Articles by date

19 January 2007

us: Union Calls For Several New Internet Policies (Information Week)

The United States has fallen behind smaller and once less-advanced countries and risks falling further behind unless lawmakers work to improve Internet access for all, a new paper by the Communications Workers of America suggests. Schoolchildren, healthcare providers and media across the U.S. are on the have-nots' side of the digital divide, according to the union.

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Digital music sales nearly doubled in 2006 (Sydney Morning Herald)

Global digital music sales almost doubled in 2006 to around $US2 billion, but have not yet reached the industry's "holy grail" of offsetting the fall in CD sales.

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18 January 2007

Businesses too scared to switch to VoIP: But should they be? (Silicon)

Companies are missing out on the long-term benefits of VoIP because they're too afraid of the short-term pain of putting in the systems, a new survey has revealed.

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Why Spam Won't Go Away (Forbes)

Spam is filling up the Internet, and it's not going away anytime soon. It's not just e-mail. We have voice-over-IP spam, instant message spam, cellphone text message spam, blog comment spam and Usenet newsgroup spam. And, if you think broadly enough, these computer-network spam delivery mechanisms join the ranks of computer telemarketing (phone spam), junk mail (paper spam), billboards (visual space spam) and cars driving through town with megaphones (audio spam). It's all basically the same thing--unsolicited marketing messages--and only by understanding the problem at this level of generality can we discuss solutions.

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Convergence Convergence! (Forbes)

More than 140,000 people were expected to flood Las Vegas for the 40th annual Consumer Electronics Show, where the industry traditionally shows off its latest and greatest--and some stuff that never will be. Then many turned their attention to San Francisco, where Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs was set to show off his own set of wonder-gadgets at Macworld. By following this link you can go to the Forbes coverage of both events.

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17 January 2007

Skype founders move into net TV (BBC)

The firm that made its name with free net calls is making a grab for the lucrative market of internet TV.

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us: Documents Borne by Winds of Free Speech (New York Times)

Eli Lilly is trying to stop Web sites from publishing internal documents on its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa: A showdown is scheduled for a federal courtroom in Brooklyn tomorrow afternoon, where words like "First Amendment" and "freedom of speech" and "prior restraint" are likely to mix seamlessly with references to "BitTorrent" and "Wiki."

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Attack of the Zombie Computers Is Growing Threat (New York Times)

In their persistent quest to breach the Internet's defenses, the bad guys are honing their weapons and increasing their firepower. With growing sophistication, they are taking advantage of programs that secretly install themselves on thousands or even millions of personal computers, band these computers together into an unwitting army of zombies, and use the collective power of the dragooned network to commit Internet crimes.

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us: FBI warns of twist in extortion phishing scam (CNET)

FBI officials are warning users of a new phishing scam that plays off a recent round of bogus extortion threats.

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Google's Top-10 Search Terms Dominated By Trademarks (Circle ID)

According to Google's 2006 Year-End Review, dubbed Zeitgeist, or the cultural climate of an era, a majority of the top-ten search terms for 2006 were trademarks. Topping the list is the registered BEBO mark which is held by Bebo.com LLC, a California company that runs a social networking website. Second on the list was MYSPACE, the registered mark associated with Newscorp's $580 million social-networking giant. Next, as a result of a majority of the world catching soccer fever over the summer, "world cup" ranked as the third most searched term.

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Hollywood Asks YouTube: Friend or Foe? (International Herald Tribune)

YouTube can help studios build tremendous buzz for films and TV shows, driving Hollywood to try to work with it instead of against it.

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UN Will Not Control The Internet (WebProNews)

This story in WebProNews notes a bloggers who says "Perhaps what Toure's agency - and ICANN - should consider is taking another look at the registrant side of the web. If ICANN is the final word in IP address assignments then why are there so many fly-by-night registrants who are not sanctioned by ICANN? Godaddy and other legitimate ICANN sanctioned registrants have voiced that complaint - both in Europe and here in the U.S., but it seems to fall on deaf ears."

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15 January 2007

UN telecom not eying Internet control (The Guardian)

The United Nations will not try to take the lead in determining the future of the Internet, the head of the UN telecommunications agency has said. Hamadoun Toure, a Malian who was elected director-general of the International Telecommunication Union in November, said the agency would be just one of many organizations involved in shaping the Internet's development.

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ae: etisalat to hand over .ae domain (Zawya)

etisalat will hand over control of the .ae domain name to the government in the second quarter of this year, according to the nation's telecom regulator.

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Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview (Pew Internet & American Life Project news release)

A social networking site is an online place where a user can create a profile and build a personal network that connects him or her to other users. In the past five years, such sites have rocketed from a niche activity into a phenomenon that engages tens of millions of internet users. More than half (55%) of all online American youths ages 12-17 use online social networking sites, according to a new national survey of teenagers conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The survey also finds that older teens, particularly girls, are more likely to use these sites. For girls, social networking sites are primarily places to reinforce pre-existing friendships; for boys, the networks also provide opportunities for flirting and making new friends.

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The Action Bias in American Law: Internet Jurisdiction and the Triumph of Zippo Dot Com by RICHARD K. GREENSTEIN (Temple Law Review)

Abstract: American law reflects the stories we tell ourselves about who we are as a nation. To illustrate the effect of America's stories on the law, I identify and describe in this essay a particular characteristic of American law: an "actionbias" - a propensity to bestow disproportionately greater legal significance upon affirmative acts than on failures to act - and I argue that this bias reflects, in turn, a powerful myth at the core of the self-image of the United States, a myth I call the "Immigrant's Tale". To illustrate this thesis, I give a number of instances of the action bias, but focus primarily on the career of an important federal district court decision: Zippo Manufacturing Company v. Zippo Dot Com, the case that formulated the framework now used almost universally in the determination of personal jurisdiction in Internet cases.

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

Abstract: 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. Some commentators have celebrated such indirect methods of governmental control as salutary responses to threatening cyberanarchy. This Article takes a more jaundiced view of these developments: I begin by mapping the ubiquity of efforts to enlist Internet intermediaries as proxy censors. I emphasize the dangers to free expression that are likely to arise from attempts to target weak links in the chain of Internet communications and cast doubt on the claim that market mechanisms can be relied upon to dispel them. I then proceed to explore the doctrinal resources that can meet those dangers. The gambit of enlisting the private sector to establish a system to control expression is not new in the United States. I argue that the First Amendment doctrines developed in response to the last such focused effort, during the McCarthy era, provide a series of useful starting points for a First Amendment doctrine to protect the weak links of the Internet.

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Governing Cyberspace by DAVID G. POST (Wayne Law Review)

Abstract: What is the source of those law(s) that will govern our interactions in cyberspace? What body of rules will participants in cyberspace transactions consult to determine their substantive obligations and who is to make those rules? This paper sketches out two alternative models for the way in which order can emerge in this environment, models I refer to as Hamilton and Jefferson. Hamilton involves an increasing degree of centralization of control, achieved by means of increasing international coordination among existing sovereigns, through multi-lateral treaties and/or the creation of new international governing bodies along the lines of the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the like. Jefferson invokes a radical decentralization of law-making, the development of processes that do not impose order on the electronic world but through which order can emerge, in which individual network access providers, rather than territorially-based states, become the essential units of governance. The normative choice is a significant one, and I argue that mobility users' ability to move unhindered into and out of individual networks with their distinct rule-sets is a powerful guarantee that the resulting distribution of rules is a just one; indeed, that our very conception of what constitutes justice may change as we observe the kind of law that emerges from uncoerced individual choice.

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Law And Borders--The Rise of Law in Cyberspace by DAVID R. JOHNSON & DAVID G. POST (Stanford Law Review)

Abstract: Global computer-based communications cut across territorial borders, creating a new realm of human activity and undermining the feasibility--and legitimacy--of applying laws based on geographic boundaries. While these electronic communications play havoc with geographic boundaries, a new boundary, made up of the screens and passwords that separate the virtual world from the real world of atoms, emerges. This new boundary defines a distinct Cyberspace that needs and can create new law and legal institutions of its own. Territorially-based law-making and law-enforcing authorities find this new environment deeply threatening. But established territorial authorities may yet learn to defer to the self-regulatory efforts of Cyberspace participants who care most deeply about this new digital trade in ideas, information, and services. Separated from doctrine tied to territorial jurisdictions, new rules will emerge, in a variety of on-line spaces, to govern a wide range of new phenomena that have no clear parallel in the nonvirtual world. These new rules will play the role of law by defining legal personhood and property, resolving disputes, and crystallizing a collective conversation about core values.

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Attack of the Zombie Computers Is Growing Threat (New York Times)

In their persistent quest to breach the Internet's defenses, the bad guys are honing their weapons and increasing their firepower. With growing sophistication, they are taking advantage of programs that secretly install themselves on thousands or even millions of personal computers, band these computers together into an unwitting army of zombies, and use the collective power of the dragooned network to commit Internet crimes.

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Convergence is at present a key factor in developments underlying electronic communications (OECD)

Almost any type of content can be converted into a digital form and then exchanged over the Internet, via fixed or mobile connections and using multiple platforms and terminal devices. This has had, and is expected to continue to have, a major effect on electronic communication markets. Telecommunication operators, in effect, have become content providers, broadcasters offer Internet services and network providers provide multiple-play services.

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13 January 2007

China’s Internet body says no domain names lost after all (IT Wire)

Beijing News' report on 10,000 lost domain names according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) is now said by China Daily, a Chinese news web site, to be wrong, with the CNNIC denying that it made those comments. So, what's going on?!

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Korea Increases IPv6 Address Number to 10 Million by 2010 (ET News)

The Korean Ministry of Information and Communication is set to increase the number of IPv6 addresses, the next generation Internet Protocol, to 10 million by 2010. To that end, it plans to encourage IMv6 registration by improving the related system, developing business models and disseminating information.

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Beckham move sparks domain-name rush (This is Money)

David Beckham's big money move to the United States prompted a frenzy of 'cyber squatting', NetNames said.

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de: Child pornography operation occasions scrutiny of millions of credit card transactions (Heise)

Within the context of "Mikado," an operation by the police and the prosecuting authorities to combat child pornography, and with the public prosecutors office and State Office of Criminal Investigation (LKA) of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt in charge agents of all the State Offices of Criminal Investigation of the German federal states have in September of 2006 searched hundreds of private homes throughout the Federal Republic.

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