- AT - Vienna busts huge child porn ring +/-
(BBC) Austria has uncovered an international child pornography network involving more than 2,360 suspects from 77 countries, the interior minister said. The videos were posted on a Russian website, hosted by an Austrian company.
- Current Responses to Sexual Grooming: Implication for Prevention +/-
(Howard Journal of Criminal Justice) by Samantha Craven, Sarah Brown, and Liz Gilchrist. This article aims to outline current responses to sexual grooming; specific attention will be given to new legislation introduced in England and Wales under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Issues to be discussed include: poor definition and understanding of sexual grooming, scope of legislation in relation to non-Internet grooming, difficulties in identifying sexual grooming, and a failure of the new legislation to be truly preventative.
- The elusive world of child porn dealers +/-
(BBC) The alleged international paedophile ring smashed in Austria highlights the ease with which criminal gangs have been able to exploit the internet to make money out of child abuse. According to investigators in Austria, some 2,360 suspects from 77 countries downloaded horrific images of young children being sexually abused and raped. They were believed to have been shot in Eastern Europe and uploaded to the web in Britain, posted on a Russian website hosted by an Austrian company.
- UK - Crackdown on paedophiles' internet aliases +/-
(Guardian) Internet paedophiles could be forced to register all their online nicknames and email addresses with the authorities as part of a new crackdown. The home secretary, John Reid, said he hoped to bring in new laws that would force child sex offenders to disclose the details as part of a widening of the sex offenders register.
- UK - Data thieves face two years in prison +/-
(CNET News) Individuals who sell or deliberately misuse others' personal data in the U.K. could now face a penalty of up to two years in prison. The previous penalty stipulated for the charge in the Data Protection Act 1998 was a fine. Now data thieves risk up to six months in prison for a summary conviction, while for a conviction on indictment, they could get up to two years. The change comes as the British government moves to increase data sharing as a way of offering higher-quality public services to citizens.
- WiFi Turns Internet Into Hideout for Criminals +/-
(Washington Post) With nearly 46,000 public access points across the country, hundreds of thousands of computer users are logging on every day to wireless networks at cafes, hotels, airports and even while sitting on park benches. And although the majority of those people are simply checking their e-mail and surfing the Web, authorities said an increasing number of criminals are taking advantage of the anonymity offered by the wireless signals to commit a raft of serious crimes - from identity theft to the sexual solicitation of children.
- CN - China's Hu vows to 'purify' Internet +/-
(Reuters) Chinese Communist Party chief Hu Jintao has vowed to 'purify' the Internet, state media reported, describing a top-level meeting that discussed ways to master the country's sprawling, unruly online population. Hu made the comments as the ruling party's Politburo - its 24-member leading council - was studying China's Internet, which claimed 137 million registered users at the end of 2006. Hu, a strait-laced communist with little sympathy for cultural relaxation, did not directly mention censorship. see Hu Jintao asks Chinese officials to better cope with Internet (People's Daily Online).
- EG - Egypt blogger jailed for 'insult' +/-
(BBC) An Egyptian court has sentenced a blogger to four years' prison for insulting Islam and the president. Abdel Kareem Soliman's trial was the first time that a blogger had been prosecuted in Egypt. He had used his web log to criticise the country's top Islamic institution, al-Azhar university and President Hosni Mubarak, whom he called a dictator.
- EU to study ways to keep violent video games from kids +/-
(AP) European justice and interior ministers agreed to look at ways to prevent the sale of violent video games to children across Europe amid worries that national controls are too lax. EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini told reporters at the end of two-day EU talks here that he and German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries "encouraged member states to prevent, to ban violent video games."
- FR - Towards a committee for French on-line services regulation ? +/-
(EDRI) French Internet regulation history seems to repeat itself, as shows a recently unveiled administrative decree project, which aims at creating a 'National Commission for the deontology of on-line public communication services'.
- BE - Google will appeal Copiepresse decision +/-
(OUT-LAW News) Google will appeal against a judgment from a Belgian court that it broke the law when it used newspaper material in Google News. The company will have to stop publishing links to certain newspaper sites having been found liable for copyright infringement. see also Why the Belgian court ruled against Google.
- FR - Droit d'auteur et les droits voisins dans la société de l'information (DAVDSI) +/-
(Juriscom.net) La Circulaire du 3 janvier 2007 de présentation et de commentaire des dispositions pénales portant sur la loi nº2006-961 relative au droit d'auteur et les droits voisins dans la société de l'information et d'action publique dans le domaine de la lutte contre les atteintes à la propriété intellectuelle au moyen des nouvelles technologies informatiques.
- Microsoft CEO repeats patents threats against Linux +/-
(CNET News) Steve Ballmer has reissued Microsoft's patent threat against Linux, warning open-source vendors that they must respect his company's intellectual property. In a no-nonsense presentation to New York financial analysts, Microsoft's chief executive said the company's partnership with Novell, which it signed in 2006, "demonstrated clearly the value of intellectual property, even in the open-source world."
- Microsoft patent case stirs software export fears +/-
(CNET News) It's not every day that both the U.S. government and advocates of free and open-source software align themselves in court with Microsoft. But a high-stakes patent case, set to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, has attracted a slew of briefs supporting the Windows maker's stance in a complex battle with AT&T over rules governing software code exported to foreign locales.
- MySpace introduces automatic video blocking +/-
(OUT-LAW) Social networking market leader MySpace will use software to monitor videos posted to the site in a bid to block unauthorised use of copyrighted content. The company will use technology to analyse videos' audio tracks to identify infringing posts. The move is a bid to placate the big copyright holding music and entertainment industries, which are taking legal action against social networking and video sharing sites over the copyright infringing activity of their users.
- UK- Forwarding an email can infringe copyright +/-
(OUT-LAW News) Business letters can be protected by copyright and forwarding them to others can be an infringement, the UK High Court has ruled. The decision could have implications for email communication because the same principles will apply. Struan Robertson, editor of OUT-LAW.COM, said: "Emails can be protected by copyright too. Just because it's easier to forward an email than a letter does nothing to weaken that protection."
- US - Apple's Jobs calls for DRM-free world +/-
(CNET News) Record companies are the ones who demand digital rights management technology, not Apple, CEO says in rare open letter. Steve Jobs urges record companies to abandon these technologies.
- US - 'Electric Slide' on slippery DMCA slope +/-
(CNET News) Yes, you can copyright a dance. The inventor of the "Electric Slide," an iconic dance created in 1976, is fighting back against what he believes are copyright violations. An engineer at San Francisco's Linden Lab, said he received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice about a video he had shot at a recent convention showing three people doing the Electric Slide. The 1998 Digital Millenium Copyright Act governs copyright infringement as well as technology whose purpose is to circumvent measures intended to protect copyrights. Under the DMCA, rights-holders can complain to services like YouTube that content uploaded by users infringes their copyrights. "You can copyright the choreography for dances and then enforce the copyright against anyone who publicly performs the dance." --Jason Schultz, Electronic Frontier Foundation
- US - Microsoft hit with $1.5 billion MP3 patent verdict +/-
(CNET News) A federal jury has ordered Microsoft to pay $1.5 billion to Alcatel-Lucent in a patent dispute over MP3 audio technology used in Windows. The case could have broader implications, should Alcatel-Lucent pursue claims against other companies that use the widespread MP3 technology.
- US copyright lobby out-of-touch +/-
(BBC) Internet law professor Michael Geist takes a look at intellectual property protection in the US and finds it somewhat out of step with the rest of the world. The International Intellectual Property Alliance, delivered its annual submission to the US government featuring its views on the inadequacy of intellectual property protection around the world. The IIPA submission generated considerable media attention, with the international media focusing on the state of IP protection in Russia and China, while national media in Canada, Thailand, and Taiwan broadcast dire warnings about the consequences of falling on the wrong side of US lobby groups. The lobby group ultimately shines the spotlight on how US copyright policy has become out-of-touch and isolated from much of the rest of the globe.
- YouTube asked to 'remove' videos +/-
(BBC) Viacom, the parent firm of cable networks MTV and Nickelodeon, has told popular video sharing site YouTube to remove 100,000 "unauthorised" clips. YouTube and its parent Google failed to install tools to "filter" the unauthorised video clips, said Viacom. YouTube said that it works with "all copyright holders to identify and promptly remove infringing content" as soon as it is officially notified.
- DE - Sicherheit im Internet: Wettbewerb zwischen Alt und Jung gestartet +/-
(Heise) Fit und sicher im Internet: Schüler und Erwachsene haben in Köln einen Generationen-Wettbewerb im Web begonnen und damit den bundesweiten Startschuss für eine große Medienkompetenz-Initiative gegeben. Chatten, surfen, mailen das Internet sei aus dem Alltag von Kindern und Jugendlichen nicht mehr wegzudenken, hieß es dazu. Zugleich seien aber die Risiken und Gefahren nicht ausreichend bekannt. Das betonten die Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission, die Landesmedienanstalt Nordrhein-Westfalen und der Verein Internet-ABC als Veranstalter der Aktion.
- EU - Celebrating Safer Internet Day across the world +/-
(eGov monitor) Almost 40 countries will participate in the fourth edition of Safer Internet Day (SID) which this year takes place on 6 February. The event is organised by European Schoolnet, coordinator of Insafe, the European safer internet network. Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media is once again patron of Safer Internet Day, as in the past two years. see Ireland Worldwide blogathon to promote safe internet use ; United States i-SAFE Celebrates Safer Internet Day 2007, Enlisting Students to Make the Internet Safer (Education World).
- EU - Safer Internet Day 2007 +/-
(RAPID) 100 organisations in over 40 countries worldwide celebrated Safer Internet Day on 6 February 2007. In the EU, across all 27 Member States conferences and campaigns showcase already existing safer internet activities of the private and the public sector, from filtering technologies to media literacy programmes. The purpose is to raise awareness - in particular at schools, among parents and teachers - about the best ways for protecting minors in an online environment of growing importance for our daily lives. Safer Internet Day is organised under the patronage of the Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding.
- LU - Safer Internet Day 2007: exposition consacrée aux dangers d´Internet +/-
(Gouvernement luxembourgeois) Du 1er au 6 février 2007, CASES (le portail de la sécurité de l'information du ministère de l'Économie et du Commerce extérieur), petitweb.lu et Luxembourg Safer Internet organisent une exposition consacrée aux dangers d´Internet à la Belle Étoile (route d´Arlon à Bertrange).
- Net safety day marked worldwide +/-
(BBC) Efforts to make the net less risky for children are being marked by the fourth Internet Safety Day on 6 February. Events are being held in 31 nations and a blogathon will record activities held as far apart as Australia and Canada.
- New Web safety institute unveiled +/-
(CNet News.com) The Internet Content Rating Association, a nonprofit aimed at labeling adult Web sites, have launched a new institute to promote kids safety on the Web. Called the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), it will broaden its work from the ICRA rating system to include the development and support of other kid-safe technologies, educational programs and public policy work. see also Internet safety gets powerful champion (Guardian).
- US - More Efforts At Keeping Kids Safe Online +/-
(CBS) The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is launching a new Web site, www.NetSmartz411.org, to answer parents' questions about Internet safety and computers. The free service features an interactive knowledge-base where parents can use natural language search to find information. If that's not enough, there's an "ask the experts" button that lets parents type in a question which will be answered by e-mail by real-life analysts at the center's headquarters.
- EU - Mobile operators agree on how to safeguard children using mobile phones +/-
(RAPID) Leading European mobile operators signed in Brussels an agreement on how to protect minors using mobile phones. This agreement, brokered by the European Commission, responds to the findings of the Commission's public consultation on child safety and mobile phones published today. In the agreement, mobile operators undertake to develop self-regulatory codes by February 2008.
- EU - Mobilfunker in Europa wollen mehr für Jugendschutz tun +/-
(Heise) Die großen Mobilfunkanbieter in Europa haben eine Vereinbarung mit der EU-Kommission unterzeichnet, in der sie sich zur Ausarbeitung von Jugendschutzmaßnahmen bis Februar kommenden Jahres verpflichten. Das teilte die EU-Kommission mit, garniert mit Lob von Viviane Reding, Kommissarin für Informationsgesellschaft und Medien, für die Mobilfunkbetreiber. Alle Unterzeichner des "Europäischen Rahmenabkommens für die sichere Nutzung von Mobilfunktelefonen durch jüngere Teenager und Kinder", das aus Anlass des Safer Internet Day heute unterzeichnet wurde, werden demzufolge an Zugangskontrollen für pornografische Inhalte arbeiten. Außerdem sollen öffentlichkeitswirksame Kampagnen, Klassifizierungsmechanismen für gewerbliche Inhalte und Kampf gegen illegale Inhalte den Jugendschutz beim Mobilfunk verbessern.
- EU - study on co-regulation measures in the media sector +/-
(RAPID) In a rapidly evolving digital world, self- and co-regulatory models can be attractive alternatives to traditional regulations, according to a study for the European Commission. The study on co-regulation measures in the media sector was undertaken for the Commission by the Hans-Bredow Institut for media research, at the University of Hamburg, in cooperation with the Institute for European Media Law in Saarbrücken, and presented today in Brussels. It concluded that, in general, industry needs sufficient incentives to support such a regime. Having a state run regulator in the background often gives self-regulatory bodies the power they need to work effectively. In addition, sufficient means to enforce regulations, such as adequate and proportional sanctions seem to be necessary for a co-regulatory system to be workable.
- FR - Bientôt un label de qualité pour les sites web d'information? +/-
(ZDNet France) Un rapport remis au ministère de la Culture propose de décerner un label de qualité aux sites internet d´information respectant certaines règles, notamment déontologiques. Un moyen de favoriser le développement de la presse en ligne, y compris payante.
- Safer Internet Day +/-
(New Europe) Vivian Reding, European commissioner for telecommunications and media scored another major victory for European citizens when leading European mobile operators signed up to measures aimed at protecting minors from accessing pornography and hate speech on cell phones.
- Mobiles make content their king +/-
(The Australian) Five short films, made especially for mobile phones and commissioned by Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival, were screened this week at the global mobile industry's annual shindig: 3GSM in Barcelona. After close to a decade of paying only lip service to mobile content, the booming mobile industry this week embraced it. With bundled and subscription pricing for voice taking hold of the industry, new revenues must now come from data services. Many operators are finally starting to tear down their walled gardens. The mobile industry had been trying to create a separate mobile internet but users want to access its sites and services from fixed and mobile devices alike. This is something the mobile industry is finally admitting.
- Phone makers cash in on location services +/-
(CNET News.com) In a bold move to accelerate the adoption of location services for mobile devices, the world's two largest handset makers have each introduced their own navigation services, a move that could pit them against mobile operators. Nokia and Motorola, the number one and number two handset makers in the world respectively, each introduced new products at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona. In addition to adding new hardware products that will be able to receive signals from satellites to fix a subscriber's exact location, the companies have also introduced their own navigation services, which they plan to sell directly to consumers.
- Ringtones will always be bigger than mobile smut +/-
(The Register) Ringtones and music will always take a bigger slice of the mobile content market than games or erotica. An adult content aggregator said the introduction of age verification systems had made it easier to sell what the industry calls 'erotica' or adult content - and you'd call mobile porn - in Europe.
- Sound future for music on mobiles +/-
(BBC) Music phones are emerging as the quality players in mobile entertainment. Some of the models on show at Europe's largest mobile phone show, 3GSM, already look slick enough to nudge MP3 players off the shelf. The secret of their success is that phones can now become mass-storage devices, using tiny, removable memory chips many gigabytes in size that can take thousands of tracks. Some have embedded memory that can hold yet more.
- Vodafone inks mobile deals with web giants +/-
(vnunet.com) Vodafone has secured deals with three of the web's highest-profile brands to enable Vodafone Live customers to access mobile versions of MySpace, YouTube and eBay. Applications can be downloaded to existing handsets, and future phones will have the software embedded.