(RAPID) The audiovisual sector in Europe, which is a strategic industry because of its cultural importance and its potential for the creation of wealth and jobs, continues to suffer from numerous handicaps that hinder the circulation of films and other audiovisual works. The Communication analyses these handicaps and proposes ways of overcoming them. see Communication on certain legal aspects relating to cinematographic and other audiovisual works, COM(2001)534 of 26.09.2001. The adoption of this Communication was preceded by a public consultation based on a Commission staff working document.
(Newsbytes) Though the Microsoft anti-trust probe appears to be approaching a conclusion in the U.S., an alliance of British firms is pressing the British government to open its own inquiry into yet another alleged abuse of the software giant's dominant market position
(New York Times) A federal judge ordered Microsoft and the government into a new round of intensive negotiations to settle the long-running antitrust case. Should talks fail, she indicated, the company faces the prospect of a quick series of hearings next spring to enable her to fashion a tough and broad penalty
(Reuters) The Dutch creator of the "Anna Kournikova" virus, which infected computers worldwide, was sentenced to 150 hours of community service.
(Fulton County Daily Report) Earthlink is suing two men it calls "Internet criminals." The Atlanta-based Internet service provider alleges the two have disrupted the company's networks by engaging in illegal e-mail campaigns with stolen credit cards and passwords.
(01net) Quatre ministères se sont associés, sous la houlette du ministère de la Famille, pour créer un site Internet de lutte contre les sites pédophiles. D'ici au 21 octobre, le site Internet-mineurs.gouv.fr sera officiellement lancé. Consacré à la lutte contre la pédophilie, il aura nécessité trois ans de travail.
(Internetlex) (Mozione 20.9.2001) Un intervento urgente per combattere la pedofilia on line. E’ quanto ha chiesto il gruppo Ccd-Cdu al Governo, con una mozione presentata alla Camera il 20 settembre 2001, annunciando una proposta di legge sulla materia.
(Newsbytes) By including computer crimes among the misdeeds that can be construed as "federal terrorism offenses," U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's proposed anti-terrorism package could expose hackers, Web site vandals and unsolicited e-mail marketers to life in prison. See also EFF alert.
(vnunet.com) The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ordered BT to pull banner ads on its website for the BTinternet Anytime offering that claimed its service was fast and reliable, after users complained of busy tones when trying to dial-up connections to the internet.
(Newsbytes) The FTC plans to announce the beginning of a campaign against scores of Web sites that capitalize on typo variants of popular domain names to dupe unsuspecting Internet surfers into visiting an adult or gambling Web site. The FTC also plans to target Web sites owners engaged in a practice known as "pagejacking," pages which contain hidden code that redirects users to an entirely different site, usually one laden with explicit adult images.
(Newsbytes) Resigned to the notion that Congress very likely will pass a sweeping "anti-terrorism" measure sometime in the coming weeks, civil libertarians have founded a
a politically diverse coalition of public interest groups called "In Defense of Freedom" and are seeking to challenge the elements of the legislation that they say pose the greatest threat to constitutional protections online and elsewhere. see also Why Liberty Suffers in Wartime (Wired)and Is FBI asking for data overload? (Wall Street Journal).
(Wired) Less than a week after Chinese censors unblocked the sites of The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the BBC, the sites were reblocked . Yet, as further evidence of the seemingly haphazard method the Chinese government applies to govern cyberspace, The Boston Globe remains unblocked after becoming accessible at the same time as the other sites. The New York Times, unblocked in August after the paper's top editors personally appealed to Chinese President Jiang Zemin in July during a face-to-face interview, remained accessible.
(Guardian) Special report. Download as PDF file. Britain failing to warm to the revolution. Broadband's rich potential for interactive business and entertainment services will be unleashed only when all the players in the supply chain are pulling in the same direction. Big boys making all the running Huge costs are forcing smaller operators out of the broadband market. Who's who in broadband Britain. Who are the main players in broadband Britain, how big is the market, pros and cons and how much will it cost. The pipe dream goes on A single broadband pipe delivering everything from telephony to video on demand to the home would be a reality but for the technological and commercial bottlenecks. Hunting the killer application. The slow pace of building the broadband infrastructure has led to media companies shelving much innovation and relying instead on known quantities for their content.
(AAP) The Association of American Publishers considers the protection of intellectual property in all media among its highest priorities. Working closely with local authorities overseas, AAP fights copyright pirates on their own territory and sends the message that stealing American books and journals does not pay. AAP is offering a reward for information leading to a criminal arrest, criminal conviction, civil fine, or other penalty in association with piracy of American books, journals, and other AAP member products.
(Yahoo FR) La commission des finances de l'Assemblée nationale vient de boucler un rapport d'information sur la rémunération pour copie privée.
(Newsbytes) Record companies can't recycle licenses they've received from songwriters and music publishers when making CDs and cassettes to make digital copies of tunes for streaming online, a federal court judge in New York ruled.
(Cato Institure) by Tom W. Bell. With regard to privacy no less than pornography, self-help offers Internet users a less-restrictive means of preventing the alleged harms of free speech than does state action. Indeed, a review of privacy-protecting technologies shows them to work even more effectively than the filtering and blocking software used to combat online smut. Digital self-help in defense of Internet privacy makes regulation by state authorities not only constitutionally suspect but, from the more general point of view of policy, functionally inferior.
(Salon) On Sept. 11, while the twin towers of the World Trade Center crumbled, Americans were stricken by shock, anger, grief and grim fascination. Glued to televisions, radios and Internet news sites, many of us were uncertain of what was happening or how we should react. But scores of people around the world reacted decisively to the terrorist attacks, in a peculiar and eerily detached way: They registered Internet domain names commemorating the disaster.
(Newsbytes) ICANN, the body that manages the Internet's worldwide addressing system, will meet in November as planned, but will shuffle its agenda to address Internet "security and stability" issues as they relate to the global dangers highlighted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
(Federal Computer Week) Sweeping e-government legislation that promised to bring a degree of coordination and discipline to the way agencies make use of information technology has virtually stalled in the Senate. Its supporters have begun looking toward next year as a more realistic time for passage.
(Newsbytes) Many federal agencies are at risk of missing an October 2003 deadline for complying with a new law designed to facilitate e-government, according to a General Accounting Office (GAO) report (PDF).
(Le Monde) L'e-learning accélère la mondialisation et la marchandisation de l'offre éducative, et menace les enseignements de service public. Mais le gouvernement, éducation nationale en tête, prépare sa riposte.
(NMA To Go) Results of the Internal Market/Consumer Affairs/Tourism Council, 27th September 2001. The Council reached, with a qualified majority, political agreement on a Common Position concerning the proposed Directive for the distance selling of financial services which sets common rules for selling contracts for credit cards, investment funds, pension plans, etc. to consumers by phone, fax or internet). Its main features are (1) the prohibition of abusive marketing practices seeking to oblige consumers to buy a service they have not solicited ("inertia selling"); (2) rules to restrict other practices such as unsolicited phone calls and e-mails ("cold calling" and "spamming"); (3) an obligation to provide consumers with comprehensive information before a contract is concluded and (4) a consumer right to withdraw from the contract during a cool-off period - except in cases where there is a risk of speculation. The newly agreed standards are in line with those already applicable to all other retail sectors. The Common Position will be formally adopted without discussion at a forthcoming Council meeting and the Council will proceed with its final adoption once the European Parliament has concluded its second reading on the proposal. see also L'Europe veut cadrer les services financiers à distance (AFP), EU sets rules on online marketing of financial services (IDG).
(Heise News-Ticker) Angesichts des Milliarden-Defizits der Kassen will die Bundesgesundheitsministerin nach einem Bericht der Berliner Zeitung das Versandverbot für Arzneimittel abschaffen und damit den kostengünstigen Internethandel ermöglichen.
(New York Times) The Internet has made it possible for millions of dollars in small donations from around the country and the world to be used for relief efforts almost instantaneously.
(Heise) Auf der Website Check the Doc können deutsche Patienten Ärzte suchen und bewerten. Die Datenbank umfasst nach Angaben des Betreibers Thomas Kopka rund 160.000 Praxen
(RAPID) Mr Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, Conference "Internet for all - Equal opportunities on the Net" Berlin, 21 September 2001.
(Economist) What security technology can - and cannot - do about terrorism. see also Stopping Bin Laden: How Much Surveillance Is Too Much? (Newsbytes) and Living Under an Electronic Eye (New York Times).
(Heise) Bundesinnenminister Otto Schily erklärte auf der Sitzung des Innenausschusses des Bundestags, dass eine wirksamere Fernmeldeüberwachung in Deutschland nur wenig von den "Veränderungen grundlegender Gesetze" abhänge.
(BBC) UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says "naive" campaigners against stronger internet surveillance laws have hurt the anti-terror fight. He suggested that with stronger powers, the security services might have detected some of the 11 suicide hijackers who are now known to have passed through the UK on their way to the US.
(The Recorder) The federal judge presiding over an emotional hearing in a case that could set precedent for Internet jurisdiction seemed ready to side with Yahoo Inc. on First Amendment grounds.
(FT) SFR, one of two groups awarded a third generation mobile phone licence in France, announced it was withholding its E619m ($570m) first tranche payment due to the French government on Monday because of the onerous terms and deteriorating international business climate. SFR, whose main shareholder is Cegetel, the French telecommunications group controlled by Vivendi Universal, said it would pay the sum into a blocked account at the state-run Caisse des Dépôts.
(FT) Oftel, the UK telecommunications watchdog announced new regulatory controls on the price of calls to mobile phones, a move it said would save consumers an estimated £800m ($1.17bn) over the next four years.
(Guardian) Kids' TV broadcasters have woken up to the huge popularity of text messaging - or short message services (SMS) - among their young viewers. It seems that the kids love to text. But while racing to jump aboard the SMS bandwagon, youth broadcasters must be careful not to lay themselves open to charges of using text services to exploit children commercially. Or encourage too much use of mobile phones, which some medical experts claim cause cancer because of the radiation they emit.
(Centre for Europe's Children) UK Preparation for the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (Yokahama, 17-20 December 2001). The UK government have worked with relevant professional and voluntary organisations to produce a National Plan for Safeguarding Children from Commercial Sexual Exploitation. The Plan focuses on children who are induced or coerced into unlawful sexual activities for the commercial advantage of others and explains what the Government and its partner agencies are doing to protect this most vulnerable group
(Wall Street Journal) For thousands of parents, it has gone from being a "maybe" to a must-have item for their kids. A cellphone, a beeper, walkie-talkies, almost anything that does the job, has overnight become a necessity for parents worrying about reaching their kids in a crisis.
(Independent) David Blunkett plans to make incitement to religious hatred an offence in an attempt to curb both Muslim fanatics and white racists. The Home Secretary is preparing a controversial change to the incitement laws to stop extremists on both sides whipping up hatred after the US terrorist attacks.
(Europa) The Commission intends to launch a study on the rating of films for cinema, television, DVD and videocassette in the EEA. The study will evaluate the reasons for, and the impact of differences between the national laws or self-regulatory measures for rrating of films on their subsequent marketing. It will also analyse whether such differences in rating create potential confusion amongst the persons responsible for minors. see Communication on certain legal aspects relating to cinematographic and other audiovisual works, COM(2001)534 of 26.09.2001. The adoption of this Communication was preceded by a public consultation based on a Commission staff working document.
(Newsbytes) A German Internet company is fighting back against Web surfers who demand free content and then add insult to injury by installing software on their PCs that blocks revenue-generating online advertising. MediaBEAM GmbH has developed Web server software that can detect whether a home browser is blocking banner ads or pop-ups.
(IDG) Wary of legal liability, employers are increasingly taking action to clean up employees' e-mail and root out "smoking guns," according to a new survey by the American Management Association, U.S. News and World Report, and The ePolicy Institute.
(dotSAFE) A new edition of the Context magazine for teachers in Europe has been published. Special topic is safer use of the Internet: an interview by students with Erkki Liikanen, Commissionere for Enterprise and Information Society, a comprehensive set of articles from projects funded by the Safer Internet Action Plan, advice, links and recommendations.
(University of Oregon) Responsible Netizen is a new initiative of the Center for Advanced Technology in Education (CATE). Responsible Netizen will: Develop effective strategies to assist young people in gaining the knowledge, decision-making skills, motivation, and self-control to behave in a safe, responsible, legal, and ethical manner when using the Internet and other information technologies. Disseminate these strategies to schools, libraries, parents, policy-makers, and others.
(CoSN) School District Options for Providing Access to Appropriate Internet Content. The Consortium for School Networking is a non-profit association that promotes the use of telecommunications to improve learning in primary and secondary schools.
(saferinternet.org) The final report of the Safer Use of Interactive Technologies Workshop organised by the Commission on June 11 & 12 in Luxembourg is now available.
(E-PING!) The European Parliamentarians Internet Group is holding a meeting on Wednesday, 10th October 6.30 - 8.00 in Room 1E1, European Parliament, Brussels.
(Phil Zimmermann) Open letter: The Washington Post carried an article that misrepresents my views on the role of PGP encryption software in the September 11th terrorist attacks. The article states that as the inventor of PGP, I was "overwhelmed with feelings of guilt". I never implied that in the interview, and specifically went out of my way to emphasize to her that that was not the case. This misrepresentation is serious, because it implies that under the duress of terrorism I have changed my principles on the importance of cryptography for protecting privacy and civil liberties in the information age.
(Reuters) Lawmakers may be asked to give the FBI a "software key" to encryption technology that would allow the agency to unlock secret Internet messages but experts warn the measure would impair commerce and violate privacy right without deterring terrorism.
(Newsbytes) Douglas Alexander, the U.K. e-commerce minister, spoke at the Information Security Solutions Europe (ISSE) event of the need for a heightened awareness of Internet security, following the terrorist attacks in America two weeks ago.
(MSNBC) Cyberangels has launched an effort to protect the Internet from hackers angry at Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. see also A TV Plea to Patriot Hackers (Wired)
(ICC) International business has asked the European Commission to approve contractual safeguards for data flows between the EU and the rest of the world that would avoid imposing what they regard as excessive obligations on companies. Seven associations representing a broad cross-section of business interests submitted alternative model contract clauses that would remedy perceived defects in the Commission's own standard clauses for data protection.
(ICC) The International Chamber of Commerce has set up an interpretation service for the ICC marketing codes - key documents for the advertising industry on which national codes used by professional associations worldwide are based. A volunteer panel of top-flight business experts will respond to queries arising from ICC's eight self-regulatory codes and guidelines. These cover all aspects of advertising and marketing ethics, from campaigns directed at children to corporate sponsorship and selling online.
(New York Times) The Supreme Court begins its term with a full plate of telecommunications cases that lawyers say demonstrate the shortcomings of the landmark 1996 law that was supposed to deregulate the industry and introduce competition to telephone markets long dominated by monopolies. The 10 lawsuits, broadly consolidated into three sets of cases, present significant questions about the costs of local telephone and high- speed Internet services.
(transfert) Des terroristes islamistes dissimuleraient leurs noirs desseins dans des photos pornos. Après les "pédo-nazis", voici venir les "porno-terroristes" : info ou Intox ? Intox !
(CDT) Legislative Proposals, Testimony, Analysis, Statements, 1996 Counter-Terrorism Legislation Materials.
(Heise) In einem Spitzengespräch von ARD, ZDF, RTL, der KirchGruppe und den Landesmedienanstalten haben sich die deutschen Programmveranstalter für eine schnelle Einführung des MHP-Standards für Digital-TV ausgesprochen. Ein einheitliches technisches System auf Basis der Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) soll künftig ein "Fernsehen ohne Grenzen" ermöglichen.
(FT) An estimated 100,000 people will switch on their television sets to find a blank screen where they used to receive a Sky service. British Sky Broadcasting, the UK pay-TV operator, is finally switching off its analogue signal and with it the remaining channels that have not yet been transferred to the digital platform.
(New York Times) The At Home Corporation, a once-mighty Internet portal turned high-speed access provider, said today that it planned to file for bankruptcy protection, a victim of shrinking online advertising revenue and the collapse of the dot-com bubble.
(FT) Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of EasyJet, the low-cost airline, is putting £15m of his own money into EasyEverything, the internet cafe chain, to save it from insolvency. It will close outlets and be rebranded as "easyInternetCafe" following the refinancing. The chain will refocus on London, New York and Paris.
(Newsbytes) Napster announced the tentative settlement of a bitter class-action lawsuit filed by a group of U.S. music publishers and songwriters. In a deal lauded by one music-publishing executive as a "landmark decision," Napster has agreed to pay publishers and songwriters $26 million for past unauthorized trading of songs over its file-sharing network, while paying music publishers $10 million in advance against future royalties.
(MSNBC) Ad hoc networks give anyone roaming urban areas access at blazing speeds - but they may face a Napster-style backlash.
(Multichannel News International) Things are looking up for the cable and broadband industries thanks to a recently signed cooperative agreement between the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institution (ETSI). Founded in 1969, the Philadelphia-based SCTE is the lead body for developing cable standards in the United States. Meanwhile ETSI - headquartered in Sophia Antipolis, France - plays the same role in Europe. Together, the two hold considerable weight on a global scale.
(Industry Standard) The Australian Internet market is growing slowly in subscriber terms and seeing a decrease in the number of ISPs (Internet service providers), according to statistics of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
(Washington Post) Microsoft is continuing to gain ground in its Internet battle with AOL Time Warner, as it has lured about 400,000 online subscribers away from its rival since launching a $50 million marketing campaign in June. MSN, the nation's No. 2 Internet service provider, behind AOL, now has 6.9 million subscribers.
(MSNBC) Industry is experimenting with a new strategy for protecting CDs from being copied in CD burners or on computers. Unlike previous anti-copying measures, this plan will place two versions of an album on a single disc: one in standard CD form, modified so that it can’t be transferred to a computer hard drive, and another in Microsoft’s Windows Media Audio digital format, rigged so that files can be copied to a PC, but with some restrictions on how they can be used.
(Reuters) Vivendi Universal's Universal Music Group plans to start issuing CDs in October with software that prevents music from being digitally copied into computer files.
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