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07/12/2003 Free Press: Lair of Villainy
A book that endorses non-payment of taxes has been banned by a federal court.

Irwin Schiff, author of The Federal Mafia: How the IRS Illegally Imposes and Unlawfully Collects Income Tax, is being pursued by the Justice Department for his disagreeable publication. By order of U.S. District Judge Lloyd George, Schiff and two of his associates are currently restrained from distribution of the book.

[Editor's Note: Schiff's use of the free press to espouse unofficial views is but another despicable attack on the fabric of Homeland hierarchy. By suggesting that a governmental department might be wrong in its interpretation of law, his book induces critical attitudes where they are neither wanted nor needed.

The free press is fine and dandy as an idea in the minds of social theoreticians. However, its physical implementation forces us -- forces all of society -- to confront one vital question. Without a ban on dangerous books, how will citizens ever know which are safe to read?]

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07/09/2003 Education Undermines Society
A new Ohio law will expel student activists who "fail to disperse" during political demonstrations. The law will also deny them financial aid for two years following any such incident.

In a display of punitive dedication, riot police routinely prevent demonstrators from dispersing then arrest them for failure to disperse. Besides the primary goal of silencing participants, this tactic discourages future protest by attaching concrete penalties to the act. Until recently, however, the penalties were limited to jail time and fines.

The new law, introduced by State Senator Jeff Jacobson, assigns additional punishment to college students in particular; for these young miscreants, school expulsion will cut short the educational crime spree of which political protest forewarns.

[Editor's Note: If only there were more people like Jacobson and his fellow legislators, willing to question the sacrosanct idiocy of academic freedom. Learning is acceptable to a point, but when these uppity college students start thinking on their own, there's no telling what they'll come up with. It's just sensible social policy to end an out-of-control education before it contaminates the rest of the batch.]
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07/07/2003 New Poster
A new poster is available. You can find it here.
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07/03/2003 Cyberterror: Why Computers are Dangerous

[Special Advertising Section]

Lately we've been hearing a lot about the possibilities of cyberterror. You'd think that just sitting down at a computer could get you killed. In fact, that's closer to the truth than most "computer experts" like to admit.

Few of us know or care how computers work, but we can all agree on one thing: computers are far scarier than any nuclear weapon. Did you know that virtual violence is causing a mass extinction that could mean the end of the human species?

And death in the world of computers is much worse than death in the real world. You can only die once in reality -- but in the virtual world you can die an infinite number of times.

All of these deaths add up. It is estimated that over 520 billion game deaths occur during the course of one month. Cyberterrorists are booting up, logging in, and murdering without reprieve.

It's time to crack down on cyberterror.

The next time a business group proposes strict controls on computer use, know that they're not just trying to shut out competition.

The next time law enforcement requests tough cybercrime laws and ubiquitous surveillance, know that they're not just itching for a power trip.

The next time Congress spends your tax money to fight cyberterror, know that they're not just subsidizing corporate lobbyists.

It's because your life is on the line.

[Editor's Note: We don't normally run political ads in this space, but we made an exception since this one affects all Internet users. The message was sponsored by the Congressional Council for Responsible Computing.]
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07/02/2003 New Poster
Yet another poster has been added. You can find it here.
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07/01/2003 New Poster
Another new poster is available. You can find it here.
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06/29/2003 New Poster
A new poster is available. You can find it here.
[link to this story]
 
06/27/2003 Rights Managed Everywhere
The Digital Home Working Group (DHWG), a consortium of software and electronics manufacturers, is working to create a standard for inter-device media exchange. If successful, the DHWG may fulfill content distribution dreams by establishing a single license cartel for all electronic devices.

This type of industry-wide cooperation is being facilitated by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, a law whose terms nurture restrictive business practices by criminalizing competitors and do-it-yourselfers. The DMCA is one of the basic building blocks in a structure that will, in future years, help the technology industry slow down to the more reasonable pace set by traditional industry.

According to the DHWG's web site, "[m]edia management and control will enable devices and applications to identify, manage, and distribute media content across the home network." The phrase "media management and control" refers to Digital Rights Management -- a practical philosophy based on the premise that rights, although historically assigned to individual humans, are more effectively managed by corporate wisdom.

Digital Rights Management works in concert with the DMCA to constrain product use within boundaries set by the vendor. Even if some human act is otherwise completely legal, products may be designed so as to make the act a felony. Obviously, this sort of legal contortion will be invaluable in all fields of corporate control; it's a shame the law wasn't purchased decades ago.
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06/27/2003 Immorality Goes Unpunished
In a setback for bedroom police everywhere, the Supreme Court yesterday struck down a Texas anti-sodomy law.

The law, like others across the nation, was originally enacted to enforce wholesome Christian behavior. The United States Constitution requires that government be held separate from religion, but an exception has generally been made for true religions. Constitutional experts implicated the judicial system's establishmentarian lapse into deviltry, and called on the Justice Department to speed its pending transition from judicial prosecution to military execution.
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06/25/2003 ATM Arrest Blooper
Two female high-school students and the mother of one were jailed for 22 days after a surveillance camera showed them withdrawing cash from an ATM.

"America's Most Wanted," a television program acclaimed for its fair, unsensationalized pursuit of vigilante justice, aired surveillance footage related to a murder investigation and was tipped off regarding the suspects' identities.

Police using the video as evidence were aided by an incorrectly set camera clock, which allowed them to assume that the suspects employed a stolen ATM card. The three suspects were charged with the murder of the former ATM card owner despite the fact that their own legitimate transactions appeared in disparately timed ATM records. After one suspect's father convinced a prosecutor to review the evidence, all charges were dropped.

[Editor's Note: At a first glance, this case shows the need for redundant security cameras and DNA-logging ATMs. But there is a much deeper lesson here. Why were the suspects released from jail after only 22 days? If they weren't guilty, there certainly wouldn't be any harm in holding them a few months longer while the facts were sorted out.

It's this empathy for suspects that gets in the way of the best crime-fighting, and it's something we're only beginning to tackle as a nation. When Guantanamo Bay is the norm rather than the exception, you can bet crime will disappear. We need to take a long, hard look at what deters crime, and we've got to make the sacrifices to make it work. Until then, we could all use a bit more Ashcroftian common sense. I'll give you a hint: 22 measly days in jail isn't going to deter any criminal, no matter how innocent.]

[link to this story]
 
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