Articles by date
18 February 2014
Australian Labor to back controversial fair use policy (Australian Financial Review)
Opposition spokesman on communications Jason Clare will announce on Tuesday that Labor will support the controversial introduction of a "fair use" policy that has raised the ire of copyright holders.
17 February 2014
Reporting From the Web's Underbelly (New York Times)
In the last year, Eastern European cybercriminals have stolen Brian Krebs's identity a half dozen times, brought down his website, included his name and some unpleasant epithets in their malware code, sent fecal matter and heroin to his doorstep, and called a SWAT team to his home just as his mother was arriving for dinner.
Merkel Backs Plan to Keep European Data in Europe (New York Times)
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has embraced proposals to create European data networks that would keep emails and other communications on the European side of the Atlantic, farther from prying American eyes, and said she would raise the matter this week with President François Hollande of France.
It appears it will be some time before the explosion in smartphones and tablet computers revolutionises TV viewing, with the average Briton watching little more than three minutes a day on mobile devices last year, according to industry figures.
A bill imposing restrictions on the internet presents Turkey's president with a dilemma (The Economist)
Will he or won't he? All eyes are on Turkey's president, Abdullah Gul, a co-founder with the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party. A bill imposing drastic curbs on the internet, which critics say would put Turkey on a par with Iran and China, has been rammed through the AK-dominated parliament, to howls of protest from the opposition and the European Union. The bill lets Turkey's telecommunications authority (TIB) block any website without first seeking a court ruling. It also allows TIB arbitrarily to efface "offensive" content without users being any the wiser. And it obliges internet-service providers to store all data on web users' activities for two years and to give their profiles to the authorities on demand.
16 February 2014
He recently lost the pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to the New York Yankees, but Hiroshi Mikitani, the billionaire owner of the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, may now have found some solace. On Friday, Rakuten said it would buy Viber Media, which runs a popular app for calling and messaging, for $900 million.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is proposing building up a European communications network to help improve data protection.
Chinese Ask Kerry to Help Tear Down a Firewall (New York Times)
A group of Chinese bloggers asked the United States to take up the cause of Internet freedom in an unusual meeting on Saturday with Secretary of State John Kerry.
News media companies in Spain will be able to charge search engines such as Google for displaying copyrighted content under a new law proposed by the Spanish government on Friday.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed his support for online freedom in China during a meeting in Beijing with Chinese bloggers concerned about a crackdown by authorities on Internet discourse.
Music industry sucks life from subscription services (Computerworld)
Subscriptions to music services are expected to more than double by 2017, but because those services pay 60% to 70% of their revenue to record labels and artists, the entire sector is intrinsically unprofitable, according to a new report.
Most Europeans Download and Stream Pirated Movies (TorrentFreak)
Nearly 70% of all Europeans download or stream films for free, a new study from the European Commission reveals. The high costs of legal alternatives such as movie tickets and DVDs are the main justification, with release lags and limited availability also among the top reasons.
Google's long battle with European antitrust regulators over what the European Commission deemed to be anti-competitive search practices appears to be reaching a conclusion. The commission's competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia has approved the settlement, but a formal vote among all commissioners will reportedly take place in the coming months. The agreement would mean Google would avoid paying a penalty that could have reached $5 billion.
The Plus in Google Plus? It's Mostly for Google (New York Times)
Google Plus, the company's social network, is like a ghost town. Want to see your old roommate's baby or post your vacation status? Chances are, you'll use Facebook instead.
14 February 2014
Irate over spying, EU barks up wrong regulatory tree (Wall Street Journal)
Neelie Kroes' call for more globalization of the way the internet is run isn't the first attempt to use allegations about NSA spying to bolster Europe's position and give new impetus to existing reform efforts.
Facebook allows users to customise gender (BBC News)
Facebook has announced that it will allow users to customise their gender, after consulting on the subject with gay and transgender advocacy groups.
The owner of a website does not require authorization of the copyright holder to link to freely accessible copyright works on another site, even if Internet users get the impression that the work is appearing on the site that contains the link, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) said Thursday.
Cyber-thieves are increasingly grabbing video of how victims use their computer, to better steal from online bank accounts, a security firm reveals.
A third of the members of the European Commission opposed the EU's decision to strike a deal with Google and end a three-year antitrust investigation, officials said, underlining the political sensitivity of the decision.
The Attorney-General has flagged a rewrite of the Copyright Act that could force the nation's internet service providers to crack down on pirates who illegally download TV shows and movies.
13 February 2014
Hands Off the Internet, EU Tech Chief Warns U.S., UN (Wall Street Journal)
European Union technology chief Neelie Kroes staked out territory for the bloc at the center of reforming the Internet's infrastructure, saying control shouldn't be handed to the United Nations.
US Government Targets Pirate Bay and Other "Notorious" Sites (TorrentFreak)
The US Government has today classified some of the largest websites as notorious piracy venues. The USTR list draws heavily on recommendations from copyright holders and includes popular torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay and cloud-hosting service RapidShare. DVD ripping software vendor Aiseesoft is also mentioned, even though its products are perfectly legitimate in many countries.
Glenn Greenwald is back reporting about the NSA, now with Pierre Omidyar's news organization FirstLook and its introductory publication, The Intercept. Writing with national security reporter Jeremy Scahill, his first article covers how the NSA helps target individuals for assassination by drone.
Facebook Deal on Privacy Is Under Attack (New York Times)
Despite a class-action settlement in August that was supposed to ensure that Facebook users clearly consent to their comments, images and "likes" being used in ads, it has been business as usual on the service.
Microsoft has blamed an "error in our system" for producing results on its Bing search engine that appear to censor information for Chinese language users in the same way it filters results in mainland China.