Birdwatching: Porn, privacy and problems with hackers

Birdwatching is a column by Eddie King. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

Yet again those suits in London who get paid to write stuff and put it on some of the biggest, most influential and most widely read websites on the internet have decided to take a sledgehammer to our subconscious, dulling it to the point where we will be soon living in a nanny state wrapped in bubble paper and drooling over the sacred book of political correctness. The bird has yet again been consumed with anger and will be doing his best to knock ten bells out of the foundations of stupidity. Luckily this time around I have, like Eminem, the ‘antidote‘ i.e. porn.

Yes, I mentioned the P word, but we must understand that we are one of the only species that actually has sex merely for fun and it shows intelligence. Unfortunately most people won’t admit this because it is a touchy subject, and there is nothing wrong with this, but subsequently as a youngster you will start discovering the world of puberty through some of the shadier corners of the internet. Why? Because it isn’t embarrassing, other people have said it is good and it is free and easily accessible. Why then has our illustrious Prime Minister deemed it necessary to call together a meeting with the biggest ISPs to block porn in all services unless you ask for it in the first place? Three massive problems with this:

  • Firstly, if you are in any form of relationship at all and your partner found out that you specifically requested porn to be allowed on your media it will be a basis for accusations of cheating, as for some reason girls don’t seem to understand that even if you were going out with a gorgeous specimen and love them very much, it doesn’t stop you being curious about what Tulisa looks like naked and at the height of pleasure. (No link there, but if you want to find out, Google’s a thing.)
  • Secondly, it will prevent young boys from truly entering teenagehood, as at the end of the day before you turn 13 you are not in the least bit interested in girls so you won’t go looking for videos of them with no cloths on and after that you don’t mind finding them so at what point are you protecting anybody?  Yes, there are some very dark corners of the internet where the adult industry takes advantage of people in ways which are truly sick and twisted, but the thing is not only is this a niche market but these bastards generally want money for their hard work and so that is a natural buffer against us ‘stumbling’ over it.
  • Lastly, you are starting to make choices for people based on the fact you have more power than them. You are now swimming in very dangerous waters as in places where the internet is available it prides itself on being the model of freedom. And after centuries of perfecting various ways of taking lives that don’t belong to them, humans are kind of protective of freedom because it works rather well.

They say that they want to limit this to protect children, but who asked them to protect them? Was it some cow in a horrible pink frock at a garden party in the Cotswolds? Do you really think this will help society in any way? If you channelled that same time and effort into making the darker streets of London not quite so dark, then children and their guardians might feel a little more protected. Parents have more software options than hair follicles to save their children from the sight of someone getting banged, but they don’t have the same options in the real world as muggings, murder and rape are just a few of the things that you can’t download safeguards for but Mr Cameron can help with.

This brings me onto the subject of that brilliant yet totally arsehole-ish crowd who call themselves ‘hackers‘. These are the true lords of the internet who do not steal your money by building up databases on you and slowly taking over your life (like Google) but simply roll in and strip your card of all its value and then forget to tell you about it until they buy a car in Mexico. To be honest it is a far more comfortable way to get mugged and frankly shows how soft the 21st century really is. But the rascals have been rumoured to have designs on the Olympic opening ceremony. The question is where to draw the line. Generally I will say that people should be show how to not care about things that don’t really matter and to stick it to the man, but at this level I am talking about the same man every time – a man that I am proud to stick it to in the first place and one that I want no help in sticking it to. Turning the lights off at the opening ceremony in London and pasting a massive picture of someone’s breasts on the board may be a good laugh and it certainly would both stick it to the man and show just how free the little people can get, but then other people will no longer respect the man I stick it to. I think that hackers should continue with their 21st century muggings and displays of the innermost workings of top secret organisations, but the people who keep your Alienware desktops running are the same ones you will be attacking on this occasion so please reconsider and piss someone else off.

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Anonymous bring down the CIA site

Anonymous are at it again, and this time the CIA are in the firing line.

Tech

Hacking group Anonymous has apparently claimed credit for knocking the Central Intelligence Agency’s website offline. An update at the YourAnonNews Twitter account reads:

CIA TANGO DOWN: https://www.cia.gov/#Anonymous (via @RT_America)

Sure enough, as of 4:16pm ET on Friday, the CIA.gov website isn’t loading. RT.com reports that the site was initially taken down around 3:10pm ET.

Anonymous has recently claimed takedowns of sites belonging to the Boston Police Department, the FBI, the DOJ, the U.S. Copyright Office and two of Brazil’s largest banks.

The group also recently intercepted a conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard, which entailed cybercrime investigators discussing Anonymous’ activities.

[via AFP]

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Protesting ACTA and TPP

This Saturday, activists worldwide will take to the streets in protest of ACTA. Like SOPA and PIPA, ACTA would criminalize users, encourage internet providers to spy on you, and make it easier for media companies to sue sites out of existence and jail their founders. TPP goes even farther than ACTA, and the process has been even more secretive and corrupt. Last weekend (we wish this was a joke) trade negotiators partied with MPAA (pro-SOPA) lobbyists before secret negotiations in a Hollywood hotel, while public interest groups were barred from meeting in the same building.

Please help the internet by standing up for your rights.

Thank you.

Kill ACTA

6 Reasons to oppose ACTA

  1. ACTA locks countries into obsolete copyright and patent laws. If a democracy decides on less restrictive laws that reflect the reality of the internet, ACTA will prevent that.
  2. ACTA criminalizes users by making noncommercial, harmless remixes into crimes if “on a commercial scale” (art 2.14.1). Many amateur works achieve a commercial scale on sites like YouTube. ACTA, like SOPA, could mean jail time for the Justin Biebers of the world.
  3. ACTA criminalizes legitimate websites, making them responsible for user behavior by “aiding and abetting”. (art 2.14.4). Like SOPA, the founders of your favorite sites could be sued or (worse) thrown in jail for copyright infringement by their users.
  4. ACTA will let rightsholders use laughably inflated claims of damages (based on the disproven idea that every download or stream is a lost sale) to sue people. As if suing amazing artists, video makers and websites for millions wasn’t hard enough!
  5. ACTA Permanently bypasses democracy by giving the “ACTA Committee” the power to “propose amendments to [ACTA]” (art 6.4). In other words, voting for ACTA writes a blank check to an unelected committee. These closed-door proceedings will be a playground for SOPA-supporters like the MPAA.
  6. Trade agreements are a gaping loophole, a backdoor track that, even though it creates new law, is miles removed from democracy. It’s a secretive process that’s tailor-made to serve politically connected companies. And the movie studios behind SOPA? They’re experts at it. If we can’t make secretive trade agreements harder to pass than US law, our internet’s future belongs to the lobbyists behind SOPA.

 

Protesting SOPA and PIPA

Many websites are blacked out today to protest proposed US legislation that threatens internet freedom: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). From personal blogs to giants like WordPress and Wikipedia, sites all over the web — including Digixav — are asking you to help stop this dangerous legislation from being passed. From 1pm GMT today, Wednesday 18th January 2012, we will black out for 12 hours as part of the largest protest in internet history.

Action needs to be taken against SOPA and PIPA.

Please watch the video below to learn how this legislation will affect internet freedom, and sign up below to let the US know how you feel about the bills.

americancensorship.org

Thank you.