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 Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A woman has been arrested by police in the UK following investigation into the distribution of child abuse images. The  police raided the home of the 39 yr old nursery worker and closed the 60 place nursery during enquiries. Plymouth Commanding officer Ch Supt Jim Webster stated that the the allegations made against the nursery worker raised "serious concerns"  and in response all the parents of children at the nursery are being contacted.

Ch Supt Jim Webster added, "... our work today is to find out what's happened, where the images have come from, where they've been sent to and any risk to anybody in Plymouth..."

 

(Source: BBC)

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009 1:24:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A Hampton, New Hampshire, man has pleaded guilty to fraud charges for his role in a scheme to empty brokerage accounts by installing malicious Trojan horse software on victims' computers.

According to court documents, Alexey Mineev set up several "drop accounts" that were then wired funds stolen from banking and brokerage accounts between July and December 2007. He pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering on Wednesday, according to Mike Ruocco, deputy to Judge Paul Gardephe of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, who is presiding in the case.

The criminals would infect PCs with malicious Trojan software that would steal account numbers and passwords whenever victims logged into their accounts online.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 8:02:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 08, 2009

Movie directors, composers, authors, legal experts, policy-makers and others are meeting in Washinton this week to discuss the "threats and opportunities" the Internet poses to copyright in the digital age.

Some 500 delegates from more than 55 countries are scheduled to attend the 2nd World Copyright Summit being held on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Convention Center. Web and software giants Google and Microsoft and representatives of movie, music and book rights societies are also among those attending the summit organized by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), whose president is Bee Gees brother Robin Gibb.

Organizer CISAC, listing the "key issues" for the summit, cited "How the digital media environment is providing common threats and opportunities to all creative repertoires."

French Culture Minister Christine Albanel, Hollywood director Milos Forman and US Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are among the nearly 100 speakers slated to address the gathering. Looming over the summit is the threat posed to artists by digital piracy.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Monday, June 08, 2009 9:12:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 05, 2009

"In the week we used the system we found it very useful to pupils, teachers, therapists and parents alike. It allows children to take control of the conversation without having to rely on help from us.", Sue Williams, head teacher at Capability Scotland's Corseford School in Kilbarchan, said.

'How was school today?' is software to help children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy communicate faster. The system is the result of a project between computing scientists from the Universities of Aberdeen and Dundee, and Capability Scotland. Pupils from Corseford School in Renfrewshire were first to trial it.

Scientists claim to have developed the first technology of its kind to allow children with communication problems to converse better.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Friday, June 05, 2009 5:09:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

British YouTube users are amongst the most sensitive in the world, executives at the site have claimed. Amid demands for an independent regulator to police its content they said Britons are amongst the most likely to object to footage hosted on the site.

The company has reacted by introducing special “Britain-only” policies following a raft of complaints from users over gang-related videos. Victoria Grand, head of policy at YouTube, told The Times: “The UK is a big flagging country. We get a lot of videos flagged up in the UK because of issues that British people are concerned about which maybe aren’t an issue in the US, such as the brandishing of guns.”

 

(Source: TimesOnline)

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TimesOnline

Friday, June 05, 2009 3:48:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 04, 2009

The government of Bahrain has introduced an e-government services that can be accessed through mobile phones. The mobile portal will allow anyone with a mobile phone to communicate with all government entities and avail of their services. The services are accessible through a mobile version of the national portal to WAP-equipped phones, in addition to other services available via text message. The initial phase of the mobile portal will include 11 basic government services, with 39 more to be rolled out by year’s end, taking the total to 50. The key services include enquiries regarding electricity bills and traffic contraventions, daily price index, flight information, school examination results and registration of complaints to government bodies.

Launching the mobile portal and CSCs are two of the basic components of e-government vision. By offering government e-services through multiple easy-to-access delivery channels, everyone is included, regardless of education, income, gender, age or nationality, with the aim to achieve quality and integration with a focus on customer satisfaction.”  said H.E. Sheikh Ahmed bin Ateyatalla Al Khalifa, the government of Bahrain’s Cabinet Affairs Minister and Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology member.

Source: Future Gov

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Bahrain e-Government Portal

Thursday, June 04, 2009 10:34:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 03, 2009

As many as 40,000 Web sites have been hacked to redirect unwitting victims to another Web site that tries to infect PCs with malicious software, according to security vendor Websense.

The affected sites have been hacked to host JavaScript code that directs people to a fake Google Analytics Web site, which provides data for Web site owners on a site's usage, then to another bad site, said Carl Leonard, threat research manager for Websense.

Those Web sites have likely been hacked via a SQL injection attack, in which improperly configured Web applications accept malicious data and get hacked, Leonard said.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009 3:29:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Spending more time on social networks and blogs? With the latest figures showing the number of minutes spent on social networking sites in the United States has almost doubled over the past year.

Nielsen Online, which measures web traffic, said the number of minutes on social networks in the United States rose 83 percent in April from the same month a year ago, but found users were quick to move on and sites could quickly fall from favor.

The total number of minutes spent on Facebook surged 700 percent year-on-year to 13.9 billion in April this year from 1.7 billion a year ago, making it the No. 1 social networking site for the fourth consecutive month. News Corp's MySpace was second most popular but the number of minutes spent on this site fell 31 percent to 4.97 billion from 7.3 billion a year ago, although it remained the top social networking site when ranked by video streams.

 

(Source: Reuters)

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:36:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 01, 2009

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced a landmark agreement reached by over 30 African ministers to mainstream climate change adaptation measures into national and regional development plans, policies and strategies.

The Nairobi Declaration adopted at the Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) called on the international community to support the continent in implementing climate change programmes while at the same time achieving sustainable development, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable, such as women and children, who bear the brunt of the impact of global warming.

“Africa’s environment ministers have today signalled their resolve to be part of the solution to the climate change challenge by forging a unified position, within their diversity of economies, in advance of the crucial UN climate change convention meeting in Copenhagen in just 192 days time,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

The Declaration highlights the need for a coherent financial mechanism to battle climate change, with equitable governance and simplified access procedures. In this regard, African ministers are advocating for the improvement and modification of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in order to ensure equitable geographical distribution of projects that contribute to sustainable development efforts on the continent. They are also calling for the expansion of eligible categories to benefit from carbon credits and other international incentives to include sustainable land use, agriculture and forest management, in order to promote agricultural productivity in a way that improves resilience and adaptation to climate change.

Source:United Nations

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Nairobi Declaration

Monday, June 01, 2009 4:50:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

An Australian woman who cyber-stalked an American Idol contestant was jailed for 26 months. Tanya Maree Quattrocchi pleaded guilty to stalking 2004 American Idol runner-up Diana DeGarmo by hacking into her My Space account and hijacking email accounts belonging to the singer, national news agency AAP reported.

Victorian County Court judge Lisa Hannan described Quattrocchi's offences as serious and said she had no option but to send her to jail. "It is important that you understand the fact you perpetrated your offending using cyberspace does not diminish its significance," Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper quoted Hannan as saying. She said the victims of such crimes had no doors to lock or alarms to activate, adding: "They are constantly vulnerable."

 

(Source: AFP)

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Monday, June 01, 2009 3:26:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Accessing your bank account using your mobile phone might seem safe, but security experts say would-be hackers can access confidential information via a simple text message seemingly from your service provider.

People in the industry aware of the risk see it as extremely small, as only a few people use handsets to access their bank accounts, but it is growing as mobile Internet usage rises.

 

(Source: Reuters)

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Monday, June 01, 2009 2:51:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 29, 2009

President Barack Obama is calling digital security a top priority, whether it's guarding the computer systems that keep the lights on in the city and direct airliners to the right runway or those protecting customers who pay their bills online.

Obama is expected to lay out broad goals for dealing with cyber threats while depicting the U.S. as a digital nation that needs to provide the education required to keep pace with technology and attract and retain a cyber-savvy work force. He also is expected to call for a new education campaign to raise public awareness of the challenges and threats related to cyber security.

 

(Source: AP)

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Friday, May 29, 2009 3:25:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A mother has been reunited with her son, 27 years after she claims he was kidnapped, after her sister saw him on the social networking site Facebook.

Avril Grube, 62, who lives in Poole, Dorset, says she was given custody of her son Gavin Paros after her marriage to a Hungarian man broke down in 1982. His father, who died in 2006, had visiting rights but took him to Hungary and Ms Grube has not seen him since. But Mr Paros met his mother again this week after being found on Facebook.

Avril Grube and her sister Beryl Wilson who lives in Liverpool, had spent years trying to trace her son, even contacting the Hungarian Embassy and taking their case to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. 

 

(Source: BBC)

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Friday, May 29, 2009 1:17:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 28, 2009

ID theft victims are much more likely to get hit with fraudulent charges on their credit cards or debit cards, according to a new study from the Identity Theft Resource Center that tracks the effects of ID theft.

While repairing the damage from ID theft involves some cost for things like police reports, photocopying, travel, etc., ranging from an average of $739 for dealing with damage done to an existing account to $951 to fix the aftermath of a fraudulently opened new account, the real pain comes from the time spent dealing with the mess. It took 58 hours on average to deal with ID theft involving existing accounts, and a painful 165 hours for new accounts, the study found.

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:18:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Spammers seem to be working a little bit harder these days, according to Symantec, which reported Tuesday that unsolicited e-mail made up 90.4 percent of messages on corporate networks last month. That represents a 5.1 percent increase over last month's numbers, but it's nothing out of the ordinary. For years, spam has made up somewhere between 80 percent and 95 percent of all e-mail on the Internet.

Symantec reported that nearly 58 percent of spam is now coming from so-called botnets --networks of hacked computers that can be misused by criminals to steal financial information, launch attacks or send spam. The worst of the spamming botnets -- called Donbot -- generates 18.2 percent of all spam, according to Symantec.

These botnet computers can be rented out on the black market by anybody, but in recent months some spammers have been moving away from botnets, experimenting with a new way to sneak their unwanted e-mail past corporate filters, according to Adam O'Donnell, a researcher with antispam vendor Cloudmark.

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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PCWorld website

Thursday, May 28, 2009 9:49:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 27, 2009

As part of this year’s focus on education, the UN Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technology and Development (GAID) presented the newly formed University of the People, a non-profit institution offering higher education to the masses.

For hundreds of millions of people around the world higher education is no more than a dream, Shai Reshef, the founder of the University of the People, told reporters. They are constrained by finances, the lack of institutions in their region, or they are not able to leave home to study at a university for personal reasons. Mr Reshef said that this University opened the gate to these people to continue their studies from home and at minimal cost by using open-source technology, open course materials, e-learning methods and peer-to-peer teaching. Admission opened just over two weeks ago; and without any promotion some 200 students from 52 countries have already registered, with a high school diploma and a sufficient level of English as entry requirements. Students will be placed in classes of 20, after which they can log on to a weekly lecture, discuss its themes with their peers and take a test - all online. There are voluntary professors, post-graduate students and students in other classes who can also offer advice and consultation.

Source: United Nations

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009 3:12:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A Taiwanese man has been arrested for allegedly swindling more than 200 million Taiwan dollars (6.25 million US) from 50 women in one of the largest cyber scams in the country, police said.

The suspect, Chuang Shih-chung, claimed to be working for a Malaysian investment firm and encouraged the women he met on online dating sites to buy overseas stocks through him, said the Criminal Investigation Bureau

At least 50 women from across Taiwan have fallen victim to the 31-year-old, who was arrested on Tuesday with four accomplices, the bureau said, adding that more victims have subsequently contacted the police.

 

(Source: AFP)

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009 3:07:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Experts on information and communication technology (ICT) from the United Nations, private industry, non-governmental organizations and government agencies have met in Geneva to look at ways to use the latest digital innovations to fight poverty and improve public health.

“The objective is to introduce cutting-edge, innovative knowledge, experiences, expertise and best practices” to the work of the UN, and the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development in particular, according to the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID), which organized the one-day meeting. “New technologies can boost education through distance learning, content creation and delivery, and teacher training,” GAID noted in a news release. “They can help create new job opportunities for people living in poverty. These technologies can also empower women and the disadvantaged to increase their access to information and participate in the economy.”

The Alliance also noted that advances in health information systems based on ICT are improving patients care and healthcare providers’ productivity worldwide. However, developing countries lag behind in employing ICT to these ends. “While diseases in developing countries account for over 90 per cent of the global disease burden, it is estimated that only 10 per cent of the more than $100 billion spent annually on health research is allocated for health problems prevalent in these countries,” it stated.

Source: UNESCO

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009 2:30:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

With US government and private computer networks facing increasing attack, the White House announced that President Barack Obama would unveil a report on US cyber security on Friday.

"The report is an important first step towards securing our nation's cyber infrastructure," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters. "The administration recognizes the very serious threats public- and private-sector networks face from cyber crime and cyber attack," he said.

"Recognizing these threats, the president has elevated cyber security to a major administration priority," Gibbs added.

 

(Source: AFP)

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009 2:01:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Chinese man who extorted virtual items and currency from a fellow Internet cafe user to improve his performance in online games was sentenced over the weekend, local media said.

With three friends, the man beat up the victim and forced him to turn over virtual currency worth 100,000 yuan (US$14,700), China's official Xinhua news agency reported late Sunday. The attackers also extorted virtual equipment for online games from the victim, local media said. The men were each fined and the main attacker sentenced to three years in prison by a court in northeastern Liaoning province.

Selling in-game weapons, armor and other items to players for real-world cash is a common way for China's online gaming companies to a turn a profit. Internet cafes in China are often packed with chain-smoking teenagers who play World of Warcraft or similar Chinese games for long hours.

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009 12:40:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a report showing that there are some significant factors which increase the likelihood of online sexual abuse of girls. The researchers suggest that 'girls are more likely to experience online sexual advances or have offline encounters if they have previously been abused or have a provocative avatar'.

Sites such as Facebook and MySpace allow individuals to describe themselves as well as post photographs and the type of photographs and accompanying texts give individuals their online identity and directly affects online behaviour and interaction.

The authors suggest that....."self-presentations can change the way Internet users interact in a manner that increases the risk for online sexual advances.."

(Source: CNN)

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009 12:15:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 25, 2009

A new Vatican website, www.pope2you.net, has gone live, offering an application called "The pope meets you on Facebook", and another allowing the faithful to see the Pope's speeches and messages on their iPhones or iPods.

The Vatican's World Communications Day this Sunday is devoted to communicating the gospel with new technologies. "We recognise that a church that does not communicate ceases to be a church," said Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the Vatican's Social Communications department. "Many young people today are not turning to traditional media like newspapers and magazines any more for information and entertainment. "They are looking to a different media culture, and this is our effort to ensure that the Church is present in that communications culture."

Users of the new site can select from more than a dozen "virtual postcards" with pictures of the pope and messages from him on faith, love and life specifically aimed at young people, and send them to other users.

 

(Source : Reuters)

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Monday, May 25, 2009 1:08:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

California has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a law to keep violent video games out of the hands of anyone under 18. A U.S. Court of Appeals revoked the law in February. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger urged the court to let parents decide. But the Entertainment Software Association called the petition a "complete waste" of time.  

The law was passed by California legislators in 2005 but was blocked by the video-game industry. Brown and Schwarzenegger compared the ban on violent games to banning pornography.

"I signed this important measure to ensure parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children," Schwarzenegger said. "By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled, this law would allow parents to make better informed decisions for their kids."

 

(Source : NewsFactor)

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Monday, May 25, 2009 10:45:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 22, 2009

Video-sharing website YouTube has removed hundreds of pornographic videos which were uploaded in what is believed to be a planned attack.

The material was uploaded under names of famous teenage celebrities such as Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers. Many started with footage of children's videos before groups of adults performing graphic sex acts appeared on screen. YouTube owner Google said it was aware and addressing the problem.

Under other uploaded videos, online users posted comments such as: "Take the tags off, you'll get us caught." Another said: "Your gonna kill us all!" As the disturbing videos were being uploaded, many viewers added them to their favourites and rated them highly.

 

(Source : BBC)

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Friday, May 22, 2009 3:17:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China has targeted cybercrime in three new sets of regulations issued this month as the activity starts to look like an established industry in the country.

Cybercrime in China has grown such that attackers often divide the labor needed to design malware, distribute it and turn the resulting access to remote PCs into monetary gain, security analysts say.

Over 1.2 million computers in China in 2008 were infected by software that let an attacker control them as part of a botnet, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

 

(Source : PCWorld)

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PCWorld website

Friday, May 22, 2009 1:10:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 21, 2009

Identity thieves that hit Facebook last week with a new round of phishing attacks are harvesting passwords for profit.

The newest Facebook attacks resemble previous phishing rounds in their tactics: A compromised account sends a malicious link to friends. That link leads to a site that mimics the legitimate log-in page. But users duped into entering their usernames and passwords are likely giving away more than just their Facebook credentials.

"It's not surprising that they're targeting Facebook," said Kevin Haley, a director on Symantec's security response team. "Facebook has, what, 200 million-plus users? The bad guys always go where's there's a lot of people."

 

(Source : PCWorld)

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PCWorld website

Thursday, May 21, 2009 4:16:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Militants and hate groups increasingly use social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube as propaganda tools to recruit new members, according to a report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The report was based on "over 10,000 problematic Web sites, social networking groups, portals, blogs, chat rooms, videos and hate games on the Internet which promote racial violence, anti-semitism, homophobia, hate music and terrorism."

Examples of what the report calls "digital terrorism and hate" range from a Facebook group named "Death to gays" in Croatian to a YouTube video of a Koran being burned and various Web sites promoting militant groups such as Hezbollah, the Taliban, al Qaeda and Colombia's FARC.

 

(Source : REUTERS)

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 11:00:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Researchers from Cambridge University have found that many photos were still accessible on a number of social networking sites  including Facebook, even after having been deleted.

The researchers reported that Flickr and Google's Picasa performed better, while Microsoft's Windows Live Spaces removed the photos immediately.

A Facebook spokesperson stated: "When a user deletes a photograph from Facebook it is removed from our servers immediately. However, URLs to photographs may continue to exist on the Content Delivery Network (CDN) after users delete them from their Facebook, until they are overwritten. overwriting usually happens after a short period of time".

 

(Source: BBC)

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 7:39:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre reports in its Annual Review that it had assisted in protecting '139 children and disrupte 82 paedophile networks' during the past year.

The types of crimes, in the UK and abroad, include a wide range of offences from possession of indecent images of children and rape.

Jim Gamble, CEO of CEOP, stated, "..This is not about technology - this is about people. There is no distinction between the online and offline worlds......This is about the behaviour of offenders manipulating any environment to abuse children..."

CEOP's Annual Review showed that there was a "fast and growing trend" of grooming through social networking sites and warns that mobile Internet access was "placing new and additional responsibilities on parents".

Mr Gamble added, "...Child protection is everybody's business and we should afford our children the same protection online that we would give them in the park or playground".

(Source; BBC)

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 7:51:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

New York State Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo's office reports that a group of 7 individuals operated a 24hour prostitution service called 'Room Service Entertainment' from Craigslist's erotic services section.

Cuomo's office added that Craigslist was the "sole vehicle through which the company operated". The advertisements listed included either a pornographic or semipornographic photograph with a phone number "to arrange a date". If found guilty of enterprise corruption, the group of 7 could all face up to 25 years in prison.

In a written statement, Andrew Cuomo stated, "Until Craigslist gets serious about putting real protections in place, it will continue to be an environment where criminal operations thrive with impunity".

 

(Source: CNN)

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 7:22:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |