Telecommunications and Internet companies are increasingly finding themselves in uncomfortable positions, caught between privacy laws that protect their consumers and law enforcement efforts that necessitate privacy invasion. As Internet and telecommunications services grow in popularity, law enforcement agencies have utilized them as a means to find information about individuals that would otherwise be difficult to obtain.

Big Brother may potentially be armed with yet another tool against the American populace, according to the New York Times: computers that can see and report on the behaviors of individuals. The computers may be used in prisons to analyze inmates' behavior and can alert corrections officers to potential incidents based on what the computer observes.

The United Nations and some of its most oppressive member states are clamoring for global regulation of the Internet, including possible censorship. Toward that end, the UN is working to set up an “intergovernmental task force” to figure out how to better control the web at the international level and how to “harmonize” policing of Internet content.

EcuRedEarlier this month, Communist alternatives to the websites Twitter and Wikipedia were launched by China and Cuba, respectively. Both regimes are known for their suppression of free-speech and regulation of the Internet.

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