As if relations between China and Google weren't already tense, it's being reported that the Chinese government has gone and blocked the Android Market in the mainland. There's no love lost between these two giant entities, though why exactly China has chosen to erect a firewall in five major provinces to block users from downloading Android apps is not yet known.
Yahoo is denying accusations that it knowingly and willingly censored email messages related to "Occupy Wall Street" protests, a leaderless non-violent resistance movement upset over the disparity of wealth and power in the U.S. Protestors accused Yahoo of foul play when their emails containing a link to the organization's website were flagged as suspicious and blocked from being sent.
Gamers living in Germany are finally able to purchase (legally) Doom and Doom II, a pair of software titles previously placed in an index of banned titles by the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (Bundesprufstelle), the same index reserved for pornography.
No, wait: I love saying I told you so. Last year, in this space, I predicted that not only would the U.S. Supreme Court strike down the California law criminalizing the sale of the violent games to minors, but that it would draw on the United States vs. Stevens decision in doing so. Stevens, you may recall, was a ban on animal snuff films created for sexual fetishists, and the court ruled 8-1 that such films were protected under the First Amendment.
This summer's Supreme Court ruling may have protected the gaming industry's right to free speech, but was it a true "victory"? Read on to get the pros and cons!
When tyrants in Middle Eastern countries cut Internet access in the midst of political upheaval, it's pointed to as yet another symptom of a sad and brutal dictatorship. Does that thinking hold true when a Western country censors its citizen's ability to speak online? We may soon find out. In the wake of the devastating riots in the heart of London, Prime Minister David Cameron alluded to the House of Commons that the British government may consider pulling the plug on social networks when the goings get rough in the UK.
The porn – um, "privacy" – modes in modern browsers do a great job of letting workers browse Facebook under the noses of employers with strict Web policies, but privacy modes don't do squat when a heavy-handed regime blocks access to specific websites. Freedom-loving webizens in freedom-hating countries have long turned to TOR as their onion-routing proxy of choice to get around governmental roadblocks, but researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new system that could help Iranians and other censored Web users access "immoral" websites like Twitter and CNN.
China's a great place to go if you want to find a company to manufacture some hardware components, but it's a little less awesome if you want to, say, blog about making those components. The country's ramped up its assault on the Internet over the past few years, jailing "immoral" citizens and shutting down websites left and right. Now, China's bragging about its heavy-handedness; the country boasts that its iron grip strangled the life out of over 1.3 million websites last year alone.
Business Insider recently reported that China is trying to buy a $1.2 billion stake in Facebook, giving the country "a huge chunk" of the world's most popular social playground. If you're an active Facebook user, China's interest in Zuckerberg's social networking site is a scary one given the country's penchant for censorship. But should you really be concerned?
There are so many places where the law doesn’t get the net, but few are as extreme as the Streisand Effect. Named for the singer/actress, it’s really about how the net responds to censorship. It is insufficient to say the net routes around censorship. The net wedgies censorship and hangs it on the school fence.
With the first e-G8 meeting this week, we suspected that Internet issues would come up at the real G8 conference attended by world leaders. French president Nicolas Sarkozy is known for his desire to “tame” the web, which he sees as a threat to content owners. Imagine our surprise when a memo leaked to the Financial Times indicated wide support of the principals of freedom that made the Internet the force for good it has thus far been.