CyberLaw Blog

A news resource for CyberLaw and Cyber-Rights issues from around the globe

Archive for September, 2008

BT rolls out Phorm web tracking

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

BT rolls out Phorm web tracking: “Thousands of BT broadband customers are to have their internet usage tracked
so they can be sent targeted online advertising in a final trial before the
service is launched network-wide.”

(Via Tech and Web from Times Online.)

MoD man ‘faces Official Secrets trial’ for leaving files on train

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

MoD man ‘faces Official Secrets trial’ for leaving files on train: “

Charge docs somewhere between CPS and Met police

The Cabinet Office official who left secret intelligence documents on a train seems set to face criminal charges under the Official Secrets Act.…

(Via The Register – Public Sector.)

‘Extreme’ extreme porn law puts Scots out of kilter

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

‘Extreme’ extreme porn law puts Scots out of kilter: “

Proposals would criminalise material allowed in rest of UK

If you thought Scotland might be a safe place to stash your collection of dubious erotic artwork when legislation on extreme porn comes into force, think again.…

(Via The Register – Public Sector.)

Expert warns that proposed ICO powers could be weak

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Expert warns that proposed ICO powers could be weak: “The Department of Justice’s plans to change the Information Commissioner’s powers will weaken the privacy regulator, a privacy law expert has warned. The planned changes could give organisations a way to avoid penalties, the expert said.”

(Via OUT-LAW News.)

UK Children’s web watchdog launched

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Children’s internet safety plan: “The government and major technology companies form a council to promote the protection of children on the internet.”

29 September 2008

A new internet watchdog has been launched to help protect children from “harmful” web content, such as cyber-bullying and violent video games.

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) brings together social networking sites and technology firms.

It aims to teach children about web dangers, target harmful net content and establish a code of conduct for sites featuring material uploaded by users.

Gordon Brown said the move was a “landmark” in child protection.

‘Minimum restrictions’

The prime minister said the growing importance of the internet in young people’s lives meant the task for government and society was to strike a balance between safety and freedoms on the web.

“The challenge for us is to make sure young people can use the internet safely and do so with the minimum of restrictions but the maximum of opportunities,” he said.

He went on to say the internet offered “a world of entertainment, of opportunity and knowledge” to children.


Privacy Concerns: German Towns Saying ‘Nein’ to Google ‘Street View’

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Privacy Concerns: German Towns Saying ‘Nein’ to Google ‘Street View’: “Google’s corporate slogan might be ‘don’t be evil,’ but some communities in northwestern Germany see something nefarious in the company’s photographing all their streets and houses. If they get their way, they will remain black holes in Google’s ambitious mapping of the universe.”

(Via SPIEGEL ONLINE – International.)

Government sets up online child safety watchdog

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Here we go again, all in the name of “protecting children”. Inappropriate according to what criteria? Let’s not forget that whatever they are referring to as inappropriate falls short of illegality and therefore not subject to censorship and takedown.

Government sets up online child safety watchdog: “The Government has established a body to advise it on how it can increase the protection from dangers posed by the internet.”

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) will police websites containing inappropriate content, write industry codes of practice for publishers and advertise to children about how to stay safe online.

UKCCIS said that it would tell the publishers of sites which accept material from the public for publication how quickly they must take down content once they have been told that it is inappropriate.

“[UKCCIS's strategy will] establish voluntary codes of practice for user-generated content sites, making such sites commit to take down inappropriate content within a given time,” said a statement from the Department for Children, Schools and Learning, which launched UKCCIS.

(Via OUT-LAW News.)

Scotland: Revitalising Justice – Proposals To Modernise And Improve The Criminal Justice System

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Good old Scotland introduces its own version of the possession of extreme violent pornography provisions. I noticed this thanks to ever so the brilliant

The below information has been taken from a document that summarises the proposals that will be included in the Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill (to be introduced into the Scottish Parliament in early 2009).

Revitalising Justice – Proposals To Modernise And Improve The Criminal Justice System


The Scottish Executive issued a joint consultation in 2005 with the Home Office on issues relating to the possession of extreme pornography. This consultation ran until December 2005 and 93 Scottish responses were received.

We have decided to introduce a new offence for the possession of extreme pornographic material. We propose that this offence will criminalise the possession of pornographic images which realistically depict:

* Life-threatening acts and violence that would appear likely to cause severe injury;
* Rape and other non- consensual penetrative sexual activity, whether violent or otherwise; and
* Bestiality or necrophilia.

The maximum penalty for the proposed new offence will be 3 years imprisonment.

We intend that the new offence will be similar to that at section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, which will apply in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Scottish offence will go further than that offence, however, in that it will cover all images of rape and non-consensual penetrative sexual activity, whereas the English offence only covers violent rape.

Under section 51 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, it is already illegal to publish, sell or distribute or to possess with a view to selling or distributing the material that would be covered by this new offence. We propose to increase the maximum penalty under section 51 of the 1982 Act in respect of extreme pornographic material from 3 to 5 years.

Relevant weblinks

Consultation on the possession of extreme pornographic material – August 2005

Analysis of Scottish responses received to the consultation


Will help ensure society is protected from exposure to pornography that depicts horrific images of violence.

Silent calls fine for Barclaycard

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Silent calls fine for Barclaycard: “Barclaycard has received the maximum possible fine for the ‘most serious’ case of silent calls ever seen by the regulator.”

(Via BBC News.)

Liberal Democrats broke privacy laws with 250,000 calls

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Liberal Democrats broke privacy laws with 250,000 calls: “The Liberal Democrats broke anti-spam laws by placing 250,000 automated telephone calls last week without prior consent, according to the UK’s privacy chief. If the party continues placing such calls, it has been warned that it could face prosecution.”

(Via OUT-LAW News.)