- KH - UK partners with Cambodian government to tackle child exploitation via the web +/-
(PublicTechnology.net) The British and Cambodian governments are working in partnership with Microsoft to tackle child exploitation through the internet. A joint training programme has been launched in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. The training aims to increase the capability and awareness of the local law-enforcement and judicial agencies when dealing with crimes against children. NGOs involved with child rights issues in Cambodia will also participate. The training will be delivered by members of the UK's Serious Sexual Offences Unit (SSOU) who are part of the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) and from the Paedophile on-line Investigation team (POLIT) of the UK's National Crime Squad. IT security experts from Microsoft will deliver the technical component of the training. Legal professionals from the UK, US, Thailand and Indonesia will deliver the legal skills component of the training. see also Net pedophiles on rise in Cambodia (The Age).
- NL - Three men arrested in botnet probe +/-
(CNET News.com) Dutch police have arrested three individuals suspected of hacking into more than 100,000 computers worldwide and using the hijacked systems in online crimes. The three individuals, whose names were not disclosed, allegedly commandeered the computers using Trojans, Dutch prosecutors said.
- RU - Russia must step up fight against child pornography, prostitution +/-
(AP) Russia must take urgent measures to stem a rapid growth in child pornography on the Internet and child sex trafficking that makes the country a major supplier for the global pedophilia market, Russian and international experts warned. Russia's parliament toughened the law in December 2003 by making it a crime for someone to produce, store and distribute child pornography. Until then, the law did not distinguish between pornography that involved adults and minors. The Interior Ministry says around 50 criminal cases have since been launched, resulting in several convictions for distributing pornographic images of children. But a top Russian expert in the field, Yelena Mizulina, criticized what she termed the 'pathetically short jail terms' that threaten offenders.
- UK - Child porn ring run from net cafe +/-
(BBC) A Glasgow student has admitted running an international child porn ring from the Easyeverything Internet Cafe. Nicholas Dockray, 31, sent images of children being abused to paedophiles in the US, UK and Europe. He had been caught when the police in Croatia found repeated references to a person nicknamed Kinderpix who ran the site. Kinderpix was eventually identified as Dockray. Dockray, a second-year student studying history and philosophy, admitted distributing or showing indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children and taking or permitting indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children.
- UK - Computer hackers jailed +/-
(Press Association) Two British computer hackers were jailed for a total of nine months after their attempts to create their own secure internet chatroom prompted a global cyber crime investigation. In an attempt to make their chatroom more secure, Andrew Harvey and Jordan Bradley created a form of virus, known as a worm, which replicated itself and affected thousands of computers around the world.
- UK - First conviction under Computer Misuse Act +/-
(out-law) A man was convicted in London of hacking into a charity website, set up after the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, in breach of the Computer Misuse Act. It is the first conviction to result from the Act. Daniel James Cuthbert, a computer consultant formerly with ABN Amro bank, was given a £400 fine and ordered to pay £600 in costs at Horseferry Road Magistrates court.
- CN - China cracksdown on 'dirty' mobile messages +/-
(AFP) China has ordered telecom operators to clean up the content of spam short messages spread on their mobile phone networks as part of an ongoing fight against 'unhealthy' influences. he situation is serious,' the ministry of information industry said in a notice on its website. Messages containing text or pictures with pornographic or superstitious content such as fortune telling and sex chat are frequently sent to mobile phone users en masse.
- CN - La Chine censure trois sites internet critiques +/-
(AFP) Les autorités chinoises ont censuré trois sites internet critiques dans le cadre du renforcement par Pékin du contrôle des sites d'information sur fond d'agitation sociale, ont indiqué mardi des organisations de défense des droits de l'Homme. L'un des sites visés, le Forum de Yannan, très populaire parmi les intellectuels et les militants des droits de l'Homme, s'intéresse en particulier aux problèmes sociaux dans une Chine en plein boom économique. In China, a popular Web forum is shuttered (Committee to Protect Journalists).
- CN - Two Inner Mongolian websites closed +/-
(Reporters Without Borders) The closure of www.ehoron.com and www.monhgal.com, two websites based in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, for allegedly hosting "separatist" content is the result of the Chinese government's determination to gag cultural minorities, Reporters Without Borders said. see also China's Internet Censors Fight a Losing Battle (China Digital Times) by Xiao Qiang and China's Web Watchers (Time Asia).
- CN - Xinhua : the world's biggest propaganda agency +/-
(Reporters Without Borders) With more than 8,000 employees and 105 branches worldwide, the official news agency, Xinhua, is at the heart of censorship and disinformation put in place by the communist party. To mark the 56th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, Reporters Without Borders releases a report of an investigation into how this highly unusual news agency operates.
- HU - Regulation of the media in Hungary +/-
(OfcomWatch) by Roger Darlington. I participated in a three-day international media conference in Hungary organised by the International Children's Safety Service (NGS) and the National Radio and Television Board (ORTT) and the title was "The Effects Of The Media On Children And Young People".
- TN - Tunisian online protest blocked +/-
(Global Voices Online) As Tunisia prepares to host the controversial World Summit on the Information Society in November, Tunisian opposition activist Neila Charchour Hachicha informs Global Voices that the online freedom of speech protest site launched by Tunisians on Monday, www.yezzi.org has already been blocked by the Tunisian authorities.
- UK - Clampdown on chatrooms after two strangers die in first internet death pact +/-
(Guardian) Internet companies are being urged by the Home Office to make so-called suicide websites and chatrooms more difficult to access. The move comes after two strangers forged Britain's first internet suicide pact, dying side by side two days after making contact for the first time on a chatroom dedicated to discussions about suicide.
- US - New FCC Web site aims to simplify filing of indecency complaints +/-
(AP) The Federal Communications Commission has started a Web site to make it easier for people to file complaints about indecent programming on television and radio. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wants to clear up confusion for consumers about exactly how to file a complaint. With the new site, 'the American public can let their voices be heard with the click of a mouse.' The site allows consumers to send an e-mail to the agency about programming they deem indecent". See Obscenity/Indecency/ Profanity Home Page.
- VE - Chávez calls the tune on Venezuela charts +/-
(New York Times) Deep in Venezuela's new, cumbersome Social Responsibility Law is an item that requires radio stations to play more - much more - Venezuelan music. The idea, the fiercely nationalist government says, is to promote Venezuelan culture over foreign culture, particularly American rock that has dominated radio airplay for years. If the measure seems obscure, its effects have not been. From the techno-pop wizards of cosmopolitan Caracas to the folksy crooners of this cattle town, musicians say they are reaping benefits from President Hugo Chávez's efforts to regulate culture.
- EU - Commission recommendation on management of online rights in musical works +/-
(RAPID) The European Commission has adopted a recommendation on the management of online rights in musical works. The recommendation puts forward measures for improving the EU-wide licensing of copyright for online services. Improvements are necessary because new Internet-based services such as webcasting or on on-demand music downloads need a license that covers their activities throughout the EU. The absence of EU-wide copyright licenses has been one factor that has made it difficult for new Internet-based music services to develop their full potential.
- CA - Fantastic lessons from Canada +/-
(Lawrence Lessig) Michael Geist, professor of law at University of Ottawa, and editor of the BNA's daily Internet Law News, has again done the extraordinary. After pulling together and editing an amazing collection of authors to write about the future of copyright reform in Canada, he convinced the publisher to release the book, In the Public Interest, under a Creative Commons license, and has gifted the royalties to Creative Commons. Buy the book, download the book, read the book: each will do some good. Thanks, Michael, again.
- CEOs unite to fight piracy +/-
(out-law) Business leaders from some of the world's top companies have agreed to work together to fight counterfeiting and piracy, warning of the economic and social harm caused by the theft of intellectual property. The meeting of BASCAP - Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy, arranged under the aegis of the International Chamber of Commerce, resulted in an initial four-point plan of action, which aims to: create counterfeiting and piracy indices, identifying issues that deserve greater attention within national IP protection programmes; develop a clearinghouse to share best practices and strategies and leverage existing industry efforts; compile a compendium of case studies and statistics - the first global, cross-sectoral stocktake of the counterfeiting and piracy problem - which can be shared between businesses and governments; and develop educational materials for policy makers and the public to explain why IP rights should be respected and enforced.
- Creative Commons appeals for cash +/-
(ZDNet UK) The organisation set up to help authors freely distribute their work while retaining control is appealing for money - a lot of money.
- DE - eDonkey links constitute a violation of copyright law +/-
(Heise) The District Court in Hamburg came to the following conclusion in the lawsuit in which the Motion Picture Association of America sought an injunction against the Swiss-hosted website The-Realworld.de (TRW). The making available of 'edited' links which allow the downloading of installments of TV series via the Internet file-exchange network eDonkey constitutes a violation of the German Copyright Act (UrhG). The party responsible for operating the website had substantially facilitated access to the "pirated movie material." The same applied to the operator of the server on which the website was to be found, the judges noted. The latter had failed to heed a request by the copyright holders to block the website and was therefore also legally answerable.
- EU - Music copyright: Commission recommendation on management of online rights in musical works +/-
(RAPID) Speech by Charlie McCREEVY, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Service. UK Presidency Conference on Copyright and the Creative Economy.
- FR - Première application du « plaider-coupable » au peer-to-peer +/-
(Legalis.net) Le tribunal de grande instance du Havre a rendu la première ordonnance appliquant la procédure du « plaider-coupable » à une affaire de peer-to-peer. Le prévenu, qui a reconnu avoir offert en partage 14 797 fichiers musicaux, a accepté la peine de 500 euros d´amende. Le procureur a retenu la qualification de mise à disposition et non de reproduction de fichiers. La procédure de « comparution sur reconnaissance préalable de culpabilité » instaurée par loi Perben II du 9 mars 2004 laisse une large place à la négociation, consistant à proposer à la personne mise en cause une peine allégée en échange d´une reconnaissance des faits reprochés. Le prévenu a ausis été condamné à verser 3 000 euros de dommages-intérêts à la Sacem qui s´était portée partie civile et à faire publier une insertion dans deux journaux ou magazines à hauteur de 2 000 euros.
- IPod Maps Draw Legal Threats +/-
(Wired) Transit officials in New York and San Francisco have launched a copyright crackdown on a website offering free downloadable subway maps designed to be viewed on the iPod. IPodSubwayMaps.com is the home of iPod-sized maps of nearly two dozen different transit systems around the world, from the Paris Metro to the London Underground. New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority sent a letter saying that the site had infringed the MTA's copyright and needed a license to post the map and to authorize others to download it. A similar cease-and-desist letter was sent by officials with Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, demanding removal of a map of the San Francisco rail system.
- UK - Consumer body bemoans harsher Euro IP laws +/-
(out-law) UK quango the National Consumer Council (NCC) has called on European Commission legislators to take a fairer stance on consumer intellectual property rights. The NCC believes it's disproportionate to invoke ever-tougher penalties for individuals found guilty of infringing intellectual property laws. The key word is 'individuals', because the NCC sees a clear difference between consumers copying content and 'organised criminal gangs' doing the same.
- EU - Commission steps up personal data safeguards to strengthen police and judicial co-operation +/-
(RAPID) Faced with organised crime and terrorism which are increasingly operating across borders, the European Commission has today presented new proposals to reinforce the protection of personal data and allow for a more effective exchange of information between national law enforcement agencies. The proposal for a framework decision on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters - together with a recent proposal on the retention of data by communication providers - reflect the Commission's overall approach of strengthening international co-operation to ensure security and protection for citizens while at the same time safeguarding fundamental freedoms, particularly the right to privacy and data protection.
- EU - Justice ministers agree compromise on data retention +/-
(EUobserver.com) EU justice ministers have backed down on a council proposal on data retention and instead decided to seek the help of the commission and parliament to reach a decision. nable to reach an agreement on a data retention proposal of their own, the justice ministers decided at a council meeting in Luxembourg to move ahead with a 'compromise proposal' from the commission. Data shall be stored for between 6 months and 2 years, according to the new proposal. The council proposal implied a minimum of 1 year and as long as up to 4 years of storage.
- FR - Nouvelle censure judiciaire d´un système d´alerte éthique +/-
(Legalis.net) Dans la même logique que la délibération « McDonald´s » de la Cnil sur les systèmes d´alerte éthique, le tribunal de Libourne (Gironde) a demandé à BSN-Glasspack, filiale française d´une société américaine, de retirer son dispositif d´alerte éthique. Dans son ordonnance de référé, il prononce ces mesures conservatoires en raison de « la seule existence d´un dommage potentiel imminent pour les libertés individuelles de salariés victimes de dénonciations anonymes recueillies par le biais d´un dispositif privé échappant à tout contrôle, sans que l´intérêt de l´entreprise ne permette sérieusement de le justifier ».
- UK - Clarke pledges ID card data will be limited to information on passports +/-
(Guardian) The home secretary, Charles Clarke, will guarantee that the personal details contained on the national identity card will not go beyond those currently held on passports. He is to announce that he will write the guarantee into the legislation which passes through its final stages in the Commons.
- EU - The role of libraries in the information society +/-
(RAPID) Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, CENL Conference, Luxembourg, 29 September 2005. Libraries play a fundamental role in our society. They are the collectors and stewards of our heritage; they are organisers of the knowledge in the books they collect - adding value by cataloguing, classifying and describing them; and, as public institutions, they assure equality of access for all citizens. They take the knowledge of the past and present, and lay it down for the future. What is the European digital library, as I see it? I am not suggesting that the Commission creates a single library. I envisage a network of many digital libraries in different institutions, across Europe. These libraries will give the citizen online access to books, to local historical records, to archive films, and museum objects and provide services so they can use them. Realising these digital libraries at European level implies work on three main problems: digitisation; making resources accessible over networks; preservation and archiving of digital resources.
- EU - Luxembourg hosts European Library Conference +/-
(Station Network) Luxembourg has hosted the 19th annual conference of the national libraries of Europe. The Secretary of State for culture, Higher Education and Research, Octavie Modert, presided over the event - the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL). This year, the conference was organized by the national Library of Luxembourg and was held on September 29 - 30 in the Abbaye du Neumünster.
- EU to follow Google's lead with online library +/-
(out-law.com) Google's internet library project will face competition from Yahoo!, but also from a less predictable rival: the European Commission announced its own plan. And it has an advantage: if copyright laws interfere with its plans it can change the laws. The Commission wants to put Europe's cultural heritage on the internet by turning books, photos, records and films into a massive digital library. It has launched a consultation that invites suggestions for legislative measures that could facilitate the digitisation and subsequent accessibility of copyright material while respecting the legitimate interests of authors.
- .eu domain registration to begin from 7 December 2005 +/-
(Eurooap) Eurid has announced that its first phase of registrations for the new Top Level web Domain .eu will begin on 07 December 2005. This marks the start of a 4-month "sunrise" period during which only the holders of existing trademarks or other prior rights may register. Registrations for .eu will be fully open to the public from the beginning of April 2006. (05/10/2005) Eurid is the independent organization selected by the European Commission to operate the new registry for .eu. can be found on Background information on policy. All enquires on how to register and on the applicable rules should be addressed to Eurid.
- WSIS - Breaking America's grip on the net +/-
(Guardian) After troubled negotiations in Geneva, the US may be forced to relinquish control of the internet to a coalition of governments. The words of the UK government and European Union representative in Geneva were calm, measured and unexciting, but their implications will be felt for generations to come. At the third and final preparatory meeting for next month's World Summit on the Information Society, he had just announced a political coup over the running of the internet.
- WSIS - EU / US - Transatlantic row over control of the internet +/-
(EurActiv) The UK-led EU delegation at a high-level meeting on internet governance has angered the US with a proposal to hand administration of the internet over to the United Nations. [Ed: gives references to relevant public EU preparatory documents]
- WSIS - EU says internet could fall apart +/-
(Guardian) A battle has erupted over who governs the internet, with America demanding to maintain a key role in the network it helped create and other countries demanding more control. The European commission is warning that if a deal cannot be reached at a meeting in Tunisia next month the internet will split apart.
- WSIS - European Union, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba... +/-
(Carl Bildt) The preparatory meeting in Geneva last week for the upcoming World Summit on Information Society turned into a rather embarassing affair. Potentially, there is a political storm gathering. Many of the battles leading up to the WSIS are battles for ultimate control over the Internet. Clouded in sweet talk about multilateral solutions and need to replace the United States as the ultimate guardian of the system, a coalition of control states has sought to establish ultimate political control over the net. The Geneva sensation was however a U-turn by the European Union that was as unexpected as it was disturbing.
- WSIS - Power grab could split the Net +/-
(CNET News.com) by Declan McCullagh. For the first time in its history, the Internet is running a real risk of fracturing into multiple and perhaps even incompatible networks.Whoever controls what goes into the root servers has the final authority about what new top-level domains are added or deleted. Turning over control of key Internet functions to the U.N. would invite a debacle. The autocratic, bellicose Bush administration is no paragon of civil liberties virtue, but letting delegates from Cuba, Iran and Tunisia decide on the principles for an open and democratic Internet would be an even worse alternative.
- WSIS / US - House backs Bush on Internet stance +/-
(CNET News.com) Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have said that the United States should resist international pressure to give up authority over key Internet functions amid a mounting feud over the issue. In a letter to Commerce and State Department officials, the lawmakers said the Bush administration should retain strong oversight over the Internet domain name system, specifically the root servers.
- O2 to become the first company to win web trust mark +/-
(Press Release) O2 is set to become the first company worldwide to be granted a new automated, machine-readable trustmark for accessibility of its corporate website, www.o2.com. The trustmark awarded by Segala - an independent web certification specialist - is an endorsement of the importance O2 places on the ability of people of all age groups and capabilities to view and engage with content on the company's corporate website. The Segala trustmark is expected to be adopted by leading Internet search engines, enabling web users to filter for content that is specifically accessible to people with disabilities as well as protecting certain groups, such as children, from inappropriate web content. The core system was developed under the Quatro project, part of the EU Safer Internet Programme, and in addition to accessibility information, the label includes ICRA (Internet Content Rating Association) descriptors. The trustmark can be displayed wherever the user is on a site, assuring them that the website conforms to industry guidelines.
- AU - Porn filtering back on agenda +/-
(Australian IT) Internet content regulation has dropped off the radar for the moment in a world now more concerned with terrorist attacks than pop-up pornography. But bubbling away in the background there is a growing push across party political lines and the conservative/radical divide for tougher regulation.
- QUATRO project news +/-
(ICRA) The QUATRO project has issued its first newsletter to provide an overview of the work so far completed. The core aim of the project is to allow trustmarks, also known as quality labels, to become both interoperable and machine-readable as part of the Semantic Web. ICRA's recent change in technology platforms from PICS to RDF is part of this same process.
- SA - Saudi Arabia Blocks Blogger and Flickr, Again +/-
(Global Voices) The Internet Services Unit (ISU) at King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), the governing body of the internet in Saudi Arabia, have blocked Blogger, denying users inside the country accessing their blogs. They have also blocked photos from the popular photo hosting service Flickr. Users still can log on to the site, but photos are no longer visible.
- Study Says Software Makers Supply Tools to Censor Web +/-
(New York Times) It should come as no surprise that the Internet in Myanmar, the southeast Asian state once known as Burma and in the iron grip of a military cabal for decades, is heavily filtered and carefully monitored. But a new report from the OpenNet Initiative, a human rights project linking researchers from the University of Toronto, Harvard Law School and Cambridge University in Britain, once again raises tough questions about the use of filtering technologies - often developed by Western companies - by autocratic governments bent on controlling what their citizens see on the Web.
- Study: Overzealous filters hinder research +/-
(eSchool News) The internet-content filters most commonly used by schools block needed, legitimate content more often than not, according to a study by a university librarian, Lynn Sutton, director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Her report was presented at the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) conference in Pittsburgh.
- UK - 'G' spot on +/-
(CommsWatch) There is research evidence that television viewers would welcome more guidance, especially in the form of labelling, on the content of programming that is inappropriate for young children or might be offensive to older children or adults. Now the BBC is trialling a labelling system known as the "G" system. The BBC system is different from the other labelling systems mentioned because it uses the electronic programme guide (EPG) rather than the screening of the actual programme and it is uses text descriptors rather than the blunter instrument of age-grading (although it could be combined with an age grade).
- UK - Parents Offered Latest Filtering Software Through 29,000 Schools +/-
(Net4Now) Whilst most schools employ network level filtering to protect pupils from unsuitable material online, many home PCs are not covered to the same extent, and do not deliver the same quality or control. This can be an additional problem in an era where children are frequently more computer literate - and familiar with the web - than their parents. With this in mind, web filtering company Brightfilter has launched a partnership project with the UK's 29,000 primary and secondary schools, offering them an opportunity to introduce parents to one of the most sophisticated, new generation filtering products on the market. Through the scheme, letters will go out in bookbags and via standard school/parent information networks, offering information about the product, and free trials to parents.