October 15, 2005

Paedophiles and internet chat

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:38 pm by thelawthoughts

CrimProfs report that Yahoo! is going to ban under 18s from chatrooms.

They don’t take comments so I thought I would just raise a quick question – what is the point? Now, I am all for cracking down upon predators in whatever manner available, but realistically, will this make any difference?

Once one is online, how can anyone tell whether you are 18? I mean, when you set up an ID, kids who want to use chat will know to set their age above 18, mostly.

This is some help, don’t get me wrong. I imagine it will freeze all existing IDs younger than 18. That is a good, no great, thing to do. However, there are probably more useful measures Yahoo! can take. What about actually monitoring chat rooms? I understand the Big Brother kind of argument about this, but could it be done in a way which did not infringe too much on privacy? Could monitoring be random?

Maybe an acceptance of monitoring could simply be included, with a warning like they give you on customer service telephone lines, that you conversations may be recorded or monitored. That would give people the option of not using the service. Yes, I understand that if all chat operators did this, we would be living in a Big Brother society, but I am interested to hear if anyone has ideas of what could be done about this without too much invasion.

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October 10, 2005

US Moves on AgSubs

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:45 pm by thelawthoughts

The US is willing to cut its farm subsidies if the EU and Japan cut their’s also. They have always said this was their position as far as I understand and remember.

What’s changed is the EU is prepared to match the offer. Agricultural subsidies have been the principal bugbear of developing countries in the Doha Round of trade talks and in my view, no progress will ever be made on free trade until it becomes free.

That sounds stupid but is the sad reality. The only thing developing countries can produce at the moment is farm produce (not the ONLY thing, but pretty much). There is never going to be development if that produce is priced out of the developed markets by tariffs.

This is HUGE news and could change the whole face of not only the Doha trade talks, but the state of world trade and development in general.

Good on them.

October 8, 2005

I’m Glad We Sorted That One Out

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:09 pm by thelawthoughts

via Opinio Juris.

Apparently, the Israeli Supreme Court has held that it is illegal for the Israeli army to use Palestinian civilians as human shields when entering terrorist households.

Gee, I bet the judges stayed up all night considering that verdict.