QuickLinks 80 - 13 August 1998
Legal and regulatory issues
- EU - Symbian gains European Commission's approval
The European Commission on Wednesday gave the green light to the Symbian joint venture, which was formed in June by telecommunications companies L.M. Ericsson Telephone, Nokia, Motorola, and Psion to design software for the development of wireless information devices.
- USA - N.Y. going after Internet gambling company
New York is planning to sue an Internet gambling company for that cost at least 100 investors close to $2 million dollars. Attorney General Dennis Vacco said Tuesday he notified World Interactive Gaming Corp. and its officers that they were the targets of a lawsuit for running an allegedly illegal Internet gambling casino.
Data Protection (privacy)
- UK - Protest over customs computer check
Customs officers are searching portable computers brought into the country - but have upset one PC user who claims the policy ignores basic civil rights. The action has angered American journalist Kenneth Cukier, who said that searching computers for illegal obscene material is different to searching suitcases for bombs as it infringes personal privacy.
- Russian Web site fights government monitoring effort
Anatoly Levenchuk, who fears the Russian government has plans to monitor all Internet traffic in the country, is fighting back. On his own site, the Web-savvy Muscovite has published details of what he says is a new Russian secret police project known as SORM -- system for ensuring investigative activity. Levenchuk calls it the Russian Internet wiretap project. "I'm afraid that this is (a) return back to Big Brother," he told CNN.
Internet access and use
- Saudis look forward to surfing Internet by year's end
Saudis should finally be able to get local access to the Internet by the end of 1998 now that the authorities have put in place "firewalls" barring access to sites they deem offensive. The Riyadh-based King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology is due to decide in September which firms should be issued with service provider licenses. At present, people living in Saudi Arabia can only access the Internet by making expensive international calls to Internet service providers in neighboring states like Bahrain.
- Malaysian police arrest alleged cyber rumor-mongers
Malaysian police said Tuesday they had detained two people suspected of helping spread false rumors of riots over the Internet which sparked panic and caused the local currency to plunge.
Market & Technology
- Compaq buys altavista.com
Compaq Computer Corp. yesterday announced a deal to buy the altavista.com domain name from AltaVista Technology, Inc. Houston-based Compaq wanted the domain name for its AltaVista search engine, which came under its wing when bought Digital Equipment Corp. -- the company that launched AltaVista in November 1995. Financial terms weren't disclosed, but sources close to the deal have put the figure at $3.35 million, a record amount for a domain name. Jack Marshall, president of Campbell, Calif.-based AltaVista Technology, paid $100 for the domain name four years ago.
- Singapore firms band up to boost Internet sales
A group of Singapore companies outlined plans on Wednesday to group together into virtual retail communities aimed at encouraging Internet shopping. The Online Technologies Consortium (OTC), backed by the country's National Computer Board (NCB), plans to train local industry in mapping out strategies to sell its products on the World Wide Web.
- BT Will Buy MCI's Concert Stake
British Telecommunications will buy MCI's 25 percent stake in their international joint venture, Concert, for $1 billion, MCI said Wednesday. BT, which owns 75 percent of Concert, revealed its intent to recoup its stake when WorldCom and MCI announced their merger last fall. Washington, D.C.-based MCI and BT -- which were set to merge before WorldCom made its bid -- in 1994 formed Concert, which provides global communications to customers in 50 countries.
- Mouses to the Grindstone
Employees spend 75.5 percent of their online hours in work-related activities, according to a recent study conducted by SurfWatch Software, a division of Spyglass. The bulk of the other 24.5 percent they spend surfing general news, pornography, investment, entertainment, and sports sites, in that order.
- Still No Brakes on Net Growth
The size of the Net may have nearly doubled in the past year, according to the latest version of a biannual tally of machines connected to the global network. The Internet Domain Survey http://www.nw.com/zone/WWW/top.html, conducted by Network Wizards, seeks to find and record every online host, or individual machine connected to the Internet. The most recent survey found 36,739,000 such hosts.
Links to news items about
legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, and
market and technology
edited by Richard Swetenham
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