QuickLinks - 19 January 1998
issue no. 37
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.
Clinton Domain Name Plan Nears Completion
Programme d'action gouvernemental pour la société de l'information
Principles and action plan to combat high-tech crime
Microsoft appeals 'special master' ruling
German Eavesdropping Law Passes
Legal and regulatory issues
Access to public sector information / IT in government
- France - Jospin urges French administration to get wired
French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin admitted on Friday he did not know how to use his own computer, but said it was vital for the rest of France's public administration to get wired.
- France - Programme d'action gouvernemental pour la société de l'information
Le 16 janvier 1998, à l'issue du Comité interministériel pour la société de l'information, qui a réuni l'ensemble des membres du gouvernement, le Premier ministre a rendu public le programme d'action gouvernemental pour la société de l'information intitulé "préparer l'entrée de la France dans la société de l'information
- Digital TV faces uncertain future in Europe
Across Europe the arrival of digital TV, both terrestrial and satellite, is facing a number of problems, particularly of an anti-competitive kind. This week the European Commission's Competition Minister, Karel Van Miert, expressed concern that the agreement between BSkyB and BT to offer interactive TV services may contravene EU anti-trust policy.
- SPA meets over antitrust
Amid Microsoft's legal battle with the Justice Department, an influential technology trade group today took the first step in defining what constitutes fair play in the cutthroat software industry.
- Microsoft appeals 'special master' ruling
Microsoft Corp. asked an appeals court Friday to suspend a federal judge's use of a Harvard law professor as a special adviser.
- Germany - Bertelsmann geht auf Distanz zu Pay-TV-Allianz mit Kirch
Bei Veto aus Brüssel trägt Kirch allein die Kosten
- Criminals get free run on the net
They are the modern day outlaws. Swap the horse for a PC, and the pistol for a modem, and computer hackers can rob banks and swindle companies with as much impunity as their Wild West forebears.
- German bank offers reward to catch hacker
Nando.net - Agence France-Presse)
Germany's Noris Verbraucherbank on Saturday offered a 10,000-mark, or $5,800, reward to catch a hacker who was threatening to divulge its clients' bank codes.
- Première condamnation en Russie d'un pirate informatique
Un étudiant russe a été condamné à trois ans de prison et 3.300 dollars d'amende pour piratage informatique, dans le premier jugement jamais prononcé en Russie pour ce type de délit, a rapporté lundi l'agence Itar-Tass.
- Principles and action plan to combat high-tech crime
(Meeting of Justice and Interior Ministers of The Eight, December 9-10, 1997, Washington, D.C.)
Full text of communiqué
Data Protection (privacy)
- Navy: AOL probe unnecessary
A Navy spokesman said today that the Navy had enough evidence to discharge a sailor for violating the military's policy on homosexuality--even if an investigator had never spoken with an America Online employee.
- France - La nécessaire mutation de la CNIL
Sur Internet, l'anonymat n'existe pas. Vingt ans après sa création, la Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés doit adapter sa mission alors que les trois quarts de la planète ne disposent pas de tels organismes de contrôle. Un vrai casse-tête
- USA - Sailor Files Privacy Suit Against Gov't
A sailor who allegedly ran afoul of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy by listing himself as gay in an online profile assigned to his America Online Inc. account filed suit against the government charging it with violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
- Net Name Registry To Open Despite Uncertainties
An alternative system for allocating Internet domain names is in the final stages of testing and will open for business in March, even though the U.S. government has yet to approve it.
- Clinton Domain Name Plan Nears Completion
Clinton technology czar Ira Magaziner said Thursday the federal government's recommendations for privatizing the Internet domain naming system is likely to be released within the next seven to 10 days.
Internet access and use
- A Web page can be used against you
Hired to teach computer technology at a marketing company, Cameron Barrett suggested his trainees check out his Web page, where he published his own fiction. He was subsequently dismissed following complaints from female trainees about the sexual content of the page.
- M. Jospin veut mettre la France à l'heure d'Internet
Le Premier ministre Lionel Jospin a présenté vendredi à Paris un plan d'action du gouvernement pour mettre la France à l'heure d'Internet, auquel il consacrera au total 1,5 milliard de FF (250 millions de dollars).
- USA - Police computer misuse becomes candidates' squabble
A case of computer misuse at the Wake County Sheriff's Department has turned into an election year squabble between two candidates. Seven veteran deputies were suspended for allegedly surfing the Internet from the computer terminals in their patrol cars.
IT in education
- Homework Heaven - or Hype Hell? by Steve Silberman
Is it a commercial Web site beaming banner ads for stereo speakers, software, and virtual pinball games into the eyes of thousands of schoolchildren, or is it a genuine online research center - and a boon for schools that don't have the wherewithal to rent space on a Web server?
Security and encryption
- German Eavesdropping Law Passes
In a vote that one liberal legislator called "black Friday" for the German constitution, Parliament today passed a bill giving police new freedom to spy electronically on criminal suspects.
- Germany - Journalistengewerkschaften machen Front gegen Lauschangriff
Der Deutsche Journalistenverband (DJV) kündigte am Montag in Bonn eine Klage vor dem Bundesverfassungsgericht an, wenn nicht auch Medienvertreter ebenso wie Priester, Strafverteidiger und Bundestagsabgeordnete vom Abhören zur Verbrechensbekämpfung ausgenommen werden.
- EU funding: The fifth element
During the UK's six-month presidency of the European Union, the main publicity will focus on monetary union and expansion eastward - two issues on which there can be no clear resolution before the presidency moves on to Austria on July 1. There is a good chance, however, that the future of the EU's science and technology activities can be decided.
Market & Technology
Convergence of telecommunications, media and information technology sectors
- Bloomberg to do interactive TV
Starting next week, news junkies will be able to click on their PCs for Bloomberg television coverage. Fresh from a revamp of its Web site, Bloomberg will begin Internet transmission of interactive television programming next week.
- News heritage in peril
The days of poring over yellowing newspaper files in a small number of specialist locations could be numbered. Within five years, if the Heritage Lottery Fund comes up with enough cash, any newspaper ever printed in Britain will be accessible via computer terminals in local libraries.
- Thousands Listen Weekly To Football Online
While the University of Nebraska football team was playing before packed stadiums, as many as 14,000 people listened to the action on the Internet.
- USA - Internet Revives Defunct Radio Station
Old media is destined to meet a new medium when KNAC, a popular Los Angeles rock music station whose format was changed to Spanish-language programming three years ago, returns to rock -- this time on the Internet.
- USA - Post's Staff Size Mushrooms
There can be little doubt about the Washington Post's commitment to new media. With the launch yesterday of the latest addition to the newspaper's Web site features -- a city guide service called Style Live utilizing the technology of city guide company CitySearch -- the Post may now have the largest online staff of any newspaper company.
- Digital watermarking
Digital watermarking software is flooding the market, and now there's even anti-watermarking software. Digital watermarks can invisibly mark images and sound files to discourage illegal copying.
Updated pool of watermarking resources and articles.
- Premium Content Providers to Charge
To charge or not to charge - that is the recurring question that has plagued online publishers for the last several years. While some diehard netizens still chant the "information wants to be free" mantra, Salon, Slate, and Conde Nast have recently revealed that they'll soon bite the bullet and take a risk in hopes of raising revenues. Though the decisions may change the social dynamics of the Web, these magazines believe they'll be raising the bar on online content.
- Tribe to Start National Online Lottery
(San Francisco Chronicle)
An Idaho Indian reservation will start the first national online lottery Tuesday, taking advantage of a loophole in federal law that bans Internet gambling. Some experts say the move could usher in an era of legal cyber-wagering.
- Unilever To Spend More On Internet Advertising
Anglo-Dutch consumer products group Unilever, the world's second largest advertiser, said on
Friday it would spend 10 percent of its 1998 U.S. advertising budget on new forms of communication.
Internet access and use
- UK - BT Opens Up The Local Network
British Telecom has taken the first hesitant step toward giving competitors direct access to its lucrative customer base for local telephone network services by allowing two independent carriers the right to handle local loop services on its behalf.
Filtering and rating
- For e-mail read freemail
The Web's big players are falling over themselves to give surfers a free ride. The government wants every schoolchild to have an e-mail address, and this is one of the pledges of the NetYear project announced by Prime Minister Tony Blair on Monday. However, every child and every parent who wants an e-mail address can already get one. Free.
- ISPs: Business 'fails to seek' best deals
British companies are wasting thousands of pounds because they are reluctant to change their internet service providers, the latest British Telecommunications-sponsored internet report says. This is despite the fact some companies are paying three times as much as others for a fixed internet link.
- Poll: Italians wary of new media
Italians are wary of new media such as the Internet and CD-ROMs as well as satellite, digital, and pay TV, according to a new poll.
- Report: Top E-Marketers Raked in $7 Billion Last Year
Fifty-two leading electronic marketers generated an estimated $7.03 billion in 1997, according to a new industry survey, which will be updated on a quarterly basis.
- New technologies: Era of the dynamic web site
Many IT departments are now making sure they allocate 1998 budgets to build serious web applications, having generally missed the opportunity for 1997
- Plugged into the mains
The race is on for speedier Internet links. Instead of using telephone lines, Seymour Park primary school links to the Web via the same cables that supply its electricity. Not only are the computers permanently online, but download times are more than 30 times as fast as using a standard modem.
- The next generation: Catalysts for change in multimedia computing
University researchers have the freedom to stand back and think about the direction of multimedia computing over the longer term. Anyone trying to anticipate the next generation of information technology just has to focus on what universities are up to.
- Web caching system to launch
Intel will announce the launch Monday of technology dubbed "Quick Web," which speeds the delivery of Web pages to users' desktops.
- Deutsche Telekom: Second director quits
Deutsche Telekom, the German telephone group already under pressure in its home market from new competitors, suffered another blow yesterday with the departure "by mutual agreement" of Erik Jan Nederkoorn, its international director.
- Germany - Die großen deutschen Kirchen konvertieren zu Otelo
Die evangelische und die katholische Kirche in Deutschland und ihre Wohlfahrtsverbände wollen ihre Telekommunikation künftig über den neuen privaten Anbieter Otelo abwickeln.
- Germany - Le directeur international de Deutsche Telekom démissionne
Le directeur des affaires internationales de Deutsche Telekom, Erik Jan Nederkoorn, démissionnera le 31 janvier en accord avec le conseil de surveillance, a annoncé jeudi la compagnie allemande de télécommunications.
QuickLinks are edited by Richard Swetenham
- Contributors: Gunnar Bender, Pierre Bischoff, Alan Reekie, Christopher Wilkinson
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