QuickLinks - 6 January 1998
issue no. 33
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
Access to public sector information / IT in government
- More Net political disclosure
Net users now can discover who is underwriting races for the presidency and the House, using a new site launched by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The FEC site links to a database containing all reported contributions of $200 or more to candidates by political parties or political action committees (PACs) since 1993.
- Antitrust battle expands - Microsoft's legal woes multiply as states mount own effort
(PC Week Online)
While the U.S. Department of Justice and Microsoft Corp. spar again next week in court, another legal battle will be brewing for the software maker. More than a half-dozen states have quietly been building a broad antitrust case against Microsoft regarding its bundling of Internet Explorer and Windows 95. The states have formed a "working group" to coordinate their efforts.
- Microsoft releases e-mail to show court official's bias in antitrust case
(Nando.net - The Associated Press)
Microsoft Corp. demanded Monday that the court-appointed official in its antitrust case disqualify himself, saying he had displayed "clear bias" in e-mail with executives of Netscape Communications, the company that stands to gain the most out of the antitrust action.
- US Dares Microsoft on Bias Accusations
Microsoft all along has griped about Judge Jackson's appointment of a special master to review the antitrust charges it faces, and today, the US Justice Department dared the software-maker to file a bias claim.
Data Protection (privacy)
- The commanding heights
Demos, the left-wing think-tank known to be close to New Labour, has recently published a detailed proposal for the Government to take over ownership of the electronic marketplace.
Unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam)
- California Lawmaker Introduces Anti-Spam Bill
Joining a lengthening list of state legislators who are taking on unsolicited e-mail advertising, a California lawmaker has introduced a bill that would let consumers sue advertisers for $500 every time they received a piece of unwanted "spam" in their mailbox.
- China's Net regulations begin
China clamped sweeping new controls on the Internet today, warning that the network was being used to leak state secrets and to spread "harmful information." Regulations unveiled by Zhu Entao, assistant minister for public security, cover a wide range of crimes, including leaking state secrets, political subversion, and spreading pornography and violence.
- Hong Kong free of China Net controls
Communist China's sweeping new controls on the World Wide Web won't affect Hong Kong's Internet surfers and providers, Anthony Wong, director general of the territory's telecommunications, said.
- Net now cast too wide for controls
The law of the Internet is a bit like the law of the jungle. Not Kipling's Law of the Jungle, which was quite neat and orderly. But the law of the real jungle, red in tooth and claw.
- USA - Ethical Hackers Against Pedophilia
This small group of hackers, and others who support our efforts, actively seek out and stop exploitation of children on the internet.
- USA - U.S. Customs Service International Child Pornography Investigation & Coordination Center
The presence of child pornography on the INTERNET and on BBS services is a disturbing and growing phenomenon. With your help however we can reverse this trend and eliminate this type of material from the information superhighway and bring the people responsible for its production and distribution to justice. The U.S. Customs Service is the country's front line of defense to combat the illegal importation and proliferation of this hideous material.
- Netscape May Offer Navigator For Free
(Computer Reseller News)
Netscape chief executive Jim Barksdale hinted that the company may offer its Navigator browser free in the wake of a major restructuring and an anticipated loss of as much as $89 million.
- Netscape's stock plummets
Netscape's stock plummets
(Nando.net - Associated Press)
In 1995, Netscape Communications Corp. was the darling of Wall Street, buoyed by euphoria over its Internet browser. But since then, competition has forced the company to remake itself, focusing on the less glamorous but more lucrative corporate software market.
- Appeal sought in telecom ruling
The Federal Communications Commission scrambled to nullify a decision by a U.S. judge in Texas that struck down a key piece of a landmark law designed to open the nation's phone markets to competition.
- U.S. To Seek Speedy Appeal Of Court Telecom Ruling
The Federal Communications Commission scrambled to nullify a decision by a U.S. judge in Texas striking down a key piece of a landmark law designed to open the nation's phone markets to competition. FCC Chairman William Kennard said he will seek today to delay implementation of the decision by U.S. District Judge Joe Kendall, who threw out parts of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that restrict Baby Bell entry into the long-distance business.
- USA - Government is urged to create more local phone competition
(Nando.net - The Associated Press)
Now that a federal court has given at least two regional Bell telephone companies a clear path into the long-distance business, the government should consider new ways to make the Bells open their local phone markets to competitors, AT&T's chief said Monday.
Market & Technology
- Companies buying Internet addresses for the names
That sticks-and-stones stuff to the contrary, names really can hurt, and some companies are gladly buying up the rights to them to keep them from falling into unfriendly hands.
- A Merry Online Season for Web Merchants
Many online merchants reported holiday season sales increased two to three times over results for 1996, according to a trade publication. As an indication, the Gap's online store, which opened in time for the 1997 holiday season, already is on the verge of becoming one of the chain's biggest stores in terms of sales volume.
IT in education
- School as you've never known it
An ambitious educational technology scheme is linking 400 Staffordshire schools in what could be a prototype for the Government's proposed National Grid for Learning.
- Web surfers bond with super spy at 007 site
(Yahoo! Internet Life)
With the new James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies in theaters, what better time to delve even more deeply into the legend that is James Bond. Well, at least that's the thinking of the creators of Internet-based courses on Bond being offered by Eastern Caribbean University
- GeoCities Partners with Yahoo!
GeoCities announced today a business partnership with Yahoo! designed to increase traffic and expand the company's Web-based services.
- In the fax lane on the information highway
If Bruce Bond has his way, we will soon be using the Internet rather than the telephone lines to send our faxes. Ian Grayson asks him about his plan to relieve the big telecoms companies of a large chunk of their business.
- Netscape: Wave of job losses
The software company, Netscape Communications, has said it is closing some operations and cutting jobs. The measures follow a warning of a fourth-quarter loss of up to $89 million.
- USA TODAY Online Offers Pay-Per-View Archives
USA TODAY Online announced the launch of its pay-per-view archives service, allowing users to conduct a free unlimited search of articles that originally appeared in the newspaper since April 1987. Readers have the option of downloading specific stories for $1 per article.
- The Internet's calling
There was a time -- say, a year ago -- when Internet telephony (getting voice over the Net) was the cyberspace equivalent of ham radio: none too convenient, and popular only among hobbyists. That's started to change, according to industry experts.
- Better browser
A tiny company based in Kjeller, Norway, is chipping away at Microsoft and Netscape - and generating serious buzz - with a speedy and highly customizable Web browser that is lean enough to fit on a floppy disk.
InfoBeads are small, specific, fact-based reports of market research information about the computer and communications industries.. "THE site for facts on the IT industry".
Thought for the day
- Only the mediocre are always at their best
QuickLinks are edited by Richard Swetenham
- Contributors: Gerhard Heine, Alan Reekie
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