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Iran Threatens to Sue Over Google Maps Slap

Iran Threatens to Sue Over Google Maps Slap

Today in international tech news: Still irked about Google Maps' non-labeling of the Persian Gulf, Iranian state-run media says the country is considering legal action against the search company. In the UK, police implement a system to extract data from mobile devices of detained suspects, while Sky News talks with police about the broadcast of a rape victim's name via a televised Twitter feed.

Iran has threatened to sue Google over Google Maps' labeling -- or non-labeling, rather -- of the Persian Gulf, according to CNN.

Iran raised the issue earlier this month and heightened the rhetoric this week.

From CNN:

On state-run Press TV, the Iranian regime warns it may take legal action against Google for not labeling the Persian Gulf ...

"Toying with modern technologies in political issues is among the new measures by the enemies against Iran, (and) in this regard, Google has been treated as a plaything," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Thursday, according to state-run Press TV.

He added that "omitting the name Persian Gulf is (like) playing with the feelings and realities of the Iranian nation."

Iran went so far as to accuse Google of carrying out the objectives of Iranian enemies, according to CNN.

CNN adds that at least nine Facebook pages are devoted to this Google Maps/Persian Gulf issue, including "Hey Google, put Persian Gulf back on the map" and "Boycott Google for removing Persian Gulf from the maps."

UK to Collect Suspects' Phone Info

The Metropolitan Police, which is the largest police service in and around London, will start collecting mobile phone data from detained suspects, according to the BBC.

The data in question includes text messages, contacts and call histories, according to the BBC.

From the BBC:

Until now, officers had to send mobiles off for forensic examination in order to gather and store data, a process which took several weeks.

Under the new system, content will be extracted using purpose built terminals in police stations.

It will allow officers to connect a suspect's mobile and produce a printout of data from the device, as well as saving digital records of the content.

The extraction of data can only be carried out if there is "sufficient suspicion" that the suspect used the mobile phone for criminal activity. Once it is carried out, however, it will be retained whether or not the suspect is charged, according to the BBC.

Televised Twitter Disaster Goes to Police

British media outlet Sky News met with police Thursday to discuss the live broadcast of a rape victim's name via a Twitter feed, according to The Guardian.

The error occurred during a report about Twitter users who had disclosed the identity of the woman whom professional soccer player Ched Evans was convicted of raping.

From The Guardian:

Officers from North Wales police on Thursday questioned four staff at Sky News' Osterley headquarters in southwest London after the broadcaster inadvertently displayed a Twitter feed that named the 19-year-old victim on air last month ...

Sky News said in a statement: "Yesterday we met with North Wales police to demonstrate and explain the technical error which caused the inadvertent broadcast of the victim's name in a recent serious sexual assault case.

"The name was on screen for a fraction of a second and was visible only when viewed in slow motion. We apologized to the victim and her family as soon as we became aware of the error and are co-operating fully with the police."

The article goes on to report that it is now up to the Crown Prosecution Service whether or not to press charges.

Evans was sentenced to five years in prison.

Anonymous Goes After India

Hacker group Anonymous attacked a slew of websites in India, according to British outlet The Register.

The DDoS blitz targeted sites of the Supreme Court, India's two main political parties and several other government sites.

The attack was spurred by a court injunction which led to the blocking of multiple file-sharing sites.

From The Register:

While some sites, such as those of the two parties and the Supreme Court, appear to be up and running again now, the Department of Telecoms and the Ministry of IT sites were still down at the time of writing.

Also down for 'maintenance' was the site of Copyright Labs, the Chennai-based antipiracy firm which obtained the original John Doe Injunction (via ArsTechnica) against sites such as Vimeo, DailyMotion and The Pirate Bay to prevent illegal sharing of local films "Dammu" and "3."

Anonymous recently hit British ISP Virgin Media after it enacted the UK's block of The Pirate Bay.


Tech Trek is a blog that looks at tech news from around the world. David Vranicar is a freelance journalist currently living in the Netherlands. His ECT News Network archive, with links to articles and podcasts, is available here. You can email him at david.vranicar@newsroom.ectnews.com



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