Petition: don't add all adult sites to the British national internet censorlist

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The UK Conservative government is pressing on with their insane plan to block all adult sites (including ones that are legal for adults to access) for all UK internet users. Read the rest

Eleanor & Park: a terrifying YA romance that has rescued its readers and frightened their parents

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Last week, the National Coalition Against Censorship honored Rainbow Rowell for her refusal to be back down on the frequent challenges to her multiple-award-winning, bestselling 2013 novel Eleanor & Park. I was there, and got a copy of the novel, and have read nothing since, and now that I've finished it, I find myself profoundly moved.

Kids explain how banned and challenged books helped them and even saved their lives

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Banned Books Week has come and gone but we can be sure of one thing: the coming year will be marked by challenges to the same kinds of books that were controversial this year, and in years past.

Germany investigates Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook over failure to remove hate posts

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

Prosecutors in Germany have launched a formal investigation of Mark Zuckerberg and other executives at Facebook, the Munich prosecutor's office said Friday, over a complaint that Facebook broke German laws against hate speech and sedition by failing to remove racist hate-posts on the social media service.

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Dr Seuss estate has crushed a kickstarter for a Seuss/Trek mashup

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An all-star team of comics and science fiction people -- impressario Glenn Hauman, writer David "Tribbles" Gerrold, and illustrator Ty Templeton -- had their kickstarter for a Seuss/Trek parody "Oh, The Places You'll Boldly Go" unceremoniously shut down when the Seuss estate's notorious attack-lawyers threatened legal action, without any regard for the clear fair use at play. Read the rest

UK MPs realise that age filtering won't work so now they just want to block all porn in the UK

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Jim from Open Rights Group sez, "MPs have worked out that attempts to verify adult's ages won't stop children from accessing other pornographic websites: so their proposed answer is to start censoring these websites." Read the rest

Samsung abuses copyright to censor satirical exploding phone Grand Theft Auto mod

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Samsung's got problems: its Galaxy Note devices are bursting into flames, and have been banned from the skies. Read the rest

California DMV thinks "INFOS3C" is a dirty word

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The California DMV has rejected Opendns founder David Ulevitch's application for an "1NFOS3C" vanity license plate because it includes "a term of lust or depravity." Read the rest

Internet shutdowns cost the world at least $2.4 billion last year

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Deji from Access Now writes, "How much does it cost to shut down the internet? A new report by the Brookings Institution assesses costs during a one year period between 2015-2016 and found immense losses. It's just a baseline too -- and doesn't even include things like mobile money or lost tax receipts. The real number is likely much higher." Read the rest

Singapore jails teenager for hurting God's feelings

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Amos Yee, a 17-year-old blogger in Singapore, is to spend six weeks in jail for "wounding religious feelings." It is his second such jail term: he spent a month in jail last year for criticizing Christianity.

The teenager's latest trial was closely watched by rights groups, who argue that the case threatens freedom of expression.

Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch said Singapore now needs to review its approach in dealing with cases like Yee's, who is likely to benefit from the publicity.

"Every time the authorities go after him, it just adds to his online audience," said Mr Robertson in an email.

Here's his blog, written in English. It's mostly teenage edgelording about religion and politics, but the boy's evidently got prospects—and adapting to the international audience his government has given him!

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Teen boy in Saudi Arabia arrested for “unethical behaviour" after flirty chat with YouTube teen girl star

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A teen boy has been arrested in Saudi Arabia for “unethical behaviour,” after he did a cute internet video chat with an American YouTube starlet.

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The democratization of censorship: when anyone can kill as site as effectively as a government can

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On the eve of the Stuxnet attacks, half a decade ago, I found myself discussing what it all meant with William Gibson (I'd just interviewed him on stage in London), and I said, "I think the most significant thing about any of these sophisticated, government-backed attacks is that they will eventually turn into a cheap and easy weapon that technically unskilled people can deploy for petty grievances." We haven't quite got there yet with Stuxnet, but there's a whole class of "advanced persistent threat" techniques that are now in the hands of fringey criminals who deploy them at the smallest provocation. Read the rest

Writer in 29th year of solitary confinement barred from reading his own book

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Pteryxx writes, "Writer who has spent 30+ years in solitary has his own published writing censored from reaching him - and his unpublished manuscript was destroyed in moving him to a different facility. " Read the rest

Not just Yemen: Canadian cyberarms dealer Netsweeper also helped censor the net in Bahrain

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Netsweeper is a litigious cyberarms dealer that threatened to sue the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab when its researchers outed the company for its work in helping Yemen's despotic regime censor the internet; later, the company dropped its lawsuit. Read the rest

Sitelock abuses DMCA to censor rival's criticisms

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Sitelock is a major player in online security; a rival, White Fir, thinks its products are subpar, and has published extensive articles explaining why White Fir's products are superior -- articles that Sitelock has targeted with fraudulent copyright claims. Read the rest

Web's inventor and MIT prof explain ICANN to Ted Cruz, using small words

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a corporation that manages one of the critical, centralized pieces of the internet's underlying infrastructure, the domain name system's root. Read the rest

Jigsaw: "wildly ambitious" Google spin-out aimed at tackling "surveillance, extremist indoctrination, censorship"

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Technologists have a dismal pattern: when it comes to engineering challenges ("build a global-scale comms platform") they rub their hands together with excitement; when it comes to the social challenges implied by the engineering ones ("do something about trolls") they throw their hands up and declare the problem to be too hard to solve. Read the rest

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