Earlier this year, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement shocked the world by asserting the right to seize any .com or .net domain that it characterized as a "pirate" or child porn site, with little due process or judicial oversight. ICE conducted a series of high-profile seizures that were notable in that they were sloppy (80,000 sites were erroneously seized for being implicated in child porn and anyone who subsequently visited them was redirected to a page chiding them for being horrible perverts).
They were also notable for being almost completely ineffective at shutting down the targetted sites. Once their domains were seized, the site operators simply registered new domains, avoiding .com and .net. It wasn't much of a challenge for their users to locate them again. Nevertheless, the ICE has promised more seizures in the years to come.
But one developer decided that subverting ICE censorship was too important to be left to chance, so he created MAFIAA Fire, a Firefox plugin that automatically redirects links to the seized domains to their new homes, effectively undoing the seizures.
"This is just a start, now that we have opened this can of worms people can expect many add-ons, extensions and plug-ins from us," TorrentFreak was told. "Our goal is to reverse governments attempts to censor the Internet, and nearly anything the anti-piracy people put up to protect their dinosaur business models.
"Imagine the old game of whack-a-mole, now imagine playing on multiple machines all around you at the same time."
"We really are tired of the corruption at the highest levels of government by these people. Enough is enough. There is a time to moan and there is a time to take action - and taking action has been long overdue," the MAFIAA Fire developer said.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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