CyberLaw Blog

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

Archive for February 20th, 2010

European Commission calls on social networking companies to improve child safety policies

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

EU – European Commission calls on social networking companies to improve child safety policies: (RAPID)
50% of European teenagers give out personal information on the web – according to an EU study – which can remain online forever and can be seen by anybody. Today, Safer Internet Day, the European Commission is passing a message to teenagers: ‘Think before you post!’ It welcomed actions to protect children using social networking websites taken by the 20 companies who signed the Safer Social Networking Principles last year. Most of these companies have empowered minors to tackle online risks by making it easier to change privacy settings, block users or delete unwanted comments and content. Yet more needs to be done to protect children online, the Commission says. Less than half of social networking companies (40%) make profiles of under-18 users visible only to their friends by default and only one third replied to user reports asking for help. See Think before you post! How to make social networking sites safer for children and teenagers? speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, Safer Internet Day Strasbourg, 9 February 2010. See also European Commission assesses social networking sites’ approach to safety of under 18s and video clip.

(Via QuickLinks Update.)

EU: Implementation of the Safer Social Networking Principles

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

EU – Implementation of the Safer Social Networking Principles: (Europa)
On 9 February 2010, Safer Internet Day, the European Commission has presented the findings of an independent assessment of the implementation of the Safer Social Networking Principles for the EU. Download the overall report and see how each signatory has implemented the Principles.

(Via QuickLinks Update.)

UK – Facebook takes down 30 prisoners pages after victim taunts

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

UK – Facebook takes down 30 prisoners' pages after victim taunts: (Guardian)
Thirty Facebook pages have been taken down because prisoners were using them to taunt their victims, Jack Straw, the justice secretary, has revealed. Straw was speaking after a meeting with victims’ campaigners to discuss prisoners using social networking sites to hound families. The minister said the 30 offending pages brought to the attention of Facebook had been removed within 48 hours. He said he was ‘what we have to do is set up a better system with Facebook. ‘So essentially if they get a notice from us that this site is improper then all they have to do is not make a judgment about it, but press the delete button.’

(Via QuickLinks Update.)

YouTubes new tool for kid-safe viewing

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

YouTube's new tool for kid-safe viewing: (Net Family News)
More than 33 billion online videos were watched during December and about a third of the them were on YouTube, according to comScore’s latest figures. A 2008 study by Nielsen found that YouTube was 2-to-11-year-olds’ No. 1 video viewing site (see this). So parents will probably be happy to know that YouTube now has its own filter for sexually explicit or violent content. ‘While no filter is 100% perfect, Safety Mode is another step in our ongoing desire to give you greater control over the content you see on the site,’ says the YouTube blog.

(Via QuickLinks Update.)

Google shuts down music blogs without warning

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Google shuts down music blogs without warning: (BBC)
Bloggers told they have violated terms without further explanation, as years of archives are wiped off the internet. In what critics are calling ‘musicblogocide 2010′, Google has deleted at least six popular music blogs that it claims violated copyright law. These sites, hosted by Google’s Blogger and Blogspot services, received notices only after their sites ? and years of archives ? were wiped from the internet.

(Via QuickLinks Update.)

Australia: Google and Yahoo raise doubts over planned net filters

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

AU – Google and Yahoo raise doubts over planned net filters: “(BBC)
Google and Yahoo have joined two Australian organisations calling for a ‘rethink’ of the country’s controversial internet filter plans. The Australian government has announced proposals to introduce a mandatory filter which would block all RC (Refused Classification) content. The groups argue that the subjects covered by RC material are too wide-ranging for a blanket ban. They also warn that the filter will not ‘effectively protect children’.

(Via QuickLinks Update.)

Germany: New Internet Legislation Embarrasses German Government

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

DE – New Internet Legislation Embarrasses German Government: “(Der Spiegel)
A new bill to fight child pornography has been signed into law by Germany’s president. There’s only one problem: The government has decided it no longer wants it. They are now in the awkward position of relying on opposition help to repeal the legislation. It was supposed to be an initiative to stop child pornography on the Internet. But now the German government finds itself in a uniquely awkward situation after a bill which it no longer wanted was signed into law by the country’s president. German President Horst Köhler signed the law after deciding that there were ‘no significant concerns’ regarding the law’s compatibility with the German constitution. The Access Impediment Law, as it is known, is aimed at combating child pornography and allows access to offensive Web sites to be blocked.
However the German coalition government, which pairs Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives with the business-friendly Free Democratic Party, has decided it no longer wants the law, which was massively opposed by Internet users. Instead of blocking access to Web sites, it now wants to delete offensive Internet content instead.

(Via QuickLinks Update.)

China introduces tougher measures to combat providers of online porn

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

CN – China introduces tougher measures to combat providers of online porn: (Xinhua)
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has pledged fresh measures to fight offensive content transmitted by mobile phones and websites. China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, the country’s three mobile carriers, have been required to examine the quality of their business partners. The MIIT also asked the Internet service providers to supervise the content of websites and close irregular websites.

(Via QuickLinks Update.)

Google Alters Buzz to Tackle Privacy Flaws

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Google Alters Buzz to Tackle Privacy Flaws: (New York Times)
Google moved quickly to contain a firestorm of criticism over Buzz, its new social network, taking the unusual step of announcing changes to the product over the weekend to address privacy problems. Google has decided to alter one of the most vehemently criticized features in Buzz: the ready-made circle of friends that Buzz gives new users based on their most frequent e-mail and chat contacts. Now, instead of automatically connecting people, Buzz merely suggests to new users a group of people that they may want to follow or want to be followed by. See also HOW TO: Integrate Facebook, Twitter, and Buzz into Your Gmail (Mashable), Buzz or Bust by Leslie Harris, President and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology, Google boss says ‘nobody was harmed’ by Buzz debacle (Guardian) and Google facing lawsuit over Buzz privacy in federal court (Ars Technica).

(Via QuickLinks Update.)