Posts Tagged 'uk'

Lawyers get hacked

Over in the UK data loss isn’t a new problem, actually quite a common occurrence. So let me recap the chain of events for this particular law firm. Collect personal data from ISP for lawsuit, then get hacked, have data distributed on said Internet available for all to see, prepare to get sued by angry porn addicts. Not quite the standard plan but let’s see how this works out. ACS: Law suffered a major data breach exposing the tawdry details of some 5,300 Sky broadband customers. Apparently the firm was targeted specifically and their database and contents pilfered from under their noses. Privacy proponents argued that the data was not secured, not even encrypted thus leaving the data exposed for cyber criminals. The Information Commissioner is investigating.

UK government wants to keep track of all data exchanges

The Government will store “a billion incidents of data exchange a day” as details of every text, email and browsing session in the UK are recorded under new proposals published yesterday.

The information will be made available to police forces in order to crack down on serious crime, but will also be accessible by local councils, health authorities and even Ofsted and the Post Office.

One example of crime prevention using the data given in the consultation document is that of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency, which targets sexual abuse of children.

“The vast majority of CEOP’s work is by resolution of IP addresses, e-mail addresses and increasingly mobile phone numbers. (link)

UK group: YouTube, could you screen every single video before making it live? Thanks

Social media sites, and those that host user-generated content, need to do more to screen the content on their sites and protect users—particularly children—from videos that could be considered harmful, according to a UK government agency. The House of Commons’ Culture Media and Sport Committee released its tenth report today, titled “Harmful content on the Internet and in video games,” which examines “the Internet’s dark side” and what should be done to keep users safe. The Committee feels that social media sites need to implement stricter policies, implement more content filtering, and make it easier to report abuse.

The Committee starts off by describing the Internet as a place “where hardcore pornography and videos of fights, bullying or alleged rape can be found, as can websites promoting extreme diets, self-harm, and even suicide.” Because of this, websites like MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube need to take a more active stance against offensive or illegal content than they do currently. The Committee expressed distress that there appeared to be an industry standard of 24 hours to remove content that contains child abuse, for example, and strongly recommended making such important issues higher-priority. (link)

UK gamer developers flee from taxes to … Canada?

Gaming, as an industry, has become an economic powerhouse. The growth of the industry in the US is exceeding the overall growth of the US economy, and is in fact a bright spot in an otherwise dour picture of the nation’s finances. Game developers are creating a product that is doing very well in even the worldwide market, and where these companies set up shops, jobs and cash follow. Developers in the UK are now pressuring the government to step up tax breaks for the gaming industry, and they’re wielding a very real stick: developers have already begun to flee for the greener pastures of Canada.

15 game companies have joined a lobbying group called “Games Up?” to fight for better benefits in the UK. “All our key competitors offer tax breaks and grants, putting UK developers at a disadvantage,” said Richard Wilson, a chief executive of Tiga, the UK trade organization for game developers. (ArsTechnica)

Laptop to take picture of thieves

A company in the UK has claimed a patent for a new high-tech version of exploding dye packs that are placed in banks in bags of cash. This new patented software will photograph the laptop thief remove any sensitive files, and not only that, will give away its position.

The system has had exhaustive tests in the county of Yorkshire, which followed a spate of well-publicised thefts of government laptops from cars or homes of government officials.

The company will charge a monthly fee of £10/$20 for a link to its main control centre, the staff at the centre can quickly take action if the laptop is switched on outside of a designated area, this can be outside of a government building or even a small area such as a specific desk.

If the computer is removed from a specified area, the computer will automatically connect to the Internet when it is switched on, and then commence to take multiple photographs of its surroundings and user, at the same time sending out a signal specifying its exact location to the company’s control centre. (link)

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