QuickLinks 58 - 27 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.
Netherlands - Qwest Will Buy EUnet International
Yahoo, IDT in Internet phone pact
Legal and regulatory issues
Data Protection (privacy)
- USA - White House plans privacy confab
The Clinton administration plans to hold a conference exploring Internet privacy issues in May, officials said today. The gathering, similar to a meeting held last December that dealt with how to protect children on the Internet, will include representatives from industry, government, and advocacy groups.
- USA - Sting Nets More Web Gambling Operators
(Net Insider )
The federal government escalated its war on Internet betting Thursday, filing charges against seven more people associated with online sports betting companies based in the Caribbean. The charges follow similar complaints filed against 14 individuals in early March, the culmination of a five-month FBI sting. All 21 are being charged with violating federal laws against transmitting bets or betting information over interstate telephone lines.
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Employment and social issues
- Internet for the Masses
"And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar." Exodus.27.5 The Very Wired Archbishop of Denver, Charles Chaput, is hosting what he describes as a "wonderful beginning" for the Catholic Church on the Internet. Major players in the industry are mixing with robed cardinals and archbishops from all over the world at the Church's International Conference on New Technologies, taking place in Colorado till Saturday.
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Information society and Internet policy
- EU - U.S. Favors Global Internet Charter
Europe's proposals for a coordinated, worldwide approach to regulation of electronic commerce has been favorably received by the Clinton administration, according to a European Commission official. The United States expressed qualified approval for an international charter, proposed by European IT and telecom commissioner Martin Bangemann, said Paul Verhoef, a senior aide to Bangemann, at a European Multimedia Forum conference.
- Cable executive warns bishops about immorality on the Internet
(Nando.net - Reuters )
The president of a major American cable television company on Thursday urged Roman Catholic bishops to find out why the Internet can be both "an electronic pew" and a vehicle that is "stunningly immoral." To underscore his point about the moral dangers of the Internet, he talked about the "Jennicam" Web site, where a young woman lets a camera in her apartment chronicle her every movement, including having sex.
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- USA - Net libel appeal heard in court
In what is becoming an increasingly common front for legal defamation cases, an Internet flame war between two rivals spilled into a state courtroom here today. The case, on appeal from small claims court, challenges a $5,000 judgment against Stacy McCahan, who, during a heated exchange on an email discussion list, called another subscriber a liar and suggested that he was harassing her.
- UK - Tory Wants British Millennium-Bug Law
A British parliamentarian wants to force companies to tackle the millennium bug and says he'll introduce legislation on the matter next week. Opposition Conservative David Atkinson conceded that he was unlikely to get government support for his Millennium Conformity Bill, which would put in place a system of penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment if companies were not prepared. He said the initiative is intended to heighten awareness of the problem as 1 January 2000 approaches.
- European Telephone Companies Want Better Chance At U.S. Market
European telecommunications carriers aren't given the same opportunities to do business in the United States that U.S. operators are given in Europe, according to the head of Dutch telephone company PTT Nederland. Speaking at the Centre for European Policy Studies on Tuesday, Wim Dik, PTT Nederland's CEO, said the U.S. market is not as liberalized as its regulators claim. The European Commission, Europe's regulatory body, should do more to extract better treatment for European operators entering the U.S. market, he added.
- USA - FCC Auction Produces $587 Million For Treasury
The Federal Communications Commission closed bidding Wednesday in its biggest airwave auction to date, raising a net $578.7 million for the U.S. Treasury. The Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) band uses microwaves to send high volumes of information between fixed points. That makes it suitable for replacing cable television, telephone wires or Internet access, but not mobile phones or pagers.
Market & Technology
- Netherlands - Qwest Will Buy EUnet International
Qwest Communications International said it will buy Netherlands-based Internet service provider EUnet International for about $154 million in stock and cash. Qwest said in a news release the deal gives it a foothold in the European data transmission market through EUnet's network of operating units in 13 countries.
- Survey: Execs to Favor Net News Over Print
Corporate executives say that electronic delivery will be their preferred source of news in the new millennium rather than newspapers, according to a new poll. A whopping 91% of those polled predict that the Internet will be their main source of news by 2005, followed by 80% who will get news via corporate intranets, and 74% through e-mail. Only 50% expect newspapers to be a crucial source of business news.
- Price Waterhouse Predicts Explosive E-Commerce Growth
Price Waterhouse released its annual Technology Forecast this week predicting a massive increase in business conducted via the Internet. "While Web sites dedicated to consumer sales gain most of the publicity, the real growth is occurring in business-to-business electronic commerce," explained Terry Retter, Director of Strategic Technology. "Between 1996 and 1997, business-to-business trade doubled every six months and this is accelerating to double every 3-4 months in 1998. By 2002, the value of goods and services traded via the Internet will increase to $434 billion." The report will be available on demand on the Price Waterhouse Web site http://www.pw.com beginning March 30th.
- USA - Forrester Research Expects E-commerce to Double by Year's End
The number of households that shop and invest on-line is expected to double from five percent to 10 percent by the end of 1998, according to Forrester Research's survey of 120,000 North American consumers. The report, called "Consumer eCommerce Readiness," also found that on-line connections and PC ownership will soon broaden to include low-income households, generating the next wave of e-commerce-ready consumers.
- USA - GSM Cellular Standard May Get Boost
( Total Telecom )
A group of telecommunications equipment vendors plan to reclaim mobile phone licenses from a failing American operator, in a move could help extend the world's most widely used digital cell phone system further into the United States. The plan, drawn up by Siemens Telecom Networks, Ericsson and three other equipment vendors, proposes that 14 of the mobile licenses held by near-bankrupt operator Pocket Communications, which owes the group of companies around $300 million, be transferred to a company tentatively titled NEWGSM.
- Yahoo, IDT in Internet phone pact
Yahoo and IDT, a supplier of low-cost international communication services, said users of Yahoo's people search and phone directory services can now link to IDT's Net2Phone service. Once a phone number is located in the directory, the Yahoo user can click on the number and be connected to IDT's Net2Phone service. Recipients on the other end of the call do not need to be online to receive Net2Phone calls. They can answer their telephone as they would a regular phone call. Phone rates are not based on the country of origin, but on a lower-cost pricing structure set by IDT for the number being called. Yahoo Net2Phone users can expect to pay rates that run from $0.08 to $0.10 per minute for domestic calls in the United States, $0.13 a minute to Britain, $0.18 to Australia and $0.20 to France.
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