CyberLaw Blog

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

Archive for January 13th, 2009

Prince’s apology for racist term

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Prince’s apology for racist term: “Prince Harry apologises after a video shows him using offensive language to describe an Asian member of his army platoon.”

(Via BBC News.)

The Associated Press: Edgy China blog site shut amid Internet porn sweep

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

The Associated Press: Edgy China blog site shut amid Internet porn sweep

By ANITA CHANG – 09.01.2009

BEIJING (AP) — China expanded an Internet cleanup campaign Friday, shutting down an edgy blog hosting site for apparently carrying ‘harmful comments’ and naming more than a dozen sites containing pornography or other vulgar content.

The latest government Internet sweep began with a well-publicized crackdown on pornography, which is banned in China, but was widened to include a blog hosting site popular with activists,

The site was shut down Friday afternoon, founder Luo Yonghao told The Associated Press.

‘I got an e-mail from the Beijing Communications Administration this afternoon, saying the Web site contained harmful comments on current affairs and therefore will be closed,’ he said, declining to elaborate.

It was not known whether the shutdown of was permanent. The site, home to some outspoken social and political commentary, was closed temporarily last year during a key Communist Party congress after criticism of the meeting was posted.

A duty officer for the Beijing Communications Administration reached after hours Friday said he did not have any information on the case.

The government remains wary of losing its control over the Internet, which could be used for organized opposition to the rule of the Communist Party. Internet companies also regularly self-censor to keep from running afoul of the authorities with material that might be considered subversive or too political.

China has the world’s largest population of Internet users with more than 250 million.

A cache version of viewed Friday night did not reveal any particularly outspoken content, though the site likely had ties to a bold online petition circulated last month called ‘Charter 08.’ The document called for a new Chinese constitution guaranteeing human rights and was signed by more than 300 lawyers, writers, scholars and artists.

Late on Thursday, the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center — the government-backed body that monitors the Internet — posted a list on its Web site naming more than a dozen sites, including Microsoft’s MSN, that it says need to clean up pornographic content.

The sites contained a large amount of vulgar material that ‘violated society’s morals, and harmed the health of young people,’ the notice said. It urged the sites to eliminate offensive content and for Internet users to monitor the process.

Pornography, while banned in China, remains widely available on and off the Internet. Popular Chinese Web portals frequently show sexually explicit pictures and provide links to pornographic Web sites.

On Monday, seven government agencies launched a one-month campaign to clean up China’s Internet content. The same day, the center criticized 19 Web sites, including Google and China’s most popular search engine Baidu, for allegedly carrying vulgar or pornographic content.

Many of the Web sites issued apologies and vowed to clean up, setting up hot lines for complaints. Forty-one Web sites were shut down because they contained vulgar content, state broadcaster China Central Television reported.

The Internet reporting center said MSN China’s movie channel and bulletin board contained a large amount of vulgar images. Google has begun cleaning up its content but needs to continue, while Baidu’s cleanup has been ineffective with much vulgar content still available, it said.

Officials at Microsoft China and Google Inc. could not immediately be reached for comment. A notice on Google’s Web site Tuesday said it had started checking for links that contained vulgar content.

At Baidu’s public relations office, a woman surnamed Zhang referred questions to Baidu’s overseas department, where the phone rang unanswered.

Watchdog exposes broadband speed rip-off

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Watchdog exposes broadband speed rip-off: “Millions of internet customers are getting less than half the broadband speed
they are paying for, restricting their ability to download music, film and

(Via Law News from Times Online.)

China: Group’s Web Site Blocked

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

China: Group’s Web Site Blocked: “Amnesty International said Monday that its Web site had again been blocked in China and urged Beijing to reopen access to it.”

(Via NYT > Freedom of Speech and Expression.)

24 Season 7 Leaks Early to BitTorrent

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Post from: TorrentFreak

24 Season 7 Leaks Early to BitTorrent

24 season 7Appearing a year later than planned, Fox’s new season of 24 will premiere on US TV tonight. Set three years after the previous season and a couple of months on from the events of 24: Redemption, it features a female president for the first time. Viewers will see Kiefer Sutherland, aka Counter Terrorist Agent Jack Bauer protecting the United States from a government computer systems firewall breach.

24 is traditionally one of the hit shows on BitTorrent. Together with Heroes, Lost and Prison Break, every episode is downloaded well over a million times. The show also has a reputation of leaking out, just before it premieres.

Similar to the unscheduled appearance of season 6, the first four episodes of the new season were uploaded onto several BitTorrent sites earlier today. The source appears to be a promo DVD sent out by the studios to several media outlets, TV editors and reviewers. According to early reports, the quality of the rip is mediocre, unlike the usual high quality scene rips usually posted on BitTorrent. Indeed, the leak appears to have bypassed The Scene altogether, leaking to P2P networks first.

It is often suggested that these leaks might be intentional, that broadcasters use them to hype the show just before the season starts. Although this is often impossible to confirm, it would not be the first time that this has happened.

In 2007, a Warner Bros executive admitted that he helped to leak the pilot of ‘Pushing Daisies’. The exec wanted to make sure the show ‘got out there,’ and said his goal was to ‘help the cause.’ He didn’t upload it himself though, but used his neighbor’s kid to do it instead.

The leak of these 24 episodes, whether intentional or not, is guaranteed to result in a surge of word of mouth promotion, and free promotion throughout the blogosphere. If anything it will help the show, rather than hurt it.

CPS denies support for überdatabase

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

CPS denies support for überdatabase: “

Starmer pleads innocent

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has clarified comments by the UK’s top prosecutor, denying that he supports proposals for a centralised warehouse of private communications data.…

(Via The Register – Public Sector.)

Organisations still unsure on data protection despite increased investment, survey finds

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Organisations still unsure on data protection despite increased investment, survey finds: “Over half of financial services firms do not know where all their customer and employee personal data is stored, according to a survey by auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).”

(Via OUT-LAW News.)

Watchdog wags finger at waffly privacy policies

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Watchdog wags finger at waffly privacy policies: “

Companies must cut the gobbledegook

Privacy policies are full of jargon and are designed to reduce organisations’ liability rather than to help people understand what their personal data might be used for, the UK’s privacy watchdog has said.…

(Via The Register – Public Sector.)

US prof undermines foundations of Aussie firewall

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

US prof undermines foundations of Aussie firewall: “

World govs better take note

Just as Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy thought things couldn’t get any worse, his proposal for the great Aussie firewall is under fire again – this time from the lofty heights of US academia.…

(Via The Register – Public Sector.)

EU privacy watchdog laments weakened privacy proposals

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

EU privacy watchdog laments weakened privacy proposals: “The European Union’s Council of Ministers has weakened proposals to overhaul EU privacy laws and left people with fewer protections for their personal information, the privacy watchdog for EU institutions has warned.”

(Via OUT-LAW News.)