Author Topic: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)  (Read 15728 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline kat

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1682
Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
« on: February 05, 2010, 12:16:31 PM »
The UK Gov have launched a new web site that lets citizens  report suspicious activities on the Internet, all in the name of stopping the boogeyman of the moment, "terrorism" (actually 'terrorist', 'extremist' and 'hate' material online). Under Section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (amendments to Terrorism Act 2000?) it's an offense to, amongst other things, "indirectly encourage the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism". This then begs the question, how do games like Modern Warfare, Rainbow Six, and a million other 'US vs Evil terrorist' games fit into that? Not only are they indirectly 'promoting' terrorism, but it's something that's positively profitable! Then there's the web sites... oh no and the communities, forums harbouring brainwashed acolytes ready to risk it all... online, PvP. All those subversive gamers  talking about weapons and blowing things up, that can't be good.

OK, I'm being facetious for the sake of making a point about how open ended, far reaching and broad spectrum this all is. For instance, I was watching Myth Busters clips the other day, the episode when the guys experimented with thermite (off-topic: interesting that Google spell checker doesn't know that word.. yeah right! .Ed), they actually show, or at least 'tell', viewers how the stuff is made - aluminium and iron oxides. Under the broad sweeping criteria afforded this new initiative for reporting 'terrorist' material online, that video, and all the related videos that crop up as a results of it, are illegal. And so too, believe it or not, would be web site related to games like Modern Warfare; remember all that hoo haa about the airport 'terrorist' scene? You guessed it, because it indirectly promotes and/or glorifies acts of terrorism it's technically illegal to have clips of it online. Thank god for the First Amendment.. oh wait, we don't have that in the UK.

It would seem 'they' are coming for your internetz! (more on this to come).

Offline ratty redemption

  • VIP
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 836
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2010, 11:12:24 PM »
@ kat, interesting and I've often thought the same about science programs and modern warfare type games possibly getting red flagged.

Offline kat

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1682
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2010, 01:55:47 PM »
Bit of a bump but I thought I'd post this here as it's related to the topic of web site being taken down due to terrorist content being 'on a server'. Burst.net pulled an entire server that hosted 73,000 blogs for the sake of being told by the FBI that one of those was an al-Qaeda website (it's not entirely clear if it was an entire site dedicated to the group or just 'some material'. Apparently someone at the company made an 'error' in stopped the service which then disabled all material being hosted and not just the bad stuff. Needless to say a lot of people are not happy about it, least of all those that lost their blogs because of one site.

Offline ratty redemption

  • VIP
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 836
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2010, 02:55:27 PM »
wow, that sucks. also aren't these service providers trained in the event that actual illegal material is found on one of their servers?

Offline kat

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1682
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2010, 03:42:56 PM »
Technically yes, there is a supposed to be an industry wide, albeit voluntary, procedure and protocol in place that usually it revolves around something called "DMCA take-down request". For example a musician finding their music being distributed without permission can send in a take down request on said files. The Host/ISP is then obliged to remove the content and it's up to the distributed to then prove they had permission in order to get the files back up.

In this instance, because it was something to do with 'terrorism' it seems someone at Burst panicked and shut the server down without notice. They do generally have the authority to do that if it's in their T&C, but it's usually invoked where their client was doing something that was putting the server itself at risk (the current legislation doesn't hold host/ISP/service providers liable for the *contents* of their services - it's stops them being arbitrarily sued). Because this was a client of a client, it's certainly questionable but most certainly not the right way to have gone about solving this - technically all they had to do was delete the offending blogs and folder contents and jobs done.

Initially the iNet was full of speculation about this being another heavy handed offensive by the Record/Movie industry, although it wasn't, it does kind of set a precedent where ISPs may just shut down services at the behest of 'official' communications, which is obviously somewhat troubling; it's not that far a stretch of the imagination to think of companies like Activision/EA sending out take down requests on mod sites because they're 'interfering' with revenue generation from Down loadable Content (DLC).

Offline ratty redemption

  • VIP
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 836
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2010, 03:56:03 PM »
kat, very interesting and keep us updated please with anything related to this new type of witch hunt.

Offline pazur

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 69
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2010, 06:36:18 PM »
Very interesting... so http://www.urbanterror.info is in danger ;) ... and yea mods vs. paid DLC is really becoming an issue. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 are games that are closed and forbid modding in the T&C (at least for BFBC2 I'm sure). If you want to create custom maps that get actually played you need to create them either for Modern Warfare, Counter Strike Source, Call of Duty 2 or Wolfenstein Enemy Territory. (source: rank of games in Xfire - http://www.xfire.com/games/#). Mods are quite successful in Battlefield 2 IMHO.

Offline ratty redemption

  • VIP
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 836
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2010, 04:46:14 PM »
pazur, good point about the urbanterror game and interesting to hear of the increasing restrictions put on the mod communities.

my new team is designing our hopefully oneday commercial game to be built around a mod and fan fiction/art community of which we don't intend to charge for dlc whether it be from us or from the community. we also intend to charge a fair price (what ever that may be at the time) for our game, similar to the business model being used by the blacklight: tango down devs, here's a review from cnet.com of their game:

http://reviews.cnet.com/pc-games/blacklight-tango-down-pc/4505-9696_7-33996343.html?part=cnet&subj=Blacklight%253A+Tango+Down+(PC)#reviewPage1


Offline kat

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1682
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2010, 05:10:51 PM »
Didn't Urban Terror get into some trouble a few years back over some 'terrorist' modification? I can't remember the details other than I think someone created a (sub)mod whereby you were on the terrorists 'team' and went around creating havock. Seem to recall it caused quite a fuss and was removed, taken down or something or other...

Offline ratty redemption

  • VIP
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 836
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2010, 05:26:06 PM »
interesting and imagine if that was also applied to nazis in ww2 games and that players could only ever play on the side of the 'good guys'

Offline pazur

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 69
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2010, 09:16:55 PM »
Blacklight: Tango Down looks nice. So there will be a SDK for level designers once it's out?

Offline ratty redemption

  • VIP
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 836
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2010, 10:18:29 PM »
pazur, not sure but here is the gametrailers.com page for blacklight

http://www.gametrailers.com/game/blacklight-tango-down/12790

Offline kat

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1682
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2010, 09:44:33 PM »
Didn't Urban Terror get into some trouble a few years back over some 'terrorist' modification?...
Found it. It was a movie put together in Battlefield 2 - GamePolitics - "Was Congress Misled by "Terrorist" Game Video? We Talk to Gamer Who Created the Footage"
Quote
CM: ... When did you first come up with the idea for the video? Is there a story the video is trying to tell, or is it just a collection of interesting footage from the game?

SJ: The idea came to me when I saw that Team America movie. GREAT movie everybody should watch it. This video was just for fun with a Team America twist. There is a character [Gary Johnston] in the movie that talks about his goats getting killed by a Blackhawk helicopter and that's why he wanted revenge. I just took that story for my BF2 video and worked it out.

CM: What was the original intent in making the video? Fan-film, demo of gaming skill, protest, art project, clan recruitment, just for fun?

SJ: It was just a fan-film made by me. There are a lot of films made by the battlefield community. There is an in game battle recorder, so that encourages [you] to make movies about the game you have just played.
And this is typical of what the above article spoke about.. how the movie of the mod was misappropriated by Congress and used to justify speaking out against games.

Offline ratty redemption

  • VIP
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 836
Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2010, 10:28:52 PM »
to quote that kotaku article:

Quote
What we have seen is that any video game that comes out. they'll modify it and change the game for their needs

wow, really? so iow anyone who mods any type of video game is therefore a terrorist? thank god we have the american and british governments to protect us from such despicable acts ;)

Offline kat

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1682
Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2011, 08:24:00 PM »
Quote from: ZDNet
Summary: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has invoked the Patriot Act on Wikileaks’ domain registrar, in a bid to access information on founder Julian Assange.
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/wikileaks-homeland-security-invokes-patriot-act-on-assange-seeks-server-data/55950

Imagine the above applied to the guy that built that 'terrorism' mod?. It would mean the Federal Gov getting hold of all the data pinged by the server.. all the IP addresses and other potentially locatable information to do with 'who' downloaded the files, what they looked at on site, any and all comments made (including those in private members areas), and if they had a game server, who played on it, from where and how often. And the real kicker is that the US Government seems to infer that US law again trumps EU and individual country sovereignty and laws (even if law courts here say otherwise). Crazy stuff.

Tags:
 


Facebook Comments