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Archive for August 18th, 2009

Domain tasting wiped out by ICANN rule change

OUT-LAW: The organisation responsible for the internet’s addresses says that it has almost completely put a halt to domain name tasting, a practice engaged in by cybersquatters.

ICANN rules say that a person can cancel the registration of their domain name within five days and receive a full refund. This was used as a loophole by operators who registered millions of domain names, placed ads on them and kept the income from the ads.

They returned most of the domains within five days, keeping only those that had enough traffic generating enough advertising income to pay for the cost of the domain name. Cybersquatters reportedly built automated systems to exploit the grace period.

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Police Taser use ‘up nearly a third’

Independent: Police use of Taser stun guns has increased by nearly a third, figures revealed today.

Officers fired the electro-shock weapons 226 times in the first three months of this year – up from 174 in the last three months of 2008.

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Legal battle over British detainees

Independent: A human rights organisation has announced the start of legal action against the Government over questions of alleged rendition to Afghanistan.

Reprieve will demand the Ministry of Defence gives answers about the treatment of two men arrested by the British in Iraq in 2004 who have since been held at the US detention facility at Bagram air force base in Afghanistan.

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Changes confirmed for data protection and freedom of information appeals

OUT-LAW: People appealing against rulings by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will face a new tribunal structure from January next year. The Information Tribunal, which hears appeals on ICO rulings, will become part of a wider system.

Changes confirmed for data protection and freedom of information appeals

Under the new regime, which awaits Parliamentary approval, very serious or very complex cases will be sent to a more senior tribunal straight away, while junior tribunal hears more everyday cases.

The ICO makes rulings on whether or not there have been breaches of the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. People or organisations who disagree with those rulings appeal to the Information Tribunal.

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Hacking and identity theft ring busted after stealing 130m credit card numbers, US says

Telegraph: Three men were indicted on charges of being responsible for five corporate data breaches in a scheme in which the card numbers were stolen from Heartland Payment Systems, 7-Eleven Inc and Hannaford Brothers Co, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

The suspects also hacked two unidentified corporate victims, the US attorney’s office in New Jersey said in the statement.

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Novartis sues Glaxo Smith Kline over vaccine patent

Times: Novartis, the Swiss drugs giant, has launched a legal action against Glaxo Smith Kline claiming that its larger rival is infringing one of its patents.

The move, which will be fiercely resisted by the British company, is the latest twist in a bitter dispute that centres on the techniques used to produce a set of vaccines aimed at preventing childhood illnesses, including bacterial meningitis.

It is unusual for the large drugs companies to sue each other, but the case underscores the importance to all drug developers of protecting their intellectual property — their key asset. Vaccines in particular are becoming a growth area for the big pharma companies.

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Dubai collapse sparks £3bn in legal claims

Times: The collapse of Dubai’s once-booming construction industry has created a backlog of legal claims totalling almost £3 billion.

Disputes over unfinished contracts and outstanding payments are stacking up in the emirate’s arbitration court, according to Building magazine.

This year, more than 180 claims have been filed, mostly by international contractors. British firms are estimated to be owed at least £400m on contracts in the United Arab Emirates, many of which relate to work for state-backed investment and development firms.

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