Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Monday, December 20, 2004
European Rule Requiring Telecom Data Retention Hits Roadblock
Deadlocked over the specifics of a proposal calling for the mandatory retention of electronic communications data, the EU justice and home affairs ministers have agreed that the issue needs further examination before any requirements can be implemented. On December 2, the EU Council of Ministers decided to refer the proposed Framework Decision on mandatory data retention to a technical working group for further study. In effect, this decision will give European service providers another few months of breathing room from the imposition of burdensome data retention requirements.
Europe Wrestles with Privacy Laws
Europe -- at both the EU and member state levels -- continues to grapple with the three-headed monster of privacy, data processing, and the Internet. On November 25, the EU Article 29 Working Party (an advisory board of EU data protection authorities established by the Data Protection Directive) issued an opinion paper on how to better harmonize the EU data protection regime. Claiming that the varying national requirements for disclosures to consumers were "unnecessarily burdensome" and did not add to protection, the Working Party proposed a "multi-layered" format for data collection notices. Such a format, the opinion stated, could enable easier compliance with both EU and member state laws, improve consumer awareness of data protection rights, and "enhance" the quality of information and readability of notices.
Survey highlights risks of p orn on company computers
A survey into illegal and inappropriate images in the workplace has revealed that 71% of UK companies have had to take disciplinary action in the last two years as a result of employees viewing p ornographic content on company computers, reports Out-Law.com. The survey, conducted by PixAlert in the conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, has also shown that 54% of senior managers questioned were unaware of their personal liability for illegal and inappropriate images in the workplace. In addition, CIPD claims that 66% of companies surveyed have an out of date 'Computer Acceptable Usage Policy' for the management of inappropriate and illegal images. 'In a climate where the obligations for corporate governance are increasing, the survey highlights that a high number of companies and their directors are exposed to the risks and potential liabilities from illegal and inappropriate images in the workplace,' said Dave McLoughlin of PixAlert.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Mandela wins court coin battle
Former president Nelson Mandela and the Nelson Mandela Foundation were granted an interdict in the Pretoria High Court on Friday to prohibit Investgold from importing and selling gold coins bearing his image and name.
Katz among the Nedcor pigeons
ONE of the most puzzling chapters in Nedcor’s recent history is about to draw to a close. Michael Katz’s law firm, Edward Nathan and Friedland (ENF), bought for R400-million by the now defunct Nedcor Investment Bank unit in 1999, is to be sold back to the law firm’s partners.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Online Extortion Works
Online extortion is quietly affecting thousands of businesses, for a very simple reason: it works.
How bad is online extortion getting? Alan Paller, a speaker at a London SANS Institute conference, claims that, "Six or seven thousand organizations are paying online extortion demands ... Every online gambling site is paying extortion. Hackers use DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks, using botnets to do it. Then they say, 'Pay us $40,000, or we'll do it again.'
Sprint sued over alleged vice hacks
A Las Vegas adult services operator is making a federal case of his longstanding claim that cyber security weaknesses at the local phone company have permitted hackers to hijack calls intended for his stable of in-room entertainers -- reprising a complaint that state regulators rejected in 2002
DirecTV hacker sentenced to seven years
A Canadian man was sentenced to seven years in a U.S. prison this week after admitting he led a sophisticated satellite TV piracy ring that produced and sold thousands of hacked smart cards in the U.S. and Canada.
Gait advances in emerging biometrics
Great Juno comes; I know her by her gait." William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Retinal scans, finger printing or facial recognition get most of the publicity but researchers across the world are quietly labouring away at alternative types of biometrics.
Hollywood to sue server operators behind BitTorrent, eDonkey
The U.S. film industry is preparing to sue computer server operators in the United States and Europe who help relay digitized movie files across online file-sharing networks, a source familiar with the movie studios' plans said Tuesday.
Monday, December 13, 2004
Overture settles keyword trade mark case
Overture has settled a trade mark action brought against it and rival search engine Google over the sale of the terms “Geico” and “Geico Direct” in keyword advertising, according to a report by MediaPost. The case against Google continues.
Defamation for 3rd party statements: case continues
Civil rights groups have warned the California Supreme Court that an adverse ruling in a case concerning the liability of an individual who posted a statement made by another person on an internet newsgroup would chill the free speech rights of internet users.
Firm pays £39,500 for using unlicensed software
The Business Software Alliance announced yesterday that it has settled a copyright infringement claim against a software firm for £39,500. London Bridge Software Holdings PLC had been making unlicensed use of software.
Adware firm sues rival for software sabotage
Adware firm Avenue Media has sued DirectRevenue, saying its rival adware product is designed to seek and delete Avenue Media’s own adware product whenever it is downloaded to an Avenue Media subscriber's computer.
On-line paedophiles top net-crime threats, says report
Internet paedophilia is the top on-line criminal threat facing the UK, according to a report published by the Home Office yesterday, which calls for more training and cooperation between agencies in order to tackle net-crime.
Meta tag suit filed by plasma derivative firm
A biopharmaceutical firm that distributes plasma derivatives has sued a rival, alleging that Health Coalition Inc. used the trade marked name “BDI Blood Diagnostics” as a meta tag in its web site source code, according to a report by Law.com.
JK Rowling wins typosquatting claim
JK Rowling, author of the world famous Harry Potter books, has won an order for the transfer of two domain names, “kjkrowling.com” and “www-jkrowling.com”, that had been registered by a known typosquatter.
Proof is key in sexual harassment cases
The online programme Cyber Dialogues, part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign which ended on Friday, raised some controversial issues. It was asked whether women could sexually harass men and whether similar behaviour towards people of the same sex still constituted sexual harassment.
Crackdown urged on film piracy
The UK Film Council is urging a change in the law to tackle the problem of film piracy and illegal DVD sales. The organisation has recommended new powers to crack down on car boot sales, a major source of counterfeit films.
Governments opt for open source
Sun Microsystems says there is growing interest among governments around the world in deploying open source software, particularly in Europe where the European Union has legislated that file formats must be open and interoperable.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
China bans soccer video game
China has banned a new computer game for referring to Taiwan and other regions claimed by China as separate countries. The ban underscores China's extreme sensitivity over any perceived slight to its national prestige amid rising global economic and political clout.
High Court To Weigh File Sharing
The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to hear the entertainment industry's case against two Internet-based file-sharing services through which millions of people swap music and movies online, a decision that sets up a potentially decisive digital-age battle over copyright-infringement rules.
EU Database Directive Does Not Prohibit Daily Extraction And Re-Utilization Of Limited Database Content By Online Betting Operation
The European Court of Justice ruled that the "sui generis" database protection right provided in the EU Database Directive applies only to extraction from or re-utilization of a database "the cumulative effect of which is to reconstitute and/or make available to the public, without the authorization of the maker of the database, the whole or a substantial part of the contents of that database and thereby seriously prejudice the investment by the maker." In The British Horseracing Board LTD v. William Hill Organization Ltd, No. C-203/02 (Nov. 9, 2004), the Court ruled that the Directive did not prohibit an online betting operation's extraction and use of information from a proprietary database containing extensive pedigree and pre-race information on horse races in the UK, where the information extracted consisted of a daily list of the names of horses entered in races, the date, time and/or name of the race and name of the racecourse.
Automatic Extension Of Copyright Term Held Constitutional
Extension of the term of copyright, coupled with the elimination of filing and other requirements for the renewal of copyright, do not violate either the copyright clause or the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Kahle v. Ashcroft, No. C-04-1127 MMC (N.D. Cal. Nov. 19, 2004). The court rejected claims by the Internet Archive project and others that the extension of copyright terms without requiring authors to take affirmative steps to secure continued copyright protection is an unconstitutional burden on public access to copyrighted works. The court held that the plaintiffs' constitutional arguments were foreclosed by the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U.S. 186 (2003).
Publisher Claims Infringement Based On Characters In Massively Multiplayer Online Video Game
Publisher Marvel Enterprises filed suit against the developer and distributor of the massively multiplayer online video game "City of Heroes" that enables users to create characters that are "nearly identical in name, appearance and characteristics to characters belonging to Marvel." Marvel Enterprises, Inc. v. Ncsoft Corp., (C. D.Cal. complaint filed Nov. 10, 2004). The complaint alleges that the defendants are liable for direct, contributory and vicarious infringement of Marvel's copyright and trademark rights in the characters, as well as unfair business practices. Marvel claims, among other things, that the similarities between the video game avatars and the Marvel characters alleged to be infringed are designed to confuse consumers into believing that Marvel endorsed or participated in the creation and distribution of the video game.
U.S. Trademark Law Does Not Apply To Alleged Infringement In Japan, Where Conduct Was Lawful Under Japanese Law
United States trademark law should not be applied in a case brought by a U.S. citizen to redress alleged infringement taking place in Japan, where there is a likelihood that the alleged infringement is lawful under Japanese law. McBee v. Delica Co., Ltd, No. 02-198-P-C (D. Me. Nov. 22, 2004 (amended)). The District Court applied the three-factor test for determining the extraterritorial application of the Lanham Act articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Steele v. Bulova Watch Co., 344 U.S. 280 (1952), in determining that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction in the dispute. The court noted that although goods alleged to be infringing were advertised on the defendant's Web site, the site was in Japanese and goods could not be ordered from the site, undercutting the plaintiff's argument that the sales were having an effect on U.S. commerce. The court concluded that an award of relief to the plaintiff under the Lanham Act "would produce an inadvertent conflict between our laws and the Defendant's trademark rights established under Japanese law that could result in a chilling effect on the protection afforded under Japanese law and create international dissension."
Use of Keystroke Logger Doesn't Violate Federal Wiretapping Law
The use of a keylogger device attached to the cable connecting a computer keyboard to a personal computer to record a computer user's keystrokes does not violate federal wiretapping laws. United States v. Ropp, No. CR 04-300 GAF (C.D. Cal. Oct. 6, 2004). The court dismissed an indictment charging that the use of the device violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, concluding that the transmissions between the user's keyboard and the user's computer did not take place on a system that affects interstate or foreign commerce, as required by the Act. The court ruled that the system involved in the interception consisted of the local computer hardware and software programs, including an e-mail program, that were being utilized at the time of the interception, and did not involve the larger network to which the computer was connected.
Web Site Operator Settles FTC Charges That It Breached Promises Regarding The Security Of Customer Data
Adware Provider Sues Competitor For Deletion Of Adware Program On Users' Computers
Avenue Media filed suit against its competitor DirectRevenue, alleging that DirectRevenue violated the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by programming its competing adware to uninstall Avenue Media's "Internet Optimizer" program from users' computers. Avenue Media, N.V. v. DirectRevenue, LLC No. CV 4-2371 (W.D. Wash. complaint filed Nov. 24, 2004). The complaint alleges that Avenue Media receives a fee when its program provides targeted contextual advertisements to users, and that the number of "hits" resulting from its program dropped by 50% as a result of the deletion of Internet Optimizer by DirectRevenue's competing adware program. The complaint also alleges tortious interference with economic relations, and seeks injunctive and declaratory relief and compensatory damages.
Passwords Pose Windows Security Threat, Foundation Says
For some security pros, the asterisk issue is just a fragment of a larger problem. "My belief is that companies need to be looking at moving towards using stronger authentication, such as tokens or biometrics, in place of or in conjunction with passwords," said Vadim Lander of Computer Associates.
Sharman exec calls child porn unstoppable
Sharman Networks' chief technology officer has refuted a claim on the Kazaa Web site that the company could "permanently bar" users who are using its peer-to-peer software to distribute child pornography.
Antivirus firm says organized crime growing online
Almost all of the malicious software circulating the Internet is written by organized criminals looking for financial gain, and the problem is set to get worse, Kaspersky Labs is warning.
N3 road info available via SMS
A new SMS service has been launched for N3 toll road users, which provides road users with immediate access to vital real-time information that could affect their journey.
400% hike in VANS licence fees?
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) is mulling changes to value-added network service (VANS) licence requirements, including hiking the fee from R6 000 to R30 000 and raising the black economic empowerment ratio from 15% to 30%.
Software piracy offender jailed in legal first
For the first time in SA legal history a piracy offender has been sent to jail, says a report in The Mercury. The Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court sentenced Craig Marnoch to the maximum term of three years yesterday after finding him guilty of selling counterfeit products, copyright infringement, theft and fraud. Marnoch, a former policeman, is believed to have scammed hundreds of South Africans into purchasing pirated Microsoft software. He was also linked to selling pirate DVDs and stealing money from people who purchased cellphones from him which were never delivered. In handing down the sentence, Judge David Makoba said he believed the sentence to be a just one. The ruling was also the first time a counterfeit offender had received the maximum sentence without it being suspended, said Tonia Papanikolaou, the attorney for Microsoft South Africa. ‘This is ground-breaking in the legal field because software piracy is an escalating problem. It is good to see the courts take it so seriously.’
Five ways you can protect your company from email usage lawsuits
We reviewed some incidents that hopefully left readers with a clear message: when it comes to safeguarding your company from the legal liability of corporate email use, readiness is all. In the last year, numerous other companies experienced the pain of large lawsuits that hinged on the contents of email. The dangers posed by email content were further illustrated by the Microsoft anti-trust trial. The legal implications of the Microsoft suit, and other trials, are clear--companies are liable for what happens on their email system.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
African VOIP Association on the cards
The first African forum on voice over IP (VOIP) technology is set for later this month, with one of its chief aims being to establish an Africa-wide VOIP Association.
Kazaa Can Track Users, Trial Witness Says
According to computer scientist Leon Sterling, Sharman should be able to stop piracy or at least report it to the music industry. On cross examination, he acknowledged that he didn't know how long it would take to develop such technology or how expensive it would be.
Creating stakeholder value in the information age
Sarbanes-Oxley, risks, controls, compliance. These are some of the most common terms being used in many boardrooms these days. They join the old favourites of value and performance.
Demanding Party Ruled Liable for Data Translation Costs
Litigants who demand expensive electronic data discovery have to pay for it, the 6th District Court of Appeal ruled Friday.
Adware cannibals feast on each other
Companies that use free software downloads to target Web surfers with annoying ads are turning on each other to keep customers--and the cash they generate--for themselves.
High-Stakes File-Sharing Case Seeks Supreme Court's Ears
Young Supreme Court law clerks, who help their justices screen cases and draft opinions, may be assigned a new task this week: explaining Grokster and Morpheus to their bosses, average age 70.7.
Hollywood allies sue DVD jukebox maker
A Hollywood-backed technology group is suing a high-end home theater system company, contending that its home DVD jukebox technology is illegal.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Survey suggests Net not hurting most artists, musicians
Most musicians and artists say the Internet has helped them make more money from their work despite online file-trading services that allow users to copy songs and other material for free, according to a study released Sunday.
Biopharm Company Alleges Rival Used Trademark in Web Site Metatags
In an attempt to lure Internet traffic away from competitors, a Coral Gables, Fla., biopharmaceutical company allegedly embedded trademarked names of five other biopharmaceutical companies in the coding of its Web site, a South Carolina company alleges in a suit filed in Miami.
Monday, December 06, 2004
U.S. Court Says Interior Dept. Can Stay Online
The U.S. Interior Department can keep its computers connected to the Internet despite the fact that hackers could manipulate royalty payments owed to American Indians for use of their land, an appeals court ruled on Friday.
Report asserts Kazaa makes the rules
Setting aside Sharman Networks' objections, an Australian judge accepted on Friday an affidavit with potentially damaging assertions about Kazaa's handling of copyrighted material.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Microsoft sues porn spammers
Microsoft announced yesterday that it has filed seven lawsuits against spammers who allegedly sent sexually orientated spam that did not include the warning “SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT:” in the subject line, in breach of US anti-spam rules.
Kids seek royalties for Another Brick In The Wall
Over 25 years after it became a Number One hit, a claim for royalties has been filed on behalf of schoolchildren who sang on Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall Part II”, seeking payment as session musicians.
Friday, December 03, 2004
Witness assaults Kazaa filter claims
Overriding severe objections from Sharman Networks, an Australian judge allowed an antipiracy company to testify at a trial against the owners of peer-to-peer software Kazaa.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
ASA bans Telkom ad
Telkom has misled consumers. This is according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which yesterday ruled against the telecommunications giant, and instructed it to withdraw its advertisement entitled "Surgery". The ad, created by Herdbuoys McCann-Erickson, raised the ire of several consumers in November, when they discovered that it was not a true tale. Six of these consumers complained to the ASA, on the grounds that the ad misled consumers into believing that the events portrayed in the ad had actually taken place.
Games developer wins cyber café copyright fight
Games company Valve yesterday announced that it had won a court order prohibiting publisher Vivendi Universal Games from distributing Valve’s games, which include the Half-Life series, through cyber cafés.
Microsoft sues over fake labels
Microsoft has sued eight US computer resellers who it says bought or sold counterfeit Certificate of Authenticity labels or genuine labels that had been separated from their related software, all in breach of copyright and trade mark laws.
Scottish piracy raids net 28 arrests
Central Scotland Police have arrested 28 people and seized a haul of counterfeit goods worth over £10 million in a five-day operation codenamed Vendura. Fifteen individuals have now been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
Trademark Lawsuits: The Price of Online Griping
Scores of disgruntled customers who criticize businesses on Internet "gripe sites" are finding themselves entangled in costly court battles with companies charging trademark infringement. But the courts aren't buying the trademark argument, and have consistently upheld the free speech rights of people who vent about companies on the Internet. Critics charge that companies are merely attempting to wear down defendants through costly litigation.
Police question man over Slammer worm
Czech police have questioned a former member of the 29A virus writers club over the Internet worm Slammer. According to Czech tech security Web site, police interviewed 22 year-old "Benny" who lives in Brno and confiscated computers from his home on Thursday.
Unix lawsuit agreement raises questions for SCO
The SCO Group may have a more difficult time making its case that Linux includes illegal source code than previously thought, according to documents published recently on the Groklaw.net Web site. Earlier this week the site published for the first time a 10-year-old lawsuit settlement agreement that grants developers the right to redistribute much of the Unix source code that SCO claims to own and which may ultimately strengthen IBM's (Profile, Products, Articles) defense in a lawsuit between the two companies.
Phishers lie in wait for Google searchers
Phishers are setting up fraudulent e-commerce Web sites and simply waiting for victims using Google and other search engines to find them, a security company has warned.
Convergence Bill before Cabinet in January
The second draft of the long-awaited Convergence Bill will go before Cabinet in January, says communications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri. She was speaking at the start of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers conference being held in Cape Town this week.
SA isn't quite so mobile
Amid a strong mobile phone sales market and good growth by local cellular service providers, research house World Wide Worx says SA's mobile subscriber base has been routinely overstated by at least 20%.
Anti-spam plan overwhelms sites
A plan to bump up the bandwidth bills of spammers seems to be getting out of control.
Earlier this week Lycos Europe released a screensaver that bombards spam websites with data to try to increase the cost of running such sites.
PAAB welcomes proposed revisions to Companies Act
The Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB) today congratulated the Government on the release of proposed amendments to the Companies Act 1973 designed to further enhance the independence of auditing in South Africa. (Reference: National Treasury Website: www.treasury.gov.za
Overture Settles Trademark Dispute With Geico
Paid listings provider Overture on Friday quietly settled a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by insurance company Geico, MediaDailyNews has learned. The details of the settlement are confidential, but will not require Overture to change any of its business practices, said an Overture spokeswoman. As of presstime, Geico's case against search engine giant Google was still scheduled to go to trial on Dec. 13.
Regulators Give Little Ground on Sarbanes-Oxley Deadline
Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act mandates a company's auditor to identify "any material internal control weakness" or "significant deficiency," in verifying that management has sufficient operational command to produce reliable and compliant financial reports.
Firefox Emerges as Threat in Internet Browser Battle
It's the sense of ownership and civic participation that help fuel the success of open-source projects, said Haim Mendelson of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Open-source advocates criticize Microsoft's lock on technology, pointing out that a new version of Explorer has not been released since 2001.
Open-Source News? Wiki Builds a New Kind of Journalism
While on its face the Wiki model sounds more likely to produce trustworthy information than a blog, the facelessness of Wikis give some observers pause. "With blogs, over time you can figure out who you can trust," said Dan Kennedy, media critic for the Boston Phoenix. "With the Wikipedia, you don't know who's contributing to it."
Microsoft Alleges False Labeling
Microsoft is working on a solution that would make it harder to counterfeit the certificates or to remove legitimate ones for resale. Customers who buy systems with illegal certificates and unlicensed software aren't able to get technical support and other benefits.
Lower cost bandwidth on the cards
Cheaper Internet bandwidth will probably be regulated in a new Bill before Parliament or as an amendment to the Telecommunications Act, says minister of science and technology, Mosibudi Mangena. “Some people say bandwidth in SA costs 13 times more than other countries and this is not good for the overall development of science and technology in the country,” the minister told ITWeb at Microsoft SA's Project Firefly software competition in Port Elizabeth this week.
Dig Deep To Get the Truth About File Sharing
The entertainment industry in the U.S., via the MPAA and RIAA, is doing its damndest to sue "consumers" back into buying product instead of exercising choice, and they have the enthusiastic support of the mainstream media, which faithfully repeats everything the members of the music cartel and studios churn out.
China 'blocks Google news site'
China has been accused of blocking access to Google News by the media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders. The Paris-based pressure group said the English-language news site had been unavailable for the past 10 days.
Fakes seized in anti-piracy raids
Illegal CDs, DVDs, computer software and games worth £10m have been seized in central Scotland. Twenty-eight people have been arrested in raids on houses and markets in Falkirk, Stirling, Tullibody and Grangemouth over the past five days.
Phishers use more sites to reel in data on accounts
The number of Web sites used to steal private account information from online consumers surged in October, as banks and other financial institutions continued to struggle against Internet "phishing" schemes. In phishing, scam artists send fraudulent e-mails to consumers to lure them to Web sites that appear to be the home page of a well-known bank or credit-card company. The e-mails instruct the consumer to leave account information on the site, which the scammers then use to steal the person's identity.
Cell Phones Increasingly Attractive To Hackers
Early this month, several Web sites began offering software promising ringtones and screensavers for certain cell phones. But those who downloaded the software found that it turned every icon on their cell phones' screens into a skull-and-crossbones and disabled their phones, so they could no longer send or receive text messages or access contact lists or calendars.
U.S. opposes passport privacy protections
The Bush administration opposed security measures for new microchip-equipped passports that privacy advocates contended were needed to prevent identity theft, government snooping or a terror attack, according to State Department documents released Friday.
Spammers winning over privacy in SA
"Hello, Miss Barbeau. My name is Andrea and I'm calling to tell you about a new product on the market." This telephone call epitomises what thousands of South Africans can identify with - being inundated with spam through phone calls, SMSs and email.
New phone Trojan surfaces
A variant of the Skulls Trojan horse has surfaced and now carries the Cabir.B cellphone worm.
Once a user is infected with the Skulls.B Trojan, the Cabir.B worm then looks to spread to other phones within broadcasting range using Bluetooth, said security company F-Secure.
Kazaa Accused of Global Music Piracy
Lawyers for Sony BMG, EMI, Warner Music and two other labels told the court that Kazaa is the largest single music supply business in the world, but that no profits are going to the performers or record companies whose music is being distributed.
Guilty by Association
Among some digital marketers, the "shoot first, ask questions later" approach of the service providers is simply unacceptable. "Ultimately, consumers should have the right to decide what they can or cannot see. ISPs do not have that right," says Donald Hamilton, managing director of AdLink.
Broadcom Accuses 7 of Taking Secrets
Chip maker Broadcom Corp. is charging that seven current and former employees stole its cellphone chip designs to use for a newly formed company.
Court nixes lawsuit fighting copyright law
A lawsuit brought by a group of Internet archivists against recent congressional actions expanding copyright protections has been dismissed by a federal judge.
FCC is watching SBC's VoIP charge
The Federal Communications Commission is keeping and eye on SBC Communications' new connection charge for calls made over the Internet. FCC Chairman Michael Powell said Friday that SBC's "Tiptop" plan shouldn't be used to force higher connection charges on Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services or to discriminate against SBC competitors.
CA slaps spyware label on Kazaa
Peer-to-peer program Kazaa is the No. 1 spyware threat on the Internet, according to Computer Associates International. Through its PestPatrol research, CA found that Kazaa posed a greater threat than other programs in its top five spyware list because of its widespread popularity. Kazaa claims that its software has been downloaded 214 million times.
Microsoft proposes piracy amnesty
Microsoft has announced what it hopes will be a new attack on piracy. The company has decided to give away software to those who bought machines with fake copies pre-installed.
Judge Blocks MPAA's Mass Suits
A week after members of the Motion Picture Association of America filed 11 lawsuits against hundreds of people they accused of using file-sharing networks to share copies of movies, a U.S. District Court judge found the process improper and ordered the cases to be put on hold for all but one of the defendants.
Film Studios Win $24 Million Against Web Site
Hollywood's major movie studios said they won a $23.8 million judgment against a California company and its Malaysian owner for operating a Web site that charged customers to download illegally copied movies.
PRIVACY LAWS FACTSHEET
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada released a detailed factsheet regarding the relationship between PIPEDA and similar provincial laws in Alberta and British Columbia. The factsheet discusses how the laws apply to different categories of organizations within those provinces, notes substantive similarities and differences between the federal law and the provincial laws, clarifies the application of PIPEDA to provincially regulated organizations that engage in interprovincial or international commercial activities, and outlines the complaints mechanism in place in each province.
POLICE TARGET PIRATED DVDS
Police destroyed $1.3 million worth of illegally copied DVDs. The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) said the trade in illegal DVDs cost the Australian industry more than $150 million a year and the size of the problem was increasing. See SMH, ABC Online, News.com.au, The Age.
ICC LAUNCHES ANTI-PIRACY PLATFORM
The ICC launched the Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy, an operational platform to leverage individual company and organizational efforts to make a complete and compelling case for priority action by governments and enforcement officials. The initiative is seen as an answer to the lack of coordination in anti-piracy efforts across industries and national borders. See press release, Globetechnology.com.
PROBABLE CAUSE DETERMINATION ON HACKING SUSPECT
State prosecutor said that the DoJ is projected to determine within December whether there is probable cause to pursue a case in court against the suspect on the attempted defacement of the Philippine government portal and other government websites. The TFSCI filed the case in behalf of the government websites. See September 6 Alert, Inq7.
COURT ORDERS BANK TO INDEMNIFY VICTIM OF ELECTRONIC FRAUD
The 16th Court of Justice of the State of Rio Grande do Sul ordered Bank Santander Meridional S.A. to indemnify a client whose account suffered an undue withdrawal of cash, after his debit card was locked into a 24-hour electronic instant-cash bank machine. The judge found the bank responsible for the damages suffered by the Plaintiff due to the vulnerability and failure of the bank's preventative, security, and checking account managemet controls systems of the electronic instant-cash machine.
OPEN SOURCE TO EXPAND TO INFRASTRUCTURE SOFTWARE MARKET
Open source software is beginning to expand to the infrastructure-software market. Companies are selling subscription support services around a certified and integrated package of open source software. For example, Gluecode began selling technical support and maintenance services for a package of infrastructure tools from the Apache Foundation, which oversees and develops open source software. Although open source middleware still accounts for only a fraction of the total market, overall use of open source applications and of Linux continues to grow. According to Gartner, more than 80% of big companies surveyed say they have at least some Linux deployed within their organizations. See ZDNet.
REGISTRARS ACCUSED OF PIRACY OF DOMAIN NAMES
The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court ordered two domain name registrars to pay RMB 40,000 (US$4,838) for domain name infringement. The registrars - the Beijing Zhong Qi Network Power Science and Technology Co. Ltd. and the Zhong Qi Power Science and Technology Corporation - transferred the five domain names of the plaintiff to themselves before the term of the domain names had expired in spite of the fact that the plaintiff had already paid renewal fees. See Sina.com.cn.
Zuma bribe fax 'genuine'
A COMPUTER specialist on Friday gave weight to evidence in the Schabir Shaik fraud trial that the notorious fax detailing the alleged bribe agreement between Deputy President Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thomson-CSF is genuine.
Google Sued for Indexing Adult Photos
Perfect 10 claims it sent 27 formal requests to Google to remove the offending Web sites from its index and stop displaying thumbnail versions of the photographs in its image search results. The Los Angeles-based company claims it lost money because would-be paid subscribers were able to see its images for free by using links that the Google search turned up.
Call for action on internet scam
Phone companies are not doing enough to warn customers about internet "rogue-dialling" scams, according to premium phone line regulator Icstis.
Sixteen Days goes cyber
On Thursday the 16 Days of Action Against Violence campaign was launched. The campaign aims at raising awareness about violence against women and children. This year the campaign takes its action into cyberspace.
MPAA Fights Film Swapping with Suits and Software
The real question is whether the movie industry, unlike the recording industry, can provide an answer to P2P that is as convenient and valuable to users. "We'll see whether the movie industry moves to fight the bad actors by making its product available in a way people want to get it," said GartnerG2's Mike McGuire.
US govt orders airlines to turn over passenger data
The United States government on Friday ordered airlines to turn over personal information about passengers who flew within the US in June in order to test a new system for identifying potential terrorists.
TV advertising ban on junk food
(UK) Advertising junk food on television before 9pm could be banned if proposals in the Government's Public Health White Paper, to be published tomorrow, become law.
Picture problem for teacher's pest
A teacher at a prestigious Pietermaritzburg boys' high school has laid a charge of crimen injuria and is reportedly "not very happy" after a pupil allegedly took a picture up her skirt and circulated it at the school.
Hate speech battle to end with hearing
After sixyears 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.
Court cases highlight issue of client confidentiality
Two recent cases in which psychologists were obliged to reveal their files in court have posed questions about confidentiality between psychologists and their patients.Spokeswoman for the Health Professions Council of South Africa, Anina Steele, said that if psychologists are subpoenaed to give evidence, they have to comply with the rules and regulations of the country.
Firms fork out R79bn to comply with laws
In their bid to comply with government regulations, local businesses would fork out up to R79 billion this year, while the state could spend as much as R16 billion enforcing its laws, a study by the Small Business Project (SBP) revealed yesterday.
Firms must navigate 800 new laws
Close to 800 new laws affecting business have been passed since 1994 and countless regulations have been introduced, according to the competition commission's newsletter. Without any sense of irony, the newsletter recommends that to "promote an efficient and effective regulatory regime, and without perpetrating a regulatory state, government should pass a 'Regulatory Impact Assessment Bill'".
Yes for small business bill
The National Small Business Amendment Bill, which seeks to establish the Small Business Development Agency, was approved in the National Assembly on Friday.
Swap offer for pirated Windows XP
Computer giant Microsoft has launched a pilot scheme to replace counterfeit versions of Windows XP with legal ones. The first-time initiative is restricted to the UK and to users with pre-installed copies of the operating system in PCs bought before November.
Gartner Warns To Renegotiate Software Licenses Now
Research firm Gartner warned the pricing policies of many large enterprise-friendly software companies, including Oracle, IBM and Sybase, could result in dramatically higher prices for customers. Those policies include charges for each unit of processing power applied to any given software application.
ICANN to tackle Internet policy
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meeting in Cape Town next week will expose South Africans to the Internet's international flavour, with many issues expected to have a direct impact on the country.
How To Manage a Business Naming Project
Look very carefully for expertise in naming. Look for the application of proven methodology, The laws of naming, the rules of e-commerce and domain registrations, the marketing principals of naming, the global languages and translations testing and, most important, a solid and sophisticated experience in naming under masters of naming architecture.
ISPA: VANS can build own networks
Although there appears to be some confusion in the industry as to the regulator's exact interpretations of the ministerial determinations on deregulation, the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) is confident it has chosen to interpret them liberally.
First Internet luring sentence assailed
Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino and child abuse awareness groups have expressed outrage over the sentence given to a 35-year-old man who lured an 11-year-old girl on the Internet to his apartment and sexually assaulted her.
Internet speed record quadrupled to 101 Gbit/s
An international team of physicists, scientists and engineers achieved a new speed record for long distance data transfer: During the Supercomputing Bandwidth Challenge the sustained data transfer was 101 Gbit per second (Gbp/s) between Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. This is more than four times faster than last year's record of 23 Gbp/s.
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