International Telecommunication Union   ITU
 
 
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Friday, May 15, 2009

Recent sexting (the sending of naked or partially clothed photos of an individual to others via mobile phones) cases in the USA have led to concern about whether such online behaviour should be classified as a criminial offence or simply a 'misdemeanour'.

Such cases have resulted in police arrests of several adolescents and criminal charges of child pornography.

Sending or distributing explicit images of child under 18 is illegal in many countries.

Parents are being encouraged to warn their children about the possible consequences of sexting (for both the sender and receiver).

A recent National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies survey of more than 1000 teenagers in the USA, found that one-fifth of 13-19 year olds had actually sent compromising images of themselves via text or online. A third of boys and a quarter of girls reported that they had had nude or semi nude images, originally meant to be private, shared with them.

Speaking to the BBC, WiredSafety founder, Parry Aftab stated, "It is dangerous behaviour that we don't want children to be encouraged to do.....Not only could these images end up in the hands of paedophile groups and place kids at higher risk of being targeted, but they could also be subject to extortion by those who have ended up with the images".

 

(Source: BBC)

Full story

BBC Website

Friday, May 15, 2009 3:02:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"In a document that outlines a Digital Japan Creation Project, dubbed the ICT Hatoyama Plan, Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications revealed plans to build a massive cloud computing infrastructure to support all of the government’s IT systems. Called tentatively the Kasumigaseki Cloud, the new infrastructure will be built in stages from now until 2015."

"The goal of the project consolidate all government IT systems into a single cloud infrastructure to improve operation efficiency and reduce cost. 'The Kasumigaseki Cloud will enable various ministries to collaborate to integrate and consolidate hardware and create platforms for shared functions,' according to MIC. 'Efforts will be made to efficiently develop and operate information systems with the aim of greatly reducing electronic government–related development and operating costs while increasing the pace of processing by integrating shared functions, increasing collaboration among systems, and providing secure and advanced governmental services.'

According to the MIC, the Kasumigaseki Cloud will eliminate the need for individual ministries to maintain their own IT systems by consolidating current data centres, and allow each ministries to use only the computer resources necessary through the cloud platform. Additional proposals were put forth to develop and implement ubiquitous Green ICT solutions, including initiatives like the Kasumigaseki Cloud, boost ICT human resources, and the creation of 'safe and secure networks' for the public.

Read the full story on Green Telecom here.

This blog entry was shared through Bill St Arnaud's blog spot

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 6:37:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In order to increase efficiency in municipal parking services in Turkey, the Municipality of Istanbul and Turkcell Mobile Phone Company, have come up with a project that aims at solving the parking problem in Istanbul by using mobile technologies, especially mobile phones. Subscribers to the service use SMS function of their mobile phones to park their cars and the parking bills are sent to them within their mobile phone bills.

Source: epractice.eu

Project Website

 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 10:07:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Persistent illegal file-sharers should be cut off from the net". BBC reports that: "An alliance of United Kingdom's creative industries wants the government to force internet service providers (ISPs) to disconnect users who ignore repeated warnings about sharing illegal content."

"The creative industries, have issued a set of "urgent recommendations" that they want to be included in the United Kingdom government's Digital Britain manifesto. They argue that many jobs in the 800,000-strong sectors of film, TV, music, and software are threatened by illegal file-sharing. However, the Internet Services Providers' Association (Ispa) - a trade body that represents ISP's - said that users could challenge disconnections through the courts and, at present, the technology available for monitoring and detecting illegal sharers was not of a standard "where they would be admissible as evidence in court".

"Suggestions for rights-owners to take many thousands of legal actions seeking damages against individual file-sharers in court are neither practicable nor proportionate and would create a drain on public resources," the joint statement reads. The statement stops short of calling on the government to introduce legislation with detailed technical measures to prevent illegal file-sharing. "Instead, [the government] should provide enabling legislation, for the specific measures to be identified and implemented in an Industry Code of Practice," it recommends.

Read the full story on the BBC website here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 8:19:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, May 09, 2009

UK children's charities want to ensure that children do not have access to those online goods which are aimed at adults. To that effect, a private members bill going through the House of Lords will oblige web retailers to have such a system in place.

Charities have fully endorsed this bill following concerns about children purchasing alcohol, knives and violent video games online.

Trading standards officers from a London Council performed tests on a sample of websites in order to establish whether there were age verification checks being made. In a controlled test, a 16-year old managed to purchase pre-paid credit cards which were registered under his true date of birth and address. This adolescent successfully bought knives, drink and adult-rated DVDs as well as games from 12 different online retailers.

Only three of the retailers asked the 16-year old to confirm his age, and when he "lied" was not challenged or asked for proof.

Zoe Hilton, policy advisor for the NSPCC, speaking on behalf of the Children's Charities Coalition on Internet Safety, stated, "..Retailers' increasingly successful efforts to control the sale of age-restricted products over the counter on the High Street are being seriously undermined by their failure to take similarly effective steps to limit sales of exactly the same items on the Internet".

(Source: BBC)

Full story

BBC website

Saturday, May 09, 2009 12:42:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 07, 2009

Craigslist, a centralised network of online communities featuring  online classified ads, may face criminal action in South Carolina if it fails to delete ads which 'promote prostitution and pornography'. Attorney General Henry McMaster, sent a communication to Craigslist CEO, Jim Buckmaster asking him to remove such items listed  under "erotic services" and "casual encounters" in the South Carolina section.

Sherriff's deputies in Richland County, South Carolina, have made up to 121 prostitution-related arrests from Craigslist ads, claims attorney general spokesman Mark Plowden.

(Source: CNN)

Full story

CNN website

Thursday, May 07, 2009 10:16:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Eight paedophiles from Scotland were convicted of child abuse and producing indecent images of children. The charges against them include abusing infants from three months old to conspiracy and possession of more than 125,000 images of child abuse.

The accusers were caught after one of them, Neil Strachan, took his computer to be repaired. The repair technician found indecent images of children. 7000 more images were uncovered, with emails showing that other children were at serious risk. Local Scottish detectives were granted warrants by courts in the USA to have access to email records from Microsoft.

Investigation into the digital camera used to record the abuse exposed another of the accusers' identities. Sophisticated tracking equipment pinpointed this individual's broadband Wi-Fi signals in a specific area of Edinburgh, Scotland. Further investigation by the police revealed the identities of all eight paedophiles.

(Source: Guardian)

Full story

Guardian website

Thursday, May 07, 2009 8:51:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 06, 2009

In the USA, Democratic congresswoman for California, Linda Sanchez, is leading a bill aimed at combatting cyberbullying. However, opponents argue that such a bill silences free speech.

The bill itself, states that any electronic communication (to include emails, blogs, instant messaging and texts) sent to "...coerce, intimidate, harass or cause substantial emotional distress" could result in a fine or a two year prison sentence.

Those who oppose the bill are concerned about honouring fthe reedom of expression as set out in the US constitution's first amendment. The bill is named after Megan Meier, a Missouri teenager who committed suicide after being the victim of cyberbullying on MySpace.

In the UK, the secretary of state for children, schools and families, Ed Balls, refers to such online abuse as "insidious".

(Source:Guardian)

Full story

Guardian website

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 1:29:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The first ever 02 Digital Families Report released yesterday showed that for families, the Internet was more important than food and other household bills. The telecommunications company, 02 polled 500 families in the UK in order to find out which items they were reluctant to cut back on, and found that more than 67% opted for Internet access over school uniforms (59%), family holidays (30%) and their weekly food shopping (24%).

(Source: Telegraph)

Full story

Telegraph website

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 8:09:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A secret report by the UK Border and Immigration Agency's national intelligence unit reveals that a 59-bed local authority children's home was used by criminal gangs to traffic Chinese children into prostitution and drug trafficking spanning  four continents.

The 'restricted' report indicates that children arrive at the children's home, located by Heathrow airport, only to vanish straight away.

UK Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, is being asked to respond to questions on how the local authority home fell under the control of child traffickers.

(Source: Guardian)

Full story

Guardian website

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 8:42:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 04, 2009

Bangladesh Telecentre Network (BTN)  encourages telecentre networks to add their details to the BTN National Telecentre Database.

Telecentres are invited to visit the BTN website at http://www.mission2011.net.bd in order to view up to 2.068 telecentres which were collected during the past year.

Recently opened telecentres are asked to add their information as well as those telecentres not already listed. BTN are planning to launch a nationwide survey in order to capture other telecentre initiatives through their BTN Resource Centres.

The important links are:

  1. To visit the National Telecentre Database please click http://www.mission2011.net.bd/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=58&lang=en
  2. To register your new telecentres please visit http://www.mission2011.net.bd/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=166&lang=en
  3. To see Division wise telecentres please visit http://www.mission2011.net.bd/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=171&lang=en
  4. To see district wise telecentre please visit http://www.mission2011.net.bd/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=168&lang=en
  5. To see Upazilla/Thana wise telecentre please visit http://www.mission2011.net.bd/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=172&lang=en
  6. You can search telecentres by Area (up to Union Level) or by Location or by Coordinating Institute or by Model Name or even by Typing a Key Word at http://www.mission2011.net.bd/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=169&lang=en
  7. To see your telecentre in the Bangladesh Map please visit http://map.mission2011.net.bd/. The GIS part is still under process. We need to make some ammendments too.

While visiting your telecentre, if you find any incorrect information or you want to make some amendments, please let BTN know by e-mail to mahumd@mission2011.net.bd

Monday, May 04, 2009 1:25:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 01, 2009

A UK man successfully delivered his baby boy by following instructions on a YouTube video. Marc Stephens had the foresight to watch the videos a few hours ahead of time, however his skills would be called upon as his wife went into labour before the ambulance arrived.

Mr Stephens told the BBC, "I Googled how to deliver a baby, watched a few videos and basically swotted up".

 

(Source: BBC)

Full story

BBC Website

CYB | Europe | e-health
Friday, May 01, 2009 8:23:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Although the IWF 2008 Annual Report suggests that there has been a 10% decrease in the number of child abuse websites in the past year, it is important to note that there has been an increase in the serious nature of those abuse images which are still available.

The IWF report shows that among the remaining 1,536 child abuse sites, 74% were for profit while 26% allowed users to share or swap images, and states, "..1,536 domains remains a problem of a scale which can be seriously targeted and significantly disrupted through international efforts".

Peter Robbins, Chief Executive of the IWF said, "These websites, although reducing in number, represent an extremely serious problem."

The methods used by such sites to avoid detection were reported to be more and more sophisticated and include the scrambling of domain names and attempts to hide methods of payment in order to try to remain one step ahead of law enforcement.

(Source: BBC)

Full Story

BBC website

Friday, May 01, 2009 7:51:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 30, 2009

An American girl chatting on Facebook with a British teenage boy alerted her mother after he admitted that he planned to commit suicide. Without having his address, the girl's mother contacted local police which then led to a series of calls to the White House, the British Embassy in Washington and finally the police in the UK town where the boy was found alive.

(Source: BBC News)

Full Story

BBC Website

Thursday, April 30, 2009 10:43:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The ITU Regional Cybersecurity Forum for Africa and Arab States, dedicated to “Connecting the World Responsibly”, aims to identify some of the main challenges faced by countries in Africa and Arab States in enhancing cybersecurity and securing critical information infrastructures.

It will consider best practices, information sharing mechanisms and concrete actions for cybersecurity development, taking into consideration the key principles of matching the borderless, transnational nature of cyber-threats with meeting specific national and regional requirements. The Forum will consider initiatives at the regional and international levels to increase cooperation and coordination amongst different stakeholders. The forum programme will include interactive sessions on the projects and related tools that ITU is working on to assist Member States in developing and implementing cybersecurity capabilities.

Capacity building activities will be undertaken in the following main areas:

  • Development of a legal framework;
  • Development of watch and warning and incident management capabilities, including the establishment of a national computer incident response team (CIRT); and,
  • Actions to be considered when developing a national cybersecurity strategy and harmonization within the key principles of international cooperation.

    The event is expected to bring together government representatives, industry actors, and other stakeholder groups from countries on the African continent and the Arab States to discuss, share information, and collaborate on the elaboration and implementation of national policy, regulatory and enforcement frameworks for cybersecurity. It will benefit information and communication policy makers from ministries and government departments; institutions and departments dealing with cybersecurity policies, legislation and enforcement; and representatives from operators, manufacturers, service providers, industry and consumer associations involved in promoting a culture of cybersecurity.

    The forum will be conducted in English, Arabic and French with simultaneous interpretation. Participation in the Forum is open to all ITU Member States, Sector Members, Associates, and other interested stakeholders, including representatives from regional and international organizations.

    More detailed information about the event (including the draft forum agenda, online pre-registration, fellowship requests (for eligible LDCs) can be found on the ITU Regional Cybersecurity Forum for Africa and Arab States website at www.itu.int/ITU-D/cyb/events/2009/tunis/.

    Register for the ITU Regional Cybersecurity Forum for Africa and Arab States here.

    We look forward to seeing you at the event!

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2009 10:03:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

    The Times reports that a young German man, David Heiss, became infatuated with Joanna Witton while playing on a cyber war website set up by Joanna and her boyfriend, Matthew Pyke, in the UK.

    After seeing her photo on Facebook, Mr Heiss made up his mind that she was the girl for him, sending her a stream of disturbing messages despite her protests that she was already in a relationship.

    Travelling to the UK from Germany, Mr Heiss tracked the couple down, committing the murder on his second visit. The killing of the victim was said by the prosecution to be driven by "...obsession for Joanna Witton, who was Matthew's girlfriend, and hatred for Matthew, because he was Joanna's boyfriend".

    (Source: The Times)

    Full Story

    Timesonline website

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009 6:46:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    "Digital technologies, or Information and Communications Technologies as they are commonly known, offer massive opportunities: Innovation and technology are "the backbone of the modern economy," says Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the deputy leader of the Government in the Senate.

    As part of the Government of Australia's efforts at reducing carbon emissions by 2020, the energy sector providers plan to use broadband to improve the way they monitor and manage power distribution. Using broadband to connect power consumers with power generators will allow them to harness means of distribution in a more efficient and reliable manner. Smart grids connected by broadband will also raise the potential to not only monitor energy use but to allow remote adjustment of lights or temperature. This implies the very real possibility of significant carbon emission reductions for the country. 

    Full Report

    Tuesday, April 28, 2009 3:39:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Monday, April 27, 2009

    At the recent RSA Conference 2009 in San Francisco, United States, McAfee CEO DeWalt called for a global security architecture.

    "Security threats are on the rise as the economy declines, and the solution will likely come from collaborative partnerships that span all IT platforms and international boundaries." "DeWalt painted a grim picture of the security landscape. Consumer confidence has gone down while unemployment and has risen, he said. And as the economy has gone into a tailspin, cybercrime has seen a sharp upward spike, with more malware detected in 2008 than in the previous five years combined. Last year, 80 percent of cybercrimes were financially motivated, he added."

    "Many organizations are vastly underprotected or fail to regularly update patches and security software, which have opened up copious threat vectors for attackers, DeWalt said. In addition, the explosion of malicious threats in the last year can also be attributed to lack of user education and best security practices, as well as lack of comprehensive security." "One of the solutions, DeWalt proposed, would be to build comprehensive security architecture across numerous IT platforms that would be able to interoperate with companies' existing network infrastructure. That architecture would ultimately allow organizations to create correlating reports for every department and system, while allowing greater overall visibility into their organization's network, DeWalt said." "Cross-platform collaboration provides IT administrators a panoramic view into their network and allows communication across the threat vectors to shore up otherwise unseen security holes." "That same type of collaborative architecture will ultimately be required to extend across international borders and throughout global networks as the threats continue to become more sophisticated and the attacks more prevalent, DeWalt said. "The most depressing part of this is that we do not have a global architecture in place," he said. "We need to work together. Undoubtedly, (attacks) will continue to increase."

    Read the full story on ChannelWeb.

    Monday, April 27, 2009 7:25:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Friday, April 24, 2009

    Following earlier reports of users not being able to delete their personal information, Facebook has now allowed voters to decide on the best way to proceed. In reviewing their policies with users, the popular social networking site has agreed to allow its users greater control of their personal data.

    After a vote, 75% of responders were in favour of these proposed changes, which will allow users to own their own information and also have the right to remove it if they so choose.

    Founder, Mark Zuckerberg explained that the networking site was aiming for a more "...transparent and democratic approach"

    (Source: Telegraph)

    Full story

    Telegraph website

    Friday, April 24, 2009 12:48:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

    Miguel Angel Mancera, the Attorney General of Mexico City, stated that seven suspects including a Roman Catholic priest, were accused of distributing over 100,000 child sex abuse images (including pictures and videos) of children worldwide. Among the material taken away by law enforcement were CDs, DVDs and computers.

    (Source: CNN)

    Full story

    CNN website

     

    Friday, April 24, 2009 11:23:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

    A new report of the mobile industry shows that some progress has been made by the 26 mobile operators signed up to the "European Framework for Safer Mobile Use by Younger Teenagers and Children” brokered by the Commission in February 2007 (IP/07/139). These operators serve around 580 million customers, 96% of all EU mobile customers. "The new report of the mobile phone industry association shows that mobile operators have started to take seriously their responsibilities to keep children safe when using phones," said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding.

    50% of 10 year-old, 87% of 13 year-old and 95% of 16 year-old children in the EU have a mobile phone, but half of European parents worry mobile phone use might expose their children to sexually and violently explicit images (51%) or bullying by other children (49%), according to a survey. The European Commission today called on mobile operators to do more to keep children safe while using mobile phones by putting in place all the measures in the voluntary code of conduct, signed by 26 mobile operators in 2007. The report published by the GSM Association, the trade body of the mobile phone industry, showed that national self-regulatory codes based on the framework agreement brokered by the European Commission now exist in 22 Member States, 90% of them in line with the 2007 agreement, and 80% of operators have put in place measures to control child access to adult content.

    Read the full EC press release from 20 April 2009 here.

    More information on the GSMA report onimplementation of the framework agreement on "Safer Mobile Use by Younger Teenagers and Children" can be found here.

    Friday, April 24, 2009 8:03:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |