- UK - Net blamed for rise in child porn +/-
(BBC) Child porn crimes have risen by 1,500% since 1988 and new internet mobile phones could make things even worse. The internet is largely to blame for the huge rise in child porn offences, according to Child Pornography, Child Abuse and the Internet, a report by NCH, formerly National Children's Homes. The charity says 549 child porn offenders were charged or cautioned in 2001, compared with only 35 in 1988. The charity fears new third generation 3G phones, with video streaming, will lead to even more offences because they are in some ways even more anonymous. Full text of report. see also Response to NCH Report (Internet Watch Foundation) and Web wrongly blamed for child-sex offence explosion (Silicon.com).
- American duty +/-
(Guardian) Britain's crackdown on internet paedophiles faces failure if the US, which provides more than half the images reported here, does not prosecute more abusers, writes John Carr.
- UK - Arresting abuse online +/-
(Guardian) The huge scale of internet paedophile activity and use of ever-changing technology mean we need to rethink the way we police it, says Rachel O'Connell.
- US - Feds Bust International Child Porn Ring +/-
(Associated Press) Federal officials have cracked an international child pornography ring with arrests in New Jersey, France, Spain and Belarus. The cases stem from an Internet processor of Web site subscriptions in Minsk, Belarus, which collected fees for memberships to child pornography Web sites that brought in millions of dollars, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. An executive with a Florida company has pleaded guilty in the case. About two dozen people in New Jersey and 20 others around the nation have been charged with downloading child pornography, including a doctor, a minister and a teacher.
- US - We Can Trap More Crooks With a Net Full of Honey +/-
(Washington Post) Operation Pin, a global law enforcement initiative launched by police in Britain, the United States and Australia uses fake sites and chat rooms to crack down on adults who seek to purchase child pornography online or to use the Internet to make inappropriate contact with the underaged. Announced with fanfare and explicitly designed to sow fear, doubt and uncertainty among buyers and sellers in that criminal marketplace, Operation Pin is intended to deter as well as entrap. The project's global presence denies child pornographers the ability to navigate the Net with confidence.
- IT - Court rules modification of Sony Playstations is legal +/-
(IPJustice) An Italian court has rejected the seizure of Sony Playstation game consoles that use modified chips to permit unauthorized uses of the game systems. The question before the Italian court was simple: Does the producer of a device or computer, such as the Sony Play Station Console, have the right to forbid or prevent consumers from making different uses of the device other than the particular use the manufacturer intends? According to this courtís decision under Italian civil law, the answer is no.
- Rights issue dogs CD protection +/-
(CNET News.com) A dispute over royalty rights on copy-protected CDs and other types of music discs is helping to stall the release of some new music technology, and could result in record labels owing tens of millions of dollars in back payments to music publishers. At issue are 'double session' CDs that include two versions of each song on a disc, formatted for playback on different kinds of devices. The most widely distributed type are copy-protected discs that prevent CD tracks from being copied to a hard drive, but that also include a digital version of the songs, often in Microsoft's Windows Media format, that can be transferred to a computer or portable digital music player. Music publishers and songwriters, who are entitled to payments of a few cents for every copy of a song sold, contend that since these double-format discs hold two copies of songs, they should be paid for both copies.
- UK song-swappers 'could be sued' +/-
(BBC) The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has warned it may sue people who swap songs on the internet illegally. The trade group's director general, Andrew Yeates, said it was hoping to encourage new, legitimate services.
- US - High court turns deaf ear to Aimster +/-
(CNET News.com) The U.S. Supreme Court won't hear an appeal of a lower court's order that pulled the plug on Aimster, a file-swapping service similar to Napster in design. The justices on Monday declined without explanation to hear the case, which would have been the first Internet music piracy dispute to reach the high court. In general, the Supreme Court accepts only a small percentage of appeals each year. Claiming copyright violations, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued Aimster in May 2001, around the same time that its litigation against Napster and Scour was getting under way.
- U.S. to Push Airlines for Passenger Records +/-
(Washington Post) Despite stiff resistance from airlines and privacy advocates, the U.S. government plans to push ahead this year with a vast computerized system to probe the backgrounds of all passengers boarding flights in the United States. The government will compel airlines and airline reservations companies to hand over all passenger records for scrutiny by U.S. officials, after failing to win cooperation in the program's testing phase. The order could be issued as soon as next month. Under the system, all travelers passing through a U.S. airport are to be scored with a number and a color that ranks their perceived threat to the aircraft.
- UK - Data act 'often unfairly blamed' +/-
(Guardian) Some organisations give data protection a bad press and use it as a 'smokescreen for their own shortcomings', the information commissioner said. Richard Thomas, who oversees the Data Protection Act, made a reference to Humberside police, who blamed the act for their failure to keep details of nine separate sex allegations against Ian Huntley. The Soham school caretaker went on to murder Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. see also Information Commissioner clarifies data protection law (out-law.com).
- UK - Passports facing a biometric future +/-
(BBC) As part of growing concerns about national and global security, immigration and asylum, as well as plain old identity theft, the official UK travel document will not just carry a photograph, it will also have a microchip in it. The chip will hold biometric data - unique physiological or behavioural characteristics - and will be mandatory in passports renewed from 2007/8. From mid-2005, this data will be in the form of a digitised photograph which will be matched with the passport's chip. The photo and the chip will have the digital signature of the UK Passport Service (UKPS), in an attempt to protect against possible fraud. One other biometric identifier, iris pattern or fingerprints, will also eventually be stored on the chip and trials are underway in the UK to decide which one is used.
- 2004-01-20 EU, Brussels - Mobile Communications: Health, Environment & Society +/-
(GSM Europe) Exchanges of Best Practice in EU Member States and Risk Communication towards its Citizens. The European Commission, GSM Europe/GSM Association and the Mobile Manufacturers Forum are pleased to invite you to a Conference on Mobile Communications: Health, Environment and Society to be held at the Centre A. Borchette in Brussels, on 20th and 21st January 2004. The first day of this major conference will explore the themes of the emerging scientific consensus on health issues, whether there is a need for precautionary measures, sensible governance, risk communication, the environmental consequences of mobile communications and emerging analysis of their social contribution. It will be followed by a second day conference organized by the European Commission on Best Practice Exchanges between Member States. Regulations and strategies to communicate risk to the public differ between Member States. Public authorities will set out their policies and operators will present their experience with voluntary agreements.
- 2004-02-02 BE, Brussels - OECD Workshop on Spam +/-
(OECD) Hosted by the European Commission, Information Society Directorate-General. The objective of this workshop is to explore the growing problem of spam, with a focus on the international dimension. Participants will: Identify common characteristics, sources and statistics of spam. Examine the variety of approaches to combat spam. Examine the degree to which these approaches have been successful. Consider next steps with a view to increasing international co-operation to address the issue. Date and Venue: 2-3 February 2004, Centre Albert Borschette (CCAB), European Commission, Rue Froissart 36, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium. Participants will be from government, business organisations, civil society and academia. Participation in this workshop is by invitation only. see Agenda.
- 2004-02-06 Safer Internet Day +/-
(SafeBorders) On 6 February 2004, the Safer Internet Day will take place across Europe. This celebration is being promoted by the SAFER INTERNET Awareness Campaign, an initiative by the SafeBorders project supported by the SAFT project, both funded under the EU Safer Internet Programme. The Safer Internet Day focuses on children's rights to a safer Internet. These include the availability of quality information for children and safe interaction, which requires more Internet safety training and improved co-ordination at all levels of society across the private, public and voluntary sectors. The Safer Internet Day will be celebrated simultaneously in 12 European countries (Denmark, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom) and in Australia with the involvement of Ministers of Education, the Internet industry and hundreds of multiplier organisations. New safer Internet programmes, videos and awards will be presented to the public.
- 2004-02-12 EU, Brussels eDemocracy seminar +/-
(Europa) Brussels, Belgium 12 & 13 February 2004. The eDemocracy Seminar will be organised by the European Commission (DG Information Society, eGovernment unit). The seminar is both a follow-up to the eGovernment Cernobbio Conference 2003 and to the eGovernment Communication (COM (2003) 567). The event will consist of plenary sessions and break-out sessions around eVoting and eParticipation. The seminar provides a platform in which to take stock of eDemocracy experiments and exchange opinions on the role of ICT for reinforcing participation in democratic decision-making. This is also an opportunity to highlight achievements and landmark national projects, as well as look forward to challenges and priorities for future eDemocracy research. Agenda.