Archive for the ‘web’ 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

China Extends War on Free Speech Hidden by Fight Against Porn into Cell Phones

January 21, 2009

China has extended a crackdown on electronic porn to the country’s mobile phones, after shutting down 1,250 websites because of their explicit content, the official Xinhua agency said Wednesday.

“We will incorporate ‘lewd’ messages spread via mobile phones into the crackdown,” the report quoted a joint notice from the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Culture and five other government offices saying.

China promised last week that the campaign, which was launched in early January, will be no “flash in the pan.”

art.hacker1.cnn.jpg 

Over 40 people have been detained for disseminating porn on the Internet, and over 3 million “items of online information” have been deleted, the report said.

Google, Baidu and other major websites have also been given a public dressing down for not being quick enough to wipe out targeted content, and outspoken blogging portals shut down for posting “politically harmful information.”

The Internet crackdown has been described by analysts as another step in the Communist Party‘s battle to stifle dissent in a year of sensitive anniversaries, including the 20th anniversary of the government’s bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

Tianasquare.jpg
Tiananmen Square in 1989.

(Reporting by Emma Graham-Harrison; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani for Reuters)

Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?

Chinese censor parts of Obama speech dealing with dissent, communism

January 21, 2009

It came as no surpirse to China watchers that the Communist government of the  nation most interested in censoring the media and Internet, chopped sections out of President Barack Obama’s first speech as Commander in Chief before it was distributed by state media services….

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The official Chinese translation of President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech was missing his references to communism and dissent, while a live broadcast on state television Wednesday quickly cut away to the anchor when the topic was mentioned.

The comments by the newly installed U.S. president veered into politically sensitive territory for China’s ruling Communist Party, which maintains a tight grip over the Internet and the entirely state-run media. Beijing tolerates little dissent and frequently decries foreign interference in its internal affairs.

By ANITA CHANG, Associated Press Writer

At one point, Obama said earlier generations “faced down communism and fascism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.” He later addressed “those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent — know that you are on the wrong side of history.”

The Chinese translation of the speech, credited to the Web site of the official China Daily newspaper, was missing the word “communism” in the first sentence. The paragraph with the sentence on dissent had been removed entirely.

The censored version was carried by the state-run Xinhua News Agency and posted on popular online portals Sina and Sohu. Another portal, Netease, used a version without the paragraph mentioning communism, but retaining the part about dissent.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090121/ap_
on_re_as/as_inauguration_china_obama;_
ylt=AtPfWDN5.Yt_Tr.xTHKS.tdvaA8F

Thailand Makes Arrest For “Insulting” Royal Family, Cracks Down on Internet, Free Speech

January 20, 2009

Harry Nicolaides wrote a book four years ago that only sold four copies.  In it, buried, was a slight insilt to the Royal Family of Thailand.

Nicolaides, an Australian, is now under arrest and in jail in Thailand and the government is cracking down on free speech everywhere including on the Internet…..

“Truth is stranger than fiction,” he said. “It’s been an ordeal for months. It feels like a bad dream.”

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok. ... 
Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok. A jail term handed down to an Australian for insulting Thailand’s royals is a “serious violation” of free expression and part of a worrying increase in such cases, a media rights watchdog said.(AFP/File/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)

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By Tim Johnston in Bangkok
The Financial Times

An Australian author has been sentenced in Thailand to three years in jail after he pleaded guilty to charges of insulting the country’s royal family.

Harry Nicolaides, 41, fell foul of Thailand’s draconian lèse majesté laws, designed to protect King Bhumibol Aduladej and his family.

Four years ago Mr Nicolaides self-published 50 copies of his novel Verisimilitude , selling only seven. Buried deep within the plot, set in Thailand, was a short passage that portrayed the private life of an unnamed crown prince in unflattering terms.

Harry Nicolaides behind the bars of a Thai holding cell on Monday.

Harry Nicolaides behind the bars of a Thai holding cell on Monday.

He was arrested in August and has spent the past five months on remand in Bangkok. Mr Nicolaides did not contest the charges. In previous cases similar to this the king has pardoned culprits.

Even though Thailand’s revered king has said publicly that he does not need the lèse majesté laws, they have proved too useful to be discarded by opportunistic politicians for whom they serve both as a political tool to prove their loyalty and as a weapon against their opponents.

The king and his family are formally above the country’s partisan politics, but King Bhumibol was dragged into the political debate last year by protesters who besieged government offices and Bangkok’s two airports. The protesters said they aimed to protect the king, while seeking the resignation of the then ruling party.

Read the rest:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8f6a6f16-e6
92-11dd-8e4f-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

From CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/
asiapcf/01/19/thai.jail/index.html

Republicans Have No Clue On Internet

January 19, 2009

So it’s understandable that Republicans are green with envy and scratching their heads wondering why the Internet works for Democrats but doesn’t work for them. The simple answer:

Sorry, Republicans, there is no magic Internet button.

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By Andrew Breitbart
The Washington Times
After the 2004 election, much was made of Joe Trippi, Howard Dean‘s campaign manager and Internet guru. Mr. Trippi is credited with using social networking tools to hook up supporters and to drum up excitement and campaign cash for Vermont’s then-little-known former governor.

His book “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything” capitalized on Mr. Dean’s meteoric yet short-term rise at the hands of a previously competent yet little-known Democrat apparatchik who became an Internet legend for almost getting the dark horse over the primary finish line.

“The Howard Dean campaign was a dot-com miracle,” Mr. Trippi now tells audiences for a handsome price.

But Mr. Dean’s story was also the ultimate dot-com crash: “And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! Yeeeah!!!”

Read it all:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/ja
n/18/memo-to-gop-there-is-no-magic-internet-button/

China has close to 300 million Internet users

January 13, 2009

China’s online population, already the world’s largest, rose to 298 million by the end of 2008, almost the same as the entire population of the United States, an industry survey said Tuesday.

The figure is up 41.9 percent from a year ago and is still growing fast, the government-linked China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) said in a report published on its website.

Users in the countryside surged by 60.8 percent year-on-year to 84.6 million, compared with much more modest growth of 35.6 percent in the urban areas, the report said.

AFP

The CNNIC report said 117.6 million people accessed the Internet using their mobile phones last year, up 133 percent from 2007.

China, with 633.8 million mobile phone users, last week issued long-awaited licences for third-generation (3G) mobile phones, which enable faster data transmission and services such as wide-area wireless calls and web surfing.

“With the coming of the 3G era, wireless Internet will have exponential growth,” the CNNIC said in a statement accompanying the release of its report.

China’s fast-growing online population has made the Internet a forum for its citizens to express their opinions in a way rarely seen in the traditional, strictly government-controlled media.

It has stirred up Beijing’s fears about potential social unrest, with the government stepping up control of the web in recent years by introducing measures such as requiring bloggers to disclose their real names.

Related:
Internet Limits on Sex, Porn Used to Mask Limits on Freedom, Human Rights?

Read the rest:
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090113/tc_afp/l
ifestylechinainternetitusers_20090113160232

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

Tis the Season for Porn?

December 21, 2008

I will be called names for writing this column. It always happens. Raise the issue of the pornification of the culture and its fanatical devotees will come gunning for you. If they hope to be intimidating, they’ve forgotten what delete keys are for.

It’s Christmastime and the Fox News Channel, the most conservative of the major media outlets, is running an ad for PajamaGrams, “the only gift guaranteed to get your wife or girlfriend to take her clothes off.” The ads feature soft porn images of women disrobing and tossing slips and bras to the floor. The ads run at all times of the day and night. Thus do we usher in the season supposedly devoted to the Prince of Peace and the Festival of Lights.

We all know how far the pornification has gotten. A mainstream movie apparently treats the subject as cute and fun (“Zack and Miri Make a Porno“) and it runs at the multiplex next to “Four Christmases” and “Madagascar.” Hotels offer pornographic movies and omit the titles from the final bill. Victoria’s Secret graces every mall — and its windows resemble the red light district of Amsterdam. Viagra and its imitators are hawked ceaselessly. Television, music videos, and supermarket checkout magazines contain the kinds of suggestive words and images that would once have been labeled soft porn.

Women work in the red light district, Amsterdam (file pic)
Amsterdam

We know this. But what is less well understood is the world of hard-core porn that was once the province of dingy “adults only” stores in the harsher parts of town but is now available to everyone at the click of a mouse.

Last week the Witherspoon Institute (http://www.winst.org) convened a conference on pornography at Princeton University and invited scholars from a variety of fields to contribute. The statistics are mind-numbing. Pamela Paul, author of “Pornified,” reported that “Americans rent upwards of 800 million pornographic videos and DVDs per year. About one in five rented videos is porn. … Men look at pornography online more than they look at any other subject. And 66 percent of 18-34 year old men visit a pornographic site every month.”
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By Mona Charin

Related:
 Holiday sex: Christmas season is peak for mating

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/uc/20081219/cm_uc_crmchx/
op_58435;_ylt=AldW4LSOvbKioIPfUtB0E1b9wxIF

China blocks ‘New York Times’ website

December 20, 2008

China has blocked access to the New York Times website, the newspaper said Saturday, days after the central government defended its right to censor online content it deems illegal.

Computer users who logged on in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou received a message that the site was not available when they tried to connect on Friday morning, the paper said. Some users were cut of as early as Thursday evening, it said.

The website remained inaccessible from Beijing Saturday.

art.hacker1.cnn.jpg 

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said they do not deal with websites. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which regulates the Internet, could not be reached for comment.

Earlier this week, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao defended China’s right to censor websites that have material deemed illegal by the government, saying that other countries regulate their Internet usage too.

Read the rest from the Associated Press:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/worl
d/2008-12-20-china-newyorktimes_N.htm?csp=34

French embassy in Beijing ‘under cyber-attack’ after Nicolas Sarkozy meeting with Dalai Lama

December 11, 2008

The website of the French embassy in Beijing has apparently come under cyber-attack after President Nicolas Sarkozy outraged the Chinese government by meeting the Dalai Lama.

By Richard Spencer
The Telegraph (UK)

French embassy in Bejing 'under cyber-attack' after Nicolas Sarkozy meeting with Dalai Lama

France has gone into diplomatic overdrive since Mr Sarkozy’s meeting with the Dalai Lama to soothe China’s hurt feelings Photo: AFP

The authorities in Beijing issued a stern denunciation of the meeting last week, cancelled an EU-China summit and said trade with France might suffer.

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry rejected any suggestion that the Chinese government might approve of the cyber-attack, reported to have made the embassy’s website inaccessible for several days.

“From the perspective of the Chinese government, China is against the hacking of the websites of the embassies of other nations,” its spokesman, Liu Jianchao, said.

“We have not seen any questions or concerns raised by France.”

Nevertheless, relations between China and France remain at a low.

France has gone into diplomatic overdrive since the meeting to soothe China’s hurt feelings.

Mr Sarkozy called China “one of the greats of the world” on Monday and stressed he supported “one China”.

On Tuesday, his foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, who was appointed in part due to his work on human rights, weighed in.

“We did not want to cause offence to China, to the Chinese people or to Chinese leaders,” he told a French parliamentary committee.

The cyber-attack is believed to have taken the form of mass attempts to access the site simultaneously, largely at night, disabling the system.

There are numerous informal hacking groups in China, some of which are believed to operate for nationalistic purposes, including attempts to access Pentagon and European defence ministry websites.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/3707778/
French-embassy-in-Bejing-under-cyber-attack-after-Nicolas-Sarkozy
-meeting-with-Dalai-Lama.html