Amid a scandalized outcry, Amazon this week stopped selling a book entitled The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover’s Code of Conduct, although they continue to sell an apologist treatise on the same subject. The former, self-published by Phillip Greaves, and the latter, written by David Riegel and published through the interestingly-named Safehaven Press, are at the center of the current tension between freedom of speech, protection of children, and Amazon’s duty, if any, in both.
Germany will be voting tomorrow on their proposed Internet censorship law, which would create a list of verboten websites (primarily dealing with the underaged in inappropriate situations) that will be targeted for official German governmental censoring. It was only a few months ago that Australia’s plan to censor websites that it deemed inappropriate or illegal blew up in its face, with the list of censored website being leaked to and widely published on the Internet.
With just two days until the 20-year anniversary of the horrific massacre at Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government has censored and blocked Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Live.com and Hotmail.com, and even the new Microsoft Bing.com
As early as 2007, Facebook began quietly censoring pictures of breastfeeding babies which members had posted to their Facebook profiles. They did this by simply removing the pictures of the nursing babies after they were posted. In some cases, users were warned if they continued posting such “obscene” content, they stood to lose their Facebook accounts. Now the issue is heating up, and Facebook is not backing down. Facebook – you win the booby prize.
The government of Vietnam is getting ready to clamp down on the thriving Vietnamese blogging culture. In fact, the Vietnamese government is putting in place new regulations aimed at curbing just about any form of free speech in Vietnamese blogs. The new regulations, approved this month, include rules that ban all posts that the government feels undermine the national security of Vietnam or that disclose Vietnamese state secrets. The rules, written by the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications, also ban any posts that contain “inaccurate information” that could potentially damage the reputation of individuals and organizations.
Canadian activist group Citizen Lab, with the help of an article in the New York Times, has blown the lid off the newest Chinese censorship scandal: the government of China is eavesdropping on, and in some cases intercepting, text messages sent via the Skype network.