(RAPID) The European Commission has adopted a Communication that explains how State aid rules are applied to funding of public service broadcasters. The Communication clarifies that Member States are in principle free to define the extent of the public service and the way it is financed and organised, according to their preferences, history and needs.
(CNET News.com) Windows XP carries monumental significance for the high-technology industry and the Internet. Its true impact will be felt as the first public step in a controversial strategy to transform Microsoft from a traditional software company into a global network of services ranging from communication to entertainment on a subscription basis. If successful, Microsoft could challenge AOL Time Warner and other media giants for control of the Internet and entirely new industries--similar to the way it has dominated the software market, locking customers into Microsoft-sanctioned goods and services. In this special report, CNET News.com examines the multifaceted strategy from legal, economic and practical perspectives.
(BBC) The European Union could block major record labels from setting up their planned music download services, according to reports.
(Reuters) The European Commission is not examining Microsoft's Windows XP operating system as part of an antitrust investigation into the U.S. software giant.
(LA Times) The Justice Department has intensified its antitrust investigation of the music industry's licensing practices, demanding that industry organizations and online companies submit a slew of documents related to Internet music services.
(BBC) Scottish judges have ruled that people convicted of downloading child pornography from the internet should not face more than a year in prison. However, the judges also rejected an earlier ruling that the offence could be viewed as a victimless crimes.
(Planet Internet) L’association humanitaire espagnole Anesvad a pris au piège 6.000 pédophiles en mettant en place un faux site internet de pornographie infantile. Le site n’était autre qu’un moyen de repérer les personnes qui se connectaient.
(This is London) The Roman Catholic Dean of Reading was arrested in a dawn raid on suspicion of importing child pornography.
(Guardian) Fear of information leaking about the computer security system protecting Britain's 8m Barclaycard holders has led to unprecedented secrecy in a £25m alleged blackmail case. Two court hearings have already taken place in camera. The draconian measure of holding criminal proceedings behind closed doors is usually only reserved for espionage or intelligence-related cases involving national security. Lawyers cannot recall the procedure being used before in cases involving commercial secrets or blackmail threats against companies.
(New York Times) A hard-fought legal debate over the constitutionality of a federal law designed to punish 'virtual' or computer-generated child pornography will echo through the courtroom of the United States Supreme Court in two weeks, when the justices are scheduled to hear oral arguments in the matter, Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition
(Reuters) A Texas judge has deployed special screening software to stop convicted sex offenders from surfing Internet pornography sites. Three paroled offenders have been sent back to jail after software he ordered them to install on their computers alerted probation officers that they were trying to view online pornography in defiance of his orders.
(Newsbytes) The American Red Cross is warning Internet users to beware a credit-card-stealing Trojan horse program, delivered in an e-mail that is made to look as though it comes from the disaster relief organization.
(Reuters) China has lifted Internet blocks on foreign news organizations, including Reuters, CNN and the BBC, in a move that coincides with a high-profile Asia Pacific meeting.
(Legal Intelligencer) The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is now poised to decide whether a student had his constitutional rights violated when he was expelled for creating a Web site listing reasons why one of his teachers should die.
(Washington Post) A federal judge has ruled that Virginia's law aimed at protecting children from "harmful" material on the Internet is unconstitutional, marking another setback in a nationwide effort to shield minors from online pornography.
(FT) The UK's Independent Television Commission has urged the government to introduce interim legislation allowing greater consolidation in the media and communications industry. His comments were welcomed by companies such as Granada, which along with other media companies have been frustrated at the government decision to postpone reform of media ownership laws
(Reuters) An Austrian-based Web site that allegedly became a popular online exchange for software pirates around the globe has been shut down by an industry watchdog group. Technology watchdog group Business Software Alliance (BSA) announced it had shut down Warez.at, a site that's become a sort of gateway for pirates to distribute the spoils of their hacking endeavors.
(Findlaw) U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal court overturned the preliminary injunction for infringement of copyright against publication of "The Wind Done Gone", a parody of "Gone With the Wind " since any harm could adequately be remedied through an award of monetary damages and a viable fair use defense is available.
(Wired) The Federal Trade Commission plans to beef up its enforcement of existing privacy laws by 50 percent, FTC chairman Timothy Muris said. The agency will not ask Congress to pass new privacy legislation.
(ECJ) Commission of the European Communities v . Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Case C-450/00)
(IDG) Information technology (IT) managers have long known that privacy rules can have a direct impact on database design and customer relationship systems. Corporations are struggling to comply with the European Union's privacy rules as well as an emerging set of stringent data-sharing requirements in Canada. For instance, Procter & Gamble solved the problem of global privacy compliance by adopting a set of customer privacy rules that can meet Europe's standards - standards that are considered the most demanding
(Law.com) Employees are becoming increasingly concerned about their privacy as their employers are monitoring them electronically more closely than ever before. At the same time, certain state efforts to prevent employee electronic monitoring are not succeeding. Still, employers have some valid reasons for employee monitoring. There is little doubt that this particular debate should rage on for quite some time.
(FT) In an agreement that could change the way many internet users reach web sites, Verisign, which operates the registry of .com, .net and .org web addresses, is to make RealNames Keywords available through its network of over 90 registrars worldwide. Keywords, which are already recognized by Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, are a shorthand form of website addresses.
(BBC) Up to a quarter of the early registrations for the new .info domain name could be bogus. A study of 11,000 registrations has shown a failure of the steps taken to stop people winning control of domains they do not have the right to run. see also .info - A Tour de Farce? (Stanbrook & Hooper).
(Newsbytes) A pair of companies - including Swiss food giant Nestle - have received unusually stern rebukes from international arbitrators who say the firms attempted to abuse a procedure that is supposed to sort out disputes over the ownership of Internet domain names. Nestle were found to have attempted reverse hijacking and to have misled the arbitrators.
(Irish Times) A website formerly owned by the Catholic diocese of Limerick now appears to be a site containing pornographic material.
(RAPID) 60 on-line administration services have been selected by a team of independent experts for the quality of their interactivity with their users. These services will be awarded the "eGovernment" label. They will be presented at the Conference on eGovernment: From Policy to Practice jointly organised by the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency on 29 and 30 November 2001 in Brussels
(ECJ) Judgment of the Court of First Instance in Case T-111/00 British American Tobacco International (Investments) Ltd v Commission. The Court of First Instance annulled the Commission's decision partially refusing British American Tobacco International (Investments) Ltd access to minutes of the Committee on Excise Duties. For the first time, the Court ordered production of the documents at issue so that it could examine them.
(Europa) Play an active role in the European Union's policy-making process. The European Commission wants to listen to your ideas, face up to your criticism and learn from your experience. "Your voice in Europe" is part of the European Commission's Interactive Policy-Making initiative. see also Debate: The future of the European Union.
(Heise) Bis zum 7. November können sich Herr und Frau Schweizer zu den E-Government-Strategien ihrer Regierung äußern. In einem eigens dafür eingerichteten Online-Forum soll die virtuelle Demokratie geübt werden. Es ist dies das erste Mal, dass der Bundesrat (die Exekutive der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft ) eine Konsultation zu einem Regierungsgeschäft im Internet durchführen lässt.
(ZDNet Asia) All the rules for wireless election advertising and cyber-campaigning were spelt out. Private sites are not allowed to come out in support of any party or candidate. The Web sites of political parties are allowed to post their manifestos, posters, candidate profiles and photos, and even hold discussions and forums. However, parties must appoint moderators for chatrooms and discussion forums during the election and keep logs of all messages. These moderators must try their best to remove any messages that the Returning Officer deems to be against public interest, public order or national harmony, or which offend good taste or decency.
(Computing) A £400m government service offering companies criminal checks on potential employees has been delayed because the computer system is still not ready. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) is being developed by the Home Office to help employers and voluntary organisations identify serious offenders, such as paedophiles.
(Computer Daily News) Australia's Internet Industry Association (IIA) has given an indication of how complicated the Australian government's ban on Internet gambling will be in a notification of scheduled filters and procedures for Internet service providers (ISPs) to use to block gambling sites. IIA Releases Draft Interactive Gambling Code of Practice (Press Release). The Code is intended to shield IIA members and those providing internet access to third parties from the requirement to block content hosted offshore and possible criminal sanctions under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
(Internetnews) Increasingly, health agencies and healthcare industry groups are warning about e-mail promotions promising to deliver ciprofloxacin, which Bayer AG markets under the name Cipro, without requiring a prescription. See also Web monitored for illegal anthrax products (Reuters).
(RAPID) Mr Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, 2nd Annual Nordic e-business Conference Stockholm, 11 October 2001
(transfert) Les amendements contestés par les défenseurs des droits de l´homme et de la vie privée ont été votés par le Sénat. Au menu : anticonstitutionnalité, racolage, mensonge, flou juridique et dommages collatéraux. Examen final par l´Assemblée le 31 octobre. voir aussi Anticonstitutionnellement (IRIS).
(vnunet.com) The Home Office is asking internet service providers (ISPs) to keep records of which websites their customers visit, what newsgroup articles they read and who they email for 12 months. The move is part of new anti-terrorist legislation proposed by Home Secretary David Blunkett.
(Wired) A government anti-terrorism commission will recommend that a "cyber court" be created with extraordinary powers to authorize electronic surveillance and secret searches of suspected hackers' homes and offices.
(AP) New authority wanted by President Bush to wiretap and eavesdrop on suspected terrorists, including secret police searches of their homes and records, would expire in four years under a compromise.
(Newsbytes) A panel discussion at the Internet Research 2.0 conference at Minneapolis' University of Minnesota dwelled mainly on the use Web hyperlinks to direct readers to pages containing copyright-infringing material.
(Heise) Ob deutsche Provider den Zugang zu ausländischen Websites mit rechtswidrigen Inhalten sperren müssen, ist juristisch umstritten. Vor einer Woche hatte die Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf 56 nordrhein-westfälische Internetprovider schriftlich aufgefordert, vier amerikanische Sites, darunter rotten.com, für deutsche Nutzer zu blockieren.
(New York Law Journal) A closely divided appellate panel in upstate New York upheld dismissal of a defamation action against the state in a ruling that leaves unresolved the question of whether modification of a Web site where an offending report is posted constitutes republication
(FT) France has extended a helping hand towards its stricken telecoms sector by slashing the upfront cost of third generation mobile licences and extending their life from 15 to 20 years in a move that boosted share prices and may now put pressure on other European governments to follow suit. The upfront cost of a French 3G licence will fall to just E619m ($570m), compared to the E4.95bn fixed at the height of the telecoms boom last year, half of which was to have been paid in the first two years. The government will also levy a tax on 3G revenues that is yet to be fixed. see also France eases UMTS payments while Germany stays firm (Total Telecom).
(FT) British Telecommunications and One2One have lost a High Court appeal against the UK government's handling of third-generation mobile phone auctions last year.
(Sunday Times) In the latest internet craze, schoolchildren are simulating adult affairs by checking into anonymous hotel rooms under assumed names. See also Virtual hotel cracks down on cybersex (ZDNet UK) .
(Electronic Business Law Reports) by Yaman Akdeniz. League Against Racism and Antisemitism (LICRA), French Union of Jewish Students, v Yahoo! Inc. (USA), Yahoo France, Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris, Interim Court Order, 20 November, 2000.
(Newsbytes) VeriSign, IBM, Verizon, AOL-Time Warner, and Microsoft are set to kick off an initiative encouraging Web site operators to adopt the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) system, which prompts participating Web site operators to rate their site based both on the content they contain and the context of that content.
(CNET News.com) A prominent group of online news companies said they would not rate or apply a "news" label to their Web content to bypass software that censors violent or sexual Net sites during a closed meeting organized by the Internet Content Coalition in New York on 28 August 1997. [Ed: not topical, but of interest for those following the issue of content rating, and this item was hitherto missing from QuickLinks which only started on 14 October 1997].
(Sunday Times) Are you a parent or guardian of a child aged 15 or younger? The Sunday Times is seeking volunteers to participate in Surfsafe2001, the first nationwide survey and analysis of children's behaviour online. We ask you to download a free piece of software, which will record your child's computer activity for a fortnight, then to complete a confidential online questionnaire.
(CNET News.com) Microsoft confirmed that code, written by a programmer using the pseudonym "Beale Screamer," can strip off the protections in Microsoft's digital rights management (DRM) software which allow a content owner, such as a record label, to set rules on how the content can be used.
(CNET News.com) Microsoft, whose software has been at the center of several recent high-profile security incidents, has decided to turn up the heat on those the company considers at least partially responsible: security firms and hackers who release sample programs to exploit software flaws. Scott Culp, manager for Microsoft's security response center, published an essay on the company's site decrying the information and example code released by some companies and independent security consultants as "information anarchy."
(Newsbytes) Attacks on Internet computers are on pace to easily double the number reported last year, according to a government-funded security information clearinghouse, Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).
(ZDNet ES) Para paliar la demanda sobre información de utilización de herramientas que garanticen seguridad en todos los aspectos necesarios, la AI (Asociación de Internautas) ha desarrollado un espacio dentro de su sitio web que estará accesible desde el lunes 15 de octubre hasta el 15 de diciembre, bajo el título Campaña Nacional de Seguridad en la Red. ver también La protección de los menores en Internet (AI).
(Newsbytes) President Bush has issued an executive order creating a federal "critical infrastructure protection" board that will be charged with coordinating nationwide electronic security efforts.
(Wired) Look out, music pirates: The recording industry wants the right to hack into your computer and delete your stolen MP3s. It's no joke. Lobbyists for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) tried to glue this hacking-authorization amendment onto a mammoth anti-terrorism bill that Congress approved.
(FUNDP) Classification - Un premier inventaire
(Europa) Consumer Protection - European Consumer Law Group - Reports.
(Heise) Der Einzug der Rundfunkgebühren soll künftig stark vereinfacht werden und auch für Computer gelten. Private Haushalte sollen künftig pauschal nur eine Gebühr zahlen. Entsprechendes soll für Betriebe und Einrichtungen gelten.
(Wired) The Canadian government capped a week of anti-terrorist measures with the announcement of a $47 million injection of technology funding for two of its security agencies. The increased money for technology is part of the government's sweeping new Anti-Terrorism Act currently being rushed through the Canadian parliament, that could become law as soon as December.
(Le Monde) Devenu l'un des outils de communication les plus populaires du Net, le chat s'impose comme l'agora de ce début de siècle
(Gnutella News) Audiogalaxy is filtering 95% of all music files on their network. Searching for files has now become a laboriously tedious if not insurmountable task. And don’t expect to misspell the artist’s name or retitle the song because that won’t work now either. They’ve covered most of it.
(Heise) Kinderportale auf der Suche nach einem geeigneten Finanzierungsmodell. 4Kidz.de und Kindercampus.de sind vor zirka einem Jahr mit einem so genannten Kinderportal ans Netz gegangen. Beide erheben den Anspruch, die Spreu vom Weizen zu trennen und die verschiedenen Formen der multimedialen Darstellung pädagogisch sinnvoll aufzubereiten.
(RAPID) Mr Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, Norden digitalt Conference, Helsinki, 16 October 2001.
(Newsbytes) Digital subscriber line (DSL) connections in Europe will overtake those in the U.S. within the next five years, according to a new report
(NUA) There will be 31.4 million i-mode subscribers in Western Europe by 2006, according to Frost & Sullivan. European i-mode services will be based on parts of the business model and technology developed by NTT DoCoMo for the Japanese market. The content, however, will be created especially to appeal to local tastes.
(Telepolis) Peer-to-Peer zwischen Abscheulichkeit und Aufklärung Während das deutsche Fernsehen Filesharingprogramme als "Snuff-Börsen" bekämpft, nutzt Morpheus den Tausch von Gewaltbildern als Argument gegen die Vorwürfe der Medienindustrie.
(ZDNet) The recording industry is experimenting with new technology it hopes can smother online song swapping by targeting music traders' computers directly. The software would essentially act as a downloader, repeatedly requesting the same file and downloading it very slowly, essentially preventing others from accessing the file. While stopping short of a full denial-of-service attack, the method could substantially clog the target computer's Internet connection.
QuickLinks consists of
QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham email@example.com - Contributors: Michael Geist BNA - ILN, David Goldstein, Gerhard Heine, Alan Reekie