U.S., Israel developed Flame computer virus to slow Iranian nuclear efforts, officials say
The Washington Post – Ellen Nakashima, Greg Miller and Julie Tate
The United States and Israel jointly developed a sophisticated computer virus nicknamed Flame that collected intelligence in preparation for cyber-sabotage aimed at slowing Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, according to Western officials with knowledge of the effort.
The massive piece of malware secretly mapped and monitored Iran’s computer networks, sending back a steady stream of intelligence to prepare for a cyberwarfare campaign, according to the officials.
Foreign Policy – Rebecca MacKinnon
The incident underscored the extent to which people around the world have come to rely on Facebook for political activism and discourse — from the Green Movement in Iran, to revolutionaries in Egypt, to U.S. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. Facebook is not a physical country, but with 900 million users, its „population“ comes third after China and India. It may not be able to tax or jail its inhabitants, but its executives, programmers, and engineers do exercise a form of governance over people’s online activities and identities.
Gamers Need a Bill of Rights
The Atlantic – Yannick LeJacq
The need for gamers to assert their rights becomes immediately apparent now that real money has been introduced to the Diablo world. As Edward Castronova, Professor of Telecommunications at Indiana University Bloomington and scholar of virtual economies, explained to me, multiplayer videogames have long featured complex economic interactions with real-world implications—whether in money gained or lost, or simply the amount of time sunk into a virtual world. Since EverQuest first launched in 1999, games often used a „dual currency model“—where all goods within a virtual world are exchanged with a unique virtual currency.
But within any dual-currency model, a third party market invariably arose where users could trade virtual goods through a platform like eBay. Lacking the regulation of either the game itself or a real-world government, these sales gave rise to „gold farming“ (harvesting virtual goods or currency to sell to other users, such as this Diablo III player claiming to make 60 million coins an hour) and periodic charges of de facto „virtual sweatshops“ arising (a more insidious form of gold farming where groups of players work inhumane hours for substandard pay)—transforming a leisure activity presumed to be fun into a geopolitical nightmare.
Network Neutrality and Quality of Service: What a Non-Discrimination Rule Should Look Like
Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School – Barbara van Schewick
This paper proposes a framework that policy makers and others can use to choose among different options for network neutrality rules and uses this framework to evaluate existing proposals for non-discrimination rules and the non-discrimination rule adopted by the FCC in its Open Internet Order. In the process, it explains how the different non-discrimination rules affect network providersʼ ability to offer Quality of Service and which forms of Quality of Service, if any, a non-discrimination rule should allow.
EuroDIG: Will Governments Let Civil Society Rescue Net Governance?
Intellectual Property Watch – Monika Ermert
The roles of governments, civil society and industry in ruling the internet – and other spaces – seems to be in a profound change. With governments in cross-border law enforcement situations increasingly unable to protect fundamental rights, as European Parliament Member Marietje Schaake said during a session of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) in Stockholm last week, it seems to be civil society that can do something about it.