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ICT Law Blog
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
  Kazaa keywords to be blocked, Australian judge rules
Eminem, Madonna and Kylie Minogue are just some of the popular artists whose songs are to be blocked from being illegally distributed on the peer-to-peer network Kazaa following Australian federal court orders last week.

ICANN weighs single-letter Web addresses
Although Internet domain names may be getting longer or more complex as websites creatively squeeze into the crowded ".com" address space, most single-letter names like "" and "" remain unused. That may soon change as the Internet's key oversight agency considers lifting restrictions on the simplest of names.

Cybercrime yields more cash than drugs: expert
Global cybercrime generated a higher turnover than drug trafficking in 2004 and is set to grow even further with the wider use of technology in developing countries, a top expert said on Monday.

From Megs to Riches
Multiplayer games are taking off, and with them a vast and unexpected new market. People are trading imaginary things in imaginary worlds yet making real money.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005
  FTC Cracks Down on Spyware Distributors
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission took action against spyware this week by asking a U.S. District Court Judge to halt an operation that allegedly plagued users who clicked for free file-sharing software with performance-slowing, private-information-gathering software that also altered search results for victims.

Copy-Protected CDs Turning Music Fans Off Record Buying
It's becoming a regular occurrence in CD shops across the country: an irate customer comes in complaining the CD they bought won't play on their computer, and worse yet, they can't transfer the tunes to their iPod. The culprit is copy-protected or copy-controlled CDs -- something many Canadian music retailers say they would like to see pulled from store shelves.

What Is Happening to Your Personal Data?
Some 72 percent of the businesses evaluated by a Boston-based research firm scored poorly on their policies for re-using their customers' personal data for marketing purposes, but the researchers maintain that more companies are sensitive to privacy issues than ever before and are acting on that awareness.

Piracy Cuts Deep
There was a time when I railed against the use of rumors as sources for news in respected trade publications. Now I pine for those more innocent days. Blogs are considered news sources now, a practice that, at its worst, should yield what one expects from lazy journalists. But I am shocked to see the media's race to adapt from blogs the most detailed instructions for pirating Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) OS X for Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and get them to readers first.

Study: Sarbanes-Oxley Law Not Changing Technology Business Culture
A survey of certified fraud examiners says that the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) law -- passed in the wake of scandals at technology companies like MCI/Worldcom -- is an effective tool in fraud identification, though few believe it is actually changing the culture of business. The survey, conducted by Oversight Systems, Inc., based in Atlanta, called 2005 Oversight Systems Report on Corporate Fraud, was provided to the E-Commerce Times.

Open-Source Risk Considered
Several recent software and service offerings indicate there is a market for users of open-source software worried about the intellectual property and related legal repercussions of that use, but how big of an issue, and how big of of a market, is it? Legal observers and those who provide the services said it is a growing market borne out of the recent use of open-source software, which is neither licensed the same, nor developed and transferred the same as with the historical, proprietary software model.

Harvard newspaper subpoenaed in Facebook suit
Harvard University's student newspaper has become entangled in a legal dispute between networking and social Web site and rival ConnectU. ConnectU has subpoenaed The Harvard Crimson for materials related to the Web site's ongoing lawsuit against better-known competitor

University of Miami boots blogger from campus housing
Administrators at the University of Miami ordered the student who blogged a raunchy rap song recorded by members of the football team to leave campus housing for the remainder of the semester.

Kazaa gets stay; industry sees changes
The operator of the Kazaa file-sharing network on Friday said an Australian court would hear an appeal on a copyright case in late February conditional on Kazaa making some changes to its software in the mean time.

Hollywood, BitTorrent reach agreement
In a deal aimed at reducing illegal Internet traffic in pirated films, Hollywood reached an agreement Tuesday with the creator of the popular file-sharing software BitTorrent.

Firm wants to rid Net of suffixes
A Dutch technology company has breathed life into a project to rid the Internet of suffixes such as .com, and instead offer single names which can be countries, company names or fantasy words.

Battle for is over
Ben Cohen, former teenage dot-com millionaire, has given up his fight to regain the domain, according to .uk registry Nominet. Nominet company solicitor Edward Phillips said on Monday that Cohen's company, CyberBritain Group, has formally abandoned all further attempts to get the domain it once owned back from Apple.

Amazon wins 1-Click patent case has won what could have been an embarrassing and expensive dispute over whether its 1-Click checkout system was patented by another company.

Expert calls for data privacy laws
As the South African economy and its global competitiveness continues to grow, local organisations will have to fall in line with their overseas counterparts and up their internal data privacy systems if they want to trade internationally, an industry expert says.

Minister urges ICT, research investment
South African companies need to invest more into technology and technological research in order to remain globally competitive, says science and technology minister Mosibudi Mangena. Speaking at the launch of the Western Cape's Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy (AMTS) last week, the minister said local industry was not investing enough into such research.

Finding a balance between digital copyright and consumers’ rights
In the war against piracy copyright holders are obtaining a new arsenal of tools in the form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies to protect music, movies, video games and even broadcast television from illegal copying. But using such tools effectively without violating consumers’ rights is a tricky obstacle.

Scientists embrace plan for cyberhugs
Singapore scientists looking for ways to transmit the sense of touch over the Internet have devised a vibration jacket for chickens and are thinking about electronic children's pyjamas for cyberspace hugs.

Fed-up client takes on Telkom
An irate customer has taken on telecommunications giant Telkom in a court battle that has exposed the widespread abuse of clip-on fraud.

How Much Of Your Personal Information Is On The Internet
Receipts, bank statements and bills. You may shred them. You may think your identity is safe, but is it? Thieves don't just go through garbage to get a hold of your personal information.

Justices Agree to Consider EBay Appeal in Patent Case
The Supreme Court accepted an appeal by eBayInc. in a closely watched patent case on Monday and agreed to revisit the rules under which courts grant injunctions against a company found to be infringing another's patent.

Protect yourself from identity theft
Preventing identity theft is especially important during the holiday shopping season. A new law goes into effect Thursday that will help.

Cybercrime yields more cash than drugs: expert
Global cybercrime generated a higher turnover than drug trafficking in 2004 and is set to grow even further with the wider use of technology in developing countries, a top expert said on Monday.

'Spam' e-mail filters getting better - FTC
E-mail "spammers" are aggressive as ever but Internet providers are getting better at blocking junk messages before they reach users' inboxes, according to a U.S. Federal Trade Commission study released on Monday.

Thailand to block pornographic websites
Thailand plans to block more than 800 000 pornographic or violent websites that officials say are harming the kingdom's youth, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Saturday.

Man arrested for fake story on website
Police arrested a former computer programmer on Monday for allegedly publishing a fabricated news article on a fake Yahoo Japan news website saying that China had invaded the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Kazaa scrambles to comply with download order
The owners of file-sharing network Kazaa were working on Monday to install filters aimed at preventing users of the software from swapping copyrighted material.

ID theft to hit record high this season
Criminals are going to have a bumper season at the expense of the consumer, by stealing their identities, the Consumer Profile Bureau (CPB) warned on Monday.

Monday, November 28, 2005
  New Path Of Attack
A report on the 20 most-critical Internet security vulnerabilities for 2005, released last week by the SANS Institute in conjunction with government representatives from the United States and the United Kingdom, shows an unsettling shift.

Inadequate laws hobble privacy chief
In a year dominated by almost daily privacy and security violations that have placed the personal information of millions at risk, a privacy breach that affected just one person ranks as 2005's most shocking incident.

Sunday, November 27, 2005
  Scrapbooking goes digital
Wendy Armstrong won't confess how much money she used to spend on scrapbooking supplies, but she does admit nearly kicking her daughter out of her nursery to make more room for the piles of paper and decorative doodads.

New law to govern second-hand cellphones
A new proposed law will be a breakthrough in the fight against stolen goods, says Business Against Crime SA. The law will force the sellers of second-hand goods to identify their suppliers and keep records of what they buy and sell.

A warning note
The SA music scene is booming but piracy threatens to undermine recent successes

Friday, November 25, 2005
  EU data retention measure falls short of British plan
European Parliament committee voted on Thursday to allow the police greater access to telephone and Internet data, but the proposed compromise fell short of a tough European antiterror package that Britain was seeking.

An Issue of Obscenity
Does Polk County have the right to decide what kind of Web sites the rest of the world looks at? accused of faking romance has been sued by a man who says the online dating agency wrote him romantic emails and even sent him on a sham date with an attractive employee to encourage him to renew his subscription, according to Reuters.

IT waste law brings compliance challenges, warns PwC
Companies will face significant challenges in complying with forthcoming rules to tackle the environmental problems caused by electronic and electrical waste, according to consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Why you should register a .eu domain name
Put simply, it is cheap to register a .eu domain name and it stops anyone else getting the same name. Expect to pay about £35 for one year if you apply today using a pre-registration service (explained below). If you don't, and someone else gets the name first, legal proceedings will be expensive.

Microsoft proposes Office Open XML as international standard
Microsoft Corp. is seeking to standardize the document format used for its popular Office products, partly in response to concerns that documents stored using its proprietary technology may be difficult to access in years to come.

Man sues for R200 000 after sex claim
An Edenvale man is claiming R200 000 in damages in the Pretoria High Court from a female colleague whom he claimed falsely accused him of sexual harassment.

Microsoft Taps Partners for Anti-Phishing Efforts
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) said it had formed alliances with three partners to beef up the anti-phishing technology in several of its products, including the soon-to-be-released Internet Explorer 7 and its MSN Search toolbar. The Micrososft Phishing Filter, which will be available in updates of Windows and in the Windows Live hosted software , will use lists of trusted sites maintained by the partners to warn users when they are visiting a non-trustworthy site.

Online advertising revenues continued to expand at breakneck speed in the third quarter, surpassing US$3 billion for the first time in history and gro
Is the CIO a dinosaur? Will it be an extinct position in a few short years? Merial, a large animal health care enterprise co-owned by Merck and sanofi-aventis, believes so; in fact, it's already buried the title. When Steve Lerner, IS director at Merial, was asked about what led to its decision to eliminate the CIO position, the answer, in short, is Sarbanes-Oxley.

Report Says Online Advertising Growth Powering Ahead
Online advertising revenues continued to expand at breakneck speed in the third quarter, surpassing US$3 billion for the first time in history and growing nearly 34 percent over the same time frame last year. In their quarterly report on Web marketing, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said sales totaled a record $3.1 billion for the quarter and predicted ad sales may top $12 billion for all of 2005.

BitTorrent Strikes Anti-Piracy Deal With MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and BitTorrent yesterday announced a collaborative effort to curb film piracy. BitTorrent Founder and CEO Bram Cohen's technology allows Web sites to make large content files available online. The MPAA was concerned that the technology is frequently used to illegally distribute movies and television shows. As part of the agreement, Cohen confirmed BitTorrent's commitment to removing links that direct users to copies of pirated content owned by MPAA companies from its search engine at

Lawyers will be in court for Saddam trial
Defence lawyers in Saddam Hussein's trial have ended a boycott and will be present for the next court session after security concerns were resolved, a United States official close to the court said on Wednesday.

Legal gag on Bush-Blair war row
The attorney general last night threatened newspapers with the Official Secrets Act if they revealed the contents of a document allegedly relating to a dispute between Tony Blair and George Bush over the conduct of military operations in Iraq.

Questions about lawyer’s R3m bill
QUESTIONS are being asked in Knysna and in the Western Cape legislature about fees of almost R3-million charged by Pretoria labour lawyer Dr Anton de Swardt for handling the municipality’s disciplinary hearings against five former senior municipal employees.

All roads lead east for web firms
The boss of eBay recently told analysts that China was a "must win" for all global internet businesses. Meg Whitman's views are clearly shared by her rivals judging by the flurry of activity which has surrounded China's fledgling e-commerce market in recent days.

Sony's long-term rootkit CD woes
Internet professor Michael Geist explains why Sony's rootkit problems have significant long-term implications for the industry. Sony BMG, the world's second largest record label, has for the past three weeks been the subject of a corporate embarrassment that rivals earlier public relations nightmares involving tampered Tylenol and contaminated Perrier.

Sony sued over controversial CDs
Sony BMG's woes in the US over its much-criticised anti-piracy CD software have deepened.
It is facing two separate lawsuits in Texas and California.

Microsoft upgrades Windows online
Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced online enhancements to its Windows operating system and other popular software programs, hoping to defuse a growing threat from Google Inc. and other fast-moving challengers. With a new Web site called "Windows Live," Microsoft hopes to create a new platform that will unfasten some of its applications from a computer hard drive.

Google service lets users do the publishing
An ambitious new Google Inc. service lets anyone upload almost anything to a publicly searchable database, potentially laying the groundwork for a foray by the Internet juggernaut into classified advertising. The venture, Google Base, could lead to a vast expansion of its content and signal grander ambitions for the king of online search-related advertising.

ICT BEE charter 'in disarray'
Industry associations fear some businesses may consider "charter-hopping" between industry sectors to find the most beneficial empowerment charter, and feel the ICT black economic empowerment (BEE) charter is in disarray.

Sober surges in SA
There has been a resurgence of the W32. Sober.X virus in SA. Brett Myroff, CEO of local Sophos distributor Netxactics, confirms local PC users noted dramatic increases in the number of e-mails carrying the virus this morning.

Minister punts tech advances
Communications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri has challenged her peers to take advantage of technological developments such as mobile handsets for receiving news. The minister was speaking at the sixth Conference of the Ministers of Information and Communications (Cominac VI) of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this week.

BitTorrent fights movie pirates
Bram Cohen, founder and CEO of BitTorrent, held a news conference with Dan Glickman, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America and chief lobbyist for the movie industry, to announce an agreement aimed at choking off illegal movie traffic exchanged on peer-to-peer networks, according to media reports.

Icasa suspends CEO pending investigation
The country's regulatory body, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on Thursday announced that it had suspended its CEO Jackie Manche pending a probe.

Masetlha application on hold
National Intelligence Agency Director-General Billy Masetlha's application to have his suspension overturned, was removed from Pretoria High Court's urgent roll on Tuesday and postponed indefinitely.

Race case: Mutual says sorry
South African financial services and insurance giant Old Mutual apologised for any confusion and hurt caused by the arguments used by its lawyers in the racism case brought before the Labour Court by an Old Mutual employee.

Famous hacker heads to SA
Former hacker Kevin Mitnick will be in SA next year to deliver keynote addresses at the ITWeb Security Summit 2006, which will be held in March.

Sentencing for illegal sales of software
A former Microsoft employee was sentenced to four years in prison Friday stemming from charges of illegal sales of the company's software to gray-market vendors.

Employee gadgets pose security risk to companies
The many gadgets carried around by workers today pose a real security risk to organizations and require action, session attendees at a security conference agreed Tuesday. Smart phones, handheld computers, thumb drives, digital cameras, iPods and other MP3 players can all connect to computers. That's fine when used at home, but when connected to a work PC, the devices can pose a serious risk, said Norm Laudermilch, chief security officer at Trust Digital, a McLean, Va., mobile security vendor.

Microsoft offers 'open' Office formats
Microsoft has announced it will offer its Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats as open standards. The software giant will submit its Office Open XML format to the International Standards Organization (ISO) to be adopted as an international standard in time for the launch of the next version of its Office software suite, it said today.

EarthLink's pursuit lands spammer in can
A Florida man known as the "timeshare spammer" was sentenced to a year in prison on Thursday for clogging in-boxes with millions of unsolicited e-mail messages, in one of the first criminal prosecutions under federal anti-spam laws.

Software piracy is here to stay
The vast majority of software in Africa is illegal. Greg Gordon writes that in South Africa it’s a billion-rand problem that is likely to get worse "The free and easy ethos of the Internet has given rise to a generation of people who ’share’ software online"

Phishers hit MultiChoice
MultiChoice has warned its customers that it was one of the three South African companies that was targeted in a phishing attack on Friday.

Six plead guilty to internet credit card conspiracy
Six men pleaded guilty on Thursday to the administration and operation of an online centre for trafficking in stolen IDs and credit and bank card numbers, the US Justice Department has announced.

Online crooks shift to players, software
Online criminals shifted their attacks in 2005 from computer operating systems such as Windows, to media players and software programs, according to a study released today. Among the software programs that attackers are now targeting are anti-virus software as well as programs used to listen to online audio and video programming, according to the SANS Institute, a non-profit research group based in Maryland.

SA vulnerable to ‘cyber terrorism'
South Africa is tipped to face an “onslaught of cyber attacks” within the next three months, as syndicates are expected to turn away from security-conscious regions like Europe and the US, a local expert predicts.

SA to inject $500 000 into ICT project
The South African government has signed a cooperation agreement with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that will give rural populations easy access to technology.

Tunis WSIS ends with pledge to help poor countries
TUNIS - The World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia drew to a close Friday with a pledge to drive the IT revolution into poor countries and promote the expansion of the Internet. Participants praised Tunisia for its success in organizing the biggest-ever UN sponsored summit.

Thursday, November 24, 2005
  General IT law news from Brown Raysman
USPTO Rejects Two Microsoft Patents Covering FAT File Format News Coverage:

FBI Raids Home Of Notorious Spammer News Coverage:

Massachusetts Attorney General Obtains Injunction And $37 Million In Penalties Against Spammers Press Release:

Illinois City Seeks Reimbursement From Internet Travel Sites For Underpaid Room Tax News Coverage:

Rapper Eminem Files Suit To Stop Song Use As Ring Tones Complaint:

VeriSign Obtains Extension Of Dot Com Registry Agreement In Settlement With ICANN Announcement:

Minnesota Wineries Challenge Minnesota Direct Shipping Law News Coverage:

Court Refuses Restraining Order Against Yahoo! Speech Engineers News Coverage:

$465 Verdict In Lexar Flash Memory Trade Secret Case Upheld News Coverage:

Federal Court Stays Google Action Against Microsoft In Dispute Over Hiring News Coverage:

RealNetworks To Receive $761 Million In Cash And Services In Antitrust Settlement With Microsoft Press Release:

Office Depot Sues Staples Over Google Adwords Complaint:

Software Company Claims Patent Rights In XML Technology News Coverage:

eBay Agrees With New York Attorney General To Stop Stun Gun Shipments To New York Press Release:

District Court Refuses Stay Following Denial Of Cert In RIM Blackberry Patent Litigation News Coverage:

Dispute Over Internet Backbone Contract Settled News Coverage:

Fugitive Hijacker Of Domain Name Returned To U.S. News Coverage:

Online Cigarette Seller Agrees To Pay Penalties, Give Massachusetts Attorney General List Of Customers News Coverage:

Guilty Plea In "Operation Copycat" Prosecution For Copying Movies, Games, Music and Software Press Release:

Sprint Files Patent Suit Against VoIP Providers News Coverage:

IBM Drops Remaining Patent Claims Against SCO In Open Source Litigation Blog:

U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Hear Case Applying New York State Commuter Tax To Telecommuters Coverage:

British Court Rules E-Mail DNS Attack Not Covered Under UK Computer Misuse Act News Coverage:

Japanese Court Rules Internet Use Of News Headlines Without Authorization Is Unlawful News Coverage:

Australian ISP Settles Music Industry Suit Alleging Employee Creation Of File-Sharing Hub News Coverage:

High Court of Australia Rules Video Game Mod Chips Not Illegal Opinion:

Rapper Eminem Files Suit To Stop Song Use As Ring Tones
Click on title to view complaint.

California Violent Video Games Bill Signed Into Law, And Challenged
The Governor of California signed into law a bill requiring violent video games to be labeled as specified and prohibiting the sale or rental of those violent video games, as defined, to minors. AB 1179, ch. 638 (Oct. 7, 2005). The law, which comes into effect on January 1, 2006, also provides that a person who violates the act shall be liable in an amount of up to $1,000 for each violation. A lawsuit challenging the act was filed by video game trade groups claiming that the act is an unconstitutional content-based regulations of speech. Video Software Dealers Association v. Schwarzenegger, No. 5:05-cv-04188 (N.D. Cal. complaint filed Oct. 17, 2005).

French Copyright Infringement Judgment For Web Site Display Of Fashion Photos Unenforceable Under First Amendment
Enforcement of a copyright infringement judgment of a French court for the Web site display of fashion show photographs showing dress designs is precluded by the First Amendment. Sarl Louis Feraud International v. Viewfinder Inc., No. 04 Civ. 9760 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 29, 2005). The court concluded that the judgment was contrary to public policy as expressed in the U.S. Constitution and the New York State Constitution and was therefore unenforceable. The court ruled that the First Amendment extends to the creative expression embodied in the posted photographs of the dresses, and was applicable even though the photographs were posted in order to encourage subscriptions to the Web site on which they were posted.

Surveillance Order To ISP Must Specify Information That May Not Be Disclosed To Law Enforcement
An order directed to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) seeking surveillance of an Internet account under the "pen register or trap and trace" provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3123 must include not only the items of information that are required to be produced, but also "a listing, to the extent possible, of what may NOT be disclosed pursuant to the order." In re Application of United States, No. 2005M0499RBC 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24849 (Oct. 21, 2005). The magistrate judge noted that the statute, originally drafted to apply to monitoring incoming and outgoing telephone numbers, allows law enforcement authorities to obtain "dialing, routing, addressing and signaling information," but prohibits the disclosure of the "contents of any communication." The judge concluded that the application of these principles to surveillance of Internet communications raised numerous difficulties of interpretation that might lead an ISP to inadvertently reveal unauthorized "contents" of a communication, therefore an order allowing such surveillance must provide the ISP with sufficient notice as to what may not be disclosed.

Defamation Claim Must Survive Summary Judgment Scrutiny Before Disclosure Of Anonymous Political Blogger's Identity Is Justified
A political figure who sought by a subpoena served on a third-party Internet Service Provider (ISP) to obtain an anonymous blogger's identity in a defamation suit must set forth pleadings that are sufficient to defeat a summary judgment motion. Doe v. Cahill, No. 266, 2005 (Del. Sup. Ct. Oct. 5, 2005). The appeals court commented that there is "reason to believe" that many plaintiffs bring defamation actions "merely to unmask the identities of anonymous critics." The court concluded that the summary judgment standard "is the appropriate test by which to strike the balance between a defamation plaintiff's right to protect his reputation and a defendant's right to exercise free speech anonymously." The court also ruled that the plaintiff must undertake "reasonable efforts" to give the blogger an opportunity to oppose such a discovery request, including, where warranted, notification by posting on the same message board where the allegedly defamatory statement was made.

Recovery Of E-Mail From One Year Of Backup Tapes Constitutes Undue Burden On Non-Party
A subpoena to a non-party seeking the production of e-mails from backup tapes spanning a one-year period is unduly burdensome under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 43(c)(3)(A)(iv), even though the requestor offered to pay the costs incurred in retrieving the e-mails. United States ex rel Tyson v. Amerigroup Ill., Inc., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24929 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 21, 2005). The court considered the undisputed affidavit submitted by the non-party's information systems chief asserting that the retrieval from backup tapes would require a total six weeks of work for review of one year's worth of e-mails for each of the three employees whose e-mails were sought. The court noted judicial decisions which have found that restoration of e-mail from backup tapes is a "unique burden," and concluded that the burden, "which is undeniably substantial, exists independently of the monetary costs involved."

Wednesday, November 23, 2005
  Hackers Change Course
Hackers had a new target in their sights during 2005.

Web users are Googling their way through life
More and more Americans are Googling and Yahooing their way through life, according to a new survey which shows a massive increase in the use of Internet search engines over the past two years.

FBI warns of new email scam
The FBI on Monday said emails made to look like they come from the agency are warning computer users that the FBI is monitoring their Internet use.

Students plagiarising Internet essays: report
British Education Minister Ruth Kelly ordered a review of all GCSE coursework on Tuesday following warnings of a growing trend of plagiarising essays from the Internet.

Sony in dock over 'spyware' CDs
Sony BMG was hit with lawsuits on Monday alleging that it deceived consumers by using copy protection programs on its music CDs that opened up personal computers to hackers and malicious software. accused of faking romance has been sued by a man who says the online dating agency wrote him romantic emails and even sent him on a sham date with an attractive employee to encourage him to renew his subscription, according to Reuters.

Voice over Everything to change workplace communication
Voice services will be available as embedded telephony in over half of IT business applications within two years, fundamentally changing the way voice communication is used in the workplace, according to Gartner.

Six plead guilty to internet credit card conspiracy
Six men pleaded guilty on Thursday to the administration and operation of an online centre for trafficking in stolen IDs and credit and bank card numbers, the US Justice Department has announced.

IT legal firm files complaint over Law Societies' rules
The legal profession is yet again under close scrutiny, after a complaint about certain practices was lodged with the Competition Commission. Unlike previous complaints and investigations launched by the Commission itself, the latest complain originated from within the profession.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005
  Books Online: The Fee versus Free Battle Begins
Now that all the busy book digitizers have done enough to create what anyone would call library-size collections, they have begun to deliver the full text electronically and to reveal how they plan to “monetize” their investments.

How the U.S. Is Getting Beat in Online Gambling
Wildly popular, yet still illegal in the U.S., Internet gaming has earned vast sums for its creators. Meanwhile, a wave of IPOs in Britain has left American banks out of the action

EFF Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Sony BMG
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with two leading national class action law firms, today filed a lawsuit against Sony BMG, demanding that the company repair the damage done by the First4Internet XCP and SunnComm MediaMax software it included on over 24 million music CDs.

Founder of the Internet Archive, Kahle is an ebullient technology visionary of the type Northern California cultivates. He has been widely recognized as a digital guru and a catalyst for change.
Now, his vision is helping shape the debate over how a book library should reside on the Internet.

The invisible threat coming your way
Malware. Spyware. Trojans. Worms. Denial of service. Spam. Phishing. Every computer user, system and network struggles to deal with the dark side of the Internet.
Now there's a new threat worming its way into the guts of your computer systems and experts say it's more insidious -- and dangerous -- than all of them

GRAFTON : Teacher quits after porn is discovered
A Grafton School District teacher/coach resigned under pressure last week after being caught viewing pornography on his computers at school.

Monday, November 21, 2005
  Worker got the boot for blog
Like many young adults his age, Danny Cervantes spends hours posting pictures and messages to his friends on

ITU Global Symposium for Regulators Forges New Broadband Vision
The International Telecommunication Union’s 6th annual Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR), held in Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia from 14-15 November 2005, gathered regulators, policy makers and service providers from 110 countries to develop a new regulatory framework to promote broadband deployment and access in developing countries.

Telkom’s Papi gets Hellkom welcome
PAPI Molotsane says that the decision to drop a R5-million lawsuit against website Hellkom reflects the attitude he wants to instil at Telkom.

The Great Phone Call Con
When Sallyann Taylor got a phone call from BT in August last year, a nightmare began. The voice on the other end told her there had been "unusually high activity" on her telephone line - resulting in a bill of more than £500.

More pain for Sony over CD code
Hackers are exploiting flaws in the software Sony is using to remove its controversial copy protection system. These are just proof of concept hacks, although security firms fear that users ridding themselves of Sony's CD software could soon face other dangers.

China 'yet to embrace e-commerce'
Chinese internet users are wary of buying products online, a survey of Chinese internet habits has revealed. More than 75% of those questioned by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said they had never purchased anything online. Only 10% bought regularly.

Experts: Wireless security is immature
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- In a world where a park bench can function as an office cubicle, iPods play video and cell phones serve as mini-computers, the risk for both the consumer and the corporate world is sometimes overlooked.

'Literary' texts no more?
"Romeo, Romeo -- wher4 Rt thou Romeo?" It could be the future of Shakespeare. Dot mobile, a British mobile phone service aimed at students, says it plans to condense classic works of literature into SMS text messages. The company claims the service will be a valuable resource for studying for exams.

iPods to support copy-protected CDs?
The EMI Group record label said music from its copy-protected CDs will soon play on Apple Computer's iPod digital music players, but the iPod maker disagrees. For more than a year, the anti-copying technology loaded on some major label compact discs has been compatible only with Windows-based computers. Those CDs have allowed listeners to move digital files onto the computers, but they have not been able to transfer those songs to iPods.

Guilty Pleas in ID Theft Bust
Six defendants pleaded guilty Thursday in New Jersey in one of the federal government's largest sting operations involving credit card fraud and identity theft. The six were among 19 who were indicted last year following a year-long sting, called Operation Firewall, conducted by the Secret Service against members of a website called

U.K. spammer sentenced to 6 years
A man described as Britain's most prolific spammer has been sentenced to six years of prison.

Microsoft recruits antiphishing support
Microsoft has struck deals with three data providers to aid the mission against online fraud

Sony DRM CDs 'may violate LGPL'
The music player that works in tandem with Sony's rootkit DRM technology may have code taken uncredited from LAME, an open source MP3 player

Apple's iTunes 6 may contain a critical vulnerability that enables hackers to execute arbitrary code remotely
Apple's iTunes 6 may contain a critical vulnerability that enables hackers to execute arbitrary code remotely

Internet governance battles to continue
Days after a tentative agreement on Internet governance was reached, the major players are already jostling for position for the next stage

Non-compliance could mean jail for directors
Non-executive directors could be fined or jailed if the company did not comply with about 150 pieces of legislation, Tony Dixon, the executive director of the Institute of Directors (IOD), said last week. This is according to the proposed changes to the Companies Amendment Bill, which Dixon said would have the effect of chasing potential directors away.

Friday, November 18, 2005
  Police surveillance with GPS raises rights questions
When shown an electronic recording of his vehicle's movements, Michael Woods admitted to Janesville police that he'd violated the restraining order against him.

Thursday, November 17, 2005
  How CSI got computer forensics wrong
A team of computer forensic investigatorshas pointed out that a character in a recentepisode of hit TV show CSI: Crime SceneInvestigation failed to follow a basic ruleof looking for evidence: don't switch onthe computer.

Domain registry scammer sent to prison
An internet fraudster who ran a series ofdomain name scams was sentenced to sixyears in prison by Peterborough CrownCourt yesterday after being found guiltyof fraudulent trading, attempted blackmailand making threats to kill.

Privacy advocates blast Web surveillance bill
A new bill would allow police forces to demand that Internet service providers hand over identifying information on their customers without a warrant, including e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and Internet locators known as IP addresses.

Beware the hype about ID theft, experts say
If some of the numbers being cited about identity theft are to be believed, it's just a matter of time before some unseen cyberhustler steals your name, empties your bank account and wrecks your financial reputation. You can almost hear the maniacal laughter.

Opinion: Regulatory Body Grappling With Online Real Estate Businesses
Disputes over the regulation of online real estate businesses that have surfaced in the last few years have caused the courts to recognize the importance of the Internet to the real estate industry. A recent case challenged the use of computer technology in relation to the method by which brokers provide listing information to their customers.

SA vulnerable to ‘cyber terrorism'
South Africa is tipped to face an “onslaught of cyber attacks” within the next three months, as syndicates are expected to turn away from security-conscious regions like Europe and the US, a local expert predicts.

Online Open-Source Database Bows
With more than 500 patents pledged to the Patent Commons Project to date, the searchable databases enable developers, users, and vendors to quickly view patent data on open source software and standards.

Hackers boost keystroke logging
SECURITY outfit iDefence expects crackers to release more than 6,000 keylogging programs this year- up 65 per cent from the number in 2004.

World Summit Agrees on Status Quo for Internet Governance
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), meeting in Tunis, Tunisia, has reached an agreement on future governance of the Internet, turning back proposals to establish some form of international body to oversee and regulate the Internet.

Wrestling Over the Web in Tunis
"The situation can certainly be criticized but the proposed remedies seem much worse," said the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontieres, not exactly the first organisation that you would expect to rally to the U.S. government's position. "If there was ever a time to invoke the maxim 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it', this is it," said Joseph A. Morris, a Chicago-based lawyer who watched Internet law evolve from a ringside seat as a senior official at the U.S. Justice Department.

Phishers hit MultiChoice
MultiChoice has warned its customers that it was one of the three South African companies that was targeted in a phishing attack on Friday.

Popular i2hub shuts down
Online file-sharing service i2hub, which linked university students and other users over the super-fast Internet2 network, has shut down under threat of a lawsuit from the recording industry.

Google spreads tentacles
An ambitious new Google service lets anyone upload almost anything to a publicly searchable database, potentially laying the groundwork for a foray by the internet juggernaut into classified advertising.

Music industry launches new web piracy blitz
The music industry's top lobby group said on Tuesday that it was launching new legal action against the sharing of files over the Internet, which it blames for hitting sales.

US moves to tap Internet calls
United States law enforcement authorities want expanded ability to tap any phone call between an Internet phone and a traditional phone if needed for an investigation, according to documents filed this week.

US to maintain control over Web traffic
The United States will maintain control of the domain-name system that guides traffic around the Internet under an agreement adopted at a United Nations technology summit, European Union and American negotiators have said

'Honest' card scam hits online traders
A warning has been issued to online traders about a 30% rise of so-called Customer Denial Fraud. Cardholders place orders, receive the goods, dispute their credit card bills and then receive a refund – and merchants carry the costs.

Users don't trust websites with personal information, says ICO
Only 16% of people are confident that internet sites will treat their personal information properly, according to a new survey by the Information Commissioner's Office that found widespread concern about data protection laws and practices.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005
  Google talks up print and privacy
A senior Google figure has defended the search engine's indexing, privacy and copyright policies.

Bob Geldof says 'don't do emails'
Live8 organiser Sir Bob Geldof has revealed his contempt for emails, blaming them for tying up people's time and stopping genuine action.

Microsoft removing Sony BMG malware from PCs
Microsoft said it would remove controversial copy-protection software that CDs from music publisher Sony BMG install on personal computers, deeming it a security risk to PCs running on Windows.

Sony to halt use of controversial CD protection
Stung by continuing criticism, the world's second-largest music label, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, promised Friday to temporarily suspend making music CDs with antipiracy technology that can leave computers vulnerable to hackers.

New virus uses Sony BMG software

A computer security firm said Thursday it had discovered the first virus that uses music publisher Sony BMG's controversial CD copy-protection software to hide on PCs and wreak havoc.

New Zealand Internet Safety Group Launches Educational Campaign
NetSafe, the New Zealand Internet Safety Group, has launched a six-month security awareness and education program aimed at home users. Among the recommendations made by the Net Basics campaign are updating software, installing anti-virus software and keeping it current and installing a firewall. The NetSafe website provides information designed specifically for children, parents, adults, teachers and others.

Mobile Computer Users Lax on Security
Pointsec's Mobile Usage Survey 2005 found that one-third of professionals who use mobile devices such as PDAs and smartphones do not protect the data they contain with passwords or any other type of security measure. Thirty percent use the devices to store PIN numbers,
passwords and other sensitive corporate data, including customer contacts. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they had lost a mobile device; of those, 81 percent had not encrypted the data on the device.

Justice Department Proposes Broader, Stronger Copyright Protection Laws
The US Justice Department has submitted a "legislative package" to Congress that would broaden the protection of intellectual property and increase penalties for those found guilty of digital media piracy. The legislation would give investigators the power to seize assets purchased
with the proceeds from piracy and to seize and destroy counterfeit goods.

Web Calls Are Becoming More Than Just Talk
Call it Skype envy or the inevitable search for the next killer app on the Internet. But Web powerhouses like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo are all scrambling to get in on the voice-over-Internet-protocol craze. Yahoo bought VOIP startup DialPad in mid-June, and both Microsoft and Google are rumored to be eyeing another VOIP company, Teleo.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005
  World Wants More Say in Control of World Wide Web
The Bush administration and the U.S. tech industry are teaming to take on the rest of the world in a fight about who controls the technical underpinnings of the Internet. Right now, a U.S.-based group does. But countries from Chile to China think they should have more say.

Supercharged college P2P network closes
A file-swapping network that let college students download movies and music at blazing speeds on the Internet2 research network has closed its doors, the latest casualty of entertainment industry legal pressure.

Porn industry gears up for mobile phones, iPods

The small screen is heating up with a new wave of racy images and film clips making their way to mobile phones and the new video iPods. The small screen is heating up with a new wave of racy images and film clips making their way to mobile phones and the new video iPods, raising new questions for telecom companies and regulators.

Google offers free online marketing data
Powerhouse Internet portal Google on Monday began offering free data about effective way to market things online. Powerhouse Internet portal Google has began offering free data about effective way to market things online.

Brawl rages on copyright overhaul
A DIVERSE range of groups including broadcasters, open source software makers and administrators of key national archives have voiced concerns to the federal Government over plan to toughen Australian laws concerning the use of copyright protection technology.

Logging on With No Laws
Chuka Amish Onuaguluchi critically examines the dearth of statutes on Information Technology in Nigeria and its impact on the administration of justice.

Lawsuit reflects profound flaws in FCC rules for online eavesdropping
When federal regulators announced new wiretapping rules for the Internet in August, there was something to dislike for just about anyone associated with cyberspace.

U.N. control of Internet? An idea for the 'delete' file
His philosophy was simple: Keep government controls to a minimum and allow the Internet to evolve from the bottom up. Governments, he and other techies reasoned, were bureaucratic and stifling.

Finns find Internet's fatal flaw
FINNISH boffins at the University of Oulu say there is a security hole in a key Internet security protocol used by major networking products.

Monday, November 14, 2005
  Showdown expected for control of the Internet
The World Summit on the Information Society starting on Wednesday is heading for a showdown about governance of the Internet, amid attempts to shift the balance of power away from the United States

City of Johannesburg sets up high speed Wireless Network
The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) is in the process of deploying a high-speed wireless network to connect over 500 buildings and locations throughout the metropolis, giving it a highly cost effective and reliable communications infrastructure that carries all of its critical application traffic.

Microsoft steps up EU fight
Microsoft has launched a covert lobbying campaign to persuade the US administration and US businesses to intervene in its long-running antitrust battle with the European Union, the Financial Times reports in its international edition.

The rootkit of all evil?
Sony BMG, the record company part of the multinational corporation that makes laptops, TVs, movies and many other things, is in trouble this week thanks to a copy protection scheme it has used on a number of its CDs.

Call to outlaw net ticket touts
Concert, theatre and sport promoters are calling for ticket touting to be made illegal, saying the internet has made it easier to rip fans off.

Fraud Seen Rising Among Large E-Commerce Companies
"Smaller merchants can manually verify every purchase, but there comes a point in their growth when that's no longer practical," Doug Schwegman, director of market and customer intelligence for CyberSource, said. "The companies realize they can't just keep adding bodies to keep up with the volume of sales."

Managing Smart: Enabling Under-Performers To Become Valued Contributors
Overview: This article discusses the mechanisms that lead too many companies to sub-optimize the contribution and potential of those employees who are perceived as weaker performers. It's an issue that concerns bosses at every level of the hierarchy from first-line managers right up to CEOs - namely, how to get the best from all their direct reports, particularly those in whom they have less confidence.

Microsoft Signals Major Online Shift
Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie's call to arms, titled "The Internet Services Disruption," was described by CEO Bill Gates as being "as critical as The Internet Tidal Wave memo was" -- referring to his landmark missive in December 1995 that caused the company to make a massive shift to embrace the Web and other online initiatives.

Google's next gobble: classified ads?
New evidence that Google intends to leap into the lucrative and competitive classified advertising business has surfaced, this time in the form of a recently filed Google patent application that details a new type of advertising aimed at individuals.

Tourism official fired over porn
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism sports officer Stanford Slabbert has been fired after pornographic material was discovered on his work computer.

Report: ID Theft Haunting Bank Customers
Identity theft in the banking industry has become a growing concern in recent times, as a result of a number of high-profile breaches and consumer data theft.

L.A. Court Shuts Down Spyware Op
A Los Angeles District Court ordered three Web marketing companies to cease and desist an operation using the lure of free ringtones and browser updates to download spyware and adware to users' computers.

Amazon Gets Patents on Consumer Reviews
Review your local dry cleaner, pay $10 million?

Is Google Calling Gaim's Shots?
An open source developer is alleging that Google is driving the development of Gaim and bypassing the community. Google refutes the claim.

Is Google Calling Gaim's Shots?
An open source developer is alleging that Google is driving the development of Gaim and bypassing the community. Google refutes the claim.

FBI Hunkered in The Bunker
Imagine this on your plate every morning: terrorist cyber attacks, malicious coders, online sexual predators, phishers, pirates, spammers and scammers.

Brace yourselves for biometric ID
South Africa's major chain-store groups are conducting trials with fingerprint technology which may mean shoppers will soon no longer have to carry cash.

Money mule recruitment becomes a spam favourite
October saw a massive rise in the volume of spam that seeks to recruit unwitting recipients as traffickers in stolen goods or money launderers, masking their scams as work at home or get rich quick opportunities, according to a new report.

Online child porn on the rise
New technology is outpacing law enforcement's ability to stop online child pornographers who have created an illegal business worth billions of dollars, an international children's watchdog said yesterday.

Justice Department seeks tougher anti-piracy laws
The US Justice Department has put forward a proposal for a new anti-piracy law that would extend criminal intellectual property protection, strengthen penalties and add investigative tools for enforcement agencies.

Internet showdown looming
On the global internet these days, the United States is less trusted and more alone. The worldwide network was born on US shores, but that matters little to the growing number of nations now demanding shared control.

Friday, November 11, 2005
  Three firms shut down on spyware charges
A US court shut down three Internet companies for secretly bundling malicious "spyware" with ringtones, music programs and other free hi-tech goodies, the US Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.

Google Personalization Out of The Gate
Google flipped the switch on Google Personalized Search on Thursday, turning it on for all users when they create a new Google account.

Fraud Chewing E-Commerce Profits
Fraud will eat a $2.8 billion chunk out of e-commerce revenue in 2005, according to a new study.

IM Use Is Surging, Says (IM Provider) AOL
The popularity of instant messaging continued to grow this year, as many Americans embraced the technology both for personal and business purposes, according to a survey released today.

Researchers: Skype, VoIP Are Hot And Risky
Security experts are throwing up warning flags about VoIP (define) on the corporate network and pointing to one provider in particular.

Lennon's catalogue to be offered for download
The entire solo catalogue of the late rock icon John Lennon will be made available for Internet download for the first time in December, his record label said on Wednesday.

Internet 'holds the future'
Newspapers have no future without online and digital services, media executives heard at a World Association of Newspapers meeting in Madrid on Thursday.

Thursday, November 10, 2005
  Courts Require Probable Cause Before Allowing Government to Use Cellphones as Tracking Devices
Federal courts in Texas and New York just threw a wrench in the government’s plans to use cell phones as tracking devices with less than a showing of probable cause. On October 14 (In re Application for Pen Register and Trap/Trace Device with Cell Site Location Authority (S.D.T.X)) and October 24 (In the Matter of an Application of the United States For an Order (1) Authorizing the Use of a Pen Register and a Trap and Trace Device and (2) Authorizing Release of Subscriber Information and/or Cell Site Information (E.D.N.Y), two magistrate judges in Texas and New York independently rebuffed the government's theory that it could obtain prospective cell site information, on a continuing basis, using a combination of pen register/trap and trace and subscriber information orders, which require much less than probable cause. Until this issue is resolved by higher courts once and for all, expect the government to continue to advance its "imaginative" legal theories across the country. Telephone companies and Internet service providers will both want to be alert to such theories, given the ramifications of responding to an order that turns out to be similarly creative but ultimately wrong.

Court Requirement of More Specificity in Internet Pen/Trap Orders is a Two-Edged Sword for ISPs
When the USA PATRIOT Act extended the applicability of pen registers and trap and trace orders to electronic communications, civil libertarians and others worried that these orders would allow the government to obtain the contents of Internet communications upon a minimal showing of "relevance" to an investigation. Given the way email and web-browsing work, the line between mere "dialing, routing, addressing, and signaling" information available through these orders and "contents" of a communication is not always clear. To address these concerns, a decision handed down last week imposed a requirement that a pen/trap order not simply state what an Internet service provider (ISP) must disclose, but also what it must not. But what the court gaveth, so it tooketh away. For it also required that the order include a provision stating that the ISP would be held in contempt of court if it mistakenly disclosed information that would constitute "contents" of a communication. The decision is thus very much a two-edged sword for ISPs.

Second-hand software licences for sale (and they're legal)
A new market has opened for second-handMicrosoft software licences by exploitingBritish insolvency laws and a clause withinmany Microsoft licences that permitsdisused or unwanted volume licences to be transferred.

United States: Employer Alert: Identity Theft Issues Enter the Workplace
Acting Governor Richard J. Codey signed into law the New Jersey Identity Theft Prevention Act ("Act") on September 22, 2005. The Act, which takes effect on January 1, 2006, amends and supplements the New Jersey Fair Credit Reporting Act to affirmatively obligate New Jersey businesses to safeguard against identity theft. According to Codey, it is one of the most expansive identity theft laws in the United States. The Act provides for civil remedies, including the payment of fines, actual damages, attorneys fees, costs and injunctive relief for violations of the law.

United States: Federal Court Dismisses Identity Theft Class Action Suit Following Theft Of Computers From Government Contractor
In a victory for a company facing potential identity theft liability, a federal district court has dismissed a class action that alleged harm stemming from the presence of personal information of members of the class on stolen computer hard drives. The class action plaintiffs had claimed that they were injured by the negligent failure of TriWest Healthcare Alliance to protect their personal data. Though unpublished, the decision in Stollenwerk v.TriWest Healthcare Alliance,No. CIV 03-0185-PHX-SRB (D.Ariz. Sept. 6, 2005) (unpublished disposition), provides insight into the potential treatment of future "data breach" cases in which it is unclear whether the data in question has in fact been accessed by those who have unlawfully obtained the device on which the data is stored. This ruling is consistent with numerous cases, including this firm’s victory in Conboy v. AT&T Corp. 241 F.3d 242 (2d Cir. 2001), in holding that emotional distress, mental anguish, and other similar damages cannot be presumed from the mere disclosure of personally identifiable information, absent some concrete evidence of demonstrable harm.

Canada: Does World Wide Web Mean World-Wide Liability for Cyber Libel?
In a recent decision, the Supreme Court described internet liability as "a vast field where the legal harvest is only beginning to ripen".

Senior citizen bloggers defy stereotypes
Web logs, more often the domain of alienated adolescents and middle-aged pundits, are gaining a foothold as a new leisure-time option for senior citizens.

'Net Effect: Shrinking Newsprint
The average weekday U.S. newspaper circulation has taken another hit, falling 2.6 percent in the past six-month period, signaling continued pressure from the Internet, according to an industry group.

China cracks down on illegal websites
China's media watchdog has launched a monitoring system to step up surveillance of illegal websites with sexual and violent content, state press reported on Tuesday.

Sony Facing Not-so-Secretive Legal Action
As details of Sony's secretive digital rights management (define) protections come to light, its actions are prompting not-so-secret opposition from privacy advocates.

China cracks down on illegal websites
China's media watchdog has launched a monitoring system to step up surveillance of illegal websites with sexual and violent content, state press reported on Tuesday.

China cracks down on illegal websites
China's media watchdog has launched a monitoring system to step up surveillance of illegal websites with sexual and violent content, state press reported on Tuesday.

Yahoo China revamps its website
Yahoo China has revamped its Internet services to provide an upgraded search engine for Chinese language users in a bid to seize a bigger share of China's huge search market, officials said on Wednesday.

Web's best moments revealed
The breaking of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and this year's Live 8 concerts were voted among the most influential internet moments of the past 10 years on Tuesday by organisers of the annual Webby Awards.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005
  Software pirate faces the music
A Ukrainian sailor convicted of pirating computer programs is the first person to be convicted of software piracy in South Africa.

State to tighten information security
The Intelligence Ministry plans to crack down on the theft of confidential state information by tightening up laws and policies relating to information security in government.

SEC Warns Investors Of Spyware, Phishing
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday issued a guide to private investors on the dangers that identity thieves pose to online broker accounts.

Gripe site protected by free speech, says US court
A US court has ruled that a disgruntled customer of an insurance firm cannot be sued for defamation over statements he made on his “gripe site” because those statements are protected free speech. The case dates back to May 2000, when Ronald DiGiovanni obtained a service warranty – provided by Pennsylvania insurance company Penn Warranty Corp – for his 1994 GMC Sonoma truck.

CIO Jury: Data roaming rip-off slammed
IT bosses have slammed mobile operators over the excessive roaming charges and confusing tariffs for data download services, warning that it could become too expensive for staff to use.

Tech guru O'Reilly mashes it up
In the first segment of a two-part interview, technology guru Tim O'Reilly outlines his views on open source in an interview with the BBC World Service programme Go Digital.

Forecasting the future
TIME magazine predicts the innovations, politics, gadgets, athletes, movies and music that will make an unforgetable impact on year 2006.

Newspapers Putting More Into Online Presence
The Audit Bureau of Circulation measured a 2.6 percent drop in weekday circulation for U.S. newspapers year-over-year in the six months ending Sept. 30. As the industry comes under more pressure to increase profits, some publications are maintaining their push into the online world in hopes of finding a healthy, new audience.

Banks' Efforts to Fight ID Theft Online Called Inadequate
Even as banks and regulators step up efforts to thwart identity theft over the Internet, the worry that fraudsters remain one step ahead is convincing many Americans that banking online is too risky. At an identity theft forum in New York, security and policy experts said banks are taking appropriate steps to stop online criminals, but that their best efforts -- and consumers' own vigilance -- may not be enough.

Supreme Court Refuses Programmer's Copyright Case
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by a programmer who sued his former employer for changing his programs' source code. William Krause of New York first charged in 1996 that Titleserv, a title insurance firm, had committed copyright infringement when it altered eight programs he had written for the company over a decade of work.

Microsoft Warns of New "Critical" Flaw in Windows
Microsoft Corp. warned users of a new "critical"-rated flaw in recent versions of Windows that could allow attackers to take control of a system by embedding malicious software code into digital images. Users of Windows XP, Windows Server and an updated version of Windows 2000 were vulnerable to an attack unless they installed a software patch.

Grokster Settles With Labels, Shuts Down Sharing Service
Grokster, the peer-to-peer network that was heir apparent to the original Napster, has gone the way of its infamous predecessor, agreeing to shut down the distribution of its software and pay US$50 million to settle copyright infringement claims brought by record and movie studios.

Microsoft Rebrands, Broadens Spyware Solution
Microsoft this week renamed its antispyware software from Windows AntiSpyware to Windows Defender, which may be more appropriate for a combined spyware/virus defense solution, industry observers said. The company did stress that the software will be aimed at more than spyware.

World of Warcraft hackers using Sony BMG rootkit
Want to cheat in your online game and not get caught? Just buy a Sony BMG copy protected CD. World of Warcraft hackers have confirmed that the hiding capabilities of Sony BMG's content protection software can make tools made for cheating in the online world impossible to detect.

Macromedia Patches 'Critical' Flash Flaw
A gaping security hole in Macromedia Inc.'s Flash Player could put millions of Web surfers at risk of PC hijack attacks, the company warned in an advisory. The vulnerability, which was privately reported to Macromedia four months ago, is rated "critical" and could lead to arbitrary code execution attacks.

PC Club ordered to pay $1.3 million to Microsoft
The Federal Court has ordered PC Club Australia, its officeholders Mymy Lee and Kane Fang and business manager David Lee, to pay Microsoft $1.3 million in damages and costs for copyright, trade mark infringement and breaches of the Trade Practices Act. The software giant took legal action against the company following a raid on its Rhodes, Sydney premises which found the company was selling a high volume of pirated and illegal software as well as counterfeit Certificates of Authenticity (COA) labels.

Grokster to Stop Distributing File-Sharing Service
File-sharing service Grokster Ltd. will stop distributing software that allows users to copy songs without permission as part of a settlement with the recording industry, an industry group said Monday. The settlement with the Recording Industry Association of America comes four months after the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Grokster and other "peer to peer" networks could be held liable if they induce users into violating copyright laws.

Swedish programmer in Greek spam probe protests innocence
A well-known Swedish programmer is fighting to clear his name after he was arrested in Greece last week on charges of spamming people with penis pill adverts and the like. Rick Downes runs software companies and and is strongly against spamming. Downes runs these firms part time from his home in Crete after taking early retirement.

California Man Charged with Botnet Offenses
Federal authorities have announced the first U.S. case against an alleged computer hacker, who is thought to have used an army of zombie computers to net tens of thousands of dollars while on the payroll of several spyware companies. Botnets are big business—at least according to authorities who announced the first U.S. case against an alleged computer hacker, who authorities believe netted $60,000 in cash and a BMW from a personal army of zombie computers.

Australian government gears up for zombie battle
Five ISPs have been recruited by the government to hunt down virus-infected computers used to send spam or launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks from Australia. The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, launched the Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) on Monday, which is being run on a three-month trial basis by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

New Web Service Ties Blogs, Photos, Bookmarks Into Neat Package
As the potential of that indefinitely defined technology called Web 2.0 becomes more and more apparent, new applications seem to be appearing on an almost daily basis.But for users forced to hop from site to site for their Web services, the new social Net can be a drag.

Radar out on tech firms
An alliance of investors and researchers is pledging to monitor technology companies that do business in countries with shaky human rights reputations, and is asking the firms to commit to freedom of expression.

Gripe site protected by free speech, says US court
A US court has ruled that a disgruntled customer of an insurance firm cannot be sued for defamation over statements he made on his “gripe site” because those statements are protected free speech.

Row over surveillance law will not end US clash
A new method of communicating is creating intriguing services that beat old ways of sending information. But law enforcement makes a somber claim: These new networks will become a boon to criminals and terrorists unless the government can easily listen in.

Qualcomm takes action against Nokia
Qualcomm is suing Nokia for alleged patent infringement, firing back quickly in a widening dispute over next-generation wireless technologies one week after Nokia and five other companies filed an antitrust complaint against Qualcomm in Europe.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005
  First jail sentence for movie file sharing
A Hong Kong man has received what is reported to be the world’s first jail sentence for making movies available online on a BitTorrent website. Chan Nai-ming was given a three-month custodial sentence.

Phone prize scammers fined £100,000
A Welsh company that used automated equipment to ring home phones with pre-recorded messages, prompting consumers to dial premium-rate numbers on the false promise that they had won money, has been fined £100,000.

Grokster Shuts Down
The network was the target of a lawsuit filed by Hollywood to stop illegal movie sharing on peer-to-peer networks. The company says it plans to open a legal service, Grokster 3G, soon.

Pay By The Page
Does free always win? Amazon, which likes to get paid for providing books, is going to find out as it launches a service next year to let customers buy online access to any page, section, or chapter of a book.

Illegal music site to shut down
Grokster, the free music-swapping website that prompted a legal battle ending in the US Supreme Court, agreed to shut down its service under a settlement with the US music industry, industry officials said on Monday.

Italians deride tax on text messages
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is riling the Italian nation with a plan to tax cellphone text messages. The government proposes a 1c tax to raise about e300 million (R2.37 billion) and help close a budget deficit that reached e66.9 billion in October.

China needs to step up its battle against piracy - US
Illegal copying of music, movies and other goods by Chinese product pirates was rising despite official promises to stamp it out, US officials said yesterday, calling for stronger enforcement of intellectual property laws.

Telkom move means bad news for many Web users
Telkom's new pay-per-gig and hard capping locally is going to have a negative impact on many small and medium size enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa.

Monday, November 07, 2005
  Court hears Internet anonymity case
The publisher of a financial newsletter told Maryland's second highest court Wednesday that he should not be forced to disclose his subscriber list and other information sought by an Arizona company seeking those it says made defamatory online comments.

Sony CD protection sparks security concerns
Mark Russinovich was doing a routine test this week of computer security software he'd co-written, when he made a surprising discovery: Something new was hiding itself deep inside his PC's guts.

James Boyle: Web’s never-to-be-repeated revolution
The web is having a birthday. This month, we will have the 15th anniversary of the creation of the first web page. It is the birthday of Tim Berners-Lee’s amazing idea that there could be a worldwide web, linked not by spider silk but by hypertext links and transfer protocols and uniform resource locators.

Take a Virtual Trip to the Moon
While NASA expects to get humans back to the Moon by 2018, they've also just made it possible for anyone to go lunar barnstorming right now — so long as you have a good computer and a broadband Internet connection

Sunday, November 06, 2005
  Sony slated over anti-piracy CD
Sony's music arm has been accused of using the tactics of virus writers to stop its CDs being illegally copied.

Teen cleared over e-mail salvo
A teenager accused of sending millions of e-mails to his employer has been cleared because UK laws do not make a crime of what he did.

FDA orders digital drug labels
Drug makers must begin submitting electronic versions of their drug labels to build a database that doctors and patients can search for recent warnings or other changes, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

FBI busts bodmaster
A 20-year-old man accused of using thousands of hijacked computers, or "bot nets," to damage systems and send massive amounts of spam across the Internet was arrested on Thursday in what authorities called the first such prosecution of its kind.

How the Internet was born
Interactive tool from CNN.

Virus spreader faces 50 years
A young man was arrested on charges of spreading viruses to almost 400 000 military and other computers, putting "armies" of electronics under his control, then charging hackers and spammers for access to the so-called botnets, federal prosecutors said.

Warcraft's cheat-catcher is branded as spyware
A program to catch cheats that Blizzard Entertainment added to World of Warcraft, its hugely popular online multiplayer game, has been dubbed as spyware by critics because it appears to monitor all software running on a gamer's PC and more.

Ultimatum for TV maker to give e-tailers a fair deal
A major electrical goods maker will be named and shamed unless it abandons a new pricing scheme that forces retailers to pay more for its TVs and other consumer goods if they sell them online, the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) warned today.

Phishing attackers and their mules sent to prison
Three men who sent thousands of emails purporting to come from eBay, and four others who acted as so-called money mules, were sent to prison by Preston Crown Court yesterday, marking the first convictions for a UK-run phishing operation.

Government unveils overhaul of UK company law
Sweeping changes to simplify and improve company law were unveiled in the Company Law Reform Bill, published today. Company law will be substantially rewritten to make it easier to understand and more flexible, according to the Government.

Denial of Service prosecution fails
A London court cleared a British teenager of charges under the Computer Misuse Act yesterday, reasoning that the law could not apply to an alleged denial of service attack in which five million emails were sent to a former employer, according to ZDNet UK.

Podcast: Reinhardt Buys answers RIC Act questions
An interview with Reinhardt Buys, MD of Buys Inc. To listen to the show, simply click on the ‘podcast image’. You can also ‘right click’ and ‘save target as’. The last option might be advisable for slower connections.

Amazon to sell digital books in Google challenge on Thursday said it would let readers buy digital pages, chapters and entire books through two plans that present a broad challenge to a controversial strategy of Google Inc.

U.S. businesses: New Internet governance not needed
U.S. business and government officials were united Thursday in their opposition to recent proposals to create an international Internet governing body, saying it could slow innovation and limit online choices.

Alleged Pop-Up Hacker Busted
In the first U.S. prosecution of its kind, FBI agents arrested a 20-year-old Los Angeles man Thursday on charges that he cracked some 400,000 Windows machines and covertly installed pop-up-generating adware on them, in a scheme that allegedly brought in $60,000 in ill-gotten profits.

Friday, November 04, 2005
  Computer hijacker faces 50yrs
US authorities on Thursday arrested a man for allegedly hijacking thousands of computers to launch spam attacks in what officials say is the first prosecution of its kind.

Google set to display books
Google Inc.'s Internet-leading search engine on Thursday will begin serving up the entire contents of books and government documents that aren't entangled in a copyright battle over how much material can be scanned and indexed from five major libraries.

Thursday, November 03, 2005
  Cell law 'SIMply impractical'
New laws being planned to govern cellphones and SIM cards are "totally impractical, inconvenient and difficult to enforce".

Crackdown soon on cells, SIMs
South African cellphone users may soon face a prison sentence if they do not immediately report a lost, stolen or broken cellphone and/or SIM card to police.

Cell law 'SIMply impractical'
New laws being planned to govern cellphones and SIM cards are "totally impractical, inconvenient and difficult to enforce".

Wednesday, November 02, 2005
  Opinion: Stinky Branding
All of a sudden, there is a rush to secure a copyright on any distinct smell from our daily lives and exclusively use it in conjunction with a branded product or a service. The most recent, notably aggressive attempts come by way of Paris, in which a company tried very hard to get the smell of strawberries exclusively copyrighted for its products.

Experts: Cybercrime-Stopping Strategies Fall Short
Government -- and industry -- executives are moving forward with plans to increase the use of authentication technologies, and prevent fraud online. The Direct Marketing Association, based in Chicago, two weeks ago issued a set of rules for its members, and the federal government, a few days earlier, did the same for financial institutions.

Threats on Message Board Renew Questions About Monitoring
The operators of an Asperger's syndrome message board on which an Orange County teen threatened a "terror campaign" in the days before he killed his two neighbors and himself said that they felt no responsibility to have alerted authorities to the threat. The case has renewed questions about the responsibility of website managers to monitor and act on violent comments made online.

China Working to Combat Scams Using SMS Messages
China has declared war on scams using mobile phone short messages that promise everything from fake cash prizes to sexual services to contract killings. Laws governing China's mobile phone market have fallen behind its explosive growth, which has generated huge profits for short message service providers.

British Teen Accused of Sending E-mail "Bomb" to Ex-Employer
A teenager accused of unleashing an "e-mail bomb" on his former employer was to appear in court in what will be a test case for the U.K.'s Computer Misuse Act. British police accuse the youth of sending 5 million e-mails to the company he used to work for.

British Man Gets 4 Years in Jail for eBay Phishing Scam
A British man was jailed for four years for masterminding an eBay Internet auction swindle which stole computer account details from users and assumed their identities. David Levi led six others in a gang which scooped almost $355,000 through a "phishing" fraud -- the practice of stealing goods after tricking computer users into revealing their bank details.

Microsoft Seeks Destination Status
Microsoft Corp. yesterday made its most forceful move so far to counter the success of Internet giants Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., unveiling a Web destination for computer users who want to create a home page of continuously updated information on any topic they choose.

A tale of two bills
Last week, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications approved two bits of legislation that are set to have profound effects on the South African ICT sector. Whether or not they will bring down prices and bolster overall confidence in the sector is far from certain.

Crackdown soon on cells, SIMs
South African cellphone users may soon face a prison sentence if they do not immediately report a lost, stolen or broken cellphone and/or SIM card to police.

Telkom roasted at conference
The high price of Telkom's ADSL services resulted in some companies hosting their servers overseas, delegates at the broadband conference heard yesterday.

Supreme Court Spurns Microsoft Patent Appeal
At issue is how much money Microsoft should have to pay for infringing on a researcher's patent and whether the monetary award should count global or just domestic sales.

Staff drop pirate bosses
An increasing number of employees are reporting their employers for using pirated software, resulting in a 23% increase in the number of investigations into business use of illegal software over the past year, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

Racist blogger convicted in Singapore
A private school student was convicted for making racist remarks on his Internet blog entitled, "The Second Holocaust", but may avoid a jail term on account of his clean record and age, news reports said on Thursday.

Beware of pirated DVDs when buying online
CDs and DVDs sell extremely well on the Internet. And while some consumers have embraced the downloading of music files after buying them, many online customers prefer the traditional purchase system: order on the Internet and receive delivery by mail.

Hoax bird flu email used to hijack PCs
Computer hackers are exploiting fears over bird flu by releasing a computer virus attached to an email passing itself off as containing avian flu information, warned Spanish computer firm Panda Software.

Experts: Cybercrime-Stopping Strategies Fall Short
Government -- and industry -- executives are moving forward with plans to increase the use of authentication technologies, and prevent fraud online. The Direct Marketing Association, based in Chicago, last week issued a set of rules for its members, and the federal government, a few days earlier, did the same for financial institutions.

Denial of service attacks are legal 'grey area'
An expert witness in the trial of a teenager accused of sending five million emails to his ex-boss has spoken of problems with the Computer Misuse Act

Cellular giants unite to protect our children
Cellular telephone operators agreed on Wednesday to take steps to protect children from accessing unsuitable "adult" content on mobile phones.

Govt may give Fica more teeth
The government may amend the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) to give it more stringency in the fight against money laundering and international terrorism.

ICANN's Deal Could Prove Costly
As more registrars digest a proposed settlement deal between VeriSign (Quote, Chart)and the Internet governance body ICANN, at least one is feeling some heartburn over higher rates they could be facing.

October breaks malware production records
October saw the biggest increase in virus numbers since anti-virus firm Sophos began tracking outbreaks in 1988. The security vendor now identifies and protects against a total of 112,142 viruses, an increase of 1,685 on September.

Sony CD protection sparks spyware row
Mark Russinovich was doing a routine test this week of computer security software he’d co-written, when he made a surprising discovery: Something new was hiding itself deep inside his PC’s guts.

New Web Software a Challenge to Microsoft
Startups are embracing Ajax for Office-like tools. Such applications won't replace Office but could find a niche -- parents collaborating in a soccer league could jointly update a Num Sum spreadsheet with scores, while users too poor to buy Office or students always on the go could compose a letter from anywhere using Writely word processor.







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