- Belarus KGB chief: Internet should be brought under control +/-
(E-Belarus.org) KGB should exert control over Internet, because international terrorism and organized crime more and more often use WWW. "We are trying to provide all the possibilities, and legal - first of all, in order to be able to control Internet," said Mr. Leonid Erin, chief of Belarusian KGB. Mr. Erin emphasizes that he understands criticism of this position, especially in connection with human rights violation. But he insists that prior to that are state interests and secret services activities. see Interfax article (in Russian).
- The Internet and the right to communicate +/-
(First Monday) by William J. McIver, Jr., William F. Birdsall, and Merrilee Rasmussen. The development of the Internet challenges traditional conceptions of information rights. The discourse surrounding these rights and the Internet typically deals with each right in isolation and attempt to adapt long established understandings of each right to the new technological environment. We contend there is a need to address information rights within a comprehensive human rights framework, specifically, a right to communicate. This paper examines the development of a right to communicate and how it can be defined and implemented.
- UK - OFCOM: Passive poodle or tough terrier? +/-
(Guardian) After a year of intense preparation, the challenge for Ofcom is to look outwards, rather than inwards - to raise its profile and start communicating in plain English rather than Ofcom-speak. Viewers and listeners are stubbornly interested in programmes, choice, content, the cost of the licence fee and BSkyB's monthly charges, and a growing number expect to be able to complain when offended. Yet Ofcom's content and standards staff number 60, while there are 212 in competition and markets and 114 in strategy and market development. This is because Ofcom was designed primarily as an economic regulator.
- WSIS - U.N. Summit Calls for Wired World +/-
(Reuters) More than 170 countries approved an ambitious call to extend the Internet and the benefits of information technology to the poorest corners of the world, but dodged some of the difficulties of doing so. In particular, they put off a decision on whether to set up a special fund to finance the necessary infrastructure, for which African countries had lobbied hard. Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action. see also UN summit pledges net for all (BBC), UN summit fails to bridge digital divide (Associated Press) and Mission accomplished for Switzerland (NZZ).
- FR - Les industries culturelles hostiles à un "droit de l'internet" +/-
(AFP) Le Comité de liaison des industries culturelles (CLIC) s'est déclaré opposé à un amendement de l'assemblée dans le projet de loi sur l'économie numérique visant à donner une 'nouvelle définition de la communication publique en ligne'."
- Sommet information: la régulation de l'internet reviendra sur la table à Tunis +/-
(AFP) Le dossier de la régulation de l'internet, effleuré à Genève lors de la première phase du Sommet mondial sur la société de l'information (SMSI), reviendra sur la table des négociations pour la deuxième phase du SMSI, en novembre 2005, à Tunis. Faute de consensus lors des réunions préparatoires à la réunion de Genève, qui le SMSI a reporté à plus tard une décision sur l'éventuel transfert à un organe de l'Onu de la régulation de l'internet, auquel s'opposent fermement les Etats-Unis. voir aussi Allocution du Premier Ministre, M. Jean-Pierre Raffarin. Interventions de la ministre deleguée à la recherche et aux nouvelles technologies, Mme Claudie Haignère, Internet et le developpement humain lors de la table ronde organisee par le ministere de la jeunesse, de l'education nationale et de la recherche, et lors de la table ronde officielle créer des opportunités numériques.
- Understanding WSIS: An Institutional Perspective on the UN World Summit on the Information Society +/-
(IP3) WSIS is hard to understand. The 2003 Geneva meeting of the UN World Summit on the Information Society has brought thousands of people to Geneva to articulate a collective vision about the benefits and potentials of information in society and the policies needed to realize them. Even immediate participants have difficulty understanding what has been achieved. With so many recommendations, which ones will lead to concrete political action and social change? What is important and why?
- WSIS - EU approves of Net summit direction +/-
(InfoWorld) Don't screw up a running system. This isn't advice from a computer expert but a message delivered by European Commission technology commissioner Erkki Liikanen at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva. "The Internet has been a wonderful story," he said at a news conference. "It is very important that we guarantee stability." Like the U.S., the EU favors upholding the status quo on the thorny issue of "Internet governance" - namely, to stick with the most-recognized Net governing body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), until that organization can be improved or even replaced. "Internet governance" has emerged as one of the key issues in the Net summit, which aims to help bridge the digital divide between poor and rich countries. The term, however, has evolved from its early technical focus on names, numbers and protocols to include policy issues. see EU - Statement by Mr Liikanen at the World Summit on Information Society (RAPID). Mr Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society. First Plenary Session World Summit on Information Society, Geneva, 10 December 2003 and World Summit to set out a strategic vision for a global information society (RAPID).
- WSIS: Mit schmalem Gepäck beim Weltgipfel für die Informationsgesellschaft +/-
(Heise) von Monika Ermert. Die Integration der Zivilgesellschaft, die Einigung über Menschenrechtsfragen und die Tatsache, dass der Gipfel erst einmal stattgefunden hat - dies bezeichnete Rezzo Schlauch als wichtigste Erfolge des ersten Weltgipfels der Informationsgesellschaft (WSIS). Schlauch, parlamentarischer Staatsekreträr im Bundeswirtschaftsministerium, war kurzfristig für seinen Minister Wolfgang Clement als deutscher Regierungsvertreter auf dem Weltgipfel eingesprungen. Fragen, ob Deutschland sich eher zurückhaltend an den Gipfelvorbereitungen beteiligt habe, verneinte er bei seiner Kurzvisite am kleinen und ganz in die Ecke gerückten deutschen Gemeinschaftsstand auf der dem Gipfel angeschlossenen ICT4D-Messe. siehe auch WSIS: Zoff um Internet-Zugang für den Weltgipfel der Informationsgesellschaft und Nach Mitternacht ging es nur noch ums Geld (Telepolis) von Wolfgang Kleinwächter.
- CN - Cybererotik in China gefragt +/-
(Heise) Das SMS-Geschäft in China boomt: Die im Nasdaq ablesbaren Aktienkurse der drei chinesischen Megaportale Sina.com, Sohu.com und Netease.com befinden sich im Höhenflug. Grund dafür sind die hohen Einnahmen aus dem SMS-Geschäft. Mit ihren überaus erfolgreichen SMS-Allianzen haben die großen Service Provider ein 'Erotik-Netz' in nie gekannter Weise in China aufgebaut.
- JenniCam to go dark after 7 years +/-
(Reuters) One of the darlings of the Web and a pioneer of electronic exhibitionism - Jenni of JenniCam fame - is turning off the lights after seven years. Jennifer Ringley, 27, became a quasi-celebrity when she installed video cameras in her room at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania in April 1996 and launched JenniCam.org. Over the years the cameras have followed the redhead's every movement 24 hours a day. Now, her Web site has a notice saying it will be closing on Dec. 31. While Ringley did not provide a reason on the site or respond to an e-mail query, it appears that her undressing may be her undoing. A spokeswoman at online payment company PayPal confirmed that they were closing her account because the frontal nudity on her Web site violates the company's acceptable use policy.
- KR - Computer games - Invaders from the land of broadband +/-
(Economist) Could South Korea hold the key to the next generation of online computer games?
- UK - Is that a real horse? +/-
(Guardian) An early driving force in the success of digital television has been live sport, and the industry believes the next big driver will be interactive TV betting. A marriage of the two seems to have been made in heaven. But decent live sport is expensive and not easily acquired, so why not make it up? On Sky Digital, a new channel called iSportsTV is now screening the world's first virtual interactive TV horse racing programme. You see the race track, and the crowd, you see the start and the finish, you hear the thundering hooves. And you can gamble to your heart's content. It seems real but it's all made-up: the horses, the stands, the race - it's all created by a fancy computer programme.
- CN - Chinese internet use rising fast +/-
(BBC) According to new figures, 78 million Chinese will be using the internet by the end of the year. China is second only to the US in terms of the number of internet users and it hopes to be the world's biggest web market in four years' time. One in nine internet users worldwide is in China. It is an astonishing rate of growth for a country which only began hooking up to the internet in 1994. Officially there are 32% more internet users in China than this time last year. But the increasing use of the internet is a matter of some concern for the Chinese government, which has been struggling to exert its control over content.
- Europe - Net gains ground on old media +/-
(Guardian) The internet is rapidly catching up with traditional media, with Europeans now spending more time surfing the web than flicking through magazines. The explosion of news and entertainment sites on the internet, combined with a decline in daily newspaper reading means the internet now accounts for an average of 10% of media consumption in Europe. Magazines by contrast now account for just 8% of media consumption, according to the research, which was carried out by Millward Brown for the European Interactive Advertising Association. Even newspaper reading is only slightly ahead of the internet, accounting for 13% of the time spent on media. And although television remains by far the biggest medium, accounting for 41% of people's media time, 45% of those surveyed said the internet meant they now watched less television. Radio accounted for 28%.
- UK - Broadband hits 3m connection mark +/-
(vnunet.com) Regulator Oftel has claimed the UK has three million broadband customers. The organisation said that broadband adoption rates are running at a record 40,000 households and businesses a week, although its figures include 128Kbps connections, which it recently classed as broadband. see Internet and Broadband Brief.
- UK - The country switches on +/-
(Guardian) Broadband is finally conquering rural areas - and just in time for many businesses. Last autumn, around 67% of the UK population had access to broadband through an economically realistic method. By this autumn, 80% of Britons had access, and trigger levels - customer demand levels required for an exchange upgrade, measured by registrations on a BT website - were available for a further 10%. BT has announced trigger levels for a further 2,300 exchanges, which would take coverage to 99.1% if pilots to extend the range of each exchange bear fruit.
- Making calls over the Net +/-
(IHT) Until the last few years, voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP, phone service was illegal in many developing markets, including Greece. During the past few years, the relationship between VoIP providers and government regulators has slowly warmed. Deregulation and a more passive, if still vague, stance by telecom watchdogs have reduced the circumstances in which running a VoIP service was akin to running opium and guns. In a report, the research firm Ovum concluded that the VoIP market had fewer than 200,000 users worldwide and fewer than 20,000 in Europe. Obviously VoIP is not yet a real challenger to what is sometimes referred to as POTS, or plain old telephone service.
- UK - BT pokes toe into VoIP market +/-
(ZDNet UK) The first UK mass-market service to encourage users to send voice calls over the Internet is an aggressive move by BT against its cable rivals. BT has become the first UK telco to offer a mass-market consumer voice over IP (VoIP) service. Its Broadband Voice package is primarily targeted at NTL and Telewest customers but will work just as well with an ADSL connection. BT says that it is a ground-breaking product that will let cable customers save money on voice calls, but rivals have dismissed Broadband Voice as little more than a second phone line.
- US - AT&T joins battle over Internet calling +/-
(New York Times) The battle over the future of U.S. telephone service intensified with an announcement from AT&T that it would offer unlimited long-distance and local calling using Internet technology, at a lower cost than conventional phone service. The move follows similar announcements from Time Warner Cable that it would provide phone service to many of its cable television customers with access to high-speed Internet connections and by BT Group of Britain of its own plan to offer such a service.