- AU - EFA submission re IIA Cybercrime Code +/-
(EFA) This is a submission in response to the draft Cybercrime Code of Practice issued for public consultation by the Internet Industry Association of Australia ('IIA') on 21 July 2003. The Code fails to acknowledge the fundamental human right to privacy as a principle underlying the Code. The provisions of the Code are not, as claimed, "within the spirit and letter of relevant privacy legislation" nor the IIA draft Privacy Code. The Code seeks to establish a de facto extension of the interception of telecommunications regime currently governed by the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979.
- How to fight online child porn +/-
(BBC) We need to think carefully before we overreact to reports of online child abuse, argues technology analyst Bill Thompson.
- UK - Child porn cases may face collapse +/-
(Leeds Today) As part of Operation Ore, dozens of people have been either jailed or fined and put on the sex offenders' register after they admitted paying for and downloading child porn from the Internet. But now calls have made for the cases to be reviewed following the collapse of the case against Soham detective Brian Stevens, who was accused of possessing and distributing child porn. The case collapsed because of flawed evidence from one of the star witnesses, Brian Underhill. The traffic police officer turned computer crime expert has been involved in more than 600 of the 1,600 prosecutions brought by UK police as part of Operation Ore. In total his firm, Celt Limited, has dealt with 1,022 cases.
- UK - Crime gangs 'contribute to internet child porn surge' +/-
(Guardian) Crime gangs are contributing to a surge in internet child porn, according to the National Criminal Intelligence Service's (NCIS) annual assessment of serious and organised crime. The study says the number of websites showing child porn - often featuring images of what is believed to be actual abuse - rose by 64% last year. The NCIS report says most child sex offenders act alone or in secretive networks that distribute images freely. But the potential profits to be made from selling images of child abuse online have also attracted 'serious and organised criminals'. This has enabled a 'rapid growth in the publication of computer-based images of child abuse and their global distribution'. As a result, computer-based images of child abuse have now largely replaced printed material. see Sex offences against children, including online abuse (NCIS).
- UK - Paedophile unit under review +/-
(BBC) Scotland Yard is putting a limit on the amount of time officers spend in its specialist paedophile unit amid fears over their mental health. Nine detectives from the unit are being transferred to other departments. The unit tracks down Britain's worst child sex offenders and their work involves looking at images of children being tortured, humiliated and sexually abused. Concerns have been raised about the welfare of officers who have to carry out these tasks routinely. In future, service will be limited to three years. However the move has come under attack from critics who say it will leave the unit lacking the experienced staff it desperately needs.
- EU - Software patent protest to block Web sites +/-
(ZDNet UK) More than 600 Web sites are to take part in an online protest against a proposed European law on software patents, timed to coincide with a real-life protest in Brussels on August 27. Those rallying against the proposal - including some of Europe's most prominent scientists and software businesses - believe its current draft would open the door to the patenting of software and business processes, effectively shutting out software competition from small and medium-sized developers.
- EU - Le Parlement européen reporte le vote sur le brevet logiciel +/-
(transfert.net) Les présidents des groupes politiques au Parlement européen ont décidé de reporter le vote du projet de directive sur la brevetabilité des logiciels. Programmé pour la séance plénière qui démarre le 1er septembre, l'examen du texte porté par la députée travailliste Arlene McCarthy n'aura donc pas lieu avant le 22 septembre. Déchirés en leur sein entre partisans et adversaires du brevet logiciel, plusieurs groupes politiques veulent mettre à profit ce report pour tenter de dégager des positions claires sur la question.
- US - RIAA Discloses Some Methods of Tracking +/-
(AP) The recording industry is providing its most detailed glimpse into some of the detective-style techniques it has employed as part of its secretive campaign against online music swappers.
- US - RIAA turns up heat on subpoena fighter +/-
(CNET News.com) The Recording Industry Association of America leveled a full legal barrage at "Jane Doe", the sole Kazaa user fighting its attempts to identify file swappers, saying she was indisputably a major copyright infringer. 'It is now clear that her objections have been either previously rejected by this court or are totally irrelevant to a subpoena enforcement proceeding,' the RIAA wrote in its brief. She 'will be able to raise whatever arguments she wants in the copyright infringement action that is sure to follow.'
- US - Ruling against DVD-copy code +/-
(CNet News.com) The California Supreme Court has ruled that a Web publisher could be barred from posting DVD-copying code online without infringing on his free speech rights. The state's high court overturned an earlier decision that said blocking Web publishers from posting the controversial piece of software called DeCSS, which can be used to help decrypt and copy DVDs, would violate their First Amendment rights. see also California Supreme Court Upholds Free Speech in DVD Case (EFF). DVD Copy Control Association, Inc. v. Andrew Bunner.
- US - To Fight Music Piracy, Industry Goes to Schools +/-
(Washington Post) Frustrated record executives who have watched industry profits tumble about 10 percent annually for the past few years, a decrease they blame on digital piracy rampant on college campuses. Accordingly, the recording industry has decided to put more pressure to curb illegal file-sharing on college administrators, many of whom have traditionally resisted industry pleas to monitor or restrict student Internet use.
- Big Brother Awards International +/-
(Eponymous) Government agencies and private companies are increasingly violating the privacy of people everywhere. Enormous amounts of personal data are being collected, stored and processed - often illegally - in the pursuit of more efficient marketing, greater social control, and more powerful mechanisms for monitoring of the citizen. Every year Privacy International and a growing number of affiliate human rights groups present the Big Brother Awards to government agencies, private companies and individuals who have excelled in the violation of our privacy.
- DE - Anonymisier-Dienst JAP ist wieder anonym +/-
(Heise) Das Landgericht Frankfurt am Main ordnete an, die Vollziehung des richterlichen Beschlusses gegen die AN.ON-Projektpartner auszusetzen. Sowohl das Unabhängige Landesdatenschutzzentrum (ULD) in Kiel als auch die TU Dresden schalteten nach dem Entscheid des Gerichts sofort die Protokollierungsfunktion wieder ab. Die Projektverantwortlichen sehen die Entscheidung als einen 'ersten Teilerfolg' in ihrer juristischen Auseinandersetzung mit dem Bundeskriminalamt (BKA). Auf Antrag des BKA hatte das Amtsgericht Frankfurt verfügt, dass der Anonymisierungsdienst AN.ON den Zugriff auf eine bestimmte IP-Nummer protokollieren musste.
- DE - Datenschutz-Gütesiegel für Computer-Programme +/-
(Heise) Das schleswig-holsteinische Datenschutzzentrum will besonders gute Computer-Programme verstärkt mit einem Gütesiegel auszeichnen.
- IT - Regulator stamps guidelines on photo messaging +/-
(ITU) The Italian data-protection authority has introduced a set of guidelines governing how MMS services and camera phones can be used. The guidelines have been issued to ensure that camera phones do not infringe individuals' rights to privacy. The regulations state that it is prohibited to disseminate a photo captured on a phone to a wide audience - for example, by uploading it to a web site - without the prior permission of the person in the photo. The ruling would nip in the bud the nascent market for moblogging - posting photos directly from a handset to a web site.
- US - Verizon wins fight over use of data: Court blocks privacy rules +/-
(Seattle Times) In a case that pits privacy against free speech, a Seattle federal judge has permanently blocked state regulators from enforcing rules intended to safeguard call-detail information for more than 700,000 Verizon customers in Washington. In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein agreed there is a substantial state interest 'in protecting against the unconsented use' of sensitive 'call-detail' information, which includes when, where and to whom a call is placed, and how long calls last.
- US - New ruling protects ISPs, Web operators +/-
(CNET News.com) Internet service providers and Web site operators are breathing a collective sigh of relief following a court decision that preserves a key aspect of their immunity under the Communications Decency Act. The ruling Carafano v. Metrosplash by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, overturns a decision by the U.S. District Court. That ruling alarmed ISPs and Web site operators, because it delineated the first significant exceptions to the Communications Decency Act (CDA), which absolves those businesses from responsibility for their customers' actions. Section 230 of the CDA carved out significant immunity for 'interactive computer services' for the behavior of their customers. But the district court ruled that dating site Matchmaker could be held liable for information a user posted because of the interactive nature of the questionnaire that generated the posting. The court of appeals disagreed. 'So long as a third party willingly provides the essential published content, the interactive computer service receives full immunity regardless of the specific editing or selection process,' the decision read. At issue was a fabricated Matchmaker profile of an actress Christianne Carafano. The posting mixed accurate information, including Carafano's name and address, with alleged falsehoods.
- US - RIAA, studios gain P2P legal aid +/-
(CNET News.com) Hollywood studios and record labels are getting allies in their quest to overturn a court ruling that said file-swapping software companies aren't responsible for the copyright infringement of their users. Several groups, including a list of legal scholars, international copyright organizations, legal music services and other copyright holder groups filed 'friend of the court' briefs, asking that an April ruling upholding the legality of file-swapping services such as Grokster and StreamCast's Morpheus be overturned.
- Web quandary for regulators +/-
(Toronto Star) by Michael Geist. The issue of Internet regulation has long been tied to the question of Internet service-provider liability. ISPs were quickly identified as a 'choke point' that could be used to regulate Internet activity. Regulators have been busy searching for alternative choke points that can be used to regulate online activity. For example, financial institutions - the payment intermediary in most online gambling transactions - have been identified as a potential choke point and some have agreed to stop accrediting online gambling merchant accounts. Similarly, Google is regularly asked to remove links to controversial content. The true scope of intermediaries in the Internet context is only now being realized. In a global, interconnected network, the question is no longer who is an intermediary, but rather who isn't.
- Why people write computer viruses +/-
(BBC) Millions of inboxes and networks have been brought to their knees by a triple whammy of computer viruses. So who are the people behind these creations that can wreak havoc on the net? The kind of person who creates such disruption differs in age, income, location, social/peer interaction, educational level, likes, dislikes and communication style, according to Sarah Gordon, renowned expert in computer viruses and security technology.
- ISPs Add Filters to Anti-Virus Arsenal +/-
(Washington Post) In an attempt to minimize the damage caused by computer viruses, some of the world's largest Internet service providers are planning to scan all e-mail attachments before they reach their customers' inboxes. Comprehensive scanning could cost ISPs millions of dollars, but after repeated e-mail attacks capped by the latest version of the "Sobig" virus, customers are beginning to expect it, industry experts said.
- US - FBI arrests MSBlast worm suspect +/-
(CNET News.com) Federal law enforcement officials have arrested a suspect in the MSBlast worm attack that compromised hundreds of thousands of computers earlier this month. 18-year-old Jeffrey Lee Parson of Minneapolis was arrested and charged with one count of intentionally damaging a protected computer. Parson allegedly created MSBlast.B, a variation that differed from the original worm mainly in that two files had been renamed--one with Parson's screen name, 'teekid'--and a couple of profane messages aimed at Microsoft and Bill Gates had been added. The B variant achieved only modest distribution in comparison to the original worm and the recent D variant.
- AOL launches blogging service +/-
(CNET News.com) America Online has launched a new feature called AOL Journals in an effort to piggyback on the grassroots popularity of Web logs, or 'blogs.' The service lets people publish their own daily musings and complement their text with photos and picture albums. Users can also arrange their journals by topics, such as sports, relationships or books. AOL will offer the new feature as part of its proprietary online service, but users will be able to update their blogs through the AOL Web site, AOL Instant Messenger and their cell phones.
- Japan leads mobile game craze +/-
(BBC) Game makers have been offered a glimpse of the latest in games for mobile phones, with insights into the sort of things keeping Japanese thumbs busy. They include virtual pets which are fed by photos, pronunciation puzzles and games that are the quality of PlayStation One titles.
- Mobile gaming 'set to explode' +/-
(BBC) People are going to spend millions of pounds to play games on their mobiles by next year, say experts. Mobile gaming is seen by many as the next big thing, as phones become more powerful and come with colour screens.
- UK - BBC archive to be opened on Internet +/-
(BBC) Greg Dyke, director general of the BBC, has announced plans to give the public full access to all the corporation's programme archives. Mr Dyke said that everyone would in future be able to download BBC radio and TV programmes from the internet. The service, the BBC Creative Archive, would be free and available to everyone, as long as they were not intending to use the material for commercial purposes, Mr Dyke added.
- UK - Text messages play games with TV +/-
(BBC) Your TV and mobile are coming closer together, with game shows played by text message set to grow, say experts. Voting via SMS is already immensely popular in programmes such as Pop Idol, Fame Academy and Big Brother. But soon you could be shooting, kicking or punching other people on screen over a mobile handset.