Philippines Adopts ‘dictatorial’ Cyber crime Law


The Philippine government faced a barrage of protests on Wednesday as a cyber crime law went into effect that critics said had imposed dictator-style monitoring and policing of the Internet.

Major news outlets, bloggers, rights groups and other critics turned their social media profile pages black to express outrage over the law, which could see people face long jail terms for posting defamatory comments online.

Thousand of furious tweets were posted on Twitter, with the hashtag #notocybercrimelaw becoming the top trend on the microblogging site in the Philippines on Wednesday.

“This law works against ordinary netizens and disregards, among other things, our right to privacy and freedom of expression,” tweeted Noemi Dado, a prominent Manila blogger who edits a citizen media site called Blog Watch.

Senator Teofisto Guingona, one of the few members of parliament who opposed the bill that President Benigno Aquino signed into law last month, also stepped up his campaign to have it overturned.

“The implementation of the law… will take back our citizens to the Dark Ages where freedom of speech and expression were not recognised,” he said in a statement.

Many provisions of the cyber crime law aim to fight a range of online crimes not deemed controversial, such as fraud, identity theft, spamming and child pornography.

However one provision makes any libellous comments posted online a criminal offence, with a penalty of up to 12 years in jail, much tougher than for traditional media.

Equally controversially, the Department of Justice also now has the power to close down websites and monitor online activities, such as email, instant messaging or video chats, without a warrant.

The Philippines has had one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies and robust media environments since a people power revolution led by Aquino’s mother toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

Social media has also flourished in recent years. Nearly a third of the population of 100 million people has access to the Internet, and 96 percent of Filipino web users use Facebook, according to industry figures.

But critics of the law have said it echoes tactics to silence and monitor dissenters employed by Marcos when he imposed martial law in the 1970s.

“The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is the worst assault on free expression since Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law,” Luis Teodoro, a journalism professor at the University of the Philippines, wrote in a blog.

Joaquin Bernas, a Jesuit priest and lawyer who helped draft the country’s post-dictatorship constitution in 1987, voiced similar sentiments in an article published this week outlining his concerns about the law.

“There are very valid reasons for being frightened by this,” Bernas wrote in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, highlighting the government’s new authority to monitor and close down suspect websites without a warrant.

“I for one recall the law on search and seizure in effect during the past martial law period.”

Aquino’s spokespeople have repeatedly defended the law as necessary to fight cyber crime, while insisting his administration would uphold freedom of speech online.

They also said a spate of hacking on government websites in protest over the law highlighted the need for it.

But amid the backlash, some of the politicians who voted for the bill said they would were willing to get rid of the controversial provisions.

“At the end, we should be humble enough to admit we may have made a mistake and we can still amend the law,” said Congressman Sonny Angara, whose father, Senator Edgardo Angara, authored the cyber crime bill.

Critics have also filed petitions to the Supreme Court calling on it to rule that the law is unconstitutional.

Cyberwar 2.0: DARPA’s Plan X to Attack the Web


The Pentagon’s top research arm is unveiling a new, classified cyberwarfare project. But it’s not about building the next Stuxnet, Darpa swears. Instead, the just-introduced “Plan X” is designed to make online strikes a more routine part of U.S. military operations. That will make the son of Stuxnet easier to pull off — to, as Darpa puts it, “dominate the cyber battlespace.”

Darpa spent years backing research that could shore up the nation’s cyberdefenses. “Plan X” is part of a growing and fairly recent push into offensive online operations by the Pentagon agency largely responsible for the internet’s creation. In recent months, everyone from the director of Darpa on down has pushed the need to improve — and normalize — America’s ability to unleash cyberattacks against its foes.

That means building tools to help warplanners assemble and launch online strikes in a hurry. It means, under Plan X, figuring out ways to assess the damage caused by a new piece of friendly military malware before it’s unleashed. And it means putting together a sort of digital battlefield map that allows the generals to watch the fighting unfold, as former Darpa acting director Ken Gabriel told the Washington Post: “a rapid, high-order look of what the Internet looks like — of what the cyberspace looks like at any one point in time.”

It’s not quite the same as building the weapons themselves, as Darpa notes in its introduction to the five-year, $100 million effort, issued on Monday: “The Plan X program is explicitly not funding research and development efforts in vulnerability analysis or cyberweapon generation.” (Emphasis in the original.)

But it is certainly a complementary campaign. A classified kick-off meeting for interested researchers in scheduled for Sept. 20.

The American defense and intelligence establishment has been reluctant at times to authorize network attacks, for fear that their effects could spread far beyond the target computers. On the eve of the Iraq invasion of 2003, for instance, the Bush administration made plans for a massive online strike on Baghdad’s financial system before discarding the idea out of collateral damage concerns.

It’s not the only factor holding back such operations. U.S. military chiefs like National Security Agency director Gen. Keith Alexander have publicly expressed concern that America may not be able to properly respond to a national-level attack unless they’re given pre-defined battle plans and “standing rules of engagement” that would allow them to launch a counterstrike “at net speed.” Waiting more than a few moments might hurt the American ability to respond at all, these officers say.

“Plan X” aims to solve both problems simultaneously, by automatically constructing mission plans that are as easy to execute as “the auto-pilot function in modern aircraft,” but contain “formal methods to provably quantify the potential battle damage from each synthesized mission plan.”

Then, once the plan is launched, Darpa would like to have machines running on operating systems that can withstand the rigors of a full-blown online conflict: “hardened ‘battle units’ that can perform cyberwarfare functions such as battle damage monitoring, communication relay, weapon deployment, and adaptive defense.”

The ability to operate in dangerous areas, pull potential missions off-the-shelf, and assess the impact of attacks — these are all commonplace for air, sea, and land forces today. The goal of Plan X is to give network-warfare troops the same tools. “To get it to the point where it’s a part of routine military operations,” explains Jim Lewis, a long-time analyst of online operations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Of course, many critics of U.S. policy believe the deployment of cyberweapons is already too routine. America’s online espionage campaign against Iran has been deeply controversial, both at home and abroad. The Russian government and its allies believe that cyberweapons ought to be banned by international treaty. Here in the U.S., there’s a fear that, by unleashing Stuxnet and other military-grade malware, the Obama administration legitimized such attacks as a tool of statecraft — and invited other nations to strike our fragile infrastructure.

The Darpa effort is being lead, fittingly, by a former hacker and defense contractor. Daniel Roelker helped start the intrusion detection company Sourcefire and the DC Black Ops unit of Raytheon SI Government Solutions. In a November 2011 presentation (.pdf), Roelker decried the current, “hacker vs. hacker” approach to online combat. It doesn’t scale well — there are only so many technically skilled people — and it’s limited in how fast it can be executed. “We don’t win wars by out-hiring an adversary, we win through technology,” he added.

Instead, Roelker continued, the U.S. needs a suite of tools to analyze the network, automate the execution of cyberattacks, and be sure of the results. At the time, he called these the “Pillars of Foundational Cyberwarfare.” Now, it’s simply known as Plan X.

Dependência de internet altera o cérebro humano

Por Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
14 de janeiro de 2012

Pela primeira vez o vício da internet tem sido associado com mudanças no cérebro semelhantes às observadas em pessoas viciadas em álcool, cocaína e cannabis. Em um estudo pioneiro, os pesquisadores utilizaram ressonância magnética para revelar anormalidades nos cérebros de adolescentes que passavam muitas horas na internet, em detrimento de suas vidas pessoal e social. A descoberta pode mostrar outros problemas de comportamento e levar ao desenvolvimento de novas abordagens ao tratamento, disseram pesquisadores.

Cerca de 5 a 10 por cento dos usuários de internet são considerados como viciados – o que significa que são incapazes de controlar seu uso. A maioria são jogos de jogadores que se tornam tão absortos na atividade que passam as horas sem comer ou beber por longos períodos e sua educação, trabalho e relacionamentos sofrem.

Henrietta Bowden Jones, psiquiatra do Imperial College de Londres, que dirige a clínica da Grã-Bretanha NHS só para viciados em internet e jogadores problemáticos, disse: “A maioria das pessoas que vemos com o grave vício da internet são os jogadores – pessoas que passam longas horas em vários jogos que fazem com que desrespeitem as suas obrigações. Eu tenho visto pessoas que pararam de assistir a palestras da universidade, não conseguiram os seus diplomas e seus casamentos acabaram porque eles foram incapazes de se conectar emocionalmente com qualquer coisa fora do jogo. “

Embora a maioria da população estava gastando mais tempo online, não havia provas de vício, ela disse. “É diferente agora. Estamos fazendo o estudo porque a vida moderna obriga-nos a manter comunicação através da rede no que respeita ao emprego, relações profissionais e sociais -.. Mas não de forma obsessiva. Quando alguém chega até você e diz que não dormiu na noite passada porque passou 14 horas jogando jogos, e foi a mesma da noite anterior, e eles tentaram parar, mas eles não podiam -. você sabe que eles tem um problema. Ele tende a ser o jogo”.
Pesquisadores na China escanearam os cérebros de 17 adolescentes com diagnóstico de “transtorno de dependência de internet” que havia sido encaminhada ao Centro de Saúde Mental de Xangai, e compararam os resultados com scanners de 16 de seus colegas.

Os resultados mostraram comprometimento das fibras da matéria branca no cérebro e as ligaçoes entre as regiões envolvidas no processamento emocional, atenção, toma de decisões e controle cognitivo. Mudanças semelhantes na substância branca têm sido observadas em outras formas de dependência a substâncias como álcool e cocaína.

“As descobertas sugerem que a integridade da substância branca pode servir como um alvo para tratamento terapêutico ao tratar o problema do vício em internet”, dizem no jornal Public Library of Science One. Os autores reconhecem que eles não podem dizer se as mudanças cerebrais são a causa ou a consequência do vício em internet. Pode ser que os jovens observados com as mudanças cerebrais sejam mais propensos a se tornarem dependentes.

Professor Michael Farrell, diretor do Centro Nacional de Medicamentos e Centro de Pesquisa do Álcool e Drogas da Universidade de New South Wales, Austrália, disse: “As limitações [deste estudo] é que ele não é controlado, e é possível que as drogas ilícitas, álcool ou cafeína, entre outros estimulantes, possam explicar as alterações. A especificidade do “vício da internet” também é questionável. “

Estudos de caso: Sumido na web

Sujeito viciado no Xbox morre por coágulo de sangue após 12 horas de jogar

Chris Staniforth, 20, morreu de um coágulo de sangue, depois de passar até 12 horas de cada vez jogando em seu Xbox. Apesar de não ter histórico de problemas de saúde, ele desenvolveu trombose venosa profunda – comumente associados com passageiros que viajam de avião por longas distâncias. O Sr. Staniforth, de Sheffield, tinha sido oferecido um lugar para estudar design de jogos na Universidade de Leicester. Mas ele entrou em colapso, enquanto um amigo dizia que ele estava tendo dores no peito.
Criança morreu de fome enquanto a mãe jogaba on-line.

A mãe foi presa por 25 anos após sua filha morrer de fome enquanto a mãe jogava um jogo online por muitas horas. Rebecca Colleen Christie, 28, do Novo México em os EUA, jogou o jogo World of Warcraft Fantasia, enquanto sua filha de três anos, Brandi, passava fome. O bebê pesava apenas 23 libras, quando ela foi finalmente levada para o hospital depois que sua mãe encontrou-a inconsciente.

Mulher presa após jogar e não conseguir pagar

Uma mulher que roubou £ 76,000 de uma empresa para financiar seu vício de apostas pela internet foi presa nesta semana. Lucienne Mainey, 41, de Cambridgeshire, foi condenada a 16 meses de prisão em Ipswich Crown Court depois de admitir fraude. O tribunal ouviu que ela secretamente pagava-se alterando faturas antigas. Mainey virou viciada no bingo depois do fracasso de seu casamento.

Artigo traduzido do original: Scientists show how internet dependency alters the human brain

Scientists show how internet dependency alters the human brain

by Jeremy Laurance
The Independent
January 12, 2012

Internet addiction has for the first time been linked with changes in the brain similar to those seen in people addicted to alcohol, cocaine and cannabis. In a groundbreaking study, researchers used MRI scanners to reveal abnormalities in the brains of adolescents who spent many hours on the internet, to the detriment of their social and personal lives. The finding could throw light on other behavioural problems and lead to the development of new approaches to treatment, researchers said.

An estimated 5 to 10 per cent of internet users are thought to be addicted – meaning they are unable to control their use. The majority are games players who become so absorbed in the activity they go without food or drink for long periods and their education, work and relationships suffer.

Henrietta Bowden Jones, consultant psychiatrist at Imperial College, London, who runs Britain’s only NHS clinic for internet addicts and problem gamblers, said: “The majority of people we see with serious internet addiction are gamers – people who spend long hours in roles in various games that cause them to disregard their obligations. I have seen people who stopped attending university lectures, failed their degrees or their marriages broke down because they were unable to emotionally connect with anything outside the game.”

Although most of the population was spending longer online, that was not evidence of addiction, she said. “It is different. We are doing it because modern life requires us to link up over the net in regard to jobs, professional and social connections – but not in an obsessive way. When someone comes to you and says they did not sleep last night because they spent 14 hours playing games, and it was the same the previous night, and they tried to stop but they couldn’t – you know they have a problem. It does tend to be the gaming that catches people out.”

Researchers in China scanned the brains of 17 adolescents diagnosed with “internet addiction disorder” who had been referred to the Shanghai Mental Health Centre, and compared the results with scans from 16 of their peers.

Read full report here

Internet Architects Oppose Online Anti-Piracy Bill

December 18, 2011

A group of prominent architects of the Internet added their voices Thursday to those opposing legislation in the US Congress intended to crack down on online piracy.

In an open letter to Congress, more than 80 engineers, inventors and software developers expressed concerns about the bills introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Their letter came a day after the founders of Google, Twitter, Yahoo! and other Internet giants voiced opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act being considered in the House and the Senate version known as the Protect IP Act.

The legislation has received the backing of Hollywood, the music industry, the Business Software Alliance, the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce and other groups.

But it has come under fire from digital rights and free speech organizations for allegedly paving the way for US authorities to shut down websites accused of online piracy, including foreign sites, without due process.

“If enacted, either of these bills will create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet infrastructure,” the Internet architects said in their letter.

“Both bills will risk fragmenting the Internet’s global domain name system and have other capricious technical consequences,” they said, such as promoting censorship.

“All censorship schemes impact speech beyond the category they were intended to restrict, but these bills are particularly egregious in that regard because they cause entire domains to vanish from the Web, not just infringing pages or files,” they said.

“An incredible range of useful, law-abiding sites can be blacklisted under these proposals.”

The signatories, who included Vint Cerf, considered one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” said censorship of Internet infrastructure “will inevitably cause network errors and security problems.

“This is true in China, Iran and other countries that censor the network today; it will be just as true of American censorship,” they said.

“If the US begins to use its central position in the network for censorship that advances its political and economic agenda, the consequences will be far-reaching and destructive.”


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