QuickLinks - Information society and Internet policy
Issue no. 76 - 28 July 1998
- EU - European Commission wants to leave main role in Internet to private sector
The European Commission plans to take only a minor role in regulating and promoting the Internet, preferring to leave its development up to the private sector, said Frans de Bruine of the European Commission DGXIII/E in an INET '98 keynote speech. While the Commission has the responsibility to help cultivate global solutions to issues such as Internet taxation and tariffs, the protection of intellectual property and private data and the use of encryption, it will act mostly as a forum to bring governments and corporations together, who will, in turn, come up with solutions, he said.
Issue no. 75 - 12 June 1998
- Germany's Internet Angst
Nearly a decade after the fall of the Wall that had so clearly defined two Germanys for 40 years, the reunified nation still shows symptoms of schizophrenia, and nowhere are the symptoms wreaking more havoc than on the Internet. Just as US politicians reach for the buzzword "terrorism" to justify incremental invasions into the privacy of its citizens, German policy-makers point to the country's "special history" when they feel the itch to eavesdrop on their own, or to plug perceived leaks in their national mediascape.
Issue no. 71 - 2 June 1998
- AOL Chairman advocates Net policy group
To put the Internet industry on track to govern itself, America Online Chairman Steve Case on Friday proposed that a group be formed to advocate policies based on issues important to consumers, companies, and governments. Case did not offer much in the way of specifics regarding his proposed Internet Alliance, and he declined to meet with reporters after his keynote talk at the Harvard Conference on Internet & Society. He did say during his speech that the group should be composed of representatives of Internet businesses and government agencies, as well as consumer advocates.
- Polese endorses Internet 'anarchy'
Kim Polese's definition of the Internet differs from others who have opined on the topic here this week at the Harvard Conference on Internet & Society. Polese, who helped create Java and is now president and CEO of software start-up Marimba, offered this thought: "The Internet might be defined as the largest experiment in human anarchy."
Issue no. 67 - 15 May 1998
- UK - New Media Rules Needed In Digital Era - Minister
New media regulation will be needed to ensure that digital broadcasting and advertising offers choice and quality to consumers, UK Secretary of State Chris Smith said. Smith said regulation was needed to ensure that new media services were not burdened by overlapping regulation and multiple licensing. Current broadcast regulation must also be reassessed in the light of these new services. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport will work with the Department of Trade and Industry to consult on how new policy may need to adapt. Sustaining competition and streamlining existing regulators would be among the key aims of any new regulation, Smith said. New UK policy would also help shape the direction of European media policies, Smith said. The new regulation will promote competition among emerging new services, rather than consolidating existing dominant companies.
- USA - Clinton Adviser Outlines Government's Reduced Role In Net Regulation
Ira Magaziner, senior adviser to the president for policy development, outlined his vision of the U.S. government's minimal role in regulating the Internet, saying the medium's flexible technology and business conditions obviate the need for the regulation required in other media. The U.S. government recently asked that Internet executives devise a privacy code of conduct. Websites could then display a seal indicating compliance with the privacy standard, and the government would empower the Federal Trade Commission or Justice Department to enforce the use of the seal. Instead of government censorship of the Internet, Magaziner proposed that individuals should decide what content they view. He cited filtering software, available through ISPs or Web browsers.
- USA - High-Tech Week Kicks Off In Senate
Bills which may be voted on this week cover "slamming" (switching from one long distance carrier to another without consumer permission), Next Generation Internet, an increase in the number of visa for foreign workers in technology and a prohibition of the manufacture, sale, and use of devices that allow circumvention of copyright.
Issue no. 64 - 2 May 1998
- White House's Magaziner says Internet should stay unregulated
Ira Magaziner, senior advisor to the President for policy development, cruised through a list of issues, concerns, and definitions concerning the Internet and Internet commerce during a keynote speech here Wednesday at the Internet and Electronic Commerce Expo.
Issue no. 61 - 22 April 1998
- Internet charter seen gaining momentum in Europe
The European Union's telecommunications chief said Tuesday that his proposal for a global Internet charter was gaining momentum -- and he was willing to change its name if it would win more converts. "Sometimes people criticize the charter because they believe it is too binding," European Commissioner Martin Bangemann told reporters at a conference on the "information society." "Okay, let's find another name." He said the European Commission had been working to reassure the United States and others that he did not have some "U.N.-type bureaucracy" in mind. "To my mind, (the proposal) is more and more accepted," he said.
- EU - US companies warm to Brussels lobbying
Dozens of US companies have experienced similar awakenings in the past decade, flooding Brussels with lobbyists, lawyers, consultants, and position papers -- making the city feel like a tamer, European version of Washington. The trend reflects both the increasing globalization of business and the coming of age of what is now the European Union.
- EU / US - Transatlantic Internet truce?
Speaking at the seventh annual World Wide Web conference (WWW7) being held in Brisbane, Australia, the EC's Information Market Policies director Frans de Bruine said he now thought there was no chance of "Internet wars" developing he European Commission has said its differences with the United States over who will govern the Internet in the future are moving towards a resolution.
Issue no. 58 - 27 March 1998
- EU - U.S. Favors Global Internet Charter
Europe's proposals for a coordinated, worldwide approach to regulation of electronic commerce has been favorably received by the Clinton administration, according to a European Commission official. The United States expressed qualified approval for an international charter, proposed by European IT and telecom commissioner Martin Bangemann, said Paul Verhoef, a senior aide to Bangemann, at a European Multimedia Forum conference.
Issue no. 56 - 24 March 1998
- Divergent myths of governing the Net
(Guardian - Esther Dyson)
Why does the way the US approaches control of the Internet annoy so many people outside the US? Part of the answer, of course, is simple resistance to what is seen as American imperialism; part is that the US approach is inconsistent - free (for now) concerning taxes, reluctant concerning domain names (the naming system), and authoritarian concerning encryption; and part is that the critics want the US to give up control to someone in particular, usually themselves.
Issue no. 55 - 21 March 1998
- French say "oui" to Web
After eyeing the World Wide Web warily for years, France officially plunged into cyberspace today with a nationwide Internet Festival to demonstrate how enthusiastically it has embraced the global network. From President Jacques Chirac's Elysee Palace to local schools, officials, businesses, and clubs flaunted their flashy new electronic look to anyone double-clicking on their sites or visiting the festival to learn how they might do so.
- Première "fête de l'Internet" en France ce week-end
Quelque 600 associations oeuvrant au développement de l'Internet participent les 20 et 21 mars dans toute la France à une "fête de l'Internet" destinée à rendre plus populaire ce nouveau moyen de communication auprès de Français parfois réticents. Site officiel de la fête: http://www.fete-internet.fr
Issue no. 54 - 12 March 1998
- France to Hold Internet Celebration
In an effort to boost citizen interest in the Internet, France will be holding a nationwide Internet celebration on March 20 and March 21. Less than two percent of France's population uses the Internet, and it is one of the last developed countries to join the information society. During the celebration, French citizens will have the chance to discover the Internet, free of charge. More than fifty associations, about one hundred companies, the media, and government agencies are participating in the celebrations.
- EU - Le Parlement européen opposé à l'AMI
Le Parlement européen a appelé mercredi les gouvernements et parlements nationaux de l'Union européenne (UE) à ne pas signer et ne pas ratifier le projet d'accord multilatéral d'investissement (AMI) de l'OCDE, sous sa forme actuelle.
- EU - Transatlantic trade: EC agrees plan for new free trade area
Proposals for a transatlantic free trade area in services were approved by the European Commission yesterday as part of a sweeping liberalisation drive that Brussels said could be worth Ecu150bn ($166.5bn) a year to the European Union and the US. The so-called New Transatlantic Marketplace was approved with little opposition by European Commissioners in Strasbourg. It also drew a cautiously positive US response.
- France - Jacques Chirac sur la toile à l'occasion de la Fête de l'Internet
Le président Jacques Chirac s'adressera directement aux internautes depuis le site de l'Elysée les 20 et 21 mars, à l'occasion de la Fête de l'Internet, dont il espère qu'elle "recontrera un large succès", indique un communiqué de la présidence de la République rendu public mardi. Ce rendez-vous du chef de l'Etat avec les internautes prendra la forme d'une vidéo numérisée accessible pendant les deux jours de la Fête de l'Internet sur le site de l'Elysée (http://www.elysee.fr).
- France - NTM : inquiétude des Auteurs, Producteur, Réalisateurs
La société civile des Auteurs, Producteurs, Réalisateurs (ARP) "s'inquiète vivement de l'adoption par la Commission européenne du projet de négociation bilatérale Europe-Etats-Unis proposé par le commissaire Sir Leon Brittan".
Issue no. 53 - 5 March 1998
- Europe Stands Divided Over R&D Budget
Edith Cresson, the European Commissioner responsible for promoting research, urged European Parliament members to reject the European Union research budget of 14 billion European currency units (ECUs), or $15.3 billion, agreed upon last month. Agreement on the $15.3 billion budget for the Fifth Framework program -- the European Union's latest five-year R&D program -- came after months of political wrangling, and represented a victory for Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Issue no. 51 - 26 February 1998
- EU to fight U.S. Internet proposals
(Nando.net - Agence France-Presse)
The European Commission on Wednesday called on European Union countries to resist U.S. proposals for running the Internet, including a call for commerce conducted in cyberspace to be duty and tax free. The commission, the EU's executive arm, warned that proposals in a green paper published by Washington last week would, if implemented, make the existing U.S. jurisdiction over the Internet permanent. Instead of going it alone, the U.S. should cooperate with the EU in producing a global charter on Internet governance, European Industry Commissioner Martin Bangemann said.
Draft Reply of the EU and its Member States to the US Green Paper on Internet Governance
Issue no. 48 - 17 February 1998
- EU - Europeans Agree On $15 billion R&D Budget
European Union research ministers agreed on a compromise figure of 14 billion European currency units ($15.3 billion) for the budget of the Fifth Framework, the EU's next five-year R&D program.
- OECD - US Raises Concerns on Global Investment Pact
The United States announced today that it would oppose provisions in a new global investment treaty that might subject US telecommunications and software companies to discrimination. The US statement came at the beginning of a two-day meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to discuss the Multilateral Agreement on Investment. The pact sees equal treatment worldwide for both domestic and foreign investors. France and Canada are spearheading separate demands for all cultural material - such as their film and publishing industries - to be excluded from the treaty
- USA - Internet Caucus ready for 1998
The congressional Internet Caucus has laid out an "ambitious agenda" for the first half of 1998 that includes briefing Congress on Internet taxation, encryption, bandwidth, access to government information and privacy, according to a planning memo obtained by MSNBC. The caucus will announce its plans the last week of February.
- USA - Senators slam FCC over Net fund
A national program to give schools and libraries Net access discounts is being called into question by three Republican senators and a federal agency, who say Congress should have more oversight of the fund.
Issue no. 44 - 6 February 1998
- EU - European Union hopes to boost global Internet cooperation
The European Commission launched plans on Wednesday to promote strengthened global cooperation on legal and technical problems caused by the Internet. The European Union executive proposed an "International Communications Charter" to increase coordination in removing obstacles in the world's fast-growing electronic marketplace. It said the charter could provide a blueprint for the treatment of questions ranging from data protection and copyright to taxation and consumer protection. "This is a global and fast changing business and the regulatory response must be rapid in order to be effective," said EU Trade Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan. "Otherwise we'll end up dealing with yesterday's issues." EU Industry Commissioner Martin Bangemann said the initiative had been received warmly abroad, including by Ira Magaziner, senior Internet adviser to U.S. President Bill Clinton.
- EU - Full text of communication on International Charter
The need for strengthened international coordination - Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions COM (98) 50
- EU - Gates Backs European Calls For Internet Charter
Calls by European regulators for an Internet Charter to coordinate laws governing the Net received a surprise endorsement Wednesday by Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft and no great friend of government interference.
- France - Accord de coopération entre l'Etat et Microsoft
Le gouvernement français va coopérer avec le groupe américain Microsoft pour développer les nouvelles technologies en France, a annoncé mardi le ministre de l'Economie Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
- France - La France se livre à Microsoft
Le gouvernement souhaite «collaborer étroitement» avec la firme de Bill Gates en matière de recherche, de formation et de réglementation. La France a accordé hier l'asile politique à Bill Gates.
- France - Lettre ouverte à tous les amis de Bill, et néanmoins représentants du peuple français
(IRIS Imaginons un Réseau Internet Solidair)
Jacques Chirac, Président de la République, avait ouvert la voie en recevant Bill Gates, patron de Microsoft, lui accordant des honneurs dépassant largement la situation de ce dernier. Lionel Jospin, Premier ministre, et Dominique Strauss-Kahn, ministre de l'Économie, des Finances, et de l'Industrie, poursuivent aujourd'hui cette oeuvre majestueuse de consécration de l'insolence et de l'arrogance de l'argent.
- France - Multimédia - La France sera un acteur de premier plan/Jospin
La France sera un "acteur de premier plan" de la révolution des technologies de l'information qui s'amorce autour d'Internet, a déclaré mardi Lionel Jospin devant des dirigeants de groupes informatiques américains qui ont reconnu les potentialités du pays.
Issue no. 43 - 4 February 1998
- EU - Access: Internet controls unlikely
Further steps are needed to ensure all homes, schools and businesses in Europe have access to the Internet, but it is "premature" to consider regulatory measures to achieve that end, said Martin Bangemann, European Industry Commissioner. Mr. Bangemann, who will open the showcase European Telematics Applications Programme exhibition in Barcelona tomorrow, also said future regulation of the Internet should be kept to a minimum.
- EU - Globalisation and Information Society
Commission proposes International Charter to strengthen world-wide coordination - Press release
- France - Une proposition de loi pour Internet
Patrice Martin-Lalande, député (RPR) du Loir-et-Cher, et auteur du rapport Internet, un vrai défi pour la France, a déposé une proposition de loi " visant à permettre le développement de l'Internet en France ". De nombreux allégements de coûts sociaux et fiscaux y sont suggérés.
- USA - Clinton set to sell skeptical Congress on Internet
President Bill Clinton's proposed budget asked for $110 million in fiscal 1999 for his Internet project and administration officials vowed Monday to do a better job of selling it to a skeptical Congress. Clinton asked for the funds for "Next Generation Internet" after Congress allocated only $85 million of the $105 million requested for fiscal 1998.
Issue no. 42 - 2 February 1998
- USA - High-Tech Companies Anxious Over Legislation
U.S. high-tech companies want Congress to be concerned about -- but not too involved in --competition and privacy in its 105th session, which opened this week. Disagreements over how to interpret sections of the 1996 Telecommunications Act and issues associated with the growth of electronic commerce are top priorities for telecom carriers, computer makers, and other technology companies as Congress returned to business after its winter recess.
Issue no. 40 - 26 January 1998
- Ira Magaziner's speech
As outlined in his talk to the MSC, other unifying principles of the administration's e-comm program include "transparent and minimal" government involvement; "neutrality" on technology; and recognition of the growing convergence between telephony and broadcasting. "The President has made clear that (electronic commerce) is one of the priorities for his second administration," Magaziner said in his speech today. During his speech today, the White House policy specialist pinpointed Internet content as the single "hottest" topic to be debated in Washington in coming months.
Clinton To Release Internet Naming Policy On Web
Issue no. 38 - 22 January 1998
- Et Vinton Cerf créa l'Internet
En 1974, cet ingénieur inventait le protocole IP, signant ainsi l'acte de naissance du réseau des réseaux. La prestance de Vinton Cerf est à l'opposé de l'univers du techno-nerd. De grandes entreprises en centres de recherche publique, il pousse son bébé pour que se tissent encore plus de liens entre les gens et les idées.
- USA - California Lawmakers Take Aim at Web-Related Issues
(Los Angeles Times)
Fueled by the growing popularity of the Internet, California lawmakers have introduced a flood of measures designed to apply existing statutes to the global computer network as well as address issues unique to it.
Issue no. 36 - 15 January 1998
- EU finalising Internet global policy plan
The European Commission is close to unveiling a plan to promote global cooperation on the legal and technical problems caused by the Internet explosion. The initiative, which has some computer and communications companies on edge, is the brainchild of German Commissioner Martin Bangemann, who first called for an "international charter for global communications" in a speech last September in Geneva.
Issue no. 35 - 14 January 1998
- Cyberspace activist group gets a new leader
Cyberspace has no real headquarters. But the people who are trying to protect our liberties in cyberspace live in a very real world.
- Web To Decentralize Govt - Dyson Says
Beyond its more heralded impacts on business and the media, the World Wide Web will produce decentralization in organizations and activities all the way from governments to charitable giving, prognosticated industry visionary Esther Dyson, speaking last night at WGBH's "New Media, New Medicine" business forum in Boston.
Issue no. 34 - 8 January 1998
Issue no. 32 - 5 January 1998
Issue no. 31 - 23 December 1997
- USA - White House in eye of Net storm
The White House, already tied down in efforts to reform the way Internet addresses are registered and handed out to the public, will insist on settling still more issues related to Internet governance before moving duties for registration of Net names like interactiveweek.com to the private sector.
Issue no. 23 - 3 December 1997
Issue no. 21 - 28 November 1997
- Gegen staatliche Internet-Kontrolle
Die Technologie der modernen Datennetze ermächtigt jeden einzelnen Menschen das zu tun, was er am besten kann. Das Internet gibt den Menschen eine neue Stimme und die Kraft, sie zu nutzen. Auch der Wert des Internet als Medium für elektronischen Handel ist unzweifelhaft. Im Zuge dieser Entwicklung spielt die Regierung der USA fast keine Rolle - und das soll so bleiben.
Issue no. 18 - 22 November 1997
Index page see also Internet content
- Asian officials hold summit with Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley chieftains and Asian bureaucrats met Thursday for the first Asia Pacific Information Technology Summit, hailing steps to build "the most basic and critical element of infrastructure around the world." The San Francisco meeting, which drew the chief executive officers of some of the world's top computer companies and trade officials from across the Pacific Rim, was billed as an opportunity to promote dialogue on the rapid rise of information technology, particularly the Internet.
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
QuickLinks consists of
QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham email@example.com
- a free newsletter appearing approximately once a week. The newsletter is distributed by electronic mail through an "announcement only" mailing list. To be included on the mailing list, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org (HTML) or email@example.com (Text)
- a Web site with frequent updates, an events page, news items organised by category as well as chronologically by issue and full text search.