QuickLinks 155 - 14 May 2000

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Legal and regulatory issues


   Computer crime

   Consumer protection

   Content regulation

  • Saudis 'defeating' internet porn (BBC News) The director of the government organisation that monitors all Saudi internet traffic says he believes his unit is succeeding in blocking all the major pornographic sites. As well as porn, the Saudi authorities block access to any sites they believe could stir up religious hatred.

   Copyright, trademarks and patents

   Data Protection (privacy)

   Electronic commerce

  • EU - Eighteen months 'too late' for ecommerce laws (Silicom.com) Spanish MEP Ana Palacio has called on European governments to act fast to implement the new Ecommerce Directive voted by the European Parliament. Member States technically have 18 months to bring their national laws into compliance with the European Directive.

   Junk mail (spam)

  • USA - Senators Slam Spam (Newsbytes) In a bid to "protect" consumers from unsolicited commercial e-mail - known as spam - a pair of senators introduced legislation that would allow Internet service providers to sue spammers who violate certain codes of conduct.

   Protection of minors

  • UK - Child mobile phone warning (BBC News) A major report into mobile phones and health advises limits on their use by children. While the Stewart Report has found no clear evidence that mobiles can damage the health of either adults or children, scientists suggest there may be some effect on the human body. The report says that, as a precaution, children should limit their mobile phone use until more research has been completed. And it recommends that mobile phone companies should not aim their advertising at children.

   Security and encryption

  • Pornjackers steal property site bandwidth (The Register) A British property publishing house postponed its Web site launch for 15 months, on discovering 2GB of pornography had been dumped onto its server. The company spent those 15 months "fighting off repeated attacks from hackers". Propertyprices had been, pre-launch, pornjacked.


Market & Technology

   Employment and social issues

  • Net users are not nerds (BBC News) Internet users are not sad and lonely social misfits but actually visit and contact relatives and friends more frequently than those who live their lives offline.

  • EU skills shortage 'stifling start-up growth rates' (Silicom.com) The growth of high-tech start-up companies is being stifled by the shortage of highly skilled staff. That's the conclusion of the latest European benchmarking study from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

   Portals, browsers and search engines

  • The Changing Face of Portal Deals (internetnews.com) Are portal deals dead? You might think so, to read the descriptions of these popular marketing agreements in trade and financial publications in recent weeks.



  • The Concept of Copyright Fights for Internet Survival (New York Times) A program, Freenet, is intended to make it possible to acquire or exchange any kind of digital information - music, video, text or software - anonymously while frustrating any attempt to remove the information from the Internet or determine its source.

Useful addresses

  • Status of Commission initiatives (QuickLinks) Updated: an unofficial compilation from publicly available sources of information about EU policy measures in the field of the Information Society: a comprehensive one-stop shop covering pending legislation, pending policy issues, recent events, where to look, and compendium of links by subject-matter. Time-saving "deep links" going directly to the relevant pages of the various EU databases.


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, David Goldstein, lan Reekie, Paula Telo Alves