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Greek Olympian DQ'd Over Tweet

Greek Olympian DQ'd Over Tweet

Today in international tech news: A Greek Olympian gets disqualified over a tactless tweet. Also: NBC and the IOC gear up for what could be the world's biggest-ever pirate fight; a Chinese Internet-crime crackdown leads to 10,000 arrests in four months; a group in Sweden files for religious protection, claiming file-sharing is their dogma; and Twitter might turn over personal details for the owner of a parody account.

By David Vranicar
07/26/12 10:02 AM PT

Voula Papachristou, Greece's top female triple-jumper, has been barred from competing in the Summer Olympic Games because of a "tasteless" tweet, according to Yahoo Sports.

The Greek Olympic Committee announced the ban after Papachristou's tweet about how, with so many African immigrants in Greece, West Nile mosquitoes could "eat home made food."

The comment caused a stir on Greek social media, but two days passed before Papachristou's apology appeared.

NBC, IOC Gearing Up for Pirates

NBC, the U.S. rights holder for the Olympic Games, and the International Olympic Committee will have their hands full trying to contain pirated and streamed coverage of the Olympics, according to TorrentFreak.com.

Illicit torrents and streams of sporting events is nothing new, but pirating is especially pervasive at the Olympics. The Beijing Olympics' Opening Ceremony was downloaded millions of times within days of the broadcast.

It was such a problem, according to Torrent Freak, that the IOC sent a letter to he Swedish Minister of Justice regarding Sweden-based torrent site The Pirate Bay, asking for assistance in stymieing the downloads. While the IOC's efforts did little to stop the downloads, they did inspire "The Beijing Bay" -- a website devoted wholly to Olympic downloads.

This is set to happen again -- and then some -- according to Torrent Freak. BitTorrent sites will be overflowing with Olympic torrents, as they were last year, but the IOC and NBC will also have to contend with a plethora of streaming sites -- adthe.eu and rojadirecta.me among them -- as well as a surge of video clips.

Well aware of these illegal venues to watch the Games, NBC is gearing up for a real-time game of cat-and-mouse .

NBC, which paid more than US$1 billion for broadcast rights, will not offer a free stream of Friday's Opening Ceremony in the U.S. Instead, streaming will only be available to those who have paid cable subscriptions -- thus creating a "hotbed" for illegal streams and piracy, according to Torrent Freak.

Chinese Police Bust Internet Crime Gangs

Chinese law enforcement authorities busted more than 600 gangs for Internet-based crimes, according to Chinese outlet Xinhua.

The crimes include arms dealing, illegally collecting citizens' information, and spreading lewd content, according to Xinhua.

The police crackdown, launched in March, has resulted in more than 10,000 arrests. More than 3 million "harmful" online messages have also been erased.

Sweden Addresses File-Sharing - in Church

Seeking legal protection, a group in Sweden registered as a religion whose dogma is that file-sharing is sacred, according to The New York Times.

The "religion" is called "Kopimism," which comes from the Swedish words for "copy me." It reportedly has more than 8,000 "faithful" who have registered on the church's website.

The Times article sometimes reads like a parody. It mentions, for instance, a "permanent link to the divine through a Nokia" -- but the story is nonetheless real. The Kopimists are, according to the Times, an extension of Europe's burgeoning piracy movement. Sweden's Pirate Party received 7.1 percent of Sweden's votes in the 2009 European Parliament elections.

Owner of Fake Twitter Handle Warned

UK-based Northcliffe Media issued a subpoena to Twitter regarding a fake account spoofing Northcliffe chief executive Steve Auckland, according to the BBC.

Twitter, in turn, warned the owner of the account -- @UnSteveDorkland -- that they will reveal his identity to the company, according to the BBC.

Twitter sent the account owner an email advising him to seek help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation or the ACLU, the BBC also reported.


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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