At least some people still care

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Germans, recently privy to news that Europe’s biggest telecommunications firm was illegally wiretapping phone calls, are recalling what life was like when East Germany’s secret police were still around:

Experts say sophisticated modern methods — involving digital data, computers and mobile phones — are a far cry from the days of the Stasi who used steaming devices to open envelopes as well as magnetic microphones and typewriters.

“But there are similarities. There is the same lack of scruples over looking into peoples’ lives — the possibility of obtaining and using the information on people,” said Staadt.

The Stasi ran a notoriously effective network of domestic and foreign agents to quash dissent and guard the Berlin Wall against would-be escapees.

Remember, Sen. John McCain wants to make sure telecom companies here in America are protected from lawsuits regarding their illegal eavesdropping – and he’s ready to keep spying if he’s elected president.

Reuters story via Laura Rozen.

On killing the messenger

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Think Progress:

John McCain has made clear that he doesn’t like the blogosphere.

Now he has introduced legislation that would treat blogs like Internet service providers and hold them responsible for all activity in the comments sections and user profiles. Some highlights of the legislation:

– Commercial websites and personal blogs “would be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000.”

– Internet service providers (ISPs) are already required to issue such reports, but under McCain’s legislation, bloggers with comment sections may face “even stiffer penalties” than ISPs.

— Social networking sites will be forced to take “effective measures” — such as deleting user profiles — to remove any website that is “associated” with a sex offender. Sites may include not only Facebook and MySpace, but also Amazon.com, which permits author profiles and personal lists, and blogs like DailyKos, which allows users to sign up for personal diaries.
(emphasis not mine)

I can see the bumper sticker now:

Sen. John McCain — Keeping Your Children Safe from Bloggers! 

Looks like I’m going to have to start running background checks on all you commenters. And please, stop with the illegal images and videos already!