- BE - Belgian papers seek €49m in copyright damages from Google +/-
(Guardian) Belgian newspapers are pushing for up to €49m in damages from Google for publishing and storing their content without paying or asking permission. Last year the search website lost a lawsuit filed by a number of French-language Belgian newspapers and was forced to remove their content which had been posted on Google News and stored in its search engine cache without the copyright owners' permission. Copiepresse, an organisation that represents the French and German language Belgian press, has summoned Google to appear again in September before a Brussels court that will decide on the claim for damages.
- DE- Bundesrat segnet Gesetz zur besseren Durchsetzung geistigen Eigentums ab +/-
(Heise) Der Bundesrat hat das Gesetz zur besseren zivilrechtlichen Durchsetzung geistiger Eigentumsrechte abgesegnet. Rechteinhaber erhalten damit erstmals einen Auskunftsanspruch gegen an Rechtsverstößen unbeteiligte Dritte wie Internetprovider. So soll die Identität möglicher Rechtsverletzer etwa in Tauschbörsen einfacher aufgedeckt werden können. Über die Herausgabe von hinter einer IP-Adresse stehenden Nutzerdaten muss ein Richter entscheiden. Das Gesetz soll nun nach der Unterzeichnung durch den Bundespräsidenten und der Veröffentlichung im Bundesgesetzblatt in Kraft treten. Siehe auch GVU-Vorstand wirft Providern Verweigerung im "Kampf gegen Raubkopierer" vor.
- EU - European Commission proposes forum on future of copying levies +/-
(Intellectual Property Watch) Charlie McCreevy, the EU commissioner for the internal market, has suggested that a forum of those directly affected by private copying levies should be set up with a view to finding "common ground" on the surrounding issues between the collecting societies, which administer levies, and electronics firms, which are required to pay them. Artists and consumers groups should take part in this forum, too, he told a Brussels conference. See Opening speech, Conference on 'private copying levies' - Public Hearing, Centre Borschette, Brussels - 27 May 2008.
- US - YouTube law fight 'threatens net' +/-
(BBC) A one billion dollar lawsuit against YouTube threatens internet freedom, according to its owner Google. Google's claim follows Viacom's move to sue the video sharing service for its inability to keep copyrighted material off its site. Viacom says it has identified 150,000 unauthorised clips on YouTube. In court documents Google's lawyers say the action "threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information" over the web. They also maintained that YouTube had been faithful to the requirements of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and that they responded properly to claims of infringement.
- A simple way to avoid being the next Star Wars Kid +/-
(Times) by Jonathan Zittrain. Embarrassing images can find their way onto the web all too easily, ruining the lives of the people depicted, but a 'privacy tag' could prevent it.
- CA - Facebook 'violates privacy laws' +/-
(BBC) A Canadian privacy group has filed a complaint against the social networking site Facebook accusing it of violating privacy laws. The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) has listed 22 separate breaches of privacy law in its country. Facebook rejects the charge, claiming some of the highest standards around. The basis of the complaint, filed with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, states that Facebook collects sensitive information about its users and shares it without their permission. It goes on to say that the company does not alert users about how that information is being used and does not adequately destroy user data after accounts are closed.
- EU - Commission replies on Phorm +/-
(Cable Forum) The ePrivacy Directive obliges Member States to ensure the confidentiality of communications and related traffic data through national legislation. In particular, they shall prohibit listening, tapping, storage or other kinds of interception or surveillance of communication and the related traffic data by persons other than the users without their consent, which must be freely given, specific and informed indication of the user's wishes. The data concerned in this particular matter i.e. the content of search queries, constitute communication within the meaning of this Directive and the URLs used in the packets constitute traffic data. This data should therefore be protected appropriately.
- FR - Passeports biométriques : avis défavorable de la CNIL +/-
(Le Monde) Le gouvernement est passé outre l'avis de la Commission nationale de l'informatique et des
libertés (CNIL) en créant le nouveau passeport biométrique, qui devra
contenir, outre une photo numérisée, les empreintes digitales de huit
doigts. Selon la CNIL, donít l'avis du 11 décembre 2007 a été publié au
Journal officiel du 10 mai, "un sujet d'une telle importance devait passer devant le Parlement et nous n'avons pas obtenu les éléments qui
permettent de justifier la création de cette banque de données", a
résumé à l'AFP son président, Alex Türk.
- Google blurs the privacy issue +/-
(Guardian) Google is hoping to avoid a fight with European privacy campaigners as it prepares to launch its controversial Street View service this side of the Atlantic later in the year, by introducing new technology that blurs the faces of people its cameras inadvertently snap while scanning the streets.
- Google founders in web privacy warning +/-
(FT) Social networks and other companies' "aggressive" attempts to target advertising according to users' search behaviour risk damaging the internet industry's reputation, Google's co-founders have warned. Google has faced particular resistance in Europe to its policy of retaining users' search history to improve search results, but comments made by Sergei Brin and Larry Page to journalists at a Google conference in Hertfordshire seemed designed to identify others as the bigger threat to internet users' privacy.
- EU - Electronic Identity: easy access to public services across the EU +/-
(RAPID) The European Commission unveils a pilot project to ensure cross-border recognition of national electronic identity (eID) systems and enable easy access to public services in 13 Member States. Throughout the EU, some 30 million national eID cards are used by citizens to access a variety of public services such as claiming social security and unemployment benefits or filing tax returns. The Commission's project will enable EU citizens to prove their identity and use national electronic identity systems (passwords, ID cards, PIN codes and others) throughout the EU, not just in their home country. The plan is to align and link these systems without replacing existing ones.
- EU - European Criminal Records Information System +/-
(RAPID) The Commission has adopted a proposal for a Council Decision on the establishment of the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS). The proposal aims at giving concrete tools to all 27 Member States for the exchange of easy-to-use information between Member States with different criminal legal systems, different languages, as well as different alphabets. ECRIS is a system based on decentralised information technology architecture, where criminal records data will be stored solely in databases operated by Member States. The system aims at making sure that the recipient receives information in a form which is immediately understandable.
- EU - Towards a European strategy on e-Justice +/-
(RAPID) The Commission has adopted a Communication to the European Parliament, Council and the EESC presenting ideas for the use of Information Society tools in the field of justice. The Communication deals with current and future initiatives which will help promote the European Justice Area. The objectives of e-Justice, which encompass both criminal and civil justice, are: The creation of a European portal designed to facilitate access to justice by citizens and businesses across Europe, and the reinforcement of judicial co-operation, on the basis of existing legal instruments. See also Questions and answers on the adoption of the e-Justice Communication.
- FR - Les gendarmes lancent leur premier appel à témoins sur Internet +/-
(01net) La gendarmerie nationale met en ligne un site consacré à une affaire criminelle, afin de recueillir de nouveaux témoignages ou indices. Une première en France alors que cette pratique a déjà cours à l'étranger, en Allemagne par exemple. L'opération a reçu l'aval du juge d'instruction chargé de l'enquête, et le ministère de la Justice finance l'opération.
- US - Internet key to Obama victories +/-
(BBC) With Barack Obama moving close to victory in the Democratic presidential primary campaign, the internet has proved one of the key tools to his success. And it may well give the Democrats a big advantage during the Presidential race itself. The internet favours the outsider, and gives them the ability to quickly mobilise supporters and money online. The more nimble use of the internet by the Obama campaign in its early stages helped him overcome the huge initial lead of Hillary Clinton in the presidential nominating race.
- EU - Haut débit, mobilité, créativité: les chances que la France et l'Europe doivent saisir +/-
(RAPID) Discours de Viviane Reding, Membre de la Commission européenne responsable pour la Société de l'Information et Médias, Assises françaises du numérique "les TIC, levier de croissance et de compétitivité", Paris, le 29 mai 2008.
- EU - Les principaux chantiers en cours de l'Europe des télécoms et des médias +/-
(RAPID) Discours de Viviane Reding, Membre de la Commission européenne responsible pour la société de l'information et les médias, Conférence 'Convergence 2008', Paris, le 30 mai 2008.
- EU - The i2010 Agenda - a European Success story in the making +/-
(Europa) Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media. i2010 Conference - Information Society at a Crossroads, Brdo, 13 May 2008.
- WSIS - Information Society on the move: ITU issues stocktaking report +/-
(ITU) The ITU has released WSIS Stocktaking 2008 Report. This Report is an update on the activities undertaken by governments, business, civil society and other organizations aimed at the achievement of the objectives and targets of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) from end 2005 until mid 2008. The Report was prepared through a consultative process with all stakeholders by placing the draft report for comments on the WSIS stocktaking website. The system is publicly accessible and presents information on WSIS-related initiatives and projects. It is possible to search for information within the database by WSIS action line, project, keyword, geographical location and other specifications. Governments submitted 3812 activities, representing 54 per cent of the total number of submissions. International organizations were second, with 29 per cent, followed by businesses, civil society entities and others. Some 44 per cent of activities submitted had been carried out at the national level, while 30 per cent were of an international nature.
- AU - Budget provides policing for internet safety +/-
(Press Release) The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has announced a targeted plan to create a safer online environment for Australian children. The Government's cyber-safety funding will provide $49 million to law enforcement, ensuring that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Child Protection Operations Team can expand its capacity to detect and investigate online child abuse, with 91 additional AFP members dedicated to online child protection by 2011. Central to the Government's plan to make the internet a safer place for children is the introduction of Internet Service Provider (ISP) level filtering of material such as child pornography. The ISP filtering policy is being developed through an informed and considered approach, including a laboratory trial, extensive industry consultation, and close examination of overseas models to assess their suitability for Australia. In addition, the Government is developing a range of measures to help empower children to be responsible online participants. It will provide parents, teachers, trainee teachers, librarians and children with up-to-date, comprehensive and age-appropriate online cyber-safety resources and assistance.
- FR - De nouvelles solutions pour protéger les enfants du Net +/-
(Le Parisien) MSN, la messagerie instantanée utilisée par 70 % des jeunes internautes français, lance officiellement aujourd'hui un nouveau logiciel gratuit de contrôle parental. Ce dernier était très attendu par les associations de lutte pour la protection des mineurs sur Internet. Il va enfin permettre aux parents de contrôler - à distance et en direct -tout nouvel « ami » qui voudrait entrer en contact avec leur enfant.
- FR - Nadine Morano : «Interdire l'accès aux sites pédophiles» +/-
(Le Figaro) La secrétaire d'État à la Famille s'apprête à prendre une série de mesures pour mieux protéger les enfants de la cybercriminalité. "Je rencontre aujourd'hui les fournisseurs d'accès à Internet pour qu'ils interdisent l'accès à tous les sites pédopornographiques et illégaux recensés sur une liste noire établie par le ministère de l'Intérieur. Cette pratique existe déjà dans d'autres pays comme la Grande-Bretagne, la Suède, la Norvège". voir aussi FR - Protection des enfants sur internet : trois pistes d'actions proposées aux professionnels (Ministère du travail, des relations sociales et de la solidarité). Nadine MORANO, Secrétaire d'Etat chargée de la Famille, propose trois actions aux professionnels de l'Internet pour protéger les familles et les enfants: interdire l'accès aux sites illégaux pédopornographiques; accroître les performances des logiciels de contrôle parental des FAI; faire en sorte que les parents soient davantage informés des performances des logiciels de filtrage des FAI. voir aussi Une visite à Londres sur la thème de la protection des enfants sur internet.
- Penguins offer safer surfing +/-
(FT) Club Penguin, the virtual online world for six- to 14-year-olds is rapidly growing into a global phenomenon. Club Penguin has 20m users and analysts estimate up to 10 per cent of them have persuaded parents to pay about £4 a month for souped-up access to the site. Safety features were a big selling point from the outset. Club Penguin employs more than 100 moderators who monitor the site for unsafe behaviour. They are trained to spot bullying, or attempts to share contact details. Pictures cannot be posted on the site. Instead, children are represented by a colourful penguin. Filtering software prevents phone numbers being published.
- UK - McCanns back web child initiative +/-
(BBC) The parents of Madeleine McCann have backed a scheme to use social networking websites Facebook and Bebo to help trace missing children. The charity Missing People has launched the initiative to coincide with International Missing Children's Day.
- JP - Government plans blocking of child porn sites +/-
(Yomiuri Shimbun) The ruling parties in Japan will introduce legislation for Internet service providers to block access to child pornography sites with major providers in favor of the move. Under the blocking system, Internet service providers would use special software to block access to Web sites included on a police list of child porn sites, including sites using overseas servers. Britain, Italy, Sweden and other countries have already implemented such a system, and it is claimed the approach has been effective in limiting child porn on the Web.
- UK - Net downloads to get age ratings +/-
(BBC) Age ratings for downloaded video content and video games are to be introduced in the UK. Overseen by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the scheme will see certificates appear on websites, via set-top boxes and portable players. Disney, Warners and Fox have signed up to the scheme with other "key industry figures... poised to join the scheme". see also Censors go online to clean up murky world of digital videos (Times).
- US - Age verification not the 'killer app' +/-
(Net Family news) ConnectSafely.org was invited to join the Internet Safety Task Force that is part of MySpace's settlement with 49 state attorneys general. One of the Task Force's main goals is to see if age verification technology can be used to protect minors. The Task Force's first meeting - was attended by Internet companies including MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, AOL, Google, and Yahoo, age- and identity-verification companies, and online-safety organizations. Larry Magid wonders if such technology would be helpful even if it could be employed. See his commentary at CBSNEWS.com.
- Anyone can have a social site now +/-
(Net Family News) Google has announced Friend Connect, allowing people to add social-networking features to any existing blog or Web site for free. So now it's really true that there could be as many social-networking sites in the world as there are Internet users. Because we've arrived at where creating a blog, a Web page, or a social-networking site is as cut-'n'-paste a proposition as using Word. But let's think about the child-safety implications too. Have the US's state attorneys general thought about age verification for every young Web site owner or blogger and somehow making them as well as MySpace and Facebook impose it on every visitor to their sites? The other issue hardly anybody in the US talks about is how international the social Web is. Do US attorneys general think any law or technology could require overseas sites to verify the ages of US-based users? See also Google to Connect Friends Across the Web (Washington Post) and MySpace, Facebook, et al: Data portability.
- EU - ENISA asks for new legislation on social networking sites +/-
(IDG) Europe's top Internet security agency, ENISA, called for new legislation to police social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. "Social networking sites are very useful social tools but we must make recommendations for how to better protect people from the risks these sites create," said Andreas Pirotti, executive director of ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency). He suggested that EU legislation be expanded "to cover the taking of photos of people and posting them on the internet," he said, adding that currently there is no need to get a person's consent in order to post a photo of them. He also said there is a "crucial need" to raise awareness about how social networking sites work. Few people realize that they can be offered up as friends to people they don't know. Also, many people don't realize that it's almost impossible to erase material once it has appeared on the internet, Pirotti said.
- The Top 10 Social Networking Annoyances +/-
(PC World) It's great to keep in touch with your friends and colleagues, but does the price have to be spam, zombie bites, and friend invitations from people you've never heard of?
- UK - Facebook users warned about ads +/-
(BBC) Credit companies are using the Facebook social networking site to target young people, a debt charity has warned. Credit Action says adverts promising cheap loans for people with poor credit ratings are appearing on the site and many break advertising regulations. In particular, they are promoting two new products - payday loans secured against a salary or logbook loans secured against a car.
- UK - Social networking site bans the over 36s in sex offender claims +/-
(OUT-LAW News) A social networking site has deleted most of its users over the age of 36 because it claims older users pose a danger of sex offending. It claims to be forced into the action by the Government, but the part of a law it cites is not yet in force. Faceparty has deleted what it describes as "a huge number of accounts" from its social networking site in recent weeks. It lists 'over 36 years old' as one of its reasons for deletion. "We understand that only a minority of older users are sex offenders, but you must understand that we cannot tell which," it says in its explanation of the deletion of accounts.
- US - 2 key court actions involving MySpace +/-
- CN - Reorganisation of China's telecoms industry +/-
(Economist) By any measure - revenues, employees, customers - it is the largest industrial reorganisation ever. And, reflecting how business is done in China, it was announced in the most modest way, with a posting on a government website on May 24th. The country's telecoms industry, with nearly 600m mobile subscribers, 360m fixed-line customers and $244 billion in revenue, will be reconfigured. Six companies will be collapsed into three, each spanning mobile, fixed and broadband services.
- How to promote the spread of mobile phones among the world's poorest +/-
(Economist) In the next few months, the number of mobile phones in use will exceed 3.3 billion, or half the world's population. No technology has ever spread faster around the globe: the mobile phone took less than two decades to reach this degree of penetration. But the ever-restless wireless industry has already set its sights on getting the other half connected. Two recent reports analyse how to add the "next billion" to the subscriber list.
- NL - KPN tempts Dutch customers with mobile TV +/-
(Register) KPN will become the first operator in Europe to launch a nationwide mobile TV service when it begins broadcasting 10 channels across DVB-H next month. The Dutch operator's service kicks off from June 5 and it will offer TV-hungry customers two handsets, the LG KB620 and the Samsung P960, which can receive the broadcasts.
- AU - Cyber bullying an issue for Australian youth, poll finds +/-
(theage.com.au) Cyber bullying is affecting more than one in five young Australians, said the annual Youth Poll survey. The internet plays a critical role in the lives of 15- to 20-year-olds, with 64 per cent having a social network site such as MySpace or Facebook. But 22 per cent had been harassed or bullied online.
- Nielsen: MySpace, Club Penguin growth static, LinkedIn soaring +/-
(CNET) Nielsen's numbers, which track monthly unique visitors to social-networking sites, indicate that MySpace's growth from April 2007 to April 2008 was just 3 percent, and that Club Penguin's traffic shrank 7 percent. Business social network LinkedIn, is still growing rapidly, pulling in 361 percent more unique users than it did a year ago. Facebook is growing more slowly, with 56 percent more visitors.
- OECD - The broadband myth +/-
(Economist) The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) regularly releases a ranking of broadband penetration, speeds and prices across its 30 countries. More recently, it has begun to look at coverage and competition too. The OECD released its latest report. The number of broadband subscribers in the world's 30 biggest countries grew by 18% to reach 235m, or one-fifth of those countries' total population. Between 2005 and 2006, prices fell by an average of 19% for DSL connections and 16% for cable lines. At the end of 2004 the average speed was 2 megabits(MB) per second; in 2007 it increased to almost 9MB. But the excellent report, written by Taylor Reynolds and Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, goes beyond the numbers and examines why broadband is actually useful. And here the authors face a problem: there simply is not good data to show that broadband matters. there is little evidence to support the notion that faster is inherently better. The rankings miss something crucial about how broadband is used, regardless of where a country stands.
- UK - Web users back code for bloggers +/-
(Guardian) Nearly half of all internet users would support a voluntary code of conduct for bloggers and online commentators, according to research. A survey by legal firm DLA Piper said 46% of web users think bloggers should sign up to a code that reflected the laws on defamation, intellectual property and incitement, with 15% ambivalent and 4% strongly opposed.
- UK - Web worlds 'useful' for children +/-
(BBC) Virtual worlds can be valuable places where children rehearse what they will do in real life, reveals research. They are also a "powerful and engaging" alternative to more passive pursuits such as watching TV, said the BBC-sponsored study. The research was done with children using the BBC's Adventure Rock virtual world, aimed at those aged 6-12. The researcher said the BBC should have involved children early on to guide development and provide feedback.