modemac writes: "Chris Soghoian at CNET gave an interesting take on the outcome of the so-called "MySpace suicide case," in which Lori Drew was found "guilty of three misdemeanor violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, punishable with up to one year in a federal prison and a $100,000 fine for each of the three counts." Chris writes: "Until the Drew case is overturned, [ISP] terms of service would appear to have the power of federal hacking laws to back them up. Could the precedent set by the Lori Drew case provide ammunition to pirates, activists, and the thousands of other Internet users who have an anti-RIAA ax to grind?""
modemac writes: "AT&T and America Online have joined ("voluntarily," of course) Verizon, Time Warner, and Sprint in their ongoing efforts to block Internet users' access to child pornography. In the cases of Verizon and Time Warner, this has been used as an excuse to purge their servers of vast areas of the Usenet heirarchy: Time Warner cancelled Usenet completely due to "low customer demand," while Verizon cut off access to all newsgroups except the Big 8 heirarchies. Immediately upon the announcement of this additional effort to protect us all from kiddie porn, AT&T has announced they will be removing all newsgroups beginning with "alt.binary" (sic). One can only wonder what AOL will be doing to ensure that no one sees kiddie porn on the alt.movies.*, alt.religion.*, and alt.sex.stories.moderated newsgroups."
modemac writes: "Verizon has declared it will no longer offer access to the entire alt.* hierarchy of Usenet newsgroups to its customers. This stems from last week's agreement for major ISPs to cut off access to "newsgroups and Web sites" that make child pornography available. According to the story, Verizon found child porn (or what it described as child porn) on "88 newsgroups." In response, the company will cut off about 85% of all of Usenet, as it will only carry newsgroups in the Big Eight."
modemac writes: "Sacramento, California Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D) wants to expand a 75-year-old sales tax on "tangible personal property" to include music downloads from iTunes and other music-download sites. The tax would specifically apply to music downloads, but the estimate used in this article for revenue generated by 'Net downloading also "includes pornography downloads." The measure, AB 1956, will be considered on Monday, April 14th."
modemac writes: "Four major Japanese telecom organizations, which represent 'about 1,000 major and smaller' domestic ISPs, have agreed to forcibly cut the Internet connection of users found to repeatedly use Winny and other file-sharing programs to illegally copy gaming software and music. The article states that a new set of ISP guidelines will be drawn up on how to cut off users who 'leak illegally copied material onto the Net.'"
modemac writes: "News.com.au reports that Yahoo! has removed all direct links to The Pirate Bay from its search engine. If you enter the words "pirate bay" into Yahoo, it will direct you to Wikipedia, Wired, and other sites that link to the site, but no direct links to the site itself."
modemac writes: "Last week, a Scientology video featuring Tom Cruise was forced off of YouTube and other sites by the organization's all-too-familiar legal threats. It seems this was the catalyst for the denizens of 4chan and its sister sites to launch a massive worldwide attack against the Church of Scientology. Over the past week, Scientology domains and Web sites have been taken down by DDOS attacks, phone numbers have been flooded with prank calls, and the infamous "secret Scientology documents" that took the Net by storm in the mid-1990s have re-surfaced once again. The same group of "hackers on steroids" who took down racist radio host Hal Turner (and were laughingly "exposed" by Fox News last year) got it into their heads to take on the Evil Empire of the Internet. The result so far: EPIC LULZ. A a very brief summary of the whole affair can be found on this Web site explaining the ANONYMOUS hacker group, with links to other sources of information."
modemac writes: "LiveJournal is going to be applying cookies to random blogs on its system. The cookies will be completely random, which means no one is supposed to know who has a cookie on his blog. This is being done on an opt-out basis, which means you can choose not to have it...if you know about it in the first place. This announcement was posted today to LiveJournal's "LJ-Biz" community. This is where LiveJournal offers explanations for its business decisions, after those decisions have taken place. Apparently this hasn't been released to the general public yet, because it has only appeared on this LJ community and not in a public announcement yet. LiveJournal's users are acting in the expected manner: they're going bat-guano over it. Check out the comments and see for yourself."
modemac writes: "About one month ago, a low-budget movie about Scientology was made available on the Web entitled The Bridge, directed by Brett Hanover. There was a flurry of interest in the movie, and it was quickly downloaded over 2,000 times from the Internet Archives at archive.org. At the time of the film's release, Net users wondered whether Scientology would do the same thing they did when a movie called The Profit was produced in 2001 — namely, attack it and get it removed from the public view.
Today, it was revealed that the answer to this question is "yes."
On Brett Hanover's personal Web site, there is a very brief announcement from the filmmaker saying: "I have requested that a recent film of mine be withdrawn from circulation, online or otherwise. Please grant me this request, and do not contact me concerning this film. I am no longer supporting it."
Well-known Scientology critic Mark Bunker (the founder and maintainer of the Xenu TV archives) offers a bit more information at his own blog. He suggests that Scientology used a tried-and-true tactic that has been seen in many other critics of the organization, known among the organization's opponents as "shuddering into silence."
The movie is no longer available on Google Video. (However, at this time it still appears to be available at the Internet Archive.)"