(RAPID) Television broadcasters are devoting an average of 62% of their transmission time to European works, and steadily improving the "quotas" provided for in the "television without frontiers" Directive. The European Commission adopted a Communication on the implementation in 1999 and 2000 of Articles 4 and 5 of the "television without frontiers" Directive to promote the broadcasting of European works, including those of independent producers. The average broadcasting time for European works was 60.7% in 1999 and 62.2% in 2000 for the fifteen Member States. The average broadcasting time for independent producers' works, especially recent ones, was 37.5% in 1999 and 40.5% in 2000, i.e. well above the threshold of 10% laid down by the Directive. COM (2002) 612.
(Guardian) Rupert Murdoch has launched a scathing attack on the government, accusing it of being too cosy with the BBC and of fostering anti-competitive behaviour on the part of the corporation. The BSkyB chairman has long objected to the BBC's expansion into multichannel TV but was clearly enraged what he saw as the corporation's recent empire building, which included the launch of two children's TV stations, BBC3 and BBC4 plus a history channel in a joint venture with a cable company.
(ZDNet News) U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly approved with few changes a November 2001 settlement between Microsoft, the Justice Department and nine states and then she issued the revised settlement as her remedy in continued litigation brought by nine other states and the District of Columbia. In the 344-page memorandum supporting her decision, Kollar-Kotelly potentially set limits on the use of U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's "findings of fact" in other cases. see State of New York, et al v. Microsoft (FindLaw) and Executive Summary see also Special Coverage: Microsoft (FindLaw). Microsoft Coverage Around the Web (LawMeme).
(ABC) Terra España ha decidido eliminar el servicio de páginas personales anónimas con la finalidad de luchar contra la pornografía infantil que se aloja en la Red, tras producirse un espectacular aumento de contenidos pederastas en los últimos meses. Los usuarios de las 300.000 web ya alojadas tendrán que facilitar a la empresa su identidad y datos bancarios si quieren continuar utilizando el servicio.
(Sydney Morning Herald) A new offence is proposed to be added to the Queensland Criminal Code making it illegal to use the Internet to either chase a child for sex or send pornography to somebody under 16. The laws would allow police to pose as a child on-line to track down paedophiles in Internet chat rooms. Queensland police should put strict Internet monitoring measures in place to prevent possible abuses of power in catching paedophiles, a civil liberties group said. Queensland Council for Civil Liberties (QCCL) said proposed new powers for police were an Australian first and may lead to the entrapment of innocent people.
(Reuters) Italian finance police and a technology watchdog group have broken up an online piracy ring that allegedly traded millions of euros worth of bootlegged software, music and films. Guardia di Finanza and the Business Software Alliance (BSA) have teamed up on a year-long investigation, resulting in the arrest of one group member and the seizure of more than 100,000 counterfeited software and entertainment products.
(Birmingham Evening Mail) A parent governor at a Birmingham primary school was jailed for eight months after downloading "revolting" indecent images of children using a school computer. The married father-of-three pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to 12 charges of making indecent images. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.
(Reuters) A new study goes to painstaking lengths to show that consumers should not believe everything they read on Web sites, even from sites claiming to be authoritative sources. Consumers International, a federation of consumer organizations across 115 countries, investigated 460 Web sites dealing with health, financial services and so-called "deal-finder" sites to test their credibility quotient. In a separate study, commissioned by advocacy group Consumer WebWatch, experts in the health and financial fields were asked to comment on which Web sites they consider to be authoritative. see also the consumer-driven study How Do People Evaluate a Web Site's Credibility? Results from a Large Study.
(Eur-Lex) Directive 2002/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 concerning the distance marketing of consumer financial services and amending Council Directive 90/619/EEC and Directives 97/7/EC and 98/27/EC OJ L 271 09/10/2002 pp. 16 - 24
(AP) A Chinese province has required Internet cafe users to buy access cards that identify them to police, further tightening official monitoring of who uses the Internet and what they do online.The system was installed in all 3,200 Internet cafes in the central province of Jiangxi last month.
(Wired) At a panel discussion held by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, experts warned that China has recently improved its censorship technology -- much of which is provided by U.S. companies. The panel also claimed that China now employs some 30,000 "Internet police" to monitor its citizens, and that is has increased arrests of dissidents and journalists posting illegal content on the Internet.
(LawMeme) by Ernest Miller.The BBC reports that Disney is using a loophole in the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act [PDF] to avoid over $1 Billion in liability for theft and piracy of Winnie-the-Pooh's copyright (Disney claims victory in Pooh tussle). Disney is contesting a lawsuit for systematically under reporting the royalties they owe to the people who own Pooh's copyright - which has been leased to Disney since 1961. The plaintiffs against Disney represent those who purchased the Pooh copyrights from A.A. Milne back in the 1920s.
(CNET News.com) In a counterattack against Hollywood's efforts to crack down on student file-swapping. the Electronic Privacy Information Center is warning universities of the dangers of installing monitoring systems on their networks. The privacy advocacy group is sending letters to presidents of colleges across the country, asking them to think before they install monitoring tools on university networks. "Monitoring the content of communications is fundamentally incompatible with the mission of educational institutions to foster critical thinking and exploration," EPIC wrote. "Monitoring chills behavior and can squelch creativity that must thrive in educational settings."
(Heise) Das Bundeswirtschaftsministerium will die Datenschutzbestimmungen für Teledienste, Mediendienste und den Rundfunk künftig in einer neuen Regelung des Bundesrechts zusammenfassen. Bisher müssen Surfer und Website-Betreiber in zwei verschiedenen, größtenteils wortgleichen Gesetzen nachschlagen, wenn es um Datenschutzfragen im Internet geht.
(RAPID) The Commission has launched a second formal consultation of social partners on an initiative to improve protection of workers' personal data throughout the EU. The Commission proposes to the European-level social partner organisations a set of principles and rules governing treatment of personal data at work in order to provide clear and comprehensive guidance to employers and workers about their rights and obligations in this field. see Protection of personal data in the employment context - consultation (Europa).
(Eur-Lex) Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector OJ L 201 31/07/2002 p. 37
(Heise) Die EU-Kommission stellt ab Ende November das Sekretariat für den Regierungsbeirat (Government Advisory Committee, GAC) der Internet-Verwaltung Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Christopher Wilkinson, lange Zeit GAC-Vizevorsitzender für die Kommission, wird neuer Chef des Sekretariats.
(Globe and Mail) by Michael Geist. In Shanghai, Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the agency responsible for administering the Internet, conducted the most important meeting in its brief history. Following months of debate on institutional reform, the ICANN board approved the elimination of board positions reserved for the general public, shelved plans for Internet user participation through on-line elections and removed most of the mechanisms that hold ICANN accountable.
(CNET News.com) One of the 13 key servers that let people reach addresses on the Internet has been moved due to security concerns, said VeriSign, the company that runs the machine. The move comes just weeks after hackers bombarded the "root" servers with a flood of data designed to overwhelm them and shut them down, an attack that raised the spectre of an all-out Internet collapse.
(Le Monde) Depuis le 25 octobre, la Commission européenne a entre les mains toutes les propositions pour gérer les futurs noms de domaine en .eu ; alternative ciblée et politique au .com "fourre-tout", l'extension suscite des convoitises... Et pourrait révolutionner l'Europe de l'Internet.
(CNET News.com) The 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New York found that the Anti-cybersquatting Protection Act (ACPA) does not allow plaintiffs to consolidate in a single venue cases affecting domain names registered with services operating in different states.
(RAPID) The Commission has welcomed the successful outcome of the Conciliation procedure between the European Parliament and the Council on the Commission's proposal for a Directive on public access to environmental information, which is now finally agreed. The Directive will replace the existing Directive 90/313/EC on the freedom of access to information on the environment. see Legislative history.
(Guardian) The government is facing growing resentment from within the NHS over its latest multimillion pound outsourcing deal with IT giant EDS. It has emerged that the company is to be given £91m to provide a basic email system for all NHS workers.
(BBC) The internet is not over and done with despite the demise of many dot.coms and collapsing confidence in technology firms and net businesses. So said many speakers at a major conference in London that debated the net's effect on society and how best to shape this powerful force for change.
(Reuters) The Virginia Supreme Court ruled against America Online in its efforts to protect the identity of one of its 35 million subscribers by asking the court to quash a subpoena calling for the member's name in an issue that goes to the heart of the anonymity of the Internet.
(ITAA) New European Union (EU) value added tax (VAT) rules that will go into effect on July 1, 2003 will require non-EU vendors that sell certain electronically supplied goods and services to EU consumers to charge VAT based on where their customers are resident. Geolocation technology, a fairly recent innovation, purports to be able to address some, if not all, of the challenges associated with identifying the physical location of a customer.
(Le Monde) L'usage expérimental de la technologie Wi-Fi est libéralisé sur une partie du territoire français, a annoncé l'Autorité de régulation des télécommunications. Les FAI (fournisseurs d'accès à Internet) et les opérateurs pourront installer "sans autorisation" des bornes "hotspots", c'est-à-dire dans des lieux de passage public, tels que "les aéroports, gares et centres d'affaires. Les particuliers, eux, pourront tester le Wi-Fi. Une licence gratuite leur sera délivrée pour une durée de dix-huit mois et leur permettra d'utiliser le réseau à l'intérieur comme à l'extérieur des bâtiments. Toutefois, ces mesures ne sont prévues que pour trente-huit départements, dont Paris, pour le moment. Pour les autres, l'accord du ministère de la défense sera nécessaire, car les fréquences peuvent troubler les appareils militaires.
(Washington Post) President Bush called for an increase in federal funding and new legislation to combat online predators who stalk children in cyberspace in hopes of sexually molesting them. Bush listened to experts speak at the White House about child pornography and its spread on the Internet. He proposed increases in spending to combat child molesters who find their victims online and urged the Senate to join the House in passing legislation overturning a Supreme Court decision that struck down a ban of computer simulations of child pornography. see also US - Increasing Online Safety for America's Children (Press Release) and Remarks by the President.
(Press Release) On 7 November 2002, the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers adopted the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime. The Protocol requires States to criminalise the dissemination of racist and xenophobic material through computer systems, as well as racist and xenophobic-motivated threat and insult including the denial, gross minimisation, approval or justification of genocide or crimes against humanity, particularly those that occurred during the period 1940-45. It also defines the notion of this category of material and establishes the extent to which its dissemination violates the rights of others and criminalises certain conduct accordingly. Voir aussi L'Europe adopte un texte contre le racisme sur internet (Reuters) .
(GameSpot UK) An age rating system has been put in place in Europe to ensure children aren't exposed to unsuitable content The ISFE announces plans for new voluntary age ratings and symbols for games across Europe. The Interactive Software Federation of Europe (IFSE) has today announced plans for a new pan-European system of age ratings and warning symbols for games in Europe. The voluntary system will include five age categories: aged three and over; seven and over; 12 and over; 16 and over, and 18 and over. The age ratings will not relate to the complexity of the games in any way, but are designed to ensure that children aren't exposed to content that might be unsuitable. In addition to the age ratings, a series of six symbols designed to warn parents about specific types of content will be introduced. The six symbols, of which only a maximum of two will appear on any one game, highlight game content that includes violence, sex, drugs, fear, discrimination, and bad language.
(Washington Post) America Online has begun charging companies a fee to monitor use of instant-messaging software in the workplace. A new, more secure version of AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM, will enable businesses to read instant messages sent by employees, just as businesses can now monitor their workers' e-mail. The version for business will cost about $35 per person annually, sources said, although the consumer version will remain free.
(Datamonitor) Datamonitor's recent survey found that European enterprises rate URL filtering and conditional access solutions as high priorities in networking investment. Companies are starting to realize the potential costs of Internet access, both in productivity and in exposure to lawsuits over offensive materials - indeed, pornography is the most heavily restricted content.
(IDG) Antivirus software maker McAfee is teaming in an exclusive deal with discount retailer Wal-Mart to offer a stand-alone product that will help parents clamp down on their children's online adventures. The software will work with any Internet service provider and sell for about $20.
(Yahoo ES) El vicerrector de Investigación de la Universidad Internacional de Andalucía (UNIA), Angel Pérez, afirmó que el Proyecto 'Safer Internet for knowing and Living' (SIFKal) --Internet seguro para el conocimiento y la vida--, promovido por esta institución universitaria, pretende "diagnosticar e identificar los problemas nuevos que aparecerán en la educación y formación de los ciudadanos con el uso de Internet", informó la UNIA. La UNIA participa en el proyecto SIFKal junto con las universidades españolas de Cádiz e Islas Baleares y las europeas GMK de Alemania y la danesa Saarlandes, así como el Centre for Applied Research in Education de la universidad británica de East Anglia y Extreme Media Solutions de Grecia. El proyecto europeo en España está orientado, principalmente, a sugerir los modos más educativos para la utilización de Internet en la escuela, en la familia y en los municipios, de modo que puedan evitase las consecuencias no deseadas de la red de redes.
(Heise) Medienkompetenz von Schülern hängt nicht unbedingt vom sozialen Hintergrund der Eltern ab -- so lautet die Kernaussage einer internationalen Studie, die gemeinsam von der Bertelsmann Stiftung und der Heinz Nixdorf Stiftung durchgeführt wurde. Gegenstand der Untersuchung waren Regionen weltweit, in denen schon länger die Integration neuer Medien in den Schulunterricht gefördert wird. Darunter auch Gebiete mit hohen Arbeitslosenzahlen und geringen Durchschnittseinkommen.
(Le Monde) Educaunet est un programme d'éducation aux risques liés à l'usage d'Internet. du programme, qui a pour objectif d'apprendre aux jeunes de 8 à 18 ans à naviguer en toute responsabilité sur Internet, en les mettant en garde contre les sites pédophiles, les virus ou les fausses nouvelles. Educaunet a créé un ensemble d'outils éducatifs qui ont été testés avec des jeunes en Belgique et en France.
(Economist) Digital security, once the province of geeks, is now everyone's concern. But there is much more to the problem - or the solution - than mere technology.
(AP) Senior law enforcement officials assured technology executives that government will increasingly work to keep secret the names of companies that become victims to major hacking crimes, along with any sensitive corporate disclosures that could prove embarrassing. The effort is designed to encourage businesses to report such attacks and build public confidence in Internet security.
(Reuters) Seeking to encourage Europeans to shop on the Internet, the European Commission is planning a single trustmark scheme to ensure minimum standards of online consumer protection. By displaying an easily recognizible icon - the trustmark - on a Web Site, registered merchants would be able to show consumers they meet certain protection standards, such as data privacy requirements, commitment to price and information transparency and information about how to deal with complaints. voir aussi La CE planche sur des "labels de confiance" pour l'e-commerce (Reuters).
(Council of Europe) Replies to a questionnaire on self-regulation and user protection against illegal or harmful content on the new communications and information services. Those replies reflect the general policy, as well as the initiatives, taken or to be taken, of member States in the field of regulation of illegal and harmful cybercontent. see also Questionnaire, Summary and analysis and National Initiatives.
(Le Monde) Les principaux sites de presse européens s'associent pour fonder le chapitre européen de l'Online Publishers Associations américaine. L'objectif : soutenir les intérêts des éditeurs en ligne auprès des annonceurs, de la presse, des institutions et du grand public.
(RAPID) The inaugural meeting of the European Regulators' Group for electronic communications networks and services was held in Brussels on 25th October 2002. The Group will constitute the interface between National Regulatory Authorities and the Commission. It will contribute to the development of the Internal Market, and to the consistent application of the regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services in all Member States
(Linux and Main) In an apparent attempt to stem telephone company revenue losses due to Internet telephony, the government of Panama has decreed that 24 UDP ports be blocked by all Internet service providers. The ports include ones that are commonly used for voice over IP as well as some that are used for other purposes, apparently with the idea that these, too, could be used to circumvent the POTS (plain old telephone system) in making telephone calls.
(Guardian) Online gambling is a multi-billion dollar industry. Players, lured by big pots, just can't get enough.
(Observer) Images that would once have sparked an obscenity trial are now only a mouse-click away, making hardcore routine and forcing mainstream magazines to adapt or die. As for the new breed of DIY net pornographers, all you need is a camera and a few happy 'swingers' and you're in business.
(Emarketer) Revenues are down, paying customers are few and far between and many operators have gone under. The industry is experiencing a classic case of market saturation - with too many operators vying for a revenue pool that is not expanding at the same rate. According to industry watch groups, this is the sentiment being felt in the online porn sector.
(Europemedia) There is a market for paid content. This year’s Content Billing Europe organised by Van Dusseldorp and Partners, opened with a presentation from keynote speaker Uwe Schnepf, Head of New Media for Tiscali (Germany). Discussing the challenges and opportunities in today’s premium content market, Mr. Schnepf asserted " there is a market for paid content". He highlighted that users are willing to pay for exclusive content with a high degree of entertainment and information, content that has an attractive price, content that is easy to handle and content that has some advantage for users e.g. archiving, personalisation. The key areas of premium content, according to Schnepf are the erotic industry, publishing, music on demand, and video on demand
(ZDNet UK) Experts believe that teaming up with Microsoft is a winning strategy for BT's 'no-frills' broadband service BT's alliance with Microsoft will help the telco to achieve market domination with its "no-frills" broadband product, an industry expert has predicted. The pact between the two companies will see BT and Microsoft working together on a range of broadband applications to complement BT Broadband, the high-speed Internet access package sold by BT Retail.
(Heise) Die großen Erotikfirmen haben den Mobilsektor als neuen Umsatzgenerator fest ins Visier genommen. Auf der Messe Venus 2002 in Berlin stellten Branchenführer wie das an der Technologiebörse Nasdaq gelistete spanische Unternehmen Private und der Flensburger Anbieter Beate Uhse ihre Lösungen für Erotik auf dem Handy und dem Taschencomputer vor, die sie unter dem Stichwort "Mobile Sex" zu vermarkten suchen.
(Guardian) What happens when phones become cameras? Take a look at your mobile phone. Right now you just use it to make phone calls and send text messages, but within a few years, there's a pretty good chance it will have a digital camera built into it, and that you'll be using your mobile phone to take photos and record video clips.
(Europemedia.net) The proportion of adults worldwide using the internet to access government services or products during the past 12 months has increased by around 15 per cent, according to the findings of the second government online study by Taylor Nelson Sofres. Three out of ten citizens (30 per cent) globally said that they had accessed government services online compared with only a quarter (26 per cent) questioned a year ago.
(NUA) More Europeans use short messaging service (SMS) than email, according to new research from Gartner G2. Around 62 percent of all adults across the major European countries now use a mobile phone, according to the research.Currently, 41 percent of European adults use SMS, compared to 30 percent that use the Internet/email
(NUA) The number of broadband subscribers in Korea passed the 10 million mark by the end of October, reports The Korea Herald. This figure is equivalent to 21 percent of the total population and makes South Korea the leading broadband nation in the world.
(CNET News.com) A new version of the Freenet software, a program based around wholly anonymous Net publishing and distribution, is due out after long silence from its mostly volunteer developer community.
(Guardian) Despite the death of Napster, file-sharing is not impossible. Just proceed with caution, advises Jack Schofield
(UNESCO) Paris, France - 15-16/11/2002. La liberté d’expression sur internet sera le thème d’un colloque international qui s’inscrit dans le cadre de la préparation du Sommet mondial sur la société de l’information (WSIS) qui se tiendra à Genève et à Tunis respectivement en 2003 et 2005. Le colloque, « Liberté d’expression dans la société de l’information » sera le seul événement - d’une série de réunions destinées à préparer le WSIS - qui traitera de questions urgentes concernant la liberté d’expression sur Internet.
(Yale Law School) Friday, November 22, 2002 New Haven, Connecticut. Presented by Information Society Project.
(CCform Project) CCform aims to dramatically improve the standards of complaint management to the benefit of consumers and business customers, as well as product and service suppliers. Thanks to support from the European Commission, we will create a recommended business process, supported by an extensible online multi-lingual complaint form, and accompanied by a well-researched international legal commentary. CCform will work with about 60 participating organisations to develop a consensus between business, consumers, academics and regulators. Participating organisations will choose from 6 topic Panels to address their inputs to the consensus building process. Topic panels are proposed for Law, Consumer Affairs, SME's, Multi-lingual Technologies, Regulators and Dispute Resolution, and Technical Integration and Extensibility. The process will begin with a public plenary meeting on December 6, 2002, develop through 4 meetings for each topic panel, and complete with a public adoption meeting in 2003.
(UNESCO) Identity theft occurs when someone appropriates your personal information without your knowledge to commit fraud, theft or other crimes. An identity-thief may for example obtain someone's name, address, credit card number, calling card number or social security number, and then uses this data to make purchases, open new charge, phone and credit card accounts, or even borrow money unbeknownst to the victim.
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