[DNS] domain name news - 28 May

[DNS] domain name news - 28 May

From: David Goldstein <goldstein_david§yahoo.com.au>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 21:26:22 -0700 (PDT)
Don't forget to check out http://auda.org.au/domain-news/ for a more
recent edition of the complete domain news, including an RSS feed -
already online!

Headlines from the most recent news include:

Cameroon strikes it rich on the internet with .cm TLD - an unexpected
source of revenue | GoDaddy picks up domains of struggling competitor |
RegisterFly held in contempt of court as injunction is made permanent |
VeriSign replaces CEO Sclavos | Legal Issues About Trademarks And
Domain Names | Cyberattack in Estonia--what it really means | Phishing
URLs skyrocket: Cybercrooks try to overwhelm browser blacklists by
multiplying malicious addresses | Book Reviews: Sex.com

The domain name news is supported by auDA.

And see my website - http://technewsreview.com.au/ - for regular updates in between postings.


Internet Governance Forum in November to address access, security issues, UN official says (news release)

IGF Preparatory Meeting: A Score Draw in Geneva

Sex.com and a web of intrigue - book review

RegisterFly domain transfer imminent, ICANN reports

ICANN Says Registerfly Domains Moving to Another Registrar

Owning millions of addresses and thousands of sites

Jefferson Rebuffed: The United States And The future Of Internet Governance by Viktor Mayer-Sch?nberger & Malte Ziewitz (Colum. Sci. & Tech. L. Rev)
Abstract: When the WSIS concluded in Tunis in November 2005, it was hailed as a great achievement. There is, however, another yet untold story about the WSIS negotiations and the subsequent outcome. It focuses on the ill-fated European proposal to internationalize Internet governance and to curtail the policy-making power of ICANN. It is the story of a missed opportunity for what could have become a ?constitutional moment? in international Internet governance. With its Constitution arguably being the oldest and most enduring worldwide, the United States traditionally has been at the forefront of fostering and advancing constitutional governance structures, at times even through the use of force. Why then, has the United States vigorously opposed the European proposal, with its concept of self-constrained governance in the important context of global information flows? The aim of this article is to offer an answer.

The Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy ? Meaning of the operative facts by Dirk Schneider
Aim of this work is merely to display the nature of the UDRP and to analyse the operative facts of the sec. 4 of the policy to find out the meaning of the terms used to make the result of the proceeding under the UDRP more predictable and more comprehensible. By doing so I will spot out some weak points and uncertainties in the policy and ambiguous interpretations by the panels. Therefore after an introduction dealing with the particularities of the Policy I will analyse decided and published cases with the focus on the findings dealing with the elements of sec. 4 (a) of the UDRP. Since the WIPO is the provider with the biggest amount of decided cases per year, I will concentrate on its decisions.

IDNs: Straightforward Technical Problem or Machiavellian Nightmare? by Greg Goth
Three of the leading figures trying to solve the technical aspect of internationalized domain names have been alternately hopeful and pessimistic recently. Vint Cerf, chairman of the ICANN board, says he?s more optimistic about finally deploying a globally workable IDN solution than he?s been in a year. Cary Karp, director of Internet strategy and technology at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, paints a darker picture of disingenuous and cynical maneuvering by parties with axes to grind. And John Klensin, former chairman of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), says his outlook on one of the global Internet community?s most vexing and longest-running problems depends on the developments on any given day.

Internet Governance Forum in November to address access, security issues, UN official says (news release)
The next meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in November will focus on access, openness, security and diversity, a top United Nations official said today at a press conference in Geneva. Speaking after today?s preparatory consultations for the Forum?s second meeting, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro from 12 to 15 November, Markus Kummer, Executive Coordinator of the Forum?s secretariat, told reporters that the Rio meeting would advance the discussion that had taken place at the first Forum meeting in Athens last November.

IGF Preparatory Meeting: A Score Draw in Geneva
Wednesday was the open public consultation preparing for the second meeting of the Internet Governance Forum, which will take place in Rio de Janaeiro on 12th-15th November. Although the inaugural Athens meeting was widely deemed a success, having largely stayed off the dread topics of wresting control of DNS from ICANN and IP addressing from the RIRs, the usual suspects were back demanding that these topics be added to the agenda.

U.S. Government to Spend Up To US$10M on Internet Redesign, aka GENI
As reported by the Associated Press this week, the National Science Foundation has announced that BBN Technologies Inc. will receive up to $10 million over four years to oversee the planning and design of the Global Environment for Network Innovations, or GENI.

CoE: Round table discussions on "The Internet and public service: do they go together?"
Council of Europe experts Karol Jakubiowicz and Christian S. Nissen will be leading round table discussions on "The Internet and public service: do they go together?" on the occasion of UNESCO follow-up to the implementation of World Summit on the Information Society principles and work regarding the media (action line C-9).

PINA convention looks at regional internet issues (news release)
PINA convention delegates encouraged to participate in regional Internet issues. Christina Kuper-Wini Chair of the local organisation committee of PacINET 2007 addressed attendees of the 2007 Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Convention in Solomon Islands. She encouraged them to actively participate in PacINET 2007 in late August in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Lynnold M Wini, Secretary of the local organisation Committee of PacINET 2007 went to describe PacINET as the success story of the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC) and encouraged PINA members to establish links of common interests with PICISOC.

Sex.com and a web of intrigue
Two men?s battle over a domain name shows how far the net has come
It is not the pornography that has landed Cohen in court, but the theft of something with no physical existence. That something was a website, more precisely a domain name that a geeky 31-year-old called Gary Kremen registered back in 1994 simply because he could: sex.com. It turned out to be worth a fortune. Except that it was Cohen who made the fortune, and for more than 10 years Kremen has been fighting to get it back.
The case has cost millions of dollars, involved a trashed mansion, a phantom gunfight between bounty hunters, forgery and disappearing bank accounts and forever altered the development of the internet. Kremen vs Cohen finally established that property in cyberspace can be at least as valuable as in the real world.

RegisterFly domain transfer imminent, ICANN reports
ICANN has finally found a registrar with a track record to take over renegade registrar RegisterFly's domains reports The Register. But, it doesn't say who the registrar is.

ICANN Says Registerfly Domains Moving to Another Registrar
In an entry in the ICANN blog, Paul Levins says they?ve arranged to move Registerfly?s domains to another registrar. They won?t say who the other registrar is beyond ?an existing accredited Registrar with a demonstrated record of customer service? which could be just about anyone other than Registerfly. They have ?most? of the registrant data.

RegisterFly Update 25 May 2007
United States District Court Judge Manuel L. Real issued a Permanent Injunction against RegisterFly. The Court held Registerfly and Kevin Medina personally to be in contempt of the Court?s earlier Preliminary Injunction Order. So the Court has has ordered Kevin Medina and RegisterFly to publish on its website, within 48 hours, a notice telling people about the termination of it?s accreditation as the Court had set forth in the earlier Preliminary Injunction.

ICANN Opens Public Comments on Proposal from the Czech Arbitration Court (CAC) to Become a UDRP Provider
ICANN has received a proposal and expression of interest from the Czech Arbitration Court (CAC) to be recognized as one of the official dispute resolution providers under the UDRP. The basis for this proposal was statement on the ICANN website which notes that ICANN would consider statements from interested parties.

.za DNA shall assume responsibility of the .za domain name space
The Minister of Communications declares that the .za DNA shall assume responsibility of the .za domain name as of 18 May, 2007.

AFNIC reinforces protection against illegal use of its Whois database (news release)
As a registry, the AFNIC manages a database that can be accessed by everybody through different channels (DNS, Whois...). For any domain name, this access allows to find the details concerning the holder, the creation and anniversary dates, the details of the administrative and technical contacts and the servers on which it is installed. This is what is commonly called the "Whois". Using this database can also help knowing if a .fr domain name is available.

.SE launches domain names in Swedish minority languages (news release)
.SE (the Internet Infrastructure Foundation - responsible for the top-level Internet domain for Sweden, .se), has launches the possibility to register domain names in all the official minority languages, as stated by Swedish law. In addition to the minority languages Finnish, Me?nkieli, Sami, Romani and Yiddish, it will be possible to use the special characters of all the other Nordic countries, i.e. Danish, Norwegian, Faroe and Icelandic, in .se domains. The sunrise period for the new IDN (Internationalised Domain Names) starts July 4, 2007.

fi: Annual report online has been published
FICORA's trilingual annual report online contains the essential points of its activities in 2006 and changes in the operational environment.

Owning millions of addresses and thousands of sites
Think you have a good handle on the Internet economy? Try this one: What Internet business has raised $120 million in financing in the past year, owns 725,000 Web sites and has as its chief executive a former leader of Primedia and International Data Group? If you guessed NameMedia, a privately held owner and developer of Web sites based in Waltham, Massachusetts, you take the prize. Otherwise, consider reading on. According to Kelly Conlin, chief executive of NameMedia, the company's business is best seen as an online property developer.

Exploiting Russian Backwardness
... Domain names are another means of earning money with the Internet. Generally this involves selling, either directly or by auction, registered names in the secondary market. According to Pavel Khramtsov from RUcenter, head of the project stat.nic.ru., the highest price paid for a .ru domain name (travels.ru) was $19,000, paid at the beginning of this year.

register.com customers' credit cards compromised
Register.com sent an email to its customers saying a notebook containing credit card information was stolen. The firm said that around two per cent of its customers were affected. The data on the laptop was password protected and the credit card number encrypted. In a letter it said: "We also believe that the laptop was stolen for its inherent value and not the data itself."

Guide to chinese domains for foreign companies (news release)
The cn-domain is the ccTLD for the People's Republic of China. Like most countries, people can register for second-level domain names, e.g.mercedes.cn. However, there are preset ones for certain types of organizations and geographic locations. The third-level registrations at cn-domains were available before second-level registrations became available in 2004, and third-level registrants were given first shot at getting their name at the second level when this was opened up. 

LIPS.COM Domain Name To Be Auctioned Off At TRAFFIC Domain Expo NY
The Lips.com domain name will be offered at the live Moniker domain auction from the TRAFFIC Domain Conference and Expo from New York City on 21 June. 

Auction.com, How.com Among Domains at TRAFFIC NYC Auction
Moniker just released an initial list of domains to be auction in June at the TRAFFIC auction in NYC.

Cashing in on human error
There's still money to be made in mistyping. Internet surfers who stumble when typing an address into their browser can find themselves at sites that look vaguely like their intended destination but are actually the domain of "typo squatters." Errant visits and confused clicks on the sites' assorted links can mean cash ? likely just pennies or less for each, but big money over time ? for the squatters from pay-for-clicks providers such as Google Inc.

Real estate boom transfers to the Internet
Daniel Nussbaum is making what seems to be a painless transition from the real estate boom into what he hopes will be the next Internet boom. The former dentist, who grew up in Long Beach, N.Y., has spent the last four years buying up Web domain names by the virtual truckload.

Barclays.mobi is launched to provide mobile banking for personal customers (news release)
Barclays is helping its customers stay in touch with their money with the launch of mobile banking. The free service will enable customers with a web-enabled mobile phone to access Barclays Online Banking from wherever they are, 24 hours a day.

Daily.co.uk Announces Discounts on TLD's
Daily.co.uk, a domain name provider, yesterday announced a price drop for generic TLD names. The company announced that for a limited time only, .com, .net, .org, .biz and .info domains for ?4.99/year. Daily.co.uk is also offering free features with domain name registrations, including POP3/IMAP email box, Google adwords search voucher credit, one page website and DNS management via our easy-to-use control panel.

Internet Gambling Regulation Present and Future: Technology Outpaces Legislation as the MMORPG Problem Emerges by MARK METHENITIS (Vernon Goordich, LLP; Law of the Game)
This paper's central thesis is that current gambling regulations do not adequately account for the issue of gambling within Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games. Rather, these gambling transactions fall into shades of gray between what is and what is not legal. The paper proceeds in three parts. First is an overview of gambling regulation. Second, an explanation of the MMO games themselves. From these two elements, the third portion of the paper poses a potential regulatory scheme which could be applied to MMO games to address the issue of MMO gambling more thoroughly than it is presently addressed by any regulation.

From Sterne and Borges to Lost Storytellers: Cyberspace, Narrative, and Law by Shulamit Almog (Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal)
Abstract: The Internet represents some essential and far-advanced cultural shifts, as well as transformations in some of our social and cultural practices. Such transformations inevitably influence many institutions. This essay attempts to suggest that one aspect of the Internet experience or the Internet culture is relevant to our narrative competence, cognizance, and ability to become storytellers and story listeners. The Internet initiates and continuously induces important shifts in our storytelling practices and narrative cognizance. These shifts carry significant implications in the domain of law. They influence the way we practice law and the way we perceive it. They affect our comprehension of law and the range of anticipations, hopes, and emotions related to it.

Virtual Realities and Virtual Welters: A Note on the Commerce Clause Implications of Regulating Cyberporn by GLENN HARLAN REYNOLDS (Virginia Law Review)
Abstract: This Essay draws an analogy between interstate catalog taxation cases such as Quill and National Bellas Hess, and the impact of disparate state obscenity laws on Internet porn. It suggests that the burden of complaying with disparate state obscenity standards could be, like the burden on catalog sellers of complying with disparate sales taxes and classifications, a burden on interstate commerce sufficient to trigger dormant commerce clause scrutiny. It also suggests that First Amendment doctrine should take account of similar concerns and chilling effects.

Thinking Seriously About Cable & Satellite Censorship: An Informal Analysis of S. 616, the Rockefeller-Hutchison Bill by ADAM THIERER (Progress & Freedom Foundation Progress on Point Paper)
Abstract: Senate legislation introduced recently that aims to extend broadcast indecency regulations to cable and satellite providers, if passed, would represent the most significant congressional effort to regulate speech since the Communications Decency Act of 1996, and likely form the precursor to regulation of content on the Internet. ... Worth assessing is the findings section's pervasiveness rationale, which has never been applied to newspapers and the Internet, and would be constitutionally suspect for cable and satellite. Meanwhile mandates imposed on warning systems and filters deployed voluntarily by programmers might best be grouped under the theme hanging the industry with its own rope. Ratings systems are subjective, and government shouldn't have any say over them. Section 11 would exempt premium and pay-per-view channels, but what happens if S-616 forces popular content onto these networks and viewers follow? Would they then be regulated as well?

MySpace.Com and Other Social Networking Sites: Ideas for Keeping Children Safe by SUSAN HANLEY KOSSE (University of Louisville- Louis D. Brandeis School of Law)
Abstract: A growing number of disturbing incidents involving minors as victims of sexual solicitation, assault and even murder have been traced to a fairly new type of Internet communication, social networking sites. These sites, hugely popular with teens, provide unique and largely independent and unsupervised channels of self expression and socialization for children. Yet the sites also present real dangers to today's youth, the most serious being child victimization by sexual predators. ... The Article concludes by offering additional solutions for keeping children safe based on current research. A multi-faceted approach is necessary based on different causes of risk taking. Social networking sites should be encouraged to segregate different age groups but the burden should not be theirs alone. To further promote segregating age groups, children and adults should be punished for misrepresenting their age when registering on social networking sites. Record companies used
 a fear of punishment strategy when deciding to sue individual file sharers for copyright infringement. Only when the risk of punishment outweighed the benefits of the peer-to-peer sharing option did behavior change. These results offer hope that a similar strategy with social networking sites may be effective in changing teens' behavior.

The Problem of Spam Law: A Comment on the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission's Discussion Paper on Regulating Unsolicited Commercial Messages by DENNIS W. K. KHONG (Computer Law & Security Report)
Abstract: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission published a discussion paper on Regulating Unsolicited Commercial Messages in early August 2003. It was undertaken as a precursor to a law to control the problem of junk mails or spam on the Internet and other electronic media. In this paper, I intend to explore the problem of regulating spam from an economic point of view, and to discuss the Commission's findings.

Seeking Symmetry on the Information Front: Confronting Global Jihad on the Internet by K. A. Taipale (National Strategy Forum Review)
Abstract: This essay provides a brief overview of the 'information battlefront' in the confrontation with militant Islamic extremism. In particular, this essay outlines how terror networks are increasingly using advanced information technology and the global communications network to expand their capacity and capability to wage a global insurgency against U.S. interests and surveys what counter-strategies might be employed in response. It is beyond the scope of this essay to address the broader political or policy issues relating more generally to the global "war on terrorism," or to address the legal or ethical implications of employing the counter-strategies discussed below in any specific context. Rather, this essay focuses simply on surveying some of the information operations strategies that might be used to counter certain online activities of insurgents.

Who Controls the Internet? A Book Review by Deborah J. Salons
Ms. Salons reviews Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World, Oxford University Press, 2006. Authored by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu, the book provides a history of the Internet and analyses the nexus between globalisation and government coercion. The book focuses on how these agents have shaped and developed the Internet as we are familiar with it today.

A Soldier's Blog: Balancing Service Members' Personal Rights vs. National Security Interests by Tatum H. Lytle
This Note examines the competing interests between ensuring military personnel's freedom of speech while protecting national security interests. The Author recognizes the necessity of protecting national security interests but emphasises that military personnel's rights to free speech must be protected as long as such speech poses no threat to military security. In conclusion, clearer protections must be implemented to protect military personnel's right to free speech.

Exploit Derivatives & National Security by Micah Schwalb (Yale Journal of Law & Technology)
Critical infrastructures remain vulnerable to cyber attack despite a raft of post-9/11 legislation focused on cyber security in critical infrastructures. An emerging discipline known as the "economics of information security" may provide a partial solution in the form of a hypothetical market that trades "exploit derivatives," a modified futures contract tied to cyber security events. This paper argues that such a market could serve to predict and prevent cyber attacks through the operation of the efficient capital market hypothesis, but only after changes to the present regulatory environment. Specifically, I argue that a statutory safe harbor would allow the creation of a pilot market focused on vulnerabilities in Internet protocol version six, an emerging communications standard that China hopes to deploy throughout its national network before the 2008 Olympics. Indeed, such a safe harbor would align the interests of military and civilian policymakers on the common goal
 of protecting critical infrastructure from a computer network attack originating in China, whether instigating by the People's Liberation Army or so-called "black-hat" hackers.

Fiji Military no longer bothered by critical blogs
After blocking access to several blogs on 17 May, a spokesman for the army yesterday said it would no longer crack down on blogs ?critical of the army and members of the government.? Col. Pita Driti said the military authorities ?no longer felt concerned by comments published in these blogs.? He said the military had a ?thick skin? and was ?no longer offended by criticism.?

th: Cyber clampdown ripped by foreign watchdog
Human Rights Watch has joined local and international netizens in criticising the interim government's censorship of the Internet, saying the move has undermined free political debate and delayed the return to democracy.

th: Web censorship draws rising global concern
Human Rights Watch has joined local and international "netizens" in criticising the interim government's censorship of the internet, saying the move has undermined free political debate and delayed the return to democracy. The New York-based Human Rights Watch yesterday issued a statement critical of the Thai authorities who have been active in silencing cyber critics and dissidents, in stark contradiction of Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont's pledges to create an atmosphere conducive to democratisation and political reform.

Bloggers beat Great Firewall
China's 20 million bloggers have scored their first big win against the country's 40,000-odd internet police. Two years ago, the Government launched a drive to require internet service providers to register the identities of all bloggers, even if they used pseudonyms online, and to provide the names to the authorities if required.

G8 Nations Will Intensify Fight Against Child Pornography
The Group of Eight highly industrialized nations pledged to re-double their efforts to fight child pornography and are calling on Internet service providers to help stop the exploitation of children.

au: Internet access concerns after alleged threats
New concerns have emerged about teenagers' use of the internet following alleged online threats and plots against students and staff at two NSW schools. Three 15-year-old boys have been charged with making online threats to staff and fellow students of a high school at Ambarvale in Sydney's southwest earlier this month, police say.

au: MySpace calls for Australian sex-offender database
MySpace is pressing Australian authorities to establish a system that would allow it to share information about sex offenders using the social networking site. The company has already created a similar system in the US, where attorneys general from eight states recently demanded the company provide data on how many registered sex offenders were using the site and where they lived.

au: Filter foils senator's porn demo
Filtering software has prevented Family First senator Steve Fielding from showing Communications Minister Helen Coonan internet pornography on her Parliament House office computer.

au: States may face new net porn rules
THE federal Government has considered using Commonwealth powers to force states and territories to introduce porn filters in government institutions such as libraries.

nz: Teachers in high-tech text traps
New complaints against teachers investigated by the Teachers Council show that technology is getting educators into trouble - with three of the five cases being triggered by inappropriate text messages and emails between teachers and students. One teacher was struck off, and two were censured for serious misconduct but were allowed to keep their registration with no conditions imposed, following email or text contact with students.

NZ schools ban bebo site
More than 2000 schools across the country have taken steps to limit student access to the web as concern grows over social networking sites like bebo.com.

Parents turn to kids for tech support
Children are helping Mom and Dad complete online purchases and other Internet tasks, potentially altering family dynamics.

Google is watching you: 'Big Brother' row over plans for personal database
Google is setting out to create the most comprehensive database of personal information ever assembled, one with the ability to tell people how to run their lives. In a mission statement that raises the spectre of an internet Big Brother to rival Orwellian visions of the state, Google has revealed details of how it intends to organise and control the world's information. The company's chief executive, Eric Schmidt, said during a visit to Britain this week: "The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as 'What shall I do tomorrow?' and 'What job shall I take?'."

How Google wants to know everything about you
Google says it does not yet ?know enough about you? and is stepping up its efforts to collect personal information on the web. Eric Schmidt, the Google chief executive, said yesterday that the world?s biggest internet search engine is still at a ?very early? stage when it comes to gathering your personal data through the web. ?This is the most important aspect of Google's expansion,? he added. He envisaged a day when Google would be able to advise its users on everything from their career moves to how they should spend their free time, based on the collected queries they tap into Google.com.

Google may be violating EU privacy laws on user search data
Google may be violating the European Union's privacy laws by storing information on customer queries for as long as two years, advisers to EU regulators told the company. Google's privacy counsel in Paris, Peter Fleischer, said the company received a letter this month from the EU's data-protection advisory agency asking it to explain why records of user searches are retained.
http://www.siliconvalley.com/news/ci_5986759 (AP)
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/05/25/1179601745294.html (AP)

Google defends data policy after EU warning (Reuters)
Google will tell Brussels it needs to hold on to users' search data for up to two years for security and commercial reasons after being warned it could be violating European privacy laws by doing so.

Google bristles over EU data probe
The EU's data privacy watchdog has launched an investigation into the personal data retention policies of Google, querying whether the search leader is breaking privacy laws. In its defence, Google has fired back a salvo defending its policies and asking whether the other main search players Yahoo and Microsoft are being similarly scrutinized.

Have you got Google under your skin? We?re giving too much personal information away
Welcome to Googletown, where, as you sip your skinny decaf, a cup-embedded chip instantaneously analyses your salivary DNA, allowing caf? staff to greet you personally as their screens retrieve your online profile. Stroll down the street, and an eye-scanning digital billboard reminds you to buy a birthday present for your mother, helpfully suggesting the perfume brand she e-mailed a friend about last week. Then, just as your internet-enabled Nikes are offering to guide you to the nearest discount perfumier, your phone buzzes with the message that will change your life. As your marriage seems to be going nowhere, it suggests, you might like to know that a woman shopping two streets away offers you an extraordinary 96 per cent compatibility rating. Simply click ?Yes? and leave it to Google?s algorithms to play Cupid.

They know everything about you and didn?t even have to ask
Big Brother really is watching you. Of course, there?s nothing sinister about this because it?s all being done to make life easier. But for whom?
How would you feel if your supermarket knew that you were getting married before you did? Or if your DNA was trawled by drugs companies that then could offer preventative treatments for illnesses likely to strike you in the future, but also share their findings with the lender debating whether to give you a mortgage? Welcome to Big Brother Britain, version 2.0, a surveillance society where every imaginable piece of digital data ? web-browsing histories, e-mails, even genetic records ?is gathered and processed by organisations determined to know you better than you know yourself. At the vanguard stands Google.

Search me?
There is a growing tension between knowledge and privacy as Google give us more but wants to know more about us first:
Like Microsoft before it, Google is starting to suffer a little blowback. It is still wildly popular for its search engine and expanding range of free internet services, but a paranoia, variously described as Fog (Fear of Google) and Dog (Disdain of Google), is beginning to set in.
Not least of critics? concerns was that mysterious investment in Mrs Brin?s genetics firm, which Google proved curiously reluctant to explain. Was this just a corporate wedding present, as some bloggers wondered? Or is Google plotting some sinister link between computers and the human brain? 

eu: ICO questions Google's privacy policy
The Information Commissioner has asked Google to justify its policy of keeping users' search histories for two years
The Information Comissioner's Office (ICO) has expressed concern that Google may be breaching privacy laws by keeping information about its users' internet searches for too long. The ICO is a member of a European working party that has sent Google a letter asking that the company justify its policy of keeping data relating to searches for two years. The letter, sent by a group that advises the European Union on privacy, demanded that Google reveal "the full facts" about how it stored personal information in order to establish whether the company is complying with data protection legislation.

NATO nations send cyber reinforcements to Estonia
NATO nations have sent experts to Estonia to help it combat a wave of cyberattacks this month, a spokesperson for the military allies said on Wednesday, but he could shed no light on who the culprits were.

Germany passes controversial antihacking law
Hackers may want to avoid Germany, after the approval of a law that makes their activity a punishable crime. The legislation, which the German government proposed earlier last year and approved Friday with no changes, aims to crack down on the sharp rise in computer attacks in the public and private sectors. Although Germany already has a comprehensive penal law against attacks on IT systems, the new legislation looks to close any remaining loopholes.

A decade of online banking - and online fraud
Ten years ago, people in the UK could be forgiven for thinking that their relationships with their bank were predominantly about one thing. Queuing. Whether at the branch, at the cash machine, or listening to canned music on a phone line, dealing with your bank was by definition a time-consuming, often inconvenient hassle. Then came banking over the internet - and for those with access to the web, managing your money became a whole lot easier. But customers are not the only ones to benefit. Crooks, too, were handed a glorious new opportunity to rip people off.

NZ second most favoured target for cyber-vandalism
New Zealand websites are among the most likely to be targeted by cyber vandalism, according to a new report. Security company TippingPoint has found UK websites are most likely to be attacked by hackers, with an attack ratio of one attack per every 479 internet users.

au: Turkish hackers target Aussie websites (AAP)
Many of the cyber vandalism attacks reported in Australia appear to stem from individuals or groups based in Turkey, a report has found. The documented attacks were typically only surface-level intrusions, but such breaches were often a pre-cursor to more insidious penetrations of networks, according to Ken Low from network security group TippingPoint, which conducted the survey.

TippingPoint: .gov.au sites frequently hacked
TippingPoint: .gov.au sites frequently hackedHacks on Queensland government sites increased by 104 percent in two years. Targeted cyber-criminal activity towards Australian State Government websites has dramatically increased over the last two years, according to security vendor, TippingPoint.

uk: No charges over 'suicide' on web
Chatroom users who watched a man apparently commit suicide over the internet will not face charges, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

New antiphishing, antispam specifications unveiled
Specifications for a new e-mail authentication tool to help fight against phishing and spam were published yesterday by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), opening the way for software vendors and e-mail service providers to find better ways to protect e-mail recipients. The specifications were announced for DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), a new technology that combines several existing antiphishing and antispam methods to create an improved way to sort and identify legitimate e-mail. The specifications provide details that independent software vendors and e-mail service providers can use to build the protections into their products and services immediately.

If you're tagged as a spammer, it's hard to get off the blacklist
About a year ago, Scott Madlener, a marketing executive, e-mailed a client several times but his messages were not getting through. "It raised a red flag immediately," said Madlener, executive vice president for interactive strategies at the Performance Communications Group of Chicago. "We asked our system administrator to look at what was happening, and he came back to me with some bad news: We had been blacklisted."

Internet users unfazed by spam: study
The volume of spam arriving in Americans' personal and workplace inboxes is rising, but email users are less bothered by it than they once were. That's according to a new study from the Pew Internet Project, which reveals that American internet users have become more sophisticated at dealing with unsolicited emails.

nz: ISPs to help more with spam
ISPs would have to warn customers and help them if they found out their computers had been hijacked and were being used to send out spam, under a voluntary code being put to ISPs by InternetNZ.

au: One in three porn viewers are women
Record numbers of Australians are visiting pornographic websites, including sexually explicit dating sites - and one in three of them is a woman. Surprising new figures show more than one-third of internet users visited an adult website at least once in the first three months of this year. Almost one in five was under 18, and 5 per cent were 65 or over.

au: How porn is wrecking relationships
The Herald spent two months charting a social phenomenon that is poisoning couples and destroying families. Adele Horin reports: The internet has brought an explosion of pornography into the home and workplace of virtually every Australian. Just a mouse-click away are images that exceed the bounds of fantasy or imagination. In 1961 the introduction of the pill helped usher in a sexual revolution. It had a profound effect on sexual attitudes, practices and relationships. It brought worry-free sex first to married couples, then to singles. And now there are experts - psychiatrists, sociologists and relationship counsellors among them - who argue that the social and psychological impact of internet pornography is potentially as huge.

au: Teacher, mind expander, spice of life: porn's multiple positions
Nothing in 30 years of research about pornography has ever suggested it has a positive side. But that, says Alan McKee, is because the wrong people were being asked. No researcher had ever asked Australian consumers of pornography why they liked it - even though there is no shortage of them. In the first three months of this year, 4.3 million Australians visited an adult website, said Nielsen/NetRatings NetView, a world leader in internet analysis. Tens of thousands regularly watch pornographic DVDs. When consumers are asked their opinion, the results are unexpected. "To find out that overwhelmingly people who use pornography experience it as good was surprising," says Dr McKee, "given everything you hear is negative."

au: Ethics of porn are in the eye of the beholder by Kath Albury
My interest in pornography is not so much moral, as ethical. Many requests for media comment from me and my colleagues on the Understanding Pornography in Australia project have come from male journalists who express ambivalence, if not shame, about their own pornography consumption. Like many men (and men are still pornography's primary audience), they are afraid that their use of pornography harms women. They worry about addiction, and are concerned that increased access to online pornography is impeding their ability to form relationships.

comScore Releases April U.S. Search Engine Rankings (news release)
comScore released its monthly qSearch analysis of activity across competitive search engines. In April 2007, Google Sites captured 49.7 percent of the U.S. search market, gaining 1.4 share points from the previous month.  Yahoo! Sites maintained its second place ranking with 26.8 percent of U.S. searches, followed by Microsoft Sites (10.3 percent), Ask Network (5.1 percent) and Time Warner Network (5.0 percent).

British digital divide is closing, Ofcom survey finds
The divide between the digital haves and have-nots has narrowed, according to the second annual survey of the UK's communications market by Ofcom. The take-up of broadband in England extended to 45% of households last year - three percentage points above that of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland at 42%. This represented a narrowing of the "digital divide" of 2005, when only 24% of households in Northern Ireland had adopted broadband while the UK region with the highest take-up scored 36%.

Shaping the Future
Worldchanging ally Charlie Stross is not only a science fiction writer of some reknown, but one of our best thinkers about technology and the future as well. Recently he published the following speech on his blog. It's a sharp piece of thinking, which informs in new ways all sorts of subjects we've covered here before, and he's graciously given us permission to post it here as well.

The 100 Best Products of 2007
PC World's editors rank the best PCs, HDTVs, components, sites, and services. Plus: the products we're looking forward to next year, and which technologies are rising and falling.

nz: Looming fight for the airwaves
The Government has a hard call to make on how it will manage the upcoming auction of radio spectrum suitable for delivering WiMax wireless phone and broadband services.


Sources include Quicklinks <http://qlinks.net/> and BNA Internet Law News <http://www.bna.com/ilaw/>.


(c) David Goldstein 2007

David Goldstein
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Received on Thu May 31 2007 - 04:26:22 UTC

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