This week revealed Google's top searches of the year, and some legal battles with one of the major UK web provider's ordered by a court to block access to a file-sharing site. Also, what topped the Google Zeitgeist list for Britons on the web, and why did technology feature so much in our search queries?
But as always, we reach the end of the week and realise that there was so much more to cover, to take heed of, and to understand about our partners in London, the UK and wider Europe.
Royal wedding tops Google Zeitgeist: Tech takes prominent roleThe Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, was the "fastest rising" search for Google UK users this year, according to the search giant's end-of-year zeitgeist.
But most of the search terms were that of technological breakthroughs, games or upcoming devices. From the iPhone 5, as one of the most searched topics, to Groupon, the iPad 2 and Minecraft all appeared in the top ten fastest rising search results.
Not to be outdone, 'scampi' also turned out as one of the most sought after topics on the web as far as Britons' minds were set.
According to the BBC, interest in scampi has risen by over 80 percent in the last year alone. Even experts were baffled by the sudden popularity of the seafood.
As a vegetarian, I wouldn't know.
Julian Assange to the Supreme Court: Seven judges to 'reflect' case importanceThe Wikileaks founder recently appealed to the UK's Supreme Court in a bid to overturn the High Court's decision to uphold his extradition to Sweden.
Julian Assange is facing sexual assault and rape charges in Sweden, claims to which he refutes and calls "politically motivated", and remains on conditional bail in the UK.
Seven out of the twelve Supreme Court justices will hear the case on February 1st, which is expected to last two days. If the case fails, he will still have one route left to appeal at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
The highest court in the UK recognises the "great public importance of the issue raised, which is whether a prosecutor is a judicial authority". Should the final European court fail, Assange will be extradited "as soon as practicable", the UK's Crown Prosecution Service said.
Another UK ISP ordered to block file-sharing site: Goodbye open web?Sky Broadband, one of the largest ISPs in the UK, has been ordered by a court to block access to file-sharing site Newzbin 2. This follows only a month since BT, the largest ISP with over 8 million subscribers, was itself court-ordered to block access to the website.
Other ISPs, including Sky, were asked by a coalition of Hollywood film studios, record labels and media companies, led by the UK music trade body the BPI, to block access to The Pirate Bay websites or face court.
While the web in the UK is on the most part uncensored, besides Cleanfeed, which filters and blocks access to child abuse imagery sites, court orders proposed by the film and record industry are on the rise.
Two other major web providers, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, said they would comply with a court order, but had yet to receive one, their spokespeople told the BBC.
So much for an 'open' web.
From previous weeks:
- December 5--9: Russian election botnet; Twitter’s role in UK riots, Spy tech
- November 14--18: SOPA, Net neutrality, UK online outlaws, Google’s effect on spying