* You are viewing the archive for the ‘Cyberlaw’ Category

United States Responsible for 5x More Spam Than Any Other Country

Sophos, an internet-security company, released numbers on the amount of spam sent per country between this past July and September. And the United States is responsible for about 30% of it (see chart below). Despite legislation such as the CAN-SPAM Act, the U.S. hasn’t been able to do much to stop spam. And spam is getting more complicated: fake e-cards, virus-infected PDF attachments, and worthless MP3 files or ringtons are the latest methods. In fact, according to anti-spam company MXSweep, nearly one in ten spam e-mails attach MP3 files or ringtones.

I guess I wouldn’t know much about this. I use Google’s gmail and rarely see any spam.

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Going Paperless Can Complicate Lives of Loved Ones After You’re Gone

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has a valid point in explaining the under-anticipated downside of going paperless. Once you’re gone, your family may not know where to begin to look for your accounts, assets, insurance policies, retirement plans, etc. So you should write all that information down and keep it in a safe place, right?

Well, not exactly. Having a list of your passwords and private information all in one place is asking for trouble.

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Should files have expiration dates?

Lee Gomes of Wall Street Journal fame has an interesting Q&A with Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He thinks files should have expiration dates because human beings are “better off” when we forget certain things.

It’s an interesting argument, though it leaves me wanting to know more of the reasoning before I’m ready to support any law mandating it. In fact, it goes against the latest movement of society to be more interested in genealogy and family history. But check out the Q&A:

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Q&A with DoubleClick CEO About Google Acquisition & Digital Privacy

GooglelogoThe Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has an interesting Q&A with DoubleClick CEO David Rosenblatt about the pending acquisition by Google. Rosenblatt tries to reassure consumers and privacy advocates that this merger won’t change how safe their data is. He says things like, “Ad-serving information collected by DoubleClick has always been the property of our clients, not us… so we are very comfortable with our current policy.”

“Current” being the operative word. Companies change policies all the time. It’s nice DoubleClick’s “current policy” protects me, but it’s not difficult to see why privacy advocates would want to see a force external to the company to ensure this going forward. So are his answers reassuring? Judge for yourself, the Q&A follows:

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How To: Help Save Internet Radio

Tim Westergren, founder of Internet radio station Pandora, has sent out a letter to listeners asking for help regarding the increase of licensing fees specifically for Internet radio. It revolves around a recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC to nearly triple the licensing fees for Internet radio sites like Pandora. Click here to help save Internet radio (the process is streamlined and takes approx. 30 seconds) and read below too see what Tim has to say:

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1 in 4 Students Pay the RIAA When Sent a Letter, So the RIAA Keeps Sending

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that it has reached 116 settlements after going after 400 students / computer users at 13 universities just a few weeks ago. More settlements are expected, as the RIAA sent out another batch of letters last week.

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Purdue University Warns Students: The RIAA Wants Info on Thousands of You

Last week, 40,000+ students at Purdue (including myself) received a warning email. In short, stop illegal downloads, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is coming. Purdue is advising all computer users to remove or at least partially disable any peer-to-peer file sharing software on their computers.

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Top School in India Restricts Internet & Claims Surfing/Blogging Makes Students Suicidal

A top engineering school in India, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai, has pulled the plug on Internet usage between 11 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. at its 13 hostels, claiming that “addiction to surfing, gaming and blogging was affecting students’ performance, making them reclusive and even suicidal.”

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