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United States

NYPD Dismantling Occupy Wall Street Encampment 933

First time accepted submitter Red_Chaos1 was the first to write with news that, as of around 06:30 UTC, the NYPD appears to have begun removing the encampment of Occupy Wall Street. At 06:34 UTC the Mayor's office issued a tweet declaring: "Occupants of Zuccotti should temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps. Protesters can return after the park is cleared." Around 07:15 UTC the first of several large dumpsters were deposited and the police began throwing tents and other debris into it. Reports also indicate that a Long Range Acoustic Device is on the premises. The police are using helicopters and physical barriers to prevent news coverage, but the Occupiers are streaming the events (alternative stream; #occupywallstreet on irc.indymedia.org is also rather active for those who don't fancy flash or twitter.) As of 09:15 or so, the situation according to those near NYC is that the park has more or less been cleared.
Image

South Carolina Seeking To Outlaw Profanity Screenshot-sm 849

MBGMorden writes "It looks like in an act that defies common sense, a bill has been introduced in the South Carolina State Senate that seeks to outlaw the use of profanity. According to the bill it would become a felony (punishable by a fine up to $5000 or up to 5 years in prison) to 'publish orally or in writing, exhibit, or otherwise make available material containing words, language, or actions of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature.' I'm not sure if 'in writing' could be applied to the internet, but in any event this is scary stuff."
Censorship

Nielsen Sends Wikipedia DMCA Takedown For Station Descriptions 278

RockMFR writes "A DMCA takedown notice sent by Nielsen Media Research to the Wikimedia Foundation has resulted in the deletion of over 300 pages on the English Wikipedia. The pages were 'templates' and categories that listed television stations within various geographical markets in the United States. Discussion of the deletions has focused on whether this type of information can actually be copyrighted, though the content of the takedown notice have not been made public."
Hardware Hacking

CC Companies Scotch Mythbusters Show On RFID Security 466

mathfeel passes along a video in which Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage recounts how credit card companies lawyered up to make sure the Discovery channel never, ever airs a segment on the flaws in RFID security. "Texas Instruments comes on [a scheduled conference call] along with chief legal counsel for American Express, Visa, Discover, and everybody else... They [Mythbusters producers] were way, way outgunned and they [lawyers] absolutely made it really clear to Discovery that they were not going to air this episode talking about how hackable this stuff was, and Discovery backed way down being a large corporation that depends upon the revenue of the advertisers. Now it's on Discovery's radar and they won't let us go near it."
The Internet

US ISPs Announce Anti-Child-Porn Agreement 613

An anonymous reader writes "It seems that ISPs have gathered together with 45 attorney generals and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to form an agreement to crush child pornography. What does that mean? Probably the same as it meant for RoadRunner, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon customers — the end of the newsgroups." Here's the back-patting press-release from the various parties who signed on (the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the National Association of Attorneys General), though the actual text of the agreement does not seem to have been made public.
Censorship

Domains Blocked By US Treasury 'Blacklist' 525

yuna49 writes "Adam Liptak of the New York Times reports today about the plight of a Spanish tour operator whose domain names have been embargoed by his domain name registrar (eNom). They pulled his domains after they discovered the tour operator's name on a US Treasury blacklist. It turns out he packages tours to Cuba largely for European tourists who can legally travel there, unlike Americans. The article cites 'a press release issued in December 2004, almost three years before eNom acted. It said Mr. Marshall's company had helped Americans evade restrictions on travel to Cuba and was "a generator of resources that the Cuban regime uses to oppress its people." It added that American companies must not only stop doing business with the company but also freeze its assets, meaning that eNom did exactly what it was legally required to do.' The only part of the operator's business in the United States is his domain name registration; all other aspects of his business lie outside the United States."
Censorship

Federal Anti-Obscenity Program Comes Up Limp 321

kotj.mf writes "The New York Times reports that the Federally funded anti-Web pornography campaign run by Morality in Media, a conservative religious group, has yet to result a single prosecution for obscenity, despite having generated more than 67,000 citizen complaints. The group, better known for its campaign to have Cosmopolitan removed from supermarket checkout stands, is pushing the Justice Department to more aggressively pursue cases against what it sees as 'a prime threat to society, the growth on the Internet of sexual material involving consenting adults.'"
Censorship

Holocaust Dropped From Some UK Schools 1286

dteichman2 writes "It appears that some UK schools are ignoring the Holocaust. A government-backed study, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, found that some teachers are reluctant to teach history lessons on the Holocaust for fear of offending Muslim students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial. Additionally, similar problems are being encountered with lessons on the Crusades because these lessons contradict teachings from local mosques."
Censorship

Surprise Arrest For Online Scientology Critic 954

destinyland writes "An online critic of Scientology was confronted at a routine hearing Tuesday with surprise arrest warrants and thrown into jail. Six years as a fugitive ended in February. (After picketing a Scientology complex in 2000 over the unexplained death of a woman there, he'd been arrested for 'threatening a religion' over a Usenet joke about 'Tom Cruise Missiles.') But 64-year-old Keith Henson had been out on bail, and was even scheduled to address the European Space Agency conference on Space Elevators. He's a co-founder of the Space Colony movement, and one of the original researchers at Texas Instruments. In this interview he discusses both space-based solar energy and his war with the Scientologists — just a few days before he was arrested."
Censorship

DMCA Takedown Notice For a Fake ID 563

TrippTDF writes "Rachel Hyman, an artist and bartender in New York City, maintains a blog where she regularly posts images of fake IDs she confiscates from would-be underage drinkers, along with a description of the confiscation. Recently, one of her posts (Google cache) was taken down when the owner of the fake ID invoked the DMCA against Blogspot. Can one claim a forged document as a copyrighted work of art?"
Censorship

Student Arrested for Writing Essay 890

mcgrew writes "The Chicago Tribune reports that an eighteen year old straight-A High School student was arrested for writing an essay that 'disturbed' his teacher. Even though no threats were made to a specific person, 18 year-old Allen Lee's English teacher convened a panel to discuss the work. As a result of that discussion, the police were called in. 'The youth's father said his son was not suspended or expelled but was forced to attend classes elsewhere for now. Today, Cary-Grove students rallied behind the arrested teen by organizing a petition drive to let him back in their school. They posted on walls quotes from the English teacher in which she had encouraged students to express their emotions through writing.'"
Censorship

Yes Virginia, ISPs Have Silently Blocked Web Sites 204

Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "A recurring theme in editorials about Net Neutrality -- broadly defined as the principle that ISPs may not block or degrade access to sites based on their content or ownership (with exceptions for clearly delineated services like parental controls) -- is that it is a "solution in search of a problem", that ISPs in the free world have never actually blocked legal content on purpose. True, the movement is mostly motivated by statements by some ISPs about what they might do in the future, such as slow down customers' access to sites if the sites haven't paid a fast-lane "toll". But there was also an oft-forgotten episode in 2000 when it was revealed that two backbone providers, AboveNet and TeleGlobe, had been blocking users' access to certain Web sites for over a year -- not due to a configuration error, but by the choice of management within those companies. Maybe I'm biased, since one of the Web sites being blocked was mine. But I think this incident is more relevant than ever now -- not just because it shows that prolonged violations of Net Neutrality can happen, but because some of the people who organized or supported AboveNet's Web filtering, are people in fairly influential positions today, including the head of the Internet Systems Consortium, the head of the IRTF's Anti-Spam Research Group, and the operator of Spamhaus. Which begs the question: If they really believe that backbone companies have the right to silently block Web sites, are some of them headed for a rift with Net Neutrality supporters?" Read on for the rest of his story.
Television

The Coming Fight Over TV Violence 324

gollum123 writes "Time reports the guardians of decency are warning about new trouble, with a capital T, which rhymes with V, which stands for violence. The Parents Television Council (PTC), the group at the vanguard of the TV-sex wars, has lately focused on prime-time blood: power-tool torture on 24, serial killing on Criminal Minds, vivisection on Heroes. And the FCC has prepared a draft report suggesting that Congress authorize it to regulate broadcast violence, as it now does obscenity, and possibly force cable companies to let subscribers opt out of paying for channels that run brutal content. In short, torture is the new sex. Jack Bauer is the new Janet Jackson."
Censorship

Two Ways Not To Handle Free Speech 686

Two stories in the news offer contrasting approaches by Web companies to questions of free speech. First YouTube: reader skraps notes that the Google property has recently banned the popular atheist commentator Nick Gisburne. Gisburne had been posting videos with logical arguments against Christian beliefs; but when he turned his attention to Islam (mirror of Gisburne's video by another user), YouTube pulled the plug, saying: 'After being flagged by members of the YouTube community, and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature. Due to your repeated attempts to upload inappropriate videos, your account now been permanently disabled, and your videos have been taken down.' Amazon.com provides a second example of how to react to questions of free speech. Reader theodp sends along a story in TheStreet.com about how Amazon hung up on customers wanting to comment on its continuing practice of selling animal-fighting magazines. The article notes that issues of free speech are rarely cut-and-dried, and that Amazon is doing itself no favors by going up against the Humane Society.
Update: 02/11 04:25 GMT by KD : updated Nick Gisburne link to new account.
Censorship

Scientology Critic Arrested After 6 Years 1046

destinyland writes "Friday police arrested 64-year-old Keith Henson. In 2000 after picketing a Scientology complex, he was arrested as a threat because of a joke Usenet post about "Tom Cruise Missiles." He fled to Canada after being found guilty of "interfering" with a religion, and spent the next 6 years living as a fugitive. Besides being a digital encryption and free speech advocate, he's one of the original Burr-Brown/Texas Instruments researchers and a co-founder of the Space Colony movement."

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