Iran Creates Internal Internet for Iranian citizens, Blocks Gmail, Google, and, Eventually, Maybe Even the World Wide Web

The Iranian government has blocked Gmail and Google until further notice. In an announcement, that included sending a notice to citizens via text message, government officials stated that the services would be filtered, and indeed it appears that, while Google is accessible, it doesn’t actually work for searching purposes.

Amazon Pulls “Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure”, Continues to Offer “Boylovers” Book

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 Poised to Pass Law to Target and Censor Websites

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.

Facebook Censors Pictures of Breastfeeding Babies

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.

Vietnam Censoring Bloggers

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.