(dpa) Das Bundeskartellamt will dem US-Medienkonzern Liberty Media auch den geplanten Zugriff auf das wichtige Kabelnetz- Endkundengeschäft in Deutschland verwehren. Nach einer Vorentscheidung müsse der Kauf von Telecolumbus-Töchtern verboten werden, weil er für Liberty zu einer marktbeherrschenden Stellung auf dem Kabelnetzmarkt führe, teilte das Kartellamt am Donnerstag in Bonn mit.
(RAPID) The European Commission took another important step to uncover and suppress price-fixing pacts and other hard-core cartels. The Commission unanimously adopted a new leniency policy that creates greater incentives for companies to blow the whistle on the most serious violations of antitrust rules. Under the new rules the Commission will grant total immunity from fines to the first company to submit evidence on a cartel unknown to, or unproved by the Commission.
(RAPID) Mario Monti, European Commissioner for Competition Policy, Extraits du discours de clôture du colloque pour le 15ème anniversaire du Conseil de la concurrence Paris, le 13 février 2002.
(Australian IT) Australia is spearheading a global push to clean up the internet, with an ISP crackdown on online credit card fraud, terrorist activity and spam. The Internet Industry Association is negotiating a cybercrime code with local law enforcement agencies that will see ISPs working closely with police. The code is on the agenda at a high-level meeting between the IIA and members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) expert group on global information security.
(theage.com) A senior Victorian justice official pleaded guilty to child pornography charges after teenaged burglars exposed his illegal hoard.
(Wired) Canadian crusaders who hunt down kiddie porn on the Internet are rankled by a pending crime bill that would criminalize their activities. The proposed legislation would update the country's criminal code to make it illegal not only to produce, possess and transmit lewd images of minors, but also merely to seek out websites that publish such material.
(Kyodo News) The number of high-tech crimes nationwide in 2001 involving illegal sales on the Internet increased 2.4-fold over the past year, the National Police Agency (NPA) said. One-third of the illegal online auction sales involved fraud, the agency said in a report on high-tech crimes.
(New York Times) The first guidelines for responding to attacks on computer systems to be endorsed by both the F.B.I. and the Secret Service, the main Federal agencies fighting such crimes, have been published. The guidelines were drafted by government and private security experts brought together by CIO magazine, a trade publication for information technology executives.
(AP) A former Yale University professor was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison Wednesday for downloading an estimated 150,000 images of child pornography onto his computer.
(Newsbytes) New York State has sued anti-virus software maker Network Associates, seeking to do away with the company's ban on product reviews. Such policies, known in legal circles as restrictive covenants, are illegal, said Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Such bans "harm the public by censoring discussions of a product's flaws and defects".
(Newsbytes) The Republican Party of Texas has told the owner of www.enronownsthegop.com to shut down his Web site or face a barrage of trademark infringement lawsuits. The site lampoons several candidates for refusing to return tens of thousands of dollars contributed by Enron employees.
(New York Times) Since Sept. 11, nations that have strong laws and traditions against hate speech are apparently growing even more alarmed about inflammatory expression that they fear could lead to racial or religious violence.
(Europemedia) The Office of the High Representative (OHR), has decided to create a single communications regulator - the Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA). The CRA covers three main fields of modern communications: telecoms, frequency spectrum management, and electronic media. The CRA has only been given authority over the technical aspects of the internet, not over content-related issues.
(Newsbytes) The Electronic Frontier Foundation is organizing a grassroots letter-writing campaign against record industry plans to bar compact-disc copying.
(CNET News.com) Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig, one of the most articulate critics in today's online copyright battles, is kicking off a project he hopes can serve as neutral ground in the digital rights debates. Dubbed the Copyright Commons, Lessig's project aims to spur sharing and use of works ranging from software code to music in a way that he and other critics say has been stifled by copyright laws. Drawing on the experience of open-source software programming, the group hopes to create new digital licenses that will cut out painful legal wrangling and rights disputes
(Europa) The European Commission has recognised that the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act provides adequate protection for certain personal data transferred from the EU to Canada. This will allow certain personal data to flow freely from the EU to recipients in Canada subject to the Canadian Act, without additional safeguards being needed to meet the requirements of the EU Data Protection Directive. See Commission decision.
(Commission Staff Working Paper) The application of Commission Decision 520/2000/EC of 26 July 2000 pursuant to Directive 95/46 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the adequate protection of personal data provided by the Safe Harbour Privacy Principles and related Frequently Asked Questions issued by the US Department of Commerce
(transfert) Lundi 11 février 2002, la CNIL a dévoilé les conclusions de son second rapport sur la cybersurveillance au travail. Au menu, la question du rapport entre vie privée et vie professionnelle et quelques innovations. Voir rapport relatif à la cybersurveillance sur les lieux de travail, les conclusions de ce rapport, communiqué de presse et fiches de synthèse.
(Newsbytes) Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., introduced legislation that would require telecommunications providers to obtain written consent from customers prior to sharing their personal information with other providers or companies. The legislation comes in response to a recent scandal involving telecom giant Qwest Communications International, which recently dropped plans to share personally identifiable customer data with its corporate divisions as a marketing tool.
(Newsbytes) Some Comcast high-speed Internet access service subscribers have complained about the cable TV company's deployment of caching proxy servers, technology designed to speed up networks by making temporary local copies of distant Web content. Comcast stood accused of surreptitiously monitoring and archiving data on the Web-surfing activities of its subscribers. In a statement, the company simultaneously denied collecting information on individual subscribers while pledging to stop doing so. see also Comcast Apologizes for Delivering Faster Network to Subscribers (Internet News) and Comcast Tracks Users' Web Trails (AP).
(UW School of Law) This report (MS Word 95) presents to businesses, consumers, and government officials a compilation of "best practices" for protecting personal information collected by businesses. The report analyzes the current state of federal and state law, self-regulatory industry practices, and consumer concerns surrounding the use of consumers’ personal information and offers principles to guide businesses as they develop privacy policies.
(Newsbytes) In comments filed with the Federal Trade Commission, the state AGs said financial institutions should be required to send uniform, short and easy-to-read notices that describe how companies share customer information and steps that consumers can take to "opt out" of such practices.
(Heise) Das DENIC, Registrierstelle für .de-Domains, hat sich um eine neue Aufgabe beworben: die Vergabe der Telefonnummern-Domains für den deutschen Vorwahlbereich 0049.
(Newsbytes) The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) - which manages the Internet's addressing system - chose Internet pioneer Stephen Crocker to chair the soon-to-be-formed ICANN Security Committee that will be charged with ensuring the security of the global Domain Name System (DNS).
(Newsbytes) Internet addressing authorities proposed establishing a uniform one-month "grace period" during which domain-name holders could reregister Internet addresses that inadvertently lapse, either due to malicious hijacking or simple oversight. see also Addressing Companies Question Lapsed Name 'Grace Period' (Newsbytes)
(Newsbytes) Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) issued an advisory reminding companies accredited to process domain registrations that they are not allowed to let unauthorized third parties get their hands on the complex systems behind the registration, transfer and deletion of addresses.
(Technology Review) Technical hurdles will prevent Internet voting from replacing the voting booth anytime soon, experts say.
(RAPID) Mr Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, Automotive Fellowship International Ltd., London, 14 February 2002.
(Internet Magazine) Child pornography watchdog the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is hardening its attitude towards newsgroups known to include illegal material. The IWF normally works with ISPs to run a 'notice and takedown' procedure whereby individual illegal items, not entire newsgroups, are taken offline. But it is changing its recommendations, and now wants all newsgroups carrying illegal material to be taken down. see also UK - IWF - New Policies on Newsgroups (Press Release), A New Chief Executive for IWF, Board Membership Changes and Resignations as Internet Watch Bans Newsgroups(Malcolm Hutty).
(Reuters) The European Commission is putting high-speed Internet access at the top of its strategy to boost e-commerce and turn the European Union into the world's most competitive economy by 2010. Other priorities include improving security for communication networks, fostering the retail end of e-commerce and asking governments to perform more administrative tasks online. see also Brussels warns of plateau in EU internet take-up (FT), E.U. Net Use Growing, But Sputtering (Newsbytes), EU prepares eEurope 2005 action plan, Commission adopts eEurope Benchmarking Report (Euractiv), eEurope Benchmarking Report(Europa).
(RAPID) Mr Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, 13th Annual European Communications Conference, London, 14 February 2002.
(BBC) The Home Office has been chosen by the UK's net industry as its internet villain for 2002. The government department was judged to have done the most to upset Britain's net community by the Internet Service Providers Association which handed out the prize at its annual award ceremony. The BBC won an award from the Internet Watch Foundation for its drafting and use of guidelines to help protect children online.
(Reuters) Federal regulators launched what will likely be a fierce debate over what rules should govern high-speed Internet service across traditional telephone lines. The agency tentatively proposed that broadband service such as digital subscriber line be classified as an information service, which could subject it to fewer regulations. see FCC Launches Proceeding to Promote Widespread Deployment of High-speed Broadband Internet Access Services (Press Release) and Statement by Assistant Secretary Nancy J. Victory (NTIA). see also Proposed Redefinition of ISPs Sparks Criticism and Everyone Taking Sides On ISP Redefinition, Internet (Internet News).
(Cato Institute) As shown in this review (PDF, 32 pgs, 164 Kb) of our picks for the 12 most destructive pieces of technology legislation introduced in the 107th Congress, there is good evidence that policymakers are adopting the telecom regulatory paradigm for the tech sector. If that happens, it will be a grave blow to the Internet sector. Policymakers would be wise to reject this paradigm and instead let the Internet and cyberspace evolve with minimal federal intrusion and regulatory interference.
(ZDNet France) Grande première en France: un internaute a été condamné pour avoir envoyé en vrac et par courrier électronique des publicités non sollicitées (le "spam" en jargon). Une décision du TGI de Paris qui va faire jurisprudence. Une fois n'est pas coutume, le spam ne paie pas. Par une ordonnance de référé datée du 15 janvier 2002, le tribunal de grande instance de Paris a condamné un internaute français à payer 1254 euros à ses fournisseurs d'accès internet (Free et Liberty Surf, aujourd'hui Tiscali). Cet individu pratiquait avec assiduité le "spam", ou l'envoi en masse par email de messages commerciaux non sollicités.
(Press Release) The Federal Trade Commission is launching a three-point program to crack down on deceptive spam.Seven defendants caught in an FTC sting operation have agreed to settle charges that they were spamming consumers with deceptive chain letters. The FTC will mail warning letters to more than 2,000 individuals who are still running this chain letter scheme. Finally, the agency will launch a public/private education effort in conjunction with various Internet Service Provider (ISP) associations.
(CNET News.com) Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., introduced legislation designed to guarantee that Internet service providers will not be held liable under federal law for the criminal actions of third-party users. Under current law, ISPs are protected from civil liability under federal and state law for content posted by a third party. The "Online Liability Standardization Act of 2002" would establish a uniform standard for criminal liability against ISPs. The bill would not limit liability for individuals and would only apply to illegal content - such as child pornography - provided by third parties.
(Newsbytes) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the use of ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, which allows wireless signals to be sent across broad swaths of wireless spectrum at very low power - presumably without disturbing other communications already taking place over those airwaves. see FCC Press Release and Secretary Evans commends the Federal Communications Commission on ultrawideband (NTIA).
(document released by IRIS) European Committee On Crime Problems (CDPC) - Committee of Experts on the Criminalisation of Acts of Racist of Xenophobic Nature committed through Computer Networks (PC-RX) - Preliminary Draft of the First Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime on the criminalisation of acts of a racist or xenophobic nature through computer networks. see alsoSpecific Terms Of Reference, Summary Report of the First meeting (Strasbourg, 17 - 18 December 2001), lettre et dossier de l'IRIS.
(netimperative) US content security specialist Tumbleweed Communications has been recruited by cable firm NTL to filter pornography, violence and other inappropriate material from the company's web services for schools, in a deal believed to be worth around £500,000.
(Office of Regulation Review) Report of the Commonwealth Interdepartmental Committee on Quasi-regulation.
(Newsbytes) The European Union's Council of Economics and Finance Ministers gave "political agreement" to a proposal to apply the E.U.'s value-added tax (VAT) to sales of digital products via the Internet, despite US protests. VAT would apply to all products sold on the Internet, as well as products that actually are consumed online, such as digital music or books. The VAT also would apply to goods and services that E.U. citizens and companies buy from businesses operating in the U.S. and other countries. The new system would not require E.U. businesses to charge the tax when selling products to people or companies in markets outside the union, something the E.U. says would remove a "significant competitive handicap." see Council minutes (p. 29 - VAT on e-commerce) and Proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 77/388/EEC as regards the value added tax arrangements applicable to certain electronically supplied services and radio and television broadcasting services. see also U.S. officials knock EU tax proposal (CNET News.com).
(RAPID) The Council of Ministers adopted the Telecoms package on 14 February 2002. Member States now have 15 months to implement this package into their national laws. The Telecoms package includes the following elements: a directive on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services (Framework directive), an authorisation directive , an access & interconnection directive, a directive on universal service and users' rights and a decision on a regulatory framework for radio spectrum policy. The proposed E-communications privacy directive still needs to be agreed between European Parliament and Council. The Commission plans shortly to issue a number of measures linked to implementation of the new package: Guidelines on market definition and the assessment of significant market power; Recommendation on Relevant Product and Service Markets within the electronic communications sector, identifying those market segments where sector-specific regulatory obligations may be appropriate; Decision establishing a 'European Regulators Group', composed of national regulators and the Commission, and a Decision establishing a 'Radio Spectrum Policy Group'.
(FT) Attempts to foster competition in Europe's local telephone networks have failed, with Britain among the worst offenders in opening up the market. European Union laws to make incumbents open up their exchanges came into force a year ago, but a study shows that virtually no progress has been made. Figures produced by the European Competitive Telecommunications Association, the telecoms trade body, reveal that less than 0.01 per cent of European "local loop" lines have been unbundled to new entrants.
(Press Release) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took steps toward reform of the system for assessment and recovery of universal service fund (USF) contributions. The FCC adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which seeks comment on whether to assess contributions on carriers based on the number and capacity of connections they provide to customers, rather than on the interstate revenues they earn. see also ISPs May Be Tapped For Universal Service Fund - GAO (Newsbytes).
(FT) It is too soon to say who will emerge as a winner from the turmoil in Europe's cable sector. But the massive debt restructurings at UPC, Europe's biggest cable company, and NTL, the largest UK operator, suggest there is so far one clear, and surprising, loser - Microsoft.
(Newsbytes) A new survey indicates people are willing to pay to buy advanced set-top devices, despite a longstanding custom of simply receiving the units from cable companies and renting them at cheap monthly rates.
(Economist) PayPal is one of a group of firms trying to pioneer systems for making small payments on the web. If they succeed, they will transform e-commerce
(NUA) By 2006, 10 million European households will game online using games consoles connected to broadband Internet connections, according to Forrester. The growth in this market will be driven by the emergence of cheaper but improved games consoles and the spread of high-speed, always-on Internet connections
(transfert) L´association des Webproducteurs propose de mettre en place un système de redistribution d´une part des revenus des fournisseurs d´accès à Internet pour soutenir la production de contenus sur le Net. voir aussi Les FAI ne veulent pas payer pour les contenus Web Pour l'association qui représente les FAI, pas question d'augmenter les tarifs, il faut d'abord démocratiser l'accès au Net, le contenu suivra.
(CNET News.com) Discontent on the Web services front is hitting the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In a sign of the growing impatience that software companies have regarding Web services, Microsoft, IBM, BEA Systems and Intel launched the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I), a consortium aimed at boosting Web services.
(CNET News.com) Internet surfers are increasingly favoring direct navigation and bookmarks over search engines and Web links. WebSideStory, a San Diego, California-based company that measures Internet audiences, said that as of 6 February, nearly 52 percent of Web surfers arrived at sites by direct navigation and bookmarks, compared with about 46 percent during the same period last year.
(FT) Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, revealed Visual Studio .Net, a set of development tools that should permit programs from different vendors to be linked together easily over the internet in a "plug-and-play" manner.
(Economist) It is easy to discount web services as yet another fad, but behind the hype surrounding this new way of letting computers talk to each other over the Internet lies a crucial question: who will provide the dominant software platform of the next generation of computing? Already, the battle lines are clearly drawn. On one side is Microsoft, with its .NET plan; on the other an array of rivals, including IBM, Oracle and Sun, touting a technology based on the Java programming language.This week Microsoft took the battle a stage further, launching a set of tools to develop web services, plus a software framework to run them. This puts .NET on a par with its Java-based competitor.
(Counterpane) Latest issue: February 15, 2002 by Bruce Schneier, Counterpane Internet Security, Inc. A free monthly newsletter providing summaries, analyses, insights, and commentaries on computer security and cryptography. Back issues are available at . To subscribe, visit or send a blank message to email@example.com.
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