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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Labor's secret internet kill switch

The British government, which recently slipped through a "net nanny law," had already been funding an internet blacklist operation which affects some 95 percent of the British public without its knowledge, we are told.

Citing PCWorld, The Association for Progressive Communication reports that the government only gives contracts to internet service providers which "voluntarily" block sites listed by a private watchdog group, the Internet Watch Foundation. Web site publishers are not told they are being blocked, and the foundation declines to make public which sites are blacklisted. (So, anti-censorship lawsuits are apparently nipped nicely in the bud.)

APC points out that not all "sexually explicit" content is considered abhorrent, and cites such examples as sex education, and women breastfeeding. In fact Facebook once banished from public view photos of a woman breastfeeding.

Well, if such a secretive internet control system exists in Britain, we should expect that it has been used in other ways. A call or letter from a security official could easily result in a site being blocked for "security" reasons, though the security reason may be an excuse for unwanted political content.

Some years ago, a defector MI6 agent's web site was blocked, not only in Britain, but also in America -- though there could be no doubt that the security breach had already occurred and that the shutdown was meant for political reasons. (I had a report on "The MI6 affray and the press" but unfortunately I failed to make a mirror copy of it and when Yahoo nixed Geocities, I lost it. If you have a copy, please send me one.)

Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia University and an authority on press freedom, favors the First Amendment going global, reports the Epoch Times, a newspaper published by foes of Chinese communism.

We're starting an odd coincidence watchlist. If an odd coincidence makes the list, it doesn't prove anything. But the situation bears watching.

Abracadabra! Times Square terror story upstages Ahmadinejad's clever nuclear speech at the UN. By Monday, the story was on a full roll and the Iranian president's remarks were pushed off the cable talk shows, where his posturings were bound to have been subjected to endless analysis by talking heads.

Why recently I actually saw on cable TV a State Dept. type talking about Iran's focus on Israel's nukes! This is a direct violation of Israel's longterm policy of getting everyone -- especially the American public -- to forget about its nukes and concentrate on other peoples' nukes.

In fact, we were told that Netanyahu ducked out of the UN nuke conference because he feared the Iranian would draw too much attention to his regime's nukes.

Well, not to worry. American TV had something else to focus on.

Just for the record, Ahmadinejad accused the United States and the "Zionist regime" of using nuclear weapons for nuclear blackmail. He said such weapons violated divine law, and that the United States was considered "hateful" because of its use of atomic bombs against Japan.

Ahmadinejad said America and other nuclear states were trying to monopolize nuclear energy by deliberately muddling the concepts of peaceful nuclear energy and weaponry.

The Iranian also dropped what sounded like a blackmail threat, asserting that "certain major terrorist networks are supported by United States intelligence agencies and the Zionist regime" and saying that his government might disclose "credible evidence" of such linkage, if necessary, at an upcoming terrorism conference in Tehran.

Of course, anything Ahmadinejad says must be taken in light of his claims to having been elected in a fair election. And, I don't know whether by terrorists he means to include Iranians who felt cheated in the election.

Vlad ain't so bad, he says. Putin says through a spokesman that Reporters without Borders erred in listing him as a top press predator, all those unsolved murders of journalists and other rough stuff notwithstanding.

Mea culpa sorta... It appears I made a factual error below in recounting the South Park controversy. 'Taint worth fixin' and I ain't even gonna tell you what it was. However, I'd like to cry on your shoulder and say that my time and resources are limited.

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