
GILC
member) that his organization simply "cannot understand how a candidate
with
no experience or publicly stated interest in Data Protection can be
nominated for this post over many eminently qualified candidates. To the
best of our knowledge Mr Bayo Delgado is unknown to any privacy or data
protection advocate in Europe, nor has he written or spoken about the
subject it in any public presentation."

An open letter from Privacy International regarding Bayo's nomination is
posted at
http://www.privacyinternational.org/intl_orgs/eu/delgado-letter-503.html

To read a PI press release on this subject, click
http://www.privacyinternational.org/intl_orgs/eu/delgado-release-
503.html

[...]


=========================================================
ABOUT THE GILC NEWS ALERT:
=========================================================
The GILC News Alert is the newsletter of the Global Internet Liberty
Campaign, an international coalition of organizations working to
protect and
enhance online civil liberties and human rights. Organizations are
invited
to join GILC by contacting us at
gilc@gilc.org.

To alert members about threats to cyber liberties, please contact
members
from your country or send a message to the general GILC address.

To submit information about upcoming events, new activist tools and news
stories, contact:

Christopher Chiu
GILC Coordinator
American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, 17th Floor
New York, New York 10004
USA

Or email:
cchiu@aclu.org

Aloha from Hawaii Joy
Great Cartoon up on the Grow Peace Toon blog check it out
http://growpeace.diaryland.com/

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

 

Charles Platt on privacy and FTC's do-not-call database
References: <5.2.1.1.0.20030627221430.047ebd20@mail.well.com>

Declan McCullagh wrote:
>
> I would say with confidence that I believe the folks at FTC have no
> ulterior motives in creating this registry. But administrations can
> change and policies can shift, and in any case the FTC may have
> little power to resist requests from law enforcement agencies for the
> complete database.

While I think that you are probably correct about motive, the issue is
open to some question. Let's look at what the FTC actually did. Here
is a routine use (disclosure authority) for the do-not-call system of
records:

"Records may be made available or referred on an automatic or other
basis to other federal, state, or local government authorities for
regulatory, compliance, or law enforcement purposes."

IMHO, this routine use is overbroad and inconsistent with the Privacy
Act of 1974. Here is a quick argument:

First, the FTC collects records for a do-not-call database. Allowing
disclosures to ANY government authority for ANY regulatory, compliance,
or law enforcement purpose (other than as relevant to the do-not-call
activity) fails to meet the statutory test that disclosures be
compatible with the purpose for the information was collected.

Second, the notion of an "automatic" disclosure is very troubling and
questionable. Disclosures by routine use are discretionary. An agency
that allows an automatic disclosure of personal information without
some review is abusing its discretion and could be violating the
Privacy Act in other ways as well.

Third, as written, the routine use appears to allow the agency to
establish a directory of email addresses and telephone numbers and to
make that available for automatic search by virtually any government
agency for any regulatory, compliance, or law enforcement purpose. For
the FTC to have reserved that authority is appalling as well as illegal.

There is more that could be said about this routine use, but I doubt
that you or your readers want to wallow in Privacy Act caselaw and
minutia.

However, I do have some advice to those who want to add their names to
the do-not-call list. Do it by phone and not online. I don't believe
that you have to give your email address on the phone. I am sorry now
that I registered online.

By the way, it took four tries before my registration resulted in the
email response from the FTC that was necessary to complete the process.
If anyone registered online and didn't get an email from the FTC
(which requires a further response), then the registration probably
didn't take.

There are other problems and loopholes with the do-not-call list, but
those are subjects for another day.


Wednesday, June 25, 2003

 
Uh does it seem strange to anyone else that even though Pete Townshend was cleared of all charges that they still entered his name into a data base of pedophiles for the next five years. Something is fishy about all this.

"Every time it occurs to me to say something about what is going on I remember what happened to me: I was arrested, suspected of wallowing in the very shit that most upset me. It sends a clear and loud message.

What is clear is that I must learn to keep silent and focus my energies elsewhere."

Pete townshend's diary is here





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