QuickLinks 55 - 21 March 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.
Legal and regulatory issues
Access to public sector information / IT in government
- Norwegian courts of law go on-line
The Norwegian courts now have their own home page. Oslo Byrett (largest court in Norway, Court of first instance in Oslo) had its official homepage launched on 12 March.
- Italy Moves to Censor the Censors
The Italian government, reacting to recent protests after a film with religious and sexual overtones was halted from national release, is moving to strip the nation's censors of their power to ban films. prime minister romano prodi's cabinet today approved and sent to parliament a draft law that would allow state censors to go only so far as to determine that a film would be inappropriate for people under 18, but not the nation's filmgoers as a whole.
- USA - State Attorneys General Raise Concerns About Proposed WorldCom/MCI Merger
(Attorneys General of South Carolina and Virginia )
State Attorneys General raised concerns about the proposed WorldCom and MCI merger and called on the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a thorough and detailed antitrust review of the proposed deal, which they said appears to have the potential to exert market dominance over the Internet.
- Israel /USA - Trois jeunes Israéliens arrêtés dans l'affaire de piratage informatique
Trois jeunes Israéliens, âgés de 18 ans, ont été arrêtés dans le cadre de l'affaire de piratage informatique à l'encontre d'ordinateurs militaires israéliens et américains. "Cette affaire montre la dimension internationale du crime informatique et l'importance d'une coopération étroite avec nos partenaires étrangers pour poursuivre les criminels" a indiqué Michael Vatis, le directeur d'un nouvel organisme mis en place par le département de la Justice pour combattre le crime informatique. La création de cet organisme, le Centre national de protection des infrastructures, avait été annoncée le mois dernier par l'Attorney General, le ministre américain de la Justice, Janet Reno.
- USA - Calif. man, 43, admits using Internet to lure 13-year-old girl
(Nando.net - Reuters )
A 43-year-old California man pleaded guilty Friday to using the Internet to lure a 13-year-old girl into having sex in a Texas hotel room.
- USA - Un informaticien poursuivi pour avoir détourné Internet
Une action en justice pour fraude informatique a été engagée jeudi à l'encontre d'un informaticien américain, Eugene Kashpureff, accusé d'avoir détourné des milliers de demandes d'enregistrement de sites sur Internet. Il avait créé sa propre société, AlterNIC, pour dénoncer l'exclusivité mondiale dont bénéficie InterNIC depuis 1992 pour l'enregistrement des appellations se terminant par ".com" pour commercial, ".org" pour les organisations à but non lucratif, ".edu" pour les institutions à caractère éducatif, ".net" pour les réseaux informatiques et enfin ".gov" pour les établissements gouvernementaux.
Convergence of telecommunications, media and information technology sectors
- France - Havas: l'Intersyndicale des journalistes obtient le report des ouvertures de sites
L'Intersyndicale des journalistes du groupe Havas a indiqué vendredi qu'elle avait exigé et obtenu comme prélable à toute négociation le report de l'ouverture des sites sur le Web payant d'Infos on Line et Infos Graphiques on Line. La semaine dernière, le Syndicat national des journalistes, SNJ, avait dénoncé "le plus gros hold-up jamais perpétré sur Internet".
see related story
Data Protection (privacy)
- US - Net privacy forum turns out to be a dud
(San Jose Mercury)
For the first time, Internet World, held three times a year in the United States, this week offered many panels and discussions devoted to policy, beyond the standard fare of things like pointers on Web site design and discussion of when businesses can actually expect to begin making money online. But few of the show's nearly 60,000 attendees came to those policy sessions, which included a full day of what was billed as the Internet Privacy Congress.
Information society and Internet policy
- French say "oui" to Web
After eyeing the World Wide Web warily for years, France officially plunged into cyberspace today with a nationwide Internet Festival to demonstrate how enthusiastically it has embraced the global network. From President Jacques Chirac's Elysee Palace to local schools, officials, businesses, and clubs flaunted their flashy new electronic look to anyone double-clicking on their sites or visiting the festival to learn how they might do so.
- Première "fête de l'Internet" en France ce week-end
Quelque 600 associations oeuvrant au développement de l'Internet participent les 20 et 21 mars dans toute la France à une "fête de l'Internet" destinée à rendre plus populaire ce nouveau moyen de communication auprès de Français parfois réticents. Site officiel de la fête: http://www.fete-internet.fr
- USA - Reno sees virtual stalemate over digital wiretaps
Attorney General Janet Reno all but declared a stalemate Thursday in the Justice Department-FBI negotiations with the telecommunications industry on the issue of how to build a system that will give law enforcement the ability to listen in to new generations of digital communications.
- Hong Kong candy Web site branded "objectionable"
The Hong Kong government appears to have goofed in its war on Internet pornography by branding a chocolate company's WorldWide Web site as unfit for children. The Television and Licensing Authority told Reuters it put the site of Smarties chocolates, http://www.smarties.com, on a list of 1,000 or so "objectionable Web sites" to protect youngsters. "We need to investigate the case. It is probably a typing error on our part," the authority's Raymond Yip told Reuters.
- Malaysia scrambles to keep teens from Internet smut
In Petaling Jaya, cybercafes will be required starting in April to give authorities the equivalent of about $5,100 as a guarantee that their screens stay smut-free. "If a cybercafe terminal is found operating a porno site, we will confiscate the deposit," said Mohamhad Nor Bador, municipal council president of Petaling Jaya, just south of the capital, Kuala Lumpur.
see related story
- USA - Two Internet anti-porn bills move ahead in Senate
The Senate Commerce Committee Thursday approved two controversial bills intended to keep pornography away from kids using the Internet, but the measures could be held up by further legislative wrangling. The committee passed on a voice vote chairman John McCain's bill to require schools and libraries receiving federal subsidies for Internet connections to put in place systems to filter or block out pornographic material. The Commerce Committee also approved on a voice vote a bill from Senator Dan Coats, a Republican from Indiana, to require commercial sites on the World Wide Web that have material deemed harmful to minors to limit access by children.
IT in education
- France Télécom autorisé à casser les prix pour faire entrer Internet à l'école
Le gouvernement a autorisé France Télécom à casser les prix pour faire entrer Internet dans les établissements scolaires, suscitant la colère de l'ART, le gendarme des télécommunications, qui y voit un abus de position dominante. Après six mois de négociations serrées, le ministère de l'Education nationale a annoncé qu'il avait obtenu de France Télécom des tarifs forfaitaires de connexion à Internet "quatre à cinq fois inférieurs aux prix habituels".
- USA - Net libel suit raises free speech issues
During a typically passionate discussion on the Net, Stacy McCahan called someone a liar--and to her surprise, she was slapped with a $5,000 libel lawsuit. Legal experts say the case is not the first lawsuit to address online libel, and it won’t be the last. But it does cement a growing realization by Net users who are accustomed to shooting from the hip: what they say in chat rooms, email, or on Web sites is not exempt from the laws of the offline world.
Market & Technology
- Domain Name Registration Cost Goes Down
The price of .com just went down. Network Solutions, the keeper of the .com, .net, and .org domain name registries, announced Monday that it has eliminated the Intellectual Infrastructure Fund portion of its fees. As of April 1, registering a domain name will cost $70 rather than $100 for the first two years. Annual renewals will be $35 rather than $50.
- Electronic commerce: Europe 'catching up' in internet use
European companies are beginning to close the lead their US counterparts have in use of the internet, according to John Chambers, chairman and chief executive of Cisco Systems, the worldwide leader in networking equipment. "Europe is catching up in terms of its investment in the internet," Mr Chambers said yesterday during the Cebit technology fair in Hanover. He said the rise in European internet spending reflected a growing awareness of the savings and other benefits of internet communications and electronic commerce which Cisco has pioneered. "It is not just big business: European politicians also seem to have got the message," he said. The increased interest in is also reflected in Cisco's European sales. "Europe is now our fastest-growing sales region," he said. "Most countries are growing by between 30 per cent and 40 per cent a year."
- Intel: Europe e-commerce to boom
Intel said today that Europe was about to see a boom in computer sales and electronic commerce led by legions of small businesses selling everything from shoes to cuckoo clocks. The company expected Western Europe's total online sales to shoot to $26 billion in 2001, from $3 billion this year, Intel Europe chief Rob Eckelmann said at the CeBIT trade fair, the world's biggest technology fair.
Internet access and use
- AT&T WorldNet cans time-outs
AT&T WorldNet has decided not to implement a policy of cutting off users after three hours during peak periods. WorldNet recently tested the practice in an attempt to gauge its effectiveness in curbing what it called excessive use by a small group of subscribers. After analyzing the results of that test, however, the ISP concluded that the benefits of the forced time-outs to network performance were negligible and not worth the ire they inspired in users.
Multilingual content and software
- USA / Russia - Gore says 'Da!' to improved Internet translations
Vice President Al Gore announced a new effort Thursday to ramp up translation services via the Net. The vice president said he and Chernomyrdin "agreed to establish a small working group of linguists on both sides ... and we are asking some of the Internet-based companies here in Silicon Valley to join with us in helping to develop Web pages and clearinghouses on the Internet that will ease" translation of Russian to English and vice versa.
- Boom time for ISPs
Internet service providers are expecting strong revenue growth this year, according to a survey conducted by KPMG and Planet Direct. The robust estimates among ISPs were helped in part by confidence in the business subscriber market, the survey stated. While most ISP subscribers are not businesses, the study showed that business customers generate $33.95 per customer, while residential subscribers generated a proportionally lower amount at $19.50 per customer. Today's announcement also showed that email and Web hosting were the most popular products ISPs offered, while news services and downloads came close behind.
- Germany - Deutsche Telekom: Internet telephony plan unveiled
Deutsche Telekom, the dominant German telecoms group, is to launch this autumn a "tourist price" telephone service that will use the internet to cut substantially the cost of long distance calls.
QuickLinks are edited by Richard Swetenham
- Contributors: Gunnar Bender, Pierre Bischoff, Ola-Kristian Hoff
http://www.qlinks.net/ * Now with subject index *