Repost :The Internet, What’s legal and What’s not.

This is another topic of interest of mine, there has been much said about the topic of illegal downloads in the past few months but believe it or not the law on the subject is far from clear. The only categories which are well defined are child pornography (Child Trafficking And Pornography Act, 1998) and Incitement to Hatred (Prohibition Of Incitement To Hatred Act, 1989). I actually rang a few agencies and the Department of Justice today to gain further clarification and was eventually put through to the Internet safety office and basically given the answer that wasn’t a list of  specifically banned ” items ” but operated on the principle that if it’s illegal offline it certainly isn’t legal online.
That really cleared the matter up for me (ha-ha-ha).
Well I rang the Irish film censor office and was directed towards their website were i got the following
The Act, which runs to nearly seventy pages, provides among its detailed provisions that the Director of Film Classification shall certify a video work as fit for viewing, unless:
  • it would be likely to cause persons to commit a crime
  • it would be likely to stir up hatred against a group of persons on account of their race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origins, membership of the travelling community or sexual orientation
  • it would tend to deprave or corrupt because it is obscene or indecent
  • it depicts acts of gross violence or cruelty (including mutilation and torture) towards humans or animals
It also provides for the issuing of Wholesale and Retail Video Licenses and it sets out a range of relevant offences and penalties.
So all you have to do is define “obscene” and “indecent”, answers on a postcard please.
Here is a section of the Video Recordings Act 1989, on what powers the police have in the matter and what legal sanctions the accused may face.
If a justice of the District Court or a Peace Commissioner is satisfied on the sworn information of a member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of sergeant that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that—
A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—
Possible links of interest:
and here is a link to what pertains in Britain
Will give a more updated section on File sharing/ Copyright theft also banned websites (file sharers in the main ) blacklists and content control software.

Repost : Who’s reading your email – Electronic eavesdropping

repost of who’s reading your email September 29th 2008

Or how the state listens in on your computer.

This is a topic of an interest of mine and I have wanted to put up a post on it for some time. Not many people realise that the State can “tap” your computer and record all your going’s on. A brief explanation of how the Internet works and why it is a unsecure medium is required.

As you can gather, the Internet is a series of interconnected networks (this is done by using standard communication protocols). The Internet works by breaking down files into packets which contain both the sender and recipients Internet Protocol (I.P) addresses. These packets are then moved around by specialised computers called Routers which determine the most appropriate route. Your data passes through a number of third party routers, all of which have the potenial to read your data. A computer which is set up to intercept data is know as a packet sniffer. These can be programmed to intercept traffic from certain users etc..

A Packet sniffer located at your ISP would be able to monitor all of your online activities such as

  • What websites you visit.
  • What you look at.
  • Where you send email and what is in the email.
  • What you download.
  • Who visits your site.
  • Other forms of internet communications such as instant messaging, internet phone calls etc..

The most famous Packet Sniffer is one developed by the F.B.I called Carnivore and the later version called Omnivore. This system is configured with the suspect’s IP address, it intercepts and copies all data coming from and to the suspect’s computer.

Interesting sources of information are


Youth, Housing and other Matters.

Just listened to the Niall Boylan show on Classix hits Wednesday 23 August 23. The topic being discussed was young people living with their parents unable to afford rent or mortgages. ( Average salary  in Ireland is  €45,000. Average price of a  3 bedroomed house is €305,000, in Dublin average house price is €430,000. Borrowing limits are 4 times salary and a little more.)

What can people do ?

For starters they can pressurize the Government to provide more social and affordable housing, the government is dragging its feet on the  issue by building nowhere near enough houses.( Most of the government Td’s are landlords and have a invested interest in the status quo).

A tax on vacant homes / land with planning permission (stop hoarding )/ derelict houses and properties.

Encourage old people to rent out their houses when they are living in nursing homes.

More balanced regional development, much of rural Ireland is in the doldrums, encourage more people/ business’s to set up in rural towns and villages.

Better Roads and railways, better public transport.

Young people to get organized. Young people get the “shiity ” end of the stick precisely because they are not organized, they don’t vote or vote for parties like fine gael or fianna fail. Young people get shafted on everything like car insurance, student fees, accommodation, wage rates, healthcare and jobs.   Old people who vote get free medical cards,  free phone, electric discounts, bus passes, tv licence and so on.

vote out the present government, they are a government of the rich and will not alleviate the problems of ordinary people.