(Newsbytes) The European Commission (EC) has launched preliminary investigations into the Duet and MusicNet online-music ventures, according to Mario Monti, the EC competition minister.
(RAPID) T-Online, TUI and C&N ("Neckermann") have abandoned their plan to market leisure-travel services jointly online via the newly created joint venture. It was the combination of TUI's and Neckermann's package-holiday products ("content") and T-Online's internet services that gave rise to serious doubts as to potential market-foreclosure effects and thus the emergence of a dominant position on the part of the joint venture.
(RAPID) Speech by António Vitorino, European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, Europol Conference organised by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Dutch States General, The Hague, 8 June 2001
(SecurityFocus.com) by David Banisar. A few weeks ago, the Council of Europe's (COE) Committee of Experts on Cyber-crime working group met in a closed meeting in Rome to put the finishing touches on the ever-troubling "Draft Convention on Cyber-crime". The touches were light: little more than a feather dusting with a couple of feel-good changes thrown in for good measure.
(AP) A former Colorado State University graduate student was indicted on charges he used e-mail in an attempt to blackmail a New Jersey company that sells digital books over the Internet.
(New York Times) The Supreme Court ruled that the use by the police of a thermal imaging device to detect patterns of heat coming from a private home is a search that requires a warrant. see excerpts and full text (Findlaw).
(Heise) Beamte der Dienststelle für Sexualdelikte des Hamburger Landeskriminalamtes haben in zwei Fällen Kinderpornografie auf Behördencomputern entdeckt.
(ZDNet UK) Scotland Yard is investigating an Internet paedophile ring that could be the largest ever found in Britain. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said that the paedophile "club" it is investigating could dwarf the Wonderland Club, previously the largest Internet porn ring ever uncovered in Europe.
(Yahoo FR) L'organisation policière de l'Union européenne Europol, dont le siège est à La Haye, a confirmé à ZDNet qu'un de ses agents de la division informatique avait été interpellé par la PJnéerlandaise dans une affaire d'argent sale.
(Computerworld) Michael Chertoff, a newly confirmed assistant attorney at the Justice Department, told a congressional subcommittee that U.S. law enforcers need more resources to combat cybercrime and better laws to simplify the tracing of suspects over the Internet.
(AP) Turkey's parliament passed a law that subjects the Internet to the same restrictions as print media. But lawmakers abandoned plans to require official permission to set up a Web site.
(Newsbytes) The Canadian Copyright Board, which is to hold hearings on statutory licensing for content retransmitting off-the-air television signals via the Internet, has rejected a bid by JumpTV's opponents to halt those deliberations.
(RAPID) Mme Viviane Reding, Membre de la Commission européenne responsable de l'Education et de la Culture, European Content for European Platforms Conférence, Florence, le 7 juin 2001 (en français).
(Slashdot) Dan Ravicher's legal FAQ for Open Source and Free Software developers.
(Upside Today) As Napster's popularity wanes and the distributed Gnutella networks grow, Internet service providers are under growing pressure to clamp down on alleged peer-to-peer music piracy. See also Piracy battles have ISPs stuck in crossfire (CNET News.com).
(EFF) An action seeking a declaratory judgment that professor Felten would not be infringing US copyright law by publishing the results of his successful cracking of technologies proposed to protect digital music from copyright infringement, following the public challenge issued by the SDMI Foundation.
(CNET News.com) The U.S. Copyright Office has launched a Web tool to help identify who owns copyrights to movies, books and other works.
(Inside.com) The Recording Industry Association of America, acting on behalf of a variety of music labels in Federal District Court in Manhattan, sued three webcasters - MusicMatch, Xact Radio and, most notably, MTVi, the interactive division of the Viacom-owned music channel MTV.
(CNET News.com) The Electronic Frontier Foundation began protesting Macy's flagship store, complaining that the company's practice of collecting and sharing information through its online store and bridal registry puts far too much of a burden on consumers to protect their own privacy.
(Computer Daily News) Australia's Internet Industry Association (IIA), a lobby group that represents Internet service providers (ISPs), online content providers and other Internet companies, intends to focus on compliance with the latest European Union Privacy Directive in a forthcoming Australian industry privacy code.
(ZDNet) The Privacy Foundation released free software that helps consumers detect when a site or e-mail contains a Web bug, a barely visible tracking tag, also known as clear GIFs, used mainly by marketers to monitor consumer habits online.
(Wired) Cops may someday be searching private medical records in search of criminals, according to some medical privacy experts who cite increasing automation of medical records combined with broad exemptions for law enforcement in new medical privacy regulations.
(Newsbytes) Nations ignoring the so-called "digital divide" between information technology "haves" and "have-nots" could be undermining their own ability to compete in the global market, a new report by International Data Corp contends, based on findings by IDC's Information Society Index (ISI), which ranks nations based on several criteria relating to their information-technology backbones.
(Heise) Als Fehlschlag bezeichnete der Vorsitzende des europäischen Verbands der nationalen Registrierstellen, CENTR, den Richtlinienentwurf der Europäischen Kommission für eine eigene .eu-Domain. Bei einem kurzfristig anberaumten Treffen am Rande der Tagung der Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, in Stockholm diskutierten Vertreter europäischer Registrierunternehmen daher über die Möglichkeit, einen eigenen Vorschlag für einen Antrag bei ICANN auszuarbeiten. Ein Vertreter der EU-Kommission warnte die anwesenden Registrare davor, die Mitgliedstaaten der EU und die gewählten Parlamentarier zu übergehen.
(Reuters) Nuclear processing agency Cogema has won a cybersquatting case against Greenpeace International, having the environmentalists evicted from a site bearing the French concern's name.
(CyberAtlas) The differences in retail regulations among European nations correlate strongly with less online shopping, according to a report by Forrester Research, which recommends European retailers consider local barriers and consumer experience when planning online strategies The light regulatory hands in Britain and Sweden are most conducive to online shopping..
(Newsbytes) A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing on the risks of imported pharmaceuticals, especially those ordered via the Internet.
(ZDNet) A federal judge has struck down a New York state ban on mail-order, Internet and telephone cigarettes sales intended to prevent smoking by youths, saying the law violated interstate commerce provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
(New York Times) The Nevada Legislature voted to authorize regulators to license casinos to offer gambling over the Internet, the first time a state has moved to legalize the potentially lucrative but highly controversial business of online gambling.
(IDG) As IT workers receive pink slips in droves, some are finding job security in an industry that shows little sign of slowing: online pornography.
(IDG) The Internet is an excellent instrument for evangelization and religious dialogue, but the sacrament of confession, by which the Roman Catholic faithful receive pardon and absolution for their sins, must always take place in "the sacramental context of a personal encounter".
(RAPID) Erkki LIIKANEN Member of the European Commission responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, Workshop on Quality Criteria for Health Related Websites Brussels, 7 June 2001
(AFP) Le gouvernement français a approuvé en Conseil des ministres le projet de loi sur la "société de l'information", ambitieux pour ses partisans, attrape-tout selon ses critiques, visant à combler le retard de la France sur ses voisins européens en matière d'usage de l'Internet. Attendu de longue date, le texte vise notamment à transposer en droit français une directive européenne du 8 juin 2000 sur le commerce électronique.
(Heise) Bundeswirtschaftsminister Werner Müller hat nach massiven Protesten von Branchenverbänden, Datenschützern und Bundestagsabgeordneten an der geplanten Telekommunikations-Überwachungsverordnung (TKÜV) Einlenken signalisiert und sucht nun einen erweiterten Dialog mit der Wirtschaft. see also European ISPs Resist Police Demands for Data (The Standard).
(Network News) BT's war of attrition against its rivals over local loop unbundling (LLU) is beginning to gain ground, but competition is suffering, according to one of the telco's ADSL partners.
(Salon) The ORBS blacklist, a controversial tool for stopping unsolicited e-mail, is suddenly inaccessible.
(Newsbytes) The Washington Supreme Court upheld a 1998 state law aimed at curbing the use of unsolicited commercial e-mail, or "spam." see State of Washington v. Jason Heckel Doing Business as Natural Instincts (Supreme Court of the State of Washington).
(transfert) La société Emmaüs HLM poursuit l´auteur d´un site Internet qu´elle accuse de diffamation.
(Reuters) In a case with broad implications for free speech on the Internet, a U.S. federal judge has agreed to consider whether foreign courts may determine what Yahoo! sells on its auction site. see Ruling Denying LICRA Motion to Dismiss (N.D. California) [PDF 600K], CDT et al. Amicus Brief in Support of Yahoo! [PDF] and more on Yahoo! v. LICRA and jurisdiction issues.
(Economist) Negotiators from 50 countries are meeting in The Hague for two weeks to try to formulate rules for governing cross-border lawsuits. The biggest source of these is likely to be e-commerce over the Internet. There is widespread disagreement about how to proceed. Negotiators will have to be careful that, in trying to tame the Internet, they don’t strangle it
(Australian IT) In a case that could determine the publishing boundaries of the internet and the impact of defamation on the web, international barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC argued that liability for defamation on the web needed to be limited to where the web server was based.
(FT) Germany's regulator for telecommunications confirmed it would allow telecoms companies to share third-generation network infrastructure - a move that could save the industry billions of euros.
(Salon) Big-league adult content companies are getting into the "m" business. They're ready to sell pornographic movies, magazines and real-time interactivity on people's PDAs, cellphones and wireless devices.
(Newsbytes) Neo-Nazis are using AOL e-mail and online services as a global contact exchange, according to a German organization whose mission is to fight hate speech, right-wing extremism and to keep alive the memory of Holocaust horrors.
(lesnews.net) Le 12 juin s'est tenu le 77ème sommet franco allemand sur la lutte contre le racisme et la xénophobie. A cette occasion, les ministres participant au congrès ont déclaré vouloir intensifier la lutte contre la haine sur Internet.
(Parents Information Network) Filtering and blocking access to 'undesirable' content or contact on the Internet is obviously something many parents wish to be able to do. The objective of these evaluations is to help parents with an interest in managing their children's Internet usage to decide which, if any, of the currently available Internet safety software will best suit their needs.
(Press release) SurfControl and maker of Cyber Patrol, the most widely-used filtering technology in schools and homes, issued a statement against mandatory filtering as Massachusetts lawmakers debated the issue of requiring public libraries state-wide to use Internet filtering software.
(Wired) South Dakota has been experimenting with filtering products. But the Governor has decided not to use filters because he feared they would hinder legitimate access to useful information. Over the past several weeks, the state has fired or suspended without pay 20 government workers for abusing their access to the Internet at work. The investigation continues and more terminations are likely.
(Branchez-vous) 93% des Canadiens croient que le public devrait recevoir plus d'informations au sujet de la sécurité des enfants sur Internet et 90% des parents croient qu'il est de leur devoir d'exercer un contrôle lors des périodes de navigation de leur enfant.
(RAPID) In response to the request by the Stockholm European Council on 23-24 March 2001, the European Commission launched a series of policy recommendations for network security. see Network and Information Security: Proposal for a European Policy Approach.
(vnunet) The threat from hackers breaking into corporate networks through always-on GPRS devices is poised to grow exponentially and add millions of pounds to system management costs.
(ZDNet News) A program created to automatically overload Microsoft's Web and e-mail servers has been discovered on several corporate networks and may have spread further on the Internet. The worm - dubbed DoS.Storm - spreads on Web servers running Microsoft software and is designed to use the infected servers to level an Internet attack against the company.
(ZDNet News) While e-business may have slumped, online vandalism has been booming, according to Attrition.org. The nonprofit security site announced its decision to stop tracking the defacement of Web pages by online vandals because the volunteer staff can no longer keep up with the volume of defacements.
(ISG) Dutch hackers yesterday defaced the Safer Internet Exchange, a Web site sponsored by the European Commission that promotes a safer Internet. Security at the site had been increased last week after other hackers raised a red flag about possible vulnerabilities. see also EU's safer Internet site hacked and down (Register), Hackers taunt EC with site defacement and European 'safer Internet' site hit by hackers (IDG).
(Reuters) A computer system that controls much of the flow of electricity across California was under siege from hackers for at least 17 days during the height of the state's ongoing power crisis.
(ZDNet) Microsoft contritely acknowledged that its second attempt to fix an Exchange security hole went awry. Rather than fix the problem--and the security hole--the company's second attempt at a software patch included a catastrophic bug that caused many servers to hang.
(IDG) A security flaw in Microsoft Corp.'s SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 2000 Gold databases can allow an attacker to take control of a targeted server, the company said in a security bulletin. Microsoft issued a patch for the flaw at the same time that it posted the bulletin.
(MSNBC) Computing power dwarfing that used to build the most advanced weapons is now available to foes of the United States, making computer-hardware export controls a waste of time, a panel of senior national security figures has concluded.
(ZDNet News) In what appears to be a response to the geek-chic equivalent of a dare, a notorious group of online vandals has begun defacing security company Web sites. The group, known as PoizonB0x, put its online graffiti on 12 sites in the past week, according to hacking and security site Alldas.de. The targeted sites span the globe, with little in common except for the word security in their domain name.
(AP) A 16-year-old computer hacker illegally used software to cripple major Internet sites last year, including CNN and Yahoo, witnesses told a sentencing hearing. The youth, known by the online nickname Mafiaboy, ignored a warning on the software that its use on the public Internet was illegal and could lead to prosecution.
(vnunet.com) Owners of TiVo digital recorders have been asked to stop revealing how to copy TV programmes in digital form onto another machine because of fears they could be breaking copyright laws.
(Newsbytes) A hacker group known as "World of Hell" brought a world of headache on administrators at Virginia's Department of Information Technology, many of whom spent the better part of Saturday cleaning up digital graffiti left on the agency's Web site.
(FT) Telecoms regulators are planning to form a pan-European authority amid fears that multinational companies are "picking off" national regulators through concerted lobbying campaigns. However, national regulators and governments have opposed suggestions that the European Commission should create a new institution to fill this role and over-rule existing national regulators. Instead, they intend to formalise an existing ad-hoc discussion group, the Independent Regulators Group.
(New York Times) Suggesting that sophisticated interactive television will remain a distant dream in the United States, AT&T's broadband division has dropped its commitment to an advanced set-top cable box that was supposed to showcase Microsoft's interactive television software.
(New York Times) As the battle to provide high- speed Internet service heats up, the cable television giants are increasingly using a defensive tactic: refusing to sell advertising time to phone companies to promote D.S.L., an advanced telephone network technology that competes with cable modems.
(FT) Microsoft launched the world's first commercial roll-out of interactive television on broadband set-top boxes. The launch in Portugal, with TV Cabo, the local cable television company, marks the company's first deployment in a market which could eventually generate billions of dollars of revenues.
(Reuters) Japanese game maker Sega Corp and Sony Corp (news - web sites)'s game unit plan to enable users of their consoles to play video games via the Internet.
(Economist) Television is changing as it goes digital. The result will not only be better-quality pictures and sound but also personal TV, with viewers able to tailor the programmes they watch and even take part in them. How much money this makes for programme-makers or broadcasters, whoever they turn out to be, is not so clear
(ZDNet) Microsoft's U.K. portal has inked a two-year marketing deal to provide advertising and promotions for an online casino, Web-based gambling company Gaming Internet said.
(FT) EMI is to allow the downloading of its catalogue onto CDs in the first move by a large music group to legitimise the so-called "burning" of copyrighted tracks from the internet
(ZDNet) While Web portals chased traffic in a strategy based primarily on advertising for revenue, AOL plodded along with far smaller numbers, but its customers provided steady monthly income through paid subscriptions. So when the ad market froze last year, AOL became the proverbial tortoise that beat out the hare.
(San Francisco Chronicle) Amid big cutbacks, editors say digital media's key to future
(FT) Napster will license the core technology of MusicNet, an online music subscription alliance between RealNetworks and leading record labels Warner Music, EMI and BMG Entertainment. The new deal will amount to a significant challenge to Duet, another music distribution alliance being developed by Sony and Vivendi Universal. There was one caveat in the agreement. Napster users will not be able to touch any of the music offered by the leading labels until it can prove that it has changed its ways and can operate under copyright law.
(First Monday) by Clifford Lynch. With the convergence of different types of content into a common digital bit-stream, developments in industries such as music are establishing precedents that may define our view of digital books. This paper examines competing visions for the future of the book in the digital environment, with particular attention to questions about the social implications of controls over intellectual property, such as continuity of cultural memory.
(ZDNet) Although the Web is still a vast forum of free information, the digital nirvana once envisioned is fading as more companies attempt to require payment for content and services. The trend has become an urgent need since the bottom fell out of the dot-com market last year, forcing many businesses to begin charging for articles, storage space and Web phone calls. see also Who pays for billion-dollar boondoggles? and Free Web: Its days are numbered?.
(eMarketer) The "killer app" for mobile internet now and in the foreseeable future is mobile communication, such as e-mail, instant messaging, short messaging service (SMS) and multimedia messaging.
(FT) Companies that make mobile handsets - led by Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola - are now finding they are little better off than PC makers.
(Economist) How much can 3G operators reduce the cost of building their networks?
(MSNBC) At the same time Research in Motion and British Telecom Cellnet announced that Blackberry wireless e-mail service would be available in the United Kingdom, Nextel announced its version of wireless e-mail for its Internet-ready handsets.
(FT) The GSM Association, the industry body that represents mobile telephone operators who use GSM-related technology, launched guidelines for handset manufacturers which it hopes will kickstart the development of mobile internet services. The "M-Services" guidelines are designed to ensure that all handsets are able to send and receive the same internet-based information.
(BBC) The number of sites on the web may amount to hundreds of millions but surfers seem to be spending half of their time visiting just four of them.
(IDG) The average number of files being shared on Napster Inc.'s MP3-swapping service has fallen 90 percent in the three months since court-mandated filters were installed to block the trading of copyrighted music, according to a new study released by digital entertainment research firm Webnoize.
(NUA) eMarketer reports that there are now 7.6 million broadband subscribers in the US and 1.7 million in Canada. This is according to a new report from Kinetic Strategies.
(NUA) Gartner Dataquest predicts there will be 137.5 million wireless data subscribers in North America by 2005, up from 7.3 million last year
(CNET News.com) Product barriers that separate millions of instant messaging fans appear no closer to falling after a year of dispute, sparking a new round of maneuvering that could dramatically shape the development of standards for the nascent technology.
(Wall Street Journal) Microsoft Windows XP operating system is designed to be easier and more reliable than previous home versions of Windows. But Microsoft has another agenda for Windows XP: one feature, which hasn't yet been made public, allows Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser to turn any word on any Web site into a link to Microsoft's own Web sites and services, or to any other sites Microsoft favors.
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