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26 June 2009

GCHQ to get cyber defence squad to protect British computers (The Times)

The "cyber forensics" squad will monitor, analyse and counter hostile computer-based assaults.

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Al-Qaeda, China and Russia 'pose cyber war threat to Britain', warns Lord West (Daily Telegraph (UK))

Al-Qaeda is intent on waging cyber-warfare against Britain and new defences will be built against such attacks from China and Russia, Lord West, the Security Minister, has said.

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Beckstrom New ICANN CEO/President

ICANN has chosen security expert Rod Beckstrom as its preferred candidate to take over the role of chief executive and president, replacing Paul Twomey reports Australian IT.

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U.K. Hires Hackers to Secure Cyberspace (Wall Street Journal)

Britain is hiring former computer hackers to join a new security unit aimed at protecting cyberspace from foreign spies, thieves and terrorists, the country's terrorism minister said.

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U.S. Trade Officials Urge China to Revoke PC Rule (Wall Street Journal)

U.S. trade officials called on China to revoke an order for personal computers to be shipped with Web-filtering software, the highest-level U.S. complaint yet against the rule, as the two superpowers spar over a host of trade and security issues.

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25 June 2009

uk: Plans to crack down on online criminals with 'cybercrime' units (The Times)

Regional "cybercrime" units are to be set up across the country to try to crack down on sophisticated gangs of online criminals who make billions of pounds every year.

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Free downloads damage Britain's musical diversity and creativity (The Guardian)

Charles Arthur, the Guardian's technology editor, says: "We saw the release last week of some 'research' that said 7 million people 'use' illegal downloads in the UK, 'costing the economy billions of pounds and thousands of jobs'" (Filesharing isn't music's biggest foe, 11 June). He points out that these numbers don't stack up - that you can't equate every illegal download with a "lost sale"- and asks why the music industry keeps putting them forward.

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Ten million log on to Facebook to claim their own 'vanity' web addresses (The Independent (UK))

Insomniac entrepreneurs stand to profit handsomely from Facebook's "vanity URL" giveaway, after millions snapped up the choicest profile addresses in the hours after they became available in the middle of Friday night.

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Microsoft offers free anti-virus (BBC News)

A trial version of Microsoft's free anti-virus software has been launched in the US, China, Brazil, and Israel.

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24 June 2009

New British cyber chief to protect against computer attacks (The Independent)

Britain is to appoint its first national cyber security chief to protect the country from terrorist computer hackers and electronic espionage, Gordon Brown will announce tomorrow.

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Great Wall of Facebook: The Social Network's Plan to Dominate the Internet - and Keep Google Out (Wired)

Larry Page should have been in a good mood. It was the fall of 2007, and Google's cofounder was in the middle of a five-day tour of his company's European operations in Zurich, London, Oxford, and Dublin. The trip had been fun, a chance to get a ground-floor look at Google's ever-expanding empire. But this week had been particularly exciting, for reasons that had nothing to do with Europe; Google was planning a major investment in Facebook, the hottest new company in Silicon Valley.

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Ending the American panic on 'sexting' (Los Angeles Times)

Text messages are forcing us to rethink the way we deal with the difficult issues that arise when teenagers get involved with sex; The Times addressed this touchy issue in its June 1 editorial, "Keeping an eye on 'sexting.' " Some in law enforcement have taken extreme measures against teens who send sexually explicit words and images using cellphones and Internet sites. Their solution? Treat these kids just like adults who traffic in pornographic pictures of children.

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North Korea Tries to Ramp Up Tech Infrastructure (Time)

Returning home one spring five years ago from a secret visit to Beijing in his armored, fully wired train car, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il got an unnerving, firsthand demonstration of the potential downside of technology. A huge explosion ripped through the Ryongchon border station, and some officials initially thought it was an assassination attempt triggered by a cell phone. As it turned out, the fireball was more likely the result of two trains' colliding nearby, possibly as a result of miscommunication about changed schedules stemming from Kim's clandestine travels. But regardless of the actual cause, that still mysterious incident, which killed or injured 1,300, persuaded Kim to temporarily shelve plans for extending cell-phone coverage beyond the 20,000 wireless phones registered in the country at the time.

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U.S. Military Command Is Created for Cyber Security. (Wall Street Journal)

Defense Secretary Robert Gates created a new military command dedicated to cyber security on Tuesday, reflecting the Obama administration's plans to centralize and elevate computer security as a major national-security issue.

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Web Pries Lid of Iranian Censorship (New York Times)

Shortly after Neda Agha-Soltan bled her life out on the Tehran pavement, the man whose 40-second video of her death has ricocheted around the world made a somber calculation in what has become the cat-and-mouse game of evading Iran's censors. He knew that the government had been blocking Web sites like YouTube and Facebook. Trying to send the video there could have exposed him and his family.

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Spam King Alan Ralsky Pleads Guilty (Washington Post)

Alan Ralsky, a 64-year-old Michigan man that federal investigators say was among the world's top spam kingpins, pleaded guilty on Monday to running a multi-million dollar international stock fraud scam powered by junk e-mail.

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Chinese Government Attacks Google Over Internet Porn (Time)

Beijing's Internet censors are on the rampage again. But this time the victims are not the country's nearly 200 million surfers but one of the most-recognized names on the Web: Google.

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Iran's Web Spying Aided By Western Technology (Wall Street Journal)

The Iranian regime has developed, with the assistance of European telecommunications companies, one of the world's most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet, allowing it to examine the content of individual online communications on a massive scale.

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23 June 2009

.FOOD Launched by Wolfgang Puck at ICANN Sydney

Internationally-renowned chef Wolfgang Puck launched a bid for the .FOOD generic Top Level Domain at the ICANN Sydney meeting today.

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Twitter on the Barricades in Iran: Six Lessons Learned (New York Times)

Political revolutions are often closely linked to communication tools. The American Revolution wasn't caused by the proliferation of pamphlets, written to whip colonists into a frenzy against the British. But it sure helped.

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Broadband tax is the only option, says U.K. communications minister (The Guardian)

Lord Carter has defended plans to levy a £6-a-year tax on every phone line to raise up to £1.5bn to help pay for the next generation of super-fast internet networks, as the most transparent way of investing in a critical part of Britain's infrastructure.

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Just watch MySpace - it's not dead yet (The Independent)

Knocked off its top spot, can this tired social networking site outface Facebook? Oh yes, says Stephen Foley in New York, and here's our 10-point plan to help

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US lodges China censorship complaint (Financial Times)

The US has complained officially to China over its strict new internet censorship rules as tension builds over an issue causing consternation among international technology companies and Chinese internet users.

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As Blogs Are Censored, It's Kittens to the Rescue (New York Times)

To censor the Internet painlessly, undetectably, is the dream that keeps repressive governments up late at their mainframe computers. After all, no users are so censored online as those who never see it.

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22 June 2009

Things to See and Do in Sydney During the ICANN meeting

With the ICANN Sydney Meeting fast approaching and attendees rolling into Sydney over the next few days to prepare, below is a guide for some things to see and do in Sydney while people are here. This guide will be updated on an ongoing basis up until the end of the ICANN meeting, so come back and check out any updates. I can also announce Industrie Bar will be offering a 20% discount to all attendees of the ICANN meeting.

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