(RAPID) Mr Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, European Voice Conference "Television without Frontiers". Brussels, 21 March 2002
(RAPID) Viviane Reding Member of the European Commission responsible for Education and Culture, European Voice Conference on "Television without Frontiers", Brussels, 21 March 2002.
(FT) ITV Digital, the world's biggest and most expensive digital terrestrial TV project, was forced into administration, throwing government broadcasting policy into turmoil and the future of lower league football into doubt. Granada and Carlton Communications said they were "throwing a lifeline" to their loss-making pay-TV platform, by putting the business in the hands of administrators at Deloitte & Touche.
(RAPID) Following on from the unanimous conclusions of the Barcelona European Council on 13-14 March, the Council of Transport Ministers released the € 450m needed to develop GALILEO, Europe's satellite navigation and positioning system, and at the same time adopted the regulation establishing the joint undertaking responsible for operating it. The GALILEO project, which has been developed in conjunction with the European Space Agency, will enable users to accurately determine their positions in time and space at any given time.
(RAPID) The European Commission has sent to Dutch incumbent telecommunications operator Koninklijke KPN NV a statement of objections alleging that KPN has abused its dominant position regarding the termination of telephone calls on the KPN mobile network through discriminatory or otherwise unfair behaviour. The case stems from a complaint by MCI WorldCom. Studies show that fixed to mobile termination rates in Europe can be ten times higher than the average charge for fixed to fixed interconnection. This results in undue barriers for newcomers to the market and high prices for consumers.see also Netherlands - Opta has new rules for mobile phone operators
(FT) An interactive television software group accused Microsoft of attempting to use its $12.4bn worth of holdings in the global cable television and telecoms industry to stifle competition. Liberate Technologies warned that a large competitor such as Microsoft could eliminate competing technology either by explicitly requiring cable and satellite companies to use its software, or by establishing biased criteria that tilted the selection process in its favour.
(Toronto Globe and Mail) The Manitoba Premier joined child-advocate groups calling on Ottawa to remove a loophole in the legislation after Mr. Justice Duncan Shaw of the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that violent and sexual fictional writings about children meet the legal definition of artistic merit and were not criminal.
(vnunet) The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) has warned that if more companies do not come forward with information about cyber security breaches the service will not survive. Speaking at the launch of new web security guidelines from the Alliance for Electronic Business, NHTCU industry liaison officer Tony Neate also said that a shake-up of the Computer Misuse Act was needed to help tackle criminal activity across the internet.
(New York Law Journal) A man convicted of possessing child pornography cannot be barred from using a computer during his period of supervised release, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. The court said in United States v. Sofsky that the ban on computer usage "inflicts a greater deprivation of Sofsky's liberty than is reasonably necessary."
(Reuters) The Internet Enforcement Task Force, also called Netforce, was formed two years ago by the FTC and several states including Washington, Alaska and Oregon to fight online fraud and deceptive e-mail, or "spam." Netforce used its news conference to say the FTC was taking legal action in four new cases of alleged consumer fraud, and to issue a progress report that said it had handled 63 cases of Web-based scams and had sent more than 500 warnings letters to senders of deceptive e-mails.
(BBC) Authorities in Bahrain have blocked access to some opposition and other internet sites which they say have been inciting sectarianism and carrying offensive content.
(BBC) Cuba has been gripped by internet fever. But going online is tightly controlled by the communist government, as Thembi Mutch writes in the first of three reports from Havana. see also Cuba's wired generation.
(Heise) Bei der Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Schriften (BPjS) läuft derzeit ein Verfahren zur Indizierung des First-Person-Shooters Counter-Strike. Nachdem die Spieler bereits eine Online-Petition gegen die Indizierung an die BPjS ins Leben gerufen haben, will die Bundesprüfstelle nun die Meinung der Spieler im Entscheidungsverfahren anhören.
(Heise) Mittlerweile rufen zahlreiche Bürgerinitiativen und Bewegungen im Netz zum Protest auf, meist in Form von E-Mail-Kampagnen und Online-Unterschriftenaktionen. Doch die heutige Kundgebung in Düsseldorf war anders: Illustre Netzbewohner hatten auf einer Website zur Demonstration gegen die Düsseldorfer Bezirksregierung mobilisiert. siehe auch Chinesische Verhältnisse in Deutschland? (Spiegel).
(Heise) Die Regulierungsbehörde für Telekommunikation und Post (Reg TP) gab die Eckpunkte für die Vergabe von Sendefrequenzen für das terrestrische digitale Fernsehen (DVB-T) bekannt.
(Newsbytes) A quartet of consumer groups accused the Federal Communications Commission of attempting to eviscerate rules intended to spur competition in the high-speed Internet market. see also Consumer groups pan ISP proposal (CNET).
(Newsbytes) The rift among high-tech sector heavyweights over the proper regulatory treatment for high-speed Internet services grew even more pronounced with the launch of two divergent coalitions formed to lobby federal policymakers on broadband issues - the High Tech Broadband Coalition and the Competition Working Group.
(CNET News.com) Jack Valenti is the Hollywood blockbuster of Washington lobbyists. As the chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America, he talks in apocalyptic terms unmatched by lesser peers. Belying his genteel drawl, his pronouncements are the equivalents of celluloid fireballs, warning of catastrophe for the industry.
(FT) China and Japan are working together to crack down on counterfeiting of Japanese products in what marks a potential shift in Beijing's attitude towards the protection of intellectual property rights, according to Japanese officials.
(Reuters) In a setback for efforts to halt copyright abuse, a Dutch appeals court told a technology firm it could distribute a software program that is designed to let users share music and films on the Internet. The ruling in the case between Internet software company KaZaA and Dutch music rights organization Buma Stemra overturned a decision in November in favor of the music industry.
(RAPID) The European Commission has decided to refer Belgium, Greece Luxembourg and Spain to the European Court of Justice for failure to notify national measures to implement Directive 98/84 on the legal protection of conditional access services. Conditional access services are television, radio and on-line services offered to the public at a distance and subject to payment.
(droit-technologie.org) par Anne-Catherine Lorrain. Quel rôle pour les Etats membres? La Directive européenne du 22 mai 2001 sur le droit d'auteur encourage le mécanisme de l'autorégulation dans la recherche d'équilibre entre droits et exceptions.
(Newsbytes) In a ruling that has little immediate impact but establishes a potentially wide-reaching legal precedent, a California federal appeals court upheld a lower court's order shutting down rogue music-swapping service Napster. A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc. (9th Cir. March 25, 2002) [PDF]. see also FindLaw Investigations: Napster, Napster Says No Time Frame Set For Re-Launch and Napster Gets A Year To Build Antitrust Case Against Labels (Newsbytes).
(Newsbytes) The DVD Copy Control Association has asked the California Supreme Court to reverse a lower court's decision that blocked the publication of the source code for DeCSS technology, which circumvents digital copy protection systems.
(Newsbytes) A U.S. District Court has granted a request for a preliminary injunction by Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Miramax Film Corporation against video preview company Video Pipeline to cease streaming videoclip compilations that copied scenes from Disney and Miramax movies. Video Pipeline v. Buena Vista Home Entertainment.
(CNET News.com) Paid-search listing company Overture Services has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google. At issue is Google's method for selling and displaying advertising, which is keyed to search terms and appears alongside and above search results on its Web site. A service called AdWords Select that allows marketers to bid for higher placement in marked sections--a tactic that has some similarities to Overture's search-listing auctions.
(Newsbytes) The Recording Industry Association of America has sued Thomson Multimedia unit Technicolor, accusing it of pirating CDs by big-name artists, adding yet another battle in its war against online and offline violation of music copyrights.
(Toronto Gobe and Mail) by Michael Geist. Canada's privacy law landscape has been a busy place in recent months. With Canada's Privacy Commissioner George Radwanski issuing new reports and making speeches, and the Ontario government releasing draft privacy legislation, there are some important new lessons on what is "in" and what is "out" in Canadian privacy law
(CNET News.com) Web sites have long planted bits of code called "cookies" on consumers' hard drives to tailor Internet pages for returning visitors and better target ads. Now, enhanced messages that share the look and feel of Web pages are being used to deliver the same bits of code through e-mail, in many cases without regard for safeguards that have been developed to protect consumer privacy on the Web.
(CNET News.com) The file-swapping program and its parent company, Sharman Networks, say file-traders' machines could be used to host and distribute other companies' content. But some Kazaa users are concerned that the added software will violate their privacy.
(CNN) A new study of online privacy policies found that Web sites are collecting less personal information from Internet users, either directly or through third-party cookies.
(RAPID) The European Commission welcomes the adoption by the EU's Council of Telecommunications Ministers of the Regulation to implement the '.eu' Internet top-level domain, allowing European citizens, organisations and businesses to have '.eu' web-site and e-mail addresses. see .eu page.
(Newsbytes) One of the world's oldest and largest computing organizations is calling on the body that manages the Internet's addressing system to scale back its role in creating global Internet policy. In a letter to the leaders of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), members of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) urged the entity - which manages the Domain Name System (DNS) - to narrow its focus. see also ICANN Seeks Suggestions On Restructuring (Newsbytes).
(New Yor Times) In the last six months, creators of pornography sites have adopted hundreds if not thousands of recently expired domain names.
(Guardian) A revolution in leadership is needed if public services are to avoid wasting millions of pounds of public money on internet technology that fails to engage the public, says Better Public Services through e-government , an official report by the National Audit Office into the progress of e-government. see also Academic Article in support of Better Public Services through e-government.
(Europemedia.net) The European Union’s directives on e-commerce and electronic signatures should help legal certainty in e-commerce. But those directives start to show their weaknesses when put into practice, accoring to a report Framework conditions for e-commerce: all in good order? (Deutsche Bank).
(Guardian) Internet bookmakers may be awarded quality guarantee Kitemarks under government proposals to stimulate and liberalise gambling, it was announced .
(Newsbytes) The New Zealand Ministry of Health is taking action against ten local Web sites it says are breaking laws protecting New Zealanders from misleading or fraudulent medical practices. The ministry's Medsafe unit took part in an international sweep of Web sites promoting health products last month, and found a number of local sites are breaking the law.
(UNESCO) Echelon: Legal, Ethical, Political, and Economic Issues of International Surveillance.
(Newsbytes) A federal judge this week ordered the U.S. Justice Department to turn over more information about a controversial FBI e-mail surveillance device known as "Carnivore."
(Newsbytes) Officials at America Online believe the Internet giant's legal victory over a large "spam" distributor lays the groundwork for other Internet providers to more effectively combat unsolicited e-mail on their own networks.
(Guardian) Northern Ireland first minister David Trimble has successfully sued Amazon.co.uk for libel for a second time after a high court judge ruled the retailer published defamatory comments about him on its website.
(FT) Editorial comment. Q: What is the link between David Beckham's pay and a reclusive Bavarian media mogul? A: They are symptoms of a crisis in the worlds of broadcasting and sport that is threatening to ruin football clubs and TV providers alike - and to redraw the map of media ownership in Europe.
(FT) Opta, the Dutch telecommunications regulator, is introducing new rules to force mobile phone operators in the Netherlands to cut call charges from fixed lines to mobile phones. Opta is taking action against KPN Mobile and the Dutch arm of Vodafone, arguing that operators' so-called "termination charges" - the charges mobile phone operators levy for accepting calls from fixed line networks - are too high.see also EU - Commission suspects KPN of abusing its dominant position for the termination of calls on its mobile network
(FT) Mobile phone operators have offered to make call charges easier to understand in an attempt to stave off the threat of regulation by the UK's Competition Commission. In official submissions to the regulator, some operators have proposed that they flag more clearly "call termination rates" - the cost of calls from mobile phones to fixed lines as well as calls between rival operators.
(Heise) Die Länder-Organisation jugendschutz.net hat beim Kampf gegen Pornografie im Internet im vergangenen Jahr bei rund 430 deutschen Anbietern eine Änderung ihrer Internet-Angebote erreicht. Insgesamt wurden etwa 650 deutsche Anbieter aufgefordert, pornografische Inhalte nur noch geschützt zu präsentieren. In 187 Fällen reagierten die Website-Betreiber nicht. Jugendschutz.net informierte daraufhin die jeweils zuständige Staatsanwaltschaft.
(Spiegel) Das hat es in Deutschland noch nicht gegeben: Wegen Jugendgefährdung ließ das brandenburgische Bildungsministerium eine Porno-Seite von ihren Inhalten reinigen. Macht der Betreiber nackt (und ungeschützt) weiter, drohen ihm 500.000 Euro Strafe.
(NetEconomie) Un exploitant de sites web pornographiques a été condamné par la cour d’appel de Paris pour ne pas avoir interdit l’accès aux mineurs à ses services.Un homme âgé de 38 ans, exploitant de sites Internet à caractère pornographique, a été condamné pour ne pas voir mis en place un système efficace de filtrage qui interdise l’accès à ses services aux mineurs
(BBC) A stark warning about the dangers lurking on the web has been issued by UK child abuse experts as police involved in the search for missing teenager Amanda Dowling turn to the family's computer for clues.
(BBCC) Children suffering abuse or other problems will soon be able to chat to a counsellor online as the children's charity NSPCC launches a new website. There4me.com is the first website in the UK to offer one-to-one real-time counselling online.
(MSNBC) A growing number of "preteen model" sites operating in the legal gray area between innocent imagery and child pornography have drawn the attention of the Justice Department and prompted a congressman to declare war on the "reckless endangerment" of children by their parents and Web site operators.
(CoE) The Committee of experts on the criminalisation of acts of a racist or xenophobic nature committed through computer systems (PC-RX) decided to publish a revised version> of this draft First Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist or xenophobic nature committed through computer systems.
(Heise) Das Internet wird immer mehr zum Propagandainstrument für deutsche Rechtsextremisten. Binnen Jahresfrist hat sich die Zahl der rechtsextremistischen Internet-Seiten nach Erkenntnissen des nordrhein-westfälischen Verfassungsschutzes von 800 auf 1.300 erhöht. Gegenüber 1999 habe sie sich sogar fast vervierfacht, teilte das Düsseldorfer Innenministerium mit.
(RAPID) Speaking on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 21 March 2002, Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou said "The European Union bases its very existence on the idea that all men and women are born free and equal and constitute a sole human family". She expressed her concern about the rise in hostility towards migrants and ethnic minorities and called upon the international community and the Member States to step up the fight racism and xenophobia and to implement the commitments made at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban last year.
(Le Monde) Une nouvelle génération de Doomlike prend le risque de faire endosser aux joueurs des uniformes nazis, suscitant émotion et réactions
(Newsbytes) CSIRO, Australia's national scientific research agency, conducted the investigation into Web filtering software at the behest of the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), the country's broadcasting and Internet content regulator. Under Australia's Internet content regulations, ISPs must have filtering software available for their clients and block local Web sites when so directed by the ABA. The study was certainly extensive, testing filtering software against almost 900 Web sites in 28 content categories. Effectiveness of Internet Filtering Software Products (ABA) [Ed: very clearly written with explanations of the technical aspects of filtering which are comprehensible for the non-technical reader. Highly recommended]
(Heise) Kunden der Schweizer Internetprovider IP-Plus/Swisscom und Sunrise erhalten eine Fehlermeldung, wenn sie versuchen, die URL www.butlerweb.com aufzurufen. Grund für die Blockierung des Zugangs für die Kunden der beiden Internetprovider ist die "Aktion Kinder des Holocaust" (AKDH), die vor einem Jahr erreicht hatte, dass mehrere Schweizer Internetprovider wegen der ungeklärten Rechtslage freiwillig mittels IP-Sperrung die Website front14.org unzugänglich machten. Inzwischen ist allerdings www.front14.org offline.
(Reuters) A trial to determine how far the government can go to protect children from pornography ended with judges openly concerned about whether the latest online smut law from Congress infringes on free-speech rights. see American Library Association Complaint and Children's Internet Protection Act [PDF]. see also Judges Blast Library Filtering (Wired), Porn Trial Expert Says Blocking Software Limited (Reuters) and Govt. Witnesses Wrap Up First Week Of Filtering Trial (Newsbytes).
(RAPID) The European Commission has decided to extend the Safer Internet Action Plan for an additional period of two years. The EU has been a forerunner in the fight against illegal and harmful content on the Internet since 1996. The Safer Internet Action Plan is a cornerstone of the EU's action in this field. The Commission now proposes a new phase of the current Action Plan ensuring it to run until the end of 2004.
(Le Monde) Un site pour aider les enfants à surfer en toute sécurité. A l'occasion de la Fête de l'Internet, la Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (CNIL) a rappelé que son rôle n'était pas seulement de sanctionner mais aussi d'éduquer. L'espace junior du site de la CNIL a précisément pour vocation de prodiguer des conseils aux enfants afin de se protéger lorsqu'ils se promènent sur la Toile.
(CNET News.com) Unlike most leading e-commerce sites, eBay does not automatically encrypt much of the data sent between customers' computers and eBay's servers, which means that when customers type their password into eBay's Web site, that information can be viewed by hackers. see also eBay plugs password security hole (MSNBC)
(Newsbytes) Four U.S. government Web sites left the contents of internal databases open to Web surfers, French security experts revealed.
(CNET News.com) A high-security communications network linking government leaders to some of technology's biggest names in the event of a national disaster will be unveiled early next month.
(RAPID) Commission Press Release prior to Council.
(Total Telecom) The European Commission is planning to identify and suggest remedies for areas within the European Union that have been slow to open their markets to competition. The EC is to publish before the end of this month two Recommendations (official guidelines) identifying areas of the EU telecommunications sector where it believes competition is not yet effective, and where new regulatory obligations should be imposed.
(Newsbytes) The Federal Communications Commission will refund approximately $2.8 billion in down payments that mobile carriers paid for the rights to disputed airwave licenses.
(Newsbytes) Verizon Communications and a handful of consumer groups filed suit to overturn a decision by the Federal Communications Commission that would exempt high-speed cable Internet service from telephone-style regulations.
(New York Times) Even against a superior arsenal of technology, there are still plenty of ways for terrorists to avoid detection.
(New York Times) After decades of false starts, interactive television is creeping into millions of American living rooms.
(AP) While online spending for hotels remains small compared to airline tickets, the marketplace is growing fast - annual sales are expected to reach $7.7 billion by 2006, or double the forecast for 2002. Yet many of the nation’s leading hotel chains have little to celebrate because consolidators and Internet travel companies control as much as 95 percent of these sales. Ready to defend themselves and to try to recapture lost revenues, five major hotel firms will begin a joint online-distribution venture in late spring or early summer called the Hotel Distribution Network, or HDS.
(FT) Louise Kehoe examines the rise to prominence of web logs - an anarchic form of online journalism.
(FT) Thomas Middelhoff, chief executive of Bertelsmann, the German media group, has offered between $15m and $20m to take control of Napster, the internet music file-sharing service paralysed by billion-dollar lawsuits and feuding minority investors. see also Shareholder Infighting Stymies Napster Buyout Bid (Newsbytes).
(CNET News.com) IBM will announce new digital rights management (DRM) software that allows companies to protect everything from music files to videos.
(CNET News.com) A flurry of changes in Yahoo's Web-based services has customers spinning in confusion over the status of their accounts and preferences.
(BBC) Websites are using increasingly sophisticated methods to watch what surfers are doing and to make e-commerce pay.
(BBC) Millions of web pages disappear every year, as sites are updated or go out of business. Now there is a project to save a slice of Britain's internet heritage
(AP) A souped-up search engine called Teoma, owned by Ask Jeeves, is taking dead aim at Google, widely regarded as the best way to find anything on the Web.
(BBC) A quiet revolution is taking place on the internet despite the recent demise of several dot.com ventures, according to the online retailing industry in the UK.
(CNN) The number of Americans seeking information from government Web sites increased by 70 percent, rising to 68 million people, within the last two years, accrding to the report The Rise of the E-Citizen: How People Use Government Agencies' Web Sites (Pew Internet & American Life Project) . see also Tourism, Research, Health Issues Drive E-Government Surge (Nwewsbytes).
(NUA) The way people use search engines to navigate the Internet is evolving, but according to a new study by Pennsylvania State Univers, a next-generation box of Web searching tools is needed. In 1997, the most frequently searched topic category was "entertainment or recreation," which accounted for 19.9 percent of the sampled searches. "Sex and pornography" was second at 16.8 percent. Two years later, "sex and pornography" had dropped to fifth place at just 7.5 percent of searches. In 2001, "sex and pornography" was in fifth place with 8.5 percent.
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