(Press release) A review of the guidelines under which broadcasters purchase conditional access services to offer channels on digital television platforms has been launched by Oftel. The review will look at current arrangements for pricing, terms and conditions and whether public service broadcasters should be charged at rates different from commercial broadcasters.
(dpa) Der Streit um die deutschen Rundfunkgebühren ist beim Rat der EU-Kulturminister in Brüssel erneut aufgeflammt. Die Vertreter Deutschlands, Kulturstaatsminister Julian Nida-Rümelin und Bayerns Ressortchef Hans Zehetmair, beharrten am Montag am Rande des Treffens darauf, die Gebühren seien nicht als staatliche Beihilfen anzusehen. Dem widersprach EU-Kulturkommissarin Viviane Reding.
(AP) Three major television networks are suing the maker of the first Internet-ready personal digital video recorder, saying the ReplayTV 4000 lets people make and distribute illegal copies of television programs. See also Networks See Threat in New Video Recorder (New York Times).
(FT) The BBC is lobbying Oftel, the telecommunications regulator, for cheaper access to British Sky Broadcasting's satellite network and the potential for free carriage to reflect its need to be universally available to viewers.
(FT) Half of the 18 states prosecuting Microsoft for antitrust violations have decided to reject a US Justice Department-backed settlement agreement and will continue to pursue the three-year-old case, state lawyers told a federal judge. see also U.S. and Microsoft in Deal, but States Hold Back (New York Times) , Judge to Hear From 9 States on Microsoft (New York Times), Antitrust Deal Is Called Big Victory for Microsoft (New York Times) Winners, losers in the Microsoft settlement (CNET News.com) and full text of the proposed final judgment in United States v. Microsoft.
(Reuters) Antitrust chiefs from around the world formed a group to develop global enforcement guidelines to ensure fair competition, responding to calls from dealmakers who say the international approval process is disjointed and tedious. The heads of antitrust or competition regulatory offices from 13 countries, including Italy, the United States and South Korea, gathered in New York to announce the formation of the International Competition Network, as the group will be known.
(ZDNet UK) The European Commission's antitrust case against Microsoft will continue, unaffected by the software giant's settlement with the US Department of Justice.
(Newsbytes) The Council of Europe approved the so-called Convention on Cyber-crime, an international treaty designed to harmonize laws against crimes committed via the Internet. The treaty will go into effect when five states, at least three of which are members of the Council of Europe, have ratified it. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the United States are expected to be among the first signatories to the convention, which will be open for signature at an international conference on cyber-crime in Budapest on November 23rd.
(European Parliament) This site is under the responsibility of the EP Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs and has three parts: Work in progress on the creation of an area of Freedom, Security and Justice in the EU (Scoreboard), Newsletter and Fundamental Rights.
(Consilium) Stockholm, 26-28 March 2001.
(BBC) A Devon hospital consultant who was given a suspended jail term for downloading child pornography from the internet has successfully appealed against the sentence.
(Yahoo UK) Scotland Yard has said that 14 people were arrested across the UK and Ireland on suspicion of distributing child pornography across the Internet. The operation, which was code-named "Barcela", followed a seven-month investigation by the Metropolitan Police. Fifteen search warrants were executed in the action, which involved 11 different police forces.
(New York Times) A Manhattan judge dismissed all charges against Oliver Jovanovic, a Columbia University doctoral student accused five years ago of the sexual torture of a woman he met on the Internet. The highly publicized case was at first seen as a symbol of the dangers of arranging social encounters on the Internet.
(New York Times) The Supreme Court heard the government's defense of a recent federal law that treated "virtual" child pornography - computer-generated images of children or productions using young-looking performers who were really adults - as if it were the real thing.
(Le Monde) Les plaintes des consommateurs ne cessent pas contre le site et le cybermarchand doit aujourd'hui faire face, dans un environnement économique difficile, à la justice.
(Reuters) The operators of www.playgirl.com and several other adult-oriented Web sites agreed to pay $30 million to settle charges that they illegally billed thousands of customers for what were advertised as free services, the Federal Trade Commission said. see Press release (FTC).
(FT) A crackdown on satellite television dishes that followed serious unrest in Tehran has set the scene for another bitter confrontation between conservative-controlled institutions and reformists in parliament. Members of parliament announced they planned to fulfil a pledge they made during general elections last year and start the process of lifting a ban on ownership of satellite dishes after police, acting on the orders of the judiciary, seized more than 1,000 dishes and receivers in raids on private homes in Tehran in what they said was part of a wider campaign to confiscate 150,000.
(Newsbytes) The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) unveiled an online index of what it calls, "various censorship and free expression incidents" stemming from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
(Reuters) A Christian group promoting family values accused the popular Internet site Yahoo! of allowing users to post offensive content advocating rape, torture and violence against women and children.
(Yahoo UK) BT has applied to the Independent Television Commission (ITC) for a licence permitting it to provide video and other programming directly to its customers. It hopes to stream the content over its ADSL network -- which currently covers around 70 percent of the population.
(New York Times) A federal court has ruled that America Online has probably violated a copyright of a PlayMedia Systems, a small software company and ordered the huge online service to remove WinAmp, the online music player feature, from the AOL 6.0 software used by more than 10 million of its customers.
(Reuters) The "cookie," a simplistic identification tag that most Internet users unknowingly carry when surfing the Web, runs the risk of being outlawed under a proposed privacy directive from the European Commission. The Interactive Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) has marshaled support from its members across Europe to launch a lobbying effort it calls "Save our Cookies." The cookie proposal, which was an amendment to a parliamentary report on electronic data collection and privacy proposed by Dutch Parliament member W.G. van Velzen, is scheduled to go for a vote on Nov. 13 before the European Parliament plenary assembly.
(Newsbytes) Computer maker Gateway has joined the E.U.-U.S. Safe Harbor program, becoming the latest high-tech heavyweight to endorse an agreement designed to protect European users' online privacy.
(CNET News.com) Well-known privacy watchdog Richard Smith is leaving his post at the Privacy Foundation to research security issues following the Sept. 11 attacks, one sign of the country's shifting focus from protecting privacy to ensuring safety.
(Forum des droits sur l'internet) Un nouveau forum est ouvert: 'Données de connexion'. Cette discussion fera l’objet d'une synthèse qui doit être remise aux pouvoirs publics en temps utiles. Voir aussi le dossier évolutif Cybercrime et démocratie
(Newsbytes) A cadre of privacy and civil liberties groups has urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to uphold a rule that requires phone companies to obtain customer consent before selling data about their customers' calling habits.
(Newsbytes) A blue-ribbon panel today handed down its final recommendations for what role the online public should play in managing the Internet's worldwide addressing system, but the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) may not act on those recommendations until sometime next year. see also ICANN Eyes New Vote Plan (Wired) and Final Report on ICANN At-Large Membership (At Large Study Committee).
(Reuters) Anti-globalization activists have enraged the World Trade Organization with a phony Web site that looks just like the real thing but alters the site's text and mentions profit at every opportunity.
(Jun He Law Offices) With the increasing number of disputes over the use and registration of domain names on the Internet, the Interpretations of the Supreme People’s Court on Some Issues Concerning Specific Application of Laws in the Trial of Civil Cases Related to Disputes of Domain Names on the Computer Internet (hereinafter "the Interpretations") were promulgated on July 17 2001 and put into effect on July 24 2001.
(Newsbytes) After delays and some legal problems, the Internet registry for the new top-level domain (TLD) known as ".biz" opened its doors to all comers, allowing anyone to grab addresses designed to represent Net-savvy businesses. Well ... almost anyone, since some companies reselling .biz domains to the masses were having trouble connecting customers with their new addresses.
(Consilium) Draft Common position on a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.
(Heise) Die Deutsche Telekom hat einen Rechtsstreit gegen eine Internet-Agentur namens t3 medien verloren. Der rosa Riese hatte versucht, die verhältnismäßig kleine Firma zur Namensänderung zu zwingen, da er glaubte, Anspruch auf den Buchstaben T zu haben.
(Newsbytes) The U.S. Commerce Department awarded control of the ".us" Internet domain to NeuStar, a Washington-based firm that also has a hand in operating the recently created ".biz" domain.
(Newsbytes) The U.S. Government formalized its decision to cede control of the ".edu" Internet domain to Educause, a not-for-profit group representing more than 1,800 universities, colleges and higher education groups.
(Newsbytes) Rather than force Internet addressing authorities to create a ".kids" Internet domain, congressional lawmakers are considering a compromise - they would authorize the creation of a child-friendly addressing space within the ".us" country-code domain. See also Lawmakers Propose .Kids Compromise (Newsbytes).
(Government Computer News) The Office of Management and Budget today released its e-government plan for funding 22 initiatives to unify and simplify federal systems in the next 18 to 24 months.
(Heise) In drei Jahren soll jeder bayerische Staatsbeamte einen Internet-fähigen Computer auf dem Schreibtisch haben. Der Freistaat werde für das so genannte e-Government bis 2005 rund 300 Millionen Mark (153 Millionen Euro) investieren.
(Consilium) The register contains references of Council documents. Those documents released to the public following Council legislative acts concerning transparency or upon request, are available directly as full text.
(Silicon) The creation of a nationwide property database which would simplify the buying and selling of houses and help councils reclaim millions of pounds of lost revenue is being threatened by the 'luddite' attitudes of many local authorities.
(Newsbytes) Legislators' Web sites in general do not provide enough basic information for constituents, and need to offer better content, such as voting records and simple things such as contact e-mail and postal addresses and telephone numbers, according to a new study.
(ECLIP) Upcoming ECLIP workshops: 8th Workshop on E-Commerce Taxation (Duesseldorf, 29 November), 9th Workshop on Liability and E-Commerce (Namur, 6 December 2001), 10th Workshop on Contracts and E-Commerce (Namur, 7 December 2001).
(Newsbytes) House lawmakers introduced legislation to outlaw most forms of Internet gambling, a rapidly growing and unregulated $6 billion industry fed largely by U.S. demand. The measure would make it illegal for banks and individuals to knowingly accept credit cards, checks or electronic fund transfer as payment for Internet gambling
(Heise) Der Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) hat in einem Grundsatzurteil Internet-Auktionen für rechtlich verbindlich erklärt. Der beklagte Anbieter eines fabrikneuen VW-Passat Variant muss nach dem letztinstanzlichen Urteil nun das Auto an den Käufer zum Preis von 26.000 Mark liefern.
(Point de contact "Protection des mineurs") Créé par les ministères de la justice, de l'intérieur, de la défense et de l'emploi et de la solidarité, ce site vous permet de signaler aux autorités judiciaires les sites ou autres services en ligne (e-mails, news groups, chat) à caractère pédophile.
(Wired) The Dec. 2005 expiration date embedded in the USA Act applies only to a tiny part of the mammoth bill. Police will have the permanent ability to conduct Internet surveillance without a court order in some circumstances, secretly search homes and offices without notifying the owner, and share confidential grand jury information with the CIA. Also exempt from the expiration date are investigations underway by Dec. 2005, and any future investigations of crimes that took place before that date.
(Heise) Das Bundesjustizministerium hat eine Studie beim Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Strafrecht in Freiburg in Auftrag gegeben, ob das Abhören von Telekommunikation überhaupt ein effektives Fahndungsinstrument ist. Projektleiterin Daniela Demko berichtete auf einer Datenschutztagung in Bonn über den Fortgang der mit Spannung erwarteten Studie.
(Japan Times) In what is believed to be the first legal action against spamming on mobile phones in Japan, the Yokohama District Court has issued an injunction against a firm that is allegedly sending hundreds of thousands of unsolicited e-mail messages to customers of NTT DoCoMo Inc.
(Newsbytes) The Supreme Court rejected an appeal challenging Washington state's law against unsolicited commercial e-mail, also known as "spam." The justices will allow a state superior court to hear a lawsuit against an alleged spammer.
(New York Times) In a decision that is being applauded by Internet companies and civil liberties groups, a federal judge ruled that the United States Constitution's protections of free speech trumped a French order requiring Yahoo to remove Nazi materials from its Web site. see also U.S. Judge Says Yahoo Not Bound by French Nazi Ban (Reuters) Groups Applaud Yahoo Hate Speech Case (Newsbytes) Yahoo can ignore French website ruling, says US judge (FT), French Say U.S. Yahoo Ruling Poses Extremism Risk (Reuters).
(Libération) C 'est une sommation faite aux fournisseurs d'accès à l'Internet de se débrouiller avec leur conscience. Voilà comment résumer l'ordonnance que le juge Gomez, juge des référés de Paris, a rendu publique dans l'affaire du portail néonazi Front 14. Pour le juge, ce portail, ainsi que tous les sites qu'il héberge, encourage à la haine et à la discrimination raciale et, par conséquent, «présente à l'évidence les caractères d'un trouble manifestement illicite». Il condamne l'hébergeur, domicilié aux Etats-Unis, ainsi qu'un auteur qui a pu être identifié. Mais le juge somme aussi les fournisseurs d'accès de sortir du discours de neutralité qui est le leur depuis le début de l'affaire, sans toutefois leur imposer de bloquer l'accès à Front 14. voir aussi l'ordonnance (Forum des droits sur Internet) et Affaire J´accuse : le filtrage, s´ils le veulent, s´ils le peuvent (transfert).
(Heise) Nicht nur Verbraucherschützer sind daran interessiert, dass Urteile, die ein Gericht im Inland gefällt hat, beim Lieferanten in einem anderen Land direkt vollstreckt werden können. Die Haager Konvention zu Zivil- und Handelssachen soll daher Fragen des Gerichtsstandes und des jeweils anwendbaren Rechts regeln. Über zentrale Fragen herrscht jedoch noch weitgehend Uneinigkeit. Bei einer von der europäischen Kommission veranstalteten Anhörung wurden noch einmal die widersprüchlichen Interessen zu dem Abkommen deutlich. Rund 200 Vertreter europäischer Unternehmen und Organisationen nahmen an der Anhörung teil.
(AFP) La Cour de cassation a déclaré dans un arrêt du 16 octobre que le délai de prescription des délits commis sur internet commençait à courir le jour de la première mise à disposition d'un message pour les internautes.
(Newsbytes) The Amsterdam police have been using short messaging system (SMS) missives to block the use of stolen cell phones, and while the campaign has been successful, mobile providers are concerned about the cost and bandwidth strain of the campaign.
(Newsbytes) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal limits on the amount of wireless communications spectrum that a carrier may own in a single market, a development analysts say could soon lead to increased mergers in the wireless industry.
(Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty) The United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, is praising Romania for ratifying an international agreement on child prostitution, child pornography, and the sale of children. Romania recently became the 10th country to ratify the agreement, thus making the protocol legally binding to signatories as of 18 January 2002.
(GameSpot VG) The Supreme Court upheld a decision by a lower appeals court to block the enforcement of an Indianapolis law that required children to have parental consent and/or supervision when playing arcade games that are deemed too violent.
(Council of Europe) The new Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention, which was adopted on 8 November and will be opened for signature for signature in Budapest on 23 November 2001, should be supplemented as soon as possible by a protocol eliminating racist websites from the internet and defining and criminalising hate-speech on computer networks, according to the Standing Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. In a recommendation adopted unanimously the parliamentarians said drafters of the protocol should consider ways of preventing "illegal hosting" - a practice whereby cyber-racists locate their servers in a country with less strict regulations in order to sidestep the law. The report's author Ivar Tallo (Estonia, SOC) explained: "For example, a racist French site aimed at a French audience, but housed on a server located in the United States, would not be able to hide behind American laws protecting freedom of speech."
(CNET News.com) EarthLink is teaming with Internet technology company SurfMonkey on a new browser for children that incorporates porn filters, a move that takes aim at America Online by seeking to make its Internet service more attractive to families.
(NCAC) by Marjorie Heins & Christina Cho. In the spring and summer of 2001, the Free Expression Policy Project of the National Coalition Against Censorship surveyed all of the studies and tests that it was able to locate describing the actual operation of 19 products or software programs that are commonly used to filter out World Wide Web sites and other communications on the Internet. This report summarizes the results of that survey.
(Berkman Center for Internet & Society) Work carried out by Ben Edelman to identify particular web sites that are blocked by Internet filtering programs, but which do not fit within the programs' self-defined categories for blocking, and to identify and describe the capabilities and flaws of widely-used Internet blocking systems.
(Net Protect) This report presents the results of the analysis of 50 commercial filtering solutions currently available to parents and teachers. The 10 most popular filtering tools have been under a thorough review while the other 40 tools have been under a succinct review. Since the objective of NetProtect, a porject co-funded under the Safer Internet Action Plan, is to prototype a European filtering solution, specific attention has been paid to the evaluation of these tools with respect to their ability to deal with non-English languages. see also a href="http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/171674.html">Current Internet Filtering Tools Found Lacking - Study (Newsbytes).
(HealthScoutNews) The nation's leading group of pediatricians, concerned about violence in all kinds of entertainment media, is calling for a universal ratings system that parents can understand. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also wants producers of movies, music and especially video games to cut down on violence. see Press Release and revised AAP policy on media violence.
(Europa) The European Commission has issued a new call for proposals for actions to raise awareness of safer use of the internet. The call is for broadly-based projects intended to promote awareness of safer use of the Internet. The indicative budget available for this call amounts to € 4.2 million. To be eligible, proposals must reach the Action Plan office at the European Commission by 31 January 2002. Proposals are also invited under the open call for hotlines, particularly from new hotlines in Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal. The deadline for the next evaluation is 31 January 2002.
(Ananova) The Chinese government has given awards to websites that don't feature porn. Organisers say they want people to learn the internet can be entertaining without sex.
(Info XXI) Los Ministerios de Interior, Administraciones Públicas, y Ciencia y Tecnología, han venido trabajando de forma decidida por una Internet más segura, mediante iniciativas de carácter normativo, así como mediante actuaciones de colaboración con la empresa privada y los usuarios. Entre las actuaciones más destacables, se viene promoviendo la realización de campañas de difusión sobre diferentes aspectos relacionados con la seguridad en las tecnologías de la información y un uso más seguro de la Red, tales como: · Campañas antivirus informáticos · Red de alerta temprana sobre nuevos virus · Protección de la juventud y la infancia ante contenidos nocivos · Puesta en marcha de un centro de denuncias sobre contenidos ilícitos y en especial la pornografía infantil
(Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni) Consultazione pubblica. Al fine di acquisire elementi di informazione e documentazione per lo studio di alcune problematiche connesse alla tutela dei minori nel corrente utilizzo degli strumenti offerti dalle reti telematiche, ed in particolare di Internet, anche tenendo conto delle possibilità - disponibili sia per i minori, che per gli educatori - di controllo, diretto ed indiretto, sull’accesso alle reti e sui contenuti delle informazioni, si invitano le categorie di soggetti: famiglie; "minori"; istituti di istruzione e formazione; operatori; associazioni; esperti; a partecipare alla consultazione pubblica concernente "La prevenzione e la tutela dei minori nelle reti telematiche".
(Net Family Newsletter) Europe clearly has the will to protect its online kids, witness the European Commission's Safer Internet Action Plan and the way it has channeled funding into research, online-safety measures, coordination, and public awareness. "The first people to really recognize the issue [in Europe] were the European Commission," Nigel Williams told us. see Net Family Newsletter archives.
(Newsbytes) The American Civil Liberties Union is urging airport security officials to consider the limitations of face-recognition technology before rushing to install the systems as a hedge against terrorism.
(CNET News.com) Microsoft and five security companies announced that they would create an organization to promote the responsible publishing of information about software flaws.
(CNET News.com) A California court has dealt a potentially serious setback to the movie industry's attempt to rid the online world of software that can help break through copy protections on DVDs. The appeals court overturned an earlier order that barred hundreds of people from publishing the code for a software program called "DeCSS" online. Posting the code is just like publishing other types of controversial speech and is protected by the constitution, the appellate judges said. see also Court Rules DeCSS Posting On Web Is Protected Speech (Newsbytes). DVD Copy v. Bunner (Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District).
(Heise) Der niedersächsische Datenschutzbeauftragte Burckhard Nedden befürchtet, dass biometrische Daten aller Bundesbürger künftig zentral gespeichert werden könnten. "Mit Biometriedaten in deutschen Ausweisen fängt man keine Terroristen". Würden Fingerabdruck oder Irisscan ausschließlich auf dem Ausweis gespeichert, dann dienten diese Daten allein der Identitätsfeststellung. Damit habe es bei deutschen Bürgern allerdings praktisch nie Probleme gegeben, bei Ausländern hingegen schon. Gerade sie wären von den neuen Ausweisen jedoch nicht betroffen.
(Europa Press) El Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (MCYT) se sumó a la 'Campaña Nacional de Seguridad en la Red', lanzada por la Asociación de Internautas (AI). Junto al apoyo institucional y la introducción de vínculos cruzados entre los sitios web de la campaña y el Centro de Alerta Temprana antivirus del Ministerio, el MCYT se ha ofrecido a hacer una aportación económica de un millón de pesetas o bien a ceder algún servidor para solucionar los problemas de ancho de banda registrados por la Asociación ante la audiencia conseguida por la Campaña.
(Newsbytes) Federal authorities will be urged to develop biometric technology capable of identifying immigrants by their physical features, under a provision included in the anti-terrorism legislation passed by Congress.
(Heise) Ab Januar 2003 wird der gesetzliche Grundversorgungsauftrag im Schweizer Fernmeldewesen erweitert. Neben einem analogen Telefonanschluss sollen alle Einwohner -- egal wo sie wohnen -- über eine digitale Kommunikationsmöglichkeit verfügen. Die entsprechenden Anpassungen sind in der neuen Fernmeldeverordnung festgehalten.
(Newsbytes) After a lengthy investigation, Oftel, the U.K. telecom regulator, has barred telcos from offering revenue-sharing deals on so-called "personal numbers." The "070" numbers originally were designed for users wanting a single number for all their points of contact. In return for this flexibility, callers to personal numbers pay rates similar to the cost of calling a mobile phone in the U.K. The call revenue is then split between the originating and destination telephone network. The profit from such calls effectively allow telcos to offer 070 numbers free of charge. see Oftel stamps out personal numbering scams (Press Release).
(Newsbytes) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to consider setting uniform, nationwide rules to better measure how well incumbent telephone companies comply with laws requiring them to open their networks to competitors.
(Reuters) As technology companies promote the idea of a national identification card, the president's special adviser on cybersecurity said the idea has little support within the Bush administration
(OECD) At an extraordinary Plenary on the Financing of Terrorism held in Washington, D.C. on 29 and 30 October 2001, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) expanded its mission beyond money laundering. It will now also focus its energy and expertise on the world-wide effort to combat terrorist financing.
(Heise) Die Datenschutzbeauftragten von 13 Bundesländern haben dem Bundestag empfohlen, ohne Zeitdruck über den vom Kabinett verabschiedeten Gesetzentwurf zur Terrorbekämpfung zu beraten. In einer gemeinsamen Erklärung fordern sie, die "gebotene verfassungsrechtliche Sensibilität" zu bewahren. Die geplanten Verschärfungen von Sicherheitsgesetzen seien "unter rechtsstaatlichen Aspekten nicht akzeptabel". Besonders kritisieren die Datenschutzbeauftragten die erweiterten Befugnisse für Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) und Geheimdienste.
(Wall Street Journal) A joint venture backed by Lockheed Martin and several telecommunications and media companies is expected to pull the plug on an ambitious $3.7 billion project to provide satellite-delivered Internet services to corporate customers, after failing to line up additional financing.
(Newsbytes) BBC-TV News is testing the use of the Internet to transmit recorded interviews for its news broadcasts, in hopes of replacing expensive satellite links.
(Newsbytes) Internet users in the United States and abroad bought tens of thousands of ".biz" Web addresses in the hours immediately following the launch of the newly minted addressing suffix, according NeuLevel, the company that operates .biz.
(Newsbytes) An online auction will fetch the most money if the item is accompanied by a photo, the auction expires on a weekend, the seller is well-respected and highly rated, and the sale stretches out as long as possible, a long-term study suggests.
(New York Times) On a recent morning, I found myself in a bankruptcy courtroom in San Francisco, reporting on the demise of yet another former highflier. Another Internet bankruptcy might have been a yawner, but I had a personal interest. The company being dismantled was my former employer: the parent of the defunct magazine The Industry Standard.
(BBC) BBC News Online has been named the best European news site on the internet. The award - described as Europe's most prestigious - was made in Zurich at an internet content conference.
(NMA To Go) BT's mobile Internet service Genie has become the first of its peers to launch a pornography channel. The service initially launched in Germany and offers a range of pornographic content on both its online and wireless platforms. The timetable for rolling out pornographic content in the UK is being determined as part of the company's content strategy for Genie's rebrand.
(FT) Difficulties in obtaining record label content have caused Napster, the embattled online music service, to delay the launch of its new secure subscription-based service until next year.
(Newsbytes) In what apparently is the first olive branch publicly proffered by the music industry to the peer-to-peer (P2P) technology community, Hilary Rosen, president of the Recording Industry Association of America, told network developers and entrepreneurs that it is time, finally, to begin working together.
(CNET News.com) Yahoo has added more free video programming to its site, but the Web portal said it would start charging consumers for some streamed content by the end of the year.
(Official Journal) Call for proposals for indirect actions under the programme to stimulate the development and use of European digital content on the global networks and to promote linguistic diversity in the information society (2001 to 2005) (The eContent programme) and Call for proposals for awareness actions under the Action plan on promoting safer use of the Internet.
(vnunet) Microsoft has been forced to U-turn on its decision to block internet users from accessing its MSN website unless it was viewed in Internet Explorer.
(MSNBC) Can a computer be programmed to recognize pornographic images? Several firms are betting on new software that opens e-mail attachments, recognizes porn, and throws it in the trash before it even gets to you. The various programs are designed in part to clean up corporate e-mail, which they say often contains porn - one firm claims between 1 and 2 percent of all work e-mail can be described as pornographic.
(Newsbytes) At Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, you can afford to forget your passport even if you're boarding an international flight. A program called "Privium" combines smart-card technology with optical scanning and networked computers to allow travelers to cross the border after retinal-scan identification.
(vnunet) Warner Bros has recalled all copies of an animation DVD as three computer programs on the disc have been infected by the FunLove virus.
(ZDNet UK) Hackers in Hong Kong are routinely breaking Microsoft's digital media copyright protection system and helping themselves to broadband encrypted content. The hackers are using FreeMe, a DRM 2 cracker developed by pseudonymous programmer "Beale Screamer" and recently distributed across the Web following exposure on US security site Cryptome.org.
(Newsbytes) Users of Microsoft's browser and e-mail programs could be vulnerable to having their browser cookies stolen or modified due to a new security bug in Internet Explorer (IE).
(ZDNet) Almost every week since Microsoft announced its "Strategic Technology Protection Program," a new security flaw has cropped up. In the past few weeks, holes have been found in Excel and PowerPoint and a new system for protecting music content. A major security patch was issued for Windows XP, and the company had to shut down part of its Passport service to fix a set of flaws in the technology that Microsoft hopes will become the foundation of its .Net initiative.
(Newsbytes) Software firewalls deployed by millions of PC users offer only "illusory" protection against Trojan horses and other malicious programs, security experts warned. Techniques for defeating the outbound data filters in popular personal firewalls such as Zone Alarm and Norton Personal Firewall have been independently posted on the Web by several researchers. Using the methods described, a rogue program could upload private user data without being detected by the firewall, the experts claim.
(BBC) BBC News Online has been shown just how lax security is on wireless networks used in London's financial centre. On one short trip, two-thirds of the networks we discovered using a laptop and free software tools were found to be wide open.
(Sicherheit im Internet) Am 31. Oktober 2001 meldete SPIEGEL online unter der Überschrift: "PEINLICHE PANNE -- Porno-Hack auf Ministeriums-Website: "Irgend jemand hatte sich an der Seite (www.sicherheit-im-internet.de) zu schaffen gemacht und einen Link verfremdet - "ge-rerouted", wie es auf Neuhochdeutsch so schön heißt. Von diesem Zeitpunkt an führte ein einziger kleiner Klick direkt auf ein Hardcore-Pornoangebot." Gottlob ist es nicht ganz so einfach, wie der SPIEGEL diese Geschichte darstellt: niemand hat sich an "der Seite zu schaffen gemacht und einen Link verfremdet" - das wäre auch nicht unbemerkt geblieben.
(vnunet) Security experts have warned that PIN codes and card details held by cash machines may be at risk from unscrupulous bank employees. The warning comes after research by two Cambridge University students proved that IBM's 4758 cryptographic co-processor, as used in many high street banking systems, could be hacked.
(Newsbytes) New York City is the hot spot on the Web, according to a new study that tracks international Internet infrastructure.
(NUA) Eighty-four percent of US Internet users have contacted an online group, according to new research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
(Reuters) Jupiter Media Metrix reported that the level of Internet file-sharing activity has dropped by 50 percent in Europe since February, the point at which the popular song-swapping service Napster hit its peak.
(ZDNet UK) Two out of five UK households are now connected to the Internet - but the sharp rises of recent years have disappeared, according to new research The number of British households connecting to the Internet appears to be levelling off for the first time, according to a new study by telecoms watchdog Oftel. see Consumers’ use of Internet Oftel residential survey Q6 August 2001. see also Business use of Internet Oftel Small and Medium Business Survey Wave 6 August/September 2001. See also A tangled web of net numbers (BBC) .
(The Register) Britain remains rooted at the bottom of an international league table of broadband countries despite recording an increased number of hi-speed Internet users. According to the report from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), Britain languishes in 22 place out of 30 countries with broadband penetration of just 0.28 connections per hundred people. see The Development of Broadband Access in OECD Countries .
((Reuters) Webnoize says Internet-site users last month swapped 1.81 billion media files on Napster-alternative services including KaZaA , MusicCity and Grokster -- all of which have seen usage rise since Napster shut down in July amid legal pressures.
(Wired) Instant-messaging services that allow users to trade music, movie and television files over the Internet appear to be safe from the legal woes that have plagued other digital music and movie companies. Microsoft, America Online and Yahoo now have added file-sharing enhancements to their instant-messenger applications that allow users to swap any digital files over centralized networks.
(Wall Street Journal) Visa International has entered into a partnership with Quova, a closely held company that has developed technology for tracking Internet users’ geographic location.
(QuickLinks) Following a request from a QuickLinks reader, I have started a discussion forum to provide a space where those offering university courses in the law of cyberspace can post links to their online prospectuses.
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