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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 11 declined, 7 accepted (18 total, 38.89% accepted)

+ - Drone aircraft nearly brings down passenger airplane->

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "A German drone aircraft was within meters of bringing down a passenger aircraft with 100 people on board. The link http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2335122/Terrifying-video-captures-moment-German-drone-missed-Afghan-plane-carrying-100-passengers-just-metre.html shows stills from onboard the drone. The incident had been hushed up for nine years, and is creating waves in Germany now the footage has been leaked out."
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - UN to debate taxing internet data->

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "In an effort to get ever more taxes for doing absolutely nothing, the United Nations are to consider a European proposal to tax the internet based on data that gets sent. The proposal is designed to get money from large bandwidth users like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Netflix. Smaller companies that have high bandwidth would be forced off the internet due to the taxes.

The proposed measure is also claimed to be an effective tool for censorship as companies will just block access to countries to limit the amount of taxes they pay for data."

Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - UK plans more spying of people on the internet under "terrorism" pretext 1

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "In vogue with other countries cracking down on freedom and democracy on the internet as discussed in Slashdot recently, the UK is joining in with plans to track all phone calls, text messages, email traffic and websites visited online, all to be stored in vast databases under new Government anti-terror plans. As reported in The Telegraph.

Security services will have access to information about who has been communicating with each other on social networking sites such as Facebook, direct messages between subscribers on Twitter would also be stored, as well as communications between players in online video games.

The scheme is a revised version of a plan drawn up by the ex-Labour government which would have created a central database of all the information. The idea later dropped in favour of requiring communications providers to store the details at the taxpayers’ expense."

+ - US media companies force UK ISP to block internet ->

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "The American film and music cartel have won a landmark case in the UK, forcing an internet provider to block access to Newzbin2 that the media cartel say are infringing copyright, in an effort to protect the media cartel's failed business model.

The court case sets a worrying precedent as the ruling could mean that media companies tell internet providers to block access to any website, without a court order or any due process. The future looks more worrying as more companies use this ruling to silence critics of their companies., and politicians silence opposition parties."

Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - UK politicians to get right to block websites->

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "Whilst everyone thought that the UK's Digital Economy Bill currently passing though the government machine was going to have the contentious "block websites" clause removed, the government has re-introduced the clause at the last minute, in the hope that it will pass into law before the UK general election is called. With the three main political parties not having anyone with an IT degree between them, it looks certain to pass into law. The blocking of websites clause has been changed, but not by much. A government minister will now have to have a shame public consultation before blocking a website under pretext of copyright "piracy", however, it's no stretch of the imagination that the legislation will allow ANY website to be blocked, in particular of political opponents, or opponents of government policies. Who said the UK was free and democratic!"
Link to Original Source
Businesses

+ - UK consumers to pay for "online piracy"

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "An article in The Times states that UK consumers will be hit with an estimated of £500m ($800m US) bill to tackle online "piracy". The dinosaur record and film industries have managed to convince the government to bypass all laws, and get consumers to pay for the record and film industries perceived losses. Meanwhile the record and film industries have refused to move with the times, and change their business models. Other businesses have adapted and been successful in changing their businesses, but the film and record industries refuse to do so, taking the easy way out of protecting their cartels.

Surely the record and film industries should be the ones paying to chase up their perceived losses, not adding another stealth tax to all consumers."
Privacy

+ - UK state surveillance costs rocket

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "Whilst the public sector spending in the UK continues to run out of control with monthly record breaking deficits, there are no funding worries for state surveillance of the masses. An article in the Daily Mail, states that £380 a minute (about $630US) will be spent on surveillance in a massive expansion of the Big Brother state.

The £200million-a-year sum ( $331million US) will give officials access to details of every internet click made by every citizen — on top of the email and telephone records already available. It is a 1,700 per cent increase on the cost of the current surveillance regime.

State bodies including councils are already making one request every minute to spy on the phone records and email accounts of members of the public. The number of snooping missions carried out by police, town halls and other government departments has rocketed by 44 per cent in two years to a rate of 1,381 new cases every day.

Ministers say the five-year cost of the existing regime is £55.61million ($93m US), an average of £11million ($18m US) a year. This is paid to phone companies and service providers to meet the cost of keeping and providing private information about customers. The cost of the new system emerged in a series of Parliamentary answers."
Privacy

+ - Google / Microsoft to handle UK patient data?

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "The Conservative Party, widely seen in the UK as the political 'party in waiting' whenever there will be an election, have proposals for patients medical data to be handled by Google or Microsoft, in some sort of competition to the failed £16bn (US $26bn) National Health Computer system. Nowhere are there proposals to keep your private medical details with your local doctor and out of everyone else's hands.

Patients will be given the option of moving their medical notes to private companies after the Conservatives said that they would replace Labour's "centrally determined and unresponsive national IT system".

The Tories hope that users will be able to choose from a range of private sector websites, possibly including those operated by Bupa, the healthcare provider. This has raised issues of privacy and security, with MPs and health professionals warning it could hamper doctors' ability to access medical records quickly in an emergency.

Mr Cameron [Conservative party leader] has repeatedly promised to abolish large IT databases. The National Audit Office has said that Connecting for Health, the electronic patient records programme, will not be completed until 2014, four years late, and is expected to cost £12.4 billion. The recent termination of contracts with key software suppliers could add further to the cost.

The Shadow Health Secretary, has also raised questions over whether it is safe for a central database to store sensitive medical records and has asked the British Computer Society to review the NHS IT programme. It is due to report later in the summer.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6644919.ece"

Privacy

+ - Phorm strikes back at 'privacy' critics

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "As reported in the The Telegraph newspaper.

The Phorm company that intercepts and amends web pages users request (for now just adverts) is hitting back at critics, with Phorm's chief executive setting up a website stopphoulplay.com against two leading critics of Phorm whom he describes as "privacy pirates". Both men deny allegations including the claim that they could be supported by Phorm's rivals.

The Chief Exec. thinks Phorm's potential competitors are spreading lies about the content manipulation system. The reality is, people value their privacy, and can see the system as dangerous to full blown government system amending content of web pages on-the-fly for their advantage."
The Internet

+ - UK propose broadband expansion + music / film tax 1

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "First the tech illiterates in the UK government want to extend broadband internet connections to every home, whether it makes sense or not, then at the same time they propose a £20 per year (approx $29US) broadband tax which they claim will pay the record and film industries for their failed business models. Coincidence the two proposals are linked? And why should people be forced to pay for the failed film and music industries?"
Censorship

+ - UK government attempts grab of UK domain names

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "In an exclusive article from The Register, it is stated that the UK government is attempting to grab the private company that controls the UK domain names. Most worrying is that if the takeover occurred, it could lead to the government cutting people off who run websites that do not adhere to that party's line, snuffing out freedom of speech.

[The] Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has asked Nominet, which is in charge of the .co.uk registry, to justify its independence from Whitehall.

"
Privacy

+ - Chinese Skype users spied on

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "A report in The Times newspaper says that the Chinese version of Skype called TOM-Skype has been archiving certain keywords of users when they send text with each other using the software.

Skype, which prides itself on the security of its system, issued an apology and said the breach had now been fixed. Josh Silverman, president of the US online text message and voice service, issued a statement of concern. "It was our understanding that it was not TOM's protocol to upload and store chat messages with certain keywords, and we are now inquiring with TOM to find out why the protocol changed."

One dissident, who declined to be identified, said he only ever communicated by voice and always used Skype rather than the Chinese-language TOM-Skype. "It's harder for me because I don't speak English, but I still write messages in Chinese. However, I have always warned my friends to be very careful when they create an account to make sure they go onto Skype and are not directed to TOM-Skype. I just always thought the US one should be safer."

"
The Internet

+ - Network Solutions target sub-domains for adverts

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "The register reports that customers have found that their defunct or forgotten about sub-domains have been taken over by Network Solutions to send users to advert pages. After going through a 59k word user agreement, you can find the following text:

You also agree that any domain name directory, sub-directory, file name or path (e.g.) that does not resolve to an active web page on your Web site being hosted by Network Solutions, may be used by Network Solutions to place a "parking" page, "under construction" page, or other temporary page that may include promotions and advertisements for, and links to, Network Solutions' Web site,
"
Privacy

+ - Top UK ISP's sell browsing habits to advertisers

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "An interesting story is covered in The Register which states that the top three UK internet providers have done a deal to be paid in exchange for giving up their customer's browsing habits to serve them targeted adverts.

What the customers of these providers feel about their online whereabouts being known to external companies is unknow. BT, Virgin Media, and Carphone Warehouse have agreed to feed data on their subscribers' web activities to Phorm.Data will be fed into the Open Internet Exchange, Phorm's advertising network, where advertisers will pay to target interest groups. Frequent visits to the BBC's Top Gear site might result in being served up more car ads, for example. In exchange, the ISP trio will get a cut of new revenue. Analysts estimate BT's cut will be £85m in 2010.
"
The Internet

+ - UK laws to cut-off copyright file downloaders?

Submitted by Wowsers
Wowsers (1151731) writes "An article in The Times newspaper discusses UK government attempts to regulate the internet. Internet providers are to cut off people that are trading in "copy written" material, the fact that everything is copy written escapes the politicians. Obviously the Internet providers that are expected to police this are jumping at the chance to spending vast amounts of money and time, and also for a dwindling user base if they are supposed to cut off subscribers as proposed. Such law is what you get from politicians who's only qualifications are in art, history, politics, English, Latin, law."

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken

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