Archive for January, 2010:

Are YOU on the list? – Update

Posted on Jan 28 2010 by Neil Watson | No Comments

In one of our early opinion articles back in September 2008, we highlighted the practices of a law firm (Davenport Lyons) who were sending out a number of threatening letters to alleged illegal file sharers demanding a settlement fee of over £300 or threatening court action. The law firms antics were picked up by the consumer group Which? who responded by reporting the firm to the SRA (Solicitors Regulatory Authority).

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Yesterday’s news reports suggest Which? has identified another law firm operating this practice. In November 2009 a ruling by the Royal Courts of Justice granted ACS the ability to demand the personal details of thousands of customers from ISPs. These customers are once again accused of illegal file sharing and once again Which? has come to their rescue. The accused customers are receiving letters demanding between £300 and £500 or face the threat of court action. Which? argues that many of those targeted have been wrongly accused (again) and as we stated in our original article (Are YOU on the list?) this could well be the case as the law firm and copyright holders are identifying the illegal file sharers using IP addresses which can be easily hijacked and spoofed.

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Anti-privacy prophet or just plain profiteering?

Posted on Jan 26 2010 by Darren Farnden | No Comments

Back in December Facebook infuriated many of its users and a number of privacy organisations when it revealed changes to its existing privacy settings which encouraged users to make as much information as possible available to the entire web and even removed the ability to make your name, gender, city and friends list private. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has now taken this privacy argument a step further claiming prophet status as he apparently foresaw a new social norm where we apparently care less for our privacy and are not concerned by the world and its dog seeing our personal information.

    Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

    Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Firstly, I don’t know about you but I still care about my privacy and I am less than happy about sharing my personal information with the entire Internet. So his foreseen privacy-liberal world is not exactly the reality he is claiming, at least not just yet.

Zuckerberg states in his interview with TechCrunch “When I got started in my dorm room at Harvard, the question a lot of people asked was ‘why would I want to put any information on the Internet at all? Why would I want to have a website?’

And then in the last 5 or 6 years, blogging has taken off in a huge way and all these different services that have people sharing all this information. People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.”

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Google finally stands up to China

Posted on Jan 13 2010 by Neil Watson | 1 Comment

Is it the end of the road for Google.cn?

Yesterday on the official Google Blog, David Drummond, Google’s Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer announced that following a cyber attack in December Google is now considering withdrawing its operations from the Chinese market. Clearly there’s more to this though and we think market leaders should make a stand against the restriction that Chinese government censorship applies to Chinese web users.

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Through a thorough investigation since mid December Google allegedly has evidence to suggest that the attack originated in China and its aim was to access the Gmail accounts of several US, European and Chinese based human rights advocates. The company also has evidence to suggest that the attacks did not only affect Google, advising that an additional 20 large corporations in various industries including the Internet, media, finance and chemical sectors were also affected.

The Register reports that one of these additional companies was possibly Adobe, although the company has not confirmed whether or not the two incidents were related. Adobe also announced news of its attack via its corporate blog advising that they had become aware of “a computer security incident involving a sophisticated, coordinated attack against corporate network systems managed by Adobe and other companies.”

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Poll: The Government’s IMP is…?

Posted on Jan 11 2010 by Gemma Dickinson | No Comments

The UK’s mobile operators have recently united against the government’s planned IMP (Improvement and Modernisation Programme) which will require all ISPs and operators to collect and store all IP communications.

We would like to know what you think about the government’s plans and have created a poll to capture your thoughts.

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Bono – stick to singing!

Posted on Jan 05 2010 by Darren Farnden | 6 Comments

In a recent opinion article of his own within the New York Times, U2 front man Bono warned all creative types to beware of the evils of the Internet, especially us greedy ISP types.

He states “The only thing protecting the movie and TV industries from the fate that has befallen music and indeed the newspaper business is the size of the files. The immutable laws of bandwidth tell us we’re just a few years away from being able to download an entire season of “24” in 24 seconds. Many will expect to get it free.” A tad over dramatic but he’s probably right on that one.

However he continues “A decade’s worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators — in this case, the young, fledgling songwriters who can’t live off ticket and T-shirt sales like the least sympathetic among us — and the people this reverse Robin Hooding benefits are rich service providers, whose swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business.”

This statement just goes to show why multi-millionaire Bono should stick to singing and campaigning for poorer nations and leave the economics of Internet service provision to the professionals. Those of us within this supposedly swollen, profit rich Internet industry are more than aware of the reality. Consumer demand for the cheapest, fastest broadband continues to increase resulting in even lower profit margins for us “greedy” ISPs.

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