Articles by date
27 January 2008
uk: Scramble to curb suicide websites (The Times)
The dangers of internet sites that encourage suicide and discussion about taking your own life are to be part of an official review of child safety on the web. The Ministry of Justice is also examining new curbs in the law to stop internet sites giving out information about different ways of committing suicide.
26 January 2008
Web vigilantes attack Scientology website (The Times)
A shadowy internet group has succeeded in taking down a Scientology website after effectively declaring war on the Church and calling for it to be destroyed.
In the country where the world's first internet suicide pact was forged, the battle to save lives is a desperate one. Cyberpatrols, web whistle-blowers and a special online suicide-watch police division have become the new front line in Japan's half-decade battle with a scourge that first came to light on its shores.
A dozen pupils at a Bridgend secondary school have asked for counselling after the attempted suicide of a 15-year-old girl. Leah Phillips was within minutes of becoming the most recent suicide in the Welsh town when she tried to hang herself on Friday night. She was found and given the kiss of life by her stepfather and a neighbour. At least seven young people, all known to each other, have killed themselves in the past year in a series of apparent copycat suicides.
Web disconnection threat to downloaders; Global music sales fell around 10% in 2007; Illegal downloads outnumber bought music 20 to 1 (The Guardian)
Internet users who illegally share music could face having the plug pulled on their web connection after record labels yesterday called for new legislation to tackle digital piracy. New figures showed music sales continued to decline, down by about 10% in 2007 as strong growth in digital revenues failed to offset the continuing slump in CD sales and the effects of piracy. Global sales via the internet and mobile phones grew by 40% to an estimated $2.9bn (£1.48bn).
us: Cheney Pushes for Permanent Warrantless Wiretapping Power (E-Commerce Times)
Storm clouds are roiling anew over Washington this week as the impending expiration of the Protect America Act brings surveillance legislation to the forefront of congressional attention once again. Not least among the rumbles of thunder was an address delivered Wednesday by Vice President Dick Cheney at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, in which he urged Congress to make permanent changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 that were only temporarily provided last summer by the Protect America Act, which is set to expire next week.
25 January 2008
Google Balks at EU Take on IP Addresses (NewsFactor)
IP addresses should be classified as personally identifiable information, the head of the European Union's data-privacy regulators said on Monday. Google begs to differ.
A world where music lovers can listen to free music over the internet - legally - came a significant step closer today when Last.fm, the social music website, announced that it had record industry's approval to start an unprecedented new streaming service.
Worm fears shut down Skype video feature (InfoWorld)
Skype has been forced to turn off a video-sharing feature in its software because it could be misused to launch a self-copying worm attack against Skype users, security researchers said Tuesday.
Sedo has released its latest report, "Sedo's Secondary Domain Market Study for 2007," on the secondary domain name market. In 2007 Sedo, through its online marketplace, sold 27,270 domains with a value of £37,048,960, a 60 per cent increase on 2006. The most expensive of these was chinese.com for US$1,100,000 followed by li.com for $500,000.
"An unprecedented act of censorship" is how international press freedom organisation, Reporters Without Borders, described China's latest method of internet censorship. The new measures are aimed at silencing those who attempt to express their opinion through online video material.
Chances are that as you read this article, it is passing over part of AT&T's network. That matters, because last week AT&T announced that it is seriously considering plans to examine all the traffic it carries for potential violations of U.S. intellectual property laws. The prospect of AT&T, already accused of spying on our telephone calls, now scanning every e-mail and download for outlawed content is way too totalitarian for my tastes. But the bizarre twist is that the proposal is such a bad idea that it would be not just a disservice to the public but probably a disaster for AT&T itself. If I were a shareholder, I'd want to know one thing: Has AT&T, after 122 years in business, simply lost its mind?
How Facebook Is Like Ikea (Slate)
Roughly five years after Internet users caught on, the bookshops are suddenly full of books about the user-generated content that "Web 2.0" makes possible: blogs, Wikipedia, Facebook, and the rest. Well, you can forget them, because easily the world's most profitable enabler of user-generated content opened the doors of its first superstore 50 years ago, in Almhult, Sweden.
Barracuda Networks released its annual spam report. The findings included: 1) The majority of business professionals view spam email as the worst form of junk advertising - worse than postal junk mail and telemarketing calls, and 2) spam email accounted for 90 to 95 percent of all email in 2007, up from an estimated five percent of email in 2001.
ComScore released the results of a study of the worldwide traffic to the online properties of traditional U.K. media brands, based on data from the comScore World Metrix audience measurement service. The study revealed that online visitors originating from outside the U.K. outnumbered the domestic audience for the BBC, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, and The Daily Mail.
Can Web-based worlds teach us about the real one? (Christian Science Monitor)
With last week's stock market sputter and renewed warnings of a recession, policymakers and presidential candidates are hawking countless plans to jump-start the economy. These proposals are often complex, sometimes controversial, and almost always conjectural.
uk: Porn bill firm Micro Bill Systems opens new front (The Guardian)
Can you ever consent to blackmail? Rik Ferguson of internet security solutions company Trend Micro thinks so. He's thinking of the behaviour of online billing software from Leeds-based Micro Bill Systems Ltd. Install it to view a three-day free trial of pornographic videos and, if you don't cancel in time, you'll see a popup bill window appear for increasingly longer periods each day until you pay £39.99. "It's saying, 'I am going to disable your system unless you pay the money, do you agree to this?' That's really consented blackmail," says Ferguson, who hates the idea of X-rated websites shaming users into paying up.
NZ government ponders digital media regulation (ComputerWorld)
Broadcasting minister Trevor Mallard and communications minister David Cunliffe jointly issued a research report this morning on the regulation of digital broadcasting.
Most malware comes from legit sites, says researcher (ComputerWorld)
The majority of Web sites serving up attack code are legitimate domains that have been hacked by criminals, a security researcher said in a report released today. It's the first time that legitimate sites outnumber the malicious ones hackers purposefully set up to spread malware.
24 January 2008
Chinese authorities closed down 44,000 websites and arrested 868 people last year in a campaign against internet pornography, state media has reported. Another 1,911 people received unspecified penalties for "pornography activities", Xinhua news agency said.
eu: Do internet companies protect personal data well enough? (European Parliament)
Claims that big internet companies, such as Google or Yahoo, track the on-line behaviour of millions of users, so as to be able to sell the resulting data to on-line advertisers, raise difficult issues, such as whether these data could also be used for other purposes that violate personal privacy, said data protection, industry and consumer protection bodies at a public hearing held by the Civil Liberties Committee on 21 January.
uk: Police suspect internet link to suicides (The Guardian)
Police in south Wales are investigating the possibility of an internet "suicide chain" after the apparent copycat deaths of seven young people over the past year. The latest victim, Natasha Randall, 17, was found dead at her family home in Blaengarw, near Bridgend last week. Two other teenage girls who knew her attempted to harm themselves the following day. Last night, one of them was still on a life support machine in hospital, while the second girl was discharged from hospital. Police believe that all the victims may be linked, even if they had not met offline.
Leurs dénominations sont explicites, souvent triviales, parfois injurieuses. Ils sont actuellement hébergés sur des plates-formes comme Blogspot, Over-blog, ou Canalblog. Aujourd'hui, ces sites consacrés au président de la République (sarkozynews, sarkostique, nicolas.sarkozy, fucksarkozy...), ne peuvent plus prétendre décrocher un nom de domaine en .fr.
Regulating Cyberstalking by Subhajit Basu & Richard Jones (Warwick University Journal of Information, Law & Technology)
Abstract: Through the use of examples of cyber stalking the paper will consider the nature of regulation required in relation to this behaviour in cyberspace. The paper will consider the differences between off line and cyber stalking, and review how these differences affect the regulation of such activities. The paper will review the boundaries between public and private law, between national and international law and between state law and self regulation, and consider whether the traditional positivist methodology of law, within these boundaries offers an adequate intellectual framework in which to consider the nature and form of regulation in cyberspace.
23 January 2008
EU Official: IP Is Personal (Sydney Morning Herald)
IP addresses should generally be regarded as personal information, the head of the European Union's group of data privacy regulators said Monday according to an AP story. Germany's data protection commissioner, Peter Scharr, leads the EU group preparing a report on how well the privacy policies of Internet search engines operated by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others comply with EU privacy law.