Articles by date
14 September 2007
Chinese Official Accuses Nations of Hacking (Washington Post)
A senior Chinese official has accused foreign intelligence agencies of causing "massive and shocking" damage to China by hacking into computers to ferret out political, military and scientific secrets. The charge was made by Vice Information Industry Minister Lou Qinjian in a Communist Party magazine and appeared designed as a response to recent reports that Chinese hackers had infiltrated high-security computers at the Pentagon, the British Foreign Office and the German chancellor's headquarters, among other targets.
Internet use in the Middle East sees huge boom (Gulf News)
Internet users in the Middle East increased by 479.3 per cent over the past six years, and, by the end of 2006 there were 19 million internet users representing 1.8 per cent of the one billion users worldwide, according to a report titled Internet World Statistics.
The agency sees growth of 22.6 per cent in internet advertising, showing that the medium is still steaming ahead. There are, however, signs of a slowdown, with Zenith's 2007 internet growth figure at 26.8 per cent, down from 47.5 per cent in 2006.
A US Court of Appeal has said that a website can incorporate terms into a contract with a link above a 'continue' button that is part of a registration form. The approach is not recommended for sites in the UK, an e-commerce lawyer warned.
The Racial and Religious Hatred Act comes into force in October, carrying a threat of prison terms for a person who tries to stir up religious hatred. However, its free speech exemptions are so wide that convictions could be difficult, a lawyer said.
Mobile phone studies find no short-term health problems (The Guardian)
Mobile phones do not pose health problems to adults in the short term, according to the results of a major six-year research programme published today. However the research also points to a "slight hint" of a cancer risk for long-term users. Experts warned they were unable, at this stage, to rule out the risks of brain or ear cancers for people who have used mobiles for more than 10 years.
China's Eye on the Internet (University of California)
The "Great Firewall of China," used by the government of the People's Republic of China to block users from reaching content it finds objectionable, is actually a "panopticon" that encourages self-censorship through the perception that users are being watched, rather than a true firewall, according to researchers at UC Davis and the University of New Mexico.
Whiting Out the Ads with AdBlock Plus, but at What Cost? (New York Times)
The larger importance of Adblock is its potential for extreme menace to the online-advertising business model. After an installation that takes but a minute or two, Adblock usually makes all commercial communication disappear. No flashing whack-a-mole banners. No Google ads based on the search terms you have entered.
The IE Domain Registry (IEDR) have announced changes to the registering of personal domain names for individuals. As of 31 October, providing an individual can provide they have "a real and substantive connection to the island of Ireland", they will be able to register a domain name. The name on the document used to provide this connection (driver's licence or utility bill, for example) will have to be an exact match.
The European Commission is to plough €156m (£107m) of funding into research on counter-terrorism technologies. The funding was granted in response to a call from the EU's Seventh Research Framework Programme, which seeks to develop technologies and knowledge to mitigate threats including terrorism, organised crime and natural disasters.
Wikipedia published its 2 millionth article in the English language version of the anyone-can-edit encyclopedia, a symbolic milestone for the world's largest user-generated internet publishing site. Wikipedia is the sixth most visited network of internet sites worldwide.
Australian firm sues forum to silence critics (Sydney Morning Herald)
In a move that could set a nasty precedent for Australian website operators and their users, a software firm is suing a community website over comments published on its message board. The firm, 2Clix, is suing the owner of the popular broadband community site Whirlpool, Simon Wright, for "injurious falsehood", asking for A$150,000 in damages and an injunction requiring Whirlpool to remove forum threads highly critical of 2Clix's accounting software.
13 September 2007
Interpol proposes regional response centers to fight growing cybercrime (Sydney Morning Herald)
Interpol proposed on Wednesday the creation of global and regional anti-crime centers to fight criminal activity online and respond quickly to emergency cybercrime alerts. The Internet should not be allowed to become a no man's land where criminals have the upper hand and can escape punishment, Interpol Secretary-General Ronald K. Noble told an international cybercrimes conference in New Delhi.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on the continent have advanced plans to send a 20-member delegation to the Internet Governance Forum to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in November to ensure that African voices are heard.
UPDATED 13/9: I finally found the domain name Saudi-binladin-group.com on eBay. To check out its status, click here. // An interesting domain name up for grabs. Saudi-binladin-group.com is for sale, with a starting price of US$150,000 according to The Age. The domain name was owned by the bin Ladin family and expired on 11 September 2001. The owner, Chris Curry, is selling the domain name along with "emails that were sent to the domain including 'Osama fan mail' as well as similar domain names also currently owned by Mr Curry."
ICANN posted the Issues Paper summarizing comments received during the initial phase of consultation on the July 2008-June 2011 Strategic Plan. Members of the community are invited to review the issues and comment on ICANN's priorities for the Strategic Plan.
Ofcom published the terms of reference for its second review of public service television broadcasting (PSB). The review will examine the extent to which the public purposes of PSB are being met and assess options for maintaining and strengthening the quality of PSB in future. It is expected to conclude in early 2009. Ofcom's first PSB Review concluded that there was continued demand for PSB but that the existing model of ensuring it is provided by commercially funded channels would not survive the transition to a wholly multichannel world unchanged. It stated that, as the value of analogue broadcasting licences declines, so the regulator's capacity to require commercial public service broadcasters to deliver certain types or quantities of programmes diminishes.
us: Annual CSI Study: Cost of Cybercrime Is Skyrocketing (Dark Reading)
If your organization was hit hard in the wallet by cybercriminals in the past 12 months, you're not alone. According to the Computer Security Institute's annual Computer Crime and Security Survey, which is scheduled for release later this week, companies reported average annual losses of US$350,424 in the past year, up sharply from the $168,000 they reported the previous year.
Black screen of darkness to haunt Vista pirates (ComputerWorld)
Microsoft Windows' infamous "blue screen of death" has become synonymous with an operating system crash or freeze, but that's nothing compared with what users of pirated copies of Vista worldwide can expect from now -- a black screen of darkness.
Workers who spend time on sites such as Facebook could be costing firms over £130m a day, a study has calculated. According to employment law firm Peninsula, 233 million hours are lost every month as a result of employees "wasting time" on social networking. The study - based on a survey of 3,500 UK companies - concluded that businesses need to take firm action on the use of social networks at work. Some firms have already banned employees from accessing Facebook.
A new way of making calls directly between phones, for free, is being trialled by a Swedish company. It is hoping to dramatically improve communications in the developing world. Swedish company TerraNet has developed the idea using peer-to-peer technology that enables users to speak on its handsets without the need for a mobile phone base station.
ALRC proposes overhaul of Australia's 'complex and costly' privacy laws (Australian Law Reform Commission)
"The clearest message from the community is that we must streamline our unnecessarily complex system. The federal Privacy Act sets out different principles for private organisations and for government agencies. On top of that, each state and territory has its own privacy laws or guidelines and some also have separate laws on health privacy. The ALRC is proposing there be a single set of privacy principles for information-handling across all sectors, and all levels of government. This will make it easier and less expensive for organisations to comply, and much more simple for people to understand their rights."
TechNewsReview has just finished reading an article in The Economist - Electricity in Africa: The dark continent. The article notes "Africa accounts for over a sixth of the world's population, but generates only 4% of global electricity. Three-quarters of that is used by South Africa, Egypt and the other countries along the north African littoral." ... There are obviously huge issues in just providing power to much of Africa before the vast majority of the population can even be connected to the internet. And then with a global shortfall of power, where does that leave the ongoing development of ICT?
12 September 2007
Paul Twomey addressing the Influence Forum 2007 in Australia's Hunter Valley, says Australian government and CIO's must do more in moving to IPv6 and Australia must do more to prepare itself for possible cyberattacks such as those experienced recently by Estonia, and which Australia might struggle to survive according to recent articles in TechTarget.
Speech by Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, Minister of Communications, South Africa at CRASA Workshop on the Impact of Convergence on ICT Policy and Regulation (South African Department of Communications)
This speech, by the South African Minister of Communications in June 2007 discusses an "African renaissance" through the use of ICT across the continent and that it "is an emerging reality; it is attainable and it is within reach." The speech advocates the continued growth and use of ICT, and its importance in today's world where convergence is key.