Articles by date

17 April 2014

Google is building up a digital superstate, says German media boss (The Guardian)

The chief executive of Europe's largest newspaper publisher has accused Google of abusing a monopoly position in the digital economy to discriminate against competitors and build up a "superstate".

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16 April 2014

Social media used to recruit new wave of British jihadis in Syria (The Guardian)

In a basement beneath the Strand in London, just metres from the cafes of Somerset House, two academics sit hunched over their laptops.

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Heartbleed fallout may 'slow' browsing speeds (BBC News)

The struggle to fix problems caused by the Heartbleed bug may slow browsing speeds, warns analysis firm Netcraft.

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Heartbleed makes 50m Android phones vulnerable, data shows (The Guardian)

At least 4m Android smartphones in the US, and tens of millions worldwide, could be exploited by a version of the "Heartbleed" security flaw, data provided to the Guardian shows.

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Gmail does scan all emails, new Google terms clarify (The Guardian)

Google has clarified its email scanning practices in a terms of service update, informing users that incoming and outgoing emails are analysed by automated software.

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15 April 2014

Confronting Collective Harm: Technology's Transformative Impact on Child Pornography by Jane Bailey [University of New Brunswick Law Journal] (Social Science Research Network)

Abstract: The epigraph suggests a dichotomy that makes categorization simple - those who accept that Internet and new communication technologies present changes "in kind" which necessitate abandonment of "old" ways of thinking about law, politics, and society, and those who deny this new reality and seek to treat it merely as incremental change. Those in the latter group are not infrequently portrayed as luddites, unwilling and unable to accept that technology necessitates rethinking everything from the ground up. Through the exploration of the impact of emerging technologies on child pornography, I suggest that this dichotomy is more fictional than real; technological developments can facilitate both transformative and incremental change. Perhaps more importantly, I suggest that transformations brought about by technology need not compel us in every instance to abandon old ways of thinking. These transformations may actually reaffirm the significance of previously made commitments and values that have been under-recognized in examinations of the justification for existing laws. In so doing, these transformations offer us not only the opportunity to get clearer about our values and commitments, but to explore new justifications for "old" ways of thinking that did not previously exist, were ignored, or were once considered weak.

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Guardian and Washington Post win Pulitzer prize for NSA revelations (The Guardian)

The Guardian and the Washington Post have been awarded the highest accolade in US journalism, winning the Pulitzer prize for public service for their groundbreaking articles on the National Security Agency's surveillance activities based on the leaks of Edward Snowden.

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14 April 2014

US government warns of Heartbleed bug danger (BBC News)

The US government has warned that it believes hackers are trying to make use of the Heartbleed bug.

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Online business and security: A flaw in popular internet-security software could have serious consequences for all sorts of business (The Economist)

The Heartbleed bug sounds like a nasty coronary condition. But it is in fact a software flaw that has left up to two-thirds of the world's websites vulnerable to attack by hackers. "This is potentially the most dangerous bug that we have seen for a long, long time," says James Beeson, the chief information security officer of GE Capital Americas, an arm of GE. Since its existence was revealed on April 7th by researchers at Codenomicon, a security outfit, and Google, countless companies around the world that rely on the internet for part or all of their business have been scrambling to fix the flaw.

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Obama Lets N.S.A. Exploit Some Internet Flaws, Officials Say (New York Times)

Stepping into a heated debate within the nation's intelligence agencies, President Obama has decided that when the National Security Agency discovers major flaws in Internet security, it should -- in most circumstances -- reveal them to assure that they will be fixed, rather than keep mum so that the flaws can be used in espionage or cyberattacks, senior administration officials said Saturday.

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.GURU First New gTLD To Hit 50K Registrations

There are now 14 new gTLDs to have passed the 10,000 registration mark with .guru still comfortably leading the pack with 50,039 registrations as of 13 April, according to There are also 12 registrars with over 10,000 registrations.

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Saudi liberal website closed by Jeddah court - local media (Reuters)

A Saudi court has ordered a liberal Internet forum to permanently close for publishing what it described as anti-Islamic material, Saudi media reported on Sunday.

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UK buying more legal and illegal drugs online, survey finds (The Guardian)

More drug users are buying their drugs online - including so-called legal highs as well as illegal drugs such as cannabis and MDMA - because they say the quality is better, there is more choice and it is more convenient, research has found.

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13 April 2014

Turkey's prime minister says he'll pursue Twitter for 'tax evasion' (CNET)

Turkey's prime minister seems to still be looking for a way to silence Twitter in his country, saying in a televised speech Saturday that the microblogging service is a tax evader and that his government will pursue it.

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Half a million widely trusted websites vulnerable to Heartbleed bug (Netcraft)

A serious overrun vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic library affects around 17% of SSL web servers which use certificates issued by trusted certificate authorities. Already commonly known as the Heartbleed bug, a missing bounds check in the handling of the TLS heartbeat extension can allow remote attackers to view up to 64 kilobytes of memory on an affected server. This could allow attackers to retrieve private keys and ultimately decrypt the server's encrypted traffic or even impersonate the server.

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Heartbleed Bug: What Can You Do? (Krebs On Security)

In the wake of widespread media coverage of the Internet security debacle known as the Heartbleed bug, many readers are understandably anxious to know what they can do to protect themselves. Here's a short primer.

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Arabic and the internet: Surfing the shabaka - The world's fifth-most-spoken language lags online (The Economist)

The Arab world from Rabat to Baghdad likes to surf. The proportion of Arabs online grew 30-fold between 2000 and 2012. Shaking off their stuffy image, 41% of Saudi internet users are on Twitter, the highest rate in the world. But Arabic speakers have far less content in their native language than others do. By some estimates, fewer than 1% of all web pages are in Arabic.

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12 April 2014

In France, a Move to Limit Off-the-Clock Work Emails (New York Times)

Given France's 35-hour workweek, generous vacations and persistent, if not altogether accurate, reputation for indolence, it may come as a surprise that the French are only now considering limits on the work emails and phone calls that come at all hours of the day and night.

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Kim Dotcom and Megaupload sued for copyright infringement by music labels (The Guardian)

Megaupload may have shut down in January 2012 after its founder Kim Dotcom was arrested on copyright infringement charges, but the cloud storage service is now facing new civil lawsuits from the music and film industries.

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U.S. Denies It Knew of Heartbleed Bug on the Web (New York Times)

The Obama administration denied Friday that the National Security Agency or other parts of the federal government had known about the Heartbleed security vulnerability that has created widespread fears that passwords and other sensitive information belonging to millions of Internet users may have been revealed over the past two years.

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Facebook receives nearly 2,000 data requests from UK police (The Guardian)

Law enforcement agencies in the UK made thousands of requests for data on Facebook users in the last six months of 2013, according to results published by the social network.

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Angela Merkel denied access to her NSA file (The Guardian)

The US government is refusing to grant Angela Merkel access to her NSA file or answer formal questions from Germany about its surveillance activities, raising the stakes before a crucial visit by the German chancellor to Washington.

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11 April 2014

Microsoft Touts Data Protection Approval in Europe; Eager for New Customers (New York Times)

Online privacy is heating up as a selling point, at least in Europe.

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Security Flaw Could Reach Beyond Websites to Digital Devices, Experts Say (New York Times)

When the Heartbleed bug was disclosed on Monday, the attention focused on the fallout for major Internet companies like Yahoo and Amazon. But security experts said the potential for harm could extend much further, to the guts of the Internet and the many devices that connect to it.

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'Heartbleed' computer bug threat spreads to firewalls and beyond (Reuters)

Hackers could crack email systems, security firewalls and possibly mobile phones through the "Heartbleed" computer bug, according to security experts who warned on Thursday that the risks extended beyond just Internet Web servers.

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