Thailand has lifted a ban on YouTube about five months after videos mocking King Bhumibol Adulyadej prompted the military-installed government to block domestic Web surfers' access to the site.
But there's a catch, of course.
In a Friday interview with the Financial Times, the Southeast Asian nation's information and technology minister attributed the restoration to an agreement that the Google-owned service will block any clips that the government flags as illegal. Thai law, among other things, forbids mocking monarchs, an act punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Originally branded with an AO (adults only) rating--the film equivalent of NC-17--Rockstar Games' creepy sequel to 2003's original Manhunt has just been graced with the more socially acceptable M-for-mature rating. In addition, Rockstar has announced that Manhunt 2 will be released on the appropriate date of October 31 for the PS2, PSP, and the Wii.
The AO rating was widely publicized in June after reports out of the UK claimed the game would never make it to store shelves. Following the ruling, Rockstar immediately announced that the title's release would be suspended until further notice. Censorship in videogames … Read more
It looks like Pearl Jam isn't the only band that has had its politically charged comments bleeped from concerts streamed from AT&T's Blue Room Web site.
AT&T issued a statement on Friday admitting that this kind of thing has happened before. And the company once again apologized.
"It's not our intent to edit political comments in Webcasts on attblueroom.com," the company said in a statement. "Unfortunately, it has happened in the past in a handful of cases. We have taken steps to ensure that it won't happen again.&… Read more
Apparently, saying disparaging things about President George Bush is enough to get you censored. At least that's what happened to the band Pearl Jam Sunday night during AT&T's Webcast of the Lollapalooza concert in Chicago.
According to fans who watched the concert on AT&T's Blue Room Web site, portions of the song "Daughter," in which singer Eddie Vedder altered lyrics to include anti-Bush sentiments, were bleeped out. The lyrics came during a segue into Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall."
The lyrics that were missing from the … Read more
Editor's note: This story was updated at 5:15 p.m. PST to clarify and elaborate upon some of the concerns raised by LiveJournal users.
LiveJournal users who patronize sex-themed Harry Potter fan art and fiction communities--and a host of other concerned users--are revolting a second time over account suspension notices they say are unpredictable and trample on their free-expression rights.
The most recent saga over user-generated Harry Potter artwork appears to have started late last week, when at least two users, "ponderosa121" and "elaboration," reported receiving notices from a LiveJournal abuse team member who … Read more
The chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee has ordered an investigation into Yahoo's role in the arrest of a Chinese Internet journalist serving a 10-year sentence for allegedly distributing state secrets in e-mail, according to the Associated Press.
Shi Tao was arrested in 2004 by Chinese officials after Yahoo cooperated with a request to provide information about the Yahoo Mail customer. At a hearing last year, Yahoo general counsel Michael Callahan said that Yahoo did not know what the nature of the investigation of Shi was when it handed over the information to the Chinese government. … Read more
It's time to add onetime presidential hopeful John Kerry to the long list of politicians who have scant understanding of free speech and the Internet.
Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in a press release on Friday that he wants to make it "illegal to transmit images of dog fighting, to run websites that cater to dog fighting."
Such a law could, of course, imperil news organizations and animal rights Web sites that "transmit images of dog fighting" as part of reporting on or, alternatively, condemning the practice. It could even make this article, which includes … Read more
What could have prompted Yahoo to hire its first-ever chief compliance and ethics officer? Could it have been the criticism executives received at the annual shareholders meeting about two weeks ago over Yahoo's cooperation with the Chinese government on censorship?
Yahoo allegedly provided information about a Yahoo Mail user in China to the government that led to his arrest and subsequent 10-year sentence. That man, a journalist, recently joined a lawsuit filed against Yahoo in the U.S. in April by the World Organization for Human Rights USA and the wife of a Chinese dissident who claims Yahoo aided … Read more
Admist some of last week's hullaballoo regarding Flickr's censorship on some of the photos of its German language users, it's timely that the creators of The Pirate Bay, the popular BitTorrent tracking site, have recently launched their own censorship-free image-sharing service called BAYIMG. It's similar to other image-hosting services like ImageShack, TinyPic, and DivShare, with one exception--the only person who's able to remove uploaded photos is you. That is, assuming you don't forget the secret removal access code you picked when uploading.
Despite this well-advertised stance on free speech, the service claims that if … Read more