QuickLinks 167 - 6 August 2000

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Legal and regulatory issues



   Computer crime

   Consumer protection

  • UK - Security fears hit e-commerce (BBC) The development of shopping online is being seriously hindered by consumers' lack of confidence in internet security, according to research by the National Consumer Council.

   Convergence of telecommunications, media and information technology

  • Communications Regulation in the UK (OFTEL) This paper sets out the views of the Director General of Telecommunications on an optimal approach to regulation in a world where technological change is removing many of the distinctions between telecommunications, broadcasting, and IT.

   Copyright, trademarks and patents

   Data Protection (privacy)

   Domain names

   Electronic commerce

  • Leading Web Site Host Sued (AP) Register.com, which registers new Internet addresses for a fee, has sued Verio, the world's largest Web site hosting company, for allegedly making unsolicited calls to Register.com's customers.

  • USA - Texas Judge Bans Ford From Selling Cars on Web (AP) A U.S. district judge says that Ford Motor Co. cannot sell vehicles over the Internet in Texas and that state regulators did not violate Ford's constitutional rights when they cracked down on the company's use of a Web site to sell used cars.

   Information society and Internet policy


   Protection of minors

   Racism and xenophobia

   Rating and filtering


  • German 3G bids top $5.6bn (Reuters) French-backed MobilCom hit back after briefly losing its reputation as leading bidder in a key German auction for third generation mobile licences, propelling total top bids over DM 12bn ($5.6bn). see also UMTS-Versteigerung (Regulierungsbehörde für Telekommunikation und Post (RegTP)) and 3G auctions: Country-by-country guide.

  • Oftel publishes guide to unbundle local loop (Silicon) Oftel has published draft guidelines that govern BT's unbundling of the local loop, but there will be no change to the major deadlines: BT must still take orders from operators by next month, and the unbundling must be complete by July 2001.

  • Telecom Italia risks sanctions (Reuters) Telecom Italia could be sanctioned following allegations of hindering the liberalisation of Italy's telecommunications market.

  • EU / USA - Operators' body slams 'protectionist' legislation (Total Telecom) The European Public Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO), a group representing 46 network operators across the continent, has come out in strong support of the European Commission's attack on proposed legislation aimed at preventing overseas companies from entering the U.S. market.

  • France - BLR: la décision de l'ART entérinée C'est sans surprise que le gouvernement approuve les conclusions de l'ART portant sur le choix des candidats à l'exploitation de réseaux de boucle locale radio. A ce jour, trois opérateurs ont renoncé à exploiter leur licence.

  • UK - BT and Oftel dispute victory in legal battle (Electronic Telegraph) BT and the telecoms regulator Oftel both claimed victory, after a High Court battle over which should pay the costs of allowing consumers to change their domestic operator.

Market & Technology

   Internet access and use



  • Who Pays for the Wireless Internet? (Gartner Group) As the wireless Internet emerges, most application suppliers, except for carriers, are unsure how to make money. The article examines possible scenarios for fueling growth.

   Security and encryption


  • iTV industry creates forum to set standards (netimperative.com) A forum has been established with the aim of agreeing standards and practices within the interactive TV industry. The forum, interactive-forum.org, is the brainchild of two iTV agencies, Phosphorus and Cylo and has already recruited the likes of ntl, Saatchi & Saatchi and Microsoft as participants in its consultation process, and will launch formally in September.



  • 'Net hotels' threaten power (FT) London's electricity network is to be put under pressure by plans to build at least 10 huge "internet hotels" that will boost power demand in London by around a fifth.

  • Get Your Music Mojo Working (Wired) A new file-sharing system could best rivals like Napster and Gnutella through more anonymous and efficient transfers. The service has an innovative feature that rewards users for uploading and distributing files: payment in a form of digital currency called "Mojo."

Useful addresses

  • Juristische Suchmaschine Abogado (AP) Eine neue juristische Suchmaschine steht im Internet jetzt zur Verfügung. Der Robot von Abogado besucht nach Angaben der Firma Forum Deutsches Recht ständig deutschsprachige und internationale Internet-Rechner mit juristischen Dokumenten und Artikeln. Abogado sei eine Ergänzung zu der verfügbaren umfassenden Meta-Suchmaschine Meta-JUR.


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, Internet Law News, MediaGrok, UNESCO, TKRNews, David Goldstein