The roundup is a bit short today. I’m way behind because of a power blackout this morning, and I have some personal stuff to take care of today and tomorrow morning, so I won’t be around.
Cheers! And all the best …
Child protection groups undermine Aussie Firewall The Register
You know your child protection policy is in trouble when even mainstream children`s charities speak out against it and this is just the latest in a string of bad news to hit Australian Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy over the last seven days. First up is the news that Save the Children and the National Children`s & Youth Law Centre have joined with anti-censorship group Get Up! to oppose government plans to put in place filtering software to protect the Australian public from inappropriate and harmful content. In a joint statement (pdf) with other pressure groups, they said: “We argue that the tens of millions of dollars that such a scheme will cost should instead be diverted to appropriate child protection authorities and police to prevent the abuse of children, and towards effective community-based education strategies that give children and parents the skills to protect themselves. “Further, PC-level filtering software should be promoted to and provided to parents that wish to protect their children from inappropriate internet content.” This really is bad news for an initiative that was justified, originally, on the grounds that it would contribute towards child protection.
Italian bloggers strike Global Post
This week in Rome, bloggers and activists wore gags to protest a proposed law that could impose heavy fines on bloggers who don`t correct offensive comments within 48 hours. About 200 bloggers gathered at sunset in the picturesque Piazza Navona July 15, while hundreds others joined the protest online by freezing blog posts for a day. A blogger is not a professional reporter, yelled 35 year-old Guido Scorza from atop a marble bench as he held a heavy megaphone. A blogger doesn`t have a legal office to defend him from lawsuits, he said. The controversial Alfano proposal â named after its author, Italy`s Minister of Justice Angelino Alfano â has already been approved by Parliament and awaits Senate approval. If passed, the law would force bloggers to edit any post denounced to the government as defamatory. If the blogger refused, the denouncing citizen could sue for as much as $18,000.
Microsoft sues alleged IM spammers, phishers CNet
Microsoft is bringing out the big guns to combat instant message spam and phishing attacks done to users of its Live Messenger network. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant filed a civil lawsuit Thursday in King County Superior Court in Seattle against Funmobile, Mobilefunster, and several individuals, who Microsoft says is responsible for the intentional misuse of the service to gain the personal information of its users. In the suit (which is embedded below), Microsoft cites a multitude of attacks including IMs that appear to be coming from users they know, as well as phishing attacks that mimic the look and feel of an outside service, or an official Microsoft support page. Microsoft says that the successful use of these tactics has let third parties obtain these users’ personal account information, then exploit it by sending mass spam and phishing messages to the contacts of users whose accounts have been breached.
Black officers group sues Philly PD over Web site Associated Press
A group of black police officers has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Philadelphia Police Department over an Internet discussion forum on which officers have allegedly posted hundreds of racist comments. The Guardian Civic League filed the lawsuit in federal court Thursday. The league, along with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, wants the department to have the site shut down. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and discipline for those behind the 10-year-old Web forum, Domelights.com, which is not run by the department. The site bills itself as “the voice of the good guys.”
Virgin Media sets throttle on hardcore hogs The Register
Virgin Media’s bandwith throttling policy will in future be more targeted towards the minority of customers the firm says “hammer” its network. It said its 50Mbit/s network upgrade programme, now completed, will allow it to restrict bandwidth during peak times for 2 per cent of customers rather than the current 5 per cent. Within that group Virgin Media plans to contact a “hardcore” of users, who have disproportionate impact on the network through heavy BitTorrent and newsgroup downloading, to demand they ease off. The firm has made a change to its acceptable use policy to codify the policy. It now reads: “In isolated cases (currently less than 0.1 per cent of customers) where excessive network usage at busy times (9am to 9pm) is having a detrimental effect on other users, we may need to take appropriate action in accordance with the terms of this AUP to notify users of the impact they are having and require them to move some of their activity into the less busy period.”
China’s Internet Users Outnumber U.S. Population IDG News Service
China’s Internet users have surpassed the U.S. population in number, and more Chinese than ever are using e-commerce and accessing the Web through mobile phones, according to official statistics. China had 338 million Internet users at the end of last month, the most in any country, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said late Thursday. Chatting on message boards, cruising around social networking sites and pursuing other entertainment were among the most popular activities for Web users, the center said in a report posted on its Web site. The number of Internet users who watched videos online rose 10 percent from six months ago. More than one-fourth now shop online. China also led the world in the number of registered Web sites, nearly 13 million, using its .cn top-level domain, the report said.
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