- AU - Australia makes child porn sweep +/-
(BBC) More than 150 people have been charged with child pornography offences in the biggest crackdown in Australia. Mike Phelan, head of the Australian High Tech Crime Centre, said hundreds more will eventually face charges. Teachers, police officers, a child care centre owner and employees of former and present members of state parliament were among them.
- AU - Four suicides in child porn case +/-
(BBC) The Australian authorities say four men investigated during the country's biggest police operation against child pornography have committed suicide. One of them was a police officer who had been charged with possessing child abuse computer games. Operation Auxin has seen more than 200 arrests in raids on more than 400 premises. It follows an investigation in the US that uncovered international paedophile networks trading images online.
- CA - Centre now coordinating child porn cases +/-
(CTV.ca) In an effort to battle child porn in Canada, the National Child Exploitation Co-ordination Centre has been created by the RCMP to handle the tips, coordinate files, and try and identify some of the victims. See Factsheet.
- ES - El nuevo Código Penal crea incertidumbre en la Red +/-
(Delitos informáticos) El nuevo código penal, que entra en vigor el uno de octubre, está generando interpretaciones alarmistas en Internet. Se ha dicho que prohíbe la copia privada o que intercambiar canciones en redes P2P será ahora causa de prisión, todo ello inexactitudes provocadas por la imprecisión del texto, según abogados consultados por Ciberpaís. Entre las novedades, destaca el aumento de penas de prisión, el castigo no sólo del delito sinó también de la creación, puesta en circulación y tenencia de herramientas para llevarlo a cabo y una especial atención a la propiedad intelectual, ampliando la protección de que gozan los programas de ordenador a libros, música y vídeos. Además, en estos casos, la policía actuará sin denuncia previa.
- ES - La posesión de pornografía infantil se convierte en delito +/-
(Delitos informáticos) La Ley Orgánica del 25 de noviembre de 2003 introdujo algunas modificaciones al Código Penal con respecto a los delitos de explotación sexual comercial de menores. Por primera vez en España, se contempla el delito de posesión de material pornográfico penalizando con hasta un año de prisión a quien posee material pornográfico en cuya elaboración haya sido utilizado a un menor de 18 años (fotografías, videos, imágenes reales digitalizadas, archivos electrónicos, etc). Se introduce el delito de producción, venta y difusión de pseudo-pornografía, es decir del material pornográfico donde no se haya utilizado directamente a un menor pero que emplee su imagen o voz alterada o modificada. Finalmente, se endurecen las penas hasta cuatro años de prisión para la producción, venta o difusión de pornografía (real) en cuya elaboración haya sido utilizado a un menor de 18 años, y hasta ocho años de prisión si el menor tiene menos de 13 años. Sin embargo, la reforma no penaliza la posesión de pseudo pornografía, no considera la pornografía virtual ni tan siquiera los delitos de apología de la pornografía y la prostitución infantil.
- NL - Dutch police in massive crackdown on child porn +/-
(Epatica) Police raided 173 addresses and arrested two people in a large-scale operation against the spread of child pornography in the Netherlands. Police also seized 280 computers and thousands of CDs, videotapes, DVDs and discs during the nationwide raids. Officers had raided 33 addresses in recent weeks.
- UK - Banks sound alarm on online fraud +/-
(BBC) The banking industry has warned customers with online accounts to guard against a new wave of cyber fraud. Industry body Apacs said some 2,000 British online account holders had been taken in by scams in the past year, losing £4.5m between them. Many were duped into revealing their account passwords by phoney e-mails purporting to come from their bank. Others had their computers infected with programmes which allow fraudsters to record their log-in details. Apacs is launching a website, banksafeonline.org.uk, which tells online account holders how to protect themselves.
- UK - How do child porn laws affect UK businesses? +/-
(out-law.com) Eighty-seven percent of IT professionals are not aware of recent changes to the law that controls the viewing of child pornography on the internet, according to research published by the Internet Watch Foundation.
- US - 'Phishing' scams net $500 million +/-
(CNET News.com) The online cons known as 'phishing' have cost U.S. consumers $500 million, according to a study sponsored by Truste, a nonprofit privacy group, and NACHA, an electronic payments association. In addition, the study found that three-quarters of wired Americans have noticed an increase in phishing incidents during the past few months, with one-third saying they've receiving e-mails sent under fraudulent pretenses at least once a week. Phishing scams use e-mails that appears to come from trusted companies to lure people to bogus Web sites, where they're asked to divulge sensitive personal information, such as credit card data. Attacks frequently target bank customers, but recent scams have sought out users of Gmail and Amazon.com.
- US / CA - Microsoft and Amazon join forces against scammers +/-
(vnunet.com) Amazon and Microsoft have joined forces to launch a legal crackdown on alleged phishers and spammers. The companies have filed a joint federal lawsuit against a Canadian company, Gold Disk Canada, located in Kitchener, Ontario. The companies claim that Gold Disk Canada has been sending millions of deceptive email messages, including ones falsely purporting to have come from Amazon.com, Hotmail.com and other legitimate domains.
- ZA - Tough new measures to fight child porn +/-
(IOL) In South Africa, large corporate companies could be prosecuted if any of their staff were caught with child pornography in their emails or attachment folders thought to have been deleted. The Film and Publications Act, which will soon be amended, will see perpetrators face up to 30 years in prison. The amendments are: - That the maximum jail term for producing, distributing and possessing child pornography has been raised from five to 30 years; - That Internet service providers will face criminal prosecution if they fail to block access to child porn sites after members of the public or the police have informed them of their existence; and - That people who repair computers will be held criminally liable if they do not report clients whose computer hard drives contain child porn. The same applies to photography on films sent in for developing and printing.
- DE - Bundesregierung stellt Eckpunkte des neuen Urheberrechts vor +/-
(Heise) Justizministerin Brigitte Zypries will mit dem so genannten Zweiten Korb der Urheberrechtsrechtsreform vor allem einen Ausweg aus den ewigen Streitereien um Vergütungsabgaben weisen. Hersteller von Geräten, die prinzipiell auch zur Vervielfältigung genutzt werden können, zanken sich gegenwärtig heftig mit den Verwertungsgesellschaften über die Höhe der Urheberrechtspauschalen. Vor allem geht es um die Vergütungen für Drucker, über die sich die Parteien seit sieben Jahren in den Haaren liegen. Aber auch der PC als potenzielles "Kopiergerät" ist ins Blickfeld der Verwertungsgesellschaften geraten. Hier soll im Urheberrecht künftig ein neues Verfahren greifen. Zum einen wird nach den Plänen des Justizministeriums die Vorgabe lauten: "Ein Gerät wird belastet, wenn es tatsächlich im nennenswerten Umfang zur Vervielfältigung genutzt wird". Da diese Formulierung aber nur einen sehr dehnbaren Rahmen festlegt, sollen Gerätehersteller und die Vertreter der Urheber konkrete Regelungen in einem Schlichtungsverfahren finden.
- FR - Private copying - It's not a right, silly! +/-
(Indicare) by Natali Helberger, IViR, University of Amsterdam, NL. The private copying exception in practice. Not all consumers are willing to accept DRMs. This article tells the story of two consumers who were not, and who went before the courts to claim what they thought was their good right - the "right to private copying". It tells the story of their cruel awakening, and why it had to come like this.
- UK - Lessig launches Creative Commons +/-
(The Register) Larry Lessig, Professor of Law at Stanford University and all-round intellectual property guru, was in London to announce the launch of the UK version of the Creative Commons licence. see also UK - A sharing approach to copyright (BBC). A new way to copyright artistic content has been launched in the UK. The man behind the Creative Commons idea, Lawrence Lessig, Stanford University law professor, explains how it works.
- US - Blizzard wins online game suit +/-
(CNET News.com) Game publisher Blizzard Entertainment, a division of media conglomerate Vivendi Universal, has won a closely watched intellectual property case, with a federal judge ruling the company could block unauthorized servers from running online competitions based on its games. The case revolved around BnetD, free software created by Internet service provider Internet Gateway that allows users to host online matches of popular Blizzard games. The tool is meant to bypass Blizzard.net, the company's online gaming service.
- US - Feds plan crackdown on intellectual property theft +/-
(AP) The Justice Department will launch its most aggressive crackdown on intellectual property theft, Attorney General John Ashcroft said. Ashcroft told a conference of prosecutors who specialize in computer crime that the Justice Department response to intellectual property theft "must be as forceful and aggressive and successful as our response to terrorism and violent crime and drugs and corruption has been".
- US - File-sharing debaters swap harsh words +/-
(CNET News.com) by Stefanie Olsen. At Digital Hollywood, the debate over peer-to-peer technology raged - literally. Executives from P2P software companies, along with audience members from a panel at the Digital Hollywood conference, openly argued - Jerry Springer-style - about whether sharing and downloading copyrighted film and music files over distributed file networks is legal. Panel members from companies including P2P technology makers Altnet and Morpheus, software giant Microsoft and copyright-protector Overpeer even fired off insults at one another during more heated moments.
- US - Hollywood Files P2P Appeal +/-
(Wired) Major movie studios and record labels asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Grokster decision, which had absolved peer-to-peer networks of responsibility when their users download copyright material without permission. The petitioners have long wanted to shut down services such as Grokster and Morpheus because they enable consumers to download copyright files. But in August, a federal appeals court upheld an April 2003 U.S. District Court decision that these services should not be held liable for the illegal behavior of their users.
- US - Legislative Developments Targeting Pop-Up Ads & P2P +/-
(FindLaw) by Jason Allen Cody. This Article expands on legislative developments targeting pop-up ads and p2p. Rather than comment on the possible effects of each piece of legislation, this Article simply identifies and describes such bills in their current state.
- US - Senate talks fail on file-sharing software +/-
(AP) Entertainment groups and consumer organizations were unable to reach a compromise over a Senate proposal aimed at manufacturers of file-sharing software commonly used to steal electronic copies of music, movies and computer programs. The Induce Act, strongly supported by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, would make manufacturers of such software liable for inducing people to commit copyright infringement. Consumer groups and some computer companies have complained that the bill's language is too broad and could apply liability to legitimate technology.
- WIPO - Call to relax protection for copyright, patents and trademarks +/-
(AP) Five hundred scientists, economists, legal experts and consumer activists say the United Nations should relax protection for owners of copyright, patents and trademarks and pay more attention to the interests and needs of developing countries. Accordingly, they're backing a proposal by a group of developing countries to the UN body that oversees intellectual property, the World Intellectual Property Organization. See Geneva Declaration on the Future of the World Intellectual Property Organization.
- WIPO conference report +/-
(EDRI) by Ben Wallis (TACD). How does the work of WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, affect the daily lives of the world's six billion plus consumers? Is WIPO's mission and work inherently exclusive, benefiting only the richer countries and consumers and harming the poor? Does WIPO need a new mission to embrace new information technologies and to benefit poor countries and consumers? These were some of the questions asked at an international workshop organised by the TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) in Geneva on 13-14 September 2004.
- EU - Public consultation on spam +/-
(Europa) DG Information Society and the Dutch presidency have launched a public consultation, in the form of a questionnaire, to assess progress on combating 'spam' following the Communication on this issue of January 2004 that identified relevant action for all interested parties. The Commission intends to assess the effectiveness of the actions taken to date and to determine by end 2004 if additional or corrective action is needed. The Commission services also plan to hold an open workshop on this subject, provisionally scheduled for 15 November 2004, to discuss the contributions received and the possible way forward. Interested parties are invited to submit their replies by 20 October.
- FR - Projet d'étude sur le courrier électronique et le « spam » +/-
(DDM) Dans le cadre du groupe de contact des acteurs de la lutte contre le "spam" mis en place par le gouvernement, la Direction du développement des médias, service du Premier ministre, lance un appel à propositions pour la réalisation d'une étude sur le courrier électronique et le "spam". Cette étude vise à mieux comprendre le « spam », phénomène qui affecte le fonctionnement du courrier électronique par l¹expédition de messages que leurs destinataires n¹ont généralement pas sollicités et qu¹ils ne souhaitent plus recevoir. Cahier des charges. Les propositions doivent être envoyées à la DDM avant le 20 octobre 2004.
- Net giants adopt anti-spam system +/-
(BBC) From October, AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, Earthlink and Comcast want those that send lots of messages to their users to comply with new mail standards. These technical specifications will help reveal whether a message came from the net address it claims to. This will help identify hi-tech con artists posing as banks and net domains known to pump out junk mail messages. The five big firms want every organisation that sends out lots of e-mail, including spammers, to comply with technical standards known as the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Sender-ID.
- OECD Launches Anti-Spam Toolkit and Invites Public Contributions +/-
(OECD) The OECD has launched an Anti-Spam Toolkit as the first step in a broader initiative to help policy makers, regulators and industry restore trust in the Internet and e-mail. The aims and components of the Toolkit were outlined at the second OECD Workshop on Spam in Busan, Korea, on 8-9 September 2004. The OECD Spam Task Force, which includes participants from all 30 OECD countries, the European Commission, the Business and Advisory Committee to the OECD and civil society, will lead the development of the toolkit. We welcome contributions from all stakeholders in business and industry, policy makers, governments and civil society, including non-member countries. Public contributions to the OECD anti-spam Toolkit may be sent to email@example.com. See OECD work on spam.
- Spam - Catastrophic loss for unencumbered standards +/-
(ZDNet) MARID, the most promising of current attempts to create an e-mail authentication standard for combating spam, is dead. Citing irreconcilable differences among its participants, the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF) MTA Authorization Records in DNS working group, otherwise known as MARID, has been shut down. The group was exploring options for establishing an Internet standard for how e-mail senders can be authenticated by the systems through which their e-mail passes. Sender authentication, because of the way it can improve the reliability of filtering mechanisms while also making it easier to track down hackers and spammers, is widely acknowledged as the first of many technical steps that must be taken in order to defeat unwanted e-mail, including spam, e-mail borne virii, and phishing attempts. MARID's work had been hampered by technical disagreements among, and the competing interests of, the most influential members of the Internet's e-mail ecosystem. There were also concerns regarding Microsoft's application for a patent that covered the techniques being considered by the group.
- URL-Based E-Mail Blocking On The Rise +/-
(ClickZ News) Many ISPs delete e-mails containing URLs on their blacklists without bothering to notify the sender, according to a recent e-mail deliverability study undertaken and released by Pivotal Veracity. The biggest finding: A number of the largest ISPs, including AOL, Optimum Online, Hotmail and MSN, deleted outright messages that included blacklisted URLs. Numerous other ISPs routed them to bulk e-mail folders, an only slightly better fate. Companies doing this include AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Earthlink and Yahoo. The short list of ISPs that universally allowed these messages through to the inbox includes Compuserve, Excite, Road Runner and Verizon.
- US - Microsoft sues Web hoster over spam +/-
(Reuters) Microsoft has filed nine new lawsuits against those it says are responsible for spam, including a Web-hosting company that caters to people who send unsolicited e-mail. With the latest batch of lawsuits, Microsoft is involved in more than 100 legal cases against spammers. Those cases include more than 70 lawsuits filed in the United States. The lawsuit was filed in Washington state's King County Superior Court against Web-hosting company National Online Sales and its owner, Levon Gillespie, for offering services advertised as 'bulletproof' for those seeking to send marketing e-mail. The Web-hosting company, which offers space on computers for serving Web pages and sending e-mail, based its operations in China so the sites would not be shut down.
- US - Spam Continues to Plague Industry and Users +/-
(CDT) As of June 2004, approximately 60% of all email was spam. Measures such as the federal CAN-SPAM Act, which took effect in January 2004, have had limited impact. Certainly, nothing has yet turned the tide. If anything, spam appears to have become more invasive: spammers distribute viruses, spyware, and surreptitious spamware. 'Phishing' capitalizes on spam to perpetrate fraud against online consumers. In July 2004, CDT convened a meeting of industry, consumer advocates, human rights campaigners, and technologists to discuss the status of anti-spam efforts. See report.
- NL - 7 of 10 NL providers remove public domain text +/-
(Bits of Freedom) 7 out of 10 internet providers in the Netherlands remove a text by the famous Dutch author Multatuli (who died in 1887), without even looking at the webpage, or verifying the identity of the plaintiff. These are the results of an experiment conducted this summer by the Dutch EDRI-member Bits of Freedom about complaint procedures at ISPs. The Multatuli Project ISP Notice & take down by Sjoera Nas.
- DE - German fined for publishing neo-Nazi web links +/-
(Register) by Monika Ermert. Linking to neo-Nazi websites in Germany can cost you dear. The founder of a German online protest forum - against web censorship was sentenced by the district court in Stuttgart today for linking to two neo-Nazi sites and a bad-taste website hosted in the US. Alvar Freude is not an advocate of neo-Nazi content but thinks of himself as a fighter for a free internet and freedom of information. But links to the websites of neo-Nazis Gary Lauck and Dan Block and the legendarily nasty rotten.com landed him with a fine of 300.
- DE - Prozess gegen Netzaktivisten wegen Hyperlinks +/-
(Heise) In Stuttgart beginnt am 7. Oktober der Prozess gegen den Netzkünstler und Online-Aktivisten Alvar Freude. Die Staatsanwaltschaft wirft Freude vor, durch Hyperlinks in einer Dokumentation über die umstrittenen Sperrverfügungen der Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf sowie in der Zensur-Satire FreedomFone "vorsätzlich Beihilfe zur Verbreitung nationalsozialistischer Propagandamittel" geleistet zu haben.
- FR - LCEN et droit de réponse en ligne +/-
(Droit et Nouvelles Technologies) Un régime difficilement applicable ? par Thibault Verbiest. Lorsqu'une personne se plaignait d'avoir été désignée dans un écrit sur le web et souhaitait faire valoir son point de vue, fallait-il appliquer le régime du droit de réponse de la presse écrite (la loi du 29 juillet 1881), ou celui, très différent, de la presse audiovisuelle (loi du 29 juillet 1982) ? Le législateur a décidé d'instaurer un droit de réponse spécifique dans la récente loi pour la confiance dans l'économie numérique (LCEN).
- UK - New rules cut porn risks +/-
(IT Week) IT managers worried about the repercussions of discovering paedophile content on company systems have been advised by online watchdog the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) that they can report such material without fear of prosecution. Under current legislation, it is a criminal offence simply to possess an indecent image of a child, but malware is increasingly responsible for surreptitiously depositing offensive images on corporate systems. In a survey of 1,000 IT Week readers, the IWF found that 87 percent of IT professionals were unaware of the rules on inadvertent possession of child pornography. The IWF said the regulations have now been clarified and IT managers are allowed to identify and secure such images without suffering legal consequences. According to an imminent memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the police and the Crown Prosecution Service relating to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, IT managers can preserve suspect images on company systems, but only if they do so in order to provide access to a law enforcement agency or other relevant body.