Posts tagged “UK”

British Telecom ordered to blacklist Usenet search engine

Source: Timothy Lee, Ars Technica

A judge has ordered British Telecom to begin blocking its subscribers from accessing Newzbin2, a members-only usenet search engine that is heavily used for copyright infringement. The mandated blocking is modeled on the Cleanfeed filtering system currently used to block alleged child pornography.

The ruling represents a first step toward broader use of Internet filtering as a tool for blocking copyright infringement in the UK. “The Studios have made it clear that this is a test case,” the judge wrote. “If they are successful in obtaining an order against BT, then they intend to seek similar orders against all the other significant ISPs in the UK.”

For full original article, see here

Greenpeace Twitter injunction backfires for Cairn Energy

Source: John Vidal and Owen Bowcott, The Guardian

A Scottish oil company’s attempt to stop Greenpeace activists tweeting about a protest and posting pictures of people dressed as polar bears on the internet has backfired with hundreds of people around the world breaking the injunction on behalf of the environment group.

It is the first such injunction to be issued since the row in May over the flouting of super-injunctions taken out by celebrities by users of Twitter.

Cairn Energy, the company now exploring for oil and gas off the coast of Greenland, was granted an interim injunction on Monday after 17 people, some dressed as polar bears, entered their Edinburgh headquarters and staged a sit-in, demanding a copy of the company’s oil spill response plan to drilling in the Arctic.

The Scottish court order prohibits the environment group “disseminating, printing, uploading, sharing, copying or otherwise publishing any images, photographs, pictures or other material (or copies thereof) taken or recorded by Greenpeace activists present within 50 Lothian Road, Edinburgh on or around 18 July 2011.”

For full original article, see here

Lobbyists ‘held closed-door meetings’ with UK government to censor Web

Source: Zack Whittaker, ZDNet

The UK government held secret committee meetings with company copyright officials, which may pave the way for the British web to be censored and blocked.

A plan leaked which describes a plan to create a committee of experts, which would go on to decide whether websites would be shut down and censored from the British public. Approved by an independent judge, a streamlined process would be created to allow the immediate blocking of a website.

While this plan has not been finalised, it shows the effort that the coalition government is going to in reducing file sharing and illegal copyright infringement on the web.

This could also have a significant impact on freedom of speech, for which British law does not have definitive legislation to fall back on; unlike the United States.

For full original article, see here

Syrian Internet Shutdown and the Ongoing Militarization and Contestation of Cyberspace

Today, it was reported by Renesys that beginning at 3:35 UTC and in the course of an hour and a half, two-thirds of Syrian networks had become disconnected from the global Internet.

This latest Internet black out is an example of just-in-time blocking—a phenomenon in which access to content and information communication technologies are blocked in response to sensitive political situations when the technology and content may have the greatest potential impact. It is suspected that the severing of Syria’s Internet is in direct response to the intensification of revolts this week, sparked in part by the death and torture of 13 year old Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, as well as in memory of at least 50 other children killed during the protests. This action follows other MENA states severing access in reaction to protest on ground with Egypt shutting down national connectivity on January 28, 2011 and access blockages in Libya and Bahrain in February. For further analysis, see today’s OpenNet Initiative blogpost.

U.N. Report Declares Internet Access a Human Right

A United Nations report said Friday that disconnecting people from the internet is a human rights violation and against international law.

The report railed against France and the United Kingdom, which have passed laws to remove accused copyright scofflaws from the internet. It also protested blocking internet access to quell political unrest (.pdf).
For full original article, see here

Activists claim purge of Facebook pages

“Activists are claiming that dozens of politically linked Facebook accounts have been removed or suspended by the company in the last 12 hours.

The list of suspended pages include those for the anti cuts group UK Uncut, and pages that were created by students during last December’s university occupations.

It is not yet known how many websites have been affected in total or why they are not working. Facebook is currently looking into the issue.”

From The Guardian

An end to phone hacking? New software aimed at the celebrity market can ‘repel’ attacks

“Owners of mobile smartphones are set to be protected from hackers by revolutionary software that has been developed by a British firm specializing in computer security.

The firm – called Lolla ( – will also offer a bespoke service to celebrities who fear their phones may have been targeted by hackers. ‘The new software allows us to repel hacks to mobile phones, as well as encrypt voice and text between protected devices,’ explained a spokesman for Lolla.

A premium version of this service is being aimed at the A-list and celebrity market. For a monthly fee – yet to be announced – the firm guarantee that their security team monitors a phone and computer system for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

From Daily Mail

CPS under attack over BT and Phorm’s covert online monitoring

“Privacy groups have attacked the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) after it decided not to prosecute BT and Phorm for secretly tracking the online habits of 18,000 internet users.

BT and Phorm sparked a privacy backlash in 2006 and 2007 when it emerged that the companies were covertly trialling software that tracked peoples’ internet behaviour in order to deliver targeted advertising. BT, the UK’s largest broadband provider, ditched the controversial system in 2009.”

From The Guardian

SpyEye suspects charged over alleged banking scam

“UK police have arrested three men over an alleged scam involving stealing money from online bank accounts that had been compromised using the infamous SpyEye Trojan.

Two of the three men – Pavel Cyganoc, 26, a Lithuanian resident of Birmingham, and Aldis Krummins, 45, a Latvian resident of Goole, Humberside – appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Saturday charged with computer hacking, fraud and money-laundering offences.

The gang are alleged to have used banking Trojans, created using the SpyEye cybercrime toolkit, to lift bank login credentials from compromised PCs.”

From The Register

UK Domain Seizures: Nominet Admits It’s Helped Police Seize 3,000 Sites

“While we’ve been mostly focused on US-based domain name seizures and attempts to expand them using something like COICA, we’ve also noted that similar issues are being discussed in the UK, where Nominet has now admitted that it’s helped police seize about 3,000 domains based simply upon a request from law enforcement.

Unlike the US, there isn’t even a formal process with a judge rubber stamping the requests. Instead, the police ask, and Nominet is compelled to suspend the domain.”

From Tech dirt