(Newsbytes) The nation's top federal antitrust agencies have finalized plans to revamp their merger review and enforcement powers. The plan by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Justice Department would reallocate by industry the agencies' antitrust review authority. Under the revised structure, Justice would have sole authority to review mergers in the Internet, telecommunications, software and entertainment sectors. FTC and DOJ Announce New Clearance Procedures for Antitrust Matters (Press Release) and Memorandum of Agreement [PDF 126K].
(CNET News.com) Sun Microsystems filed a private antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft seeking damages that could top $1 billion partly over the software giant's handling of Sun's Java software. The suit also seeks to force Microsoft to release the underlying source code for Internet Explorer, and to release interfaces between Windows and higher-level Microsoft software. In addition, the suit seeks preliminary injunctions to require Microsoft to ship Java with Windows XP and Internet Explorer. see also Sun, Microsoft are battle-worn combatants and Sun's Microsoft suit: The fine print (CNET News.com) and Sun v. Microsoft (FindLaw) United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division.
(China People's Daily) China has made encouraging achievement in the campaign against pirated and porn products and their manufacturers and sellers in the past dozen years but a long-term and well-coordinated strategy is necessary for further crackdown.
(Reuters) A computer specialist has been charged with operating a sex show Web site on a high-speed line which he got the US Army to pay for by telling them it was used for communicating with forces in Bosnia. The indictment alleges he charged the Army more than $100,000 (£70,000) for the cost of running the T-1 Internet line between 1997 and 1998.
(Newsbytes) Prosecutors in Orange County, Calif., say Microsoft has agreed to pay $100,000 in penalties and make refunds to consumers who were billed for Internet access after they had asked to terminate their MSN accounts. A statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office Tuesday said Microsoft, without admitting any wrongdoing, agreed to an injunction enforcing California's Business and Professions Code in order to end a consumer-protection lawsuit.
(Heidse) Die Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Schriften (BPjS) prüft derzeit eine Indizierung der englischen Verkaufsversion des PC-Action-Spiels Counter-Strike und will eine Entscheidung bis spätestens Anfang April 2002 fällen.
(ZDNet UK) The Independent Television Commission (ITC) has awarded a broadcasting licence to BT, in a move that could eventually see the telco using its network to transmit television and video to large numbers of customers. The licence will allow the firm to provide a full range television and related services over telephone networks and broadband cable. BT insists, though, that it isn't planning to become a fully fledged broadcaster in the near future.
(Secrétariat d'Etat à l'Industrie) Le Ministre délégué à l'Industrie, aux PME, au Commerce, à l'Artisanat et à la Consommation, a fait part à la Commission Européenne de la position du gouvernement français concernant le projet de directive sur la brevetabilité des logiciels présenté au Conseil marché intérieur. voir aussi Pierret prend position sur les brevets (transfert).
(FT) Peter Chernin, the president and chief operating operator of News Corporation, signalled that the digital television industry could be gearing up for a battle against piracy of similar proportions to that seen among the music majors.
(BBC) A joint study by IBM and Local Futures into the social effects of technology has found that some sectors of society are in danger of being entirely cut off from the benefits of technologies that keep people in touch while they travel.
(Network World) The number of domain names being allowed to expire - intentionally or accidentally - is at an all-time high. Now shady middlemen called traffic aggregators are increasingly buying these names and redirecting corresponding Web traffic to other sites, primarily porn and gambling venues. Organizations as varied as the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dutch government have seen their expired domain names snapped up by traffic aggregators and redirected to porn sites.
(The Register) The process for deciding ownership of Internet domains is flawed, biased and in drastic need of reform, an expert in Internet and e-commerce law has concluded. With Fundamentally Fair.com? An Update on Bias Allegations an the ICANN UDRP, Professor Michael Geist of the University of Ottawa has extended a previous study into how ownership of domain names is decided and concluded that, if anything, the situation has got worse.
(O'Reilly) On February 24 came the latest in a series of scathing critiques of ICANN that have emerged on a regular basis since the institution was first proposed out of the blue to a surprised public by the Internet Assigned Number Authority and the monopoly domain name registrar, Network Solutions. What is novel about the current critique is its author - the president of ICANN.
(David R. Johnson and Susan P. Crawford) ICANN's legitimacy is under attack from several directions, including from its own management. There does appear to be substantial support, among many with varying viewpoints, that the ICANN experiment needs now to move into a new phase.
(Heise) Selbstverwaltung im Netz ist kein gescheitertes Experiment, sondern etablierte und stabile Praxis: So reagierte in ungewöhnlich scharfer Form die europäische Vergabestelle für IP-Nummern, das RIPE in Amsterdam, auf die vom Präsidenten der Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) vorgeschlagene Strukturreform. Response to the ICANN reform proposal document (RIPE NCC).
(Newsbytes) A U.S. court has declared that the operators of a tourism portal at Barcelona.com are cybersquatters, and that the Internet address they registered in 1996 should be awarded to the Spanish city of Barcelona.
(Newsbytes) A House subcommittee unanimously approved legislation that would mandate the creation of a kid-friendly Internet domain for the United States. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications approved by voice vote the "Dot-Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act of 2002," which would order the establishment of a child-oriented addressing space within America's sovereign "dot-us" Internet domain.
(NOIE) The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, launched the new single entry point to government information and services - australia.gov.au - created to help all Australians access government information and services from a single location and in an intuitive and easy way. see also Government online a success as Australia moves to new era of eGovernment.
(Heise) Das Netzwerk Recherche, der Deutsche Journalisten-Verband (DJV) und die Deutsche Journalisten-Union (DJU) in ver.di fordern in einer gemeinsamen Erklärung die parlamentarische Durchsetzung des immer wieder verschleppten Informationsfreiheitsgesetzes.
(RAPID) The European Commission has set up a secure communications infrastructure for information exchange among European public administrations. In line with the eEurope initiative(1) this facility, which is financed and managed under the Interchange of Data between Administrations (IDA) programme, will provide a platform for new pan-European eGovernment services to citizens and enterprises by improving co-operation between European public services at all levels of government.
(IDA) The state of play in public eProcurement in Member States and progress in removing barriers to the use of electronic tools for transnational public procurement were assessed in a workshop on Transborder Public eProcurement held in Brussels on 21 February 2002. This workshop was the second in series managed by the IDA programme.
(CTG) Policy panel summary transcript provides a thought-provoking examination of how information policy issues are being reassessed in response to events of September 11. In this transcript, panelists explore questions of access to information on the Web, dissemination of government information, database integration, information sharing across organizational boundaries, and the new emphasis on system and data security.
(Heise) Die deutschen Hochschulen gehen verstärkt ins Netz. Zu den herkömmlichen Angeboten treten immer mehr Studiengänge, die per Computer absolviert werden können. Chatrooms und elektronische Diskussionsforen ersetzen die Diskussion im Seminar, Übungsblätter gibt es per Download, die Betreuung erfolgt per E-Mail. Die Universitäten Erlangen-Nürnberg und Trier testen sogar seit rund einem Jahr die Abfrage von Prüfungsergebnissen per WAP-Handy.
(ZDNet UK) Twenty thousand workers at Ford have been told to clean up their computers and remove any offensive, including racist, material they have on their machines. They have been given a two week 'amnesty' to delete the offensive content and can get help from Ford's computer systems managers to remove the content during this period. After the deadline, on Friday 15 March, any employee found to be in possession of or found sending offensive material will be dismissed.
(Heise) Bundesgesundheitsministerin Ulla Schmidt hat erneut die Einführung eines elektronischen Gesundheitspasses gefordert. Deutschland könne hier eine internationale Vorreiterrolle übernehmen, erklärte die Ministerin am 5. März 2002 auf dem Kongress ehealth 2002 - Telematik im Gesundheitswesen in Bonn.
(FT) Health concerns about mobile phone masts were allayed with the publication of a scientific study into emission levels conducted by the Radio Communications Agency, a division of the Department of Trade and Industry, which showed that emission levels from mobile phone masts were at least several hundred times below agreed international levels. The study measured electromagnetic emissions from 100 mobile phone stations located at or near schools.
(RAPID) Rencontre entre Viviane Reding, Gerhard Schröder et José Maria Aznar à Berlin A l'occasion du Sommet sur les compétences au 21ème siècle, organisé à Berlin par la Fondation Bertelsmann et et la Fondation AOL Time Warner, Viviane Reding, commissaire européenne en charge de l'Education et de la Culture, s'est entretenue avec le chancelier allemand et le Premier ministre espagnol de thèmes qui seront à l'agenda du Conseil européen de Barcelone. Viviane Reding a en outre rencontré le président du conseil d'administration de AOL Time Warner, Steve Case. Ils ont parlé des perspectives de coopération entre l'Europe et les Etats-Unis dans le domaine de l'Internet, en particulier sous l'angle de la protection des jeunes (contrôle parental) et de la mise en réseau d'écoles de part et d'autre de l'Atlantique dans le cadre du Plan d'action « eLearning ».
(Heise) Digitale Medienkompetenz muss verstärkt genauso wie Lesen, Schreiben und Rechnen als Grundfähigkeit betrachtet werden, fordern gemeinsam die Bertelsmann Stiftung und die AOL Time Warner Stiftung im Rahmen des 21st Century Literacy Summit.Siehe auch Rede von Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder anlässlich des 21st Century Literacy Summit und White Paper.
(ZDNet UK) Government plans to store all Internet traffic in a single warehouse featured highly in the Big Brother Awards in London last night. A proposal by the National Criminal Intelligence Service to store all UK Internet traffic for seven years in a single data warehouse won the Big Brother Award for Most Appalling Project. see also UK - Net monitoring scheme under fire (BBC).
(RAPID) Mr Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, EICTA (European Information and Communications Technology Industry Association) Conference. Brussels, 7 March 2002.
(Heise) Das Ermittlungsverfahren gegen Regierungspräsident Jürgen Büssow und Mitarbeiter der Düsseldorfer Bezirksregierung in Zusammenhang mit der Sperrung von Internet-Angeboten ist eingestellt. Das geht aus einer Pressemitteilung der Staatsanwaltschaft hervor, die die Bezirksregierung auf ihrer Website zitiert. siehe auch Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf nicht "die Wacht am Rhein" im Internet.
(Yahoo!) La cour d'appel de Paris a suivi la jurisprudence de la Cour de Cassation dans un jugement qui avait fait couler beaucoup d'encre au sujet de la prescription des diffamations commises en ligne. L'affaire oppose depuis novembre 2000 le député européen du Front National, Carl Lang, au Réseau Voltaire, une association qui lutte en faveur des libertés et de la laïcité.
(Heise) Nach einem rund vierjährigen Rechtsstreit muss die niederbayerische Gemeinde Neukirchen vorm Wald ein Bürgerbegehren gegen Mobilfunkmasten zulassen. Das Bundesverwaltungsgericht in Berlin habe eine Beschwerde der Gemeinde im Landkreis Passau gegen ein Urteil des Bayerischen Verwaltungsgerichtshofes (VGH) zurückgewiesen.
(Guardian) The digital age may only just have dawned, but the Digital Preservation Coalition, a group of eminent institutions, issued a warning that large swaths of the nation's digital heritage risk being lost for ever without urgent action to preserve them.
(Newsbytes) Nullsee also USA - House Panel Approves 'Dot-Kids' Legislation
(Reuters) A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that claimed Time Warner and other entertainment companies produced movies and violent video games that drove two teenagers to gun down and kill a teacher and 12 fellow students in the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
(Seth Finkelstein) An anticensorware investigation. This report investigates how N2H2's censorware treats several image search engines. N2H2/BESS turns out to blacklist popular general image searching sites as "Pornography". The cached images held by such sites are probably the cause. This is discussed as a deep dilemma of censorware, where general search facilities may be considered as tainted if they contain any cached forbidden material.
(eSchool News) A report Filtering Software: The Religious Connection by the Responsible Netizen Project of the University of Oregon’s Center for Advanced Technology in Education raises questions about the link between conservative religious organizations and several internet filtering solutions, including three used widely in public schools.
(Newsbytes) The U.S. Supreme Court will reconsider an appeals court's decision that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) illegally re-auctioned licenses the bankrupt telecom company NextWave Telecom claims as its own. NextWave bought the licenses for $4.7 billion but declared bankruptcy after placing a $500 million down payment. While a D.C. District Court said that the FCC could re-auction the licenses, an appeals ruled the licenses still officially belong to NextWave.
(Technology Review) Bloggers are the minutemen of the digital revolution. "Blog" is short for "Web log". Several years ago, heavy Web surfers began creating log - compendia of curious information and interesting links they encountered in their travels through cyberspace. Blogs are more dynamic than older-style home pages, more permanent than posts to a Net discussion list. They are more private and personal than traditional journalism, more public than diaries.
(CNET News.com) StreamCast Networks' delinquent licensing bills were to blame for the blackout of the hugely popular Morpheus file-swapping network last week, according to Dutch company Kazaa BV. see also StreamCast Suggests Competitors Torpedoed Morpheus (Newsbytes) and Morpheus woes lift rival from obscurity (CNET News.com) L'après-Napster tourne à la foire (Libération).
(Libération) Ce service de téléphone mobile qui fait fureur au Japon débarque en Europe.
(Salon) Outside of airports and Starbucks, the wireless Net is still hanging fire. You can build your own node, but who'll hook you up with the rest of the world?
(Newsbytes) A critical security flaw in Java that could allow browser traffic hijacking was hidden from the public for almost a year, a security researcher said. Patches that protect users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape's Navigator browsers against the bug were released yesterday, nearly eleven months after the software makers learned of the vulnerability in their implementation of Sun Microsystem's Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
(Newsbytes) The number of e-commerce exchanges is shrinking, but the need for these business-to-business (B2B) virtual trading posts is increasing. According to a new study by Emarketer, a company that aggregates and analyzes e-business information, worldwide B2B e-commerce will total $823.4 billion in 2002. By 2004, that figure is projected to nearly triple to $2.4 trillion
(Newsbytes) More than 5 percent of online consumers last year were victims of credit card fraud, a crime that accounted for more than $1 out of every $100 spent on Internet sales, according to a report published today. Online crooks made off with more than $700 million, a figure that - dollar for dollar - is 19 times the year's offline fraud total, a GartnerG2 survey found. The e-fraud losses make up 1.14 percent of total annual online sales of $61.8 billion.
(Newsbytes) Surfing the Net via broadband made up more than half of the time U.S. Internet users spent online in January, the first time high-speed usage has outpaced that of narrowband, Nielsen//NetRatings said.
(Newsbytes) Various reports to the contrary, the Internet is not losing its importance for Americans, according to a new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. If anything, the study says, the medium simply is becoming a routine part of everyday life.
(IEEE Internet Computing) This article (PDF) provides an excellent technical introduction to the core ideas behind Freenet.
(CTG) Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, State University of New York.
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