A UK judge has ordered the BBC not to broadcast a documentary about England's August 2011 riots, reports The Guardian. The judge also banned the BBC and media from disclosing the court in which the censorship order was made; the judge's name; or the details or nature of the order.
The documentary features actors reading from interviews with rioters, but it's not clear exactly what was deemed worthy of censorship. The BBC "strongly objects" to the ruling and plans to appeal. Read the rest
Writing in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, China Mieville blazingly describes two Londons: an exuberant, organic place that has been lived and built over and remade, bursting with energy and vitality; and a fearful, banker-driven collection of megaprojects and guard labour, where billions of pounds can be found to surround the Olympics with snipers and legions of police, but nothing can be found for the library on the corner, where the center of town is being purged of anyone but the super-rich, and where rioting has nothing to do with stop-and-search powers and poverty, and is the result of mere "pure criminality."
Read the rest
The Olympics are slated to cost taxpayers $14.7 billion. In this time of “austerity,” youth clubs and libraries are being shut down as expendable fripperies; this expenditure, though, is not negotiable. The uprisen young of London, participants in extraordinary riots that shook the country last summer, do the math. “Because you want to host the Olympics, yeah,” one participant told researchers, “so your country can look better and be there, we should suffer.”
This is a city where buoyed-up audiences yell advice to young boxers in Bethnal Green’s York Hall, where tidal crowds of football fans commune in raucous rude chants, where fans adopt local heroes to receive Olympic cheers. It’s not sport that troubles those troubled by the city’s priorities.
Mike Marqusee, writer and activist, has been an East London local and a sports fan for decades. American by birth, he nonetheless not only understands and loves cricket, of all things, but even wrote a book about it.
The British Government’s wariness of the Internet and Blackberry Messenger – symbols of freedom of speech – is a forced reaction, which might upset the Western world. Meanwhile, the open discussion of containment of the Internet in Britain has given rise to a new opportunity for the whole world. Media in the US and Britain used to criticize developing countries for curbing freedom of speech. Britain’s new attitude will help appease the quarrels between East and West over the future management of the Internet.Riots lead to rethink of Internet freedom (Thanks, Juha!)
As for China, advocates of an unlimited development of the Internet should think twice about their original ideas.
On the Internet, there is no lack of posts and articles that incite public violence. They will cause tremendous damage once they are tweeted without control. At that time, all governments will have no other choice but to close down these websites and arrest those agitators.
(Image: General Chu Teh, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from thomasfisherlibrary's photostream and David Cameron - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from worldeconomicforum's photostream) Read the rest
The Government is focusing on entirely the wrong problem in trying to increase their powers to ban, block or monitor people's communications. Social networks like Twitter are used for a huge array of positive purposes such as warnings of danger and organising clean up projects. Blanket surveillance measures of private communications or increased powers to mine users data would undermine people's freedom to communicate in very damaging ways, and would in no way address the problems at hand. Making laws in haste, with limited analysis and information, to deal with an exceptional problem is likely to create unbalanced laws and abuses of our rights.Save our social media! Stop cut offs and close downs (Thanks, Jim!)
The official blog of Research in Motion was hacked today by Team Poison. The Canadian company had earlier promised to help British authorities track down BlackBerry users suspected of involvement in the local unrest. From AFP:
"If you do assist the police by giving them chat logs, GPS locations, customer information and access to peoples' BlackBerry Messengers, you will regret it," said the post.
The message went on to say a hacked database containing the names, addresses and phone numbers of RIM employees would be made public and "passed onto rioters" if RIM did not comply.
"Do you really want a bunch of angry youths on your employees doorsteps?" it warned. "Think about it."
RIM officials in Britain offered Monday to assist authorities "in any way possible."
I doubt this will be much help to anyone worried by RIM's presumed eagerness to hand over its secure messaging system for state inspection.
CNN reports that there are further demands to completely shut down the network.
Some London public officials have asked RIM to shut down BlackBerry Messenger temporarily to stem further unrest. A representative for RIM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
What next? Facebook and Twitter? Read the rest