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Censorship

French Net Censorship Plan Moves Forward 108

angry tapir writes "French lawmakers have voted to approve a draft law to filter Internet traffic that Slashdot previously discussed. The government says the measure is intended to catch child pornographers. The Senate, where the government has a majority, will soon give the bill a second reading. If the Senate makes no amendments to the text, that will also be its final reading, as the government has declared the bill 'urgent,' a procedural move that reduces the usual cycle of four readings to two."
Censorship

UK Government Seeks New Web Censorship Powers 187

oldandcold writes "Given the recent coverage and controversy over Australia's forthcoming web censorship system, it is somewhat surprising (and worrying) that Clause 11 of the UK's proposed Digital Economy Bill seems to have gone by largely unnoticed. It amends the Communications Act 2003 to insert a new section 124H that could give the Secretary of State powers to order ISPs to block pretty much any website for pretty much any reason. Such orders would not require the scrutiny of parliament, or anyone else for that matter, because the Secretary of State would not be required to publish them."
The Internet

Comcast Discontinues Customers' USENET Service 327

An anonymous reader writes "Comcast has discontinued its provided usenet service, once provided to all its high speed customers. First with the cap put on its customers several years ago on amount of traffic provided as part of the customer high-speed package, as of September 16, the service is no longer provided. Without fanfare, this bastion of the internet is being removed from the mainstream."
The Internet

UK Proposes Banning Computer Generated Abuse 740

peterprior writes "The UK Justice Minister is planning to outlaw computer generated images and drawings of child sex abuse. While photographs and videos of child sex abuse are already illegal, undoubtedly to protect children from being exploited by these acts, what children will be protected by this new law? If there is no actual child involved is the law merely protecting against the possibility of offenders committing future crimes against real children?"
The Internet

Senators OK $1 Billion for Online Child Porn Fight 529

A bill that could allocate more than $1 billion over the next eight years to combat those who trade in child pornography has been unanimously approved by a Senate panel. "The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted to send an amended version of the Combating Child Exploitation Act, chiefly sponsored by Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), to the full slate of politicians for a vote. [...] An amendment adopted Thursday also adds new sections to the original bill that would rewrite existing child pornography laws. One section is designed to make it clear that live Webcam broadcasts of child abuse are illegal, which the bill's authors argue is an "open question." Another change is aimed at closing another perceived loophole, prohibiting digital alteration of an innocent image of a child so that sexually explicit activity is instead depicted."

Having Your ID Stolen Leads to Job Loss, Prosecution 404

ConfusedVorlon writes "The BBC reports on the sad case of Simon Bunce. Mr. Bunce had his identity stolen, and credit cards were made to capitalize on the theft. Some of those cards were used at sites offering child pornography, and as a result Mr. Bunce was swept up in Operation Ore. The poor man was prosecuted for his 'crime', and was eventually found innocent, but in the meantime he lost his job. It took him six months to find another at a quarter of the salary. 'The police's computer technicians take several months to examine [his computers and records], and Mr Bunce could not afford to wait to repair the damage done to his reputation. "I knew there'd been a fundamental mistake made and so I had to investigate it." Recent surveys suggest that as many as one in four Britons have been affected by it. In 2007 more than 185,000 cases of identity theft were identified by Cifas, the UK's fraud prevention service, an increase of almost 8% on 2006.'"
The Courts

FBI Posts Fake Hyperlinks To Trap Downloaders of Illegal Porn 767

mytrip brings us a story from news.com about an FBI operation in which agents posted hyperlinks which advertised child pornography, recorded the IP addresses of people who clicked the links, and then tracked them down and raided their homes. The article contains a fairly detailed description of how the operation progressed, and it raises questions about the legality and reliability of getting people to click "unlawful" hyperlinks. Quoting: "With the logs revealing those allegedly incriminating IP addresses in hand, the FBI sent administrative subpoenas to the relevant Internet service provider to learn the identity of the person whose name was on the account--and then obtained search warrants for dawn raids. The search warrants authorized FBI agents to seize and remove any "computer-related" equipment, utility bills, telephone bills, any "addressed correspondence" sent through the U.S. mail, video gear, camera equipment, checkbooks, bank statements, and credit card statements. While it might seem that merely clicking on a link wouldn't be enough to justify a search warrant, courts have ruled otherwise. On March 6, U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt in Nevada agreed with a magistrate judge that the hyperlink-sting operation constituted sufficient probable cause to justify giving the FBI its search warrant."

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