- AU - Police concerned about new video technologies and child pornography +/-
(ABC) Australian police say new technology, like video phones and smaller computers, will lead to more and more people accessing child pornography. Internet sex crime is now an area of policing unto itself, and keeping up with the technology is half the battle. But as the gadgets get smaller, and less secure, police say there will be more offenders making use of them, and they'll be harder to catch.
- JN - Obscenity, Pornography, and the Law in Japan +/-
(Asian Pacific Law and Policy Journal) by James R. Alexander. In Japanes law, obscenity is defined in terms of the explicitness of visual images rather than anticipation of aberrant behavioral consequences.
- NL - Evaluation Ordered in Internet Case +/-
(AP) A Dutch court ordered a psychiatric evaluation for a man who confessed to contaminating dairy products in an Internet extortion scheme against food companies.
- NZ - Tougher child porn sentences 'by Christmas' +/-
(Stuff) A maximum penalty of 10 years' jail for people caught trading, producing or distributing child pornography will be introduced in New Zealand by Christmas. The changes to censorship laws, approved by Cabinet, will also see users of child porn face up to two years behind bars, under a new offence of possession "with knowledge". Currently, trading child porn carries a penalty of up to one year's imprisonment and a maximum fine of $20,000 per charge. The maximum penalty for those merely possessing illicit material without trading it is a $2000 fine.
- UK - IT staff need audit trails to protect them from child pornography law +/-
(Computer Weekly) Police have urged IT departments to ensure they have proper audit systems in place when they are investigating whether illegal obscene material may have been downloaded onto company networks. The warning follows the government's decision last month to withdraw an amendment to the Sexual Offences Bill that would have given IT staff legal protection from prosecution if they encountered child pornography during their work.
- UK - Jail sentence increased for chatroom paedophile +/-
(Independent) A paedophile who sexually abused two teenage girls he met in an internet chat room had his sentence increased yesterday following a protest from the Attorney General. Judges at the Court of Appeal ruled that the three years given to 36-year-old electronics engineer Michael Wheeler at Norwich Crown Court in June was "significantly too lenient" for one of the worst cases of internet abuse. They jailed him for an additional 18 months.
- UK - Questions cloud cyber crime cases +/-
(BBC) The acquittal at Southwark Crown Court of a teenager accused of carrying out a high-profile hack attack has cast doubts over future computer crime prosecutions, say experts. Aaron Caffrey, 19, was accused of crashing systems at the port of Houston in Texas by hacking into its computer systems. But a jury cleared him after believing his defence that hackers had broken into his computer and used it to launch the attack. Mr Caffrey had faced one charge of unauthorised modification of computer material.
- US - Hatch: P2Ps Are Child Porno Central +/-
(dc.internte.com) In a twisted turn of unintended consequences, the enormous success of the Internet as a distribution vehicle for pornography has created competitive pressures among smut purveyors to provide more depictions than ever of children engaging in violent and deviate sexual conduct. John G. Malcolm, deputy assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday afternoon that the "proliferation of this material and the desire by pornographers to differentiate themselves in a highly-competitive market have prompted pornographers to produce ever-more offensive materials."
- ZA - Minister welcomes child porn ruling +/-
(News24) The South African Social Development Minister welcomed the Constitutional Court's ruling that the possession of child pornography without a permit was a crime. In a statement he called on all South Africans to make sure that children were protected against negative exposures that could affect their morals and values. The Constitutional Court dismissed an application by Tasco Luc De Reuck to strike down sections of the Films and Publications Act making it an offence to possess child pornography without a permit, even for researchers.
- AU - Regulating the Net in Australia: Firing Blanks or Silver Bullets? +/-
(Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law) by Robert Chalmers. Many of the recent Australian regulatory initiatives created to address perceived Internet based problems were subject to widespread criticism at the time of their generation and inception (in particular the censorship and gambling controls). Let us hope that governments advance more carefully in the future, paying fuller regard to the limitations, financial costs and other downsides of laws, especially those that are effectively unenforceable or meaningless. Perhaps some of our best hopes lie in better education.
- CN - Internet media forum opens in Beijing +/-
(Xinhua) The 2003 China Internet Media Forum opened in Beijing, calling for local Internet media to take more responsibility in dealing with online ethical issues. Diverging from the previous two forums in 2001 and 2002, which mainly focused on the development of the Internet in China, this year the topic turned to 'social responsibility of the Chinese Internet media.' Cai Mingzhao, deputy director of the Information Office of the State Council, said in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony that the Internet should contribute to China's social progress as it plays an increasingly important role in the country. The latest survey on China's Internet development shows by June 30, 2003, China had about 470,000 portals, with 68 million Internet users, and the numbers are growing every day. While offering a quick access to information, the Internet also can expose people to pornography, violence, superstition and evil cults, Cai said. He urged local Internet portals, the 150 approved news publishing portals in particular, to bear more social responsibility.
- UK - Viewers support watershed in digital age +/-
(ITC) British television viewers expect and want to see the 9pm watershed continue, says a new report from the BBC, Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) and Independent Television Commission (ITC). There is strong support for the watershed as the point at which programme content can become progressively more adult in tone. The report, The Watershed: Providing A Safe Viewing Zone shows that viewers want broadcasters to comply with the watershed principle. They would also like to see more information about programme content made available through listings in magazines and newspapers, and through details on the EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) and on screen. see two recent ITC Programme Complaints about bad language and frank approach to sexual relationships broadcast before the watershed.
- US - Keeping Children from the Internet's 'Red Light District': Increased Regulation or Improved Technology? +/-
(North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology) by Angela M. Xenakis. Very few people disagree that children should be protected from viewing harmful material on the Internet. The global nature of the Internet and technological infeasibilities of blocking end-user access to particular sites create valid constitutional First Amendment concerns. And while Congress has the authority to regulate obscene material until the technological hurdles can be overcome, statutory solutions will not be able to prevent children from accessing harmful sites. Instead of new laws, market solutions might be more effective at controlling children’s access to pornography. Partial solutions are available in parental monitoring and filtering devices, but the most effective tool might be the creation of a 'red light district' within the Internet through the use of adult-oriented top-level domains. see also The Virtual Red Light District: Filtration Software and the Zoning of the Internet ( West Virginia Journal of Law and Technology) by Christopher Scott Maravilla and Censoring Hate Speech In Cyberspace: A New Debate in a New America (North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology) by Edgar Burch.
- US - Justices to Revisit Online Pornography Law +/-
(Washington Post) The Supreme Court agreed to revisit the thorny question of how to protect children from online smut without resorting to unconstitutional censorship. The American Civil Liberties Union, representing booksellers, artists, explicit Web sites and others, challenged the Child Online Protection Act as an unconstitutional damper on free speech. The Bush administration appealed to the high court, arguing that children are "unprotected from the harmful effects of the enormous amount of pornography on the World Wide Web.
- US - Protecting Children from Pornography on the Internet: +/-
(Richmond Journal of Law & Technology) Freedom of Speech is Pitching and Congress May Strike Out. by: Dawn S. Conrad. The fact that Congress has tried three times to enact legislation that would protect minors from sexually explicit material on the Internet proves that it is a compelling government interest. All three attempts have run into the same problem?any regulation that protects children from sexually explicit material on the Internet must be carefully tailored so it does not infringe on the First Amendment rights of adults. This proves that the government cannot remedy the problem alone. Joint efforts by the government, consumers, parents, law enforcement, the technology industry, and the adult Internet industry will be required.
- US / SG - A Comparative Study of Internet Content Regulations in the United States and Singapore +/-
(Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal) The Invincibility of Cyberporn by Joseph C. Rodriguez. Unfortunately, for those countries seeking to enact their own brand of regulation, Singapore’s attempt at regulation demonstrates that the technology does not yet exist, and it is impossible to filter the Internet. The task of filtering is made more difficult by evolving technology that circumvents filters and by increasing bandwidth that allows greater flows of information. Therefore, unless a nation takes the drastic step of blocking all foreign Websites and essentially creating a national Intranet, a grudging acceptance of U.S. Internet policy is in order. For U.S. Internet policy, the legislative trend indicates that U.S. ISPs will be gaining more responsibility and legal liability.
- Big Brother Awards - Nederland 2003 +/-
(Bits of Freedom) In Paradiso, Amsterdam, the Dutch Big Brother Awards were presented in front of a large audience. With the awards the person, company, governmental institution and initiative are rewarded for damaging the privacy of citizens in 2003 the most. The 4 winners of 2003 are: Minister of Justice Piet Hein Donner; several major lawyer firms that have used the services of investigation office Mariendijk; the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the legal proposal to introduce compulsory identification. [online text only in Dutch at time of posting].
- EU - Commission proposes biometric identifiers for visas and residence permits +/-
(Europa) Proposal for a Council Regulation amending Regulation (EC) 1683/95 laying down a uniform format for visas and Proposal for a Council Regulation amending Regulation (EC) 1030/2002 laying down a uniform format for residence permits for third-country nationals COM(2003)558 final. The Commission’s intention with these proposals is twofold: to bring forward the final date for the implementation of the photograph from 2007 to 2005 and at the same time, require Member States to integrate biometric identifiers into the visa and the residence permit for third country nationals in a harmonised way, thus ensuring interoperability.
- FI - Finns may track youths on cell phones +/-
(Reuters) Finland has proposed a new law that would let parents track the movements of their young children via mobile phone, even without their consent, in a move that could set an European Union benchmark in privacy and handset use. Finland's parliament will likely start discussing the proposal early in November. According to the draft, individuals aged 15 or older could only be tracked after giving their consent, but for children under 15 such consent could also be given by their parents or guardians. In emergency situations people can still be tracked without their consent regardless of their age. Finland's top two mobile operators, TeliaSonera and Elisa, currently offer positioning services that locate the phone user based on the mobile base station he or she is nearest to.
- UK - EasyJet ads do not breach privacy of game show cheats +/-
(out-law.com) Major Charles Ingram and his wife, famous for coughing their way to a million pounds on the UK's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" TV show, have lost a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) over an easyJet advert for cheap flights. The Ingrams complained that their photograph had been used without their permission and was an invasion of their privacy. The ASA did not agree.
- UK - Law lords rule there is no right to privacy +/-
(Guardian) Five law lords rejected an attempt to establish that a right exists under English law to sue for invasion of privacy. The ruling, which had been keenly awaited by lawyers, establishes that there is no "freestanding" right to privacy in English law. Instead, those seeking damages when their privacy is invaded will have to bring their cases under other, well-established types of action, such as breach of confidence. Wainwright v. Home Office  UKHL 53.
- US - In Patriot Act, some online bookstores see Big Brother +/-
(New York Times) Could the Patriot Act threaten the growth of e-commerce? That is the question being raised by some online booksellers and e-tailing analysts, who suggest that the antiterrorism law, passed in October 2001 to give the U.S. government new counterterrorism capabilities, has already changed the way some companies and consumers do business online. For some consumers, it has meant fewer online purchases of politically incorrect books. For the Web sites, it has meant changes to privacy policies and marketing strategies, among other things.
- AU - Caube rebuts EFA on Aussie spam bill +/-
(IDGNet New Zealand) A scrap has broken out between two Australian online watchdogs over the country's proposed anti-spam legislation. Caube.au, Australia’s Coalition Against Unsolicited Bulk Email, has hit back at criticism of the federal anti-spam bill by Electronic Frontiers Australia. Caube.au has reviewed the criticisms of EFA, and found that its criticism of the bill as not truly anti-spam is entirely unjustified.
- AU - Child porn spam epidemic +/-
(Herald Sun) Trafficking and advertising of child pornography on the Net has exploded in the past two weeks, an Australian child protection agency says. Child Wise national director Bernadette McMenamin said 500 per cent more child porn spam (Internet advertising) had been received by the group in past weeks. Ms McMenamin said complaints about child porn advertising and promotions had also soared. "As a monitoring agency, it comes as a dramatic increase and we aren't sure what's going on," she said. "The concern is (the spam) is actually fuelling pedophilia because it's reaching more people and promoting the demand for abused children."
- EU / US - Spam survey +/-
(TACD) The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue, which represents EU and US consumers, is interested in what you think of Spam, (unsolicited commercial emails), that is e-mails that you receive but you have not asked for, which are usually offering to sell you something. The survey's results will inform our discussions on this topic and so your answers are important. To take part in the survey, please click below on 'Start the survey' - it takes less than 3 minutes to complete. Please submit your answers only once. The questionnaire exists in 11 official EU languages.
- EU-Konferenz: Verzögerung beim Umsetzen der Anti-Spam-Richtlinie +/-
(Heise) Gesetze allein werden das Spam-Problem nicht lösen. Das sagte EU Kommissar Erkki Liikanen bei der von der Kommission veranstalteten Spam-Konferenz gestern in Brüssel. Die Kommission will bis Ende des Jahres eine Mitteilung herausgeben, die den Mitgliedsstaaten im Kampf gegen das Übel Dampf macht und den effektiven Vollzug, mehr öffentliche Aufklärung und weitere Selbstregulierungs- und technische Anstrengungen der Branche einfordert. Noch hinken indes viele Mitgliedsstaaten schon bei der Umsetzung der Datenschutzrichtlinie, und damit auch des darin geforderten Opt-In-Prinzips, hinterher. Dabei tickt die Uhr: die nationalen Gesetzgeber haben nur noch bis zum 31. Oktober Zeit. ECO-Geschäftsführer Harald Summa warb für die ECO-Initiative von Trusted Networks. Sogenannte Premium-E-Mails sollen dabei nur noch über vertrauenswürdige Server ausgetauscht werden. Die Notwendigkeit zu filtern würde in diesem Netz aufgehoben, so Summa. Schließlich könnte die Branche den überforderten Behörden auch mit der bestehende Hotline unter die Arme greifen, denn entsprechende Kanäle bei den nationalen Regulierern beziehungsweise Datenschützern fehlen noch.
- KR - Ministry eyes new rules to curb spam +/-
(Korea Herald) The South Korean government plans to introduce a new rule that will make it easier to identify junk e-mail, the Ministry of Information and Communication said. Under the new rule, commercial organizations sending unsolicited e-mail advertisements, or spam, will be required to place the '@' symbol in the subject line.
- US - Do-not-spam list won't work: Experts +/-
(Associated Press) The premise sounds simple: To cut down on junk e-mail, simply submit your addresses to a "do-not-spam" list that marketers would have to check to avoid fines. With more than 50 million phone numbers already on a federal do-not-call list in the United States, many e-mail users are eager for a no-spam counterpart. But don't hold out much hope, even if one is created. Phone and e-mail systems -and the marketers who employ them - are fundamentally different.
- US - UK anti-spam delegation urges cooperation +/-
(Reuters) British officials urged their US counterparts to cooperate in their fight against "spam'' email, downplaying differences between the two countries' legal approaches to unwanted commercial marketing. Several UK lawmakers and an appointee of Prime Minister Tony Blair are meeting this week with US lawmakers and law enforcement agencies to discuss how to curb the unwanted messages that now account for roughly half of all email traffic.
- Microsoft chatrooms close +/-
(BBC) MSN's free unmoderated chatrooms are shutting down in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Latin America and most of Asia. Chatrooms on MSN's other global sites will either be supervised - or moderated - by an adult 24 hours a day, or will be on a credit card subscription-basis only.
- NZ - Chatroom shutdown 'won't stop paedophiles' +/-
(Stuff) New Zealand Internet service provider Xtra has shut the door on all its Microsoft MSN chatrooms, bowing to calls to clamp down on "spam" and sex predators. Internet experts are sceptical and say children and paedophiles will simply switch to other free chatrooms.
- UK - You can't stop them talking +/-
(Guardian) Scare stories about 'groomers' and MSN's closedown policy shouldn't, and won't, mean the end for internet chatrooms, says Parul Amlani. Parul Amlani is from UKChatterbox.com, which launches a new safety initiative for chatrooms on October 15th.
- US - Protecting Children From Internet Pornography +/-
(Washington Post) Following the Supreme Court decision to revisit the constitutionality of the Children's Online Protection Act, a controversial 1998 law aimed at protecting children from online pornography. An edited transcript of an online chat with Daniel L. Weiss, Media & Sexuality Analyst with Focus on the Family, talking about his group's support for the law.
- America Online 'Youth Wired' Survey Finds Kids are Online an Average of Four Days a Week +/-
(Press Release) Whether they're surfing cyberspace or getting homework help, playing games or listening to Internet radio, today's "wired youth" are going online more often, spending an average of four days a week on the Internet. According to a recent America Online/Digital Marketing Services, Inc. online survey conducted in Opinion Place among more than 2,000 kids aged 7 - 12 years and parents of kids aged 7 - 12 years, nearly half of kids (46%) go online at least four times a week and nearly 20% go online every day.
- Demographics: Kids Are Media Users Too +/-
(CyberAtlas) 'Go to your room!' doesn't have the same impact on kids as it used to, as a Knowledge Networks/SRI study finds that a significant number of children have various media and entertainment devices in their bedrooms. Based on interviews with 245 children ages 8 to 17, the firm found that the kids' domain is rife with media usage. According to the study, 61 percent have a television in their room, and while 17 percent of the kids have a computer mouse planted next to the TV remote control, only 9 percent have Internet access. More than half the kids surveyed (57 percent) said that all their Internet usage takes place in their rooms, and 61 percent of their parents enact rules restricting Web use. Comparatively, 69 percent of kids without a Net connection in their rooms have parental restrictions.
- More users getting wise to spam +/-
(MSNBC) E-mail users are getting smarter when it comes to fighting spam. The number of consumers deleting spam without reading it has climbed to 65 percent from last year's 60 percent. Only 4 percent bother to read spam to see if it is of any use, compared with 5 percent in 2002, and 18 percent the year before, according to a study by DoubleClick.
- Study: Price matters for broadband +/-
(CNET News.com) For households that are considering upgrading to broadband, price still matters, according to a new study. Sixty-three percent of dial-up households said they would not upgrade to broadband because it's too expensive, according to a survey conducted by The Yankee Group, a market research firm. In addition, one-third of households that have broadband said they would swap out their current broadband service for a cheaper one.
- Wireless Gaining Subscribers Worldwide +/-
(CyberAtlas) The untethered life holds great appeal for Internet users worldwide as the number of subscribers to wireless applications continues to grow. The Yankee Group predicts that global wireless users will grow nearly 9 percent from 2002 to exceed 1.75 billion in 2007, and Instat/MDR expects the number of worldwide wireless Internet subscribers will have risen from 74 million at the end of 2001 to more than 320 million by the end of 2006.