Legal & Security

12 November 2006

us: Online scams target the wealthy BBC

High-income earners in the US are the target of online "phishing" scams a study shows. The study, by analysts Gartner, found that people who earn more than $100,000 received nearly 50% more phishing e-mails than lower earners.

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11 November 2006

uk: ISPs 'should be responsible' for hacker attacks News Scientist

ISPs should be made legally liable for the damage caused by "denial of service" attacks carried out via their networks, a leading internet lawyer says.

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10 November 2006

uk: Internet groomer handed jail term BBC

A man is jailed for hacking into girls' PCs and blackmailing them into sending explicit images of themselves.

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Privacy chiefs vow to fight surveillance together The Register

A group of international data and privacy protection commissioners has decided to act together to challenge the surveillance society which they claim is developing. Commissioners from the UK, France, Germany and New Zealand will adopt common policies.

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Email viruses hitting Australians harder: report Sydney Morning Herald

One in 84 Australian emails contains a virus. This compares to one in 16 emails in India containing a virus with Ireland, Germany, Singapore and Spain next.

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de: Privacy Prevails: German ISP Forced To Delete IP Logs Torrent Freak blog

The highest appeal court in Germany has decided that T-Online, one of the largest German ISPs has to delete all IP logs to guarantee the privacy of their customers. This ruling makes it impossible for anti-piracy organizations to trace an infringing IP-address back to a customer of T-Online, once their dynamic IP address has changed. For the original story in German see,1518,446838,00.html.

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au: New Australian copyright rules 'restrictive': Google Sydney Morning Herald

Internet search engine Google has asked for more flexibility in new federal copyright laws, warning Australian businesses could be held back because the new rules are too restrictive.

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08 November 2006

us: Company fined $3m for adware use BBC

An online advertising company, Zango, is to pay US$3m for "unfairly and deceptively" downloading its software onto people's computers.

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04 November 2006

uk: Who's watching as we watch ourselves? The Guardian

Last week, footage of a girl being badly bullied in a New Zealand school playground had to be take down from YouTube, the hugely successful video hosting site now owned by Google. It was rightly removed because in a perverse act of glorification it had been uploaded by the gang that had committed the offence. But it could easily have been taken by an onlooker and used as evidence against the gang. Surveillance is now expanding too fast for its effects to be fully understood.

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Spy planes, clothes scanners and secret cameras: Britain's surveillance future The Guardian

It sounds like a scene from the Tom Cruise futuristic thriller Minority Report. A teenager enters a record shop and a scanner hidden in the doorway instantly reads data secreted in electronic tags embedded in his clothes. The scanner clocks the brand of clothing and where it was purchased, flashing to a database which analyses what type of person would have bought that line of clothing and predicts what other products that person would like to buy. In an instant, adverts for those products are beamed to eye-level billboards for the teenager to see.

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03 November 2006

uk: How to hide in a connected world BBC

As we enter a more connected world, where devices talk to each other and make sense of the masses of data we create, the issue of how much control we have over this process becomes more important.

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02 November 2006

Microsoft files a slew of counterfeiting suits International Herald Tribune

Microsoft said it had filed more than 50 lawsuits against individuals and companies worldwide, claiming that they had sold counterfeit copies of its programs using online auction sites, including eBay.

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us: IP Address-Level Security a Growing Concern Enterprise Networks & Servers

Earlier this year, the FBI published statistics on computer crime that indicated it was costing U.S. businesses $678 billion per year. The average company cost when you do the math is $24,000 in hard dollar losses.

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01 November 2006

ca: Public no pushover on Canadian snooping law by Prof Michael Geist The Star

The push for new Internet surveillance capabilities dates back to 1999, when government officials began crafting proposals to institute new surveillance technologies within Canadian communications networks along with additional legal powers to allow surveillance and access subscriber information. The initiative nearly became reality with the Liberal government's introduction of the Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act (MITA) last fall.

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au: Online predator threat on rise Australian IT

More internet child sex predators are facing court, and most offenders are quick to plead guilty, according to Australian Federal Police online child sex exploitation team co-ordinator Greg Harrigan.

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29 October 2006

nz: School fights posted on YouTube New Zealand Herald

About seven video recordings of New Zealand school violence are available for viewing on the internet site YouTube

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Is Google legal?

A Belgian court ruled against Google's use of newspaper stories in early September. If you believe Google, it did nothing wrong and failed to defend itself because it was unaware of the publishers' lawsuit. If you believe the publishers, Google is lying and infringes copyright on a colossal scale. The parties return to court on 23rd November in a case that finds legal uncertainty looming over the world's leading search engines.

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26 October 2006

US publishers say Child Online Protection Act should be struck down

A group of US online publishers and a lobby group is taking the Government to court to challenge an eight-year-old law which it says amounts to censorship of the internet. The challenge is to the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), which became law in 1998.

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us: ACLU challenge to federal child protection law goes to trial ACLU

The federal bench trial of a lawsuit challenging the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA) began Monday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought the suit on behalf of internet websites such as and, arguing that the severe punishments outlined in COPA for publishing material considered "harmful to children" restrict free speech. Also see for the ACLU news release.

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au: How to stay smart online: National E-Security Awareness Week Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian Federal Government wants Australians to be more cautious when conducting their affairs on the internet, and has launched its Stay Smart Online initiative to help them do just that.

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25 October 2006

uk: Web watchdog outlines porn battle BBC

More than 30,000 websites of child pornography have been removed in 10 years by the UK's internet watchdog.

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YouTube to make life even busier for Google lawyers New York Times/Sydney Morning Herald

Google attracts millions of web users every day. And, increasingly, it's attracting plenty of lawyers, too. As Google has grown into the world's most popular search engine and, arguably, the most powerful internet company, it has become entangled in scores of lawsuits touching on a wide range of legal questions, including copyright violation, trademark infringement and its method of ranking websites.

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18 October 2006

uk: Internet user admits 'web-rage' BBC

Paul Gibbons, 47, tracked down John Jones using details obtained online after the pair exchanged insults in an internet chatroom, a court heard.

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au: Cronulla game falls between legal cracks Sydney Morning Herald

The racists are at it... "Australian authorities are powerless to remove from the internet a downloadable board game based on the Cronulla riots. The game has recently surfaced on the internet and appears to incite racial violence."

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14 October 2006

Online poker bosses were only ever after a quick, illegal buck The Guardian

Internet gambling in the US was always dodgy - the analysts just turned a blind eye: Richard Wray's article made much of the fact that internet gaming companies and British investors were caught out by the clampdown on gambling in the United States. Yet it is hard to argue that there weren't very clear warning signals that it was about to happen.

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