- AU - New rules for age-restricted internet and mobile content +/-
(ACMA) The Australian Communications and Media Authority has determined new rules that for the first time implement a uniform approach for restricting access to MA15+ and R18+ content accessed through the internet or by mobile phones. The new Restricted Access Systems Declaration places obligations on all content service providers to check that individuals accessing restricted content provided in Australia are at least 15 years of age for MA15+ content or 18 years of age for R18+ content. Similar to previous obligations relating to stored content, the new rules provide that after receiving a complaint and investigating internet or mobile content, ACMA may require the content service provider to either remove the content or place the content behind specified access restrictions.
- CN - Fears for rights as Beijing 2008 nears +/-
(BBC) A few days ago, about 30 police officers broke into the home of Chinese activist Hu Jia and took him away.His wife, fellow activist Zeng Jinyan, is now under house arrest. At least 10 security personnel guard her home. Mr Hu's arrest comes as China celebrates the start of one of its most important years in recent history.
- CN - Unprecedented censorship measures to be applied to online video and audio files +/-
(Reporters Without Borders) Reporters Without Borders condemns new regulations jointly issued by the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry (MII) and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) under which only websites that are licenced by both the MII and SARFT will be able to post videos and audio files online from 31 January.
- JP - Regulating the Japanese cyberspace, one step at a time +/-
(gyaku) by shioyama. With little fanfare from local or foreign media, the Japanese government made major moves this month toward legislating extensive regulation over online communication and information exchange within its national borders. In a series of little-publicized meetings attracting minimal mainstream coverage, two distinct government ministries, that of Internal Affairs and Communications (Somusho) and that of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Monbukagakusho), pushed ahead with regulation in three major areas of online communication: web content, mobile phone access, and file sharing.
- Saudis confirm detention of blogger +/-
(New York Times) An outspoken Saudi blogger, Fouah al-Farhan, is being held for "purposes of interrogation," the Saudi Interior Ministry confirmed.
- UK - Censors battle for Manhunt 2 ban +/-
(BBC) British censors are seeking a judicial review to block the sale of controversial video game Manhunt 2. Last week developer Rockstar won a hearing at the Video Appeals Committee to have a ban on the title lifted. But the British Board of Film Classification said that decision was based on an incorrect interpretation of the Video Recordings Act.
- Big Brother gets bigger, says global privacy study +/-
(CNet) According to a new international privacy report, governments around the world are increasingly invading the privacy of citizens with surveillance, identification systems, and archiving of private data. Driven by concern over immigration and border control, countries have been quick to implement database, identity, and fingerprinting systems, according to the 2007 International Privacy Ranking report. See also UK is Europe's worst in privacy league (Info4Security).
- EU - EDPS expresses serious concerns about EU PNR proposal +/-
(RAPID) The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has issued his Opinion on the recent proposal of the Commission for a Council Framework Decision on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for law enforcement purposes. The proposal involves obligations for air carriers to transmit data about all passengers on flights to or from an EU Member State. The Opinion emphasizes the major impact the proposal would have on privacy and data protection rights of air passengers. While acknowledging that the fight against terrorism is a legitimate purpose, the EDPS expresses serious concerns about the necessity and proportionality of the proposal which, in his view, are not sufficiently established in the proposal. In addition, the EDPS takes a critical stance on the lack of clarity in relation to various aspects of the proposal, in particular the applicable legal framework, the identity of the recipients of personal data, and the conditions of transfer of data to third countries.
- UK - Millions of L-drivers' data lost +/-
(BBC) The details of three million candidates for the driving theory test have gone missing, Ruth Kelly has told MPs. Names, addresses and phone numbers - but not financial data - were among details on a computer hard drive which went missing in the US in May. It belonged to a contractor to the Driving Standards Agency, the transport secretary told MPs.