Alles verschenen in: Stuff in English

Child pornography: fight it or hide it?

[translation of my column for Het Parool: Kinderporno: niet bestrijden maar verstoppen of February 19, 2008.] Last year October, Dutch Parliament demanded that the Department of Justice would legally bind ISPs to implement a filter that would block sites containing child pornography. ‘Providers can no longer look the other way; they should be forced to take their social responsibility. It is an outrage that they don’t comply voluntarily,’ member of Parliament Van der Staaij said during the debate. (Webwereld, October […]   » Verder lezen »

Be a hero, be a consumer

And again, I find the Pink Ribbon campaign infuriating. Last year, after I had become acquainted with breast cancer firsthand, the campaign made me feel like a baby seal: I was treated as a cuddly doe-eyed pet that anybody who was half famous expressed their heartfelt concerns about, but who wasn’t allowed to utter a word herself. It was a glamour campaign from which stories about amputations, chemo, radiotherapy, forced menopause and – yuk! – loss, fear and death were […]   » Verder lezen »

Clubs and casinos no cash cows

by staff writer Karin Pankhurst Metaverse Messenger, March 21 2006 The sheer amount of casinos and clubs present in Second Life suggest that there is quite some money to be made by owning one. After all, a slot machine typically coughs up less dollars than it swallows, and additionally, popular places get so-called ‘presence money’ from the Lindens. However, most owners seem to operate at a loss. What’s more surprising: not all of them mind. As a poll conducted earlier […]   » Verder lezen »

Orkut pirates privacy and copyright

On-line friend networks such as Friendster and Friend-of-a-friend have fallen somewhat out of grace. Orkut however is different. It is soaring: less than a month after it was launched (on January 23), Orkut can boast almost 100.000 members and it seems to be discussed everywhere, both on the net and In Real Life.
Basically, it is everybody’s own responsibility to assess how much they want to disclose. Many of these on-line communities or interfaces, however, also affect other people’s privacy. Orkut however takes things a few steps further: it is a real privacy pirate. And it claims the legal right to all your content.

Analysis of incoming mail

[I was on the board of, a Dutch foundation that fought spam: we documented Dutch spam runs and tried to educate Dutch companies about the proper use of e-mail as an advertisement medium. Mid 2003, we developed a strong hunch that the biggest Dutch spam house, Cyberangels, was actually run by Martijn Bevelander, owner of the Dutch ISP Megaprovider. On July 3 2003, the owner of dumped the domain, and we were able to re-register it ourselves. Suddenly, […]   » Verder lezen »

OSCE / FOM, May 7 2003

Interview about media freedom and internet censorship on the occasion of the OSCE/FOM internet conference in Amsterdam, June 2003. ‘Censorship on the net does not merely copy censorship of the classic or traditional media: it is more diffuse, less centralised, more wide-spread, and far less tangible than older forms of censorship.’ » Article FOM: ‘Censorship on the internet’

Freedom of the internet, our new challenge

New medium, same old problems – plus a few new ones [Essay written for the Yearbook 2001/2002 of the Freedom of the Media office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE / FOM).] The internet is a medium unlike any other. While it embodies aspects of different more old-fashioned media, it not only combines them but also adds features, inherent to its digital nature. E-mail for instance can be compared with postal mail, but has the capacity […]   » Verder lezen »

Unbiased columnism # 2.7

Carrying water from the desert to the sea Stockholm, January 26-27, 2001 [Previous installment: Unacceptable truths.] WHEN WE ARRIVE AT COURT for the final day, two women approach us. Zenon shakes hands with one of them; they speak for a short while, Zenon introduces her to me – it is the bailiff who was responsible for the raid in 1996 – and then she hands him an envelope. As it turns out, it is a demand for outstanding tax bills. […]   » Verder lezen »

Unbiased columnism # 2.6

Unacceptable truths Stockholm, January 24-25, 2001 [Previous installment: Child games.] THE COURT HAS ADJOURNED for two days. Friday we will resume: that day, pleas are to be held and that’s it. Afterwards, all we can do is wait for the ruling (and pray to Xenu). McShane’s vehement assertion that no Class IX auditor ever pays for the ‘privilege’ to study the NOTs pack and that only Class IX auditors get to study this material, sits badly with us. We simply […]   » Verder lezen »

Unbiased columnism # 2.5

Child games Stockholm, January 23, 2001 [Previous installment: Magnusson becomes helpful.] ZENON HAS NEW EVIDENCE and presents it to the court; it is a result of my transcript of McShane’s testimony as posted to the internet. Zenon got an e-mail from somebody [thank you! You know who you are] who claims that the NOTs are also studied privately and that more people have read the NOTs than McShane claimed in his deposition. The actual evidence is on its way and […]   » Verder lezen »