Sex offenders in the United States are slowly losing their rights. First, they were banned from Facebook, now, in New York State, they’ve been banned from online gaming because there might be children playing those same games.
Many games contain an audio or text component that allows players to communicate with one another.
Mr. Schneiderman warned that those methods of communication could allow sexual predators “to establish contacts with children they would never be able to establish” in parks or playgrounds.
Before you think this is a great idea, think of all the people online. How many of them have bizarre usernames or sexually suggestive usernames? Use the name, “ilikeballs” and you’re now losing your account and could end up being arrested because you’re a sexual predator. After you’ve completed your jail time, your life will forever be restricted until the point that we will have towns made up of just people like you that we need to keep away from the rest of society.
Read the rest of my article at The Daily Censored.
Sony has mad the news over the last 4-5 weeks for all the wrong reasons. If you would like to see the detailed list of how many times they’ve been hacked, just head over to Absolute Sownage and read all about it.
The most disgusting part of all this is that Sony stored the passwords of its users in plain text. It’s absolutely pathetic that a corporation as big as Sony can’t even get the basics of security right.
the latest hack was performed using SQL injection: a rudimentary technique that depends on improper handling of website URLs. Being susceptible to SQL injection is embarrassing enough—techniques to prevent it are well-known, and easy to apply to any database-driven website—but what makes this hack even worse is the data that has been compromised.
The fact that anyone who can read a database can read the plain text passwords is just the tip of the iceberg. Sony has no excuse for not fixing or patching their systems to prevent well-known SQL injections.
Sony customers are also going to suffer. Many reuse passwords on other sites and many of Sony’s compromised accounts included real name, address, and phone number. Until people take security seriously on the individual and corporate sides, things will only get worse.
It also gives another reason for me to stay away from online gaming and to continue to use multiple passwords online.
Bioware forum poster, Arno, recently had his account suspended by EA for 72 hours because he complained on their forums. Arno could not even play his Dragon Age II game in single player mode because the DRM that comes with the game won’t allow it unless you connect to the server first. So what did Arno do that was so wrong? He said this:
On EA Live Chat they told me that that I said: “Have you sold your souls to the EA devil?”
While this is hardly worth banning someone for three days over, the bigger picture is the fact that you cannot play a game in single player mode without checking with the appropriate server.
How is this possible? When a game is purchased through the EA Store, one of the things the buyer pays for is the “licensed right” to access DRM which EA has made necessary to play their games. In the case of Dragon Age II, a single-player game, the DRM takes the form of an online authentication upon installation and then periodically afterward. While this form of Digital Restrictions Management is sometimes seen as less intrusive, this incident shows it can be more crippling than the average person perceives.
EA has since reversed their decision, but questions remain. Why would you want to force people to have DRM that periodically checks your authentication if you’re only playing a single player game? This is type of DRM is what played a large part in why I stopped purchasing video games. I have no desire to play games online and/or with other people. If I want to play in single player mode, I shouldn’t have to have my computer connected to the internet, pinging EA’s servers to do so.
With EA, you never actually own the game. You are simply purchasing a license to play the game. Once their servers shut down, for whatever reasons EA will give, you can no longer play that game.
If you’re a gamer in Vietnam, you’re no longer allowed to play games online between 10pm and 8am. Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communication asked ISPs to block access for online gaming during this time in an effort to curb side effects from online gaming.
“Provincial departments of information and communication will inspect on-line games activities nationwide and deal with organisations that violate regulations by cancelling their services,” said the ministry’s Deputy Minister Le Nam Thang.
Some on-line game service providers like VTC Intercom and Asiasoft said that the (internet access block) measure reduced entertainment access to adults who have paid a lot for internet access.
They also said it created difficulties for the maintenance of on-line games.
Officials at the Department of Education also complain that students’ education is affected by spending too much time online.
The department’s random checks on 370,390 students from over 1,120 schools showed that more than 82 per cent go to internet gaming shops from one to six times per week to play online games. Of these, nearly 14 per cent can not help entering internet gaming shops eight times per week and 3.4 per cent admit to going more than ten times per week.
Most players spend two or three hours in the shops each time. Some 22,110 students, or 5.9 per cent of the total, spend between four and seven hours each time and 1,745 players, counting for 0.5 per cent, admit they can play non-stop for eight to ten hours on each occasion, the survey said.
Young players prefer playing online games during school time, especially during the noon break time. About 7.9 per cent of players usually play after 10pm.
“Online games and their harmful effects are considered social evil at schools,” Prof Van Nhu Cuong, headmaster of Luong The Vinh Private High School said.
“It’s hard to ban students from playing while internet gaming shops are booming. It’s high time we banned all games with violent or sexual content,” Cuong said.
As in America, instead of parents doing the job of parenting, it’s just easier to censor everything instead. If parents were actually paying attention to their children, a ban from 10pm would not be necessary as the students would be home studying or in bed.
According to the city schools’ estimates, 566 of the 3,874 gaming shops located within 200 metres of schools were still operating despite the recent ban.
Duong Van Ba, deputy director of the ministry’s Student Affairs Department, said the control of online games was not easy, especially in big cities as there were no regulations stipulating which kinds of games were allowed to be published.
While it might be a good idea to regulate the amount of time that children spend on the internet, this blanket rule affects everyone. If you work twelve hours and have the next day off, too bad. You can no longer play your games online because the ban covers a huge swath of the population without taking into account why people are playing.
What if you work the night shift and have the night off? You can’t play games either because the Vietnamese government is convinced that people who play during these hours are addicts and they must be stopped. What if you’re retired and your hobby is online gaming?
Make all the justifications you want, this isn’t about concern over people being addicted to online gaming, students spending time gaming instead of studying or any other excuse the government comes up with, it’s about control. The problem is that people can only be controlled for so long and the internet can’t be controlled. If the Vietnamese government stopped to think for a moment, they would realize that a citizenry who would rather spend all their time online playing games rather than being outside is one that is more likely to be compliant to what the government chooses to do. If you’d rather be gaming, you don’t really care what the government does.
Proxies and VPNs will, as usual, provide the means around any such government blocks. The rest of the population will simply play their games first, then, at 10pm, do their homework.