[DNS] domain name news - May 22

[DNS] domain name news - May 22

From: David Goldstein <goldstein_david§yahoo.com.au>
Date: Mon, 26 May 2008 01:57:16 -0700 (PDT)
Don't forget to check out http://auda.org.au/domain-news/ for today's
edition of the complete domain news, including an RSS feed - already

Headlines from the May 26 edition of the news include:
Information Society on the move: ITU issues WSIS stocktaking report |
New gTLDs discussed at INTA meeting | "Worst Spam Offenders" Notified
by ICANN | The strange case of the .ASIA auctions | ca: Internet
registry moves to protect privacy | .nl Domain Names Increase 23% in
2007 | uk: Increased phishing activity in .uk namespace | US Congress
Alarmed At Cyber-Vulnerability Of Power Grid | Africa: Mobile Internet
Take-Up is Speeding the Take-Up of IPV6

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


The domain name news is supported by auDA


Editorial: Democracy and the Web

ICANN Sends Notice of Breach to Registrar Red Register

Ensuring Global Voices Heard at ICANN Cairo Meeting [news release]

Global Survey on Multilingualism in ICANN's Work Now Online

Ghosts of Root Servers Past by David Conrad

.car gTLD Proposal Launched

Australia crumbles under Cyber Storm attack

U.S. military cites growing China space, cyber threat

Global group to provide cyberattack early warnings

Lax ISPs add to Internet security problem

World has to move to IPv6--Vint Cerf

Most Spam Sites Tied to a Handful of Registrars

Working to make the internet safe

Melbourne IT goes beyond its domain

Is America.com a $12m name like Sex.com?

Editorial: Democracy and the Web
Users of the Internet take for granted their ability to access all Web sites on an equal basis. That could change, however, if Internet service providers started discriminating among content, to make more money or to suppress ideas they do not like. A new ?net neutrality? bill has been introduced in the House, which would prohibit this sort of content discrimination. Congress has delayed on this important issue too long and should pass net neutrality legislation now.


ICANN Sends Notice of Breach to Registrar Red Register
ICANN has sent a notice of breach to the ICANN-accredited registrar Red Register based on the registrar?s failure to comply with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

ICANN sends notice of breach to registrar for failing to comply with the UDRP
ICANN has sent a notice of breach to the registrar Red Register Inc. for failure to comply with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (?UDRP?). The registrar holds close to 27,000 domains and apparently failed to respond and implement UDRP decisions despite requests by ICANN and the National Arbitration Forum (?NAF?).

ICANN Sends Notice of Breach to Registrar
ICANN sent a notice of breach to ICANN-accredited registrar Red Register, Inc. based on Red Register, Inc.'s failure to comply with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("UDRP"). Specifically, Red Register failed to comply with UDRP Rule 16(a) and paragraph 4(k) of the UDRP despite repeated requests by ICANN and the National Arbitration Forum (?NAF?). These rules require registrars to communicate plans to implement UDRP Provider decisions and implement those decisions.

Ensuring Global Voices Heard at ICANN Cairo Meeting [news release]
ICANN is putting out the call for fellowship program applications for its 33rd International Public Meeting to be held in Cairo from 2-6 November 2008.

Global Survey on Multilingualism in ICANN's Work Now Online
ICANN today enabled an online survey, available in 11 languages including English, to facilitate understanding of the way in which the community uses existing materials prepared in multiple languages. It will also help ICANN understand how it could enhance multilingual access to the work of the organisation.

Ghosts of Root Servers Past by David Conrad
As noticed by some in the Internet network operations community, at the beginning of May an odd event occurred as ICANN ended DNS service on the IP address formerly associated with L.ROOT-SERVERS.NET (?L-root?). Specifically, as ICANN turned off the DNS service at the address formerly used by the L-root, (and the routing announcement by ICANN for, DNS root queries sent to that address instead of the new L-root address ( continued to be answered.

Tool Helps Internet Master Top-level Domains
At the request of a worldwide Internet organization, a computer scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed an algorithm that may guide applicants in proposing new "top-level domains"--the last part of an Internet address, such as .com, that people type in navigating the Web. As new top-level domains are added to the familiar .com, .info and .net, the algorithm* checks whether the newly proposed name is confusingly similar to existing ones by looking for visual likenesses in its appearance.

Algorithm to end domain name confusion
A computer scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed an algorithm designed to help create new top-level internet domains.

Cairo to host ICANN meeting in November
Egypt will host ICANN's 33rd International Public Meeting in November, after Kenya lost the bid on security grounds.

 - ccTLD & gTLD NEWS
.car gTLD Proposal Launched
A proposal for a .car gTLD has been announced by ATX Group, the world's largest independent provider of personalised telematics services to the automotive industry. The .car proposal aims to address how to safely access internet content through embedded and nomadic devices in motor vehicles.

Dot-ie domain registrations pass 100,000 mark
The number of dot ie domain name registrations in Ireland has passed the 100,000 mark according to IE Domain Registry. The 100,000th registered site was www.royal-Hospital-kilmainham.ie.

Afilias Launches New .INFO Product Site
Afilias announced today that it has launched a new product site (www.info.info) where domain name registrars and Internet users can get information about the .INFO domain.

nl: Dutch domain names grow 23% in 2007 to 2.7 million [sub req'd]

Australia crumbles under Cyber Storm attack
The 55 Australian organisations that took part in Australia's cyberwar games, Cyber Storm II, suffered "death by a thousand cuts", according to the head of Australia's Cyber Storm II effort.

Identity Theft of Root Name Servers, Reason Unknown by Earl Zmijewski
There have been a number of attacks on the root name servers over the years, and much written on the topic. (A few references are here, here and here.) Even if you don?t know exactly what these servers do, you can?t help but figure they?re important when the US government says it is prepared to launch a military counterattack in response to cyber-attacks on them.

U.S. military cites growing China space, cyber threat
The U.S. military painted China on Tuesday as posing a growing threat to the United States and others in space and cyberspace.

US Gov't Secrecy and the Mysterious Cyber Initative
The secrecy surrounding the Bush administration's updated National Cyber Security Initiative -- designed to improve the government's digital defenses and put forth an offensive information warfare doctrine -- is endangering the deterrent value of the project and appears to be aimed chiefly at supporting spying operations abroad, a key U.S. Senate committee concludes in a new report.

US-CERT Warns About Phishers Scamming Disaster Donors
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) on Monday warned computer users to be wary of phishing scams related to recent natural disasters in China and Myanmar.

Global group to provide cyberattack early warnings
Twenty-six countries have united to form a global cyber-security group: the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber-Terrorism (Impact).

IT chiefs warn of cyber-terrorism threat [AFP]
The threat of cyber-terrorism is growing and most countries are vulnerable to attacks that can shut down critical infrastructure, global experts told a conference here Tuesday.

Countries worldwide need closer cooperation to curb cyber terrorism threat, officials say [AP]
The world's countries must cooperate more to fight the threat of cyberterrorism attacks, which could threaten facilities such as nuclear power plants, officials said Tuesday at an international conference.

Experts warn of cyberterrorism threat [AP]
Officials from around the world agree they must cooperate better to fight the threat of cyberterrorism at facilities such as nuclear power plants.

us: TVA Power Plants Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks, GAO Finds
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the nation's largest public power company, is vulnerable to cyber attacks that could sabotage critical systems that provide electricity to more than 8.7 million people, according to a Government Accountability Office report to be released today.

Regulatory Holes Could Leave US Power Grid Open to Attack
The U.S. electrical power grid is still vulnerable to attack, and regulatory bodies don't have the authority they need to respond quickly to new threats, top officials told a Congressional committee today.

An Account of the Estonian Internet War by Gadi Evron
About a year ago after coming back from Estonia, I promised I?d send in an account of the Estonian ?war?. The postmortem analysis and recommendations I later wrote for the Estonian CERT are not yet public.

The Estonia cyberwar: One year later
One year ago, the Estonian government moved a war memorial honoring Russian-Estonians who died fighting the Nazis, a move that may have triggered what some believe is the first instance of a sustained, international cyberwar.

Lax ISPs add to Internet security problem
If ISPs are not trying to be part of the Internet security solution then they are part of the problem and customers should vote with their feet, according to a security officer of a European communications and hosting company.

uk: Morgan Cole ousts Raymond Blanc's cybersquatters
Thames Valley firm Morgan Cole has cooked up a win for respected chef Raymond Blanc against a group of Caribbean cybersquatters.

uk: Raymond Blanc wins cybersquatting legal battle
Raymond Blanc has spoken of his relief after winning a legal battle against ?cybersquatters? who registered an unauthorised internet domain which traded on his name.

Floyd Mayweather Jr knocks out Website using his Name
Floyd Mayweather Jr. scored a knock out against a website using his name. Mayweather Jr. won a TRO in a federal cybersquatting lawsuit against the operators of a Web site using "floydmayeather.net" as a domain name without the approval of Mayweather Jr.

Mayweather Jr. scores TRO against unauthorized Web site [AP]
Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. scored a TRO in the first round of a federal cybersquatting lawsuit against the operators of a Web site using the domain name "floydmayeather.net" without his backing.

 - IPv4/IPv6
World has to move to IPv6--Vint Cerf
"IPv6. Its time has come," Vinton Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, said on video during the first IPv6 summit here.

Most Spam Sites Tied to a Handful of Registrars
New research suggests that more than three quarters of all Web sites advertised through spam are clustered at just 10 domain name registrars.

Spam domains use small number of registrars
The Knujon anti-spam project ? "no junk" spelled backwards ? says that only 20 registrars worldwide register 90 per cent of all web sites advertised in spam emails. The registrars under criticism include China's Xinnet Bei Gon Da Software, BEIJINGNN, and Todaynic, which come in 18th, 47th, and 99th in the list of providers sorted by global market share. In Knujon's list of the "10 Worst Registrars", the top three are Chinese, German registrar Joker comes in fourth, and the rest are American.

Working to make the internet safe
As the need for security on the internet continues to grow, one of the the guardians of the networked world lays claim to an enviable record.

In its 13 years in business, VeriSign says it has maintained a "100% up time" service in operating the infrastructure that controls the internet.

GoDaddy TDNAM Starts ?Buy Now? Expired Domain Auctions
GoDaddy?s domain name aftermarket TDNAM has added a new wrinkle to its expired domain auctions. Bidders can now buy expired domain names immediately instead of bidding. Once someone bids on a domain, the ?buy now? option goes away.

The allure of the .com domain name
A top-level domain (TLD) is the final part of a domain name -- the letters that come after the dot. The most famous is .com, but there are others -- .net, .org, .tv and .us, for example. But none holds as much allure as the .com extension.

New open-source DNS server released
A group of experts has released an open-source alternative to the BIND DNS server software that boasts higher performance and better security.

New Open Source DNS Server Released Today
Unbound -- a new open source alternative to the BIND domain name system (DNS) server -- makes its worldwide debut today with the public release of Unbound 1.0 at http://unbound.net.

New open-source DNS server released
A group of experts has released an open-source alternative to the BIND DNS server software that boasts higher performance and better security than BIND.

Register.com gets set to expand
Register.com is getting ready to expand again, this time to the tune of up to 350 new jobs over the next six years between the Yarmouth office and a new Halifax office.

Melbourne IT goes beyond its domain
Melbourne IT has recorded its fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth and expects the trend to continue as the internet becomes ever more important to world commerce.

.mp Domains Free Of Charge To All Social Network Members Beginning September 1, 2008 [news release]
Radical changes taking place in the online social network space threaten to bring 300 to 400 million new entrants into the domain name market

Is America.com a $12m name like Sex.com?
America.com goes on the auction block this week, and specialists who monitor the buying and selling of Internet domain names say it could fetch one of the highest prices ever paid for a domain.

Valuable Three Letter Domain For Sale - gap.org
... Global Alliance of Performers' goals and directions have changed, and our client is now accepting bids for the sale of the domain. There has been contact made by interested bidders for this domain, so it is our client's intent to sell the domain to the highest bidder.

NamePros Announces 80th Live Domain Name Auction [news release]
Today (May 21), leading domain name community NamePros has announced its 80th live domain name auction taking place on Thursday, May 22nd 2008 at NamePros.com

Microsoft launches global ad brand
Microsoft is to launch a global brand, called Microsoft Advertising, to house all its advertising-related operations. The new brand, unveiled at Microsoft's advance08 advertiser and publisher conference yesterday, aims to simplify the increasingly complex range of advertising businesses that the software giant runs.

Sedo Introduces Authentication System
After many complaints about incomplete deals, company offers three-tier verification system.

Review: ?The Domain Game? Book Released
What do you get when you take current reporting about the domain name industry, put it into the hands of an accomplished journalist, and give him a year to research and write about it? You get The Domain Game, the most thoroughly researched and interesting coverage of the domain name industry ever printed.

OECD Report: 235m broadband subscribers in OECD countries; Up 18% in 2007; More work to be done [news release]
The number of broadband subscriber in the OECD reached 235 million by December 2007, an increase of 18% from 200 million subscribers in December 2006. This growth increased broadband penetration rates to 20.0 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants up from 16.9 in December 2006. Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Korea and Sweden lead the OECD with broadband penetration well above the OECD average, each surpassing the 30 subscribers per 100 inhabitants threshold.

Andrew Keen on New Media: I came to bury journalists but in the end I could only praise them
Rather than marching for international brotherhood, I celebrated a belated May Day this year by burying journalists. Fortunately, the dead hacks were all imaginary. I came to London for the Unesco World Press Freedom Day debate "Is New Media Killing Journalism?" And I drew the short straw. Unesco handed me the spade. It was my job to argue that the internet is killing journalists.

The internet revolution: adapt or get left behind
Firms that ignore the rapid changes in the way business is done today risk their very survival: An economic revolution is under way, as profound and irreversible as the industrial transformation of the 18th and 19th centuries. The driver of this change is the internet.

au: Net starts to overtake TV
A new survey of internet consumer trends has revealed that people with broadband connections spend more time on the net than watching television.

Connected Aussies spend more time online than watching TV
Australians are spending more time accessing media on the Internet than they are watching television or movies, according to a study of more than 850 broadband users.

Kiwis among world's biggest internet addicts
New Zealand broadband users are right up with the most internet-addicted nations in the world, spending on average 22 hours per week online, according to a new survey.

Broadband Kiwis spend 22 hours a week online
New Zealand broadband users are right up there with the most internet addicted nations in the world, spending on average 22 hours a week online.

NZ inches up OECD broadband rankings
New Zealand has climbed one place to 19th in the latest OECD broadband, or high-speed internet, rankings.

U.S. Broadband Penetration, Speeds Lag Behind Other Countries
The United States ranked 15th out of 30 countries for broadband penetration at the end of last year, slipping from 12th place in 2006, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

au: Players, families caught in vicious web
THE mother of an AFL player with depression last night lashed out at the viciousness of internet fan forums. "Donna", the mum of a player at a Melbourne-based club, believes the forums contribute to her son's depression.

au: Players cop a blogging
AFL players have been banned from scouring fan websites, for fear the vicious player appraisals could lead to depression. At one club, support staff also have been threatened with the sack if they are caught blogging or leaking valuable information to the websites.

Google Offers Personal Health Records on the Web
After a year and half of development, Google began offering online personal health records to the public on Monday. The Internet search giant?s service, Google Health, at google.com/health, is the latest entrant in the growing field of companies offering personal health records on the Web. Their ranks range from longtime online health services like WebMD to the software powerhouse Microsoft to start-ups like Revolution Health.

Online Search Ads Faring Better Than Expensive Displays
In the past few years, Web publishers have made a big bet on booming online advertising revenues. But the economic slowdown may be throwing a wrench into those plans.

us: Court: Don't blame MySpace for offline sexual assault
MySpace can breathe a little easier. A federal appeals court ruled last week that the News Corp.-owned social network can't be held responsible for the sexual assault of an Austin, Texas, teen by a man she met on the site.

Group says MySpace cyber-bully prosecution goes too far [IDG]
A US digital advocacy group has blasted the federal government's prosecution of a Missouri woman whose fake MySpace profile allegedly drove a 13-year-old neighbor to suicide.

Viral warfare: YouTube battleground for the US election
This is America's first YouTube election. Since the Orwellian anti-Hillary advert Vote Different appeared online in March 2007, the site has become a vibrant new political battleground, where candidates' images are cheerfully reshaped via spoofs, sketches and songs. Ideas, not campaign dollars, are the crucial currency. One major downside to this innovation if you're a presidential candidate: your every gaffe will be recorded, remixed and rewatched for months to come. One upside: you don't have to generate your own campaign songs any more.

Ads blow for social networking sites
The failure of websites such as Facebook and MySpace to translate their global popularity into ad revenue has led one research company to downgrade ad spend forecasts for the social networking sector by around ?250m by 2011.

uk: Social networking site bans the over 36s in sex offender claims
A social networking site has deleted most of its users over the age of 36 because it claims older users pose a danger of sex offending. It claims to be forced into the action by the Government, but the part of a law it cites is not yet in force.

Mobiles linked to hyperactivity in kids [AAP]
A study linking mobile phone use in pregnancy to behavioural problems in children has been dismissed as inconclusive by the industry in Australia.

Most telecom services resume in China's quake-hit areas
Telecom services in most of the worst-hit counties and towns in Sichuan province resumed operation yesterday but networks in many villages remained paralyzed due to bad weather and road blockages.

WCIT 2008: Rebirth of the digital age
ICT (information and communications technology) has the potential to bring about a rebirth of the digital age, according to Witsa secretary-general Dr Jim Poisant. But to actually deliver on that potential, he called on the ICT industry, governments and citizens to address what he said are four key issues and challenges.

Dutch government bans electronic voting By: Andreas Udo de Haes
The government of the Netherlands has banned electronic voting machines from future elections because of a risk of eavesdropping. The nation will return to paper voting.

Your Future Web Life
Feel overwhelmed by the firehose of data that the Internet delivers to your personal computer every day? Get ready for more. Anywhere. Anytime.

US lifts Cuba mobile phone ban
US President George W Bush has said Americans will soon be allowed to send mobile phones to relatives in Cuba.

Most Spam Sites Tied to a Handful of Registrars
New research suggests that more than three quarters of all Web sites advertised through spam are clustered at just 10 domain name registrars. The data comes from millions of junk messages collected over the past year by Knujon ("no junk" spelled backwards and pronounced "new john"), an anti-spam outfit that works by convincing registrars to dismantle spam sites.

Mobile web will split world in two
Businesses may be forced to deal with two separate tiers of mobile internet, as the technology gap between developing and developed countries grows.

Fears of UK digital divide groundless as online access soars in rural areas
A hunger for online shopping, internet banking, online entertainment and email has given rural Britain the lead in the race to install broadband, with the number of homes with high-speed connections in isolated areas overtaking those in urban areas for the first time.

Rural homes dominate broadband UK
Rural households are now more likely to have a broadband connection than residents of towns, says Ofcom.

uk: 'Big Brother' database for phones and e-mails
A massive government database holding details of every phone call, e-mail and time spent on the internet by the public is being planned as part of the fight against crime and terrorism. ISPs and telecoms companies would hand over the records to the Home Office under plans put forward by officials.

uk: Alarm at plan for central store of telecoms records
A government database holding details of every phone call made, email sent and minute spent on the internet by the public could be created as part of a centralised fight against crime and terrorism, it emerged today.

Criticism for 'UK database' plan
Plans for a super-database containing the details of all phone calls and e-mails sent in the UK have been heavily criticised by experts.

FBI warns of e-mail scams offering to help Chinese quake victims
The FBI is warning Americans looking to send donations in the aftermath of the massive May 12 earthquake in China to beware of a rising number of e-mail scams that tout "relief" efforts.

Scam Emails Seek Donations to Help Chinese Earthquake Victims [news release]
The FBI is asking people to beware of emails claiming to be raising money to help the victims of the recent earthquake in China. Tragic incidents such as 9/11, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Minnesota Bridge collapse, and the Virginia Tech shootings have all prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions for a charitable organization and/or a good cause. Some of the Chinese earthquake scam message claim to be offering free vacation trips to the largest donors and even use fake logos of legitimate online pay services to fool people.

Tracking Hate 2.0 on the Web
The Internet is seeing a stark rise in the number of hate and terror sites and Web postings, according to a Congressional briefing last week entitled ?Hate in the Information Age.?

Report sees 'Hate 2.0' on the rise
No, we're not talking about vile blog commenters. A Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, released a report last week that says online terror and hate is on the rise, particularly on social-media sites.

au: Online users lack security skills: AusCERT
A first-time survey of ordinary users' online behaviour has revealed dangerous misunderstandings about internet safety and a lack of security skills that results in one in five home computers being infected by malicious software.

38 in U.S., Romania charged in phishing schemes [IDG]
Thirty-eight people in the U.S. and Romania have been charged in two federal indictments alleging that they used complicated Internet phishing schemes to steal thousands of credit and debit card numbers, U.S. and Romanian authorities said today.

38 charged in international phishing scheme [AP]
Thirty-eight people were charged Monday with stealing names, Social Security numbers, credit card data and other personal information from unsuspecting Internet users as part of a global crime ring.

DOJ Busts Up Global Phishing Ring, Charges 38
Law enforcement authorities in two countries on Monday charged 38 people in the U.S. and Romania with taking part in two different phishing-related fraud schemes that authorities say were tied to organized crime worldwide.

38 Individuals in U.S. and Romania Charged in Two Related Cases of Computer Fraud Involving International Organized Crime [news release]
Thirty-eight individuals with ties to international organized crime have been charged in two separate indictments involving computer and credit card fraud schemes, Deputy Attorney General Mark R. Filip, Romanian Prosecutor General Laura Codru?a K?vesi, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Thomas P. O?Brien and Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut Nora R. Dannehy announced today. The Deputy Attorney General made the announcement with the Romanian Prosecutor General to highlight the extensive and continued cooperation between the two countries in addressing these types of international crimes. The announcement comes less than one month after U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey announced the Department?s new Law Enforcement Strategy to Combat International Organized Crime.

NZ ranks second in world for hacking
According to a study by internet security company TippingPoint, hack attacks in New Zealand are second only to the UK.

Questions raised about NZ hacking study [NZPA]
A recent study which said New Zealand was the second-most "hacked" country in the world has come under fire from computer users.

Victims turn vigilante in hunt for eBay conmen
The world of online auctions is becoming as notorious as the Wild West. Unscrupulous thieves con innocent buyers and the authorities seem powerless to intervene.

Canberra moves into global cyber-law net
AUSTRALIA is considering its position on the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime.

us: FTC Wants to Know What Big Brother Knows About You
... The growing practice of "behavioral targeting," or sending ads to online users based on their Internet habits, is now under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission, whose review could shape not only Web advertising rules but the character of the Web itself.

The great British tradition of media piracy - from music radio to online music
... As a society we've allowed the pirates to stay in business because enough of us recognise they add an extraordinary amount of value to British culture in a way mainstream commercial radio simply cannot. It's sad to see us punishing some of our greatest pirates today, instead of figuring out how to compete with them. When file-sharing site OiNK, arguably one of the finest repositories of recorded music ever assembled, had its Teesside HQ raided last October, we lost a great site that should have somehow been allowed to exist legally. People are consuming music in a new way that is adding value to their lives (which is why OiNK was replaced about five minutes later), and adding value to every other part of the music business. Outside of the business of selling people CDs, every other part of the music business is growing because today music, as David Bowie put it, flows like water.

BitTorrent tracker Mininova faces legal action
Dutch anti-piracy body BREIN says it will ask a judge to halt all activities of Dutch BitTorrent-tracker Mininova, which draws over 30 million unique visitors and five billion downloads a month.

BBC iPlayer hits 75 million downloads
The BBC iPlayer online on demand TV service has hit 75 million in streamed or downloaded programmes since it launched last year.

af: I was tortured to confess, Pervez tells appeal court
Pervez Kambaksh, the Afghan student sentenced to death after being accused of downloading internet reports on women's rights, yesterday pleaded innocent to charges of blasphemy. He told an appeal court in Kabul that he had been tortured into confessing.

Hamas bans pornographic websites in Gaza Strip
Islamist group Hamas has told the main Palestinian telecoms company to block access to pornographic Internet sites in the Gaza Strip, a Hamas government official said on Monday.

Hamas to Censor Internet Sites in Gaza
The Hamas-run Telecommunications Ministry will start blocking Web sites deemed unfit according to Islamic rules, said Ihab al-Hussain, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Gaza, adding that the plan went into effect last week.

Chinese officials net online earthquake rumour-mongers
Dozens of people have been detained all over China in the past few days for spreading dangerous rumours following the Sichuan earthquake - most of them apprehended by the "net police".

Voices of Dissent - Censorship Chinese Style: ABC TV 4 Corners
Olympics organisers have hit the home straight in full stride. Games venues are getting their final touches. Beijing's stunning "bird?s nest" stadium has been unveiled to international acclaim. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers wait impatiently as the torch teasingly approaches. With about 80 days to go, China is seizing its chance to showcase the Olympics - and its own economic marvel - to the world. Nothing can quell the excitement or spoil the nation's finest hour? not even the horrific earthquake in China's southwest ? and certainly not a small group of activists for human rights. This programme also available for viewing from:

Chinese bloggers get free rein as earthquake slows censors
Chinese blogger Paul Denlinger noted in his blog Monday that for the first time ever, Chinese flags are lowered to half mast to commemorate the loss of ordinary citizens. The flags have been lowered for the tens of thousands of victims of last week's earthquake during a three-day national mourning period that ends on Wednesday.

Cisco File Raises Censorship Concerns in China
Cisco Systems, seeking to penetrate the Chinese market, prepared an internal marketing presentation in which it appeared to be willing to assist the Chinese Ministry of Public Security in its goal of "combating Falun Gong evil cult and other hostile elements," according to a translation of a document obtained by congressional investigators.

Cisco denies aiding Chinese censorship
Cisco this week denied allegations that it aided the Chinese government in its effort to censor the Internet.

Cisco Denies Censorship Role in China
A Cisco Systems executive told a Senate subcommittee that comments in an internal document about China's goal to "combat" a religious group did not reflect the company's views on censorship.

Cisco File Raises Censorship Concerns
Cisco Systems, seeking to penetrate the Chinese market, prepared an internal marketing presentation in which it appeared to be willing to assist the Chinese Ministry of Public Security in its goal of "combating Falun Gong evil cult and other hostile elements," according to a translation of a document obtained by congressional investigators.

Chinese bloggers get free rein as earthquake slows censors
Chinese blogger Paul Denlinger noted in his blog this week that for the first time ever, Chinese flags have been lowered to half mast to commemorate the loss of ordinary citizens. The flags have been lowered for the tens of thousands of earthquake victims during a three-day national mourning period that ends on Wednesday.

Iranian Activists Criticize New Restrictions on Web Sites
Iranian bloggers and activists on Tuesday condemned a move by a government panel to block access to several Web sites related to women's issues and human rights.

Iran launches fresh crackdown on websites: report [AFP]
Iranian authorities have blocked access to several websites and blogs of women's rights advocates and journalists critical of the government, a press report said on Tuesday.

Hadeel Alhodaif, leading female Saudi blogger, dies aged 25
The Saudi blogosphere is in mourning after the sudden death of a young female web-diarist and author who battled for a freer media in the restrictive kingdom.

Senators weigh new laws over China online censorship
Senators on Tuesday pressed executives from Yahoo, Google, and Cisco Systems to justify their business practices in China and other Internet-censoring countries, with Cisco in the hot seat over new allegations of cozier-than-confessed ties with the Chinese police.

us: Sen.: Iron Curtain swapped for Virtual Curtain of censorship
Yahoo, Google, and Cisco all trekked over to the Senate today to sit for an hour under the grandfatherly, but strangely stern eye of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). The subject was "Internet freedom," but this turned out to be code for "censorship in China." While all three companies lamented censorship and the role that their products or services played in supporting it, each suggested that it was really the role of the US government to take up the censorship issue. But when Durbin pressed the idea of legislation that would outlaw certain behaviors of US-based companies operating in other countries, the "we need more government involvement" rhetoric seized up faster than an unventilated Xbox 360.

US Supreme Court Upholds Child Pornography Law
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the latest Congressional effort to curb the spread of child pornography on the Internet, a 2003 law that makes it a crime to offer or solicit sexually explicit images of children.

US Supreme Court Upholds Child Pornography Law
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a 2003 federal law aimed at child pornography, concluding in a 7-to-2 opinion that a federal appeals court was wrong to find the law unconstitutionally vague.

us: Editorial: A Discomfiting Threat to Free Speech
The Supreme Court upheld a law on Monday that sweeps too broadly in its attempt to ban child pornography, which is repellent and illegal. Those who traffic in it must be punished, but this law is drawn in a way that also criminalizes speech that should be protected by the First Amendment.

Justices: Child porn is not protected speech
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a law aimed at preventing child pornography, ruling a provision dealing with "pandering" illicit material does not violate constitutional protections on free speech.

Justices Uphold Child Porn Law: Case Involved Criminalization Of 'Pandering'
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld an expansive federal law that punishes people who peddle or seek child pornography, saying Congress's remedy for a growing problem on the Internet does not violate free-speech guarantees.

US high court upholds child pornography law [Reuters]
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a provision of a 2003 federal law making it a crime to promote or present material as child pornography.

Supreme Court upholds child-pornography law
The Supreme Court gave prosecutors a powerful tool Monday to attack the spread of child pornography online, ruling that people who send messages over the computer offering or seeking sexual images of children can be sent to prison, even when no such pornography exists.

Part of Anti Child Porn Law Upheld [AP]
The Supreme Court upheld criminal penalties Monday for promoting child pornography. The court, in a 7-2 decision, brushed aside concerns that the law could apply to mainstream movies that depict adolescent sex, classic literature or innocent e-mails that describe pictures of grandchildren.

High Court Upholds Broad Child Porn Law [includes audio of NPR story]
The Supreme Court has upheld a provision of a 2003 federal law making it a crime to promote child pornography ? even fake child pornography. Opponents said the law was too broad and could apply to mainstream movies that depict adolescent sex.

au: Labor proceeding with cyber safety policy to protect children from illegal internet content.
Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, has confirmed that labor will proceed with the cyber safety policy.

Schools program to promote cyber-smart behaviour in Australia
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has welcomed an Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) cyber-smart initiative to teach children how to be responsible cyber-citizens.

au: Cyber Detectives Protect Children Online
ACMA is partnering with the Victoria Police for the launch of a program, which will take place tomorrow at Coburg North Primary School, giving school children access to the Australian Communications and Media Authority?s (ACMA) online safety activity, Cybersmart Detectives.

uk: McKee to star in BBC child porn drama
Atonement actor Gina McKee and Jeremy Northam, who was last seen in The Tudors, have signed up for BBC1's hard-hitting drama about a family torn apart when the husband downloads child pornography.

uk: Net downloads to get age ratings
Age ratings for downloaded video content and video games are to be introduced in the UK. Overseen by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the scheme will see certificates appear on websites, via set-top boxes and portable players.

The phone for six-year-olds
Hello Kitty mobile phones will hit the high street in July sparking further fears over marketing of phones for children

Invisible bullies that stalk the playground
THE ease of access to powerful communication tools means that, all over the world, people are saying things in new ways with their friends and to new audiences.

Commentary: An Unconstitutional Interstate Sales Tax
Today, New York saddles taxpayers with the third-highest tax burden in the nation. But not content with taxing its own citizens and businesses to the max, the Empire State is now unleashing its tax collectors on the rest of the nation. A first-of-its kind law recently passed in New York places new sales taxes on catalog and online retailers in every state of the country. Retailers that have no physical presence in New York, but sell products to New Yorkers, are now expected to collect and send tax revenues to the treasury in Albany.

US Senator targets YouTube, but law not on his side
Sen. Joe Lieberman wants YouTube and its rivals to delete any videos produced by al-Qaida, other Islamic terrorist groups, and any suspected sympathizers. But because there's no U.S. law requiring deletion--at least not yet--there's not much the onetime veep candidate can do except complain.

Senator Lieberman Wants Terrorist Videos Removed From YouTube
U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, on Monday asked Google CEO Eric Schmidt in an open letter to remove Islamic terrorist videos from YouTube, which is owned by Google.

South Africa parliament approves Internet gambling law
South Africa's parliament approved a new Internet gambling law to regulate an industry plagued by crime and vulnerable to money laundering and terrorism financing, parliamentary papers showed on Monday.

au: ACMA reveals 'plain language' protection code
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued its telecommunications consumer protection guidelines in response to calls for a simpler set of rules for telcos and users alike.

Google may be Yahoo's white knight
Google is still interested in a tie-up with Yahoo in the lucrative internet search market, according to Google's co-founder Sergey Brin, in a move that would provide Yahoo with a white knight to see off the attentions of Microsoft.

Google Says It Will Defend Competitive Rationale of a Yahoo Deal
How can Google, the Internet search and advertising giant, contend that teaming up with Yahoo in search ads would not invite an antitrust challenge?

Google in urgent talks over Microsoft-Yahoo! deal
Google executives convened an emergency meeting last night to discuss the implications of a possible revived deal between Yahoo! and Microsoft.

Yahoo says yes to limited Microsoft talks
Yahoo has confirmed its willingness to discuss a new, more limited deal with Microsoft over combining the two companies' advertising businesses, just as the embattled web firm tries to push through a similar deal with Google.

Pursuing Yahoo again, Microsoft shows need for a Web franchise
Two weeks after walking away from takeover talks with Yahoo, Microsoft made clear on Sunday that it still needed to create an Internet powerhouse that could rival Google ? and that its interest in Yahoo had not waned.

Microsoft goes back to Yahoo! with offer of merger deal
Microsoft has contacted Yahoo! over the last few days to explore the possibility of buying part of the online search engine, and hinted that it may still consider launching another bid for the entire group.

Google mulls Microsoft response
Google's bosses are meeting in Britain on Monday evening to discuss a response to Microsoft's new talks with Yahoo.

Google or Microsoft: Yahoo Should Pick Both
Yahoo might well be able to have its Google cake and eat Microsoft?s market share, too.

What Microsoft Really Needs From Yahoo!
Microsoft is supposed to be the consummate fast follower. It doesn't enter a market first. Given time, however, it learns enough to dominate. The Redmond, Wash.-based company grabbed Apple's best ideas and used them to rule the market for operating systems. It walked over Netscape to seize control of Web browsers. So why are Chief Executive Steve Ballmer & Co. having so much trouble with mobile gadgets?

A Gamble, but What if He Wins?
About a month a half ago, Carl Icahn and I went to dinner at Tse Yang, an upscale Chinese restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. Mr. Icahn, the corporate raider turned activist investor, came blustering through the dimly lit restaurant about 20 minutes late, grabbed one of the waiters ? they all know him ? and ordered a martini.

Microsoft, Yahoo Circle Game Goes Another Round
The never-ending Microhoo saga has left many investors feeling downright whipsawed as they watched events careen from one extreme to the other -- and that was after the merger was supposedly dead in the water.

G9 becomes Terria
The G9 consortium, which actually comprises of just eight telcos, has rebadged itself as Terria. Derived from Terra Australis, Terria chairman Michael Egan said the new brand was in line with the organisation's objective of providing 98 per cent broadband coverage to Australians.

nz: Digital dust-up looming
A host of submissions on the digital broadcasting review are now available online and point to the diverging views of the various industry players that will be affected by the Government's sweeping review.

uk: Ofcom deregulates more of the broadband market
Ofcom, the UK telecoms and internet watchdog has removed some of the regulations that surround the broadband market.

Deregulating the UK?s wholesale broadband markets: 70% of the country to be liberalised
Ofcom today announced the removal of regulations for wholesale broadband access in areas of the UK which are served by effective competition. The decision is part of Ofcom?s commitment to review and, where appropriate, remove regulations in markets where there is effective competition, further promoting innovation and investment.

First Call Completed on North Korea's 3G Network
The unlikely story of advanced 3G cellular service in the world's most tightly controlled and secretive country has turned another chapter with the start of network trials.

3G to get boost, with iPhone on way
When Apple boss Steve Jobs walks on to the stage to introduce the first 3G iPhone next month, you can safely bet he'll do a lot of talking about the pervasiveness of the high-speed packet access (HSPA) 3G mobile system.

us: Demand for wireless Internet paying off for schools
An ambitious plan to blanket the country with wireless Internet access has an unlikely beneficiary: public and private schools. ... But technological advances have made the airwaves easier to use -- and much more lucrative to hold. For Cal State Los Angeles, Long Beach, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton and Pomona, as well as schools and religious institutions around the country, holding a license to the spectrum as the wireless industry expands has been like finding a winning lottery ticket in a dresser drawer.

VoIP joins cellular in eating away at telecom landlines
Last week a study revealed that US consumers are dropping their traditional phone service for mobile phones. A new study, however, says that plenty of other consumers are switching to VoIP services in record numbers. In both cases, it's bad news for incumbent telcos.

Greek police break child porn ring, 21 charged
Greek police broke a child pornography ring, believed to be part of a wider European operation, and charged 21 people with possession and trafficking of such material on the Internet, officials said on Wednesday.


(c) David Goldstein 2008


David Goldstein
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Received on Mon May 26 2008 - 01:57:16 UTC

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