- CN - China expands porn sting by shutting P2P video sites +/-
(IDG News Service) Chinese regulators have taken a wide-ranging war against online porn one step further by closing a series of popular BitTorrent and other video-sharing Web sites in recent days. The move against video-sharing sites comes as efforts grow to stamp out porn elsewhere too. Regulators have cranked up their work to eradicate porn accessed by mobile phone and called for more control of vulgar content in online PC games. Last week state media also criticized Google and local rival Baidu over pornographic search results.
- CN - China tightens Internet controls in the name of fighting porn, piracy, and cybercrime +/-
(Rebecca MacKinnon) China's blocking of overseas websites - including Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of other websites including this blog - is more extensive and technically more sophisticated than ever. Controls over domestic content have also been tightening. The past few weeks have seen four new moves which are not officially or overtly aimed at political content, but which have implications for the way in which the government controls all conveyors of all kinds of speech. First, late November saw the launch of a mobile porn crackdown. The draconian way in which this crackdown is being implemented involves a great deal of collateral damage for non-pornographic content. Second, Chinese the state-run media is going after the search engines again for turning up smutty results when users search for smutty information. Third, last week the government shut down more than 500 file-sharing websites as part of an anti-porn and anti-piracy crackdown, on the grounds that these websites don't have proper licenses. Fourth, CNNIC, the organization which runs the .cn top-level domain has announced that it is no longer accepting domain name applications from individuals.
- CN - Website porn tip-offs surge as China offers cash rewards to informers +/-
(Xinhua) Tip-offs on Internet and mobile WAP sites containing pornographic contents have surged in China as authorities announced to give each qualified informer with up to 10,000 yuan (1,465 U.S. dollars) in reward. Since the announcement, the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center had received more than 13,000 online tip-offs and more than 500 phone calls, 10 times the usual daily number. The center, together with ministries and the National Office against Pornographic and Illegal Publication, issued a circular encouraging the public to report on websites and mobile WAPsites that contain obscene information or put on illegal advertisements of sex products. China has launched several rounds of crackdowns on online pornography. In mid-November, the crackdown was extended to WAP sites that can be accessed by mobile handsets.
- An Open Letter from Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg +/-
(Facebook blog) Facebook's current privacy model revolves around "networks" - communities for your school, your company or your region. The plan we've come up with is to remove regional networks completely and create a simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone. We're adding the ability to control who sees each individual piece of content you create or upload. In addition, we'll also be fulfilling a request made by many of you to make the privacy settings page simpler by combining some settings.
- Being online: identity, anonymity, and all things in between +/-
(O'Reilly) by Andy Oram. Social networking is the Internet phenomenon of the year and deserves an end-of-the-year profile. In a recent 19-month period, Facebook rose from 75 million to 300 million members, and Twitter has gone from perhaps 1.3 million users (depending on how you count them) to an estimated 18 million. Before the end of the year, I'll post eight related entries that add up to a treatise titled "Being online: identity, anonymity, and all things in between:"
- DE -StudiVZ adds support for 3rd party apps - user privacy is paramount +/-
(TechCrunch Europe) Facebook's German clone StudiVZ follows the US social network's most successful move by adding support for third-party applications. The 15.7m users of StudiVZ and its siblings MeinVZ and SchülerVZ can now play games from Plinga or Wooga, sing online Karaoke with Mikestar or order Italian food from Pizza.de. CEO Markus Berger-de León has applied tight security policies to third-party apps to avoid the type of scams that TechCrunch recently dug up on Facebook and MySpace. German online privacy laws are among the strictest in the world, even Google Analytics is in danger of being banned in our country. To address this, VZ-Netzwerke works with so-called "business cards": For every app, users have to complete a form with the information they want to share. False names and incomplete data are also possible.
- Facebook gives users more control of privacy +/-
- Yahoo! Introduces Ad Interest Manager +/-
(Press Release) Yahoo! has released a beta version of a new consumer tool called Ad Interest Manager, which takes transparency in online advertising to a new level for building user trust. Ad Interest Manager http://privacy.yahoo.com/aim is a central place where Yahoo! visitors can see a concise summary of their online activity and make easy, constructive choices about their exposure to interest-based advertising served from the Yahoo! Ad Network.
- Sexual offenders are using the internet to fast-track abuse +/-
(Daily Telegraph) Sexual offenders are using the internet to fast-track abuse, according to new research. Previous studies into child sexual abuse had shown that offenders spent months befriending a young person, and in some cases their family, to prepare for the abuse. But latest research, from the European Online Grooming Project, shows that the grooming process by offenders using the internet is much faster. Rather than selecting one vulnerable child to abuse, some offenders also appear to target numerous young people until they find someone willing to meet them. They are increasingly using social networking sites such as MSN and Facebook and are becoming technologically-advanced, often operating in communities sharing indecent images between countries, according to the research conducted by NatCen (National Centre for Social Research), Kingston University and Royal Holloway, University of London - which was presented at the UK Council for Child Internet Safety's (UKCCIS) first annual summit. Prof Julia Davidson, from Kingston University, said. "The research shows that the grooming period has been speeded up with chat room communication becoming almost immediately sexualised".
- US - Facebook and MySpace delete NY sex offenders +/-
(CNET News.com) by Larry Magid. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced that more than 3,500 sex offenders from his state have been purged from Facebook and MySpace. Both companies have long had policies against registered sex offenders using their services, but the implementation of New York's new Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act ("E-Stop") has made it easier for the sites to identify perpetrators from the Empire State. Facebook, according to Cuomo, was able to identify and disable the accounts of 2,782 registered sex offenders. MySpace deleted 1,796 accounts.
- CA - Government Introduces Mandatory Child Porn Reporting Law +/-
(Michaal Geist) The Justice Minister has tabled the Child Protection Act (Online Sexual Exploitation). Bill C-58 creates a mandatory disclosure requirement on Internet providers where they become aware of child pornography websites or have reason to believe a subscriber is using their service to violate child pornography laws. Where an Internet provider submits a report on a user, they must preserve the relevant computer data for 21 days and they are prohibited from disclosing the disclosure to the customer. Failure to report may result in fines or imprisonment and providers are granted immunity from liability for reporting the activity. The definition of Internet provider is broad, extending beyond just ISPs to include those providing Internet access, hosting, or email services. In other words, services like Google, Hotmail, and Facebook are all covered.
- NL - Notice and Take Down Procedure for .nl Domain Names +/-
(SIDN) SIDN, the .nl registry, is one of the prime movers behind the Notice and Take Down Code. Developed in 2008 under the auspices of the NICC, the Code describes how internet service providers should respond if someone complains that the content of a website is unlawful or criminal. SIDN has introduced a version of the Code tailored to the .nl domain. As the .nl registry, SIDN's role in the context of Notice and Take Down (NTD) is limited to three fields of activity. The first of these fields is advice and referral. What types of complaint can you make, and who can you make them to? For example, if you see something on a website you are unhappy with, the first person to talk to is the person who put it there; next you might go to the organisation that runs the website, then the firm that hosts it and the internet access provider. Only if none of these people and organisations will intervene should you take your complaint to the registry (SIDN). Second, SIDN can play a role in the provision of information. When someone complains to us about the way a domain name is being used, we can tell the complainant about the domain name in question, who the registrant is and which registrar manages the registration. Third, in the last resort, if all other possible ways of getting criminal or unlawful content removed from a website have been tried and failed, SIDN can take the domain name out of use.
- Find What Happens To Your Email and Social Networking Accounts When You Die? +/-
(MakeUseOf) Have you ever wondered what happens to your email accounts and social networking accounts such as Facebook and MySpace when you die? Who gets access to your accounts, can people get even get access to your account and your stored personal information?
- Millions using social media on Xbox Live +/-
(CNET News.com) Microsoft said that millions of Xbox Live members have used the new social-media features giving access to Facebook, Twitter, and Last.fm. While the manifestation of each of those services is scaled down on Xbox Live, the rollout has been one of the company's big pushes this fall for its hugely popular online system. The first-week figures show that at least 2 million Xbox Live users have logged into Facebook, and that half a million Last.fm accounts were created in the first 24 hours of availability. Figures were not given for many Xbox Live users have used the service's Twitter feature.
- Pingo penguin brings Facebook connection to life +/-
(CNET News.com) A robotic penguin, apart from being cute, can bring Facebook connections to life, quite literally. About the size of a small chicken egg and taking the shape of a penguin, the new device is called Pingo. It's an interactive electronic playmate that can move around your desk, express moods, respond to voice commands, sing songs, and read aloud e-mail messages, headlines, stock quotes, and weather.
- Awesome Visualization of Social Media Usage Around the Globe +/-
(Mashable) TrendStream, who publishes the Global Web Index, has created a fantastic visualization that shows the penetration of different social technologies in major markets around the globe. The research is based on interviews with 32,000 Internet users in 16 countries.
- DFG-Projekt: Young Scholars' Network on Privacy and Web 2.0 +/-
(Hamburg Media School) Um den internationalen Dialog zum Thema „Privatsphäre und Web 2.0“ zu fördern, finanziert die DFG ein wissenschaftliches Netzwerk von fünfzehn internationalen, renommierten Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern. Zum Netzwerk unter der Leitung von Prof. Dr. Sabine Trepte von der Hamburg Media School gehören auch Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt vom Hans-Bredow-Institut sowie als Mentor Institutsdirektor Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink. Das DFG-Projekt „Young Scholars' Network on Privacy and Web 2.0” ermöglicht den direkten wissenschaftlichen Austausch zwischen exzellenten, internationalen Nachwuchsforscherinnen und -forschern. Die fünfzehn Mitglieder des Netzwerkes stammen von der Harvard University, der University of Amsterdam, der Michigan State University, der City University of Hong Kong, der University of Bath, der Universität Hamburg, dem Hans-Bredow-Institut Hamburg, der Universität der Künste Berlin, der Universität Hohenheim, der Universität Mainz und der Universität Duisburg-Essen.
- EU - The Impact of Social Computing on the EU Information Society and Economy +/-
(IPTS) This report by the The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies provides a systematic empirical assessment of the creation, use and adoption of specific social computing applications and its impact on industry, personal identity, learning, social inclusion, healthcare and public health, and government services and public governance.
- US - Study: 15 percent of teens have gotten 'sext' messages +/-
(CNET) Sending explicit content, such as naked or near-naked photos, via text message - a phenomenon also known as "sexting" - is a familiar phenomenon among some teens, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Older teens, especially those who foot their own cell phone bills, are much more likely to send and receive these images. While 8 percent of 17-year-olds with cell phones have sent a sexually provocative image by text, this number goes up to 17 percent among those who pay their bills themselves. In all, 30 percent of 17-year-olds have received explicit images on their phones. The survey also shows that while the exchange of nude images mostly takes place among romantic partners or potential partners of the same age, these images are also forwarded to non-partners or people in different age groups.