QuickLinks 147 - 11 March 2000

Forthcoming events | Full text search and archive

Legal and regulatory issues

   Access to public sector information / IT in government


   Computer crime

   Consumer protection

  • EU - Towards a new approach to e-Consumers (RAPID) David Byrne European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection "Making the virtual virtuous - towards a new approach to e-Consumers" European Consumer Centre Dublin, 3 March 2000

   Content regulation

   Copyright, trademarks and patents

   Data Protection (privacy)

   Digital divide

  • UK - Blair's five-year internet pledge (BBC) Prime Minister Tony Blair has set out his strategy to tackle the threat of a "digital divide", with a pledge to get everyone in the UK online within five years.

   Domain names

   Electronic democracy

  • UK - Want to Fax Your MP? (Stand) As a response to the attack on privacy and your rights to be free from mass monitoring of your communications, including your e-mail, Stand has decided to make available a new public service: The UK's first parliamentary web-to-fax gateway.

  • USA - Arizonans Cast Internet Votes (New York Times) About 25,000 Democrats cast ballots online this week in an event billed as the first binding Internet election. That number represents about 3 percent of the state's registered Democrats.

   Information society and Internet policy


   IT in education

   Liability, jurisdiction and applicable law

  • Switzerland - Wie viele Links braucht es, um rechts zu sein? (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) Vor einer Woche geriet ein ETH-Professor in die Schlagzeilen, weil gegen ihn ein Verfahren wegen Verstosses gegen das Antirassismusgesetz eingeleitet wurde. Der Fall ist ein Beispiel für die weitreichende Ratlosigkeit, wie die sogenannten Links, das technische Verweissystem des Internets, zu beurteilen sind.


   Protection of minors

  • USA - Anti-Smut Panel Has No Money (Associated Press) At its first and only meeting so far, a new government panel that must tell Congress before year's end about ways to keep Internet smut away from children found itself homeless and penniless.

   Racism and xenophobia

   Rating and filtering

  • Free speech advocate raises ire of filtering firms (CNET News.com) Computer consultant Bennett Haselton posted a link on his Web site to iGear's list of blocked sites. He claims that many of the sites it bars are not, in fact, pornographic. Lawyers for iGear, a filtering program widely used in New York public schools, sent a letter to his Internet service provider, saying that the link was infringing the company's copyrights.

   Security and encryption

   Self-regulation / codes of conduct

  • German Internet Auctioneers Establish Collective Lobby (internet.com) A group of German online auctioneers have joined to form an association whose goal will be to standardize the sector's legal situation.

  • USA - Trust or Bust? (Industry Standard) More than 1,300 companies have joined TRUSTe, making the seal the most-displayed ad banner or promotional banner in the country. The seal is supposed to reassure consumers that the Web site they're visiting is sticking to the promises it has made regarding the collection and sharing of personal data.


Market & Technology

   Convergence of telecommunications, media and information technology

  • Broadcasters join for speedier downloads (Associated Press) A dozen major broadcasters are creating a national wireless network to deliver speedier Web downloads of digital media such as music, software or video games, without the need for high-speed cable or phone lines. The "iBlast" network will broadcast over a portion of the digital spectrum that the government has allocated to local TV stations to provide high-definition television.

  • Microsoft joins TV alliance (FT) Microsoft is poised to step up its efforts to strengthen its position in digital television by joining forces with NDS.

   Electronic commerce

   Internet access and use

   IT in education

  • Pearson/AOL in education pact (FT) Pearson, the UK media group, unveiled an alliance with America Online to develop an interactive education network and announced a series of internet deals to expand the online presence of its education business.

   Junk mail (spam)

  • WebTV yanks email ads (CNET News.com) Customer complaints have prompted Microsoft to halt a new WebTV practice of inserting banner ads into the email messages of subscribers of the TV-based Web service.


  • Cisco, Cap Gemini in Web deal (CNNfn) Cisco Systems, the world's largest maker of computer networking equipment, and Cap Gemini of France are forming an Internet consulting venture to focus on the telecommunications industry.

  • Intellectual Property Exchange Takes Off (EE Times) Big-name technology companies from around the world are lending their support to Yet2.com, an online marketplace for the exchange and sale of intellectual property and technical information.

  • Microsoft quits trade group (AP) Microsoft resigned from the Software and Information Industry Association, a Washington-based lobbying group that recently has been critical of the company's business practices.

  • VeriSign Nabs NetSol (Wired) Web security firm VeriSign will buy leading Internet domain name registrar Network Solutions for stock in a deal VeriSign valued at $21 billion.

   Portals, browsers and search engines

   Rating and filtering

  • Where in the world? (Salon) TraceWare is patent-pending, and contains very sophisticated algorithms and a master database that informs an application about where in the world the user is located, with 96 percent accuracy.

   Security and encryption


  • German Net Users Up 50 Percent in 6 Months (NUA) There are now 15.9 million Germans with access to the Internet and at least 21 percent of German households are online, according to the fifth GfK Online-Monitor survey.

  • NetRatings: Kids Fastest Growing Group on Net (Reuters) While most active Internet users today are adults 35 to 49 years old, children from 2 to 11 constitute the fastest-growing age group, according to data from Internet audience measurement firm Nielsen//NetRatings data.


  • Microsoft X-Box Wows Game Developers (New York Times) Microsoft made converts out of skeptical game developers with eye-popping demonstrations of its new X-Box entertainment console. Now it has to capture the hearts of consumers already wed to the Big Three game makers.

Useful addresses

  • Spain - Actualidad y Cyberlaw (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) Nueva revista electrónica de la Facultad de Ciencias de la Información. Los contenidos se agruparán en torno a varios bloques temáticos o áreas de especial interés. En concreto: Convergencia, Legislación, Servicio Universal, Internet y Universidad y Derechos de los Usuarios.


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.

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QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham richard.swetenham@cec.eu.int - Contributors: NewsNow UK, MediaGrok, David Goldstein, Gerhard Heine, John Rabun