Home page| Extended HTML version
(RAPID) Two years after the adoption of modernising EU TV rules removing outdated restrictions on digital TV over the internet, video on demand and mobile TV, only three countries - Belgium, Romania and Slovakia - have officially notified the European Commission of measures putting them in place, as required under EU law. The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS Directive) rebooted EU rules on traditional TV broadcasting for the digital age. EU countries had until 19 December 2009 to turn the modernised rules for Europe's audiovisual industry into national law. The Directive creates a single market for all audiovisual media services, providing legal certainty for businesses and protection for consumers.
(Sydney Morning Herald) Senator Stephen Conroy's consultation paper on mandating the filtering of internet sites by Australian internet service providers suggests that Australia could soon have the most restrictive internet regime in the Western world. The incorporation of international lists of overseas-hosted child sexual abuse material would be sufficient to align mandatory Australian practices with the voluntary practices of most liberal democracies. Indeed, the implication is that it might total the sum of all other jurisdictions' voluntary filter lists. However, the commitment to add other content that is only prohibited in Australia will mean that the scope of the content to be captured will be much more extensively drawn than in equivalent nation.
(Forbes) China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has released regulations, dated Dec. 15, requiring the registration of all Web sites. MIIT's justification was the need to eliminate sexual content. As a Ministry spokesman stated, "This is about mobile pornography, it's not referring to any other issue." The explanation, however comforting it sounds, is disingenuous. The wording of the rules is broad enough to cover all sites, domestic and foreign, whether or not they carry sex-themed material. "Domain names that have not registered will not be resolved or transferred," the regulations state. In other words, unregistered sites will become unavailable to users in China. see also Blacklist, White List? China's Internet Censors Spawn Confusion (WSJ) by Loretta Chao.
(Reuters) Chinese police said the crackdown on Internet pornography had brought 5,394 arrests and 4,186 criminal case investigations in 2009 - a fourfold increase in the number of such cases compared with 2008. The announcement said the drive would deepen in 2010.
(Official Google Blog) In mid-December, Google detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China. However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident was something quite different. First, this attack was not just on Google. Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information, rather than the content of emails themselves. Third, we have discovered that the accounts of dozens of U.S.-, China- and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties. These accounts have not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users' computers. These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered - combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web - have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China. See also Hillary Clinton calls on China to probe Google attack (BBC) and China Rebuffs Clinton on Internet Warning (New York Times).
(BBC) As Google considers withdrawing from China, the BBC looks at the highs and lows of internet access and freedom in the most populous country in the world.
(Guardian) A Guardian investigation has discovered that several internet companies have quietly introduced filters to prevent Indian users from accessing sexual content. The Yahoo search engine and Flickr photo-sharing site (owned by Yahoo) altered their sites earlier this month to prevent users in India from switching off the safe-search facility. The block also applies to users in Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea. Microsoft has also barred Indian users of its Bing search engine from searching for sexual content. Users who do try to search for sexual material receive a notice informing them that "your country or region requires a strict Bing SafeSearch setting, which filters out results that might return adult content". The clampdown is understood to be in response to recent changes to India's Information Technology Act of 2000, which bans the publication of pornographic material.
(Technology And Internet News) The Peer to Patent project has already earned its place in history. It was explicitly cited as inspiration for the open government initiative in the Obama administration, which recently released a comprehensive directive covering federal agencies. It's encouraging to hear that a new pilot has started in Australia and has gathered a small community of volunteer patent art seekers. You can check out the official site and its Wikipedia page.
(ReadWriteWeb) Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told a live audience that if he were to create Facebook again today, user information would by default be public, not private as it was for years until the company changed dramatically in December. In a six-minute interview on stage with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, Zuckerberg spent 60 seconds talking about Facebook's privacy policies. His statements were of major importance for the world's largest social network - and his arguments in favor of an about-face on privacy deserve close scrutiny. Zuckerberg offered roughly 8 sentences in response to Arrington's question about where privacy was going on Facebook and around the web. The question was referencing the changes Facebook underwent last month. Your name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, Friends List, and all the pages you subscribe to are now publicly available information on Facebook. This means everyone on the web can see it; it is searchable. Labels: Social_networking.htm">Social_networking
(BBC) Social networking websites have ensured that everyone who has an opinion can put it out in the public domain. The impact of all those online revelations has made France consider the length of time that personal information should remain available in the public arena. A proposed law in the country would give net users the option to have old data about themselves deleted. This right-to-forget would force online and mobile firms to dispose of e-mails and text messages after an agreed length of time or on the request of the individual concerned.
(OUT-LAW News) Organisations responsible for major breaches of personal information security will face fines up to £500,000 from 6th April this year. The long-awaited penalties for serious data protection breaches have been approved by the Government. see Draft Order laid before Parliament The Data Protection (Monetary Penalties) Order 2010 and statutory guidance from Information Commissioner's Office.
(Guardian) New legal powers to allow the British Library to archive millions of websites are to be fast-tracked by ministers after the Guardian exposed long delays in introducing the measures. The culture minister, Margaret Hodge, is pressing for the faster introduction of powers to allow six major libraries to copy every free website based in the UK as part of their efforts to record Britain's cultural, scientific and political history.
(Ars Technica) Stephen Conroy is Australia's Communications Minister and, in that role, has been instrumental in pushing for ISP-level traffic filters that will block access to illegal content by his nation's citizens. A site that was combination parody and protest, stephenconroy.com.au, saw its domain registration deleted late last month since they had no business relationship with anyone or thing by that name. Its creators, however, registered stephenconroy as a business in Victoria, simply waited for it to reappear in the pool of available domains, and grabbed it again.
(OUT-LAW News) The body responsible for the .uk internet addresses disconnected over 1,200 websites without any oversight from a court. The much-publicised action last month was based only on police assertions about criminal activity on the sites. Two Nominet executives have told technology law podcast OUT-LAW Radio that it severed the connection between 1,219 domain names and the sites that lay behind them without the kind of court order that web hosting companies would usually demand.
(Economist) How you use your mobile phone has long reflected where you live. But the spirit of the machines may be wiping away cultural differences.
(BBC) Many young people are using 'proxy servers' to get round their schools' internet security systems. The free services offer instant access to banned websites, including online games and social networking. Figures suggest the use of proxies has risen sharply in recent years. Security experts are warning that pupils who log on put themselves at risk of cyber crime.
(Techworld) Europe's ISPs are just about holding their own against the global spam barrage, a Europe-wide report has found. Put another way, things are not getting better, but are not getting any worse either. Judging from the 2009 ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency) spam survey of ISPs across 27 EU states, ISPs spend substantial sums trapping spam before it gets to the end user, mainly because they have to to keep customers. Small providers spend at least 10,000 Euros ($14,100) fighting unwanted messages, while large companies will exceed seven figure euro sums to do the same.
(The Register) Wikileaks has temporarily suspended operations while it launches a pledge drive. The whistle blowing site is taking time out to ask for support in many forms, not just donations. Wikileaks is appealing for help from volunteer coders, offers of free legal assistance and hosting support as well as cash donations. The site has promised not to accept corporate or government finance in order to protect its integrity. As an incentive to potential supporters Wikileaks said it is sitting on "hundreds of thousands of pages from corrupt banks, the US detainee system, the Iraq war, China, the UN and many others that we do not currently have the resources to release".
(01net) Le Premier ministre a reçu un rapport sur la lutte contre le racisme sur Internet. Il souhaite impliquer davantage les administrations et rappelle leur rôle aux hébergeurs. La France possède un arsenal répressif complet pour combattre le racisme, mais il est insuffisamment mis en œuvre sur Internet, souligne le rapport « Lutter contre le racisme sur Internet » remis au Premier ministre, François Fillon. Réalisé par Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, conseiller d'Etat, présidente du Forum des droits sur l'Internet, ce document d'une soixantaine de pages note la présence évidente de messages et contenus à caractère raciste, sans toutefois conclure à une augmentation de leur nombre.
(MEDEA) The aim of the MEDEA Awards is to encourage innovation and good practice in the use of media (audio, video, graphics and animation) in education. The overall winner of the MEDEA Awards 2009 was announced by Maruja Gutierrez-Diaz, Advisor to the Director of the Lifelong Learning Programme, European Commission on 4 December during a reception in Berlin. It is Know IT All for Primary Schools by Childnet International (UK). Know IT All for Primary Schools includes a vibrant new 3D SMART animation created by Childnet International, designed especially for both primary school staff and primary pupils. The resources are designed to help school staff to understand important e-safety issues and to offer strategies and information on how to support young pupils to get the most out of the Internet.
(GMTv) With ways of accessing the internet increasing all the time, Child Internet Safety Expert John Carr gives his tips on keeping your kids safe online. A third of children aged 5 to 8 have a personal laptop or computer, one in five have it in their own bedroom, and one in four kids use their mobile to access the internet. Lots more children may have received a Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable or an iTouch for Christmas. But how many parents know that their children can get wi-fi access on them?
(Google Public Policy Blog) We're releasing the latest in a series of online safety videos as part of our Digital Literacy campaign. As we engage more students, parents and teachers about how to make good decisions online, many have noted how difficult it is to identify and avoid online scams. We know how tricky scammers can be. Our new video, Steering Clear of Cyber Tricks, shares some tips on how to avoid tricky online scams.
(BBC) Dating and social network site BeautifulPeople.com has axed some 5,000 members following complaints that they had gained weight. The members were singled out after posting pictures of themselves that reportedly showed they had put on pounds over the holiday period.
(CNET) A report financed by the French government recommends that Google, MSN, Yahoo, and other big advertising companies - as well as Internet service providers -vbe taxed, with revenue set to help fund the music and publishing sectors. Google is "profiting without any consideration" for music artists and book publishers, according to the report, written by Jacques Toubon, France's former minister of culture, Patrick Zelnick, a former music executive who produced French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's songs, and Guillaume Cerutti, an executive at Sotheby's France.
(RAPID) New EU telecoms rules officially became EU law on 19 December following their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. The new rules composed of the Better Regulation Directive and the Citizens' Rights Directive will need to be transposed into national laws of the 27 EU Member States by June 2011. The new Regulation establishing the new European Telecoms Authority called "Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)" is directly applicable and will enter into force in 20 days. BEREC will provide a force for consistent regulation across Europe strengthening the single telecoms market.
(BBC) Virtual goods such as weapons or digital bottles of champagne traded in the US could be worth up to $5bn in the next five years, experts predict. In Asia, sales are already around the $5bn mark and rapidly growing. For many, virtual goods are one of the hottest trends in technology and are fuelling huge growth in the social gaming sector.
(Economist) In the coming months Rupert Murdoch, News Corp's boss, is expected to introduce paywalls on the websites of the bigger publications in his stable, such as the Times of London and the Sun. Last month Axel Springer, a large German publisher, began charging for some of its newspapers. Variety, a trade publication for Hollywood, has begun demanding money. The New York Times is pondering a similar move. Will these paywalls, however carefully crafted, persuade people to pay for something they are used to getting free? A barrage of surveys suggests it will be difficult.
(Net Family News) If anyone had any doubts about how big the mobile Web will be, Google's release of its Nexus One phone should erase them. It's part of Google's "careful plan to try to do what few other technology companies have done before: retain its leadership as computing shifts from one generation to the next," the New York Times reports. And this shift is computing, shopping, gaming, info-gathering, communicating, photo-sharing, learning, teaching, producing, etc. on smart phones. According to Nielsen, about 18% of mobile phones were smartphones last year (up from 13% the year before, and a projected 40-50% of mobile phones sold this year will be smart phones.
(Ars Technica) The real news at Google's event wasn't a phone at all, but a URL: http://google.com/phone. An online storefront that, if successful, could knock one of the major pillars out the current, much-reviled US carrier model and result in faster, cheaper, more flexible service for mobile users. Here's how it works. In short, what Google announced wasn't just the Nexus One, but America's America's first carrier-independent smartphone store; the Google store is now the only smartphone store in the US where, for every phone on offer, you first pick which phone you want, and then you pick a network and a plan on that network.
(New York Times) 83 children, ages 7, 9 and 11 participated in a study on children and keyword searching. Sponsored by Google and developed by the University of Maryland and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, the research was aimed at discerning the differences between how children and adults search and identify the barriers children face when trying to retrieve information.
(BBC) A German computer scientist has published details of the secret code used to protect the conversations of more than 4bn mobile phone users. Karsten Nohl, working with other experts, has spent the past five months cracking the algorithm used to encrypt calls using GSM technology. The work could allow anyone - including criminals - to eavesdrop on private phone conversations.
(MSN News) Five journalists plan to lock themselves away in a French farmhouse with access only to Facebook and Twitter to test the quality of news from the social networking and micro-blogging sites.
(Economist) E-reader sales have been gathering momentum since Amazon launched the Kindle in 2007. In 2009 falling prices, combined with a flurry of deals, announcements and technical upgrades, primed the market for a vast expansion. There are about 5m e-readers in circulation worldwide and double that amount will be sold in 2010, according to iSuppli, a market-research firm.
(New York Times) The average young American now spends practically every waking minute - except for the time in school - using a smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Those ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day with such devices, compared with less than six and a half hours five years ago, when the study was last conducted. And that does not count the hour and a half that youths spend texting, or the half-hour they talk on their cellphones. And because so many of them are multitasking - say, surfing the Internet while listening to music - they pack on average nearly 11 hours of media content into that seven and a half hours. The study's findings shocked its authors, who had concluded in 2005 that use could not possibly grow further, and confirmed the fears of many parents whose children are constantly tethered to media devices. It found, moreover, that heavy media use is associated with several negatives, including behavior problems and lower grades.
(Pew Internet) As texting has become a centerpiece in teen social life, parents, educators and advocates have grown increasingly concerned about the role of cell phones in the sexual lives of teens and young adults. A new survey from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that 4% of cell-owning teens ages 12-17 say they have sent sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images or videos of themselves to someone else via text messaging, a practice also known as "sexting"; 15% say they have received such images of someone they know via text message.
(e-Televisión) En estas Jornadas analizaremos las tendencias y oportunidades de las INTERNET TV (tanto la TVIP como el Video on Demand –VOD-) para Universidades, Centros de Investigación y Formación, Empresas orientadas a las TICs, así como para colegios e institutos, dedicando algunas sesiones a los profesores como docentes y "prescriptores" de las tecnologías en las aulas. Fecha: en Madrid del 1 - 3 de febrero de 2010. Dirige: Dra. Loreto Corredoira, email@example.com. Organiza: e-Televisión, spin off de la Complutense y el Grupo Complutense IPTV.
(CoE) The next Octopus Interface on Cooperation against Cybercrime will take place in Strasbourg on 23-25 March 2010. It will gather cybercrime experts from public and private sectors; international and non-governmental organisations to discuss the issues of security and the protection of fundamentals rights on the Internet as well as to share good practices in implementing the Convention on Cybercrime and its Protocol. The Conference will also focus on the following topics: Effective measures against the sexual exploitation and abuse of children on the internet; The Convention on Cybercrime as a global framework; Cybercrime training for judges and prosecutors;aw enforcement responsibilities: the role of high-tech crime units, CERTs/CSIRTs, registries and registrars; Mapping networks against cybercrime; Technical cooperation against cybercrime. See first outline of the Conference.
(EuroDIG) European Dialogue on Internet Governance EuroDIG 2010 will take place at the 29/30 April 2010 in Madrid. We invite herewith all interested stakeholders to a joint preparatory meeting in Madrid on 19 January 2010 at 11:00 am CET.
(Danube University Krems) EDem10 will take place at Danube University Krems, Austria, on 6th and 7th of May 2010. EDem is the leading E-Democracy conference in Europe and the keynote speakers will ensure an interesting event. On primary aim is to bring together researchers and practitioners. Deadline for Extended Call for Papers 1 March.
(University of Antwerp) COST action IS0801 is pleased to announce the organisation of an international workshop on legal issues regarding cyberbullying amongst youngsters (peer-to-peer and student-versus-authority). This workshop will be held on Wednesday May 26th 2010, in Antwerp (Belgium). It will be followed by the "E-youth: Opportunities and risks" conference on May 27th-28th 2010, organised by UCSIA and the University of Antwerp.
(UCSIA) 27-28 May 2010 - Antwerp - Belgium. UCSIA and the University of Antwerp are pleased to announce the organisation of a two-day international, multidisciplinary conference on children, adolescents & ICT. The conference will focus on national and international research dealing with social, cultural, economic, legal, psychological and ethical issues regarding young people's uses of various internet applications and mobile telephony. Confirmed keynotes so far are: Jos de Haan, Sonia Livingstone, Yves Poullet, Peter Smith, Patti M Valkenburg, Seounmi Youn.
(Network World) In choosing Howard Schmidt as cyber czar President Obama has gotten someone who has held a similar job in a previous administration, has varied experience at high-level corporate jobs, was a frequent panelist at security conferences and who has even written a book on defending the Internet.
(News.com) Barack Obama, in his first official action as president, signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open government, a short document that declared, "We shall work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in government." Beth Noveck was a principal contributor to the memorandum, and the first member of the Obama-Biden transition's Technology, Innovation, and Government Reform team, which advised the president-elect on ways to incorporate technology into his larger reform goals.
QuickLinks consists of