Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

Seoul Cracks Down on an Internet Financial Guru

January 24, 2009

South Korea might be one of the most wired places in the world, but it’s not necessarily the most Internet friendly. Park Dae Sung, 31, an unemployed blogger now finds himself in hot water for allegedly being “Minerva,” a web guru who posted his thoughts on the state of the economy and the government’s economic policies. Those thoughts generated huge attention in Korea, particularly following Minerva’s prediction that Lehman Brothers would fail. Those musings, however, have not sat well with Seoul. Now Park has been taken into custody by the government and, according to his lawyer, faces a maximum five-year prison sentence for allegedly spreading false information with the intention of harming or threatening public interest. Late last week, Park was denied bail.

Read the rest from Time Magazine:
http://www.time.com/time/world/
article/0,8599,1873346,00.html

Australia Moves to Censor Internet

December 27, 2008

A proposed Internet filter dubbed the “Great Aussie Firewall” is promising to make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among democratic countries.

Consumers, civil-rights activists, engineers, Internet providers and politicians from opposition parties are among the critics of a mandatory Internet filter that would block at least 1,300 Web sites prohibited by the government — mostly child pornography, excessive violence, instructions in crime or drug use and advocacy of terrorism.

Hundreds protested in state capitals earlier this month.

“This is obviously censorship,” said Justin Pearson Smith, 29, organizer of protests in Melbourne and an officer of one of a dozen Facebook groups against the filter.

The list of prohibited sites, which the government isn’t making public, is arbitrary and not subject to legal scrutiny, Smith said, leaving it to the government or lawmakers to pursue their own online agendas.

AP

“I think the money would be better spent in investing in law enforcement and targeting producers of child porn,” he said.

Internet providers say a filter could slow browsing speeds, and many question whether it would achieve its intended goals. Illegal material such as child pornography is often traded on peer-to-peer networks or chats, which would not be covered by the filter.

“People don’t openly post child porn, the same way you can’t walk into a store in Sydney and buy a machine gun,” said Geordie Guy, spokesman for Electronic Frontiers Australia, an Internet advocacy organization. “A filter of this nature only blocks material on public Web sites. But illicit material … is traded on the black market, through secret channels.”

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy proposed the filter earlier this year, following up on a promise of the year-old Labor Party government to make the Internet cleaner and safer.

“This is not an argument about free speech,” he said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “We have laws about the sort of material that is acceptable across all mediums and the Internet is no different. Currently, some material is banned and we are simply seeking to use technology to ensure those bans are working.”

Read the rest:
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/2008
1226/ap_on_hi_te/tec_australia_internet_filter

Internet Preferred News Source to Newspapers

December 24, 2008

The Internet has surpassed newspapers as the main source for national and international news for Americans, according to a new survey.

Television, however, remains the preferred medium for Americans, according to the survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Seventy percent of the 1,489 people surveyed by Pew said television is their primary source for national and international news.

Forty percent said they get most of their news from the Internet, up from 24 percent in September 2007, and more than the 35 percent who cited newspapers as their main news source.

Only 59 percent of people younger than 30 years old prefer television, Pew said, down from 68 percent in the September 2007 survey.

AFP

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The Christian Science Monitor plans major changes in April 2009 that are expected to make it the first newspaper with a national audience to shift from a daily print format to an online publication that is updated continuously each day.

Read the rest:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1029/p25s01-usgn.html

Related:

New York Times November Revenue Down 20%

Internet Victim? Washington Post, Baltimore Sun to Share Content
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New York Times Accused of “Gross Negligence”

Will More Bankruptcies Follow Tribune’s?

A picture of the Tribune tower in Chicago, Illinois December ...

Vietnam imposes new blogging restrictions

December 24, 2008

Vietnam has approved new regulations banning bloggers from discussing subjects the government deems sensitive or inappropriate and requiring them to limit their writings to personal issues.

Associated Press

The rules ban any posts that undermine national security, incite violence or crime, disclose state secrets, or include inaccurate information that could damage the reputation of individuals and organizations, according to a copy of the regulations obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

The rules, which were approved Dec. 18, attempt to rein in Vietnam’s booming blogosphere. It has become an alternative source of news for many in the communist country, where the media is state-controlled.

The new rules require Internet companies that provide blogging platforms to report to the government every six months and provide information about bloggers on request.

The companies are also required to prevent and remove content the government deems harmful.

art.hacker1.cnn.jpg 

Read the rest:
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20081224
/ap_on_hi_te/as_vietnam_blog_restrictions_3

CIA: At Least One Obama Nominee Idea Derailed

December 23, 2008

Bogs and bloggers do have influence as the story of one man almost chosen by Barack Obama proves….

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John Brennan, Obama’s chief intelligence adviser and anticipated CIA chief, was recently forced to withdraw his name — and the drumbeat of opposition came not from the front pages, but from left-wing bloggers. 

In this Sept. 21,2004 file photo, John Brennan gestures during ... 
John Brennan. AP Photo Lawrence Jackson

President-elect Barack Obama has shown almost perfect pitch in crafting his new administration, aptly choosing old hands instead of fresh faces and bringing in the experience he lacks. 

But there is one glaring void. Obama has yet to name key intelligence officials to manage the war against terrorism. 

And one of the central reasons he hasn’t come forward with a pick for one of the top jobs is because he’s running into pressure from an unexpected source — left-wing bloggers. 

John Brennan, Obama’s chief intelligence adviser and anticipated CIA chief, was recently forced to withdraw his name. There was no drumbeat of opposition to Brennan from the front pages or on cable. Rather, the pick was torpedoed by the blogosphere. 

“Apparently there is a lot of pressure on the Obama team from a blog saying that Brennan couldn’t be made the director of the CIA because he was involved in torture and renditions, which he wasn’t,” said Mark Lowenthal, former assistant CIA director. 

The turn of events only emphasizes the influence of the Internet on the operation of a president-elect whose campaign was powered in large part by the Web. 

“Blogs do have significant influence,” said blogger Glenn Greenwald, one of those critical of Brennan. “I think the Obama team would be foolish if they just ignored what happened on blogs, and I know for a fact that there are people high up in the Obama campaign and now the transition team who read blogs regularly.” 

As a result, say knowledgeable sources, the Obama transition team pushed Brennan to withdraw his name. “Their knees buckled,” one intelligence veteran said. 

Brennan once served as George Tenet’s chief of staff and later took an administrative role at the CIA, before moving on to what became the National Counterterrorism Center. 

Greenwald and other bloggers blamed Brennan, though, for condoning harsh interrogation methods, as well as rendition — the practice of capturing terrorists, like 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and taking them to the U.S. or other countries for interrogation and imprisonment. 

But many say Brennan had no control over those policies. 

“This is one of those Washington drive-by shootings that we have from time to time where someone is near a policy issue that’s controversial and is dragged down by the conventional wisdom,” said Douglas Paal, former CIA senior analyst. 

Brennan did say rendition was a vital tool — after all, without it, Khalid Sheik Mohammed and others might still be free. 

But when he withdrew his name from consideration, he wrote a letter to the president-elect, obtained by FOX News, in which he described himself as a Bush critic on many fronts. 

“It has been immaterial to the critics that I have been a strong opponent of many of the policies of the Bush administration such as the preemptive war in Iraq and coercive interrogation tactics, to include waterboarding,” Brennan wrote in the Nov. 25 missive. 

And Brennan said that as a result of his opposition to Bush policies, he was “twice considered for more senior-level positions in the current administration only to be rebuffed by the White House.” 

In that sense, it would seem Brennan was the perfect man for a job with Obama — but not good enough for the critics.

Greenwald said Brennan’s support for rendition and “all of the other enhanced interrogation techniques beyond waterboarding” makes him “unqualified” for the job. 

Intelligence veterans, however, say that sets an impossible standard. 

“If you were involved in a senior position in the intelligence community during the war on terror, you can’t be nominated for another senior position,” Lowenthal said.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/12/22/obama-intelligence-pick-torpedoed-bloggers/

Anti-Semitism floods Internet after Madoff scandal

December 20, 2008

Anti-Jewish commentary is flooding the Internet in the wake of Bernard Madoff’s arrest on charges of masterminding one of the biggest Wall Street frauds in history, campaigners said Friday.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said there had been “an outpouring of anti-Semitic comments on mainstream and extremist Web sites.”

Bernard L. Madoff, the Chairman of Madoff Investment Securities, ... 
Bernard L. Madoff, the Chairman of Madoff Investment Securities, is seen speaking in 2007.(Philoctetes Center/Handout/Reuters)

Madoff, 70, is Jewish and a prominent member of the powerful US Jewish community. He is alleged to have defrauded investors, including a number of Jewish-related charities, of some 50 billion dollars.

“Site users have posted comments ranging from deeply offensive stereotypical statements about Jews and money — with some suggesting that only Jews could perpetrate a fraud on such a scale — to conspiracy theories about Jews stealing money to benefit Israel,” the ADL said in a statement.

“Jews are always a convenient scapegoat in times of crisis, but the Madoff scandal and the fact that so many of the defrauded investors are Jewish has created a perfect storm for the anti-Semites,” said Abraham Foxman, ADL national director.

“Nowadays, the first place Jew-haters will go is to the Internet, where they can give voice to their hateful ideas without fear of repercussions.”

Related:
Madoff’s $50 Billion Scam Included Buying Influence in Washington

China defends censoring websites that break rules

December 16, 2008

China defended Tuesday the blocking of websites it said violated Chinese law and urged Internet companies to respect its legal system.

“The Chinese government conducts necessary management over the Internet. It is the same with other nations,” foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told journalists.

art.hacker1.cnn.jpg 
Chinese journalists, Reporters Without Borders and Tibetan human rights groups all say China censors the internet too much…

“You cannot deny, some websites actually contain content that violates China’s laws.”

Liu cited websites that maintain that Taiwan is an independent nation separate from China, a view that violates China’s anti-secession law, he said.

“I hope that websites can practise self-restraint and not do things that violate China’s law,” he said.
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AFP

Liu was responding to questions on why websites belonging to the BBC, the Voice of America and Reporters Without Borders appeared to be blocked in China after they were made accessible during the Beijing Olympics.

Liu did not answer those questions, nor would he comment on the legal process leading up to the blocking of any particular website.

China exercises strict control over the Internet, blocking sites linked to Chinese dissidents, the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement, the Tibetan government-in-exile and those with information on the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.

Its system of Internet censorship has become known as the “Great Firewall of China” due to the large number of websites that are inaccessible from inside the country.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081216/tc_afp/chin
amediainternetcensorship_081216171844

Mumbai attacks caps year for citizen journalism

December 16, 2008

NowPublic on Tuesday declared “crowd-powered” news reports of terrorist attacks in Mumbai as a climactic moment in a year in which citizen journalism proved its mettle.

The India tragedy heads a list of “Top 10 Moments In User-Generated News” determined by editors at the Vancouver-based startup.

“2008 not only proved the concept of user-generated news, but also tipped the scales,” said NowPublic co-founder and chief executive Leonard Brody.

“The pillars of mainstream media have all made significant efforts to embrace the new model.”

AFP

The validation of citizen journalism culminated last week when Pulitzer Prize organizers added an “Internet-only” news category for what is considered the most prestigious honor for reporters.

“In today’s highly wired and mobile world, everyone has a digital soapbox,” said NowPublic global news director Rachel Nixon.

“No longer the preserve of a few, crowd-powered media formats began to be widely used by anyone wanting to get their message out and connect.”

NowPublic’s Top 10 list includes reporting on natural disasters worldwide and crisis in Africa, as well as the effect of an online posting falsely reporting that Apple’s iconic chief executive Steve Jobs had a heart attack.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081216/tc_afp/usindiacanad
aitinternetmedianowpublic_081216065930

Iran’s bloggers thrive despite blocks

December 15, 2008

Iran has one of the most vibrant blogging communities in the world – despite government boasts that it blocks five million websites. The BBC’s Jon Leyne in Tehran is spending the day with bloggers to see what makes them tick.

From the BBC
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With much of the official media controlled by the government or hardline conservatives, the internet has become the favoured way of communicating for Iran’s well-educated and inquisitive younger generation.

Go online in Iran and you will find blogs or websites covering every topic under the sun.

Politics, of course, but also the arts, Hollywood cinema, women’s issues, women’s sport, pop music. Whisper it quietly, there is even an online dating scene in the Islamic Republic.

Day-by-day there is an intriguing cyber-war, as the government wrestles for control of the internet, and Iran’s bloggers wrestle it back.

Iranians surf the World Wide Web at Iran's first Internet ... 
Iranians surf the World Wide Web at Iran’s first Internet cafe in Tehran 1998. Iran has blocked access to more than five million Internet sites, whose content is mostly perceived as immoral and anti-social, a judiciary official was quoted as saying on Wednesday.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

Iran hosts around 65,000 bloggers, and has around 22 million internet users. Not bad for a country in which some remote areas do not yet have mains electricity.

Even some journalists who work in the mainstream media use the internet to publish articles they can not get past their newspaper or programme editors, or the official censors.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7782771.stm

Media: 30 daily newspapers are for sale

December 5, 2008

Across the United States, more than 30 daily newspapers are for sale, and buyers are scarce.

From Los Angeles to New York, leading newspapers have slashed newsrooms with buyout offers, and when those failed to reach budget-cutting goals, with layoffs.

The newspaper industry has been caught in a tailspin for three years, a trend variously blamed on plummeting ad revenues, declining readership, growing competition from the Internet and a deepening national recession.

By David Olinger
The Denver Post

On Thursday, Colorado’s oldest newspaper joined the growing list of dailies on the market. E.W. Scripps Co., owner of the 149-year-old Rocky Mountain News, offered to sell it after reporting an $11 million loss through the first nine months of this year.

“It’s a terrible time to put the Rocky Mountain News up for sale, clearly,” said John Morton, a veteran newspaper-industry analyst in Maryland. “Whatever price they might attract probably will be quite low. I think it’s going to be very difficult to find a buyer.”

Read the rest:
http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_11142071