Privacy

Privacy / News Briefs

The Pirate Bay Calls ISPs Around the World to Block Sweden

In a response to the new wiretapping law that was introduced in Sweden this week, The Pirate Bay is asking international ISPs to block traffic to Sweden in order to protect their customers. In addition, the BitTorrent tracker will add SSL encryption to their site, and roll out a new VPN service. Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde, has written about this issue on his blog. Sunde points out that Belgium has taken Sweden to the Strasbourg court and hopes more countries will follow suit. more

Experts Concerned Over U.S. Spyware Legislation Being Overly Broad

U.S. Senate bill aims at limiting spyware by seemingly allowing broadband providers, computer hardware and software vendors, financial institutions and other businesses to scan users' computers without authorization. "We think this language is overly broad and could protect activities which could be harmful to computer users," Butler told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. "It would, in effect, allow a software vendor to truly monitor everything that's on a user's computer, essentially setting [vendors] up as an ad hoc police force." more

Google Says It Will Support Creation of U.S. Internet Privacy Law

In a letter, copy of which was obtained by Reuters yesterday, Google Inc. has told a senior U.S. Republican lawmaker concerned about privacy that the Internet search and advertising company supports a federal privacy law. more

Canadian Domain Whois Policy Changes Face Opposition from Law Enforcement

Sweeping changes to Canada's country code top-level domain, .ca, will put the country on the vanguard of Internet privacy. But while law enforcement isn't happy about potentially losing an important investigative tool, the half-million Canadians whose personal information is currently publicly available on the Internet shouldn't rest easy that they are safe from wired snoops. more

Canada's New Policy Will Privatize Whois Data for .ca Domains

Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has posted its Change of Privacy Status... "As of June 10, 2008 the dot-ca (.ca) WHOIS will no longer release information about individual Registrants and their Adminstrative and Technical contacts, providing more thorough privacy protection for many of our Registrants." more

IP is Personal Says Head of the European Union

Germany's data protection commissioner, Peter Scharr, leads the EU group preparing a report on how well the privacy policies of Internet search engines operated by Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and others comply with EU privacy law. He told a European Parliament hearing on online data protection that when someone is identified by an IP address "then it has to be regarded as personal data." more

Getting Rid of Whois

The Whois database may disappear... An ICANN committee is considering a sunset proposal at its meeting this week in Los Angeles that would effectively scrap the directory system on privacy grounds. Among those arguments is that a public-by-default Whois listing may run afoul of Canadian and European Union privacy laws. more

MSN Messenger is Censoring .info Domains

Reports have been surfacing on various blogs about Microsoft's MSN messenger users who have recently found URLs containing the .info top-level domain extension blocked entirely. Moreover the censorship is not limited to the URL in question, but any string in your message that contains the string ".info". Although significant number of spam sites have notoriously made use of cheaply available .info domains, users are raising serious concerns regarding Microsoft's privacy and censorship policies... more

ICANN Wants to Update Its Domain Name Registrar Accreditation Process

ICANN is seeking public input as it intends to revise its domain name registrar accreditation process. Changes include further protection of domain owner privacy. Dr. Paul Twomey, ICANN’s CEO and President says: "The need for this review is clear. The current RAA [Registrar Accreditation Agreement] is more than six years old. We've seen the number of accredited registrars grow to more than 900. And we've seen the incredible difficulties that can be unleashed with the collapse of a Registrar" -- referring to the RegisterFly debaclemore

Whois Privacy for Domain Owners Moves Forward

Help may be on the way as the Whois task force last week endorsed a proposal that would give more privacy options to small businesses, individuals with personal websites and other domain name owners.

"At the end of the day, they are not going to have personal contact information on public display," said Ross Rader, a task force member and director of retail services for registration company Tucows Inc. "That's the big change for domain name owners." more

ICANN Likely to Adopt New Whois Privacy Policy

Intellectual property lawyers guarding corporate trademarks on the Internet may soon have a harder time tracking down the people behind websites infringing on their clients' brands.

After several years of debate, this year ICANN is likely to decide on adopting a new policy that would let website owners keep most of their contact information confidential when they register for domain names. Instead, they would be allowed to list a separate go-between point of contact. more

"ip who is" Among Google's Top Searches in 2006

On Google's annual top 10 list of the hottest search words and phrases, "ip who is" has taken the top 10 spot in "Who is..." category. Google does not reveal how many searches it takes to reach the top 10, but it said millions of searches are conducted each day. more

Domain Owners Losing the Privacy Debate

If you own a domain, your privacy is probably being needlessly compromised as a result. But nobody who can do anything about it cares.

…The discussion at a recent gathering of the New York Metropolitan Area chapter of the Internet Society indicated that OPOC, or Operational Point of Contact, now no longer includes the address or phone number as public information, just the country and state of the registrant. more

IPv6 Reported to Lower Internet Users' Privacy

Billed as the next generation of the Internet, a new technical standard enthusiastically embraced by China will allow greater traceability of Internet users, potentially endangering those expressing views counter to the government's.

The standard, known as IPv6, solves technical problems faced by the Internet around the world, but Internet freedom advocates outside China warn that the internationally developed norm would also allow Beijing authorities -- or any government or company for that matter -- to have a better idea of what individuals are doing on the Internet. more

Spammers Operating Anonymously via Whois Privacy

The amount of message board spam has been escalating dramatically since mid-2005, according to experts and a search of Google shows a number of frequently recurring domains are appearing in bogus comments on message boards all over the internet.

Domains such as 888.typo7.com, e-casinoroom.com, HobbyWorkshop.com, onlinepokerment.com, TopSitesRanking.com and g4h5.com all appear in bogus postings which reference online gaming. Many of the actual sites link through to more than one established poker site. more