Articles by date

25 January 2007

Domain Tasting: Hard to Swallow (SEO Chat)

SEO Chat has an article on domain tasting/kiting, noting "they're the bane of trademark holders, though they don't always have to be." If you're wondering what these practices are, why they're so profitable, and whether you need to worry about them, keep reading. The article explains what domain tasting/kiting is, and the circumstances that make it profitable - that is the "grace period" that was introduced by ICANN in 2000 and then the move from updating the root file every 12 hours to almost immediately a domain is registered by VeriSign. Then along came Google's AdSense and AdWords. The article notes that the number of domains being sampled on anyone day has gone from around 100,000 in late 2004 to around 4 million today. The article notes that domain tasters claim they provide a service - redirecting users to a relevant page where one is otherwise not available - but also notes that he's not encountered any research that bears this out. The article concludes that with VeriSign and ICANN not acting to stamp out the process, then there isn't going to be change anytime soon. But the article claims large companies are pressuring ICANN and VeriSign, so there may be some action.

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Google, Yahoo! commit to ethical code (Out-Law)

Some of technology's biggest names are joining together to create a code of conduct to protect freedom of expression online. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Vodafone will create a human rights charter along with academics and social groups.

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us: MySpace to send U.S. users missing-children alerts (ZDNet)

Popular online social network MySpace said Tuesday it will begin sending online alerts to users in certain U.S. regions to help find missing children as part of an expansion of plans to expand safeguards for users.

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uk: Police struggling to cope with rise of cyber-crime (The Independent)

Police cannot cope with the huge rise in cyber-crime, such as computer viruses, fraud and the online grooming of children, Scotland Yard has admitted. And the scale of the problem has become so large that not all allegations can be investigated.

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China net use may soon surpass US (BBC)

China could soon overtake the US to have the world's largest number of internet users, according to a state-controlled think-tank. "We believe it will take two years at most for China to overtake the US," an official at the China Internet Network Information Center told state media.

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Italian court rules downloading isn't a crime if not for profit (Silicon Valley (AP))

Italy's top criminal court has ruled that downloading music, movies and software over the Internet isn't a crime if profit wasn't the motivation, though analysts questioned Monday whether the ruling would have much effect on copyright laws.

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Vista to play second fiddle to XP until 2009: Gartner (IT Wire)

Windows XP will continue to reign supreme, while Vista will have scant market share until 2009, according to new projections from technology research group Gartner. According to Gartner, Vista is just catching up to Mac OS X in the consumer space but will make steady progress as the years roll by.

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24 January 2007

Cyber criminals move focus to web (BBC)

Cyber criminals will increasingly turn their attention to the web and away from e-mail security in 2007, according to a new report. Security firm Sophos found that the US hosts more than a third of websites hosting malicious code, as well as sending more spam than other nations.

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Domain Tasting: Hard to Swallow (SEO Chat)

Domain tasting and domain kiting have been highlighted by the press lately. They're the bane of trademark holders, though they don't always have to be. If you're wondering what these practices are, why they're so profitable, and whether you need to worry about them, keep reading.

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MySpace files law suit against 'Spam King' (InfoWorld/IDG)

MySpace.com has filed a lawsuit against the self-proclaimed "Spam King", Scott Richter, for allegedly blasting the portal with spam through the use of compromised user accounts, the Web site said on Monday.

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23 January 2007

The Fragile Network by Bill Thompson (Circle ID)

One of the more persistent founding myths around the internet is that it was designed to be able to withstand a nuclear war, built by the US military to ensure that even after the bombs had fallen there would still be communications between surviving military bases. It isn't true, of course.

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22 January 2007

European registrars gain new tool to fight spam (InfoWorld)

IDG outlets run a story on a new rule that will come into force in February that will enable European registrars for the ".eu" domain to immediately stop the transfer of ownership of a domain name if it's suspected of abuse. Patrik Lindén of Eurid says it "will make it easier for investigations into activities such as spam, although the Web site can still function". Current rules state "registrars had to give domain owners 14 days notice before putting a hold on ownership transfers. But those who were using Web sites for nefarious activities could continually transfer ownership, making it more difficult to take action, said Lindén. The article also notes a new voluntary draft code of conduct that is being circulated among registrars. "The code lays out a series of best practices that weren't appropriate to include in the legal agreement Eurid already has with domain registrars", Lindén said.

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ICANN hires critic McCarthy (The Guardian)

The Guardian through its Technology Guardian blog notes Kieren McCarthy's ICANN appointment. The posting concludes "Kieren's been a regular critic of ICANN, as well as one of the people who has followed their movements closer than anyone else. So will he be lifting the lid even further inside this impenetrable organisation? Let's see...".

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Maran for Indian Internet content (ZDNet)

ZDNet India among others runs a story quoting the Indian Communications and Information Technology Minister Dayanidhi Maran. He says for television "the real adoption and penetration came only when the content became local" and he believes this would be the case for the internet. Maran is also quoted as saying "We will soon launch internationalised domain names in the Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and others, enabling local language domain names at the secondary level." Further, servers shall now be hosted in India so that the Internet traffic can be routed within the country.

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Call for Nominations to the Public Interest Registry .ORG Advisory Council (Circle ID)

Interested individuals are encouraged to submit nominations, including self-nominations.

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Censorship by Proxy: The First Amendment, Internet Intermediaries, and the Problem of the Weakest Link by Seth F. Kreimer (Nov 2006) (University of Pennsylvania Law Review)

The rise of the Internet has changed the First Amendment drama, for governments confront technical and political obstacles to sanctioning either speakers or listeners in cyberspace. Faced with these challenges, regulators have fallen back on alternatives, predicated on the fact that, in contrast to the usual free expression scenario, the Internet is not dyadic. The Internet's resistance to direct regulation of speakers and listeners rests on a complex chain of connections, and emerging regulatory mechanisms have begun to focus on the weak links in that chain. Rather than attacking speakers or listeners directly, governments have sought to enlist private actors within the chain as proxy censors to control the flow of information.

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Technology and Internet Jurisdiction by Joel R. Reidenberg (Jun 2005) (University of Pennsylvania Law Review)

This Essay argues that the initial wave of cases seeking to deny jurisdiction, choice of law, and enforcement to states where users and victims are located constitutes a type of "denial-of-service" attack against the legal system. Internet separatists use technology-based arguments to deny the existence of sufficient contacts for jurisdiction and the applicability of rules of law interdicting certain behavior. From this perspective, the attackers seek to disable states from protecting their citizens online. The Essay next shows that innovations in information technology will undermine the technological assault on state jurisdiction. This counterintuitive effect is born out of the fact that more sophisticated computing enlists the processing capabilities and power of users' computers. This interactivity gives the victim's state a greater nexus with offending acts and provides a direct relationship with the offender for purposes of personal jurisdiction and choice of law. Some of these same innovations also enable states to enforce their decisions electronically and consequently bypass the problems of foreign recognition and enforcement of judgments. Finally, the Essay argues that the exercise of state power through assertions of jurisdiction can and should be used to advance the development of more granular technologies and new service markets for legal compliance. Technologies should be available to enable Internet participants to respect the rule of law in states where their Internet activities reach. Assertions of state jurisdiction and electronic enforcement are likely to advance this public policy.

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Web conduct code to be drawn up (TVNZ)

Technology companies Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Vodafone are in talks with human rights and press freedom groups to draw up an internet code of conduct to protect free speech and privacy of Web users.

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Belgian Newspapers to Challenge Yahoo Over Copyright Issues (E-Commerce Times)

A group of Belgian newspapers has asked Yahoo to remove links to their archived stories from its Web search service, claiming they infringe copyright laws, their lawyers confirmed Friday. The move follows a legal challenge by the group against Google that has seen Belgian newspaper content stripped from Google News pending a court ruling expected early this year.

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us: Pa. Court Withdraws Holding on Internet Viewing of Child Porn (Law.com)

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has withdrawn its recent first-impression holding that merely to look at child pornography on the Internet -- without intentionally saving or downloading any images viewed -- does not amount to "knowing possession" of child pornography as proscribed under state law. The court also granted a prosecution request for an en banc re-argument.

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se: Bank loses US$1.1m to online fraud (BBC)

Internet fraudsters have stolen around 8m kronor (US$1.1m) from account holders at Swedish bank Nordea.

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Pakistanis like Indian porn (Times of India)

Pakistanis are most inclined towards Indian porn, entertainment and 'masala' websites on the Internet, the rating website Alexa said.

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CONFERENCE: eLearning Africa (E-Learning Africa)

This event focuses on ICT for development, education and training in Africa. It will establish a network of decision makers from governments and administrations with universities, schools, governmental and private training providers, industry, and important partners in development cooperation. This year's edition focuses on "Building Infrastructures and Capacities to Reach out to the Whole of Africa", reflecting the significant efforts of African countries to set up their national and regional ICT infrastructures to create access to education, training and services for all. The conference will be accompanied by an exhibition.

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Father of internet warns against Net Neutrality (The Register)

Robert Kahn, the most senior figure in the development of the internet, has delivered a strong warning against "Net Neutrality" legislation. Speaking to an audience at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California at an event held in his honour, Kahn warned against legislation that inhibited experimentation and innovation where it was needed.

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Peaks, valleys and vistas: Microsoft (The Economist)

The launch of a new version of Microsoft Windows, called Vista, is not quite the event it used to be. Has the software giant reached the pinnacle of its power?

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