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(OUT-LAW News) A new Directive that will regulate TV advertising and product placement across the EU was passed by the European Parliament. The Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive will cover internet TV and on-demand services. Member States now have two years to make the Directive national law. It replaces the 1997 TV Without Frontiers Directive. The rules do not apply to private websites. They cover an "audiovisual media service" that is "under the editorial responsibility of a media service provider". Editorial responsibility requires "effective control both over the selection of the programmes and over their organisation either in a chronological schedule, in the case of television broadcasts, or in a catalogue, in the case of on-demand audiovisual media services." A site like YouTube will not be caught by the rules. TV programmes offered 'on demand' from the internet will be covered by rules concerning protection of minors and product placement though not rules concerning the amount of time allowed for advertising.
(ceskenoviny.cz) Czech President Vaclav Klaus has signed a bill stipulating punishment for the possession of child pornography into law. Under the bill that was passed by the Chamber of Deputies in September people will face up to two years in prison for "keeping photographic, film, computer, electronic or other pornographic material made with children as models or for abusing children in any other way."
(BBC) An investigation into a Europe-wide child pornography network has led to 92 arrests across eight countries, prosecutors say. The network made videos of children being abused and sold them to 2,500 customers in 19 countries, says the European police force, Europol. The films were mainly produced in Ukraine, Belgium and the Netherlands, and most of the victims were Ukrainian.
(Reuters) The European Commission launches a formal antitrust proceedings against U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm after complaints that its patent licensing for third-generation mobile telephones broke competition rules.
(RAPDI) The European Commission has adopted a proposal to simplify and modernise the two-decade-old rules for computerised reservation systems (CRS). These systems are used by travel agents to book airline tickets on behalf of their customers. The revised rules will allow CRSs and subscribing travel agents to expand their offer and better compete in the airline distribution market. See Q&A on the revised rules for computerised airline ticket reservation systems.
(RAPID) The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Spanish and Italian subsidiaries of the Swedish telecommunications group Tele2 AB by the UK-based telecommunications group Vodafone. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
(RAPID) The European Commission has imposed a total of 74 790 000 fines on Sony, Fuji and Maxell for fixing prices for professional videotapes sold to customers in Europe, in violation of the EC Treaty?s ban on cartels and restrictive business practices (Article 81). Between 1999 and 2002, Sony, Fuji and Maxell managed to raise or otherwise control prices through a series of regular meetings and other illicit contacts. Sony's fine has been increased by 30% for obstructing the Commission's investigation during on-site inspections at its premises. Fuji's and Maxell's fines are reduced by 40% and 20% respectively because they co-operated with the investigation. For the calculation of the fines, the Commission applied for the first time its new 2006 Guidelines. Labels: Competition.htm">Competition
(RAPID) The European Commission has opened a detailed investigation under the EU merger regulation into TomTom's proposed acquisition of Tele Atlas, both of The Netherlands. TomTom produces portable navigation devices (PNDs) and Tele Atlas is one of two producers of navigable digital maps, a crucial input for PND manufacturers.
(CNET News) Microsoft ended its long battle with European regulators by agreeing to comply with key elements of the European Commission's 2004 antitrust order. Under the agreement, Microsoft will make three "substantial" changes in the way it supplies interoperability information to competitors seeking to have their work-group server software work with Microsoft's operating system. The company will provide open-source software developers access to and use of its interoperability information, according to the Commission.
(BBC) European Union regulators have launched an in-depth investigation into Google's $3.1bn takeover of online advertising firm DoubleClick. The EU Commission said its initial probe had shown the deal would raise competition concerns. It has set itself a deadline of 2 April 2008 to reach a decision.
(RAPID) The European Commission has approved the report on the implementation by Member States of the Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA of 22 December 2003 on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. This report finds that most Member States have criminalised sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and child pornography on the Internet, But Member States can still do more. See also REPORT from the Commission on the implementation of the COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.
(BBC) A huge campaign to poison web searches and trick people into visiting malicious websites has been thwarted. The booby-trapped websites came up in search results for search terms such as "Christmas gifts" and "hospice". Windows users falling for the trick risked having their machine hijacked and personal information plundered. The criminals poisoned search results using thousands of domains set up to convince search index software they were serious sources of information.
(BBC) Interpol has launched an unprecedented global public appeal to help identify a man shown sexually abusing children in photographs posted on the internet. The man appears in about 200 images depicting the abuse of 12 boys, which police said were taken in Vietnam and Cambodia, possibly in 2002 and 2003. The pictures had been digitally altered but police computer specialists have produced identifiable images. Interpol says the man is a danger to children while he remains at large. See also Thai police name suspected web paedophile (Guardian ) and Thais arrest paedophile suspect (BBC).
(IPS) The crackdown in eastern Europe and the United States on websites posting racist content or child pornography could expose Latin America to the risk of becoming a new "cyber paradise" for on-line paedophilia and racism, experts say. The warning was sounded at the United Nations-sponsored Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Rio de Janeiro, which has been discussing issues like security, access and diversity on the net. Many of the websites bearing illegal and harmful content were hosted by the Czech Republic. But after the clampdown they migrated to countries like Panama, according to Thiago Tavares, head of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) SaferNet Brasil.
(BBC) Police in New Zealand have questioned a teenager believed to be the ringleader of an international cyber-crime group. The group is alleged to have infiltrated more than one million computers and skimmed millions of dollars from people's bank accounts. The teenager, who is 18, cannot be named for legal reasons but was known by an alias as "Akill". He was detained as part of an FBI crackdown on hi-tech criminals who run botnets - networks of hijacked PCs.
(BBC) At least 200 European airline websites are misleading the consumer, a study by the European Commission has found. Websites are failing to show taxes and charges, and refusing to advertise the lowest fare prominently, according to the report. The Commission has refused to name any airlines involved in order to give them time to improve their service. see also Consumers: EU crackdown on misleading airline ticket websites (RAPID). See also EU investigates airline ticket selling websites. Questions and answers and Press conference speaking points by Meglena Kuneva, European Commissioner for Consumer Protection.
(Reporters Without Borders) In partnership with Reporters Without Borders and Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a Chinese Internet expert working in IT industry has produced an exclusive study on the key mechanism of the Chinese official system of online censorship, surveillance and propaganda. This report shows how the CCP and the government have deployed colossal human and financial resources to obstruct online free expression. Chinese news websites and blogs have been brought under the editorial control of the propaganda apparatus at both the national and local levels.
(CNET News.com) Reports have surfaced that China is redirecting traffic from foreign search engines operated by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to homegrown Baidu.com. According to various reports online, some online users in China attempting to access Google.com, Microsoft's Live.com and Yahoo.com search sites have been redirected to China-based Baidu.com. Blog site TechCrunch reported that Chinese traffic to Google's blog search engine was being rerouted to Baidu. TechCrunch later published another article saying a similar situation was observed with the other two search giants.
(Reuters) The Internet in China is not as restricted as sometimes believed in the West, with most controls actually coming from sites practising self-censorship, an academic who studies the Chinese Web said. But the government has also effectively stopped online dissent, defying expectations that the Communist Party would never survive broadband, said Rebecca MacKinnon, assistant professor of new media at Hong Kong University's Journalism and Media Studies Centre.
(Heise) According to the State Media Agency of Lower Saxony (NLM) the Administrative Court in Lüneburg has imposed an order to cease and desist to stop an internet provider from hosting a web page containing about 1400 links, some of them leading to pornographic web sites. According to the NLM, minors are able to access these pornographic offers because no appropriate age verification system is in place.
(FDI) Le Forum des droits sur l´internet a publié sa Recommandation « Jeux vidéo en ligne : quelle gouvernance ? ». Cette 25e Recommandation constitue le premier rapport français qui étudie le phénomène du jeu vidéo en ligne dans ses diverses composantes : sociologique, économique et juridique. Il traite de toutes les formes de jeux qui existent en ligne (jeux en ligne massivement multijoueur, jeux occasionnels et consoles de jeu connectées à internet), à l´exception des jeux d´argent. Labels: Content_Regulation.htm">Content_Regulation, Protection_of_minors.htm">Protection_of_minors
(BBC) Bloggers are now finding themselves prey to censorship from repressive governments as much as journalists in traditional media. Reporters Without Borders' annual study of press freedom says China is one of the worst offenders, having imprisoned 50 people for postings on the internet. The report says governments realise the internet is now a key tool in promoting democracy and are moving to curb it. Eritrea was ranked bottom on overall press freedom by the pressure group. The African nation took the 169th slot on the sixth annual worldwide press freedom index, behind North Korea at 168th and Turkmenistan at 167th.
(Washington Post) The Kremlin and its allies are turning their attention to cyberspace, which remains a haven for critical reporting and vibrant discussion in Russia's dwindling public sphere. Allies of President Vladimir Putin are creating pro-government news and pop culture Web sites while purchasing some established online outlets known for independent journalism. They are nurturing a network of friendly bloggers ready to disseminate propaganda on command. And there is talk of creating a new Russian computer network - one that would be separate from the Internet at large and, potentially, much easier for the authorities to control.
(Reuters) Singapore has banned a Microsoft video game that contains a scene showing a human woman and an alien woman kissing and caressing each other. The Straits Times said Mass Effect, a highly anticipated futuristic-space adventure game from Microsoft, was banned by Singapore's Media Development Authority.
(RAPID) Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, Publishers Forum, Brussels, 6 December 2007.
(EDRI-gram) The recent meeting on 22-24 November 2007 of the Competitiveness European Council meeting adopted its conclusions on scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination and preservation. The conclusions underline the importance of scientific output resulting from publicly funded research being available on the Internet at no cost to the reader under economically viable circumstances, including delayed open access.
(Ars Technica) After months of threats, pleadings, and lawsuits from content owners, YouTube finally rolled out its video content identification system. Consumer groups aren't quite as thrilled about the news as are content owners, however. Even content owners might turn out to be a bit wary. The new system isn't magic; it requires that copyright holders submit copies of every piece of material that they want protected.
(BBC) French web users caught pirating movies or music could soon be thrown offline. Those illegally sharing files will face the loss of their net access thanks to a newly-created anti-piracy body granted the wide-ranging powers. The anti-piracy body comes out of a deal agreed by France's music and movie makers and its net firms. The group who brokered the deal said the measures were intended to curb casual piracy rather than tackle large scale pirate groups. See Accord pour le développement et la protection des ?uvres et programmes culturels sur les nouveaux réseaux and Rapport sur le développement et la protection des oeuvres culturelles sur les nouveaux réseaux. Voir aussi Mission Olivennes : le détail des engagements du gouvernement, des ayants droit et des FAI. L'AFA (Association des fournisseurs d'accès et de services internet) n'a pas signé cet accord. Ce sont les principaux opérateurs (France Télécom, Iliad, Neuf Cegetel, Numéricâble et Télécom Italia), qui l'ont paraphé en leur nom propre.
(EDRI-gram) Under the patronage of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, an agreement was signed on 23 November 2007 between some French ISPs and the music and movie representatives in order to act directly against the big illegal file-sharers. These could be warned in the first stage and then their connection could be even cut-off.
(ZDNet.fr) Le rapport du P-DG de la Fnac préconise que la future Autorité de régulation des mesures techniques puisse réclamer aux FAI de suspendre, voire de résilier l´abonnement des clients s´adonnant au téléchargement illicite. L´UFC dénonce la « surenchère répressive ».
(CNET News) A legal team enforcing the most widely used license in the open-source and free software movement has shown that it's not afraid to take its cases all the way to court. For years, violations of the General Public License, or GPL, have been met with quiet discussions to resolve compliance problems that can result when open-source software is used improperly. Now, however, the Software Freedom Law Center is taking a hard-line approach, filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against Monsoon Multimedia for allegedly failing to abide by requirements of the GPL.
(Reuters) A Swedish Web site that promotes trading of pirated movies is developing a new software standard for Internet downloads in a move that could make it easier to swap media files, which is illegal in many countries. The Pirate Bay is the biggest ad-supported site using the software of BitTorrent. The program has been a good match for Internet denizens looking to pick up free downloads of copyrighted media, from Harry Potter movies to Xbox 360 video games.
(Guardian) The artist currently known as Prince has threatened to sue thousands of his biggest fans for breach of copyright, provoking an angry backlash and claims of censorship. His lawyers have forced his three biggest Internet fansites to remove all photographs, images, lyrics, album covers, and anything linked to the artist's likeness.
(BBC) British and Dutch police have shut down a "widely-used" source of illegally-downloaded music. A flat on Teesside and several properties in Amsterdam were raided as part of an Interpol investigation into the members-only website OiNK. The UK-run site has leaked 60 major pre-release albums this year alone, said the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). A 24-year-old man from Middlesbrough was arrested.
(FT) Some of the world's largest media companies have agreed on a set of standards to govern the way that copyright law and anti-piracy measures should be applied to video and music on the internet - a move that could push them into conflict with Google. The group includes Walt Disney, News Corp, NBC Universal, CBS, Viacom and Microsoft. People involved in the discussions said the intention was to avoid a round of expensive copyright lawsuits with the technology companies that have become distributors of their video online, or relinquishing the matter to Congress, which could impose legislation with unintended consequences. However, the effort also appears to have been designed to gain leverage over Google, whose YouTube site is the largest destination for online video, and has represented a major source of frustration for traditional media companies.
(Declan McCullagh) The Recording Industry Association of America has found a new legal target for a copyright lawsuit: Usenet. In a lawsuit, the RIAA says that Usenet newsgroups contain "millions of copyrighted sound recordings" in violation of federal law. Only Usenet.com is named as a defendant for now, but the same logic would let the RIAA sue hundreds of universities, Internet service providers, and other newsgroup archives. AT&T offers Usenet, as does Verizon, Stanford University and other companies including Giganews.
(BBC) Video site YouTube is launching filtering tools to clamp down on the sharing of video without permission. The tools, called Video Identification, will block copyright material from appearing and spreading on the site. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is currently fighting a billion-dollar legal battle with Viacom over the spread of pirated files. The firm says it currently removes copyright works when it has been told of their existence on the website.
(Journal of Adolescent Health) Adolescents' access to and use of new media technology (e.g., cell phone, personal data assistant, computer for Internet access) are on the rise, and this explosion of technology brings with it potential benefits and risks. Attention is growing about the risk of adolescents to become victims of aggression perpetrated by peers with new technology. In September 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened a panel of experts in technology and youth aggression to examine this specific risk. This special issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health presents the data and recommendations for future directions discussed at the meeting. The articles in the Journal support the argument that electronic aggression is an emerging public health problem in need of additional prevalence and etiological research to support the development and evaluation of effective prevention programs.
(BBC) The first online anti-bullying channel has been launched to encourage young people to denounce the intimidation. YouTube has set up a site where youngsters can post their own videos and messages. It follows growing concern about the increase in persecution by e-mail, mobile phone and on social networking sites, known as cyberbullying. The scheme is being launched at the start of anti-bullying week and is run jointly with charity Beatbullying.
(AP) Megan Meier thought she had made a new friend in cyberspace when a cute teenage boy named Josh contacted her on MySpace and began exchanging messages with her. Megan, a 13-year-old who suffered from depression and attention deficit disorder, corresponded with Josh for more than a month before he abruptly ended their friendship, telling her he had heard she was cruel. The next day Megan committed suicide. Her family learned later that Josh never actually existed; he was created by members of a neighborhood family that included a former friend of Megan's. See also Cyberbullying Suicide Stokes the Internet Fury Machine (Wired).
(RAPID) Technology developments can enhance the protection of privacy and at the same time allow law enforcement authorities for a secure and timely access to information, including personal data. The Conference on Public Security, Privacy and Technology, organised by the European Commission brings together public and private sectors representatives to discuss this topics. See Closing speech on Public Security, Privacy and Technology by Franco Frattini, European Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security. Programme.
(FT) Privacy advocates declared victory after Facebook, the social networking website, moved to placate users concerned about the intrusiveness of its new Beacon advertising system. Changes to Beacon will allow users to "opt-in" to sharing information through the service, which broadcasts purchases made on outside websites to Facebook users' friends.
(Silicon News) The government has failed to understand the threat to the continued growth of the internet posed by cyber crime, according to the influential House of Lords Science and Technology Committee.
(Guardian) The government has offered a £20,000 reward for the safe return of two missing CDs containing personal details of half the British population. The Metropolitan police, which has been heading the search for the data, has asked thousands of government workers to check their desks and homes "in case the package or discs have turned up".
(BBC) The UK government's "basic competence" has been questioned by the Tories after the loss in the post of computer discs with 25m people's personal details on them. The child benefit data on them includes names, ages, bank and address details.
(Scotsman) POLICE hunting for the two missing data discs containing sensitive data about millions of people have searched rubbish tips in London, Scotland Yard said. The discs, containing 25 million child benefit claimants' personal details, went missing when a junior official sent them by courier in the internal mail from the Child Benefit office in Washington, Tyne and Wear, to the National Audit Office in London on October 18.
(ZDNet.co.uk) In the wake of the largest-ever data breach to hit the UK, the Information Commissioner's Office has criticised the apparent lack of technological safeguards in government departments and called for "privacy-enhancing technologies" to be built into future projects.
(BBC) Millions of young people could damage their future careers with the details about themselves they post on social networking websites, a watchdog warns. The Information Commissioner's Office found more than half of those asked made most of their information public.
(Europa) Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media. High Level Seminar on European Audiovisual Content Online, Lisbon, 9 October 2007.
(RAPID) A high level group on digital libraries met Commission officials in Brussels to discuss progress towards launching the European digital library. A European digital library foundation has recently been created. This formalises the agreement of European archives, museums, audiovisual archives and libraries to work together and to provide a common access point to Europe's cultural heritage online.
(vnunet.com) Westminster City Council has launched an SMS service to inform users of the nearest public toilet. Users text 'toilet' to 80097 and the service determines their location and automatically finds the nearest public toilet. The 'SatLav' system charges 25p for each text.
(RAPID) Despite technological progress and enhanced competition, more than one in three Europeans are still excluded from fully benefiting from the digital society. Benefits of ?35-85 billion over five years could be generated if society would be made more inclusive, websites more accessible and broadband Internet made available to all EU citizens. The Commission presents its e-Inclusion initiative to Council, calling on Member States to support a number of key actions, including an awareness campaign for 2008 "e-Inclusion, be part of it!" e-Accessibility legislation, similar to that of the USA, is also under consideration.
(BBC) The government is taking another look at the effect that wireless networks have on health. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has announced it will carry out "systematic" research into how wireless networks are being used. The research will aim to establish average exposure to the low level radiation emitted by wi-fi access points and wireless links on computers. The HPA said it expected the results of the research to be "reassuring". In its statement outlining its intentions, Professor Pat Troop, chief executive of the agency, said there was "no scientific evidence to date" that wi-fi or wireless local networks could have an adverse effect on the health of the general population.
(BBC) Top internet companies have joined forces to publicise a hotline to report online child pornography. Internet giants AOL, Tiscali, Yahoo! and MSN are supporting the work of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). Through the hotline, the IWF offers a "notice and take-down" service to police and internet service providers.
(Economist) The internet, supposedly a new realm, is most useful when coupled to the real world.
(Economist) Lawrence Lessig is known for his work at the interface between technology and law. Why is he shifting his focus to corruption?
(Europa) Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, Microsoft Innovation Day, Brussels, 4 December 2007
(ZDNet.fr) Alors que la mission Olivennes s'est engagée à responsabiliser les hébergeurs, cinq acteurs du web se regroupent pour protéger leurs activités. Une initiative pour rappeler qu'ils adoptent « une démarche responsable » face au piratage et à la contrefaçon. Il s'agit de la « première organisation française qui regroupe des sociétés de premier plan du web 2.0 et vise à promouvoir le "nouvel" internet ». L'Association des services internet communautaires (Asic) vient de voir le jour sous l'impulsion d'AOL, Dailymotion, Google, PriceMinister et Yahoo.
(BBC) More than 2,000 people who oversee the workings of the net around the world are gathering in Brazil. Policy makers, activists and officials are gathering in Rio de Janeiro for the second Internet Governance Forum. The UN-backed body aims to give those developing policies for the net a place to air problems and hear about others who have succeeded. Sessions at the four-day forum will debate security, international domains and control of core net functions.
(AFP) The second UN forum on governance of the Internet has closed with participants agreeing on the need to protect children from sexual predators using the web to lure victims. See also Brazil Net Forum Takes on Cybercrime(AP) and Net forum tackles cybercrime boom (BBC).
(CNET News) A member of Parliament of the United Kingdom has launched a stinging attack on the U.K. government's IT strategy, saying that it has given Microsoft too much control.
(New York Times) On the opening day of Mobile Internet World in Boston, Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the World Wide Web told a packed hall that the mobile Internet needs to be fully and completely the Internet, nothing more and nothing less. It needs to be free of central control, universal, and embodied in open standards. The title of his talk was "Escaping the Walled Garden: Growing the Mobile Web with Open Standards." The "walled garden" is the metaphor that describes today's cable TV and cellular data networks, where subscribers can only use devices authorized by the carrier, and can only access content and services authorized by the carrier, the exact opposite of the World Wide Web running over the IP-based Internet, which cell phone users access from their home and work PCs.
(News.com) Seven children and one adult were shot and killed at a school in Finland, and the teen who police say did it posted several threatening screeds on YouTube prior to his rampage. Predictably, some media outlets are already producing stories that imply Google's YouTube is a scary place where hateful polemics can be broadcast, unmolested by more thoughtful minds. See also The cyber school for killers (Tiles).
(ZDNet) par Lionel Thoumyre. Au regard des dernières décisions de justice, condamnant Dailymotion ou relaxant Wikimedia Fondation, pour contenus illicites sur leurs services, il est difficile de comprendre ce qui relève de la responsabilité de ces acteurs. Lionel Thoumyre, directeur de juriscom.net, fait le point.
(OUT-LAW News) The Wikimedia Foundation is not responsible for defamatory comments published in its user-generated encyclopaedia Wikipedia, a French court has ruled. The comments had been removed quickly after being notified to the site operators. Three men sought €69,000 in damages when the a Wikipedia entry identified them as gay activists. A French court ruled, though, that the company that publishes the encyclopaedia cannot be held liable for user contributions. The ruling afforded Wikimedia the same protection enjoyed by ISPs.
(vnunet.com) The European Commission has officially selected DVB-H as the mobile TV standard in Europe. EU member states endorsed the Commission's three-pillar strategy presented in July, putting in place a joint approach to licensing mobile TV to accelerate rollout of services and encourage innovative business models. See Commission strategy for Mobile TV in Europe endorsed by Member States (Commission Press Release).
(CoE) Twenty-three Council of Europe member states signed the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (CETS n° 201), which represents a major step in the prevention of sexual offences against children, the prosecution of perpetrators and the protection of victims. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey signed the convention at the beginning of the 28th Conference of the European Ministers of Justice in Lanzarote. The convention will enter into force once it has been ratified by five states. The convention also criminalises the use of the new technologies ? the internet in particular ? to sexually harm or abuse children, for example by "grooming", an increasingly worrying phenomenon of children being sexually harmed after meeting adults they have previously encountered in internet chat rooms or game sites.
(Heise) Mit dem Portal fragFINN.de ist der erste geschützte Internet-Bereich für Kinder in Deutschland gestartet. Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) schaltete am Donnerstag in Berlin die Webseite frei, die Zugang zu ausschließlich kindergerechten Angeboten bieten soll. In das "Netz für Kinder" stellt eine Redaktion nur geprüfte Inhalte ein. fragFINN.de soll als Startseite im Webbrowser dienen. Mit einem Browser-Plugin kann zusätzlich der Zugang zu nicht von fragFINN.de genehmigten Seiten verhindert werden; das Plugin steht bislang nur für den Internet-Explorer zur Verfügung, eine Firefox-Version soll in Kürze folgen.
(BBC) The government is asking for evidence for a new study of the effect of violent computer games on children. Psychologist Tanya Byron will head the study, which will also examine how to protect children from online material.
(CNET News.com) In a showdown of new parental controls in Apple's Leopard versus Microsoft's year-old Vista, there's one clear winner - the parent. Apple's newest operating system Leopard comes with a slick set of child controls. New settings help parents manage a child's time online, block use of certain Web sites or applications like instant chat or iTunes, and watch over what kids do and who they communicate with when Mom and Dad aren't around. Neither Leopard nor Vista parental controls address the increasing mobility of devices in the home. More and more kids use handheld devices with built-in Web browser and Wi-Fi capabilities, making it possible for them to go online nearly anywhere without supervision.
(BBC) Animal rights activists are thought to be the first Britons to be asked to hand over to the police keys to data encrypted on their computers. The request for the keys is being made under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). Police analysing machines seized during raids on activist's homes carried out in May have asked for the keys. The activists could face jail if they do not comply and snub a further formal request to hand over the keys.
(OUT-LAW) Users of encryption technology can no longer refuse to reveal keys to UK authorities after amendments to the powers of the state to intercept communications took effect yesterday. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) has had a clause activated which allows a person to be compelled to reveal a decryption key. Refusal can earn someone a five-year jail term. The measure has been criticised by civil liberties activists and security experts who say that the move erodes privacy and could lead a person to be forced to incriminate themselves.
(WSJ) In Brazil, Google is embroiled in an embarrassing episode over its efforts to profit from social networking, one of the fastest-growing activities online. Google has gotten in hot water over its Web site Orkut, which like other social-networking sites allows people to swap information and create personal Web pages. Critics in Brazil released a report showing advertisements on Orkut alongside pictures of naked children and abused animals. Google immediately suspended the ads, but the company is still grappling with the fallout from critics' Orkut campaign.
(Guardian) The growth of social network sites such as MySpace and Facebook has been one of the most interesting features of this century's web, and it's attracting a lot of academic interest. There's now a good overview of the field, Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship, by Danah Boyd and Nicole Ellison in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.
(BBC) A Dutch teenager has been arrested for allegedly stealing virtual furniture from "rooms" in Habbo Hotel, a 3D social networking website. The 17-year-old is accused of stealing 4,000 euros (£2,840) worth of virtual furniture, bought with real money. Five 15-year-olds have also been questioned by police, who were contacted by the website's owners.
(Guardian) The UK's biggest social networking site announced partnerships with a string of broadcasters, including the BBC, Channel 4, Sky, ITN and CBS, in a move hailed as one of the most significant yet in marrying old and new media. Traditional broadcasters hope that distributing and marketing their programmes to Bebo's 40 million users will help them reconnect with the so-called "lost TV generation" of 13 to 24-year-olds who make up the social networking site's core audience.
(New York Times) Facebook, the popular social networking Web site, will strengthen warnings about child safety on its site and said that it would take steps to improve its process of responding to complaints about sexual or inappropriate content. The company agreed to make the changes as part of a settlement with the New York State attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, who began an investigation last month into whether the Web site was misleading its users by promoting itself as a place where high school students and younger children are safe from adult sexual predators. The settlement did not include a financial penalty, but Mr. Cuomo said it would serve as a "new model" for other sites to follow. See also Facebook made basic error with poor user safeguards, says lawyer (OUT-LAW).
(CNET News.com) Kids who are active members of virtual worlds are learning how to socialize, how to be technologically savvy, and how to be good little consumers. That's according to a group of academics and researchers who met at the University of Southern California to discuss the effects of virtual worlds on children today. Of course, virtual worlds are still so new that researchers haven't had much time to study their impact on kids. But the MacArthur Foundation, a sponsor of the panel discussion, has invested millions in research over the next several years to ask such questions.
(RAPID) Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, Regulators Group, Athens, 11 October 2007.
(RAPID) As part of its package of telecom reform proposals, the European Commission has adopted a new Recommendation on the markets where telecom-specific regulation should take place. The original 2003 version of this Recommendation listed 18 retail and wholesale markets where the Commission considers that specific ex ante regulation is required by national telecoms regulators to deal with competition problems. To reflect the progress made in the past years in most EU Member States in terms of competition and consumer choice, the Commission concluded that in principle there is no need for regulators to intervene in half of these markets. At the same time, this move will allow regulation to better focus on the main bottlenecks in the telecoms sector.
(RAPID) The Commission has adopted proposals for a reform of the EU telecoms rules. The Commission proposes strengthening consumer rights; reinforcing competition between telecoms operators; promoting investment in new communication infrastructures, in particular by freeing radio spectrum for wireless broadband services; and making communication networks more reliable and more secure, especially in case of viruses and other cyber-attacks. A new European Telecom Market Authority will support the Commission and national telecoms regulators in ensuring that market rules and consumer regulation are applied consistently, independently and without protectionism in all 27 EU Member States. To become law, the Commission proposals will now need to be approved by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers.
(RAPID) The future challenges of cooperation between the European Commission and National Regulatory Authorities. Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media. Dinner at the Conference "Is it the right TIME?"- The future regulation of the Telecom, Informatics, Media and Entertainment sector in the EU. Budapest, 26 November 2007.
(EurActiv) At a meeting with top officials of the Italian regulatory authority for telecommunications, Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding was determined to introduce functional separation as a "last-resort remedy" in telecoms liberalisation. Reding reaffirmed her conviction that "national telecoms regulators should be given this tool that can promote both competition and investment". She stressed, however, that the disputed splitting-up of telecoms incumbents should be applied only as a "last-resort remedy to address the stubborn cases where other remedies have failed".
(RAPID) Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, 8th Annual ECTA Regulatory Conference, Brussels, 28 November 2007
(RAPID) The Commission has adopted a new package of proposals aimed at improving the EU?s capabilities in the fight against terrorism. The package contains a series of proposals dealing with the criminalization of terrorist training, recruitment and public provocation to commit terrorist offences, the prevention of the use of explosives by terrorists and the use of airline passenger information in law enforcement investigations. It also contains a report on the mplementation of the Framework Decision on combating terrorism. The Commission proposes amending the Framework Decision to make public provocation to commit a terrorist offence, recruitment and training for terrorism punishable behaviour, also when committed through the Internet.
(Economist) Nearly 35m portable navigation devices (PND) will be sold around the world this year, twice as many as in 2006, making personal navigation one of the fastest-growing areas in consumer electronics. The latest versions of these gadgets do more than simply show the stubborn or shy the way. The industry is beginning to focus on the services PNDs could provide, prompting a scramble for the ownership of the digital maps they use. Nokia, the world's largest mobile-phone maker, said that it would acquire Navteq, the world's biggest maker of digital maps, for 5.7 billion. In July, TomTom, a leading PND vendor from the Netherlands, announced plans to buy Tele Atlas, the next biggest mapmaker, for 1.8 billion.
(RAPID) mobGAS is a new mobile phone application available in 21 European languages that allows users to see how their daily choices impact on climate change. This smart technology, developed by scientists working at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, allows users to see the implications of the choices they make every day, in terms of the three major greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Information about everyday activities - cooking, transport, lighting, electronic appliances etc. - is put into the application, and calculations made of individual emissions. A user diary of daily, weekly and yearly emissions can be registered on a secure website, allowing a comparison with national and world averages. The application also includes an animation reflecting the user's contribution to the Kyoto Protocol target.
(BBC) Mobile phone firm Orange has sold nearly 30,000 iPhones in France, just five days after it was launched. Mobile companies mostly sell iPhones to customers who take out network contracts with them, a point of contention for some consumers. About 80% of the phones were sold for 399 euros on a special Orange tariff plan, with 15% sold for 549 euros on a regular Orange tariff plan. The rest were sold for 649 euros. For 100 euros extra, these can be unlocked.
(vnunet.com) Revenues from mobile 'adult services' are set to approach $3.5bn by 2010, according to a new report. Juniper Research said that growth will be fuelled by increasing adoption of streamed video and video chat, and a sharp rise in the adoption of 3G services.
(Reuters) For the Facebook generation, love now comes with a drop-down menu. With profiles on the Facebook social-networking site almost de rigueur on college campuses, students can define their relationship status with menu choices ranging from "married" to that perennial favorite, "It's complicated." "It's complicated" could also describe the emotional calculations people in their late teens and early 20s make as they decide whether their relationships are what they call "Facebook-worthy."
(BBC) Google has launched a system that will allow developers to create applications for a variety of social networks. Developers currently have to customise their designs for a particular site with many partnering with the hugely popular Facebook. Google's OpenSocial system will allow a wider distribution for tools like Facebook's music recommendation service iLike and its Top Friends application.
(Guardian) They cost thousands, are watched by millions and attract big sponsors. No wonder social network Bebo is about to launch its third reality drama. A new reality series from Big Brother producer Endemol follows the fortunes of six young people as they travel the world - but you won't find it on BBC 3 or Channel 4. The Gap Year is online social network Bebo's third original content commission in six months; part of a bold strategy raising eyebrows among programme-makers and broadcasters. While TV-style content is widely available on social network sites such as MySpace and YouTube, it generally falls into one of three types: user-generated content, existing broadcast TV content, or brand content created for advertisers. However Bebo - with 10.7 million regular users in the UK alone, according to latest research from HitWise - is developing a portfolio of video-based, original content.
(AP) The desire for greater control over how search engines index and display Web sites is driving an effort launched by leading news organizations and other publishers to revise a 13-year-old technology for restricting access. Currently, Google, Yahoo and other top search companies voluntarily respect a Web site's wishes as declared in a text file known as "robots.txt," which a search engine's indexing software, called a crawler, knows to look for on a site. The formal rules allow a site to block indexing of individual Web pages, specific directories or the entire site, though some search engines have added their own commands. The proposal unveiled by a consortium of publishers, known as Automated Content Access Protocol (ACAP), seeks to have those extra commands - and more - apply across the board.
(BBC) More than 75% of parents are concerned about the content of video games played by their children, a survey suggests. Almost half of the 4,000 parents surveyed in the UK, France, Italy and Germany said that one hour of gaming each day should be the limit. Some 43% of the surveyed parents said they were not aware of ratings systems for games to determine suitability. The survey comes as Dr Tanya Byron conducts a separate review of games and their impact on UK children.
(Anime News Network) The Japanese government's Cabinet Office issued the results of its Special Opinion Poll on Harmful Materials, in which 86.5% of those who responded said that manga and art should be subject to regulation for child pornography, if they had to decide. 90.9% said that "harmful materials" on the Internet should be regulated, if they had to decide. The current child pornography laws in Japan do not regulate manga and art that depict children who are not real, or "virtual child pornography."
(Pew Internet & American Life Project) Parents today are less likely to say that the internet has been a good thing for their children than they were in 2004. However, this does not mean there was a corresponding increase in the amount of parents who think the internet has been harmful to their children. Instead, the biggest increase has been in the amount of parents who do not think the internet has had an effect on their children one way or the other. Fully, 87% of parents of teenagers are online - at least 17% more than average adults. Parents check up on and regulate their teens' media use, not just in terms of the internet, but with television and video games as well. However, those rules lean slightly more towards the content of the media rather than the time spent with the media device.
(Economist) Computing: A new wave of science projects on the web is harnessing volunteers' computers in novel ways - and their brains, too. See also Playing or processing?.
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