(RAPID) The European Commission has sent Wanadoo Interactive, a subsidiary of France Télécom, a statement of objections concerning its charges to the general public for ADSL Internet access services. It takes the view that these services are currently being charged below cost, which could represent abuse of a dominant position under Article 82 of the Treaty. see also EC Accuses French ISP Of Undercutting Competition (Newsbytes).
(FT) Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Timothy Muris gave a speech [PDF] titled "Merger Enforcement in a World of Multiple Arbiters" at a Brookings Institute roundtable titled "Trade and Investment Policy."
(RAPID) The European Commission has approved the creation of a joint venture between Sabre (USA), which operates a computerised reservation system, and German marketing company Otto Versand. The new company, called Travelocity Europe, will be a virtual travel agency offering services to European customers.
(FT) The German Cartel Office has until February 28 to rule on Liberty Media's E5.5bn acquisition of Deutsche Telekom's cable business, which has sparked a passionate debate among Germany's media players. The authority's chairman has said he was unlikely to authorise it in its current shape. The market has historically been split between wholesale and retail operators, with the latter handling direct access to customers. While DT's network is largely wholesale, Liberty has also agreed to acquire TeleColumbus, a large retail player, and merge them under a single business model. In its submission, Liberty rejected the segmented market structure as "artificial" and said its plan to quickly roll out digital television would prevent cable's position from being eroded by satellite. It also denied its policy of acquiring minority holdings in content providers would give it privileged access to programmes
(Guardian) BSkyB is facing a fine and the scrapping of its wholesale charges for premium channels after the office of fair trading said it planned to rule that the company had breached competition laws. The OFT said in a preliminary ruling that it intended to rule that the group, which has 5.45m UK subscribers, had abused its dominant position in the UK market. see Press Release.
(Wall Street Journal) The Justice Department is investigating whether efforts by major movie studios to deliver their films directly to consumers on demand over the Internet pose antitrust problems.
(Die Welt am Sonntag) Um die steigende Zahl der Verbrechen nicht nur im Bereich der Kinderpornografie, sondern auch der Wirtschaftskriminalität und des Staatsschutzes wirksam zu bekämpfen, müssten, so fordert Polizeigewerkschafter Wendt, 5000 zusätzliche Stellen geschaffen und entsprechend ausgerüstet werden. Denn bei Internet-Delikten gebe es eine direkte Korrelation zwischen Fahndern und aufgedeckten Verbrechen. siehe auch Polizeigewerkschaft fordert 5000 Internet-Fahnder (Heise)
(Newsbytes) The New Zealand government has introduced legislation that aims to plug a gap in the country's laws that prevents customs officers from taking action over imported illegal electronic material such as Internet child pornography.
(Saint Paul Pioneer Press) E-mails that advertise child-pornography Web sites have appeared in computer inboxes across the country with increasing frequency, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Much of the child pornography is coming from overseas, particularly Russia and other former Eastern-bloc countries.
(Ananova) A US college student is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl he met on the Internet and carving swastikas on her face. 20-year-old Brian Dance, a student at the University of California, was booked on charges of torture, rape by a foreign object and robbery.
(Reuters) A teacher at a Washington state high school for at-risk youths was convicted on child pornography charges for taking lewd photographs of girl students and posting them on the Internet.
(Reuters) Per-Eric Astrom spends his days hunched over a computer in his tiny Stockholm office, measuring out the hours with the click of a mouse. In this way he busted Sweden's biggest child pornography ring. Astrom, manager of an anti-child pornography hotline run by Save the Children Sweden, is one of a growing band of "infiltrators" who use the latest technology to combat computer-savvy child abusers on their own turf.
(This is Bristol) A man who used a code name while downloading child porn from the internet was yesterday jailed for 12 months at Bristol Crown Court. Scott Ferris was caught when he tried to swap information over the net with a specialist German police officer investigating porn.
(Scotsman) Longer sentences for people who possess or distribute child pornography were announced today as part of new legislation aimed at increasing protection for women and children. And those found guilty of distributing such material could be sent to prison for ten years instead of the present maximum of three. The maximum sentence for possession of child pornography will go up from six months to five years.
(Newsbytes) A federal appeals court has upheld the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to investigate Internet advertising claims, even in cases where such claims are made by companies already facing scrutiny from securities regulators.
(Newsbytes) The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ordered a Web site that specializes in selling herbal and non-traditional remedies to stop touting one of its products as a cure for cancer.
(BSC) Complaint about unjust or unfair treatment by Mr Nicholas Lansman on his own behalf and on behalf of ISPA UK about Panorama: The Wonderland Club, broadcast by BBC1 on 11 & 12 February 2001. Upheld on two counts.
(Times) Two Labour MPs who complained after being duped into appearing on Channel 4’s Brass Eye special on paedophilia have only themselves to blame, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) has ruled. see the Adjudications on complaints by Mr Syd Rapson MP and Ms Barbara Follett MP.
(Electronics Weekly) The Government has upgraded its plan of action designed to ensure that the UK sees a smooth introduction of universal digital TV services by 2010. see Press Release, revised Digital TV Action Plan and consultation on planning the future use of spectrum
(Findlaw) Hollywood hopes that invisible, enforceable, and ubiquitous "digital rights management" or "lockware" systems under the control of content providers will reduce piracy, allow more efficient exploitation of intellectual property rights, and, by raising the monetary returns from creative expression, increase incentives to create - thereby enriching our culture.
(Droit et Nouvelles Technologies) Le terme "e-learning" est passé dans langage courant et ne peut être utilisé seul comme marque (TGI de Nanterre).
(New York Times) As children have access to computers earlier and earlier in their educational careers, experts in piracy, hacking and other forms of Internet mischief say that any effort to tackle the illicit trade in digital goods - including video games, computer software, music and even movies - should be looking at a younger crowd.
(New York Times) Investigators say the inquiry into software piracy has expanded exponentially since it was announced late last week with raids at several universities.
(BBC) Musicians in the United States have reached a tentative agreement with radio stations over how much should be paid in royalties when a broadcast is streamed over the internet.
(Newsbytes) The Business Software Alliance (BSA), the software industry's copyright protection group, says it has solved a copyright impasse with Finland's second-largest Internet service provider (ISP).
(CNET News) The Dutch department of Justice raided the University of Twente as part of a software piracy investigation. Several students were apprehended and are suspected of trading in illegal software, misuse of computer facilities at the university, and being members of a criminal organization.
(Droit et Nouvelles Technolgies) La Commission de la protection de la vie privée a rendu le 12 novembre dernier un avis d'initiative concernant la manière dont l'IFPI recherche proactivement les infractions au droit d’auteur commises sur l'internet. Le rapport qu'elle a rendu est plutôt sévère.
(Heise) Der hamburgische Datenschutzbeauftragte hat eine Orientierungshilfe zum Datenschutz im Internet veröffentlicht. Sie richtet sich sowohl an Dienstanbieter als auch an Nutzer von Webangeboten.
(transfert) Le Forum des droits sur l´Internet a émis sa première recommandation au sujet de la future application d´un volet de la loi sur la sécurité quotidienne (LSQ) : celui qui est consacré à la conservation des données de connexion par les fournisseurs d´accès à Internet. En résumé: pas de conservation des adresses des sites visités ni des destinataires de courriers électroniques.
(New York Times) Qwest Communications recently sent its customers a pamphlet describing the ways that Qwest will use the customer's personal data. It says that unless customers contact the company to prohibit the practice, Qwest will share with its several subsidiaries such data as telephone services used, billing information and places called.
(Newsbytes) A sweeping education reform bill that also allows parents to bar companies from using the Internet to collect information about their children while at school will go to the White House after passing the Senate in an 87-10 vote. President Bush is expected to sign the legislation into law.
(Newsbytes) Thirty-nine states have asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to re-adopt a rule requiring phone companies to use an opt-in policy to get customer approval to share personal information.
(transfert) Le Conseil constitutionnel n´a pas censuré les dispositions de la loi de finance rectificative qui étendent aux agents des douanes, du fisc et de la COB, la mise à disposition des données de connexion conservées par les fournisseurs d´accès.
(Newsbytes) California’s Judicial Council voted to allow online public access to court documents in most civil cases, while restricting remote access to criminal records and other cases likely to contain sensitive personal information
(Federal Computer Week) A survey of more than 150 federal agencies and departments concludes that most agencies are still baffled by electronic records. According to the National Archives and Records Administration, most federal agencies create documents in electronic formats, but when preserving them as official records, print them on paper and put them into storage. see Report on Current Recordkeeping Practices within the Federal Government.
(foxwilliams.com) The DTI will fail to meet the deadline for implementation of the E-Commerce Directive, which was due by 17 January 2002. The DTI consultation on its approach to implementing the E-commerce Directive closed on 2 November 2001. But the responses highlighted the need for further clarification on the proposals. As a result the DTI announced that there will be further consultation before implementation of the Directive in the UK.
(Press Release) Most of the top-selling video games offer very little racial and gender diversity, according to a comprehensive study conducted by Children Now, a child research and action organization. White characters were the only human characters found in young children's games. Nearly all of the heroes were white and female characters were severely under-represented in video games, accounting for only 16 percent of human characters.
(FT) China has circulated an internal document that permits a significant liberalisation of its tightly controlled media industry, allowing companies from outside the sector to invest in media groups for the first time.
(Droit et Nouvelles Technologies) Le 30 novembre, le Conseil des Ministres belge a adopté le projet de loi qui vise à transposer la directive du 8 juin 2000 sur le commerce électronique, laquelle doit être transposée d'ici janvier 2002. Le même jour, le Ministre des Affaires Economiques annonçait la création de l’Observatoire des droits de l’internet, quelques mois après le lancement de sa grande soeur française, le Forum des droits sur l’Internet.
(RAPID) Presidency Conclusions.
(Newsbytes) The German regulator's investigation into the difference between Deutsche Telekom's wholesale and end user pricing for digital subscriber line (DSL) services has been reopened.
(summary by Michael Geist) California appellate court overturned a lower court ruling that declared an anti-spam provision in the state's Business and Professions Code unconstitutional. The case contains a detailed discussion on the application of the commerce clause to the contested provision and deals with several other spam legal issues, including an action in trespass by a spam recipient.
(Newsbytes) A New Jersey judge has ruled that public officials do not have the right to discover the identities of people who criticized or insulted them on public Internet bulletin boards.
(FT) A $16bn deal that would have released much-needed new wireless spectrum to the largest US mobile phone companies fell through, potentially hampering the development of new wireless data services. The collapse followed the US Congress's failure to pass legislation needed to implement the complex settlement before it adjourned for the year. Verizon Wireless, the biggest US wireless carrier, declared the deal dead and said it would look for other ways to acquire new spectrum.
(UNICEF) "The Congress has achieved all we expected - and more," co-organizers of the Second World Congress against sexual exploitation of children said. Co-sponsors UNICEF, ECPAT International and the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child praised conference co-organizer, the Government of Japan. see also the Yokohama Global Commitment 2001, Japan Hosts World Congress to Battle Child Sex Trade (Reuters), Child sex trade 'is terrorism' (BBC) , Call for global group to fight child web porn (Guardian), UN targets child sex trade (BBC) and Profiting from Abuse (UNICEF).
(ZDNet UK) A ZDNet investigation in 2001 exposed the dangers of Internet chatrooms, but there is still no law to catch Internet paedophiles.
(Libération) Pornographie, trafics, cybercriminalité, mutilations rituelles... Le congrès mondial de Yokohama veut combattre l'exploitation sexuelle des enfants sur tous les fronts. voir aussi Ségolène Royal: «l'Internet apporte des solutions» (Libération)
(Heise) Baden-Württembergs Jugendmedienschützerin Christine Braun will konsequenter gegen schwarze Schafe im Internet vorgehen. "Ziel wäre für mich ein Kontrollsystem, das möglichst schnell die Anbieter belangt, die jugendgefährdendes Material ohne Zugangsbeschränkung ins Internet stellen",
(Guardian) Parents are to be given places on neighbourhood panels that manage the release of paedophiles and other dangerous offenders from prison, the home secretary, David Blunkett, announced.
(New York Times) Few taboos exist in the blood- and-gore world of shoot-'em-up video games. But game makers have traditionally respected one rule: no Nazi protagonists. In the new game Day of Defeat, presence of swastikas and other Nazi symbols is so pervasive that the game might be viewed as illegal in Germany, where the dissemination of Nazi thought and symbols is banned.
(Pressemitteilung) Als konstruktives Ergebnis des bei der Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf stattfindenen Arbeitskreises wurde eine zeitlich begrenzte Pilotphase vereinbart, in der technische Möglichkeiten zur effektiven Ver- oder Behinderung der rechtsextremistischen Angebote praktisch getestet werden. Projektträger wird die Universität Dortmund zusammen mit den Firmen INTRANET, Webwasher und BOCATEL sein. siehe auch Pressemitteilung und Konzept für einen Internet-Filterdienst (IntraNet, webwasher.com und BOCATEL) und Internet-Zensur oder nicht -- Büssow diskutiert online (Heise).
(ZDNet UK) Hard-hitting advertisements calling for children to wise up to the dangers of Internet paedophiles were screened for the first time. The safety messages, which depict an actor posing as a paedophile, will be aired at cinemas, on commercial radio stations and in teen magazines early in the new year. With £1.5m of new government funding, the advertisements are designed to educate children in the sophisticated methods that paedophiles use to meet children online. Each carries a warning against young people handing out their personal details to people that they have met on the Internet.
(Mercury News) Faster home Internet access, more children with mobile phones and continued wrangling over laws to shield youngsters from online porn are among the things Larry Magid sees for the year 2002.
(Newsbytes) The U.K.'s Computer Software and Services Association (CSSA) has teamed up with the British government to launch a new information-technology security alliance known as SAINT.
(BBC) People are being warned to watch out for computer viruses which could be hidden in electronic Christmas cards.
(RAPID) The European Commission has opened infringement proceedings against Greece, Portugal and Germany for failing to ensure that competitors are offered shared access to the local loop. The Regulation on unbundling of the local loop was designed to bring more competition to the provision of local broadband access. One of the options under the Regulation is for new entrants to offer 'DSL' (digital subscriber line) services for broadband access over the local telephone network while the incumbent continues to provide voice services over the same connection ('shared access').
(ECJ) Judgment of the Court in Case C-79/00. Member States may impose on dominant operators the obligation to provide access to the subscriber loop and to offer interconnection at local and higher-level switching centres. Full text of judgment.
(Newsbytes) The Web sites of three U.S.-based organizations recently named in a list of groups that support terrorism are still functional and accepting online donations.
(Reuters) German computer experts are working round the clock to unlock the truth behind an unexplained surge in financial transactions made just before two hijacked planes crashed into New York's World Trade Center on September 11.
(Reuters) Japan's top video game console maker, Sony, will ally with Yahoo! Japan and Softbank to offer new broadband network services for its PlayStation2 game box. The news comes only ten days after the game giant joined hands with dominant telecoms carrier Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) to introduce new online game services, also using high-speed broadband network.
(BBC) Going online via a broadband connection in the UK looks set to get easier and cheaper in 2002. BT has confirmed that it will launch a DIY broadband service in mid-January that removes the need for an engineer to visit customers to install the high-speed connection.
(Libération) Jean-Marie Messier a annoncé la création d'une nouvelle «major» américaine du cinéma et de la télévision.
(Libération) Le groupe allemand de communication Bertelsmann a racheté les 22 % du groupe britannique Pearson dans RTL Group pour 1,5 milliard d'euros.
(Reuters) Microsoft took the wraps off "Corona," a new package of digital media products it hopes will help let the Internet deliver theater-quality entertainment to consumers and big profits to content providers.
(Salon) The drive to license academic research for profit is stifling the spread of software that could be of universal benefit.
(Washington Post) Comcast and AT&T agreed to merge their cable operations in a $72 billion deal, creating the nation's largest provider of pay television and high-speed Internet service. The new company will be known as AT&T Comcast Corp.
(Newsbytes) Online music site MP3.com launched country-specific sites in Europe as part of an expansion driven by parent company Vivendi Universal with localized music sites in the U.K., France, Germany and Spain and plans for more country sites to be established next year.
(Economist) Jean-Marie Messier has transformed Vivendi from a French utility to an America-centred entertainment giant. Despite his insistence that he did not need to own American distribution channels too, his acquisition of stakes in EchoStar, a satellite group, and two cable networks achieves just that. But will it work?
(Newsbytes) I-Mode, the Japanese wireless Internet and voice phone service, is destined to fail in Europe. So says Danish research firm Strand Consult in its latest "show-me-the-money" report on the European cellular industry.
(Reuters) Pin-up pictures from adult entertainment company Playboy will be available to download to mobile phones next year.
(SF Gate) The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has predicted that Chinese would become the most used language on the Web as early as 2007. If it comes to pass, such a shift will mean big changes for everyone. The biggest changes of all will be in store for China itself. For the Chinese people, the outcome of this clash could be positive or negative. Just which it will be largely depends on how we in the West choose to go about doing business with them.
(Wired) America Online has closed a security hole in its Instant Messenger (AIM) application that could have given hackers access to, and control over, Windows PCs running the latest version of the application.
(Newsbytes) Germany-based E-matters, a Web development company, announced has found a hole in IE's authentication of secure sockets layer (SSL) exchanges that allows Webmasters to use stolen or expired SSL certificates.
(Newsbytes) An effort to create open standards for a "single sign-on" approach to personal identity on the Internet may be gathering steam, with the addition of seven heavy-hitting companies to its roster of founders. The new additions to the management board of the Liberty Alliance Project include credit card companies MasterCard International and American Express, as well as a major bank.
(Wired) Users of popular file-sharing applications may unknowingly be sharing more than just their collections of audio files. A Trojan horse program masquerading as an advertising application was included with recent versions of programs BearShare, LimeWire, Kazaa and Grokster. The Trojan, dubbed "W32.Dlder.Trojan" by antiviral companies, is contained within an application called "ClickTillUWin" which promises users a chance to win prizes.
(AP) Microsoft's newest version of Windows, billed as the most secure ever, contains several serious flaws that allow hackers to steal or destroy a victim's data files across the Internet or implant rogue computer software. The company released a free fix.
(Sydney Morning Herald) A study of 8000 Australians who use the Internet from home, by the research organisation Nielsen//Netratings, found they spent less time online each month than in 2000 and they concentrated on fewer sites. They were starting to use the Net more for advice than for fun.
(Newsbytes) According to a new study released today by Nielsen/NetRatings, shopping at work accounts for nearly half of all online purchasing
(BBC) For only the second time ever, an authoritative monthly survey of the number of sites on the net has found fewer sites online than in the previous month. The fall has been put down to a drop in the number of registered domains.
(BBC) The European internet market in 2002 will be dominated by a boom in broadband access and a soaring number of digital televisions and Napster-like music portals, according to internet research firm Jupiter MMXI. see also Britain leads the world in digital TV (Reuters).
(BBC) Women are catching up with men when it comes to logging on to the internet, according to research. Figures from the Office of National Statistics show a steady increase in the number of people using the internet in Britain.
(Newsbytes) In a post-Christmas survey, NTL says that 69 percent of its younger mobile phone users are planning to send a text message to thank friends and family for their Christmas presents. The survey, which took in responses from a total of 1,500 mobile phone users in the 18-to-26-years age bracket, also revealed that 82 percent of respondents are unlikely to go more than a day without sending a text message.
(Newsbytes) Many more people in London and southeast England are connected to the Internet at home than are people living elsewhere in the U.K., according to the British government's latest quarterly report on Net access.
(Washington Post) Software that attempts to match a computer's unique Internet address with a general geographic location, a technology that is becoming more precise every day, is growing in popularity.
(eweek) The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has deployed VisualRoute, an advanced IP trace route tool that allows it, in many cases, to quickly identify the source and even the physical location of servers hosting possibly illegal Web sites.
(BBC) It is rare that people look to the Isle of Man for a glimpse of the future. But this self-governing dependent territory of the British Crown - you might be surprised to learn - has actually become a playground for new technologies.
(New York Times) What happened in cyberlaw during the past year that was significant and enduring - or at least interesting? That's the question Cyber Law Journal put to several well-regarded law professors and legal practitioners.
(BBC) The first online census in England has crashed on its first day after 1.2 million people tried to search for relatives. The 1901 census for England and Wales provides a unique snapshot of Edwardian Britain. see also Surfing the 1901 census.
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