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(JRC) The State of the Electronic Identity Market: technologies, stakeholders, infrastructure, services and policies. Drafted collaboratively by European Commission JRC IPTS and Consult Hyperion. The report - explores the market and the economics of electronic identity, the changing infrastructural landscape, the structure of eID-enables service provisions, and relevant issues of policy - finds that usability, minimum disclosure and portability, essential features of future systems, are at the margin of the market and cross-country, cross-sector eID systems for business and public service are only in their infancy - provides evidence of the potential of eID for the Single Digital Market. Clear monitoring and analysis of this market is crucial for policy action on identification and authentication, eSignature and interoperability. Comments and enquiries to Wainer.firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Ioannis.email@example.com. The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies JRC
(BBC) In a country where the media, despite increasing commercialisation, remains under the ultimate control of the ruling Communist Party, and where other types of civic space are limited, the internet has rapidly developed into one of the major channels for Chinese citizens to exchange information and express their views.
(BBC) Turkey has lifted its ban on YouTube, two years after it blocked access to the website because of videos deemed insulting to the country's founder. Transport Minister Binali Yildirim, who is in charge of internet issues, said the government had been in contact with Google, which owns YouTube. Mr Yildirim said there was no longer any reason to ban the website, because the offending videos had been removed. Insulting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk or "Turkishness" is illegal in Turkey. The video clip prompting the ban was reportedly posted by Greek users of the website and dubbed Ataturk and Turks homosexuals.
(ZDNet UK) A website that offered advice to protesters has been shut down at the behest of the Metropolitan Police, prompting criticism from a legal human rights organisation. The Fitwatch website was taken offline by hosting company JustHost.com, after the firm received a letter from police. Fitwatch administrator Emily Apple said in a Guardian blog post that the police had requested the website be taken offline as it was "attempting to pervert the course of justice". Apple said that a Fitwatch blog post had prompted the police action. The blog post offered advice to students involved in protests against tuition fee rises at Millbank Tower, which resulted in smashed windows, and a fire extinguisher being thrown from a roof. Millbank houses the Conservative Party headquarters.
(Press Release) ACTA aims to establish a comprehensive, first-time, international framework that will assist Parties to the agreement in their efforts to effectively combat the infringement of intellectual property rights, in particular the proliferation of counterfeiting and piracy. It will include state-of-the-art provisions on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, including provisions on civil, criminal, and border enforcement measures, robust cooperation mechanisms among ACTA Parties to assist in their enforcement efforts, and establishment of best practices for effective IPR enforcement. Participants in the negotiations constructively resolved nearly all substantive issues and produced a consolidated and largely finalized text of the proposed agreement, which will be submitted ad referendum to their respective authorities. The participants agreed to work expeditiously to resolve the small number of outstanding issues that require further examination in capitals, with a view to finalizing the text of the agreement as promptly as possible. See Consolidated draft text.
(BBC) An Australian hoping to quench his nation's thirst via the web has agreed to change the name of his alcohol search site after protests from Google. Cameron Collie set up Groggle to allow users to find the best-priced "grog" in nearby stores. Search giant Google complained at his effort to trademark the name, prompting a six-month legal wrangle. Now the name Groggle has been changed to a more conventional title, Drinkle, ahead of its launch in 2011.
(Guardian) The smartphone patent wars raging in the US have drawn players such as Nokia, Apple, RIM and Google into open hostilities.
(RAPID) Speech by Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, Forum d'Avignon - Les rencontres internationales de la culture, de l'économie et des médias, Avignon, 5th November 2010. We must ensure that copyright serves as a building block, not a stumbling block. Our fragmented copyright system is ill-adapted to the real essence of art, which has no frontiers. It irritates the public ... and leaves a vacuum served by illegal content. It suits vested interests to avoid a copyright debate, or to frame the debate in moralistic terms that merely demonise millions but that is not sustainable. Time alone will not solve the problems that have emerged. Instead of a dysfunctional copyright system based on a series of cultural Berlin walls, I want a return to sense.
(CNET News.com) The U.S. government has launched a major crackdown on online copyright infringement, seizing dozens of sites linked to illegal file sharing and counterfeit goods. Torrent sites that link to illegal copies of music and movie files and sites that sell counterfeit goods were seized this week by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the Department of Homeland Security. Visitors to such sites as Torrent-finder.com, 2009jerseys.com, and Dvdcollects.com found that their usual sites had been replaced by a message that said, "This domain name has been seized by ICE--Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court."
(BBC) The social networking giant Facebook is a few steps away from trademarking the word face, online documents reveal. The site has been asked to detail a "statement of use" by the US Patent and Trademark Office, explaining how it intends to use the word.
(Interface Digital) Interactive chart of companies involved in litigation.
(Europa) Controlling your information, having access to your data, being able to modify or delete it - these are essential rights that have to be guaranteed in today's digital world. To address these issues, the European Commission today set out a strategy on how to protect individuals' data in all policy areas, including law enforcement, while reducing red tape for business and guaranteeing the free circulation of data within the EU. This policy review will be used by the Commission with the results of a public consultation to revise the EU's 1995 Data Protection Directive. The Commission will then propose legislation in 2011. Under the review, data retained for law enforcement purposes should also be covered by the new legislative framework. The Commission is also reviewing the 2006 Data Retention Directive, under which companies are required to store communication traffic data for a period of between six months and two years. The Commission is calling on all stakeholders and the public to comment on the review's proposals until 15 January 2011. See also 'Right to be forgotten' proposed by European Commission (Daily Telegraph).
(Cincodías) La Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD) acaba de anunciar que "ha iniciado actuaciones de investigación sobre la transmisión de datos de usuarios de la red social Facebook a través de distintas aplicaciones ofrecidas desde la plataforma, para determinar si ha vulnerado la normativa española de protección de datos, y los derechos de usuarios españoles". Según ha explicado la agencia en un comunicado, la apertura de la investigación se produce tras la denuncia presentada por la Asociación de Consumidores y Usuarios en Acción-FACUA y tras las informaciones publicadas en distintos medios de comunicación relativas a "que varias de las aplicaciones más populares programadas sobre la plataforma de Facebook han transmitido a anunciantes y otras empresas datos como los nombres de sus usuarios y, en algunos casos, los de sus amigos en la red social."
(RAPID) Speech by Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, Les Assises du Numérique conference, Université Paris-Dauphine, 25 November 2010. As summarised on Neelie Kroes' Twitter feed: Clear and robust data protection is a "must have" feature for cloud services. We we all deserve 2 things: 1) cloud suppliers protect personal data efficiently and transparently and 2) countries hosting cloud servers must have laws guaranteeing data protection with any limited security exceptions governed by rule of law.
(OUT-LAW News) The European Commission is taking the UK to court, claiming that UK law does not protect citizens' privacy as strongly as EU laws demand. The case centres on the UK Government's response to the Phorm web monitoring scandal. Phorm invented a technology for ISPs to use to track users' web use in order to serve them ads that were related to the recorded internet activity. ISP BT used this technology without telling users, which led to complaints to UK regulators and the Commission that this broke privacy laws. The Commission said that UK law failed to meet the requirements of EU directives in three respects. There is no independent national authority to supervise the interception of some communications; UK law authorises interception of communications not only where the persons concerned have consented to interception but also when the person intercepting the communications has 'reasonable grounds for believing' that consent to do so has been given; UK law prohibiting and providing sanctions in case of unlawful interception are limited to 'intentional' interception only, whereas EU law requires Member States to prohibit and to ensure sanctions against any unlawful interception regardless of whether committed intentionally or not.
(RAPID) Speech by Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda. Microsoft Government Leaders Forum London, 4 November 2010.
(01net) Le secrétariat d'Etat au Développement numérique signe une charte du droit à l'oubli avec plusieurs réseaux sociaux et moteurs de recherche. C´est le deuxième document de ce genre que Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet soumet aux acteurs du Web français. La première charte, signée en début de mois, encadrait l'utilisation des données personnelles dans la cadre de la publicité ciblée. « Cette fois, cela concerne les informations que l'on poste de manière volontaire et que l'on voudrait un jour voir disparaître », explique la secrétaire d´Etat.Microsoft, Pages jaunes, Trombi.com, Skyrock (en tant qu'hébergeur des Skyblogs), Viadeo, Copains d´avant ont répondu à l´appel. Et Google ? Et Facebook ? Ils auraient été « proches de signer », assure la secrétaire d´Etat, mais pour des raisons juridiques et d´organisation interne, il va falloir attendre encore un peu. voir aussi Communiqué de presse (Secrétariat d'État à la Prospective et au Développement de l'économie numérique).
(Press Release) IAB Europe, the European association of online advertisers, has condemned the "re-spawning" of cookies, i.e. a practice of automatically re-establishing a previously deleted cookie. See also Flash Cookies and Privacy (Soltani, Canty, Mayo, Thomas and Hoofnagle). This is a pilot study of the use of 'Flash cookies' by popular websites. More than 50% of the sites in our sample are using flash cookies to store information about the user. Some are using it to 'respawn' or re-instantiate HTTP cookies deleted by the user. Privacy policies rarely disclose the presence of Flash cookies, and user controls for effectuating privacy preferences are lacking.
(Ars Technica) The user data collected by some iOS apps can be correlated to real-world identities, posing a privacy risk to iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users. According to research from Bucknell University, a majority of iOS apps transmit user data back to their own servers. But because some store more info than others — and in some cases, in plaintext - it can be easily pieced together to reveal more about individual users than they bargained for.
(Economist) A small spat highlights a big issue: who owns your online identity?
(Ars Technica) The results of a study conducted by researchers from Duke University, Penn State University, and Intel Labs have revealed that a significant number of popular Android applications transmit private user data to advertising networks without explicitly asking or informing the user. The researchers developed a piece of software called TaintDroid that uses dynamic taint analysis to detect and report when applications are sending potentially sensitive information to remote servers.
(Economist) Browser cookies have a chequered history and the cookie has ceased to be the only kind of data that a server could ask a browser to store on its behalf. Newer and niftier caching methods can store vastly more information, and bake it into the browser for good. Some even obscure the fact that the browser is storing such data. A list of such ruses on the Evercookie site describes 13 distinct methods for a server to pass a token that will be reactivated whenever a browser revisits the same server.
(Time) Facebook normally catches flack for making private information available to advertisers. But last month, the social-networking site with half a billion users quietly added a feature that makes your private information available to the friends of your friends, which may be a much more nefarious group. A button called "See Friendship" aggregates onto a single page all of the information that two friends share: photos both people have been tagged in, events they have attended or are planning to attend, comments they have exchanged, etc.
(OUT-LAW News) UK privacy watchdog the Information Commissioner will not fine Google over unauthorised collection of personal data by its Street View cars, despite ruling that this was a "significant breach of the Data Protection Act". Google sent cars with roof-mounted cameras around the UK's cities last year to photograph the streets for its photo-map Street View service. Research by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner revealed that significant personal information, including whole emails; usernames; passwords; and addresses were gathered and stored by Google. The ICO has now announced that it will take some action against the company, but will stop short of imposing fines. Instead, Google will be made to sign an undertaking to improve its data protection practices and will face an audit of existing policies and practices. see also Google Street View has got off lightly (Guardian).
(OUT-LAW News) A UK Government minister has proposed the creation of a mediation service for people who think their right to privacy has been violated on the internet. The mediation could result in the removal of material, Ed Vaizey said. Vaizey is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, and told a House of Commons debate that there should be a mediation service for content to match the Nominet-run service run to resolve domain name disputes. Vaizey made another proposal in the debate, which was related to the Personal Information Online Code of Practice produced by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). He said that the code should be more widely used and more widely adopted, and that companies should display a mark to indicate that they abide by it.
(Europa) The European Award for Best Children's Online Content is a competition organised jointly by the Safer Internet Centres in 14 Member States and the European Commission's Safer Internet Programme, to encourage the creation of online high quality content for children. The competition is organised for the first time in 2010-2011 as a pilot. It will take place in two stages: 1. National competitions in 14 countries organised by the Safer Internet Centres (The opening and closing dates of the national competitions are decided by each country. Please consult the information for your country). 2. The first prize winners of the national competitions complete for the European Award (award in June 2011). Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, said: “Children start going online younger and younger, and we need to make sure they are confident online, and that they can find exciting, safe, educational and age-appropriate content as they surf the web".
(RAPID) Anyone in the world can now access over 14 million digitised books, maps, photographs, paintings, film and music clips from cultural institutions across Europe through Europe's digital library Europeana. Launched in 2008 with two million objects, Europeana has already passed the initial target for 2010 of 10 million objects. Today, the Reflection Group ("Comité des Sages" - Maurice Lévy, Elisabeth Niggemann, Jacques de Decker) set up by the Commission to explore new ways to bring Europe's cultural heritage online is addressing the EU's Council of Culture Ministers and the European Parliament's Committee on Culture. The Comité des Sages' report is due to be published at the beginning of 2011.
(Google European Public Policy blog) Google and Hachette Livre, one of France's largest publishers, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that both companies believe will breathe new life into Hachette's catalogue of dormant and commercially unavailable books. Under the terms of the MoU, Hachette will determine which of its out-of-print works it wants scanned; these books will then be scanned by Google and made searchable via Google Books. Hachette will decide which books are to be made available for purchase via Google Editions. Hachette and Google will also be able to make these books available for other services. voir aussi Accord Google-Hachette Livre : éditeurs, auteurs et politiques restent vigilants (ZDNet France).
(BBC) The jury system may not survive if it is undermined by social networking sites, England's top judge has said. In a lecture the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, raised major concerns about the use of the internet by jurors. He said: "If the jury system is to survive as the system for a fair trial... the misuse of the internet by jurors must stop." Lord Judge said some jurors had used the internet to research a rape case.
(BBC) Police in Greater Manchester received 3,205 calls and made 341 arrests during their 24-hour Twitter project. Every incident was detailed in a series of "tweets", with up to 17,000 people following the force's Twitter feed. The calls ranged from a rape in the city to human excrement being left on the door handles of a police car. Chief Constable Peter Fahy said: "We have tried to get a serious message out about the size of officers' workload." Police said the volume of calls they received in 24 hours was "about average" and reflected a typical day.
(OUT-LAW News) The European Commission has dropped its case against France after the country changed its gambling laws to allow foreign companies to offer online betting. The Commission said that it will no longer pursue the country over the issue now that the provision of online gambling services is no longer restricted to two French companies. The new online gambling law has introduced a national licensing system that allows for the cross border provision of sports betting on a non-discriminatory basis while providing strict controls on gaming.
(Press Release) At the 2009 INTERPOL General Assembly, member countries voted unanimously to adopt a Resolution (AG-2009-RES-05) to limit the online distribution of child sexual abuse images. The Resolution encourages member countries to promote the use of all the technical tools available, including access blocking of websites containing child sexual abuse images. INTERPOL is tasked with leading this work and providing a list of domains containing the websites that disseminate the most severe child abuse material worldwide. IPSG will work in tandem with international police forces in the construction of this "Worst of"-list of domains.
(Heise) Bei einer Anhörung des Bundestags sprach sich die Mehrzahl der Experten für das schnelle Löschen von Abbildungen sexuellen Missbrauchs an der Quelle aus. Jörg Ziercke, Präsident des Bundeskriminalamts (BKA), zeigte sich jedoch weiter skeptisch angesichts des von der Regierung vereinbarten Ansatzes "Löschen statt Sperren".
(BBC) A self-published guide giving advice to paedophiles that was on sale through online retailer Amazon is stirring up controversy, with some threatening to boycott the website. The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct has now been removed from sale. But Amazon had defended the listing, saying it did not promote criminal acts but also avoided censorship. Amazon allows authors to submit their own books and shares revenue with them. Before authors are able to sell a work on the site, they are asked to read a set of guidelines, which bans offensive materials. But Amazon does not specifically state on its website what material it deems offensive, instead saying "probably what you would expect".
(Guardian) The information commissioner is to meet the Home Office to clarify his concerns over the potential privacy risks involved in a revived Whitehall project to track the email, internet and mobile phone use of everyone in Britain. David Cameron promised at prime minister's question time that coalition ministers would work with the commissioner, Christopher Graham, on the details of the project.
(RAPID) There is a near consensus on the importance of preserving the openness of the internet, according to the results of a public consultation launched on 30th June by the European Commission on the open internet and net neutrality. A total of 318 stakeholders at every level of the value chain provided input to the consultation. These included BEREC, the body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications, operators, internet service providers, Member States' authorities, consumer and civil society organisations as well as individuals. The consultation did not reveal a widespread call for further EU legislation, but there is an expectation that additional guidance may be needed in the future. Discussions will continue on 11th November at the "Net neutrality summit" at which the Commission and the European Parliament will discuss a forthcoming Commission report on net neutrality.
(RAPID) Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, Speech at European Commission and European Parliament Summit on 'The Open Internet and Net Neutrality in Europe', Brussels, 11 November 2010. I say to those people who are currently cut off from Skype: vote with your feet and leave your mobile provider. see also UK to ISPs: Prioritize away! (so long as you tell users) (Ars Technica) and speech on net neutrality by Ed Vaizey, UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.
(OUT-LAW News) Social networking, net neutrality deals and government monitoring are threatening the very future of the world wide web, the man responsible for creating it has said just days short of its 20th anniversary. Tim Berners-Lee said in an article in Scientific American, that the storing of data behind virtual corporate walls on social networking sites and the deals being cut between content companies and telecoms operators are threatening the founding principle of the web, which is that systems should all work together based on sets of agreed open standards.
(CHIS) Consolidating and updating submissions recently made to the Ministry of Justice, the Office of Fair Trading and the Commission of the European Union on aspects of children's and young people's engagement with online commerce.
(RTE) The governments of the Republic of Ireland and of Northern Ireland have launched a new online child protection internet facility. The resource, believed to be the first of its kind, will be available for use by child protection professionals in the Republic and Northern Ireland. The cross-border initiative was jointly launched in Newry, Co Down, by Minister for Children and Youth Barry Andrews and the Stormont Social Services Minister, Michael McGimpsey. Mr Andrews said the new facility would be updated daily, and would provide comprehensive information across a range of issues for staff working with children.
(Press Release) A new phase of concrete activities for ITU’s Child Online Protection (COP) initiative will encourage the development of national COP centres, awareness campaigns and community forums to create a safe environment for young users of the Internet. The COP Global Initiative was announced by the Patron of COP, HE Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica and ITU Secretary-General, Hamadoun Touré at a ceremony in San Jose, Costa Rica. The COP Global Initiative will build on Guidelines developed by ITU and partners from industry, civil society, governments, UN agencies and other stakeholders. The announcement will see COP shift from the production of these guidelines to the development of industry codes of conduct; the establishment of national hotlines; the development of national roadmaps and legislative toolkits; training for parents, guardians and educators and harnessing the power of multistakeholder collaboration through resources such as an online platform for sharing advice and information.
(Press Association) Vulnerable children will lose out under government plans to merge the UK's online child protection unit into the new National Crime Agency, its outgoing head said. Jim Gamble, who resigned as chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), said child protection issues simply would not be able to compete with terrorism, gun crime and drugs in a list of broader priorities. He also warned that costs would rise under the National Crime Agency (NCA), as at least one internet service provider (ISP) - which tracks down internet addresses to individuals - says it would charge the larger NCA administration costs for the service which it currently provides to Ceop for free. These costs would be about £100,000 per year for each ISP.
(TechCrunch) The US Patent and Trademark Office has approved a patent filed by Apple, which prevents users from sending or receiving "objectionable" text messages. In one embodiment, the control application includes a parental control application. The parental control application evaluates whether or not the communication contains approved text based on, for example, objective ratings criteria or a user's age or grade level, and, if unauthorized, prevents such text from being included in the text-based communication. If the control contains unauthorized text, the control application may alert the user, the administrator or other designated individuals of the presence of such text. The control application may require the user to replace the unauthorized text or may automatically delete the text or the entire communication.
(Heise) Am 1.1.2011 tritt der neue Jugendmedienschutzstaatsvertrag Jugendmedienschutzstaatsvertrag (JMStV) in Kraft, der als Novum freiwillige Altersklassifizierungen für Inhalte im Internet propagieren soll. Die künftig vier Selbstregulierer, die Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Filmwirtschaft (FSK), die Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen (FSF), die Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) und die Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia (FSM) rüsten sich dafür, die jeweils von ihnen betreuten Branchen bei der Alterseinstufung von Inhalten in der analogen wie der digitalen Welt zu unterstützen. Der Trend geht zum "Full-Service-Jugendschutzprodukt". Einheitliche Bewertungen sind dabei ein Problem, das zeigte ein Gespräch der Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz (KJM), die mit der Veranstaltungsreihe KJM transparent über den neuen JMStV informieren will.
(Heise) Zehn Schritte umfasst das von der Freiwilligen Selbstkontrolle Multimedia (FSM) entwickelte System zur Klassifizierung von Inhalten im Internet, mit denen Anbieter künftig ihre Inhalte einstufen sollen. Wer den Fragenkatalog beantwortet und unter anderem Angaben zu Format, Kontext und Chatfunktionen gemacht hat, erhält am Ende eine Alterseinstufung (ab 6, 12, 16 oder 18 Jahren) für sein Angebot. In dem FSM-System werden Anbieter von Webseiten, mobilen Inhalten und "anderen Telemedien" durch einen Fragenkatalog geführt, bei dem sie unter anderem angeben, ob sexuelle Handlungen oder Gewalt im Angebot zu finden ist. Fragen zum jeweiligen Kontext sollen helfen, zwischen einer Biologie-Seite und einer Erotik-Vorschaltseite zu unterschieden. Auch für spezielle Themenbereiche, wie etwa Seiten zur Verherrlichung der Magersucht, gibt es eine eigene Kategorie. Darüber hinaus erfasst das System, in welcher Form Nutzerinhalte einer Moderation oder gar Kontrolle unterliegen. Die Klassifizierung sei Voraussetzung dafür, dass Eltern später über Filtereinstellungen entscheiden können, was ihre Kinder im Netz sehen dürfen.
(Norton) by Marian Merritt. One of the most striking differences from this year's annual Family Online Safety Institute conference is the broad adoption of social media by attendees and interested bystanders. This year, during the conference and measured by the use of the #fosi2010 "hashtag", 267 people around the world were sharing the discussion with an estimated half a million people. According to TweetReach, the FOSI conference reached an estimated 575,394 people via 1485 tweets. See also Highlights from the Family Online Safety Institute Conference 2010 and Family Online Safety Institute #fosi2010 Reaches Over Half a Million People via Twitter (Safetyweb).
(CNET) If you are a parent and you want your teen to be able to use Facebook without either of you having to worry that your child is sharing too much personal information, there's a new resource that can help. A Parents' Guide to Facebook offers hands-on, step-by-step instructions and illustrations, as well as information on safety, privacy, and reputation protection; and it covers the use of Facebook on computers and cell phones. It also offers specific recommendations for configuring privacy settings, noting that the default Facebook settings are not as privacy protective as they should be, even for adults. The guide is being debuted at the fourth annual Family Online Safety Institute conference by the iKeepSafe Coalition and Connect Safely, a project of the nonprofit Tech Parenting Group.
(Net Family News) by Anne Collier. British mobile giant Vodafone has crammed a whole lot of parenting into its spanking-new guide for parents. Available in print in the UK and online, Digital Parenting offers 112 pages of interviews, how-to's (on everything from Google SafeSearch to Windows 7 Parental Controls), and expert views on a large range of issues: digital parenting by age and stage, cyberbullying, sexting, adult content, online plagiarism, and so on. One of the how-to features in its premier issue is a brief guide to Facebook's privacy controls. If parents want to go more in-depth with those, check out A Parents’ Guide to Facebook, written by co-directors Larry Magid and yours truly at ConnectSafely.org.
(RADPI) The European Commission has unveiled two new measures to ensure that Europe can defend itself from attacks against its key information (IT) systems. A proposal for a Directive to deal with new cyber crimes, such as large-scale cyber attacks, is complemented by a proposal for a Regulation to strengthen and modernise the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA). see Proposal for a Directive on attacks against information systems, repealing Framework Decision 2005/222/JHA.
(Economist) An unusually sophisticated cyber-weapon is mysterious but important.
(BBC) A teenager has been jailed for 16 weeks after he refused to give police the password to his computer. Oliver Drage, 19, of Liverpool, was arrested in May 2009 by police tackling child sexual exploitation. Police seized his computer but could not access material on it as it had a 50-character encryption password. Drage was convicted of failing to disclose an encryption key in September.
(Open Net Initiative) Online conversations today exist primarily in the realm of social media and blogging platforms, most of which are owned by private companies. Such privately owned platforms now occupy a significant role in the public sphere, as places in which ideas and information are exchanged and debated by people from every corner of the world. Instead of an unregulated, decentralized Internet, we have centralized platforms serving as public spaces: a quasi-public sphere. This quasi-public sphere is subject to both public and private content controls spanning multiple jurisdictions and differing social mores. This paper will highlight the practices of five platforms — Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and Blogger — in regard to Terms of Service (TOS) and account deactivations. It will highlight each company’s user policies, as well as examples of each company’s procedures for policing content.
(BBC) An open source alternative to Facebook - called Diaspora - has gone live. The "privacy-aware" social network was founded earlier this year during a period when Facebook came under fire for its privacy settings. The community-funded project is currently only open to a small number of invited people. Analysts have questioned whether the network can ever challenge more established sites such as Facebook, which now boasts nearly 600m members.
(danah boyd) Mikalah uses Facebook but when she goes to log out, she deactivates her Facebook account. She knows that this doesn't delete the account – that's the point. She knows that when she logs back in, she'll be able to reactivate the account and have all of her friend connections back. But when she's not logged in, no one can post messages on her wall or send her messages privately or browse her content. But when she's logged in, they can do all of that. And she can delete anything that she doesn't like. Shamika doesn't deactivate her Facebook profile but she does delete every wall message, status update, and Like shortly after it's posted. She'll post a status update and leave it there until she's ready to post the next one or until she's done with it. Then she'll delete it from her profile. When she's done reading a friend's comment on her page, she'll delete it.
(BBC) A Church of England bishop who made "deeply offensive" comments on Facebook about the royal engagement has been suspended from his public duties. The Bishop of Willesden, the Right Reverend Pete Broadbent, said the union between Prince William and Kate Middleton would last about seven years. He apologised for the remarks on Monday but has been asked by the Bishop of London to withdraw from public ministry "until further notice".
(BBC) t's not often you can cover a story from your desk almost as well as you could if you were on the ground. But social media and networking sites meant the most powerful images from the student protest were broadcast online before they hit television screens. As students and onlookers filmed scenes on their mobile phones it was websites like Flickr and YouTube that provided some of the most memorable footage. Asif Khan, who was working in the 30 Millbank building, took his mobile phone to the reception and filmed the moment protesters smashed through the windows with batons. There were no other cameras inside the tower and his footage was used by broadcasters around the world.
(Economist) The so-called "white space" of unused frequencies amounted to as much as 70% of the total bandwidth available for television broadcasting. Mobile phone companies and other would-be users of wireless spectrum have long lusted after television's empty airwaves. After two years of haggling and testing, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, DC, finally gave the go-ahead for others in America to use them.
(RAPID) The European Commission has decided to request France and Spain to abolish specific charges on the turnover of telecoms operators introduced when the Member States concerned decided to end paid advertising on public TV channels. In both cases, the Commission considers these "telecoms taxes" to be incompatible with EU telecoms rules, which require specific charges on telecoms operators to be specifically and directly related to covering the costs of regulating the telecoms sector.
(CNET News) It's obvious that Facebook sees serious potential in mobile check-in service Foursquare: it tried to buy it for $125 million. That didn't work. So Facebook started to get into the location game, too. It launched Facebook Places, its own geolocation service. And today, Facebook went ahead and launched a big new suite of mobile features that includes, notably, enhancements to Facebook Places that let businesses easily automate "deals" for when users check in. On the surface, given Facebook's scale, this looks like it could spell difficult times ahead for Foursquare. See also Facebook Deals A New Threat To Google Places Search (LA News Monitor) .
(CNNMoney.com) Facebook is launching a new product barrage aimed at capturing the heart of its 500 million users' digital lives: their inboxes. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a major overhaul to Facebook's messaging system, which he said currently currently fields 4 billion messages a day.
(CNN) Having lost the email crown long ago to Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo, Aol wants to jump back into the fray with 'Project Phoenix,' a web-based client built from scratch.
(New York Times) Google's new Chrome operating system stores everything that people have on their computers — like documents, photos and e-mail — online, or in tech parlance, in the cloud. In Google's vision of a world where all computers run on its Chrome OS, anyone can walk up to any computer with an Internet connection and gain access to all their information.
(BBC) Skype is integrating with Facebook to make it easier to call and video chat with friends and family on the social network. The new Skype for Windows will include a Facebook tab. This means that for the first time Skype users can keep up-to-date and interact with their Facebook news feed including posting status updates, commenting and liking directly from Skype. Added to that, the Facebook phonebook in Skype allows users to call and text Facebook friends directly on their mobile phones and landlines. And if your Facebook friend is also a Skype contact, then users can make free Skype-to-Skype calls.
(BBC) The once dominant MySpace has turned to the company that stole its crown, Facebook for help to drive users to its ailing site. The two launched Mashup with Facebook, to let MySpace users log into their Facebook accounts through their MySpace page. This means users can port over their likes and interests listed on Facebook. In turn users will get a stream of entertainment content based on these preferences.
(RAPID) Broadband connections in Europe are much faster than one year ago according to statistics published by the European Commission. In July 2010 29% of EU broadband lines had speeds of at least 10 megabits per second (Mbps) (up from 15% one year earlier). Broadband take up continues to grow in the EU with 25.6 subscriptions for every 100 citizens (23.9 one year earlier). Annual growth in mobile broadband is remarkable at 45%, with 6 mobile broadband dedicated access devices (usb-keys or dongles) per 100 citizens.
(RAPID) children in Europe are on average starting to use the Internet at the age of 7 but only one in three 9-12 year olds feel that there are enough "good things for kids" of their age online, according to a pan-European survey published by the European Commission. The study also shows that one in eight children have upsetting experiences online and they still lack skills and confidence using Internet.
(BBC) The world's leading mobile phone makers are losing market share to non-brand manufacturers, according to research. Analysts at Gartner say smaller, Asian companies accounted for a third of worldwide handset sales in July, August and September. Nokia is still the biggest seller of mobiles, followed by Samsung and LG. Meanwhile, Google's Android operating system has sharply increased its share and is now the second most popular mobile operating system after Symbian.
(Pew Internet) by Amanda Lenhart. Exploring safety issues as mobile phones become the communications hub for American teens. Mobile phones have become the hub of teens' communication with peers and others, and is increasingly a source of information as well as connection to others. In this talk, presented to the Family Online Safety Institute's annual conference in November 2010, senior research specialist Amanda Lenhart discussed Pew Internet data about how teens use mobile phones and the potential safety issues associated with them.
(Nielesn) If it seems like American teens are texting all the time, it's probably because on average they're sending or receiving 3,339 texts a month. That's more than six per every hour they're awake - an 8 percent jump from last year. Using recent data from monthly cell phone bills of more than 60,000 mobile subscribers as well as survey data from over 3,000 teens, The Nielsen Company analyzed mobile usage data among teens in the United States for the second quarter of 2010 (April 2010 - June 2010). No one texts more than teens (age 13-17), especially teen females, who send and receive an average of 4,050 texts per month. Teen males also outpace other male age groups, sending and receiving an average of 2,539 texts. Young adults (age 18-24) come in a distant second, exchanging 1,630 texts per month (a comparatively meager three texts per hour).
(BBC) he police unit that protects children while they are on the internet says there has been a large increase in the number of reports it has received. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre - known as CEOP - believes the rise is due to greater awareness of the problem. There were 6,291 reports last year - an increase of 880 on the previous year. More than 1,500 were related to the online grooming of children. Zoe Hilton, the head of safeguarding and child protection at CEOP, said the rise was down to the fact that more sites now worked with them and the introduction of a panic button meant it was easier to report incidents of concern.
(Daily Telegraph) Children are turning their backs on traditional toys at Christmas in favour of the latest high-tech gadgets, a new study suggested. A breakdown of the top 10 most wanted toys for this Christmas among children aged five to 16, revealed a grown-up taste in gifts, with Apple products, including the iPhone 4, iPod Touch and iPad dominating the top three places. Approximately 39 per cent children quizzed desired Apple gadgets this year, with 17 per cent of five to eight- year-olds, 50 per cent of nine to 12-year-olds and 66 per cent of 13 to 16-year-olds all putting Apple items at the top of their lists. The report also highlighted the growing similarities between boys' and girls' preferred Christmas presents, with both sexes increasingly opting for gender neutral gadgets.
(CNET) by Larry Magid. A study commissioned by Truste paints a pretty optimistic picture about how teenagers are using privacy tools on Facebook and other social networking sites. The study, entitled The Kids are Alright, (PDF) reports that "80 percent of parents and 78 percent of teens feel in control of their personal information on social networking sites" and that "84 percent of parents are confident their teen is responsible with personal information on a social networking site." But the news isn't all good. The survey also found that more than two-third (68 percent) of teens have at some time accepted friend invites from people they don't know. Eight percent said they accepted all friend requests 34 percent said some and 26 percent said they rarely accept requests from people they don't know personally.
(Europa) Europeans are becoming increasingly "digital" according to a European Commission Eurobarometer survey which questioned 27,000 households throughout the EU on their use of internet, telephones and TV. More Europeans are subscribing to broadband internet and digital television in fixed-cost bundled 'packages'. Increased broadband take-up means even more Europeans are going online with 35% now using social networking websites. However, they have concerns about cost, quality of service and security, as well as online freedom. One fifth of fixed and mobile internet users reveal that they have experienced problems with blocked content and applications.
(BBC) The Assistant Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Child Online and Exploitation Centre (Ceop). Peter Davies' appointment follows the resignation of Jim Gamble last month. He stood down in protest at the decision to merge the unit with the national Crime Agency. Mr Davies is expected to take control of the child protection agency at the start of December on a two-year secondment. Ceop was set up in 2006 to help find and convict paedophiles.
(BBC) The chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) has resigned in a row over its future. The Home Office confirmed Theresa May had accepted Jim Gamble's resignation. Mr Gamble said he did not believe the decision to assimilate Ceop into the National Crime Agency was in the best interests of children and young people. see also Profile: Jim Gamble and May under pressure over child protection agency plans (BBC), Government blamed for resignation of online child protection chief (Guardian, Internet firms welcome CEOP chief's exit (The Register) and Ceop chief Jim Gamble steps down (Guardian). While Gamble was seen as a ferocious deterrent to predatory sexual behaviour online, his combative style was problematic for many of the industry figures he needed to negotiate with, and led to needlessly protracted wrangling with Facebook, for one, over his insistence that the Ceop logo and link be added to every page on the site.
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