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Knockoff Sellers Knocked Offline on Cyber Monday

Knockoff Sellers Knocked Offline on Cyber Monday

Today in international tech news: Cyber Monday inspires a crackdown on sites selling illegal merchandise, a sex offender in Northern Ireland wants Facebook to get rid of a page called "Keeping our kids safe from predators," and Samsung reveals findings from a factory audit in China.

In both 2011 and 2012, U.S. authorities seized domains of streaming sites the week of the Super Bowl. The logic, apparently, was that the Super Bowl was the mother of all illegal viewing events, so it figured to be a good time to knock these sites offline.

The Super Bowl might yet be months away, but something similar has happened.

On Cyber Money -- the Super Bowl, if you will, of online shopping -- U.S. authorities seized some 130 domain names in several countries to prevent them from selling counterfeit merchandise.

According to the Associated Press, this is the third straight year authorities have launched a Cyber Monday counterfeit crackdown. Websites selling knockoff sports jerseys, DVDs and other merchandise were targeted.

The sites were seized after copyright holders confirmed that bunk products were being sold.

Sex Offender Fights Facebook Pedophile Page

A convicted sex offender wants Facebook to remove a page called "Keeping our kids safe from predators," which is devoted to monitoring pedophiles in Northern Ireland.

According to the BBC, the man -- who cannot legally be identified but who did reportedly spend time in prison for sexual assault -- is also seeking an injunction to prevent his photograph and details from appearing on Facebook. He wants Facebook Ireland to terminate the accounts of those operating the page.

The man, who is reportedly in bad health, claims that his neighbors are acting differently toward him, according to the judge hearing the case. Facebook has already removed the man's photograph as well as comments made about him. A Facebook lawyer said further action is not necessary.

Conference to Discuss UN Web Authority

Many countries will use a conference next week in Dubai to push to give a United Nations body broad regulatory powers over the Internet.

According to Reuters, the conference of the International Telecommunications Union, an arm of the UN, will pit "revenue-seeking developing countries and authoritarian regimes" who want more Internet control on one side, and the U.S. and Internet companies that will fight for the status quo on the other.

U.S. Congress and European Parliament have put forth resolutions for the current decentralized system to stay in place. Meanwhile, leaked drafts suggest Russia is pushing for rules that give individual countries "broad permission to shape" what is on the Internet in their countries. A group of Arab nations is proposing universal identification of Internet users.

The Reuters article points out that many countries -- Russia, China and some Arab states among them -- already restrict Internet access within their borders. However, such restrictions would reportedly be greater with validation in the form of an international agreement.

Google asked users last week to take to social media in support an open and free Internet. In addition, Google's Vint Cerf told Reuters that proposals to restrict the Internet were destined to fail.

Samsung Calls Itself Out on China Labor

South Korea-based Samsung has admitted that it found illegal work practices during an audit of more than 100 of its Chinese suppliers.

According to The Guardian, the audit, which reportedly covered more than 65,000 employees, found instances of excessive overtime hours and fines for being late or absent. However, the audit reported that, after conducting interviews with all staff under 18, there were no instances of child labor.

Samsung is the world's biggest maker of mobile phone and smartphones, as well as a huge supplier of memory chips and touchscreens.


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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