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The Internet

Submission + - Amnesty Hosts Conference on Internet Censoring (amnestyusa.org)

NY Media writes: "Hello,
I'm writing to alert you to Amnesty's conference next week about internet repression. The conference will include victims of internet repression, Josh Wolf, Jimmy Wales, Richard Stallman, and many more! The conference will be webcast next Wednesday between 1:30 and 3:30, EST. Below is the media advisory.

MEDIA ADVISORY
For Immediate Release: Contact: Ben Somberg, 212/633-4268 Friday, June 1, 2007
Amnesty International to Host Global Online Conference on Internet Freedom


Amnesty International and The Observer will host a global, interactive event examining the future of Internet freedom on June 6. The event, 'Some People Think the Internet is a Bad Thing: The Struggle for Freedom of Expression in Cyberspace,' will be webcast globally from Amnesty International's Human Rights Action Centre in London to mark the first anniversary of its irrepressible.info campaign.

The event comes as government crackdowns on freedom of expression on the internet intensify. IT companies are facilitating the blocking, filtering, and monitoring of information, threatening freedom of expression on the internet.

Conference contributors will include:

— Victims of internet repression from around the world;
- Martha Lane Fox, internet entrepreneur;
- Josh Wolf, jailed US blogger;
- Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia;
- Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software movement;
- Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing;
- Kevin Anderson, head of blogging at The Guardian.

The event will be webcast at www.amnesty.org.uk/webcast from 1:30pm-3:30pm ET.

Chaired by the BBC's Clark Boyd, the event will be comprised of live speakers and debate, webcasted contributions, podcasts and vodcasts from supporters unable to attend, and questions/contributions emailed in from the global audience. Thousands of people from around the world are expected to attend online.

The invitation-only event will examine the future of internet freedom, including governments' attempts to repress freedom of expression and information online — with the help of global IT companies — and how web users are harnessing the power of the internet when they resist them.

'Some People Think the Internet is a Bad Thing' marks the first anniversary of irrepressible.info, an Amnesty International campaign to combat the repression of Internet users around the world, launched in The Observer in May 2006. Amnesty will re-launch the new http://irrepressible.info/ website, featuring a news aggregator that will create an information hub for anyone interested in the future of Internet freedom.

# # #"

Wireless Networking

Submission + - Michigan Man Fined for Using Coffee Shop's Wi-Fi

kaltree writes: "According to this story from FoxNews, using an open wireless network can be considered illegal (in Michigan at least). How many times have we sat down, opened up our laptop and noticed we were automatically connected to an unknown wireless network?"
Announcements

Submission + - Ebay's New User Agreement Terminates User Rights

THESuperShawn writes: (Paraphrased from http://www.firemeg.com/2007/05/july-9th-genocide-b egins-how-ebay-inc.html)"A recent Auctionbytes article (http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y07/m05/i21/s 01) about a new update to the eBay User Agreement seems to make eBay look a lot more like Big Brother, if not a full blown communist regime where your thoughts belong to the "community" and where those with bad thoughts may be disappeared. The changes in question went into effect immediately for new members and will be enforced site-wide starting on July 9th, 2007. Most notable of these changes is that eBay seems to have given itself autonomy to strike down anyone they see fit, and use any and all copyrighted material that members post on the site, without permission or royalties.

In the user agreement additions there is a section entitled "Abusing eBay." The section begins like something out of Orwell's 1984, "eBay and the Community work together to keep the Sites working properly and the Community safe. Please report problems, offensive content, and policy violations to us." Seems to be a call to arms for the collective community gestapo to quash anything from listing violations to dissent among users, and of course for the betterment of the community with no financial incentives for users to do the work that many feel should be done by Trust & Safety. The second paragraph goes on to describe the VERO program designed to keep members from using intellectual property that has been copyrighted previously by third parties.

The "Abusing eBay" section then turns an even more diabolical shade of Big Brother in the last paragraph which reads: Without limiting other remedies, we may limit, suspend, or terminate our service and user accounts, prohibit access to our website, delay or remove hosted content, and take technical and legal steps to keep users off the Sites if we think that they are creating problems, possible legal liabilities, or acting inconsistently with the letter or spirit of our policies. We also reserve the right to cancel unconfirmed accounts or accounts that have been inactive for a long time."

Has eBay finally jumped the shark? Is their a better auction service around the corner ready to embrace scorned eBay users? Or have the scammers won (http://www.ebaymotorssucks.com/ebayhacks/?N=A) and eBay will continue to remove negative posts/NARU users that complain (http://www.ebaymotorssucks.com/boardsnippets.htm) , and allow scammers to sell "their wife exposed" (http://www.ebaymotorssucks.com/)?
Censorship

Submission + - Censorship fails: governments vs. YouTube (destinyland.org)

destinyland writes: "The internet thwarted an attempt by the government of Venezuela to censor coverage of a mass protest. President Hugo Chavez invoked Emergency Broadcast procedures to take over all television channels while police fired on the crowd, an eye-witness reports. But footage of the protest found its way to YouTube, racking up huge download numbers in a country with less than 15% internet penetration. Censoring political speech just got a lot harder."
Music

Submission + - iTunes tracks embed all your personal account info

Jaknet writes: The BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6711215.stm today reported that the new DRM free music available from iTunes contains embedded within them the full name and account information, including e-mail address, of who bought them.

The BBC goes on to speculate... It suggested that this information could be an anti-piracy measure as it could help work out who was putting downloads on file-sharing sites. But it also added that the user information was found on all the tracks that people buy on iTunes whether free of DRM or not.

The BBC has contacted Apple seeking comment but so far the company has not responded.

Other websites said it was only a matter of time before a utility program was produced that which stripped out the identifying information. At this point it is not yet clear how deeply the user data is buried in the track or how easy it is to remove. Lets hope it's soon
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft demands developer withdraw free software

An anonymous reader writes: ZDNet reports : "Microsoft has demanded that a London-based Windows developer withdraws a version of his free debugging tool from distribution, and is claiming that the tool breaches its licensing conditions."
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Doing the Nasty In Second Life

An anonymous reader writes: InformationWeek's Mitch Wagner looks at Second Life sex: "As I worked on our report on sex in Second Life, I wondered: Is all this gettin' cyber-sweaty harmful? I decided it depends on the circumstances. But I know many of our readers will say it's just plain wrong. What do you think?" InformationWeek's look into the Second Life sex scene includes interviews with a lesbian dominatrix, a virtual madam, and a bi Asian chick who likes to have cybersex with hermaphrodites, shemales, alien avatars, and futuristic cyborgs.
Music

Submission + - Why Guitar Tabs Don't Fall Under Fair Use

kaliphonia writes: Over the past few years guitar tab sites have been shutting down after receiving cease-and-desist letters asserting they are violating copyright law. MXTabs.net is coming back this summer as the first licensed tab site and has posted a letter from a New York copyright attorney explaining why guitar tabs require licenses to be posted online, and do not fall under "fair use." The full letter is available here. Why Guitar Tabs Don't Fall Under Fair Use"
Movies

Submission + - Finnish court rules CSS "ineffective"

kimmop writes: The Finnish/EU version of DMCA received a great blow today when the Helsinki District Court found two activists 'not quilty' of circumvention of "effective technological measures" of DRM. According to the court, CSS no longer achieves its protection objective. You can still expect two more rounds but its 1-0 now.
Privacy

Submission + - Identification through Reverse DNS?

An anonymous reader writes: I've recently noticed that the reverse DNS name given to my IP from my ISP contains my mac address. It seems to me that regardless of IP address/dhcp logs that this could serve as a permanent unique identifier for a person. How many other ISPs do this? Are we clearing our google cookies periodically for nothing? Is this a privacy hole that should be closed up? I can see the ISPs internally being able to recognize their clients uniquely, but to the rest of the Internet is it a security violation for people to be tracked by an unchanging hostname?
Quickies

Submission + - Transformers

pokabudki writes: "The Earth is caught in the middle of an intergalactic war between two races of robots,the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, which are able to change into a variety of objects, including cars, trucks, planes and other technological creations"

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