(MSNBC) The state of Michigan is demanding that six Web site billing companies stop processing payments from computer users interested in getting child pornography online. Attorney General Jennifer Granholm has issued cease and desist orders to BillCards, CardBilling, Ccbill, LancelotSecurity, iBill and Trust-Bill. Each of the companies were notified that providing access to and collecting proceeds from members on behalf of child pornography Web sites constituted aiding and abetting child porn distribution, which is illegal in Michigan. "These companies are acting as the keepers of the keys to child porn Web sites across the globe," Granholm said. "They're now on notice that if they choose not to take responsibility for their actions, we'll take them to criminal court."
(The Age) A man who ran an international child porn club and had the biggest collection of computer child porn images ever detected in Australia was jailed for four years. The court was told that defendant had 226,500 porn images on his computer. More than 180,000 of those were child abuse material while the remainder was adult pornography.
(BBC) A senior office clerk at the House of Commons has been charged with 10 counts of making indecent images of children, Scotland Yard has confirmed. Police raided the Commons and seized computer equipment as part of an investigation into an internet child pornography ring.
(BBC) Police in Norway have charged more than 150 people in a nationwide crackdown on child pornography.
(New Zealand News) Ecpat, a group fighting child pornography, is stunned that a man convicted of 30 child pornography-related charges escaped jail when he was sentenced in Palmerston North District Court to 240 hours of community work, fined $1300, and ordered to undergo nine months of supervision including counselling.
(NMA To Go) The Internet industry has rounded on the UK's national news media, accusing them of 'over-hyping' and 'dangerously misleading' the general public about paedophile activity on the Web. The Government will fast-track several measures that are designed to make the Web safer for children to use. It will introduce not only the heavily publicised anti-grooming legislation, but is also considering forcing ISPs and other chat room providers to make more effort to highlight the dangers of chat rooms. see also UK - The chatroom dilemma (Guardian) and Fears for children's internet safety (BBC). The examination by police of computers used by missing 10-year-olds Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells follows years of mounting concern about the dangers the web poses for children.
(Guardian) The Sentencing Advisory Panel has published a new "league table" of five classes of child porn offences, to help judges give appropriate sentences to paedophiles. The panel rejected significant toughening of punishments for child porn perverts, and said the 10-year maximum jail term should be reserved for "very serious examples". It also rejected the view - expressed by some who responded to a consultation exercise earlier this year - that offenders who view or collect child porn should always go to jail. The new sentencing system features a five-point sliding scale ranging from "nude or erotic posing" in level one to images of sadism or bestiality in level five. see UK - Offences Involving Child Pornography (Sentencing Advisory Panel) Advice to Court of Appeal. see also Child porn sentencing guide provokes concern (Guardian) and The Children's Charities' Coalition for Internet Safety (CHIS) Open letter to the Lord Chief Justice of England about sentencing in child pornography cases.
(New York Post) A law professor at New York Law school has been accused of keeping a a stash of kiddie porn. Professor Edward Samuels - one of the most popular and technically savvy professors on New York Law's campus and a nationally known expert on copyright law - surrendered after school technicians stumbled onto the pictures while fixing his office computer. see also Net copyright: limiting liability of online service providers and The Illustrated Story of Copyright by Edward Samuels.
(South China Morning Post) China is deploying an Internet monitoring and censorship system that will shift the focus of the Great Firewall from the nation's virtual border to personal computers and Internet cafes. The plan, said to be part of the much larger Golden Shield initiative, has alarmed organisations such as the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development. The change was a reaction to the inability of security forces to effectively filter content coming into China through the country's five Internet gateways - the system known derisively as the Great Firewall.
(AP) Chinese dissidents are doing their best to use the Internet to bring democratic change to their society, but government crackdowns and the nation’s rural demographics mean that more freedoms are unlikely to come soon, says a new RAND report You’ve Got Dissent Chinese Dissident Use of the Internet and Beijing's Counter-Strategies, produced by the International Security and Defense Policy Center and the Center for Asia Pacific Policy.
(vnunet.com) Vietnamese internet cafe owners who allow their customers to visit anti-government or pornographic websites could face stiff penalties.
(O'Reilly Network) In his address before a packed house at the Open Source Convention, Lawrence Lessig challenges the audience to get more involved in the political process. Lawrence, a tireless advocate for open source, is a professor of law at Stanford Law School and the founder of the school's Center for Internet and Society. He is also the author of the best-selling book Code, and Other Laws of Cyberspace. [Ed: 3 Web pages of vintage Lessig, including an acerbic analysis of Mickey Mouse's influence on copyright law and the duration of copyright protection, and criticism of the use of technical devices to prevent copying and use of the law in this context].
(CNET News.com) BT has lost its controversial bid to sue Prodigy Communications over a patent that it claimed covered the use of hyperlinks. The judge awarded Prodigy its motion for summary judgment to have the case dismissed, saying that no jury could find that Prodigy infringes BT's patent.
(CNET News.com) The copyright wars on Capitol Hill have begun to drift into the political equivalent of trench warfare, with Hollywood and the music industry pitted against hardware makers, electronics manufacturers, and ragtag activists at nonprofit groups. Now consumers have a powerful new ally. Verizon and other telecommunications giants have ordered their phalanx of lobbyists to oppose the entertainment industry's demands for new copyright laws. The company is also fighting the Recording Industry Association of America's request for information about a subscriber. The Dark Side of Hacking Bill (Wired).
(Heise) Seit dreizehn Monaten betreiben das Unabhängige Landeszentrum für Datenschutz Schleswig-Holstein ( ULDZ) und die Technische Universität Dresden im Rahmen eines vom Bundeswirtschaftsminister geförderten Modellprojekts den Anonymisierungsdienst AN.ON. Für diesen Dienst wurde das Programm JAP entwickelt, das Internetnutzern anonymes Surfen im WWW ermöglicht. Jetzt wurde eine erste Bilanz gezogen. Besonderen Wert legen die Datenschützer auf die Feststellung, dass "die Kriminalität im Internet offenbar weit geringer ist als bisher angenommen". Dies hätte die Analyse des AN.ON-Projekts ebenfalls gezeigt.
(Washington Post) A leading online advertising company agreed to pay $450,000 and limit its use of personal information to bring an end to an investigation by 10 states into claims the firm inappropriately profiled computer users. The settlement follows a 30-month probe of DoubleClick's use of millions of "cookies" to track, on behalf of clients, what Web sites individual computer users visited and whether they clicked on online banner ads. Under the agreement, DoubleClick still will be able to track consumers online. But it will have to better disclose how it does so and give individuals access to the profiles created about them. The company also agreed to allow an outside company to audit its privacy promises for several years.
(CNET News.com) Ziff Davis Media will pay $125,000 to end a multistate investigation into a security breach on its computer system that exposed some 12,000 subscription orders last year. As part of its settlement agreement with the attorneys general of Vermont, New York and California, Ziff Davis also agreed to implement security measures to safeguard data on its systems. Ziff Davis did not admit to any wrongdoing in the matter. Ziff Davis will pay $500 to each of the approximately 50 customers whose credit card information it exposed in the breach. The company will also pay the three states $100,000 total to cover their investigative costs.
(CDT) The openness of judicial proceedings has always been a fundamental principle of the state court system in the United States. However, the courts are finding themselves faced with some unexpected consequences of such an open access system as they become increasingly reliant upon the Internet.
(Washington Post) Tech-savvy middle and high school students say they are increasingly frustrated with the way the Internet is - or, more aptly, isn't - being used in their education. A study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that students are independently using the Internet for a variety of educational activities but do not think their schools take full advantage of the Web as a teaching tool. The Digital Disconnect (Pew Internet & American Life Project) The widening gap between Internet-savvy students and their schools. see also Ghosts of Classrooms Past: A Web Teaching Tool Languishes (New York Times).
(Fox Williams) The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002, which implement the E-commerce Directive, came into force on 21 August 2002. Accordingly, businesses providing services over the Internet now need to ensure that they comply with the requirements of the new Regulations. Generally, the Regulations closely follow the Directive, although some changes have been made following consultation.
(Heise) Der Bundesverband Deutscher Apotheker (BVDA) hat Strafanzeige gegen die Internet-Apotheke DocMorris und zwei mit ihr abrechnenden gesetzlichen Krankenkassen gestellt. Der Apothekerverband wirft der Internet-Apotheke mit Sitz in den Niederlanden vor, gefährliche Arzneimittel zu vertreiben und dabei nicht ausreichend auf Nebenwirkungen hinzuweisen. Darüber hinaus verstoße sie gegen das in Deutschland geltende Versandhandelsverbot mit Medikamenten.
(CNET.com) PayPal will no longer allow residents of New York State to use its online payment service for gambling, under an agreement the company reached with the state attorney general's office. PayPal will stop processing payments from New York customers to Internet casino Web sites as of Sept. 1. PayPal will also pay $200,000 in disgorged profits, costs of investigation and penalties, the attorney general's office said. New Yorkers make up about 1.1 million of PayPal's 17.8 million member accounts, according to the agreement.
(BBC) An international ring of paedophiles has been uncovered in which parents allegedly abused their own children and then posted the images on the internet, the United States Customs Service says. Operation Hamlet was launched after Danish police were given information by the Save the Children charity about photographs of a man molesting a nine-year-old girl. Ten people have been arrested in the US and 10 in Europe, including in England. The head of the US Customs Service, Robert Bonner, described it as the most despicable crime he had ever encountered. He said at least 45 children between the ages of two and 14 had been abused, most of them by their own parents. Mr Bonner said the children had been forced to commit sex acts. See also More Police Arrested In Internet Child Porn Investigation (Guardian).
(ZDNet Australia) Pundits from across the IT industry in Australia have defended the more legitimate uses of broadband in the wake of comments made by the Federal Minister for Communications Information Technology and the Arts Senator Richard Alston on the ABC's Inside Business program. When asked about his scepticism with regards to broadband, the minister attributed the high take-up of broadband in South Korea to pornography.
(CNET News.com) The president of media giant News Corp. warns that the Internet has become a "moral-free zone," with the medium's future threatened by pornography, spam and rampant piracy. Speaking at an annual conference organized by the Progress & Freedom Foundation, Peter Chernin decried the "enormous amount" of worthless content online. He also predicted that without new laws to stave off illicit copying, News Corp.'s vast library of movies may never be made available in digital form.
(CNET News.com) The Canadian government is considering a proposal that would force Internet providers to rewire their networks for easy surveillance by police and spy agencies. see Lawful Access - Consultation Document (Department of Justice, Canada)
(Guardian) Records of personal communications, including all emails and telephone calls, will be stored for at least a year under a proposal to be decided by EU governments. Under the plan, all telecommunications firms, including mobile phone operators and internet service providers, will have to keep the numbers and addresses of calls and emails sent and received by EU citizens. The information, known as traffic data, would be held in central computer systems and made available to all EU governments. see leaked documents EU: data retention to be "compulsory" for 12-24 months (Statewatch) .
(Fox Williams) A law which puts new obligations on ISPs and telcos regarding the interception of communications, came into force on 1 August under the auspices of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act of 2000. Interception is permitted under the RIP Act by certain public authorities who obtain an interception warrant.
(SSRN) The Big Brother That Isn't, by Orin S. Kerr, George Washington University - Law School. This article argues that the common wisdom on the USA Patriot Act is wrong. Far from being a significant expansion of law enforcement powers online, the Patriot Act actually changed Internet surveillance law in only minor ways and added several key privacy protections. The author shows how the Internet surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act updated the law in ways that both law enforcement and civil libertarians should appreciate.
(Guardian) Labour MP Derek Wyatt, chairman of the parliamentary internet committee, has called on the government to bring internet service providers under stricter control in an effort to stem the flow of unsolicited pornographic emails. He said ISPs should be made responsible for any unsolicited emails received by their subscribers from pornography sites.
(AP) The U.S. recording industry has dropped efforts to compel four Internet service providers to block a Chinese Web site accused of distributing pirated music. Thirteen record companies had filed a lawsuit after failing to persuade the site, Listen4ever.com, to shut down on its own. But in a surprise move, the companies dropped the lawsuit, saying the site is now offline. see also Record labels sue Web heavyweights (Reuters) , EFF Media Advisory: Recording Industry Withdraws Internet Attack, RIAA v. Backbone Providers Dismissal, US - Music body presses anti-piracy case (CNET News.com) and RIAA court filings against Internet backbone ISPs (EFF) . The suit was based on Section 512(j)(1)(B)(ii) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. "If the service provider qualifies for the limitation on remedies described in subsection (a) [Ed: mere conduit], the court may only grant injunctive relief in one or both of the following forms: ... (ii) An order restraining the service provider from providing access, by taking reasonable steps specified in the order to block access, to a specific, identified, online location outside the United States".
(Heise) Der Verband der deutschen Internetwirtschaft (eco-Forum) empfiehlt Providern in Nordrhein-Westfalen, gegen die Sperrungsverfügung der Bezirksregierung Düsselsdorf zu klagen. Der Verband hat dafür ein 80-seitiges Gutachten erstellt, das die "Rechtswidrigkeit" der Sperrungsverfügungen begründen soll. Es wird allen betroffenen eco-Mitgliedern kostenlos zu Verfügung gestellt. Außerdem hat eco eine Kanzlei unter Vertrag genommen, um eine Vertretung vor Gericht zu einheitlichen Konditionen zu ermöglichen
(Delitos informaticos) Tras la orden del juez Garzón donde decretaba la suspensión de actividades y el cierre de la página web de Batasuna (batasuna.org), ésta continúa actualizando sus contenidos, a pesar de haber transcurridos 48 horas del auto.
(New York Times) The agreement between AOL Time Warner and Comcast for AT&T Comcast cable television to distribute the America Online Internet service could now create the same kind of era-defining shift in cable television that satellites did. And for the media industry, the big question is which sorts of companies can benefit most from this transition - the companies that operate the cable systems, or the ones that provide the "content."
(Yahoo UK) A company that sent large numbers of unsolicited text messages to mobile phone users telling them they had won a mystery prize worth £500 has been fined £50,000 by the premium rate services regulator. ICSTIS, the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services, is fining Moby Monkey, and barring it from continuing the promotion.
(CNET News.com) The commercial practices of search engines are once again in the spotlight after a recent warning shot from federal regulators over inadequate disclosure of paid links. The Federal Trade Commission sent a letter urging several Web sites to provide conspicuous labels for commercial search listings or face possible action, and minor changes are already rippling through search destinations, including Terra Lycos, Ask Jeeves, LookSmart, America Online and Microsoft's MSN.
(Heise) Das Amtsgericht Neuss hat den ehemaligen Geschäftsführer der Düsseldorfer Firma Telecall wegen Verbreitung pornographischer Schriften zu 50 Tagessätzen à 70 Euro verurteilt. Die Firma hatte auf einer Webseite pornographisches Material angeboten und als Altersverifizierung die Personalausweisnummer seiner Kunden abgefragt. Dies war nach Ansicht des Gerichts unzureichend, da sich Jugendliche einfach fremde Personalausweisnummern besorgen können -- sei es aus dem Internet oder aus der Brieftasche der Eltern. Zur Beweisführung wurde im Gerichtssaal eine Erotik-Webseite abgerufen.
(Heise) Nun stimmt auch der Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland (VUD) in den Chor der Kritiker des geplanten verschäften Jugendschutzrechtes ein.
(Heise) Mit empfindlichen Geld- und in gravierenden Fällen auch mit Gefängnisstrafen sollen Verstöße gegen den geplanten Jugendmedienschutzstaatsvertrag geahndet werden. Der Staatsvertrag verpflichtet Anbieter von "Telemedien", Jugendschutzbeauftragte zu bestellen oder sich an eine Einrichtung der Freiwilligen Selbstkontrolle anzuschließen und lizenzierte Filterprogramme einzusetzen, um Kindern und Jugendlichen den Zugang zu pornographischen, aber auch allgemein "entwicklungsbeeinträchtigenden" Inhalten zu verwehren. Einer endgültigen Verabschiedung durch die Ministerpräsidenten Ende September steht nun nach Ansicht der Staatskanzleichefs jedoch nichts mehr im Weg. Umstritten war bis zuletzt das Verhältnis von Medienaufsicht und Freiwilliger Selbstkontrolle.
(Nouvel Observateur) Faut-il censurer le porno? Le CSA vient de recommander l’interdiction totale des films X à la télévision. La diffusion de films pornos, dit-il, même cryptée, même tardive, expose les mineurs à ces productions, ce qui est interdit par la loi. Les chaînes renvoient la responsabilité sur les parents. Mais quelle est la véritable influence des images pornographiques sur les ados et les enfants?L’enquête menée par Sophie des Déserts est éloquente. Contrairement à ce que l’on croit souvent, l’expo-sition des mineurs aux films X a des conséquences néfastes. Alors faut-il limiter les débordements du sexe marchand ou bien préserver en toute circonstance la liberté d’expression?
(Recorder) The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ordered a Web site that equates gays with pedophiles, bestiality and sexual predation shut down, saying it violates federal hate laws. see Schnell v. Machiavelli and Associates Emprize Inc. and J. Micka (Canadian Human Rights Tribunal).
(Sydney Morning Herald) When New South Wales' students and teachers log on to their new "e-learning accounts" they will find every keyboard stroke monitored to ban bad language. A range of filters to block sexually explicit and offensive material is being developed by the NSW Department of Education and Training and Unisys, the prime contractor of the $33 million roll-out of new email accounts, Internet access, chat rooms, Web sites and bulletin boards.
(Zavatar.de) Mit der Integration der USK-Prüfdatenbank bieten wir Ihnen die offiziellen Prüfergebnisse der Unterhaltungssoftware SelbstKontrolle - aktuell und zuverlässig. Sie können in dieser Datenbank die USK-Einstufungen zu über 7.300 Produktionen der letzten acht Jahre recherchieren.
(Reuters) The Board of Film Classification has changed the way it rates some films, meaning children of any age can see the violent hit "Spider-Man" and hundreds of other previously off-limit titles. The Board said its new "12A" certificate was created after a majority of parents said they wanted the power to decide themselves whether their children see films rated for 12-year-old viewers or older. The new category will require children under 12 to be accompanied by an adult, while children over 12 will be able to see the film unaccompanied, as before.
(Reuters) These days the concern is Internet safety and security, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is turning to a new messenger - a savvy little turtle named "Dewie" with a hardened shell that won't get crushed on the Internet.
(CNET News.com) In time for the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has issued new guidelines for securing information systems and networks in anticipation of cyberterrorist attacks or intrusions. Towards A Culture Of Security OECD Guidelines for the Security of Information Systems and Networks.
(BBC) Ministers are giving self-regulation a last chance to stop the media making payments for stories to witnesses in court cases. Earlier this year, the government proposed rendering it a crime to make or receive such payments, after a number of high-profile trials. But the plans were criticised by the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and newspaper editors as ill thought-out, unworkable and ineffective.
(Washington Post) The judge presiding over the case of alleged Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui ordered the FBI yesterday to explain why there are no records of Moussaoui's Internet activities before his arrest, expressing near disbelief that investigators have not recovered Moussaoui's e-mail trail
(Droit et Nouvelles Technologies) par Etienne Wery. La France est depuis longtemps à la pointe pour ce qui concerne la diffusion du droit sur l'internet, et la situation va encore s'améliorer avec le nouveau décret 2002-1064 du 7 août 2002, publié au Journal Officiel de ce 9 août.
(Reuters) Microsoft and Sony announced fresh price cuts for their video games consoles in Europe, adding fuel to an already contentious battle for market share.
(Guardian) Having shelled out billions of pounds for their 3G licences, the mobile telephone operators have been desperately casting around for ways to recoup their investment. Now it appears that pornography could be their saviour.
(Economist) Telecoms groups have spent billions on so-called "3G" licences and equipment in Europe, but so far the service is only available on the Isle of Man. Now banks are refusing to finance further investment amid signs that customers are unwilling to pay for the new services. This is forcing some firms to write off their investments and even abandon their licences
(CNET News.com) For the second time in a month, the Recording Industry Association of America's Web site has been attacked, apparently by opponents of the industry group's efforts to shut down online music trading. see also RIAA Web site disabled by attack.
(Guardian) It's anarchy in the world of instant messaging.
(ZDNet) Compact disc shipments fell 7 percent in the first six months of this year versus last year as growing use of Internet downloading services undermined sales, the record industry said.
(CNET News.com) Digital distribution of music through file-sharing services such as Morpheus and Kazaa will continue to thrive, with use peaking in 2005. The Yankee Group predicts 7.44 billion unlicensed audio files will be swapped in 2005 among consumers aged 14 and older, up from 5.16 billion in 2001. After 2005, however, Yankee predicts free music swapping will begin to decline.
(AFP) La commission européenne, dans le cadre de son programme eContent, vient d'approuver le projet EDRA destiné à créer une agence européenne d'enregistrement des DOI (Digital Object Identifier), a annoncé à Paris un des associés du projet, le Syndicat national français de l'édition (SNE).
(Economist) It is easier than ever for individuals to track their possessions, pets and loved ones. In fact, the new generation of tracking devices combines two existing technologies. One is a global-positioning-system (GPS) chip, which uses radio signals from a network of satellites to work out where it is on the earth's surface to within a few metres. The other is a mobile-telephone chip, which broadcasts that location to whoever needs to know it. The result is a pocket-sized, or even wrist-sized, personal locator.
() New web site of Internet Rights Observatory set up by the Royal Decree of November 26, 2001. Navigation in Dutch, French, English, German. Documents in French and Dutch.
(bridges.org) The Free IT Guide, an online guide that tells people where to find information about free computers, software and e-mail accounts, has been created by bridges.org, the South African-based NGO that helps communities in developing countries to span the digital divide.
(LE_GOUEFF@vocats.com) A free electronic newsletter addressing issues relating to the Information Society.
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