A recently leaked European Council proposal
seeks to create a "Great Firewall of Europe," instituted to block sites that depict the abuse of children. As with other censorwalls, it's unlikely that this will performed as intended, since paedophiles will circumvent it with proxies, or by using P2P or email or private websites to trade illegal material. But the creation of a continent-wide network censorship scheme is likely to cause new problems, inviting authorities to shoehorn ever-greater slices of the net into the "illegal" category -- this has already happened in Australia and other countries that have built Chinese-style censorship regimes.
One of the most nuanced and important challenges to the EC proposal has come from MOGiS e.V, a German organization of child-abuse survivors. They've issued a statement condemning the proposal on several grounds: first, that censorship is unlikely to attain its stated goals and will create new harms, and second (and most importantly), that the EC should be turning its attention to making it easier for EU member-states and other nations to actually shut down sites that host images depicting the abuse of children.
Christian Bahls, a spokesperson for the group, says, "Blocking just hides the problem and actually lowers the police's incentive to become active. Also, going after the servers means a small chance of catching the people that put it there in the first
place. Images of child abuse are outlawed all over the world. There is a global consensus that this imagery is illegal and should not be
distributed (see the 193 Interpol members or the 117 signatories to the 'Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the
sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography')."
MOGiS e.V. was formed in Germany in 2009 in order to fight censorship proposals there, and now they are extending their work across the EU, along with other anti-censorship groups, to call for meaningful solutions to the abuse of children and to fight against unworkable, dangerous knee-jerk censorship proposals. Their slogan is "Remove, don't block! -- Act, and don't look away!"
Leaked EC censorship proposal (PDF)
MOGiS statement on EC proposal
University of Stuttgart researchers used 3D printing to fabricate a tiny three-lens camera that fits on the end of an optical fiber no wider than two human hairs. Eventually, the technology could lead to a new kind of very thin endoscope for looking inside the human body. According to the researchers, the camera delivered “high […]
In 2009, President Obama pledged to “restore science to its rightful place.” He said, “We will not just meet, but we will exceed the level achieved at the height of the space race, through policies that invest in basic and applied research, create new incentives for private innovation, promote breakthroughs in energy and medicine, and […]
When I was little, my mother had a 1960s sit-under hair dryer with a huge translucent plastic hood that I’d imagine was a variation on a Star Trek Transporter. But that hulking machine had nothing on these vintage hair dryers from the first part of the 20th century. These would have provided me with years […]
Folks used to rely on alarms to protect their home – and before that, the family dog. Now, anyone looking to guard their homes can choose from some high-tech options, including the Amaryllo iCamPRO FHD Home Security Camera (now just $219 in the Boing Boing Store).In fact, this 2015 CES “Best of Innovation” award-winner boasts so many features, it’s […]
If you want a quality vaping experience, it’s usually going to cost you. Vaporizers that deliver a fast, controlled burn will set you back up to $300, which is why the FEZ Vaporizer (now just $99) is an absolute steal.The FEZ dry herb pen does everything that more expensive models handle at a reduced price. It heats up […]
Taking pictures can be challenging. There are a million factors that can influence each shot you take – and unless you’re a trained photographer, you often just focus, click…and cross your fingers.Of course, you can take some of the ambiguity out of your picture-taking with this Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course & Certification package, now […]