Not Doctor Who, Alan Who?
From Neighbours? Oh... right...
6905 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007
Not Doctor Who, Alan Who?
From Neighbours? Oh... right...
Apropos of this thread, you can, at least, check your credit records for no charge and make sure that all the information held about you is correct.
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There could be an IT angle if the planned laws in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill 2007 are brought in...
Had the "shocked passer-by who interruped proceedings by shouting at the nocturnal bovine botherer" used their mobile to take a picture for evidence, they would have been in possession of a picture of bestiality which could get them two years in jail and a mention on the Sex Offenders Register unless they could *prove* that they hadn't taken that picture for their own "sexual gratification"!
I'm pleased to see this because it's another nail in the coffin of those who make emotive claims (based on nothing more than wishful thinking or bigotry) that video games/ heavy metal music/ violent porn/ roleplaying games/ other misunderstood scare story of the week "cause" people who play them to shoot up US high schools/ commit suicide/ perform acts of sexual violence/ have no social skills and thus should be banned.
It is becoming increasingly clear from credible research like this that these sorts of things actually provide an *outlet* for feelings and emotions that would otherwise end up being bottled up until they erupt into something truly dangerous.
And these are the same people who want to spend billions on a National ID databased...?!
> the general public, by definition, can't understand all the finer points of every potential government policy,
The general public don't really get a chance to understand anything but the broadest points of a potential government policy and even when they *do* find out something they don't like the get patted on the head and told "now you just be obedient little sheeple and keep watching the TV and we'll get on with the important stuff, like ignoring anyone who disagrees with us".
> that is why we vote based on the general policies of a party.
We get *one* chance every four to five years to have our say on what the Government does. They, in turn, parlay that one vote into "well they voted for us and it's in our manifesto, so obviously the people want it", whereas people may have simply voted *against* another party or voted *for* the party in power "because that's what my parents did".
We now have the capability for the public to influence government in a way that hasn't existed since Athens. We shouldn't squander it.
> Some things are just wrong.
Are they? Well, yes, I think the Big Brother TV series is "just wrong". I think that Celebrity Culture is "just wrong", I think that talentless people getting paid huge salaries is "just wrong", but just because I don't like them doesn't mean I call for them to be banned.
You say you like "normal porn"? What do *you* define as "normal" and how arrogant do you have to be to think that you can define "normal" for everyone else as well?! Don't forget that homosexuality was defined as "abnormal" up until fairly recently, based on "community standards" that considered it "abhorrent". Is that the sort of example you think we should follow?
> a generally acceptable consensus on what is way past being normal is pretty easy.
Sure, in fact it's not just "pretty easy" it's *really* easy! Unfortunately when that "consensus" is decided by media who see opportunities to sell more papers by simultaneously acting as the "moral voice of the outraged public" and, at the same time, pandering to the lowest common denominator, you can't help but note the faintest hint of hypocrisy!
> People having various forms of consensual sex: adults only.
> Children, animals, sexual violence: wrong.
Children and animals cannot consent.
An adult, however, *CAN* consent to having someone perform acts of "sexual violence" upon their person because they are an *adult*, just as they can stand in a boxing ring and consent to have someone try to punch their brains out of their ears!
Don't ever make the mistake of thinking that what *your* standards are should be the standards for *everyone* (well, not unless you're going into politics!)
> So, would a movie of a woman having her nipple or clit pierced, and her letting out a blood curdling scream, constitute "extreme" pornography?
No, as long as there was no "sexual gratification" involved!
If you don't enjoy it, that's fine. If you do, you're committing an offence.
Stupid, isn't it?!
> ...El Reg readers aren't out of their minds and so this legislation shouldn't affect them.
No, I am not "out of my mind", I am, however, a responsible adult who doesn't need the Nanny State to tell me that "You can't look at this in case you do something nasty!"
This law will cover material which is entirely legal in pretty much the rest of Europe and the USA, yet the British* Government thinks it can't trust its people not to be turned into deranged killers if they see this stuff!
*Ironically Scotland may not even bring in its version of this law, so we'll have a Scottish Prime Minister bringing in a law to only affect the English and Welsh and Irish!
I am very disappointed to see that Outlaw.com seems to have just trotted out the Government's line in this article and not looked further at the dangers this law presents:
Here is a link to the relevant part of the CJIB 2007:
The Government statement does not reveal the sheer *subjectivity* of the proposed law: It will be enough to define "extreme" if it *appears* "likely to result in serious injury to the anus, breasts, or genitals" and it will be deemed to be "pornographic", if, in someone's *opinion*, it is "for the purposes of sexual arousal"
This also completely bypasses the Obscene Publications Act which has a more stringent test of requiring a Court to determine that the material is "liable to corrupt or deprave" (possibly because the authors of this law have a clear anti-porn agenda and are fed up with the Courts saying "no, this isn't obscence", so they want something that makes it easier for them to ban anything they don't want us to see).
The Government say "The new law is designed to take account of the context of images, and recognises that an image which might seem to constitute extreme pornography in isolation may not do so in a wider context." well, no, that's not actually what the law says: in fact is says quite the opposite!
If you were to watch a BBFC classified film like Saw, Hostel or Captivity and to take a screen capture and someone was to decide that that image fitted the above definitions of "extreme" and "pornographic", then the law says you will have committed a criminal offence which could get you three years in jail! (I hope all those burglars and druggies who have been let out early left the place tidy...)
The Government's comments about "The material has not been illegal to view or possess, though; the new law will make possession a crime. Images of child pornography are already illegal to view or to possess." are nothing more than a huge red herring.
Child pornography is covered under its own, entirely separate, legislation. Apart from State Secrets there are *NO* other classes of image which are illegal to possess, yet the Government wishes to extend the law into an entirely new area by creating a completely false association in the mind of the reader, implying that this will somehow "protect children" even though the images that will most likely be affected will feature consenting adults *acting out* fantasy scenes (which also gives the lie to their implication in the Bill that this would protect adults from being forced into "degrading acts". We're consenting adults, we can make up our own minds about whether we're being degraded, thank you Nanny!)
For more details on the dangers of this law and how it may, quite by accident, affect you, see http://www.backlash-uk.org.uk/
To write to your MP to object to a needlessly draconian law that will risk criminalising adults for looking at "Dangerous Pictures" visit http://www.theyworkforyou.com
Sure, cases such as Victoria Climbie were tragic but they are by far the *exception* rather than the rule.
If someone is possibly at risk, then the groups involved (Social Services et al) could make a request to have that person's data shared, but what this system is proposing is that *everyone's* data be treated in this way as if we are *all* at risk.
Of course what we are really all at risk from is the widespread abuse of our data and it being shared in ways that we don't want and which are *not* to our benefit.
So please don't try the Appeal to Pity fallacy, those "emotional blackmail" arguments simply won't hold water.
> I just think we need to be careful. Could you imagine how life destroying it would be to be wrongly accused of being a paedophile? or any other type of criminal for that matter based on files in your internet cache.
Ask the thousands who were the victims of Operation Ore. See Inquisition 21 for more details: http://www.inquisition21.com/
As far as the Police and CPS were concerned, the merest suspicion was tantamount to guilt and grounds for perse^H^H^H^H rosecution.
Now, in the latest Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, the Government has decided that if you take a screen capture from a film legally classified as 18 by the BBFC but, in someone's *subjective* opinion it is a "extreme image" (ie *appears* to threaten someone's life) and it is "pornographic", ie, again in someone's subjective opinion, you captured it "for sexual arousal" you have just committed a criminal offence which can get you three years in jail!
So better check all your screen caps, folks, before you get that knock at the door...
> I'll say a little prayer that you aren't hit by the next Islamist attack. And, mostly, I'll say a big prayer that I might be able to hate leftist dumbasses a little less.
And whilst you're doing that, pray that Gordon Brown isn't going to use this as an excuse to whittle away our basic Rights and Freedoms a little more.
"Following this attack, here is a list of changes I'm going to make that was prepared earlier by the Security Services who have just been waiting for another opportunity to get even more information on everyone and consider them suspects..."
"the FTC's Internet Access Task Force accepted arguments posed by cable and phone companies that government intervention in Net Neutrality is unnecessary, as competition would prevent internet providers from taking advantage of customers.
“[...] chairman Deborah Majoras said. "In the absence of significant market failure or demonstrated consumer harm, policy makers should be particularly hesitant to enact new regulation in this area.”
So they *don't* want to pass legislation that *would* stop internet providers from "taking advantage of customers"?
Presumably, then, restrictive practices, cartels, oligarchies, price fixing and so on, all of which have turned up in other such industries and which represent "significant market failure" and "consumer harm" and which have required regulation to stop, somehow won't happen in this case and should not be pre-empted?
Err, yeah, right...
A few weeks ago I used a Torrent system to download an episode of the excellent TV show Heroes.
Because my Sky+ Box crashed and I lost the recording and couldn't pick up another one off Sci-Fi channel and I didn't want to miss a bit of a great show.
Ironically, I could have downloaded a copy of the episode that I missed from the Producers' website, but *ONLY* if I lived in the USA!
I buy goods for my business from a couple of manufacturers in Pakistan and I pay by Bank Transfer.
If I pay more than £1000, I have to provide proof of ID before my Bank will allow the transaction through to make sure I'm not money laundering or funding terrorism or some such.
I don't doubt that this probably also now flags me up on some US DHS Watch List such that they would want to ask me a lot of questions were I to travel there.
Hmm, another reason not to go to the USA, then...
How about all those mail server operators out there having to check the validity of headers before they send out "undeliverable mail" or similar bounce messages?
A couple of months ago someone started forging spam from my business domain and in just one week I received over 4,000 "delivery failure" e-mails.
Not only that, it seems that some legitimate business e-mails I *had* sent had been filtered out by servers which said "hello, we're getting lots of spam from this domain, let's block *all* messages from it" which meant that customers were contacting me to check whether their orders had been received.
Some of the problem with spam is not the spam itself, but the results of that spam :-(
> All too often fraudsters are using these free e-mail services to sign up for products or goods using other peoples contact information.
Unless a hosting company is required to send you a letter which you then have to reply to with a utility bill and your passport or driving licence (originals, of course, not copies!) in order to get an account with them, what's to stop the fraudsters from signing up to the e-mail account using the same information??
And if fraudsters are trying to buy goods, simply state that they'll only be sent to the registered card address instead of a "mail drop" which is equally untraceable.
> All in the name of an unproven theory.
Let's just leave the idea of whether Global Warming is Man Made or not and consider the following:
1) Global Warming is a myth or it won't have the effects claimed and we do nothing.
Result - Nothing changes.
2) Global Warming is a myth or it won't have the effects claimed and we endeavour to reduce our energy consumption and seek alternatives to fossil fuels etc.
Result - Less pollution, lower energy demand, less waste.
3) Global Warming isn't a myth and it will have the effects claimed but we do nothing.
Result - Environmental and humanitarian catastrope, people in low lying countries like Bangladesh are displaced, global weather patterns get more extreme (because there's more energy in the system) huge effects on crop growth etc especially in equatorial areas.
4) Global Warming isn't a myth and it will have the effects claimed and we endeavour to reduce our energy consumption and seek alternatives to fossil fuels etc.
Result - Less pollution, lower energy demand, less waste, reduced environmental impact, humanitarian catastrophe, weather effects etc.
So that's two positive results, one neutral and one disaster.
Still, as long as Tony Humphreys doesn't have to put his hand in his pocket, he's alright....
> "What do I have to hide?" he said with a shrug. "Because all that information is elsewhere, I'm not worried about publishing it."
So he makes a graph available that shows power consumption in his home?
Whilst he might have, say, automatic time-switched lights to make it look as if the house is occupied, a canny burglar could note that more serious power consumption, eg showers(!) didn't take place over several days and thus figure that the place is actually unoccupied and thus there's lots of unprotected computer gear just waiting to be pinched...
Oops! I think someone's ass might have just been bitten.
Government ministers don't have anything to hide, do they? So why should they have anything to fear...?!
> Brown wanted to do what he could to help protect people's "fundamental right to be safe and secure"
By taking away the right to be Presumed Innocent, the right to Freedom of Expression, the right to Protest, the right to Go About Your Lawful Business Without Let or Hinderance, the right to...
> "I'm sure somebody will correct me if I'm wrong but surely it's only an offence for someone in the UK to sell a banned title. What can the British Government do if somebody in France buys a load of copies and sells them over the net?"
What can they do? Damn all, that's what!
It's illegal to sell R18 material in the UK without a sex shop licence, but you can quite legitimately buy it from abroad and have it posted to you in the UK.
All this does is hamstring British businesses whilst doing nothing to affect the trade.
Still, as long as our Government can say that they're trying to "protect" us...
Some time very soon the Government are going to be publishing their next Criminal Justice Bill which they seem to want to rush through Parliament (without, of course, proper scrutiny or debate) before it rises for the summer as part of Blair's "Legacy" (read: Attacks on basic rights and freedoms).
I would urge all readers who don't want to see their freedoms whittled away to nothing to write to their MPs via www.theyworkforyou.com and require them to vote down the draconian proposals in the CJB which will most probably even include the right for the Government to jail people for possessing pictures they don't like.
Of course the Government have been clever enough to "bury" this as a plan to outlaw "extreme and violent pornography" in the hope that nobody would stand up and defend that, but what they don't mention is that the "Legislative Reform Act" (aka the Abolition of Parliament Act!) will then allow them to make changes to the law by Ministerial fiat *without* even consulting our elected representatives in Parliament at all.
First they came for the pornographers, then they came for the political cartoonists...
"If anyone knows of any reason why they may not lawfully marry, let them speak now or forever hold their peace."
"YOU HAVE TEN SECONDS TO COMPLY!"
I'll have you know that I'm no doubt already on *several* Government watch lists having not only posted messages on discussion forums objecting to Government Policy but *also* having signed up to to-be-ignored petitions on the Number 10 Website *and* having responded to also-to-be-ignored Home Office Consultations!
Clearly, therefore, I'm a threat to society and the country and the Government and if my tax money is *not* being used to pay for a black helicopter to hover over my house and scan me on infra-red then I want to know about it!!!
If they aren't going to paint it black, how on Earth are we supposed to know that we're being watched by secret Government agencies...?
If these people are guilty, that's all very well, but this is the same Jim Gamble who suggested criminalising 16 and 17 year olds for performing "sex acts" in front of webcams!
How exactly will that "protect" children?
Also at the end of the CEOP article it says:
"Use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ actually works to the advantage of child sex abusers: [...]
* It conjures up images of children posing in ‘provocative’ positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse
* Every photograph captures an actual situation where a child has been abused. This is not pornography.[/quote]
Of course it also fails to distinguish between *actual* abuse and innocent photographs. Ask Julia Somerville for details about how she was questioned by Police after staff in Boots the Chemists decided that pictures of her and her kids in the bath were "child pornography".
> Mugabe's defenders claim the laws are no different to anti-terror legislation in the US and UK.
Of course Mugabe's legislation is to protect the people from internal threats to their liberties, whereas... umm....
I suggest you think about whether what our leaders deem "necessary" is actually either needed or desirable (let alone really feasible).
You could also try watching the film GATTACA and ask yourself if that's the society you'd like to live in.
Of course if those people who have been "matched" at those crime scenes are innocent, it's going to be very difficult to claim their right to the presumption of innocence since "we've got your DNA sonny!"
Can you say "False Positive"?
"I'm sorry Dave, I afraid I can't do that..."
At least our "freedom loving" Government only wants to lock people up for three years for possession of porn that they don't like!
"when your lives or those of your loved ones or immdediate communities are destoyed by murders, rapists, paedophiles, terrorists or whatever all because data that would have prevented the actions of those above was not allowed to be collected let alone used..."
Ah, let's spread the good old FUD around!
But, wait a moment...
"[...] voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
You trot out the tired old mantra of "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" but clearly you haven't actually *thought* for a minute about what you're saying.
Does the expression "Presumed innocent unless proven guilty" not mean anything to you? It requires that if you are arrested for a crime it is up to the State to *prove* your guilt, you do not have to prove your innocence. Yet you are willing to sweep that right away because, somehow (gods alone know how) it will make you "safer".
If you have nothing to hide, would you be happy to give the Police the key to your house and let them wander round and just check? After all, you have nothing to fear, do you?
Or try asking the people arrested under Operation Ore and accused of being paedophiles because they were the victims of Identity Theft. I bet *they* thought they had nothing to hide, yet they were forced into the position of having to prove that they *hadn't* downloaded kiddie porn.
Why am I so scared? Because if you take a look at history you'll see just how the lack of privacy can be abused. Take a look at what the Stasi got up to in Easter Germany, for instance and ask yourself if you *really* want that sort of thing to happen in our "free" country putting *everyone* under suspicion.
You are endangering *everybody's* liberties with your glib and short-sighted arguments and I "fucking resent that".
"[...] the western alphabet is strictly off-limits, meaning no Fleur de Lis or Brooklyn Zhous in the foreseeable future."
Be thankful for small mercies!
So how many churches and cathedrals have featured in Horror movies etc before now? (Hint: Try Guildford Cathedral appearing in The Omen)
And if it's so bad, how come a "Substantial donation" will sort it out?
"The love of money is the root of all evil"...! 1 Timothy 6-10
I have to wonder if the reason MI5 are worried about allowing wiretap evidence is that they'd have to admit they're already tapping lots of phones illegally!
Obviously there's nothing else happening in the world if this makes headline news.
Personally I think they should get American comedian Chris Rock on the next Celebrity Big Brother...!
> ... forty years in jail for a couple of pornographic images? The mind boggles.
Yep, even the UK Government only wants to lock adults up for three years for possessing images which are entirely legal at the moment (and which will still be legal over most of the rest of the world even if they do get their way)!
See http://www.backlash-uk.org.uk/proposed.html (ignore points ii and iii on the list of what the legislation proposes, they're just there to distract people from noticing that the first point will result in people risking being locked up based on entirely subjective opinions of whether an image "appears to be life-threatening" or not)
> The Chinese leadership certainly hasn't felt the need to indulge in the sort of posturing seen from Vladimir Putin in recent days. This sort of thing is fairly routine for him, after all. Could be it's mainly intended for the folks at home
Phew! Good job Western Leaders don't feel it necessary to do this sort of thing to convince the folks at home that we're under serious threat every minute of every day so we have to surrender our basic freedoms and rights to "protect us"...
Whilst I agree to some degree with the comments made by the first poster above, I can't agree that this is just a "Load of bollocks".
A lot of parents still need a wake-up call to make them realise that the Internet is not a child minding service and just because their kid is up in their room and being quiet it doesn't mean they can slob out in front of the TV and not consider themselves responsible taking care of their child.
Perhaps if more people took note of this fact we'd hear fewer hysterical demands for draconian laws to "censor the internet" by banning all access to some sites or making it illegal for adults to look at "dangerous pictures" on the off-chance that it might, allegedly, make someone do bad things.
> I'd have thought the software was more granular and less likely to pick up on slight changes than humans are.
From what I've seen of such software in documentaries, it relies on absolutes such as the distance between the eyes, length of nose, width of mouth etc or some combination thereof.
If the eyes are a bit closer together or the nose a bit longer in the photo, that could be enough to fool the machine whilst the human eye (especially backed up with a bored brain!) is quite capable of ignoring or missing such changes.
... all you need to do is snap a digital photo, distort it slightly with photoshop, re-photograph it on film and, bingo, something that looks enough like you to fool the eye of an Immigration Officer, but not enough to ring alarm bells on this system.
Meanwhile, of course, the people who do, by co-incidence, look like a "known terrorist"...
"M'lud, the defendant is accused of being a terrorist because he was sighted at the supermarket purchasing large quantities of fly paper..."
Hmm, maybe someone's recently watched "Three Days of the Condor" starring Robert Redford as a "Reader" for the CIA whose job is to go through SF and technothrillers in search of ideas they can use.
Of course someone maybe should remind them that Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle were responsible for pushing Reagan into the Strategic Defence Initiative which, when it turned out to be completely implausible, suddenly (in a neat piece of ret-conning http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retcon ) turned into an amazingly cunning plan to bankrupt the Soviet Union by getting them to waste as much money as the USA had on trying to develop unfeasible technology. Yeah, right...
PS Andrew Kirch - I think you're thinking of "Executive Orders" the Clancy book that immediately follows Debt of Honour and which deals in part with the aftermath of the attack)
> Visitors to www.mirror.co.uk are met by a blank page.
And this is a problem because...?
"G-string underwear [...] emblazoned with [a] picture of Buddha"
In the game Shogun - Total War, when you're visited by a Buddhist Emissary, he sometimes leaves with the words "May you come to Buddha's hand some day"...!
Matt Houston http://www.tv.com/matt-houston/show/979/summary.html had a computer built into a coffee table back in 1982!
Ross: Just a minor correction, the words were "Good Grief!" ;-)
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