- DE - Germany restricts game it says glorifies war +/-
(New York Times) Electronic Arts, the nation's largest maker of video games, says it is caught in the crossfire between the German and United States governments over the Iraq war. The German government listed a new game produced by Electronic Arts on an index of games the government considers violent. Such games may not be advertised or displayed on shelves in Germany, although they may be kept under store counters and sold to adults. The director of the German federal bureau that reviews media products for the youth market said the game had been restricted because it glorified war.
- Minneapolis librarians sue over Internet porn +/-
(Star Tribune) A dozen Minneapolis librarians who say they were exposed to a barrage of sexually explicit Internet material in the downtown library are seeking their day in court. The 12 sued the library system in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, alleging they endured an intimidating, hostile and offensive workplace that violated state and federal law. The suit seeks damages of at least $400,000 each, plus workplace changes.
- UK - RSPCA in censorship crusade against humour site +/-
(Register) The RSPCA is rallying support for a campaign to have the Bonsai Kitten Web site shut down, even though it knows the site is a hoax. Bonsaikitten.com, a site "dedicated to preserving the long lost art of body modification in housepets", has raised the ire of members of the RSPCA, which campaigns against cruelty to animals.
- US - House votes to curtail Net porn +/-
(CNET News.com) The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to ban pornographic Internet sites with misleading addresses and computer-generated child pornography. During a debate over a bill to create a notification network for child kidnapping cases, House members added two technology-related amendments to the legislation. The first measure, which was approved by voice vote, says anyone who knowingly uses an innocent-sounding domain name to drive traffic to a sex site could be fined and imprisoned for two to four years. The second amendment, which the House agreed to by a 406-15 vote, represents Congress' second attempt to outlaw "morphed" or virtual child pornography. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court slapped down Congress' first law banning nude images of computer-generated minors and underage teens, saying the 1996 measure violated the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of expression.
- Erotik-Angebote fürs MMS-Handy +/-
(Xonio) Hätte es noch eines Beweises bedurft, der CeBIT-Auftritt der Mobilfunkanbieter brachte endgültige Klarheit: bunte Bilder, starke Töne, satte Sound- und flotte Videostreams - schon vor dem UMTS-Start in Deutschland stehen die Zeichen ganz auf Mobile Multimedia. Neben News, Games, Musik und Sport kommt dabei auch dem Thema Erotik eine nicht vom Handy zu weisende Bedeutung zu. Schließlich gilt immer und überall: Sex sells - und dank hoch auflösender Farb-Displays kommen die Pixel-Orgien in ganz neuer Qualität aufs Endgerät.
- Opportunities and Dangers of 3G Mobile Services for Children +/-
(Childnet International) An international experts meeting held in Tokyo, Japan on the 6th and 7th March considered the implications of new mobile phone services for children. For the first time international experts from the mobile industry, broadcasting, universities, child welfare groups, consumer organisations, law enforcement and regulators met to consider the positive opportunities and safety issues that this new technology raises for young people. The meeting was jointly organised by the UK based Childnet International and the Japanese Internet Industry Association. see proceedings and further details of the programme and powerpoint presentations.
- UK - Mobiles to monitor children +/-
(BBC) Parents could soon keep a much closer eye on what children are up on their way to and from school thanks to a mobile monitoring system. Guardian Angel is a product which allows parents to map out the exact route a child takes to school. It will send text alerts to their mobile phone if the child deviates too far from that route or takes too long getting there. Made by French mobile firm Alcatel, the system takes advantage of the existing mobile phone network to locate a child's whereabouts rather than using global positioning systems like some location-based services.
- US - Iraq war sparks wireless row +/-
(BBC) A band of US politicians are angered over plans to build a communication system in post-war Iraq based upon European wireless standards. Members of the US Congress are adding their names to a letter drafted by Californian republican Darrell Issa objecting to the use of US funds to build a GSM network in Iraq after Saddam has gone.