Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Monday, November 22, 2004
Half Life 2 maker wins legal case
The creator of Half-Life 2, Valve, has won a legal fight to stop Vivendi distributing its titles to cyber cafes. The ruling bars Vivendi distributing games such as Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike to these pay-for-play venues.
Telkom hits home with landline SMS
From 1 December, Telkom's postpaid customers will be able to send and receive SMS messages from their landlines, thanks to a new value-added service launched by the monopoly. According to new product development executive, Steven White, SMS messages to landlines is a concept pioneered by Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia a couple of years ago, although the technology met with mixed success back then.
Companies Act set for a major face-lift
IN JUNE 2004, government published a policy framework of the proposed amendments to SA's Companies Act. The act has seen few changes since it was enacted in 1973. The legislation has fallen behind international trends in company law, and no longer caters for SA's changed political, economic and social environment
In another deal that signals the music industry's increasing willingness to co-opt rather than crush file-swapping technology, three major record labels have agreed to distribute songs through a new online service expected to debut early next year.
Hi-tech tools fuel phishing boom
October was a bumper month for phishing attacks that try to prise confidential information out of web users. In October the number of websites staging such attacks doubled, reports the Anti-Phishing Working Group.
SA a regional frontrunner in spam
Spam levels have increased significantly in SA, as spammers seek new regions to ply their trade. This is according to visiting anti-virus experts from Symantec.
ICT firms high on ‘most promising' list
The 2005 edition of the Corporate Research Foundation's (CRF's) “South Africa's Most Promising Companies” list is dominated by ICT companies.
Bill Gates gets the most spam in the world
Internet junkies, take heart: Microsoft chairman Bill Gates receives four million emails daily - most of them spam - and is probably the most "spammed" person in the world.But unlike ordinary users, the software mogul has an entire department to filter unsolicited emails and only a few of them actually get through to his inbox, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said on Thursday.
South African CEOs are getting more hands-on with information security issues
South African organisations are giving information security top-level priority compared to their global counterparts. That is according to a survey released by audit and business advisory firm Ernst & Young.The 2004 Ernst & Young Global Information Security Survey covered 1233 respondents from 51 countries. Of the 34 organisations sampled in South Africa, 59% of respondents are listed on the JSE Securities Exchange.
A Kinder, Gentler Copyright Bill?
The Senate passed a scaled-back version of a controversial copyright bill Saturday, keeping a provision that imposes severe penalties on people caught with camcorders in movie theaters but scrapping other provisions that copyright-reform activists had criticized.
Burst.com Alleges Microsoft Cover-Up
One of the last two companies standing against what it calls Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior said it has smoking-gun proof that Redmond deliberately destroyed e-mail evidence in an antitrust case.
BAA loses battle for Gatwick.com
BAA has lost an attempt to take control of the domain name gatwick.com from a web site operating as the “Gatwick Directory”. The web site, decided the adjudications panel, was run as a legitimate business and did not infringe BAA’s trade mark rights.
PASS THE HAMMER
The excitement over the liberalisation of the telecom sector as from February 1 may be premature . Though government's gradual market liberalisation will lead to lower telephone and data costs, the reforms do not go far enough. Telkom looks set to maintain its stranglehold on the market.
Telecoms firms can soon carry voice calls over Net
In a first for South Africa, operators other than Telkom and the cellular providers would be allowed to pass voice calls over their networks from February, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) said yesterday.
Court Documents Not Fit for Web?
Court records are presenting a tricky challenge for open-government types and privacy advocates. In most parts of the country, people can drive to a courthouse to view all types of records. But should those same records -- which include medical histories, divorce records, arrests -- be online in the age of omniscient search engines and identity thieves?
Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents
Next time you make a printout from your color laser printer, shine an LED flashlight beam on it and examine it closely with a magnifying glass. You might be able to see the small, scattered yellow dots printed there that could be used to trace the document back to you.
Mozilla backtracks in eBay privacy flap
The Mozilla Foundation has updated the German-language version of Firefox in a bid to defuse a growing controversy over the way its search toolbar handles private customer data.
ICASA takes open view on liberalisation
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) today announced its understanding of the ministerial determinations aimed at liberalising the telecoms sector.
MWEB Business launches Genesis 2 Market Watch
MWEB Business today announced the launch of Genesis 2 Market Watch, a template-based website package that will provide the smaller business with a low cost, professionally built website. Customers will also have access to live McGregor BFA financial content. McGregor BFA supplies near real-time and historical information on South African listed and unlisted companies, local and international economic data as well as international financial indicators and currency exchange data.
Kazaa offers unlimited free Internet phone calls
Sharman Networks, distributor of the Kazaa file-sharing software, on Monday launched its latest version which enables users to make free online calls anywhere in the world.
E-tailers aim for cracker Xmas
South Africa's online retailers are hoping to entice record numbers of consumers through a combination of product offerings, delivery promises and publicity campaigns this festive season.
Software licences could rise by 50%
Enterprises worldwide could see their software licensing costs increase by at least 50% by 2006 unless they act soon to renegotiate existing contracts, warns international research group Gartner.
Industry adopts ‘wait and see' approach to deregulation
Following yesterday's clarification by the regulator regarding the minister's deregulation announcements, the industry has expressed ‘cautious optimism' about the fact that the authority has chosen to take the more open view on the issue
Brian and Nadia kiss and make up
Soccer boss Brian Ebden has confirmed that he and his model wife Nadia are "in the process of reconciling" after a much publicised break-up.
Music rebels seek to tame P2P
After years of bitter battles between copyright holders and file-swapping services, the outlines of a partial truce are emerging that may soon see major record labels partner with peer-to-peer networks to create legal online music stores.
Year-End Planning for Small Businesses
Keeping a close watch on year-end planning is ultimately your responsibility. You must, however, consult with your accountants and attorneys on a timely basis to assure yourself that you are planning wisely. The benefits of so doing can be tremendous.
Air Force Academy moves to curb Bible verses in e-mails
Air Force Academy officials are cracking down on a practice by some staffers to put Bible verses at the bottom of their academy e-mail.
SA IT spend rising
As IT budgets increase, South African companies are planning to spend more in the short-term on voice over IP (VOIP) and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology than their European and North American peers, according to Forrester Research.
Wine routes go online - Virtual touring of SA's winelands
Tours of the Cape winelands can now be planned online, with the launch of a searchable guide to the wine route. The new guide, www.winetours.co.za, is hosted within the Wine.co.za site, which serves as a hub for news and information on SA's wine producers.
Telkom revives Hellkom complaint
Telkom is making good its threat to take legal action against the owner of parody Web site Hellkom.co.za. On Friday, Telkom served papers on the owner of Hellkom.co.za, Greg Stirton.
CHANGES IN VOIP REGULATION CONSIDERED
The Federal Government is investigating changes to the treatment of VOIP services under current telecoms regulations to encourage broad consumer access of the technology. The Australian Communications Authority is conducting a study on VoIP technical regulation under the current regime, while the Department of Communications, IT and the Arts (DCITA) is examining whether regulations needed to be adjusted to assist the VoIP roll-out. See September 13 Alert, Australian IT.
US COURT RULING ENFORCED AGAINST ISRAELI INTERNET SITE
The Jerusalem District Court has ruled that a US Federal Court ruling restricting an Israeli commercial website from distributing the products of Dead Sea Laboratories (DSL) under the brand name “Ahava” could be enforced in Israel as it infringes on the intellectual property rights of DSL’s authorized dealer in the US.
MICROSOFT WARNS ASIAN GOVERNMENTS OF LIABILITY FOR LINUX USE
Microsoft warned governments in Asia of their possible exposure to lawsuits for their use of the Linux operating system. Microsoft's CEO said that Linux violates more than 228 patents, and that the IPR owners may claim damages against users of Linux. See November 14 Alert, Reuters, ITWorld, E-Commerce Times.
ORGANIZED CRIME BEHIND CYBER ATTACKS
A recent Internet Security Intelligence Briefing by VeriSign details Internet usage and growth trends as well as threat, vulnerability and fraud patterns. The report discusses spam and its relationship with organized crime. The analysis suggests that the number of security incidents has increased 150% over the third quarter a year ago, and computers located in the US account for more than 90% of the attacks. See press release.
INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION PAPER
The Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness released a position paper outlining a national strategy for critical infrastructure protection. The paper identifies communications and information technology as one of ten sectors of critical infrastructure to be protected. The paper is intended to serve as a basis for consultation with stakeholder groups, and the adoption of a comprehensive strategy by autumn 2005.
REPORT ON WEAKNESSES IN SOX COMPLIANCE PROCESS
A report by A.R.C. Morgan titled "Using Reported Weakness Disclosures to Benchmark Internal Controls" provides data on weaknesses in the internal controls process reported by over 350 EU companies registered with the SEC. The study found that more than 60% of CFOs from companies with weaknesses leave or are pushed out either immediately before the disclosure or within 3 months of the disclosure. The study also found that more than 86% of material weakness disclosures so far appear to have been discovered by external auditors and not by management (or consultants) as part of their compliance projects. See press release, Compliance Pipeline.
STUDY SHOWS EFFECTIVENESS OF ONLINE ADVERTISING
A new study conducted on behalf of Pfizer by Millward Brown research found that the streamed ads were as effective as television advertising in terms of generating brand awareness, delivering a memorable message and influencing viewers. See Netimperative.com.
LIABILITY OF HOSTERS
An individual was selling, through the auction site eBay, a model of jewellery infringing a registered model. The holder of the rights to the model summoned the seller as well as eBay. On October 26, 2004, the District Court of Paris, pursuant to the provisions of the law dated August 1, 2000, ruled that, in the absence of any prior formal notice, EBAY, the entity liable for the auction site, did not have to control that the contents proposed by individuals via its site were compliant with the law. Consequently, the Courts ruled that eBay was not liable for this infringement, and only sentenced the individual who sold the infringing jewel. See: the decision of the District Court of Paris.
OPEN DOCUMENT FORMAT RECOMMENDATIONS
IBM, Microsoft and Sunhave responded positively to the Telematics between Administrations Committee (TAC) Open Document Format Recommendations. On May 25 2004, members of the TAC endorsed several recommendations that promote the use of open document formats by the public sector while encouraging major players in the field of document processing to involve official standard organisations in their work on document formats.
Blocking of Domain Names
In October 2004, AFNIC had decided to block 4,500 domain names in .fr registered by a merchant, on the basis that the merchant had breached the AFNIC naming policies. The District Court of Versailles ordered, during a summary hearing dated October 9, 2004, the unblocking of the domain names by AFNIC, under penalty of EUR 50,000 per late day and noted the commitment of the merchant to transfer the domain names to the trademark holders. The Court will rule on the merits in December. See the summary order of the District Court of Versailles.
Meer instansies moet inligting verifieer
DIE indruk word geskep dat dit net banke is wat moet voldoen aan die vereiste in die Fica-wetgewing om kliënte se identiteit en rekords te verifieer. Dié indruk is nie korrek nie, het mnr. Reinhardt Buys van die prokureursfirma Buys Ingelyf gesê.
Elke Jan Rap kan nie meer Madiba se naam gebruik
Jy kry hulle sommer vinnig in die telefoongids: Madiba Cash-kontantlenings, Madiba Elektries, Madiba Finance, Madiba Gardens Trust. En dï t net in die Bloemfontein-telefoongids!
Oudpres. Nelson Mandela (86) het egter nou genoeg gehad van elke Jan Rap en sy maat wat sy naam gebruik. Hy het die afgelope week by die Suid-Afrikaanse kantoor vir handelsname aansoek gedoen dat eksklusiewe regte aan hom toegestaan word vir die gebruik van "Nelson Mandela", sy stamnaam "Madiba", sy Xhosa-naam "Rolihlahla" en sy tronknommer "46664".
Petco Animal Supplies has settled charges brought by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over security flaws in its web site that exposed customer data, including credit card numbers, despite assuring users that their details would be protected.
Broadcasting treaty will subvert rights of creators, say critics
The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) met last week to discuss a proposed treaty on the rights of broadcasters. But critics say the proposals will undermine public interest and subvert the rights of creators in favour of large broadcasters.
Internet matchmaker liable for violent husband
A Baltimore jury has told Encounters International to pay damages of $434,000 after it was sued by a Ukranian woman who used the firm’s on-line matchmaking service to meet her US husband whom she accused of beating her.
UK internet sales double to £40 billion
The value of internet sales by UK businesses doubled to £39.5 million in 2003, from £19 billion in 2002, according to the latest experimental figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
Casino pays $28,000 for Holy toast
An internet casino has purchased a grilled cheese sandwich on eBay that bears the image of the Virgin Mary. Despite being 10 years old and having one bite taken out of it, the slice of Heaven has, perhaps miraculously, stayed free of mould.
Google sues over click fraud
Google has brought an action against an internet sales and marketing company, accusing the firm of fraudulently generating revenue by clicking on text ads displayed on its web site under the search engine’s AdSense scheme.
Adult site sues Google over photo copyrights
The publisher of adult web site and magazine Perfect 10 has brought an action against Google, alleging that the search engine breaches copyright and trade mark rules by showing copyrighted photos in the results of its images search.
New browser wins over net surfers
The proportion of surfers using Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) has dropped to below 90%, say web analysts.
Banner ads infected with Trojans
Several popular web sites were compromised at the weekend after adverts, infected by a malicious program known as a Trojan, appeared on their pages. The ads directed users to other sites infected with a computer virus.
Phishing attacks going automatic, says industry group
Hackers are using automatic tools to generate phishing attacks, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), which warns that since July the number of unique phishing e-mail attacks has grown by an average of 36% per month.
Free speech claim in typosquatting dispute
The American Civil Liberties Union is supporting a web site's fight for the domain name fallwell.com. Christopher Lamparello is appealing a ruling that his domain name infringes the trade mark of evangelist Jerry Falwell, according to the Associated Press.
Free speech claim in typosquatting dispute
The American Civil Liberties Union is supporting a web site's fight for the domain name fallwell.com. Christopher Lamparello is appealing a ruling that his domain name infringes the trade mark of evangelist Jerry Falwell, according to the Associated Press.
Actor fined for Oscars piracy
NYPD Blue actor Carmine Caridi has been fined a total of £309,600 for his involvement in the illegal copying of two Oscar-nominated films that he was due to judge as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Streaming movie pirate to pay $23.8 million
Malaysian web site operator Tan Soo Leong and his California-based company MasterSurf Inc. were this week ordered by a US court to pay $23.8 million to movie studios for illegally streaming their movies and charging on-line viewers.
Windows XP validation programme launched in UK
Microsoft has begun a short-term validation programme aimed at tackling software piracy. Users are invited to have their copies of Windows XP analysed, with the promise that they will be replaced free of charge if found to be counterfeit.
Overseas data transfers: Chamber of Commerce reports
A new report published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) provides guidance on drafting and implementing company policies to provide a workable legal solution for the overseas transfer of personal data.
Kazaa owner in Australian copyright battle
Sharman Networks, distributor of the software behind popular peer-to-peer service Kazaa, went on trial in Australia today, in the latest copyright battle between the music industry and file-sharing service providers.
Six months for camera phone contempt
A 19-year old who used his camera phone to take pictures in court at his friend’s robbery trial has been sentenced to six months in a young offenders institution after he was found to be in contempt of court.
Amex sued by big spender
American Express has been sued by a customer who ran up bills of over $951,000 because the credit card provider gave her access to funds when it should have know that she was “acting impulsively and irrationally,” according to reports.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Congress To Reinstate Ban on Internet Taxes
Although the House approved a permanent ban on Internet taxes last year, it did not have enough support to get through the Senate. Along with the temporary extension, the agreement also clarified the ban does not impact new technologies that use the Internet, such as telephone service.
Jury awards $434,000 to woman who met husband online
A federal jury Thursday awarded a woman $434,000 in damages after she sued an Internet matchmaking service that introduced her to her abusive husband.
Liberalisation: ICASA aims to be flexible
In the face of the recent deregulation announcements, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) is walking a fine line trying to balance the expectations people have with the realities of the industry.
Microsoft's Gates Is World's Most 'Spammed' Person
E-mail users inundated with unsolicited "spam" messages have reason to hope Microsoft Corp. will develop better tools for tackling the problem: Bill Gates is suffering more than anyone.
Gates, Microsoft's chairman, gets 4 million e-mails a day and is probably the most "spammed" person in the world, his Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said Thursday.
Microsoft Warns Asian Governments of Linux Lawsuits
Microsoft Corp. warned Asian governments on Thursday they could face patent lawsuits for using the Linux operating system instead of its Windows software. The growing popularity of Linux -- an open-code software that is freely available on the Internet and easily modified by users -- is a threat to the global dominance of Microsoft's Windows.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Piracy alert on Santa's software
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has warned consumers that buying software online from unauthorised dealers could seriously damage the health of their computers.
Nokia demos first mobile IPv6 call
Nokia has demonstrated what it claims is the world's first mobile call made over the next-generation IPv6 internet protocol.
UK council dumps Microsoft for open source
Bristol City Council has dumped Microsoft Office, Corel Word Perfect and Lotus 1-2-3 from 5,000 user desktops as part of a migration to the open source StarOffice 7.
Camera phones threat to privacy
Use of camera phones should be restricted, a watchdog group has said. The London-based Privacy International (PI) recommended a default flash be incorporated as standard in camera phones to prevent people taking covert pictures.
Google: A Hacker's Best Friend
In the last few years a number of news articles appeared that warned of the fact that hackers (or crackers if you will) make use of the google search engine to gain access to files they shouldn't be allowed to see or have access to. This knowledge is nothing new to some people but personally I have always wondered how exactly a thing like this works.
Madiba marks his brand
They call themselves Nelson Mandela Panel Beaters and Nelson Mandela Fine Art, but other than perhaps a shared admiration for South Africa's anti-apartheid icon, the businesses have nothing to do with him.
Online Posting of Med-Mal Payouts Is Seen as Chilling Settlements
Nearly five months after a state government Web site began posting doctors' malpractice histories, the publicity may be having a chilling effect on settlements.
Hollywood Writer Sues Microsoft Over Yoga Game
Academy Award-winning screenwriter Roger Avary has sued Microsoft Corp. in California for purportedly stealing his idea for a virtual yoga studio after the software giant sought his advice for winning over women to videogames, his attorney said on Tuesday.
Report: Crooks behind more Net attacks
Organized gangs are more likely than ever to be behind online attacks, according to a new VeriSign report. The trend appears to be towards more sophisticated attacks by more organized groups, VeriSign said in its twice-yearly Internet Security Intelligence Briefing, released on Tuesday.
MPAA touts lawsuits, new P2P-fighting software
The Motion Picture Association of America said Tuesday that it filed an unspecified number of lawsuits against people who trade copyrighted movies online, following through on plans announced earlier in the month.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Federal Judge Tosses Porn Purveyor's Copyright Suit Against Credit Card Companies
Credit card companies aren't liable when someone uses their charge card to buy purloined pornography, a federal court in San Jose, Calif., ruled Monday.
Convergence hits the print industry
Convergence has arrived in the printing space in a big way as multifunctional machines replace single-task equipment, says Roger Gimbel, president of the International Printers Network (IPN).
The VOIP game is ready to begin
Industry players are upbeat about the possibilities for voice over IP (VOIP) to change the way companies do business, but some feel it is still an immature technology. “There is a lot of expectation surrounding the issue of VOIP since the deregulation announcements, and on 1 February 2005 a new game will begin,” UUNet SA's regulatory and operations executive Edwin Thompson told delegates at ITWeb's ‘VOIP: The Way Forward' conference, held today at The Campus in Bryanston.
Monday, November 15, 2004
Hate speech battle to end with hearing
After six years of legal wrangling, a major hate-speech hearing over a Muslim radio broadcast that denied the existence of the Holocaust is expected to be held in Cape Town next year.
Marvel sues two companies over role-playing game
Marvel Enterprises is suing two firms behind a computer superhero role-playing game it claims allows players to make virtual characters that are too similar to "The Hulk," "X-Men" and other heroes in the comic book company's stable.
Canada Not Trying to Kill Web Drugstores, PM Says
Prime Minister Paul Martin denied on Friday that Canada was trying to drive Internet pharmacies out of business, despite Ottawa's recent complaints over drug sales to the United States.
Cybercriminals infiltrating U.K. companies
Criminal gangs in Britain are increasingly attempting to plant insiders in companies to steal data and aid cybercrime attacks. According to a report published Friday by the Financial Services Authority--an independent body that regulates the financial services industry in the United Kingdom--this practice is set to rise and businesses need to screen potential staff more carefully.
Dow Jones settles Gutnick action
Melbourne businessman Joseph Gutnick has resolved a lengthy defamation battle against US publisher Dow Jones. In 2002 Dow Jones published an article on the Internet and in its journal, Barron's, alleging Mr Gutnick was a customer of convicted tax evader and money launderer, Nachum Goldberg.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Casting the net of the law
Shareholders, who have been promised tougher measures against errant directors before, may not wish to celebrate just yet. However, perhaps there’s reason for hope. That’s because the quest to weed out what have been termed “delinquent directors” from the boards of South African companies has received a shot in the arm with the amendments to the Companies Act, which were gazetted late last month.
Root of IT failure exposed
There is a serious misalignment between company objectives and IT strategies in SA and other countries in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, according to new research commissioned by BMC Software.
WTO says United States should drop ban on offshore Internet gambling
In a ruling that could open the United States to offshore Internet gambling, a World Trade Organization panel Wednesday said Washington should drop prohibitions on Americans placing bets in online casinos.
Conn. Man Charged with Selling Secret Windows Code
A Connecticut man was arrested on Tuesday on charges that he illegally sold a secret source code used for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 programs, federal prosecutors said.
Was Zuma 'bribe' a donation?
Did the National Prosecuting Authority mistake a donation for a bribe?According to Schabir Shaik's defence advocate, Francois van Zyl, Shaik did not facilitate an annual R500 000 bribe to Deputy President Jacob Zuma from French arms manufacturer Thomson-CSF but helped Zuma raise money for his RDP Education Trust.
Skype Offers Free Wireless Voice Calls
Internet telephony firm Skype today promised free wireless voice calls for millions of European surfers via a version of its software for the recently launched Siemens (NYSE: SI) Gigaset DECT cordless phones.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Ex-Microsoft Workers Charged with Stealing Software
Four former Microsoft Corp. employees, all of them Seattle-area residents, have been charged with stealing $32.4 million worth of software from the Redmond company. The allegations are the latest in an ongoing 2-year-old investigation into employee thefts from the world's largest software maker.
Fraud Rises as Online Sales Rise, Survey Says
As internet shopping expenditures rise to record levels, online merchants are also losing more money than ever to fraud. But the rate of increase in fraudulent transactions isn't as alarming as it has been in past years, new research indicates, as American retailers are weeding out a higher number of suspicious sales.
Russian Mobile Phone Users Say Hello to Trojan
The spread of malicious software such as viruses and Trojans to cell phones, long feared, has become a reality. A recent Trojan used Russian Web sites to spam mobile phones via short message service (SMS). The spamming was not widespread, but it did highlight the increased
likelihood that cell phones may suffer attacks.
Furore over OS security survey
A number of open source advocates have spoken out against a survey that labelled Linux as the least secure system, pointing to “gaping holes” in its methodology. European research firm Mi2g unveiled the survey findings last week, stating that BSD and Mac OS X are the most secure operating systems, while Linux was said to be the least. Microsoft was the second “most breached” but a long way behind.
Amazon.com sued over book recommendations
Amazon.com has been sued by a subsidiary of travel and real estate giant Cendant over a feature on its web site that recommends books to customers based on purchases they, or other purchasers, have made in the past.
FDIC Releases Guidance On Risk Management Of Free And Open Source Software
Schwarzenegger May Be Sued For Libel In UK For Publication of Online And Print Denials Of Sexual Harassment
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can be sued for libel suit in the UK for a campaign spokesman's statements published in the print and online versions of a U.S. newspaper denying that Schwarzenegger had engaged in sexual harassment of a UK citizen. Richardson v. Schwarzenegger,  EWHC 2422 (QB) (Oct. 29, 2004).
Monday, November 08, 2004
Convicted Spammer's Bail Set at $1M
Bail was set at $1 million Monday for a North Carolina man awaiting sentencing in the nation's first felony prosecution of illegal distribution of junk e-mail, or spam.
States, artists urge top court to hear P2P case
A broad list of copyright owners, artists, law professors and state attorneys general on Monday asked the Supreme Court to hear a controversial case on the legality of file-swapping software.
irated U2 Album Hits Net, Release Date in Limbo
Pirated versions of U2's new album "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" have emerged on Internet file-sharing networks two weeks before it goes on sale, throwing into question its official release date.
New MyDoom draws on IE flaw to spread
A new version of MyDoom uses an unpatched flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer to spread, antivirus companies warned on Monday. The recently discovered vulnerability in the browser software allows the offshoot to infect a PC after a user clicks on a link, according to advisories from security software makers Symantec and McAfee. The program sneaks past antivirus applications that detect malicious software by scanning e-mail messages with attached programs.
DOJ Defends Crackdown on Internet Gambling
A Greenberg Traurig lawyer in Fort Lauderdale has sued the U.S. Department of Justice on First Amendment grounds to force the feds to back off their crackdown on Internet-based gambling.
Former student indicted in computer hacking
A federal grand jury has indicted a former University of Texas student on charges he hacked into the university system and stole Social Security numbers and other personal information from more than 37,000 students, faculty and staff.
Deputy minister calls for equal justice
Grandstanding and expensive lawyers are winning a better quality of justice for some, according to Deputy Justice Minister Johnny de Lange. He wants it to stop. De Lange told the Sunday Times that judges were increasingly intervening to impose standards of representation and accommodation for high-profile suspects while others had to accept the leftovers.
Convergence already a reality
Leading businesses will be those that understand the power of a new world where every physical process and all analogue content is becoming digital, mobile, virtual and personal, transforming every aspect of life.
Award-winning minister urges deregulation
Regulation should be the exception and competition the rule if all a country's citizens are to benefit from technology, says Mauritius's minister of IT and telecommunications. Minister Deelchand Jeeha was named the overall individual winner of the African ICT Achievers Awards at a banquet in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Africa's achievers honoured
Mauritian minister of IT and telecommunications Deelchand Jeeha and Senegalese company Manobi are the overall winners of the African ICT Achievers Awards. In addition to being the overall individual winner, Jeeha won the Top Minister with an ICT Portfolio award for his key role in Mauritius's technology boom.
IE Bug Allows Hackers To Take over PCs
Other programs that use the WebBrowser ActiveX control, including Outlook, AOL and Lotus Notes, could be affected by this hole, US-CERT warned. Hackers exploiting the bug need to convince a user to view a specially crafted HTML document, such as a Web page or an HTML e-mail message, allowing the attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.
Bank accounts in online security scare
British Internet bank Cahoot has plugged a flaw in its online security that could have enabled people to move freely in and out of other customers' accounts. Cahoot took the site down for 10 hours while it fixed the flaw, according to a representative for Abbey, Cahoot's parent financial institution. The problem was likely the result of an upgrade 12 days ago.
Software piracy whistle-blowers get bigger rewards
The Business Software Alliance is doubling the maximum reward it will pay to individuals who report companies that are using pirated software. The BSA--a trade group supported by Microsoft, Adobe Systems and other major software makers to enforce software licenses and copyrights--announced on Friday that it is raising the ceiling on payments to U.K. whistle-blowers to $37,000 (20,000 pounds) for reports received during November and December this year.
File-Sharing Network Thrives Beneath the Radar
A file-sharing program called BitTorrent has become a behemoth, devouring more than a third of the Internet's bandwidth, and Hollywood's copyright cops are taking notice. For those who know where to look, there's a wealth of content, both legal -- such as hip-hop from the Beastie Boys and video game promos -- and illicit, including a wide range of TV shows, computer games and movies.
Mandela lawyers to claim disputed 46664
Former president Nelson Mandela's prisoner number 46664, best known in recent months as a symbol of his global AIDS campaign, has become the focus of an emotive legal row between a local coin dealer and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
British law firms top the world's revenue league
Five of the world's top 10 biggest and most profitable law firms are British, according to a survey by The Lawyer magazine. Clifford Chance, based in Canary Wharf, in London's Docklands, came top of the poll, with an estimated total revenue of £950 million last year.
Corporate governance goals impossible
Companies are struggling to cope with tighter corporate governance regimes, which might even work against the goal of achieving improved IT security they are partly designed to promote. The need to comply with requirements such as data protection, Sarbanes-Oxley, Basel II and other corporate governance reforms is tying up IT managers in red tape, according to a banking security expert. "Recent legislation is having a negative impact on risk management," said Michael Colao, director of Information Management at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.
Friday, November 05, 2004
'Worst4X4Xfar' owner sues GM
A 4X4 double-cab owner has laid criminal charges against General Motors and two of its employees. Jaco van der Merwe has won a High Court and Appeal Court case against General Motors, previously known as Delta Motors, after the company applied for an interdict against him. This followed Van der Merwe putting stickers on his vehicle calling it the "worst 4x4xfar", among other things.
E-tailers liable for VAT after cooling off period
An electrical goods e-tailer is not liable to account for VAT on goods on the day they are sent to the customer, but on the day that the seven-day cancellation period required under the Distance Selling Regulations has expired, a Tribunal has ruled.
Jury recommends nine years for spammer
US spammer Jeremy Jaynes could face up to nine years in prison following the recommendation of a Virgina jury that found him guilty of clogging inboxes with unsolicited commercial e-mail. Jaynes, 30, his sister, Jessica DeGroot, 28, and a third defendant, Richard Rutkowski, all from North Carolina, were charged by Virgina state prosecutors with violating the state’s tough anti-spamming laws, which came into force in July last year.
Phishing e-mails that automatically steal bank details
A new phishing technique can capture on-line banking details without requiring users to click on a web site link. They simply have to open an e-mail, according to a warning from e-mail security provider MessageLabs.
German court rules on eBay returns
Commercial sellers on eBay’s German site are subject to the rules imposed by an EU Directive on Distance Selling – including the customer’s right to return goods without reason within two weeks, a German court ruled yesterday. According to reports, the case concerned an unnamed jeweller who sold a diamond bracelet through eBay’s German store, only to find that his customer rejected the goods and refused to pay on the grounds that he was entitled to cancel the contract under EU consumer protection rules.
Active escrow minimises IT risk, guarantees business continuity
Many companies in SA may be unwittingly losing out on the protection afforded by an active software escrow agreement. Without this protection, the availability of the technology - or source code - behind their software programs may not be guaranteed, a position that places the continuity of their critical business processes at risk.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Movie studios launch legal offensive against downloaders
Hollywood studios said Thursday they will file hundreds of lawsuits later this month against individuals who swap pirated copies of movies over the Internet. The move is a reversal of the studios' earlier reluctance to follow the aggressive legal path taken by the music industry.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Stolen computers have Wells Fargo customer data
Thousands of Wells Fargo & Co. mortgage and student-loan customers may be at risk for identity theft after four computers were stolen last month from a vendor that prints loan statements.
Electronic censors help war on office sexism
"Had cancer, been a pain and now pregnant." These were the damning words with which an executive at Schroder Securities described a colleague, Julie Bower, in an email, leading to a £1,4-million (about R15-million) payout from the company for sexual discrimination.
Cops intent on cracking down on child porn
Easy access to the Internet is leading to an alarming increase in the downloading of child pornography.Two recent arrests by the East Rand Child Protection Unit are the first signs of a crackdown on perpetrators in the Ekurhuleni Metro.
Police net Internet DVD dealer
A former policeman selling pirated DVDs, software and electronic goods on the Internet has been arrested - ending a four-year hunt for him. The man, who for years has been eluding police by changing names, addresses and even moving abroad, was finally apprehended at his home in Turffontein, Johannesburg, yesterday.
RIAA targets students in new file-swapping suits
The Recording Industry Association of America filed on Thursday another round of lawsuits against alleged file-swappers, including students on 13 university campuses.
US, Antigua Break Off Talks on Internet Gambling
The United States and the tiny Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda have broken off talks to resolve a high stakes dispute over the U.S. ban on Internet gambling, a U.S. trade official said on Thursday. "Unfortunately we were not able to reach a settlement," despite several meetings over the past four months," said Richard Mills, a spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative's office.
Helping Corporations Track Digital Content
Companies such as Coca-Cola and Colgate-Palmolive want to make sure their digital assets are used throughout their distribution channels. But they have to maintain a delicate balancing act. They want to ensure the most effective downstream usage of these marketing materials, while also maintaining usage restrictions.
Online shopping gets safer
A password system developed by Visa International to enable better authentication of credit cardholders when they make purchases over the Internet has been introduced to SA. “First National Bank (FNB) is the first South African bank to provide the Verified by Visa (VBV) service to credit cardholders and online merchants, further reducing the opportunities for credit card abuse,” says Jan Kleynhans, FNB Card CEO. “Online shopping just got a whole lot safer.”
Telkom alerts customers about 'modem hijacker' virus
Internet users are seeing the effects of what is termed the 'modem hijacker virus', when they receive their monthly telephone accounts. The virus automatically dials international numbers at premium rates, sometimes without the customer's knowledge and the resultant exorbitant telephone bills alerts them to the problem.
Click here to download Buys Inc Press Release on rogue diallers.
Accolades for industry stars
Mthunzi Mdwaba has been named IT Personality of the Year 2004 and Ken Jarvis has received the ICT Leadership award. The awards were presented last night in Sandton, during the CSSA President's Banquet. Runners-up included Nkosinathi and Lucky Khumalo, CEO and COO of Mthombo IT Services respectively, Stafford Masie, MD of Novell South Africa, and Nirvesh Sooful, CIO of the City of Cape Town.
Bullying at work: a policy is not enough, says CIPD
While 83% of employers have a clear anti-bullying policy in place, when bullying does happen, the focus is almost exclusively on supporting the victim, with little support, advice and guidance being offered to those accused of bullying. This is according to Managing conflict at work, a new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the professional body for all those involved in people management and development.
KPMG weighs the risks of VoIP
Voice over Internet Protocol – or VoIP – is the transport of telephone calls over an internet connection. For a company that already pays for a broadband connection, long distance calls can become free of charge, albeit that VoIP handsets tend to be much more expensive than standard handsets.
New Web domain names get preliminary nod
Two new Internet domain names — ".post" and ".travel" — could appear on-line as early as next year as the Internet's key oversight board announced preliminary approval on Wednesday. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, in advancing the applications for postal services and the travel industry, said they were still considering eight other proposals including ".asia," ".jobs," and ".xxx." Separately, ".eu" for the European Union also is in the works.
Bush Web Site Blocked Outside US
When surfers have tried to access the site they receive a reply that they are "not authorized." The blocking was first noticed by Netcraft, which monitors Internet activity. Mike Prettejohn, president of Netcraft, suggested the campaign had limited access to those most likely to be able to vote as a way to save costs.
Man jailed over China porn haul
A Chinese court has sentenced a man to 19 years in prison for trafficking millions of pornographic DVDs, China's official Xinhua news agency reported. The man, identified only by his surname Chen, was sentenced with 12 others in the southern city of Guangzhou.
Alleged pirate faces labels in Australian court
Lawyers for music industry players claimed that Stephen Cooper received "hundreds of millions of hits" per year to his allegedly illegal music download site, MP3s4free.net, as the long-awaited federal court case against the retired policeman kicked off Monday in Sydney.
VeriSign, AOL team up to make chats safer for kids
The chat rooms will use authentication technology to verify a child's age. Sexual predators have been known to use chat rooms to befriend children and lure them to meet face-to-face. America Online provides a wide variety of chat rooms, and topics range from the innocent to the sexually explicit.
Most Home PC Users at Risk for Attack
While corporations are monitoring ports and using advanced security tools to fend off infection and attack, home users -- who have less technical sophistication -- are left more susceptible, sometimes even lacking firewall and anti-virus defenses.
73% of network managers would not report illegal images
Seventy-three percent of network managers would not report illegal images of children to the police, despite internally disciplining the employee committing the offence, according to research released yesterday by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).
Rogue diallers get cut off
Following a decision to license all companies wanting to run premium rate dialler services, ICSTIS, the premium rate services regulator, is shutting down all such services found to be operating without its permission.
Don King's right to sue in UK over US web comments upheld
The Court of Appeal this week upheld a High Court decision which gave permission to boxing promoter Don King to sue heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and others over comments reported on US boxing web sites.
Putting lawyers into software development
A software licensing compliance firm has launched a new service to help in-house legal teams manage the complexity of commercial and open source software licenses, and implement intellectual property business policies across software development projects.
Monday, November 01, 2004
SCO develops second thoughts about Groklaw alternative
Nearly one month after promising to launch the Web site, which was to provide information on SCO's various legal disputes, a number of undisclosed issues are causing the company to have second thoughts on the project, said Janielle Fernandes, a spokeswoman for the Lindon, Utah software vendor. "It's still up for debate whether the Web site will ever go up," she said.
Old scams pose the 'greatest security risk'
The greatest security risk facing large companies and individual Internet users over the next 10 years will be the increasingly sophisticated use of social engineering to bypass IT security defenses, according to Gartner.
Spammers ruin e-mail marketing for everyone
Spammers’ antics are ruining brands’ reputations on the web, according to a recent roundtable of leading industry experts, with healthcare suppliers’ brands continuing to be hardest hit by spam peddling illicit medicinal offers
Zeta Jones Sues Reno Topless Club Over Photos
Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones has sued a Nevada strip club for using a picture of her face to promote itself on the Web as "The Friendliest Topless Cabaret in Reno." Zeta-Jones, who won an Oscar for her role as the murderous cabaret singer Velma Kelly in "Chicago," sued The Spice House after learning that she was featured with "partially nude women engaged in various sexually explicit poses," according to the federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles.
MP3 site settles for $10 million with RIAA
The Recording Industry Association of America has reached a $10 million legal settlement with a Spanish company that briefly offered MP3s online for just pennies a song. The trade group on Monday said four people associated with Puretunes.com, which operated only briefly in mid-2003, collectively agreed to pay $500,000 in damages, while the holding company responsible for the Web site's operations will be responsible for $10 million.
What should an IT manager's top five security priorities be?
Organisations' security needs vary and their requirements are often dependent on where the organisation is in their security maturity curve. Businesses that are low on this maturity curve tend to focus on basic security issues such as dealing with viruses and malicious code through the deployment of technology.
Five Zombies Do All the World's Phishing
Even if there are only a smattering of operators controlling the distribution of phishing attacks, the global number of phishers could still be substantial. "Thousands of people could still be doing it because you just hook up to a zombie network and put your data through it," said Dave Jevans of the Anti-Phishing Working Group.
U.S. Teen Soccer Prodigy Adu Wins Cybersquatter Case
U.S. soccer's most expensive player, teenage prodigy Freddy Adu, has won his cybersquatting case against a man who claimed to be preparing a fan-based Web Site, an international arbitrator ruled on Thursday. Adu, a Ghanaian-born 15-year-old who plays for Washington's DC United, filed a complaint against Frank Fushille, a soccer fan who registered the domain name freddyadu.com in 2002.
Hacker hits California university computer
A computer hacker accessed names and Social Security numbers of about 1.4 million Californians after breaking into a University of California, Berkeley, computer system in perhaps the worst attack of its kind ever suffered by the school, officials said yesterday.
Pair accused of cracking software
Two men accused of copying computer programs and putting them on the internet saw themselves as "latter-day Robin Hoods", a court has heard. Steven Dowd, 39, of Sandpiper Close, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, and Alex Bell, 29, of Chafford Hundred, Essex, deny conspiracy to defraud.
MyDoom seeks to destroy antivirus firms
Antivirus companies are perplexed by a spate of recent viruses that contain messages in which the writers threaten to attack them. Worm writers are threatening to attack antivirus companies F-Secure, Symantec, Trend Micro and McAfee. In the latest version of MyDoom--MyDoom.AE--the authors embedded a message ridiculing rival worm Netsky and promising to attack the antivirus companies.
Canada Urged to Halt Internet Drug Sales to U.S.
The Canadian government must stop the online sale of drugs to U.S. customers before it leads to a severe shortage north of the border, a coalition of health lobby groups said on Monday.
With many drugs meant for Canadians being sold to U.S. citizens, who are looking north of the border for a source of lower-priced medicines, many large pharmaceutical companies have cut back their shipments to Canada, leaving many Canadians without much-needed drugs, they said.
Google's new PC search tool poses risks
People who use public or workplace computers for e-mail, instant messaging and Web searching have a new privacy risk to worry about: Google's free new tool that indexes a PC's contents for quickly locating data. If it's installed on computers at libraries and Internet cafes, users could unwittingly allow people who follow them on the PCs, for example, to see sensitive information in e-mails they've exchanged. That could mean revealed passwords, conversations with doctors, or viewed Web pages detailing online purchases.
BUSH ASKED TO STOP USING 'STILL THE ONE'
The Bush campaign said Friday it would stop using the 1970's hit "Still the One" at campaign rallies after the songwriter, no fan of the president, claimed the Republicans never got permission. John Hall, a former Democratic county legislator in upstate New York, co-wrote the song and recorded it with his band Orleans in 1976. He complained Friday morning about the campaign's use of the song at the president's events.
RECORDING INDUSTRY SUES 750 COMPUTER USERS
The recording industry on Thursday filed another round of copyright infringement lawsuits against people it said were illegally distributing songs over the Internet. This latest wave of federal litigation targeted 750 computer users across the nation, including 25 students at 13 universities, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, the trade group for the largest music companies.
Sexual harassment matter settled
Citing a need to shield his loved ones, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by his former producer. "This brutal ordeal is now officially over, and I will never speak of it again," O'Reilly said on Thursday night's edition of his talk show, "The O'Reilly Factor." O'Reilly, who is married with two children, also dropped an extortion lawsuit against his accuser and her lawyer.
New Bagle Virus Declares Cyber War
IT security experts have warned that a newly intercepted mutant of the infamous mass-mailing Bagle worm, dubbed Bagle.bb, has begun to spread rapidly across the Internet. Over 1 million e-mail infections were reported within a few hours of the virus being discovered in the wild this morning.
Cybercrime Marketplace Shut Down, 28 Arrested
An investigation coordinated by the U.S. Secret Service netted 28 people suspected of operating an international cybercrime clearinghouse. Authorities made 21 arrests in the United States; seven others were arrested in six different countries. The suspects allegedly operated a sophisticated identity-theft marketplace.
Mind those IMs--your cubicle's walls have eyes
Big Brother is watching you at work, and making a pretty penny doing it.
As more and more companies install monitoring software to track employee activities--threatening to turn cubicles into no-privacy zones--businesses that offer workplace surveillance tools are enjoying a boomlet. Security cameras and phone monitoring have long given bosses a view into workers' daily habits. But now employers are going further than ever, thanks to technology that can capture e-mail and instant messaging conversations, or record a worker's every keystroke.
Oxford pair suspended for hacking
Two students from Oxford University have been suspended after hacking into the university's computer. Patrick Foster and Roger Waite are to appeal against the decision by Oxford's Court of Summary Jurisdiction.
Man gets probation after admitting to Net stalking
A South Carolina man who pleaded guilty to two counts of breaking a federal Internet stalking law was sentenced Friday to five years of probation, 500 hours of community service and more than $12,000 in restitution. James Robert Murphy, 38, of Columbia, S.C., admitted sending dozens of e-mails and faxes to Seattle city employee Joelle Ligon, who broke up with him about 14 years ago.
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