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August 02, 2011

Republicans push bill to require ISPs to log your every move, store your credit card numbers

They claim it's to fight pedophiles online, but most of the provisions in the bill have nothing to do with that and everything to do with tracking every move of legitimate citizens conducting their lives online. How the new ‘Protecting Children’ bill puts you at risk | ZDNet
The Republican-majority sponsored bill is called the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011. It has nothing to do with pornography, and was opposed by over 30 civil liberties and consumer advocacy organizations, as well as one brave indie ISP that is urging its customers to do everything they can to protest the invasion of privacy. “Protecting Children” forces ISPs to retain customer names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and dynamic IP addresses. It’s like having your wallet plus the web sites you visit tracked and handed over on request. These logs are now going to be retained for the scope of one and a half years. (I have to wonder if ISPs can sell this data, too.) This has nothing to do with porn. In case you’re like the Reps that passed this nightmare and you’ve forgotten: pornography is legal in the United States. It is pedophilia that is illegal. But for the sake of harnessing hysteria to get a bill passed, clearly these particular Republicans find it convenient to conflate “pornographers” as pedophiles. Last time I checked in on the matter, pedophiles did not operate within the laws surrounding adult pornography. Personally, I’m insulted as a porn-loving American girl to be included by way of consumer participation in this disgusting and misleading characterization. And that my privacy has just been sold for something that doesn’t actually help the children. I don’t feel confident that treating us all like the criminals our system can’t catch is going to protect any children, especially when the people who passed the bill can’t - or won’t - distinguish the difference between legal adult pornography and pedophilia.

July 29, 2011

Two fourteen-year-old boys put on sex offender list for rubbing their butts on classmate's face

The registration on the sex offender list is for the rest of their lives. Is this just? Was NJ Schoolyard Stunt ‘Horseplay’ or Criminal Sexual Conduct? - Law Blog - WSJ
Let us explain: On Monday, a three-judge appellate panel in New Jersey ruled that a pair of 14-year-old boys in Someret County committed a crime in 2008 by sitting on the faces of a pair of 12-year-olds with their bare buttocks, and will be forced to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. According to the story, in a decision handed down Monday, the three-judge panel acknowledged the severity of its decision, but said it was bound to uphold the law. “We are keenly aware that our decision may have profound lifelong ramifications for these two boys as well as others similarly situated,” Judge Jose Fuentes wrote. One of the boys, whose case went to trial, said he had pulled the stunt because “I thought it was funny and I was trying to get my friends to laugh,” he told a family court judge. . . . But on Monday, the panel noted that its hands were tied. “Although we are not unsympathetic to the arguments criticizing the application of the lifelong registration requirements in (Megan’s Law) to 14-year-old offenders, we are bound to uphold such application because that outcome is mandated by the Legislature,’’ the court said in its ruling.

July 22, 2011

Google bans user from all its products, refuses to tell him why

This is a long, impassioned letter that highlights the chief problem with Google: a total lack of transparency. TwitLonger: Dear Google, I would like to bring to your attention a few things before I disconnect permanently f
I would like to bring to your attention a few things before I disconnect permanently from all of your services. On July 15 2011 you turned off my entire Google account. You had absolutely no reason to do this, despite your automated message telling me your system “perceived a violation.” I did not violate any Terms of Service, either Google’s or account specific ToS, and your refusal to provide me with any proof otherwise makes me absolutely certain of this. And I would like to bring to your attention how much damage your carelessness has done. . . .