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English Soccer Player Lobs One at Twitter

English Soccer Player Lobs One at Twitter

Today in international tech news: An English soccer player blasts Twitter for not doing enough to stop threatening and derogatory messages. Also: A security firm details Russia's penchant for corporate cyberespionage; a Scandinavian venture capital group creates a Bitcoin database; and the UK's anti-porn firewall blocks some un-pornographic videogame updates.

By David Vranicar
01/22/14 7:57 PM PT

Stan Collymore, a retired soccer player from England, accused Twitter of sitting on its hands when it comes to combating abusive messages -- of which he has received many.

Collymore, now a broadcaster, became a troll target after he suggested Liverpool forward Luis Suarez faked a foul ("diving," in soccer parlance) in a game played last Saturday. Collymore's audacity in calling out Suarez earned him numerous murder threats, as well as demeaning remarks about his race.

After detailing the threats and insults on Twitter, he tweeted, "I accuse Twitter directly of not doing enough to combat racist/homophobic messages, all of which are illegal in the UK."

In a related story, the Australian federal government has issued a proposal that would force major social networks such as Facebook, Google+ and, of course, Twitter to remove bullying and harmful content.

[Source: BBC]

Russian Government Hacking Away

The Russian government spied on hundreds of companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia, according to CrowdStrike, a U.S. cybersecurity firm.

The victims of this espionage campaign -- which is believed to be purely about economic and industrial interests, not politics or military -- include energy and technology firms. Some of these firms, according to CrowdStrike, have lost valuable intellectual property.

Russian officials were not immediately available for comment.

The report hearkens to Mandiant's early-2013 bombshell that China's military was conducting extensive corporate espionage campaigns against the U.S. on behalf of Beijing.

CrowdStrike pins the blame on Russia's government because of technical indicators, the type of targets selected, and the data that was stolen.

[Source: Reuters]

Bitcoin Database Launched

Creandum, a Stockholm-based venture capital firm, has built the world's largest database of enterprises that do business in Bitcoins.

The database, which contains more than 300 companies -- from payment processors to gambling outlets -- is designed to give entrepreneurs and investors a better handle on who are the key players in the Bitcoin ecosystem, according to Creandum.

The value of Bitcoins isn't pegged to the U.S. dollar or euro, which has led to wild fluctuations. For instance, when China tightened its regulations on the digital currency, its value halved in one day. Weeks later, after social gaming outfit Zynga said it would accept the currency, it once again spiked.

Creandum hopes that its database "will work like Wikipedia."

[Source: The Globe and Mail]

UK Firewall Blocks Videogame Upload

Files used for a videogame update are being blocked by the UK's porn filter because the files contain the succession of the letters s-e-x.

The files, which are for the game League of Legends, are named VarusExpirationTime.luaobj and XertathMageChainsExtended.luaobj. Can you spot the s-e-x sequences?

The updates have been disrupted, resulting in "files not found" errors for gameheads trying to play.

There have been other unintentional blocks of content that doesn't really have anything to do with porn. For example, Internet service provider TalkTalk classified "London Friend" -- a charity for gays, lesbians and the transgendered -- as pornographic.

[Source: The Guardian]


David Vranicar is a freelance journalist and author of The Lost Graduation: Stepping off campus and into a crisis. You can check out his ECT News archive here, and you can email him at david[dot]vranicar[at]newsroom[dot]ectnews[dot]com.


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