Posts Tagged ‘content’
Google has received more than 1,000 requests from authorities to take down content from its search results or YouTube video in the last six months of 2011, the company said on Monday, denouncing what it said was an alarming trend.
In its twice-yearly Transparency Report, the world’s largest web search engine said the requests were aimed at having some 12,000 items overall removed, about a quarter more than during the first half of last year.
“Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different,” Dorothy Chou, the search engine’s senior policy analyst, said in a blogpost. “We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.”
Many of those requests targeted political speech, keeping up a trend Google said it has noticed since it started releasing its Transparency Report in 2010.
“It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect — Western democracies not typically associated with censorship,” said Chou…
Not publicly associated with censorship in the obedient press, that is.
In one case, Spanish regulators asked Google to remove 270 links to blogs and newspaper articles criticizing public figures, including mayors and public prosecutors.
So far Google has not complied…
Chou said that in Thailand videos featuring the monarch with a seat over his head have been removed for insulting the monarchy. The country has some of the world’s toughest “lese- majeste” laws.
In Canada, Google was asked by officials to get rid of a YouTube video showing a citizen urinating on his passport and flushing it down the toilet…The company refused.
Google and many other online providers maintain that they cannot lawfully remove any content for which they are merely the host and not the producer, a principle enshrined in EU law on eCommerce since 2000.
BTW, Google complies most often with requests from the United States government.
Just in case you wondered.
Now who would want to see my email?
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) has proposed sweeping digital privacy protections that would require the government, for the first time, to get a probable-cause warrant to obtain e-mail and other content stored in the cloud.
Leahy’s proposal (.pdf) would nullify a provision of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act that allows the government to acquire a suspect’s e-mail or other stored content from an internet service provider without showing probable cause that a crime was committed, as long as the content has been stored on a third-party server for 180 days or more. The government had only needed to show that it has “reasonable grounds to believe” the information would be useful in an investigation…
“We think this is the beginning of the discussion. This is a very positive step,” Chris Calabrese, legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said by telephone…
But the Leahy bill, which has not been sent to committee for review, is a give-and-take of sorts when it comes to other forms of electronic privacy…
The measure would also expand, or at least clarify, the information the government may obtain with so-called National Security Letters. They allow the FBI, without a court order, to obtain telecommunication, financial and credit records relevant to a government investigation. The Leahy bill adds “electronic communication identifiable information” and strikes “electronic communication transactional records.”
“It is not appropriate for the government to be able to get detailed information on everybody who you communicated with,” Kevin Bankston, a privacy lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said by telephone.
That said, the bill is “a great leap forward,” Bankston said.
The struggle takes us all the way back to the founding of this nation. There have always been those who are committed to the power of the government over the rights of individuals. And some libertarians who refused to consider the question of benefits to the common good superseding any individual’s rights.
Most educated folks come down on the side which support individual freedoms within history’s context. Those who are tied emotionally for one reason or another to the extremes of history and government end up stuck into the disparate worlds of anarchist or fascist. Although they occasionally share rationales. :}
I wish Senator Leahy well with his attempt and will zap off an email via www.congress.org to my elected representatives suggesting they support the bill, too.
CFO of Goldman Sachs on TV monitor on the floor of NY Stock Exchange during testimony
A divided U.S. investigative panel released on Thursday a wide-ranging assessment of what caused the financial crisis that rocked global markets from 2007-2009.
The 10-member Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was created by Congress to deliver a bipartisan report on the origins of the crisis, but it failed to deliver a consensus view.
The main report was endorsed only by the commission’s six Democratic members, undermining its impact as the post-crisis Dodd-Frank banking reforms of 2010 are being implemented.
I hope no one out there in citizen-land actually expected Republicans to participate in naming their primary sources of income as bearing responsibility for the financial crisis and the Great Recession.
Below are the main points of the…majority report:
* We conclude widespread failures in financial regulation and supervision proved devastating to the stability of the nation’s financial markets.
* We conclude dramatic failures of corporate governance and risk management at many systemically important financial institutions were a key cause of this crisis.
* We conclude a combination of excessive borrowing, risky investments, and lack of transparency put the financial system on a collision course with crisis.
* We conclude the government was ill prepared for the crisis, and its inconsistent response added to the uncertainty and panic in the financial markets.
* We conclude there was a systemic breakdown in accountability and ethics.
* We conclude collapsing mortgage-lending standards and the mortgage securitization pipeline lit and spread the flame of contagion and crisis.
* We conclude over-the-counter derivatives contributed significantly to this crisis.
* We conclude the failures of credit rating agencies were essential cogs in the wheel of financial destruction.
If you’d like to peek at the beginnings of analysis, try this article over at Bloomberg.com.
Comcast has begun imposing a fee on Internet middleman Level 3 Communications, one of the companies that Netflix has hired to deliver movies and TV shows to Web customers.
Comcast, the largest U.S. cable TV company, has set up an Internet “toll booth,” charging Level 3 whenever customers request content, the Broomfield, Colorado-based company said in a statement yesterday.
Level 3 plans to complain to U.S. regulators who may enact so-called net-neutrality rules next month. The Federal Communications Commission is seeking to bar phone and cable providers from interfering with legal traffic on their networks. The rules are backed by President Barack Obama and companies led by Google, EBay and IAC/InterActiveCorp. Phone and cable companies say rules aren’t needed and may hurt investment.
“This action by Comcast threatens the open Internet and is a clear abuse of the dominant control that Comcast exerts in broadband access,” Thomas Stortz, Level 3’s chief legal officer, said in the statement. “With this action, Comcast is preventing competing content from ever being delivered to Comcast’s subscribers at all, unless Comcast’s unilaterally determined toll is paid.”
Comcast, which is seeking regulatory approval to acquire majority ownership of NBC Universal, defended the fee in a statement, saying it is based on “long established and mutually acceptable commercial arrangements” with Level 3’s peers…
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in proposing net neutrality rules last year, called for a principle of non- discrimination by Internet-service providers. The FCC will meet on Dec. 21.
“This means they cannot block or degrade lawful traffic over their networks,” Genachowski said.
And, btw, putting a surcharge, a toll on your traffic is the same as blocking traffic. If you don’t pay the toll, your traffic doesn’t go through – or Comcast will slow it down enough to make it unwatchable.
Throughout most of the United States, Comcast has been working their semi-competent buns off installing throttling mechanisms. They told everyone – including the Feds – this was to protect consumers from the exorbitant demands of nerds and illegal downloads. Shock and amazement! It’s just of an accident of nature that it can be used as a weapon to extract tolls from companies using the Web for business purposes.
A teenager in Arkansas…has become so annoyed with his mother’s Facebook intrusion that he has reportedly decided to sue her for harassment.
According to KATV-TV, the 16-year-old son of Denise New from Arkadelphia claims that she hacked into his Facebook account, changed his password, and even posted things about him that were slanderous.
New told KATV: “You’re within your legal rights to monitor your child and to have a conversation with your child on Facebook whether it’s his account, or your account, or whoever’s account.”
She said she read things on his Facebook page that suggested he had driven home one night at 95 mph because he was upset with a girl. (Oh, you knew a girl had to be involved here, didn’t you?) This appears to have prompted some kind of Facebook intervention.
Her son’s grandmother is his custodian, but New told KATV that she had enjoyed an excellent relationship with him prior to the Facebook fallout. Now she faces the prospect of a court date on May 12.
Mom clearly intends to fight for her right to put her face into her son’s Facebook. She told KATV: “I’m not gonna let this rest. I think this could be a precedent-setting moment for parents.”
Har! The war between generations can be more than absurd – but, dragging it through a courtroom should be a trip. We’re gonna hear from a judge and lawyers who are likely to be about as hip to social networks as your average cornball dweeb.
Rupert Murdoch’s News International, which plans to begin charging for online content, said Thursday it was to close its free London newspaper as part of cost-cutting measures.
The Londonpaper, which employs 60 editorial staff, will cease publication within a month.
“The strategy at News International over the past 18 months has been to streamline our operations and focus investment on our core titles,” James Murdoch, who heads his father’s Europe and Asia operations said.
He added that the performance of the newspaper had “fallen short of expectations“, adding: “We have taken a tough decision that reflects our priorities as a business…”
It was launched in 2006 as a rival to the city’s longstanding paid for publication, the Evening Standard — then owned by Associated Newspapers, who retaliated with their own free sheet, London Lite.
Rupert Murdoch said earlier this year his News Corp. media empire would begin charging for online content on its portfolio of titles including The Wall Street Journal, the London Times and the New York Post.
“We are now in the midst of an epochal debate over the value of content and it is clear to many newspapers that the current model is malfunctioning,” he told analysts in May.
The value of content from most of Murdoch’s newspapers – is as toilet paper.
They may crunch like a crisp and taste like a crisp, but Pringles are now officially closer to a cake than a potato snack.
This was the bizarre ruling handed down by a High Court judge, who found that the popular snack was not a crisp.
Judge Justice Warren said Pringles’ “unnatural shape”, distinctive tube packaging, and non-potato ingredients meant that the snack could not be classified as a crisp.
The result is a victory for Pringles’ manufacturer Procter & Gamble, which has fought a long-running battle against the taxman, arguing the snack should be free from VAT.
The ruling yesterday pointed out that Pringles – contain corn flour, wheat starch, maltodextrin, emulsifier, rice flour and dextrose, and just 42 per cent potato content.
A truly American product. Get the look and feel right. Get the sound and texture appealing.
Who cares what the content really is?
Thanks, K B