(Heise) Das digitale Fernsehen wird auf absehbare Zeit ein Medium für Unterhaltung und Entspannung bleiben; aktive Kommunikation sei eine Domäne des Internet, heißt es in der Studie Das Fernsehen geht neue Wege der Westdeutschen Landesbank (WestLB) zu den Veränderungen im Fernsehmarkt.
(transfert) Six états de l´Union européenne (UE) rechignent à financer la prochaine étape de Galileo, le programme européen de radionavigation par satellite. Motif : un débat sur la participation du privé au financement du projet. Explications de Brian Lerner, auteur d´une étude commandée par l´UE au cabinet PricewaterhouseCoopers.
(FT) A federal judge reviewing the proposed settlement of more than 100 class action antitrust suits against Microsoft, the software giant, asked whether the deal would hand Microsoft a competitive edge over Apple Computer, its main rival in school computer supply.
(FT) The German Cartel Office has revealed that a meeting with top executives of Liberty Media last week failed to allay the competition watchdog's concerns about the US media group's planned entry into the German television market.
(Reuters) Russian detectives have arrested five men and seized an estimated half a million indecent pictures in an undercover operation to smash an internet child porn gang.
(Ananova) A male police officer posed as a 13-year-old boy to infiltrate the chat room of a paedophile. Robert Coleshill, 53, of Uckfield, West Sussex, pleaded guilty to eight charges of gross indecency and attempted gross indecency.
(Newsbytes) House lawmakers introduced legislation designed to give federal judges more flexibility in imposing sentences for a range of computer crimes. The bill also would grant a liability exemption to Internet service providers that cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
(01net) Dans le cadre d'une promotion, le marchand en ligne annonçait reverser 2 euros à l'Unicef pour chaque achat. Problème : l'association humanitaire n'avait pas donné son accord préalable à l'opération.
(Reuters) A consumer group has filed suit against SBC Communications unit Pacific Bell alleging that the phone company registered customers for SBC's Prodigy Internet service without their permission.
(Reuters) One week after it was launched, access to the first Web site run by opposition activists within Cuba has been blocked on the island by President Fidel Castro's government.
(news.com.au) The popular PlayStation 2 game Grand Theft Auto 3 remains outlawed in Australia after the distributor lost its last-ditch appeal to overturn the ban. The distributor, Take 2 Interactive, had requested a review after the game was refused classification by Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC).
(Heise) Der Düsseldorfer Regierungspräsident Jürgen Büssow (SPD) hat Zensurvorwürfe wegen seines Vorgehens gegen rechtsextreme Inhalte im Internet zurückgewiesen. Diese Vorwürfe waren in der letzten Woche von den Magazinen Focus und Spiegel, dem Bundestagsabgeordneten Jörg Tauss, dem Chaos Computer Club, aber auch von Jörg Schieb (WDR) erhoben worden. siehe auch Keine Zensur, sondern Schutz der Verfassung (Telepolis).
(Telepolis) Länder dringen weiter auf pauschale Vorabkontrolle des Internet für einen besseren Jugendschutz Nachdem die Pläne der Bundesländer zur Übertragung des Rundfunkrechts auf das Internet von der Wirtschaft und Netzpolitikern entschieden zurückgewiesen wurden, werden in den Staatskanzleien nun leicht gedämpfte Töne angeschlagen. Die Erotikbranche warnt trotzdem vor unhaltbaren Gesetzen, die noch mehr Anbieter ins Ausland treiben würden.
(Straits Times) A Singapore man who was earlier charged under that country's laws for posting an article that encouraged electors to enter polling stations without authority, has been cleared. The prosecution withdrew the charges after the man was found to suffer from a long term paranoid disorder.
(Wired) A national organization that promotes sexual tolerance and an artist who photographs pictures of couples engaged in sadomasochism filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the obscenity provision of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).
(Newsbytes) The government of Canada has made good on a promise to unveil updates to copyright law that reflect a wired world in which radio and television broadcasts can be captured from the airwaves and then piped over the Internet. But whether amendments to the Copyright Act introduced in Canada's Parliament will encourage - or stymie - Internet "retransmitters" like the infamous ICraveTV might not be clear for some time, a legal expert says.
(New York Times) Federal law enforcement agents seized computers and raided computer networks at M.I.T., the University of California at Los Angeles and other large universities in shutting down what they described as one of the Internet's largest and most sophisticated software piracy networks. See also
U.S. plans new raids on file swappers (CNET News.com) .
(Newsbytes) Australia's Federal Court has ruled that motion pictures on DVD are just that - motion pictures - and that they should be treated like VHS tapes, rather than as software, under the country's Copyright Act. Australian Video Retailers Association Ltd v Warner Home Video Pty Ltd.
(BBC) In the week that police in six countries mounted raids on a huge software piracy group, BBC News Online visited the London offices of the investigators attempting to curb the online sale of pirated software.
(Reuters) Six owners of patents related to data compression in video transmission have sued Dell Computer for allegedly installing the technology in its computers without a license
(New York Times) The federal government agreed to defer the prosecution of a Russian computer programmer who was the first person to be charged under a controversial digital-copyright law.
(CNET News.com) Microsoft and Predictive Networks signed a deal to incorporate profiling technology into the software behemoth's interactive TV platform, matching similar moves in the market.
(Heise) Die Generaldirektion Informationsgesellschaft der EU plant für das kommende Jahr eine Studie über die Arbeit der Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
(Heise) Insgesamt 1,65 Milliarden Euro, davon rund 10 Prozent für die Schulung der Beschäftigten, wird es kosten, wenn die Bundesregierung bis zum Jahr 2005 wie geplant 376 Dienstleistungen der Bundesverwaltung interaktiv über das Internet abwickeln will. Dem Plan zufolge werden mehr als hundert Bundesbehörden verpflichtet, fristgerecht ihre Verwaltungsdienste auch interaktiv über das Internet anzubieten.
(RAPID) The European Ombudsman, Jacob Söderman, has hailed the Parliamentary resolution on his special report in the Bavarian Lager case as a "victory for openness". MEPs called on the Commission to give out information requested by an EU citizen on a complaint he had filed with it. The Commission has so far refused.
(Libération) La Cnil (Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés) a adopté, le 29 novembre, une recommandation préconisant que, désormais, les décisions de justice diffusées sur l'Internet soient préalablement anonymisées. Les sites d'accès public ne devraient plus, selon elle, laisser apparaître ni le nom ni l'adresse des parties et témoins. Seuls pourraient être mentionnés le prénom et, à la rigueur, l'initiale du nom des intéressés. Dans le cas des sites payants (par abonnement ou à l'acte), la Cnil recommande d'occulter au moins les adresses.
(Reuters) The U.S. Department of Interior's Web site remained largely inoperable, despite a judge's ruling over the weekend that only portions that manage a fund for American Indians need to be kept offline.
(Guardian) Tony Blair today launched a £50m scheme to help teachers in England bring internet materials into the classroom and motivate pupils. Curriculum Online is billed as the world's first partnership between government, leading public/private broadcasters and software producers to provide materials for every curriculum subject.
(USA Today) The computer is a tantalizing 21st century "sex toy" that looks benign but can explode like a land mine, trashing the private and work lives of a surprisingly large number of Americans, says psychologist Kimberly Young.
(Ananaova) People addicted to online pornography can cure themselves by watching it with a partner. A new Italian study says logging on to porn websites in private is addictive and damaging. It says that watching internet porn together can help couples maintain a healthy sex life.
(ZDNet News) An ex-Intel employee cannot send e-mail to thousands of former colleagues using company distribution lists, a state appellate court has ruled. In a 2-1 decision, California's 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento upheld an injunction against Kourosh Kenneth Hamidi, holding that e-mail he sent over the objections of the company to Intel's staff was an illegal "trespass."
(Reuters) Millions of Americans going to the Internet for health information got a little more guidance with the independent certification of 13 health-related Web sites by the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission, an independent and nonprofit group which certifies managed care organizations and other health care companies.
(Reuters) Sales of cigarettes on the Internet are expected to soar in the coming decade and will pose new problems for tobacco controls to curtail underage smoking. In one of the first published studies into Web sites that sell cigarettes, Kurt Ribisl of the North Carolina School of Public Health and his colleagues found 88 Internet cigarette sellers in 23 states in the United States.
(Newsbytes) Online cigarette sellers would be forced to obtain hard proof that none of their customers were younger than 18 under legislation introduced in the House of Representatives.
(Wall Street Journal) President Bush will appoint AOL Time Warner Chairman Steve Case and other prominent executives to an advisory panel. The president wants input on the best and most cost-effective ways to speed up the development and usage of broadband technology. Bush also wants scientific and technological assistance in his war on terrorism; advice on ways to conserve energy by using more efficient technologies; and help in identifying where the government should spend money on research and development.
(Newsbytes) Bennett Haselton, the Webmaster for anti-Internet censorship Web site Peacefire.org, is the latest in a string of Washington residents to emerge victorious in small claims court by invoking the state’s new law against unsolicited bulk e-mail. While the $2,000 in damages he’s won would hardly seem worth the six-month fight, Haselton said he’ll soon be taking more spammers to court now that he’s learned how to work the system.
(OUT-LAW News) The Times has claimed victory in a libel case in the English Court of Appeal which was brought against it by a Russian businessman. However, it was unsuccessful in arguing that its web site archive was protected by the same defence of qualified privilege that applied to its print edition. Full text of judgment Loutchansky v The Times Newspapers Ltd.
(Wired) Online journalism is the same as print, radio and TV news when it comes to free-press protections against charges of libel. That's the decision of the New York State Supreme Court in the widely watched case of the National Bank of Mexico against Narconews.com. The court ruled that online journalists reporting on matters of public importance, like their colleagues in other media, can only be found guilty of libel if their actions are deemed malicious.
(New York Times) Free speech advocates are worried that a recent federal appeals decision could have a chilling effect on online journalists who use hyperlinks to direct readers to relevant, newsworthy sites that contain illegal material.
(FT) The dispute between the UK telecommunications regulator and the mobile phone industry escalated after Oftel announced that it had referred its proposed clampdown on the cost of calling mobile phones to the Competition Commission.
(FT) UK customs officers have mounted a crackdown on a mobile phone fraud thought to have cost the Treasury more than £1bn ($1.4bn), leading to a series of arrests and prompting a wave of account closures by high street banks. The action marks the stepping up of a year-long campaign by Customs & Excise to stop organised crime groups moving truck loads of mobile phone handsets around Europe to claim false value added tax refunds.
(Newsbytes) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) delayed its decision on whether it will allow the use of ultrawideband wireless technology.
(AP) For years, anonymous e-mail has been a choice tool for whistle-blowers, human rights activists and undercover sources looking to protect themselves while imparting vital information. The number of remailers has overall doubled to about 50 after the passage of security laws as media reports raised awareness of threats to privacy
(Newsbytes) Microsoft has released a patch for several security holes in its Internet Explorer Web browser, including one that could enable an attacker automatically to run malicious code on the computer of users who visit a Web site or read an HTML e-mail.
(EurActiv) The Economic and Finance ministers Council on 13 December asked the Commission and the Member States to work on an interim solution on the issue of VAT and e-commerce. Such an interim solution would be limited to three years. see Commission Proposal for Council Directive as regards the value added tax arrangements applicable to services supplied by electronic means (EurLex) and ECOFIN Council minutes of 13 December 2001 (provisional version). see also EU E-Commerce Tax Makes Crucial Gain (Newsbytes)
(Total Telecom) The European Parliament has adopted a compromise package for the proposed telecoms directive, aimed at harmonizing telecoms regulation across the EU. The main sticking point has been the controversial Article 6 of the framework directive, which, in the original text put forward by the Commission, gave the Commission a wide-ranging veto over the actions of national regulatory authorities (NRAs). The compromise essentially shrinks the veto to cover only two areas: defining a relevant market and deciding whether an organization has significant market power. see also Telecoms agreement is "major boost" to EU economy (RAPID), Breakthrough on reform of EU telecoms laws (FT) and References to source documents.
(Heise) Die Regulierungsbehörde für Telekommunikation und Post (RegTP) hat von Telefongesellschaften zu hohe Gebühren für in Orts- und Mobilfunknetzen zugeteilte Rufnummern verlangt.
(Newsbytes) A pivotal vote on the Tauzin-Dingell broadband deregulation package in the House of Representatives has been postponed until next year so that lawmakers can have more time to review the legislation. If passed, the law would allow local Bell phone companies to offer broadband Internet services over long-distance lines without requiring the Bells to open their local phone service monopolies to outside competition. The bill would rewrite a portion of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that requires Bells to prove that they have opened their local phone markets before they can offer any sort of long-distance service - including voice and data.
(BBC) The House of Lords finally agreed to the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act after concessions from Home Secretary David Blunkett. In a major policy U-turn, Mr Blunkett agreed to drop proposals making incitement to religious hatred a criminal offence. The new act allows foreign terror suspects to be detained without trial where they cannot be deported - those arrested will have a right to appeal although not to a full court of law. That power will, however, have to be renewed by Parliament after 15 months. Other measures mean police can access more data, such as tax returns, but disclosure must be proportionate to tackling terrorism. Other concessions included: Limiting the introduction of anti-terrorist measures agreed at a European level, allowing seven "wise people" to review the measures after two years, limiting police access to electronic data such as e-mail and the internet on suspicion of terrorist activity. Anti-Terrorism, Crime & Security Act 2001 c. 24 Royal Assent: 13.12.2001, will be posted at http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts.htm
(Wired) While much of Western Europe frets over the launch of euro notes and coins next month, Europe's online auctioneers are saying "Bring it on!"
(FT) The collapse of Excite@Home, the world's biggest independent broadband company, says little about the future of the broadband industry. The cable companies whose customers used the Excite service are now rushing to replace it with their own high-speed internet access networks, ushering in a new phase in the development of broadband.
(IHT) The Arab countries of the Middle East and North Africa, with a few exceptions, are facing a bandwidth shortage. Internet service providers across the region are already complaining that increases in bandwidth-intensive services such as Internet-based telephone calls and streaming audio have resulted in congestion.
(FT) British Telecommunications will announce a pilot project to offer broadband internet access in the most remote parts of Cornwall. It could serve as a blueprint for the rest of the country. The £12.5m ($17.9m) scheme, which includes about £5m from the European Regional Development Fund, gained approval after months of haggling by European officials concerned about state aid implications.
(Reuters) Microsoft plans to proceed with online gaming services for its newly launched Xbox video game console within six months of the machines' first hitting shelves in the United States and Japan.
(Wall Street Journal) Net gateways shun pornography in U.S., embrace it overseas. During the day, the home page of MSN.fr offers French Web surfers the usual array of news, sports, search engines and stock quotes. But between midnight and 3 a.m. France time, the French version of Microsoft’s MSN network provides a gateway to pornography on the Internet.
(Newsbytes) Wireless Java specialist Elata says third-generation (3G) wireless services won't take off until the networks start coming up with killer applications for users. And those killer applications almost certainly won't come from the business marketplace, but will be seen first in the teenage leisure arena. 3G will come down to girls, gambling and games. see also Advanced 2G Services Are Suicide To 3G Operators - Report.
(San Jose Mercury News) When it comes to PC technology, the United States is usually a step or two ahead of the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. But not when it comes to cell phones, especially in the hands of children.
(ZDNet News) Microsoft said a technology standards body has endorsed programming tools key to expanding the appeal of the company's .Net Web services plan. Microsoft said the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA), an international technology standards organization, has ratified Microsoft's C# (pronounced "see sharp"), a Java-like programming language, along with a component of its .Net Web services framework called the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI).
(Newsbytes) More young people go online to search for health information than to play games, chat or engage in other activities associated with the age group's use of the Internet, Generation Rx.com, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, found. see also Press Release.
(Press Release) The Center for Media Education (CME) has released a new study that surveys the burgeoning new-media culture directed at - and in some cases created by - teens. TeenSites.com - A Field Guide to the New Digital Landscape examines the uniquely interactive nature of the new media, and explores the ways in which teens are at once shaping and being shaped by the electronic culture that surrounds them.
(Newsbytes) Sweden enjoys the cheapest rates for digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable modem access to the Internet, while the U.K. is the most expensive for DSL connections, says a report from Oftel, the British telecom regulator.
(CNET News.com) The number of people using high-speed Internet connections to surf the Web from their homes has surged this year, according to data from Nielsen/NetRatings.
(ZDNet News) A 20-year-old in Owen Sound, Canada, has found the world's largest known prime number using a mere desktop computer. But he didn't work alone: His system was part of a 210,000-machine quasi-supercomputer stretched across the globe.
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