Articles by date

24 January 2007

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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An end to that blue screen of death? Microsoft's latest upgrades should make PC users happier (The Economist)

It is an old chestnut, but a telling one: if carmakers built vehicles as Microsoft produces software, they would come in only one colour, the dashboard would be incomprehensible and they would crash a lot. Microsoft's latest products mean that its users should no longer double as crash-test dummies.

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ITU: Voice Revenues in the Telecommunications (ITU Strategy and Policy Unit Newslog)

The ITU workshop The Future of Voice held on the 15th and 16th of January 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland looked, inter alia, at the voice traffic and revenue trends in the last fifteen years. On the global level, local and national long-distance reported telephone minutes per capita were growing in the 1990s and stably falling since the beginning of the new decade. A notable exception of the general rule is the US experiencing continuous growth in the number of local minutes: in 15 years, the number of local minutes per capita has grown four-fold. The international outgoing traffic grew significantly over the last fifteen years: in the Republic of Korea, in 2005 it was 15 times more intensive than in 1990, in the US - five times. Even though, since the beginning of the new century, the international voice traffic tends to slowly decrease.

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21 January 2007

eu: Storm chaos prompts virus surge (BBC)

Experts say they are surprised how quickly computer virus writers take advantage of the European storms

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20 January 2007

us: MySpace sued over sex predators (Sydney Morning Herald)

Four families have sued News Corp. and its MySpace social-networking site after their underage daughters were sexually abused by adults they met on the site, lawyers for the families said.

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19 January 2007

U.S.: No Net governance changes expected (CNet)

CNET reports that two of the Bush administration officials involved in setting internet policy have denied there are any tensions relating to the US government's role in the internet. David Gross and John Kneuer said at a recent meeting no UN body would exercise additional control over tasks such as "handing out numeric Internet addresses or operating the root servers that power the Internet anytime soon." Recent reports on the new ITU head being more interested in issues such as cybersecurity and the digital divide, while future IGF meetings would focus on issues such as "freedom of speech and multilingualism." Due to criticism of the US government's "undue influence over the day-to-day operations of the Internet" by countries such as Tunisia, Cuba, Iran and China, CNet wonders if the ITU will continue with its latest view.

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Triple X, Internet Content Regulation and the ICANN Regime Drafted by Milton Mueller (Internet Governance Project)

This paper, drafted by Milton Mueller of the Internet Governance Project, asks "What are the implications of this probable resolution of the .xxx drama for the Internet and Internet governance?" He says "They are major. But no one seems to be talking about them." The paper begins with the most direct implication. The paper says the ".xxx contract sets an important precedent by giving ICANN policy making and enforcement responsibility over web site content while it concludes "the Internet Governance Project has long maintained that ICM's .xxx application deserved to be successful. We took this position because we don't believe ICANN should discriminate among TLD applications on the basis of the content or meaning of the string, and because we believe that ICANN (and its oversight authority, the US Government) should not arbitrarily change the rules in the middle of the game. If there are problems here, they are not problems with the .xxx gTLD application. They are problems inherent in ICANN's institutional structure." The paper has some criticisms of ICANN, including "The ICANN process fosters dealing with policy problems in an ad hoc manner by taking advantage of the narrow kinds of leverage inherent in ICANN's gatekeeping role and contractual governance model." Further, the contract process that's complained about by many governments and theorists, the "contractual approach can be seductive and self-perpetuating. ... In the .xxx case, governments didn't have to negotiate a generally applicable treaty about the thorny issue of what is pornography and what to do about it, build support for it, get it ratified, and face any electoral accountability. They just raised some objections and let Paul Twomey's staff and ICM Registry work out the details. It is a mutual accommodation that is convenient for the established institutional players. Whether it serves the global Internet-using public very well remains to be seen."

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Push resumes for new .xxx domain for Internet pornography (Baptist Press)

Christian groups have voiced some criticisms of the proposed .xxx TLD. This article from the Baptist Press quotes the Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and the executive editor of the Baptist Messenger newspaper who all opposed .xxx with the latter "urging readers to contact ICANN and encourage the agency to reject the proposal."

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Breach of .eu domain rules may trigger instant cancellation (Out-Law)

Breaches of .eu domain rules including "using the domain name in bad faith or for an unlawful purpose or in a way that violates any third party rights, laws or regulations, including discrimination on the basis of race, language, sex, religion or political viewpoint" will all be grounds for cancelling the .eu domain names.

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