Weekly Roundup: The Olympics are here! But watch your back

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Weekly Roundup: The Olympics are here! But watch your back

In the week-long countdown to the Olympics, online fraudsters have stepped up their efforts to swindle sports fans out of thousands of dollars, while human rights advocates cried foul over online Chinese censorship.

At the beginning of the week, the New South Wales Trading Office opened up a hotline for Aussies who had been tricked by online Olympic-themed scams. The hotline received over 30 calls in just a few hours, reporting tens of thousands of dollars lost from online hoaxes.

The majority of the complaints arose from the fake Olympic ticketing site, beijingtickets.com. Other big scams were targeted at sports organisations and athlete representatives who received official-looking press releases that contain a Trojan.

Security vendor MessageLabs say the content of the releases may have been lifted straight from the International Olympic Committee website. On Friday, security experts warned of phony 'Olympic news updates' or messages from Visa, and cautioned users to 'think before you click'.

Human rights groups like Amnesty have been calling out their own warnings about the Olympics, this time regarding Internet censorship by the Chinese government. While Amnesty’s website was unblocked, the group still maintained the government had broken its vow to allow media freedom during the games.

Amnesty has been touring around Australia during the 90-day countdown to the Olympics to campaign against Chinese censorship. It hopes to convince Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Google to stop cooperating with the Chinese government’s attempts to censor its citizens.

The three media giants did reportedly sign a code of conduct to allow for freedom of expression and privacy in countries where the government censors its people, though that code will not be finished until later this year.

To help Chinese citizens bypass the Great Firewall, a group called the Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIFC) provided them with five tools to access any website they choose.

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