Feeds

UK minister pledges policing for Second Life

Will the cops be imaginary too?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A UK government minister made a virtual pledge to police virtual worlds this week, as the problems of the real world are increasingly reflected in the likes of Second Life.

Lord Triesman, talking at the Virtual Worlds Forum in London, flagged up a number of "causes for concern" that would need government input to control. The list was a familiar one, featuring child pornography, ID fraud, money laundering, and copyright infringement.

Triesman, who looks after intellectual property at the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills, also mentioned that New Labour bugbear, anti-social behaviour, surely a sign that the virtual ASBO is on its way to disperse rowdy avatars planning to picket UK.gov's virtual embassy in Second Life, for example.

The good lord was apparently rather short on detail of any planned legislation, but also said he hoped the operators of virtual worlds themselves would initially take the lead with self-regulation. We all know how good industry is at policing itself, of course.

Triesman's approach might not go down quite so well with film bigwig Lord David Puttnam, who warned the conference about the dangers of too much commercialisation of virtual worlds aimed at children.

Puttnam, the man who pulled Chariots of Fire on to our screens all those years ago, raised concerns that virtual worlds from the likes of toymakers are largely about teaching children to be good consumers, rather than instilling any broader set of values. Puttnam also said that operators needed to take the idea of virtual world addiction more seriously, and echoed Triesman in flagging up the problems of virtual crime.

It wasn't all bad from Puttnam's point of view, though. He said broadcasters needed to engage more with virtual worlds, pointing out how they were a more active medium than TV or radio. To date, TV's efforts to introduce interactivity had "crashed and burned" he said. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.