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Censorship United States Your Rights Online

Symantec Says No To Pro-Gun Sites 1716

cluge writes "A recent American Rifleman contained small column that said that Symantec's new Internet Security 2004 would block pro gun rights sites (i.e. NRA sites), while not blocking similar anti-gun rights web sites. Being the eternal skeptic, this claim was tested by downloading the trial version and running some tests against it. To my surprise I found the every NRA site was blocked and was in the category 'weapons.' This even included the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. Some sites that were not blocked were notable anti-gun rights sites such as The Brady Campaign, and Good Bye Guns. The only anti-gun rights site that was blocked that I could find was Hand Gun Control's web site." Read on for more.

cluge continues: "My rather informal test still raises the spectre that a large corporate entity may be clandestinely trying to sway you or your child's political views by censoring content from one side of a political debate. This is indeed chilling, especially considering that such software is required to be used in libraries to protect children. Is this political slant common in censorware? Have slashdotters found similar glitches in other 'parental control' software?"

Slashdot has certainly covered censorware before, but reports like this are still valuable as the world evolves.

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Symantec Says No To Pro-Gun Sites

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  • ACLU to help out? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mr.henry ( 618818 ) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:18PM (#7371902) Journal
    I doubt it. Check out ACLU policy statement #47:

    The Union agrees with the Supreme Court's longstanding interpretation of the Second Amendment that the individual's right to keep and bear arms applies only to the preservation or efficiency of a 'well-regulated militia'. Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected.

  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:20PM (#7371924)
    Check out Kerio Personal Firewall [].
  • I second this (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:21PM (#7371931)
    Kerio is great. I hate ZoneAlarm, loved AtGuard (which eventually became Norton's firewall) but got sick of the Norton bloat.
  • by Pingular ( 670773 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:23PM (#7371953)

    The Columbia World of Quotations. 1996.

    NUMBER: 63040

    QUOTATION: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

    ATTRIBUTION: Voltaire [Francois Marie Arouet] (1694-1778), French philosopher, author.
    [note: the first part of the following sentence is missing in the online original]
    what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write."

    Real name Francois Marie Arouet.

    7. Along the line that the quote may be spuriously attributed to Voltaire (thus explaining why none of the above attribute it to a specific work or date), is the following found at tm

    Beatrice Hall

    I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
    -- The Friends of Voltaire, 1906

    The phrase "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" is widely attributed to Voltaire, but cannot be found in his writings. With good reason. The phrase was invented by a later author as an epitome of his attitude. It appeared in The Friends of Voltaire (1906), written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall under the pseudonym S[tephen] G. Tallentyre. ...

    Hall wrote: ...The men who had hated [the book], and had not particularly loved Helvetius, flocked round him now. Voltaire forgave him all injuries, intentional or unintentional. 'What a fuss about an omelette!' he had exclaimed when he heard of the burning. How abominably unjust to persecute a man for such an airy trifle as that! 'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,' was his attitude now. ...

    Hall herself claimed later that she had been paraphrasing Voltaire's words in his Essay on Tolerance: "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too." --

    I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to mis-attribute this quote to Voltaire.
    -- Avram Grumer, rec.arts.sf.written, May 2000

    8. Finally, the pertinent section from the page Grumer cites ( that purports to explain how Beatrice Hall came to attribute the quote to Voltaire:

    The phrase ``I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it'' is widely attributed to Voltaire, but cannot be found in his writings. With good reason. The phrase was invented by a later author as an epitome of his attitude.

    It appeared in The Friends of Voltaire (1906), written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall under the pseudonym S[tephen] G. Tallentyre. Chapter VII is devoted to Helvetius (1715-1771), whom she depicts as a kindly, generous person, with a hint of more talent to raise him above mediocrity. He married and settled in the sticks, with a new wife who was unfashionably old (32), and they were happy. This was ended by his tragic aspiration, to earn some small glory for himself as a philosopher.

    In 1758, he published ``De l'Esprit,'' which Hall renders ``On the Mind.'' From the little Hall says of it directly, I take it that this was a moral-relativist tract, adducing bad social conditions as the cause of immoral behavior, regarding humans essentially as animals, and skeptical of the validity of moral claims generally.

    This was unpopular with everyone - secular philosophers, all of the church, the government. It certainly got him noticed, but not by all at once. Voltaire immediately regarded the work as a serious disappointment from one who had been a somewhat promising protege. He was most insulted to have been compared in it with lesser intellectual lights (Crebillon and Fontenelle). It was widely criticized by other wits
  • Re:Keep in mind (Score:0, Informative)

    by quigonn ( 80360 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:24PM (#7371971) Homepage
    Muhahaha.The cops will have guns, too, which in turn shoot (or at least arrest) the outlaws.

    Look at Europe (guns are not "outlawed" but generally it's not quite easy to get a gun owner's license since you have to pass very strict psychological tests), with a lot less guns, and a lot less violence on the street, and no stupid "let's keep guns legal and easy to acquire, so that I can shoot my neighbours and/or my family when I want to" shit.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Simon (S2) ( 600188 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:28PM (#7372008) Homepage
    firewall []
    antivirus []
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:2, Informative)

    by dlb ( 17444 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:33PM (#7372053)
    And like all of their products, if there's a default filter or setting that you don't like, you can change it.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:34PM (#7372063)
    Kerio Personal Firewall []. Free for personal use, and it's not ZoneAlarm.

    Since it's not ZoneAlarm, you can do things like not let it start up automatically and not lose all network access. It's really keen.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:4, Informative)

    by GarfBond ( 565331 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:35PM (#7372078)
    ZoneAlarm isn't *that* bad, but if it doesn't float your boat, there's also Sygate Personal Firewall (also free or pro) and Tiny Personal Firewall. I've used Sygate before, and found them to be pretty good. Tiny was a little weird, so I never really used it. There's also Kerio personal firewall, which is also free but I've never used.

    Don't get BlackICE Defender.

    And I stopped buying Symantec products after they announced product activation. I mean jeez, how much money do they honestly think they're losing in the utilities business? As much as I dislike mcafee, I'll use them as long as they don't have activation.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:38PM (#7372116)
    Kerio personal firewall
  • Re:Keep in mind (Score:2, Informative)

    by PhilipPeake ( 711883 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:40PM (#7372127)
    You have got to be joking! Search the archives on or You will find that since the total gun ban took effect in England crime has sky rocketed, with guns crime against unarmed people leading the charge.
    I am English (well... was, now naturalized American), and really regret the state if fear that my relatives in England live in now.
    Please don't parrot the mindless garbage spewed out by the likes of the Brady organization -- look for yourself at the real effects of banning personal protection.
  • Re:Obligatory... (Score:5, Informative)

    by PhilipPeake ( 711883 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:48PM (#7372211)
    Totalm CRAP!!! Why do you people continue to parrot garbage like this when you obviously base your knowlege on watcing some removed-from-reallity movie??
    Go read a basic book on aircraft. Aircraft are presurized by bleeding compressed air from the engines into the cabin (after cooling it first). And how does the air remain fresh ?? BY BLOWING OUT OF THE HUGE HOLES AT THE TAIL-END OF THE AIRCRAFT.
    There are ALREADY big holes in the cabin, and you don't see passengers being sucked out do you?
    How much difference do you think a 9mm hole or two is going to make to the air pressure?? Even if a window goes, there will NOT much more than a strong draught.
    Do you think air-marchals have magic bullets???
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:3, Informative)

    by sydb ( 176695 ) <(ku.oc.12dw) (ta) (leahcim)> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:49PM (#7372221)
    In over 3 years of running a network of several Debian machines (servers and workstations) behind a Debian firewall, with an Apache web server, and SSH access to the firewall (but not from the outside), and FTP access to internal machines from certain privileged machines (my dayjob proxies), oh, and an Apple Mac running OS9 and Mozilla Mail, all of this up mostly 24x7, I have never I repeat NEVER had a worm, virus or malware of any kind on any of my machines. Meanwhile my Windows using friends and colleagues constantly report their computers doing "strange things" like applications popping up that they never installed... and having to reinstall every six months of course.

    I see it in my firewall logs. Constant scans on port 135. ida?????? http://root.exe backdoor.dll rubbish. None of it get's in, and if it did it wouldn't matter anyway.

    Linux may not be the answer to everything, but I sleep much easier knowing I am in control of my machines.

    And in /etc/apt/sources.list

    deb stable/updates main

    root's cron

    0 6 * * * /usr/sbin/apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade

    thus closing the apache and ssh bugs as soon as a fix appears (this being Debian is ASAP).
  • Re:ACLU to help out? (Score:2, Informative)

    by the_2nd_coming ( 444906 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:51PM (#7372246) Homepage
    yeah, thats right.....the founders who fought against Tyrany and supported the armed uprising of people across the globe would have actualy ment for a governmnet to be the sole entity with rights to Firearms.

    there is not even a logical argument you could construct that would support such an idea.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:2, Informative)

    by aiyo ( 653781 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:52PM (#7372252)
    Sygate Pro is a kickass firewall, I've been using it excusively on my windows machines for years. Look around for the personal firewall here:
  • by amjohns ( 29330 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:54PM (#7372270)
    Your likely source for this accusation is "Bowling for Columbine". Why don't you find out the actual facts, not the twisted misrepresentation here [].
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:2, Informative)

    by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:55PM (#7372291) Homepage
    Use a distribution like LEAF then. It boots from a floppy, no hard disk needed.

    You will have to learn well how firewalls work, but let's be honest, you have to anyway if you want it to be any good. ZoneAlarm or anything else will be useless if you don't understand well what's going on.

    All firewalls have bugs in any case, but Linux is easier to secure. Easy recipe to a quite secure firewall:

    Get a computer (P100 or so) with two network cards and connect it to your DSL modem or whatever.

    Install LEAF on it

    Disable all services, excepting SSH from inside for administration. Make sure there are NO daemons listening on the public interface, firewalled or not. This way you can't get hacked while your firewall is down.

    Firewall everything.

    Start opening ports as you need them, thinking carefully about if you really need them, making sure you only open what's needed. Also, close them if you no longer need them.

    And there you go, it's almost 100% safe, since your firewall won't have externally accessible SSH, apache or whatever to hack. I'm pretty sure all the bugs in the firewall code were ironed out quite a while ago. If you need apache, get another computer, a third network card, and make a DMZ.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Moskie ( 620227 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:57PM (#7372308)
    Agnitum Firewall []. I can't beleive it hasn't been mentioned yet. It absolutely provides the most control. I've tried ZA, Norton, Sygate... none of them seem to let me have complete control over what every application is allowed to do. Plus, its got plug-in capabilites, with things like DNS caching and ad-blocking bundled with the main software. It also logs every connection, and gives you summaries (i.e. how much traffic from this app, on this day, etc...). I highly recommend it.
  • Re:ACLU to help out? (Score:5, Informative)

    by e-gold ( 36755 ) <> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @03:57PM (#7372311) Homepage Journal
    Agreed 100% (but why do I NEVER have mod-points when I need 'em?). Oh well.

    For some real second amendment fun, folks should check out the guys who had the temerity to place the 1968 Gun Control Act next to a translation of pre-WW2 Nazi-era gun control laws, and let folks see the similarities for themselves. Although the JPFO site doesn't advocate violence, I'm sure the censorware blocks it if they blocked the NRA (and believe me, JPFO & NRA aren't exactly buddies even though they're both "on the same side of the issue"!).

    The ACLU is wonderful on freedom of speech, but there are various other rights (not just self-defense, either) they desperately-need to start thinking-about, or they'll continue to be pigeonholed as irrelevant leftists IMO. Economic liberty, for example, should not be just for the rich, and the ACLU could set a few examples to that end almost-effortlessly (while simultaneously tweaking the fans of that "Patriot" act nonsense which is sweeping the USA at the moment).

    Speaking ONLY for Jim Ray and NO other company/individual/entity/etc.
  • by Tau Zero ( 75868 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:05PM (#7372385) Journal
    Pos(t)er claims:
    firing a gun in an aircraft cabin will likely lead to an imminent crash.
    This has been disproven dozens of times in government-sponsored tests. Bullets will neither cause abrupt decompression nor can they cause catastrophic failure of the airframe or even a side window (they are made of Lexan and will not shatter). You can calculate the maximum rate of air loss, because the speed of a gas escaping through a narrowing passage cannot exceed the speed of sound in the gas. For a hole of 10 mm or so, it just isn't much.

    The noise of air whistling out might be a problem, but the people who just heard muzzle blast inside an enclosed cabin probably wouldn't be able to hear that in time for it to become a big concern either. If it bugs anyone, you can always stuff the hole with a corner of a pillow.

  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr Guy ( 547690 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:09PM (#7372421) Journal
    Do you also believe your local library should stock Playboy on the shelves with Popular Science?

    I don't think there is a valid arguement that justify having a system with no filtering at all. If you want to argue you should be able to verify your age to a librarian to have controls removed, fine. That still doesn't change the fact that a library has no business placing pornography within easy access to children.

    I'm perfectly willing to say the way it's done probably should be adjusted to take into account the rights of adult. It's not even LEGAL for you to show those sites to your own children, so how can you justify a library doing it for you?

    Speaking as a junior high teacher, I can safely say it creates an UPROAR when I sent kids to the Onion and they HAPPENED to have an advertisement with a woman in lingerie. I can't control what advertisements show up, and I'd love to have those filtered out for me, even if they site they show up on is perfectly reasonable to go to.
  • by Angram ( 517383 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:14PM (#7372459) the sense you're using it. I've used Symantec products for years (including Internet Security 2001, 2002, and 2003), so I have some experience here.

    Parental Controls are an OPTIONAL part of INSTALLATION! I've never even had it on my computer, which means it's not an issue for anyone who isn't already interested in censoring someone using the computer (kids, etc.). Anyone installing/using the Parental Controls is sure to go through the options (how else can you determine what will be censored?), so this isn't some hidden "default" tactic to fight the NRA. Most parents (you can bet they research this stuff) will want pornography, weapons-promoting sites, etc. blocked, so it makes sense to have them checked by default.

    Additionally, the reason the "weapons" filter would block the NRA but not anti-gun sites is simply the reason it exists - it's what parents want blocked - weapons-promoting sites. Symantec isn't just pulling this out of a hat, they're catering to the demands of consumers. This isn't censorship, it's not politically-motivated, and it's not an anti-gun statement by Symantec - it's economics and it's not being foisted on anyone.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:5, Informative)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:19PM (#7372492) Homepage Journal
    Symantec Personal Firewall and Internet Security are only blocking pro-weapons sites if you check the box marked "weapons". That seems to be exactly the point.

    The author seems to find it double standards that it doesn't also block anti-weapon sites. That argument is plain ridiculous. That's like saying you can't block porn without also blocking anti-porn, and can't block crime sites without also blocking law sites.

    No, I don't believe in censorship, but I believe even less in forcing people who voluntarily block something to also blocking something else. That smells badly of censorship too.

  • by defaultXIX ( 106977 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:23PM (#7372531)
    Those who would sacrifice liberty to gain security have neither.

    anyone remember who said that?
  • Re:Keep in mind (Score:5, Informative)

    by TKinias ( 455818 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @04:53PM (#7372835)

    scripsit eericson:

    Bzzt. Wrong. Here are Interpol 2001 crime statistics (rate per 100,000): 4161 - US 7736 - Germany 6941 - France 9927 - England and Wales And here's the 1995 ones: 5278 - US 8179 - Germany 6316 - France 7206 - England & Wales

    Um, the discussion was about murder. So let's look at murder numbers, not total crime. (BTW, Interpol doesn't have anything for England/Wales in 1995 -- they start in 1996 -- so I'm not sure where you got your figures from).

    OK... using 1996 and 2001 murders per 100k population (the widest span on which they have data for all these states) -- U.S.: 7.41 to 5.61; Germany: 4.32 to 3.21; France: 4.11 to 3.91; England/Wales: 2.60 to 1.63.

    Wow! That's interesting. Every one of these has a decline from 1996 to 2001 -- including England and Wales. In fact, England and Wales, where that handgun ban supposedly made murder rampant, looks like its murder rate is about 30% of the U.S.'s. Fascinating...

    Thank $deity we have all those guns here in the States keeping us safe...

  • by GISGEOLOGYGEEK ( 708023 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:03PM (#7372924)
    The part I don't understand is where you think the people have the right to bare arms.

    The constitution gives the individual states the right to form armed militias, not the public the right to bare arms, But the NRA suckered you into thinking otherwise and other ignorant politicians (and gun dealers after your money) made statements like your quote to manipulate the truth and keep you on their side.

    Why do you let yourself be so scared as to think you need a gun anyways? You'll just end up killing your kid by accident long before you use your gun the way you have been made to think you will use it.

    Symantec is blocking weapons promoting websites (IF YOU ENABLE THE BLOCK, ITS YOUR CHOICE) the NRA promotes weapons, therefore they are blocked. Thats all there is to it. There is no attack by symantec on the NRA here at all.

    'From My Cold Dead Hands!' - Yes Charlton, that will happen, and not soon enough.
  • Re:On The NRA (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:05PM (#7372930)
    Sigh... you aren't very well educated concerning the people in the NRA, are you? They are pro-gun ownership, but the goal certainly isn't killing individuals. In fact, one of the best defenses against accidental shootings by children is to educate the children about gun safety, something the NRA DOES advocate.

    The point of gun ownership is the right to protect oneself and one's property. I'm not about to call the police if some guy breaks into my house and then wait for them to show up. I'm going to shoot the guy threatening myself and my family, and THEN call an ambulance an the police. There are many stories from people I've known where they've either deterred an assailant by shooting into the air or actually had to shoot someone to protect themselves or their family. No one I know is happy about the prospect of shooting someone.

    Who the hell cares that there are similar dates between them and the Klu Klux Klan? I am sure that other groups were founded during the same year. That doesn't give you the right to make a blanket statement that they are ALL terrorism organizations. The reason for the columbine and flint rallies was to educate people on things such as gun safety. I can assure you that none of the founders at all had any happiness about either of those shootings. All that those types of shootings do is give momentum to the anti-gun movements.
  • ACLU: NRA vs. NAMBLA (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mad Man ( 166674 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:21PM (#7373036)
    was "re: ACLU to help out? []"

    I doubt it. Check out

    ACLU policy statement #47 []:

    The Union agrees with the Supreme Court's longstanding interpretation of the Second Amendment that the individual's right to keep and bear arms applies only to the preservation or efficiency of a 'well-regulated militia'. Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected.

    The ACLU is too busy defending the right to promote child molesting. []


    NAMBLA [] may extol conduct which is currently illegal, its materials fall far short of speech that may be prohibited. If that rule were to be changed to allow a suit like this one, it would introduce a regime of conformity to majority rule that would threaten the very right to dissent."

    In self-serving fashion, the ACLU notes that the father of the murdered boy -- who is suing NAMBLA -- praises the ACLU for defending NAMBLA

    While intent on pressing their suit against NAMBLA, the Curley family has acknowledged ACLU's concerns. In a Boston Globe article which appeared shortly after the ACLU entered the case, Jeffrey Curley's father, Bob Curley, is quoted as saying that he harbors no ill feelings toward the ACLU for defending the case. "I really do have respect for them (ACLU)", said Curley. "They are very consistent in whom they defend. It takes a lot of nerve to defend the groups they have over the years. They have a lot of courage."

    Wired [] puts a different spin on it:

    Attorney Lawrence Frisoli, who represents the Curleys, said he is glad the ACLU is defending NAMBLA, because he has had trouble locating the group's members.

    Harvey Silverglate, an ACLU board member, said Wednesday that the group's attorneys will try to block any attempt by the Curleys to get NAMBLA's membership lists, or other materials identifying members.

    The ACLU interprets Roe v. Wade as meaning that minors must be allowed to get an abortion, without having to even notify [] their parents (much less get their permission), and that taxpayers must subsidize abortions [].

    But "the people" in the Second Amendment means "the government," because a 30 year old woman is apparently too stupid to weight the risks vs. benefits of owning and/or carrying a firearm for self-protection, and can be denied the right to make that choice.

    If the ACLU supported the Second Amendment in the same fashion that they do abortion, then they woudl be demanding taxpayer subsidies for poor children to buy guns, without having to notify their parents, so they can shoot the child molestors who prey on them.

    Constitutional scholars who have bothered to write about the issue in various law review journals do not agree with the ACLU's position. You can read the law review articles for yourself at the Second Amendment Law Library []. Much better than stuff put out by any pro- or anti-gun special interest group.

    In justifying the ACLU's position on gun control, ACLU President Nadine Strossen said that []

    Putting all that aside, I don't want to dwell on constitutional analysis, because our view has never been that civil liberties are necessaril

  • Re:Keep in mind (Score:5, Informative)

    by spectecjr ( 31235 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:24PM (#7373053) Homepage
    Britain's gun ban was instituted in the late 90s after a bunch of kids got killed at an elementary school by a loony armed to the teeth with guns. This recalls the spate of school shootings in the US during the same period. But Britain's astronomic explosion in violent crime and gun crime began after the gun ban, while the US, which didn't institute a wide-ranging gun ban, has seen crime rates stand still or fall.

    What kind of bullshit is this?

    I grew up in England. I lived there for 23 years. At no point during that time was owning a gun legal, unless you were using it for hunting, and even then, only under very specific rules and regulations.

    What kind of crack are you smoking? Where do you get this idea that guns were generally available in England before the late 90s?
  • by kajoob ( 62237 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @05:40PM (#7373157)
    What the ACLU didn't tell you there is that the Supreme Court has only touched one 2nd amendment case, and that was some 60 years ago (forgive me if the dates are wrong - I'm doing this from memory). However there are 2 cases coming through the pipeline that the SCOTUS will likely grant cert to (this means they will hear the cases). One from a conservative 5th circuit, and one from a liberal 9th circuit.

    There are two interpretations of the 2nd amendment: The first says that it is a 'collective' right, that only state militias are given the right to bear arms; The second theory holds that this freedom is extended to individuals. If and when the SCOTUS hears these cases, many legal scholars expect the court hold the "individual rights" theory (please note that every other freedom spelled out in the Bill of Rights is extended to the individual). You probably have already figured out quite obviously that the 5th circuit takes the "individual right" theory and the 9th circuit holds the "collective rights" theory.

    Also, Judge Reinhardt from the 9th circuit, one the most liberal judges on the 9th circuit (and perhaps the most liberal judge in the entire country), concedes (and correctly I might add) that ex-military and ex-law enforcement officers are not "super citizens" that are allowed to bear arms while the rest of the country is not.

    For you legal eagles out there, here are the cites for the two cases:

    Silveira v. Lockyer, 312 F.3d 1052 (2002) - this is the 9th circuit case

    U.S. v. Emerson, 270 F.3d 203 (2001) - this is the 5th circuit case.

    The 9th circuit case is great because there is are EXCELLENT dissertations on both the collective and indivual rights theories. I'm glad things like this are on slashdot, we as geeks need to be more informed at the voting booth. Whatever side you take on this issue, just remember to vote!!


  • by Maul ( 83993 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:08PM (#7373329) Journal
    Yes, I agree that the NRA gets the short end of the stick when it comes to their gun safety advocacy.

    Many people give the NRA the image of a bunch of rifle-toting rednecks who like shooting random things for kicks, but I don't believe that to be true.

    The NRA certainly fights for 2nd. ammendment freedoms, but many people don't realize that the NRA also provides resources for safety and usage training so that people can be responsible with their freedom to own firearms.
  • Re:I second this (Score:3, Informative)

    by Analysis Paralysis ( 175834 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:20PM (#7373403)
    If you liked AtGuard, then check out Outpost Firewall []. Version 1.0 is free while version 2.0 (better against leaktests, new logging system) has a 30-day trial. This allows you to craft specific rules (direction, protocol, port, IP address) for each application and has a number of plugins for other tasks (ad-filtering, activex/java/script/cookie control, DNS cache). There's an online guide [] and a user-run support forum [].

    For anti-virus software, have a look at Grisoft AVG []. It's free for personal use, though you need to supply a valid email to get a registration code.
  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:2, Informative)

    by wulva ( 564057 ) on Sunday November 02, 2003 @06:36PM (#7373540)
    Actually you can do filtering in layer 7 or in other words in application layer. check out
  • CIPA Compliance (Score:3, Informative)

    by ReadParse ( 38517 ) < minus math_god> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @07:14PM (#7373845) Homepage
    You know, it's stuff like this that constantly reminds me of how much more politically tuned I need to be. I'm a news junkie, but that usually means watching a lot of mainstream media and not keeping up with bills going through congress nearly as much as I should.

    For some silly reason, I'm not even sure I've ever heard of CIPA (the Children's Internet Protection Act), even though it's been overturned and taken to the Supreme Court and upheld. It's obviously not very newsworthy, or I just wasn't paying attention.

    Something unusual about this law is that you can read it in a single sitting. It's simple and short. I'll share with you what I learned in about a half hour, just in case you didn't know about it either. You're aware of the Universal Service Fee on your phone bill, of course. Well that goes into an FCC fund that enables discounts on phone lines and internet access to eligible schools and libraries. Well, this law threatened to take that assistance away (and, in my interpretation, threatened to force schools and libraries to pay back all money they had ever received from the Universal Service Program) if they don't install some sort of software to filter material deemed harmful to minors.

    That's essentially it, although the law goes on to say that the federal government won't establish guidelines about what to filter and won't approve or dissapprove any local guidelines. That's certainly a good thing. But I was impressed by how incredibly short and sweet the law is. But I still found myself disagreeing with it, for the same reason that the law was challenged in court, on the grounds that filtering is an imperfect science and that these measures would block genuinely useful information, which is, of course, protected by the First Ammendment, from reaching users in schools and libraries.

    Now then, it didn't take long in my Google searching to find ads from all sort of companies, touting "CIPA Compliance" in their software. Ha! Well that's not very hard, considering the government specified only one requirement with which to comply... the software must be capable of filtering. Even a simple web proxy that allows the administrator to enter URLs one at a time of websites that are "deemed to be harmful to children" is complaint with CIPA. And, of course, this was a great opportunity for the software sales snakes of America to capitalize on a new law requiring their software. So you think this software is cheap? Ha! Guess again. When the government makes a law requiring something to be bought, that something goes up in price.


    Oh, and the original topic.... about filtering NRA stuff and not anti-gun stuff. Yeah, I completely agree. The NRA, as largely a political organization, should absolutely not be filtered. There's nothing there at all harmful to children. The NRA and its members are the very most responsible advocates of gun ownership you will ever run across.

  • Re:Hypocrites. (Score:2, Informative)

    by mikeswi ( 658619 ) * on Sunday November 02, 2003 @09:34PM (#7374752) Homepage Journal

    It is mainly true. I found that with the default settings, the content filter blocked,, as well as (categorized as "crime"-related).

    Despite what is in the story, was not blocked, nor was any other anti-gun/pro gun control web site. also was not blocked for whatever reason.

    Blocking the NRA is questionable. Although I personally believe it's foolish to categorize it as "weapons" instead of "political", it is debatable.

    On the other hand, is nothing but political commentary and mentions weapons only as news items and as the subject of commentary. To block that site while allowing other sites dealing with the exact same subject from an opposite viewpoint is nothing but politically-motivated censorship.

    <Offtopic> The damned thing installed so many registry entries (4,300+) that it locked up Inctrl5 for a full hour while it compiled the installation report. The log is an unbelievable two megabytes! I've seen a lot of spyware, trojans, and other crap, but I've NEVER seen anything install so much crap. </Offtopic>
  • Re:ACLU to help out? (Score:5, Informative)

    by feldsteins ( 313201 ) <(scott) (at) (> on Sunday November 02, 2003 @09:45PM (#7374794) Homepage
    [the ACLU] care more about pushing a left-wing agenda than defending the rights of all Americans.

    In point of fact, it is the "left-wing" of American politics which has been the champion of people's rights. "Right-wing" politicians have been on the wrong side of these issues for over thirty years. At least since the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    And incidentally, the ACLU does fight for the rights of all Americans. They have fought right along side Republicans in the past. Such as when they fought the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law as a violation of the first amendment. Conservatives everywhere had to STFU about the good ol' ACLU on that one. But everyone forgets so quickly. Especially as the ACLU is often at odds with Conservatives...but this is primarily because conservatives are so often at odds with the Bill of Rights. Go figure.
  • Re:What a shame... (Score:3, Informative)

    by djlowe ( 41723 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @12:28AM (#7375468)
    >The stupid fact is that guns do kill people. They know it, I know it, you know it as well.
    Cars kill people too, every day. In fact, I'd be willing to bet more people were killed by automobiles today than by guns.

    The stupid fact is, lots of things kill lots of people for lots of reasons, every day. Singling out guns when there are other things that cause more deaths is just a bit hypocritical, wouldn't you say?

    Regardless of the anti-gun nuts mistaken beliefs, for every crime committed with a gun in the US, there are tens, hundreds of thousands of gun owners that didn't commit a crime with a gun, nor in general commit any crime at all.

    A little perspective is a good thing, I've found. And, knowing that, all the hype aside (from both sides of the gun control issue), there are far more decent people owning guns than there are criminals owning guns makes me, at least, feel better.



    P.S. While I'm thinking of it: Does anyone have any statistics on the number of gun owners in the US that have *never* committed a crime with a gun? Or, for that matter, never committed any crime at all?

    I don't suppose anyone tracks that kind of information.
  • Re:What a shame... (Score:4, Informative)

    by GypC ( 7592 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @12:33AM (#7375484) Homepage Journal

    Historically you may have earned the right to carry a gun, but if you feel this has made the US a safer place to live and have children, you might find it interesting to learn that in the US more children are killed by gunfire than in any other western country. In fact, the amount of people killed by gunfire (%) compares favorably to a country in war.

    That's pure propaganda. Here are some facts from Guy Smith

    Myth: 13 children are killed each day by guns

    Fact: Adults included - This "statistic" includes "children" up to age 19 or 24, depending on the source. Since most violent crime is committed by males ages 16-24, these numbers include adult gang members dying during criminal activity (71) (incidentally, 'child' is defined by Webster as a person between birth and puberty, typically 13-14 years).

    Fact: Criminals are included - 70% of these deaths are adults, age 17-20, involved in gang warfare. Half of the juveniles killed are involved in gang activity at the time of their deaths, often involved in drug related firefights.

    Fact: Suicides and criminals included - These numbers include criminal activities and suicides.(72) As suicides make up more than 1/2 of all gun deaths, the number drops even further, to about 1.3 children a day. (73)

    When you do all the subtraction, the result is less than one child per day

    Fact: The federal government lists the total firearm related deaths for children were 612, or 1.7 per day, in 1998. 154 were suicides (74)

    Fact: Over 13 teenagers die every day in automobiles, seven behind the wheel. (75)

    Fact: Four children die each day in the U.S. from parental neglect and abuse. (76)

    Fact: For contrast: 1,917 children die each day from malaria (77) and 15 men, women, and children per day are murdered by a convicted felon in government supervised parole/probation programs. (78)

    71 FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, 1997
    72 National Center for Health Statistics, "Rates of Homicide, Suicide, and Firearm-Related Death Among Children -- 26 Industrialized Countries", 1997
    73 Validated using Center for Disease Control, National Vital Statistics Report - Deaths: Final Data for 1998, July 24, 2000, table 8, page 26
    74 CDC WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports, 1981-1998
    75 U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 2001
    76 National Center on Child Abuse Prevention, 1998 Annual Survey
    77 Fact Sheet No 178, U.N. World Health Organization, 1998
    78 1998 US Bureau of Justice Statistics

    A note about suicides, countries make handguns illegal experience no change in suicide rates... people simply find other ways to kill themselves.

    I've lived in the USA all of my life and been all over the country. I've never witnessed a shooting, intentional or accidental. I've never known anyone who was killed by a gun. I do have a single aquaintance that was shot in the face with a .22 revolver during a car-jacking, years before I met him, but he was lucky and barely even has a scar.

    Here are some more facts.

    Myth: Accidental gun fatalities are a serious problem

    Fact: Firearm misuse causes only a small number of accidental deaths in the U.S. (122) For example, compared to accidental death from firearms, you are:

    • Twice as likely to suffocate on a swallowed object
    • Seven times more likely to be poisoned
    • 10 times more likely to die falling
    • And 31 times more likely to die in an automobile accident

    Fact: In 1996, there were only 21 accidental gun deaths for children under age 15. About twice as many children under the age of ten die from drowning in bathtubs. (123)

    Fact: In 1993, there were 1,334 drownings and 528 firearm-related accidental deaths from ages 0-19. Firearms outnumber pools by a factor of over 30:1. Thus, the risk of drowning in a pool is nearly 100 times higher than from a firearm-related accident for everyone, and

  • Re:That's great (Score:3, Informative)

    by Quill_28 ( 553921 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @01:51AM (#7375756) Journal
    Calling a child "virii" pretty explains everything thing I need to know about you.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.