QuickLinks 74 - 10 June 1998
Legal and regulatory issues
- USA - FTC opens proceedings against Intel
The Federal Trade Commission slapped Intel with an antitrust lawsuit Monday, saying it has used its monopoly power against selected PC makers to retaliate for taking the chip maker to court over patent infringement. "Intel cut off competition and repeatedly used its monopoly power as a club," said William Baer, director of the FTC's bureau of competition. The decision of the five-member commission starts the proceedings. Allegations will be ruled upon after a formal hearing, Baer said.
- EU not investigating Intel
The European Commission has not received any complaints against Intel, the world's biggest microprocessor maker, and therefore is not investigating its marketing practices, a commission spokesman said today.
- USA - Intel Complaint Stretches Antitrust Law
Intel shot back at the Federal Trade Commission, saying its antitrust suit against the global chip maker was "based upon a mistaken interpretation of the law and the facts." The FTC is arguing Intel is using its market power to force companies to give up their intellectual property, while Intel is arguing it has the absolute right to withhold its intellectual property from others. Intel said the government is stretching antitrust law. Antitrust violations typically include harm to competition, but "the FTC is unable to show harm to competition in any market." Some commentators assess that the FTC is likely to lose the case.
- USA - Intel reveals FTC defense
A brief filed yesterday by Intel in its ongoing litigation with Intergraph could be a guide to interpreting the legal position the chipmaker will take in its case with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Because the complaints by the FTC and Intergraph contain many of the same allegations, the appeal brief provides a glimpse of Intel's likely defense against the government, said legal experts, who added that some of the arguments the company make stand a good chance of succeeding.
- USA - Legal experts say FTC's action will set precedents
(Inter@ctive Week )
Quotes and analysis from William Baer, the director of the FTC's antitrust division, Robert Lande, professor of law at the University of Baltimore and a former counsel to Novell Corp., Bill Kovacic, professor of Law at George Mason University and Christine Varney, an attorney at Hogan & Hartson in Washington and a former FTC Commissioner.
- Judge looking for tight Microsoft trial
(InfoWorld Electric )
Looking to streamline a major antitrust case, the judge in the Microsoft-U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit on Tuesday set a limit of 12 witnesses for each side, and indicated that he probably would not hold discovery hearings in court. At a status hearing in Washington, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson said both sides can depose as many witnesses as they want, and submit written testimony before the trial, set for Sept. 8, begins. In court, Microsoft and the government will be limited to a six-to-12 range of witnesses.
- USA - Police putting new emphasis on Internet perverts
(Christian Science Monitor)
In addition to U.S. Customs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and many state and local police departments are undertaking active investigations to foil a thriving trade in child pornography over the Internet and the use of online "chat rooms" to meet children and teens who might be lured into an illicit encounter. Though the Internet has provided an opportunity for child molesters to anonymously stalk children, it has also provided law enforcement an unprecedented opportunity to identify and prosecute pedophiles. Since 1995, FBI cases have resulted in 272 convictions or guilty pleas in pedophile or child- pornography cases. The Customs Service is now making on average an arrest every other day.
Data Protection (privacy)
- France - Elections: les candidats ne peuvent avoir accès aux fichiers des instituts de sondages
(Agence France Presse)
La Cour de cassation a jugé le 12 mai qu'un candidat aux élections ne pouvait pas avoir accès aux informations détenues sur sa candidature par un institut de sondages en invoquant la loi "informatique et libertés" du 6 janvier 1978, a-t-on pu apprendre mardi. La chambre criminelle de la Cour de cassation a indiqué que "les résultats d'un sondage portant sur une personne, qui représentent l'état statistique, à un moment donné, de l'opinion de la population, ne constituent pas une information nominative au sens de la loi de 1978".
- Structure of the new IANA organization
Useful hints are to be found on IANA's FAQ. A Board of Directors will be selected with international representation who will, in turn, select a Chief Executive Officer. It is expected that there will be three functional areas: addresses, domain names, protocols. These three areas will be represented by three separate Councils. A fourth Council is expected to represent the end user and industry. IANA will be incorporated in the United States.
- Net policing misguided, panelists say
Government and private companies increasingly are trying to police the Internet, but those efforts are misguided, several panelists said at a conference on "Filters, PICS, the Internet and the First Amendment."
IT in education
- France - Internet à l'école: prochain accord
(Agence France Presse)
Le ministre de l'Education nationale Claude Allègre a indiqué qu'un accord devait intervenir prochainement entre son ministère, France Télécom et les opérateurs privés sur les modalités de connexion des écoles à internet. M. Allègre s'est toutefois refusé à préciser le contenu de cet accord. Le 27 mai, le Conseil de la concurrence avait bloqué l'offre tarifaire de France Télécom pour connecter les écoles à internet, jugeant ses tarifs discriminatoires à l'encontre des concurrents.
- USA - Lycos Wins Search Patent
Lycos Inc. was awarded a patent on Tuesday for its spider technology that's widely used to search and index information on the Web. Lycos president and CEO Robert Davis called the development "extremely significant and a major milestone" for the company. The company said it was still determining how it would enforce its patent. Its options range from seeking royalties under a licensing agreement to attempting to prohibit others from using the technology.
Security and encryption
- The Risks Of "Key Recovery," "Key Escrow," And "Trusted Third-Party" Encryption
(Centre for Democracy and technology)
A variety of "key recovery," "key escrow," and "trusted third-party" encryption requirements have been suggested in recent years by government agencies seeking to conduct covert surveillance within the changing environments brought about by new technologies. This report examines the fundamental properties of these requirements and attempts to outline the technical risks, costs, and implications of deploying systems that provide government access to encryption keys.
- Germany - Rechtsprechung reagiert auf Sicherheitslücken im T-Online-System
Die Diskussion um die Sicherheit des T-Online-Systems zieht jetzt in der Rechtsprechung Konsequenzen nach sich: Erstmals hat es ein Richter mit Bezug auf den T-Online-Hack abgelehnt, Telekom-Abrechungen als sogenannten Anscheinsbeweis für Forderungen eines Diensteanbieters anzuerkennen. Das berichtet das Computermagazin c't in seiner aktuellen Ausgabe 12/98.
Market & Technology
Convergence of telecommunications, media and information technology sectors
- Net radio firms tune up deals
Internet radio in its current form could be a placeholder of sorts for the future of music online, which is likely to involve digital downloads that users can listen to on their computers or "burn" into CDs, said Mark Hardie, senior analyst at Forrester Research. Though much of the technology is available now, it often is used illegally. And because music sales on the Net still represent a tiny fraction of overall music sales, record companies are not rushing use it as more than a marketing vehicle.
- Largest British bookseller buys online book unit
Britain's largest bookseller W.H. Smith Group Plc Monday said it has agreed to buy the online book company bookshop.co.uk Plc, which owns The Internet Bookshop Ltd. WH Smith said the deal will provide it with a platform to develop its brand in electronic commerce and support Internet Books' potential for regular Internet users and purchasers of specialist books.
- Yahoo! steps up e-commerce with Viaweb acquisition
Yahoo! Inc. on Monday made a major commitment to electronic commerce with an acquisition adding more than a thousand online merchants to its Web site. Yahoo! agreed to buy Viaweb of Cambridge, Mass., one of a multitude of companies that help retailers set up a business over the Internet. With the acquisition, shoppers can now turn to Yahoo! to make such specialized purchases as books about motorcycles, boots from Kenya, or all-natural products for pets, to name a few.
- USA - Third White House Internet Summit
(Conference Web Site )
Digital Media Content for Children and Teens focuses on the development of quality content and marketing/advertising online. The summit will take place in Los Angeles, June 10, 11, and 12, 1998. Organised by the Department of Commerce/National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and EC2- The Annenberg Incubator Project at the University of Southern California.
- New face for Deja News
Hoping to cash in with advertisers by categorizing its vast array of content, Deja News, a Web-based newsgroup aggregator, today launched a revamp of its home page, which now resembles the look and feel of a Net gateway site. Similar in navigation to more "traditional" portal sites such as Yahoo and Excite, the service has organized its content into nine channels, including "Arts & Entertainment," "Computers & Science," "Health & Medicine," and "Sports and Recreation," among others.
- Italy - Telecom Italia beefing up Net business
Telecom Italia, after striking online content deals with Excite and Disney, said it is building up its Internet operations in an effort to become an integrated communications company. Telecom's new accord with Excite will help it create Italy's first navigation hub, or Internet gateway with enhanced search, email, and chat capabilities. Last month, Telecom struck a deal with Disney to launch an Italian version of its Web site.
Multilingual content and software
- Yahoo! en Espanol Debuts
Yahoo! Inc. Tuesday announced the launch of Yahoo! en espanol, a Web guide featuring a directory of Spanish language Web sites from 20 Spanish speaking countries. Yahoo! en espanol is one of 14 sites in Yahoo!'s global network of World Yahoo!'s, including UK & Ireland, France, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Canada, Australia & New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Asia and China.
Links to news items about
legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, and
market and technology
edited by Richard Swetenham
- Contributor: Theodor Schlickmann
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