Links for week ending 1 October 2010

US wants to make it easier to wiretap the internet
The New York Times report that the Obama administration is seeking to introduce measures that would require all communications providers to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The requirements would apply to those providing encrypted communications services, as well as to social networking sites, and voice-over-IP (VoIP) services.

Stuxnet worm detected at Iranian nuclear plant
Iranian officials have confirmed that a computer worm that exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Windows operating system and which targets computers used widely in the management of critical infrastructure has been detected in systems inside the Natanz nuclear facility. Security experts say that the Stuxnet worm is the first example of attackers targeting the specialised computers that control industrial operations. The origins of the worm are unknown.

Civil society shut out of “final” ACTA negotiations
The Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property report how a last-minute change in the schedule for negotiations of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement will keep most civil society representatives from participating fully in the process. Civil society groups including Knowledge Ecology International and La Quadrature du Net have been advocating for a greater emphasis during negotiations on citizens’ rights to access to knowledge, ever since the treaty was first mooted in 2007.

Burma publication claims cyberattack
The New York Times report that The Irrawaddy, a Thailand-based magazine that is a leading source of news and criticism of the Burmese junta, have fallen victim to a politically-motivated distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Editor Aung Zaw told the newspaper “This is a new game, a new frontier…it shows how vulnerable we are.”

Emails of anti-piracy law firm leaked
Private email correspondence of the anti-piracy law firm ACS:Law have been revealed by a glitch in the company’s website. The emails include correspondence with individuals accused by ACS:Law of violating copyright, as well as correspondence with consumer magazine Which?, who have raised doubts about the legitimacy of ACS:Law’s practice of sending such letters, which demand financial settlement in exchange for not taking their allegations to court. The email glitch occurred following a DDoS attack on the website, allegedly perpetrated by members of the forum 4chan.

Wikileaks undergoing internal revolt
Wired’s Threat Level blog reports on schisms inside the Wikileaks organisation.

Blogs and Bullets: new media in contentious politics
This report from the United States Institute for Peace argues that scholars and policymakers should adopt a more nuanced view of new media’s role in democratisation and social change.

Regulatory approaches to net neutrality in Europe and beyond
This paper by Angela Daly sets out the different regulatory responses to the net neutrality issue, with a focus on the EU.

An interview with Jean-François Cazenave
Interview with head of crisis response telecoms specialists Télécoms Sans Frontières on the occasion of their 12th anniversary.

Africa and television white spaces
Steve Song encourages Africans to demand a similar deal on unlicensed spectrum to the one just agreed by the FCC in the US.

“The death of the book has been greatly exaggerated”
Christopher Mims explains why new media pundits are using the iPad and Kindle to inflate a “hype bubble” around the death of the paper book.

Podcast: Little Atoms
British podcast Little Atoms is an excellent independent weekly talk show “based around ideas of the Enlightenment”. This recent episode features an interview with Nicholas Carr, author of “The Shallows: How the internet is making us change the way we think, read and remember.”

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