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Saturday, July 31, 2004
  Telkom ignores criticisms
Johannesburg - Telkom will go ahead with its plans to acquire South Africa's fourth largest internet service provider (ISP) in the dial-up market - Tiscali SA - allegedly for R400m despite "strong opposition" from a number of industry players.

DoubleClick Hit by Hack Attack
DoubleClick spokeswoman Jennifer Blum told the E-Commerce Times that the company knows only that the attack came from "outside sources." Security experts said it appears the attack used hundreds of "zombie" personal computers that had been previously infected with a virus that commanded them to send requests to DoubleClick's server at the same time.

Silicon Valley IT Dominance - Slipping or Staying?
Reports of rising numbers of IT jobs in foreign markets might mean Northern California's Silicon Valley is no longer the biggest tech employer, but analysts are quick to point out that Silicon Valley is different, providing the most diverse and robust mix of jobs and a higher level of talent. According to officials for the state of Karnataka, India, the Indian city of Bangalore is set to top 200,000 IT and other technology jobs by next year, comprised of mostly IT, call center and business process positions. That figure is about 25,000 more than the estimated number of tech workers in Silicon Valley.

Apple Lashes RealNetworks' Music Move
Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL) said Thursday that it was shocked at a rival's attempt to wean customers from its music software by essentially hacking into its software code.  Seattle's RealNetworks (Nasdaq: RNWK) announced a new technology this week -- Harmony -- that lets shoppers at its online music store buy songs and transfer them to Apple's wildly successful iPod digital music device. Previously, the only way consumers could do that was via Apple's iTunes Music Store and software.

Gates wants patent power
Microsoft's chairman said Thursday that the company expects to file 3,000 patent applications this year, up from a little over 2,000 last year and 1,000 just a few years ago. Hitting the 3,000 mark would put the software giant in a league almost by itself. Last year, IBM ranked as the champion company in this particular race, winning 3,415 patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, with no close runners-up in the high-tech field. Hewlett-Packard was No. 5 on the list with 1,759.

Apple questions Real's technology
Apple Computer on Thursday questioned the legality of RealNetworks' move to technologically pick the lock on its iPod music player. "We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod,'' Apple said in a statement. `"We are investigating the implications of their actions.''

Friday, July 30, 2004
  Zambia to delete cyber crime
Lusaka - Zambia's government is to present a tough bill on cyber crime to parliament on Friday that will see convicted hackers and other offenders face harsh sentences ranging from 15 to 25 years in jail.

Judge fines Philip Morris for deletion of e-mail
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge fined tobacco giant Philip Morris USA and its parent company, Altria Group Inc., $2.7 million Wednesday for deleting e-mails that may be relevant in the government's lawsuit against the cigarette industry. "A monetary sanction is appropriate,'' U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said in her ruling. "It is particularly appropriate here because we have no way of knowing what, if any, value those destroyed e-mails had to plaintiff's case.''

Thursday, July 29, 2004
  Apple: RealNetworks hacked iPod
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Apple Computer accused RealNetworks Thursday of adopting the tactics of a hacker and breaking into the technology behind its popular iPod music player. RealNetworks (RNWK: down $0.10 to $5.48, Research, Estimates), whose shares fell about 1.5 percent Thursday, unveiled a new product Monday called Harmony that allows users to download music from its online music store and use it on any portable music player, including Apple's iPod.

Virus Attacks Climb 21 Percent in First Half of 2004
Virus writers busily scribbled code during the first half of 2004, introducing 4,677 new viruses into the wild, a 21 percent increase over the same period last year, according to a report released by Sophos , an international maker of antivirus and antispam software.
"There's a greater interest in writing viruses than ever before," Sophos Senior Technical Consultant Graham Cluley told TechNewsWorld. "The reason for that is that virus-writing is increasingly about making money," he explained.

U.S. cops unite against computer crime
RICHMOND, Va. Ñ U.S. Federal and state law enforcement agencies are joining forces to combat computer crimes, officials announced. The Cyber-Crime Strike Force will have a staff of seven investigators: four from the FBI, two from the state Attorney General Jerry Kilgore's office and one from the Virginia State Police. They will work out of the Richmond FBI office, which has a computer lab from which on-line undercover investigations may be conducted.

Sue You: This Song Is Our Song
When was the last time you saw John Kerry on his knees before world leaders, clad in S&M gear and with a ball gag in his mouth? Or eyed President Bush looking sheepish in a red dunce cap?
Chances are it was sometime this past week on national TV and maybe 10 times before that on the Internet, thanks to
JibJab, a site that is posting animators Evan and Gregg Spiridellis' latest creation, This Land.

180solutions sues allies over adware
180solutions on Monday filed a lawsuit alleging that two of its partners loaded its ad-serving software onto people's computers without first getting their consent. The lawsuit, filed in a Superior Court in Washington state, claims that Internext Media and its distribution partner violated an agreement with 180Solutions. Aztec Marketing distributes Internext Media's Web browser toolbar.

Bulk of year's PC infections pinned to one man
Sven Jaschan, self-confessed author of the Netsky and Sasser viruses, is responsible for 70 percent of virus infections in 2004, according to a six-month virus roundup published Wednesday by antivirus company Sophos. The 18-year-old Jaschan was taken into custody in Germany in May by police who said he had admitted to programming both the Netsky and Sasser worms, something experts at Microsoft confirmed. (A Microsoft antivirus reward program led to the teenager's arrest.) During the five months preceding Jaschan's capture, there were at least 25 variants of Netsky and one of the port-scanning network worm Sasser.

Russian hackers are increasing threat
[Moscow Reuters News Service, 29 July 2004] - Young, smart Russian hackers are posing an increasing threat to global business, police said yesterday following last week's arrest of an online extortion ring that cost British companies up to $70 million.

Cisco drops lawsuit against Huawei
[Chicago Reuters News Service, 29 July 2004] - Cisco Systems, the world's largest maker of gear that directs Internet traffic, dropped its copyright lawsuit against China's Huawei Technologies, the company said yesterday.

ISPA opposes Telkom's Tiscali bid
[Johannesburg, 29 July 2004] - The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has expressed its opposition to Telkom's bid to purchase Tiscali SA. According to ISPA Ð an industry body representing more than 82 Internet service providers in SA Ð it is concerned about the potential impact on both the industry and consumers if Telkom's bid is accepted.

France takes on net pop pirates
France is stepping up efforts to stop net users pirating pop music. The get tough policy is part of an agreement signed between French net providers and record companies.

Why SA cops acted on eBay
Cape Town - eBay has confirmed that a compromised database of its users' personal data, including credit-card numbers, did not come from its servers. According to Hani Durzy of eBay online auctioneers: "This information clearly comes from 'phishing' efforts. 'Phishing' has replaced spam as the biggest problem on the internet.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004
  Fight Looms over Rules for Internet Calls
Deregulation is the mantra of the main players in Internet-based phone service, a new technology that could increase competition and further drive down phone prices.
But behind the scenes, a fierce battle is emerging among rival U.S. companies and between federal and state regulators over the shape of new government regulations and control of the service, which has the potential to be the most significant development in telecommunications since the breakup of the AT&T monopoly 20 years ago.

Sharman owner called out from shadows
Lawyers were asked on Tuesday to reveal the identity of the owner of Sharman Networks, parent company of file-sharing service Kazaa, as the company faced copyright infringement allegations in Sydney, Australia. Lawyers for Universal Music Australia called on Sharman in Australian federal court to reveal the anonymous figure controlling the corporation in its request for evidential discovery. Justice Murray Wilcox agreed, saying this was "not an unusual request."

China shuts down 700 porn sites
BEIJING (AP) Ñ Chinese authorities have shut down 700 pornographic Web sites in less than two weeks as part of a massive campaign to clean up the Internet, the official Xinhua News Agency said Tuesday. Citing figures from the Ministry of Public Security, Xinhua said 224 suspects have been detained since July 16, when the crackdown began. No details were given on those cases.

Judge: RIAA can unmask file swappers
A federal judge has handed a preliminary victory to the recording industry by granting its request to unmask anonymous file swappers accused of copyright infringement. U.S. District Judge Denny Chin ruled Monday that Cablevision, which provides broadband Internet access in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, can be required to divulge the identities of its subscribers sued over copyright violations.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
  Children 'able to gamble on net'
Children as young as 11 are able to gamble online, according to a new report.
They are able to do so because of failures by a number of websites to carry out proper age checks. The vast majority of sites tested by children's charity NCH allowed under 18-year-olds to register their details, the report found.

Judge blocks sales of unlicensed DVD chips
A California judge has ordered a multimedia chipmaker to stop selling versions of its products that were used in DVD-copying devices. The Motion Picture Association of America said Monday that it had found chips from ESS Technology, based in Fremont, Calif., inside a device that allowed DVDs to be copied. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis issued an order Friday that blocked the manufacturer from selling its chips to any other device maker producing similar products.

MyDoom variant slams mailboxes, search engines
The new version, variously dubbed MyDoom.M or MyDoom.O, was first detected early Monday morning and quickly went on a tear, flooding many mailboxes with hundreds of messages. It has also slowed Google, Yahoo, AltaVista and Lycos to a crawl, because once it infects a PC, the virus automatically performs Web searches on those search engines.

eBay denies hack report
[Johannesburg, 27 July 2004] - Online auction site eBay has denied reports that Nigerian 419 hackers compromised its users' credit card information.
Local media reports yesterday warned South Africans that if they had used eBay's services, their credit card details had probably been compromised by hackers. The reports quoted a notice on local anti-419 scam Web site,

Monday, July 26, 2004
  Bloggers get convention credentials
(CNN) -- A new breed of political observers will be offering volumes of pointed commentary at this year's political conventions. But most of these bloggers (short for Web loggers) don't fit the profile of a traditional journalist on the campaign trail.

eBay users warned of 419 scam
Johannesburg - The American Secret Security Service (SSS) and the commercial crimes unit of the South African police have joined forced in a massive investigation after the Nigerian 419 fraud scheme hacked into the database of eBay, the world's largest internet auction house.

Unfair dismissal damages do not include injury to feelings
The House of Lords yesterday overturned a controversial ruling that the damages that can be awarded in a case of unfair dismissal should, in some circumstances, compensate injury to feelings. The ruling restores certainty for employers.

Domain name transfers to become easier
The transfer of domain names from one registrar to another is set to become easier, ICANN announced last week. The new policy, due to take effect from 12th November, is intended to increase competition and consumer choice.

Marvel sues Disney for superhero royalties
Marvel Enterprises is suing Walt Disney for almost $55 million over royalty payments that the comic book empire says are due in respect of cartoons of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk and X-Men shown on TV channels owned by a Disney subsidiary.

Bank liable for reversing suspicious CHAPS transfer
A UK Court has ruled that a bank that re-transmitted a suspiciously large CHAPS transfer back to the sending bank is liable to the customer into whose account the transfer should have been made. The case reaffirms the view that a CHAPS transfer is as good as a cash payment - but also highlights a risk that can arise if compliance with the UK's money laundering rules is taken too far.

Judge grants some relief in Amazon-Toys "R" Us dispute
PATERSON, N.J. Ñ got some relief Friday in its dispute with Toys "R" Us when a state judge eased a restraining order that the online retailer said would prevent the September launch of a service that would open its Web site to untold numbers of sellers.

Virus writer purports to show bin Laden's death
Antivirus company Sophos warned Friday of a scheme that invokes Osama bin Laden to convince people to open a file containing a Trojan horse called Hackarmy. The message, which has been posted on several Internet newsgroups, claims to contain pictures taken by CNN journalists of bin Laden committing suicide. But once the supposed picture file is opened, it installs a Trojan horse that effectively recruits the infected machine into the author's army of "zombie" PCs--already-infected machines that can be controlled surreptitiously from afar. The zombified computers can then be used to distribute spam or launch denial-of-service attacks.

Friday, July 23, 2004
  BERLIN (Reuters) - A German man was jailed for five and a half years Thursday for repackaging cheap versions of Microsoft Corp. software and selling t
LITTLE ROCK Ñ Six people who worked with a Florida company that federal prosecutors say hacked into an Acxiom computer server and obtained vast amounts of personal information have reached agreements with prosecutors, U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins said Thursday.

German Sentenced to 5 1/2 Years for Microsoft Fraud
BERLIN (Reuters) - A German man was jailed for five and a half years Thursday for repackaging cheap versions of Microsoft Corp. software and selling them on at a higher price.
Ralph Blasek, a software dealer from Willich, near Bochum in western Germany, was found guilty of repackaging more than 32,000 copies of software products meant for schools and colleges, a Bochum court spokesman said.

EBay Ruling Punctures Web Liability Shield
EBay Inc.'s savvy user agreement protects it from liability for defamatory postings on its Web site, an appeals court has ruled. But the court's decision left vulnerable other online content providers. The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled Thursday that a release provision in eBay's user agreement relieved the company of liability for the comments one user of its auctioneer site made against another. But the court said that a law routinely invoked as a shield by content providers does not immunize eBay against liability for distributing information it knew or had reason to believe was false.

Ban on violent videos struck down
A federal judge yesterday struck down Washington state's ban on selling violent video games to minors, calling it an unconstitutional violation of free speech. A trade association representing the entertainment industry, which had sued to challenge the ban, said it welcomed the ruling but would work with the state to make sure parents have enough information about the games to make informed decisions about their suitability for children. In yesterday's ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik wrote that the state's Violent Video Game law, which has been on the books since May 2003 but has never been enforced, violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Which Way for P2P: An Interview with StreamCast CEO Michael Weiss
The DCIA will have big problems if they try to imply, infer or state that Morpheus is a member of, or supports, DCIA. StreamCast remains a committed member of P2P United. However, there are mutual interests DCIA and P2P United members do share. For example, the defeat of Orrin Hatch's Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act [aka the INDUCE Act] and PIRATE Acts are two measures both groups are fighting against.  Morpheus owner StreamCast Networks has signed a deal with Sovereign Artists and SML under which tracks from the rock band Heart's 'Jupiter's Darling' album are being offered on Morpheus in SML's Weed format. Each track is in Microsoft's Windows Media Audio format and comes wrapped with Microsoft's digital-rights management (DRM) technology.

Ring Tones Ring Up Record Revenue
"Wireless carriers have been experimenting - delivering a wide variety of data services and then watching to see which ones will stick," Ted Schadler, a vice president at market research firm Forrester, told TechNewsWorld. "Sales of ring tones ramped up much faster than anticipated," he said. The simple ding-a-ling heard when an incoming call arrives is being replaced by a bevy of Top 10 tunes. Ring tones - simple notes or 30-second clips of popular songs - have emerged as a popular value-added data service for wireless carriers. "One cannot underestimate the interest consumers, especially the youth market, have in personalized services," Ted Schadler, a vice president at market research firm Forrester, noted.

Judge OK's drug defendant's Web site seeking witness information
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that a defendant in a federal drug case may post a Web site seeking information on potential witnesses, whose pictures are displayed under a 'WANTED' banner.  U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson said the free speech and fair trial rights of the defendant, Leon Carmichael, outweigh the government's concern that the Web site poses a threat to its witnesses in the upcoming trial.  Thompson said he "concludes that, while the Web site certainly imposes discomfort on some individuals, it is not a serious threat sufficient to warrant a prior restraint on Carmichael's speech or an imposition on his constitutional right to investigate his case."

UBS Warburg Sanctioned for Destroying E-Mails in Discrimination Suit
A federal judge in New York ordered sanctions Tuesday against UBS Warburg for destroying backup e-mail messages sought in an employment discrimination case. Southern District Judge Shira Scheindlin said the global financial firm, not its lawyers, was to blame. The destruction was the result of a failure to communicate between UBS and its counsel, the New York law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, she said. Judge Scheindlin said she was addressing long-running discovery problems in what she characterized as a 'relatively routine' discrimination suit. She ordered UBS Warburg to pay expenses and attorney fees incurred by the plaintiff, Laura Zubulake, in pursuing missing e-mails and other data.

SCO's DaimlerChrysler Case Crashes
The SCO Group's breach of contract lawsuit against automobile manufacturer DaimlerChrysler  came to a crashing halt Wednesday afternoon, after a judge ruled in favor of a dismissal motion.
Lindon, Utah-based SCO sued its one-time customer March 3 for failing to provide documentation certifying its systems were abiding by the terms of the SCO licensing agreement.  Judge Rae Lee Chabot of the Michigan District Court in the County of Oakland ruled in favor of all counts in DaimlerChrylser's motion for summary disposition except for one, the one that deals with the time it took for the automobile company to respond to a certification letter sent by SCO requesting license compliance.  "Obviously, we're very pleased with the court's ruling, and we look forward to resolving the remaining issue," said Florian Martens, a spokesperson with DaimlerChrysler.

UK bans PlayStation 'chipping'
The selling of 'mod chips' for Sony PlayStation 2 game consoles has been ruled illegal by a UK high court. A PlayStation 2 with a modified chip installed can play imported or pirated copies of the console's video games. Mr Justice Laddie backed Sony's legal argument that its intellectual property was being infringed by people selling the chips to console owners. The ruling is thought to be one of the first brought under a controversial European Union directive on copyright.  Sony brought its case against a man called David Ball who was accused of selling about 1,500 'Messiah' mod chips.

Antipiracy bill gains new ally
In a move that's alarming technology firms, the U.S. Copyright Office is about to endorse new legislation that would outlaw peer-to-peer networks and possibly some consumer electronics devices that could be used for copyright piracy.  Marybeth Peters, the U.S. Register of Copyrights, is planning to announce her support for the measure at a Senate hearing on Thursday. The Induce Act, which critics warn could imperil products like Apple Computer's iPod, is an "important improvement over existing law," according to a copy of her statement seen by CNET

Online Extortion Ring Broken Up
Three men are suspected of pressuring gambling sites into paying protection money. Law enforcement officials in the U.K. and Russia have cracked down on a major extortion ring accused of prying hundreds of thousands of dollars from online sports betting Web sites, according to a statement from the U.K.'s National Hi-Tech Crime Unit. Three men, ages 21, 22, and 24, were taken into custody this week in separate arrests in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Saratov and Stavropol regions of southwest Russia. The men have not been charged, but are believed to be part of a ring that uses legions of compromised or "zombie" computers to launch denial of service attacks against online sports betting parlors ("sports books") that refuse to pay protection money, says Felicity Bull, a spokesperson for the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU).

Identity theft case could be largest so far
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A Florida man was indicted Wednesday in an alleged scheme to steal vast amounts of personal information, and the Justice Department said it might be the largest illegal invasion and theft of personal data to date. The 144-count indictment against Scott Levine, 45, also includes charges of conspiracy, fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice, according to the Justice Department. Levine's alleged target was Acxiom Corp., one of the world's largest companies managing personal, financial and corporate data, federal authorities said.

IT bulk of banks' Basel spending
[Johannesburg, 22 July 2004] - Half of South African banks surveyed recently are using up to 80% of their Basel Accord budgets on systems and interfaces.  However, some local banks are spending less than 40% of their budgets on IT, according to the global survey sponsored by Accenture, Mercer Oliver Wyman and SAP.  The second Basel Capital Accord, or Basel II, determines how much capital banks must set aside to cover unforeseen hazards. This it does by prescribing how to identify, measure, monitor and manage the full range of risks to which the banks are exposed. The greater the risk, the greater the amount of capital needed to cover it.

Thursday, July 22, 2004
  Parents 'under-estimate' net risks
Parents are still largely unaware of the risks their children take on the net, even though 75% of teenagers use the net at home, says a report.  A London School of Economics study suggested 57% had seen net porn but most stumbled on it accidentally via spam or pop-ups.  Only 16% of parents thought their children had seen porn online.  Children are aware of net safety, but parents need help in understanding how to talk through good and bad net experiences and risks, said the report.  Many nine to 19-year-olds worried that if they told their parents about negative experiences, their net use would be severely restricted or their parents would overreact.

BT Child Porn Filter Stopping 23,000 Attempts a Day
LONDON (Reuters) - BT Group is blocking over 23,000 attempts each day to access child pornography Web sites, the company said on Tuesday, offering a rare glimpse of the extent of demand for such sites.  "We've been taken aback by the number of attempts," said spokesman Giles Deards, adding the rate at which the telecommunications company is stopping access has increased steadily as it continues to fine-tune its filtering software.  The availability of child pornography on the Internet has become one of the biggest areas of cybercrime, but until now the extent of the problem has been the subject of guesswork.  Tuesday's statistics come a month after BT first announced its intention to install an elaborate filter to block entry to child porn sites.

Nortel sues Arbinet, alleging copyright infringement
TORONTO (AP) - Nortel Networks Corp. said Tuesday it has filed a lawsuit against Arbinet-thExchange Inc., alleging copyright infringements by the U.S. company.  Nortel said it filed the suit in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia, following failed talks between the two companies to settle the commercial dispute.  The Canadian telecom technology firm claimed that Arbinet is infringing copyrights and misappropriating trade secrets by using Nortel's proprietary software without authorization.

Record labels settle with Israeli P2P company
The Recording Industry Association of America said Tuesday that it had settled its lawsuit against Israeli file-swapping company iMesh, for damages of $4.1 million.  The organization had sued iMesh last September, charging - as it has in a half-dozen lawsuits against rival peer-to-peer software developers  - that the company was contributing to copyright infringement on a massive scale. As a part of the deal, iMesh has agreed to move to a business model that "abides by U.S. copyright laws," the RIAA said.  "Peer-to-peer technologies hold real promise," RIAA Chief Executive Mitch Bainwol said in a statement. "This settlement with iMesh is an opportunity to demonstrate that promise in the legitimate marketplace."

ICANN Works To Split from Commerce Department
In September 2003, ICANN signed a three-year MOU with the Department of Commerce, with a goal of moving toward privatized management of its functions. The group's management responsibilities include overall global coordination of the Internet's root server system, generic and country-code top level domain names and IP address space allocation.  In a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, officials from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names are hammering out details for self-rule in an effort to separate itself from the U.S. Department of Commerce .
The ICANN group, which is responsible for coordinating the Internet's naming and numbering systems, has brought together government agencies, private business representatives and Internet users to discuss how ICANN can successfully move forward as a self-governing entity.

Enron e-mails shed light
Washington - In only a few e-mails, Enron employees laid bare the reality of US politics: the money trail from companies seeking favours from lawmakers with the power to grant them.
The e-mails circulated among Enron officials in 2000 and 2001, before the collapse of the Houston energy company, are under review by the House ethics committee, which is considering whether to investigate the fund-raising activities of the number two leader in the House of Representatives, Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican.  Enron officials map out in the e-mail how to get the most for their financial contributions, while politicians compete for credit in securing large campaign donations from the company.

Open-source software running the Internet under the radar
SAN JOSE, California (AP) - It powers more than 70 percent of all Web servers and routes much of the world's email traffic. It makes surfing the Internet simple and provides the muscle behind Google Inc.'s search engine and countless e-commerce sites.  It's open-source software, a wide spectrum of programs developed not under the lock and key of a single company but by the communal efforts of volunteers who often start with little more than common interests and email discussion groups.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004
  E-mail disclaimers explained
Everybody seems to be doing it - adding elaborate liability "disclaimers" to the bottom of outgoing e-mail messages. Why? Probably in a misguided attempt to ensure legal compliance and risk management.

Suit Against Napster Backers OK
A federal judge in San Francisco on Wednesday denied motions to dismiss lawsuits claiming past Napster investors like Bertelsmann AG and venture capital firm Hummer Winblad kept the song-swap site going, costing the music industry $17 billion in lost sales.  In her ruling on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel, who issued an injunction against the original Napster in 2000, permitted the case to proceed through its discovery phase, saying the plaintiffs, including music publishers, songwriters and record labels, had the right to try to prove their allegations. Napster went bankrupt in 2002 and was bought by software firm Roxio, which relaunched it as a pay-for-use service last year. Roxio was not named in these latest cases.  But Napster's renegade past is the focus of the suits that claim that German media company Bertelsmann's $90 million investment in Napster in 2000 kept it operating eight months longer than it would have otherwise.

'Deceptive Duo' Hacker Charged
A 20-year-old Northern California man suspected as being one half of the high-profile 'Deceptive Duo' hacking team is scheduled to appear in court on Monday to face charges of breaking into government computers and defacing government websites.  Robert Lyttle, who allegedly teamed up with 22-year-old Benjamin Stark and hacked into computer systems run by the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years if he is found guilty, authorities announced.
Earlier this year, Stark pleaded guilty to charges of hacking and defacement of U.S. government websites. He faces up to 30 months in jail after agreeing to a plea bargain with prosecutors.

Identity Theft Law Hits Back at 'Phishers'
President Bush signed into law Thursday legislation creating stiffer criminal penalties for identity theft.  The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act establishes the new crime of aggravated identity theft, which is defined as the use of a stolen identity to commit other crimes. As part of the legislation, convictions carry a mandatory two-year prison sentence in addition to any penalties for the related crime.  Convictions for aggravated identity theft to commit an act of terrorism carries an additional five-year prison term on top of the penalties for the terrorist act itself.

Stringent laws drive compliance
INCREASINGLY stringent legislation is making companies more aware of the need to secure their electronic data.  The latter includes the Electronic Communication and Telecommunications Act (ECT) and the Regulation of Interception of Communication and provision of Communication-Related Information Act, says Anthony Southgate, GM for security solutions at Internet Solutions.  Corporate governance and director responsibility are other factors that are driving the need for IT security, he says.  However, while companies are aware of the need for compliance, often they have little knowledge about legislative and corporate requirements, says Southgate.  As a result, few companies are compliant.

Firms develop codes of conduct to curb porn surfing on Internet
Every year, all 20,000 employees at IBM Canada Ltd. must read and sign off on a code of conduct, which includes the clear statement that "it is inappropriate to use IBM systems to visit Internet sites that feature sexual content, gambling or that advocate intolerance of others."
Not that such activity is rampant - "it's not something that we're all spending every day dealing with and policing and investigating," Mike Quinn, IBM Canada's corporate public relations manager, said in an interview. But, when it does happen, "we take it very seriously."

Firings increase for email violations, poll finds
SAN FRANCISCO - The number of workers getting fired for violating email policies is rising as companies face more subpoenas of email records, according to a new poll.  Twenty five percent of companies terminated a worker for violating email policies, up from 22 percent last year, according to the poll.  Twenty percent of employers polled, up from 14 percent last year, had email records subpoenaed for lawsuits or regulatory investigations and 13 percent of companies have faced lawsuits based on employee email messages, according to the American Management Association and The ePolicy Institute, which polled 840 of their U.S.-based member firms.
"It's very, very common," said Nancy Flynn, executive director of The ePolicy Institute, a training and consulting firm based in Columbus, Ohio. Flynn often testifies as an expert witness in court cases involving email.

Online nasties haunt managers as security takes over as top fear
VIRUSES, worms and other online bogies have infected global management consciousness, with security topping the list of critical issues in a report on computer network strategy.Carried out in March and April this year by The Economist Intelligence Unit for AT&T, the survey polled 254 senior executives around the world in industry sectors ranging from automotive to tourism.  In this year's survey, security replaced network reliability as the most critical attribute of a corporate network.  Asked what were the three main security threats to their companies today, 92 per cent of respondents put viruses and worms in the mix, with computer hackers the next most worrying threat (50 per cent) and accidental damage (40 per cent) third.

ICANN Moves Toward Self-Rule
Executives from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) are inching closer to a new era of self-government apart from the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Speaking from the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, during ICANN's tri-annual meeting Monday, Vint Cerf, ICANN chairman, said seven of the 24 tasks needed to move ICANN's operations out of the hands of the U.S. government are complete.  "We've made significant progress in the time since the most recent amendment between the DoC and ICANN, but plainly we still have a lot of work to do," he said.

Contractors Expose Taxpayer Data
Private contractors revamping IRS computers committed security violations that significantly increased the possibility that private taxpayer information might be disclosed, Treasury Department inspectors say.  An investigation by the department's inspector general for tax administration found that employees working for contractors, or an experienced hacker, could use the contractors' computers to gain access to taxpayer data. "Our concerns were increased when we could not find documentation that all contractor employees had received background investigations as required," the report said.  Other lapses left the IRS computer system vulnerable to viruses and hackers, investigators said.  "In summary, a contractor's employees committed numerous security violations that placed IRS equipment and taxpayer data at risk," the report found. "In some cases, contractors blatantly circumvented IRS policies and procedures even when security personnel identified inappropriate practices."

Microsoft pays to end Lindows suits
Microsoft will pay upstart Linux seller Lindows $20 million to settle a long-running trademark dispute, according to a regulatory document filed Monday.  In exchange for the payment, Lindows - which recently renamed most of its products 'Linspire' to work around European trademark suits - will give up the Lindows name and assign related Web domains to Microsoft, according to the registration statement Lindows filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  "We are pleased to resolve this litigation on terms that make business sense for all parties," Lindows CEO Michael Robertson said in a statement. "Over the next few months, Lindows will cease using the term Lindows and transition to Linspire globally as our company name and primary identifier for our operating system product."

Extent of child net porn revealed
BT says it is blocking up to 20,000 attempts each day to access child porn.  Its figures provide the first firm evidence of the extent of web paedophilia and BT is targeting the porn with its Clean Feed system.  The Internet Watch Foundation called the figures 'staggering' and said children were being abused in order to supply the hardcore images.  Police officials said the extent of the online porn problem was 'extremely disturbing'.

Huge Nigeria scam trial collapses
Nigeria's biggest fraud case has been dismissed after the judge said he had no jurisdiction to hear it.  Three Nigerians had denied stealing more than $242m from a bank in Brazil.
They had allegedly persuaded a senior bank official to send the money for what they claimed to be a new airport in exchange for a $10m commission. Correspondents say Nigeria has gained global notoriety for such scams, in which people are promised vast wealth for their help in dubious schemes.

Client reception in the Buys Inc. Johannesburg offices.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004
  SMSs key in Bryant case
Eagle - Lawyers for Kobe Bryant want the judge in his sexual assault trial to allow cellphone text messages between the NBA star's alleged victim, her former boyfriend and a third person to be introduced as evidence. The messages were sent hours after the woman's encounter with the Los Angeles Lakers guard last year. Defence lawyers also want to give the jury information about money the woman received from a crime victims' compensation programme. Bryant's attorneys have suggested the woman received unusually large amounts from a board appointed by the district attorney as an incentive to continue participating in the case.

Net visionary urges e-mail ID standard
SAN FRANCISCO - Making mass emailers identifiable is the first step toward curing the epidemic of spam, said Vint Cerf, one of the architects of the Internet. Cerf, who co-created the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) of the Internet and now works as chief corporate strategist for MCI, delivered opening remarks Thursday here at the first inaugural Email Technology Conference. The chief topic of debate at the conference was spam. Cerf said that standardizing methods for authenticating email senders would ultimately lead to successful filtering - technologies that many companies that attended the conference are developing.

Complex Passwords Foil Hacks
As more websites demand passwords, scammers are getting cleverer about stealing them - hence, the need for such 'passwords-plus' systems. To access her bank account online, Marie Jubran opens a web browser and types in her Swedish national ID number along with a four-digit password. For additional security, she then pulls out a card that has 50 scratch-off codes. Jubran uses the codes, one by one, each time she logs on or performs a transaction. Her bank, Nordea PLC, automatically sends a new card when she's about to run out. Scandinavian countries are among the leaders as many online businesses abandon static passwords in favor of so-called two-factor authentication.

EBay Tiptoes into Digital Music Downloads
It is expected that eBay's plans will include a select number of sellers who have proof that they have rights to content. EBay also has been meeting with record labels to discuss the new service, the Mercury News reported. Buyers will be directed to the sellers' websites to make purchases, either at auction or fixed price. EBay is expected to begin helping visitors buy and sell song downloads. The company has until now resisted the business because of uncertainties over copyright and digital distribution, but rapid growth in legitimate online music sales has persuaded it to begin a six-month test. "We know there are certain things where downloading is the preferred way," said a spokesman for San Jose, Calif.-based eBay, "and we needed to explore if this was a viable transaction."

Internet Is New Route For Penny Stock Fraud
There are many legitimate companies that issue penny stock. But major increases in trading volume or sudden changes in a stock's price, especially when limited financial data on the company is available, may indicate that fraud is taking place, John C. Edmunds, professor of finance at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., said.
Most investors take emails advertising a 300 percent return on penny stocks and relegate them to the trash bin. But those Internet promotions are still irresistible for some beginners lured by the promise of making a killing. The Securities and Exchange Commission is increasingly taking legal action against individuals and companies that falsely promote penny stocks online. In one of its recent cases, involving Ives Health Co., the SEC reported a final judgment against the company's former president, M. Keith Ives, for disseminating misleading information on the Internet.

Used Books Sold Cheaply Online Worry Publishers
Lorraine Shanley, a principal at Market Partners International, a publishing consultant, said that the industry was just starting to appreciate the dimensions of the problem. "Used books are to consumer books as Napster was to the music industry," she said. "The question becomes, 'How does the book industry address its used-book problem?' There aren't any easy answers, especially as no one is breaking any laws here." Is becoming the Napster of the book business? The analogy may not be far-fetched, some observers of the used-book industry say. Publishers, particularly textbook publishers, have long countered used-book sales by churning out new editions every couple of years.

New Law Boosts Prison Time for ID Theft
"When a person takes out an insurance policy, or makes an online purchase, or opens a savings account, he or she must have confidence that personal financial information will be protected and treated with care," President Bush said while signing the bill into law. "Identity theft harms not only its direct victims, but also many businesses and customers whose confidence is shaken," Bush said. Those who get caught stealing personal identity information to commit theft or fraud - whether by sifting through trash or posting bogus websites on the Internet to trick users into divulging data - will be facing more time in jail thanks to a new federal law.

'Atak' worm variant linked to al-Qaida sympathizer
A second variant of the Atak worm, which goes to sleep to avoid detection by antivirus software, has been linked to an al-Qaida sympathizer who once threatened to release a powerful worm if the United States attacked Iraq. Romanian antivirus company Bitdefender claims the worm's author has signed his nickname into an encrypted part of the worm's code. Mihai Radu, communications manager at BitDefender, said the virus, discovered Friday, is signed by Melhacker, which is the moniker of a Malaysian-based coder called Vladimor Chamlkovic, who in 2002 threatened to release an 'uber-worm' if the United States attacked Iraq.

NYT hacker Adrian Lamo gets home detention
Adrian Lamo, who gained a reputation as the 'homeless hacker' for his itinerant lifestyle, will be considerably easier to find - at least for the next few months. Lamo was sentenced Thursday to six months of home confinement after pleading guilty in January to charges that he broke into the internal computer network of The New York Times Co.
Lamo, 23, also was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay more than $64,900 in restitution, after he hacked into the New York Times internal computer network, accessed and modified confidential databases and used the paper's LexisNexis account to conduct research, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

California man charged with hacking govt websites
[San Francisco - Reuters News Service, 19 July 2004] - A 20-year-old California man has been charged with hacking government computers, including two agencies within the Defence Department, and defacing government websites, the US Attorney's office said on Friday. Robert Lyttle, of Pleasant Hill, California, was indicted on Thursday by a federal grand jury for hacking government computers in April 2002, the US Attorney's Office in Northern California said.

Email disclaimers explained
Everybody seems to be doing it - adding elaborate liability 'disclaimers' to the bottom of outgoing email messages. Why? Probably in a misguided attempt to ensure legal compliance and risk management.

"Everything in this email and attachments relating to the official business of XYZ is proprietary to the company. Any view or opinion expressed in this message may be the view of the individual and should not automatically be ascribed to the company. If you are not the intended recipient, you may not peruse, use, disseminate, distribute or copy this message. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by email, facsimile or telephone and destroy the original message."

The sobering reality is, however, that the validity of these disclaimers have not yet been tested by our courts and most businesses draft and implement their disclaimers in such a way that they are invalid, unenforceable and useless. Notwithstanding the many obvious benefits, the use of email in the workplace invites significant risks and liabilities.

Will Spam Render E-mail a Useless Productivity Tool?
Several companies are promoting schemes to stop spoofing. AOL is backing Sender Protocol Framework (SPF), which requires ISPs to publish lists of the IP addresses of the servers that send mail from their domains. The statistics on spam are scary. Alex Leslie, vice-president of technology at AOL Canada, says 80 percent of email coming into his company's servers gets blocked as spam. A.J. Byers, chief operating officer of Internet service provider (ISP) Magma Communications Ltd., says spam constituted 18 percent of Magma's incoming mail in January 2002. By January 2004, it jumped to to 74 percent.
The people who send spam are losers. But it looks as though the losers are winning not that most of us fall for their scams, but email could become useless if this keeps up

Internet abuse prompts calls for new law
Cyber loafing and other forms of Internet abuse at South African companies are on the rise, and companies are calling for the amendment of legislation to allow them to monitor their employees' Internet activities. This was the view of Information Systems and Technology lecturer Anesh Singh, who was speaking at the 2004 SA Computer Lecturers' Association in Durban on Monday. Singh called for the regulation of Internet facilities and their usage. He said that the accessing of pornography accounted for 30 percent of Internet abuse, while surfing the web for no particular reason stood at 60 percent.

CEO Warns Threats are Coming from the Inside
Insider security threats pose as much of a danger to corporate networks as hacker attacks. And to make matters worse, IT administrators aren't doing enough to guard against these internal threats, according to the CEO of a security start-up. Don Massaro is the CEO of Reconnex, a network security appliance company based in Mountain View, Calif. Reconnex' product is designed to allow administrators to actually see information flowing across the corporate network. And once managers can see where the traffic is flowing from, as well as where it's going to, they can plug up both accidental leaks made by innocent employees and they can weed out employees with malicious intent.

Businesses taking internet safety seriously
New Zealand businesses are taking internet security seriously but need to work harder in some areas, according to a survey released today. The NetSafe Internet Security survey, conducted by business software maker MYOB and non-profit agency the internet Safety Group (ISG), surveyed around 2000 businesses to assess a range of online security measures. ISG director Liz Butterfield said one area the survey showed was in need of work was the implementation of an acceptable use policy.

Microsoft wins $4 million spam verdict
Microsoft has won a $4 million spam verdict and hailed the court decision as another victory in its anti-spam crusade. The claim was placed in June 2003 against a California man Daniel Khoshnood for trademark infringement, false advertising and cybersquatting during a commercial email campaign over a desktop toolbar program for Windows. Khoshnood was ordered to pay $3.95 million after the court heard that a flood of spam on Microsoft's MSN and Hotmail services claimed to offer a toolbar that, once installed, would automatically update recipients' Windows systems with security patches. A summary judgement was put against Khoshnood and his companies, Pointcom and Joshuathan Investments, in January, which ordered him to stop using Microsoft's trademarks and name, refrain from spamming, and pay damages to and legal fees for the software giant.

Pssst--wanna buy some source code?
A group of self-identified hackers has set up shop online to sell what it claims are files containing confidential software code - and it says it's ready to take orders for more. The group, which calls itself the Source Code Club, is offering what seems to be the stolen source code for an older version of Enterasys Networks' Dragon intrusion detection system and Napster's client and server software. The price: $16,000 and $10,000, respectively. As proof that it has the code, the group has put a listing of the files online. By using email drops and encryption, the group believes that it can keep both the buyer's and its own identity secret.

SA's regulatory environment is 'stifling'
[Johannesburg, 16 July 2004] - While the broadband market in Europe is growing at a phenomenal rate, it is a pity that SA's stifling regulatory environment is preventing it from moving forward in a similar manner. This is the view of Guillaume Humbert, sales programme director at Alcatel, who discussed the future development of broadband with journalists in Paris recently. "We seek a world where everyone has access to broadband services, because broadband is changing the way we do things and thus forms the basis for a new market," he says. "Broadband is actually fuelling the market in terms of the development of new devices, since Europe has now reached the stage where it is no longer mandatory for a user to have a PC in order to use DSL."

ICANN conference kicks off next week
[Cape Town, ITWeb, 16 July 2004] - The worldwide clout of domain name authority Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will come under the spotlight in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, next week. ICANN is based in California and has developed a reputation for authoritarian implementation of Internet domain name standards. This, and concern about too much US influence over the Internet, will be highlighted at the series of meetings.

British teen spams former bosses, gets arrested
An aggrieved British teenager, fired from his $223-per-week job, has taken revenge on his former bosses by bombarding them with 5 million e-mails, effectively crippling their Web site. The spam-happy youngster was let go for failing to complete his time sheet. Feeling wronged, he decided to launch a denial-of-service attack against his former employer, U.K. insurers Domestic & General Group. The spam attack brought the company's servers to their knees, took down the corporate Web site and cost an estimated $33,422, or 18,000 pounds, in lost business - which would have taken the teen almost three years to earn at his former wage.

Licence demands for Linux
Legal eagles are divided on the liability of South African companies in relation to a US court battle over Unix code and method being used in Linux. SCO has caused quite a splash by taking IBM to court for incorporating Unix code into Linux. And now, even though the case is still pending, SCO has been issuing nasty letters to corporate Linux users, asking for licensing fees. In March last year, SCO initiated the lawsuit against IBM, accusing the company of improperly introducing Unix code and method into Linux, and seeking $3 billion in damages. SCO has subsequently been issuing letters requesting licensing fees to Linux users in the US and Australia. While these letters are causing a stir internationally, South African Linux users don't seem to have too much reason to worry - for the time being at least

Data protection fine for 'bored' police worker
A computer operator working for Gwent Police has been fined £400 for using control room computers to investigate people she knew, in breach of the UK's Data Protection Act, according to a report by The Western Mail. Under the Act of 1998 it is an offence to obtain personal data on an individual without the consent of the person in charge of the database on which the information is contained. So when Leanne Thomas, 25, in what was described as 'foolishness and boredom', looked up the police records on four of her friends, she was breaking the law.

Web ad for lawyer linked to competitor spurs dispute
Should a lawyer be allowed to drum up business by exploiting searches for his competitor on the Internet? The Kentucky Bar Association is scheduled this month to consider the ethics of such search-engine advertising, which has arisen in a contentious dispute between two Kentucky attorneys who themselves specialize in lawyer ethics. Ben Cowgill, a Lexington lawyer who launched a practice representing other lawyers after resigning as the KBA's chief disciplinary counsel last summer, had targeted his chief competitor Ñ Louisville lawyer Peter Ostermiller - by arranging to have his name and Web site link appear when potential clients searched for Ostermiller's name on Google, the world's largest Internet search engine.

29% of software used in UK is pirated
The Business Software Alliance today published the results of its 2003 Global Piracy Study conducted by IDC, which reveals a software piracy rate in the UK of 29%. The majority of problems were identified among businesses that neglect their licensing obligations. Pirated software represents lost sales for national and international software publishers based in the UK of around $1.6 billion, according to the BSA. Conducted for the first time by global technology research firm IDC, this yearÕs BSA global piracy study incorporates major software market segments including operating systems, consumer software and local market software. The inclusion of these new categories, says the BSA, paints a broader, more accurate picture of the software piracy problem.

Gay group slams 'men against moffies' website
South Africa's oldest lesbian and gay service organisation, the Triangle Project, on Friday reacted with outrage at a website that called for the "reclaiming of Cape Town from the homosexual plague". In a statement, the Triangle Project said the website - - contained several irrational and 'deeply insulting' statements steeped in homophobia. "Per example, it purports a link between Satanism and homosexuality," said the gay activists.

Google accused of code copying
Affinity Engines, which provides software for on-line social networks, has sued Google, alleging that some of the source code used in GoogleÕs network has been developed or derived from Affinity's, reports Wired News. Still in the testing stage, Google launched the invitation-only orkut network quietly in January, explaining that it had been developed by software engineer Orkut Buyukkokten during the 20% of working time that he, like all Google employees, is allowed to devote to personal interests.

Cellphones cut sperm count, says report
Men who carry cellphones in their trouser pockets may be at risk of damaging their sperm count, according to research by Hungarian scientists. Full details of the study will be formally presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Berlin on Tuesday. Early reports of the Hungarian work attracted scepticism from other scientists who pointed to the contradictory results of other work on the subject.

Basel II becomes draft Directive
The European Commission yesterday published a draft Directive that will incorporate the recently agreed Basel II Accord into the European Single Market. Basel II overhauls the banking industryÕs approach to risk management.

The original Accord, Basel I, was agreed in 1988. This stipulated that banks have to have enough funds to cover potential losses from transactions (technically, a bankÕs total capital should never fall to a level of less than 8% of risk-weighted assets), and set out rules for calculating the risk-weighted figure.

Anti-Phishing Group Forms to Fight Identity Theft
One of the companies that joined the TECF, CipherTrust, is confident that the all-for-one approach will be more effective in addressing the threat than having security companies looking at the problem individually. Jeff Lake, CipherTrust's vice president of field operations, told E-Commerce Times that his company joined the TECF group because it felt that it was important for bolstering email security efforts. A new consortium called the Trusted Electronic Communications Forum (TECF) has brought together top companies in the financial and technology industries to tackle phishing and spoofing attacks aimed at stealing personal information .

Storage company wins copy protection ruling
A leading data storage company has won a court ruling against a service company that it accused of circumventing the security in its diagnostic software, in breach of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Louisville, Colorado-based StorageTek has provided clients with data storage since 1969, installing tape libraries with massive capacities and other solutions at over 17,000 client sites. Its diagnostic software is used to service these client-based installations, known as the Maintenance Code, allowing StorageTek to debug its systems whenever necessary. Access to the Code is for StorageTek alone and is protected by a security algorithm called a GetKey.

Government Oversight and Protecting VoIP
Sununu's bill, called the VoIP Regulatory Freedom Act, would put an end to this state meddling, although it would still force VoIP firms that connect to the public phone network to "contribute, directly or indirectly," to universal service. Of course, state regulators aren't the only ones targeting VoIP. The Senate Commerce Committee will soon vote on a bill to bar states from meddling with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which allows the Internet to be used like a telephone. The bill by Sen. John Sununu (R-New Hampshire) is one of many reactions to a growing movement from states and other pro-regulatory types to control VoIP.

Should you use staff or technology to monitor email?
Over 43% of US companies with more than 20,000 employees are hiring staff to monitor and read outgoing email, suggesting a lack of confidence in content-scanning technologies to stop the leak of trade secrets and embarrassing information about the company. The study on outgoing email security and content was carried out by Forrester Consulting on behalf of security software firm Proofpoint. It found that, of the 140 US corporate decision-makers who responded to the survey, 52.1% said that their company relied on the monitoring features found in anti-spam software, 47.1% use messaging security systems for sensitive content, and 33.6% use technology to detect offensive content on outgoing emails.

New Attack on DVD Piracy Goes Too Far
Certainly, organized criminals selling counterfeits, duplicates and cracked software on world black markets are making heavy inroads into corporate profits. However, in its quest to gain control of what people do online, the entertainment industry has been at pains to accuse mom-and-pop file sharers of true criminal activities. A massive new multi-million-dollar anti-DVD piracy campaign riding on the back of the UK premier of 'Spider-Man 2' seeks to make a questionable link between illegal file sharing and organized crime, triads and terrorists. The aim of the campaign by Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) is to "make consumers aware that pirated copies of movies sold on the black market before the legal DVD release are invariably a rip-off," FACT said in a press release.

EBay Joins the World of Online Music Sales
EBay's move into digital music - now dominated by competitors such as Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store and - will present a unique challenge for eBay, analysts said. The company will need to get consumers to view its site as a music store, not just a place to get good deals on electronics or clothes. EBay, the world's largest online seller of physical goods, is making a surprising foray into online music sales with a new service to be launched today that will let customers buy and download songs. The service, to be tested for six months, is part of a broader effort by the San Jose online marketplace to gauge whether downloadable music and software can be sold alongside cameras, antiques, sports memorabilia and other merchandise that must be shipped from sellers to buyers.

Reporting a lost mobile as stolen is a crime
It is illegal to report a lost mobile phone as stolen, the Metropolitan Police warned yesterday as it launched a new advertising campaign to crack down on the increasing number of false reports of stolen mobiles in London. According to the Met, around 2,500 people a year file a report with the police that their mobile has been stolen, when in fact it has simply been lost. This false reporting is not only a crime in itself, but wastes police time and diverts attention away from genuine victims and criminals.

Microsoft Wins $4 Million Judgment Against Spammer
SEATTLE (Reuters) - A federal judge in California awarded Microsoft Corp. $4 million after finding that a California man and his company had sent spam, or unsolicited email, to users of its MSN and Hotmail services to get them to download a toolbar onto their computer desktops. Judge Manuel Real of the U.S. Central District Court of California found that Daniel Khoshnood and Pointcom Inc. had violated several laws against using deceptive email and Web addresses, ordering the defendants to pay damages, attorneys fees and cease any activity that purports to be official communication from Microsoft.

One-in-four broadband users have illegally downloaded a movie
Almost one in four internet broadband users have illegally downloaded a movie, according to a survey published by the Motion Picture Association of America last week which also claims that those who download buy fewer DVDs and cinema tickets. Until now the brunt of on-line copyright theft has fallen onto the music industry, which has seen revenue fall as fans take advantage of peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa to swap and download music for free.

SCO seeks to buttress case against Big Blue
The SCO Group has added a few snippets of detail to its claims that Linux contains software inappropriately copied from Unix, but a judge has put a limited hold on one of the company's legal attacks. The details appear in a declaration by SCO attorney John Harrop, filed last week, that's part of the Lindon, Utah-based company's breach-of-contract suit against IBM. The allegation that Linux infringes on Unix copyrights is also at the heart of a separate case against AutoZone that a judge on Monday partially stayed.

Text "STOP" to unsubscribe
Mobile phone users will be able to unsubscribe from premium rate services more easily from 1st August simply by texting the word "STOP" to the provider, according to industry group the Mobile Data Association (MDA). The scheme is part of a new mobile content Code of Practice agreed among mobile phone operators in January, and implements part of a new set of texting guidelines issued by industry regulator ICSTIS (the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services) in July last year. This included a universal 'stop' command for all services.

Oxford hackers face punishment
Two students from Oxford University are facing disciplinary action after hacking into the university's computer. They could be fined £500 or be suspended after infiltrating the system and publishing their story in a student newspaper. First-year students Patrick Foster and Roger Waite say they wanted to expose the weakness in the IT system. They were able to view live closed circuit material and access information about students' computer use. They published their story in the student newspaper Oxford Student.

Selling customer data breached privacy policy, says FTC
Gateway Learning Corporation has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated federal law when it rented consumers' personal information to marketers, contrary to promises made in its privacy policy. The FTC also alleged that, after collecting consumers' information, Gateway Learning simply changed its privacy policy to allow it to share the information with third parties - without notifying consumers or getting their consent. This is the first FTC case to challenge deceptive and unfair practices in connection with a companyÕs material change to its privacy policy.

Sources: Labels Blacklist Song-Swap Cos, Block Deals
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The recording industry has 'blacklisted' Internet file-sharing services and is preventing other companies like RealNetworks Inc. from doing business with them, according to music and technology industry officials. The record labels' attempts to isolate song swapping 'peer to peer' networks like Grokster and Morpheus have blocked deals that could have potentially brought in millions of dollars in revenues, the sources said, and might violate antitrust laws. "If the last names of the CEOs of most major record labels ended in a vowel they'd be calling this behavior racketeering," said former Grokster president Wayne Rosso.

Microsoft employee charged with hacking Alta Vista
A man arrested by the FBI on suspicion of hacking into Alta Vista's computer system to steal its source code is currently employed by Microsoft, according to reports. There is no suggestion that Microsoft is involved in the investigation. Laurent Chavet, 29, of Kirkland, Washington, worked for search company Alta Vista for around two and a half years before leaving the company in February 2002. In March 2002, according to the indictment, Chavet unlawfully accessed Alta Vista's system to obtain source code belonging to the search engine. The indictment also alleges that Chavet unlawfully accessed Alta Vista's computer system again in June 2002 and, in doing so, caused damage in excess of $5,000 to that computer system.

Creator of the web turns knight
Tim Berners-Lee, the British inventor of the world wide web, has received his knighthood from the Queen. The 'father of the web', who already has an OBE, went to Buckingham Palace to get his reward for 'services to the global development of the Internet'. In 1991, the knight of the web came up with a system to organise, link and browse pages on the net. Famously modest, he said he had just been 'in the right place at the right time' and did not want his photo taken.

Email interception does not break wiretap law
A US Appeals Court last week ruled that it was not a violation of criminal wiretap laws for the provider of an email service to monitor the content of users' incoming messages without their consent. The Electronic Frontier Foundation immediately attacked the decision to dismiss the criminal charge against a bookseller as 'eviscerating' on-line privacy. Bradford Councilman was vice-president of Interloc, a seller of rare and used books. His company provided an email service to certain book dealer customers. However, Councilman had configured the mail processing software so that all incoming email sent to dealers from Interloc's biggest competitor,, was copied and sent to Councilman's mailbox as well as to the intended recipient's.

New online help for SA expats
[Johannesburg, 15 July 2004] - Homecoming Revolution has launched a new-look Website in conjunction with First National Bank (FNB) aimed at helping South Africans living abroad to return home by providing information, support, financial services and advice. Homecoming Revolution is a non-profit initiative founded in 2003 that is aimed at encouraging South Africans overseas to return their skills to SA. "There is a particular need for skills in the information technology, medical and engineering sectors," says Angel Jones, founder of Homecoming Revolution.

Canadian ISPs should not pay royalties for file-sharing
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Wednesday that ISPs should not be forced to pay royalties for file-sharing by their customers because the ISP is merely a conduit for the transmission of digital information. The case had been brought by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), which was seeking an order that would force ISPs to pay blanket royalty fees to cover the music downloaded using their services.

Software piracy on the up
More than a third of all software installed on computers around the world is pirated, a Business Software Alliance (BSA) survey has found, reports BBC. BSA campaigns relations manager Mike Newton said although trends from 2002-03 were hard to pick out, there were some worrying signs. "Right now we feel that piracy rates are on the up." Newton added that organised crime was playing an increasing role in the production of pirated software.

Antigua and US attempt to settle gambling dispute
A dispute between the US and the tiny Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda over alleged breaches of world trade agreements caused by America's hard line on internet gambling has entered into settlement negotiations, according to Reuters. The island state complained to the World Trade Organisation last year that US moves against internet gambling are discriminatory and in breach of international trade agreements that require the US to allow foreign internet companies to offer their services to US citizens.

Law coming for 'dishonest directors'
A Companies Amendment Bill, which will be piloted through Parliament by Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa, has been tabled in Parliament. The Bill, which was presented in draft form to then trade and industry ad hoc committee before Parliament went into recess last month, deals with such matters as the circumstances under which 'persons' are disqualified from being directors of companies. Existing legislation already makes it an offence for a director to serve - if he or she has been found guilty of theft, fraud, forgery or corruption - but it extends the liability to other directors liable for all debts incurred by the company for the period during which a disqualified person acted as a director or directly or indirectly took part in or was concerned in the management of the company concerned.

Supreme Court rejects Child Online Protection Act - again
In a 5-4 majority ruling, the US Supreme Court yesterday upheld an injunction that prevents the Government from enforcing the highly controversial Child Online Protection Act, which aims to protect children from viewing internet pornography. The Court has not thrown out the Act altogether. Instead, it sent the case back to a district court, which must decide whether advances in technology have now provided less restrictive means for the on-line protection of children than the draconian measures detailed in the Act.

Retail Sites, Personal Information and Data Security
While I didn't find any flagrant security problems with the most sensitive of user data --credit card numbers -- I did find that, by varying degrees, even the largest retail sites in the country don't protect all your personal information all the time. With online sales surpassing US$100 billion last year and continuing to grow at double-digit rates, retailers are seeing greater profitability with their online operations. With this good fortune comes the added burden of protecting the personal data of customers. As the list of regulations coming from federal and state agencies grows, companies are struggling with compliance. The importance of compliance with online standards to avoid litigation, brand erosion and negative publicity cannot be underestimated.

Films 'fuel online file-sharing'
File-sharing is booming, with people downloading millions of files despite efforts by the entertainment industry to stop the practice, say experts. Films and other files larger than 100MB are becoming the most requested downloads on networks around the world, said UK net analysts CacheLogic. It measures peer-to-peer traffic on the networks of internet service providers. It estimates that at least 10 million people are logged on to a peer-to-peer (P2P) network at any time.

Case against Napster backers gets green light
A federal court has allowed record labels to continue a lawsuit against Bertelsmann and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, both onetime backers of the defunct Napster file-swapping network.   The two companies are being sued for copyright infringement by UMG Recordings and Capital Records, which allege that the Napster backers had substantive control of the file-swapping network during its peak.

Saturday, July 17, 2004
  Privacy protection in pipeline
THE wheels are at last in motion for the introduction of privacy and data protection legislation. Wim Mostert, partner at the legal consulting division of Deloitte Legal, says the South African Law Commission is expected to publish a discussion paper within the next few weeks. "This will be followed by a green paper, a white paper and then a bill before the act comes into force, which, if the process is fast-tracked, could be by the end of next year." Speculation is that the legislation may follow a similar approach to the UK Data Protection Act of 1998, which is in turn based on the European Union Data Protection Directive, says Mostert.

Public Works became the first branch of the Western Cape Provincial Administration to utilise modern technology to enhance service delivery to prospective tenderers. A database of contractors has been compiled over the past few years by the Public Works Procurement Section. When new tenders are advertised, the contractors on the database receive an SMS message on their cell phones as notification to collect the relevant tender documents. This new service runs along with the normal advertising of tenders in community newspapers and the Government Tender Bulletin. According to Leon Fourie, Public Works Administration Manager, the service was initiated to improve service delivery and to streamline communication with prospective tenderers. The Procurement Section has also managed to streamline the tax clearance system. Tenderers are required by law to submit a tax clearance certificate with every tender. The Procurement Section will in due course keep one original tax clearance certificate belonging to the tenderer on its records for verification of other tender documents submitted by the same tenderer.

SA and China sign co-operation agreement on media
The Minister in The Presidency, Dr. EG Pahad and Vice Minister Wang Guoqing, responsible for the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China, today, Friday, 9 July 2004, signed a Letter of Intent on Friendly Co-operation and Exchanges between the two states. This signing follows the recent second meeting of the South Africa - People's Republic of China Bilateral Commission in Pretoria.

Identity Theft - The dangerous imposter
Murdoch Watney believes that it is time South Africa takes note of the legal developments in other countries and seriously considers identifying criminal activity related to identity, the formulation of the necessary steps for its prevention and early detection.

In August 2003 the online banking customers in South Africa were shocked when a perpetrator gained unauthorised access by means of so-called 'spyware' to the personal computer of an Absa customer's banking particulars and used the identity of that customer to transfer money from the victim's account to his own account. Much was made of the question whether Absa could be held responsible for the security breach. Nigel Petzer in his opinion piece, 'Who should carry the Internet banking can?' 2003 (Nov) DR 59 was of the view that the bank could be held responsible (I differ from Mr Petzer in this regard). However, what many of us lost sight of was that the Absa incident should have been a wake-up call for all those who, in this electronic age, so carelessly assume that our identity is our own exclusive right and is immune from criminal abuse.

South African Company Law for the 21st Century: Guidelines for Corporate Law Reform
Click on title to download the document.

US IT Law Developments of Note
From Brown Raysman newsletter:

Massassachusetts Attorney General Files First State Suit Under Federal CAN-SPAM Act Against Alleged Spammer: News Report:,10801,94318,00.html

Department of Homeland Security Agency Advises Use of Non-Internet Explorer Browsers
Vulnerability note:

U.S. Senate Passes Bills To Penalize P2P Infringement and Camcorder Piracy
Bill texts available at [enter Bill Number S.2237 or S. 1932 in Search Bill Text box]

House Subcommittee Approves Legislation To Validate DVD Scene-Skipping
Bill text available at [enter Bill Number H.R. 4586 in Search Bill Text box].

Internal Revenue Service Says It Will Apply Excise Tax to VoIP Service
Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:

Justice Department Urges Federal Agencies Web Sites to Comply With Section 508 Accessibility Requirements

Comptroller of the Currency Issues Warning on Admissibility of Electronic Documents

FCC Chairman Calls State Moves Regulate VoIP "A Very Grave Mistake"
News Report:,1759,1616394,00.asp?kc=EWRSS03119TX1K0000594

U.S. Patent Office Agrees To Reexamine Microsoft FAT File System Patent

Business Software Alliance Sponsored Study Reports 36% of Software is Pirated

Federal Trade Commission Signs Anti-Spam Enforcement Agreement with UK and Australia
Press Release:

Federal Trade Commission Tells Congress Do-Not-E-Mail Registry Would Be Ineffective
Press Release:

Government Accounting Office Reports to Congressional Committee on Flaws in Government Computer Security
Report Summary:

UCLA Gives Notice of Laptop Data Theft to Blood Donors Under California Security Breach Notification Act
News Coverage:

America Online Software Engineer Charged With Sale of AOL Subscriber List to Spammers

Comcast Blocks SMTP Port on Accounts of Suspected Spammers
News Report:

Anti-Spam Company Reports 76% of E-mail is Spam
Press Release:¨ion=

Court Temporarily Restrains ISP From Reassigning Customer IP Addresses
Restraining Order:

European Parliament Asks European Court of Justice to Annul EU-US Agreement Allowing Transfer of Airline Passenger Data
News Coverage:

Internet Service Providers Not Subject To License and Royalty Fee Under Canadian Law For Music Transmitted by Users

France Implements EU E-Commerce Directive With Adoption of Digital Economy Law
News Coverage:
Text of Law (in French):

E-Mail Notice Of Arbitration Policy Insufficient To Bind Employee
A dispute resolution policy requiring arbitration of federal employment discrimination claims is not binding on an employee, where notice of the policy was given by an e-mail containing links to the policy, but there was no evidence that the employee read the e-mail or the linked policy documents. Campbell v. General Dynamics Government Systems Corp., No. 03-11848-NG (D. Mass June 3, 2004). The court found that while the employer's e-mail tracking log showed that the employee opened the e-mail, there was no evidence to rebut the employee's statement that he did not actually read either the e-mail itself or the linked policy documents. The court commented that "receiving an email in a virtual mailbox is not the same as receiving a letter in a real mailbox," and found that "sending a mass email message, without more, fails to constitute the minimal level of notice" required by First Circuit precedent applicable to waiver of jury trial rights under federal antidiscrimination laws. (From Brown Raysman newsletter:

Failure to Click Submit Button Justified Rejection Of Web Site Bid
A bidder's failure to click the "submit" button on a completed Web site form justified the rejection of its bid, even though the failure to click the submit button was understood to have been an oversight. Glasgow, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, No. 1970 C.D. 2003 (Pa. Commonwealth Ct. June 4, 2004). The court found that the bid specifications required the low bidder to "submit" the required information by the specified time, and the mandatory language of the bid specification rendered the requirement non-waivable. The court analogized the situation to that of an Internet consumer transaction, in which a party is not bound to the terms of the transaction until the "submit" button is clicked. (From Brown Raysman newsletter:

Unavailability of DMCA Safe Harbor Does Not Preclude ISP Immunity From Copyright Liability
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) that does not qualify for a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor from liability for copyright infringement, may still claim immunity under pre-DMCA copyright law principles. Costar Group v. Loopnet, Inc., No. 03-1911 (4th Cir. June 21, 2004). The court held that the ISP was not directly liable for infringement resulting from the uploading of copyrighted photographs by its users because the provider did not engage in any "actual infringing conduct" that had "a nexus sufficiently close and causal to the illegal copying that one would conclude that the machine owner himself trespassed on the exclusive domain of the copyright owner." The court rejected the argument that in enacting the DMCA safe harbors, Congress intended to supplant and preempt the analysis in Religious Technology Center v. Netcom, in which the federal district court held that an ISP that is merely a "passive conduit" for copyrighted material is not liable as a direct infringer. (From Brown Raysman newsletter:

Negligent Destruction of E-Mails After Commencement of Trademark Litigation Warrants Permissible Inference of Infringement and Dilution
In an action for trademark infringement and dilution, the remedy for the negligent failure of a Web site operator to preserve e-mails that may have supported plaintiff's contentions is a permissible inference that the e-mails contained evidence of infringement and dilution. Mastercard International, Inc. v. Moulton, No. 03 Civ. 3613 (S.D.N.Y. June 16, 2004). In rejecting a sanction of a conclusive determination on the merits of the claims of infringement and dilution, the court acknowledged that the destruction of the e-mails took place after the commencement of the litigation, and after the Web site operator's counsel notified the operator of the obligation to preserve documents concerning the Web site. The court concluded, however, that the operator acted negligently rather than in bad faith, because the evidence showed that the operator's preexisting practice was to allow e-mails to be automatically deleted after 21 days, and the operator testified that he did not understand his obligation to preserve the e-mails. (From Brown Raysman newsletter:

The opinion is available at

Thursday, July 15, 2004
  Security: Emails are not protected from prying eyes in US
A recent ruling by a US court has confirmed that emails are not legally protected from prying - unless specific contractual agreements restrict access. The Age reports that the US Circuit Court of Appeals said it was acceptable for Interloc to copy and read's email messages to Interloc subscribers as they passed through Interloc's email relay. Interloc (now Alibris), which served as an Internet service provider (ISP) for rare booksellers, was indicted under the US Wiretap Act. This ruling disproves the widely held assumption that email routed through or hosted by an external service provider, such as an ISP or application service provider (ASP), is legally protected from prying. In the US, any service provider can view any data, including email, on any system it hosts - unless specific contractual agreements restrict access.

Privacy Protection in South Africa
The South African Law Commission is expected to publish a discussion paper within the next few weeks and this will be followed by a green paper, a white paper and then the first draft of the bill. The aforesaid, if dealt with appropriately, can result in a Data Protection Act for South Africa similar to the United Kingdom's Data Protection Act of 1998.

Up to today, privacy protection or protection of personal information was dealt with on a voluntary basis (Chapter 9 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002), but this long awaited legislation will result in a regulatory environment that will legislate the way that companies deal with personal information, in paper or electronic format.

To ensure that your company deals with the forthcoming legislation in the most appropriate way, we at Buys Inc. would encourage you to incorporate the necessary data and privacy protection policies and ensure that this policy is known to your clients, as well as each and every employee of the company. This will go hand in hand with the need for a proper Records Management policy, therefore our saying - "Compliance should be seen as a cocktail of the necessary policies, agreements and notices". For more information and guidance, please contact our offices. Our contact information can be found on our website at

Wednesday, July 14, 2004
  Security risks of iPods and USB flash drives
High-tech consumer devices, such as Apple's iPod, present a serious security risk in the workplace, according to a new report from Gartner, being used not only to download confidential data, but also to introduce a virus into the company network. In its report, "How to Tackle the Threat From Portable Storage Devices," the technology analyst warns that portable devices containing a USB (Universal Serial Bus) or FireWire connection - the main standards for connecting devices to computers - present a serious threat to businesses.
Buys Inc. comments :
How many of these portable devices do you have in your company? Do you allow your employees to use their memory sticks or devices such as the iPod to download information? You can capture the rules applying to the usage of those devices within your eCommunications and Computer Usage policies. If you want us to assist you with the aforesaid, which forms part of the Buys Inc "Compliance Cocktail" product, then please feel free to contact our offices. Our contact details can be found on our website, at

$US2 million lost in Internet attacks per year
Internet security-related attacks like worms, viruses and hoaxes are responsible for companies losing $US2 million in revenue every year, according to a latest study by research firm Aberdeen. In a survey of 162 companies, the Aberdeen Group found out that there is at least one incident of Internet business disruption per year during the last three years, each lasting about 22 hours, causing - in G5000 businesses that operate from many geographically dispersed locations - even larger revenue losses. The Internet Business Disruptions Benchmark Report says 84 percent of all firms surveyed reported that their business operations had been disabled by Internet attacks during the last three years, with 15 percent operations halted more than seven times over a three-year period. The recovery costs, however, pale in comparison, averaging $74,000 per incident, it says. But there's good news. The survey also shows that at least 82 percent of the firms are aggressively pursuing a strategy based on avoidance and prevention of Internet business disruptions.

Buys Inc. comments:
Are you loosing millions because of these type of attacks? Do your employees know what to do in a situation of an attack or suspicion of a malicious action from outside, or even inside? If not, then contact our offices and we can assist you in developing a strategy for your company. According to the King II Report, it is each and every director's responsibility to mitigate these types of risks. Act now and avoid liability...

SA piracy below average
[Johannesburg, 8 July 2004] - The Business Software Alliance (BSA) says SA has a software piracy rate of 36%, below the 41% average of other countries in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Stephan le Roux, who was recently appointed chairman of the BSA in SA and works for Symantec, says the IDC 2003 Global Piracy Study conducted for the BSA shows that software piracy costs the EMEA region $12.4 billion annually. Le Roux says this year's study incorporates major software market segments, including operating systems, consumer software and local market software Ð painting a broader, more accurate picture of the software piracy problem. In response to the study, the BSA has announced five objectives it hopes to achieve in the fight to reduce software piracy. These include a respect for intellectual property, an increase in confidence to encourage continued investment in the country, increased awareness of the implications of piracy, encouraging effective and speedy implementations of policies and laws, and more appreciation of software as a fundamental business asset.

Buys Comment :
We believe that it is important that each South African company should contribute and ensure SA's piracy rate gets reduced. To assist your company with the fight against copyright infringement and other ICT risks we have now developed a thorough Legal Audit which include a mini software audit. The latter process will not only ensure that the piracy rate gets reduced, but also ensure that your company pro-actively mitigate ICT risks and avoid corporate liability, e.g. liability for copyright infringement. For more information, please feel free to contact our offices. Our contact information can be found on our website,

Monday, July 12, 2004
The Senate passed the "Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004" (PIRATE Act, S.2237) that amends the Copyright Act to authorize the Attorney General to commence a civil action against any person who engages in conduct constituting copyright infringement; collect damages and profits resulting from such infringement; and collect statutory damages.

A report by the All-party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG) -into ways to update the Computer Misuse Act, has recommended an increase in the sentence for hacking from six months to four years and that hacking become an extraditable offence to allow police to prosecute foreign hackers.
Hacking is an offence in terms of the ECT Act, however, South Africa has few extradition treaties with countries that are recognised hacking hot spots. Even is situations where we do have treaties, the enforcement of rights will be both costly and long drawn. Please ensure that you also provide for the mitigation of reputational damage as a result of hacking.

The Federal Labour Court had to decide whether it is permissible to use a video surveillance system for general monitoring purposes to observe a total of about 650 employees working in different shifts in a large hall of a postal centre.
There is an increase in the number reports on surveillance and monitoring, while we like to share what is happening on the international front in this regard, we ask you please to ensure that you are familiar with the South African situation and aware of the provisions of the RIC Act. Please contact Buys Inc should you have any queries.

A court ordered the defendant, who was convicted in the first case filed under Washington's anti-spam law (Chapter 19.190 RCW), to pay $100,000 in fines and court costs.

On a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court barred enforcement of the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), a law to protect minors from exposure to sexually explicit materials on the Internet, sending the case back to the lower court to evaluate whether technological solutions, such as filtering software, may be a superior alternative to content-based restrictions of free speech.







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