NewsBits for December 29, 2004 ************************************************************ Former diplomat cleared of child porn charges A Thai court has cleared a former Australian diplomat of child pornography charges. Robert Scoble, 55, was on trial for distributing child pornography for profit on the Internet. He was arrested in March after the Australian embassy in Bangkok asked Thai police to carry out an investigation into the activities of his Bangkok gay and lesbian travel agency. - - - - - - - - - - Child porn suspect ordered jailed though in wheelchair A man accused of taking pornographic pictures of young girls must remain in jail even though he's in a wheelchair. Jay Gilbert argued he should be released because he is on medication and needs periodic assistance. He also argued his is not a flight risk because he can't stand without falling. Authorities say some of the photos were downloaded into Gilbert's computer. - - - - - - - - - - Trojan horse threatens latest Windows XP Online miscreants have released a Trojan horse that can infect computers running Microsoft's Windows XP, installing programs to remotely control a victim's system. The program--dubbed "Phel," an anagram of "Help"--infects visitors to a maliciously-created Web site through Internet Explorer's Help controls, Symantec warned in an advisory this week. - - - - - - - - - - Court puts kibosh on Net phone rules A federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling yesterday that prohibits the state of Minnesota from regulating Internet-based phone calling as if it were a traditional telecommunications service. The ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis, in an appeal brought by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, is a victory for companies like Vonage that provide phone calls over the Internet. - - - - - - - - - - Symbian worm source code slips out Cabir, the Symbian OS and Series 60 UI-targeting malware, is expected to spread significantly in the coming months after the source code was posted on the Internet this week. Anti-virus software companies has believed that the worm, which was first detected in June 2004, was the work of a tightly-knit virus-writing cabal. However, the code appears to have slipped out and been brought to a wider audience. - - - - - - - - - - Cyber cafes open up to curb porn Cyber cafe owners across the city are getting wiser to customers accessing pornographic sites and even at the cost of privacy, several of the cafes are taking steps to curb such activity. However, the absence of a proper monitoring system still means the Net is used for accessing porn. - - - - - - - - - - Vioxx replaces porn as top spam topic ID theft scams, stock picks also popular Porn ads slipped down the list of top junk e-mails in 2004, replaced by those hawking online Vioxx prescriptions, ID theft scams and stock pick information, America Online said. - - - - - - - - - - Dutch watchdog savages spammers The Netherlands' success against the senders of junk emails and text messages highlights the UK's failure to get to grips with spam. Dutch telecoms regulators have imposed fines totalling 87,500 for a range of spamming offences. Opta, the Dutch post and telecommunications regulator, said on Tuesday the highest fine of 42,500 had been given to an individual who had been involved in four separate spam attacks.,39020330,39182754,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - The year in technology Technology proved a mixed blessing in 2004, taking three steps forward and two steps back -- maybe even two and a half steps back. Biometrics were supposed to make our borders safer; but chip-enabled visas and the US-VISIT fingerprinting program raised just as many questions as they answered. Online banking soared and so did online fraud. - - - - - - - - - - Justice IG: Counterterror data sharing stalled The Justice Department still cannot check the vast majority of U.S. visitors against the FBIs criminal master file, department inspector general Glenn A. Fine said today in a review of counterterror database integration. The reasons are inconsistent fingerprint collection methods and lack of common biometric standards. - - - - - - - - - - Inauguration Requires Boost In Bandwidth Preparing wireless networks for an event like next month's presidential inauguration has become as critical as erecting the barricades and ordering the party platters. Several hundred thousand VIPs, protesters, police officers and onlookers are expected to make cellular calls on Jan. 20 from along the parade route, convention halls and hotel lobbies in and around the District. - - - - - - - - - - South African crime fighters get inventive Want a computer that screams when a thief strikes? Or a personal tracking unit in case you get kidnapped? All this from the nation that brought you the anti- hijack flame-throwing car. South Africa's inventors are dreaming up ever more ingenious ways of getting one over on the criminals.,10801,98596,00.html *********************************************************** Search the Archive at: *********************************************************** The source material may be copyrighted and all rights are retained by the original author/publisher. The information is provided to you for non-profit research and educational purposes. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however copies may not be sold, and NewsBits ( should be cited as the source of the information. Copyright 2000-2004,, Campbell, CA.