Loek EssersAmsterdam correspondent for IDG News Service, IDG News Service

Loek Essers focuses on online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues.

Facebook offers real-time feed of user data to online and TV news

techhive.com

Facebook revealed a new tool that enables news organisations to tap into user comments and display them online or on TV in real-time.

Botnet likely caused spike in number of Tor clients

The spike is likely being caused by a botnet, according to one of the original Tor developers.

Survey: Almost 90 percent of Internet users have taken steps to avoid surveillance

Hackers, criminals and advertisers are at the top of the list of groups people wish to avoid, according to the survey from the Pew Research Center's Internet Project and Carnegie Mellon University.

Rapidshare

File hosting service Rapidshare must scan for copyright infringing files, German federal court rules

Online file locker services that, like Rapidshare, have a business model that provides an incentive to share copyright protected materials must monitor incoming links to discover infringing files, the German Federal Court of Justice has ruled.

facebook

Facebook's new face recognition policy astonishes German privacy regulator

A German privacy regulator is astonished that Facebook has added facial recognition to a proposed new privacy policy it published on Thursday.

Pirate Bay co-founder's appeal of fraud conviction relies on 'remote control' argument

Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg's appeal of his conviction on charges of data intrusion, attempted aggravated fraud and aggravated fraud started on Wednesday, with arguments centering on the contention that other parties used the defendant's computer by remote control.

Privacy campaigners want review of Irish Facebook, Prism decisions

The privacy campaign group Europe-v-Facebook said Wednesday it will ask the Irish High Court to review decisions made by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner not to investigate Facebook and the U.S. government surveillance program Prism.

patent

Samsung claims Ericsson is demanding billions more for its patent licenses

Samsung Electronics claims that Ericsson demanded billions more for patent licenses after their license agreement expired in 2007.

Linus Torvalds celebrates 22 years of Linux with nostalgic message

It was 22 years ago on Sunday that Linus Torvalds announced in a newsgroup posting that he was creating a free operating system, a message he echoed in his announcement Sunday of the latest Linux kernel release candidate.

Google buys augmented reality display patents from Foxconn

Google has bought Foxconn's Hon Hai Precision Industry display patent portfolio as the search company ramps up its development of Google Glass.

google privacy

Privacy groups criticize proposed $8.5 million Google settlement

Five U.S. privacy groups have opposed a proposed $8.5 million settlement with Google in a class action lawsuit over search privacy, as it fails to require Google to change its business practices, they said.

pirate bay

Illegal downloads surge after the Netherlands blockades Pirate Bay, study finds

Downloading from illegal sources has increased instead of decreased six months after a court ordered ISPs in the Netherlands to block access to The Pirate Bay, according to research from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Tilburg University, released Thursday.

bing apps

Microsoft launches ad-free Bing search for schools

Microsoft has launched an ad-free, no cost version of its Bing search engine that can be used in public and private schools across the U.S.

bitcoin

German government okays Bitcoins for private transactions

The German Federal Ministry of Finance said on Monday that Bitcoin is not a full-fledged currency but that it is permissible to use it in private transactions.

Stripe

Online payments startup Stripe lands in the UK

San Francisco-based online payments startup Stripe expanded to the U.K. Thursday.