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National Governments and the Internet? 109

Posted by Cliff
from the how-does-your-country-handle-it dept.
Plastic Man asks: "I am writing a paper on how other countries' governments are handling the internet including censorship, the quality and availability of ISPs, the deployment of broadband infrastructure, and the general levels of involvement by government in the making of such policies. Specifically, how much content different governments allow to reach their respective peoples, and how they choose what that content will be. Where can I find reports on end users' experiences in attempting to 'get online' in their home country? Any personal experience in making and especially enforcing these policies will be extremely helpful." So which countries have agreeable Internet policies, and which impose draconican restrictions on online communications? Firsthand reports especially appreciated, since these are the sorts of things which might otherwise go unheard.
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National Governments and the Internet?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Have you also looked at indirect limitations to get on the Internet, such as high phone access charges.

    I am thinking in particular about Europe (e.g. France) were we do not get unlimited local phone calls, and have instead to pay high per-minute connection fees for local calls. This inhibits many people from connecting to the Internet or being online.

    This is especially troubling, as some countries limit competition on the phone business and/or directly or indirectly own the phone company (often a single one is allowed).

    So, even if people can get access to Internet, phone costs limit their access for any practical purpose.

    In addition, you could also look how many countries are promoting (or not promoting) Internet access. If people don't know about it, or if it is presented as a bad thing (as it had been in France for several years), why people would bother to even attempt to get connected?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    America's civilization wasn't built upon the hard work of others. It was built by hand through the ethic of self help and self work.

    I realize I'm trolling, but even so ... there's a fair bit of evidence to suggest that in fact America's civilization *was* built on the hard work of others. Look at the immigration policies this nation has had, from slavery and indentured servitude to the modern versions, letting outsiders come in and do the grunt work that "Americans" won't do, or won't do as cheap. The south was built on the back of the blacks, the southwest on the hispanics, the railroads by the chinese ... seriously.

    What I find *really* amusing is that he comes to /. for this sort of thing, that /. has become the cheap grunt labor pool of the modern state. Yay Slashdot!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    >Except:

    >1. Access child pornography.

    >2. Commit treason, espinonage, or other subversive acts.

    >3. Access "pirated" MP3s.

    >4. Access the seven lines of code that can decrypt a DVD.

    You do realize these are open to the government's own interpretation. Are pr0n actresses that *look* underaged really underageds? Is posting military information that was already published in commercial publications considered treason, espionage, or subversive? Are any or all .mp3s illegal? Is a poem considered code that can decrypt a DVD? Realistically, by referring to countries like China, our government is given a *blank check* to take away whatever rights we had.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Slashdot is not here to do your homework for you.

    Slashdot is not here to be your babysitter.

    If you cannot get your work done in a reasonable time on your own, then you have no business showing your face in polite company.

    If we were to do your work for you this time, you'd just come back for more later. Listening to others makes you weak; you stop thinking for yourself.

    America's civilization wasn't built upon the hard work of others. It was built by hand through the ethic of self help and self work. If you don't reinvent the wheel, you can't understand anything.

    Start from the bottom. Go to your public library. It's there for a reason, so stop masturbating on slashdot and get your nose into a book. Look up the answer for yourself. There, that's a good boy. Now write the answer down on index cards. Put the index cards in your pocket and go home. Now you're ready to write your damn paper.

    The internet has raised a generation of cultural and academic invalids. Parents don't teach their children anymore; they leave that job to the internet. But the internet isn't the world's largest library; it's the world's largest brothel. Anyone who lets his kids get an education there is derelect in his duties as a parent.

    You must not allow your children to think for themselves. You must constrain their every action. If they are allowed to be free, then they will choose not to be like their parents. Don't let them. Enforce your will. It's your duty as a parent to mould them in your own image. That is what it means to be a Creator.

    Take my advice. Shut down the computer, get out a book, and start using words again. And always do your own work for yourself.
  • by abischof (255) <alexNO@SPAMspamcop.net> on Monday April 16, 2001 @03:18PM (#287555) Homepage
    The Crypto Law Survey [cwis.kub.nl] is a great resource on crypto law worldwide, listing country-by-country. To give an example, some people might still believe that France has outlawed domestic crypto, but as you can see that's no longer the case [cwis.kub.nl].

    Alex Bischoff
    ---
  • The formerly state-owned Deutsche Telecom and its subsidiary company T-Online have driven its competitors out of business by offering a ridiculously cheap flat rate (cheap only by German standards, of course). Now that all providers who offered a flat rate are either bancrupt or in serious trouble, T-Online does not offer a flat rate anymore - and terminates all existing contracts. Accessing the internet over a low-bandwidth connection costs ~0.02 EUR/min.
  • by danny (2658)
    For Australia, some good resources are

    Danny.

  • Glad I'm not flying anywhere near there either.
  • Why else do you think libraries have internet terminals?
  • One of the propellors was a spy?
  • Which pilot, which plane?
  • "...where an American spy plane crashed into a Chinese jet, resulting in the death of a Chinese pilot."

    Oh, you mean the time when a U.S. pilot endangered himself and 23 other crew members by diverting from his assigned mission to hit a faster, more maneuverable jet with his big, lumbering propellor driven airplane?

    In other words, when we asaulted the Chinese fist with our nose.

  • You must not allow your children to think for themselves. You must constrain their every action. If they are allowed to be free, then they will choose not to be like their parents. Don't let them. Enforce your will. It's your duty as a parent to mould them in your own image. That is what it means to be a Creator.

    Yeah, right... you don't have any kids do you?

    Disclaimer: Yes, I know this is the second troll that I've responded to in this article. At least I'm not moderating them "Insightful" :-P

  • by GypC (7592) on Monday April 16, 2001 @03:15PM (#287564) Homepage Journal

    The problem, of course, is who decides which ideas are dangerous? I'm not a moral relativist, but neither do I see the world as black and white. And I simply don't trust anyone else enough to do my censoring for me. After all, if I can't trust people not to fall for "dangerous ideas", how can I trust them to recognize which ideas are dangerous and which are merely uncomfortable? Or which ideas are harmless and which are sugar-coated poison?

  • Truth is the greatest enemy of Communist oppression,

    It is also the greatest enemy of retailing. Only because consumers are kept ignorant, retailers are able to shove useless stuff upon them and not only have pay huge amounts of money on it, but also liking it a lot!


    --

  • http://www.wangwei.netor.com/ [netor.com]

    the memorial site for the revolutionary martyr of china, and now official "Guardian of the Air and Sea". Clearly one goverment knows how to use the net properly.

    It runs on IIS.

  • See EPIC's Cryptography & Liberty 2000 [epic.org].

    Also, Bert-Jaap Koops's Crypto Law Survey [cwis.kub.nl].

  • by Stentapp (19941) on Monday April 16, 2001 @10:31PM (#287568) Journal
    Look who has posted it...

    Ask Slashdot: National Governments and the Internet?
    Posted by Cliff on Monday April 16, @23:54
    from the how-does-your-country-handle-it dept.


    Internet Policies in Other Countries?
    Posted by Cliff on Monday April 02, @02:17PM
    from the how-do-others-do-it dept.
  • I am currently living in the Bahamas, you know, that small little island chain southeast of Florida. Our govt. currently has heavy restrictions on bandwith on and off the island. I work at a small ISP, and we are forced to route all our traffic off the island via satellite. This means we must tack on an extra 500ms latency on anything coming in, or going out. The satellite is also costing us about 10x what a simmilar connection would run if we were in Florida, only 100 Miles to the northwest.
    We, (along with many other groups in this country) have been trying to deploy a broadband wireless network on the island, to improve local infrastructure. At the moment the only choice for "high speed" connectivity, is a 128k/64k cable modem. I hardly call that broadband. So, we (and many others) have had our plan for broadband wirelss worked out for over two years. No license. Bermuda on the other hand, is bursting at seams with offshore hosting services, and offshore banking, and so forth. Only because their govt. was insightful enough to see that the Internet is a requirement in any modern country.
    Oh well, for now, I sit here on my dialup, waiting on a proper connection...
  • by debrain (29228) on Monday April 16, 2001 @04:32PM (#287570) Journal
    Are you interested in what influences the internet, or how national governments influence the internet? Corporations are likely to have far more influence than national governments, since it not kosher for a national agency to make recommendations to policies of foreign nationals, but corporations have precise influences on all governments (hence lobbying). If you want to know how national governments will influence the internet, I think it will be a struggle between what the government thinks is best for its society and what corporations convince national governing bodies is necessary.
  • I imagine he got quite a bit of toungue in cheek the day after All Fool's Day. I know I avoided all 'news' sites until the 3rd to avoid the foolishness. It was only then that I could look back on the previous days and reflect on what was real news and what was faked.
    This was just to preserve my sanity after the crazy stuff that got posted last year.
  • Well, yeah. But you said that America "was built by hand through the ethic of self help and self work." True, but not complete. There was a strong component of helping your neighbors. You're right though, we shouldn't do his homework for him. Heck, he can find everything he wants in the YRO section ;-)
  • So basically, ya can't do anything but surf.

  • Why do posts like this come around only when I'm NOT a moderator? I actually copy/pasted it to my desktop to read again and grab quotes from for my own use. (A little trick I learned that lets me 'fake' intelligence ;-)

    Well done friartux!
  • i've been informed that italy has just
    launched some really harsh laws for
    publishing anything on the internet, such
    as paying 200 dollar tax..for any website,
    but i can't
    verify these claims as i don't read italian.
    anyone want to take a shot at it?

    http://www.interlex.it/testi/l01_62.htm
  • Is it just me, or did that have a wholly sarcastic tone? This sounds like the secret liner notes from "The Wall"....
  • by Puk (80503) on Monday April 16, 2001 @03:43PM (#287578)
    I'm confused. This story even has a link to another, essentially identical slashdot story, excatly two weeks ago. You can't even claim ignorance. Um?

    -Puk

    April 16: Plastic Man asks: "I am writing a paper on how other countries' governments are handling the internet including censorship, the quality and availability of ISPs, the deployment of broadband infrastructure, and the general levels of involvement by government in the making of such policies. Specifically, how much content different governments allow to reach their respective peoples, and how they choose what that content will be. Where can I find reports on end users' experiences in attempting to 'get online' in their home country? Any personal experience in making and especially enforcing these policies will be extremely helpful." So which countries have agreeable Internet policies, and which impose draconican restrictions on online communications? Firsthand reports especially appreciated, since these are the sorts of things which might otherwise go unheard.

    April 2: Panthro asks: "I am writing a paper on how other countries are handling the internet, including censoring, broadband infrastructure deployment, ISP availability and quality, and general involvement levels of governments in the delivery of content to their constituents. Any personal experience involving the creation or enforcing of such policies would be very helpful." It's always wise to know what internet policies are being enforced out there, if only to know what's been decided on by others, which policies you might want to implement and which ones you might want to avoid implementing at any cost.
  • I can check Internet information myself quite easily. It takes weeks to check information in the dead tree world.

    I'm really getting sick of this troll.
  • Goodbye suckers. Christ what a disappointment.
  • I'll accept the funny moderation for the moment...
    But there's something wrong when somebody gets modded up to 4 though fewer than 18 comments have been posted.
  • Check out the Internet Law & Policy Forum [ilpf.org] (http://www.ilpf.org/) - There's all sorts of information on digital signatures, digital law, internet borders, etc.

    The Good Reverend
    I'm different, just like everybody else. [michris.com]
  • Why do posts like this come around only when I'm NOT a moderator?
    Why, that's a subject for a poll :-)
    1. Not every story is thought-provoking.
    2. One can't read everything on /. and get useful work done. (Now, about those who comment on a high percentage of stories... :-)
    3. Murphy's Law applies to everything, itself included.
    4. The person(s) best suited to comment on a post will be traveling for the duration of the story's run.
    5. Fates, Furies, Destiny, and Reeboks, all wrapped by the worm Ourobourous.
    6. [Fill in random /. staff's nick here] [optionally fill in a random activity or possession].

    BTW, if you can use a quote to further (or further discuss) the idea, go for it!

    The "War on Drugs" is really a war on the american people.

    Sort of. I don't have a problem keeping highly addictive stuff off the streets; but adding legal troubles to addiction problems is like kicking a bleeding man. It also perpetuates a nasty cycle. The urge to abuse any substance, whether alcohol, illegal drugs, MP3's, or firearms, is yet another social ill... they're all tools and should be used wisely. Getting worked up about the tool isn't the way to go.

  • by friartux (89443) on Monday April 16, 2001 @05:56PM (#287584)

    The internet is, by its nature, a disruptive technology. By this I mean that it allows every connected person to be her/his own publisher, which up to this point has not been possible.

    Thus, any premises that include "choice of content" are flawed because there is an implied comparison to broadcast technologies. Certainly broadcasters can be part of the 'net, but they are only a subset of it.

    Look around. There are family snapshots, source code, opinions, recipes, audio, video, and more: every form of human expression that can be digitized and copied is available on the internet.

    There is no one, true source of content, nor is there a means to effectively control the materials available. There are billions of possible users, each with his/her own unique method of communicating. Censorship becomes extremely difficult, and copyright law is (as has been pointed out) fatally flawed.

    Attempts at control face problems with scale (those zillions of publishers...er, users), with form (cf DeCSS as a GIF, and cryptography in general), with language, and with mixed content (a page that has useful information along with objectionable content).

    Copyright law faces its own problems, but the fundamental problem is that copyright is based on social contract: any "intellectual property" is valuable only if it is shared in some way, and can be profitable only if there is a virtual meter on that means of sharing. When everyone can potentially share, how do you regulate the balance between an artist's right to make a living vs. the always-understated right of the public to incorporate the art into culture?

    All in all, no attempt at control will be successful -- either useful material will be eliminated, or "objectionable" material will proliferate.

    The answer probably lies in trying to form a more reasonable social view, or even society -- people will naturally avoid that which they're not interested in, or which they find distasteful.

  • The author of this post wants. Well, give too.

    Where will the users of Slashdot, and anyone else who may be interested in the subject, be able to download a copy of your end work and resources when you have completed this project?
  • Ideas need to be accountable. In other words, they have to hold water and be based on evidence. If they are not, they should be squashed. That is what the tradition of rationalism in the West, starting in Edinburgh in the 1760's, is all about. May it long continue, and may the dark ideas be vanquished for the greater good.

    Every one of us should have the freedom to analyze ideas for ourselves to determine their validity. Furthermore I think it's important to have a variety of ideas to provide a counterpoint from which to refine the good ones, identify the flaws in the bad ones, and encourage people to consider alternate viewpoints in the quest for truth.

    In my view I deem your idea bad.

  • The Chinese government has recently put up a "memorial" web site [netor.com] for the pilot who crashed into the American spy plane. This is a great example of a government using the internet for propoganda.

    Of course, this could backfire for the Chinese because of "memorials" like this [netor.com].

  • Like the Chinese government really cares about this pilot. Who are you trying to kid? Since when have governments become so benevolent?
  • I don't see the American pilots as heroes either and I do take issue with the media frenzy casting them as such.
  • True... However, parts of the unmemorial can be accessed with this link [netor.com]. In general you can take any URL at the top of the home page and replace the number 5661 with 5713 to get at the unmemorial equivalent.
  • You can also try this link [netor.com]
  • Yeah, that would have worked, like, so much better than newspapers!!
  • A) If you pay 0.02 Euro per minute, you're using the wrong ISP. Try Callisa [callisa.de] or ExpressNet [expressnet.de], both of which cost only about 0.013 Euro per minute, and subscription-based offers are in many cases even cheaper.

    B) To claim that T-Online drove all of its competitors out of business is totally ridiculous. There still are thousands of other ISPs, they just don't offer cheap flatrates (there still are expensive ones).

  • There is a project called CyPRG [arizona.edu]going on with several professors, one (Todd La Porte [gmu.edu])at George Mason University [gmu.edu] in Virginia, one at U Arizona [arizona.edu] and one in Denmark at the University of Roskilde. They are rating government websites for what they call "openness" and are coming up with very interesting results. I happen to know Todd, and he and I are working together on some related stuff. Give them a look-see.

  • I believe that the most important part of the question was personal experiences from end users. Slashdot seems as good a place as ever to research that.
  • We've seen the same type of thing coming from the draconian content regulation of the leftist Australian government.

    The Australian government is anything but leftist. The "Conservative Coalition" that is currently in power is pretty much the Australian equivalent of the Republican party - it's platform is based on family values, helping business and promoting free trade. The Labor party (the leftist party of Australian politics) hasn't been in power since the early 90's.

    when you step in and censor gun-rights Web pages and basically anything that does not come from the anti-gun zealots, you're crossing a fine line between protecting your society and oppressing them.

    It would would be illegal for the Australain government to censor "gun-rights Web pages", unless they contained some sort of graphic violence or anti-semitism. If you can point out any cases where gun-rights web-sites have been censored, I would like to know so I can consult my local Member of Parliament about it.

    If Australia thinks that its filtering policies will stop gun advocates from learning the correct information about guns (such as crime rates that have not been doctored by the government), then they are wrong.

    If the Australian Bureau of Statistics (the government funded data-gathering organisation) did in fact alter figures, then this would be a violation of the "Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975", and would be a serious offence indeed. It would probably result in a massive inquiry and dismissals of any MPs even thought to be involved in the doctoring. If you have any evidence of this, please pass it on.

    I would be surprised if any of the claims you made above were more than rumour, as Australia has a cut-throat parliament, and the Opposition Parties would be happy to reveal any evidence of the Government breaking Australian law. In fact, there is a political party (with several senate seats), the Australian Democrats, whose creed is "keep the bastards honest", i.e. they act as a watchdog on the two primary parties - and have never been shy in revealing breaches of Australian law before.

  • I agree totally... the only sites that have been affected by Australia's laws (as far as I know) are kiddy porn sites, and I don't have a problem with them being censored (in fact I think they should be censored).

    I wish the Internet community would get their facts right on the Australian censorship laws. Things really haven't changed since they were brought in, all that has happened is a few sickos have had their sites shut down (and apparently they promptly re-opened them offshore).

    At least our public libraries don't use internet filtering, unlike some other countries.
  • The Chinese government put up a web site for one of their servicemen who was killed by an American spy. I can't see a problem with this.
  • Of course. Ideas based on solid knowledge such as "sex is harmful to children" or "homosexuals cannot marry" or even "sexuality involving anal penetration is illegal". You see, there's a big problem with your conception of government control. A lot of laws that the different governements maintain/promote aren't based on any scientific ground, just a "moral" one. Give me one reason why it should be illegal to walk the street naked. A logical one I mean. Not a religious one. I'm taking sex laws here because they are the most obvious, but a lot of other laws are as silly.

    You see, the internet gives the means to question lots of cultural things people usually simply take for being true without thinking about it. Such ideas should not be regulated in any way. You are suggesting censorship for no good reasons. Do you really think Hitler's anti-semitic campain would have been more successful with the internet? Hell no. Because, in the WWII Germany, you could get shot for not believing in the system and criticizing it. With the internet though, you would have had millions of people invoking logical arguments against nazism. It's more likely that Hitler would have needed to ban 'net access for his troups, less they would have revolted at what was asked of them.

  • I have no moderator points, but I'd mod this one up. Even ignoring a trip the library, Google would have answered this guy's questions pretty easily...

    Peace,
    Amit
    ICQ 77863057
  • by legLess (127550) on Monday April 16, 2001 @04:00PM (#287601) Journal
    Submitter of the April 2 story: devinsky@eng.buffalo.edu
    Submitter of this April 16 story: devinsky@eng.buffalo.edu

    He didn't like the answer he got the first time, so he tried again. Jesus, Slashdot, this is pretty bad - posting the same homework assignment from the same kid TWICE?

    question: is control controlled by its need to control?
    answer: yes
  • How was *my* post redundant? It was #7 under this storyline, and the #14 post was nothing more than an expansion of what I said above. Get your facts straight. Or else ask Slashdot to help you with them if you can't manage that yourself ;-D

  • You *are* right. Sorry, but my threshhold for comment viewing wasn't set low enough to read that first post. Thanks, Gay Motherfucker. (heh)

  • Internet presented as a bad thing in France for several years??? Could you please stop lying? Thanks.
  • Firsthand reports especially appreciated, since these are the sorts of things which might otherwise go unheard.

    Isn't this sort of like saying, "If you're deaf please raise your hand."

    --

  • A first post actually on topic, but just like a first post. Amazing!
  • While the laws in Australia seem quite strict, my personal experience has been that they have no effect apart from a small tinge of guilt on occassions... However, I'm not exactly running a kiddyporn site, so I'm not really running from the laws or anything... Anyway, point is that they don't really affect my daily life, due to the fact that I'm not doing much illegal anyway and the fact that the internet is so unrestrictable...

    rr

  • Aren't #2 and #11 being violated constantly by the official Chinese news website concerning the survaillance plane fiasco?
  • As we progress into the future of computing at an ever-expanding rapid rate, it is imperative that we occasionally take time to reflect on how others will react to these unprecendented advances. Examples liek the DMCA and Australia's draconian Internet censorship laws show how easily a new communications paradigm can be thwarted. While enthusiastic "early adopters", who represent the tide of new ideas and schematics into the technology field, are quick to recognize the virute of these advances, more experienced, but possibly behind-the-times, leaders may perceive these advances not as weapons but enemies. (e.g. While Slashdot readers see themselves as fighting against the attacking tide of user-access control, media industry and government figures see themselves as fighting against the attacking tide of copyright infringement.)

    Of course, there is probably some merit to both of these viewpoints. Certainly, commerce and society as a whole will encounter some friction as it shifts to accomodate the power capacity and access provided by the Internet. However, the end result may be worth the infrastructural shifts; existing communications and media technologies simply may not be as efficient as Internet-based ones.

    Will the Internet sink or swim? The question is still up in the air; with many unique forces and viewpoints at work, we'll likely see many interesting challenges and confrontations for the pioneers in the Internet field. Whatever the final result is, it's sure to give the key players on all sides of the issue a trial by fire.

    Yu Suzuki

  • I'm less than 50 miles from Dallas, even closer to Plano and "Telecom Alley". I live in a small but not tiny town of almost 10,000 people.
    Believe it or not, my only option is a 56K dialup.
    Poor baby. We have people here in NZ who are less than 30km (not even 20 miles) from the nearest major town and can barely sustain 9.6k connections.
    By major town, I am referring to villages with a population more than three times that of your hamlet.

    Take a look at this article [nzherald.co.nz] from a local paper regarding just how pathetic our telecomm's infrastructure really is.

  • by fishbonez (177041) on Monday April 16, 2001 @04:16PM (#287611)
    I'm writing a paper on the editorial process of Slashdot. I'm trying to determine what factors are considered when a story is posted. In particular, I'd be interested in knowing the types of stories posted in relation to the drug intake, days without sleep, childhood traumas, mental diseases and lifetime concussion totals of the editorial staff.
  • As a cheerfully third-world country (officially a "developing nation" since we're not deteriorating further right now) Trinidad and Tobago has a small but rapidly-expanding Internet sector, and precisely zero laws which specifically legislate it. Does "no laws" count? :-) Many third world nations are in an identical position, for instance most of the rest of the Caribbean.
  • Absolutely. Internet culture will erase many distinctions across historical, cultural, and geographic boundaries.

    I'm not trolling when I say that I'm just glad it's happening at a point in history when America and American culture is dominant. (Hear me out here) I have almost as much to dislike about American culture (not an oxmoron, as the snickering ACs who follow this post will likely assert) as the next guy, but seriously, If the dominant online ethos were the European philosophy of benevolent socialistic government granting limited rights to its citizenry (subjects?) then we'd all be in trouble. Maybe not this year, but soon enough, believe me.

    I am thrilled (but not surprised) that it was the United States that provided the environment that allowed the internet (esp. www) to thrive as it has, and I am thrilled that it is the more libertarian cross-section of the population that has been so involved in the propagation of ideals with this medium.

    Go ahead, mod me down, but at least read the Cliff's notes to our founding documents first.

    Bingo Foo

    ---

  • Things like the International Cyber Crime Treaty recently discussed here [slashdot.org], here [slashdot.org], and here [slashdot.org] on Slash over the past six months jack the urgency of this and related issues. People in the USA can remember court cases from a year or two or three ago where some law enforcement from a state like Tennessee (?) went after a California website for being in violation of Tennessee laws.

    Imagine this scenario down the road, being in violation of some countries laws where they are in sharp disagreement with the laws of that country. The absurd example would be China prosecuting the websites of exiled chinese nationals living in the USA.

    This is not so absurd on second thought.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • Everyone here is jumping on China, and I'm sure that's an important target, what with 1.2 billion people yearning to breathe free and download porn and whatnot.

    But why doesn't anyone seem to notice that Saudi Arabia is one of the most impossibly repressive regimes on the planet? My time spent there was the worst time of my life -- starved for news, starved for entertainment, starved for stimulation, the whole damn country feels like a damn hypnotic state.

    Four years ago, a friend was pontificating about East Timor and how the Indonesian occupiers were goin' down, man! (this was about a year before they actually did go down). I mentioned the Saudi situation, and he said "oh, they're going down too".

    Still waiting. I would imagine a few people on the inside are waiting too. What really pisses me off is that not only is most of the stuff inside Saudi propanganda, but most of the stuff outside is too.

  • He didn't like the answer he got the first time, so he tried again.

    There are two mitigating factors here. The first time the story was posted, it probably wasn't on the front page (given how few comments were posted).

    Also, it was an "Ask Slashdot" story posted on April 2nd -- anyone else remember what kind of garbage was flying around (especially on Ask Slashdot) on March 31st through April 2nd? So even if it had been front page news, I could easily see it getting replies such as "Here on Mars, supreme dictator for life Gxzcvcxvqa (blessed be his name) has declared the Internet to be evil, as TCP's maximum possible RTT is 120 seconds (do a grep in the Linux kernel source for 'University of Mars' in net/ipv4/tcp_timer.c). As such, we have chosen to declare war on the horribly chauvinistic Earthians who blindly assume that everyone is on the same planet. Furthermore, Linus has yet to implement the ISO 8859-42 characterset, despite repeated requests. How am I supposed to sign my name when I can't type a guziznork?"

  • America's civilization wasn't built upon the hard work of others. It was built by hand through the ethic of self help and self work. If you don't reinvent the wheel, you can't understand anything.

    Yeah, which is why we're all so against open-source software!

    Oh, hey, wait a minute...

    -

  • I get real sick of this line of reasoning. It's put out there everytime someone asks for information on a subject for a school project, and it's nothing but a troll. (yeah, I'm biting)

    If this person relies solely on slashdot to do his homework, then yes, he is dumb. That's because slashdot is a gamble. However, slashdot is a very good place to get in touch with people who keep up with computer related. What if someone points him to the one resource he couldn't find on his own that can turn a mediocre paper into a stellar one? He would be dumb *not* to suppliment his normal research with that resource.

    If you don't want to help him, then don't. However you waste your time if you trot out this dead horse every time and you waste your mod points if you mod it up.
    --
    I only post to slashdot when I'm sleep deprived.
  • Big business can censor you by taking your domain away, using ICANNs UDRP.

    They know the answer to the trademark conflicts, it is just excuse to steal your domain (for several reasons). Laws the authorities break and the solution to problem is at WIPO.org.uk [wipo.org.uk] - no connection with the World Intellectual Property Organization - WIPO.ORG, part of U.N., paid for (owned) by big business.
  • Sorry - left off the question mark in (owned?) again.

    It must be because I believe it to be true.
  • Is it not obvious? After the US government passing all those silly internet laws for so long, all the other nations feel left behind and they too want their fair share of stupid backward laws obviously designed by people who don't know what they are trying to control.

    There are lots of new laws out there and more and more also outside of the US. Unfortunately everybody makes the same mistakes, in 10 years the internet will be entirely illegal and the sending of an email will be a criminal offense.

    Three cheers for progress!

    Urd.
  • The US must be blocking this thread nationally.

    ==>Lazn
  • I'm soooo glad I live anywhere else but there....

    Jaysyn
  • 0wNe2 f001....

    Jaysyn
  • Line of sight laser gigabit to Florida, from the tallest point in Bermuda....wouldn't that work? ooh...I guess 100 Mi is a little far. Well you could run an OC-192 down from Florida but that might be prohibitivley expensive for your country...

    Jaysyn
  • by bitva (206067)
    I don't know where to find that kind of information, but I bet it'll be pretty interesting to read.

    It's funny, we'll all bitch about censorship here in the U.S. until we read what other country's are doing and then we'll think: "oh, i guess it's not that bad here".
    ya, not that bad until our government regulates/controls/censors something else. But then we'll read about how it is in, say Uganda, and then we'll think: "oh, that's okay I guess"

    (sigh)....passifism will be the end of us

  • by ageitgey (216346) on Monday April 16, 2001 @03:07PM (#287627) Homepage
    Have you tried the EFF's archive of internet censorship laws and information for the US and other Countries? It has bills, laws, and other information broken down by country and local region (state, etc). Check it out. [eff.org]

    Why not donate to the EFF while you are there?
  • by BlowCat (216402) on Monday April 16, 2001 @04:35PM (#287628)
    Go to your public library. It's there for a reason, so stop masturbating on slashdot.
    Oh yes! What else can be so delightful as masturbating in a public library? It's there for a reason!
  • I'm not a moral relativist, but neither do I see the world as black and white.
    I don't see the world as black or white, but you're either a moral relativist or you're not.

    Ellen

  • I hear the satellite service can cover that though. Otherwise, I'm tempted to say we're gonna pass the States in fiber penetration. They like to hype the possibility locally.
    I can't complain about that. Access sucked for years, but the gov telecoms monopoly rolled with cheap DSL about six months ago after a few years of lousy cable service from a partly MS owned company. Hourly charges are a thing of the past now. Changes happen fast.
  • I don't know about the rest of Europe, but here in Italy the cost of online access is decreasing rapidly. I live in an urban area, and I have 640k DSL for the equivalent of $35/month (and I often hit 1Mbps), which is pretty in par with the US rates I hear of.
    Pay-per-minute fees still exists, but more and more people use 56k or ISDN flats ($20/25 per month).
  • After a big concern by just every Italian webmaster, the law has been clarified: only professional newspapers/"webpapers" are subjected to a yearly tax, while the others (read: 99%) "news" websites are ok.
    The confusion rose from the bad wording present in the law, that lead many to the conclusion that any regularly-update web site was subjected to the tax. Luckyly, they were wrong.
  • ^5 to the trolls
    for they have proved once more who it is that owns
    /.
  • Well, the only reason you and I have money to buy stuff is because the country's we live in have allowed strong trade unions to speak up for things like workers rights. You know what happens to trade union leaders here in Guatemala? The Dole fruit company pays thugs to kill them.
  • I haven't noticed any restrictions on what sites we can see, though some politicians and church leaders have talked about doing something.

    But the biggest restricions here in Guatemala are cost and ignorance. A big part of the population can't read. And salaries here are a 10th of what they are in Canada, while the line costs 5 times as much. These things are very much a result of US government policies thru the IMF, etc, etc.

    Do you think the US really is interested in getting the worlds 5 billion poor online?
  • "We've seen the same type of thing coming from the draconian content regulation of the leftist Australian government.

    The Australian government is a coalition of the Liberal Party and the National Party. Despite the name, the Liberal party is anything but liberal, being much more like the Republicans - i.e. conservative, family-values, free-trade - bascially your average right-wing conservatives. The National Party is smaller, and a bit more right wing. Neither of them could be described as "leftist" unless:
    a) you are significantly more right wing i.e. a Nazi; and
    b) you are stupid.

    Finally, re: your comments on gun-control and Australia's doctored crime rates - doctored or not, I can't think of a single school in Australia that has a metal detector. Yep, that's right - not one.

  • ... they make it very hard to use the internet. Since our GNP is very low, we don't have very good infrastructure to supply us electricity or give us telephone lines to connect. We also only have one computer in my village, and since we use the village bicycle hooked up to power it, if someone has to go get supplies we cannot be on the internet. We are tending to winning the footraces with the other villages lately though since this internet thing came around. I hope some day our poor village will do better, so we can get a better bicycle to use to power the computer with a more comfortable seat, so we can not get shut off quite so many times in the day.


    "Titanic was 3hr and 17min long. They could have lost 3hr and 17min from that."
  • Looking at your recent posts, you're not doing any better...

    "Titanic was 3hr and 17min long. They could have lost 3hr and 17min from that."
  • > Yeah, that would have worked, like, so much better than newspapers!!

    It would, and it does. Newspapers require physical presence. You can't deliver a newspaper to someone without somebody handing it to them. Since Hitler's folks tended to kill dissenters, this made the job of delivery boy very hazardous. The Internet requires no such contact. You can host a site from Canada or the Philippines, and not be at risk for bullet or truncheon poisoning.

    Virg
  • There are some discussions in which bringing up Hitler is appropriate. The use of a propaganda engine is most certainly one of them.

    Virg
  • > re: your comments on gun-control and Australia's
    > doctored crime rates - doctored or not, I can't think
    > of a single school in Australia that has a metal detector.
    > Yep, that's right - not one.


    Although I agree with the first part of your post, this comment comes from left field. Countries with lower crime rates than the U.S. (like Sweden) don't have them, and countries with higher crime rates (like Mexico) don't have them, and the school crime rate (or rather, the rate of decline in school crime rate) did not significantly change with the proliferation of metal detectors in schools. So, since they don't seem to have any effect on crime rates, and they don't seem to have any effect on the rate of change of crime rates, how do they apply to gun control in Australia? The answer is that they don't.

    I leave the more obvious question of "since they don't seem to have any effect on crime rates, and they don't seem to have any effect on the rate of change of crime rates, why do we bother?" to others.

    Virg
  • > people tell me that the chinese are strict about what
    > one can post on bulletin boards, etc. but can anyone stop the
    > chinese people from posting on a US BBS?


    Yes, they can. The signal has to leave China at some point to get to the U.S., and since the Chinese government controls the pipes out of the country, they could theoretically monitor anything that wasn't encrypted. What's more, if it is encrypted, they still know where (in China) the request came from, and so (again, in theory; I don't know if it's really done or not) they could just go to the person responsible and ask him what was in the message.

    Virg
  • I'm sure this probably isn't material for your paper, but I need to vent.

    Being an internet user from a small country whose inhabitants have an abysmally low average level of netiquette, I've often faced prejudice online. One thing is the social level, where the prejudice is easy to negate by behaving politely and intelligently, but the technical level is different: As a user of the one major ISP in my country, an ISP which serves approximately 60% of the country's net users, I find myself banned from a large number of IRC channels. And just a few weeks ago, DALnet klined my ISP... sigh. How do I convince channel operators and IRCnets that my online.no IP doesn't necessarily mean I'm a moron?
  • by sideshow-voxx (242126) on Monday April 16, 2001 @04:03PM (#287644)
    So what is the Ask Slashdot forum there for if not for the free exchange of information to those who need it or can use it for the betterment of society?

    If you don't want to participate, that's fine. You can jealously guard your little stash of facts and keep out of the knowledge pool. Let the rest of us provide someone in a position to be listened to (by university professors who might have the power to make things better) with the information they need in order to present an informed opinion.

  • by SteveTheRed (244567) on Monday April 16, 2001 @04:22PM (#287645) Homepage

    As a proud and free citizen of the United States, I have free and unfettered access to the internet, because it is completely free (as in speech).

    Except:

    1. Access child pornography.

    2. Commit treason, espinonage, or other subversive acts.

    3. Access "pirated" MP3s.

    4. Access the seven lines of code that can decrypt a DVD.

    ...

    10. Use encryption technology that makes snooping through my personal correspondence hard for the FBI. (COMING SOON ;)

    ...

    1,124. Use products or services not authorized by the friendly Microsoft-Intel-AOL-Time-Warner monop^H^H^H^H^H conglomerate. (COMING SOON ;).

    Other than those things (and just a few more...),


    I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT !!!


  • Let's do a quick check.
    • 1. Entering computer information networks involved with national affairs, national defense or advanced technology;
      Entering is enough to be an offense. Wow, I wonder what the Eu/Us military would do if they found you entering their network...
    • 2. Spreading slander and rumors or publicizing harmful information on the Internet;
      Ah, here it's much more limited. It's "illegal" only if you do it on someone who has more money than you.
    • 3. Stealing or disclosing state, intelligence or military secrets through the Internet;
      Again, something extremely legal around here world....
    • 4. Inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination or sabotaging national unity through the Internet;
      Ok, I must admit we don't have any trouble with sabotaging national unity....
    • 5. Organizing a cult and keeping in touch with cult members, or undermining the enforcement of state laws and regulations through the Internet;
      You can organize a cult here, but try to have it meddle with the laws and you'll see how legal it is.
    • 6. Selling fake or substandard products, or advertising goods and services in a deceitful way through the Internet;
      Illegal quite everywhere...
    • 7. Damaging the reputation of a business or a commodity through the Internet;
      This is the same as above. Except here it's likely they'll have more money, so stay clear.
    • 8. Infringing upon the intellectual property of others through the Internet;
      Can you say "DMCA"?
    • 9. Fabricating false information affecting securities and futures trading or otherwise disturbing the financial order through the Internet;
      As soon as someone bigger than you gets hit, check point 7.
    • 10. Setting up pornographic Web sites or Web pages, providing access to pornographic Web sites, or spreading pornographic books, movies, video products and photos on the Internet;
      Legal here.
    • 11. Insulting or defaming other people on the Internet;
      Repetita iuvant. It's the 3rd time they write this....
    • 12. Illegally intercepting, altering or deleting others' e-mail or data, infringing upon citizens' freedom and confidentiality of communication, and
      Illegal here as well, unless you're the government.
    • 13. Committing theft, fraud and atrocities through the Internet.
      I'd like to see where this is legal....

      Ok, we have learned that the difference between China and us is that we can create cults, undermine the national unity and distribute porn.

      It's wonderful to see how the great democracies are more advanced than China.....

      :)
  • by deran9ed (300694) on Monday April 16, 2001 @02:20PM (#287650) Homepage
    Sorry dont feel like making a rambling post... So here goes China's newly passed laws [internet.com]
  • Of couse, looking for information on the Internet at the typical public library will result in a brilliant discourse on the state of the Internet circa 1972. If one wants up-to-date information (as would be necessary on a topic like the Internet) the typical library would be useful only for its free access to the Internet.


    --
    Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.
  • This not much but this site [columbia.edu] outlines the internet policy for the African continet. Also this site has an intersting over view of china's internet policies [tprc.org]
  • The whole point of the Internet is that there are no more borders, and that there are no more cultural, racial, or economic distinctions. (This is assuming that you're on the Net .. there are huge cultural, racial, and economic factors that play into whether you can access the Internet or not, but that's a subject for another day.)

    When a country like China moves to censor the Internet for its citizens, there are usually very specific reasons for it. In the case of China, you've got a totalitarian Communist regime that needs to keep its citizens away from news and information that has not been "sanitized" by the government. Truth is the greatest enemy of Communist oppression, and it is only by way of excessive censorship and filtering that China can keep its citizens from learning the truth via the Internet.

    We've seen the same type of thing coming from the draconian content regulation of the leftist Australian government. A ban on "indecent material" may be laudable (if not ill-defined and unenforceable), but when you step in and censor gun-rights Web pages and basically anything that does not come from the anti-gun zealots, you're crossing a fine line between protecting your society and oppressing them. Fortunately, it appears that the tide may be turning and freedom-loving Australians are beginning to fight back.

    The bottom line is this: technological solutions will never solve political problems. Political problems can only be solved by people. If China thinks that strong filtering can prevent its citizens from one day learning the truth, they are wrong. If Australia thinks that its filtering policies will stop gun advocates from learning the correct information about guns (such as crime rates that have not been doctored by the government), then they are wrong. And so the conclusion is this: either give your citizens complete access to the Internet, or none at all. There is no acceptable middle ground. (School libraries in the US would do well to learn this lesson, BTW.)

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.

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