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End of gay teen Web site sparks privacy concerns | Privacy Inc. – CNET News

Posted: July 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on End of gay teen Web site sparks privacy concerns | Privacy Inc. – CNET News

User profiles from the now-defunct XY magazine, which catered to gay teens, are at the center of a serious privacy controversy. Declan McCullagh reports, "In February 2010, XY founding editor Peter Ian Cummings filed a personal bankruptcy petition in federal court[…]. The only significant asset Cummings listed is the 'customer list, personal data, and editorial and back issue files of XY Mag and XY.com.' Cummings says he believes that giving the information to his creditors violates California privacy law and the FTC Act, which prohibits deceptive business practices."

Nevertheless, creditors want this information collected, potentially violating the privacy of up to 1 million gay or questioning teens who subscribed to XY.com. Revealing their information could out them to parents or others. While the question of what to do with a bankrupt Internet company is not new, this is the first time data as sensitive as identifiable details of GLBTQ youth is up for grabs to the highest bidder.

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Has Social Networking Replaced Sex? | momlogic.com

Posted: July 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Has Social Networking Replaced Sex? | momlogic.com

Sounds like Bruce Sallan needs some sexual reassurance. The syndicated parenting columnist asked, "Have we sunk to androgynous roles as men and women? Are we (you?) having less sex? Are we men falling down on our jobs when it comes to making 'it' happen?" By "it," he means sex. He says, "my speculation is, there's much truth in the fact that our lives are so equal [as men and women], so focused on work and family, that sex often gets put on the back burner." Worried, he says, "my wife is often correctly critical of all the time I spend on the computer," presumably on social networking sites instead of setting the mood.

I'm not going to presume much about Sallan's situation, but to segregate one's sex life from one's online social networking activities seems, to me, like he's "doing it wrong." And by "it," I mean both sex and social networks. After all, some social networks are made for sex. Maybe he and his wife could both join FetLife. ;)

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Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefits – NYTimes.com

Posted: July 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefits – NYTimes.com

"On Thursday, Google is going to begin covering a cost that gay and lesbian employees must pay when their partners receive domestic partner health benefits, largely to compensate them for an extra tax that heterosexual married couples do not pay," Tara Siegel Bernard reports. Google says its own employees—they call themselves Gayglers—brought up the issue. "On average, employees with domestic partners will pay about $1,069 more a year in taxes than a married employee with the same coverage." That doesn't sound fair to many people, who see Google's move as compensating for the federal government's failure to guarantee equal socioeconomic standing for GLBT employees.

Some other companies, including Cisco, Kimpton Hotels, and the Gates Foundation already do this, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Of course, the anti-gay Christian group Focus on the Family isn't happy, saying a reverse discrimination lawsuit could be forthcoming since Google's policy excludes heterosexual couples.

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‘.xxx’ Ruling Has Far-Reaching Implications for the Internet | TechNewsDaily

Posted: June 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on ‘.xxx’ Ruling Has Far-Reaching Implications for the Internet | TechNewsDaily

On Friday, "The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the international corporation that regulates domain names like .com and .net, said…it will reverse a previous decision and allow .xxx addresses for adult entertainment web sites," Stuart Fox reports. Interestingly, the decision troubled both pornographers and political conservatives, and could have "implications beyond just the porn industry…that are sure to change the nature of the Internet in the coming years."

Domain registrar company ICM Registry has lobbied for creation of .xxx for over 10 years. Stuart Lawley, president of ICM Registry "thinks a .xxx TLD will help consumers find safe adult entertainment and make it easier for parents to shield children from the same content." But adult entertainment industry spokespeople fear it's a "prelude to legislative action" that will "ghettoize" them and enforce Internet blue-law style censorship. Conservatives fear it will give children easier access to porn.

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Update: Citing Mr. Lawley as their source, The New York Times reports that, “Each domain registration will cost $60 a year, with $10 going to a nonprofit organization promoting ‘responsible business practices’ for the industry.” While ICM Registry has already seen over 100,000 pre-registrations for .xxx domains and expects at least 500,000 by the time they officially open for business, Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, “said many of those were likely to be ‘defensive’ registrations, from businesses that wanted to prevent their names from being hijacked.”


Scare tactics, blocking sites can be bad for kids | InSecurity Complex – CNet News

Posted: June 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Scare tactics, blocking sites can be bad for kids | InSecurity Complex – CNet News

"Schools often filter sites or block social networks, believing it is in the best interest of the students," Elinor Mills writes at CNet, but "blocking the sites can have a negative effect on student safety," according to the 148-page "Youth Safety on a Living Internet" report commissioned by the US government. Among others, the report debunks the myth of widespread child sexual predation on the Internet, noting that "use of MySpace and Facebook by adolescents did not appear to increase their risk of being victimized by online predators."

While "'new' issues" like sexting have grabbed headlines, cyberbullying—particularly against GLBT youth—is a far bigger problem. Other under-reported problems are identity theft and loss of reputation. The report says child safety concerns, particularly around sexually explicit material, should be approached by promoting "media-literacy education," not "scare tactics."

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Xbox joysticking unlikely for game set inside vagina

Posted: May 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Xbox joysticking unlikely for game set inside vagina

A video game featuring "a teeny-tiny gang of condom-hatted marines as they delve into peoples' vaginas and bottoms and blast away at all manner of oozy, shouty monsters" has raised concerns at Microsoft after its developer, Zombie Cow, expressed desire to release the game, Privates, for the Xbox 360.

Microsoft spokesperson David Dennis told SeattlePI.com, "We have guidelines in place that closely track requirements of content ratings boards worldwide and, among other things, prohibit the publication of strong sexual content. While we haven't seen this game, we can confirm that if it is consistent with the description we have seen on the Internet, this game would not pass peer review and would not be permitted to be distributed on Xbox Live."

Available screenshots are anything but graphic so many wonder if what Microsoft objects to is education, as other games such as Grand Theft Auto are far more explicit. The developers say the game "is intended to indirectly promote safe sex."

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Maybe Maimed but Never Harmed › EdenFantasys’s unethical technology is a self-referential black hole

Posted: May 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Maybe Maimed but Never Harmed › EdenFantasys’s unethical technology is a self-referential black hole

The websites of Internet sex toy retailer Web Merchants, Inc., which bills itself as the “sex shop you can trust” under the name EdenFantasys, interferes with their contributors’ content, intercepts outgoing links and alters syndicated content so that links in the original work are directed to themselves. This makes EdenFantasys’ website a self-referential black hole, providing no reciprocity for contributors, nor for any website ostensibly “linked” to from article content. These techniques are widely regarded as unethical and are arguably in violation of major search engines’ policies. Authors of sites with which EdenFantasys and their publications, such as SexIs Magazine, have “an ongoing relationship,” like AlterNet.org, other large news hubs, and individual bloggers’ blogs are upset that community members who asked questions on the EdenFantasys forums have been censored or banned.

Kink On Tap will endeavor to no longer cite or link to Web Merchants, Inc. content in the future.

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