ISPs not to be held responsible… so rules Australian court

In the first case of its kind, an Australian court has ruled that an internet service provider cannot be responsible for illegal downloading. The decision had the potential to impact internet users and the internet industry profoundly as it sets a legal precedent surrounding how much ISPs are required to do to prevent customers from downloading movies and other content illegally in Australia.

    “iiNet is not responsible if an iiNet user uses that system to bring about copyright infringement … the law recognises no positive obligation on any person to protect the copyright of another,” Justice Cowdroy said.


Facebook ID theft

People are now hacking into the social networking site, posing as friends in need and requesting money. There is a big article in the Swedish newspaper on this, whereby a facebook user’s friends have been conned for significant amounts of money. Due to the public nature of these profiles, hackers are able to not only identify the location of the person they are pretending to be, but they can also identify and in turn adopt writing styles in their email plead for ‘help’ – making it that much more difficult to spot a fake. What makes this different from ID theft is that it is not the person who’s id that is stolen that is the victim, although clearly it can be very embarrassing for them to subsequently explain their actions, it is that their Facebook identity is stolen and their friends who are the victims.

Tips on how to counteract this type of fraud, apart from not using social networking sites, are provided at ninemsn Today.

EU Data Retention Directive still not implemented in Sweden

In 2006 there was a directive approved in Brussels on the retention of telecommunications data, i.e. telecom operators’ customers phone and email information. This I understand to be, not contents, but of activity. This directive was born in the wake of Madrid and London terrorists’ activities. Sweden has been slow in implementing this, in fact they’ve done nothing. To understand why read more at The Local Sweden News in English.

As a side-note: The fact that telecom operators have the ability to do this type of logging activity built into their systems is no coincidence. Many of the international laws on wiretapping date back to a series of seminars hosted by the FBI in the United States
in 1993 at its research facility in Quantico, Virginia, called the International Law Enforcement Telecommunications Seminar (ILETS) together with representatives from Canada, Hong Kong, Australia and the EU. The product of these meetings was the adoption of an international standard called the International Requirements for Interception. In 1995 the Council of the European Union approved a secret resolution adopting the ILETS. Following its adoption and without revealing the role of the FBI in developing the standard, countries have adopted laws to this effect. Following adoption of the standard the European Union and the United States offered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for other countries to sign to commit to the standards. All participating countries were encouraged to adopt the standards so it was natural that international standards organisations, such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the European Telecommunication Standardization Institute (ETSI), would adopt the standards. Read more in Virtual Shadows.