28 February 2010

Microsoft backs down over online 'spy guide'

Microsoft has been forced to backtrack after it closed down a whistleblowing website after it published a leaked version of the company's "spy guide". The American software giant took action against the Cryptome website for publishing a copy of the Microsoft Global Criminal Compliance Handbook, a document explaining how law enforcement officials can access millions of people's private information online. Microsoft said the publication infringed its copyright and lodged a complaint with Cryptome's web hosting company, Network Solutions. Network Solutions shut down the website entirely - a move that caused uproar among civil liberties campaigners, and led Microsoft to withdraw its complaint so that Cryptome could go back online. The company did not intend to close the site - just remove the document in question.

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24 February 2010

IT - Google bosses convicted in Italy

An Italian court has convicted three Google executives in a trial over a video showing an autistic teenager being bullied. The Google employees were accused of breaking Italian law by allowing the video to be posted online. Judge Oscar Magi absolved the three of defamation but convicted them of privacy violations. The UK's former Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said the case gave privacy laws a "bad name". The three employees, Peter Fleischer, David Drummond and George De Los Reyes, received suspended six-month sentences, while a fourth defendant, product manager Arvind Desikan, was acquitted. David Drummond, chief legal officer at Google and one of those convicted, said he was "outraged" by the decision. See Serious threat to the web in Italy (Google Public Policy Blog).

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11 February 2010

UK - Facebook takes down 30 prisoners' pages after victim taunts

Thirty Facebook pages have been taken down because prisoners were using them to taunt their victims, Jack Straw, the justice secretary, has revealed. Straw was speaking after a meeting with victims' campaigners to discuss prisoners using social networking sites to hound families. The minister said the 30 offending pages brought to the attention of Facebook had been removed within 48 hours. He said he was "what we have to do is set up a better system with Facebook. "So essentially if they get a notice from us that this site is improper then all they have to do is not make a judgment about it, but press the delete button."


16 December 2009

NL - Notice and Take Down Procedure for .nl Domain Names

SIDN, the .nl registry, is one of the prime movers behind the Notice and Take Down Code. Developed in 2008 under the auspices of the NICC, the Code describes how internet service providers should respond if someone complains that the content of a website is unlawful or criminal. SIDN has introduced a version of the Code tailored to the .nl domain. As the .nl registry, SIDN?s role in the context of Notice and Take Down (NTD) is limited to three fields of activity. The first of these fields is advice and referral. What types of complaint can you make, and who can you make them to? For example, if you see something on a website you are unhappy with, the first person to talk to is the person who put it there; next you might go to the organisation that runs the website, then the firm that hosts it and the internet access provider. Only if none of these people and organisations will intervene should you take your complaint to the registry (SIDN). Second, SIDN can play a role in the provision of information. When someone complains to us about the way a domain name is being used, we can tell the complainant about the domain name in question, who the registrant is and which registrar manages the registration. Third, in the last resort, if all other possible ways of getting criminal or unlawful content removed from a website have been tried and failed, SIDN can take the domain name out of use.