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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.

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Latest update : 2014-08-06

Google tip-off on child porn email sparks privacy debate

In this edition: a tip-off from Google leads to a child pornography arrest; the controversial "poor doors" segregating building entrances in London and New York; and a 300-metre-long water slide in the heart of Salt Lake City.

GOOGLE TIP ON CHILD PORN EMAIL SPARKS PRIVACY DEBATE

A 41 year old American man was arrested in Houston Texas this week after Google notified local police that he was storing and sharing child pornography via his Gmail account. While many have applauded Google for catching the man, it has raised debate about online privacy and Google`s role in policing the web. 

So although they praise the Mountain View firm for snaring a sexual predator, they have questioned Google`s practices, wondering why it is scanning personal emails sent and received via Gmail. Google says it`s to seek out spam and malware, but critics say it`s to spy on online activity…

But it doesn`t look like Google is about to change its policy despite the controversy. The web giant has spoken clearly, on a number of occasions, of its commitment to fighting child pornography. In a statement posted to the official Google blog last year, the company`s chief legal officer David Drummond said the company developed technology in 2008 to proactively identify child abuse imagery, and it is used with police services the world over to track down and arrest sexual predators. 

"POOR DOORS": SEGREGATED ENTRANCES SPARK CONTROVERSY

These pictures taken in a chic area of London and published by local media, have been met with widespread outrage among web users in the UK. We see two entrances to the same building, one is more luxurious and for richer residents, the other is much simpler and for those on a much lesser income. As British daily The Guardian reports, a growing number of property developers in the UK are opting for these so called “poor doors” to counter the scheme implemented by the local authorities whereby some apartments in new developments have to be made available for subsidized housing.

Many have taken to the web, criticising the “poor doors, describing it as wealth apartheid, as segregation. And as the New York Post reports, separate entrances for rich and poor are not exclusive to the British capital ; it writes about another building currently under construction in New York City on the Upper West Side, where 55 of its 274 housing units are reserved for residents on a lower income, who will have their own separate, and much less salubrious entrance. 

And so outraged web users decided to do something about it. This petition garnered over 40,000 signatures. It was addressed to the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, and called for the controversial “poor doors” to be scrapped. 

And it appears the campaigning has paid off. Bill de Blasio himself has announced he is now looking to eliminate separate entrances in housing developments across the city. It doesn’t look like his London counterpart is about to the same however …Boris Johnson has ruled out a “poor door” ban arguing in an interview with the BBC that the separate entrances help keep housing costs down … 

NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

Residents of Toledo, in the US state of Ohio, were posting under the #EmptyGlassCity hashtag over the weekend, voicing their frustration over a tap water ban. Municipal officials placed the city under a water advisory early Saturday after tests revealed high level toxins in the city`s water supply. Many residents had to travel several kilometers for bottled water. The ban was lifted Monday, to the great delight of locals… 

FAIL OF THE DAY

When the Anne Arundel County police, in Maryland posted a mug shot of a wanted criminal to their Facebook page, they weren`t expecting the man himself to help them track him down: But this is exactly what happened, because he thought he would taunt the police by posting a series of messages under his own mug shot on the social network. He bragged “Y`all never find me”… but they did, as they were able to identity his IP address and track him down …

TUMBLR SWAPS GUITARS FOR SLUGS

Famous musicians’ guitar playing grimaces … almost the same faces one might expect them to pull if they were holding a slug …artist Michael Mphysics has used some image editing software to produce these shots. We see the likes of James Hetfield, Carlos Santana, Eddie Van Halen and also Prince with a terrestrial gastropod mollusk instead of their trusty guitar. You can check out the series of photomontages on the “Slug Solos” Tumblr blog

VIDEO OF THE DAY

A 300-metre-long water slide … right in the heart of the city … as we can see here, residents of Salt Lake City in Utah were in for a refreshing treat! You can watch the video in its entirety on the Dakota Walbeck YouTube channel

By Electron Libre

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