Too much information: links for week ending 28 October 2011

Phorm resurfaces in Romania
The online behavioural tracking service Phorm has reappeared in Europe, via a partnership with Romtelecom in Romania, following its exit from the UK market in 2008 amid widespread speculation that its services were illegal under European law on the interception of electronic communications. European Digital Rights (EDRi) reports “With no public debate before the launch at the end of September, Romtelecom has presented a new service called MyClicknet, which basically implements the Phorm behavioural advertising solution with an opt-in approach.”

US seeks detailed information on China’s internet restrictions
The United States Trade Representative has written to China under World Trade Organisation rules asking for detailed information on the trade impact of Chinese website-blocking policies. In a statement released this week, the USTR made clear that “While the United States believes that the best internet policy is to encourage the free flow of information globally, the United States’ WTO request relates specifically to the commercial and trade impact of the internet disruptions”.

Thailand: Government admits “lese majeste” law may have been misused
Agence France Presse reports that the Thai government have responded to UN concerns that its lese majeste law, which prohibits criticism of the monarchy and is punishable with up to 15 years in prison, harms free expression. In a statement, the Thai foreign ministry accepted that the law may have been misused and advised it was setting up “a special committee in the Royal Thai Police headquarters… to scrutinise potential prosecutions”.

Russian privacy law used to suppress politically sensitive research
Human Rights in Russia reports on a legal case being brought against Russian historian Arseny Roginsky for passing data to the German Red Cross about ethnic Germans who were deported to the Arkhangelsk region during the Soviet period. If found guilty, Roginsky could face two years in prison, in what would be “a dangerous signal for researchers and for the staff and administrators of archives”.

Net neutrality resolution adopted by European Parliament
La Quadrature du Net reports that a key committee in the European Parliament has adopted a pro-net neutrality resolution, asking the European Commission to promptly assess the need for further legislative action to protect the open internet. La Quadrature du Net label the resolution: “a strong political statement in favour of net neutrality”.

When secrets aren’t safe with journalists
In this New York Times oped, OSF Fellow Chris Soghoian decries insecure communications practice at the West’s major newspapers and comes to the provocative conclusion that “Until journalists take their security obligations seriously, it will be safer to leak something to WikiLeaks — or groups like it — than to the mainstream press”.

Special: Occupy Wall Street media tools and strategy
The International Journalists Network list “Five tools from Occupy Wall Street that journalists should know about”, while the Columbia Journalism Review embed with the Occupy Wall Street media team, to find out about the strategies they use to get the message out.
Tools | Strategy

The Russian state and surveillance technology
Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan detail the laws and technologies that allow the Russian authorities to keep tabs on citizens’ online activities, in this detailed feature for

One man’s war against Facebook on the European front
New York magazine carries a short feature on Max Schermas, the 24 year-old Austrian student behind the Europe vs Facebook campaign.

Catching the next WikiLeaker
This Daily Beast reports from GEOINT, an annual conference for the military intelligence community, on how attitudes about the best way to catch potential whistleblowers have changed in the year since WikiLeaks published material leaked from the military’s secure networks, with the emphasis on surveillance of those with access to the network.

The case for piracy
This article published on a blog hosted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation lays the blame for piracy at the feet of the world’s major media companies.

More jobs predicted for machines, not people
This New York Times feature surveys conflicting ideas about the socioeconomic consequences of automation in the workplace, and details a new e-Book written by academics in the field, “Race against the Machine”.

Video: TV White Spaces in Africa – “The beginning of the future”
Russell Southwood interviews Steve Song about the promise TV White Spaces hold for access to communications in Africa.

Audio: Creating a digital public space
This edition of the UK Guardian’s Tech Weekly podcast speaks to archivists from across the UK’s major cultural institutions, including the BBC, about their plans to create a combined digital archive of works in their collections that is accessible to and reusable by the public.

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