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  1. A tweet sent by Cortana's program manager, Marcus Ash, reveals that inside of two weeks, a developer preview for Cortana will be available. Keep in mind that the only Windows Phone 8.1 users in the U.K. that will be able to see and use Cortana, will be those who registered as developers with Microsoft. For the rest of you, the personal assistant will be unavailable for now, unless a hack is devised, of course. Right now, only those in the U.S. with Windows Phone 8.1 are able to use Cortana. In his conversations on Twitter, program manager Ash said that while developing Cortana, Microsoft lea
  2. Earlier this year news broke that UK ISPs are set to team up with copyright holders to notify subscribers found sharing pirated material. Today the initiative has been announced officially, receiving praise from all parties involved. Despite the optimism it may take well over a year before the first warnings are sent out. In an effort to curb online piracy, earlier this year the movie and music industries reached agreement with the UK’s leading ISPs to send warnings to alleged copyright infringers. As we previously revealed, the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP) will only apply to
  3. Police in the UK have become one of the first major police forces to deploy automated facial recognition technology to catch criminals. The British police will be using NEC’s NeoFace technology, which can match faces from crime scene photos or videos against a database of images in just a few seconds. Combined with the highest density of CCTV cameras of any country in the world, police body-worn cameras that are constantly recording, and a CSI-like smartphone and tablet app that allows for face and fingerprint matching in the field, it is rather hard to be a criminal in the UK nowadays. Most m
  4. All it took yesterday was a single article to trigger off a tidal wave of copycat reports across dozens of sites including the mainstream RT.com. Just to be absolutely clear - Britain HAS NOT decriminalized file-sharing and to suggest otherwise only puts people at unnecessary risk. File-sharing remains ILLEGAL in the UK, guaranteed. From next year people in the UK can download and share whatever they like. Movies, music and video games. You name it – it’s a free-for-all download bonanza with zero consequences other than four friendly letters asking people to try Netflix and Spotify. In fact
  5. Less than a week after the UK 'piracy police' shut down the proxy service Immunicity and arrested its owner, clones of the service have started to appear online. The services allow people to access The Pirate Bay and other blocked sites. Just like the original site they are completely free of charge. When Immunicity launched last year TorrentFreak spoke with the owner, who told us he created the service as a protest against increasing censorship efforts in the UK. “We are angered by the censorship that is happening in the UK and in other countries across the globe, so we got our thinking ca
  6. This week, police took unprecedented action by shutting down proxies facilitating access to torrent sites blocked in the UK. With the surprise arrest of the sites' alleged operator leaving people scratching heads, TorrentFreak decided to find out what emboldened police to go after sites that neither carry nor link to any infringing content. Since the launch of Operation Creative last year, UK police have contacted a range of so-called ‘pirate’ sites while giving their operators the opportunity to shut down quietly to avoid further action. It was pretty much certain that torrent and streamin
  7. Domain name suspension requests sent by City of London Police to registrars are not being met with cooperation in a majority of cases. New information obtained through a Freedom of Information request reveals that a total of 70 requests were denied, with just five being granted. Earlier this week City of London Police arrested the alleged operator of a range of proxy sites. The action was framed as a success but new information obtained by TorrentFreak shows that other police anti-piracy efforts are far less effective. “Operation Creative” began with the sending of warning letters to site o
  8. With help from Hollywood, City of London Police have arrested the alleged operator of Immunicity and a range of torrent site proxies. The 20-year-old man was questioned at a local police station, and pending further investigation was released on bail. Earlier today news broke that the proxy service Immunicity had been taken offline by the UK Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). Several reverse proxies offering access to blocked sites such as The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents suffered the same fate. Initially it appeared that the domain seizures were the result of a request PIPC
  9. Continuing its attacks on piracy-related domains, the UK Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has shut down the proxy service Immunicity and several torrent site proxies. The domain names have "seized" by the police and now display a banner warning that the police are investigating the matter. Since last year City of London Police have been working together with copyright holders to topple sites that provide or link to pirated content. The police started by sending warning letters to site owners, asking them to go legit or shut down. Late last year this was followed by a campaign targete
  10. With copyright holders seriously getting into their web-blocking stride in the UK, it is now impossible to access any of the most well known torrent sites from a regular web browser without tweaks. TorrentFreak took a look at some of the world’s most popular torrent and streaming sites in order to figure out which ones remain uncensored in the UK and along the way we discovered a few other items of interest. While Hollywood and the music industry are currently working hard to have dozens of millions of infringing links removed from Google, they are increasingly trying to cut off users’ access
  11. By Matthew Cole First published February 8th 2014, 1:14 am ritish spies have developed “dirty tricks” for use against nations, hackers, terror groups, suspected criminals and arms dealers that include releasing computer viruses, spying on journalists and diplomats, jamming phones and computers, and using sex to lure targets into “honey traps.” Documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden and exclusively obtained by NBC News describe techniques developed by a secret British spy unit called the Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group (JTRIG) as part of a growing mi
  12. By Jimmy Nsubuga Friday 24 Jan 2014 4:57 pm A porn movie was filmed on the Frenchay campus (Picture: Google Maps) A university in Bristol has threatened to take a porn producer to court after he filmed X-rated scenes on one of its campuses. University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) was angered after a 23-minute adult video was recorded on its Frenchay campus last summer. The movie featured a man calling himself Johnny Rockard and Xzena, a woman who claimed to be a student at the institution, engaging in sexual acts around the campus. The university later confirmed none of the perf
  13. January 31, 2014 05:41 Edited time: January 31, 2014 06:21 Documents released by US whistleblower Edward Snowden show the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) used airport Wi-Fi to track passengers from around the world. Travelers passing through a major Canadian airport were potentially caught up in a vast electronic surveillance net, which allowed the nation’s electronic spy agency to track the wireless devices of thousands of airline passengers - even for days after they had departed the terminal, a document obtained by CBC News revealed. The document shows the spy agency
  14. The City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has forced the shutdown of a popular, if not the largest, sports-focused torrent site. A staff member at The Sports Torrent Network, a tracker popular with fans on both sides of the Atlantic, informs TF that in the face of threats closure was the only option. After obtaining government funding to protect the rights of mainstream music and movie companies, last year UK police began a campaign aimed at closing dozens of torrent and other file-sharing sites. Many sites subsequently reported receiving letters from PIPCU, the Police Intell
  15. BT, Virgin Media, Sky and TalkTalk have been quizzed over how they gather and store customers' data in light of a recent EU ruling declaring such practices unlawful. On Tuesday the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the Data Retention Directive, which requires internet service providers (ISPs) to retain “traffic and location data” for at least two years, was unlawful. Privacy campaigners in Austria and human rights advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland had challenged the Directive by arguing it abused individuals' rights to privacy. The cases were referred to the CJEU. In
  16. The UK Government has published a guide informing consumers about an upcoming revision of copyright law which will legalize CD and DVD copying for personal use. The changes go into effect in June, and will also broaden other forms of fair use, including parody and quotation rights. To most consumers it is common sense that they can make a backup copy of media they own, but in the UK this is currently illegal. 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 t
  17. City of London Police is continuing its crackdown on piracy with the launch of an official blacklist that advertising agencies can use to disrupt cash flow to allegedly infringing sites. The "Infringing Website List" is maintained by the the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit in collaboration with entertainment industry groups. Over the past few months City of London Police have been working together with the music and movie industries to tackle sites that provide unauthorized access to copyrighted content. Initially the police only sent warning letters to site owners, asking them to g
  18. Torrentz.eu, the largest torrent search engine on the Internet, has had its domain name suspended following a request from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit in the UK. The site continues to operate under two alternative domains, and is hoping to move the .eu domain to a new registrar. Over the past few months City of London Police have been working together with copyright holders to topple sites that provide or link to pirated content. The police started by sending warning letters to site owners, asking them to go legit or shut down. Late last year this was followed by a campaign
  19. This morning movie streaming portal Cricfree.tv had its domain name "seized" by UK Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit. Whether the intervention will prove to be very effective has yet to be seen, as the site is already back online using a new domain name. A few hours ago we reported that City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) managed to shutter FileCrop, a popular file-hosting search engine. FileCrop wasn’t the only site that disappeared. The same happened to the sports streaming portal Cricfree.tv, which is a fairly popular site with millions of visitors a mo
  20. Continuing its attacks on file-sharing-related domains, the UK Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has shut down its very first search engine. Following an earlier BPI request for it to be blocked by the country's ISPs, in the past few hours file-host search site FileCrop was shuttered as part of a PIPCU investigation. Following its launch in the last quarter of 2013, City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has been working hard to disrupt the activities of sites in the file-sharing arena. The Unit works on the recommendations of international music, movie and T
  21. Soon, UK citizens are free to copy MP3s, CDs and DVDs for personal use. The copyright law revisions, which partially went into effect this month, legalizes this common form of copying. The changes, which will also broaden fair use rights, aim to close the gap between the law and public norms. Most people in the UK may not have realized it, but every time they backed up an MP3 or made a copy of a CD or DVD for personal use, they were breaking the law. Starting today this is no longer the case for the disabled, thanks to a revision of copyright law that just went into effect. Previously the Gov
  22. The Commissioner of City of London Police admitted this week that just 4% to 10% of sites shut down when contacted by the new Intellectual Property Crime Unit. Alongside odd comments about the threat of "BitNet" and Tor making up "90% of the Internet", Leppard noted that enforcement will not provide a way out of the piracy problem. This week’s IP Enforcement Summit in London brought together experts and stakeholders from all over the world to discuss intellectual property issues. In attendance were representatives from Hollywood, the music industry, and a whole swathe of companies reliant on
  23. This week, MPAA chief and former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd praised pirate site blockades as an important anti-piracy measure. Speaking at the IP Summit in London, Dodd said that ISP blockades are one of the most effective tools available. Does this mean that Hollywood will try to get these blacklists in place on its home turf? This week many key figures in the copyright protection and enforcement industries gathered for the International IP Enforcement Summit, organized by the UK Government. One of the main topics of discussion was Internet piracy, and how to prevent people from accessing and
  24. Several UK Internet providers have quietly added a list of new domains to their secretive anti-piracy blocklists. TorrentFreak was able to confirm that several popular torrent site proxies were added over the past weekend. However, the blocked domains have been quickly replaced by new ones, continuing the cat-and-mouse game that never seems to end. Following a series of High Court orders, six UK ISPs are required to block subscriber access to several of the world’s largest torrent sites. The blocks are somewhat effective, at least in preventing subscribers from accessing the domains directl
  25. A new survey of young children and adults has found consensus on what should be charged for content online. In both groups, 49% said that people should be able to download content they want for free, with a quarter of 16-24 year olds stating that file-sharing was the only way they could afford to obtain it. The results of a new survey commissioned by YouGov SixthSense on the file-sharing and content consumption habits of citizens in the UK have just been published. Among broader issues, the study, which draws on a sample of 1,907 adults over 16 years old and 614 children aged between 8 and
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