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Censorship

+ - DMCA amendment proposed for UK->

Submitted by rimberg
rimberg (133307) writes "The awful UK Digital Economy Bill is being debated in the House of Lords today, and http://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2010/conservatives-and-lib-dems-push-web-blocking">it might just get more awful.

An amendment that would open the door to nationally censoring entire websites by getting an injunction on claims of copyright infringement — so YouTube or WordPress.com might disappear from the British Internet if someone makes a accusation of copyright infringement against them.

The bill it self contains the disastrous three strikes law where accusations of copy right infringement can get you disconnected from the internet, but if the lords vote this amendment through it will also allow the shutting down of web sites. Please could you spare a few minutes to write to the lords so this amendment does not not get moved."

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Music

"Three Strikes" To Go Ahead In Britain 294

Posted by Soulskill
from the follow-the-money dept.
David Gerard writes "Lord Peter Mandelson has carefully ignored the Gowers Report and the Carter Report, instead taking the advice of his good friend David Geffen and announcing that 'three strikes and you're out' will become law in Britain. The Open Rights Group has, of course, hit the roof. Oh, and never mind MI5 and the police pointing out that widespread encryption will become normal, hampering their efforts to keep up with little things like impending terrorist atrocities. Still, worth it to stop a few Lily Allen tracks being shared, right?"
Music

+ - Correction: Music Copyright In EU Not Extended->

Submitted by rimberg
rimberg (133307) writes "A story previously run on Slashdot stated that the EU had extended copyright by 20 years. What had actually happened was the first vote in the EU parliament has gone in favour of extension there will be more votes to follow. There is still time for you to make a difference by writing to your representative. 4 out of the 7 main groups (ALDE, GREENS/EFA, NGL, IND/ DEM) together with a cross party platform of MEPs voted to reject the proposal. Internal opposition threatened the group positions of the two largest parties (PSE and EPP) as several national delegations and key MEPS also joined the fight to reject. We understand that, in total, 222 voted in favour of rejection, 370 against. The final vote was 317 in favour, 178 against, 37 abstentions. A key amendment to ensure benefits accrued only to performers was also rejected. The proposal now moves forward to the Council of Ministers where it is currently blocked by member states. Discussions on the proposal will be held in the Council of Ministers and you can find out how to contact your governments relevant IP body here. (We understand the blocking minority is currently made up of Slovenia, Portugal, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, Slovakia, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Romania)."
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Privacy

+ - Complaint to FSA on Phorm's statements to market->

Submitted by
AlexanderHanff
AlexanderHanff writes "NoDPI have sent a letter of complaint to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) regarding Phorm Inc.'s statements to the press and market news services regarding support of legal compliance from various UK Government Departments and Regulators.

Phorm claim that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the Home Office and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR or BERR) have all cleared Phorm's WebWise technology as being fully compliant under UK and EU Law.

This is contrary to action taken by the European Commission earlier this week, who have initiated legal proceedings against the UK Government specifically for failing to uphold and enforce EU Privacy Directives regarding Phorm's covert trials with BT in 2006/2007.

Furthermore, NoDPI have produced statements from DBERR, ICO and the Home Office which contradict Phorm's statements to the press and market news services this week.

NoDPI are calling for the FSA to investigate whether or not Phorm's statements to the market can be seen as breaking the rules of trading as they are misleading and could even be interpretted as fraudulant."

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Privacy

Rights Groups Speak Out Against Phorm, UK Comm. Database 102

Posted by Soulskill
from the noted-and-logged-at-our-secure-servers dept.
MJackson writes "The Open Rights Group (ORG) has issued a public letter to the Chief Privacy Officers (or the nearest equivalent) for seven of the world's largest website giants (including Microsoft and Google), asking them to boycott Phorm. The controversial Phorm system works with broadband ISPs to monitor what websites you visit for use in targeted advertising campaigns. Meanwhile, the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust has issued a new report slamming the UK government's plans for a Communications Database. This would be designed to intercept and log every UK ISP user's e-mail headers, website accesses and telephone history. The report warns that the public are often, 'neither served nor protected by the increasingly complex and intrusive holdings of personal information invading every aspect of our lives.'"
Government

+ - European Copyright extension vote on 23rd March->

Submitted by rimberg
rimberg (133307) writes "The EFF and the Open Rights Group need your help. The European Parliament is set to vote on the 23 March on extending the term of copyright for sound recordings, key European experts opposing the extension have released a new letter to MEPs warning of the dangers. Highlighting that the costs to the public are likely to exceed 1 billion. I can not overstate this get in touch with your MEPs now."
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Announcements

+ - Open Rights Group's busiest year so far

Submitted by rimberg
rimberg (133307) writes "The Open Rights Group (AKA the british version of the EFF) have released their annual Review of Activities. It's been a bumper year for digital rights. From HMRC posting half the nation's bank details to the Darknet, to the ongoing campaign against Phorm, to three strikes and the rightsholder lobby's so-far thwarted attempt to take control of your internet connection, this year was the year digital rights went mainstream. As ORG's website explains: Politicians and the media don't always understand new technologies, but comment and legislate anyway. The result can be ill-informed journalism and dangerous laws. The Open Rights Group is a grassroots technology organisation which exists to protect civil liberties wherever they are threatened by the poor implementation and regulation of digital technology. We call these rights our "digital rights"."
Security

+ - UK Claims Link Between Child Porn and Terrorism-> 3

Submitted by
Brian Ribbon
Brian Ribbon writes "The Times reports claims made by government officials and security services, regarding an alleged correlation between the use of indecent images and terrorist activity. According to the article, "secret coded messages are being embedded into child pornographic images, and paedophile websites are being exploited as a secure way of passing information between terrorists" and "it is not clear whether the terrorists were more interested in the material for personal gratification or were drawn to child porn networks as a secure means of sending messages." The correlation is likely to be false; under UK law, nude photographs of all minors — including those who are over the age of consent — are illegal, so it's not surprising that many people (including terrorists) are found to have illegal material when their computers are searched. In reality, this story is probably just a poor attempt to justify the government's proposed big brother database."
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Censorship

+ - Stop unreasonable surveillance and censure->

Submitted by rimberg
rimberg (133307) writes "This Wednesday, MEPs will vote on the Telecoms package. Two amendments have been tabled which in particular will ensure the new telecoms regulations protect European citizens from unreasonable surveillance and censure. If you have half an hour, why not write to to your MEPs and ask them to support these amendments?

Amendment 133 is an anti-filtering amendment, and will add the following text to the Directive:

"Member States shall ensure that no technology may be mandated by competent authorities which would facilitate surveillance of internet users, such as technologies that mirror or monitor the users actions and/or interfere with operations of the user's network activity for the benefit of a third party (known as 'filtering')."

Amendment 138 ensures that sanctions cannot be imposed on end-users without judicial oversight. It will add the following text to the Directive:

"applying the principle that no restriction may be imposed on the rights and freedoms of end-users, notably in accordance with Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on freedom of expression and information, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities, except where dictated by force majeure or by the requirements of preserving network integrity and security, and subject to national provisions of criminal law imposed for reasons of public policy, public security or public morality."

"

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Comment: UK to consult on alaws to curb illicit filesharing (Score 5, Informative) 317

by rimberg (#24317491) Attached to: Big Six UK ISPs Capitulate To Music Industry

The UK Government has released a consultation into potential legislation aimed at curbing illicit filesharing on the net. Several of the legislative options on the table are worrying, and mirror schemes being discussed in various national and international fora. They include streamlining the legal process to require ISPs to provide personal data relating to an IP address, handing responsibility for taking action against illicit filesharers to a third party body, or requiring ISPs to take action against users themselves or to install filtering equipment to block infringing content.

At the same time a "Memorandum of Understanding", negotiated behind-the-scenes with strong influence from the Government, between the UK's six major ISPs (Virgin Media, Sky, Carphone Warehouse, BT, Orange and Tiscali) and the British Phonographic Industry and the Motion Picture Association. Signatories endorse five principles in the MoU:

  1. That a joint industry solution is the best way forward
  2. That they will work together to educate consumers about why illicit filesharing is wrong
  3. That making content available in a wide range of user-friendly formats is important
  4. That they will engage in a 3 month trial to send letters to 1,000 subscribers per week suspected of downloading or uploading unlicensed, copyrighted material
  5. That they will work with OfCom to identify effective measures to deal with repeat offenders

The Open Rights Group has more details

The Internet

+ - UK to consult on alaws to curb illicit filesharing->

Submitted by rimberg
rimberg (133307) writes "The UK Government has released a consultation into potential legislation aimed at curbing illicit filesharing on the net. Several of the legislative options on the table are worrying, and mirror schemes being discussed in various national and international fora. They include streamlining the legal process to require ISPs to provide personal data relating to an IP address, handing responsibility for taking action against illicit filesharers to a third party body, or requiring ISPs to take action against users themselves or to install filtering equipment to block infringing content.

At the same time a "Memorandum of Understanding", negotiated behind-the-scenes with strong influence from the Government, between the UK's six major ISPs (Virgin Media, Sky, Carphone Warehouse, BT, Orange and Tiscali) and the British Phonographic Industry and the Motion Picture Association. Signatories endorse five principles in the MoU:
  1. That a joint industry solution is the best way forward
  2. That they will work together to educate consumers about why illicit filesharing is wrong
  3. That making content available in a wide range of user-friendly formats is important
  4. That they will engage in a 3 month trial to send letters to 1,000 subscribers per week suspected of downloading or uploading unlicensed, copyrighted material
  5. That they will work with OfCom to identify effective measures to deal with repeat offenders

The Open Rights Group has more details"
Link to Original Source

Announcements

+ - LugRadio Live UK 2008->

Submitted by
RonWellsted
RonWellsted writes "LugRadio Live UK 2008
The Lighthouse Media Center, Fryer St., Wolverhampton, WV1 1HT

LugRadio Live UK 2008, the most popular community Open Source event in
the UK takes place in Wolverhampton on the 19th and 20th July 2008 and
features three stages full of 25+ speakers including Chris DiBona
(Google), Max Spevack (Red Hat), Steve Lamb (Microsoft), Robert Collins
(Canonical), Benjamin Otte (GNOME), Rob McQueen (Collabora), Edward Hervey
(Collabora Multimedia), James Hooker, Kevin Sandom, Barbie
(MessageLabs), Daniel James, Emma Jane Hogbin, Bruno Bord, Ben Thorp,
Rufus Pollock (FFFI) Sam Birchall, John Carr, William J Giddings and
many more...

In addition to this the show will feature over 20 exhibitors, special
debate sessions, the legendary Gong-a-thong Lightbulb Talk
Extravaganza (read: a series of small talk chaired by a man in a very
small pair of pants and a very large gong — not to be missed!),
parties on the Friday and Saturday evenings and much, much more.

All of this is just GBP 5, and there are even a raft of hotel deals
available to make your trip simple and cost effective. Head over to
www.lugradio.org/live to find out more."

Link to Original Source

The Register: London hospital loses 20,000 unencrypted patient files->

From feed by registerfeed
'Nobody expects thieves to break into locked drawers'

Providing proof, if it were needed, that every single piece of personal data in the UK has now been lost - probably several times over, by multiple corporations and government offices - news has just broken of another theft of laptops crammed with easily accessed info. This time the there-but-for-the-grace-of-god bonehead users were hospital staff at St George's hospital in Tooting.


Link to Original Source
Government

+ - Term Extension bad, top legal advisers tell EU->

Submitted by rimberg
rimberg (133307) writes "A letter to EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, slamming the far reaching and negative effects of the proposal to extend the term of copyright in sound recordings, has been sent by an impressive list of professors and leading European centres for 'intellectual property' research



"This Copyright Extension Directive, proposed by Commissioner Mccreevy, is likely to damage seriously the reputation of the Commission. It is a spectacular kowtow to one single special interest group: the multinational recording industry (Universal, Sony/BMG, Warner and EMI) hiding behind the rhetoric of "aging performing artists".
"The Commission is required to conduct an impact study for each directive it proposes. We, the leading European centres for intellectual property policy research, have collectively reviewed the empirical evidence. Our findings are unanimous. The proposed Copyright Extension Directive will damage European creative endeavour and innovation beyond repair."


If you want to help out please sign the petition being run by the Open Rights Group and the EFF."

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