Monday, January 29, 2007

Think twice before you send that mail

All those who flirt on e-mail, send confidential company information, or send hate mail about their bosses from anonymous IDs: here is what to do.

Stop right there. The humble e-mail is bouncing back.

In the seven years after the country passed its information technology law that made e-mails legal documents, there has been almost no awareness and compliance - and few seemed to care. But that is all changing, with e-mails at the heart of a series of new Indian lawsuits.

E-mails are increasingly becoming a foundation of litigation in India. Many cases have been brought to court. No judgement yet reported.

But Indian laws require a complex set of requirements to prove that e-mails have not been tampered with.
  • E-mails are considered legal documents in India since 2000, when the Information Technology Act came into force.
  • E-mails are legal if they are made available in electronic form, and accessible in a way that they can be used for future reference.
  • They must be retained in the format in which they were originally generated, sent or received. Electronically available details showing the identification of the origin, destination, date and time of dispatch or receipt are a must.
  • Offenders can be imprisoned for a maximum of 10 years and may have to pay a penalty of up to Rs 1 crore.
E-mail archiving is now shaping up into big business.
Read here

Monday, January 22, 2007

All Wikipedia Links Are Now NOFOLLOW

As of now are all outbound links from the english Wikipedia Site using the NOFOLLOW attribute, no exceptions.

No matter where you place it, Article Page, Talk Page, User Page, Project Page, whatever. No Link will get any credit at the major search engines.

This will not eliminate SPAM at Wikipedia, but it will over time certainly reduce it a bit. Especially the spam of invisible pages that have virtually no traffic but at least some PageRank is now virtually a waste of time for any spammer.

Spamming of areas with traffic was futile already without the NOFOLLOW attribute in place, since Editors remove the SPAM within hours or even minutes after it happened.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Social network users ruining their privacy!

Students at the University of Bristol have recently been warned of the dangers of posting to social networking websites. They aren't the first to hear these warnings, and they won't be the last.

Prof. Nigel Smart of the Computer Science Department at the University of Bristol has expressed his concern at the worrying trend of people giving up their privacy on the internet via social networking websites. He told HEXUS: "I am concerned that from some of the posts I have seen, by colleagues, students and others, that there is a deep societal problem emerging of people giving up their privacy without realising it".

Just about anyone can read what's posted onto social networking websites like Orkut, MySpace and FaceBook. 'Anyone' includes the intended audience of friends, but potentially relatives, teachers and employers too.

People have been posting stuff onto the web for years, though, so why is privacy suddenly a bigger problem for a larger number of people? Three or four years ago, it was all about chat rooms and forums. Both have a level of anonymity by default; you can choose your handle and only talk about what you want to, truth or lies... nobody will know.
There's more to worry about on the web than predators and viruses. We're giving everyone access to our personal lives.

Showing off your drinking triumphs to your friends? What if prospective employers are watching?
It's easy to get an account with almost any social-networking site, and we've learned from chat rooms, it's easy to pose as somebody else. It's easy, then, to get added to a friend list (especially with the 'more friends the better' attitude of current social-networking sites). Suddenly, that 'friends only' stuff is pretty much public.

Social networking users need to take a step back and think about just what they're posting onto the Internet. It'll probably be too late for a number of people, and it'll take a lot more 'victims' of the lack of privacy before most users actually start heeding these warnings. Just beware that anything posted online to your friends now, could very easily come back to haunt you in days, months, or even years to come.

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