QuickLinks 48 - 17 February 1998
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.
OECD - US Raises Concerns on Global Investment Pact
EU - Europeans Agree On $15 billion R&D Budget
France Licenses Long Distance Carriers
Legal and regulatory issues
Access to public sector information / IT in government
- France - Vibration sanctionnée
Le Conseil supérieur de l'Audiovisuel a engagé une procédure de sanction à l'encontre du réseau Vibration (Orléans) pour non respect du quota de diffusion de 40% de chansons francophones, indique lundi la Lettre du CSA de février.
- USA - Microsoft chief to testify before Senate
(Nando.net - Reuters )
Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, whose company is battling the U.S. Justice Department in federal court over antitrust allegations, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 3.
- USA - Cops 'Lured' into Net Sex
Police in four states say they're the victims of what amounts to a cybersex sting in reverse, the latest in a string of Internet pornography cases getting headlines around the United States. The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, reports that the officers encountered a 17-year-old Illinois girl in chat rooms - and that their email relationships quickly became sexually explicit.
Information society and Internet policy
- OECD - US Raises Concerns on Global Investment Pact
The United States announced today that it would oppose provisions in a new global investment treaty that might subject US telecommunications and software companies to discrimination. The US statement came at the beginning of a two-day meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to discuss the Multilateral Agreement on Investment. The pact sees equal treatment worldwide for both domestic and foreign investors. France and Canada are spearheading separate demands for all cultural material - such as their film and publishing industries - to be excluded from the treaty
- EU - Europeans Agree On $15 billion R&D Budget
European Union research ministers agreed on a compromise figure of 14 billion European currency units ($15.3 billion) for the budget of the Fifth Framework, the EU's next five-year R&D program.
- USA - Internet Caucus ready for 1998
The congressional Internet Caucus has laid out an "ambitious agenda" for the first half of 1998 that includes briefing Congress on Internet taxation, encryption, bandwidth, access to government information and privacy, according to a planning memo obtained by MSNBC. The caucus will announce its plans the last week of February.
- USA - Senators slam FCC over Net fund
A national program to give schools and libraries Net access discounts is being called into question by three Republican senators and a federal agency, who say Congress should have more oversight of the fund.
- USA - FBI wiretap plan scrutinized
Civil liberties groups are urging Congress to cut off future funding for a Federal Bureau of Investigation program thatallegedly would expand its wiretapping authority to include communications sent over Net backbones or wirelessdevices.
Filtering and rating
- Ad filtering catching on?
Advertising may be the goose that is laying the Internet's golden eggs, but at least one critic is predicting that the rise of ad filtering software could present a glitch to the system.
- Searching for "clean" content
One of the hottest online search technology companies - Inktomi - next week will announce a partnership with blockingsoftware maker N2H2 to build a massive Net index for children that excludes links to pornography and other adult-orientedcontent. Sites with hate speech or those promoting alcohol use, gambling, or sexually explicit matter or advertisements also will be leftout of the directory, according to the companies. A list of thousands of online educational materials will be highlighted.
- EU - Europeans Delay Costly Metric Rules
High-tech companies on both sides of the Atlantic can breathe a sigh of relief this week, after the European Commission decided to delay the launch of costly rules to ban U.S. measurements on products, packaging, and literature.
- France Licenses Long Distance Carriers
Esprit Telecom has become the sixth, and last, operator to win the right to compete directly with France Telecom in the French residential long distance market.
- USA - Judge Sets Aside Order Against Telecommunications Act
U.S. District Judge Joe Kendall on February 6 granted a motion to temporarily stay his December 31, 1997 order againstsome key provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 pending an appeal. The Federal Communications Commission(FCC), as well as two long-distance telephony companies, AT&T and MCI Communications, have stated they would appealthe December 31 ruling.
Market & Technology
Convergence of telecommunications, media and information technology sectors
- Euro cell phones patched to Net
Alcatel, the Cannes, France-based maker of communications equipment, and Unwired Planet are joining forces to connect European cellular phones to the Internet. Alcatel's new "One Touch" line of cellular phones will offer access to Internet content, email, financial news, and contact databases through the use of a communications technology being advanced by Unwired Planet--in Europe first.
- Web May Be Too Big For World's Smallest Browser
British company STNC has launched the world's smallest Web browser for accessing the Internet on cellular phones. But because screens on handsets are tiny and cellular time is expensive, the product is unlikely to be used for regular Web browsing.
- European Net Shopping Project Fails To Draw Cash
Online shopping may be a buzzword in the IT industry, but the reality shown by a major pilot project in Europe is few consumers seem interested in buying goods and services over the Internet. Only around 200 of the 180,000 visitors to a major European online shopping project, e-Christmas, actually purchased goods from merchants involved in the project, its organizers said Thursday.
Employment and social issues
- USA - Netscape channel staff slashed
(Sm@rt Reseller )
In a bid to make over its reseller program, Netscape Communications Corp. has gutted its channel staff by two-thirds, according to resellers and former Netscape channel officials.
- USA - DoubleClick Hits the Street
DoubleClick, leader of the Internet advertising networks, is set to go public this week. Though DoubleClick, like many Net affairs, is still losing money, Barron’s gave the deal a nod "for those with iron stomachs willing to bet on the future of the Internet".
- Dramatic Internet Growth Continues
The Internet is now growing at a rate of about 40 to 50 percent, according to the latest data from the longest-running survey of Internet hosts, or machines physically connected to the network. According to the survey, conducted by Mark Lotter of hardware and software developer Network Wizards, there are now 29,670,000 "advertised" connected computers in 240 countries and territories.
- IBM takes Olympic hits
Olympic organizers announced Thursday that the official Games' site has received more than 122.6 million hits since the event began Feb. 7. During peak usage on the first day of the games, the site received 1.5 million hits per hour, IBM officials said.
- Germany - Online-Nutzung: Email und kostenlose Infos im Vordergrund
Die Electronic Media Service GmbH hat erste Ergebnisse einer Befragung deutscher Online-Nutzer veröffentlicht. Die Befragung untersuchte die Online-Nutzung der 14-59-jährigen Personen in Privathaushalten anhand einer Stichprobe von Telefon-Interviews mit 10000 Personen.
- USA - Reporters Rank Internet As 2nd Best Resource Behind Telephones
The nation's largest sampling of journalistic use of online technology has confirmed that the Internet is now part of the very fabric of journalism in America., according to findings from the Fourth Annual Middleberg/Ross "Media in Cyberspace" study.
- Spain - Canal+ Espagne revendique plus d'un million et demi d'abonnés
La chaîne à péage Canal+ Espagne vient de franchir le seuil du million et demi d'abonnés, touchant désormais 13,3% des foyers espagnols, a indiqué vendredi le groupe dans un communiqué.
- Portugal - Le téléphone mobile fait perdre 100.000 abonnés en 1997
Portugal Telecom a perdu plus de 100.000 abonnements au téléphone fixe en 1997, année où le marché portugais du téléphone mobile a plus que doublé avec 1,5 million d'abonnés, indique samedi l'hebdomadaire Expresso.
QuickLinks are edited by Richard Swetenham
- Contributor: Gunnar Bender
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