(Guardian) The new communications bill could be unveiled as early as this week after the government confirmed it would be introduced in this parliamentary session. The Queen's speech confirmed that the bill, which is expected to signal a new round of consolidation in the broadcasting industry, will be introduced by this time next year.
(EurActiv) On 11 November, the Audiovisual and Culture Council held a debate on the review of the Television without Frontiers Directive, highlighting large differences on the scope and priorities of the review. see also Discussion paper on the "Television without Frontiers" (TWF) Directive, Background note (Danish Presidency) and Press Release
(ITC) CNBC's Euro Change was a series of programmes reporting on the issues surrounding the launch of the Euro. The series received partial funding from the European Union. Given the close association between the funder of the series and its topic, the ITC regarded this as a serious breach of Section 8 of the ITC Code of Programme Sponsorship. The ITC would consider statutory sanctions in the event of any similar recurrence.
(Reuters) Cable operator Comcast has won approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to buy rival AT&T Broadband for $30.5 billion, creating a pay television giant with about 27 million subscribers.
(Guardian) Britain's strategy to tackle internet paedophilia is being seriously undermined by a lack of funding, senior police officers have warned. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has asked for more cash to fund a national strategy against child abuse on the internet. see also Police 'failing to arrest paedophiles' (BBC), UK - A force to be reckoned with (Guardian) by John Carr. Operation Ore, the police investigation into a child porn ring, is raising fundamental questions about the priority the police attach to child protection and about the capacity of the Home Office to respond to rapid change. see also UK - Mass arrests in child porn inquiry (BBC) Police have arrested 56 people across the north of England on suspicion of viewing child pornography on the Internet. The arrests by Northumbria Police officers are part of a national investigation called Operation Ore.
(Reuters) A Web site designer has been charged with sending computer viruses around the globe, including one rated the world's third most prolific, according to Scotland Yard. Simon Vallor, 21, from Llandudno, in Wales, was arrested following a tip-off from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. He has been charged with hacking and sending the "Gokar Redesi" and "Admirer" email computer viruses, and with the possession of indecent images of children.
(Guardian) A young computer clerk who ran Britain's biggest online child pornography library was jailed for two years at the Old Bailey yesterday. Darren Guest spent hours in front of his bedroom PC building up an "abhorrent" collection of pre-teen material with the help of other paedophiles contacted through internet chatrooms.
(BBC) Police forces around the globe will soon be using software developed in Britain as part of the worldwide fight against child pornography. It is part of an initiative from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to tackle pornography in Eastern Europe and South East Asia, where much of the indecent imagery of children comes from. SurfControl, based in Cheshire, originally developed its filtering software to aid UK police in the investigation of online child abuse. The software allows police to trace and target people who seek, possess or distribute pornographic images of children on the net.
(ZDNet UK) Internet grooming, the practice by which paedophiles use the Web to cultivate relationships with children with the aim of making contact and abusing them, could soon be made illegal. The Queen's Speech, which lays out the government's legislative agenda for the next 12 months, included a commitment to bring forward a bill to review the laws on sexual offences. The precise details of the bill will not be published until later this year, but it is likely that this bill will outlaw the grooming of children by paedophiles, following pressure from child protection charities.
(Press Release) The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has announced a tough stance against 51 newsgroups that regularly carry child abuse images and a further 25 newsgroups with names that appear to advertise or advocate paedophilia. The IWF is recommending to all UK Internet Service Providers that these newsgroups ought to be detached from their newsfeeds and servers.
(CNET News.com) A last-minute addition to a proposal for a Department of Homeland Security would punish malicious computer hackers with life in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives voted 299 to 121 to approve the bill, which combines parts of 22 existing federal agencies into a new department. During closed-door negotiations before the debate began, the House Republican leadership inserted the Cyber Security Enhancement Act (CSEA) into the Homeland Security bill. CSEA expands the ability of police to conduct Internet or telephone eavesdropping without first obtaining a court order, and offers Internet providers more latitude to disclose information to police.
(CNET News.com) A federal judge has ruled that law enforcement officials went too far when they tried to use evidence gathered by a known hacker to convict someone of possessing child pornography.
(vnunet) US authorities want to extradite a UK hacker accused of breaking into nearly 100 government and private-sector computers. Gary McKinnon, an unemployed computer programmer living in London, is alleged to have caused damage estimated at more than £500,000. And consultants have warned that other hackers may be able to replicate the attacks.
(RAPID) The Commission has published two major surveys on cross-border shopping in the EU. The surveys look at both the consumer and business experience of, and attitudes to, cross-border shopping. They are relevant in the context of the Commission's Green Paper on Consumer Protection and follow-up communication. Harmonisation of regulations on commercial practices, advertising and other consumer protection regulation was cited as the most efficient of the options in facilitating cross-border sales and/or advertising (68.2% of businesses). See Fair commercial practices.
(Guardian) Growing numbers of consumers, particularly young people, are becoming the victims of swindles via email, text messaging and fax, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said. Unscrupulous firms often use bogus prize draws and special offers to entice recipients to reply, it said, and as the popularity of text messaging grows among children, this group is likely to be heavily targeted.
(Libération) La commission présidée par la philosophe Blandine Kriegel a rendu public son rapport sur la violence à la télé. Au programme: réforme de la classification des films et interdiction de la violence à la télé avant 22 h 30. Le rapport préconise tout d'abord de réformer la Commission de classification des films et d'étendre son champ d'action aux cassettes vidéo, aux DVD, aux jeux vidéo et «progressivement» à l'Internet. Deuxième suggestion de Kriegel : elle recommande non pas d'interdire le porno à la télé, mais de renforcer le double cryptage des films pornographiques. voir aussi Ciné, jeux, DVD : tout doit être contrôlé (Libération) et Le Monde.fr : Le rapport Kriegel très critiqué par les cinéastes (Le Monde).
(Forum des droits sur l'internet) Cinquième Rencontre du Forum 21 Octobre 2002. Le cinquième débat du Forum des droits sur l'internet aborde les prochaines réformes du Gouvernement en matière d'enquête sur Internet et la nécessaire protection des droits et libertés des citoyens. Ce débat est en ligne sur le site du Forum.
(Le Monde) Quantic Dream est un studio de création de jeux vidéo qui a imaginé, conçu et développé le jeu vidéo "Nomad Soul" avec la participation du chanteur David Bowie. En tant que créateur, David Cage est particulièrement sensible aux propositions de loi visant à encadrer la diffusion des jeux vidéo.
(Guardian) Access to the BBC's Vietnamese language website has been blocked, with the government following China's lead in cracking down on foreign news sources.
(RAPID) At the Competitiveness Council in Brussels on 14th November 2002, the Council held a further discussion on the main outlines of the future jurisdictional system for the proposed Community Patent. The Council failed to agree draft conclusions suggested by the Danish Presidency. Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein underlined that the Commission cannot accept that the proposed central and specialised EU jurisdiction should be watered down. see also EU - Preparation of the Competitiveness Council of Ministers, Brussels, 14-15 November 2002 (RAPID).
(Forum des droits sur l'Internet) Le Conseil supérieur de la propriété littéraire et artistique a rendu public une étude réalisée par Philippe Chantepie sur la lutte contre la contrefaçon des droits de propriété littéraire et artistique dans l’environnement numérique. Le rapport propose notamment de modifier le dispositif légal actuel et d’améliorer les procédures et les moyens offerts aux diverses autorités.
(EurActiv) On 11 November, the Audiovisual and Culture Council approved a draft Resoluion on interactive media content in Europe. The draft Resolution states that in order to combine cultural diversity and a European market for interactive cultural content the focus should be on: frameworks for European networks of professionals; availability and adequacy of financing for the development of creative interactive media content; distribution and marketing of European interactive content.
(CNET News.com) Stuart Lynn, president of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has recommended taking steps to add three new top-level domains to the Web's navigation system. His report did not recommend the specific top-level domains to be considered.
(Reuters) The Senate approved a bill that would set up an area within the United States' ".us" Internet domain that would allow only Web sites deemed appropriate for children 12 years old and younger. Web sites bearing an address like "www.example.kids.us" would have to certify that they do not contain sexually explicit material, hate speech, violence or other material not suitable for minors.
(Forum des droits sur l'internet) La chanteuse Patricia Kaas vient d’obtenir de l’OMPI la rétrocession du nom de domaine patriciakaas.com, exploité par une société du Belize. La page renvoyait vers de nombreux sites pornographiques, constituant ainsi la preuve de la mauvaise foi du déposant.
(Europarl) The European Parliament is opening its site to the citizens of the new countries in their own languages; Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Magyar (Hungarian), Maltese, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene and Turkish.
(CNET News.com) The U.S. Supreme Court will hear challenges to a pair of state laws that require sex offenders to register personal facts in publicly accessible databases, in a legal showdown that could set new rules for access to information in the digital age.
(RAPID) The European Commission's latest Internal Market Scoreboard shows that, as the tenth anniversary of the opening of Europe's frontiers draws near, the implementation deficit has started to grow again, rising from 1.8% in May 2002 (see IP/02/722) to 2.1%. This deficit is the percentage of EU Internal Market laws currently in force which Member States have not yet passed into national law even though the deadline agreed by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers has passed. see also Internal Market has brought big gains in last ten years, but more needed, say citizens and companies.
(internet.gouv.fr) Le Premier ministre a présenté les principaux axes de l'action gouvernementale en faveur du développement de la société de l'Information devant 1000 dirigeants d'entreprises innovantes. voir aussi Le plan RE/SO 2007 (pour une REpublique numérique dans la SOciété de l'information) et Résumé et liste des annonces
(Guardian) The parliamentary computer network will be upgraded with a hi-tech filter to protect MPs and their staff from unsolicited pornographic emails, the government said.
(Press Realease) The Federal Trade Commission and 12 federal, state, and local law enforcement and consumer protection agencies today announced a four-part initiative launched to fight deceptive spam and Internet scams. Consumers who receiving large amounts of objectionable spam may want to change their e-mail address and follow some safer surfing tips suggested in the FTC's publication, E-mail Address Harvesting: How Spammers Reap What You Sow.
(Heise) Die Provider, die sich gegen die umstrittene Website-Sperrungsverfügung des Düsseldorfer Regierungspräsidenten Jürgen Büssow wehren, haben einen ersten Etappensieg errungen. Das Verwaltungsgericht Minden hat einen der wehrhaften Zugangsanbieter in einem Eilverfahren von der Verpflichtung befreit, die Anordnung des SPD-Politikers sofort umzusetzen. Die von Büssow geforderte unverzügliche Vollziehung der Verfügung wurde abgelehnt.
(Times) Under English law, when a website is accessed, a new publication has occurred in law and the strict liability rule in contempt of court cases applies. The same applies to potentially defamatory articles. Newspapers could be in contempt if past copies are accessed years later and the limitation period in libel actions - one year since the 1996 Defamation Act - does not begin to apply to electronic archives. The moment something is accessed online, "publication" has occurred and a new cause of action arises. The Americans spotted this absurdity some time ago. They brought in a "single publication rule".
(Guardian) How the mobile changed the world
(Artikel5.de) Staatsvertrag über den Schutz der Menschenwürde und den Jugendschutz in Rundfunk und Telemedien (Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag - JMStV). Zur Unterzeichnung und Ratifizierung vorgesehene Fassung des JMStV. [Stand 22. Oktober 2002]. Begründung zum JMStV [Stand 20. Oktober 2002].
(ICRA) At the European I-Gaming Congress and Expo, the interactive Gaming, Gambling and Betting Association announced the adoption of the Internet Content Rating Association's (ICRA) system of parental control. Each member of iGGBA will rate their web site which will then allow parents to voluntarily set filters to prevent children from accessing I-Gaming web sites.
(AP) The Supreme Court will decide if public libraries can be forced to install software blocking sexually explicit Web sites. The latest measure, signed by President Clinton in 2000, requires public libraries receiving federal technology funds to install filters on their computers or risk losing aid. A three-judge federal panel ruled the Children's Internet Protection Act violates the First Amendment because the filtering programs also block sites on politics, health, science and other non-pornographic topics.
(BBC) Parents are being targeted in a renewed campaign to try to stop children accessing unsuitable material on the internet. The move follows a survey which found that 70% of youngsters over the age of 10 had online access at home - and a quarter had seen potentially harmful material. The Safe Surfing campaign, which begins on 15 November, is a nationwide scheme to generate awareness about internet safety.
(ZDNet News) Congress approved a massive spending program that allocates nearly a billion dollars for computer security research. By a voice vote, the U.S. House of Representatives agreed to the Cyber Security Research and Development Act (CSRDA), which hands colleges and universities about $900 million over the next five years to create security centers, recruit graduate students and pay for research.
(RAPID) David BYRNE European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection. Speech at the Annual Conference of the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA), Brussels, 4 October 2002. Includes discussion of the role for codes of conduct under the future Framework Directive prohibiting unfair commercial practices detrimental to consumers.
(CNET News.com) The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a standards body that oversees some Internet protocols, has released a last-call working draft of its policy on patents. In an earlier draft, the proposal allowed companies with patent rights on technology behind standards authorized by the W3C to demand royalties from companies using those standards. It now states that all members who participate in a proposed standard must agree to license any relevant patents on a royalty-free basis. If members aren't willing to do that, the working group involved with that standard has a few options, including investigating the validity of the patents, designing around the patents, or transferring the standard to another standards organization.
(Reuters) Afin d'encourager l'usage des lignes internet à haut-débit, la Commission européenne compte demander aux autorités nationales de réguler l'accès des fournisseurs de services aux réseaux de lignes téléphoniques fixes dépendant des opérateurs historiques.
(Economist) EMI’s new online music service is the latest sign that the big record labels, shocked by the speed with which their market is being eroded by piracy and the illegal downloading of songs over the Internet, are determined to fight back.
(Guardian) Downloadable games are the next big thing - is that what you bought your mobile phone for, wonders Ben Hammersley.
(Seth Finkelstein) Revised and updated an anticensorware report BESS's Secret LOOPHOLE: (censorware vs. privacy and anonymity). Sites are banned, even though they had no pornography or sometimes any content objectionable at all, simply because the services the sites provided could be used to read forbidden material. In this update, I've added new examples. Also more discussion of the legal implications of this banning.
(ABC) Un estudio presentado por el Defensor del Menor de la Comunidad de Madrid subraya los peligros que la Red de redes puede entrañar para los más jóvenes. ver tambien El 38% de los niños que accede a la Red visita páginas violentas (El País).
(NUA) Over half of US parents with Internet access say they have been asked by their children to buy Christmas gifts that were first seen online. According to an America Online/RoperASW study, 56 percent of online parents have been pestered for presents discovered via the Net.
(Forum des droits sur l'Internet) Sixième et dernière séance du débat public itinérant qu'organise le sur la question de l'administration électronique et la protection des données personnelles se tiendra à Issy-les-Moulineaux le 29 novembre 2002. Parallèlement, vous pouvez réagir et ainsi prolonger les débats en postant vos contributions sur le forum de discussion ouvert à cet effet. voir aussi Compte-rendu du débat public organisé à Lille le 8 novembre 2002. Débattre : Administration électronique et données personnelles.
(CEDECA-BA) 2 - 3 December 2002, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The first international conference in Latin America against child pornography on the Internet is organised by the ECPAT representative in Brazil CEDECA-BA. The conference is a 2 day event bringing stakeholders together to create work groups and action plans.
(ICANN) Pre-registration is now open for ICANN's 2002 Annual Meeting, to be held on 14 and 15 December 2002 at the Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel & Conference Center at Schiphol (Amsterdam) Airport, the Netherlands.
(ICANN) 23-27 March 2003 ICANN Meetings Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
(ICANN) Montreal, Canada has been selected at the site for the June 2003 meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The meeting is scheduled for Sunday, 22 June, through Thursday 26 June, with an ICANN Public Forum to be held on Wednesday, 25 June, and the ICANN Board to meet on Thursday, 26 June.
(Europa) eEurope is based on a list of 23 key indicators agreed in November 2000. These indicators will come from a variety of sources (OECD, surveys, studies). See also eEurope benchmarking report. Listof 2000 Results/2001Results/2002 Results.
(QuickLinks) Further updated. Links checked.
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