Most consumers know all too well about the loss that can occur when private data falls into the wrong hands - a risk that has progressively increased in our digital world, where vast amounts of information is stored on our computers and passed back and forth electronically. For businesses, the repercussions of compromised data can be even more devastating.

Right now, when consumer data breaches are at a record high, accountability is a key issue.


As people move an increasing part of their lives into global and local networks, the development of privacy intrusion techniques and technologies faces exponential growth. The will to eavesdrop on other's private communication is reaching new heights. As this occurs, the concept of privacy is being obliterated. Privacy is under attack, giving birth to the current situation where consumer's private information is commonly considered to be an approved target. The constantly increasing demand to acquire personal and confidential information has boosted the supply of eavesdropping techniques and technology.


A U.S. district judge has ordered Google, the Search Engine, to release information about users that use their YouTube service. The major entertainment corporation Viacom won the legal battle against Google, resulting in access for Viacom to information about YouTube users and their "tubing" behavior, i.e. which videos they watch on the YouTube site. The verdict will also give Viacom access to the login-names and IP-addresses of the YouTube users, even though Viacom says that they will not use the information to frame individuals.


The FRA, Swedish National Defense Radio Establishment, that recently was approved to start their extended surveillance activity targeting wire-based Internet traffic and traffic in the mobile networks, may intercept personal e-mails between local Danish vicars and Danish people in their search for a cure of the souls. How is this possible, you ask? The e-mail of the Danish church is handled via servers placed in Sweden, and FRA is allowed to intercept communications as they pass the Swedish border, according to the newly adopted FRA law.


We are disappointed to announce that the FRA-law that we discussed in yesterday's blog was actually accepted as law by the Swedish Riksdag (national government) yesterday. The number of delegates voting for the new law was 143 and the number of delegates voting against the law was 138. The number of delegates that were absent, and therefore did not vote, was 67.  Only one delegate refused to vote on the matter. Apparently, there was "no time" to wait for a proper investigation of the entire proposal and the addendum, and the decision was to accept the law quickly and then wait for an extra addendum proposal this autumn. The fast process was highly criticized but the directive was to come to a resolution before the summer holidays.


Many in the security industry have called for consensus anti-spyware legislation in the U.S. to fully hold spyware distributors accountable for their actions, and to deter spyware vendors from violating consumers privacy.


Here at Lavasoft, we do our best to help you to stay in the know on industry and security news so you're informed on topics relating to your online privacy.

While it's important to stay educated on the latest malware threats and the growth of online crime, at times, it can seem that the bulk of the news is bad news. Here's a change of pace - we've come across some interesting news on the web to help you stay up-to-date on steps taken to stop and deter the bad guys of online crime.


While reports tell us that the cyber crime economy is still going strong, there have been a number of arrests and courtroom wins against the bad guys of online crime in the past few months. To name a few (some of which included lengthy, cross-border investigations):


Here's a news update for those that have been following the U.S. FBIs Operation Bot Roast investigation ...


In the courts this week:

A U.S. federal judge granted a request by the Federal Trade Commission for a judgment against a software developer, an affiliate of ERG Ventures, who was accused of taking part in a scam that infected millions of victims' computers with spyware.


Todays crime and punishment security news: police in Canada have busted a hacker ring that is believed to have run a botnet of up to one million zombie PCs, involving 100 countries around the globe.


We've brought you news of the growing botnet threat with an article in our Spyware Education Center and updates in Lavasoft News. This weekend brought a new botnet-related news story making the headlines.

A California, U.S. man has admitted to infecting a quarter of a million computers with malware and spyware, allowing attackers to control the machines remotely in order to steal the personal details of thousands of people.