Emergency phone and internet data laws to be passed

Emergency powers to ensure police and security services can continue to access phone and internet records are being rushed through Parliament.

Prime Minister David Cameron has secured the backing of all three main parties for the highly unusual move.

He said urgent action was needed to protect the public from “criminals and terrorists” after the European Court of Justice struck down existing powers.

But civil liberties campaigners have warned it will invade people’s privacy.

» via BBC

A pair of award-winning writers decorated by the Queen have told a House of Commons debate that only education can solve the piracy problem . Assemblies on copyright should take place in every school, one suggested, while the other favors letting kids know that it’s only J.K Rowling that gets Hollywood money “for writing a little story about wizards.”

Copyright Education Needed in Every School, Parliament Hears | TorrentFreak

According to the summary, the government document says any contact between people in Britain through social networks based elsewhere, or use of search engines located outside Britain, constitutes “external communication,” and as such, is subject to interception, even when no wrongdoing is suspected. By contrast, under British law, “internal communication” between people based in the country may be intercepted only when there is suspicion of illegal activity as specified in a government-issued warrant overseen by the courts.

British Spy Agencies Are Said to Assert Power to Intercept Web Traffic - NYTimes.com

The UK government will seek to amend the 1990 Computer Misuse Act “to ensure sentences for attacks on computer systems fully reflect the damage they cause.” Currently, the law provides for a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment for those who commit the offence of impairing a computer. A new, aggravated offence of unauthorised access to a computer will be introduced into the Computer Misuse Act by the government, carrying far longer sentences. A hack that causes deaths, serious illness or injury, or is found to seriously damage Britain’s national security will be punished by life in prison under the proposed new law.

Hackers face life sentences in Britain - Security - Technology - News - iTnews.com.au

OCR, one the UK’s biggest exam boards, told the newspaper: “Of Mice and Men, which Michael Gove really dislikes, will not be included. It was studied by 90 per cent of teenagers taking English literature GCSE in the past. “Michael Gove said that was a really disappointing statistic. In the new syllabus 70-80 per cent of the books are from the English canon.” But the reform has been criticised by academics, who have said it will deter students from pursuing the subject.

Michael Gove ‘axes’ To Kill a Mockingbird and other American classics from English literature GCSE syllabus - Education News - Education - The Independent

The free national newspaper collection, contained in the British Library newsroom, will unlock more than 300 years of British history dating back to the English civil war. It fills more than 20 linear kilometres of shelf space. With access to newspapers on digital and microfilm, along with collections of TV and radio broadcast news and the archiving of 1bn domain web pages per year, it promises to be a valuable source of information for researchers.

British Library newsroom has 750m pages of newspapers and magazines | Media | theguardian.com

After a public consultation and a thorough inspection of local copyright legislation, the UK Government decided to change current laws in favor of consumers. The changes have been in the planning stage for a few years, but this summer they will finally be implemented. Starting in July people are free to make copies of DVDs, CDs and other types of media, as long as it’s for personal use. To inform the public about these upcoming changes the Government has just released a consumer guide, summing up citizens’ new rights. “Copyright law is being changed to allow you to make personal copies of media you have bought, for private purposes such as format shifting or backup,” the UK’s Intellectual Property Office writes. “The changes will mean that you will be able to copy a book or film you have purchased for one device onto another without infringing copyright.”

UK Govt: DVD and CD Ripping Will Be Legalized This Summer | TorrentFreak

Drivers to be banned from wearing Google Glass

The Department for Transport has acted before the invention goes on general sale amid fears that users could be distracted.

Google is expected to put the device, which is worn like a pair of glasses, on the market next year.

» via The Telegraph

Wanted: Royal librarian to look after the Queen’s 125,000 titles

It is a bookworm’s dream job: the Royal Collection is advertising for a librarian to look after the Queen’s 125,000 titles.

It is seeking “an exceptional scholar and bibliophile” to run the Royal Library at Windsor Castle for £53,000 per year. The library contains one of the world’s finest collections of Old Master Drawings, including the largest group of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci.

It also has a unique collection comprising over 4,500 military maps and documents, spanning the four centuries from Agincourt to Waterloo.

» via The Telegraph

British spy agency said to tap world's phone calls, e-mails

Accusations of broad government surveillance have traveled across the pond. Britain’s intelligence agency has reportedly been collecting and storing vast amounts of data from the world’s telephone calls and Internet traffic — and sharing that information with the National Security Agency.

Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters secretly gained access to fiber-optic cables that carry the world’s communications, reports the Guardian. The GCHQ taps into huge amounts of data from these cables and stores it for up to 30 days to be looked over by analysts from GCHQ and the NSA.

The Guardian reported Friday that documents shown to them by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the secret operation, code-named Tempora. It gives the GCHQ and the NSA access to “recordings of phone calls, the content of email messages, entries on Facebook and the history of any internet user’s access to websites.”

» via CNET