QuickLinks - 10 December 1997
issue no. 26
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.
G8 ponders crime online
Accord Etats-Unis/Union européenne pour le libre échange sur Internet
Legal and regulatory issues
Access to public sector information / IT in government
- Sri Lanka - fights rebels online
Sri Lanka today took its war against Tamil Tiger rebels to cyberspace, launching a Web site aimed at countering Tiger propoganda. The Web site was launched by the Foreign Ministry in collaboration with the Institute of Computer Technology of the University of Colombo.
- USA - Public data online raises flags
In a feat that may change what it means for a document to be public, more and more municipalities are moving ahead with ambitious plans to put government records on the Net.
- France - Révolution à l'Académie française qui "saute à pieds joints" dans Internet
La vieille dame du quai Conti, selon l'expression consacrée, fondée en 1635 par Richelieu, va prochainement installer un site sur Internet, a annoncé jeudi Maurice Druon, son secrétaire perpétuel, lors de la séance publique annuelle sous la Coupole.
- USA - Web-based lobbyists cast wide net
(Nando.net - Congressional Quarterly)
A little-known group called the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance uses a World Wide Web Internet site (www.sura.org) and an electronic mailing list to influence the White House.
- USA - Reserved judgment in Microsoft, Justice Department case
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Jackson on Friday took under advisement oral arguments from Microsoft and U.S. Department of Justice lawyers, and said he would issue a decision on the Justice Department's petition asking that the software giant be penalized for violating a 1995 court order barring Microsoft from conducting anti-competitive licensing practices.
- G8 ponders crime online
Justice ministers from the Group of Eight industrialised nations meet in Washington DC this week to devise a strategy on how to defeat Internet crime.
- USA - Argentine computer hacker agrees to surrender
(Nando:net - The Associated Press)
An Argentine computer hacker has agreed to come to this country and plead guilty to charges he broke into a Harvard University computer to gain access to U.S. military documents, a federal prosecutor said.
- G8 - Police struggle to catch high-tech criminals
(Nando.net - Agence France-Presse)
Prosecutors and police around the globe are stumbling over geographical barriers in their quest to nab Internet criminals who cross international boundaries with ease. Seeking to develop an international strategy to put these cyberspace rogues behind bars, justice and interior ministers from the Group of Eight (G8) nations meet in Washington Dec. 9-10.
- G8 - Washington: réunion du G8 pour lutter contre le crime informatique
Des hauts responsables de la Justice et de l'Intérieur des pays du G8 devaient entamer mardi à Washington un sommet largement consacré au crime informatique, dans l'espoir d'améliorer la coopération internationale face à une délinquance exponentielle qui ne connaît aucune frontière.pirates.
- Germany - Bonn garantit les droits des usagers des télécoms avant la libéralisation
Le gouvernement allemand a adopté mardi un texte de loi garantissant les droits des usagers du téléphone quelques semaines avant la libéralisation complète du marché des télécommunications le 1er janvier 1998.
Data Protection (privacy)
- USA - Computer Makers Announce Privacy Guidelines
(Netly News - Reuters)
A group of leading technology manufacturers has unveiled a voluntary code of conduct to
protect the privacy of people who visit their Web sites. The Information Technology Industry Council said the list of eight principles was a response to President Clinton's call for industry to protect privacy through self-regulation.
- Someone out there knows everything about your life ...
Personal privacy is under threat in America from the ever-growing number of background investigation databases. Sensitive personal information on millions of people - from bank account numbers to police records - can now be purchased cheaply and easily over the Internet.
- Accord Etats-Unis/Union européenne pour le libre échange sur Internet
Les Etats-Unis et l'Union européenne ont conclu un accord-cadre pour le commerce électronique mondial, aux termes duquel ils s'engagent notamment à faire d'Internet une zone de libre échange, a annoncé mardi le représentant américain pour le Commerce.
Unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam)
Internet access and use
- India - telecoms regulator vows Internet tariff cuts
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said it would announce provisional guidelines on Internet access rates before the end of the month, paving the way for tariff cuts.
- Germany - Cyber police on patrol
Cyber cops: their beat is the Internet, their targets are pornographers. As governments around the world face up to the spread of pornography on the Internet, Germany is leading the way with its own dedicated cyber police force.
- Internet World Parents Choose Supervision Over Filters
In a casual poll on Monday, most of the parents at Internet World, held here, said they rely more on their watchful eye than on filtering software to protect their kids from porn on the Net. But many said they looked to filtering software to keep their kids safe at school and in libraries.
- Kids and a Safe Internet
Three days of talk at the "summit for kids online" earlier this week produced mostly shouting and rival press conferences. Some groups warned of incipient Internet censorship, whether by the government or by the service providers and software companies that are rushing to "self-regulate" in advance of legislation.
- Asia - Lure of Internet riches overtakes censors
With its reputation as a western medium of unfettered political debate and sexual licentiousness, the Internet arrived in Asia to a wary welcome -- especially among the region's control-minded governments. That attitude has changed as Asian firms begin to appreciate the profit-making potential of a medium that can zap market information and financial transactions across town, to distant provinces or around the globe with equal speed and ease.
- France - round up Internet pedophile suspects
(Nando.net - Reuters)
More than 50 people have been detained across France in a crackdown on a pedophilia ring that
uses the Internet to distribute sexually explicit photos of children, police said on Wednesday.
- USA - Why Johnny can't surf - how to protect kids from online smut?
Since policymakers abhor vacuums even more than Nature does, the capital found itself host last week of a conference graced with the title of "Internet/Online Summit: Focus on Children." Was there no budget for a clever acronym?
Security and encryption
- USA - court hears appeal in crucial encryption export case
A U.S. appeals court heard oral arguments here Monday in a case that pits freedom of speech against national security. At the heart of the widely watched legal case is a small software program used to encrypt information. Its author, University of Illinois Professor Daniel Bernstein, contends that software, just like text in books or newspapers, is a form of speech and thus protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of speech.
- USA - Crypto appeal coming up
The First Amendment will come up against security issues in the high-tech arena once again on
Monday, when the Justice Department appeals a federal judge's decision that U.S. restrictions on the export of encryption software are unconstitutional.
- Hackers Attack Yahoo! Web Site, No Damage Done
A group of hackers threatened to unleash a computer virus over one of the most popular Web sites on the Internet as part of a campaign to free well-known computer hacker Kevin Mitnick, a spokeswoman for Yahoo! says.
Market & Technology
- AT&T: New chairman severs link with DirecTV
(FT (registration required))
Michael Armstrong, the new chairman of AT&T, yesterday cut his company's ties with DirecTV, the satellite television business he once headed, ending a relationship that had been intended to spearhead the US telecommunications company's push into television.
- Commerce On The Internet -- Who Wins, Who Loses?
As more corporations and consumers alike save time and money buying goods over the Internet, a prevailing view is that some hefty brick and mortar retail outposts will eventually crumble. But in the complex world of electronic commerce, companies are finding that early entry and a well-known brand name are among the two biggest keys to a successful business on the Internet, while companies who wait will be left behind.
- Hotmail Free E-mail Registrations Near 12 Million
Privately held Hotmail said Monday the number of registered users of its free Internet-based electronic mail is approaching 12 million and growing at more than 60,000 a day.
- Yahoo Most Visited Web Site In Nov-Study
Yahoo's Web site was the information superhighway's most popular single pit stop in November,
according to a report by Internet research firm RelevantKnowledge. More than 17.2 million "unique" users traveled last month to http://www.yahoo.com, where they accessed Yahoo's search
engine, web index, news and other products.
- New 'dataholics' generation on rise, survey says
A generation of "dataholics" is on the rise, with over half the respondents to a new survey commissioned by Reuters saying they crave information, especially from computers and the Internet. The survey is called "Glued to the Screen: An investigation into information addiction worldwide".
- From tags to riches
Next week, the World Wide Web Consortium - the body that oversees the development of Web technologies - will publish the final draft of XML, a new language that could vastly improve how today’s Web works and open up new possibilities for publishers, corporate users and the average surfer.
QuickLinks are edited by Richard Swetenham
- Contributors: Ola-Kristian Hoff
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