Friday, 24 October 2008

Incidence of the divide public/private

A German court considered the IP address to be of the public domain. Parallel with "physical" world could support the decision: home address is public information unless one opts against it and forbid the name and address to appear in public directories.
there is however another parallel: the IP address is not your address but also the "image" of you on the internet. In that case can it either be private? Difficult to see.
THe whole debate has an incidence for crime: what is private can be stolen; what is public cannot be.
"German Court Rules That IP Addresses Are Not Personal Info" (21 October 2008)

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Investigations - some hope?

"University Gets Time To Notify Students Before Handing Over Info To The RIAA" (10 October 2008)
"How Soon Until We Start Hearing Stories Of Twitter Criminals?" (9 October 2008)
My answer will be: not long. And the issue is exactly the same as usual with social networking sites: sharing of private information people don't realise are a delicacy for criminals.

Interception of communications and filtering

No link apparently between interception of communication in the US of phone calls and filtering in Australia with very little opt-out. Yet both methods are means to control the flow of information on the internet and give little chance on users to fight back.

"Australian Internet Filters Have No Real Opt-Out; Only Opt-In To Fewer Filters" (13 October 2008)
"NSA Abused Wiretap Rights: Intercepted, Shared Private Calls Of Americans" (9 October 2008)

Diversity of laws - a dilemna?

Apparently somebody in the US - Florida was sanctionned for obscenity after prosecutors went forum shopping for the most stringent laws on the matter. Diversity of laws is not a new issue; comparative law is highly aware of it. Internet just increases the problem
"What Are 'Community Standards' When It Comes To Obscenity Online?" (13 October 2008)

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Investigations are not spying on Web2

Sef-explanatory: "US Government Admits: Data Mining For Terrorists Doesn't Work" (7 October 2008)

Free speech, privacy and ISPs

The two posts may not seem related but I think they are when looking at them via the issue of regulating the internet to best protect users and their human rights.
Several posts pointed out the issue of ISPs acting like censor for fear of loosing market shares or being sued for not acting promptly. However to expect private organisations to do the job of Government threatens rights if there are not strong counterparts, like guaranteing privacy.

"Why Did ISPs Take Down Ronald Riley's Sites?" (8 October 2008)
"Forget Net Neutrality Laws; Just Strengthen Privacy Laws" (7 October 2008) and the refered article "Privacy laws will guarantee net neutrality, says legal expert" (2 October 2008)

Responses to cybercrime - Debate at HL

Friday 10 October 2008, House of Lords will start the debate again, following their earlier reports. What is interesting is the proposal for software companies to be responsible for insecure code. If companies were responsible like Microsoft, they would be a bit more careful in their release and would save a bit of money to everyone. After all, if you release a toy or a TV which explodes or has default, the manufacturer is liable, at least for one year in the UK; why not software companies?
"Lords to debate gov't progress on internet security" (6 October 2008)

Damages by spamming

Harm is a key concept, although elusive concept, to justify crimininalisation of behaviours. Here the case seems to justify the policy to criminalise spamming "Spammers Ordered To Pay $236 Million" (8 October 2008)

Digital evidence on YouTube

A reassuring decision where the Scottish Court is not dazzled by the technological elements of the case. The basic principle for all evidence is to be adminissible and secure; doubts benefit the accused and strengthened human rights by forcing the police to do their job thoroughly.
Man cleared in YouTube speed case (8 October 2008)

Let's hope the US Supreme Court will conform to the rules and not allow some exceptions "Is A Conviction Constitutional If It's Based On Evidence From An Unconstitutional Search?" (6 October 2008)

Friday, 3 October 2008

Fraud and e-passports

If this is true, it is pretty scary, not only in terms of privacy but also regarding fraud and criminal investigations (think about international arrest warrants based on false information).
"Researcher details Dutch e-passport hack" (2 October 2008)

New e-crime police - a welcomed addition?

Fraud being one of the most common crimes in cyberspace, it's good to see the National Fraud squad welcoming the creation of the e-crime police in the UK "National anti-fraud centre ready for action" (3 October 2008)

Meanwhile the City of London decided to take action "City of London pilots cybercrime scheme" (, 6 June 2008)
and Government hesitates "E-crime unit 'on track' despite funding delay" (, 16 June 2008)

Interception of communication - illegality

Just another example that the internet should not escape the rules... "Chinese Skype service censoring messages" (2 October 2008) and on TechDirt
Actually I wonder to which extend Skype's responsibility should not be engaged. But under which laws, may you reply?
(09 october 2008): the new episode of the affair is that Skype was apparently sub-contracting to a company that was spying. This is a typical case of vicarious liability both in contract law and criminal law.

To which extend tracking data by ISPs is also interception of communication I wonder... "Most People Don't Realize Their ISPs Are Already Spying On Them" (2 October 2008)

Thursday, 2 October 2008

New UK e-crime police training

They want to recruit from the technology industry. Providing they have enough money to pay the persons! See "Fears over funding for police e-crime unit " (2 October 2008)
No problem with that, but training in law and criminal law should not be forgotten ..."Police e-crime unit seeks industry recruits" (2 October 2008).
And in the US, it's the Homeland Security which helps out the businesses (1 October 2008)