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Submission + - UK MPs: Google blocks child abuse images, it should block piracy too (pcpro.co.uk)

nk497 writes: If Google can block child abuse images, it can also block piracy sites, according to a report from MPs, who said they were "unimpressed" by Google's "derisorily ineffective" efforts to battle online piracy, according to a Commons Select Committee report looking into protecting creative industries.

John Whittingdale MP, the chair of the Committee — and also a non-executive director at Audio Network, an online music catalogue — noted that Google manages to remove other illegal content. "Google and others already work with international law enforcement to block for example child porn from search results and it has provided no coherent, responsible reason why it can't do the same for illegal, pirated content," he said.


Submission + - EU Parliament censors citizens trying to contact MEPs (wordpress.com)

TheP4st writes: Pirate Party European Parliament MEP Christian Engström writes that "Next week the European parliament will be voting on a resolution to ”ban all forms of pornography in media”. After this information became known to a wider audience, many citizens have decided to contact members of the European parliament to express their views on this issue.
This is absolutely excellent. Citizens engaging actively in the democratic process is a very positive thing, at least in my opinion. Before noon, some 350 emails had arrived in my office.
But around noon, these mails suddenly stopped arriving. When we started investigating why this happened so suddenly, we soon found out:
The IT department of the European Parliament is blocking the delivery of the emails on this issue, after some members of the parliament complained about getting emails from citizens."

Related story: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/03/07/1733211/eu-to-vote-on-proposal-that-could-ban-on-all-online-pornography


Submission + - Google Extends Patent Search to Prior Art - I wonder why? (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: As well as buying up patents to defend itself against the coming Apple attack on Android, Google is also readying its own technology. It has extended its Patent Search facility to include European patents and has added a Prior Art facility.
The new Prior Art facility seems to be valuable both to inventors and to the legal profession. In order to be granted a patent the inventor has to establish that it is a novel idea — and in the current litigious environment companies and their lawyers might want to show that patents should not have been granted. My guess is that this is one Google facility that won't be closing any time soon as one of its main users is likely to be Google.

Operating Systems

Submission + - Forced patching - Did anyone say Big Brother ? 1

einar.petersen writes: So fellow /. 'ers. In my country of residence, Denmark, voices are publicly discussing FORCED PATCHING of peoples computer/operating systems etc. as a way to keep the masses safe on the internet. As an IT professional I was in shock and disbelief when I first heard of the idea on the second of April this year, and thought some journalist had just been sucked in. But alas it was not a delayed Aprils fools joke played on an unsuspecting journalist, there are actually people here who believe 1) It is a good idea, 2) It is doable. What makes this even worse is that having a patched system might become mandatory in order to access your government service pages (The Danish government is moving towards e-governance as a cost savings measure). But even worse it is not far fetched to see the logical consequence that it might become mandatory to keep your system patched to be allowed to get onto the Internet as well. In my head I'm thinking, "What patches?", "To which operation system?", and "To which programs?" Another thought screaming in my head is freedom of choice! Will everyone be forced to use the same operating system, if not who is to choose which? I would like to access the collective thoughts vregarding this matter and deliver a serious punch in the stomach of this initiative. The people who must be made to understand the arguments are potentially politicians and laymen.Thus I must ask you to explicitly explain in the simplest of terms, (examples welcome) why forced patching is a bad idea. I truly hope for an entertaining debate and good arguments regarding the matter. Best Regards. Einar Petersen

Submission + - Bill could force Apple, AT&T to unlock iPhone 1

quantumghost writes: When T-Mobile began selling Apple's iPhone in Germany last fall, a legal skirmish ensued, forcing the wireless carrier to sell it untethered to a contract — at $1,460, no less. T-Mobile eventually persuaded a court that the two-year contract was legal. Now that same kind of European rule would be imported into the United States — meaning AT&T would be legally required to sell a contract-free iPhone — if a new Democratic proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives becomes law.


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