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Privacy and Security, Compensation and Google

News items that caught our attention this week

Balancing privacy and security a key challenge, says NCA

Finding the balance between privacy and security is one of the biggest challenges to law enforcement, especially regarding cyber crime, according to the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

“The whole world has been turned upside down in the post-Snowden era,” said Mike Hulett, head of operations at the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU).

“On the one hand, law enforcement is encouraging the use of encryption because it is good practice and helps prevent crime; but on the other hand encryption is something that can be exploited by criminals and we need a way of being able to see what is going on,”

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Paper firm workers receive £1.5m in compensation

Former workers of a Fife paper firm have been awarded £1.5m in compensation after they were made redundant with just one day's notice.

A total of 374 employees lost their jobs when Tullis Russell Papermakers, based at Markinch in Fife, went into administration in April 2015.

Each employee received the equivalent of eight weeks' wages in compensation for their loss.

The award follows a judgement from an employment tribunal in Dundee.

Lawyers said that despite the company directors being under an obligation to provide employees with at least 45 days' notice - as more than 100 workers were losing their jobs - this was ignored, meaning each employee was entitled to sue for compensation.

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Authors Guild denied appeal to stop Google scanning books

A long-running face-off between the US Authors Guild and Google over the search engine’s scanning of millions of books was brought to an end yesterday when the US Supreme Court denied the writers the right to appeal.

Backed by authors including Nobel laureate JM Coetzee and the Booker winners Richard Flanagan and Margaret Atwood, the Authors Guild appealed to the Supreme Court in February over the ruling that Google’s scanning of millions of books constituted “fair use”, and that “Google Books provide significant public benefits”. Once scanned, the books, both in and out of copyright, are included in Google Books, which enables users to read extracts from books and search their texts.

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