Censorship Archives

Mortal Kombat Banned in Australia

I think that probably most people here in the US know that one of the oldest classic video games around is “Mortal Kombat”.  Many also know about and eagerly anticipate a modern remake of the classic game.  However if you live in Australia you’re out of luck because it’s been banned.  (Here’s a PDF of the Australian Content Classification board’s decision.)

Essentially they’ve decided that the game’s violence level is too high.  The thing is, if they had a R18+ rating it wouldn’t have to be banned but of course they don’t and apparently they’re not interested in creating one.

As to the game’s violence, I will admit that in the world of Mortak Kombat, if your name is not Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, or Raiden then your life insurance rates are going to be sky high to say the very least.  This is especially true when you have to face opponents like Reptile, Shang Tsung, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Prince Goro, or Shao Kahn.

Honestly though I can’t help thinking it wouldn’t hurt if the Australian powers that be would go ahead and create that R18+ rating because in spite of everything, Mortal Kombat just isn’t that bad.  Heck, compared to things like GTA it’s downright tame

Technorati Tags: r18+, content classification board, ma15, video games, game violence, australia, classic video games, rating

Freenet Downloads Updated

I have updated the freenet install archives on my freenet page.

This update included two things.

1, I updated the default bookmarks so that they now point to the current editions

2, I replaced the seednodes.ref file in each archive with a current one

I’m planning to do more updates on this page soon.

Technorati Tags: download freenet, freenet classic opennet, stable freenet, freenet update, classic freenet, freenet, freenet 0.5

What Wikileaks Should Have Done

As most of you are probably aware the ultimate whistleblower site, wikileaks, has once again been in the news quite a bit because it has published thousands of documents, messages and so on that have proven to be a major source of embarrassment to not only the US government but to several other governments around the world.

As a result, not only is it’s top guy up to his eyeballs in legal trouble of all kinds, the site itself has been under attack in a big way.  There’s several governments and mega-corporations pushing hard, doing their best to get the site taken down, even going so far as to remove DNS entries that make it work.

In response there’s a whole bunch of people working to mirror the site in several different places to keep it online.  This is all fine and dandy and will no doubt work to varying degrees depending on jurisdiction but there’s one option that they have apparently decided not to consider.

One of the first places to mirror the data that they have been releasing ought to have been Freenet Classic Opennet (FCon).

Why?

Because the primary reason for the existence of FCon in the first place is to provide a means to publish and obtain information on the Internet without fear of censorship.

You see, FCon isn’t just another run of the mill P2P file sharing system like Kazaa, Limewire, or Bittorrent.  Data inserted into FCon becomes part of an encrypted, distributed data store.  Additionally, because the data store is encrypted, node operators cannot be expected to know the contents of their node’s data store.  Nor do they have any ability to edit or censor that content.

Once something is inserted into the network it continues to be available even after the node that inserted it goes off-line.  For example, there are websites that were inserted into the network as long ago as 2001 that can still be retrieved today even though the original authors have long since left the network.

The reason that I think Wikileaks should make use of FCon is because once the information they wish to publish is inserted, they can ask other FCon users to republish that information on the conventional internet.  Thus the information still comes out while at the same time it’s in a position where it literally cannot be taken down or deleted.

In fact, once something is inserted into the FCon network, even the act of requesting it to see if it’s there will actually cause the network to propagate that data to more nodes, thus increasing the chances that it will still be available years later.

I’m not saying that wikileaks should use FCon exclusively but it IS something that they should add to their toolbox.  I should also say that the title of this post isn’t necessarily the end of he situation.  Wikileaks still has the option to download freenet (FCon), set up a node (or six, or a few dozen) and start inserting stuff that they don’t want taken down.

Technorati Tags: encrypted data store, wikileaks, safe anonymous publishing, anonymous publishing, takedown, encryption, freenet, censor proof, freenet 0.5, censor proof publishing, cannot takedown, anonymous publishing, cannot censor, censorship, distributed data store, prevent takedown, whistleblower

Obama Offended by US Flag?

There’s one of those all too common forwarded forwarded emails going around.  The big thing that makes this one different is that what it’s talking about is TRUE!

The email tells that Obama has ordered that the US flag is NOT to be flown at the US Army’s base of operations in Haiti where relief efforts are still underway to this day.

I checked this story out at truthorfiction.com and it is indeed true.

Obama gives some excuse of not wanting to offend the Haitian people and / or government. In truth, every other country participating in the relief effort in flying their flag.  Yet our “president” doesn’t think we should fly ours.

Could it be that he, and not he Haitian people and / or government are the ones that are offended, even ashamed?  I think so and I am offended, even ashamed OF HIM because of this.

We have a long standing tradition that our military and our government agencies fly the American flag wherever they set up operations.  It is not intended as any sign of disrespect to other countries.  It is pride in who we are and what we stand for.

Obviously Obama is not proud of America.  If that’s the case, it’s yet another reason that he should NOT be president.  In fact, he should be impeached and then deported back to Kenya where he came from!

Technorati Tags: flag, presidential order, offended, president, offense, patriotism, executive order, obama, ashamed

I just read an article on montrealgazette.com that left me shaking my head in utter disbelief at the sheer stupidity of the situation.

It seems that a Vancouver businessman, Wayne Crookes, claims that writer Jon Newton defamed him by linking to reputation-smearing articles in a 2006 post about free speech on his website, www.p2pnet.net.

Essentially he’s trying to get the courts to agree that merely linking to something amounts to the same thing as publishing it and in particular that linking to an (allegedly) libellous article can be legally the same as if you’d written the offending article yourself.

The problem with this is that links are perhaps the most important feature of the web.  Frankly I don’t see it.  Providing a link to something does not mean that you agree with what people will find there.  It is merely more information, not unlike a footnote in a book.

The difference is important.  Telling somebody where something is cannot possibly be the same thing as writing that something yourself.  If I were to write something that said Joe Blow was embezzling money to pay debts instead of using credit repair services then that would be libelous.  If on the other hand I were to link to an article that someone else wrote making such claims, all I would be doing is saying “Here’s an article so and so wrote” and the link merely shows where that article is.  In providing that link I’m not making the statements in the article being linked to, the author who wrote the article is making those statements.  I would merely be reporting the existence of it.

The thing is, while this seems like an incredibly stupid lawsuit it’s also a very important one.  If the court should rule in favor of this guy that will open the way for anyone and everyone to start a torrential flood of lawsuits against anyone and everyone that links to something that they don’t like.

In my opinion this is nonsense and that nonsense needs to be stopped cold.

Imagine an internet where links are hardly ever used because people were afraid of being sued because of something that somebody else wrote?  The internet would become a mere shadow of what it is now and freedom of speech on the Internet would become a thing of the past.

Technorati Tags: opinion, ridiculous, canadian supreme court, internet, lawsuit, stupidity, jon newton, defamation, hyperlinks, links, supreme court, wayne crooks, freedom of speech, p2pnet, libel

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