Friday, September 15, 2006

Torture within the law

An interview with President Bush. Recommended viewing.

When "at risk" doesn't mean "at risk"

The good folks at ARCH are angry and disgusted at the government's latest activities and less than happy with the Today programme's shoddy reporting on the issue.

"Both within ARCH and elsewhere, several of us have done our best to get important messages across, but this morning took us backwards again. Hmm, maybe we should hire an aeroplane and smoke-write slogans across the skies:

* The Information Sharing Index has not been designed as a 'child protection' measure
* The information-sharing idea pre-dated the Laming report into Victoria Climbie's death
* 'At risk' no longer means 'at risk of significant harm from abuse or neglect'

It is this last point that is so crucial, and yet the programme chuntered on with all participants bandying the term around as if the definition hadn't been changed. The Children's Minister was neatly let off the hook of explaining just how the Index fits in with the other components of the 'Integrated Children's System'.

'At risk' now means at risk of not receiving services that arguably might prevent a child from:

* becoming a criminal
* failing at school
* becoming pregnant in her teens
* becoming 'socially excluded' "

Monday, September 11, 2006

Amazon movies restrictions

UNINNOVATE / Engineering At Its Finest is less than impressed with the restrictions on the new Amazon movie downloading service. Thanks to Glyn at ORG for the link.

WIPO broadcasting treaty

Posting has been light for some weeks and will continue to be for a while due to pressure of other things. Two things worthy of note though - the WIPO discussions about the broadcasting treaty are back in session and the Road to 9/11 drama allegedly based on the work of the 9/11 Commission. There is a fair bit of press and web discussion around the usual suspects on the treaty.

As for the dramatisation of the run up to 9/11, I sat through twenty minutes of it last night and couldn't take any more. I'm not sure what was worse in the section I saw - the pretence that they were dramatising the "official true story" or the unbearable flashiness of the visuals. I don't think any single densely packed scene stayed on screen for longer than two seconds at the outside. Michael Froomkin seems to think it might even contain the basis of a defamation case. Harvey Keitel, one of the stars of the drama, is also on record saying there were issues which he had conflicts with: "it turned out not all the facts were correct." In any case it was giving me a headache, so I switched it off.

Update: John's been looking at the true origins and the people behind the distorted dramatisation of 9/11.