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News of Note: O2 Hands Customer Details To Pornographer

The personal details of more than 9,000 O2 broadband subscribers are to be handed over to porn companies Golden Eye International and Ben Dover Productions following a High Court decision.

Ben Dover, aka Lindsay Honey, a British porn performer, director and producer who set up Golden Eye International in 2009, successfully claimed that some O2 users had illegally downloaded his porn films.

9,124 IP addresses were found to be infringing Ben Dover Productions’ copyright, and O2 will now have to match those against its customer database and hand over personal details.

Will this exposé prevent people from pirating porn? If you’re technologically savvy enough to cover your tracks, there is absolutely nothing these companies can do to stop you.

Will actions like this propel private sexuality into the open while fueling fear of legal repercussions? I hope this will only serve to amplify the futility of future copyright enforcement. What do you think?

*en español abajo

News of Note: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich All Promise To Ban Porn

The top three Republican presidential candidates pledged a war on porn today which means that they have promised more action to ban porn than to create jobs. The conservative group Morality In Media is head over heels today after all three top Republican candidates promised to go war against the distribution of porn. In a written statement, Rick Santorum said, “Federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced. If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so.” Not to be outdone, Mitt Romney gave a statement to the group that said, “(I)t is imperative that we cultivate the promotion of fundamental family values. This can be accomplished with increased parental involvement and enhanced supervision of our children. It includes strict enforcement of our nation’s obscenity laws, as well as the promotion of parental software controls that guard our children from Internet pornography.”
Then we have Newt Gingrich, who wasn’t satisfied with a written statement. In a face to face meeting, Gingrich told Morality In Media that, “Yes, I will appoint an Attorney General who will enforce these laws.” The existing laws that each of these candidates were referring to are federal laws that they and Morality In Media feel make the distribution of pornography illegal.

Pornography prohibition? There is absolutely no way that will work. Porn is a multi-billion dollar industry that covers the whole globe. This very moment, tens of thousands of people are looking at porn online. It’s far from uncommon for the conservative and the repressed to get involved with the very sexual acts they claim to oppose. How can anyone even listen to these hypocrites?

Sometimes I wonder if these candidates (and people like them) are systematically turning our basic human instincts against us. Maybe they’re just hateful monsters who actually believe the dribble they spew, but I like to imagine US presidential candidates would have a higher level of intelligence than these bigots.

*Traducción al español por Kim Violet

Noticias notables: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, y Newt Gingrich, todos prometen prohibir el Porno

Los tres principales candidatos republicanos a la presidencia prometieron una guerra contra el porno hoy, lo que significa que han prometido más medidas para prohibir la pornografía que para crear puestos de trabajo. El grupo conservador Moralidad en los Medios se encuentra seducido después de que los tres principales candidatos republicanos se comprometieron a ir a la guerra en contra la distribución de pornografía. En una declaración escrita, Rick Santorum dijo: “Las leyes federales de obscenidad deben de ser cumplidas vigorosamente. De ser elegido presidente, voy a nombrar a un Fiscal General que lo hará. ” Para no ser menos, Mitt Romney dio un comunicado al grupo diciendo, “(I) Es imperativo que nosotros cultivemos la promoción de los valores fundamentales de la familia. Esto se puede lograr con una mayor participación de los padres y una mayor supervisión de nuestros hijos, incluyendo la aplicación estricta de las leyes de obscenidad de nuestra nación, así como la promoción de los controles parentales de software que protegen a nuestros niños de la pornografía en Internet. ” Luego tenemos a Newt Gingrich, quien no estaba satisfecho con una declaración escrita. En una reunión cara a cara, Gingrich dijo a Moralidad en los Medios, “Sí, voy a nombrar a un Fiscal General, quien hará cumplir las leyes.” Las leyes en vigor que cada uno de estos candidatos referenciaron son las leyes federales que ellos y Moralidad en los Medios sienten que prohibirían la distribución de pornografía.

¿La prohibición de la pornografía? No hay absolutamente ninguna manera de que funcione. La pornografía es una industria multimillonaria que cubre todo el globo. En este mismo momento, decenas de miles de personas están mirando pornografía en línea. Está lejos de ser raro que los conservadores y los reprimidos se involucren en los actos sexuales muy que dicen oponer. ¿Cómo se puede incluso escuchar a estos hipócritas?

A veces me pregunto si estos candidatos (y la gente como ellos) están sistemáticamente convirtiendo nuestros instintos humanos básicos en contra de nosotros. Tal vez son sólo monstruos llenos de odio que realmente creen la basura que arrojan, pero me gusta imaginar a los candidatos presidenciales de Estados Unidos tendrían un mayor nivel de inteligencia que estos fanáticos.

Creative Commons image: Source

*en español abajo

News of Note: Iran confirms death sentence for ‘porn site’ web programmer

Iran’s supreme court has upheld the death sentence for a web programmer who faces imminent execution after being found guilty of developing and promoting porn websites. Saeed Malekpour was picked up by plainclothes officers in October 2008 and taken to Evin prison in Tehran, where he spent a year in solitary confinement without access to lawyers and without charge. A year after his arrest, the 35-year-old appeared in a state television programme confessing to a series of crimes in connection with a porn website. On the basis of his TV confessions, he was convicted of designing and moderating adult materials online by a court in Tehran, which handed down death penalty. Malekpour later retracted his confessions in a letter sent from prison, in which he said they had been made under duress. According to Malekpour’s family, he is a permanent resident of Canada and is a programmer who wrote photo-uploading software that was used by a porn website without his knowledge.

Giving someone the death penalty is a big deal. Giving someone the death penalty for being related to a pornographic website is absurd. The fact that Saeed simply wrote image-uploading software and was not running or participating with actual pornography makes this incident absolutely insane. *Traducción al español por Artemis Lopez Noticias destacadas: Irán confirma la pena de muerte para el programador de un sitio web pornográfico

El tribunal supremo Iraní ha confirmado la pena de muerte para un programador web que se enfrenta a una ejecución inminente tras ser declarado culpable de desarrollar y promover sitios web porno. Saeed Malekpour fue arrestado por policías de paisano en octubre del 2008 y llevado a la prisión Evin en Tehran, donde pasó un año en reclusión aislada sin acceso a abogados y sin acusación alguna. Un año tras su arresto, el hombre de 35 años apareció en un programa de televisión del estado confesando una serie de delitos relacionados con una página porno. Basándose en sus confesiones en la televisión, un tribunal de Tehran le condenó a pena de muerte por diseñar y moderar contenido para adultos online. Posteriormente, Malekpour retractó sus confesiones en una carta que mandó desde prisión, en la que dijo que le habían obligado a hacerlas bajo coacción. Según la familia de Malekpour, es un residente permanente de Canadá, y es el programador que creó un programa de software de subida de fotos que estaba siendo usado en un sitio porno sin su conocimiento.

Sentenciar a alguien a pena de muerte es una decisión importante. Sentenciar a alguien a pena de muerte por estar involucrado con un sitio porno es absurdo. El hecho de que Saeed sólo creara un programa para subir fotos, y que no tuviera nada que ver con la pornografía hace todo esto absolutamente ridículo.

You may have heard of the new .xxx domain names being created for porn sites. They finally went live this Tuesday and the controversy hasn’t stopped.

"By applying for a .xxx site, webmasters, adult performers, studios, and others become part of a "sponsored community," agreeing to operate legally and within agreed-upon business standards. Each .xxx site will be scanned daily with McAfee protection tools, which ICM (the registry that is responsible for handing out the .xxx domains) says will help make them among the Web’s safest destinations. But as you might expect, not everyone is pleased with the move. Some religious organizations have argued against the new .xxx names, saying that creating them amounts to an endorsement of porn. “The establishment of a .xxx domain would increase, not decrease, the spread of pornography on the Internet, causing even more harm to children, families and communities,” said Patrick Trueman, CEO of Morality in Media and former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, when ICANN (the international not-for-profit that coordinates Web addresses) was voting on the plan.” (On Tuesday, porn sites set to go .XXX)

At first I was all for porn sites getting new .xxx domain names; they sound cool, they are totally honest and up front about their content, everything sounds good. The more I thought about it though, the more I have to stay on the fence about the issue. I’m sure many adult websites will buy the .xxx domain names and simply have them re-direct to their already established sites. We already have many safe search options, parental controls, and blacklists available for people who don’t want to see adult content. If traditional domains (.com) are more familiar and less likely to be automatically blocked, I don’t see the incentive for only using a .xxx domain. The thing to remember here is, .xxx domains are entirely voluntary;  so what happens if they ever become mandatory? Think of the Internet like a country without borders, one global community. If we start dividing it up based on certain criteria, and governing each section with various rules, that removes control from the user and gives it to a higher authority. If we give an authority the ability to impose restrictions, we create the unnecessary potential for abuse. As long as these domains remain voluntary I have no problem at all. Creative Commons image source: quinn.anya