QuickLinks 114 - 26 March 1999
Legal and regulatory issues
- AOL Europe to file antitrust charges against Deutsche Telekom (CNET News.com) AOL Europe will file an antitrust complaint against Deutsche Telekom. AOL Europe alleges that a new pricing scheme for the phone company's T-Online unit would provide services below cost and stifle competition.
- USA - Case against NSI dismissed (CNET News.com) Network Solutions, which assigns Internet addresses under an exclusive contract from the government, has won the dismissal of an antitrust case filed by rival Internet company PGMedia.
- Germany - Cyber-cops bust Net porn ring (Reuters) Police cracked an international online child porn ring after a team of Bavarian "cyber-cops" found thousands of pornographic images of children as young as three in a chat room. Raids on private homes in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Britain, Norway, the U.S. and Canada Wednesday led to confessions by several suspects.
- China - Court turns down appeal in Internet case (Reuters) A Shanghai court has rejected the appeal of a computer engineer who was jailed for two years for using the Internet to challenge the state.
- Japan - New Law To Help Internet Child Porn Fighters (Newsbytes) Japan is slowly moving towards enacting a law that will make child pornography illegal. The law, which has been held in limbo for almost a year, looks set to pass through the Diet during the summer. It targets child prostitution with a ban on adults paying for sex with children under 18 years of age, whether at home or overseas, and also attacks child pornography, which is not illegal in Japan at present.
- UK - Man convicted of cyberstalking (The Register) A spurned lover, who used email to stalk his ex, made legal history when he was convicted yesterday. Cambridge graduate Nigel Harris became the first person in the UK to be prosecuted for cyberspace harassment.
- USA - Priest convicted of distributing kiddie porn (Philadelphia News) The Rev. Robert Orr, former rector of All Hallows Episcopal Church, was found guilty of possessing and distributing kiddie porn over the Internet.
- USA - Teenager charged with hacking into AOL (USA Today) Jay Satiro, an 18-year-old high school dropout, has been charged with computer tampering after hacking into AOL's internal computers and altering some programs.
- Music Industry Sues Lycos Partner Over MP3 (TechWeb) The global recording industry opened fire on Internet music piracy, launching proceedings against a Norwegian partner of U.S. search engine Lycos. Lycos' Internet database provides swift access to thousands of MP3 audio files on websites, which an enraged music business said are predominantly pirated copies of work by top artists.
- Feds struggle with new cable landscape (CNET News.com)
- Domain Lookup Site 'Vanishes' (Wired) Network Solutions, which handles registration of .com, .org, and .net domains, has folded Internic, a longtime Web staple for looking up domain names, into its corporate site. The company said it was trying to make it easier for Internet users to register a Web address or make changes to an existing one.
- NTIA, ICANN Frown Over NSI's InterNIC Takeover (Internet) The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration joined a growing number of organizations that are criticizing domain register Network Solutions's weekend takeover of the InterNIC site.
- USA - Lawmaker wants to crack down on Net gun sales (CNET News.com) A senator introduced the Internet Gun Trafficking Act to tighten regulations regarding the transfer of firearms over the Net. The bill would require anyone who is selling firearms over the Net to become federally licensed.
- UK - Government Warns Over Y2K April 1 Mini-Bug (Newsbytes) The British government has warned companies that the Y2K issue may cause problems for business computer users as soon as April 1 of this year, because many firms in the UK start their new financial year on that date.
- Report attacks SmartFilter's blocking criteria (CNET News.com) The SmartFilter blocking program is "misleading" and in some instances is screening the Declaration of Independence, the Koran, and other material, according to a report by a group that opposes public institutions' use of Net filtering products.
- USA - NetZero is the 10th largest ISP (Internetnews.com) The free Internet access provider NetZero has reached the 500,000 subscriber mark and now ranks as the nation's No. 10 ISP by subscriber volume.
- UK - Demon libel loss could cripple Internet free speech (The Register) Demon Internet has lost the latest round in its court case against libelled scientist Laurence Godfrey. But it says it will appeal against the decision, which confirms that an ISP can be held liable for any content posted on the Internet. In today’s pre-trial ruling by in the High Court, Mr. Justice Morland ruled in favour of the plaintiff, who sued Demon for its failure in 1995 to remove forged messages on soc.culture.thai. purporting to be from him.
- Japanese Court Ruling Could Impact Internet Law (Newsbytes) A Japanese court has convicted a man of distributing obscene material via the World Wide Web even though the Web server that stored and transmitted the images was located in the US.
- Hackers Sack Competition Site (Wired) A Belgian bag manufacturer is giving a "Hacker" branded backpack to everyone that cracks a password competition on its Web site. But on Tuesday Kipling's site was hacked for real.
- UK - Encryption debate hots up (BBC) The UK government has come under renewed fire over its plans to provide a legislative framework for electronic commerce. The minister responsible for the IT industry, Michael Wills, was ambushed by a show of hands supporting a one-month extension to a consultation deadline, when he spoke at a packed conference.
- Wireless standard fight sent back to firms (CNET News.com) After setting their sights on a single worldwide standard for wireless phones, international regulators have decided instead to endorse several different flavors of new wireless technology. A key committee of the International Telecommunications Union agreed to support several different wireless technologies backed by competing companies.
- Europe faces mobile spectrum struggle (vnu|net) Europe faces difficulties reallocating radio frequencies to make available additional spectrum for services such as third generation mobile and satellite positioning systems, according to Ruprecht Niepold, a senior European Commission official.
Market & Technology
- Independent bookstores try to compete with the big guys (Wired) An association of independent booksellers is creating a Web site to compete with online giants such as Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
- No junk mail, please, just bargains (ZDNet) Populardemand has launched a Web site that lets users sign up for the Direct Marketing Association's "don't call" and "don't mail" lists, which are used by the DMA's members to screen their customer lists. But Populardemand goes a step further than getting rid of unwanted mail, by allowing consumers to register items they are interested in.
- USA - Survey Suggests Consumers Are Taking to E-Commerce (New York Times (registration required)) In a survey Odyssey found that half of the American households online are now making purchases over the Internet, and that the total number of online purchases in the last six months jumped fourfold from the comparable period a year earlier, to 56 million.
- How the Porn Sites Do It (The Standard)
- AOL Europe Aims For 10 Million Households In 2002 (internet.com) AOL Europe is aiming to reach 10 million European households in 2002. Among the measures announced by AOL Europe is an initiative to connect all of Europe's parliamentarians to its online services. AOL Europe employs 2000 European staff to provide local content and customer support services.
- Making a Global Web Audience Count (The Industry Standard) The Internet's demographics are slowly shifting away from U.S.- centrism. The Computer Industry Almanac predicts that by the end of 2005, the U.S. share of Internet users will have dropped to 29 percent. Much of that growth is likely to be concentrated in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
- New European news report (Press Release) europemedia.com is a free weekly news report covering the main developments in the European online markets. From this week's edition - Russia: About 1.5 million Russians have Internet access; Norway: Finally digital TV in Norway, Germany: Price war in the access sector reaches a climax; Europe falls behind: The latest data from European IT Observatory (EITO); Belgium: The Belgian Internet industry has been in a state of confusion this past week. The long expected new regulation is a bizarre one could say typically Belgian compromise.
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edited by Richard Swetenham (firstname.lastname@example.org). - Contributors: TKRNews, Gerhard Heine
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