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Canada’s new email law: gone too far or list optimization at its finest?

canada-emailYesterday was a big day for Canada.

Yes, of course, it celebrated Canada Day, but it also saw a new anit-spam email law go into effect, and apparently that put businesses in a tizzy trying to comply:

Under a new antispam law that went into effect on Tuesday, the sender of any commercial electronic message — emails, texts and potentially some social media postings — must first verify that they have the recipient’s consent. The regulator, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, also says the rules apply to senders in the United States or anywhere else who want to communicate virtually with Canadians.

Scammers, criminals & paedophiles ask Google to scrub their search results

Right to be forgottenWhen the European court of justice ruled that Google must allow citizens the right to be forgotten, they probably thought they were helping drunk college kids, scorned lovers, and those without any fashion sense, take back their web identity.

A noble cause.

According to The Guardian newspaper, what actually happened was the apparent scum of Europe applied to have their shady misdeeds scrubbed from the public eye:

Google said last Monday that it had so far received 41,000 requests to take down sensitive material from people in Europe since the landmark ruling, including a politician with a murky past, a convicted paedophile and a man who had attempted to murder his family and wanted to remove links about his crime. Google chief executive Larry Page has said that nearly a third of the 41,000 requests received related to a fraud or scram [sic], one fifth concerned serious crime, and 12% are connected to child pornography arrests.

Judge throws out Gmail privacy case and it’s another legal victory for Google

cat peeringGoogle’s lawyers are taking a vacation next week now that two big lawsuits are off the table. Yesterday, Google settled a 7-year lawsuit with Viacom over copyright issues. Today, a judge tossed out a class action suit involving privacy and Gmail.

Privacy and Gmail, you say? Excuse me while I throw a Jumbo Shrimp on the barbie.

The issue stems from Gmails habit of scanning your mail in order to send targeted advertising. . . I mean. . . protect you from spam. Gmail users said that this was an invasion of privacy so a small group tried to file a class action suit on behalf of a larger body of users.

According to Bloomberg, a win could have resulted in damages of $100 a day per person for violating federal wiretap law.

Viacom and Google finally settle their ongoing lawsuit

google-viacom

The lawsuit that has been going on since THE.BEGINNING.OF.TIME is finally over. Google and Viacom have (not so) quietly settled their dispute.

Phew, That Was Close! Court Rules You CAN Link to Another Web Site

Link or Cake?It almost seems crazy that we even need a court ruling on this, but the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that it is legal to link to another web site.

Google’s sphincter just relaxed a little.

I mean, can you imagine an internet where we needed to get permission before linking to each other? Google, for one, would have to shut down immediately. Fortunately, the courts–at least this European one–have obviously read the legal text, “How to state the bleedin’ obvious” and ruled on a case where some journalists where claiming that a link to their story infringed on their copyright.

The plaintiffs wanted to be compensated for the hyperlinks placed by Retriever because, they alleged, the defendant infringed on copyrights by linking to the articles without paying the copyright holder…

Twitter Teeters Between Informed Users and Government Censors

Twitter transparency tweetRunning a giant social media company is tough. You’re responsible for keeping a member’s secrets secret but you also have to respond when the government and law enforcement come knocking. In order to satisfy both sides, companies comply with legal requests but then disclose these requests in broad terms to users. They call it transparency but it’s more like a foggy window pane and the fog is getting thicker.

Both Facebook and Twitter released their latest transparency reports this week but as far as US data goes, they’re not very informative. And this comes on the heels of an agreement by the US Justice Department that allows social media sites to disclose “more” information. They can now report the number of National Security Letters (NSLs) and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) separately but only in groupings of 1,000.

Google Managers Could Face Life Imprisonment for Defamation…

Freedom of Speech…in India.

…for the words of a Blogspot.com customer.

Whaaat?

No, seriously. The WSJ is reporting on a case now before the Indian Supreme Court that will effectively decide if Google (and others) can be held “liable for criminal activities on its network.”

The case against Google was brought by Visaka, which makes corrugated cement and asbestos fiber sheets, after an anti-asbestos blog hosted by Blogspot contained allegations Visaka was being protected because it was backed by leaders of the ruling Congress party. Visaka said it had no connection to the party and filed a case charging Google India with criminal conspiracy, defamation and publishing content that is defamatory.