Venezuela makes online speech a minefield. Since the time of the Romans, the transition from republic to one-man rule has always been eased with the co-option of laws.
On December 20, the Hugo Chávez-controlled Venezuelan congress passed, and he signed, a law that devolves all power over online content to the executive. The congress coming in soon is much less agreeable to Chávez, hence the speed at which this was hurried through.
Mozambique requires mobile phone users to register SIM cards. In the wake of protests over elections in September (organized by text messages), the government issued a "Ministerial decree" that required everyone to register their mobile phones within a month. Only a small percentage of users have done so, so the deadline has been extended to January 7.
UK culture minister to ask for power to block porno. Like every spasm of filtering, this too is justified in the immortal words of Reverend Lovejoy's wife Helen, "Won't someone please think about the children?!" As long as they don't think about Orwell.
Over 50% of apps steal user info. A Wall Street Journal investigation of "101 popular smartphone apps...showed that 56 transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone's location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders."
If the spirit of Christ is real in any palpable way, and I don't imagine that it is, it's in the souls and the blood of the thousands of people trying to keep faith in some hellish pit somewhere, confined for speaking up, speaking out or mouthing off. Try to find a shred of fellow feeling for them some time between your celebrations and your eructations. Or whatever. Shut up.
Merry Christmas to all my monsters.