QuickLinks - 26 November 1997
issue no. 19
Links to news items about
legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and
market and technology.
Legal and regulatory issues
- USA - Ballmer: DOJ Battle Non-Negotiable (TechWeb - Computer Reseller News) Microsoft's executive vice president of sales, Steve Ballmer, said to not expect the software giant to go to the negotiating table with the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Dole backs Justice Department against Microsoft (InfoWorld Electric) Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, a Republican whose "instincts lead me away from government regulation," nonetheless weighed in Monday in favor of the U.S. Department of Justice's challenge to Microsoft.
- EC gets MS to change contract update (News.com) Adding to a long list of investigations into its competitive practices, Microsoft agreed today to modify a controversial 1987 contract affecting rival Santa Cruz Operation after the European Commission found that Microsoft had infringed European competition laws.
- USA - Group Says Microsoft Uses "Elements of Extortion" (Reuters) A group of computer and telephone companies charged on Friday that Microsoft was using "extortion" in its battle with Netscape Communications for dominance in selling browsers for the World Wide Web.
- USA - HUD Targets Net Insurance Scams (USATODAY) The federal government begins a crackdown Monday on privately operated Web sites that
pose as federal agencies to bilk consumers. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Andrew Cuomo will take legal action against several Web sites that charge unsuspecting consumers $300 or more for assistance in recovering Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance fees.
Data protection (privacy)
- Anonymity At Any Cost (The Netly News (http://netlynews.com/)) When Lance Cottrell created an easy-to-use anonymous e-mail service back in 1994, he feared that nobody would use it. "I used to be worried that people didn't want anonymity enough to pay for it," he says. Today his company, Infonex, boasts 3,000 customers who pay $60 a year to browse the Web without leaving behind digital footprints. Which leaves Cottrell with new and more troubling worries. The mushrooming popularity of his Web-based "Anonymizer" (he also offers a slower, free version) has placed him at the heart of an explosive Internet debate over the limits of free speech and privacy online. Is Infonex - or Cottrell personally - responsible if a user breaks the law and can't be traced? Should the government restrict anonymous remailers or untraceable Web browsing?
- Don't Bet On Internet Gambling (TechWeb) "As a state official, I rarely want the federal government to take the lead," Wisconsin Attorney General James Doyle told a hearing by a U.S. Senate panel in July. "But if ever there was an instance for the federal government to take action, this is it."
unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam)
- USA - Free Internet E-mail Service Launches Federal Lawsuit Against Bulk E-mailers (Company Press Release) Juno Online Services, L.P., provider of the nation's only completely free Internet e-mail service, announced it has filed suit in federal court against five organizations believed to have forged Juno
e-mail addresses onto unsolicited commercial e-mail actually sent through a different e-mail provider. The lawsuit charges five defendants with sending tens of thousands of pieces of unsolicited commercial e-mail (commonly known on the Internet as ``spam'') bearing forged return addresses that falsely identified Juno e-mail accounts as the source of the spam.
Filtering and rating
- FCC prepares rules to implement world telecom pact (Nando InfoTech - Reuters) Federal regulators are poised to open the nation's $200 billion telecommunications market to foreign companies as part of a global effort aimed at driving down the price of an international phone call.
- Open Euro Telecom Market Strewn with Barriers (Reuters) The European Union is still far away from its goal of creating a single, open telecommunications market, a new private survey says, even though many of the member nations are making rapid progress toward dismantling barriers to competition.
Market & Technology
- USA - Magazine owner buys piece of Internet concert broadcaster (Nando.net - The Associated Press) The publisher of Rolling Stone said Monday it purchased a stake in JamTV Corp., a technology company that broadcasts live concerts on the Internet, to boost the magazine's presence online.
- Viewcall Launches Canadian Internet TV (Internetnews.com) ViewCall Canada Inc. launched BeyondTV Net-connected television, becoming Canada's first personalized Internet TV service. BeyondTV enables viewers to send and receive e-mail and to connect to the World-Wide Web from their televisions. Viewers can personalize information, entertainment, and other Internet services with a click of a remote control, eliminating the need for a personal computer.
- WebTV Plus missing Christmas (News.com) WebTV Plus, the next generation of set-top boxes designed by WebTV, won't be generally available
until after the holiday season, the company has admitted. The follow-up product, which allows consumers to view TV and Web content simultaneously, will not be fully released until next year.
- Asia ripe for Internet commerce (News.com) Just as Pacific Rim nations gathered in Vancouver last week to back a global framework aimed at governing and encouraging electronic commerce, a group of Internet providers, advertisers, and marketers were touting the opportunities for e-commerce in Asia.
- Expert medical advice online (News.com) Finding a medical site on the Internet is easy. There are sites that offer specialized information, sites that specialize in alternative medicine, and sites sponsored by drug companies, to name a few. And advice on the Net is also readily available - mostly for free. So why would people pay $195 to get advice from a doctor they've never met?
- France Telecom Eyes Net Commerce With Transact (internetnews.com - Reuters) French telecommunications operator France Telecom said on Monday it plans to offer a range of secure electronic commerce services on the Internet and would buy Open Market Inc's Transact software to develop its back office services for this. It said in a statement that it seeks to stimulate the growth of electronic commerce in France, which requires bolstering confidence among users.
Internet access and use
- USA - Internet Service Subscriptions Reach 25.3 Million (real.Content) There is no end in sight as third quarter Web/online subscriptions reach 25.3 million, according to Electronic Information Report's (EIR) quarterly online subscriber survey. The number of subscriptions jumped 5.6 percent from 23.9 million in the second quarter, reported the newsletter published by Cowles/Simba Information.
- USA - Truths About Net Use Remain Elusive (Wired) Web and online subscriptions reached 25.3 million in the third quarter of 1997. Or maybe it was 56
million adults, which would be 27 percent of the United States' population. Or possibly 29.3
QuickLinks are edited by Richard Swetenham
- Contributors: Alan Reekie
QuickLinks Archive http://www.kids-o-rama.com/quicklinks/ *Now with subject index*