Articles by date

05 November 2014

Microsoft's top legal gun decries privacy "arms race" (CIO)

The conflict between snooping governments seeking to defeat encryption and users demanding ever more robust privacy tools has turned into an arms race -- and it's time for arms control talks, Microsoft's general counsel said on Tuesday.

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04 November 2014

ICANN 52 Relocates To Singapore From Marrakech Over Ebola Fears

Following what ICANN describes as "community concerns that would prevent maximum participation at its next global meeting (ICANN 52, 8-12 February 2015)," which roughly translates as concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus, and a meeting that ICANN describes as "a critical one given the ongoing discussions around the IANA Stewardship Transition and ICANN Accountability," the meeting scheduled to be held in Marrakech, Morocco has been relocated to Singapore on the same dates.

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GCHQ chief accuses US tech giants of becoming terrorists' 'networks of choice' (The Guardian)

Privacy has never been "an absolute right", according to the new director of GCHQ, who has used his first public intervention since taking over at the helm of Britain's surveillance agency to accuse US technology companies of becoming "the command and control networks of choice" for terrorists.

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03 November 2014

After America: Who should govern the Internet? (ABC Radio National)

The United States has signalled its willingness to give up its unofficial stewardship role of the Internet. Who should take over, and who will?

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02 November 2014

In the digital age, Fleet Street's new mantra is better together (The Observer)

Think harmony, reconciliation and love right along Fleet Street. Reach for a late entry form in the Vladimir Putin Peace Prize stakes. Hold very tight as the editor of the Daily Mail pleads for press unity at a time of financial and political threat. But register, too, that Paul Dacre, little and infrequently glimpsed on public platforms, often has something seminal to say when he breaks cover.

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Baywatch: Two Approaches to Measure the Effects of Blocking Access to the Pirate Bay by Joost Poort, Jorna Leenheer, Jeroen Van der Ham & Cosmin Dumitru (Social Science Research Network)

Abstract: In the fight against the unauthorised sharing of copyright protected material, aka piracy, Dutch Internet Service Providers have been summoned by courts to block their subscribers' access to The Pirate Bay (TPB) and related sites.

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01 November 2014

Google Updates Flu Trends to Improve Accuracy (Bloomberg)

Google Inc. is updating the software model it uses to estimate the spread of the flu to improve its accuracy, so that public health officials can quickly respond to outbreaks.

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Hungary hits pause on proposed Internet tax (Washington Post)

Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orbán, is backing away from a proposed 150 forint (61 cent)-per-gigabyte tax on Internet usage that has contributed to repeated street protests in his country. The statement from the prime minister's office:

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"I get really affected by bestiality": Meet the moderators who watch horrific videos so you don't have to (Salon)

When you scroll through Facebook or Twitter, you expect to see photos of friends' recent vacations, well-wishing birthday posts and Buzzfeed articles about porcupines eating pumpkins. What you don't expect are graphic images of child pornography or videos of people having their heads cut off. Though many of us don't know it, a vast labor force of content moderators, largely based overseas, works day and night to keep our social media feeds free of this sort of offensive material.

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Spain moves to protect domestic media with new 'Google tax' (The Guardian)

The Spanish government has successfully passed a new copyright law which imposes fees for online content aggregators such as Google News, in an effort to protect its print media industry.

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While the internet is accountable to nobody, privacy will be in crisis (The Guardian)

The Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour opens in UK cinemas on Friday, putting the dangers of surveillance squarely in the public eye. But Laura Poitras' film isn't the first time that an artist has explored the threat that technology poses to privacy. John Cheever did it, too, in 1947.

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31 October 2014

Top literary agent Andrew Wylie calls Amazon 'Isis-like distribution channel' (The Guardian)

He is the sinister "jackal" of the literary world who counts Salman Rushdie, Philip Roth and Martin Amis among his formidable roster of clients.

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Nato frontline in life-or-death war on cyber-terrorists (The Guardian)

It's been a busy week in the skies above Europe's periphery, as Nato has repeatedly scrambled jets to track "unusual" sorties by Russian bombers.

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China: Facebook not banned, but must follow the rules (PC World)

China may be blocking access to Facebook, but that doesn't mean the social media network can't one day enter the country, as long as it follows the rules, a top government official said on Thursday.

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Why the U.S. Has Fallen Behind in Internet Speed and Affordability (New York Times)

America's slow and expensive Internet is more than just an annoyance for people trying to watch "Happy Gilmore" on Netflix. Largely a consequence of monopoly providers, the sluggish service could have long-term economic consequences for American competitiveness.

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Donuts Among Big Winners As Total New gTLD Registrations Pass 3 Million In 9 Months

There are now over three million domain names registered across the 254 new gTLDs that have entered General Availability and another 173 that have been delegated according to figures compiled by

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30 October 2014

Biggest ever cyber security exercise in Europe today (ENISA)

More than 200 organisations and 400 cyber-security professionals from 29 European countries are testing their readiness to counter cyber-attacks in a day-long simulation, organised by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA).

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Child sex exploitation is a 'social norm’, damning UK report finds (Daily Telegraph [UK])

Music videos, "selfies" and "sexting" have led to the sexual exploitation of children becoming the "norm" in some areas, a report claims.

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FBI demands new powers to hack into computers and carry out surveillance (The Guardian)

The FBI is attempting to persuade an obscure regulatory body in Washington to change its rules of engagement in order to seize significant new powers to hack into and carry out surveillance of computers throughout the US and around the world.

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Australian Government will pay telcos and ISPs under metadata retention bill (The Guardian)

The Abbott government will make "substantial" payments to Australian telcos and internet service providers under a new scheme requiring the companies to store data about their customers' activities for two years.

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Internet experts see 'major cyber attacks' increasing over next decade (The Guardian)

Cyber attacks on countries and corporations are likely to increase in the next decade, according to a majority of internet experts surveyed for a new report by the US-based Pew Research Center.

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29 October 2014

GCHQ views data with no warrant, government admits (The Guardian)

British intelligence services can access raw material collected in bulk by the NSA and other foreign spy agencies without a warrant, the government has confirmed for the first time.

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Retain private data for police use or face $685,000 fine, Swedish authority tells ISP (Computerworld)

Swedish ISP Bahnhof must resume retaining customer communications metadata for police use by the end of November or pay a fine of 5 million Swedish Kronor (US$685,000), the Swedish telecom authority has ruled.

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Australina police defends power to block websites (The Age)

Australia's top law-enforcement agency has defended its use of a controversial law that requires internet service providers to block websites it and other government agencies deem illegal, without judicial oversight.

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28 October 2014

Usage Stalls For Twitter; Shares Drop (New York Times)

Dick Costolo, Twitter's chief executive, has been sprucing up the social network this year. So far, however, the renovations don't seem to be flashy enough to bring in many newcomers or persuade the veterans to return more frequently.

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