(FT) France's "cultural exception" has come under attack from the European Commission, which has taken action against a French law banning retail groups from television advertising. The Brussels authorities are concerned that the law, which is aimed at protecting the press and small businesses, imposes illegal restrictions on the activities of foreign advertising agencies
(RAPID) The European Commission has sent Deutsche Telekom AG (DT) a statement of objections setting out the preliminary conclusion that the German incumbent telecommunications operator has abused its dominant position through unfair pricing regarding the provision of local access to its fixed telecommunications network (local loop). The Commission is concerned about DT's practice of charging new entrants higher fees for wholesale access to the local loop than what DT's subscribers pay for retail access.
(AP) Die Polizei ist mit einer bundesweiten Durchsuchungsaktion gegen einen Kinderpornoring vorgegangen.
(Delitosinformáticos) La Guardia Civil ha conseguido localizar y clausurar dos páginas 'webs' españolas, que contenían pornografía infantil.
(Edinburgh Evening News) An internet paedophile has been fined £3000 for downloading hundreds of sick pictures of young children. The forensic computer unit who found 460 sexually explicit images of children. Linlithgow Sheriff Court heard a social work report assessing him as being at high-risk of doing it again.
(Washtech) A House subcommittee approved legislation that would criminalize the distribution of images that have been digitally "morphed" to look like child pornography. By voice vote, the Judiciary Committee's Crime Subcommittee passed the "Child Obscenity and Pornography Prevention Act of 2002." see also Justice Department Defends Morphed Child Porn Measure (Washtech).
(Newsbytes) A Georgia man who photographed his sexual molestation of young boys and then distributed the images on the Internet has been sentenced by a federal court to more than 12 years in prison.
(Newsbytes) Operation Web Sweep, a fake child-pornography Web site operated by law enforcement authorities in New Jersey has helped identify as many as 200 traders of illegal images in 16 countries, including the U.S. see also Feds crack international paedophile ring (vnunet).
(Newsbytes) In an action aimed at sending a message to Internet service providers across the country, New York's attorney general announced a settlement with Juno Online Services over "disturbing" changes to the ISP's service agreement with customers.
(BBC) Nearly 200 internet cafes have been closed down by the authorities in China's second largest city, Shanghai. The latest clampdown targeted unlicensed cafes in the suburbs, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.
(Newsday.com) An online cartoon simulation called "Kaboom," in which the protagonist is a suicide bomber who blows up men, women and children as well as himself, has prompted a U.S. congresswoman to protest.
(Reuters) A California congressman wants to make it a federal crime to rent or sell video games showing violence, prostitution and drug use to anyone under the age of 17 without parental consent.
(FT) Sweeping changes to UK media ownership rules are planned by the government, setting up one of the world's most liberal broadcasting regimes. The proposals would lift barriers to US or other non-European companies taking over television networks. They also open the way for large newspaper groups such as News Corporation to take control of free-to-air television and radio channels. Draft Bill, Policy Narrative and Supporting Documentation (DCMS). see also Special report - Communications white paper (Guardian), U.K. government publishes draft Communications Bill (Total Telecom), Overseas groups free to buy UK broadcasters, Dismay as BBC escapes full reach of Ofcom, Ofcom to seek middle way despite strong powers, Number 10 presents united front on media bill and Waiting for Murdoch (all FT).
(Heise) Das Bundesjustizministerium drängt die Verwertungsgesellschaften und den IT-Branchenverband Bitkom zur Wiederaufnahme der Anfang März gescheiterten Verhandlungen über pauschale Urheberabgaben für PCs und andere digitale Geräte.
(NewsForge) The Commercial Court of Nanterre fined Microsoft 3 million francs last year because it illegally included another company's proprietary source code in SoftImage 3D, a top-of-the-line animation package. see Microsoft condamné pour contrefaçon (Distributique) and an English version (PC World Malta).
(EFF) As Hollywood's Broadcast Protection Discussion Group (BPDG) rushes to establish a list of mandatory and forbidden "features" for digital television devices - including PCs, Philips North America broke ranks, saying the process was "not in the interest of sound public policy, not in the interest of the affected industries and certainly not in the interest of the consumer." see also EFF Weblog covering the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group.
(Newsbytes) A federal judge has ruled that Russian software firm Elcomsoft will face charges that it violated U.S. copyright laws by selling computer software that is capable of bypassing the security in Adobe's eBooks. The judge rejected claims by Elcomsoft attorneys that the controversial copyright law used against the Russian software vendor is unconstitutional.
(Le Monde) Grâce à des logiciels espions, des sociétés spécialisées recueillent, stockent et commercialisent des données personnelles sur les utilisateurs du Réseau. Les associations de défense de la vie privée protestent. Jusqu'ici en vain. voir aussi France - les garde-fous juridiques à l'épreuve du marché.
(EurLex) Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 April 2002 on the implementation of the .eu Top Level Domain, Official Journal L 113 30 April 2002 p1.
(Washtech) In the publication of a working paper outlining proposed reforms, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) appears to be backing away - for now at least - from a proposal that would give world governments greater direct control over the global Domain Name System (DNS).
(Washtech) Legislation that would criminalize the submission of false information when registering Web addresses is designed to target online criminals, not ordinary Internet users who make mistakes on their registration forms, supporters of the bill said.
(New York Times) Louisiana law school is suing one of its students for using the lsulaw.com domain names for his Web site.
(CNET News.com) The U.S. government is developing a Web portal that would give citizens one access point to read up on and comment on federal rules and regulations from multiple agencies.
(Bertelsmann Foundation) Workshop in cooperation with the INHOPE Association. London, February 3, 2000. Objectives: Develop reliable mechanisms for international cooperation; Develop assessment criteria/ procedures for hotlines: Establishing hotlines as institutions that evaluate Internet content ; Clarify relation to law enforcement.
(FindLaw) by Anita Ramasastry. Is There A First Amendment Right To Send Unsolicited Faxes And Email? Since 1991, a federal law, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), has prohibited unsolicited ("junk") fax advertisements in all fifty states, and allowed recipients to sue the businesses that send them. But in March, in State of Missouri v. American Blast Fax, Inc., a federal court in Missouri ruled that the TCPA violates the First Amendment.
(Heise) Auf Medien- und Persönlichkeitsrecht spezialisierte Juristen haben jetzt das Internet als Betätigungsfeld entdeckt. Grund für ihr Einschreiten: Zahlreiche Zeitungen oder Newsticker lagern in ihren offen zugänglichen Online-Archiven Texte, gegen die sich Prominente oder Unternehmen im Printbereich erfolgreich mit Hilfe ihrer Rechtserstreiter gewehrt haben.
(Delitosinformáticos) La LSSI ha sido aprobada por el Congreso, siguiente paso el Senado. La Asociación de Usuarios de Internet (AUI) manifestó que las modificaciones aprobadas por el Congreso al Proyecto de Ley de Servicios de la Sociedad de la Información y de Comercio Electrónico son "interesantes" y "positivas". La modificación que se realizado para que un portal o prestador de servicios de intermediación no sea responsabilizado por colgar una determinada información ajena a la empresa es positivo, además de que se haya aclarado que un prestador de servicios tiene "conocimiento efectivo" de que la actividad o información que almacena es ilícita cuando "un órgano competente haya declarado la ilicitud" de estos datos, ordenado su retirada o que se imposibilite el acceso a los mismos, y el prestador conociera la correspondiente resolución.
(Wired) A federal court judge is sending shockwaves through the cyberporn industry by suggesting the companies that limit access to dirty pictures on the Internet could be held liable for illegal content on the websites they protect. Adult Check, which bills itself as the world's largest "adult verification system," (AVS) followed an order and dropped support for thousands of nude celebrity websites.
(Heise) Als Konsequenz aus dem Amoklauf in Erfurt hat das Bundeskabinett heute eine Novellierung des Jugendschutzgesetzes beschlossen. Demnach sind vor allem schärfere Bestimmungen für gewaltverherrlichende Videofilme und Computerspiele geplant. siehe Pressemitteilung, Stoiber fordert generelle Reglementierung des Internet, Selbstkontrolle reicht gegen Gewalt nicht aus
Deutschland - Vivendi-Chef: Computerspielefans sind keine potenziellen Mörder (Heise), Deutschland - Ist die deutsche Indizierungspraxis von Computerspielen rechtswidrig? und Deutschland - Computerspiele, die auf Gewalt basieren, fördern Aggression stärker als entsprechende Filme (Telepolis).
(Observer) Something is rotten in the state of Belgium. Six years after the arrest of Marc Dutroux, the country's notorious paedophile, no date has been set for his trial and the case remains painfully unresolved.
(FT) The governent is asking providers of video on demand (VOD) to offer child protection controls or they will include them in areas covered by the communications bill.
(Wired) A new bill in Congress designed to outlaw child-sex websites would instead ban nearly all commercial photography of minors. Rep. Mark Foley (R-Florida) announced the proposal would ban websites featuring controversial images of nude preteen children. "These websites are nothing more than a fix for pedophiles," Foley said. see Rep. Foley's press release.
(CDT) CDT, the American Civil Liberties Union, and a broad coalition of other public interest groups have filed a friend-of-the-court brief before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Yahoo v LICRA. Last year, a French court ordered U.S. publisher Yahoo! to limit the display of Nazi memorabilia and other artifacts on web sites hosted by yahoo.com. In November, a U.S. court rejected the French order. The U.S. court's ruling has now been appealed.
(Australian IT) Internet service providers must now provide subscribers with filtering software at cost, the Australian Broadcasting Authority said. for access to content hosted outside Australia. The ABA has registered replacement codes of practice for the internet industry, setting out the responsibilities of ISPs and internet content hosts in relation to offensive and illegal internet content.
(vnunet) The BBC has launched a new 'family friendly' internet search engine which it claims can filter out porn and will be slanted to UK sites.
(CoE) General report of the hearing on 25 March 2002 by the Group of Specialists on On-Line Services and Democracy (MM-S-OD) prepared by Ms Janice RICHARDSON .
(Bertelsmann Foundation) Workshop October, 23rd/24th 2000, Gütersloh. What methods are to be applied to ensure the responsible use of the Internet at school? The goal of this project was to identify best-practice models in German, British, Norwegian and American schools and to develop a manual on the responsible use of the Internet at German schools.
(Free Expression Policy Project) A 56-page report which surveys the history and current state of media literacy education and illustrates why it is far preferable to TV ratings, Internet filters, "indecency" laws, and other efforts to censor the ideas and information available to the young. Includes five recommendations for public policies to advance media literacy. Excerpts and full report.
(Heise) Die OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) will eine groß angelegte Kampagne für mehr IT-Sicherheit starten. In einem Richtlinienpapier hat die "Arbeitsgruppe zu Informationssicherheit und Datenschutz" neun Prinzipien zur Begründung einer "Kultur der Sicherheit" im Netzwerkbereich erstellt.
(MSNBC) Americans have never had to 'show papers' to move around. Now they must choose between privacy and security.
(Lex Fori) Study for Health & Consumer Protection DG to identify best practice in the use of soft law and to analyse how this best practice can be made to work for consumers in the European Union. Download the entire study in PDF format.
(GBDe) Global Business Dialogue on electronic commerce - Cyber Ethics Task Force. September 14, 2001.
(Bertelsmann Foundation) Workshop on Internet Industry's Voluntary Self-Regulation: Codes of Conduct. June, 30th 2000, Hannover. Study of the University of Oxford, Executive Summary, Model Code and comments, Evaluative Framework for drafting a Code of Conduct, Overview of existing Codes of Conduct.
(RAPID) The European Commission has welcomed the Council's adoption of a Directive and a Regulation to modify the rules for applying value added tax (VAT) to certain services supplied by electronic means as well as subscription-based and pay-per-view radio and television broadcasting. The changes will require suppliers of digital products from outside the EU for the first time to charge VAT on sales to private consumers (so-called B2C), just like EU suppliers.
(DigiTV.de) Die KirchPayTV hat beim Amtsgericht München Antrag auf Eröffnung eines Insolvenzverfahrens gestellt. Der Pay-TV-Anbieter Premiere sendet ohne Einschränkungen weiter.
(Newsbytes) The industry group representing the five major music labels this week blasted a Jupiter Media Metrix report on peer-to-peer file sharing, issuing its own data to "refute" Jupiter's conclusion that Internet song-swapping, on balance, is good for the music industry.
(Nua) Around 39 percent of Estonians are now online, according to a new study released by EMOR.
(RAPID) The European Commission and Eurostat wanted a snapshot of the diversity of the cultural habits of Europeans. The poll covering reading, music, television, Internet use or artistic activities confirms the mass phenomena common to all Europeans (importance of television and cinema), but also reveals major differences in cultural habits (reading of newspapers, use of the new information and communication technologies).
(Reuters) Asian Internet users flocked to pornographic Web sites in March, with Singaporean executives and South Korean students topping the list, a four-country report by NetValue shows.
(Newsbytes) U.S. Internet traffic grew at an annualized rate of 100 percent last year, but a new report says the nation's telecommunications carriers continued to make less money for each megabyte of data they shuttle
(MSNBC) Researchers in Scotland are developing a new kind of Web monitoring software that they claim can collect enormous amounts of data on Web surfers while remaining nearly undetectable.
(vnunet) Software pirates are borrowing techniques and tools from hackers in a bid to take over high bandwidth servers, such as those at universities and web hosts, to help develop large underground file sharing networks.
(Internetnews) IBM and Butterfly.net are aiming to revolutionize online video gaming by moving it to a grid, which can support any connected device, from PCs and handhelds to dedicated video game consoles.
(JILT) Issue 2002 (1) This latest offering has something for legal practitioners and academics alike. Topics include: the use of IT by law firms; the use of computers in the police and the courts; e-commerce; digital signatures; privacy; intellectual property; databases, UCITA and legal IT software. This issue includes six refereed articles, five commentaries, a work in progress piece, and two book reviews. We welcome authors from Australia, Austria, Hong Kong, Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, Spain and the UK and US.
(LSE) SmartID is a discussion group set up by a team at the Computer Security Research Centre at the London School of Economics for the exchange of news and discussion about the social and organisational issues of the large-scale deployment of smart-card systems.
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QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham email@example.com - Main Sources and Contributors: Michael Geist BNA - ILN, cybertelecom.org, jugendschutz.net, David Goldstein, Gerhard Heine