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Australian State Outlaws Non-Consensual Sexting

Australian State Outlaws Non-Consensual Sexting

Today in international tech news: An Australian state implements anti-sexting legislation; the NSA uses cookies to track Web use; a South Korean court rules against Samsung in an Apple patent tiff; new name, same story for Apple suppliers in China; France mulls expanded phone and online surveillance; and Google opens its first Asian data centers.

By David Vranicar
12/12/13 11:46 AM PT

The Australian state of Victoria has made it illegal to distribute explicit images without consent.

The new law specifically outlaws "non-consensual sexting," which generally takes place when lovers split and there is post-breakup payback in the form of intimate photos of the former partners.

The law does exempt children who distribute such images in order to ensure that they aren't charged with child pornography. This reportedly has been a problem in the past, and has led to children being registered as sex offenders for sending pictures of lovers who might not be of age.

In what seems a bizarre quote coming from a politician, Coalition member Clem Newton-Brown said, "As the law stands, children can be charged with creating child pornography if they sext."

Thus sexting between minors within two years of one another won't be illegal; forwarding photos to third parties, however, will be.

[Source: The Guardian]

NSA Uses Cookies to Get Its Spy On

The National Security Agency is using cookies, the Web analytics tool preferred to track online activity and target advertisements, in order to enhance its surveillance prowess.

This revelation, broken by The Washington Post, comes from the bottomless barrel of secrets leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden. The NSA used cookie-based tracking techniques to help identify hacking targets, the documents indicate.

As has oft been the case with NSA techniques, the GCHQ, Britain's spying counterpart, has been doing much the same thing.

[Source: The Washington Post]

Seoul Court Rules Against Samsung

No home court advantage here: A court in Seoul, South Korea, has rejected Samsung's claim that iPad and iPhone models violated a trio of Samsung patents.

The court ruled that Apple did not violate Samsung's intellectual property, as the technology in the Samsung patents could be developed via other inventions. The judge added that one of the patents was not, in fact, used in the iPad.

The ruling stems from a March 2012 lawsuit. Samsung was seeking about US$100,000 in damages and, more significantly, a sales injunction against six iPhone and iPad models.

[Source: The Associated Press]

Apple Supplier in Hot Water in China

Pegatron Corportation, a Taiwanese manufacturer of Apple's iPhone 5c in China, is being called out for suspected labor violations.

Several young workers reportedly have died at a Pegatron factory in Shanghai during the last few months. Labor activists have complained that workers at the plant work too many hours and face harsh working conditions.

The story harkens to that of another Apple supplier in China, Foxconn, which also is based in Taiwan. Tumult at Foxconn -- including but not limited to riots and suicides -- seems to have inspired Apple to be more proactive in tackling work-condition issues. Alas, one of Apple's improvements was to diversify its mix of suppliers with companies like Pegatron, sources told The New York Times.

[Source: The New York Times]

France Mulling More Surveillance

The French government is considering an expansion to its digital surveillance capabilities, despite having issued harsh criticisms of the U.S.' propensity for spying.

The new law, working its way through Parliament, would expand the French intelligence service's access to phone and Internet data.

[Source: The Associated Press]

Google Opens Asian Data Centers

Google has opened its first-ever data centers in Asia -- one in Taiwan, another in Singapore.

The centers will help it provide more reliable access to its goodies for the more than 60 million Asians who "landed on the mobile Internet for the first time," said Joe Kava, vice president of data centers at Google.

[Source: Google via BBC]


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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