If the schools that my kids attend are anything to go by, it seems that high on Santa's list this Xmas just gone was an iTouch, iPhone or iPad depending how well off the parents were. That's understandable, they are just as attractive as gadgets for kids as they are to adults. But along with the never ending supply of free games, educational apps and the like comes the small problem of unfettered access to the Internet and all that brings with it. While adults may well have the family PC protected by parental control software to filter unsuitable content …

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[ATTACH=right]16650[/ATTACH]In the wake of the [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story302388.html"]Wikileaks scandal[/URL], the National Guard has announced new "[URL="http://www.ng.mil/news/archives/2010/08/081110-NGB.aspx"]social media guidelines[/URL]" for the nation's citizen soldiers. While a lot of the guidelines are the same sort of common sense, don't-embarrass-your-family's good name restrictions we might place on our teenagers' use of Facebook and MySpace, there's also this passage in the official press release that would seem to be aimed directly at would be WikiLeakers: [QUOTE]Posting internal documents or information that the National Guard has not officially released to the public is prohibited, including memos, e-mails, meeting notes, message traffic, white papers, public affairs guidance, pre-decisional …

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Hello guys and girls I couldn't hel to wonder what is daniweb's community position towards the Stop Online Piracy Act to be discussed today in the US Congress. Is Dani censoring the logo tonight?

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was just wondering if anyone can help me with some homework. I have been trying to figure this out for a couple hours now. I am sure it is probably simple but I can't get it to run. What I have to do is take user input that contains the word HELL, and censor it to HECK. It needs to know that it is the word HELL and not something that contains it like HELLO. Also, we are not allowed to use the header <string>. This is just a small part of the whole homework so it needs to be …

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Justin Bieber is, so my 10 year old daughter informs me, a pop sensation. Actually, her exact words when I asked just who the heck this Bieber bloke who keeps topping the Twitter trending chart is were: Oh My God, Justin Bieber, he's gorgeous. A little more journalistic investigation turned up the fact that in reality he's a 16 year old Canadian who [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkKqihEUmH4"]doesn't know what the word German means[/URL]. Having listened to a couple of his songs, and I must confess that I'm more a Slipknot man myself so my opinion of Bieber is unlikely to be too high, …

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On Thursday 2nd June 2009 it will be the 20th anniversary of the Tienanmen Square massacre when an undisclosed number of student protesters were killed after tanks rolled into squash the protests. You might imagine, then, that in China services such as Twitter would be a-buzz with talk about the day. Well it probably would have been, had the Chinese authorities not closed it down on Tuesday. Various chatroom sources are saying that both Twitter and Hotmail have been blocked throughout the mainland of China since 5pm on Tuesday, China time. There have also been some reports of Windows Live …

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On Friday, July 9th 2010 Blogetery.com went dark and over 73,000 user generated blogs disappeared without warning, without notice...and without any explanation whatsoever. Blogetery.com hosted thousands of WordPress based blogs that suddenly disappeared when their host, BurstNet abruptly pulled the plug in what has become one of the current mysteries of the net. So far it appears that the hosting company is not only refusing to divulge information in regards to the reason for yanking Blogetery's account but there may actually be some sort of unidentified government or law enforcement agency tying their hands in the matter.[ATTACH]15904[/ATTACH]Another incident that has …

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It's not exactly news that the relationship between Google and China has soured over the last month or two and it looks as though [URL="http://www.macworld.com/article/147096/2010/03/china_google.html?lsrc=rss_main"]Google may quit China soon[/URL] leaving the vastly lucrative Chinese market to Microsoft and others. What's not clear is what the implications will be for the search giant which has found itself caught up in the political machinations of a repressive Chinese government. The story sounds like the start of a [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_le_Carré"]John le Carre novel[/URL], but the fact is it's very real and the stakes very high. [B]Chinese Fire First Volley[/B] It all started a couple …

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To protest a planned Internet filter in Australia, Australian websites and users are being encouraged this week to turn themselves black. "The Federal Government wants to pass laws to force internet service providers to block banned material hosted on overseas servers," explained one Australian [URL="http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/26/2801759.htm"]media source[/URL]. "Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says he intends to introduce the legislation in the first half of 2010." The protest, known as the [URL="http://www.internetblackout.com.au/"]Great Australian Internet Blackout[/URL], says the measure wouldn't protect children or stop the flow of illegal content, would increase costs, and would put Australia on par with countries such as China and …

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For a while it looked like the [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story252590.html"]Google threat[/URL] to pull out of China was just a load of hot air, and pretty late hot air at that considering [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story253371.html"]it had taken years[/URL] for the search giant to realise that [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry4434.html"]state censorship is a bad thing[/URL]. But that has all changed now that Google landed a well aimed kick right to the Chinese commercial nads by 'delaying' the launch of a couple of new [URL="http://www.itpro.co.uk/blogs/daveyw/2009/09/09/battle-of-the-apps-android-v-apple/"]Android[/URL] OS powered mobile devices. Although there is, as of yet, no official response from China over this latest move it has previously stated that Google …

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If it is so concerned about the online rights of users, as the [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story252590.html"]Google statement about pulling out of China[/URL] would suggest, maybe it should consider pulling out of Italy next. Unless of course the China crisis is more to do with commercial failure to dominate an emerging and important online market and less to do with censorship after all. As I may have mentioned before, it is nice to see Google taking a stand but a real shame that it has taken so long for the company to locate its backbone. Now it has a chance to act a …

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With some [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry3427.html"]11.5 million subscribers[/URL] playing it worldwide, there is no denying that World of Warcraft is one popular online game. Nowhere more so than in China, where it has been reported around 5 million of those subscribers are based. It should [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry4434.html"]come as no surprise[/URL] that not everyone in China is a fan, however. Unfortunately for game developers Blizzard Entertainment it would appear that the Chinese government might be in the dislike camp, no surprise there then. A planned upgrade to the game which involved moving to a new operator in China, an online gaming outfit by the name …

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[I]"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." [URL="http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Gilmore"]John Gilmore[/URL], founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in 1993.[/I] In the same way that people in Mumbai used Twitter last fall to [URL="http://www.forbes.com/2008/11/28/mumbai-twitter-sms-tech-internet-cx_bc_kn_1128mumbai.html"]publicize[/URL] news of terrorist attacks in that Indian city, Iranians are using Twitter to let the world know what is going on in that country after a government crackdown was imposed to quell unrest and dissent after dubious election results. Using the hash tag #Iranelection, a number of people purportedly from Iran are not only reporting news from that country, but using Twitter to pass on a …

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Everyone knows that China is not exactly the most Internet friendly country, in fact the Chinese government pretty much hates it. Despite being a truly [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry1269.html"]connected superpower[/URL], the Chinese government has already [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry1407.html"]declared war on Internet porn[/URL]. Of course, the Internet is a cool tool when used as a weapon by the [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry2427.html"]army of Chinese government sponsored hackers[/URL] against other countries. Now it seems that the Chinese authorities are turning their weapons of mass censorship on all citizens. It seems that as from next month, every PC sold in China will have Green Dam software installed. Green what? Well, the …

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Scared that students taking an exam might cheat, teachers at the posh Harrow School in England took the unusual step of banning them from using the Internet and re-routing their email so it could be read by the headmaster. The irony of the exam being concerned with Nazi foreign policy has not escaped me. According to [URL="http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2432305.ece"]The Sun[/URL] the school suspected a plot to cheat in the GCSE history exam as fellow pupils at a sister school in China had taken the same one a few hours earlier. The newspaper says that the headmaster, Barnaby Lenon, "read every email sent …

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The App Store is a beautiful idea that is [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry4149.html"]wildly successfu[/URL]l, but Apple has a big App Store problem. They are trying to control the content in the Apps and they really, really need to just get out of the way and let the market judge the quality of an App. The only threshold should be: Does it poison the platform or violate an agreement with the carrier selling the phone? If not, then allow it in and let users decide if its good enough. [B] Nine Inch Nail Trouble[/B] Apple ran into trouble on Monday when it [URL="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/05/AR2009050500707.html"]rejected an …

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The Chinese Government obsession with eradicating all 'lewd' and pornographic content from the Internet marches on. It all started back in 2007 when the authorities [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry1407.html"]declared war on porn[/URL] and setting a seemingly impossible target of purging the web of sexually-explicit images, stories and AV clips within a six month time scale. Of course, it proved to be exactly that, impossible. But that has not stopped the Chinese Porn Takeaway, indeed we reported recently how the [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry3853.html"]latest purge[/URL] has seen 41 people arrested in January, along with 1250 pornographic websites closed down. Some 3.2 million pieces of 'porn' have also …

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Remember when China officially declared war on Internet pornography and set a target of just six months to purge the Web of sexually explicit images, stories and AV clips? No, well [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry1407.html"]read this[/URL] to refresh your memory. While you are at it, make a note of the date: that story was posted back in April 2007. A little more than six months ago, and yet porn is as much of a reality in China today as it was back then. In 2007 the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Public Security, Zhang Xinfeng, was quoted as stating that the [URL="http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20625/53/"]boom …

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Here we have it - only days after it emerged the the European Union was censoring an image on Wikipedia it's [URL="http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/dec/09/wikipedia-ban-reversed"]changed its mind[/URL]. The image, from the Scorpions' 1976 album, Virgin Killers, can now be seen on the Wikipedia site - it depicts a nude female child with her genitals obscured by a crack in the camera lens. Personally I wouldn't buy an album with that cover, it looks gratuitous in the truest sense of the word - in other words completely unnecessary and a cheap way of getting my attention. The issue here, though, is censorship. The image …

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It had to happen, and it has. Ever since the Internet Watch Foundation, a British charitable organisation that acts as the official watchdog to track and report illegal content online, in particular child pornography, introduced a blacklist we all knew it would get controversial one day. That day has come. That blacklist is used by a number of leading Internet Service Providers in the UK, companies such as Virgin Media, Demon, O2, EasyNet and PlusNet to name but a few. So when someone reported that Wikipedia was displaying a 'potentially illegal' image of young naked girl with only a crack …

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Facebook is many [URL="http://www.itwire.com/content/view/21230/53/"]different[/URL] things to many [URL="http://www.itwire.com/content/view/20059/53/"]different[/URL] people, but surely a social networking should be just that, social. Sure, there will always the odd group with a less than pleasant agenda, although usually these take the humour route rather than being downright nasty. So while an anti-Microsoft group might not be all hugs and flowers in intent, it is not in the same league as one proclaiming that members should 'Turn Gypsies into Fuel' for example. The renowned Paris-based anti-nazi organisation, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, recently had cause to write [URL="http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/apps/s/content.asp?c=fwLYKnN8LzH&b=253162&ct=6323837"]an official complaint[/URL] to Facebook under the title of …

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In recent weeks, both [URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/technology/internet/08air.html?_r=1&ref=business&oref=slogin"]American Airlines[/URL] and Delta Airlines have announced that their in-flight wireless Internet services will include a filtering service to keep passengers from viewing porn on their laptops. I admit it, I'm torn. Porn proponents such as Violet Blue, in the [URL="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2008/10/16/violetblue.DTL""]San Francisco Chronicle[/URL], make all the correct points -- that nothing's stopping people from looking at pornography they bring on their hard disks now, or even books and magazines; that imperfect filtering systems can block access to legitimate sites; and who's to say what's pornography anyway. And all these are valid. On the other hand, I …

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So I'm scrolling through the features rather than the news and I come across [URL="http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10031076-93.html?tag=mncol"]this[/URL]. Software developers, apparently, are under threat from censors. Apple is refusing to put violent games onto its iTunes store and Facebook is going to refuse to distribute some applications. I'm interested mostly in the psychology that makes this idea offensive. It's rooted, quite deeply, in the original picure of the Internet as promoted by, I suppose, the original geek community who set it up. It was going to be the ultimate free for all, the great leveller - if you wanted to put something on …

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According to [URL="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2008/07/31/dlyoutube131.xml"]The Telegraph[/URL] newspaper here in the UK, British Members of Parliament are kicking up a right old stink about YouTube. Specifically regarding what it does, or more to the point what it does not do, to prevent sexually explicit and violent video clips from being posted. The House of Commons "Culture and Media Committee" says that it is completely unimpressed with the systems that YouTube has in place to filter out sexual and violent content. Surely, the point is that there is no active filtering to prevent the publication of such material. Instead, YouTube relies upon user intervention …

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Andrew Cuomo, New York Attorney General, has been fighting one of those fights that you sadly cannot win: to rid the Internet of child pornography. Believe me, as a father of four I would love to say that it was possible but as a technology journalist with some 20 years experience of writing about the online world and the people who inhabit it I know that it isn't. It would take a sea change in terms of international cooperation, both legal and political, for starters and that's without even thinking about the technological hurdles that would need to be jumped. …

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Google told Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to [URL="http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2008/05/dialogue-with-sen-lieberman-on.html"]pound sand[/URL] Monday -- politely, of course -- after the Senator [URL="http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=8093d5b2-c882-4d12-883d-5c670d43d269&Month=5&Year=2008&Affiliation=C"]called on Google[/URL] to remove all "Internet video content produced by terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda" from YouTube. "YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. We believe that YouTube is a richer and more relevant platform for users precisely because it hosts a diverse range of views, and rather than stifle debate we allow our users to view all acceptable content and make up their own minds," Google said in a statement on its public …

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According to reporters at [URL="http://www.pocket-lint.co.uk/news/news.phtml/13450/14474/Manhunt-2-given-UK-release.phtml"]Pocket Lint[/URL] it would seem that the controversial ban upon the sale of the equally controversial video game Manhunt 2 in the UK has been overturned. The site reports that the Rockstar Games developed title has been edited to the satisfaction of the British Board of Film Classification (which control certification of games as well as movies in the UK) and will be released with an adults only 18 certificate. Actually, that might not be quite true as it appears the BBFC twice rejected the title, and even went as far as taking the battle against …

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China has officially declared war on Internet porn, and set a target of purging the web of sexually-explicit images, stories and AV clips within a six month timescale. According to the [URL="http://news.xinhuanet.com/english"]China View[/URL] official online news agency the Vice Minister of MPS, Zhang Xinfeng, is quoted as stating “the boom of pornographic content on the Internet has contaminated cyberspace and perverted China's young minds. The inflow of pornographic materials from abroad and lax domestic control are to blame for the existing problems in China's cyberspace.” Looking deeper at what Zhang has said, one could be forgiven for thinking that this …

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Rockstar Games is no stranger to controversy, after all the Grand Theft Auto series of hugely successful video games revolve around the concept of robbing and killing your way to victory. But with the confirmation that it will release the long delayed ‘Bully’ in October, originally slated for a PS2 exclusive release in July 2005, many critics are saying it has gone too far this time. Why so? Well the game is based around the life of 15 year old Jimmy Hopkins, a boarding school kid who uses baseball bats and bags of marbles to defend himself from bullies. The …

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Recently, the video games industry has been subject of more scrutiny than ever before. Pressure is mounting which threatens innovation within and surrounding the industry, yet 'rogue' games developer Rockstar Games, the catalyst for much of the negative opinion, continues to thumb it's nose at public opinion. The [url=http://www.rockstargames.com/libertycitystories/gta_lcs.html]website [/url]devoted to the upcoming next installment in the controversial game series Grand Theft Auto contains a thinly veiled attack on Rockstar/Take2 Interactive's biggest critic, anti-pornography anti-violence campaigner Jack Thompson. 'Fake' email messages on the site from 'JT' infer that the Miami based lawyer surfs the internet for porn and also encourage …

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The End.