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(RAPID) What changes will be made to the Community's audiovisual policy? The Commission has adopted a report on the application of the "Television without Frontiers" (TVSF) Directive, together with a work programme for 2003 aimed at reviewing the Directive. The 2003 work programme will consist of a series of consultations with a view to arriving at operational conclusions on the relevance bearing in mind economic and technological developments of the existing Community rules, in particular concerning matters such as access to events of major importance to society, the promotion of cultural diversity, television advertising and the protection of minors. 4th report on the application of Directive 89/552/EEC "Television without Frontiers", COM(2002)778
(Guardian) The government's wholesale review of the way the BBC is funded will be preceded by a detailed investigation into public service broadcasting by new media and telecoms super-regulator, Ofcom. Culture secretary Tessa Jowell says the review will be one of Ofcom's first tasks when it officially takes over from existing regulators in autumn this year. see also Come clean on 'mission creep', BBC told Mark Thompson's controversial speech to the Oxford Media Convention, in which he accuses the BBC of 'mission creep' over its public service remit. see complete text.
(Reuters) A federal judge rejected a bid by tthe Software and Information Industry Association and the Computer and Communications Industry Association to appeal Microsoft's settlement deal with the government. She said they do not have the legal standing to step in and appeal the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. If they want to pursue the matter further, she said, they can file a private case against the company.
(Delitosinformáticos) El número de webs con contenidos de pornografía infantil alojados en servidores españoles se ha multiplicado por siete en el presente año respecto a 2001, mientras que en el ámbito internacional se han duplicado, procedentes en su mayoría de servidores de Estados Unidos y Europa del Este, según datos facilitados por el presidente de la entidad de denuncia "Protégeles", Guillermo Cánovas, en base a las denuncias registradas por su línea abierta en Internet para avisar de estos delitos.
(UTV) An Irish circuit judge has been charged with possession of child pornography at a court in County Kerry.
(NZCity) The New Zealand Internal Affairs Department is crediting its strong links with overseas enforcement agencies as a major reason behind its success in combating Internet child pornography. see also Penalties for child porn traders paltry - lawyer (Stuff). Censorship and the Internet. The Department of Internal Affairs' Inspectors have the role of investigating New Zealand Internet websites and newsgroups and enforcing censorship legislation. Combatting Internet Child Pornography: New Zealand's Successes (Department of Internal Affairs Press Release).
(Economist) The hunt for consumers of child pornography following the FBI investigation of Candyman and a Texas-based subscription website called Landslide has overwhelmed Britain's police. More than a year ago, the Americans provided them with credit-card details of the 7,272 Britons who paid a monthly subscription to join Landslide, which provided an entry point to child porn websites all over the world. But though 1,300 search warrants have been issued and 1,200 arrests made, only a handful of cases have so far been brought. Police forces are reluctant to disclose how many they have charged: Thames Valley police say that doing so could jeopardise future inquiries. But the real reason why police are not giving out a number is the embarrassing likelihood that most of those on the list will be let off with a caution. UK - Operation Ore: Can the UK cope? (BBC). The UK's largest ever police hunt against internet paedophiles - Operation Ore - has resulted in about 1,300 arrests out of a list of 6,000 suspects, but could be putting a strain on the criminal justice system. see also Prison chief arrested in porn inquiry (BBC). A deputy prison governor has been arrested as part of an investigation into child pornography on the Internet. UK - Teacher resigns after child porn arrest (BBC). A teacher at an independent prep school in West Sussex has resigned after being arrested as part of an international crackdown on internet child porn.
(CNN) Pete Townshend, the legendary guitarist of The Who, has been released from police custody after his arrest on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children. see also UK- Rock star Townshend 'wrong' over child porn (BBC) . Who star Pete Townshend has admitted he had paid to see a child porn website, but insisted he had done so for research and was emphatically not a paedophile. But the Internet Watch Foundation - whose aim is to eliminate child porn on the net - said Mr Townshend had been "incredibly foolhardy, naive and misguided" to enter such a website. "It is wrong-headed, misguided and illegal to look at, or download, or even to pay to download paedophiliac material and if you do so, you are likely to go to prison," said vice chairman Mark Stephens. see also Who star in child porn riddle (Observer) John Carr, internet adviser to children's charity NCH, said: "This is a much bigger problem than people were previously prepared to admit. This will force us all to rethink our attitudes. We are no longer talking about the dirty old man in the raincoat in the local park. We are talking about our neighbours and trusted professionals" and see In his own words.
(Washington Post) Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael K. Powell's deregulatory agenda received a cool reception from a Senate committee, as several members questioned his plans to rewrite telephone regulations and media ownership rules. see also US - Feds mull broadband market shake-up (CNET News.com), Hollings Blasts Proposed FCC Rule Changes (dc.internet.com) .
(Columbia Law School) Video of Morning session Afternoon session. Remarks by FCC Commissioners Powell, Copps, Martin.
(CNET News.com) The U.S. Supreme Court said Congress had the power to extend the duration of copyrights, a decision that dealt a grave blow to a growing movement against more expansive legal protections of artistic works. Eldred v Ashcroft Majority opinion by Justice Ginsburg. Dissenting opinions of Justice Stevens and Justice Breyer. Commentary: The silent five and losing by Lawrence Lessig, transcript of chat with Jonathan Zittrain (Washington Post), Mickey in Chains, Part II, or Why the Court Got It Wrong in Eldred v. Ashcroft (Jack Balkin). see also view in favour of the majority opinion from How Appealing by Howard Bashman and an article on the origins of US copyright and the successive extensions of copyright terms Constructing Copyright’s Mythology (Green Bag) by Thomas B. Nachbar. Further resources in Copyfight by Donna Wentworth and in Siva Vaidhyanathan's blog.
(Aftenposten) A Norwegian teenager who helped crack a code meant to protect the content of DVDs won full backing from an Oslo court. The court acquitted him on all charges, a ruling that comes as a crushing blow to public prosecutors and entertainment giants. see also Teenage hacker beats Hollywood clamp on DVDs (Guardian). Hollywood's biggest film studios were defeated yesterday in their effort to punish a Norwegian teenage computer hacker for DVD piracy. The case has made a cult figure of Jon Lech Johansen, who is now 19.
(Washington Post) Major players in the entertainment and technology industries announce a measure of detente in what are increasingly contentious battles over the best way to prevent digital piracy of music and video. Recording, Technology Industries Reach Groundbreaking Agreement on Approach to Digital Content Issues (Press Release) Technology And Record Company Policy Principles issued jointly by Business Software Alliance, Computer Systems Policy Project, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). see also Music Industry Won't Seek Government Aid on Piracy (New York Times), RIAA, BSA Say They'll Drop Legislative Push (Extreme Tech). Music Biz: Compromise Is Key (Wired). As digital file sharing, webcasting and other new technologies proliferate, artists and industry officials said the music business is in jeopardy unless artists, record companies and consumers stop fighting and start compromising. see also Illegal music sites 'here to stay' (BBC). Illegal music download sites will never be eradicated, the president of the RIAA has admitted. Music would always be available for free somewhere on the net despite costly court battles to shut down illegal music sites. Commentary: Some "Truce" (LawMeme) by Ernest Miller.
(ZDNet News) A controversial digital copyright law is quashing free speech and choking innovation, according to a new study by longtime critics of the measure. In its new Unintended Consequences report, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) lists a variety of cases triggered by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act where aggressive applications of the law have reached beyond the intention of the measure. The EFF said the DMCA has had a threefold effect: chilling free expression and scientific research; jeopardizing fair use; and impeding competition.
(ICANN) While the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been completing its substantive reform efforts over the past nine months, it has made significant progress in other key areas. This message is conveyed by the latest ICANN Quarterly Report to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
(New York Times) When the 1,150 citizens of the Geneva suburb of Anièreres vote to decide whether to allow public money to be spent renovating its Michelin-rated restaurant, they will be guinea pigs in Switzerland's continuing effort to make voting easier for its citizens. The voters will have a choice of three ways to cast their ballot. They will be able to vote at a polling place in the elementary school or mail their ballot or, for the first time, vote on the Internet.
(Guardian) The government has given the BBC the green light to spend £150m to put the national curriculum on to the internet, sparking anger among firms already manufacturing interactive teaching materials. The project, called the Digital Curriculum, will use licence fee payers' money to make large parts of the school syllabus available online, free of charge, for pupils in school and at home. Jowell approves BBC curriculum plan.
(canada.com) A cyber tip line launched in Manitoba has resulted in about 15 child porn Web sites being shut down. Billed as the first of its kind in Canada, cybertip.ca has received 76 reports of child pornography and luring on the Internet.
(NetEconomie) Désormais, la Suisse propose aux personnes "souhaitant signaler l'existence de sites Internet suspects" un point de contact central : le SCOCI - Service national de coordination de la lutte contre la criminalité sur Internet.
(Heise) Nach drei Jahren Unterbrechung wird in der Schweiz seit Anfang dieses Jahres wieder ein polizeiliches Internet-Monitoring betrieben. Die neu geschaffene Koordinationsstelle zur Bekämpfung der Internet-Kriminalität KOBIK versteht sich als "Anlaufstelle für Personen, die verdächtige Internet-Inhalte melden möchten." Daneben will KOBIK auch selbst aktiv nach strafrechtlich relevantem Content Ausschau halten.
(IDG) A major United Nations summit on the information society due to take place in December could be the spark for international talks on regulations covering cyberspace and encompassing tax, freedom of speech, intellectual property rights and privacy, the secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said.
(ICC) Business users and providers of communications services have called on the European Union and governments to scale down their storage requirements for traffic data to the minimum necessary to fight crime and terrorism. They have also warned governments that differing national data retention policies will make it impossible for communication service providers to operate effectively. Such inconsistencies would destroy the ability of service providers in countries with the most stringent requirements to compete internationally, a statement by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) corporate experts said. see Policy statement on the impact of Internet content regulation (ICC) Commission on E-Business, IT and Telecoms.
(Wired) The American Civil Liberties Union's new report Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society, by Jay Stanley and Barry Steinhardt, warns that a combination of technological innovation and weakened privacy protections is "feeding a surveillance monster that is growing silently in our midst." GPS, biometrics, cameras, wireless communication, implantable microchips and other systems that identify, track and record people's activities need to be held in check by legislation to protect Americans' privacy rights, the report argues.
(CNET News.com) A Pentagon antiterrorism plan to link databases of credit card companies, health insurers and others - creating what critics call a "domestic surveillance apparatus" - is encountering growing opposition on Capitol Hill.
(Heie) In der Verhandlung um einen Meinungsbeitrag im Forum von Telepolis vor dem Amtsgericht Münster wurde der Angeklagte Holger Voss von dem Vorwurf freigesprochen, er habe zumindest billigend in Kauf genommen, dass unbefangene Leser seine Äußerungen als Zustimmung zu Terroranschlägen interpretieren.
(Scotsman) Churches could become unwitting peddlers of pornography due to the growing trend for mobile phone masts on steeples, religious leaders warned. Several churches in Edinburgh have cashed in on the mobile phone boom in recent years by allowing antennae to be erected on their roofs and steeples.
(BBC) A £1m advertising campaign warning of the dangers of internet paedophiles is being launched by the government. The television, radio and website messages, being broadcast throughout January, aim to make parents and youngsters aware of how to surf the web safely. There is also a new set of guidelines for internet service providers, who offer chat and instant messaging services. These include measures such as the provision of clear warning information, and ways for children to report problems online. see Web site thinkyouknow.co.uk where you get the inside info on how to stay safe while having fun online. see also UK - Chat room danger prompts new safety code
(SecurityFocus) A new California law requiring companies to notify their customers of computer security breaches applies to any online business that counts Californians as customers, even if the company isn't based in the Golden State. To trigger the law, a breach must expose certain type of information: specifically, customers' names in association with their social security number, drivers license number, or a credit card or bank account number. After such an intrusion, the company must notify the affected customers in "the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay."
(Washington Post) An ordinary office building on Route 1 in Alexandria offers a rare window into the Internet hacker wars and a few clues to why Uncle Sam wants more monitoring capabilities in cyberspace.
(AP) The Bush administration has reduced by nearly half its initiatives to tighten security for vital computer networks, giving more responsibility to the new Homeland Security Department and eliminating an earlier plan to consult regularly with privacy experts.
(Guardian) Internet chat room operators should provide virtual panic buttons and prominent safety messages for child users to protect them from paedophiles attempting to groom their victims online, according to the code of good practice published by the Home Office. see Good practice models and guidance for the internet industry on chat services, instant messaging and web based services (Home Office) (file size 149 Kb). see also Chatroom danger prompts new code (CNN). see also UK - Online child safety drive launched
(Guardian) The regulation of television advertising is likely to be relaxed this year as part of new legislation being introduced by the government. Advertisers would be allowed to police themselves under a voluntary code replacing the current statutory rules. The advertising industry has been lobbying hard for the change but the proposals will alarm consumer campaigners, who have expressed concern about the standards of TV advertising. see also UK - co-regulatory scheme for TV advertising (Guardian). The chairman of the new communications super-regulator Ofcom has confirmed that the regulation of television advertising is likely to be relaxed later this year, opening the door for other media sectors to police themselves. Lord Currie said the onus was on the advertising industry to come up with a scheme that could be overseen by Ofcom. But he stopped short of referring to self-regulation, speaking instead of a "co-regulatory" system that would give Ofcom the power to step in if necessary. see also Self-regulation and 'pester power' on television Advertising self-regulation is neither voluntary nor "softer" than statutory control.
(silicon.com) The Consumers' Association has announced that the Which? Web Trader scheme - a voluntary, consumer-focused code of practice for e-tailers in the UK - is to close at the end of the month. Which? Web Trader was launched in July 1999 to promote consumer confidence in online shopping by providing an independent code of practice for e-tailers to follow. Any company adhering to the guidelines would be allowed to display a Which? logo in a bid to reassure consumers about the safety of online shopping. But a lack of funds has led to the closure of the scheme.
(Wired) Adult Sites Against Child Pornography (ASACP) is recruiting porn site owners to join the association and submit their sites for review by its advisory board. If no objectionable content is found on a site, it will bestow "a sort of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for the adult entertainment industry" so the site can advertise on its homepage that it is free of kiddie porn. Customers will feel more confident shopping on sites with such a seal. see Press Release.
(Salon) At least Enron and WorldCom went down because of greed. But as James Ledbetter's "Starving to Death on $200 Million a Year" reveals, the Industry Standard pissed away a fortune out of mere carelessness.
(CNET News.com) The Web's leading standards group put its seal of approval on a new specification for graphics technology tailored for use by mobile phones and other small networked devices. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommended Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 and two subsets of the recommendation for mobile phones and handheld computers. Vector graphics are more flexible than the common bitmaps that form many of the graphics on the Web.
(Wired) Unable to snuff out file-swapping networks in court, record labels and other media outfits are shifting their anti-peer-to-peer crusade to a new venue: the file-trading networks themselves. A company, Overpeer, appears to be distributing so many defective copies of a given file on P2P networks that users have a hard time locating an undamaged copy. This technique, called "spoofing," has been used by disgruntled musicians and other anti-P2P saboteurs for years but spoofing on a grand scale requires extensive resources. see also Hollywood Fears Fighting Piracy (LawMeme) comment by Ernest Miller.
(McKinsey Quarterly) Europe's incumbent telecom operators are heavily in debt after their ambitious expansion efforts in the 1990s and an enormous bill for third-generation licenses. So far, the response has been to slash spending. But cost cutting alone won't revive their fortunes: In addition, they must do something about falling revenues.
(ICANN) ICANN's next round of meetings will be held 23-27 March 2003 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The meetings are free to attend and open to any interested person. ICANN encourages broad participation in its bottom-up consensus-development process. The meetings will be hosted by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGIBR) in representation of the Brazilian Internet Community.
(European Commission) The Commission, in collaboration with the Greek Presidency, will organise a high level conference on eHealth on the 22nd and 23rd May 2003 in Brussels. This event will include a two-day exhibition of 30 eHealth applications, selected through a call, and an award ceremony for the eEurope Awards in eHealth. While the conference is aimed at ministers and senior representatives of stakeholder groups such as professional and user organisations, developers along with current users of eHealth applications can submit a proposal for the chance to exhibit. The first eEurope Awards: eEurope Awards in eHealth will be attributed to the best demonstrations of the conference.
(eLuxembourg) The Ministry of Economy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is organising from 17 to 19 September 2003 an international congress on trustmarks in electronic commerce. Surveys have shown that the development of electronic commerce, more than any other service, is based mainly on consumer confidence. Full information at the time of purchase, security of the transactions, respect of delivery lead-times, confidentiality, etc.: these are the pillars of confidence which can turn site visitors into loyal customers. All players concerned by trust in electronic commerce will attend this congress, to be held at the Congress Center of the "Foires Internationales" at Luxembourg-Kirchberg. see Le certificat qualité des sites de e-commerce du Grand-Duché du Luxembourg (with a useful comparative survey of existing trustmarks). Call for papers deadline 15 March 2003.
(OFLC) 21-24 September 2003, Sydney, Australia. The Office of Film and Literature Classification (Australia) is presenting an international conference in 2003. The conference is an opportunity to find out about the latest challenges and dilemmas facing classification and ratings systems from around the world in our fast changing entertainment and technology environment. The conference will be attended by local and international classifiers and regulators, film and computer games producers, distributors and designers, producers and distributors of new technologies, media representatives, academics, as well as professional bodies and community groups.
(Guardian) Steve Case, the America Online chief who engineered the much-criticised merger with Time Warner, has finally bowed to investor pressure and will step down. see also Tripped Up by a Flawed New Media Idea (New York Times).
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