Legal & Security

20 March 2009

US Senator plans to promote cybersecurity education CNET

The U.S. economy is suffering massive losses every year due to cyberattacks, yet most Americans are not aware of the gravity of the problem, cyber experts told Congress Thursday. Without more federal funding for educational reforms and basic research to promote cybersecurity, the nation will regularly suffer from attacks of serious consequence, they said.

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The Conficker Worm: April Fool's Joke or Unthinkable Disaster? New York Times

The Conficker worm is scheduled to activate on April 1, and the unanswered question is: Will it prove to be the world's biggest April Fool's joke or is it the Information Age equivalent of Herman Kahn's legendary 1962 treatise about nuclear war, "Thinking About the Unthinkable"?

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UK Home Office fails to shut down a single extremist website in two years Daily Telegraph (UK)

The Home Office has failed to shut down a single terrorist website despite a pledge to do so from Tony Blair four years ago.

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Big jump in UK online banking fraud BBC News

Software allowing fraudsters to track what you type led to the level of online banking fraud more than doubling in 2008, according to a banking body.

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19 March 2009

Computer Experts Unite to Hunt Conficker Worm New York Times

An extraordinary behind-the-scenes struggle is taking place between computer security groups around the world and the brazen author of a malicious software program called Conficker.

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U.K. to monitor, store all social-network traffic? CNET

The U.K. government is considering the mass surveillance and retention of all user communications on social-networking sites, including Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo.

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U.N. advises governments how to stop Internet drug peddling Reuters

The U.N. narcotics watchdog on Tuesday issued guidelines on how to crack down on Internet drug peddling at the request of governments struggling to contain growing abuse of prescription drugs.

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18 March 2009

Pentagon Official Warns of Risk of Cyber Attacks Washington Post

The head of the Pentagon's Strategic Command warned Congress today that the United States is vulnerable to cyberattacks "across the spectrum" and that more needs to be done to defend against the potential of online strikes, which could "potentially threaten not only our military networks, but also our critical national networks."

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Facebook Users Get Privacy Controls Computerworld

How much Facebook privacy do you want? Facebook is giving its users greater control over just how private they want their profile, updates, photos and videos to be.

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Experts blast BBC over botnet stunt vnunet

Security firms around the world are criticizing the BBC for its conduct in a recent episode of the computer programme Click.

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Privacy Group Asks F.T.C. to Investigate Google New York Times

The Electronic Privacy Information Center formally asked the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday to investigate the privacy and security safeguards of Gmail, Google Docs and other so-called cloud computing services offered by Google to consumers.

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Google/Louis Vuitton legal battle resumes The Guardian

Lawyers for Google are to appear in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in a row over its use of trademarks.

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17 March 2009

Google lawyers seek to halt Italy trial The Times

Lawyers for Google are expected to challenge Italy's right to try Google executives at a hearing on Tuesday, in a trial seen as a test case over attempts to "police" web content.

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Canadian privacy rights buried in the fine print by Michael Geist Toronto Star

Scott McNealy, the former CEO of Sun Microsystems Inc., has achieved considerable notoriety for having warned Internet users 10 years ago that "you have no privacy, get over it." Recent headlines suggest Ontario courts have adopted those sentiments, as two recent decisions involving the disclosure of subscriber information by Internet service providers confirmed that revealing personal information to law enforcement without a warrant is permitted under Canadian privacy law.

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16 March 2009

Many Americans See Privacy on Web as Big Issue, Survey Says New York Times

As arguments swirl over online privacy, a new survey indicates the issue is a dominant concern for Americans.

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NZ court papers can be served via Facebook, judge rules New Zealand Herald

A High Court judge today approved the serving of court papers via Facebook, the popular social network website, in what is thought to be a New Zealand first.

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15 March 2009

Latest Conficker worm gets nastier CNET

The authors of the latest variant of the Conficker worm are upping the ante against security vendors who are working to stop the spread and threat of the persistent program.

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Political Cyberattacks to Militarise the Web PC World

Governments looking to silence critics and stymie opposition have added DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks to their censoring methods, according to a security expert speaking at the Source Boston Security Showcase.

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World Wide Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee fell victim to online fraud Sunday Telegraph (UK)

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the worldwide web, has revealed how he fell victim to online fraudsters while trying to buy a gift over the internet.

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14 March 2009

U.S. privacy bill on Internet companies coming Reuters

A top U.S. lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday said he is working to develop a bill to impose mandatory guidelines on Internet companies to protect user privacy, because the current voluntary approach is falling short.

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NSW not alone in police hacking laws ZDNet

Proposed state legislation that would allow NSW Police to quietly hack into suspects' computers remotely reflected similar moves in other jurisdictions, a notable Australian cybercrime analyst said today.

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13 March 2009

A Guide to Google's New Privacy Controls New York Times

Google has moved forward the debate about privacy and Internet advertising, in its typical way, with deceptively simple engineering and a willingness to impose its way on others.

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12 March 2009

uk: Online sales of legal alternatives to class A drugs raise safety fears The Guardian

Legal alternatives to cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines that are sold online are the latest in a new wave of stimulants that could change the way drugs are bought and sold. The drugs are available to anyone with an email address and a PayPal account.

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Beckstrom's resignation lifts lid on opposition to NSA's cybersecurity role Computerworld

Last Friday's disclosure that Rod Beckstrom is resigning from his position as one of the federal government's top cybersecurity executives has exposed widespread -- though not universal -- opposition to the National Security Agency's expanding role in domestic cybersecurity issues.

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Report slams "crude" effort to fight Web militants Reuters

Western governments have overstated the role the Internet plays in the recruitment of militants, and measures to block extremist material are "crude, expensive and counterproductive," a report said on Tuesday.

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