general internet news - November 8

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  • Subject: general internet news - November 8
  • From: David Goldstein <goldstein_david at yahoo dot com dot au>
  • Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 21:24:40 -0800 (PST)
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      Council of Europe calls for affordable, unrestricted, safe and diverse access to the internet [news release]
      http://egovmonitor.com/node/15677
      https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=PR752(2007)
      
      Congressmen corner Yahoo! over jailed Chinese dissident
      http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2206251,00.html
      
      Yahoo C.E.O. Defends Company in China Case [AP]
      http://nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Congress-Yahoo.html
      http://iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/06/america/NA-GEN-US-Congress-Yahoo.php
      
      Child protection must come first on the Internet - the Council of Europe message to the Internet Governance Forum
      https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=PR745(2007)
      
      eu: Criminalising use of internet to incite or recruit for terrorism
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/airlines/story/0,,2206279,00.html
      
      Fight Against Terrorism: stepping up Europe’s capability to protect citizens against the threat of terrorism
      http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/07/1649
      
      us: A Story of Surveillance: Former Technician 'Turning In' AT&T Over NSA Program
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/07/AR2007110700006.html
      
      Prince threatens to sue his fans over online images
      http://music.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,2206460,00.html
      
      Who's winning the broadband sweepstakes?
      http://www.salon.com/tech/htww/2007/11/05/broadband_sweepstakes/
      
      NZ passes Italy in broadband
      http://stuff.co.nz/4264058a13.html
      
      us: Spammers latch on to political subjects
      http://computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;520037854;fp;2;fpid;1
      
      
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      CENSORSHIP
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      Council of Europe calls for affordable, unrestricted, safe and diverse access to the internet [news release]
      The Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers has today adopted a recommendation to member states promoting the public service value of the internet. The recommendation aims to respond to users' expectations that internet services should be accessible, affordable, safe, reliable and continuous.
      http://egovmonitor.com/node/15677
      https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=PR752(2007)
      
      US rebukes Yahoo over China case
      A US congressional panel has criticised internet firm Yahoo for not giving full details to a probe into the jailing of a reporter by Chinese authorities. Yahoo had been "at best inexcusably negligent" and at worst "deceptive" in evidence given to the House Foreign Affairs Committee last year, it said.
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7081458.stm
      
      Congressmen corner Yahoo! over jailed Chinese dissident
      The head of the American internet company Yahoo! delivered a personal apology today to the tearful mother of a Chinese journalist who was jailed using email information provided by the firm to secret police in Beijing. At a hearing on Capitol Hill, the Silicon Valley company faced trenchant criticism over its "spineless and irresponsible actions" in helping the Chinese authorities to identify Shi Tao, a dissident who sent sensitive emails using a Yahoo! account under a pseudonym.
      http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2206251,00.html
      
      Yahoo Squirms Under Congressional Grilling Over Jailed Journalist
      At a hearing before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and General Counsel Michael Callahan were forced to defend Yahoo's testimony last year regarding its role in the Chinese government's arrest and jailing of journalist Shi Tao. The executives were called on to address allegations by Committee Chairman Tom Lantos that Callahan provided "incorrect" information in his testimony on the topic last year. In February 2006, Callahan said the company had no specific knowledge about the nature of China's investigation of Shi Tao.
      http://ecommercetimes.com/story/Yahoo-Squirms-Under-Congressional-Grilling-Over-Jailed-Journalist-60189.html
      http://www.ft.com/cms/s/1ea1a1b2-8c7c-11dc-b887-0000779fd2ac.html
      
      Yahoo C.E.O. Defends Company in China Case [AP]
      Yahoo Inc.'s chief executive and top lawyer on Tuesday defended their company's involvement in the jailing of a Chinese journalist. Irate lawmakers accused them of collaborating with an oppressive communist regime. "While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies," House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-Calif., said angrily after hearing from the two men.
      http://nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Congress-Yahoo.html
      http://iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/06/america/NA-GEN-US-Congress-Yahoo.php
      
      Amnesty appeal for journalist that Yahoo! helped send to jail [news release]
      As Internet giant Yahoo! prepares to answer questions before the US congressional House Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday 6 November,  Amnesty International has reiterated its call on the company to use its influence to secure the release of Chinese journalist Shi Tao. Yahoo! should also exhaust all judicial remedies and appeals before complying in future with Chinese directives with human rights implications and develop an explicit human rights policy, said Amnesty.
      http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=17513
      
      Turkey moves to change speech law
      The Turkish government says it will change a controversial law restricting freedom of expression. Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin said a new bill would be put before the Turkish parliament in the coming days.
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7081747.stm
      
      EDITORIAL: Your right to know - censorship of Australian media
      A NEW report by Irene Moss AO has found that Australia ranks behind New Zealand, Britain and Canada when it comes to freedom of the press, and the information citizens can get from government. This is shameful. Australia is a young and robust democracy. When it comes to media freedom, it should be second to none. Instead, journalists in this country work under absurd constraints, prevented from reporting anything that the government or the courts doesn't want the public to know. It should pain you, the reader, to know that, at any one time, we in the media have in our possession facts about various matters that would make your hair curl. We can't pass the information on because, at any one time, there are 1000 suppression orders in effect. To use one example: when gangland killer Carl Williams was found guilty of murder, the media was not allowed to report it for almost two years. 
      http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22708000-16382,00.html
      
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      CHILD PROTECTION, FILTERING & CONTENT REGULATION
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      Child protection must come first on the Internet - the Council of Europe message to the Internet Governance Forum
      The protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse is a major challenge in Internet regulation today. Governments must sign up to the new Council of Europe Convention to protect children, says Maud de Boer-Buquicchio as the Council of Europe prepares to propose solutions at a global level, at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The United Nations conference will take place from 12 to 15 November in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
      https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=PR745(2007)
      
      au: Michael Carr-Gregg: For kids, net result is gross
      PARENTS invest much money -- not to mention emotional energy -- ensuring their sons and daughters are safe in the water and receive adequate instruction before venturing on to the road. But the latest research suggests that when it comes to the information superhighway, they are falling behind.
      http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22719787-5000117,00.html
      
      au: Sex acts copied from online porn sites
      Girls only just into puberty are copying sexual acts they see in internet pornography, believing they must be normal, child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said. Dr Carr-Gregg said large numbers of teenage girls had engaged in behaviour such as group sex or anal sex, which they wouldn't have done without seeing it online.
      http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/11/04/1194117879189.html
      
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      ONLINE CRIME, SECURITY & LEGAL
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      eu: Criminalising use of internet to incite or recruit for terrorism
      The EU unveiled a range of measures yesterday to combat terrorism, draft laws which would criminalise use of the internet to incite or recruit for acts of terrorism and compel airlines to supply information, to be stored for 13 years, on all air passengers flying into or out of the EU.
      ...
      Arguing that the internet was a "virtual training ground" for international terrorism, Franco Frattini, the European commissioner for justice and security, denied that internet service providers or electronic media would need to police their content. "This is not feasible and could actually be Orwellian," he said, unveiling the package. "Those telling others how to commit acts of destruction - with a clear terrorist intention - should be put behind bars. Be it on the internet or print."
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/airlines/story/0,,2206279,00.html
      
      Fight Against Terrorism: stepping up Europe’s capability to protect citizens against the threat of terrorism
      Today, the Commission adopted a new package of proposals aimed at improving the EU’s capabilities in the fight against terrorism. The package contains a series of proposals dealing with the criminalization of terrorist training, recruitment and public provocation to commit terrorist offences, the prevention of the use of explosives by terrorists and the use of airline passenger information in law enforcement investigations. It also contains a report on the implementation of one of the key legal instruments of the EU’s counter terrorism arsenal.
      http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/07/1649
      
      us: A Story of Surveillance: Former Technician 'Turning In' AT&T Over NSA Program
      His first inkling that something was amiss came in summer 2002 when he opened the door to admit a visitor from the National Security Agency to an office of AT&T in San Francisco. "What the heck is the NSA doing here?" Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician, said he asked himself. A year or so later, he stumbled upon documents that, he said, nearly caused him to fall out of his chair. The documents, he said, show that the NSA gained access to massive amounts of e-mail and search and other Internet records of more than a dozen global and regional telecommunications providers. AT&T allowed the agency to hook into its network at a facility in San Francisco and, according to Klein, many of the other telecom companies probably knew nothing about it.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/07/AR2007110700006.html
      
      Prince threatens to sue his fans over online images
      He's a singer who has made some odd career moves in his time, from changing his name to an unpronounceable love symbol to scrawling "slave" on his cheek in protest at his record company. But industry experts yesterday warned that Prince's latest decision might be the most controversial of all. He has threatened to sue thousands of his biggest fans for breach of copyright, provoking an angry backlash and claims of censorship.
      http://music.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,2206460,00.html
      
      Prince sites face legal threats
      Pop star Prince is demanding that his song lyrics and photographs are removed from fan-run websites.
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7082684.stm
      
      Prince wants to sue his fans, undo the Internet
      In September, Prince announced that he would sue YouTube, eBay and the BitTorrent sharing site the Pirate Bay because people had posted his copyrighted material there. The lawsuits were never filed (perhaps because they were legally questionable: YouTube is arguably protected by provisions in copyright law that render it immune from liability for what people post to the site, as long as it takes down infringing material promptly).
      http://machinist.salon.com/blog/2007/11/07/prince/
      
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      GOVERNMENT & PUBLIC POLICY
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      Making the Wireless World More Web-Friendly by Susan Crawford
      Your wireless carrier (in the U.S., probably AT&T or Verizon Wireless) has a lot of control over the handset you can use and the applications that can run on that device. In fact, wireless carriers routinely ask for (and get) an enormous slice of the revenue from applications that work on their networks, and they force handset manufacturers to jump through all kinds of hoops in order to be allowed to sell devices that can connect to these networks... This has had bad effects on the ecosystem of the wireless world.
      http://www.circleid.com/posts/71163_making_wireless_web_friendly/
      
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      INTERNET USE
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      Who's winning the broadband sweepstakes?
      Broadband geeks should waste no time in diving into the abundance of Excel spreadsheets provided by the OECD Broadband Portal. Two weeks ago, in "America's Broadband Shame," How the World Works reported that the United States had fallen to 15th place in the world, as measured by number of broadband subscribers per capita. But considerably more detail concerning the broadband circumstances of the 30 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is now available. The top performer in per capita broadband penetration is Denmark, with 34.3 subscribers per 100 population. The U.S. has only 22.1. True, the U.S. is a much bigger, more spread out country. If you account for size, the U.S. does about the same as other big countries, notably, Australia and Canada.
      http://www.salon.com/tech/htww/2007/11/05/broadband_sweepstakes/
      
      Australia still broadband backwater
      LABOR has accused the Coalition of a broadband fiddle after an international study showed a marked improvement in speeds. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development today said Australia was now ranked 9th for speed, up from 22nd in a comparison with similar industrialised nations.
      http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22713393-15306,00.html
      
      Australian broadband use grows rapidly
      A SHARP increase in the number of households and businesses with broadband internet connections has dented Labor's arguments that Australia's communications infrastructure is languishing by international standards. On the level of broadband penetration, Australia now ranks 12th in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's 30 countries. That was a significant improvement from June last year, when Australia ranked 17th on the number of broadband subscriptions per head of population.
      http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/11/06/1194329223574.html
      
      NZ passes Italy in broadband
      New Zealand has risen a place in OECD broadband rankings. It moved from 21 to 20 out of 30 countries, with 16.5 connections for every 100 people. The average was 18.8 subscribers per 100. Six months ago, New Zealand had 14 subscribers per 100.
      http://stuff.co.nz/4264058a13.html
      
      au: Internet leads rise in complaints to Ombudsman [news release]
      Internet services led a 16.9 per cent increase in complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in the 2007 financial year. “Customers who had issues with their internet service now make up almost a third of our complaint load,” said Ombudsman Deirdre O’ Donnell.
      http://www.tio.com.au/media_statements/RELEASES/2007/2007-7-11%20media%20release.html
      
      au: Big rise in gripes by Internet customers
      Complaints against telecommunications companies have risen by more than 30 per cent over the past year. When it comes to total gripes over internet, mobile and landline services, Telstra led the way, statistics from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman's annual report show.
      http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/11/07/1194329318813.html
      
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      SOCIAL NETWORKING
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      Facebook to Turn Users Into Endorsers
      Facebook wants to turn every member into a spokesman for its advertisers. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of the superhot social network, today announced what the company calls “social ads.”
      http://nytimes.com/2007/11/06/business/06cnd-facebook.html
      
      Facebook is marketing your brand preferences (with your permission)
      The social networking site now sells ads that display people's profile photos next to commercial messages that are shown to their friends about items they purchased or registered an opinion about.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/technology/07adco.html
      http://iht.com/articles/2007/11/07/technology/07adco.php
      
      Facebook strategy: You're the ad
      Facebook Inc. wants to turn the members of its popular online hangout into champions of the brands that advertise there. Trying to mine its commercial potential, the social networking site Tuesday unveiled an advertising strategy that piggybacks on one of its most powerful features: the news feed, which shows users a streaming list of what their friends are doing.
      http://www.latimes.com/technology/la-fi-facebook7nov07,1,7280384.story
      
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      SPAM
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      Spammers latch on to political subjects
      US Congressman Ron Paul is hot. Image spam is not. According to Symantec's Spam Monthly Report issued at the beginning of the week, US presidential hopefuls for the 2008 election are already hot subject-line topics, with Congressman Ron Paul emerging as spammers' favorite.
      http://computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;520037854;fp;2;fpid;1
      
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      DIGITAL DIVIDE
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      to: Vava'u play host to ICT regional meeting
      Communications officers from throughout the pacific gathered in the Island of Vava'u last week to dialogue on issues pertaining to the development of communications and information technology. In her keynote speech, Chief secretary and secretary to Cabinet 'Eseta Fusitu'a says the Commonwealth countries for the Pacific Regions meeting in Vava'u was to formulate and integrate ICT in their national plans is a major catalyst to social and economic development.
      http://www.tonga-now.to/Article.aspx?ID=4568
      
      Africa: Greater Internet Access for Region
      Delegates at the Connect Africa conference in Kigali, Rwanda are searching for ways to help more Africans take advantage of the worldwide web. Fewer than four out of 100 Africans currently use the internet, and broadband penetration is below 1%.
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200711060808.html
      
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      FILE SHARING
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      Ripples in the Music Industry, Part 1: Breaking Away
      Piracy is not the major music labels' main problem, according to analyst Mike Goodman. "The problem is that they have an inefficient business model. We're undergoing a business correction, and there is not anything they'll be able to do about this market correction. Revenues for the music industry are going to decline." Meanwhile, musical artists are using the Internet to strike out on their own.
      http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/60050.html
      
      Ripples in the Music Industry, Part 2: The Sound of the Future
      As the Internet and digital technologies continue to play an ever-increasing role on the business side of the music industry, big-name recording artists have begun to turn their backs on their labels and opt instead to strike out on their own. Part 1 of this two-part series described what longstanding acts like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have done to distribute their music online on their own terms.
      http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/60159.html
      
      File-Sharing Pirates Attempt New Software Standard [Reuters]
      A Swedish Web site that promotes trading of pirated movies is developing a new software standard for Internet downloads in a move that could make it easier to swap media files, which is illegal in many countries. The Pirate Bay is the biggest ad-supported site using the software of BitTorrent. The program has been a good match for Internet denizens looking to pick free downloads of copyrighted media, from Harry Potter movies to Xbox 360 video games.
      http://informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=202803004
      
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      VoIP
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      au: Voice in the wilderness
      The communications watchdogs have refused to step in to help VoIP users who want to keep their phone number when switching service providers. It appears some providers are exploiting a loophole in the industry's self-regulated code that requires them to "port" numbers on request.
      http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/11/06/1194118008638.html
      http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/11/06/1194118008638.html
      http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/articles/2007/11/06/1194118008638.html
      
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      ARRESTS/COURT CASES FOR CHILD PORN
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      Britons arrested as police smash global paedophile ring that abused to order
      A paedophile ring that filmed tailor-made attacks for individual abusers has been broken by police in 28 countries. Officers arrested 93 people in connection with the case, about half of whom were living in Britain, and rescued 23 victims, all girls. Police gave warning that both numbers would rise in the next few months. Officers seized thousands of computers, videos and photographs and revealed that they found 1.5 million sexually explicit video and picture files on one computer system alone.
      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2814175.ece
      
      au: 2,000,000 child porn images seized in QLD, nine arrested
      Law enforcement agencies expect to make several more child porn exploitation arrests in the coming weeks despite announcing the arrest of nine men in Queensland on 188 charges yesterday.
      http://itnews.com.au/News/NewsStory.aspx?story=64493
      
      au: Granddad jailed for granddaughter abuse images
      A GRANDFATHER who filmed himself sexually abusing his infant granddaughters and distributed the images over the internet has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.
      http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22713388-2,00.html
      
      Web helps Qld Police rescue kids
      ROUTINE monitoring of the internet by Queensland police sparked an international operation, which has led to the rescue of 24 children worldwide, including a four-year-old Brisbane girl whose grandfather allegedly molested her for two years and recorded sexually explicit movies of the child.
      http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,22717377-15306,00.html
      
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      (c) David Goldstein 2007
      
       
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