- Net's new porn trend: Nearly nude kids +/-
(New York Times) In recent months, an array of investigations of the child pornography business have contributed to wholesale shutdowns of some of the most sexually explicit Internet sites trafficking in child images. But they have been rapidly replaced by a growing number of so-called model sites, Internet locations that offer scores of original photographs of scantily clad under-age children.
- Pedophiles' alternate realities +/-
(New York Times) On the Net, they don't just swap pictures, they participate in "support groups," promote their interests, seek jobs near kids, and chat about their experiences, the New York Times reports following a four-month investigation. Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald wasn't investigating specific cases so much as the group itself, and how it uses the Net to extend its reach.
- UK - Possession of violent porn to be criminal offence +/-
(Guardian) People who download violent pornography could face three years in jail under new legislation. The UK government unveiled proposals to create a new offence of possessing pornographic images of extreme sexual or life-threatening violence, with a new maximum sentence of three years for possession, or five for distribution of such material.
- US - T-Mobile network hacker sentenced +/-
(BBC) A man arrested in 2005 for hacking into the computers of the US arm of mobile company T-mobile has been sentenced. Nicholas Lee Jacobsen was given one year home detention and ordered to pay $10,000 to the mobile firm. In 2004 he accessed personal records of hundreds of T-Mobile customers, including a Secret Service agent.
- US - Patent review goes Wiki +/-
(Fortune) The problem: an epidemic of shoddy patents The solution: Wikipedia? That's the basic concept behind a pilot program sponsored by IBM and other companies, which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office appears poised to green-light. Patent applications have tripled in the past two decades, leaving examiners only 20 hours on average to comb through a complex application, research past inventions, and decide whether a patent should be granted. As a result, critics contend, quality has declined and lucrative patents have been granted for ideas that weren't actually new. One solution is to let astute outsiders weigh in during the patent-review process, as online encyclopedia Wikipedia does, vastly increasing the information available to the patent examiner. New York Law School professor Beth Noveck floated the idea on her blog, inspiring an article in Wired News. That, in turn, attracted the attention of IBM, which got behind the idea.
- An end run round copyright laws? +/-
(CNET News) What Linux has done for operating systems, the Internet should do for content, a prominent lawyer and activist has urged. Lawrence Lessig railed against prevailing copyright laws and urged use of his alternative creation, the Creative Commons license. The license permits content such as music, video, photos or text to be reused and augmented by others in the same way that the open-source and free software movement permits programs to be copied and modified.
- Guitar instruction websites shut down by music industry +/-
(OUT-LAW News) Music publishers are taking action against guitar fan websites which they say infringe songwriters' copyrights. Publishers have started to use copyright law suits to shut down sites which share notations which help musicians to play songs at home.
- IN - India's State of Kerala trying to eliminate Microsoft from use in public institutions. +/-
(CNET) In a new attack on multinational corporations, the Communist government in India's southern state of Kerala is campaigning to eliminate Microsoft from use in public institutions, just weeks after it imposed a ban on Coca-Cola and Pepsi. As part of a drive against "monopolistic" organizations, schools and public offices across the state are being encouraged to install free software systems instead of purchasing Microsoft's Windows programs.
- Stop googling that hottie! +/-
(Guardian) Google is taking steps to stop its name becoming a generic term for surfing the net - which is important to protect its long-term value. Publishers and media organisations may have thought the summer silly season had begun in earnest recently when they received a lawyer's letter from Google attempting to assert control over journalists' use of its brand name. In it, Google informed them, by way of example, that it is fine to say: 'I ran a Google search to check out that guy from the party', but not to say: 'I googled that hottie'."
- UK - Sony refused peer-to-peer patents +/-
(OUT-LAW) Sony cannot patent inventions in the UK that remove the anonymity of the peer-to-peer user experience and put social networking at the heart of file-sharing. The application describes a method for attaching a user history to content when it is shared among computers or other devices. When one user downloads a song, he can see who had it last and what he thought about it. The Patent Office ruled that the inventions described computer programs and were not eligible for patent protection in the UK.
- US - Apple pays $100 million to settle iPod patent suit +/-
(OUT-LAW) Apple has agreed to pay leading rival Creative Technology $100 million to settle an iPod patent dispute. The settlement lifts the threat of a ban on iPods being imported into the US for sale. Creative had sued Apple over the use of navigation systems to find and organise music on iPods which it said violated their patents.
- US - Patent verdict against Microsoft, Autodesk stands +/-
(CNET) A federal judge in Texas has delivered a setback to Microsoft and Autodesk in their patent infringement battle with product activation start-up Z4 Technologies. He turned down the software makers' request for a new trial in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Z4 Technologies and awarded enhanced damages, ordering Microsoft and Autodesk to pay a combined total of $158 million.
- US - RIAA copyright education contradictory, critics say +/-
(CNET News.com) The music industry's educational video about copyright law is full of baloney, according to several trade and public interest groups. The Consumer Electronics Association and Public Knowledge are among the groups to issue a joint statement condemning some statements on the Recording Industry Association of America's video, which the RIAA has plans to distribute to the nation's universities.
- US -Wiki site aims to boost patent review process +/-
(CNET News.com) In a draft five-year strategic plan, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced their intention to develop a 'peer review mechanism' that would enlist volunteers from the public to weigh in on applications and ease the burden on its own staff. A patent attorney and an accountant based in Salt Lake City has launched WikiPatents.com. Sporting a star-based rating system reminiscent of those used for movie criticism, it's designed in part to help patent examiners, attorneys, litigants, would-be investors, inventors and other interested outsiders decide whether already-issued patents deserve such a designation.
- NZ - 2006 NetSafe Symposium - CyberSafety & Security Online +/-
(Internet Safety Group) The 2006 NetSafe Symposium - Cybersafety & Security Online was held on the 6th and 7th July 2006 in Wellington. The Symposium was modelled on previous NetSafe conferences with a cross-sector focus on the issues of cybersafety and security online. This two-day event brought together leaders from a range of different sectors from New Zealand and the world, to look at child safety, network security (businesses, schools and community agencies), online confidence (secure transactions), and the e-crime challenges for law enforcement and the New Zealand legal system.
- UK - Home Office ad to protect kids online banned for leading to porn +/-
(out-law.com) A Home Office radio advert aimed at protecting children from sexually explicit material online has been banned because it could direct listeners to pornographic sites. The Home Office has apologised for the advert. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that the advertisement should not be played again after complaints that it could lead to listeners accessing pornography through the advertised child protection web address.
- US - Anticrime group calls for laws to curb 'cyberbullying' +/-
(CNET News.com) A national anticrime group has urged Congress to pass new laws targeting the practice of 'cyberbullying,' a growing problem the group says will plague at least 13 million American children during the next school year. Mean, threatening, or embarrassing messages delivered online and via portable devices like cell phones are a 'pernicious threat that awaits our kids when they go back to school,' Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said at a press conference hosted by Fight Crime: Invest In Kids, a nonprofit advocacy organization composed of 3,000 police chiefs, prosecutors, law enforcement leaders and crime victims.
- US - Feds to warn teen girls of Net perils +/-
(CNET News.com) A new public service campaign unveiled by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is designed to target young females in particular. The ads will warn against posting images or information that 'might put them at risk for online victimization,' a Justice Department press release said.
- Hackers target latest Microsoft Windows fix +/-
(BBC) Hi-tech hackers have started to produce malicious programs that target the latest bugs in Microsoft's Windows. A worm has been spotted online that tries to use the vulnerabilities to hijack home computers. Any computer compromised by the worm will become part of a large network set up to send out junk mail. At the same time Microsoft is re-issuing a recent security patch which has made the Internet Explorer browser crash on some computers.
- Microsoft warning on online games +/-
(BBC) Criminals are targeting the lucrative world of online games, an engineer at Microsoft has warned. Hackers could use malicious programs to steal players account information and then sell virtual items, such as gold or weapons, for real world cash. see also Microsoft warns game developers of security risk (CNET News).
- UK - Police: Let us seize encryption keys +/-
(CNET) Because British law enforcement officers don't have the authority to seize encryption keys, an increasing number of criminals are able to evade justice, a senior police officer said. Suspected terrorists, pedophiles and burglars have all walked free because encrypted data couldn't be opened. Earlier this summer, the British government announced that it plans to activate Part 3 of the Regulations of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act, which will give the police the power, in some circumstances, to demand an encryption key from a suspect.
- US - Confidential data really is at risk / Laptop dangers +/-
(CNET) U.S. survey reports that 81 percent of companies and governmental entities have lost or misplaced one or more laptops containing confidential business information within the last 12 months. The survey, titled "Confidential Data at Risk," concludes that a main reason for corporate data security breaches is that many companies simply don't know where their sensitive or confidential business information resides. The survey goes on to summarize that "this lack of knowledge coupled with insufficient controls over data stores" poses "a serious threat to both business and governmental organizations."
- EU / DE - Web prices may drop in Germany after pact +/-
(International Herald Tribune) The European Commission, ending part of a three-year dispute with Germany, is scheduled to announce an agreement requiring Deutsche Telekom to sell wholesale access to its residential phone network, raising competition in Europe's largest market. The accord could force Telekom, still 31.3-percent owned by the German government, to make broadband Internet access available to competitors by the end of the year. If rivals take up the offer, the move would almost certainly lower prices for fast Internet subscriptions in Germany, where the technology has been slower to catch on under the market dominance of Deutsche Telekom.
- EU / DE - Commission endorses German broadband regulation +/-
(RAPID) The Commission endorses, with comments, a regulatory measure proposed by German telecom regulator Bundesnetzagentur ("BNetzA") that will give new market entrants high-speed access to end-customers (or bitstream access) via the broadband networks of Deutsche Telekom. This measure is meant to remedy the position of dominance of Deutsche Telekom on the German broadband market. The Commission welcomes in particular that the remedy proposed now requires bitstream access regardless of the technology used by Deutsche Telekom (ADSL2, ADSL2+, SDSL and VDSL). In its comments, the Commission asks the German regulator to ensure that the remedy is applied without further delay, in line with EU law, and that final clarifications are made in the interest of legal certainty on the German broadband market. see Frequently Asked Questions.
- EU telecoms reform: Commission continues debate with three studies +/-
(RAPID) The Commission made public three studies which should serve as "food for thought" in the ongoing review of the 2002 EU telecoms rules. The Commission has already published a Communication on the review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications, a Staff Working Paper and an Impact Assessment. The studies deal with some of the key subjects of the review process: growth and investment in the EU electronic communications sector, regulatory reform and the state of competition in the electronic communications markets.
- Games industry is 'failing women' +/-
(BBC) The videogames industry is continuing to fail women by not producing suitable content, a senior executive at Electronic Arts (EA) has said. David Gardner, chief operating officer for EA's worldwide studios, was speaking to a conference in Edinburgh.
- Google offers hosted communications apps +/-
(CNET) Organizations will be able to offer members or employees Web-based e-mail, calendar, chat and Web page publishing hosted by Google for free. Google Apps for Your Domain includes Gmail with 2 gigabytes of storage, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Page Creator. It allows organizations to use Gmail applications with their own e-mail address, instead of the "@gmail.com" domain.
- Holdout Bands Give In to iTunes +/-
(AP) Only a few remaining big-name musical acts refuse to make their songs available on Apple Computer's popular iTunes Music Store. Analysts say the online holdouts - including the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Garth Brooks, Radiohead and Kid Rock - probably can't avoid iTunes forever as fans flock to the internet to buy music.
- More media, less news +/-
(Economist) Newspapers are making progress with the internet, but most are still too timid, defensive or high-minded.
- UK - Giving it all away +/-
(Guardian) The advent of the internet allows the contents of newspapers to be distributed for nothing - which is the main reason why London will be having its free newspaper war next week. No one in their right mind in Britain would launch a paid-for paper aimed at a general readership, not only because competition from freely distributed news sources over the web is too fierce but also because the web will increasingly soak up advertising. The decision of the Rothermeres and Murdochs of this world to give their product away represents an attempt to join rather than beat that trend.
- US - Adware Advertising : The Role of Intermediaries +/-
(CDT) Potentially harmful advertising software has grown from an annoying computing issue into a serious computer security risk. Well-known companies are helping to spread this unwanted adware, often unwittingly, by paying to have their ads displayed by nuisance or harmful adware programs. Many high-profile companies are unaware of this problem because the chain of intermediaries involved in moving ads from marketers to adware applications can be incredibly complex.
- US - Universal backs free music offer +/-
(BBC) Vivendi Universal, the world's biggest music group, has signed a deal to make its music catalogue available on a free legal downloads service. Under the agreement, Spiralfrog will offer Universal's songs online in the US and Canada. New York-based Spiralfrog will launch its service in December and make its money by carrying adverts on the site.
- Writely online word-processing application - Google welcomes sign-ups +/-
(CNET) Writely is a hosted word-processing package that enables users to edit and publish documents online. Five months after being bought by Google, Writely is now open for anyone who wants to sign up and use it. This word processor figures to be part of the search giant's counterweight to Microsoft's Office Live strategy.
- YouTube seeks rights to thousands of music videos +/-
(Reuters) YouTube is talking with record labels to post thousands of music videos online, aiming to move beyond being a site for sharing home videos to a provider of mainstream entertainment like Yahoo and others. YouTube, which sprung out of nowhere a year ago to now claim over 100 millions views a day, is negotiating for rights to post current and archive music videos on its site, and said any commercial model it decides on will offer the videos free. see also Newsday.com: Channeling into a new generation (Newsday.com) The site has broke n into the Top 50 among Internet users. According to comScore Media Metrix, YouTube had 16 million unique U.S. visitors in July, a 20 percent increase from 13 million in June.
- 2006-09-05 DE, Cologne - 4th German Anti Spam Summit +/-
(eco) Focus on international Anti-Phishing Projects. The 4th German Anti Spam Summit will take place on the September 5th in Cologne, this time focusing on Phishing. Organisers are eco, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Cologne and EuroISPA. Again it will be an international congress with international speakers, so the event will be held mainly in English language.
- 2006-10-05 CoE, Erevan - Empowering children and young people +/-
(CoE) The Council of Europe is organising a Pan-European Forum on "Human Rights in the Information Society: Empowering children and young people" which will take place at in Yerevan, Armenia, on 5 and 6 October 2006. Interested representatives of states, industry (e.g. internet service providers, mobile phone operators, gaming industry, etc), civil society and the media, as well as other organisations, institutions and experts, are invited to take part in this Forum.
- 2006-10-16 EU, Brussels - Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) +/-
(Europa) The European Commission will organise in Brussels on Monday 16 October a final conference on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to close the series of consultation initiatives which Mrs Viviane Reding, Commissioner for the Information and Media, announced at CeBIT 2006. This conference will be opened by the commissioner, and it will feature European Commission officials, Members of the European Parliament, and relevant stakeholders from industry, government and civil society who have been involved in the ongoing European debate about RFID.
- 2006-10-23 EU, Brussels - International Transfers of Personal Data +/-
(Europa) The European Commission will organise on 23/24 October 2006 in Brussels a Conference on International Transfers of Personal Data, jointly with the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party -the independent EU Advisory Body on Data Protection and Privacy- and the United States Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. This Conference is a follow up of the Seminar on the Safe Harbour held in Washington in December 2005 organised by the US Department of Commerce and the Working Party. Programme .