Search Engine News

  1. CNET reports that the privacy-conscious search engine DuckDuckGo has now been blocked in China.
  2. According to DSL Reports, Google has decided to sever ties with the authoritarian political group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) because Google disagrees with ALEC’s global-warming denialism.
  3. XBIZ reports the creation of a new search engine, Boodigo, which focuses on finding adult content and doesn’t track users. When I tried it out, it defaulted to a secure server and didn’t set any cookies, but the search results were dismal. Several searches for my blog over a few days, using every imaginable keyword, only turned up a biography of an unrelated person and a bunch of mainstream political blogs, while searches for kink forum OCMB.org yielded zero results. I hope that Boodigo improves soon so as not to become the next “Booble.”

Edit, 25 Oct: I have found that the Boodigo search engine has greatly improved since it went live, with this blog now appearing prominently in the results. I have submitted URL’s for other fetish sites to Boodigo with the aim of making it more useful for finding such materials.

ASACP Comes Under Attack

ASACP, an adult-industry website devoted to keeping young people safe online, has come under a DDoS attack. Its director, Tim Henning, says that “an unholy alliance of pedophiles and religious groups are seeking to damage ASACP and put an end to the good work it does in keeping children out of and away from adult entertainment.”

ASACP, RTA Fight Off Cyber Attack

The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) has announced that it is taking emergency actions to fend off a criminal attack. Read More>>

Textbook Cover Accidentally Features Adult Film Star

A publisher in Thailand hurriedly reissued a textbook after discovering that the “teacher” photographed on the original cover was actually Japanese adult film star Mana Aoki. Personally, I think the publisher overreacted to the G-rated picture, but the stigma against pornography remains strong.

Textbook cover w/ Mana Aoki

Textbook cover w/ Mana Aoki. Credit Thaich.net

As the article wryly notes, “you should be careful about what kind of porn you make, because the photos might end up in a math textbook one day.” 😉

In the News

Infoworld reports that corporate opponents of Net Neutrality, including the infamous Koch Brothers, are now comparing open Internet rules to Marxism.

A small study reported by the US National Institutes of Health shows evidence that wanking is good for the male immune system.

Libertarian magazine Reason.com reports that Facebook’s ultra-intrusive mobile app is now censoring links to certain adult websites. The article helpfully includes lists of the sites that are blocked and those that aren’t 😉

Some Thoughts About Online Privacy

Privacy

Privacy. Credit: Eiren @ Flickr, CC 2.0 BY-SA

In the aftermath of the recent hacking incident involving Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities, this is a good opportunity to share some links about privacy, online storage, and the question of non-consensual porn.

First, an excellent overview by Forbes privacy columnist Kashmir Hill about why we should not blame the victims of hacking: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/09/01/sext-abstinence-education-doesnt-work/

“Humans are going to do sex stuff. And in this era, that means digital sex stuff,” tweeted jokester-turned-lead-leak-investigator InfoSec Taylor Swift. “‘Don’t do it’ is not a solution.”

Two articles from AP:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20140903/us-celeb-hacking-7d6c6f1f4e.html

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20140903/us–celeb_hacking-privacy-25208d1a8e.html

Finally, another take from Kashmir Hill, noting that public opinion is now more sympathetic to victims of sexy-image hacking than in the past, but also citing an “academic” spokeswoman for the “revenge porn” anti-Section 230 movement:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/09/03/were-less-nasty-about-stolen-celeb-naked-photos/

Jennifer Lawrence Photo Hack Highlights Revenge Porn Debate

The recent hacking incident involving unauthorized disclosure of private photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities comes amidst an emotionally charged debate over how to deal legislatively with so-called “revenge porn.” Right before this incident, defense lawyer Scott Greenfield had blogged about a law student’s proposal to require a new, DMCA-like takedown scheme for websites to deal with user-posted content that was claimed to be revenge porn. Although it would avoid third-party criminal liability, the particular proposal would significantly burden small websites which lack the funds for paid moderators and legal staff. However, if it exempted non-commercial sites, I feel that the idea could at least represent a starting point for a conversation about whether new legal remedies are needed.

Nonetheless, I share Greenfield’s caution about modifying Section 230:

Not that an exception to Article 230 of the CDA is anything to be taken lightly. It could well be a slippery slope, particularly with initiatives that seek to silence “hurtful speech,” perhaps the most insidiously destructive idea put forth by the fragile teacups of the web. But with the caveat that such an exception be subject to strict constitutional scrutiny, it offers a far better solution than creating crimes.

Or does this open the door to a takedown regime for every new butthurt that the internets create?

An opposing view at Vox repeats a number of unproven feminist tropes as fact and dismisses the “public interest” exception as merely an obstacle proposed by free-speech supporters, although the interview does address some of the practical difficulties in relying solely on current copyright and civil law to deal with genuine invasions of privacy:

http://www.vox.com/2014/6/25/5841510/its-nearly-impossible-to-get-revenge-porn-off-the-internet

Adult Industry Skeptical of Google Search Going Forward

A survey at adult industry website Xbiz reveals that more than 2/3 of industry professionals expect Google to censor or disfavor adult websites in its organic search results. Many of us believe that the search giant is already doing that.

Regardless of what search index we as individuals might prefer, the general public still overwhelmingly relies on Google. Subtle censorship of search results by that company could severely affect peoples’ ability to find websites (like this one) which discuss mature or controversial topics, limiting peoples’ options and leaving them less well-informed about sex-related issues of the day.

Godgle

“Godgle” Image credit: BaDoink

Poll: Will Google Make Porn Harder to Find?

Google won't uphold its commitment to "freedom of expression" when it comes to porn related organic search results, according to a new poll conducted by adult industry news media organization XBIZ. Read More>>