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Trouble continues in London, Sony distribution center ablaze

A Sony distribution center has been set on fire in Enfield, north London, during a third night of trouble in the UK capital. Firefighters are currently battling the large blaze.

An employee of a hotel close to the distribution center described to BBC News what he’d witnessed.

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“I went around to investigate and saw the door smashed in and a group of about 20 lads just came out with loads of Sony stuff like Wiis and consoles and stuff like that…..and as they were running off one of them punched me,” Tommy Thompson said.

He added: “I went back to work to tell everyone what was going on and a few minutes after that the whole building was ablaze.”

In another call to BBC radio’s Rhod Sharp, Thompson said that the looters escaped from the distribution center on foot and on BMX bikes because “they’re too young to drive.”

Trouble first flared in the city on Saturday night following a protest against the fatal shooting of a man by police in Tottenham, north London.

The social unrest, which some claim has been fueled by social networking sites, has so far involved looting, the starting of fires and attacks on police. It has continued each evening since Saturday’s protest, and on Monday night spread to other parts of the country, including Manchester and Birmingham.

British PM David Cameron and London mayor Boris Johnson are both cutting short their respective vacations to return to the country.

London’s Metropolitan Police, which is deploying more than 1,700 officers to try to deal with the situation, called the ongoing civil disorder “simply inexcusable.”

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Sony fined almost $400,000 for 2011 PlayStation security breach
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Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has been fined almost $400,000 by the British Information Commissioner's Office for the hacker attack its PlayStation network suffered in April 2011. The ICO said Sony was in part responsible for the subsequent breach of customer privacy through negligence in keeping its security software and protocols up to date.
Describing the hacking attack as "a serious breach of the Data Protection Act," the Information Commissioner's Office fined the Sony subsidiary £250,000, noting that "the attack could have been prevented if the [security] software had been up-to-date, while technical developments also meant passwords were not secure." The organization does, however, note that "following the breach, Sony has rebuilt its Network Platform to ensure that the personal information it processes is kept secure."
In a statement accompanying the ICO's announcement of the fine, David Smith, the British Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection, admitted that "the penalty we've issued today is clearly substantial, but we make no apologies for that," going on to describe the PlayStation breach as "one of the most serious ever reported to us [as well as one that] directly affected a huge number of consumers, and at the very least put them at risk of identity theft."
"If you are responsible for so many payment card details and log-in details then keeping that personal data secure has to be your priority," Smith said. "In this case that just didn’t happen, and when the database was targeted – albeit in a determined criminal attack – the security measures in place were simply not good enough. There’s no disguising that this is a business that should have known better. It is a company that trades on its technical expertise, and there’s no doubt in my mind that they had access to both the technical knowledge and the resources to keep this information safe."
However, it wasn't all bad news, he continued. "If there's any bright side to this, it's that a PR Week poll shortly after the breach found the case had left 77 percent of consumers more cautious about giving their personal details to other websites."
Payment of the fine is due by February 14, with a 20 percent discount (bringing the total to £200,000, or $315,740 USD) if the amount is paid in full by February 13.
In response to the ICO statement, a spokesman at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe said that the company felt that the fine was undeserved. "Sony Computer Entertainment Europe strongly disagrees with the ICO’s ruling and is planning an appeal," a spokesman for the company said in a statement. "SCEE notes, however, that the ICO recognizes Sony was the victim of 'a focused and determined criminal attack,' that 'there is no evidence that encrypted payment card details were accessed,' and that 'personal data is unlikely to have been used for fraudulent purposes' following the attack on the PlayStation Network."

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Google is splashing the cash, having just purchased 2.4 acres of prime real estate in central London, close to the UK capital’s King’s Cross railway station.

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Despite downloading nearly 8,000 files from Sony Music Entertainment's servers - including unreleased music from Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Elvis Presley and others - two British men have surprisingly avoided jail time in their sentencing following pleading guilty to hacking into the servers and illegally downloading the music files.
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An unfortunate metaphor to use, considering that both men later admitted that, yes, they had actually used their home computers to hack into Sony's servers and download the music. Although, Marks maintains, he didn't download 7,900 files at all; he Tweeted this weekend "Please don't believe the press, or [the British Serious Organized Crime Agency] 7,900 files... wasn't it 49,000 last year? It's more like 300 files they added files from elsewhere." (At the time of the arrests of the pair, Sony Music refused to reveal how many files had been stolen during the break-in, with the figure being released by British authorities during legal proceedings later. It's possible that Marks is considering completed songs "files," as opposed to the authorities, which are referring to individual pieces of each track as one file.)
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