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Blame it on the clumsy censors

Reuters reports that recent disruptions to email traffic in and out of China apparently were caused by adjustments to the country’s vast Internet surveillance system. The Chinese government is in the midst of a highly publicized campaign to rein in what it calls "unhealthy content" in its rapidly growing Internet, which Chinese officials blame for the rapid spread of information regarding incidents of government corruption and rural unrest never reported in conventional media.

Computerworld is reporting that cyber crooks are wasting no time trying to exploit this week’s deadly plane crash in Brazil. Phony emails tracked to Korea that appeared almost immediately after the crash are trying lure recipients to a malicious website that plants a Trojan horse virus.

Newsday is reporting that Google, in response to continued criticism of its privacy policies, has agreed to limit the life of its cookies to two years. Google originally set all its cookies to expire in 2038. Meanwhile, privacy advocates in Europe are not satisfied and are pushing Google and other search engines for even more stringent data retention policies.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports that hackers are starting to use Web advertisements to spread computer viruses. The crooks find security holes in the ads to place the viruses so that just by visiting a site a user’s computer can get infected. McAfee Security found in May that almost seven percent of sponsored links appearing in the ad sections of search engines led to suspicious sites that might automatically download malicious software.