Paraguay’s celebration of its Day of the Journalist today is marked by mourning for press photographer Carlos Artaza, fatally shot two days ago by men on a motorcycle in Pedro Juan Caballero, a city on the Brazilian border that is the capital of Amambay department. Artaza, who died while being transferred by ambulance to Asunción yesterday morning, worked for the press department in the Amambay governor’s office. His murder comes at a fraught time for journalists, with local political (…) …
For years copyright holders have urged search engines and Internet providers to make it harder for users to access infringing content online.
Thus far these efforts have been in vain, but anti-virus vendor McAfee has now presented a technology that will please rightholders. A new patent published by the California-based company describes a system that can prevent users from accessing pirate content.
Titled “Detect and prevent illegal consumption of content on the internet,” the patent covers a blocklist-type system that can either warn consumers, completely block access to web pages, or offer purchasing advice.
The flow-chart below shows the various steps involved.
Pirate or not?
According to McAfee there are many reasons for consumers and corporations to be concerned with the downloading of illegal content, ranging from legal risks to malware and virus threats.
“One major reason for concern is possible violation of an Intellectual Property right and the potential cost ramifications associated with such a violation,” the company explains.
“A second major concern could relate to potential threats cause by some unauthorized distributions. For example, it is not uncommon for an unauthorized distribution of material on the Internet to include malicious material.”
McAfee presents their solution as an extension to its widely used SiteAdvisor tool, targeted at both individual consumers and business clients. Threats can be detected in search engines where pirate results get a warning label, but also on social networks including Facebook.
Piracy indicator in Google
In addition to blocking access to pirated content the technology also has the capability to point users to legal alternative sources for the same, or similar content.
“By informing a user of illegal sources and possible alternatives, a user can obtain the desired electronic distribution without violating an author’s intellectual property rights,” McAfee writes.
Those who click on a pirate link will be pointed to a new screen where users can learn more about the warning. Depending on how the software is set up users may then take the risk and click through to the site. This is similar to how Google, Firefox and other online services already respond to links pointing to malware threats.
Piracy indicator in Google
By preventing people from inadvertently visiting pirate websites, McAfee hopes that the technology will educate consumers on how to make the right choices when looking for entertainment online.
Whether there are any concrete plans to roll out the system is unknown at this point. The most likely option is that it will be added to McAfee’s existing security products.
If so, we can expect copyright holders to push for a wide adoption of the software.
Source: McAfee Patents Technology to Detect and Block Pirated Content
Reporters Without Borders is shocked to learn that another journalist has been killed in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. It was Mohamed Ibrahim Rageh, who worked for Somali National Television and Radio Mogadishu, which are both state-owned. Two gunmen trailed him home and shot him yesterday evening. “The supposed improvement in security in Mogadishu is for the time being still very fragile,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The Somali capital continues to be one of the world’s most dangerous (…) …
It seems to me that there are certain similarities between Comrade Jong-un and Comrade Obama. …
The White House has threatened to veto a controversial act due to go before the House of Representatives this week. …
Russia has its own list of US officials that would be similarly sanctioned under the ‘Dima Yakovlev law,’ and will release those names when the United States publishes the names on the Magnitsky List, Kommersant daily reported, quoting an unnamed source in the Russian presidential administration.The Russian list initially included 71 names, but has recently been expanded to 104 US officials, the source noted, adding that this step was taken as a reciprocal measure after Moscow began to suspect that the US blacklist could be longer than 60 names.Kommersant also said that the head of the lower house commission for international relations, Aleksey Pushkov, confirmed its report “in principle.”One possible complication is that the US could classify the Magnitsky List under the umbrella of ‘national security.’ Since Russia has not released any official details about its own blacklist, it is uncertain if the names on the Dima Yakovlev law would likewise be classified as national security threats in the name of reciprocity.The final draft of the Magnitsky List will now be sent to the US Congress and published before April 13. This date is particularly important, as it falls on the previously postponed visit to Russia by US National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon, who is expected to meet top Russian security officials on Monday. Donilon will also reportedly deliver a message from US President Barack Obama expressing a desire to salvage the stalled ‘reset’ in Russia-US relations.In Friday comments, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the publication of the Magnitsky List would have a definitively negative impact on bilateral relations between the two nations. At the same time, Peskov explained that Russia-US relations were multidimensional, and that “even while being under a burden of various negative manifestations and taking damage from these manifestations, these relations still have a lot of perspectives for future relations.”“Therefore, there will always be a lot of topics for discussion,” Peskov concluded.The official objective of Donilon’s visit to Moscow was announced as talks over nuclear arms control and ballistic missile defense, as well as preparations for Obama’s future visit to Russia.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the blacklist issue with his US counterpart John Kerry in London earlier this week. The Russian Minister warned that the publication of names on the Magnitsky List would create an extremely negative climate for Donilon’s visit.On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated that the timing of the publication of the US blacklist was extremely poorly chosen, considering Donilon’s forthcoming visit. Lavrov also told reporters that if the list is published, Russia would react accordingly, and that the US side is aware of this.Top Russian officials have repeatedly blasted the Magnistky Act as an attempt to subvert the laws of a sovereign country, and also to exploit a human tragedy for political ends.Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in January this year that the PR campaign around Sergey Magnitsky’s death was “an attempt of certain citizens to accumulate political capital.” He accused these individuals of making billions of dollars by trading in Russian assets, and assuming political positions only after law enforcement had uncovered fraud. …
Lute confirmed to Reuters this week that she will offer the DHS her official resignation in the coming days and will exit the third-largest agency in the federal government to join the ranks of the UN. There, she says an interview published on Tuesday, she will pursue a role in international Internet affairs.But as Lute leaves the DHS and takes up a job with a more global reach, she could be bringing with her an ideology about the Internet that doesn’t sit well with some: during her tenure in the Obama administration, Lute touted the president’s attempts to strengthening information sharing between the federal government and the private sector.Lute has never lauded the idea of putting the government directly in charge of the Internet, and has in fact openly rejected the notion. On the other hand, though, she supports President Barack Obama’s recent cybersecurity executive order and has encouraged private companies to hand over user data to Uncle Sam.Lute also hasn’t openly advocated for specific legislation, such as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) scheduled for debate later this week. She does, however, insist Congress works toward putting rules on the Web that would make the sharing of cyber threat data all the easier. “Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and each of us has a role to play,” Lute testified just last month to Congress. “Emerging cyber threats require the engagement of our entire society — from government and law enforcement to the private sector and, most importantly, members of the public.”“The success of our efforts to reduce cybersecurity risks depends on effective identification of cyber threats and vulnerabilities, analysis and enhanced information sharing between departments and agencies from all levels of government, the private sector, international entities and the American public,” she said.Under Obama’s executive order, the DHS is tasked with setting up an infrastructure in which private businesses and government entities can share and compare cyber threat intelligence should they oblige to do so. But both the president and Lute alike have said that that isn’t enough. When Pres. Obama signed his executive order in February, he said that though that directive will “strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs and our privacy,” more would be required.“Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks,” he said. Oh her part, Lute called Congress’ inability to enact a law like CISPA “incomprehensible.”Now with CISPA scheduled to go up for a vote yet again — an attempt to pass it during the last Congressional session was unsuccessful — the future of the Internet in America could be drastically different. Civil liberty advocates and open Internet groups have condemned CISPA as being a tool that tears away at the right to privacy on the Web, and critics of the bill have warned of catastrophic consequences if it’s passed. When Lute transitions to the United Nations, she’ll likely bring with her the notion that governments and the private sector need more solid ties — and given the UN’s attempts to regulate the Internet on their own as of late, that ideology might be accepted with open arms.Just last December, the UN’s International Telecommunications Union entertained a proposal to adopt deep packet inspection — a high-tech process of sifting through every bit and byte sent over the Internet in order to see what kind of data is being transmitted.“The telecommunications standards arm of the UN has quietly endorsed the standardization of technologies that could give governments and companies the ability to sift through all of an Internet user’s traffic – including emails, banking transactions and voice calls – without adequate privacy safeguards,” warned the Center for Democracy and Technology amid last year’s discussion. “The move suggests that some governments hope for a world where even encrypted communications may not be safe from prying eyes.”“DPI has the potential to be extremely privacy-invasive, to defy user expectations and to facilitate wiretapping,” explained the Washington, DC-based nonprofit that aims to keep the Internet “open, innovative and free.”“The ITU-T standard barely acknowledges that DPI has privacy implications, let alone does it provide a thorough analysis of how the potential privacy threats associated with the technology might be mitigated.”CNet tech reporter Declan McCullagh added to the debate that deep packet inspection has been used in the past to patrol the Web in countries where the government goes after citizens critical of their policies. Should the UN implement this technology, millions if not billions of humans across the globe could be spied on.“One reason why deep packet inspection is so controversial is that it has been used by repressive regimes — dozens of which are members of the ITU — to conduct extensive surveillance against their own citizens,” McCullagh said.Lute insists that the Internet needs to remain under civilian control, but does not shy away from plans that would let the government go after so-called computer criminals and cyber terrorists. She’s advocated for law enforcement agencies to have the ability to sift through transmissions, and even told Congress that the “government must engage to secure government systems, assist the private sector in securing itself, enforce the law and lay the policy foundation for future success.””We want to build the most secure cyber-economy on Earth,” Lute said of the DHS. “We know what we need to do for that to happen, and the inability of legislation to pass to this point is inexplicable.”Now she will be taking that know-how to the world’s largest and foremost international organization. …