(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.
(BBC) More than 1,200 websites that claim to sell cut-price designer goods have been shut down in the biggest police operation of its kind in the UK. The 1,219 sites, which advertise brands including Ugg boots, Tiffany jewellery and Links of London, were removed by the Metropolitan Police. Customers who buy from the sites either receive nothing, counterfeit goods, or have their credit card details stolen.
(Micheal 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.
(IDG News Service) U.K. police have apologized over a recent public presentation that linked a nonprofit Internet registry with money laundering by a notorious group of Russian cybercriminal gangsters. The brouhaha started during a presentation by the U.K.'s Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cyber Division, at the RSA security conference on Oct. 21. The cybercriminal investigators were describing the Russian Business Network (RBN), a well-known group linked to malicious software, hacking, child pornography and spam. In 2006, RIPE allocated a block of IP addresses to a fake company registered in the U.K. that was a front for the RBN. RIPE contends it was duped and that at the time, it was impossible to tell that the front company wasn't legitimate. After repeated contact with law enforcement, RIPE eventually pulled RBN's IP allocation in May 2008.
(Techcrunch) Berlin police have arrested a man who tried to blackmail VZ-Netzwerke, the holding company for the successful Facebook clone StudiVZ and other German social networks. The man had used crawler software to harvest detailed user information not only only from the group's networks for adult people, StudiVZ and MeinVZ, but also from Germany's biggest social network for pupils, SchülerVZ. The 20 year old man asked for €80,000.
(New York Times)
Gadget makers often know exactly who has a missing or stolen device, because in many instances it has been registered to a new user. But many tech companies will not disclose information about the new owners of missing devices unless a police officer calls with a search warrant. Even a request to simply shut down service - which would deter thieves by rendering their pilfered gadget useless - is typically refused.
(RAPID) The European Commission has adopted two communications analysing the EU's work on justice and internal affairs in recent years and setting out its priorities for the future. Ordinary citizens should be at the heart of the future Stockholm Programme, to be debated by the European Parliament and adopted by the European Council before the end of the year, which will provide a framework for EU action on the questions of citizenship, justice, security, asylum and immigration for the next five years.
(CNET News) The Federal Trade Commission announced that it had Pricewert shut down by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division. Pricewert is a San Jose, Calif.-based Internet service provider that allegedly recruits, intentionally and actively participates in the distribution of spam, child pornography, and other harmful electronic content.
(ITU) The ITU Toolkit for Cybercrime Legislation aims to provide countries with sample legislative language and reference material that can assist in the establishment of harmonized cybercrime laws and procedural rules. The Toolkit is a practical instrument that countries can use for the elaboration of a cybersecurity legal framework and related laws. The development of the ITU Toolkit for Cybercrime Legislation was undertaken by a multidisciplinary international group of experts.
(ITU) The ITU Understanding Cybercrime Guide aims to help developing countries better understand the national and international implications of growing cyber-threats, assess the requirements of existing national regional and international instruments, and assist countries in establishing a sound legal foundation. The Guide provides a comprehensive overview of the most relevant topics linked to the legal aspects of cybercrime.
(EDRI-gram) The German Police searched the homes of Theodor Reppe, the owner of the domain name wikileaks.de, alleging he was under investigation for "distribution of pornographic material" and "discovery of evidence". The police officers claimed the raid was initiated due to Mr. Reppe's position as the Wikileaks.de domain owner. The search is considered to be related with the publication of Wikileaks of the censorship lists for Australia, Thailand, Denmark and other countries. The lists include names of sites alleged to contain pornography, including child pornography. However, Wikileaks has not published any images from the sites.
(OUT-LAW News) A BBC programme has broken the Computer Misuse Act by acquiring and using software to control 22,000 computers, creating a botnet capable of bringing down websites. A technology law specialist has said that the activity is illegal. Click used the software to demonstrate how easy it is to gain control of the tools used to hold website owners to ransom. It used software acquired through internet chatrooms. The software controlled 22,000 computers which it had infected. The programme has said that the activity would only be illegal if those behind it had 'criminal intent', but Struan Robertson, a technology lawyer with Pinsent Masons and editor of OUT-LAW.COM, said that this is not true.
(IDG News Service) Countries are ratifying the only global cybercrime treaty slower than expected, but many are closer to implementing it, a senior Council of Europe official said. The Convention on Cybercrime, adopted in 2001, defines legal guidelines for countries seeking to establish effective laws against computer crime. The Council of Europe (COE), an organization composed of 47 European countries, has spearheaded a drive to help countries either create computer crime laws or bring existing ones in line with the treaty. So far 24 countries have ratified it, with Germany being the latest one. Twenty-three others have signed it but not ratified it. The COE was hoping that as many as 40 countries would have ratified it by the year, but the pace has been slower than expected, said Alexander Seger, head of the COE's economic crime division.
(MINEFI) Éric Woerth s´est rendu au siège de la Direction nationale du renseignement et des enquêtes douanières (DNRED) pour inaugurer « Cyberdouane ». Ce nouveau service a pour mission de recueillir, enrichir et exploiter les renseignements permettant de lutter efficacement contre les fraudes sur Internet (importations de produits stupéfiants, médicaments, contrefaçons, armes et munitions, uvres d´art et toute autre marchandise objet de trafics ou de transactions illicites).
(New York Times) Is lying about one's identity on the Internet now a crime? The verdict in the MySpace cyberbullying case raised a variety of questions about the terms that users agree to when they log on to Web sites. The defendant in the case was convicted by a federal jury on three misdemeanor counts of computer fraud for having misrepresented herself on the popular social network MySpace. The woman, Lori Drew, posed as a teenage boy in using the account to send first friendly and then menacing messages to Megan Meier, 13, who killed herself shortly after receiving a message in October 2006 that said in part, "The world would be a better place without you." MySpace?s terms of service require users to submit "truthful and accurate" registration information. Ms. Drew?s creation of a phony profile amounted to "unauthorized access" to the site, prosecutors said, a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, which until now has been used almost exclusively to prosecute hacker crimes.
(RAPID) The Council of Ministers of the European Union has adopted the European Commission's strategy to reinforce the fight against cyber crime. The strategy proposes a series of operational measures, such as cyber patrols, joint investigation teams and remote searches to become part of the fight against cybercrime in the next five years. The strategy also introduces concrete steps for closer cooperation and information exchange between law enforcement authorities and the private sector. See Draft Council Conclusions on a Concerted Work Strategy and Practical Measures Against Cybercrime.
(BBC) A website used by criminals to buy and sell credit card details and bank log-ins has been shut down after a police operation. International forum Darkmarket ran for three years and led to fraud totalling millions of pounds. Nearly 60 people connected with the site have been arrested in cities including London and Manchester as well as in Germany, Turkey and the US. The FBI spent two years gathering evidence after infiltrating the site. The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), which has been leading the UK investigation, said it was "a one-stop shop" for criminals.
(RAPID) The European Commission organised an EU expert meeting on the fight against cybercrime in Brussels on 25-26 September 2008. This meeting represented another step in the implementation of the Commission Communication of 22 May 2007 "Towards a general policy on the fight against cyber crime". The aim was to engage key law enforcement and private sector to identify concrete actions which can be undertaken at EU and national levels. The highlight of the conference was a presentation by the Commission of a series of recommendations guiding public-private cooperation against cybercrime.
(OUT-LAW News) The Government will change the law to make it clear that promoting suicide on the internet is illegal. The Ministry of Justice said that it will rewrite the Suicide Act of 1961 which will make it easier for website hosts to remove offending material. The Government has conducted a review of the Suicide Act and said that it wants to make it clear that activity which is illegal offline is also illegal online. The Act currently says that it is an offence to "aid, abet, counsel or procure" a suicide, though courts have ruled in the past that the simple provision of information about committing suicide would not open a publisher to prosecution. Concerns have been widely expressed about the use of the internet to disseminate information on how to commit suicide and even to encourage people to do it.
(Heise) Der Chef des Bundeskriminalamtes (BKA), Jörg Ziercke, hat sich bei der Vorstellung des Lagebilds zur organisierten Kriminalität 2007 dafür ausgesprochen, Internetprovider gesetzlich zur Sperrung von Angeboten mit kinderpornographischen oder fremdenfeindlichen Inhalten zu verpflichten. "Der Großteil der Kinderpornographie wird über kommerzielle Webseiten verwaltet", betonte Ziercke in Berlin. Es gehe dabei um "Millioneneinnahmen". Das "Access-Blocking" könne daher eine "wichtige Maßnahme" sein, um das Geschäft mit Kinderpornographie weniger lukrativ zu machen.
(Communiqué de presse) 2887ème session du Conseil Justice et affaires intérieures Bruxelles, les 24 et 25 juillet 2008. Le Conseil a accueilli favorablement un projet de la Présidence pour l'élaboration d'un plan contre la cybercriminalité au sein de l'UE. A titre d'outils opérationnels la Présidence propose notamment : 1) la création d'une plateforme européenne pour le signalement des infractions relevées sur l'internet. La France a organisé un séminaire Pl@nets.eur à Reims du 3 au 6 juin 2008 à ce sujet qui a permis de tracer les contours de ce dispositif. Europol pourrait jouer un rôle central dans la mise en oeuvre d'un tel projet ; et 2) le renforcement du projet "Check the web" pour la lutte contre la propagande et le recrutement terroriste sur l'internet et la recherche d'une solution au problème posé par l'itinérance dans les réseaux électroniques ("roaming").
(vnuent.com) Government ministers from across the world have issued a call for greater vigilance against cybercrime at a meeting on the future of the internet economy. The Seoul Declaration came at the end of a two day ministerial conference on the future of the web in the South Korean capital hosted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). OECD member countries, the European Community and ministers from Chile, Egypt, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Latvia, Senegal and Slovenia affirmed the declaration. Participants agreed on the need for governments to work closely with business, civil society and technical experts on policies that promote competition, empower and protect consumers, and expand internet access and use worldwide. See also Chair's Summary, Shaping policies for the future of the Internet economy and Annexes.
(OUT-LAW News) Scots face up to 10 years in jail for sending text messages or emails with sexual content. Scotland's just-published Sexual Offences Bill contains stiff penalties for any sexual messages whose intent is to humiliate the recipient. The Bill creates a new offence of communicating indecently. The offence will be committed if someone sends an unsolicited text message to someone else which a court finds was designed to give the sender sexual gratification or to humiliate, distress or alarm the receiver.
(ZDNet.fr) La ministre de l'Intérieur Michèle Alliot-Marie veut accélérer la lutte contre la pédopornographie sur internet. Dans un discours prononcé dans le cadre des Assises du numérique, elle a indiqué avoir trouvé un terrain d'entente avec les opérateurs télécoms et les fournisseurs d'accès internet (FAI) : « Nous nous sommes mis d'accord, l'accès aux sites à caractère pédopornographique sera bloqué en France. »
Voir Allocution de Michèle ALLIOT-MARIE, Ministre de l'Intérieur, de l'Outre-Mer et des Collectivités Territoriales, lors de l'ouverture des Assises du Numérique - Atelier Lutte contre la cybercriminalité, le mardi 10 juin 2008. voir aussi La France vise un verrouillage de l'accès aux sites pédophiles avant 2009 (Le Monde). La France devrait mettre en place un système de blocage de l'accès aux sites pédopornographiques sur internet avant la fin 2008, a annoncé la secrétaire d'Etat française à la Famille, Nadine Morano, lors d'une visite d'étude en Norvège, pays pionnier en la matière.
(Reuters) The French state and Internet service providers have struck a deal to block sites carrying child pornography or content linked to terrorism or racial hatred, Interior Minister Michel Alliot-Marie announced. The plan, part of a larger effort to fight cybercriminality, is to go into effect in September when a "black list" will be built up based on input from Internet users who signal sites dealing with the offensive material.
(BBC) Possession of sexually violent images will now be punishable by up to three years in jail. The ban is part of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill. The bill had its final reading on Thursday where it received Royal Assent.
Social network data makes life too easy for fraudsters. Identity theft is rife. Perhaps it's time individuals took a leaf out of business's book and adopted a personal information policy that will make life harder for criminals.
(EDRI-gram) French Internal Affairs Minister, Michèle Alliot-Marie, announced new measures to fight against cybercrime, including extending the websites blacklist and pushing for computer online investigations, without the permission of the country of the hosting company. The Minister visited the Cybercrime Brigade and announced a new "best practices chart" with the operators in order to block websites. According to the statements, the Norwegian model was taken into consideration, meaning the creation of a list with websites not only with child pornography information, but also the ones with information on making explosives or chemical weapons, terrorist propaganda and racial hate speech.
(AHN) Contrary to popular belief, Internet sex predators target teenagers and not young kids, cites a new study. Also, a majority of Internet sex predators are not adults who pose as another youth to victimize children by enticing them to meet then abducting or forcibly raping them. Only 5 percent of online offenders pretended to be teenagers. The study, which was based on three surveys, revealed that Internet sex offenders rarely use force but instead gain the trust and confidence of their victims before seducing them into sexual relationships. The victims of these predators are mostly teenagers who mistake the attention for love. According to the researchers, young people who were most vulnerable to online sex offenders had histories of sexual or physical abuse, family problems, and are adventurous on the Internet or have most likely talked online about sex. The study, 'Online Predators and Their Victims: Myths, Realities, and Implications for Prevention and Treatment' was conducted by Janis Wolak, JD, David Finkelhor, PhD, Kimberly Mitchell, PhD and Michele Ybarra, PhD, at the Crimes against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire and published in the American Psychologist.
(Vice-President Franco Frattii) Many people have brought to my attention the existence of a provider, Russian Business Network (RBN), which, it would seem, is based in Russia. The provider hosts hundreds of paedo-pornographic sites. Many citizens have written to me asking for action to be taken to put a stop to this plague. I will personally write to the Russian authorities citing the sincere friendship and understanding that has been established between us in the past. see
Shadowy Russian Firm Seen as Conduit for Cybercrime (Washington Post) by Brian Krebs.
Hackers loaded up more than 40,000 Web pages with malicious software and thousands of common search terms. They then employed an automated network of malware-infected computers--known as a botnet--to link to those sites in blog-comment spam and other places. The mentions elevated the position of the poisoned sites in search results, often to the first page.
(BBC) Starting a career as a cyber criminal got much easier in 2007. So say security experts looking back on 12 months in which hi-tech gangs took control of the net's underground. The economy supporting these groups has matured so much that now everything from virus-writing kits to spam-spewing zombies are available for rent or hire.
(Spiegel) Für zahlreiche Verdächtige im angeblich bisher größten Kinderpornografie-Fall in Deutschland werden die Ermittlungen folgenlos bleiben. Viele der 12.000 verdächtigten Internet-Nutzer seien nur zufällig auf eine Kinderporno-Website geraten. Mehrere Ermittler kritisieren die Aktion.
(BBC) Sixty-three people have been arrested in Spain on suspicion of involvement with child pornography, following raids across the country, officials say. Police said large amounts of computer-based "paedophile material" had been seized as the raids were executed over more than 10 days. They were the culmination of a two-year investigation focused on internet users in Spain using foreign websites
(BBC) A huge campaign to poison web searches and trick people into visiting malicious websites has been thwarted. The booby-trapped websites came up in search results for search terms such as "Christmas gifts" and "hospice". Windows users falling for the trick risked having their machine hijacked and personal information plundered. The criminals poisoned search results using thousands of domains set up to convince search index software they were serious sources of information.
(BBC) Police in New Zealand have questioned a teenager believed to be the ringleader of an international cyber-crime group. The group is alleged to have infiltrated more than one million computers and skimmed millions of dollars from people's bank accounts. The teenager, who is 18, cannot be named for legal reasons but was known by an alias as "Akill". He was detained as part of an FBI crackdown on hi-tech criminals who run botnets - networks of hijacked PCs.
(BBC) Animal rights activists are thought to be the first Britons to be asked to hand over to the police keys to data encrypted on their computers. The request for the keys is being made under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). Police analysing machines seized during raids on activist's homes carried out in May have asked for the keys. The activists could face jail if they do not comply and snub a further formal request to hand over the keys.
(IPS) The crackdown in eastern Europe and the United States on websites posting racist content or child pornography could expose Latin America to the risk of becoming a new "cyber paradise" for on-line paedophilia and racism, experts say. The warning was sounded at the United Nations-sponsored Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Rio de Janeiro, which has been discussing issues like security, access and diversity on the net. Many of the websites bearing illegal and harmful content were hosted by the Czech Republic. But after the clampdown they migrated to countries like Panama, according to Thiago Tavares, head of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) SaferNet Brasil.
(BBC) A Dutch teenager has been arrested for allegedly stealing virtual furniture from "rooms" in Habbo Hotel, a 3D social networking website. The 17-year-old is accused of stealing 4,000 euros (£2,840) worth of virtual furniture, bought with real money. Five 15-year-olds have also been questioned by police, who were contacted by the website's owners.
(BBC) An investigation into a Europe-wide child pornography network has led to 92 arrests across eight countries, prosecutors say. The network made videos of children being abused and sold them to 2,500 customers in 19 countries, says the European police force, Europol. The films were mainly produced in Ukraine, Belgium and the Netherlands, and most of the victims were Ukrainian.
(RAPID) The Commission has adopted a new package of proposals aimed at improving the EU?s capabilities in the fight against terrorism. The package contains a series of proposals dealing with the criminalization of terrorist training, recruitment and public provocation to commit terrorist offences, the prevention of the use of explosives by terrorists and the use of airline passenger information in law enforcement investigations. It also contains a report on the mplementation of the Framework Decision on combating terrorism. The Commission proposes amending the Framework Decision to make public provocation to commit a terrorist offence, recruitment and training for terrorism punishable behaviour, also when committed through the Internet.
The government has failed to understand the threat to the continued growth of the internet posed by cyber crime, according to the influential House of Lords Science and Technology Committee.
(Anime News Network) The Japanese government's Cabinet Office issued the results of its Special Opinion Poll on Harmful Materials, in which 86.5% of those who responded said that manga and art should be subject to regulation for child pornography, if they had to decide. 90.9% said that "harmful materials" on the Internet should be regulated, if they had to decide. The current child pornography laws in Japan do not regulate manga and art that depict children who are not real, or "virtual child pornography."
(CoE) Twenty-three Council of Europe member states signed the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (CETS n° 201), which represents a major step in the prevention of sexual offences against children, the prosecution of perpetrators and the protection of victims. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey signed the convention at the beginning of the 28th Conference of the European Ministers of Justice in Lanzarote. The convention will enter into force once it has been ratified by five states. The convention also criminalises the use of the new technologies ? the internet in particular ? to sexually harm or abuse children, for example by "grooming", an increasingly worrying phenomenon of children being sexually harmed after meeting adults they have previously encountered in internet chat rooms or game sites.
(BBC) A Canadian paedophile suspect who was the subject of a global manhunt has been arrested in Thailand. Police tracked down 32-year-old teacher Christopher Paul Neil in north-east Thailand. They suspect him of appearing in 200 online images of child abuse. Interpol had appealed for help after experts unscrambled digitally-distorted photos of the suspect.
(ceskenoviny.cz) Czech President Vaclav Klaus has signed a bill stipulating punishment for the possession of child pornography into law. Under the bill that was passed by the Chamber of Deputies in September people will face up to two years in prison for "keeping photographic, film, computer, electronic or other pornographic material made with children as models or for abusing children in any other way."
(Guardian) A suspected paedophile pictured on websites sexually abusing young boys has been identified as a 32-year-old Canadian. Thai police named him as Christopher Paul Neil after a worldwide appeal by Interpol using reconstructed images of his face.
(BBC) Interpol has launched an unprecedented global public appeal to help identify a man shown sexually abusing children in photographs posted on the internet. The man appears in about 200 images depicting the abuse of 12 boys, which police said were taken in Vietnam and Cambodia, possibly in 2002 and 2003. The pictures had been digitally altered but police computer specialists have produced identifiable images. Interpol says the man is a danger to children while he remains at large.
(Wired) New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is raising the eyebrows of defense attorneys over his recently exposed plans to pay the controversial anti-piracy firm MediaDefender to gather evidence for child-porn prosecutions.
(Press Realse) IWF intelligence lead to rescue of three prepubescent children being sexually abused and their abuser being sentenced to 60 years in prison. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) provided intelligence to Cybertipline, its sister Hotline in the US, regarding a website which appeared to be hosted in the US and contained images of children being sexually abused.
In a presentation before the European Parliament last week, EU security commissioner Franco Frattini outlined a new set of anti-terror proposals, including plans for a Europol explosives database, airplane passenger list databases, and legislation that would criminalize publication of bomb-making instructions on the Internet. The proposals are based on the findings of a research group that included law enforcement officials and experts from private industry.
(Washington Post) When Austrian authorities announced that they had uncovered an online child pornography ring, pedophiles around the world suddenly became potential targets of criminal investigations - but not the ring's 63 customers in the Czech Republic, where downloading and possessing such images is not a crime. Creating and selling child pornography is illegal in the Czech Republic. But the law does not extend to people who obtain it. Despite repeated calls for legislation in the nearly 20 years since communism's demise, this country of 10.2 million people remains the most prominent haven for consumers of child pornography in the 27-member European Union. Slovenia, a tiny Balkan nation of 2 million people, is the only other E.U. country not to have outlawed possession of the material, according to an Interpol Web site that summarizes national laws.
(Guardian ) Timothy Cox was a quiet, clean-cut 27-year-old who worked for his small family brewery in rural Suffolk. He was also 'the son of god' - the mastermind of a global paedophile ring. Mark Townsend investigates
(G-8 Justice and Home Affairs Ministers) May 24th, 2007 Child pornography grievously harms all children: it harms the child who is sexually assaulted in the making of the image; the same child is re-victimized every time that image is viewed; and it harms all children because it portrays them as a class of objects for sexual exploitation. We categorically denounce those who sexually exploit children by producing images of their sexual abuse and by distributing or collecting such images. Because no child should be victimized in this horrific way, today we pledge to redouble our efforts to enforce the international fight against child pornography.
(Reuters) A 39-year-old Briton has been arrested on suspicion of using someone else's wireless Internet connection without permission, police said on Wednesday.
Officers spotted the man using a laptop as he sat on a wall outside a house in Chiswick, West London. He told officers he had browsed the Internet via an unsecured broadband link from a nearby house, Scotland Yard said. He was arrested and later released on police bail to November 11 pending further inquiries. See also Police: Wi-Fi arrest not part of a crackdown (ZDNet UK).
(BBC News) Columnist Bill Thompson says firms should tell customers when their computer security has been breached. UK organisations have no legal duty to tell if personal data has been compromised. The situation may change, if the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology has its way. They have spent the last year looking at internet security and how it affects us all and they published their final report, called Personal Internet Security.
(Guardian) Experts are warning internet users to be more careful with their private information after secret code from the popular social-networking site Facebook was published on the internet. This is the first time that some of the site's secret operational code has been made public. Although it does not allow hackers to access private information directly, it could help criminals close in on personal data, according to one expert.
(RAPID) The government must do more to protect internet users from the threat of e-crime, says a House of Lords report. The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee said the internet was now "the playground of criminals". The report criticised the government's current "Wild West" approach of leaving internet security up to the individual as "inefficient and unrealistic". See Personal Internet Security. Witnesses from the European Commission, including Commissioner Viviane Reding, gave evidence: see Vol II - Evidence.
(Kablenet.com) A study commissioned by the Ministry of Justice has revealed that the signal for satellite technology for tracking offenders could be lost and that offenders could remove their ankle tags and leave them behind. The report says that, in ideal conditions, the technology is capable of finding the exact location of a tracked offender. But the signal could be distorted if an offender enters a building or a street with tall structures.
(CNET News.com) Expect a new push in Congress this fall for laws aimed at keeping sexual predators off the likes of MySpace.com and elevating fines on Internet service providers that don't report child pornography.
(Reuters) Popular Internet social network MySpace has detected and deleted 29,000 convicted sex offenders on its service, more than four times the figure it had initially reported. The company, owned by media conglomerate News Corp., said in May it had deleted about 7,000 user profiles that belonged to convicted offenders. MySpace attracts about 60 million unique visitors monthly in the United States.
(New York Times) Facebook, the online social network, has stolen some of MySpace's momentum with users and the news media. Now, it is being subjected to the same accusations that it does not do enough to keep sexual predators off its site. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's attorney general, said that investigators in his state were looking into "three or more" cases of convicted sex offenders who had registered on Facebook and had "also found inappropriate images and content" on the service. The inquiry continues, he said, and state officials have contacted Facebook and asked it to remove the profiles.
(Press Release) The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has adopted the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, which represents a major advance in this field. This new Convention is the first instrument to establish the various forms of sexual abuse of children as criminal offences, including such abuse committed in the home or family, with the use of force, coercion or threats. In addition to the offences traditionally committed in this field - sexual abuse, child prostitution, child pornography, children's forced participation in pornographic performances - the text also addresses the issue of "grooming" of children for sexual purposes and "sex tourism". The Convention will be opened for signature at the Conference of European Ministers of Justice in Lanzarote on 25 and 26 October this year. See The full text of the Convention and the explanatory report
(OUT-LAW.com) The Government has published a new law which will criminalise extreme pornography. The possession of extreme pornography will be punishable by up to three years in jail. Material covered will include necrophilia, bestiality and violence that is life threatening or likely to result in serious injury to the anus, breasts or genitals. Such material has been illegal to publish until now under the Obscene Publications Act. The material has not been illegal to view or possess, though; the new law will make possession a crime. Images of child pornography are already illegal to view or to possess
(Guardian) The National High Tech Crime Unit, set up in April 2001 in response to a perception that e-crime was on the rise, was absorbed a year ago into the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (Soca). Soca took over this role because it was felt that financial e-crime was increasingly the preserve of organised crime, its principal area of responsibility. But the result, say people in both the banking and computer security industries, is a shambles.
(BBC) Police have smashed a global child abuse network which was co-ordinated through a UK-based internet site. Global agencies, led by UK investigators, examined more than 700 suspects, including 200 in the UK.
(Wired) Blevins_patrick Texas police have arrested six sex offenders who weren't supposed to be using the internet under the terms of their probation or parole, but who allegedly surfaced in MySpace's database search. A seventh MySpace user was picked up for failing to register as a sex offender.
(ITU) The ITU announces an ambitious two-year plan to curb cybercrime. Cybercrime takes several forms, from breaching network security, financial fraud, invasion of privacy and identity theft to virus attacks, spam or online child pornography. Against this background, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré set out a comprehensive Global Cybersecurity Agenda to tackle the issue within a framework of international cooperation.
(Washington Post) Second Life is intended only for adults, and about 15 percent of the properties on the site have been voluntarily flagged by their residents as having mature material. Though some is relatively innocent, in some locations avatars act out drug use, child abuse, rape and various forms of sadomasochism. The question of what is criminal in virtual reality is complicated by disagreements among countries over what is legal even in real life. For example, virtual renderings of child abuse are not a crime in the United States but are considered illegal pornography in some European countries, including Germany.
(Heise) Während ihrer ersten Plenarsitzung haben die Justiz- und Innenminister der G8-Staaten heute in München größere Anstrengungen beim Kampf gegen Kinderpornographie und sexuellen Missbrauch an Kindern verabredet. Kinder bräuchten einen besonderen Schutz gegen den Missbrauch "in Form der Herstellung und Verbreitung von kinderpornographischem Material in großer Zahl in Sekundenschnelle".
(RAPID) The European Commission has adopted the Communication "Towards a general policy on the fight against cyber crime". Specific actions to improve coordination and cooperation between law enforcement authorities and between law enforcement and private sector operators will play an important role in the fight against cyber crime, and complement other actions taken at national, European and international level. See also background
(CNET News.com) MySpace.com unveiled a plan for cooperating with requests from state attorneys general for data pertaining to registered sex offenders. MySpace will provide the Multi-State Attorney General Executive Committee with data from Sentinel Safe, the database of information on registered sex offenders that the company has compiled through its partnership with identity verification firm Sentinel Tech Holding.
(Reuters) A British judge who said he didn't really understand the term "Web site" is fully computer literate and was merely trying to clarify complex evidence for the benefit of the court, the judiciary said. The remark by Judge Peter Openshaw during a trial on Wednesday made headlines around the world. "The trouble is I don't understand the language. I don't really understand what a Web site is," he told a London court during the trial of three men accused of inciting terrorism via the Internet. In a statement, the Judicial Communications Office did not dispute that Openshaw had been accurately quoted. But it said the remark by the judge, now in his fifth week presiding over the trial, had been taken out of context.
(OUT-LAW News) The Government will create a new child pornography offence for computer-generated or drawn images of child abuse. The creation or possession of such images is currently not an offence at all. The possession of actual photographs or images that appear to be photographs of sexual child abuse is punishable by up to 10 years in jail. The Government wants to create a new offence for generated images which would be punishable by three years in jail and an unlimited fine. The new law will relate to cartoon, computer-generated pictures, animations, drawings or actual photos altered so that they do not appear enough like photos to fall under existing law's reference to pseudo photographs.
(Guardian) Operation Ore has become embedded in public consciousness as the landmark police operation that tracked down people - almost always men - who allegedly paid to access child pornography via computer - but hundreds, perhaps thousands, of the cases show that the police were misled and confused by criminals whose computer expertise was years ahead of theirs. See also BBC picks up on the failings of Operation Ore.
(News.com blog) by Daniel Terdiman. Second Life publisher Linden Lab was contacted by a German TV station that said it had discovered images in the virtual world showing a child avatar engaged in "depicted sexual conduct" with an adult avatar. Linden lab quickly began an investigation and banned the two people behind the avatars, as well as removed the images. Linden Lab said it has a zero tolerance policy regarding such behavior and acts quickly to remove residents who engage in it or the content itself when it is informed of its existence.
A controversial Directive which criminalises intellectual property violations in Europe has been approved by the European Parliament but does not include its most controversial element, the criminalising of patent infringement. Supporters of the Directive say it is aimed at organised crime, but opponents claim that it could criminalise legitimate activities. The proposed directive is also controversial because if passed it would become the first directive to impose criminal penalties across Europe.
(BBC) Two people have been cautioned for using people's wi-fi broadband internet connections without permission. Neighbours in Redditch, Worcestershire, contacted police after seeing a man inside a car using a laptop while parked outside a house.
(BBC) Reports of websites that contain images of child abuse have continued to climb in the last year, a report has shown. In 2006, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) investigated more than 31,000 reports of sites that contained alleged images, an increase of 34% since 2005. The IWF annual report also revealed the increasing severity of content held on the sites. More than 3,000 web pages contained images depicting the most severe abuse, such as penetrative and sadistic sexual activity, the report said. Most children involved were under the age of 12.
(BBC) Ministers are planning to tighten the law to make it an offence to possess computer-generated or cartoon images depicting child sex abuse.
It is currently an offence to possess indecent photographs and pseudo-photographs of children. But there has been a growth in computer-generated images, cartoons, and drawings, which are not illegal.
(Ars Technica) A data breach originally disclosed by the parent company of retailer T.J. Maxx could be the largest case of consumer information theft to occur to date. TJX Cos. disclosed in a regulatory filing this week that the company believes that data on at least 45.7 million credit and debit cards was stolen by hackers, and has reason to believe that the actual number could be much higher.
(IBLS) European governments crack down on the recording and distribution of violence online. Several years ago, the United Kingdom noticed a disturbing pastime among a segment of its youths - 'happy slapping'. Individuals or groups found amusing the slapping or striking of strangers while accomplices filmed the assaults using mobile phones. The images were later showcased on the Internet. In recent years, the 'happy slapping' virus has spread into France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland, among other European countries. And governments have had enough of this cruel and sometimes lethal form of entertainment.
(out-law.com) The US Senate has ratified the Convention on Cybercrime, the first international treaty on computer-related crime and the gathering of electronic evidence. The Convention was signed in November 2001 and came into force in July 2004. The UK has signed the Convention but has yet to formally ratify it [Ed: as is the case for most EU Member States. see status].
(SSRN) by Kerr, Ian R. and Gilbert, Daphne. Examines the new role internet service providers (ISPs) will play in the fight against cybercrime. Examining the legislative model that is being considered in various jurisdictions around the world, the authors argue that adopting this approach will lower the threshold of privacy protection. Moreover, it will drastically alter the relationship between ISPs and the individuals who have come to depend on them to properly manage their personal information and private communications.
The Convention on cybercrime is the only binding international instrument dealing with cybercrime. It has received widespread international support and is open to all States. The Convention provides for consultations of the Parties (the Cybercime Convention Committee (T-CY)). The first meeting of the consultation of the parties took place in Strasbourg, France from 21-22 March 2006. see also Examples of how the private sector has blocked child pornographic sites.
(CNET News.com) Interpol has called on politicians to help law enforcement officers bring cybercriminals to justice by making it easier for evidence to be transferred between countries. The international police organization said that a new global legislative framework was needed to deal with cybercrime, which has evolved dramatically since the current legislation was passed.
(Missing Kids) Fighting cybercrime will be a top priority for the U.S. Department of Justice. U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales announced the Project Safe Childhood Initiative to combat crimes against children facilitated by computers. The new initiative calls for strengthening resources available to law enforcement and a national prevention education campaign.
(International Herald Tribune) Any e-mail users would argue that spam is still going strong, and some spam fighters even warn that the number of unsolicited e-mails is on the increase. The unwanted commercial messages circulating on the Internet far outnumber legitimate e-mails. Outblaze, a company that manages more than 40 million e-mail accounts around the world, calculated a ratio of more than 14 spam messages to each genuine message. What is more, a fundamental shift is under way in the world of cybercrime toward using spam to make specific organizations targets for extortion, a report from IBM warned.
(out-law.com) Launching a Denial of Service attack in the UK is set to become a new offence. The Government included updates to the country's main cybercrime law, with new offences and stiffer penalties in its Police and Justice Bill. The Computer Misuse Act is now 15 years old and legal experts have long questioned whether it adequately outlaws Denial of Service attacks. This is an attack in which a web or email server is deliberately flooded with information to the point of collapse. A court cleared a teenager last November on charges of sending five million emails to his former employer, because the judge decided that no offence had been committed under the Act.
(ITU) The ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity took place from 28 June - 1 July 2005 in Geneva, Switzerland. A large number of written contributions, presentations and a webcast archive are available online, with the following background papers: A Comparative Analysis of Spam Laws: the Quest for Model Law, A Comparative Analysis of Cybersecurity Initatives Worldwide, Harmonizing National Legal Approaches on Cybercrime and ITU Survey on Anti-Spam Legislation Worldwide
(Heise) von Monika Ermert. Bei der Verabschiedung der Cybercrime Konvention des Europarates 2001 schlugen die Wogen der Kritik hoch. Inzwischen ist es still geworden um den kontrovers diskutierten Völkerrechtsvertrag. Bislang haben erst 10 der 42 Unterzeichnerstaaten die Konvention auch tatsächlich ratifiziert. Große Länder wie die USA, Frankreich oder Deutschland lassen sich Zeit.
(01net.fr) Thierry Breton a remis au ministre de l'Intérieur, Dominique de Villepin, une série de propositions destinées à améliorer la lutte contre la cybercriminalité. Chargé de travailler sur le sujet en tant que PDG de France Télécom, en juin 2004, Thierry Breton a présenté son rapport en tant que ministre de l'Economie, des Finances et de l'Industrie. Première proposition, disposer de meilleures statistiques. Le doublement des effectifs de policiers et gendarmes spécialisés dans le cybercrime est confirmé. Le contrôle des contenus illicites devrait bénéficier de la création d'un organisme de centralisation des données. Pour ce qui est de la prévention, entreprises et mineurs sont encouragés, par les deux ministres, à faire état des actes dont ils auraient été victimes. Enfin, le ministre avance l'idée d'un « certificat citoyen » à délivrer aux FAI. Deux ajouts au code pénal sont proposés. L'un pour permettre aux enquêteurs de s'infiltrer sur un support de communication électronique afin de participer à des discussions, de stocker des contenus illicites et d'entrer en contact avec des auteurs d'infractions. L'autre pour punir explicitement les sollicitations sexuelles faites à un mineur par le biais d'un moyen de communication électronique, Internet ou SMS. voir Communiqué de presse et Rapport de M. Thierry Breton (Ministère de l'Intérieur).
(CNET News.com) An FBI special agent has hit out at U.K.-based units of large global ISPs and the role they play in allowing the perpetuation of cybercrime through a lack of cooperation with law enforcement. Speaking at the Computer and Internet Crime Conference in London, FBI agent Ed Gibson, who is an assistant legal attache to the U.S. Embassy, expressed concerns that national boundaries are still too much of an obstacle to law enforcement.
Gibson said such obstacles can delay law enforcement efforts by months at a time, and he criticized the Internet service providers and their regulations for doing too little to ease the process.
(IJCLP) The International Journal of Communications Law and Policy and the Yale Journal of Law and Technology present Issue 9 on Cybercrime which will be published in two parts. The selected papers discuss whether and how a shift to a digital environment changes the crime scene; facilitates the commission of new types of crimes; leads to radical changes in law enforcement methods; equips law enforcement with new tools of surveillance, technological design and risk sorting systems; presents challenges for the legal process; and introduces new forms of social resistance through 'hacktivism' and counter-surveillance. In particular, the authors have questioned both the efficacy of fighting cybercrime and the civil liberties implications arising from innovations in law enforcement methods of operation.
(CommsWatch) The organisations EURIM and IPPR have today published two new studies as part of their E-Crime Study programme. The paper on Reducing Opportunities for E-Crime focuses on the need for industry and law enforcement to work together to produce practical, plain English guidance for users on what to do to protect themselves and what to do when they suspect they have been victimised. The paper on The Reporting of Cybercrime (non-geographic e-crime where the agency responsible for action is not obvious) addresses the need to rationalise the current jungle of largely ad hoc reporting structures,