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Google hopes to win Chinese ‘hearts and minds’

Google has stopped censoring search results in China, acting on a decision it made in January. Users visiting its Chinese site, Google.cn, are now redirected to its Hong Kong site Google.com.hk, where search results are offered in the simplified Chinese script used in mainland China. Google described the workaround as entirely legal, as Hong Kong, while part of China, has a different legal system. The immediate effect on Chinese Internet users will be small: Google handles fewer than 20 percent of Chinese Internet searches, with local company Baidu holding over 75 percent of the market. However, some observers speculate that Google may be following a long-term strategy, hoping to win the hearts and minds of a new generation of freedom-loving Internet users who will grow up to prefer Google for its anti-censorship stance.

Branded adwords not trademark infringement

The European Court of Justice has ruled in favor of Google in a case concerning the use of trademarks in online advertising. French luxury goods maker LVMH took Google to court for using its brand names as keywords to trigger ads. The Court concluded that Google has not infringed trade mark law by allowing advertisers to purchase keywords corresponding to their competitors’ trade marks. It’s not all good news for LVMH’s competitors, though. The court also ruled that advertisers using such keywords must make it easy for Internet users easily to establish who is really making and supplying the goods or services advertised.

Mozilla patches Firefox

Just days before the start of a hacking contest targeting Web browser vulnerabilities, Mozilla has patched its Firefox browser. The 3.6.2 update fixes a critical bug in a font decompression routine that could be exploited to crash a victim’s browser and execute arbitrary code. Apple and Google have also fixed their browsers in the past few weeks.

Hackers arrested in Russia

Three men accused of being involved in an audacious attack on a US payment processing system in 2008 have been arrested by the Russian Security Service, FSB, in an event that is being interpreted as marking a sea change in Russian policy towards cybercrime. The FSB arrested the alleged Russian mastermind of the attack and two alleged accomplices, all believed by the FBI to be involved in a 9 million dollar raid on a US-based payment processing system run by RBS WorldPay

New Zealand asks for more ACTA transparency

New Zealand officials want more transparency in negotiations of a secret international copyright treaty, according to the country’s commerce minister. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, ACTA, has so far been discussed entirely behind closed doors, but New Zealand officials are pushing for the release of more information about the next round of negotiations, which will be held in New Zealand next month.

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