Update: Politico is reporting that the White House knew that David Miranda would be stopped at London's Heathrow Airport before it happened, but it also denied any involvement in the incident.
"This is a decision that they made on their own and not at the request of the United States," White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said.
A New York Times article from earlier this week about the FBI's attempt to expand the scope of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and the subsequent response to it from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) should raise alarm bells for anyone that does anything on the Internet.
The Hartford Courant is reporting that lawmakers in Connecticut are set to hold a public hearing on Tuesday related to several proposed bills to deal with video game violence. A public hearing of the legislature's Children Committee is scheduled for Tuesday to decide on a bill pushed by Sen. Toni Harp (D-New Haven) that would prohibit minors from playing violent games in arcades. The hearing will also address a bill pushed by Sen.
Ars Technica points out a new scam trolling internet users with legal threats demanding cash settlements for alleged incidents of infringement. An organization calling itself the Internet Copyright Law Enforcement Agency (ICLEA) recently sent out copyright infringement notices to victims warning them that "if this matter is not settled by Friday, March 1, 2013 then you may face serious potential criminal and/or civil charges filed against you.
Is public transportation a "brand?" That's the question one has to ask oneself when it reads about the Montreal transit authority threatening two Counter-Strike designers with a $49,200 fine over a new Counter-Strike map based on the Montreal subway station. According to Ars Technica, Diego Liatis and Frédérik Denis spent nine months making a detailed digital version of the Berri-UQAM station.
Yesterday Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) released "A Comprehensive Plan That Reduces Gun Violence and Respects the 2nd Amendment Rights of Law-Abiding Americans," which details the recommendations of the " Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force." While there are plenty of recommendations on guns and curbing gun violence, mental health issues and school safety, there is a portion of the report dedicated to violent media.
US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta are pushing lawmakers to pass some sort of cybersecurity bill to protect critical infrastructure in the United States. Both say that waiting much longer could prove to have devastating consequences.
Napolitano said the lawmakers should not wait until we have a "cyber 9/11" to act:
Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.) gave a speech (which you can watch for yourself to your left) during Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D- CA) press conference introducing a new bill that would ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Murphy said that if Feinstein's bill had been law many of the children that died during the December 14 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut might still be alive. Senator Murphy also blamed video games for their part in influencing the shooter, though proof that video games had anything to do with influencing him has yet to be produced.
Former long-shot U.S. presidential candidate and consumer protection advocate is making waves today after comparing the video game industry and the products they create to "electronic child molesters." The comment was made as part of a wider criticism of President Barack Obama's new plan to reduce gun violence and his inauguration yesterday. Speaking to Politico, Nader said that the president's proposals do not go far enough in regulating the video game industry.
On CNN's State of the Union with host Candy Crowley, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TENN.) sat in on a panel discussion about gun control and the likelihood of legislation being passed by the current Congress. But instead of discussing gun control, Blackburn decided to take a few shots at Activision's Call of Duty series. Blackburn said that in preparation to appear on the show she watched some video of the game and was shocked at the violence she saw... she also called the game "Call to Duty."
Mayor Robert Dolan of Melrose, Massachusetts revealed on Thursday that the city will launch an initiative similar to one put forward and then canceled by community leaders in the town of Southington, Connecticut.
As news of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newtown, Connecticut were coming to light on December 14, the finishing touches were being put on a deal with the Nevada Economic Development Board and Take-Two Interactive (see Vegas Inc. for the details). This week that deal is being questioned by the media in the state.
In our first podcast of 2013, Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the R18+ ratings classification in Australia, the violent video game buyback program in Connecticut, and a certain developer's opinions about 3DS piracy. All this and more awaits you in Episode 25. Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 35 (1 hour, 5 minutes) 59.7 MB.
Winda Benedetti from NBC News conducts an interesting interview with two child psychologist to ask them about the effects of gaming on young children. She interviews Dr. Tyler Black, Clinical Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Emergency Unit at BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver, BC, Canada; and Dr. Matthew Chow, the Clinical Director of Telepsychiatry at BC Children’s Hospital.
The Hartford Courant is highlighting a story about a 12-year-old Newtown, Connecticut boy who has started a campaign to "stop playing violent video games." Max Goldstein, a 12-year-old student who attends Newtown Middle School, says that he decided to stop playing games like "Call of Duty" after attending the funeral of one of his brother's friends who had been killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shoot
The news media, quick to find a cause for why a lone gunman would kill his mother, drive to a local elementary school, and kill 26 people (20 children) before killing himself, has turned to the usual scapegoat: video games. While it is understandable that people want answers, Fox News wastes no time in trying to connect TV, Facebook, and computer games to the horrific actions of Lanza. As transcribed by Kotaku, a Fox News segment hosted by Megyn Kelly with guest analyst Dr.
nFluence media has released a survey that it commissioned about the concerns of consumers when it comes to online security and privacy related to mobile and broadband usage in the United Kingdom. Before sharing the results, it should be noted that nFluence is in the business of providing software solutions to consumers that allow them to take control of their personal data.
A new United Nations report calls for internet surveillance in the name of fighting terrorism, reports C|Net. The report points out the lack of international agreements on the retention of data, and concerns about open Wi-Fi networks in places like airports, cafes and libraries that are likely prime spots for terrorists and cyber terrorists chatter.
In a conference call for reporters on August 1 put together by the White House, some heavy hitters in the administration urged passage of the Senate bill, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Four top U.S. officials took part in the call: John Brennan, assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Gen. Keith Alexander, commander, U.S. Cyber Command, and director, National Security Agency; Jane Holl Lute, deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; and Eric Rosenbach, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy.
Keith Vaz, the United Kingdom’s most vocal critic of video games in Parliament, is now urging the government there to look "more closely and first-person shooters" using the trial of accused Oslo, Norway mass murderer Anders Breivik as an example of how games can influence people to do evil...
Select Committee Chairman Vaz has tabled an early day motion in Parliament urging the government to take action. Luckily only he and four others have signed on to the motion.
In a recent interview with GamesIndustry International, Silicon Knights front man Denis Dyack says that used games will cannibalize the industry if sales continue unabated. He argues that games no longer have a "tail," referring to how games used to have a longer shelf life at retail months after launch.
The Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) has issued an action alert, a call to arms for gamers everywhere to let their elected officials know that The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2012 wasn't acceptable in 2009 and is not acceptable now. Rep. Joe Baca (D CA-43) has teamed up with Rep. Frank Wolf (R VA-10) to reintroduce a bill that is very familiar to gamers.
Congressmen Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced a bill on Monday that would require video games to carry a special warning label similar to the kind found on cigarettes. That warning would be:
"WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior."
The bill is H.R. 4204, or Violence in Video Games Labeling Act. The sponsors say the law is a reaction to increasing evidence that playing violent games can have a serious long-lasting impact on children that should require a health warning to consumers.
In a July 1 opinion piece in First Things, Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput wrote that the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the California video game violence law (Brown v. EMA) is "wrong," and will add "poison" the country's future.
Chaput also wrote that the court's ruling "extends and elevates the individual’s right to free expression – or in this case, a corporation’s right to make a healthy profit - at the expense of family sovereignty, the natural rights of parents and the intent of the Constitution’s authors."
Chaput went on to write that the ruling overlooked the government's duty to protect "human dignity and the common good."
"A law which respects mothers and fathers trying to make good choices for their family does just that," he wrote.
Only in video games and sci-fi movies would we expect our worlds (communications, electronics - basically all the modern trappings of our society) to come to a crashing halt due to either a natural or weapons-based Electromagnetic pulse caused by a major solar storm or an A-bomb. Sure, it all sounds like the backdrop from a Call of Duty or Medal of Honor game (or one of those crazy History Channel specials on 2012), but some politicians are taking the threat seriously. USA Today has a fascinating article on the subject. We cover the parts we like.
An Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a massive burst of atmospheric electricity. Whether powered by geomagnetic storms, nuclear blasts, or a new generation of weapons supposedly developed by military types around the world, the result equals burned out power lines and electrical equipment - a society without power.
You may have read earlier this week that Burst.net, a Scranton, Pa.-based Web hosting service, took Blogetery.com, a blog hosting service that features some 73,000 or so blogs, offline earlier this month over claims that one (or more?) of the sites was hosting materials used by "al-Qaeda operatives." Joe Marr, chief technology officer of Burst.net told C|Net that "it took the site offline after FBI agents alleged the blogging platform was being used by al-Qaeda operatives to distribute recruiting materials and to offer bomb-making tips."
Today Burst.net said that it had zipped up Blogetery.com's data and will give it back to its owner, but it will no longer host the site. Marr also said the al-Qaeda materials and some copyright infringing files were removed. The transfer was due to occur later in the day.
If you illegally download software or music, your mom will be wrestled to the ground and arrested by a SWAT team - for cooking pasta.
That's just one of the apparent messages in a modern-day update of 1992's Don't Copy That Floppy.
The Software & Information Industry Association, which created the video, explains (sort of) in its YouTube description of the video:
Check out the trailer...anti-piracy hero MC Double Def DP will return in the summer of 2009 to drop some more knowledge on would-be pirates in the sequel to 1992's "Don't Copy That Floppy! Brought to you by SIIA (formerly SPA)
Q: What do you get when you cross a media sensation with a guy who loves to see his name in print?
A: A letter from Jack Thompson to Sarah Palin.
Facing imminent disbarment, the Miami attorney has written to the Republican vice-presidential candidate, urging her to take a stand against violent video games. And, of course, offering his own services in that regard.
In a letter to America's best-known hockey mom, Thompson writes:
The McCain-Palin campaign, with all respect, is missing the boat on this issue. I strongly urge your campaign to tell American parents that if elected you will present to Congress a bill that prevents the sale of adult games to kids while fully protecting the First Amendment.
I have this crucial, constitutional legislation drafted and ready to go. You will see voters flock to your proposal. The American entertainment industry’s assault upon our children and our values must stop, and you are the person to stop it.
Thompson's previous attempt at "this crucial, constitutional legislation," however, was declared unconstitutional in stinging language by a federal judge in Louisiana. Utah's Republican attorney general also dismissed a Thompson-drafted bill as a violation of the First Amendment. State legislatures in Delaware and Massachusetts have likewise passed on Thompson's proposal.
Full text of the letter after the jump...
In Georgia, Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor is now making a bid for the top job. The Democrat is running TV spots promising to legislate video games.
It's the second ad we've seen in the last 24 hours that seems to equate the threat of violent video games with that posed by online predators. The other is from Ed Perlmutter (see following article) from Colorado.