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IT & Communications

When Australia took action against an internet scammer for sending out notices relating to domains (see here) the effect on those committing similar frauds was... zero.

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One can say many things about the EU but here are two: one it really, really does not understand the internet and how companies operate within it and two it really, really likes simplistic and brutal solutions to complex problems. Perhaps the two things are the same. Article 11 of the Copyright Directive, which a European Committee (the usual handful of grey men in grey suits that were so much a reason for Brexit) has just passed is a perfect example of both. The grey men in grey suits are different depending on the topic. The result is the same: they set law which is rarely subjected to effective review later in the legislative process. But protestors have missed the bus: it left in a 2001 Directive that hardly anyone pays attention to.

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E-mail inboxes have long been plagued with dubious offers to renew domain names or to buy similar names to prevent cybersquatters taking control of them or even for entries into some kind of directory. It's a nuisance but, so far, the perpetrators of the actions have avoided prosecution by a range of sneaky tactics. Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has obtained orders (not convictions) against two companies and a disqualification order against their principle officer.

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Sending server: webmail.123-reg.co.uk
Request for External Wire transfer

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We can do no more than post the content of three spams that arrived in five minutes and urge readers to block the domain trixologyvapors.com to prevent this hyperactive spammer's material reaching staff.

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I get it. India has more than 1,000 million people and lots of them work in some IT related job and they all have to earn a living. But, why do they all have to plunder our details from domain name registrations and send us offers for their services. Do they not realise that there are hundreds, literally hundreds, of them doing that every single day.

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On 4th April, Mark Zuckerberg was in full PR mode: he'd posted family photos on Facebook, carefully emphasising that in his house both Jewish and Christian festivals are marked with food but no sign of frivolity and he'd been seen looking suitably tired. He'd brushed off, at least so far as America is concerned, his refusal to appear before a British Parliamentary Committee. And he'd had a bit of the news agenda taken away from his own, and Facebook's bad news stream by the shooting at YouTube. And so, on a conference call with media selected by Facebook's PR people, when he began to present what he calls "Hard Questions: Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg on Protecting People’s Information" he was not expecting anything like the BBC's Hard Talk. And so it proved: he set the agenda, questions were soft and answers were nebulous.

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This weekend has been an interesting weekend for spam, not the least of which is because such a large amount got through our first line filters: far more than usual. But they were all stopped at the second line of defence and as we trawled through the blocked messages, we came across several that were worthy of comment. One is that old chestnut, the United Nations scam; another is the latest example from a spam-house that now allows us to identify their server farm and it is particularly interesting because it appears to promote a scheme that fell under the bus when the British tax authorities began action in relation to that scheme. And then there's the special mention of the persistent finditeasy.info which is just the most blatant spam-scam that it's hard to understand how they think it will pass any filter. And there's more....

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We are now a further 24 hours into the chaos that was brought to our notice at about 13:00 hours GMT on 10th April when our Group websites began to do down as Names.co.uk started a process of migration of our websites. It is several weeks since Names.co.uk bought our previous provider and their actions have been incredibly disruptive leading to total failure of service to unreliability.

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Following the business-crippling actions by Namesco Limited which attempted to migrate our Group's websites to their servers yesterday, after 12 hours we continue to have several sites down or cannot be reached and more with problems of one kind or another. We have been and continue to press Names.co.uk to resolve the problems they have caused but have no faith in their ability or willingness to do so. We regret the inconvenience to our customers and clients as a result of these failures which are entirely outside our control. The list below includes both our own sites and sites we manage. It is not exhaustive: we are still working through all our sites to identify the scale of the problems.

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We've had enough of spam from a group of servers that is being a serious nuisance. And they all have one thing in common: they are investment related, in one form or another.

Working on the assumption that, if all victims adopt this policy spammers can be at least a little frustrated, this is what we have written to the company hosting the servers because, by reducing the business the ISP can do, there may be some pressure to be brought to bear on them to prevent their servers being used for spam.

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A carefully addressed but badly worded e-mail spam has arrived and it's got the potential to suck in many users across organisations.

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It's registration spam-scam time again. This one, originating from a spurious domain, (.pw domains are much loved by fraudsters and other internet criminals and this one is no exception) is one of the most bizarre e-mails ever and is therefore likely to succeed.

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This is our personal story and we are mightily pissed off. Our long-time internet hosting company was recently acquired by UK hosting company NamesCo. We don't want to use them. The reasons are immaterial. We simply want to transfer all of our domain names to a host of our choice who trade on terms we like and deal with us in a way we want to be dealt with. NamesCo wants to obstruct that and demands what amounts, in our eyes, to a ransom payment to release the domain names which are, after all, our intellectual property because they are terms of art we created.

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Do the terms of access to your company's website contain provisions as to what may be accessed and for what purposes? Do you, for example, point out that domain names and e-mail addresses are terms of art and therefore protected under copyright legislation? Do you say that, as a result, harvesting that data, and other information that may be subject to data protection, is illegal? Do you say that anyone who accesses your website intending to breach the terms of access is unauthorised and that unauthorised access is a criminal offence?

Meet Raj Yadav. He wants you to pay him to do all of those things. If you use him, or his company, then you are conspiring to commit those offences and, even though he's apparently in a jurisdiction where he might be difficult to reach, the chances are you are not. Now: where did your latest mailing list data come from?

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