The Loneliest Jukebox

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Nothing like a Dane

Generally, the international coverage of happy slapping starts something like this:

Another cell phone annoyance
"Happy slapping" sounds so innocent, but it is really sick. Now happening in Europe, this "fad" involves deliberate, unprovoked attacks on innocent people that are captured by confederates with cell phone cameras and shipped around to other phones or on the Internet for other sickies to see.
Some of the victims have been seriously hurt, including a teacher in France who was hit with a chair in front of his class.
As people continue to abuse cell-phone technology, look for more phone-free zones and places where, like the six-guns of old, you have to check them at the door.

[From Detroit Free Press, May 6, 2006.]

Knee-jerk reaction becomes industry standard. But not so in Denmark. When the story broke in Comon, I was pleased to be contacted by campaigners who wanted to stop a moral panic kicking off on their turf. After just three recorded attacks in Denmark, Danish politicians have proposed a compulsory systems of watermarking phone imagery (pictures and videos) so it could be traced back to the phone's owner. This has serious civil liberties implications and would waste resources while an unnecessary technical solution is found.

Fortunately a campaign against the proposals is also gestating. Good to see someone getting a frontlash in before the backlash begins.


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