[DNS] domain name news - December 28

[DNS] domain name news - December 28

From: David Goldstein <goldstein_david§yahoo.com.au>
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2007 15:01:12 -0800 (PST)
Hi all,

I know I have said there would be no more domain news till early January, but there was just becoming too much news, so here is the domain name news. It's now my intention the news will recommence in the week commencing January 7. And as I previously mentioned, updates will be added to my website at http://technewsreview.com.au/ on a daily basis. The domain news is also available as usual on the auDA website.

Happy new year!


The domain name news is supported by auDA


ICANN Posts 2007 Annual Report

Update: ICANN Projects Underway to Improve Whois Accuracy

ICANN Calls for Expressions of Interest from Potential Dispute Resolution Service Providers for the New gTLD Program

DotAsia Sunrise Period to January 31 & appoints Dispute Resolution Provider for .Asia Sunrise Challenge Process

nz: AKILL controlled a botnet of 1.3 million PCs, says OPTA

Obama Camp Registers Anti-Clinton Web Sites

Clinton-Obama Feud Moves to Domain Names

Verizon and Internet REIT Settle Lawsuit

Microsoft Sues Domain Name Registrar for Typosquatting [IDG]

Judicial Review of ICANN Domain Name Dispute Decisions by David E. Sorkin [Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal]
Abstract: Since late 1999 more than 3,000 quasi-arbitral proceedings have been conducted to address disputes involving Internet domain names. These proceedings are governed by ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). A UDRP order to transfer a domain name will be implemented unless the domain name registrant promptly commences a lawsuit against the trademark owner. Domain name registrants have taken advantage of this right to judicial review in a small number of cases. At least two U.S. courts thus far have held that they are not bound by UDRP decisions, although the legal effect of these decisions remains unclear. This Article contends that a de novo standard of review is warranted in such cases.

Internet Governance Models: An International Perspective by David E. Sorkin [Internet Law Bulletin]
Abstract: The Internet grew up without a formal governance structure, contributing to its once-popular characterization as an uncharted electronic frontier unburdened by regulation, taxes, scarcity, or strife. Of course this description is exaggerated; there have always been rules of some sort in cyberspace. But governing structures rooted in the physical world have struggled to adapt to the online world, and the legitimacy of new structures created for the Internet has been rightfully challenged. These problems have been particularly acute in instances of great international diversity of law or culture - a diversity that may be difficult to preserve in a world without borders. Yet even the most fundamental questions, like whether to apply real-world laws to the Internet in the first place, remain controversial. The Article explores three areas in which various forms of Internet governance have been attempted: content regulation, spam, and the domain
 name system; and concludes that no one method of governance is likely to solve the problems of cyberspace.

"Can You Do a Wayback on That?? The Legal Community?s Use of Cached Web Pages in and out of Trial by Matthew Fagan [Boston University Journal of Science & Technology Law]
Can cached web sites be introduced as evidence at trial in civil and criminal cases, and, more pointedly, should they be? ... In Part II, I describe webcaching technology and the different kinds of webcaching services to provide a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of this technology. Following this is an overview of how caching is currently used in the legal community and a discussion of representative cases where the issues prevalent in caching arise. Parts III and IV discuss the strengths and weaknesses, respectively, of caching services. Next, in Part V, I review the admissibility of cached web pages under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Finally, Part VI presents recommendations on how the legal community can effectively use cached web pages while avoiding some of the major pitfalls of archived web sites.

Milton Mueller Named First XS4ALL Professor
IGP Partner Milton Mueller, a scholar known for his work on global Internet governance and professor at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University, has internationalized his academic post and strengthened ties to the Internet industry by accepting a chair at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The three-year research position was created by the Dutch Internet service provider XS4ALL, and will be located in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) section.


ICANN: New gTLDs - the latest
There are a number of new developments with respect to the new gTLD program. Firstly, we have put out a request for organizations interested in acting as dispute resolution providers for the new gTLD process to contact us. An important component of the proposed system for approving new top-level domains is the ability for people to register objections to others' applications for particular strings, so those chosen to act as dispute resolvers will play a vital role. A "statement of work" [pdf] covers what exactly is required, and there is a deadline of 18 January. In expectation of far wider and greater interest in the new gTLD program as the policy development process draws to a close, we have also reformatted the dedicated webpage for the process to make it easier for people to follow events. You should be able find all you want to know about the new gTLD process there. If you find you still have questions, please feel free to contact us and ask. 

ICANN Posts 2007 Annual Report
ICANN has released its second annual report, covering in detail the organization's achievements and progress over the past 12 months. "I am delighted to announce the release of our second annual report," said Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN's President and CEO. "As an organization we have made great progress this year, both in terms of policy work and in the quality of our operations. We have also made great efforts in relation to transparency and accountability".

Update: ICANN Projects Underway to Improve Whois Accuracy
... Over the years ICANN constituencies and others have observed apparent inaccuracies in Whois contact information provided by registrants when registering and maintaining their domain names. In an attempt to contribute to community discussion regarding Whois policy, ICANN has undertaken a study of domain name Whois contact information accuracy.

ICANN Calls for Expressions of Interest from Potential Dispute Resolution Service Providers for the New gTLD Program
ICANN is calling for Expressions of Interest from potential Dispute Resolution Service Providers (DSRP) for the new gTLD Program. The statement of work may be viewed at http://icann.org/topics/drsp-call-for-expressions-of-interest.pdf. The provider will administer the resolution of disputes arising under implementation of the Generic Names Supporting Organization?s (GNSO) policy recommendations.

Bulgarian Group Challenges IDN ccTLD Policy by Milton Mueller
Adding to the growing questions about the wisdom of giving incumbent country code registries a ?fast track? to new IDN top level domains, a Bulgarian registrar has sent a letter to ICANN claiming that it should receive the new TLD rather than the current country code manager. The Bulgarian company, UNINET, has already launched a local version of '.??' and claims that it resolves in Bulgaria through many ?DNS patches? supported by national Internet service providers. UNINET criticizes the policies, prices and sluggishness of the Bulgarian ccTLD administrator (Register.bg), which has registered only 7500 names after more than 12 years of operation. In contrast, Bulgarians have registered around 180,000 domains in generic TLDs such as .com, .net, .org and .info ? a clear indication of the inadequacy of the current ccTLD manager in meeting the needs of the local market.

 - (cc)TLD NEWS
Apster December edition now available
The December edition of Apster, APNIC's newsletter for the Asia Pacific Internet community, is now available. Topics covered include APNIC policy proposal updates; global policy proposal update on IANA policy for the allocation of ASN blocks to Regional and IPv4 countdown; and an article on IPv6 local addresses by Geoff Huston.

VeriSign Digital Branding Bulletin ccTLD updates
The latest VeriSign Digital Branding Bulletin includes the following ccTLD updates: Registrations Available Again for .GY, Registrations Available for .LC, Sunrise Period for 2nd-Level .MY Domains Begins November 1 and Legal Experts Attack Nominet Plan for Domain Name Disputes.

DotAsia Sunrise Period to January 31 & appoints Dispute Resolution Provider for .Asia Sunrise Challenge Process
DotAsia has extended the Sunrise period for .ASIA domain names January 31 2008. This Sunrise period is for Sunrise 2b (General Marks), Sunrise 2c (Extended Protection) and Sunrise 3 (Registered Entity Names). The original closing date was January 15. This provides tardy brand owners with the last chance to protect their brand names in .Asia before the Landrush begins on February 20, 2008.

New features for .ASIA
The folks at DotAsia are working hard to make their launch a success. In the next few weeks, timetables will be updated and new features introduced. DotAsia CEO Edmon Chung remains a very busy man as .ASIA enters the final stages of its pre-launch process. Under the slogan "global recognition, regional significance", Chung and his team are being as dynamic and flexible as they can to make sure that .ASIA continues to meet the expectations of the marketplace.

More Canadians buying up personal domain names
Think of it as you.ca. Personalized web domain names with the .ca tag have become vanity licence plates of the web. "It doesn't cost much money, considering the disappointment when you might find out in the future: `oh God, I made it into law school, I wish I had bought (the name) years ago,''' said Tim Richardson, who teaches e-commerce at the University of Toronto and Seneca College.

1 and 2 digits numerical domain names available for .GP
1 and 2 digit numerical domain names will soon be available for registration soon in .GP. One hundred domain names are available from 00.gp to 99.gp and ten domain names from 0.gp to 9.gp.

id: Internet charges may drop by half in 4 years
The telecommunications regulatory body is preparing a number of policies in order to gradually lower Internet charges, currently among the highest in the world, by 50 percent within four years. ... Aside from introducing new regulations and holding tenders for the development of the network, the government also plans to make a number of technical improvements next year, including better Internet protocol (IP) address and Internet exchange (IX) management, improved domain-name service administration, and migration from IP version 4 to IP version 6.

Afilias to launch domain names in Indian languages
Afilias, a player in the advanced back office and Internet domain name registry services space, will launch domain names in Indian languages in 2008. Roland LaPlante, vice president and chief marketing officer, Afilias said that the strategy was to attract more local content and to address the growing Internet market in India.

Invitations called for .ME registry manager
The Republic of Montenegro?s government has called for tenders for the managing of the .ME ccTLD.

Corporate Statement in Regards to December 2007 Sedo Premium Name Online Auction [news release]
Over the past couple of weeks, we have reviewed the Sedo auction which closed on December and spoken with many members of the dotMobi community ? developers, brands, and domainers. Sedo's systems problems at the end of the auction created confusion for everyone (including dotMobi) and the result was unsatisfying for us and community participants. The question is, ?What is the fair and right course of action for the good of the whole community and everyone collectively involved?? Permitting the auction to stand, whichever ending time was validated, would invariably disadvantage some auction participants. Therefore, we are supporting the rights of everyone involved by exercising our own rights to void the auction results of December, and plan to conduct a new auction beginning January 23, 2008.

Shorter .my Internet Addressing for Priority Customers
MYNIC have announced they are taking registrations of .MY domain names at the second level for existing .MY registrants with COM.MY, NET.MY, ORG.MY and EDU.MY domain names.

.NL Sunrise period for numeric domain names has ended
The Sunrise period for numeric domain names has now ended SIDN has announced. From 1 to 14 December, trademark and trading name rights owners had the opportunity to ask to reserve the corresponding numeric domain names. During this period, SIDN received 114 reservation requests. 

.NL Sunrise period for numeric domain names has ended [news release]
The Sunrise period for numeric domain names has now ended. From 1 to 14 December, trademark and trading name rights owners had the opportunity to ask to reserve the corresponding numeric domain names. During this period, SIDN received 114 reservation requests. The numeric domain names concerned are listed opposite.

Norid has taken over the administration of PRIV.NO
NORID logoNominet have taken over the management of the PRIV.NO domain after the Ventelo group signalled they no longer wished to manage it. PRIV.NO domains are for private individuals in Norway. It appears registrations of PRIV.NO domains are currently on hold, with a group being formed to look at policies.

Norid has taken over the administration of priv.no [news release]
Under the current rules, private individuals in Norway can register domain names within the generic domain priv.no. Norid wants to maintain this option and has therefore taken over the management of priv.no after the Ventelo group signalled that they no longer wished to administer it.

New Policies Regarding ".pe" Domain Names
Ruddy Medina writes "Beginning December 8th 2007, the new policies regarding .pe domain names will come effective. Among the most important changes there are the chance for registration and payment on-line for the domain name, the supressing of the 10-day period for new solicitations publicity, the chance por transfering the domain to a new owner and the reduction and supressing of several previous restrictions, as were the peruvian toponymics and surnames, among others.

Update on transition from .YU to .RS
RNIDS .RS English logoThe Serbian National Register of Internet Domain Names (RNIDS) announced recently that it would begin testing of the 24 local companies who applied to perform registrar services for .rs domains. The testing was scheduled to commence on December 10 and conclude on December 20. It has also been announced the process of entering .RS domains into the central registry of RNIDS and the process of transition from .YU to .RS domains have not been yet officially opened. It is expected that by early-January, RNIDS will announce a process for moving from .YU to .RS as well as a process for registering domain names in the new ccTLD.

No January 10 launch for .RS
Despite Internet rumours to the contrary, no date has yet been set for the launch of Serbia's Internet domain.

Yandex: Runet grows by 66% in 2007
The company Yandex has published its survey regarding the internet development in Russia as of Fall ? Winter 2007. The number of sites in Runet in 2007 has grown by 66%. The number of domains registered in the regions is increasing a little bit slower (57% over the past year). According to the survey, Moscow and St. Petersburg are the leaders regarding the internet penetration and activity of the internet users.

Domain ?.???: countdown underway
Open Cyrillic domain ?.??? testing might be launched by 2008 end. The body to administer the domain has not been determined yet. Experts have various opinions regarding such a domain emergence.

Domain ?.??? to Emerge in Russia?s Internet Next Year
The first domain with Cyrillic letters in its name will be probably registered in Russia by late 2008, said Andrei Romanov, head of the ?ru? domain coordination center.

Russian Cyrillic domain to be launched
A Russian Cyrillic domain is expected to be launched in 2008. Market participants think that the domain will be popular among Internet users and is even likely to outpace the .ru domain, the RBC Daily newspaper reported today.

ru: Medvedev domains speculated on
The pre-election campaign has aroused great interest to domain names related to the last name Medvedev. Medveded?s image popularity has resulted in the domain zamedveda.ru to be put up for sale.

.TRAVEL policy changes
.TRAVEL have announced policy changes that were approved by their board on November 14, 2007. These policies took effect on December 21, 2007. Some of these new policies give the Registry discretion to implement procedures and rules for authentication or name use. In the event that the Registry puts such procedures and rules in place these changes will be announced in advance with a 30-day comment period prior to their effective date.

uk: Nominet EPP live launch
Following the successful beta testing phase, we are pleased to announce that the live version of EPP will be launched on 4 February 2008. We are grateful to all of our registrars who have been involved in the testing phase. We will continue to operate the beta system as an EPP Testbed.

Homeland Security Department was warned about DNSSEC key ownership and trust issues by Brenden Kuerbis
A consulting group (DNK LLC) report to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stated clearly that the problems of who would own the DNSSEC keys and mistrust of the U.S. government's intentions could be barriers to DNSSEC deployment. While the August 2006 report covers developments only from March 2005 to July 2006, it makes two important points that are relevant and timely today. First it makes clear, if it weren't already, that the issue of root signing and key management has been recognized as a political issue for long time. It also offers some interesting insights on how DHS has approached the politics of DNSSEC and Internet security.

Cyber cold war a threat to all
Governments worldwide are preparing for an increase in attacks on crucial services, writes Conrad Walters: ... The war of the future, according to an international look into cyber crime, could well be waged online. And the dangers are magnifying as governments and organised groups hone their abilities to spy on each other and attack critical pieces of public infrastructure with an arsenal of e-weapons.

Estonia: Cyber Superpower
During a November visit to the United States, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip comapared his country's success in combating a massive cyber attack earlier this year to Bruce Willis in the recent fourth Die Hard film.

nz: AKILL controlled a botnet of 1.3 million PCs, says OPTA
The Dutch telecommunications regulator OPTA has fined the two companies behind the DollarRevenue adware program ?1 million (NZ$1.89 million), reports InfoWorld Nederland. A tip from abroad put OPTA on the trail of several online criminals, including alleged botnet herder AKILL, 18-year-old Owen Walker from Whitianga, whose house was raided last month, says OPTA's lead investigator, Daan Molenaar. AKILL controlled a botnet of 1.3 million PCs, he says.

Ad hijacking Trojan targets Google
Security researchers have identified a Trojan that hijacks Google text advertisements, replacing them with "ads" from a different provider that are likely to be laced with spyware. The Qhost-WU modifies an infected computer's hosts file, thereby poisoning systems with bogus DNS lookup records. The hosts file matches domain names of websites with corresponding IP addresses. By corrupting the file hackers can redirect surfers to domains controlled by hackers even when users visit a trusted location.

GMail Exploit Leads to Domain Theft
David Airey, a popular logo designer, was the unfortunate victim of an unusual domain name theft. While on vacation in India his GMail account was compromised through the use of a malicious injection of a filter which forwarded important messages to the hacker?s email and then deleted the messages permanently from David?s inbox.

Gmail Hack Leads to Domain Theft
Gmail flaw leads to theft of domain name; GoDaddy steps in to return domain. A ?cracker?* used a deficiency in Gmail to steal a domain name this month. The theft was of DavidAirey.com, a popular graphic designer?s personal site that attracts a couple thousand unique visitors a day.

Obama Camp Registers Anti-Clinton Web Sites
The campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has registered an Internet domain name that seems to attack the former First Lady personally, ABC News has learned. Though Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has pledged to keep criticisms of his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, focused on the issues, ABC News has learned that his campaign secretly registered an internet domain name called desperatehillaryattacks.com, a Web site that may seem to insult the former First Lady personally. The domain name -- and another one, Desperationwatch.com -- connects to a known Web site where the Obama campaign catalogues Clinton's attacks on the Illinoisan, hillaryattacks.barackobama.com But DesperateHillaryAttacks.com has not been known until now. 

Clinton-Obama Feud Moves to Domain Names
It's come to this: a Democratic primary race so close and heated that a fierce battle of rhetoric has begun playing out in domain-name registrations. Hillary Clinton's campaign quietly registered VotingPresent.com and VotingPresent.org in early December. Though no websites have gone up on the domains (which were first reported by ABC News), it's a fair bet the sites won't be promoting election-themed Christmas gifts: "Voting present" refers to a parliamentary maneuver in the Illinois Legislature that allows a lawmaker to abstain from voting on a particular measure.

Clinton Web sites to attack Obama
ABC News reported that the campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton registered two Web sites apparently to attack Democratic presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama.

Report: Obama readies web attack on Clinton
Yesterday, we told you about ABC News' report that Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign had registered a couple of web-site names it could use to publicize Sen. Barack Obama's habit of voting "present" on difficult votes that could harm him politically when he was an Illinois legislator. Today, we learned, once again from ABC News, that Obama's campaign has also registered web sites that could be used against Clinton.

Verizon and Internet REIT Settle Lawsuit
Verizon and Internet REIT have announced an amicable resolution of the lawsuit filed by several Verizon companies against Internet REIT claiming violations of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

Verizon and Internet REIT settle cybersquatting suit [Reuters]
Verizon Communications Inc said on Friday it has settled its lawsuit against Internet REIT, a seller of domain names.

Verizon and Internet REIT Settle Lawsuit [news release]
Verizon and Internet REIT today announced the amicable resolution of the lawsuit filed by several Verizon companies against Internet REIT claiming violations of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

Microsoft Sues Domain Name Registrar for Typosquatting [IDG]
Microsoft has sued domain name registrar Red Register claiming that it is illegally profiting from Microsoft's trademarks. In a lawsuit filed in Seattle earlier this month Microsoft alleges that Red Register snatched up 125 domain names, all "confusingly similar to Microsoft's Marks" in order to profit from Web advertising, a practice known as typosquatting and cybersquatting.

us: eBay Sues CoinBay.biz for Trademark Infringement
eBay sued the owner of the CoinBay.biz website for trademark infringement and unfair competition on December 5, 2007, in US District Court in the Northern District of California. The complaint alleges that the CoinBay.biz website name, logo and its "Buy Now" feature infringes on eBay's copyright. eBay asked for injunctive relief enjoining the defendant from using the name and marks; cancellation of the coinbay.biz domain name registration; and treble damages and legal expenses.

us: Site owner says he didn't cybersquat
A Web site that references Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory no longer redirects visitors to a potential rival's site. Until recently, visitors to www.mccroryforgovernor.com were sent automatically to the site of Bill Graham, one of three Republicans seeking their party's nomination for N.C. governor in 2008.

Nunavut Tourism sues over website ownership
A messy legal dispute over the rights to a web site has landed two prominent Iqalummiut in court as defendants against a legal action mounted by the territory's tourism trade group. Nunavut Tourism is suing Madeline Redfern, executive director of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association's truth commission on the dog slaughter, and Kirt Ejesiak, the Liberal Party's candidate in the next federal election.

Avoiding Infringing on Trademarks when Buying Domains
Okay, you have a great idea for a website. Something hot, new, sticking with the market. Now you need to buy a domain name. However, if you wish to avoid being up to your knee?s in some pretty hot water, you might want to know some things first.

 - IPv4/IPv6
us: Sprint Gears Up to Deploy IPv6 by 2008
Sprint is gearing up for deploying the next generation IPv6 (define) Internet protocol with new IPv6 services. The effort by the national carrier is being driven by a June 2008 US federal government mandate for IPv6.

IPv4 Address Exhaustion and a Trading Market by Jay Daley
There are discussions starting within the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) about the creation of trading market in IPv4 addresses as we approach the inevitable exhaustion of unallocated addresses. The view being put forward is basically ?this is likely to happen anyway and by discussing it now, we can ensure it happens in an orderly way?.

Go Daddy Gives Millions To Charities & Employees [news release]
What?s good for Go Daddy is good for the community. This year?s financial success for the world?s largest provider of Web site addresses is translating into big dollars for charities and for the company?s own employees. For the year, Go Daddy?s philanthropic works totaled $1.4 million in donations alone. The Scottsdale-based company helped organizations dedicated to a variety of causes, including domestic violence, child abuse, blind children, unwed mothers, homelessness, as well as Parkinson?s disease, Juvenile Diabetes, food banks and animal shelters.

Unique Google Query Finds Quality Expired Domains
By chance and a stroke of inspiration, I have discovered an advanced Google search query which allows me to find lists of recently expired domains. I was quite excited and spent about an hour using my new found expired search technique. Within that hour I found several hundred available domains that had just recently expired.

You're only as good as Google says you are
Who's Scott Burkett? A small-time actor; a family lawyer; a techie at the University of North Carolina. But if you Google "Scott Burkett," eight of the top 10 results, and most of the next 20, point to the 38-year-old chief executive of PlayMotion, a small video-game company.

Domaining is Bloggers New Pastime
For some blogging has become more and more about making money and turning a profit. For the most part, bloggers have been able to turn a profit from their blogs. Domains are cheap and hosting can be found at bargains. Since bloggers have been able to turn a profit on one blog, they use that formula to double that with another. Now seemingly bloggers are collecting domains like baseball cards. Domaining has reached the blogosphere.

White Oak grad a finalist for best domain publication
When Sally Letzer and Donna Mahony set out to begin the Domainer?s Choice Awards, they had one thing in mind: hearing what the people truly thought.

.Mobi domains Sold at Sedo Don?t Comply
Review has shown that Sedo?s .Mobi auctions have been very successful, however the sold domains don?t comply with the auction rules.

Domaining, Internet Marketing & SEO - DomainerSEO
Building a website is just the first step. Search engine optimization (SEO) will get your site listed in Google and other search engines. That?s a good start, but marketing and promotion will bring in even more traffic.

Webhostdirectory chose Sedo for a prestigious award as the #1 e-commerce host
Sedo is happy to announce that we were recently voted as the #1 ?E-commerce Host? by Webhostdirectory, an online leader for comparing and purchasing hosting products. Webhostdirectory has announced Sedo as the winner of this month?s Ecommerce Host award after tabulating the votes received from their online community and the Webhostdirectory Review Board. Awards are given to the best Web Hosts in each of Webhostdirectory?s seven hosting categories (Shared, Ecommerce, Dedicated Server, Reseller, Unix, Windows and Budget hosting) by rating each host in six areas of performance, including cost, features, support, reliability and speed.

US$900,000 Auction Sale Soars to #1 On This Week's Domain Top 40 
A trio of six-figure sales from Moniker.com's live auction at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East conference in October closed this week to take the first three spots on our weekly top sellers list. To make room for the latest wave of auction sales and a slew of solid five-figure transactions we doubled the size of our usual Top 20 chart to 40 positions. Investment.com yielded the highest return - a whopping $900,000 that ranks as the 11th biggest sale reported this year.

Cyber Warfare and the Dilemmas of International Law [Icfai Journal of International Relations]
Abstract: Information Technology (IT) is affecting almost all spheres of life. Individuals and societies worldwide, have to adjust to its continuous impact. The military is no exception. Traditional concepts are increasingly becoming outdated. There arises the need for new military thinking, dubbed Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). The core of RMA is information warfare, which has various versions and stages such as network-centric warfare (NCW), knowledge-centric warfare (KCW), etc. Today, it is entirely possible to 'defeat' a militarily powerful enemy by manipulating its command and control (C2) information. Since, the defence establishments have come to depend on computer networks to speedily coordinate commands to their armed forces and guide "smart weapons" and a whole array of other tasks, paralyzing or corrupting their computer data with a successful "cyber attack" would lead to "defeat" without having a shot fired. In the light of the above
 reality, the conventional concepts of the laws of war turn out to be inadequate. Definitions of terms, such as "war", "armed conflict", "use of force" and "attack", need thorough revision. For instance, it is conceivable that a cyber attack is launched by civilian experts on the government without direct involvement. The attack on computers are in the civilian, even commercial, and private domain. An attack on key targets such as power supply, transportation, health care, banking and financial transactions and military C2, would lead to a catastrophe on an unthinkable scale. It would be equivalent to consequences unleashed by an attack with weapons of mass destruction (WMD). But would such an "attack" qualify as such under International Law? The latter needs "platform-centric warfare", "kinetics" (use of traditional force or violence), and engagement of the military to be activated. In our hypothetical case, no trace of these indicators are to be found.
 The need of the hour, hence, is to switch to "effects-based" legal concepts.

The Law of Unintended Consequences ? embedded business models in IT regulation by Chris Reed [Warwick University Journal of Information, Law & Technology]
This article attempts to identify the structural defects in IT regulation which have produced these unintended consequences, and discusses how those defects might be remedied in future regulation. It concentrates on IT regulation at the European Union level, both because that regulation has wide geographical application and because it often serves as a model for other countries? regulation. It should be noted that the structural defects identified are not unique to EU regulation, and some examples from other jurisdictions are given to demonstrate this.

Web 2.0 and User-Generated Content: legal challenges in the new frontier by Dr Carlisle George & Dr Jackie Scerri [Warwick University Journal of Information, Law & Technology]
Abstract: The advent of Web 2.0 has enabled a host of new services and possibilities on the Internet. Among many new possibilities, users can easily upload online content that can be accessed, viewed and downloaded by other users around the globe. This has resulted in an explosive growth of User-Generated Content (UGC) which although creating exciting opportunities for users, presents many challenges, especially related to law and regulation. This paper discusses Web 2.0, UGC and the legal /regulatory challenges that have arisen in this new ?frontier? characterised by having a liberating democratic ethos (on one hand) but also sometimes tainted with illegal activity and disregard for accepted norms. Citing various researched case studies and legal cases, the paper highlights possible ?dangers? where traditional legal rules may be inadequate to address certain types of online activity, and discusses many of the legal challenges which this new
 frontier brings. These challenges are widespread and relate to intellectual property, liability, defamation, pornography, hate speech, privacy, confidentiality and jurisdiction among others. The paper also discusses the role of intermediaries (web hosts and service providers) and whether they can aid in effectively policing the new Web 2.0 frontier. Finally the paper attempts to discuss possible solutions for the way forward.
Keywords Web 2.0, Internet, User Generated Content, Legal Rules, Protection

Regulating Cyberstalking by Subhajit Basu & Richard Jones [Warwick University Journal of Information, Law & Technology]
Abstract: Through the use of examples of cyber stalking the paper will consider the nature of regulation required in relation to this behaviour in cyberspace. The paper will consider the differences between off line and cyber stalking, and review how these differences affect the regulation of such activities. The paper will review the boundaries between public and private law, between national and international law and between state law and self regulation, and consider whether the traditional positivist methodology of law, within these boundaries offers an adequate intellectual framework in which to consider the nature and form of regulation in cyberspace.
Key Words: Cyberspace, Cyber-stalking, Cyber-harassment, Regulation, Anonymity, Jurisdiction, Positivism

Factors Affecting Internet Shopping Behaviour in Singapore: Gender and Educational Issues by Tak-Kee Hui & David Wan [International Journal of Consumer Studies]
Abstract: Despite the increasing number of online users and products that are being offered on the Web, there is relatively little work that specifically examines the role of gender and educational level on the attitudes of Internet users in the Singapore context. Our findings reveal that there is a general consensus amongst Singaporeans that the Internet is a convenient medium for information search or making purchases. The better-educated respondents seem to be less concerned with security issues. They also perceive that Internet shopping provides better prices and more cost savings. Females indicate a strong dislike for not being able to savour a physically fulfilling shopping experience online.

Social Media and Search by Junghoo Cho & Andrew Tomkins [IEEE Computer Society]
The past few years have witnessed the rapid rise of social media Web sites such as Flickr, del.icio.us, YouTube, Myspace, and Facebook, as well as the proliferation of ?mashup? applications created when users combine services from multiple sources. These sites contain user-generated content in various forms, from plain text to rich multimedia. In fact, most publicly available text content created during the next 24 hours will be generated by end users, rather than professional writers, journalists, corporate communications departments, or others whose job it is to create and publish content. Furthermore, end users will generate an additional two orders of magnitude more text that they will send privately to other users through a communications channel such as email.1 The emergence of user content as the dominant content form on the Web raises various questions about the most effective approach to processing it.

The Internet economy: Towards a better future
Can you remember life before the Internet? Though quite a new technology, for many of us a world without the web has become as unthinkable as a world without telephones. But what of the future? Can the benefits of this extraordinary technology be multiplied, and how can the thornier challenges be met?

How the Queen became very well connected
The Queen has taken a bold stride into cyberspace by launching her own channel on the video-sharing website YouTube. The Royal Channel launched as Buckingham Palace seeks to promote Britain's monarch to a youthful global audience. While aides were utterly convinced it was the way forward, the 81-year-old Queen - who only recently mastered emailing and had never used a personal computer until two years ago - was not immediately acquainted with the YouTube phenomenon. But after the concept was explained to her by, among others, her granddaughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie - both avid Facebook fans - she personally approved the channel's go-ahead after viewing its contents.

Facebook is so last year - welcome to the hit websites of 2008
For many in the dotcom world, 2007 was dominated by one story: the rise of Facebook. The success of the social networking service has increased optimism about the internet industry. After all, if Microsoft is prepared to buy a 1.6% share for $240m (?121m), there is evidence that good ideas can be worth a lot of money. It is no surprise then that investors are looking for the next big thing - and these are some of the favourites.

China on the Web: An Accident Waiting to Happen?
With some 1.3 billion people in its emerging economy, the lure of China's market is compelling. "The temptation is huge, not just for corporations but for the U.S. government itself," Morton Sklar, executive director of the World Organization for Human Rights USA, told the E-Commerce Times. "We are dependent on China in so many ways, it makes it more difficult for us to criticize them."

Media literacy: do people really understand how to make the most of blogs, search engines or interactive TV?
The media are changing, and so is citizens' use of such media. New information and communication technologies make it much easier for anybody to retrieve and disseminate information, communicate, publish or even broadcast. The ability of people to critically analyse what they find in the media and to make more informed choices ? called 'media literacy' ? therefore becomes even more essential for active citizenship and democracy. Following an EU-wide survey last year, the European Commission has announced today its plans to encourage the development of media literacy and the exchange of good practice across Europe.

Filtering, etiquette questions arise as airlines introduce in-flight Internet access [AP]
Seat 17D is yapping endlessly on an Internet phone call. Seat 16F is flaming Seat 16D with expletive-laden chats. Seat 16E is too busy surfing porn sites to care. Seat 17C just wants to sleep. Welcome to the promise of the Internet at 33,000 feet - and the questions of etiquette, openness and free speech that airlines and service providers will have to grapple with as they bring Internet access to the skies in the coming months.

In-flight Internet builds on Boeing plan
Airlines and service providers seeking to deliver high-speed Internet services to passengers say they've learned from Boeing Co.'s 2006 decision to pull the plug on its ambitions to outfit its planes with a similar service. Analysts say Boeing's failed Connexion online service was costly to install and operate, resulting in large expenditures before getting a single paying customer. An industrywide downturn triggered by the 2001 terrorist attacks made the system an even tougher sell to struggling airlines.

China's Mobile Internet Income Will Reach 52.2 Billion in 2011
According to Analysys International's latest report, in 2011 the scale of China's Wireless Application Protocol market will reach 52.2 billion. From 2007 to 2011, the average annual compound growth rate of the WAP market will be 44%. From 2003 to 2011, the average annual compound growth rate of mobile operator's income will be 84% and the average annual compound growth rate of service providers will be 57%.

Google stands firm on Reader sharing as users' ire grows
Google Inc. yesterday said it would consider tweaking a new sharing feature of its Reader service, the only concession thus far to a users' revolt that's been building on blogs and message forums for nearly two weeks. On Dec. 14, Google announced that Reader, its RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed service, would link with contacts from Google Talk, the company's instant messenger, and Gmail, its Web-based e-mail service. Any feed tagged to "Share" in Reader would be visible to any Talk or Gmail contact.

ABS study shows 43% of all Australian households have broadband
Nearly half of Australian households have broadband connections, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Thursday. The ABS' Household Use Of Information Technology study shows broadband connections jumped over a million to 3.5 million in the past year. All up this comprises 43% of all households. The total number of Australians in 2006-07 who had home Internet access was 64%. The proportion of households with dial-up Internet access decreased from 51% to 32% during this twelve-month period.

au: Broadband internet a hit at home
The number of Australian households wired with broadband internet access has hit 3.5 million, representing 43 per cent of all homes. A million more households have signed-up for broadband internet since 2005/06, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

au: Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2006-07
For information on Australians's use of new technology including households with broadband, see the ABS report at:

uk: Logging on to the sales becomes a new Christmas Day tradition
Despite the credit squeeze and warnings of a recession, thousands of Britons began sale-shopping on Christmas Day this year thanks to online technology. In a continuing cultural shift that many commentators say has helped turn Christmas from a religious season of goodwill to a consumerist one of acquisition, many retailers began their online sales early yesterday.

Britain, a nation online
Internet shopping signalled its growing domination of Britain?s consumer habits yesterday as millions began their annual sales hunt from their armchairs. More than 3.5 million shoppers ? 770,000 more than attended Anglican church services ? racked up total online sales of around ?53 million in what was retailers? busiest Christmas Day ever.

us: Labor Board Restricts Union Use of E-Mail
The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that employers have the right to prohibit workers from using the company?s e-mail system to send out union-related messages, a decision that could hamper communications between labor unions and their membership.

Forrester Research: 71 Percent Of European Households To Have Broadband By 2013 [news release]
Residential broadband penetration in Western Europe is set to rise by 48 million households over the next six years, from 44 percent penetration at the end of 2007 to 71 percent by the end of 2013, according to a new study by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR). Over the same period, Forrester projects the continual marginalization of dial-up services, which will account for only two percent of all online connections. The impact of of emerging technologies such as WiMAX and FTTH will be limited to eight percent of all Internet connections.

comScore Ranks Top Web Sites in France for November [news release]
... Google was the most visited property in France in November, with 19.6 million unique visitors age 15 or older, reaching 69 percent of the total French Internet audience. It was followed by Microsoft Sites which attracted nearly 18 million unique visitors, a 64 percent reach. The fastest growing of the top ten properties was multi-channel retailer, Groupe PPR, owner of sites such as Laredoute.fr and Fnac.com. The property grew 10 percent from October, attracting 10.7 million unique visitors in November, a 38 percent reach and its largest ever online audience.

comScore Ranks Top Web Sites in U.K. for November [news release]
... Google was the most visited property in November, with 29 million unique visitors age 15 or older, and reaching 89 percent of the total U.K. Internet audience. Google was followed by Microsoft Sites, which attracted 27.3 million unique visitors, an 84 percent reach. Online pure play retailer Amazon Sites was the fastest growing top ten property, increasing total traffic 13 percent to 16.2 million unique visitors ? its highest ever U.K. audience.

Social networking sites in the Netherlands join forces in protecting the privacy of teenagers
Most Dutch teenagers don?t mind that people can see the personal information they put online via social networking sites. To make teenagers more aware of the possible risks and to protect their online privacy more effectively popular social networking sites in the Netherlands will join forces next year to produce guidelines.

About Facebook
When one of America's largest electronic surveillance systems was launched in Palo Alto a year ago, it sparked an immediate national uproar. The new system tracked roughly 9 million Americans, broadcasting their photographs and personal information on the Internet; 700,000 web-savvy young people organized online protests in just days. Time declared it "Gen Y's first official revolution," while a Nation blogger lauded students for taking privacy activism to "a mass scale." Yet today, the activism has waned, and the surveillance continues largely unabated.

Online social networking frenzy points to Internet's future
Online social networking websites saw their ranks swell and values soar this year as everyone from moody teenagers and mellow music lovers to mate-seeking seniors joined online communities.

4G inches closer with Nokia Siemens tests
The fourth generation of mobile broadband has moved closer to reality, following fresh trials by Nokia Siemens Networks. Nokia Siemens Networks' tests, announced last week, involved Long Term Evolution (LTE), a potential successor to 3G. Offering theoretical data rates of up to 173 megabits per second, LTE is in something of a race to market with mobile WiMax, only promises which around 70Mbps but has a significant head start. The fastest currently available mobile broadband, HSDPA, offers around 7.2Mbps.

Japan's NTT DoCoMo To Tie Up With Google, Sources Say
Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc is considering a tie-up with Google, adopting the Web giant's search and e-mail features in its mobile phone Internet service.

Inside Apple Stores, a Certain Aura Enchants the Faithful
... The party inside [the Midtown Manhattan] store and in 203 other Apple stores around the world is one reason the company?s stock is up nearly 135 percent for the year. By contrast, high-flying Google is up about 52 percent, while the tech-dominated Nasdaq index is up 12 percent.

Pump-and-dump scam spam switches on video
Pump-and-dump stock scammers have begun spiking their spam with high-quality video clips -- the latest move in a long-running scheme that in the past has relied on image files, PDF documents and even robotic audio to dupe consumers, a security company said today.

Spam's New Nemesis: 'Trust-Based' Messages
... Spammers sent nearly 11 trillion spam e-mails in 2007, edging out legitimate messages. And more of those unwanted pitches are getting through even the most elaborate corporate filtering systems. But help is on the way, says David Crocker, who has been contributing to e-mail standards since the 1970s. A new Internet standard called Domain Keys Identified Mail, or DKIM, uses software and special codes to discern messages from companies and people we know, or who are already vetted by a third party screener.

nz: Hitting the delete button
Experts say the volume of unwanted emails will get much worse over the next few months despite expensive efforts to stamp them out.

OLPC struggles to realize ambitious vision
Greeted with fanfare and kudos when its prototype PC was shown off by Nicholas Negroponte and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan more than two years ago at the World Symposium on the Information Society in Tunis, the One Laptop Per Child project is now beset by waning orders and competition from commercial vendors that threaten to sideline the nonprofit effort.

Cyber Crime 2.0
The year 2007 may go down in the annals of Internet crime as the year when organized cyber criminals finally got serious about their marketing strategies -- crafting cyber schemes that were significantly more sophisticated and stealthy. Security experts say criminals are increasingly trying to ensnare Internet users by lurking on familiar Web sites and using purloined data to craft scam e-mails that are more believable, and thus more likely to entice an unsuspecting user.

Digital Vigilantes: The White Knight of Phish-Busting
Until just a few months ago, Gary Warner did not have the kind of day job you'd expect from an anti-phishing crusader. He didn't work for a security vendor or a bank, or any kind of company you'd expect to care about phishing. Warner's career as a cyber-sleuth began on Halloween 2000. That's when his company's Web site was defaced by a hacker named Pimpshiz as part of a pro-Napster Internet graffiti campaign. "My boss came to me and said, 'Find out who did this and put them in jail,'" said Warner, who was at the time an IT staffer with Energen, a Birmingham, Alabama oil and gas company.

Russians close to prosecuting 'Pinch' Trojan authors [IDG]
Russia may soon prosecute the authors of the "Pinch" Trojan, an easy-to-use malicious software program available on the Internet that steals a variety of data. Nikolay Patrushev, who heads Russia's Federal Security Services, said earlier this week that Pinch's authors had been identified and would be taken to court, according to a blog posting by Russian security vendor Kaspersky Lab.

Storm botnet drops strippers, switches to New Year's greeting
Just a day after unleashing spam featuring Christmas strippers, the Storm botnet switched gears yesterday and began duping users into infecting their own PCs by bombarding them with messages touting the new year, said security researchers.

U.S. court of appeals hands Google a patent setback [IDG]
Google Inc.'s browser tool bar is back in court on patent infringement charges, after a U.S. court of appeals overturned part of a lower court decision. Google's AdSense contextual advertising service, though, is in the clear. Hyperphrase Technologies LLC filed suit against Google in April 2006, alleging that Google's AdSense and the AutoLink function of its tool bar infringed on four Hyperphrase patents relating to the contextual linking and presentation of information. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin rejected the allegations in a summary judgment in Google's favor; Hyperphrase appealed.

Lawsuit against Google revived [Bloomberg]
Google Inc., owner of the most frequently used Internet search engine, must answer a Wisconsin company's lawsuit over a browser toolbar feature that generates Web links from computer search data, a federal appeals court decided Wednesday. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit revived part of HyperPhrase Technologies' lawsuit, throwing out a lower court ruling that Google's AutoLink feature didn't infringe the company's patents.

User-friendly Apple shows a blogger its ruthless core
Visitors to ThinkSecret.com, a well-known site which publishes rumours and gossip about forthcoming Apple products, found an intriguing notice on the front page last Thursday.

With deal, Apple settles last of lawsuits to stop leaks
Apple put to rest the last of a series of lawsuits it brought in a losing and costly effort to put a stop to Web leaks about its product plans. The suits raised questions about whether independent Web publishers should be accorded the same legal protections as traditional journalists. They were aimed at the gaggle of Apple enthusiasts who have made both a sport and a business out of pre-empting Steven Jobs's big product announcements.

Apple plugs website leak in deal with student
The technology group Apple has come in for criticism after forcing a website dedicated to reporting on the company's activities to close down.

Apple shuts down rumours website
Apple has settled a legal row with tip site Think Secret that will see the website shut down. The legal battle between Apple and the site blew up in January 2005 when Think Secret revealed details of the Mac Mini before its official unveiling. Apple brought the lawsuit to make the fan site reveal who had leaked details about the cut-down computer.

Apple snuffs out Think Secret site
One of the web's highly rated technology news sites is shutting down after reaching a legal settlement in a long-running lawsuit brought by Apple. Think Secret, an Apple rumour website run by Harvard student Nicholas Ciarelli since 1998, has issued a terse three sentence statement giving few details about the agreement reached between the two opposing parties but clearly running up the white flag.

Apple suit picks off Mac rumour site
Apple and a popular website that published company secrets about the maker of the Mac computer, the iPhone and the iPod have reached a settlement that calls for the site to shut down.

Think censor: Apple's lawyers shut down rumor site
In December, 2005, Nicholas Ciarelli, a well-connected young tech journalist who went by the pen name Nick de Plume, published a juicy bit of dish on his Web site. According to "highly reliable sources," Apple would soon be releasing "a bare bones, G4-based iMac without a display," he wrote. Ciarelli's site, Think Secret, was known as among the more reliable in the vibrant online community of Apple rumor pages, which seek to feed an ardent community's hunger for inside information from a company legendary for keeping its lips sealed. This latest piece was big news, and it got even bigger when Apple went on the offensive -- the company filed suit against Think Secret and "unnamed individuals" who'd given the site its secrets.

The Global Pillage: Internet piracy is best tackled by the industry itself
People hear want they want to hear. And, these days, they also watch what they want to watch and read what they want to read, at a time of their choice, and without paying. The unchecked rise of downloading of films, music and even books means that millions of people worldwide now get their entertainment easily, online and without entering a shop or cinema. The creative industries are suffering mightily as a consequence; the main US film studios lost an estimated $2.3 billion (?1.15 billion) to internet piracy in 2005, and the British music industry says it has lost ?1.1 billion since 2005. As a great deal of online downloading is illegal, it is understandable that industries want to press for the enforcement of laws broken and to stem the loss of profit.

us: Man held over teenage web porn star killing
A man has been arrested over the gruesome killing of a US student who lived a double life as a web sex starlet. Israel Mireles, 24, was arrested in Mexico over the death of Emily Sander and would be extradited to the US, police said yesterday.

uk: How online fraudsters helped themselves on Christmas Day
While families settled down to a day of unwrapping presents and second helpings of turkey and mince pies, criminals were also indulging in another form of seasonal cheer in the most fraud-ridden Christmas Day in Britain?s online history.

uk: Crackdown urged on rip-off web ticket touts
Internet auction sites such as eBay are colluding with ticket touting gangs to obtain seats for top sports events and concerts, which are then sold to fans at rip-off prices, an inquiry by MPs has found. Web-based black market ticket agencies collaborate with rings of touts who obtain large numbers of seats then sell them online, the Culture, Media and Sport select committee will claim next month.

Google's DoubleClick Deal Brings Greater Focus on Privacy
Nearly lost in the news about the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's approval on Thursday of Google's acquisition of DoubleClick was another action by the agency: the publication of a proposed set of privacy principles governing online behavioral advertising. The release of the privacy principles is an important and welcome step, said Peter Swire, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, and a law professor at Ohio State University. Although some privacy groups blasted the FTC for approving Google's DoubleClick deal, the acquisition has helped place focus on the entire online advertising industry's privacy practices, Swire said.

Google replies to lawmaker's concerns on privacy [IDG]
Google has responded to a congressman's series of questions about its privacy practices, with the company defending its use of consumer data. Representative Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, sent a letter to Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt Dec. 12, after privacy groups raised questions about the implications of Google's $3.1 billion acquisition of online ad server DoubleClick.

uk: Manhunt 2 to face court challenge
British censors win the right to fight the release of video game Manhunt 2 in the High Court. 

Dog Owner Takes On China's Web Censors
Outraged that his Internet posting about dogs had been banned, Chen Yuhua wrote to the mayor of Beijing. No answer. He wrote to the city council. Still no answer. When all else failed, he consulted a lawyer, studied China's civil code and marched into court with a lawsuit.

Watchdog: Beijing Threatens Free Speech [AP]
A Beijing city regulation clamping down on people who send text messages that "spread rumors" or "endanger public security" is a threat to freedom of expression, a watchdog group said Monday. China Human Rights Defenders, an international network of activists and rights monitoring groups, said the recent regulation on text messages "raises serious concerns over the restriction of freedom of expression in China."

Vietnam must regulate blogs, say officials
Vietnam needs to control blogs to prevent the spread of subversive and sexually explicit content, communist government officials said according to a state media report Wednesday.

Students Wanted for International Online Meeting to be Held in London [news release]
An International Youth Advisory Congress on Online Safety and Security will be held in London, England from July 16 to July 22, 2008. Twenty students will be selected to represent the United States at the conference. Students between the ages of eleven and sixteen who are Internet-savvy and wish to be considered for one of the twenty U.S. spots have until January 25, 2008, to submit an application. A total of 300 students from Australia, Canada, the European Union, and the United States will attend the conference.

Thousands sought in Germany over child porn
German prosecutors are investigating 12,000 suspected members of a child sex abuse network on the internet - the biggest in the country's history. A senior public prosecutor said the suspects were accused of downloading or possessing illegal images of children. The investigation, which has been going on for several months, also points to suspects in about 70 other countries.

New laws set to curb minors online in Australia [AAP]
New restrictions on online chatrooms, websites and mobile phone content will be introduced within a month to stop children viewing unsuitable material. From January 20 new laws will be in effect, imposing tougher rules for companies that sell entertainment-related content on subscription internet sites and mobile phones. It is the first time content service providers will have to check that people accessing MA15-plus content are aged over 15 years and those accessing R18-plus and X18-plus content are over 18.

New rules for age-restricted internet and mobile content [news release]
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has determined new rules that for the first time implement a uniform approach for restricting access to MA15+ and R18+ content accessed through the internet or by mobile phones. The new Restricted Access Systems Declaration places obligations on all content service providers to check that individuals accessing restricted content provided in Australia are at least 15 years of age for MA15+ content or 18 years of age for R18+ content. The new rules, which come into effect on 20 January 2008, arise from legislation passed in July 2007.

Australia to enforce a "ratings system" on web, track users
While Aussies may be proud to be among the first to ring in the New Year, more than a few aren't happy about the impending enforcement of new age verification rules online by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The rules are meant to protect children from online content, but what the Communications Legislation Amendment (Content Services) Act of 2007 actually does is put a serious burden on adults to self-police, while making it much harder for online publishers to freely share their work. Worse yet, it's another misguided attempt to make the Internet into a playground for children where they won't need supervision.

Safety top reason for buying children cell phones [Reuters]
Most parents who are thinking of buying cell phones for their children this Christmas are doing so for safety reasons, according to a new survey. An online poll of 339 parents found that 78 percent were considering getting a cell phone for their children so they could be in contact with them in case of an emergency.

EU Internet Gaming Companies Seek Formal Probe Of U.S. Trade Practices
A trade association representing European Internet gambling companies is filing a formal complaint against the United States, charging that the country discriminates by prosecuting foreign gambling companies. The Remote Gambling Association alleges that the U.S. Department of Justice has discriminated and violated World Trade Organization rules by threatening and prosecuting criminal cases, seeking forfeitures and enforcing other penalties on foreign gaming companies, while not prosecuting U.S. online gaming operators, primarily those who facilitate racetrack betting.

Fate of Google Deal Now in E.U. Hands - Regulators Probe DoubleClick Merger
European regulators are investigating whether a proposed merger of the Internet search engine Google and the dominant online advertiser DoubleClick would violate competition regulations, even as U.S. authorities approved an American marriage between the two companies Thursday. The European Commission's "initial market investigation indicated that the proposed merger would raise competition concerns in the markets," the commission said in a statement announcing its recent decision to launch an investigation.

EU group says Google-DoubleClick deal will harm privacy
European consumer groups warned the European Commission Thursday that Google's plan to take over the online advertising company DoubleClick, currently under investigation, would erode consumers' privacy and would push up prices for online goods and services. In a letter to competition commissioner Neelie Kroes, BEUC, the pan-European Union consumer group, together with three national associations, urged the Commission to use its powers to block the deal in its current form.

European lobby rejects Google-Doubleclick merger [Reuters]
Continent's top consumer group says the planned takeover's intrusion into individual privacy is over the top. Google's planned takeover of online ad giant DoubleClick for $3.1 billion will harm European citizens through greater intrusion into their privacy, the continent's top consumer group said Thursday. "The Google/DoubleClick merger would harm consumer welfare by creating a structure that almost certainly will be less respectful of user privacy," the BEUC said Thursday in a letter to the European Commission this week.

Microsoft?s Arguments Against Google-DoubleClick Marriage
It is well known that Microsoft has been leading a heated effort to block Google from purchasing DoubleClick. Not only did Microsoft hire the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller to create a group called the Initiative for Competitive Online Marketplace to fight the deal, but the tech giant has also had its team of antitrust lawyers and lobbyists knocking on the doors of the Federal Trade Commission. Their efforts apparently did not succeed ? the commission approved the merger on Thursday ? but they are bound to take their same bullets overseas to try to convince the European Commission, which could still block the deal.

Google Closes In on DoubleClick Deal
Score one for Google. The Federal Trade Commission ruled Dec. 20 that it would not block Google's (GOOG) proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of leading online ad-serving and tracking firm DoubleClick. The 4-1 decision in Google's favor marked a major win for the Web search Goliath, which is battling to expand its considerable share of the $30 billion online advertising market beyond tiny text ads related to Web queries.

FTC OKs Google-DoubleClick deal [IDG]
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will not try to block Google Inc.'s acquisition of online ad-serving vendor DoubleClick Inc., the agency said today. The commission voted 4-1 to approve the deal after an eight-month investigation. "After carefully reviewing the evidence, we have concluded that Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick is unlikely to substantially lessen competition," the majority wrote in a statement. 

Privacy groups say Google-DoubleClick merger will hurt consumers
Google Inc.'s pending $3.1 billion acquisition of online ad-serving vendor DoubleClick Inc. will hurt consumers, according to two privacy groups opposed to the wholesale approval of the deal. The responses came after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission voted 4-to-1 today to approve the deal, saying Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick is unlikely to substantially lessen competition. In the wake of its decision, the FTC also proposed new principles to address important consumer privacy concerns associated with online behavioral advertising.

Q&A: Rotenberg fears Internet 'privacy meltdown' from Google-DoubleClick combo
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said today that it won't try to block Google Inc.'s planned acquisition of online ad-serving vendor DoubleClick Inc., or seek to impose any privacy protection requirements in return for allowing the $3.1 billion deal to go through. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) was one of three privacy groups that previously had filed a petition asking the FTC to put a stop to the acquisition unless Google made significant changes to its data privacy policy. In an interview with Computerworld that was conducted before the FTC announced its decision, Marc Rotenberg, executive director of Washington-based EPIC, contended that the combination of Google and DoubleClick would give the search engine giant "the deepest and broadest profile of Internet users of any company in the world" -- with virtually no legal limits on how it could use that data. Excerpts from the interview follow:

U.S. approves Google-DoubleClick takeover
The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that it had cleared Google's proposed takeover of DoubleClick, the digital marketing company, saying that the deal was "unlikely to substantially lessen competition" in the Internet advertising realm.

FTC approves Google deal despite privacy concerns
In approving Google Inc.'s $3.1-billion purchase of DoubleClick Inc. on Thursday, federal regulators determined that there was plenty of competition in the fast-growing Internet advertising world.

FTC allows Google-DoubleClick merger to proceed
In a 4-1 vote, regulators give their blessing to the controversial union, despite outcry from competitors and privacy advocates. The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday that Google's controversial $3.1 billion merger proposal with DoubleClick can proceed, despite earlier complaints raised by competitors and privacy advocates. FTC regulators had been reviewing the proposed merger for eight months for possible antitrust violations, after Google announced plans in April to acquire the online ad-serving company. The commission, in issuing its decision to let the merger move forward, said the companies are not direct competitors in any relevant market.

US Regulators OK Google-DoubleClick Deal [AP]
With U.S. antitrust clearance for its DoubleClick purchase, Google's focus now turns to European regulators, who are expected to be more critical of the top search engine linking up with a market leader in online advertising. The proposed $3.1 billion transaction, which is strongly opposed by privacy advocates, cannot be completed without approval from the European Commission, whose review deadline is April 2. The Federal Trade Commission said that the deal won't significantly lessen competition in the online advertising market, rebuffing complaints from Microsoft Corp. and AT&T Inc. that it would give Google a dominant position.

FTC Blesses Google-DoubleClick Union Despite Privacy Furor
Google received an early holiday present from federal regulators Thursday, as the FTC granted a wish the search giant has had on its list since April -- approval to complete its purchase of interactive advertising agency DoubleClick. The FTC approved the deal after its investigation found that Google's $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick would be "unlikely to substantially lessen competition," as some rivals had argued.

The Internet economy: Towards a better future
Can you remember life before the Internet? Though quite a new technology, already a world without the web has become as unthinkable for many of us as a world without telephones. But what of the future? Can the benefits of this extraordinary technology be multiplied, and how can the thornier challenges be met? The Future of the Internet Economy will be the subject of the first OECD ministerial meeting ever to be hosted in Asia. Taking place 17-18 June 2008 in Seoul, Korea (see below), it will examine the implications of the rapid growth in the use of the Internet for our economies and societies and the policies needed for continued growth.

UK government cracks broadband whip
Broadband firms could face formal action if they fail to give consumers accurate information about the speed they will get when they sign up. The warning comes from Ofcom as it moves to ensure that net firms do not oversell broadband in advertising.

UK Government thinktank to tackle media convergence issues
John Willis, the chief executive of TV production company Mentorn, and the former Ofcom partner Robin Foster are to join a government-appointed thinktank that will investigate the rapid pace of change in the media. Willis and Foster will be joined on the "convergence thinktank" by BT veteran Chris Earnshaw and digital media specialist Tess Read.

Clinton Would Crack Down on Computer-Generated Cartoon Sex
Hillary Clinton is still outraged that Rockstar Games left a sexually-themed mini game nestled in its best-selling Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in 2005.

Germany set to prohibit online gambling [Bloomberg]
Online gambling will be banned in Germany starting Jan. 1 as part of an accord with states that preserves the country's state monopoly for lotteries and most forms of betting. All 16 German state legislatures voted by mid-December to approve the new online-betting laws, which the states negotiated after the Federal Constitutional Court overturned earlier rules.

uk: Illegal film and TV downloaders could lose their links to the web
Internet users who download pirate films or television series could soon see their service suspended as political pressure grows on broadband service providers to stop illegal downloads. The Government has given notice of its concern at the ?huge cumulative effect? of illegal downloads and called on internet service providers (ISPs) to examine ways to reverse the trend.

BitTorrenters seek sanctuary in Pirate Bay
Despite a series of law enforcement and other attacks on illegal file-sharing this year the number of people using the anti-copyright BitTorrent tracker Pirate Bay has almost doubled. TorrentFreak reports that Pirate Bay has leapt from about 4.3 million users at the end of 2006 to more than 8 million at the end of this year. The number of files being tracked for download has risen to 915,000 from 576,000.

Group warns of sites offering unlicensed music [IDG]
People who received MP3 players as holiday gifts may want to steer clear of some Web sites that claim to offer legal music but don't have licensing agreements with major music labels, the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) said. CDT, a consumer rights group, has published a list of more than 30 MP3 download sites that don't have licensing deals with major U.S. music labels. The sites, which charge between $20 and $35 for subscriptions, say they offer music from artists signed to the major labels, CDT said.

Putting NZ high-speed plans in fast lane
The Government's digital strategy - which many hope will transform the economy and guide New Zealand up the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's economic and information technology rankings - is in the slow lane. At least, that's what some of the 500 delegates to last month's Digital Future Summit in Auckland are saying. Though they gave the strategy, now two and a half years old, a "pass", they are concerned that it has largely overlooked the business sector.

inCode announces Top 10 Wireless Predictions for 2008 [news release]
inCode, a VeriSign Company, announced its Top 10 predictions for the game-changing events that will shape the wireless industry in 2008. The predictions cover major trends ranging from who will win the communication standard wars, what role Google will play in the wireless world after January's spectrum auction and whether or not consumers will finally open up to digital content and mobile advertising. The predictions, first created in 2003 by inCode, a global business and technology consultancy acquired by VeriSign in November 2006, are designed to help wireless industry players, partners and consumers better plan for the coming year.

au: ACMA report identifies size of VoIP market in Australia - Currently 269 VoIP providers in local market
While there is a high level of awareness and interest in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services in Australia, take-up is still comparatively low, according to research released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) yesterday. The research found that 81 per cent of Internet households were aware of VoIP but only 15 per cent of respondents (being persons 18 years and over) and 13 per cent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) had used a VoIP service.

VOIP in Australia: awareness and interest high, take-up low [news release]
While there is a high level of awareness of and interest in VoIP services among Australian consumers, take-up is still comparatively low, according to research released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority today. The research found that 81 per cent of Internet households were aware of VoIP but only 15 per cent of respondents (being persons 18 years and over) and 13 per cent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) had used a VoIP service.

ACMA's VoIP report: unanswered questions
The Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) has published the results of research into the supply and demand of VoIP services in Australia, saying it needs to understand new services to guide its regulatory decisions, but there is little in the results to offer any guidance.

Australian police arrest 31 men on child pornography charges [AP]
Police acting on an Interpol tip off have arrested 31 men on child pornography charges in a large-scale Australiawide investigation since August, an officer said Thursday.

Three WA men arrested for child pornography
Three West Australian men are among 24 arrested in five states on child pornography charges. The Australian Federal Police say the arrests are a major victory against child pornography rings using the internet.

Child pornography arrests now number 31 [AAP]
A TOTAL of 31 men have now been arrested on child pornography offences in a massive Australia-wide operation involving state and federal police. Police have arrested 24 men in the latest phase of their investigation - 10 in NSW, seven in Victoria, three in Queensland, three in Western Australia and one in South Australia.

Twenty-four men arrested over child porn
Images of infants being raped and tortured were allegedly downloaded by 24 men arrested by state and federal police in a strike against a child pornography ring.

au: Man charged over 16,000 child porn images [AAP]
A 40-year-old Melbourne man has been charged over the alleged importation of more than 16,000 images of child pornography.

Child porn blitz nets two dozen
TWENTY-four men, including a 70-year-old retiree from Victoria, have been arrested by Federal Police for downloading explicit child pornography from US-based websites. NSW authorities have also rescued a child at risk of abuse by one of the men, said Kevin Zuccato, the acting national manager of the AFP's high-tech crime operations unit yesterday.

24 Busts in Australia For Child Porn, Including YMCA Head, is "Tip of Iceberg"
Police in Australia have arrested 24 people for possessing child pornography after an online sting code-named Operation Irenic, lasting 6 months. "Twenty-four arrests is an excellent result but I think it is the tip of the iceberg," said an official.

Melbourne man charged with possession of 16,000 child pornography files
A 40-year-old Bentleigh man will appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court today to face charges in relation to the alleged importation of more than 16,000 images of child pornography.


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


(c) David Goldstein 2007

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Received on Thu Dec 27 2007 - 23:01:12 UTC

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