Buys Inc. Attorneys
ICT Law Blog
Monday, February 27, 2006
  New legislation to widen scope for telecoms competition
Building on the momentum established by the ministerial determinations that were implemented in February last year, the government will execute more interventions this year to allow for greater competition in the South African telecoms industry.

Businesses urged to take action against corporate identity theft
CORPORATE identity fraudsters are costing businesses more than £50 million a year, according to the Finance & Leasing Association, which represents finance companies.

How To Protect Intellectual Property In China
...the authors suggest that in addition to registering trademarks and patents with local authorities and prosecuting violators with appropriate vigor, operational action is also critical.

No TV licence fees for IPTV
Those planning to receive TV on their mobile devices or PCs using broadband technology will not have to pay a TV licence fee for this.

Saturday, February 25, 2006
  Blackberry wins stay of execution
The maker of the Blackberry device has won a stay of execution after a US judge opted not to impose an immediate injunction closing its service.

Who does the net think you are?
As Microsoft reveals its new plans for online identity, technology commentator Bill Thompson wonders how to prove who he really is.

Microsoft Vista open for business
Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, says it is giving businesses a preview of the next version of its operating system, Windows Vista.

Raids close file-sharing server
Joint raids by police in Belgium and Switzerland have shut down a popular file-sharing server.

IBM investing big in 'info-on-demand'
IBM will invest $1 billion to develop software and recruit thousands of consultants over the next three years to expand its business of making corporate information more accessible to office workers, the company said Thursday.

Teen arrested over MySpace photos
A 16-year-old boy was arrested Wednesday after postings on the popular Web site allegedly showed him holding handguns, authorities said.

Is Local ‘Lekker’?
Telkom’s new broadband officer, Alfonzo Samuels, was recently quoted as saying that the lack of local content is one of the main reasons for the high cost of broadband in South Africa.

Entrepreneurs Find Growing Business in Lapsed Domain Names
Hundreds of drop catchers either resell names or use them for Web sites loaded with advertisements. Many drop catchers have learned the trade in the past year, seeking a piece of the booming market for domains spurred by a surge in online advertising.

Canadian University Limits Wi-Fi Over Health Concerns
A small Canadian university has ruled out campus-wide wireless Internet access because its president fears the system's electromagnetic forces could pose a risk to students' health. Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, has only limited Wi-Fi connections at present, in places where there is no fiber-optic Internet connection.

Dutch Officials Arrest 12 for Operating E-mail Scam
Dutch authorities have arrested 12 suspects in two cities as part of a joint U.S./Dutch investigation into a criminal gang operating the so-called "419" e-mail scam. The arrests took place during raids of seven houses in Amsterdam and neighboring Zaandam, and authorities also seized computers and about $30,000 in cash, Amsterdam police said.

China Shuts Down Two Websites That Criticized Reforms
China has shut down two conservative Web sites vocal in criticising market-oriented reforms amid a Communist Party crackdown on liberal expression. They are fairly obscure to the general public, but analysts say authorities are wary of their populist commentaries.

U.S. Calls China's Piracy Response "Absolutely Unacceptable"
The administration is not satisfied with China's progress in cracking down on rampant piracy of American copyrighted material, and one of the biggest offenders is the Chinese government, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said. Gutierrez said it was "absolutely unacceptable" that a vast amount of the computer software in use in Chinese government agencies is counterfeit.

Most Americans Don't Like Saving Searches, Survey Says
Most Americans are uncomfortable with the fact that Internet search engines record their users' queries, according to a survey that examined perceptions about federal authorities' demands for such records. Search engine companies recently sparked the debate by responding differently to the Justice Department's subpoena for records on what their users had been looking up.

Bulk E-mailer, Hacker Gets Eight Years in Prison
A bulk e-mailer who looted more than a billion records with personal information from a data warehouse has been sentenced to eight years in prison, federal prosecutors said. Scott Levine, 46, was sentenced by a federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., after being found guilty of breaking into Acxiom's servers and downloading gigabytes of data in what the U.S. Justice Department calls one of the largest data heists to date.

The land where almost everyone is connected
On the bus, in the bathroom, on a BlackBerry in the boardroom, or a car mechanics' laptop, the Internet is burrowing deeper into every corner of American life.

Parents in the dark as kids log on to trouble
On, teenagers can find kindred spirits who share their love of sports, their passion for photography or their crush on a Hollywood star.

No porn thumbnails for search engine - judge
Google's mission to organise all the world's information was set back by a judge who ordered the Internet search leader to stop showing thumbnail images from porn site Perfect 10 on its Google images index.

Identity Theft: Don’t Fall Victim to the Credit Card Phone Scam
When it comes to identity theft, the credit card phone scam is one of the oldest in the book. Before the advent of the Internet, there was the telephone and telephone scams ran like wildfire. Now that the focus is on avoiding Internet identity theft, the light shed on phone scams seems to have dimmed, but it’s important that you realize these identity theft phone scams are still out there.

Rath withdraws R1.6m law suit
Vitamin "king" Matthias Rath has withdrawn defamation cases against a number of media and other entities, said Health-e News Service on Thursday.

Thursday, February 23, 2006
  Cyber Security Bulletin 2005 Summary
Information in the US-CERT Cyber Security Bulletin is a compilation and includes information published by outside sources, so the information should not be considered the result of US-CERT analysis. Software vulnerabilities are categorized in the appropriate section reflecting the operating system on which the vulnerability was reported; however, this does not mean that the vulnerability only affects the operating system reported since this information is obtained from open-source information.

Cyber Security Bulletin 2005 Summary
Information in the US-CERT Cyber Security Bulletin is a compilation and includes information published by outside sources, so the information should not be considered the result of US-CERT analysis. Software vulnerabilities are categorized in the appropriate section reflecting the operating system on which the vulnerability was reported; however, this does not mean that the vulnerability only affects the operating system reported since this information is obtained from open-source information.

Microsoft blunder leaks information about Vista
Microsoft Corp, the world's largest software maker, prematurely posted information about its much-anticipated Windows Vista operating system on one of its Web sites, the company said on Tuesday.

Google infringes on nude photo site: court papers
Google Inc.'s image search service violates the copyrights of adult magazine and Web publisher Perfect 10 Inc. by displaying thumbnail-sized photographs site, a federal judge has ruled.

A look at identity theft law
There seems to be confusion about what the term "identity theft" means, especially when it comes to misappropriation of personal information.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006
  Crackdown on junk e-mail
China is cracking down on junk e-mail and "illegal" mobile phone text messages, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Tuesday.

Google Admits Security Risks
Google has agreed with researchers that a controversial feature in its newly released Desktop 3 Beta app may create security concerns for businesses.

US Judge: Google infringed copyright by posting thumbnail porn photos
Internet giant Google Inc. infringed copyright rules by posting thumbnail-size photos from other websites on its search results pages, a US judge said in a ruling issued.

How to avoid open source licensing pitfalls
Open Source Software offers users great commercial advantages when care is taken to address IP issues and minimise contractual risks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
  US: Congress accuses Google of collusion
The giants of the internet were hauled before Congress yesterday, accused of colluding with China's secret police and censors to wield a "cyber sledgehammer of repression".

India: Championing ICT-enabled education
"Research has shown that if you study by hearing something you retain 20 per cent. If you see what you learn you retain 50 per cent. So what if you can see and hear what you learn? Retention becomes 70 per cent or more. This is more than enough to understand that ICT-enabled education is the education of the future."

First SA anti-Semitism case
South Africa's first anti-Semitism court case has been postponed to March 2 and 3 to give the defence team more time to examine documents.

Lawyer arrested at airport plans to sue
A TOP Pretoria lawyer arrested at Joburg International Airport for “unruly and aggressive” behaviour has accused the police of wrongful arrest.

Krog poems: publishers consider legal action
Two publishers are considering legal action against the poet who has accused Antjie Krog of plagiarism and the award-winning poet and writer is to seek a right to reply in a coming edition of the journal that carried the claims.

SAIX Website hacked
SAIX’s gaming website,, has been hit by hackers.

ISOC-ZA asks for Local Loop Unbundling, SAT3 intervention
The Internet Society of South Africa’s (ISOC-ZA) ADSL Draft Regulations submission to ICASA gets right down to the business of bandwidth costs and suggests ways the Regulator can reduce the high cost of Inetrnet connectivity.

Politicians strangle telecoms
Europe’s auctions of 3g licenses are just one example of damage done through lack of vision. Customers and telecommunications companies alike moan about poor legislation and restrictive rules that are stifling competition and inflating the cost of voice and data services.

Monday, February 20, 2006
  Attention employees: Blog with caution
With the number of blogs approaching 25 million, anyone with a computer — bosses included — can now peek into a person’s private life via his or her Internet diaries or personal Web pages. But the issue remains controversial. While some companies have enacted policies about blogs that in some cases ban employees from mentioning their employer, executives of other firms prefer to stay out of the fray.

`Great Firewall' doesn't seem to faze Chinese
China's Internet-filtering system has become an issue in Chinese-U.S. relations. At a congressional hearing last week in Washington, legislators grilled executives from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Cisco Systems about their role in helping China filter information or track down those who run afoul of restrictions on free speech.

Sunday, February 19, 2006
  Debates rage over Icasa bill
Is the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) constitutionally protected from interference by government?

No more Chinese Internet coercion: US bill
A bill introduced in Congress yesterday would make it more difficult for US businesses to comply with China's request for Internet data that could be used to repress its people.

Man charged over Oscar 'piracy'
A man accused of uploading a copy of the biopic film Walk the Line has been charged with copyright infringement.

Friday, February 17, 2006
  Judge Dismisses Data Negligence Case
A US District Judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by an individual against a student loan company for not encrypting a customer database that was on a laptop computer stolen from the home of a financial analyst. Stacy Lawton Guin maintained that the company was required to
encrypt the data under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, but the judge determined that GLB does not require data encryption and that the company "had a written security policy and other 'proper safeguards' for customers' information."

Nike Sues Adidas for Patent Infringement
Nike filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Adidas-Salomon on Thursday, claiming its archrival makes shoes using elements of Nike's SHOX cushioning technology. Beaverton-based Nike alleges the new Kevin Garnett signature shoe by Adidas and its A3 shoes are among the footwear that violate the Nike patent.

Microsoft Renames, Rearranges Office
Microsoft is making significant changes to the next version of its Office software, bringing a new file format and new user interface to users who have not seen such dramatic changes in 10 years.

There May Be Something to That Podcasting Thing
Those with a scholarly bent probably realized that podcasting was big- time in December, when the New Oxford American Dictionary named "podcast" as the 2005 Word of the Year. Others might have decided there was something to this podcast thing when the Guinness Book of World Records said it would include a "Most Downloaded Podcast" category in its 2007 edition.

Former CA Chief Used Linux OS to Dispose of Evidence
Former CA chief executive Sanjay Kumar has been accused of erasing his laptop's memory to destroy potential evidence, by reformatting it to run the Linux operating system. Documents released by the U.S. Attorney's office state that Kumar had deleted his computer's hard drive after the government probe.

Make Rootkits Illegal, Homeland Security Official Suggests
Perhaps the best way to deal with rootkits is to outlaw them. At least when it comes to such mishaps as the Sony BMG Music Entertainment fiasco, that's what an official from the Department of Homeland Security suggested.

China Defends Its Right to Censor Internet Content
China defended its right to police the Internet, one day after four American technology giants appeared before Congress on charges they collaborated with Beijing to crush free speech online in return for market access. "It is normal for countries to manage the Internet in accordance with law and to guide its development in a healthy and orderly fashion," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

FBI Director Seeks Help from Businesses on Cybercrime
The FBI needs more help from private businesses to stay ahead of the curve in the fight on cybercrime, said FBI Director Robert Mueller. "Those of you in the private sector are our first line of defense," Mueller said during a speech to attendees of the RSA Conference 2006.

Changes ahead for telecoms sector
Next month, communications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri will announce a range of policy measures aimed at accelerating the liberalisation of SA's telecommunications industry.

Net firms criticised over China
Four leading US technology companies have been accused of helping China to subdue political strife in return for access to its internet market.

Partying like it's 1999
Young entrepreneurs are crowding into a Soho club to pitch their internet ideas, venture capitalists have handed over £2m to the youthful managers of a web firm, and shares in British high-tech firms are back at their highest levels for four years.

Shareholders to sue over GTA sex
Take Two, the publisher of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, is facing more legal action over the game.

New US plan to ban internet bets
US politicians have launched a fresh bid to stop overseas internet gambling sites reaching American users.

Poll: Web a fun place to hang out
Nearly one-third of American Internet users surveyed said they go online just for fun rather than to check e-mail, read news or use a search engine, a sharp increase from a year ago, the Pew Internet & American Life Project said on Wednesday.

Google software allows remote access to PCs
Google Inc. is offering a new tool that will automatically transfer information from one personal computer to another, but anyone wanting that convenience must authorize the Internet search leader to store the material for up to 30 days.

Apple's ode to hackers
Apple Computer Inc. has resorted to a poetic broadside in the inevitable cat-and-mouse game between hackers and high-tech companies.

Email marketing: prior consent does not mean opt-in
Know the law before you accuse “34%of top UK companies” of breaking it. Research, reportedby the BBC and FT, suggested that our corporate tycoonsare flouting the law on email marketing. But the companybehind the research got the law wrong.

How to calculate damages for use of unlicensed software
There was a 25% increase in the number of companiessettling for unlicensed software use in the UK lastyear, according to the Business Software Alliance.But the sums paid go some way to showing how UKlaw provides little deterrent to such piracy.

Privacy rights of whistleblowers and their accused
Workplace whistleblowing schemes that exist tocatch office thieves, crooked accountants or generalmisconduct and skulduggery, present data protectionissues that have become the subject of new guidancefrom an EU Working Party.

SAHRC says party pamphlets were racist
An advertorial and pamphlets circulated by the Minority Front (MF) in the Durban area were racist and unacceptable, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has found.

Family settles Lion King copyright suit
Relatives of the original composer of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" have dropped a lawsuit against Disney after settling for an undisclosed sum of money with a US music publishing house, their lawyer said Thursday.

WIPO statistics show record year for international trade mark filings
WIPO has released figures showing that it received 33,565 applications under the Madrid system for the international registration of trade marks in 2005, a 13.9% increase on figures for 2004.

House of Commons rejects Lords amendments to Terrorism Bill
The House of Commons has rejected two amendments to the Terrorism Bill proposed by the House of Lords. It has reinstated the glorification of terrorism offence and a notice may be served on a provider of an electronic service if, in the opinion of a police constable, a statement was unlawfully related to terrorism.

Regulations on artist's resale right come into force
The Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 (the Regulations), which introduce a new royalty for artists on the resale of their works, came into force on 14 February 2006. The Statutory Instrument Registrar has indicated that the Regulations will be published on 20 February 2006.

High Court orders disclosure of documents in public interest defence to breach of confidence case
In an action for breach of confidence brought by Harrods plc against the Sunday Times newspaper, where a public interest defence was raised, the High Court ordered Harrods to give disclosure of documents relating to facts that were not known by the Sunday Times at the time of publication.

Google Caches In on Copyrights
If you do, say, a Yahoo! search on "Google" and "copyright," you’ll get over 200 million hits. And that number will only grow, as Google is facing copyright challenges on several fronts. But the Internet search behemoth started off what will be a busy year in court with a resounding victory in Field v. Google, Inc., when the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada ruled that Google’s practice of temporarily archiving – or "caching" – web pages does not constitute direct copyright infringement.

Knowin' When to Hold 'Em, and When to Fold 'Em
New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg recently fired a city employee who was dumb enough to have a game of computer solitaire on his computer screen when the Mayor walked by. But at least the guy wasn't betting money on the game. If he had been, he might have drawn the attention of the feds, too, who have been going after Internet gambling with a mild vengeance.

Why Your Customers Hate Your Web Site
The links on your site work. Your corporate information is up to date. Your Web price special is there, flashing wildly, for all to see. You believe you've done all the right things, but for some reason your customers hate your Web site. With Web site design, an old adage often applies: You can't define what makes a bad Web site but you know it when you see it.

Short-message sex
It's no longer the telephone companies' dirty little secret: Cellphones are the newest sex toys.
Instead of playing coy by promoting their technological innovations, cellphone makers have embraced what they call the "textual revolution" and are actively selling their short-message service (SMS) as a sex aid.

Phone and cable giants bridging digital divide
The wireless high-speed Internet market is finally attracting the attention of some of the country's telephone and cable giants.

China Defends Internet Policing Rights
China on Thursday defended its right to police the Internet, one day after four American technology giants appeared before Congress on charges they collaborated with Beijing to crush free speech online in return for market access.

Class-Action Lawsuits Target Video Game Publisher
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., publisher of the best-selling but controversial "Grand Theft Auto" video games, is the target of several law suits filed on behalf of Take-Two shareholders. Law firms Milberg Weiss and Stull, Stull & Brody announced the suits seeking class-action status.

IT Administrators Cite Privacy Risks in Google Desktop
Google Desktop's new search-across-computers feature could put sensitive data at risk and violate federal data-privacy regulations, say IT administrators at a public university and a large manufacturing company. Both are banning it from their networks.

Insurgent Groups in Iraq Using Internet, Report Says
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq is among four main groups leading an insurgency against U.S.-led and Iraqi forces that owes its resilience partly to canny exploitation of the Internet, a report said. The International Crisis Group, a non-profit organization that monitors conflicts, analyzed insurgent publications and Internet postings to argue that the rebel groups had steadily developed sophisticated communications and coherent leadership.

China Shuts Down 76 Websites for Infringement
China, often criticized by the West for doing little to tackle widespread music and film piracy from the Internet, touted a four-month campaign it said resulted in 76 Web sites being closed. Officials said that since September, 172 cases had been investigated -- including 14 after requests from overseas companies -- and 76 had been shut down.

Lawmakers Target Internet Companies' Actions in China
Politicians lashed out at U.S. Internet companies, accusing them of collaborating with China's "regime of repression" and pledging to enact a law soon to make such cooperation illegal. During a House of Representatives hearing, members of Congress offered repeated condemnations of Google, Yahoo, Cisco Systems and Microsoft that were the most antagonistic so far in an ongoing dispute about how U.S.-based companies can offer services in China while protecting the free speech and privacy of Chinese users.

Elton wins rude slur case
Elton John won undisclosed libel damages and an apology from a British newspaper on Thursday over a story which said the singer had acted "in a self-important, arrogant and rude manner" at one of his HIV/Aids charity functions.

Mobile IM updated to support graphics
Stellenbosch-based Clockspeed is releasing version 3 of its MXIT solution at the end of the month, giving users the ability to send pictures, read news and receive traffic reports via a downloaded instant messaging (IM) client.

Linux accreditation starts
The Shuttleworth Foundation (TSF) is teaming up with the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) and the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) to establish an accreditation programme aimed at ensuring the long-term sustainability of Linux.

Woman in bid to end family web war
After Diana Williams consented to doctors ending life support for her father who had had a massive stroke, her angry siblings started a website to accuse her of murder and forgery.

Ruining your day, and an introduction to Planet X
This week's column has two themes. One is a look over some everyday things you might take for granted. And, for the hell of it, an introduction to one of the many genres of weird subjects out there.

Thursday, February 16, 2006
  Opposition to ICANN/VeriSign Proposal Grows
Eight of the world's largest domain registrars have sent an open letter to ICANN Chairman Vint Cerf, stating their formal opposition to the revised proposition with VeriSign for continued control of the Internet registry.

Opposition to ICANN/VeriSign Proposal Grows
Eight of the world's largest domain registrars have sent an open letter to ICANN Chairman Vint Cerf, stating their formal opposition to the revised proposition with VeriSign for continued control of the Internet registry.

Morgan Stanley fined for failure to retain e-mails
Morgan Stanley, the third-largest securities firm by market value, agreed to pay a record $15 million (R92 million) to settle a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) probe into its failure to preserve e-mails.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
  Chinese Official Defends Controls on "Harmful" Internet Content
Chinese authorities are determined to stop "harmful information" from spreading through the Internet, but the controls it places on Web sites and Internet service providers in mainland China do not differ much from those employed by the United States and European countries, a senior Chinese official responsible for managing the Internet said. The official, Liu Zhengrong, who supervises Internet affairs for the information office of the Chinese State Council, or cabinet, did not dispute charges that China operates a technologically sophisticated firewall to protect the ruling Communist Party against what it treats as Web-based challenges from people inside China and abroad.

Document Management Challenges Put Companies at Legal Risk
"Without the right technology and strategies in place, any company or organization can be at serious risk," said Joe Fantuzzi, chief executive officer of Workshare Technology, Inc., a document management company based in San Francisco.

Justice Department to Measure Business Impact of Cyber Crime
The Department of Justice is launching its first national survey to measure the prevalence and impact of cyber crime on U.S. businesses. The survey starts this month and will be completed by the end of the year. Conducted by the DoJ's Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Division, the survey will estimate the number of cyber attacks, frauds and thefts of information and the resulting losses during 2005.

Government Concludes "Cyber Storm" War Game Exercise
The government concluded its "Cyber Storm" wargame, its biggest-ever exercise to test how it would respond to devastating attacks over the Internet from anti-globalization activists, underground hackers and bloggers. Participants confirmed parts of the worldwide simulation challenged government officials and industry executives to respond to deliberate misinformation campaigns and activist calls by Internet bloggers, online diarists whose ``Web logs'' include political rantings and musings about current events.

Airline Passenger Screening Program Vulnerable to Hackers
An ambitious program to check every domestic airline passenger's name against government terrorist watch lists may not be immune from hackers, a congressional investigator said. And because of security concerns, the government is going back to the drawing board with the program called Secure Flight after spending four years and $150 million on it, the Senate Commerce Committee was told.

Authorities Investigating Sites Offering Ponzi Schemes
Federal and state authorities are investigating 12dailyPro and sites making similar offers as possible Internet-era variations on a classic Ponzi scheme. The 12dailyPro site is among the largest of the dozens of what are called "autosurf" Web sites that have cropped up on the Internet. With names like and, the sites piggyback on a legitimate trend -- the surge in Internet advertising -- by promising generous returns to members who agree to view their ads.

Man Indicted for Creating Network of Hijacked Computers
A California man was indicted on federal charges of creating a robot-like network of hijacked computers that helped him and two others bring in $100,000 for installing unwanted ad software. The indictment from a federal grand jury in Seattle also accuses Christopher Maxwell, 20, and two unidentified conspirators of crippling Seattle's Northwest Hospital with a "botnet" attack in January 2005.

Blind Advocacy Group Files Lawsuit Against Target Over Website
A blind advocacy group filed a class action lawsuit against Target, alleging that the retail giant's Web site is inaccessible to the blind and thus violates a California law that incorporates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The suit, filed in Northern California's Alameda County Superior Court by Sexton and the Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind, claims that, "contains thousands of access barriers that make it difficult, if not impossible, for blind customers to use."

Court Refuses to Issue Sanctions in Backup Tape Discovery Dispute
Hynix Semiconductor, Inc. v. Rambus, Inc., No. C-00-20905 RMW (N.D.Cal.
Jan.. 4, 2006). In a patent infringement suit, the plaintiffs argued the
defendant’s claims should be dismissed based on the defendant’s adoption
of a document retention policy that resulted in the destruction of
potentially relevant electronic and paper documents. Prior to filing the
litigation at issue, the defendant developed a document retention policy
requiring the destruction of e-mail contained on backup tapes after three
months. In addition, the defendant held several "Shred Days" during which
employees were instructed to follow the retention policy guidelines to
determine what to keep and what to throw away.

Proposed Legislation Would Require Web Sites to Purge Obsolete Personal
US Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) has introduced legislation that would
"require owners of Internet websites to destroy obsolete data containing
personal information." The Eliminate Warehousing of Consumer Internet
Data Act of 2006 would apply to all web site operators, including
non-profits, bloggers, charities and individuals.US Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) has introduced legislation that would
"require owners of Internet websites to destroy obsolete data containing
personal information." The Eliminate Warehousing of Consumer Internet
Data Act of 2006 would apply to all web site operators, including
non-profits, bloggers, charities and individuals.US Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) has introduced legislation that would
"require owners of Internet websites to destroy obsolete data containing
personal information." The Eliminate Warehousing of Consumer Internet
Data Act of 2006 would apply to all web site operators, including
non-profits, bloggers, charities and individuals.

Google Offers Hosted Corporate E-Mail
Google has launched a version of its Gmail service that uses a company's or organization's domain name instead of the domain. The company has kicked off a test for San Jose City College, supplying the schools' students with an e-mail address that ends in '' but that is hosted by the search engine.

MyADSL's Thirteenth Podcast
This podcast contains a refreshingly honest interview with Tebogo Khaas, president of the SMME Forum. Thanks again to Antowan for all his hard work in creating such a professional podcast.

Anti-cartoon protests go online
Almost 1,000 Danish websites have been defaced by Islamic hackers protesting about controversial cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

Yahoo makes plea over censorship
Internet giant Yahoo says it is "deeply concerned" over government efforts to impose censorship.

'Hacker' extradition case reopens

The extradition hearing of a British man accused of hacking into the US military computer system has resumed.

Future shock awaits mobile firms
With more than two billion people using mobile phones, there is no doubt that growth of the industry has been stellar during its relatively short history.

Privacy fears hit Google search
A leading US digital rights campaign group has warned against using Google software which lets people organise and find information on their computers.

ID chips not just for pets any more
Tiny silicon chips were embedded into two workers who volunteered to help test the tagging technology at a surveillance equipment company, an official said Monday.

U.S. steps up efforts to halt Web censorship
The United States said Tuesday it plans to aggressively combat efforts by governments to restrict Internet use.

U.S. steps up efforts to halt Web censorship
The United States said Tuesday it plans to aggressively combat efforts by governments to restrict Internet use.

Friday, February 10, 2006
  Cape Town to respond to disasters using VoIP
An emergency-management centre in Cape Town will soon be using open-source voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) telephony to deal with and respond to disasters in the region. Cape Town-based VoIP gurus Connection-Telecom recently implemented an Asterisk solution at the provincial emergency management centre based at Tygerberg hospital.

TV channel appeals in quest for clarity
The Cape High Court has granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal against a ruling barring it from screening a 3rd Degree programme on the murder of six-month-old Jordan Leigh Norton.

Independent group offers Muslims an apology
The Independent Newspapers group has offered to publish an apology for any offence a weekend article caused to Muslims, already in uproar over a Danish-penned cartoon lampooning their prophet Mohammed.

Estate Planning In The Digital Age
The death of a loved one is never easy, but death in the digital age can create knotty problems that add to the anguish.

Patent office to re-examine JPEG patent
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will re-examine the validity of the so-called JPEG patent held by Forgent Networks, an action that could deprive the company of its multimillion-dollar revenue stream.

Murdoch expects $1bn from web
Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has predicted the media giant's growing internet arm to produce revenues of "a conservative one billion dollars" by 2010.Mr Murdoch, who led a $US1.3 billion ($1.74 billion) buy-up of internet assets last year, also said in an interview in New York that the company would unveil a $US1 billion plan this month to add broadband to its US satellite television service DirecTV.

Newspapers want search engines to pay
The Internet has undercut the businesses of newspapers, book publishers and magazines for years and now these media are looking for ways to fight back.

Gonzales says spying legal and necessary
US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales insisted to skeptical lawmakers yesterday that monitoring Americans' phone calls and email messages without a warrant was a necessary part of the US "war on terror".

Thursday, February 09, 2006
  E-Mail Marketing Best Practices
E-mail marketing has grown over time to become one of the most cost- effective methods of marketing used today. The ability to send large quantities of e-mail at almost no cost during the early days of e-mail marketing led to over saturation, deceitful practices and a bad reputation.

Microsoft warns of new Windows security issues
Microsoft on Tuesday warned of two security issues that could put some Windows users at risk of attack and said it is investigating a third possible vulnerability.

Check 'n Go owner sues Google over use of trademark
A payday loans provider has filed a federal lawsuit against Google Inc., claiming its trademark was exploited by the leading Internet search engine in advertisement sales.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006
  Google 'death penalty' for BMW site
Luxury car-maker BMW has had its German website blacklisted by Google after it was caught trying to artificially boost its popularity ranking on the world's leading Internet search engine, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

iTouch to appeal “truetone” ruling
iTouch will appeal to the Advertising Standards Authority tomorrow over a ruling that the phrase ‘truetone” is misleading. Sony BMG lodged a complaint last year that the use of the phrase ‘truetone' leads consumers to believe that they would receive a clip from the original recording of songs when downloading a ringtone, whereas they only receive an imitation.

Annoy someone online--two years in jail?
It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

Big Leap to 'Old Media' Guy Credited for Yahoo's Revival
"It's a 21st-century media company," Semel said in a recent interview in which he discussed his transition from old to new. "The difference between the more traditional media companies and companies like Yahoo is all about technology, and the two -- technology and media -- totally marry each other."

Monday, February 06, 2006
  What Legal Rules Are Applicable to Blogs?
Together with Wim Schreurs I have written an article about blogging and the legal rules applicable to blogs. We provide a short overview of legal blogs (“blawgs”) in Flanders and Wallonia (Belgium), the Netherlands, France, Germany and the USA.

Buy Danish. Nothing Rotten in the State of Denmark
Four months ago to the day, on September 30th, Jyllands-Posten published its twelve Muhammad cartoons. Over the past four months The Brussels Journal, an internet publication, has posted 19 stories about the affair, but the mainstream media (MSM) have – until today – remained conspicuously silent.

Web site censorship doesn't work: Gates
Government attempts to censor Web sites or blogs would fail since the banned information could get out in defiance of official efforts, said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates yesterday.

Be afraid, be very afraid...!
Company PCs could be under the control of hackers (through so-called botnets), without the company ever knowing it; employees may be hiding malicious code on PCs' flash memory (BIOS); and Gartner warns that Oracle's software "can no longer be considered a bastion of security".

Banks 'must tackle online fraud'
Banks must do more to promote security among their online customers, the UK's finance watchdog has said.

ID theft 'contained' says study
Americans lost almost $57bn (£32bn) to identity theft in 2005, finds research.

Members of secretive group indicted in piracy plot
A group of cyber-pirates stole copyrighted software, games and movies in what law enforcement authorities on Wednesday termed a "massive" theft for their own pleasure, not profit.

Expert: Botnets No. 1 emerging Internet threat
A "botnet" is a network of zombie computers -- thousands surreptitiously are infected with code that allows an unauthorized user to control them via the Internet. The computers can be used to spread spam, launch denial-of-service attacks against Web sites and conduct fraudulent activities.

Lawmakers: Tech firms bowing to Chinese censors
Lawmakers on Wednesday accused U.S.-based Internet companies of giving in to pressure from China and helping to censor Web users in violation of American principles of free speech.

Microsoft changes blog policies
Microsoft Corp. is tightening its policies regarding shutting down Web journals after its much-publicized shutdown of a well-known Chinese blogger at that government's request.

Plan to charge businesses for e-mail triggers outcry
America Online's plan to start charging businesses to send commercial e-mail messages is creating an uproar among some marketers, according to a published report.

Paying for e-mail 'postage stamps'
Companies will soon have to buy the electronic equivalent of a postage stamp if they want to be certain that their e-mail will be delivered to many of their customers, The New York Times reports.

Mayor's Stepdaughter Disclosed as as Blogger in Defamation Case
Cristina Rawley, the stepdaughter of Smyrna Mayor Mark Schaeffer, was the author under four aliases of vile Internet blog entries in 2004 attacking Town Councilmen Patrick Cahill and Doug Chervenak, Schaeffer said. In previous statements, Schaeffer denied that he, his wife, Ruby, or Rawley, 25, who lives with the mayor, posted the blog entries under the aliases "Proud Citizen," "Screwed U All," "Saw It All," and "Me Too."

Despite Fears, "Kama Sutra" Worm Does Little Damage
One Italian city's government shut down its computers as a precaution but a file-destroying computer worm otherwise caused relatively little damage when it triggered worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of computers were believed to be infected, but many companies and individuals had time to clean up their machines after security vendors and media outlets warned of the "Kama Sutra" worm.

Google's good-guy image starting to wear thin
It has been a time from hell for Google. Once the much-loved and unblemished hero of the web, the giant internet group has suffered a series of blows that have exposed for the first time its feet of clay.

China closes down 'unhealthy' websites
Chinese regulators closed down more than 2 000 websites last year because they had too much sex, violence or politics, state media reported on Monday.

Feared computer worm caused 'minor problems'
A malicious software worm timed to attack computers worldwide on Friday appeared to do little damage, anti-virus software makers said.

E-stamp secures e-mail delivery
Companies will soon have to buy the electronic equivalent of a postage stamp if they want to be certain that their e-mail will be delivered to many of their customers, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

Yap yap yap say Western running dogs
The notion of freedom of speech is damned pretty, but it contains one fundamental flaw: it allows people to speak freely. This severe shortcoming has presented immense obstacles to progressive societies over the centuries and while some of the more athletic Occidental nations have made strides in correcting its foibles -- lime quarries and guard dogs seem to have a retardant effect on its more extreme symptoms -- the most insidious fantasy of our age has taken hold of the public imagination and shows no sign of being crushed any time soon.

Statement on the cartoons of prophet Muhammad
Sunday Times opposed the urgent interdict on the grounds that it would not be held to ransom by pressure groups.We are aware of the sensitivities regarding the cartoons, and the editorial team was discussing whether these sensitivities should be given more weight that the right of non Muslim readers to see the depictions that had caused huge offence in other parts of the world.

Friday, February 03, 2006
  The End of the Internet?
The nation's largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online.

Can 'scam sweeps' clean up the internet?
The UK public is losing £1bn per year to scams, many of which use fake emails and websites. It is estimated five million Brits responded to scams last year.

Internet law under fire for violating personal freedoms
Last week, President George W. Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

Thursday, February 02, 2006
  IBM Report Anticipates Surge in Cyber Attacks in 2006
"...with increased security protection on most systems and stiffer penalties, we are seeing organized, committed, and tenacious profiteers enter this space. This means that attacks will be more targeted and potentially damaging. Organizations around the world – from the public and private sectors – must move quickly and work together to address this growing challenge."

Open-Source Licensing: Here's What I've 'Noticed'
There is plenty of justification for notice requirements. However, the way notices are currently provided causes problems that need not exist, and a single copyright notice is inadequate to serve all purposes.

Cellphone viruses may pose huge threat to SA
While cellphone viruses are in their infancy locally, information technology experts predict a growing problem that could cost the country's 30 million cellphone users billions of rands in anti-virus software.

ISP ups security after hacker attack
Some 100 South African Web sites were defaced in an attack on 21 January by a Turkish-based hacker, but Internet service provider (ISP) Web Africa says it is now better prepared to deal with future threats. The ISP confirmed the attack, after the hacker, “one7”, posted a list of defaced sites on, a hacker “brag site”. This follows a similar attack in September, when hackers defaced about 750 domains hosted by Web Africa.

Email warns of new hi-tech ATM scam
An email warning circulating in South Africa has raised concern over a sophisticated new form of ATM fraud.But banking officials have assured customers the trend has not reached our shores - yet.The source of the email is unknown. It details a form of fraud in which ATM machines are "converted" with technological devices to steal banking details.

Microsoft defends decision to give up search data
Microsoft Corp. is on the defensive over its decision to hand over search data to the U.S. government, saying the company would never compromise the privacy of its customers. On the company's MSN Search Weblog, Ken Moss, general manager of MSN Web Search, said that Microsoft did not divulge any personal user information when it provided the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with data from its search service.

Windows code thief sentenced
A US federal judge has sentenced a convicted hacker known as "illwill" to two years in prison for selling the code for Microsoft's closely-guarded Windows operating system.William Genovese, Jr., 29, pleaded guilty last year to one count of unlawful distribution of trade secrets for putting Microsoft's source code for its Windows 4.0 and Windows 2000 programs on his website and selling it.

Patent spat forces businesses to upgrade Office
Microsoft has begun e-mailing its corporate customers worldwide, letting them know that they may need to start using a different version of Office as a result of a recent legal setback. The software maker said Monday that it has been forced to issue new versions of Office 2003 and Office XP, which change the way Microsoft's Access database interacts with its Excel spreadsheet.

Regional Bank Balks at Lending to Developers of "Eminent Domain" Seized Properties
A US federal judge has sentenced a convicted hacker known as "illwill" to two years in prison for selling the code for Microsoft's closely-guarded Windows operating system.William Genovese, Jr., 29, pleaded guilty last year to one count of unlawful distribution of trade secrets for putting Microsoft's source code for its Windows 4.0 and Windows 2000 programs on his website and selling it.

Man sues chatroom pals: I was humiliated beyond what 'no man could endure'
Mike Marlowe fully admits that he sometimes gave George Gillespie a hard time in that AOL chatroom. But never in his wildest imagination did he expect to be sued in court for what he characterized as "razzing." "We gave him crap," said Marlowe, a 33-year-old welder in Fayette, Ala. "I'm not going to deny it. I teased him and he teased me back. He gave it back better than he ever got it."

Microsoft Issues Own Blackworm Warning
Microsoft is preparing users for the arrival of the Blackworm, a mass mailing malware variant expected to infiltrate and slam personal computers this Friday.

Domain Prices Set to Rise
The days of ever cheaper domain names may well be numbered, thanks to a newly-revised agreement between ICANN and online security provider VeriSign (Quote, Chart).

Selling that old PC may not be a good idea
People who sell their old computers put themselves at risk of being defrauded or having their identities stolen because many terminals are not properly wiped of data, according to a study released on Tuesday.

Google picks Shuttleworth’s Ubuntu
SOFTWARE developed by a company founded by local billionaire Mark Shuttleworth has been installed by Google, the world’s most-used search engine.

Politicians deface Wikipedia
US politicians have been caught defacing entries on Wikipedia which they do not agree with, or say nasty things about them.

Film is dead, long live digital
A photographer mourns the passing of photographic film, and looks forward to a new era of digital possibilities.

Internet gods risk their own freedom
SILICON Valley came to the mountains of Switzerland at Davos last week. Was it my imagination or did its leaders look shamefaced?

Media24, website owner fight over '24'
Listed media group Naspers' subsidiary Media24, which holds the group's print and internet titles, has sent a letter to and sister company, insisting that the websites stop using 24 in their company names.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
  Microsoft to set rules for blog complaints
Microsoft has pledged to create rules on how it will deal with government complaints about websites and blogs hosted by the US software giant.







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