Legal & Security

25 October 2008

uk: Surveillance - Data with destiny The Guardian

"Which side is he on?" Gordon Brown taunted David Cameron in another effective performance on the financial crisis at prime minister's questions yesterday. The same question, though, must now be asked directly of Mr Brown as the battle between liberty and the power of the state prepares to take another major turning. This new battle is summed up in two recent speeches. The first was delivered last week by the home secretary Jacqui Smith, who outlined plans for a potentially vast new state database that will contain details of every phone call, text message and internet visit made by every person in this country for all time. The new database, said Ms Smith, would be an essential part of the government's revised anti-terrorist strategy. Communications data of this kind is the lifeblood of 95% of serious crime prosecutions and of almost all security service operations in recent years, she said, but it must now be carried further to allow government to store the details of internet communications, including social networking sites.

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24 October 2008

uk: Hoon defends giant database plans BBC

Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon has said the government is prepared to go "quite a long way" with civil liberties to "stop terrorists killing people". He was responding to criticism of plans for a database of mobile and web records, saying it was needed because terrorists used such communications.

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23 October 2008

Cyber-attack theory as al-Qaida websites close The Guardian

Websites being used to disseminate propaganda by al-Qaida appear to have come under systematic cyber-attack, forcing the closure of three for well over a month and fuelling speculation that governments are targeting them in a shadowy new front in the "war on terror".

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A Robot Network Seeks to Enlist Your Computer New York Times

In a windowless room on Microsoft's campus here, T. J. Campana, a cybercrime investigator, connects an unprotected computer running an early version of Windows XP to the Internet. In about 30 seconds the computer is "owned."

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Dutch teens convicted of virtual theft The Age

A Dutch court has convicted two teenagers of theft for stealing virtual items in a computer game and sentenced them to community service.

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The Growing Security Concerns... Don't Have Nightmares by Bill Thompson Circle ID

Anyone concerned about the security of their computers and the data held on them might sleep a little uneasily tonight.

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German privacy watchdogs agree social networking ground rules OUT-LAW News

Social networking sites are not permitted to store information about people's use of the sites beyond the duration of a particular session in Germany, according to a panel of all that country's data protection officials.

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eBay in worldwide ban on sale of ivory to save endangered elephants The Times

A worldwide ban on the sale of ivory was announced today by the internet shopping site eBay after campaigns by wildlife conservation groups to save endangered elephants from extinction.

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22 October 2008

Pirates prefer Windows XP over Vista, says Microsoft Computerworld

Software counterfeiters pass on Windows Vista and instead prefer to pirate Windows XP, a Microsoft Corp. attorney said today, outlining a practice that tracks with the leanings of many of the company's customers.

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Keyboard sniffers to steal data BBC

Computer criminals could soon be eavesdropping on what you type by analysing the electromagnetic signals produced by every key press.

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21 October 2008

UK government faces fight from within for spy database Sunday Times

A Home Office revolt is stalling a plan to store our e-mails and calls but a more sinister one may take its place

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Bank hackers steal from French President's bank account The Guardian

The French government was forced to admit that no one was safe from internet fraud yesterday after it emerged that thieves had managed to hack into President Nicolas Sarkozy's personal bank account and siphon off cash.

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Georgian cyberattacks suggest Russian involvement Computerworld

The hackers who launched cyberattacks against the former Soviet republic of Georgia two months ago probably had links to the Russian government, even though no hard evidence has been uncovered of official involvement, a report by an all-volunteer group of experts said today.

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19 October 2008

Internet police catching up with outlaws The Guardian

One of the great claims about the internet has always been that it doesn't respect borders. John Perry Barlow, in his "declaration of cyberspace independence" - written way back in 1996 - claimed that national governments couldn't hold sway against the determined electrons of cyberspace: "Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours," he wrote.

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Telecom Spying Amnesty Unconstitutional, Electronic Frontiers Foundation Tells Court Wired

The government's attempt to give retroactive immunity to the companies that helped the Bush administration's warrantless spying program violates the Constitution by ripping from the courts the power to hear citizens' grievances against the government, a rights group told a federal court Thursday.

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Al-Qaeda Web Forums Abruptly Taken Offline Washington Post

Four of the five main online forums that al-Qaeda's media wing uses to distribute statements by Osama bin Laden and other extremists have been disabled since mid-September, monitors of the Web sites say.

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18 October 2008

Cybersecurity: Users, Other Groups Must Work Together PC World

Individual Internet users, businesses, the government and tech vendors all need to focus more on cybersecurity and be aware of the dangers, a group of cybersecurity experts said Thursday.

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Link between child porn and Muslim terrorists discovered in police raids The Times

A link between terrorism plots and hardcore child pornography is becoming clear after a string of police raids in Britain and across the Continent, an investigation by The Times has discovered. Images of child abuse have been found during Scotland Yard antiterrorism swoops and in big inquiries in Italy and Spain.

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Dangerous and depraved: paedophiles unite with terrorists online The Times

For some, the internet is merely a hiding place -- a web of secret corridors where all manner of shameful deeds unfold. But the police never expected that it might become a strategic platform where two groups of society's outcasts, terrorists and child sex abusers, could meet to exchange operational secrets.

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FBI says Dark Market sting netted 56 arrests Network World

A two-year undercover FBI sting operation targeting online fraudsters has netted 56 arrests and prevented millions of dollars in economic losses, the FBI said Thursday.

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17 October 2008

Internet phone calls are crippling fight against terrorism The Times

The huge growth in internet telephone traffic is jeopardising the capability of police to investigate almost every type of crime, senior sources have told The Times.

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New powers for UK state snoopers on the net The Guardian

The British government is drawing up plans to give sweeping new powers to the security and intelligence agencies, and other public bodies, allowing them to access personal data using a wide range of internet sites, including social and gaming networks, Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, signalled yesterday.

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uk: Big Brother database: the revolt grows The Independent

Jacqui Smith faces a parliamentary backlash over "Orwellian" plans to intercept details of email, internet, telephone and other data records of every person in Britain. Labour MPs joined opposition parties in expressing doubts about plans announced by the Home Secretary which could lead to a vast database of information about Britons' calls and internet habits.

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FBI: Several nations eye U.S. cybertargets Computerworld

About two-dozen nations have developed cyberattack capabilities and have their eyes on targets inside U.S. businesses and government agencies, the top cybercrime law enforcement official in the U.S. said today.

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Cyber security threats grow in sophistication, subtlety and power Network World

The annual report from Georgia Tech Information Security Center identifies five evolving cyber security threats, and the news is not good.

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