British Facebook hacker sentenced to eight months in jail: “A man who hacked into Facebook and claimed he wanted to help the company expose vulnerabilities to its system has been sentenced to an eight month jail term.”
(Via OUT-LAW News.)
A State Department official warned students at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs this week that discussing WikiLeaks on Facebook or Twitter could endanger their employment prospects.
The official, a former student of the school, called the career services office of his alma mater to advise students not to post links to WikiLeaks (Wikileaks) documents, nor to make comments on social networks such as Twitter (Twitter) and Facebook (Facebook), as ‘engaging in these activities would call into question [a student's] ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government,’ he was quoted as saying in an e-mail sent to students by the career services office on Tuesday.
The warning coincided with WikiLeaks’s release of thousands of secret U.S. embassy cables on Sunday, November 28. The site has since been plagued by multiple DDoS attacks, and termination of service notifications from its DNS provider, EveryDNS.net, its temporary website host, Amazon (Amazon.com), and PayPal, which handled many of the donations the organization received.
Student Issandr El Amrani posted a copy of the e-mail on his blog on Thursday, the same day Senator Joseph Lieberman and other lawmakers proposed legislation that would hold those who publish the names of any U.S. intelligence sources ‘criminally accountable.’ A full copy of the e-mail, which the career services office has since confirmed sending, is pasted below:
From: ‘Office of Career Services’
Date: November 30, 2010 15:26:53 EST:
We received a call today from a SIPA alumnus who is working at the State Department. He asked us to pass along the following information to anyone who will be applying for jobs in the federal government, since all would require a background investigation and in some instances a security clearance.
The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. He recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.
Office of Career Services
According to an e-mail sent by spokesperson Phillip J. Crowley to The Huffington Post, the warning does not, however, represent a formal policy position. ‘We have instructed State Department employees not to access the WikiLeaks site and download posted documents using an unclassified network since these documents are still classified. We condemn what Mr. Assange is doing, but have given no advice to anyone beyond the State Department to my knowledge,’ he wrote.
Employees in the State Department are among the many government workers who were told by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget not to view the leaked documents without the required security clearance on Friday.
Although you may not be going for a job at the State Department any time soon, does the warning nevertheless make you wary of discussing WikiLeaks on public forums such as Facebook and Twitter?
Facebook confirms applications’ breach of privacy rules: “Facebook has confirmed that some applications on the social networking platform are passing on the identity of users to third parties in violation of its policies.“
(Via OUT-LAW News.)
Media Release: Global investigation cracks child exploitation network – Australian Federal Police: “Media Release: Global investigation cracks child exploitation network
Release Date: August 27, 2010
International law enforcement agencies have combined to dismantle an alleged organised child exploitation network that had been operating via the social networking site Facebook.
A total of eleven people have been arrested as part of a coordinated operation across Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Law enforcement has made six arrests in relation to child abuse image offences in the United Kingdom, including the alleged head of the network. Three arrests have been made in Australia and two in Canada. Investigations are ongoing with the operation currently spanning four continents.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) began the investigation in March this year and has operated in partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP) in the United Kingdom and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The investigation began when a covert AFP Internet Policing Team member established an online identity on Facebook and was approached by one of the network members. Upon further investigation into the network, referrals were made to overseas counterparts leading to the arrests across the globe.
AFP National Manager High Tech Crime Operations Neil Gaughan heralded the successful operation as a clear demonstration of co-operation between international law enforcement agencies.
‘Criminal activity of this type is often described as a borderless crime because there’s no geographical restriction on where offenders may try to target their victims,’ Assistant Commissioner Gaughan said.
‘Policing in this social networking environment is a challenge, but the cooperation during this operation demonstrates that international law enforcement is united in a global fight against online child exploitation material.
‘The investigation should serve as a warning to both social networking providers and users.
‘In this case, Facebook deactivated the online accounts of the initial suspects but there were indications that, within hours, the groups were reforming again under new accounts.
‘It is important that content service providers including Facebook constantly scan for child exploitation material, and then inform law enforcement of their findings.’
CEOP Chief Executive Jim Gamble said, ‘This network was made up of people who share an interest in viewing extremely disturbing images of children suffering horrific abuse.’
‘All the officers working on this investigation – both in the UK and in Australia, America, Canada and elsewhere – shared a steely determination to safeguard children wherever they were and to bring those involved to justice,’ Mr Gamble said.
‘Offenders are not limited by their geography and neither are we. We have worked side by side with the Australian Federal Police, the FBI, the RCMP and colleagues in a number of other countries to ensure that no stone is left unturned and no child is left unprotected.
‘Project Ocean should send a clear message to others who think that online environments offer them anonymity in their offending. Everything you do leaves a digital footprint and, working together, we will stop at nothing to protect children suffering abuse.’
FBI Assistant Director Gordon M. Snow, Cyber Division, said: ‘The sexual exploitation of children is a heinous offense, and the FBI is committed to identifying and thwarting online predators, no matter where they live.’
‘We work side-by-side with our law enforcement partners around the world to identify and pursue those who produce, possess and distribute sexually explicit images and videos of children.’
RCMP Superintendent John Bilinski, Officer in Charge of the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children said: ‘The RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre is committed to working with its international policing partners. Project Ocean is a clear demonstration of how international co-operation can help ensure that child sexual offenders are brought to justice.’
‘One of our most effective strategies against Internet-facilitated child sexual abuse is cooperation. No single agency can deal with this crime in isolation. We continually work together with our partners to ensure the safety and security of children, regardless of where they live.’
AFP National Media Team +61 (2) 6131 6333
CEOP Media +44 (0) 870 000 3434
RCMP Media +1 613 993-2999
FBI Media +1 202-324-3691
FACTS & STATS
The operation began in March 2010 when an AFP Internet Policing Team member established a covert online identity in Facebook.
The profile was approached by numerous Facebook users to become ‘friends’ and commenced engagement with these friends.
The engagement identified the network exchanging child exploiting material using Facebook to host the images. Members of the network were identified and referrals were made to the countries they were identified to live in.
* On 2 June 2010, a 33-year-old Victorian man was charged with two counts of using a carriage service to access child pornography material, contrary to section 474.19(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); two counts of using a carriage service to make available child pornography material, contrary to section 474.19(1)(a)(iv), of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and possessing child pornography, contrary to section 70(1) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic). The man will appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on 6 October 2010.
* On 2 June 2010, a 18-year-old Victorian man was charged with two counts of using a carriage service to access child pornography material, contrary to section 474.19(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code Act 1995; two counts of using a carriage service to make available child pornography material, contrary to section 474.19(1)(a)(iv) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and possessing child pornography, contrary to section 70(1) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic). The man will appear in Geelong Magistrates Court on 24 September 2010.
* On 15 June 2010, a 27-year-old New South Wales man was charged with using a carriage service to transmit child pornography material, contrary to section 474.19 (1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code Act 1995. The man will appear in Wollongong Local Court on 14 October 2010.
The CEOP have arrested and charged six males in the United Kingdom, one of which is the alleged head of the network.
* The 45-year-old Worthing man has been sentenced to four years in prison and served with a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, after pleading guilty overnight at Chichester Crown Court to making (six counts); possessing (one count); distributing (seven counts) and view to distributing (10 counts) child abuse images. He was also found guilty of breaching his requirements on the Sex Offenders Register. The man was arrested by Sussex Police who initiated a specific investigation to gather evidence of his offences. Further police activity lead detectives to identify five additional suspects in the UK and a further nine suspects overseas, with investigations still underway.
* Two UK children have been safeguarded and five further suspected offenders have been arrested in the UK.
Law enforcement agencies have arrested two males in Canada. One suspect has been charged with four counts relating to child exploitation in Canada.
Regarding the second man, the investigation is still ongoing.”
Page last updated at 6:51 GMT, Monday, 31 May 2010 7:51 UK
Anti-Facebook protest in Quetta on 27 May 2010 Muslims consider it un-Islamic to draw pictures of the Prophet Muhammad
A court in Pakistan has ordered the authorities to restore the Facebook social networking site.
The court had ordered the blocking of the site after a petition was filed against a competition featuring caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
The petition, filed by a lawyers’ group called the Islamic Lawyers’ Movement, said the contest was ‘blasphemous’.
Pakistan’s deputy attorney told the court on Monday that Facebook had withdrawn the competition.
The Facebook page in question contained caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and characters from other religions, including Hinduism and Christianity, as well as comments both critical and supportive of Islam.
On Monday, Justice Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court reversed his 19 May order to the Pakistani authorities to block the site.
‘Restore Facebook. We don’t want to block access to information,’ Justice Chaudhry told the court.
He asked the government to develop a system to find out how countries like Saudi Arabia were blocking access to ‘blasphemous’ content on the internet.
‘It is the government’s job to take care of such things, which spark resentment among the people and bring them onto the streets.
‘They should take steps to block any blasphemous content on the internet,’ Justice Chaudhry said.
Last week, Pakistan restored access to popular video sharing website YouTube only after blocking some pages for ’sacrilegious content’.
Correspondents say that the internet is uncensored in Pakistan but the government monitors content by routing all traffic through a central exchange.
In the past, Pakistan has often blocked access to pornographic sites and sites with anti-Islamic content.
It has deemed such material as offensive to the political and security establishment of the country, says the BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad.
In 2007, the government banned the YouTube site, allegedly to block material offensive to the government of Pervez Musharraf.
The action led to widespread disruption of access to the site for several hours. The ban was later lifted.
21 May 2010, 1613 hrs IS, AGENCIES
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s blockage on wildly popular web-sites like YouTube and Facebook will likely have a reverse effect from the one desired by authorities as curious Netizens would log onto these sites to see what the brouhaha is about.
Pakistan’s telecom regulatory body, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has said it found ’sacrilegious’ content on YouTube, leading them to block it. Incidentally, YouTube has been co-founded by Jawed Karim, a Muslim.
‘We have asked the Internet service providers to block more than 450 web links, which contain derogatory material,’ The News quoted a PTA spokesman, as saying.
‘The action follows our repeated attempts to convince these websites to discard such material,’ he added.
He said the PTA had approached the administrators of the websites through emails, however he could not name the officials who had been contacted.
Industry officials, on the other hand, say the authorities have yet to get in touch with the people who run Facebook and YouTube, the report said.
These hasty suppressive tactics are probably not going to be too fruitful, according to industry officials.
‘There is no way of stopping this. The day government lifts restriction from these websites, the Internet traffic will double. People will visit them just out of curiosity,’ said an advertiser, who deals with Facebook and YouTube.
Saudi blocks controversial Facebook page: paper: “Saudi blocks controversial Facebook page: paper
English.news.cn 2010-05-21 20:52:46 FeedbackPrintRSS
RIYADH, May 21 (Xinhua) — Saudi Arabia has blocked a controversial page of the social networking website Facebook that ridicules an Islamic ban on depicting Islam’s prophet Muhammad, local Arab News reported Friday.
The kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) blocked the page that marked May 20 as ‘ Everybody Draw Muhammad Day,’ the paper said.
According to the report, Facebook as well as groups protesting the page and calling for a boycott of the website that remains accessible in the kingdom.
The ‘Everybody Draw Muhammad Day’ page was based on a cartoon by U.S. illustrator Molly Norris, which called for the designation of May 20 to ‘water down the pool of targets’ by having people draw their own images.
The page encouraged users to post images of the Islamic prophet to protest threats against producers of popular show ‘South Park’ for an offensive depiction of the prophet during an episode last year.
Norris, however, issued an apology and said in an interview that she is against her cartoon ‘becoming a reality.’ She even posted a link to the ‘Against Everybody Draw Muhammad Day’ Facebook page on her webpage.
The page drew outrage form millions of Muslims across the world, with Pakistan temporarily blocking the popular social network over the page. The government took the action after a group of lawyers won a court order on Wednesday requiring officials to block Facebook until May 31.”