Articles by date
20 August 2007
us: Concerns Raised on Wider Spying Under New Law (New York Times)
Broad new surveillance powers approved by Congress this month could allow the Bush administration to conduct spy operations that go well beyond wiretapping to include -- without court approval -- certain types of physical searches on American soil and the collection of Americans' business records, Democratic Congressional officials and other experts said.
Animal cruelty films on YouTube (The Sunday Times)
YouTube has become a forum for animal cruelty, with viewers flocking to watch clips such as one of a tethered goat being fed to a python by laughing onlookers.
Terror law puts Britons at risk of surveillance by US agents (The Observer)
A new law swept through Congress by the US government before the summer recess is to give American security agencies unprecedented powers to spy on British citizens without a warrant. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was approved by Congress earlier this month to help the National Security Agency in the fight against terrorism. But it has now emerged that the bill gives the security services powers to intercept all telephone calls, internet traffic and emails made by British citizens across US-based networks.
Terror goes digital. With Canadian help (Globe and Mail)
Canada's Globe and Mail says the town of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, is a "pivotal battleground in the global jihad." This beautiful town of 7,000 people is home to a branch of Register.com. And Register.com allows people to anonymously register a domain name for a few extra dollars says the Globe and Mail. Any of these anonymously registered domain names, says the paper, have "the same address and phone number in Yarmouth." Also includes a link to a reply by Michael Geist.
[TechNewsReview comment, with Dan Krimm response] In August 2007 ICANN launched a consultation paper on new top level domains and ICANN is encouraging input. There have been submissions in the development of this report that are well worth a read. There is also a call by Keep the Core Neutral for comments focussing on recommendation six, something that deserves further consideration and comment.
19 August 2007
American Airlines Inc. Thursday filed a lawsuit against Google Inc., claiming the search company is infringing on the airline's trademarks by using them as keyword triggers for paid advertisements by other companies. By bringing the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, American wants to stop competitors from using those trademarks to trigger their own advertising on Google.
U.S. uses Web to reach Muslim youth (USA Today)
The U.S. State Department chose a novel way to publicize baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr.'s appointment this week as its special sports envoy. It went on YouTube. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes, who appears in the video, said Thursday it was part of her campaign to bring a positive image of the United States to a skeptical global audience -- particularly in the Muslim world. Children are a chief target.
ICANN have issued a clarification following media reports that ICANN is scheduled to approve .kp as the ccTLD for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) at its upcoming meeting in LA in October.
Internet law experts and webmasters yesterday lashed out at what they said was the government's illegal blocking of websites and the use of threats and intimidation tactics against webmasters by government officials. Paiboon Amornpinyokiart, an internet and IT law expert, said nowhere in the controversial Cyber Crime Act -- which was pushed through by the military-appointed government and took effect on July 19 -- does it say the government has the authority to freely block websites. The law says any move to block a website must be backed by a court order.
Wikipedia and the art of censorship (The Independent)
It was hailed as a breakthrough in the democratisation of knowledge. But the online encyclopedia has since been hijacked by forces who decided that certain things were best left unknown.
Skype outage hits 220 million users (The Times)
Skype, the online phone company, said today (17th) that an outage which left its users unable to make cheap calls was caused by a fault in its software
Action Alert: Submit Your Comments to ICANN (Keep the Core Neutral)
Keep The Core Neutral - news release: ICANN announced that a 21-day comment period has opened for the public to submit comments regarding ICANN's proposed policy for approving new gTLDs on the Internet. The Keep The Core Neutral coalition (KTCN) has created a new Action Alert to guide supporters in submitting comments to ICANN. KTCN appeals to all supporters of free expression to participate in this public action.
Bringing together a number of key national and international figures from the world of communications regulation, this conference will be a unique opportunity for wide-ranging debate on the challenges faced by regulation and regulators. Such challenges come from issues that include next generation network implementation and access, competition from emerging markets, the development of new business models, the possible application of new regulation institutional models, as well as radio spectrum policies. Finally, the implications of these new realities for citizens in general must not be forgotten, especially within the scope of providing the universal service of electronic communications.
As per previous news items, it's been confirmed the wonderful city of Paris (the French one) will be hosting ICANN's 32nd public meeting.
Can parents trust their 13 year old daughter when she surfs the web? Do they know for sure that their 11 year old son's mobile phone conversation is safe? A Commission survey of children from all over Europe has looked into how they use new media. It shows that the use of internet and mobile phones has become almost self-evident for Europe's young generation. In general, they also know the risks of using the internet and mobile phones. However, when facing trouble online, minors will ask an adult only as a last resort.
How Safe is ‘Social Networking’? (ENISA)
Myspace, Twitter, Facebook - Social Networking is the web success story of the new century. The statistics are mind-bending - Myspace claimed its 100 Millionth user in August 2006. But a recent ENISA workshop put the question - "how safe are social networks?" According to the experts, there is a lot to be concerned about; from specialised social networking worms spreading through Myspace profiles to identity theft, extortion, spear-phishing and even recruitment of terrorists - social networking has it all. But the biggest threat is to personal privacy.
18 August 2007
In a world of digital TV, video-on-demand and the iPod, radio risked being left behind. There is something rather old-fashioned about switching on your "wireless", a term more likely to refer to broadband internet these days. But the latest audience figures published yesterday reveal that we are more in love with the radio than ever before. It is just that we are not listening to it in quite the same way as we used to.
A few stories on censorship in China. One is the government announced it was cracking down on "false news reports, unauthorized publications and bogus journalists." Another says as a result of publishing pornographic novels, 348 websites in China have either been punished or will soon be punished. The last is on China jailing an internet writer for subversion.
The world according to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia is in a constant state of update, as tens of thousands of contributors work to ensure the site's content is correct. But now an innovation on the site has confirmed a long-held suspicion: that Wikipedia is a prime target for spin-doctoring. A new identification program on the site reveals that some of the most prolific contributors to Wikipedia are the CIA, the British Labour Party and the Vatican - and they are not just updating their own entries.
Botswana Cyber Crime Bill on the Cards (AllAfrica.com)
Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has told Parliament that for the ICT Policy to succeed in business and other development transactions, her ministry will in the next few days present a cyber crime bill. Parliament approved the ICT policy on Monday unanimously.
German scientists claim to have broken the light speed barrier, which could blow away the known limitations of modern networking but the technology is unlikely to make it into a product -- if at all -- until most administrators working today have retired.
A recent New Yorker piece suggested that there are more than 170,000,000,000 emails sent every day. Of these billions, most are spam: something between 100bn and 150bn spam messages are sent every single day. That means that if Bill Gates were to put everyone on Earth online tomorrow, there would be spam enough for everyone: the newest born Bushman baby in the world could expect to get 20 offers of penis enlargement in her first day out of the womb.
Broadband revolutionizes education on remote Maldives atolls (Sydney Morning Herald)
The standard of education was falling in the Maldives before broadband Internet access brought a quiet online revolution to classrooms in the Indian Ocean atoll nation. Now Asina Ahmed hooks up to the Internet and uses a smart board with a touch-sensitive screen to liven up a maths class for a group of young Maldivian children on remote Rashdoo Island.
uk: Bandwidth threat as on-demand TV grows (The Guardian)
Eyebrows were raised this week when the BBC's iPlayer suddenly lurched towards confrontation. Just two weeks after the video-on-demand software became publicly available, internet service providers were going on the offensive - claiming that they could be forced to throttle such services in order to save bandwidth.
Now it's operators v handset makers (The Guardian)
The battle for control of your mobile phone is about to enter an interesting stage. You may think that you are in charge. After all, you press all the buttons. But in reality the operators have been calling the shots for years. They have been trying to keep you within their walled gardens of paid-for services and charging by the amount of data consumed, leaving you with open-ended bills. They have even been fiddling with handsets to discourage use of the wireless connection appearing in an increasing number of handsets that can make near-free phone calls if you are in a Wi-Fi area.