In Washington this past week, companies across the technology industry were bracing themselves for the unveiling of a draft of a trade agreement they fear could jeopardize all sorts of online activities. This agreement that is being negotiated by the United States and other trading partners’, aims to create an international framework to crack down on counterfeiting, copyright violations and other intellectual property theft. Skeptics however warn that this would infringe on free speech and other kinds of online expression by making technology companies responsible for the mistakes of their users.
Tessler (2010) says that most technology companies have not issued comments about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, but off the record, they say that their protection is important not only for Internet providers, but for online companies that host user-generated content. They fear that ACTA contains provisions that will require them to cut off users who violate copyright protections and possibly hold the companies responsible for these violations. This past week also started on a fighting note as McAffee and Adregate went on a mission to curb Malvertisers (Malicious Advertisers).
McAfee, which is a security software maker and Adregate Markets, a provider of distributed e-commerce applications teamed up to provide online publishers and advertisers with a service that is meant to help curtail advertisements that are full of malicious software and augment online sales. McAfee and other software vendors predict that there will be drastic increases in malvertising campaigns in 2010 as hackers attempt to rake in a small piece of the $30 billion industry (Barrett, 2010).
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Todd Gebhart, the General Manager of McAfee’s consumer, mobile and small business group, says, “ the shift towards a distributed Web, where the content and commerce are available anywhere poses significant security challenges for advertisers, as retailers are no longer under the protective umbrella of the security mechanisms enabled on their primary Website. ” He says that their aim for partnering with Adregate is so that they can set a standard for online advertising security in order to protect customer’s data and privacy. In other news, Hitler ‘Downfall’ parodies have been removed from YouTube.
It is reported that on Tuesday, the clips on YouTube that have been watched by millions of people began to disappear from the site. This was following Constantin Films (the company that owns rights to the film) call to which YouTube complied. According to Martin Moszkowicz, head of film and TV at Constantin films in Munich, not only had the company been fighting copyright infringement for years, but they had also received complaints about the tastefulness of the clips by Jewish organizations. In addition to this, Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said that they were delighted.
He said that he found them to be in bad taste, and they made light of not only the Holocaust but the Second World War as well. In the social scene, a Google software engineer has discovered a privacy hole in Facebook. Ka-Ping Yee says that he discovered this loophole as he was playing around with Facebook’s new Graph API, and he was able to see the list of all the events the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg attended, promised to attend or might attend to anyone that asked. The danger in this, he says is that this might reveal very personal information, like your personal addresses and even your friends addresses.
He further reiterates that it is not even possible for your friends in Facebook to access this list. Just two weeks ago, Facebook launched its new safety center in an effort to deal with the issue of privacy for its 400 million users worldwide. This latest development has caused a stir and some subscribers say that they are considering deleting their Facebook profiles altogether as this is a very sticky situation to be in.
- (2010). Hitler ‘Downfall’ Parodies Removed from YouTube. Retrieved April 23, 2010
- Barrett L. (2010). McAfee, Adgregate Take on Malvertisers. Retrieved April 23, 2010 from http://www. esecurityplanet. com/features/articles. php/3877246/McAfee-Adgregate-Take-On-Malvertisers. htm
- Tessler J. (2010). Tech Companies Fear Implications of Trade Pact. Retrieved April 23, 2010 from http://news. yahoo. com/s/ap/20100420/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_copyright_trade_agreement_2
- Woollacott E. (2010). New Privacy Hole in Facebook Makes Zuckerberg’s Party Plans Public. Retrieved 24, 2010 from http://www. tgdaily. com/security-features/49522-new-privacy-hole-in-facebook-makes-zuckerbergs-party-plans-public
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