Mar 13, 2008

Industry News 13th March 2008

Virtual demos over net censorship

Thousands of people are taking part in "virtual protests" against countries accused of censoring the internet. For its first Online Free Expression Day, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has created virtual versions of nine public spaces.

These areas where protests are not normally possible include Beijing's Tiananmen Square and Kim Il-Sung Square in the North Korean capital Pyongyang. RSF says at least 62 cyber-dissidents are in jail around the world. More than 2,600 websites, blogs, or forums were closed down or blocked last year, the group says.


Ad system will protect privacy

Two respected privacy campaigners have praised the user protection measures of a controversial online advertising system about to be deployed in the UK. The tools, developed by US firm Phorm, track users' online surfing habits.

BT, Virgin and Talk Talk have signed up to trial the technology. Campaigner Simon Davies said: "We were impressed with the effort that had been put into minimising the collection of personal information." Mr Davies and Gus Hosein were invited by Phorm to assess its privacy protection measures. The two work with campaign group Privacy International but their work for Phorm was done as part of a new privacy start-up, 80/20 Thinking Ltd. Phorm has said its tools anonymise the data it collects and that users can opt out via their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) at any stage.