Articles by date
03 April 2014
Social media explosion powered by dirty energy, report warns (The Guardian)
The rise of social media is being powered by dirty forms of energy such as coal, a report from the campaign group Greenpeace said on Wednesday.
Australia's love affair with mobile broadband services is leading to a significant bump in economic activity with new research from the communications watchdog showing that use of the services helped contribute $33.8 billion in the last year or more than 2 per cent of the nation's total GDP.
Taking individual filesharers to court is now a discredited anti-piracy strategy for even the most hawkish music, film and software industry rightsholders. Their preferred approach in 2014 is to follow the money instead.
02 April 2014
US intelligence chiefs have confirmed that the National Security Agency has used a "back door" in surveillance law to perform warrantless searches on Americans' communications.
Get Ready for the Internet Robber Barons: If the United Nations ends up in charge, it would have a chokehold on the global economy (Wall Street Journal)
Do you remember the original robber barons? No, they were not the great American industrialists/philanthropists of the late 19th century -- men who were unfairly tagged with the moniker. I mean the originals: the German barons of the 13th century who controlled the Rhine River, which was the primary channel of commerce and communications for central Europe. Their castles overlooked the river, and they exacted tribute from every passing ship.
As lawyers for Apple and Samsung made their opening statements in their patent trial in a federal courthouse here, they could not even agree on what the fight was about.
As many as 24m routers across the world can be used by cybercriminals to launch massive attacks on internet infrastructure, while simultaneously disrupting home connections and costing communications companies dearly.
A Nudge on Digital Privacy Law From E.U. Official (New York Times)
The top data protection official for the European Union called Tuesday for member governments to restore public trust in the Internet by pressing ahead with an overhaul of the bloc's electronic privacy laws by the end of this year.
01 April 2014
Websites offering illegal copyrighted material could see their advertising revenue cut under a new initiative.
UK copyright tweak in June will finally allow ripping of CDs (The Guardian)
Fifteen years after the first MP3 players went on sale in the UK, it will soon be legal to copy music you've bought on to them from a CD you own.
Turkey has started hijacking net addresses as it steps up attempts to block access to social media.
A review of how Australian privacy law matches up with the current use of technology, has recommended that online services that publish content generated by users, should be able to access safe harbour laws where an invasion of privacy is concerned.
US Senator Franken Introduces Bill on Smartphone, Internet Privacy (National Law Journal)
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has reintroduced legislation to ban companies' surreptitious collection of location data from smartphones and other electronic devices, rebooting a privacy-protection push the business community sought to squash.
31 March 2014
SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TPP: An Alphabet Soup of Innovation-Stifling Copyright Legislation and Agreements by Michael A. Carrier [Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property] (Social Science Research Network)
Abstract: In the past few years, proposed copyright legislation and trade agreements have received significant attention. Critics have attacked the secrecy with which trade agreements are negotiated behind closed doors. And they have pointed out concerns with legislation including censorship, a lack of due process, and compromised Internet security. But the effect of these developments on innovation has not received sufficient attention. This article addresses this gap.
The vast scale of online surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden is changing how businesses store commercially sensitive data, with potentially dramatic consequences for the future of the internet, according to a new study.
Turkey and the internet: How government censorship backfired (The Economist)
The beleaguered Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, must be scared. Why else, many Turks ask, would a court on March 20th have blocked access to Twitter? Mr Erdogan vowed to "wipe out" the social-media site "no matter what the rest of the world has to say about it". Douglas Frantz, an American State Department official, likened the move to "21st-century book-burning". Neelie Kroes, the European digital commissioner, called it "cowardly".
European Lawmakers Prepare to Vote on 'Net Neutrality' (New York Times)
... The online habits of customers like Mr. Herbert, and their ability to pay, are the focus of digital policy legislation on which lawmakers from the European Union's 28 member countries plan to vote Thursday in Brussels. A key part of the legislation is so-called net neutrality. The rules are meant to ensure equitable access to Internet's pipelines for services like streaming music, on-demand television and cloud computing. The big questions are who pays for them, and how much.
Labor's deputy leader, Tanya Plibersek, has signalled she is open to giving intelligence agencies more tools to deal with a possible increase in domestic security threats from Australians being radicalised in the Syrian conflict.
How Michael Malone kickstarted the Australian internet (Australian Financial Review)
The news that iiNet supremo Michael Malone is departing the business he built from scratch marks the end of an era. He's a young man and we haven't seen the last of him, but his resignation closes chapter one of the story of retail internet access in Australia. We'll leave it to the finance writers to chronicle iiNet's stellar commercial performance. For us, it's a time to reflect on the technical dream that Malone and his contemporaries turned into reality.
30 March 2014
The number of registrations in the 150 new gTLDs to have at least one registration has reached 400,000, nTLDStats.com data showed Friday. As of 30 March there were 408,366 domains registered across all gTLDs.
Documents show that Britain's GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America's NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database. Is it time for the country to open a formal espionage investigation?
EU Court: ISPs Can Be Forced to Block Pirate Sites (TorrentFreak)
In a verdict handed down today the Court of Justice of the European Union confirmed that EU Internet service providers can be required to block access to sites engaged in copyright infringement. The decision follows the advice of the Advocate General in a case involving the now-defunct streaming site Kino.to.
Which phones do world leaders use? (The Guardian)
For years, the well-connected world leader would use nothing but a BlackBerry to get their email on the move - and it is still Barack Obama's phone of choice. He uses a model specially enhanced by the US National Security Agency. But the news earlier this month that the White House Communications Agency is testing other phones, including models by Samsung and LG, sent shivers through fans of the struggling Canadian smartphone company, which has just announced an annual loss of $5.8bn.
More than four-fifths of the world's top media organisations, including the Guardian, have been the target of likely state sponsored hacking attacks, according to research from two Google security engineers.
Google has said the number of requests it has had from governments to share information about its users has gone up by 120% in the past four years.