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Author Topic: Tech News Weekly: Edition 26-09  (Read 3597 times)


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Tech News Weekly: Edition 26-09
« on: June 28, 2009, 06:52 AM »
The Weekly Tech News
TNWeekly01.gifHi all.
Enjoy :)
As usual, you can find last week's news here.

1. Social Networking Big Boys Must Bow to EU Data Laws
By broadly defining social networking sites as 'data controllers', the EU has made them legally responsible for their users' privacy in the eyes of law. 'Bout friggin time. US/AU, are you watching?

Social networking sites are legally responsible for their users' privacy, Europe's privacy watchdogs have confirmed. A committee of data protection regulators has said that the sites are 'data controllers', with all the legal obligations that brings.

Users of the sites are also data controllers with legal obligations when they are posting on behalf of a club, society or company, the opinion said.

The committee of Europe's data protection regulators, the Article 29 Working Party, has published its opinion on the legal status of social networking operators such as Facebook and MySpace.

2. Web Slows After Jackson's Death
The amount of web traffic generated by the death of the King of Pop brought several major sites to their knees, and triggered a Google fail as his name was flagged as originating from automated software.

Search giant Google confirmed to the BBC that when the news first broke it feared it was under attack.

Millions of people who searched for the star's name on Google News were greeted with an error page.

It warned users "your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application".

"It's true that between approximately 2.40PM Pacific and 3.15PM Pacific, some Google News users experienced difficulty accessing search results for queries related to Michael Jackson and saw the error page," said Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker.

3. Pirate Bay Retrial Call Rejected
A Swedish court has determined that his being a member of a pro-copyright organisation did not bias the judge presiding over the Pirate Bay case.

The four were found guilty of promoting copyright infringement in April and face jail sentences and hefty claims for damages.

The Pirate Bay's lawyers called for a retrial when it emerged that one of the judges in the case belonged to several copyright protection groups.

The Swedish court said the judge's affiliations did not bias the case.

The Svea Court of Appeal said Judge Tomas Norstrom should have declared that he was a member of the Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Swedish Copyright Association before the case went to trial.

4. FTC to Crack Down On Undisclosed "sponsored" Blogging
Apparently the Federal Trade Comission has run out of work to do (yeah, right), and has decided to crack down on bloggers reciving free goods to review without disclosing the terms of the exchange.

Undisclosed "sponsored" blogging may soon go the way of the dodo, the T. Rex, or the quagga under some strict new guidelines under consideration by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC says it is looking at bloggers who write about certain products or services in exchange for money or favors from the companies behind them, potentially misleading the Internet-reading public about an apparent conflict of interest. The Commission hopes to introduce new guidelines this summer to better define how bloggers can write about these products.

In case you're not familiar with the practice of "sponsored blogging," imagine that Your Favorite Blog written by Joe Schmoe of Little Rock, Arkansas often gives rave reviews of certain home appliances that he allegedly uses. Joe might have purchased those things himself, and he might really love them—but he might be getting paid by GE to push the company's new washer and dryer. Or, if he's not receiving money, Joe might be the recipient of paid trips to Hawaii or prepaid gift cards. All of these things can and do happen in the blogosphere, and there are no rules on disclosure.

5. China Not Backing Off Despite Filter Code Post On Wikileaks
China is continuing to mandate the availability of Green Dam Youth Escort with each new PC sold there, despite exploit code being posted on Wikileaks exposing several security vulnerabilities in the software, solidifying concerns about the possibility of mass exploitation.

China is filtering out criticism and diving in headfirst with its plan to roll out controversial filtering software on all PCs sold in China. The Chinese media quoted an unnamed source inside the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, saying that the software will still come with all computers as of July 1 despite the discovery of massive security holes and vulnerabilities by security researchers.

News came out about China's plan to implement Internet access control software, called the "Green Dam Youth Escort" earlier this month. The Windows-only software provides a mix of features, including whitelists, blacklists, and on-the-fly content-based filtering. The blacklists can be updated remotely, however, making Green Dam quite an attractive option for a government that likes to keep tight control over what kind of content its citizens are exposed to.

6. Achtung! RapidShare Ordered to Filter All User Uploads
Rapidshare has lost a case worth €24 million, and will be required to implement "proactive" content filtering if they want to avoid liability for content uploaded to the site in the future.

German music trade group GEMA has won a court judgment against one-click file-sharing service RapidShare, and the Hamburg Regional Court has confirmed that services like RapidShare must implement proactive content filtering to avoid liability.

The decision has been building for more than a year. GEMA went after RapidShare after it became a popular hub for sharing albums online, and in relative safety. In January 2008, another regional court in Düsseldorf found that RapidShare was responsible for what its users uploaded to the service.

So RapidShare implemented a screening process—six full-time staff members vetted content and dealt with infringement complaints, and RapidShare maintained hashes of all files that were pulled down for infringement. Using the hashes, the site would prevent repeat uploads of identical content, though any alteration in the file would render the hash technique useless.

7. Australian 'Net Filter to Block Video Games, Too
As an Australia, I cannot convey in words the feelings I have for my own Federal Government. Due to the fact that in Australia the highest video game rating we have being MA15+, any content regarding games that require a stronger rating will be blocked by the Australian internet filter because they will have been "refused classification". Go suck on a dead dogs nose Stephen Conroy.

Quick, name the country that plans to impose a mandatory Internet censoring regime that will, among other things, block access to all video games intended for anyone over the age of 15?

Answer: Australia.

The Australian government has pressed ahead with a trial of its proposed Internet filtering system, this despite the fact that—by its own admission—"there are no success criteria as such."

The scheme would involve a mandatory filtering service that would block access to all material "refused classification" by Australia's government-run ratings agency. This includes child pornography, bestiality, truly deviant/abusive sexual behavior... and plenty of video games!

8. Google Access Disrupted in China
Access to Google has been disrupted in some parts of China amid claims Google is spreading pornography and breaking Chinese law in doing so.

Users reported they could not access either Google's search engine or its Chinese-language version.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang accused Google of spreading pornography and breaking Chinese law.

The move came as the US called on China to scrap its plan to put net-filtering software on all new computers.

9. Star Trek: Confusion

« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 06:56 AM by Ehtyar »