QuickLinks 73 - 8 June 1998
Legal and regulatory issues
MCI - WorldCom
- EU - MCI divestiture "not good enough"
EU - MCI divestiture "not good enough"
MCI Communications' divestment of its wholesale Internet business is "not good enough" to satisfy European Commission antitrust concerns raised by WorldCom's proposed acquisition of the company. MCI said early this week that it was selling its backbone business to British carrier Cable & Wireless. MCI executives said at the time that they were confident the sale would result in EC and U.S. approval of WorldCom's purchase of MCI. EC competition commissioner Karel Van Miert said the MCI sale in fact would not address his concerns. Van Miert added that if WorldCom had sold its UUNet Internet business, his agency's concerns would have been satisfied.
Data Protection (privacy)
- AOL Stops Tracking Surfing Habits
AOL Stops Tracking Surfing Habits
Privacy is becoming a competitive weapon at America Online Inc. The nation's largest consumer online service last week revamped the terms of service agreement with subscribers, serving up its first-ever promise to refrain from targeting ads to individuals based on profiles built by tracking their movements online.
- Big Boss is watching you
Big Boss is watching you
Votre courrier électronique, les sites web que vous consultez, le temps passé à écrire un rapport: rien n'empêche votre patron de savoir, à votre insu, ce que vous faites. Bien sûr, c'est illégal. Mais la pratique existe, comme en témoignent les chiffres de vente des logiciels espions.
- NSI Welcomes Domain Policy
NSI Welcomes Domain Policy
Network Solutions Inc. -- the company currently holding the monopoly on Internet domain-name assignment and registration through a government contract -- greeted with open arms today the Clinton administration's new policy on how to overhaul the domain name system. It stands to reason. In light of the new policy, analysts say, Network Solutions is likely to keep its stranglehold on the .com, .org, and .net domains. The administration ended up scrapping earlier plans, which would have quickly added more names to the system and called for competition in the registration process.
- Registrars Applaud New Domain Name Policy
Registrars Applaud New Domain Name Policy
Domain name registrars applauded the U.S. government's withdrawal from Net names policy-making Friday, and scrambled to start building foundations for a new private-sector governing body. The Clinton administration said it would withdraw almost completely from making domain name policy decisions, ceding control to a new non-profit governing board drawn from the private sector. "This is a victory for the Internet and a victory for Internet self-governance," said Don Heath, president of the Internet Society. Heath's group had sponsored a competing vision of self-governance, but he said Magaziner's paper had satisfied most of their concerns.
- Adresses Internet: Washington se dégage de toute responsabilité
Adresses Internet: Washington se dégage de toute responsabilité
(Agence France Presse)
Le gouvernement américain a publié vendredi un Livre Blanc pour l'indispensable réforme du système de gestion des adresses Internet, évacuant tous les points de controverse qui seraient confiés à un groupe de réflexion.
- Who owns "Hate" on the Internet
Who owns "Hate" on the Internet
The trademarked name of a respected online watchdog organization, HateWatch, is at the crux of a heated dispute between two Web sites. The original HateWatch site - at http://www/hatewatch.org -- tracks intolerance online by serving up an index of more than 200 groups dedicated to racial and national bigotry. The first URL listed in the HateWatch directory of "anti-gay" sites is American Guardian, which has launched a lookalike site, called HateWatch of America, at http://www.hatewatch.com and http://www.hatewatch.net.
- German court zaps junk e-mail
German court zaps junk e-mail
Two interlocutory injunctions forbidding unsolicited e-mail unless the plaintiff agrees or their agreement can be inferred from an existing business relationship. Landgericht Berlin Beschluss vom 2. April 1998 - 16 O 201/98 - "E-Mail-Werbung" http://www.online-recht.de/vorent.html?LGBerlin980402 Beschluss vom 14. Mai 1998 - 16 O 301/98 - "E-Mail-Werbung"
IT in education
- Singapore - New educational link-up on the Net
Singapore - New educational link-up on the Net
People in Singapore, Canada and Pennsylvania in the United States are now plugged into a network that provides courses and training programmes on the Internet. The three parties yesterday formed the Global Learning Consortium, with which they hope to enable students, parents and teachers to share information, experiences and educational resources. The consortium established a website yesterday, which will be the platform from which Internet users can obtain information on the programmes offered by consortium members.
Market & Technology
Internet access and use
- Free Net access in the future?
Free Net access in the future?
While Internet service providers angle for customers with discounts of a few dollars per month, other players are developing strategies to offer service for free. There are usually strings attached. In most cases, users are required to view advertisements that pay the ISP's bills--in a similar business model to the free email services. But in a potential emerging trend, analysts say large corporations are beginning to offer free Internet access as a way of gaining online customers and keeping them. In an early instance of this kind of free offer, Citicorp's Citibank and U.K.-based ISP Virgin Net will provide U.K. banking customers free Internet access, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
- AOL Grabs ICQ Firm
AOL Grabs ICQ Firm
After weeks of hints that a deal was near, America Online (AOL) announced today it is acquiring Israel's Mirabilis Ltd., creator of the popular ICQ instant communications application, in a cash transaction worth more than US$400 million.
Multilingual content and software
- Weaving a Multilingual Web
Weaving a Multilingual Web
Language translation remains one of the few services in the globalized economy not networked in a significant way. WorldPoint, a management-software developer, wants to change that by consolidating the language-translation business. Deploying its network of 6,000 independent translators from around the world, the company can translate a corporate Web site into potentially 75 languages and then provide software to manage the resulting multilingual site.
- European standards initiative for Net authentication
European standards initiative for Net authentication
A European e-commerce organization launched an initiative this week to counter Europe's fragmented policy on digital certification. The current setup puts Europe at a disadvantage in the fast-growing e-commerce market, according to the European Electronic Massaging Association. The group kicked off the European Certification Authority Forum in an attempt to drive the European industry toward common standards.
- No Accord On Copy Protection Threatens DTV
No Accord On Copy Protection Threatens DTV
With only five months to go before the scheduled digital TV rollout, service and equipment providers have yet to achieve formal consensus with Hollywood production studios on a copy-protection scheme for consumer device interfaces. That could cripple the initial commercial prospects for DTV, which is locked into a Nov. 1 debut, as well as delay standardization of the OpenCable spec, which dictates how cable set-top boxes will "pass through" signals for high-definition TV (HDTV) and data services.
- More Americans reading Net news
More Americans reading Net news
The number of Americans reading news on the Internet is growing at an astonishing rate, with one in five people using the worldwide network at least once a week to satisfy their appetite for information, according to a study released Monday. Most people, however, said they use the Internet to supplement, not replace, their traditional sources of news. The growth reflects the Internet's tremendous growth. Just two years ago, only 6% went online for news, the Washington-based Pew Research Center's survey showed.
- Germany - Nouvelle vocation pour les clochers: relais téléphoniques
Germany - Nouvelle vocation pour les clochers: relais téléphoniques
(Agence France Presse)
Les clochers d'église connaissent en Allemagne une nouvelle et très lucrative vocation grâce au développement exponentiel des opérateurs privés ou semi-public en matière de téléphones portables, les édifices religieux pouvant idéalement héberger leurs stations de relais téléphoniques, écrit l'hebdomadaire allemand Der Spiegel à paraître lundi.
Links to news items about
legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, and
market and technology
edited by Richard Swetenham
- Contributors: Pierre Bischoff, Alan Reekie
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