Buys Inc. Attorneys
ICT Law Blog
Monday, July 31, 2006
  Vishing: New email con for bank details
...Internet fraud dubbed phishing, where email recipients are directed to a fake website seeking their financial details, has been around for several years, but the California case represented the new scam of "vishing," according to government officials and security experts.
As opposed to phishing, so-called vishing relies on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony.

Times Change, Microsoft Changes
Microsoft's 12 principles indicate a change in rhetoric from the software giant. And that's half the battle.

Response Speed Is Key with Stolen Laptops
It's the call that no IT manager wants to receive, but one that's clearly ringing bells across the world of enterprise security: An employee's laptop computer has been stolen, and it may contain sensitive data.

Record figures reported for online child porn
A UK-based Internet monitoring group has said it had received a record number of reports of online child pornography in the first six months of 2006, with half of all content traced back to the United States.

Don't be surprised if your next cellphone comes preinstalled with antivirus software. As mobile broadband takes off, handsets are increasingly being used to access the Internet. But this makes them prone to infection by the same type of electronic nasties that afflict PC users.

Copyright and Kazaa
It may be difficult to fight copyright violations on the Internet, the Wild West of global communications, but it's not impossible.

China crisis for web's biggest names as licence crackdown looms
China could block the operations of some of the internet's biggest names in an apparent bid to take more control of the net economy. Yahoo!, eBay and Google all operate in China.

Friday, July 28, 2006
  New GPL License Addresses Digital Rights Management
The Free Software Foundation has revised provisions concerning the thorny area of digital rights management in a new draft of the General Public License. The approach in the second draft of GPL version 3 "only directly restricts DRM in the special case in which it is used to prevent people from sharing or modifying GPLv3-covered software," the foundation said in a statement.

Laptop with Personal Info Stolen from Payroll Auditor
A laptop stolen from a payroll auditor contains personal information on 12,000 current and former Armstrong World Industries Inc. employees, the company said. The data include home addresses and phone numbers, Social Security numbers and how much the people were paid.

Two Laptops with Personal Info Stolen from Navy Offices
Two laptop computers with personal information on about 31,000 Navy recruiters and their prospective recruits were stolen from Navy offices in New Jersey in June and July, the Navy disclosed. It was the third time in little more than a month that personal data on Navy personnel has been lost or unintentionally released publicly over the Internet.

Online Fraud Victims Often Hapless, U.K. Report Says
A report issued by the U.K.'s Office of the Attorney General claimed that victims of Internet fraud often aren't able to report the crime to the authorities, and that the police often view fraud perpetrated against companies as being victimless. While 8 percent of all fraud in the United Kingdom is now carried out online, victims often do not know whom to report the crime to, according to the Fraud Review, a report issued by the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith.

University Students Face Jail for Hacking Grades
A pair of California State University, Northridge students each face up to a year in jail for a prank that involved hacking into a professor's computer, giving grades to some 300 students and sending pizza, magazine subscriptions and CDs to the professor's home. Lena Chen, 20, of Torrance and Jennifer Ngan, 19, of Alhambra face misdemeanor charges of illegally accessing computers.

Tech group appeals ISP wiretapping diktat
A coalition of civil liberties groups and technology companies, including and Sun Microsystems, is appealing a US federal court ruling that forces ISPs to create backdoors for government wiretapping.

Jerry Springer: the court hearing
A High Court judge will be forced to watch several hours of The Jerry Springer Show to help settle a legal spat between the US chat programme’s producer and its UK licensee.

UK employer wins rights over employee’s invention
The ruling in the recent intellectual property case of LIFFE Administration and Management vs Pavel Pinkava, which concerned the ownership of a number of connected inventions relating to trading on a financial exchange, is that the employer is the owner, says a report on the International Law Office site. The judge’s decision was based on a step-by-step assessment of the relevant requirements under Section 39 of the Patents Act 1977.

California Law Governs Phone Monitoring From Other States, Court Rules
California has long been a trendsetter when it comes to privacy law. But a July 13 ruling by the California Supreme Court could make the state not only an exemplar that other states follow, but effectively the lawmaker for the rest of the nation -- at least when it comes to conduct that affects the privacy of California residents. The Court ruled, in Kearney v. Salomon Smith Barney, Inc.Kearney v. Salomon Smith Barney, Inc., that California law, not Georgia law, governed a suit involving calls with California residents that were recorded by persons in Georgia.

Court Rejects "States Secret" Assertion in NSA Wiretapping Case
It's been a tough few weeks for the Administration's broad assertions of executive power. First, the Supreme Court held in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that the plan to use military tribunals to try detainees held in Guantanamo Bay violated the Geneva Convention and U.S. law. Then, on July 20, a federal district court in California rejected the government's motion to dismiss, on grounds of the "state secrets" privilege, claims against AT&T for allegedly cooperating with the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program.

A New Model For Getting Rich Online
For hundreds of thousands of people, the dream of making an Internet fortune works like this: Earn pennies at a time in exchange for allowing Google Inc. or Yahoo Inc. to place advertisements on a personal or small-business Web page.

Microsoft: Vista shipments on track, for now
Microsoft Corp. said on Thursday it sees no reason why its new Windows Vista operating system would be delayed, but it stopped short of committing to its previously stated launch target.

More Digital Copyright Litigation Strikes: YouTube Could Turn Out To Be The Next Napster
For anyone that has followed digital copyright issues, they have some familiarity with case names and technology such as Sony, Napster, Aimster, Grokster and Google. Now a relative newcomer to the digital word, YouTube, may either provide the next chapter in interesting copyright litigation or a useful template for other similar services that wish to comply with copyright laws.

Casting, one pod at a time

Naspers merger boosts online media
Media group Naspers' decision to merge the digital arm of its publishing subsidiary, Media24, with MWEB Studios shows that SA's mainstream media is taking the growth of online media seriously, says online analyst Arthur Goldstuck.

EC Act comes into effect
President Thabo Mbeki has proclaimed the commencement of the Electronic Communications (EC) Act and the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) Amendment Act as of today. The proclamation was published yesterday in the Government Gazette.

Secretary tests French law after blog sacking
A 33-year-old British secretary has launched a test case before a French employment tribunal after bring sacked from her company for writing a personal Internet blog about her day-to-day life in Paris.

YouTube Hit With Copyright Infringement Suit
YouTube, the uber-popular video-sharing site, was sued for copyright infringement on Friday by Robert Tur, an independent news reporter who claims the site encouraged its users to circulate his legally protected video coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

Old Mutual client-data are stolen
It is the latest instance of a lost laptop triggering concern about identity theft.

Wait on for click fraud verdict
Plaintiffs in a class-action suit argued on Monday that Google has not exercised reasonable care to prevent "click fraud" and has misrepresented efforts to stop swindlers from repeatedly clicking Web site links to drive up advertising costs.

Scam warning for internet phone users
Criminal gangs are beginning to exploit the internet telephone network to steal bank account and credit card details, it was revealed this week.

Professional Hackers Target World Finance
Professional Hackers and Organised Crime Target World's Largest Financial Institutions.

Appeal against ISP snooping goes to Washington
A group of technology companies and civil liberties groups will continue to challenge a law requiring ISPs to allow eavesdropping of customers by security agencies.

Kazaa to pay $100 million and go legal in landmark piracy settlement
One of the biggest names in file-sharing hassettled all of its suits with the recording industry. Kazaa's owner will pay the industry $100 millionand will introduce filters to stop copyrightedworks being passed around its networks.

Meta tag abusers face 20 years in prison under US law
The US has passed legislation which controlswhat website operators are allowed to put in their site meta tags. The law bans the use of words which might lead anyone to obscene content.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006
  Thousands of EU net names frozen
Thousands of website names ending in the .eu suffix have been suspended by the body that administers the domain.

Hearing planned on domain names
A public hearing on the future control of internet domain names is being held by the US Commerce Department.

Medic database spam suspect collared
A US man has been charged with stealing the membership database of the American College of Physicians (ACP) for resale as a premium spamming list.
William Bailey Jr, 46, of Charlotte, North Carolina, faces a possible fine of up to $2.75m and a maximum sentence of up to 55 years if he's convicted of gaining unauthorised access to the database of 80,000 US doctors and medics.

Beware of data kidnappers
Computer users who fail to back up their data are being held to ransom by hackers who hold their information prisoner, according to one information security firm.

Show and tell
The decision by the US Federal Court to adopt new rules providing for widespread discovery of electronic documents and the parallel development of forensic and other IT techniques may herald a change to the manner in which parties to international arbitration proceedings will approach document production.

Summary of HIPAA Privacy Rule
Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule and Compliance Assistance

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
  SA banking industry stifles possible competition
South Africa's banking sector is so concentrated that it stifles competition, but the Reserve Bank, which regulates the industry, and analysts, who study it, say it will be difficult for newcomers to break in, even though this would boost competition.According to the annual report of the bank supervision department of the Reserve Bank, the Herfindahl-Hirschman index - a measure of concentration and competition in the banking system, taking into account both the size and number of institutions - worsened from 0.182 in 2004 to 0.184 in 2005. The higher the index, the weaker the competition and the higher the levels of concentration in the banking system.

Monday, July 24, 2006
  FTC Approves Settlement Over "Grand Theft Auto"
The Federal Trade Commission has unanimously approved its consent order and agreement with "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" publisher Take-Two Interactive Software, the company announced. Under the terms of the agreement, which was originally announced June 8 and which came after months of government investigation into sexually themed content hidden in the popular video game, Take-Two agreed to "clearly and prominently disclose on product packaging and in any promotion or advertisement content relevant to the rating."

Sunday, July 23, 2006
  Professional Hackers Target Large Financial Organizations
Professional Hackers and Organised Crime Target World's Largest Financial Institutions

Microsoft v. Pirates: 26 New Lawsuits Filed
Microsoft (Quote, Chart) filed suit against more than two dozen companies charged with loading pirated software on computers they sold.

British Home Office Proposes Sweeping Powers To Ban Hackers From Internet
The British Home Office has proposed the Serious Crime Prevention Order which aims to combat suspected hackers and spammers by using civil proceedings to ban them from the Internet." Civil libertarians expressed concern that the courts would have too much power. The Home Office proposals also call for data mining across government and private data bases. Parliament will debate the proposals.

Google Settles Case Over Journal-Search Service
A trademark lawsuit pitting the venerable American Chemical Society against Google has quietly gone away. ACS, which was founded in 1876 and claims to be the world's largest scientific society, sued Google in 2004, claiming that the free "Google Scholar" journal-search service unfairly competes with ACS' "SciFinder Scholar," which appears to be more comprehensive but charges a fee.

Microsoft Vows Vista Will Comply with Regulators' Demands
Microsoft Corp. said that it will allow competitors' software to appear more prominently than its own on the new Windows operating system, scheduled for sale next year. Microsoft outlined a dozen "guiding principles" to show that it will comply with demands from government regulators in the United States and abroad who are closely monitoring Vista.

Man Indicted for Terrorism Fundraising Websites
A British man was indicted on charges he helped run terrorism fundraising Web sites, set up terrorists with temporary housing in England and possessed a classified U.S. Navy document revealing troop movements. Syed Talha Ahsan was arrested at his home in London on a federal indictment in Connecticut charging him with conspiracy to support terrorists and conspiracy to kill or injure people abroad.

Top-Secret World Loses Blogger
Christine Axsmith, a software contractor for the CIA, considered her blog a success within the select circle of people who could actually access it.

Judge Declines to Dismiss Lawsuit Against AT& T
A federal judge yesterday rejected the government's effort to throw out a lawsuit about its warrantless surveillance program, arguing that a dismissal of the case would restrict civil liberties without strengthening national security.

Google's Profit Soars as Rivals Falter
The lackluster performance among the technology powerhouses this week might have been easier to understand had it not been for Internet giant Google Inc. and another strong quarter in search advertising revenue.

Point and Click DDoS Attacks
Seems like the Internet's bad guys have automated all their attacks these days. A good friend of mine pointed me to a blog post by security blogger and anti-spyware ninja Chris Boyd -- a.k.a "Paperghost" -- about adware from Zango serving up pornography to a targeted teen audience.

FBI Circulates Draft "Super-CALEA" Bill That Would Make Even J. Edgar Hoover Blush
At a meeting with industry representatives on July 7, the FBI circulated a draft of a supercharged version of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), the law that requires telecommunications carriers to build wiretap capabilities into their networks to facilitate electronic surveillance by law enforcement. CALEA has recently been the subject of regulatory action at the Federal Communications Commission and the D.C. Circuit, resulting in an expansive reading of the existing law to cover broadband Internet access providers and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol providers. Not content with its victories in these fora, the FBI apparently is requesting expansive changes to CALEA. One look at the Bureau's "Super-CALEA" reveals that it is a pure law enforcement "wish list," with little or no attempt to balance competing interests as the current statute does. Indeed, the section-by-section analysis that accompanies the draft bill specifically explains that the purpose of one of the amendments is to demote privacy interests in favor of the carrier's "primary duty to facilitate access to all of the communications or communication-identifying information that a law enforcement agency has been authorized to obtain." What's more, the draft bill, if passed, would constitute a radical expansion of the FBI's access to (and control of foreign agencies' access to) purely foreign communications.

Authors plan ‘Da Vinci’ legal appeal
Two authors who unsuccessfully sued the publisher of “The Da Vinci Code” for copyright infringement have been given the go-ahead to challenge their defeat in court.

Survey: China Web use soaring
China's population of Internet users, already the world's second-biggest after the U.S., has jumped by nearly 20 percent over the past year to 123 million, with broadband access soaring, the government said Wednesday.

US 'worst' for online child abuse
More than 50% of online images of child abuse reported to an internet watchdog can be traced to the US, a report says.

Poisoned PowerPoint attacks users
Microsoft is warning Windows users about a virus that takes over PCs via the popular PowerPoint program.

Software firm to probe accounts
Troubled software business iSoft has launched an investigation into possible accounting irregularities at the firm.

Pew Study Unmasks US Bloggers
A recent study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project showed that 12 million American adults, or roughly 8 percent of adult Internet users, blog. Contrary to popular belief, most focus on issues and items related to their personal lives, and blogging is split fairly evenly between the sexes; 54 percent of bloggers are men and 46 percent are women.

FBI Hopes 'Digital Enron' Will Boost Cybercrime Awareness
Though the FBI is gradually making progress in prosecuting online criminals, the agency is still waiting for a major, newsworthy case like the Enron scandal to bring cybercrime to the forefront of public attention. Only after such an event could the necessary reforms be made to allow authorities to effectively battle online criminals, FBI special agent Shana Boswell-Crowe said.

Online Video Boom Raises Risks, Concerns
"We're all battling the same thing, keeping this stuff off our site," said YouTube spokesperson Julie Supan. "But the reality is, there's a handful of people who try to take advantage of the system. And we are trying to put more controls in place."

Blogger in France sues after being fired
The 33-year-old British expat in Paris writes under the pseudonym "La Petite Anglaise" and tells of love affairs, single motherhood and office bloopers with self-deprecating, "Bridget Jones"-style humor.

Bush's back rub magnified in cyberspace
An impromptu back rub that President Bush gave German Chancellor Angela Merkel is now massaging millions of funny bones.

Lords ruling could trigger new claims from bullied staff
A House of Lords ruling has made employers liable for workplace harassment even if they were not in any way negligent. Wednesday's landmark ruling could open the floodgates to new kinds of harassment claims.arassment claims.

XM Radio Asks Judge to Dismiss Copyright Suit
XM Satellite Radio asked a federal judge to throw out a copyright lawsuit by the recording industry over the company's new iPod-like device that can store up to 50 hours of music. XM Satellite said the 1992 Home Recording Audio act protects it from being sued over its $400 handheld "Inno" device.

News Reporter Sues YouTube Over Video of L.A. Riots
An independent news reporter sued the popular Web site YouTube for copyright infringement, claiming the video file-sharing service encouraged users to copy his protected materials. Robert Tur, a journalist who gained fame with his helicopter-based coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and 1994 freeway chase of O.J. Simpson, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging his copyrighted footage had been posted and circulated on YouTube without his permission.

Microsoft Sues 26 Companies for Selling Illegal Software
Microsoft has filed 26 lawsuits accusing U.S. companies of selling pirated software, the latest move in its ramped-up efforts to boost sales by cracking down on illegal copies. The lawsuits accuse the companies of selling illegal copies of its Windows operating system and Office business software.

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Suit Against Google News
A federal judge has postponed a key ruling in a lawsuit against Google brought by Agence France-Presse that alleges Google's popular news search feature violates copyright laws. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said that she was not prepared to rule on Google's request to dismiss the case, and instead granted both sides more time to try to reconstruct Google News pages from randomly chosen dates in 2003 and 2004.

With VA Laptop Recovered, Free Credit Reports Canceled
Free credit monitoring for veterans whose personal information was stolen has been withdrawn, the Bush administration said, because the laptop containing their data has been recovered. In a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, White House budget director Rob Portman said he was canceling his office's request last month for $160.5 million in additional funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide one year of free monitoring to millions of veterans and active-duty troops.

Analyst Finds Interesting Trends in 47 Million Domain Names
Dennis Forbes, an analyst at Vastardis Capital Services, a New York mutual-fund service company, got the list of 47 million domain names from Verisign and has since made a hobby of studying the list, something he does in his spare time. He has, in the process, become the world's pre-eminent domainologist. He has, in the process, become the world's pre-eminent domainologist.

Law firms look to mergers for competitive edge
AS THE practice of law becomes more competitive and globalised, leading law firms worldwide are trying to maintain their edge by merging with other prominent practices.

Enterprises Look More Closely at Messaging ROI
"Companies are now looking at deployments of hundreds and even thousands of wireless devices, and they have to be more rigorous in determining the criteria to justify such purchases," said Monica Basso, research vice president at Gartner.

Survey Finds Consumers Balk at Updating Malware Protection
"Overall, the research shows that many consumers have a false sense of security while online," ESET Chief Research Officer Andrew Lee said in a statement. "With the number of zero-day threats rapidly increasing, users need to be even more cautious and proactive in their own protection."

Cash, the web and the mousetrap
The paperless society, where any transaction is a click of a mouse away, is not without pitfalls as criminals keep up with technology to find ways to cash in on hard-earned gains.

'Internet is helping crime syndicates expand'
Sophisticated crime syndicates could be behind the recent wave of Internet crimes.

Old Media and the Digital Revolution
Newspapers have been conservative, complacent and slow to take up the digital revolution that is well under way today. This acknowledgment was made at the We Media conference in London by World Association of Newspapers Director General Timothy Balding.

Web news readers spend more online
Frequent readers of newspaper Web sites are more likely to make online purchases than other Internet users, according to a study released on Friday by the Newspaper Association of America.

Banks rake it in through online
Standard Bank has attributed its 14 million online transactions, more than R1 billion worth of loans, and online usership figures of 500 000 per month for 2005 to its online advertising strategy and other banks agree: the rapidly growing digital forum can no longer be ignored.

Details of e-banking fraudster emerge
The alleged member of an international crime syndicate arrested in connection with the recent Internet banking scam has been accused of fraud in the past, and is living in SA illegally.

Anti-crime campaign may scare 2010 visitors
A proposed international anti-crime campaign designed to embarrass South Africa and scare off potential tourists has been condemned by the government as being a scare tactic.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006
  More Digital Copyright Litigation Strikes: YouTube Could Turn Out To Be The Next Napster
For anyone that has followed digital copyright issues, they have some familiarity with case names and technology such as Sony, Napster, Aimster, Grokster and Google. Now a relative newcomer to the digital word, YouTube, may either provide the next chapter in interesting copyright litigation or a useful template for other similar services that wish to comply with copyright laws.

Key telecoms laws come to life
Two key pieces of legislation that will help introduce much-needed competition into the telecommunications market become operational on Wednesday.

Telecoms enters a new era
The long-awaited Electronics Communications Act and the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) Amendment Act came into effect today, the office of the presidency said yesterday.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
  Electronic Banking: risks – old and new
WE have entered a new age of payment. Just as efficiencies encouraged the use of cheques over legal tender for all but small face-to-face transactions, so too are efficiencies encouraging the use of electronic funds transfers (EFT) over cheques. And with electronic funds transfer has come electronic (or desktop) banking.

Monday, July 17, 2006
  'Sabotage' claim by SA crime website's creator
A website dedicated to exposing the "true extent of crime in South Africa" has come under attack, with similar domain names being rerouted to a site critical of the man behind the site, Neil Watson.

BT tops 'broadband speed tests'
British Telecom is currently the best performing ADSL UK internet service provider (ISPs), says a net survey.

Google Threatens Antitrust Action if Two-Tiered Internet Emerges
Google's attempt to sway lawmakers may fall on deaf ears. Though Google has made itself into a business and technology force to be reckoned with, it doesn't wield a lot of influence on Capitol Hill, where it has clashed with lawmakers in the past, most recently over its decision to censor Web content in order to do business in China.

Tubes, Pipes, Whatever: Sen. Stevens Knows the Net
Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," offered his own explanation for why it took so long for Senator Stevens to receive his staff's e-mail: "Maybe it's because you do not seem to know jack BLEEP about computers or the Internet ... but hey, you're just the guy in charge of regulating it."

Yahoo invites its users to shoot ads
Yahoo (YHOO) first encouraged consumers to create blogs and photo pages with text and pictures. Now, the Internet portal wants them to make advertisements, too.

Citibank Phish Spoofs 2-Factor Authentication
Security experts have long touted the need for financial Web sites to move beyond mere passwords and implement so-called "two-factor authentication" -- the second factor being something the user has in their physical possession like an access card -- as the answer to protecting customers from phishing attacks that use phony e-mails and bogus Web sites to trick users into forking over their personal and financial data.

Unpatched Powerpoint Flaw Exploited
Online criminals are taking advantage of an unpatched security hole in Microsoft's Office products again. Security experts say they've spotted a flaw in the Powerpoint slide-presentation program being exploited in the wild.

Magnetic memory faces uncertain future
The magnetoresistive Ram (MRam) introduced last week by Freescale Semiconductor will not be a viable competitor for other memory chips until at least 2010, according to analyst firm Gartner.

Corporate IT Forum joins criticism of Fast
Tif says the Federation Against Software Theft is being too heavy-handed in its dealings with UK firms

Microsoft hands copyright control over to publishers
Microsoft has moved further into searching copyright material with its Windows Live Books Publisher Program . Launched in May, the program will be expanded within the coming weeks to accept submissions in digital form, in addition to the print material currently being processed.

Growing towards knowledge societies
Are we on the threshold of a new age -- that of knowledge societies? The scientific upheavals of the 20th century have brought about a third industrial revolution, that of the new technologies, which are essentially intellectual technologies.

Saturday, July 15, 2006
  Mass cellular viruses imminent
There is a sharp increase in the uptake of operating system-based smartphones in SA, and, although cellular viruses are still scarce, analysts agree it is only a matter of time before they boom.

New laws, such as the National Credit Act and the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica), are forcing SA’s banks to cough up hundreds of millions to ensure their IT systems are in line with the stipulations set out in legislation.

Major internet scoop for Knysna
In a major boost to business and tourism, the Knysna municipality is to extend its cutting-edge wireless technology to key areas throughout the town to help dramatically reduce phonecall and internet costs.

'Sabotage' claim by SA crime website's creator
A website dedicated to exposing the "true extent of crime in South Africa" has come under attack, with similar domain names being rerouted to a site critical of the man behind the site, Neil Watson.

Online Banking Security Liability
I just read through the “Web Safety Guarantee” of everbank. The guarantee covers 100% of any losses due to “A computer crime that EverBank security system fails to prevent”.

Web threats double
And just as I was reporting that virus ridden emails are on the decrease, McAfee said that it has officially released protection for malicious threat number 200,000 in its database, which has doubled since the 100,000 threshold was passed in 2004.

Judge denies request to stop Google airplane soap
California judge has declined to issue a ruling against airplane interior designer Leslie Jennings that sought to make him shut up about a failed project for Google executive Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Judge declares: to be Googled is no constitutional right
A California judge has ruled against the Kinderstart online portal. The site had charged that Google had violated a slew of laws when it lowered the site's pagerank, the score that determines a site's rank in the search results.

Channel 4 warned of simulcast lawsuits
Channel 4's decision to broadcast its home-grown content online and on TV at the same time has sparked fears of lawsuits from artists whose work is featured in TV adverts.

Google PageRank lawsuit thrown out
A Google AdSense customer that tried to sue Google over a 'zero' PageRank rating has had its claim thrown out of a US court.

ISPs outraged at music download licensing plan
Internet service providers and mobile firms have reacted angrily to plans to charge them for illegal file sharing by their users.

Goldman Sachs objects to
Investment bank Goldman Sachs has made an official complaint about a website called

Phishers crack two-factor authentication
Security experts have detected a new type of phishing attack that could render two-factor authentication useless.

Details of e-banking fraudster emerge
The alleged member of an international crime syndicate arrested in connection with the recent Internet banking scam has been accused of fraud in the past, and is living in SA illegally.

Banks not transgressing ECT Act
Legal firm Buys recently slated Standard Bank and Absa for allegedly transgressing the Electronic Communications and Transactions (ECT) Act, by not fully reimbursing hacked online customers and “hiding behind their terms and conditions”.

Stalking the sleeping lion
‘Your mandate is to find a way, and to do everything possible, to enable the children of Solomon Linda, the composer of a song called Mbube, which later evolved into the international hit song The Lion Sleeps Tonight, to derive some financial benefit from the considerable revenues generated by the popularity of The Lion Sleeps Tonight. You should recommend any reasonable course of action which you can conceive and we are willing to finance it even if it means conducting litigation abroad.’

Friday, July 14, 2006
  Britain to hand over hacker
BRITAIN has approved the extradition a computer expert accused by the US of perpetrating the "biggest military hack of all time".

Britain to hand over hacker
BRITAIN has approved the extradition a computer expert accused by the US of perpetrating the "biggest military hack of all time".

Companies must protect outsourced data, says privacy chief
Companies are still liable for data protection breaches that happen on third party premises thousands of miles away, the Information Commissioner has warned.

Ireland proposes controversial privacy law
The Irish Government has published a controversial privacy bill which opponents claim could hamstring the media and undermine principles of open justice.

US takes steps to ban most internet gambling
The US Congress has voted to ban online gambling in a bid to clarify the country's confused legal position on internet betting. The law, however, fudges a crucial legal battleground over horseracing that will leave punters in the dark.

Music industry proposes 'ISP tax'
A music industry coalition has proposed that ISPs and others should pay a licence fee to compensate rights-holders for unlawful file-sharing by their customers. One critic called the plans, which would change copyright laws, "ill-conceived and grasping."

Microsoft Stabs at Blogspam, Pokes Google
Microsoft today released new research on the epidemic of spam blogs -- or "splogs" -- as well as the "comment spam" that dodgy marketers splatter all over blogs in a bid to improve their sites' search-engine rankings. Redmond's research team found that splogs hosted on Google's appear to be widely spammed and fairly effective at jacking up the search results for the spammers' Web sites.

Legal threat to wiki listing site
A business listings website set up by a father and daughter in the UK has been threatened with legal action by directory firm Yell.

Yahoo, Microsoft tie message knot
Users of the Yahoo and Microsoft instant messaging programs can now contact each other directly.

Hackers attack State Department computers
The State Department is investigating a major computer break-in that targeted its headquarters and offices dealing with China and North Korea, department officials said Tuesday.

EC Act's promulgation imminent
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) expects the Electronic Communications (EC) Act to be promulgated within the next couple of weeks.
advertisement Spokesman Jubie Matlou says the regulator had expected the EC Act to be promulgated by 1 July, and it is now only a matter of time before president Thabo Mbeki makes an announcement of the implementation date for the Act.

Music industry proposes 'ISP tax'
A music industry coalition has proposed that ISPs and others should pay a licence fee to compensate rights-holders for unlawful file-sharing by their customers. One critic called the plans, which would change copyright laws, "ill-conceived and grasping."

Lords ruling could trigger new claims from bullied staff
A House of Lords ruling has made employers liable for workplace harassment even if they were not in any way negligent. Wednesday's landmark ruling could open the floodgates to new kinds of harassment claims.

Tiscali rejects BPI's evidence
Internet service provider Tiscali has rejected the record industry's evidence that its customers have been file-sharing and also its proposed punishments in a strongly worded rebuke to industry body the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Mass cellular viruses imminent
There is a sharp increase in the uptake of operating system-based smartphones in SA, and, although cellular viruses are still scarce, analysts agree it is only a matter of time before they boom.

Business Body Draws Up Guidelines On the Drafting of Laws On IT System Compliance
CORPORATE scandals, terrorist attacks, globalisation and dramatic growth in business-to-business internet transactions have triggered a new slew of laws forcing businesses to beef up the controls in their IT systems.
But the laws governing corporate IT systems and the data they contain are becoming so burdensome that the International Chamber of Commerce has drawn up guidelines for governments to follow when drafting new policies.

The recorded music industry's trade group has asked internet service providers (ISPs) to freeze the accounts of customers who illegally fileshare.
...It was unacceptable for ISPs to turn a "blind eye to industrial-scale copyright infringement", said BPI chairman Peter Jamieson.
"We are providing unequivocal evidence of copyright infringement via their services," he said.
"It is now up to them to put their house in order and pull the plug on these people."

Judge dismisses antitrust complaint vs Google
A federal court judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit against Google Inc. by disgruntled advertising customer Kinderstart that had accused the Web search leader of monopolistic business practices.

Phishers rip into two-factor authentication
Phishers are seeking to circumvent two-factor authentication schemes using man-in-the-middle attacks. Last October, US federal regulators urged banks to adopt two-factor authentication as a means to combat the growing problem of online account fraud.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
  US moves to limit online gambling
The US House of Representatives has backed a bill which aims to rein in online gambling.

Friendster patents social networking
Community website Friendster has been awarded a patent for online social networking. The US Patent and Trademark Office has accepted Friendster's application, which was filed three years ago.

Microsoft warns of 5 "critical" security flaws
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) on Tuesday warned of five "critical" security flaws in its Windows operating system and Office software that could allow attackers to take control of a computer.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
  AT&T to Pay $550,000 to Settle Privacy Cases
AT&T Inc. settled two Federal Communications Commission enforcement actions by paying $550,000 and agreeing to strengthen customer privacy practices.

United States: What Hath Electronic Discovery Wrought?
Electronic discovery issues have been on the radar screen of every lawyer involved in litigation for several years now. Last spring’s decision in Coleman Holdings, Inc. v. Morgan Stanley & Co., however, raised the stakes considerably for noncompliance with discovery requests.

Be careful: Your e-mails could end up in the New York Times
Olbermann probably assumed he was making a private joke when he described a colleague as “ dumber than a suitcase of rocks” in an e-mail message.
Big mistake. Last month, his comments about fellow TV personality Rita Cosby showed up in the New York Daily News, and Olbermann had some explaining to do.

Google ordered to disclose advertiser information
Google has been ordered to disclose the identity of one of its advertisers. The High Court has issued the ruling to assist a potential copyright infringement case.

The Digital Divide is a Divide Between the Digital Haves And Have Nots
The digital divide and its implications has more to do with the inability of a number of countries including those in Africa to deploy, harness and exploit the developmental opportunities of the emerging digital information and technological revolution to advance the process of their social economical development.

Sunday, July 09, 2006
  Banks ‘fail’ to protect online clients
Banks are trying to duck out of their obligations to protect you when you transact via the internet, a lawyer says. Meanwhile, the banks say they will consider claims from online clients who have been defrauded on their individual merits. Charlene Clayton reports.

Security breaches hit 84% of surveyed companies
CA has announced a security survey of 642 large North American organisations which shows that more than 84% experienced a security incident over the past 12 months, and that the number of breaches continues to rise.

Seven Security Updates From Microsoft Next Week
Next Tuesday is shaping up to be another busy one for computer and network administrators responsible for keeping hordes of machines updated with the latest Windows security patches from Microsoft. Redmond said today it plans to issue at least seven updates next week.

Sun Services CTO Dan Berg Offers IT Risk Reduction Tips
"We think of your Operational Risk Index like a human cholesterol level," said Dan Berg, CTO, Sun Services. "If a doctor tells you that your cholesterol level is high, it does not mean that you will die tomorrow, it does however give you an indication that you have a better chance of dying than if your cholesterol level was low."

Microsoft opens up on file styles
Users could be in for less frustration as Microsoft makes flagship programs handle rival ways of saving documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

Waterkloof-adjunk eis R600 000 van drie leerlinge
Dr. Louis Dey, adjunkhoof van die Hoërskool Waterkloof, dagvaar drie leerlinge gesamentlik vir skadevergoeding van R600 000 nadat hulle glo foto's van twee kaal mans met Dey en dr. Christo Becker, skoolhoof, se gesigte daarop, elektronies gemanipuleer het.

Saturday, July 08, 2006
  Lay's death sends Wikipedia reeling
The death of former Enron Corp. chief Kenneth Lay on Wednesday underscored the challenges facing online encyclopedia Wikipedia, which as the news was breaking offered a variety of causes for his death.

Key-loggers catch cheating students
Computers at universities are often installed with key-logging software to later be used in digital forensic investigations to catch cheaters and plagiarists.

Bar chiefs grilled over Legal Services Bill
Bar chair Stephen Hockman QC and Desmond Browne QC, chair of the bar's Legal Services Bill Response Group, gave evidence to the joint committee scrutinising the draft bill last month.

Telecommunications border patrol
Jurisdictional disputes between SA's competition authorities and the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) could erupt again following the passing of new legislation to govern the telecommunications sector.

AngloPlat threatens lawyer with court
South Africa's largest platinum miner Anglo Platinum has requested that attorney Richard Spoor withdraw alleged defamatory remarks made against the company and joint venture partner African Rainbow Minerals, AngloPlat said on Thursday.

Friday, July 07, 2006
  Should ISPs guard your privacy?
Canadian Internet users were abuzz last week with reports that Bell Sympatico, Canada's largest Internet service provider, had opened the door to increased customer surveillance through changes to its user agreement. While Bell denied that the amendments were linked to the so-called "lawful access" initiative that may require ISPs to install new surveillance technologies, the furor associated with the story highlights Canadians mounting concern with their online privacy.

Windows genuine disadvantage
A recent lawsuit filed against Microsoft should have all companies reexamining their privacy policies to determine what information they are actually collecting about customers and what they can possibly do with it.

Total disclosure – making e-discovery work for you
...The seasoned litigator had a word of caution for his audience: Don't wait until you are embroiled in a civil suit before taking a hard look at your data retention policies.

New e-discovery rules go into effect in December
New rules for electronic discovery of documents in civil cases go into effect in December -- and they could cost users millions or even billions of dollars if they fail to comply.

Improve VoIP management with these best practices
...Along with VoIP management's technical requirements, your plan should also address potential personnel issues and functional task changes. Dedicated telecommunications personnel normally administer voice systems and conduct voice-specific tasks. As you integrate VoIP with the IP network, these responsibilities may be shifted to or shared with native data-networking staff.

Court punishes software sellers ‘not lining Bill Gates’s pockets’
Microsoft has won a judgment against three individuals behind a company which unlawfully sold genuine and counterfeit Microsoft software and certificates.

Extradition for Briton
A Briton accused of the "biggest military hack of all times" is being extradited to the United States.

Thursday, July 06, 2006
  Wikipedia Condemned By World News Media
From Reuters, The Chicago Tribune, PC Magazine and CNN to The Washington Post, Sydney Morning Herald, USA Today and ZDNet, the world's global news media is today clearly questioning the credibility of Wikipedia. Even as Reuters reported that the death of former Enron Corp. chief Ken Lay at the age of 64 caused "rampant confusion on Wikipedia", Wikipedia executives again broke their own rules and policies as it deleted several articles on the Wikipedia site relating to news organizations which were critical of the Wikipedia site.

Google ready for legal action in absence of net neutrality
Vint Cerf, Internet pioneer and Google Inc VP, has told reporters that if the US Senate does not pass net neutrality laws then Google would readily file antitrust complaints against network operators that discriminated against Internet content providers.

Bank promises to refund scammed grandmother
Absa is to reimburse Gillian Bickell's online bank account, a day after The Star reported that it had been raided by fraudsters. Bickell, 73, a well-known Johannesburg artist and grandmother, had more than R75 000 wiped out of her Absa Internet account last week, leaving her "totally broke".

Zuma in the media: different views on democracy
DEFAMATION will be the battleground for the media freedom battles of the foreseeable future. This has been building up for some time, as targets of the Mail & Guardian’s investigations team, for example, have been suing or threatening to sue in a bid to silence it.

Zuma trust angered by 'media bias'
The Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust is angered by what it calls sensationalising of the multi-million rand defamation claims that the former deputy president is launching against several media groups, a statement said on Wednesday.

Red Hat Faces Patent Lawsuit Over JBoss Software
Red Hat has been hit by a patent lawsuit related to JBoss, just weeks after completing its purchase of the open-source software company. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Texas, FireStar Software claims that JBoss' Hibernate 3.0 infringes on its patent for linking relational databases with object-oriented software.

Judge Hears Arguments in Google Ranking Case
A federal judge in California hinted that a parenting Web site that's suing Google over a poor ranking in the search giant's massive index would be able to proceed with its lawsuit. During a hearing, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel said he's considering issuing an order that would allow to amend its lawsuit against Google to add more specifics.

Judge Limits Scope of SCO's Linux Claims Against IBM
A Utah judge has thrown out hundreds of claims made by SCO Group in its Linux lawsuit against IBM, finding that SCO failed to specify many of Big Blue's alleged misdeeds. In a ruling filed in district court, Judge Brooke Wells agreed with an IBM motion to limit the scope of claims filed by SCO last year.

Judge Dismisses Antitrust Suit Against Microsoft
Microsoft said that a federal judge has thrown out an antitrust suit brought against the company by the founder of the now defunct pen-computing firm Go Computing. In an opinion, Maryland District Court Judge J. Frederick Motz granted Microsoft's motion to dismiss Go founder S. Jerrold Kaplan's suit, which was filed in June 2005.

Five Men Arrested for Breach of Records at LexisNexis
Federal authorities arrested five men in connection with a 2005 network breach at LexisNexis Group that the database giant said led to the theft of personal records on more than 310,000 individuals. The government charges that the men, who range in age from 19 to 24, used stolen database accounts to look up sensitive data on a number of individuals.

Red Cross Laptop with Encrypted Donor Data Stolen
A laptop containing personal information from thousands of blood donors -- including Social Security numbers and medical information -- was stolen from a local office of the American Red Cross, but officials said the information was encrypted. The data included matching names and birth dates of donors from Texas and Oklahoma, as well as donors' sexual and disease histories.

Internet encyclopaedias go head to head
One of the extraordinary stories of the Internet age is that of Wikipedia, a free online encyclopaedia that anyone can edit. This radical and rapidly growing publication, which includes close to 4 million entries, is now a much-used resource. But it is also controversial: if anyone can edit entries, how do users know if Wikipedia is as accurate as established sources such as Encyclopaedia Britannica?

Britannica attacks
Last December, Nature published a News story about the accuracy of two online references sources. We compared the website of an established publication, Encyclopaedia Britannica, with that of Wikipedia, a new kind of online encyclopaedia that anyone can edit and update, regardless of expertise.

Top Ten Technology Predictions for 2006
Next year's (2006) IT priorities will be about rationalization and delivery- but also about more power for users that choose to assert it. Key growth areas include on-demand applications beyond CRM, open source applications, and more power for both partners and purchasers.

Wiki Revolution a New Curve on Information Highway
Many believe that the Web has entered its newest and most exciting phase: a communal era, which looks to both its altruistic beginnings as well as to its most powerful aspirations. The media technology leading this phase is known as the "wiki." This approach to technology, based on sharing information and technology, is echoed among a wider group of Web users, the open source community.

EFF: Litigating Better Than Legislating
A year after moving its headquarters to Washington, D.C., the Electronic Frontier Foundation was already in the hot seat. Before Congress was a proposal to require telecommunications companies to build their networks in a way that would allow law enforcement to easily wiretap calls. The EFF and other civil liberties groups were naturally opposed to the measure.

Is Open Source Wikipedia as Reliable as Britannica?
Scholarly debate is one thing, but there's a full-scale feud raging between the scientific journal Nature and the world's oldest encyclopedia, the Encyclopaedia Britannica.The issue: Is the online -- and free -- Wikipedia encyclopedia as accurate as the Britannica?

BlinkxTV Founder Suranga Chandratillake on the Future of Online Video Search
In the competitive world of the Internet circa 2006, text is getting plenty of company. In addition to other forms of content that are crowding the printed word, the Internet is rapidly becoming populated with video -- from viral-style clips and home movies to classic TV reruns.

Software Takes Hassle Out of Creating Slideshows
Remember the effort it took to put together a photo slideshow? First, you had to load slides into carousels. "Now let me see, should the printing on the slide face me or face away from me? How did that slide get in there upside down?All that hassle came to an end with digital photography. Now you can load a bunch of photos into a computer. Slap them into a slideshow application. Add some titles and music. Burn it all to disc. You're good to go.

Angry Customers Use Web to Shame Firms
Disgruntled customers used to have little recourse against poor service and broken promises.
But as angry clients increasingly turn to the Internet to settle scores, companies, independent retailers and everyday wrongdoers are learning that consumers can have the last word -- and often the last laugh.

SA websites falling prey to foreign hackers
South African companies are spending about R3-billion every year to secure their websites as hackers become more daring in their attempts to pilfer local computer systems.Hackers deface and hack into at least a dozen South African websites every week, often trashing and stealing sensitive information.

'I could see my money being taken online'
A South African Internet user watched in horror as her bank account dwindled in front of her eyes - the latest victim of hackers who have penetrated banking protection.

Hackers leave grandmother virtually broke
It took just two days for hackers to turn 73-year-old Gillian Bickell's world upside down.In a matter of hours, fraudsters were able to hack into Bickell's Absa Internet account and wipe out more than R75 000 from her business and personal account, leaving the Johannesburg grandmother "totally broke".

German publisher drops legal action against Google library project
German book publisher WBG on Wednesday dropped its legal action against Google Inc.'s controversial project to digitize library books, the search engine giant said.WBG dropped its petition for a preliminary injunction against the Google Books Library Project after the Copyright Chamber of the Regional Court of Hamburg told the publisher that its legal action was unlikely to succeed, Google said.

SA ignorant of spyware threat
Spyware is an ever-increasing security threat, and no network or computer is free of these potentially harmful identity theft mechanisms, but few companies take the threat seriously, says Securicom co-founder Brett Casey.

Hit on Coke's trade secrets
Three people were charged by federal prosecutors with stealing confidential information, including a sample of a new drink, from The Coca-Cola Co and trying to sell it to rival PepsiCo.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006
  Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past
A historical work without owners and with multiple, anonymous authors is thus almost unimaginable in our professional culture. Yet, quite remarkably, that describes the online encyclopedia known as Wikipedia, which contains 3 million articles (1 million of them in English).

Should Portals Follow Media Law?
As more people use Internet portals and search engines rather than television and newspapers as their main news source, there is growing debate on whether Internet companies should be regulated under media law.

ICASA Amendment Act signed into law
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) Amendment Act has been signed into law by president Thabo Mbeki, but like the closely-related Electronic Communications (EC) Act, no effective date has set down.

Hackers steal thousands from internet bank accounts
Hackers have penetrated internet banking facilities and gained access to the accounts of clients of three major banks, the Cape Times reported on Tuesday.

Monday, July 03, 2006
  Microsoft Reissues Anti-Piracy Tool, Lawyers Sue
Microsoft this week reissued a software component designed to detect pirated versions of Windows, citing a consumer backlash following revelations that part of the program phoned home to Redmond each day plus every time the user rebooted the machine.

ISPA voices concerns about RICA
The Internet Service Providers' Association of SA (ISPA) has added its voice to the chorus of concerns regarding the recently promulgated Regulation of Interception of Communications & Communicated-Related Information Act (RICA), the association said in a statement on Monday.
The laptop was turned in by an unidentified woman. It was earlier reported that a laptop with the Social Security numbers and birth dates of 26.5 million veterans had been stolen in late May.

User's manual for the shifting digital culture
iPod law
The heated debate in France over a European copyright directive had Apple Computer accusing the French government of "state-sponsored piracy." The legislation passed into law Friday, and consumers might wonder how it will affect their lives and music. Here are some frequently asked questions and a distillation of expertise from legislators, lawyers and technology analysts.

PanAfrica: The Spread of the Internet Does Not Pose Any Threat to Civil Society
As the Internet grows, its usage also grows proportionately around the world. Its growth is due to its capability to provide users with connections to institutions and facilities that are based in overseas destinations. As a result Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has plans to introduce policies and structures to police the use of the internet.
But according to

Open source firm Red Hat sued in patent case
Open source software company Red Hat is being sued in the US for patent infringement. Patent experts are watching the case closely because the patent in question is seen as being wide in scope and any judgment could affect future software patent cases.

Google loses AdWords appeal
The Court of Appeal in Paris has backed Louis Vuitton in a dispute over trademark infringement and has increased the damages that Google must pay.

Icasa is on Telkom's case over ADSL
Fixed-line operator Telkom may be forced to further reduce prices on high-speed internet access if the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) finds that the rates are higher than the costs to offer the service.

Sunday, July 02, 2006
  China steps up controls on blogs
China is tightening controls on blogs and search engines to block material deemed subversive or immoral, the government said Friday.







JUDGMENTS 1998 - 2005



April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009