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IP Addresses and Privacy Sensitive Data - A Level Playing Field Needed

Reading Peter Olthoorn's book on Google (a link is found here), I ran into a passage on IP addresses. Where Google states that it does not see an IP address as privacy sensitive. An IP address could be used by more than one person, it claims. The Article 29 Working Party, the EU privacy commissioners, states that it is privacy sensitive as a unique identifier of a private person. It got me wondering whether it is this simple. Here is a blog post meant to give some food for thought and debate. I invite you to think about the question 'how private is an IP address'? more»

Public Private Cooperation: The Zeus Take Down Example

Microsoft took down a Zeus botnet recently. Within days it was publicly accosted by Fox-IT's director Ronald Prins for obstructing ongoing investigations and having used Fox-IT's data. This was followed by the accusation that Microsoft obstructs criminal proceedings... On top of all this EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström announced that cooperation between law enforcement and industry will be forged in the European Cyber Crime Centre as of 2013. Coincidences do not exist. Why? more»

Open Systems Lead to 'Economies of Scope'

The 'economies of scope' is an appealing concept implying that if we share knowledge in an open way we can create new, healthy economies that do not just depend on 'scale'. As we have seen, over the last decade in particular, some of the companies that are trying to achieve exponential growth can endanger the economy and society in general - the global financial crisis surrounding the large financial institutions, the scandals around News Corp, the political lobbying (bullying) by the super rich and the destruction of the environment by some developers. more»

The Empire Fights Back!

Even as we increasingly discover that every facet of our modern lives now revolve around, and are dependent on the Internet, for which reason its availability, functionality, safety, stability and security are now of great and continuing concern to all of us. These issues have a profound impact on its overall governance. To most of us, during the past three decades, the Internet has always been available, stable, affordable and open; and it should continue this way even as it is controlled and administered in a secure manner... more»

Review Your Email Forwarding Practices

As unusual as it may be for a lawyer to speak at a IETF meeting, Ian Walden gave a lecture on Data Protection Directives and updates thereof. He said they affect some 90 jurisdictions. A difference between email addresses and cookies - the latter are the main subject of the January 2012 update of the directives - is that after more than a decade of enforcement, specific browser extensions may allow users to browse what cookies they have, while no record states whom they conferred their email addresses to. more»

Achieving a Cyber-Reliant Infrastructure

Don't worry about the bad guys turning out the lights. Worry about everything they're stealing while the lights are still on. The theft of intellectual property ranging from Hollywood films to defense secrets is underway by cyber-criminals of various stripes. Maintaining control over intellectual property may be the single most important challenge to American economic security. Implementing a cyber-reliant infrastructure is a national challenge which crosses the traditional boundaries between economic sectors and between public and private domains. more»

Domain Seizures for Copyright Infringement Likely to Move Beyond U.S. Based Registries

Efforts to take down websites for copyright infringement are likely to move beyond U.S.-based domain name registries, with ICANN promising to more closely cooperate with global law enforcement agencies and governments. During an open session with the Government Advisory Committee (GAC), the ICANN board confirmed that it will enforce its contracts with registrars more effectively in order to meet expectations from governments and law enforcement authorities. more»

Study Links Half of "Rogue" Online Pharmacies to Two Domain Name Registrars

Brian Krebs reporting in Krebs on Security: "Half of all 'rogue' online pharmacies -- sites that sell prescription drugs without requiring a prescription -- got their Web site names from just two domain name registrars, a study released today found. The findings illustrate the challenges facing Internet policymakers in an industry that is largely self-regulated and rewards companies who market their services as safe havens for shadowy businesses." more»

Geist on the Bodog.com Seizure Case

Reporting further on the recent Bodog.com domain name seizure case based on gambling charges, Michael Geist writes: "In the Bodog.com case, U.S. officials targeted a site with limited connections to the country as the site had licensed out the bodog.com domain name in 2006 and stopped accepting U.S. bettors late last year. The legal issues surrounding its operations will be played out in court, but the manner in which the bodog.com name was seized could have a lasting impact on Internet governance." more»

Canadians Indicted on US Gambling Charges, Domain Name Seized

The U.S. government has indicted four Canadians for running an Internet gambling site. Prosecutors in Maryland have charged Calvin Ayre and three other Canadian founders of Bodog.com with running an "illegal sports gambling business." more»

Closing the Gaps: The Quest for a Secure Internet

Over the last year the world has been virtually buried under news items describing hacks, insecure websites, servers and scada systems, etc. Each and every time people seem to be amazed and exclaim "How is this possible?" Politicians ask questions, there is a short lived uproar and soon after the world continues its business as usual. Till the next incident. In this blog post I take a step back and try to look at the cyber security issue from this angle... more»

Canadian Government Stepping Up on Internet Surveillance

A Canadian law expected to be introduced next week could greatly assist law enforcement authorities in the country to access date revealing internet-user habits and personal information. Privacy watchdogs caution if the so-called Lawful Access law is passed, it would give police access to webbrowsing history and sensitive personal information, and would grant greater permission to track the cellular phones of suspects -- much of it without the requirement of a warrant. more»

ISPs Are Not Broadcasters, Says Supreme Court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Internet providers are not broadcasters for the purposes of the Broadcasting Act when they simply transmit content to subscribers, reports Michael Geist. The court noted... more»

Protests Erupt Over EU's Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

In a blog post today, Michael Geist writes: "The reverberations from the SOPA fight continue to be felt in the U.S. and elsewhere (mounting Canadian concern that Bill C-11 could be amended to adopt SOPA-like rules), but it is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that has captured increasing attention this week. Several months after the majority of ACTA participants signed the agreement, most European Union countries formally signed the agreement yesterday (notable exclusions include Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia). This has generated a flurry of furious protest..." more»

Privacy Rules to Change in the EU, But What If …?

In a presentation EU Commissioner Viviane Reding gave a preview of the new Privacy regulation her DG is preparing. As she states, privacy rules need to be brought up to date and harmonized. With all 27 member states having the same rules and tools to enforce, a company only will deal with one privacy commissioner... So, what if we, for the sake of this blog, take this initiative towards spam and cyber crime. What would this do to spam enforcement? more»