Articles by date

11 October 2006

Web a minefield and goldmine for publishers (Sydney Morning Herald/AFP)

Publishers could be the internet piracy boom's next victims after the music industry, but the web might also be their salvation, the head of the International Publishers Association says.

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10 October 2006

Internet privacy 'sacrificed' by ICANN by Michael Geist (BBC)

The BBC among others publishes an article by Professor Michael Geist arguing ICANN “has sacrificed the issue of privacy for a shot at independence.” Geist argues that all the work done on Whois reforms over the last 5 years has come to nothing by requiring ICANN to enforce current Whois policies, despite opposition from privacy groups including European data protection commissioners.

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US court threatens Spamhaus with shut down (IDG)

A U.S. court has threatened to shut down the Spamhaus Project, a volunteer-run antispam service, for ignoring a $11.7 million judgement against it. In a proposed court order dated Friday, Judge Charles Kocoras of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois calls on the organizations responsible for registering the Spamhaus.org Internet address to suspend the organization's Internet service. Both ICANN and Tucows Inc., the Spamhaus.org registrar, are named in the proposed order.

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Google buys YouTube for US$1.65bn (The Guardian)

Internet search giant snaps up popular online video site.

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eu: Web browsing beats page-turning (BBC)

Europeans now spend more of their week online than they do reading newspapers or magazines, according to a report.

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09 October 2006

uk: Net crime 'big fear' for Britons (BBC)

More people fear net crime than they do burglary or being mugged, a survey backed by the UK government suggests.

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08 October 2006

Lazy employees cost businesses dear over PC usage (ZDNet)

Workers who leave their PCs on overnight are causing spiralling electricity bills and extended greenhouse damage to the environment

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Newspapers grapple with an unbundled world (The Times)

Publishers have been slow to realise how fundamentally their world has been changed by the internet.

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Internet 'diminishes influence of states' says Google chief (The Times)

The power and influence of governments is diminishing because of the rise of the internet, the head of Google told the Conservative Party conference. Eric Schmidt, the chairman and chief executive of the internet company, said that the internet was not necessarily a force for good, pointing out the rise of hate groups that have proliferated on the web.

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Who wants to run the internet? (The Times)

The American Government is set to cede control of the internet. Who will take its place, asks Bernhard Warner: Last week, after years of struggle, you and I finally got our first glimpse of "internet freedom". Yep, that cabal of crooked men in a Dr Evil hideout (aka, the US Department of Commerce) finally relinquished its iron-tight grip on governing the web. Instead, the US Government will allow the free market to determine the future of a medium that will no doubt generate trillions in trade and topple a few despots along the way.

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OECD Information Technology Outlook 2006 (OECD)

Information technology and broadband are major drivers of economic change, restructuring businesses, affecting skills and employment, and contributing to growth and consumer benefits. This volume describes recent market dynamics and trends in industries supplying IT goods and services and offers an overview of the globalisation of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and the rise of ICT-enabled international sourcing. The OECD Information Technology Outlook 2006 analyses the development and impact of the changing global distribution of services activities and the rise of China and India as significant suppliers of ICT-related goods and services. ICT skills across the economy are also examined to provide insights into the dynamics of job creation and international sourcing.

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World's largest banks join forces to stamp out child internet porn (The Guardian)

The world's biggest banks are joining an international effort to crack down on child pornography on the internet by taking action to cut off its sources of financing. Under the proposals, the proposed body will share information about sites and paedophiles can have access to finance cut off.

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Pornography has its benefits (Online Opinion)

If we were to stop for a moment and take the time to properly assess the community impact of internet pornography, it would soon become clear that internet pornography is not the height of evil which do-gooder parliamentarians and parental groups profess. Indeed, it is probably one of the main factors contributing to a notable reduction in violent crime over the last decade. Our community is safer and more peaceful thanks to internet pornography. This may sound counter-intuitive, but there are recent figures to back up the argument. In a paper just released in the United States titled Porn Up, Rape Down, Northwestern University Law Professor Anthony D'amato crunches the numbers to reach the conclusion: The incidence of rape in the United States has declined 85 per cent in the past 25 years while access to pornography has become freely available to teenagers and adults. The Nixon and Reagan Commissions tried to show that exposure to pornographic materials produced social violence. The reverse may be true: that pornography has reduced social violence.

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Porn Up, Rape Down by Anthony D'Amato (Northwestern University - School of Law/Northwestern Public Law Research Paper) (Social Science Research Network/Northwestern Public Law Research Paper)

Abstract: The incidence of rape in the United States has declined 85% in the past 25 years while access to pornography has become freely available to teenagers and adults. The Nixon and Reagan Commissions tried to show that exposure to pornographic materials produced social violence. The reverse may be true: that pornography has reduced social violence.

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uk: Internet appeal to catch killers (BBC)

Detectives trying to catch the killers of murdered schoolboy Jessie James have posted an appeal on the video-sharing website, YouTube.

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07 October 2006

Google 'in talks to buy YouTube' (BBC)

The BBC reports Google is reported to be in talks to buy popular video-sharing website YouTube for US$1.6bn.

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06 October 2006

Anti-U.S. Attack Videos Spread on the Internet (New York Times)

Videos showing insurgent attacks against American troops in Iraq, long available in Baghdad shops and on Jihadist Web sites, have steadily migrated in recent months to popular Internet video-sharing sites, including YouTube and Google Video.

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au: Bindi site not unethical, says squatter (Sydney Morning Herald)

A Brisbane man who set up an unauthorised Bindi Irwin website linked to anti-Israel material has denied his website is in poor taste.

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eu: What's in 74,000 names? Big money (IHT)

The International Herald Tribune reports on the court dispute between EURid and three companies who had between them registered 74,000 .eu domain names. EURid claimed the companies were hoarding them for resale. In a disappointing decision, last week a Belgian court ordered EURid to pay a fine of €25,000 per hour for each name unless it allowed the three companies to transfer ownership of the addresses. EURid has released control of the domain names and is considering appealing. The IHT reports "Thomas Schafft, a Munich-based lawyer who specializes in intellectual property at Lovells law firm, said it was 'a shame that EURid lost,' calling the three companies' attempts to register the names 'a particularly nasty attempt to abuse the dot-eu system.'" Since the introduction of dot-eu last December, 2.1 million domains have been registered by EURid. More than 250 separate disputes over ownership of individual domain names have been resolved through an arbitration mechanism.

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ICANN looks for new home (Australian IT)

ICANN will consider moving to a new home outside the US as part of a search for a more favourable legal jurisdiction to base its operations.

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Tension envelops U.S. oversight of ICANN following extension (IDG)

Internet governance experts remain divided over last week's decision to extend the U.S. government's oversight of ICANN, with some calling it appropriate and others portraying it as unwise. The strong sentiments on either side reflect a chronic, troubling tension that has enveloped ICANN since 1998, when it was formed to progressively absorb Internet management functions until then handled fully by the U.S. government.

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05 October 2006

au: Bindi website squatter 'abhorrent' (Sydney Morning Herald)

An unauthorised Bindi Irwin website linked to anti-Israel material and the names of Federal Government ministers has been set up by a Queensland man just hours after Steve Irwin's death, appearing to be a tribute site to the Crocodile Hunter's eight-year-old daughter. However, a number of domain names including fuckisrael.org, philipruddock.com and amandavanstone.com automatically redirect web surfers to the site. All the domains are registered to a "Wayne Smith" of Brisbane, who also owns the terriirwin.org and bindisueirwin.com names.

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Success of Beijing Games hinges on an unfettered internet (The Australian)

The Australian reports that China has promised to give journalists uncensored internet access during the Olympic Games in 2008. The front page of the official English-language newspaper China Daily reports "Overseas media will be able to freely travel around China and enjoy uncensored access to the internet during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, organisers promised yesterday." Oh really I guess would be the obvious response with Beijing-based diplomats and so-called foreign business heavyweights thinking this a bit ludicrous. This would seem a bit more likely, as at the press briefing made by the Chinese they were emphatic, the internet is not censored in China.

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04 October 2006

Neither safe nor secure on the Internet (CNet)

The National Academies recently completed a report titled "Signposts in Cyberspace: The Domain Name System and Internet Navigation," sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation. The report's final recommendations advise that ICANN strengthen its agreements with the TLD operators and call for further steps to improve the security of the DNS.

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European Commission welcomes move towards full private-sector management by 2009 (news release) (European Union news release)

The United States government's decision to give more autonomy to ICANN was welcomed by the European Commission. On 30 September, a highly prescriptive Memorandum of Understanding between the US Department of Commerce and ICANN expired. It has now been replaced by lighter arrangements intended to end definitely by 2009. The European Commission has been working for several years on a system of internet governance entrusted fully to the private sector without government interference in the internet's day-to-day management. The Commission cooperated in 1998 with the US in setting up ICANN and hosted, until 2006, the Secretariat of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) to ICANN. Completing the transition of internet governance to the private sector also had been the explicit request by the EU and its partners at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in November 2005.

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