CBL opens lab in Singapore

CBL Data Recovery Technologies Inc. of Toronto has expanded its service offerings by opening a global data recovery laboratory in Singapore.

This follows recent launches within the last 12 months of data recovery labs in North Tyneside, U.K.; Kaiserslautern, Germany and Beijing. With a staff of six technicians and four administrative support, the lab in Singapore has been built on the SUN Systems platform and was developed to cope with increasing job demands due to growth of computing technology in the Asia-Pacific Rim.

Council of Europe wraps up cybercrime treaty

Civil liberty campaigners maintained their opposition to a new draft of a controversial international treaty aimed at combating on-line crime, saying that the draft published by the Council of Europe “lacks privacy assurances.”

The Draft Convention on Cyber-crime will be submitted to the European Committee on Crime Problems on June 18, and could be adopted by member states before the end of this year. The 113-page draft treaty sets legal rules and guidelines for actions such as obtaining information from Internet service providers (ISPs), tapping and collecting traffic data and content data, extradition of cyber criminals and international cooperation amongst authorities. All states that sign the treaty have to change their national laws to reflect the treaty. The 43-nation Council of Europe, not affiliated with the European Union, had been working on the treaty since 1997. The U.S., Canada, Australia and Japan have signed on as associate members of the Council of Europe for the purpose of the treaty.

Who’s reading your instant messages?

Instant messaging (IM) may be a handy and quick communications tool, but experts on the technology warn that it’s also a security risk – vulnerable to eavesdropping and even physical tracking.

“We are building a tool that is constantly keeping tabs on us,” said Brad Templeton, chair of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy watchdog group. Speaking at the Presence and Instant Messaging Conference recently, Templeton said his chief concerns are the logging of chat conversations, their lack of encryption, and the potential for hackers to use them to track where you go. Also brewing are issues such as how and when governmental entities, such as law enforcement agencies and the courts, can obtain IM transcripts, usage information, or other data. A lot of us are already blithely chatting away. Market researchers at IDC estimate users sent 900 million instant messages on a typical day last year and will send about 7 billion a day by 2004.

Moore leaves Intel, but his law lives on

Gordon Moore, one of Silicon Valley’s most influential and respected people, officially resigned from the board of Intel Corp. recently. While his departure might mean the end of an era for the chip maker, Moore’s legacy will live on.

Moore began making waves in the microprocessor industry in 1965 when he originated the idea that chip performance doubles every 18 months – a concept that came to be known as Moore’s Law. Three years later, Moore co-founded Intel, which helped push his law, and profit from it, like no other company in the microprocessor space. He will still attend meetings and provide advice to the company, but Moore can no longer vote on the vendor’s moves. The Intel founder will now direct most of his energy toward the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation dedicated to environmental and educational issues.

MediaBay hits Napster with copyright complaint

Embattled song-swapping service Napster Inc. was swatted with yet another copyright infringement complaint recently, this time by old-time radio show and nostalgia product seller MediaBay Inc.

In its complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, MediaBay charged that Napster contributed to “vicarious copyright infringement and unfair competition” by trading MediaBay radio programs without its permission, the company said in a statement. The company is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages, and is requesting that Napster filter out their programs and block them from being traded. Representatives for Napster said they had no comment on MediaBay’s charges.

U.K. company to test voting by phone

Voting by Internet, while the subject of intense interest in recent years, is still many years away from becoming a widespread reality. But a U.K. company recently experimented with voting by mobile phone, in conjunction with the country’s latest general election.

Boltblue Ltd. began promoting an “SMS election” prior to the election. The company’s “election” was really more of an opinion poll, as it had no binding effect on the election. Boltblue’s effort has been endorsed by the U.K.’s Liberal Democratic Party. Voter apathy, particularly among the young, is increasingly a subject of concern in the U.K. There is some evidence to suggest that those under 25 would be more likely to vote if they could do so by phone. One market research firm found this month that nearly half of 18- to 24-year-olds who plan on not voting say they would vote if they could do so by mobile phone.