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Thursday, August 31, 2006
  Barney the Dinosaur goes before the beak
A WEBSITE OWNER who claims to have suffered years of legal threats because of his parody site about Barney the Dinosaur finally has got his day in court.

Folk singer opens the door to privacy law
THE British love of revealing biographies is under threat because of a legal case about a Canadian folk singer determined to keep the public from finding out what lay under the linoleum in her Irish cottage.

Monday, August 28, 2006
  Minister to sign ICT broadband protocol
Communications minister Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri will sign the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) ICT Broadband Policy and Regulatory Framework Protocol this week, in Kigali, Rwanda.

Cell C withdraws ad
Cell C has withdrawn an “offensive” print advertisement after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received complaints.

Mobile operators deny content responsibility
The spotlight has again fallen on the control of mobile content, amid recent reports of minors as young as 12 accessing pornography via their mobile phones.

Man sentenced over computer attacks
A 19-year-old Michigan man who ran an Internet business selling retro sports jerseys was sentenced Friday to 30 months in federal prison for recruiting a New Jersey teen to carry out computer attacks against competitors.

Man Gets Six Years for Illegal Software Sales
A Florida man who pleaded guilty to copyright charges in connection with multimillion-dollar sales of pirated Autodesk, Adobe Systems and Macromedia software was sentenced to six years in prison. Danny Ferrer, 37, of Lakeland, Fla., offered CD copies of the products, packaged with a serial number necessary for activation, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Sunday, August 27, 2006
  User content driving website growth
Nielsen//NetRatings announced recently that user-generated content sites, platforms for photo sharing, video sharing and blogging, comprised five out of the top 10 fastest growing Web brands in July 2006.

Barcamp fever hits South Africa
"Open source conferencing" will hit Johannesburg and Durban by the end of the year as BarCamp fever grips South Africa.

Friday, August 25, 2006
  Stop jailing online journos, says freedom group
A US-based media freedom group has urged Vietnam to stop "harassing, detaining and imprisoning independent writers" and to allow a free press to evolve in the communist country.

It’s a missed opportunity for critics and consumer activists. Organisations that are constantly lobbying the telecommunications sector regulator have failed to nominate councillors to serve on its governing board.

China swoops on web piracy
CHINA has shut down more than 100 websites for copyright violations since a new regulation came into effect in July, state media have said.

Kid who crashed email server gets tagged
A 19-year-old man today pleaded guilty to breaking the Computer Misuse Act for sending an "email bomb" to his former employer, which caused the company's email server to collapse.

Welfare spies sacked
CENTRELINK has sacked or forced out more than 100 workers, and disciplined hundreds more, for privacy breaches such as snooping on the records of neighbours and former lovers.

Data Mining: Where Legality and Ethics Rarely Meet
News of data breaches and mortgage applicants being categorized as "risky" when inaccurate credit info and commercial demographic profiles are merged has finally made consumers aware of data mining. "What's alarming ... [is] the large companies forming data alliances for someone else's benefit," says Allen Nance, president of Mansell Group.

Home Office ad to protect kids online banned for leading to porn
A Home Office radio advert aimed at protecting children from sexually explicit material online has been banned because it could direct listeners to pornographic sites. The Home Office has apologised for the advert.

Dutch Court Orders ISP to Disclose Customer's Identity
A Dutch judge told cable operator and Internet broadband provider UPC, a unit of Liberty Global, to give the name and address of one its clients to an anti-piracy agency. The result is a breakthrough for Dutch copyright holders interest group Brein, which has long tried to gain access to names and addresses of individuals who it suspects of swapping large numbers of songs, films and other copyrighted material.

Employers' Technology Leashes May Lead to Lawsuits
Keeping employees on electronic leashes such as laptops, BlackBerries and other devices that keep them constantly connected to the office could soon lead to lawsuits by those who grow addicted to the technology, a U.S. academic warns. In a follow-up to an earlier paper on employees' tech addictions, Gayle Porter, associate professor of management at the Rutgers University School of Business in Camden, New Jersey, has written a paper that states workers whose personal lives suffer as a result of tech addictions could turn their sights on their employers.

Employees Lack Privacy Rights in Some Work Computers, Court Rules
Corporations increasingly feel compelled to monitor employees' communications and computer usage for both business and legal reasons. Accordingly, many companies are notifying employees that workplace computers and email systems are the property of the company and that communications may be monitored. One unintended result of such policies, though, is that employees may no longer have Fourth Amendment protections against government searches of their computers, since they have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the computer. That, at least, is what the Ninth Circuit held on August 8 in United States v. Ziegler. As a result, the government did not need a warrant to search an employee's workplace computer. Left unclear is what rights the employer has, and whether the government would need a warrant to conduct a search for evidence against the company.

Getting a Handle on Software ROI, Part 1
The TCO approach is the best known and most widely used method of estimating software ROI. However, IT managers, software developers and process engineers have for years been experimenting with ways to broaden this methodology to better reflect all the likely costs, benefits and risks of choosing a particular software application over another.

AT&T Sues Data Brokers Over Stolen Phone Records
An AT&T internal investigation identified about 2,500 customers whose records may have been obtained by data brokers posing as the customers themselves. The brokers used the confidential information AT&T provided to set up unauthorized online accounts, which then gave them access to recent calling records and other information.

'Wiki Wars' Rage in Political Arena
Wikipedia is more popular online than Disney, Wal-Mart and ESPN. As more people view it, its offerings grow more extensive. However, its open source approach creates problems when it is applied to controversial topics, as contributors use sites to push their versions of the truth.

Lawyer in BlackBerry Case Faces Legal Challenges
Donald Stout, leader of a patent holding company that won a $612 million settlement from the maker of the BlackBerry e-mail device in a patent-infringement case, is himself in the sights of claimants who accuse him of getting more than his fair share of the money. At the center of the dispute is a long-defunct company called Telefind Corp. involved 16 years ago with creating the e-mail patents at issue in the BlackBerry case.

Windows Chat Software to Feature "Report Abuse" Icon
Users of Windows Messenger can now report suspected sexual predators of children with a mouse click. A "report abuse" icon will soon appear on the chat software as a result of work by the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

British Teen Pleads Guilty to Crashing Computer
A U.K. teen pleaded guilty to breaking the Computer Misuse Act by crashing the e-mail server of his former employer. David Lennon, 18, was then sentenced to a two-month curfew by a judge in the Wimbledon Magistrates court.

Microsoft fights URL hijacking
Microsoft has declared war typosquatters (also known as URL hijacking) and cybersquatters who hold website addresses seemingly related to the software giant in order to dupe Internet users into visiting.

Caxton moves in on Johncom
Media group Caxton said yesterday that it had bought R129 million worth of shares in Johnnic Communications (Johncom) in a move that analysts said was the first concrete sign that a merger of the two companies was becoming a reality.

Dangerous Patent Law Ruling Threatens Free and Open Source
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has asked the United States Supreme Court to overturn a dangerous patent law ruling that could pose a serious threat to Free and Open Source Software projects.

10 Security Software Stars
"The hardest part of the battle is educating the public and the institutions about the potential hazards of ignoring this problem," said Ben Haidri, vice president of marketing and product development at mobile data security firm Absolute Software.

Google Video: Not Ready for Prime Time Yet
There are a few things Google Video does quite well. As you would expect from a company whose stated mission is to organize the world's information, Google's video site has a wealth of clips.

U.S. Seeks to Expand Data-Sharing
The United States is seeking to expand a post-Sept. 11 data-sharing agreement with the European Union to enable the Department of Homeland Security to retain airline passenger data longer than a few years and to share the data more freely with law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

EchoStar Loses Court Ruling On Some TV Transmissions
Hundreds of thousands of Dish Network subscribers could lose access to shows on traditional television networks as early as today after a Supreme Court justice's decision yesterday that brings an end to lawsuits that have been tied up in court for more than eight years.

Hackers Replace Home Page on Kevin Mitnick's Website
Instead of the usual description of Kevin Mitnick, his consulting services and books, the famed hacker's Web site displayed a vulgar message. Online vandals, apparently operating from Pakistan, broke into the computer hosting Mitnick's Web site and replaced his front page with one of their own.

Net Neutrality Helps Entrepreneurs, Google Lawyer Says
A Google executive said that entrepreneurs creating new start-ups could be thwarted unless Congress enacts extensive laws imposing Net neutrality regulations on broadband providers. "I'm not worried so much about Google in this regard," David Drummond, Google's general counsel, said at a 90-minute debate organized by the Progress and Freedom Foundation. "I'm worried about the small innovators at the edge of the networks."

Attorney General Unveils Internet Safety Campaign
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced a new public service campaign that will warn teenage girls against posting information on the Internet that could put them at risk of attack by child predators. "Every day, these predators are looking for someone to hurt," Gonzales said at the 18th annual Crimes Against Children Conference in Dallas.

Millions of Teens Get Alcohol Online, Survey Says
Results of a new survey confirm that millions of teenagers either buy alcohol online or know an underage friend who does. A related audit of states shows that many state legislators are easing restrictions on online alcohol sales with little monitoring or oversight.

Microsoft Files Lawsuits Against Three Cybersquatters
Microsoft launched a new offensive against cybersquatters who allegedly gain illegal profits from thousands of Web sites, such as and, that include the company's trademarked names. Redmond filed three lawsuits in federal court claiming that some Web site operators have registered and operate hundreds of domain names with the sole purpose of reaping "bad faith" profits and in violation of federal and state laws.

Online Barney debacle
An online activist group said it was suing the operators of children's television character Barney the dinosaur for trying to use copyright laws to halt an Internet parody.

CIA's secret UK bank trawl may be illegal
A covert programme under which confidential information about British banking transactions is passed to the CIA with the full knowledge of the government may breach both British and European law, the Guardian has learned.

Law Profession Gets to Grip with Knowledge
While law firms have embraced knowledge management as a critical function, knowledge management organizations are often isolated and face challenges in engaging others within the firm in implementing initiatives.

Compliance costs cripple small business, says MEC
Small businesses spent on average 8% of turnover every year on regulatory compliance costs, KwaZulu-Natal finance and development MEC Zweli Mkhize said yesterday.

'Censor bill' gets green light
The cabinet has opted to press ahead with a bill that has come under fire from the media, which argues that it would open the door to pre-publication censorship.

New rules governing the telecom regulator should free the Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) to run the sector more effectively.
The new Electronic Communications Act gives greater clarity about Icasa's role. It also puts in place a complaints & compliance commission, which will free the regulator from lengthy disputes with players in the sector.

US authorities had free rein over world's bank data
The US Treasury programme of snooping on international banking transactions to track terrorist funding had unfettered access to the world's private financial details for anything upto five years.

Checklist for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998
This checklist is based on UK law. It was last checked in August 2005.
This checklist is intended as an aide memoir for those who already understand the basics of data protection.

Apple pays $100 million to settle iPod patent suit
Apple has agreed to pay leading rival Creative Technology $100 million to settle an iPod patent dispute.The settlement lifts the threat of a ban on iPods being imported into the US for sale.

For e-discovery, the times, they are a-changin'
(US) Fasten your seatbelts, legal mavens. In less than six months, electronic discovery as we know it will undergo very important changes.
Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) that take effect on Dec. 1 are supposed to help reduce litigation costs. The paradox is that electronic discovery costs may increase, especially with respect to work that must be performed within the first 120 days after a lawsuit has commenced.

Microsoft sues ‘cybersquatters’ over domain names
Microsoft Corp, the world's biggest software maker, sued more than 200 people who it accused of registering Internet domain names that contain the company's trademarked terms.

Barney in copyright flap
AN online activist group said it would sue the operators of children's television character Barney the dinosaur for trying to use copyright laws to halt an internet parody.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006
  CIA-backed investment stirs health privacy fears
The CIA-backed venture capital firm In-Q-Tel is investing money in a company that sells software used for managing electronic health records. Because U.S. and Canadian health care providers use that software extensively, privacy advocates say they are concerned about the CIA’s role.

Romanian police cuff 23 ID fraud suspects
Romanian police arrested 23 people in the southern city of Pitesti as part of a clampdown on internet scam rings operating in the eastern European country.

Ohio college stung by plagiarism charges
Ohio University administrators are looking forward to a better school year this fall. In the wake of plagiarism charges, a massive theft of personal data and a thumbs-down faculty vote for the school president, it could hardly get worse.

Two IT execs at Ohio University fired after data breaches
Two top IT officials at Ohio University (OU) who were suspended in June in connection with data security breaches at the school in recent months were fired yesterday.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
  Scammers face extradition
Three South African men who allegedly scammed Burundi's incumbent telecoms company Onatel out of $600 000 will be extradited, a Johannesburg magistrate ruled on Friday.

Banks switch tactics
In light of the new regulatory environment, the framework within which banks operate is changing, particularly in the way they manage risk.

SAIX mail declared spam
E-mails relayed through the South African Internet Exchange (SAIX), that have not reached their intended destination, may have been rejected as spam.

ISP’s contemplate impact of ADSL Regulations
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are starting to contemplate how the ADSL regulations will impact on their ADSL service provisioning and how to progress from here.

City of Joburg’s ‘daily traffic reports’ link to porn
The City of Johannesburg’s (CoJ) daily traffic reports page, populated by standard guestbook entries, gave some visitors far more than they bargained for.

When will we see ADSL changes?
The long awaited ICASA ADSL regulations were released last week, and many consumers are wondering when these regulations will come into effect and when they will to see changes in their ADSL service in line with the regulations.

When Online Crooks Advertise
Last week at the DefCon hacker conference in Las Vegas, I mentioned a fantastic short video showed by speaker and FBI agent Thomas X. Grasso, who talked about how online criminals have gotten so organized that they are now creating commercials to advertise their crooked services. Only, in this video they don't exactly hint that any of their "services" are completely illegal. Although the ad itself doesn't specify what the "services" are, it appeared on a site teeming with information that would help hackers do their bad things.

Campaign targets Web crimes against kids
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced a new public service campaign Monday that will warn teenage girls against posting information on the Internet that could put them at risk of attack by child predators.

Home-schooled students defecting to online learning programs
The Larsons started home schooling their daughter Elisabeth two years ago.

Guide to marketing with SMS short codes
We have prepared a brief guide to the correct manner in which to advertise or market services and competitions which use SMS short codes. In the last few years this form of advertising has exploded and examples of the use of short codes to download ringtones or images and to enter competitions can be found every day in just about every kind of media.

Microsoft warning on online games
Criminals are targeting the lucrative world of online games, an engineer at software giant Microsoft has warned.

Wireless robots may float above the Earth
Bob Jones has a lofty idea for improving communications around the world: Strategically float robotic airships above the Earth as an alternative to unsightly telecom towers on the ground and expensive satellites in space.

As Technology Speeds Up, What Will Workplace of 2056 Be Like?
Offices of yesteryear had no Post-it notes, no paper shredders, no electric letter openers, no cheap, throwaway ballpoint pens. However, they did have ash trays, and workers smoked at their desks if they chose to. It was snail mail or no mail in those days before the proliferation of package-delivery services. Of course, there were Western Union telegrams, too.

Are Outsourced Operations Ever Secure Enough?

MONDUITSPOEL: ‘Mix-up’oor porno op MXit
‘n Debat oor kaal boude, die media, selfone, hoofseuns en hul moeders – met ‘n sydelingse verwysing na minder belangrike dinge soos die Grondwet en verantwoordelikheid.

Man Arrested for Soliciting Sex from Minor Online
A South Carolina man was arrested on charges of soliciting sex from a minor using his computer. Zackery Aris Boley, 21, was arrested after a sting in which undercover State Law Enforcement Division officers posed as a 14-year-old girl online, according to a news release from the S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster.

Problems Plagued FBI's Failed Attempt to Update Software
The collapse of the attempt to remake the FBI's filing system stemmed from failures of almost every kind, including poor conception and muddled execution of the steps needed to make the system work, according to outside reviews and interviews with people involved in the project. But the problems were not the FBI's alone. Because of an open-ended contract with few safeguards, SAIC reaped more than $100 million as the project became bigger and more complicated, even though its software never worked properly.

French Group Plans Piracy Complaint Against eBay
A French industry group plans to file a complaint with prosecutors seeking damages from eBay Inc. and other Internet auction sites for the sale of counterfeit products on their Web pages, the group's chairman said. Marc Antoine Jamet, chairman of France's Union of Manufacturers (Unifab), told Reuters that the complaint, due to be filed next month, also aims at forcing the sites to clamp down on product pirates.

Seeking Common Ground in Open Source Licensing Debate
On one side of the GPL 3 debate is Richard Stallman and his Free Software Foundation, who believe that all software should be freely available to be modified by the public. On the other side is Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux. He and others in his open source camp believe that freely sharing code simply produces the best software, but if other people want to hide their code, that's fine, too.

Google's Search Lead Shrinks
Nielsen//NetRatings said Google's leading share of U.S. search queries slipped ever so slightly. Google handled 49.2 percent of the country's total -- about 2.8 billion searches -- a slight drop from its 49.4 percent share in June. Nielsen//NetRatings reported a slight gain in July for the No. 2 search provider, Yahoo.

Computers with Healthcare Information Reported Stolen
HCA Inc. said 10 computers containing Medicare and Medicaid billing information and records of employees and physicians were stolen from one of the company's regional offices. HCA officials won't say where or when the theft occurred because they believe that might help the thieves, who authorities believe were after computer hardware, not personal identity information.

Music Publishers Threaten Guitar Tablature Websites
In the last few months, trade groups representing music publishers have used the threat of copyright lawsuits to shut down guitar tablature sites, where users exchange tips on how to play songs like "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," "Highway to Hell" and thousands of others. The battle shares many similarities with the war between Napster and the music recording industry, but this time it involves free sites like, and and even discussion boards on the Google Groups service like and, where amateur musicians trade "tabs" -- music notation especially for guitar -- for songs they have figured out or have copied from music books.

Sale of Chinese Domain Names Sets Record
A sale of Chinese Internet domain names netted more than $160,000 in what organisers said was the biggest such auction yet in the computer-crazy country. A pair of sites named for ultra-mobile personal computing ( and, one of the hottest technologies around, fetched an eye-popping 390,000 yuan ($49,000).

Microsoft's SQL Server Infringes Patents, Company Says
Microsoft could face another lawsuit from a patent portfolio company over technology within its SQL Server database. Timeline, of Seattle, said it terminated a limited license agreement forged with Microsoft in 1999 after the software giant allegedly breached its terms.

Web Privacy Breach at AOL Leads to Three Departures
Two AOL employees have been fired, and its chief technology officer is resigning, after the release of Web search data from thousands of AOL members prompted widespread criticism of the company. In an e-mail to AOL employees, Chief Executive Jon Miller said the company would create a task force to develop new best practices on privacy and will look at how long search and other data should be saved.

Sexual wolves stalk babes in the cyberwoods
With a click of her mouse, Claudia Green logged on to the Internet to catch up on the latest news and gossip with her friends. The 16-year-old was doing what millions of young people do every day: socialising in cyberspace, the 21st century form of human bonding fast replacing hanging out on street corners or in the local park or youth club.

Alexander Forbes to sell risk unit
Alexander Forbes, South Africa's leading pension fund administrator, was selling its international risk business, Alexander Forbes Risk Services Holdings, for £86 million (R1.1 billion) to Lockton International Holdings, a US insurance brokerage firm, Alexander Forbes said yesterday.

ICASA justifies NIA aid
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) told Parliament it called in the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to help it implement government's Minimum Information Security Standards.

Are lawyers charging too much?
DALLYING too close to the swamp of litigators who circle SA’s corporate arena can be a particularly bloodcurdling experience, especially for a group of pensioners who had already been diddled by their former employer, the SABC.

Saturday, August 19, 2006
  Loss of Confidential Data Pervasive, Survey Says
Loss of confidential data -- including intellectual property, business documents, customer data, and employee records -- is a pervasive problem among U.S. companies, according to a survey released by Ponemon Institute and Vontu, a San Francisco-based provider of data loss prevention products. Eighty-one percent of companies surveyed reported the loss of one or more laptops containing sensitive information during the past 12 months, according to the survey, which queried nearly 500 information security professionals.

AntiCrime Group Urges Congress to Fight "Cyberbullying"
A national anticrime group urged Congress to pass new laws this year targeting the practice of "cyberbullying," a growing problem the group says will plague at least 13 million American children during the next school year. Mean, threatening, or embarrassing messages delivered online and via portable devices like cell phones are a "pernicious threat that awaits our kids when they go back to school," Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said at a press conference hosted by Fight Crime: Invest In Kids, a nonprofit advocacy organization composed of 3,000 police chiefs, prosecutors, law enforcement leaders and crime victims.

Unisys offers $50,000 reward for missing VA computer
Unisys Corp., working with the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the FBI, is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the recovery of a missing desktop computer that belongs to the VA.

Chain reports stolen laptop to employees
About 1,200 employees at Williams-Sonoma may be at risk of identify theft after a laptop computer containing personal information was stolen from an auditor.

BoI customers fall victim to phishing scam
Bank of Ireland customers have been hit by a new phishing scam, which has already cost some of its customers more than of €110,000.

Small drives cause big problems
Small, removable digital devices that can store massive amounts of sensitive data are becoming big headaches for companies and consumers.

Microsoft patch can cause IE trouble
Microsoft's security update from Aug. 8 to Internet Explorer is causing browser trouble for some systems.

Chinese seek military ID info
The Pentagon's primary Internet backbone, the Global Information Grid, comes under siege some 3 million times a day by outsiders looking for a way to penetrate military networks. And the outsiders come from all over the world, whether American script kiddies trying to prove their skills or Eastern European hackers looking for information they can sell.

Thursday, August 17, 2006
  NSA eavesdropping program ruled unconstitutional
A federal judge on Thursday ruled that the U.S. government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered it ended immediately.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
  Federal Legislation Criminalizing Use Of Misleading Web Content To Lure Users To Obscene Or Harmful Material Signed Into Law
Federal legislation making it a crime to use misleading words and images on a Web site to intentionally lure users into viewing material that is obscene or harmful to minors was signed into law on July 27. Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, Pub. L. No. 109-248 (July 27, 2006). Section 703 of the legislation, "Deception by Embedded Words or Images," provides that anyone who "knowingly embeds words or digital images into the source code of a website" with the intent either to lure anyone into viewing obscenity or to lure a minor into viewing material that is harmful to minors is subject to a fine and imprisonment. The section also provides that "a word or digital image that clearly indicates the sexual content of the site, such as 'sex' or 'porn', is not misleading."

Agreement To Deliver Source Code Does Not Require Delivery Of Already Commented Version
A software development agreement that required the company producing the software to deliver the "unencrypted source code" to another party does not require the delivery of the source code version that includes the programmer's comments. Automated Solutions Corp. v. Paragon Data Systems, Inc., No. 86067, 2006 Ohio App. LEXIS 3446 (Ohio Ct. App. July 6, 2006). The court noted that programmer's comments "are placed along side the code like an in-line, real-time, context-sensitive phrase translation book," but do not affect the usability of the source code itself, nor do they have any effect on the compiled output, i.e., the executable program produced from the source code. The court also rejected the argument that the removal of the programmer's comments rendered the source code "encrypted," commenting that even though the absence of the comments might make the code more difficult to understand, it would not affect the ability to use the software.

Computer Software Narration Rights Assignment Not Prohibited By Copyright Act Or Contract
An exclusive licensee of rights to audio recordings incorporated into computer software is not prohibited from assigning its rights to a third party where the "anti-assignment" provision in the exclusive license agreement states only that "the contract" is not assignable. Traicoff v. Digital Media, Inc., No. 1:03-cv-1781, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47797 (S.D. Ind. July 7, 2006). The court concluded that the Copyright Act does not require consent of the licensor to a sublicense, specifically disagreeing with the Ninth Circuit ruling in Gardner v. Nike, Inc., 279 F.3d 774 (9th Cir. 2002). The court also relied on common law contract principles in concluding that the anti-assignment provision, because it did not distinguish between assignments of rights and assignments of duties, only bars delegation of the licensee's performance of a duty or condition under the contract and does not prohibit an assignment of rights.

Statutory Damages Of $50,000 Justified Against "First Propagator" Of Infringing File On P2P Network
An award of $50,000 in statutory damages for copyright infringement is justified where the evidence established that the defendant was the "first propagator" of the infringing file on a P2P network. Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Davis, No. 05-0316, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50955 (E.D. Pa. July 26, 2006). The court reviewed the evidence produced at the bench trial, and concluded based upon the evidence presented by the plaintiff's forensic experts, that the defendant was the "first propagator" of the infringing motion picture on the eDonkey P2P network. The court concluded that the statutory damages award amount was also supported by the fact that the motion picture was placed on the P2P network within a week of its theatrical release; the plaintiff lost profits as a result of that release; the defendant's actions were willful; the plaintiff incurred significant costs to locate and prosecute first propagators like the defendant, and the damage award was high enough to deter oth er first propagators.

Sale Of Motion Pictures Altered To Remove Offensive Content Infringes Copyright
The sale of motion pictures that have been altered to remove scenes depicting sex, nudity, profanity and gory violence violates the copyright owners' right of reproduction and right to distribute copies. Clean Flicks of Colorado, LLC v. Soderbergh, No. 02cv01662, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47700 (D. Colo. July 6, 2006). The court rejected the fair use defense asserted by the commercial entities, including their public policy argument that their activities had social value because they provided consumers with the "opportunity to view movies in the setting of the family home without concern for any harmful effects on their children." The court noted Congress enacted the Family Movie Act of 2005, Pub.L.No. 1099,119 Stat. 218, which amended § 110 of the Copyright Act, in order to provide an exemption for the editing of motion pictures by a member of a private household if no fixed copy of the altered version of the motion picture is created, but declined to enact a broad exempti on for the kind of for-profit activity in which the commercial entities engaged.

Internet Retailer's Display Of Plaintiff's Image On Book Cover Does Not Violate Florida Right Of Publicity
An Internet retailer's online display of a book cover does not infringe the rights of the person depicted in the photo under the Florida right of publicity statute. Almeida v., Inc., Nos. 04-15341 & 04-15561, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 17989 (11th Cir. July 18, 2006). The court ruled that the retailer did not use the image for "trade, commercial or advertising purposes" within the meaning of the Florida law. The court noted that the commercial purpose requirement has been interpreted to require an unauthorized use that "directly promotes" a product or service, and that the use of an image in a publication offered for sale is not such a use. The court commented that the use of book cover images on the defendant's Internet retail site "closely simulates a customer's experience browsing book covers in a traditional book store," and that the use of the book cover images is "merely incidental to, and customary for, the business of internet book sales."

Dragging us back to the nanny state
RECENTLY, there has been much debate about the implications of the Film and Publications Amendment Bill for freedom of expression. The bill amends the Film and Publications Act of 1996. Quite rightly, media organisations have protested about the removal of the exemption of the media from the act, which implies that they will have to submit material for classification before publication. The bill also states as one of its objectives that it will regulate broadcasting, which will interfere with the constitutionally protected role of the communications regulator. However, there are other provisions that are also deeply disturbing.

Dragging us back to the nanny state
RECENTLY, there has been much debate about the implications of the Film and Publications Amendment Bill for freedom of expression. The bill amends the Film and Publications Act of 1996. Quite rightly, media organisations have protested about the removal of the exemption of the media from the act, which implies that they will have to submit material for classification before publication. The bill also states as one of its objectives that it will regulate broadcasting, which will interfere with the constitutionally protected role of the communications regulator. However, there are other provisions that are also deeply disturbing.

Comments on the draft Legal Services Charter

Best online media sites revealed
The Online Publishers' Association (OPA) has released statistics for the second quarter of 2006, which shows online media usage has seen year-on-year growth of 48%.

HSBC online customers at risk - report
More than three million customers of global banking giant HSBC have been left vulnerable while banking over the Internet for more than two years because of a security flaw, The Guardian reported.

Teens not rushing online to buy wine, survey shows
A year after the Supreme Court made it easier for wineries to ship products to customers in a different state, a new survey indicates that teens haven't necessarily rushed to use the Internet to buy alcohol, as critics of the court's decision have feared.

Federal appeals court rules against workplace PC privacy
If you think the Web sites you access on your workplace computer are nobody else's business, think again.

Bloggers Drive Inquiry on How Altered Images Saw Print
As of yesterday afternoon, Adnan Hajj was the most-searched term on the Technorati Web site, which tracks what is being discussed in the blogosphere. And a rendering of his work was one of the most viewed videos on YouTube.

Telkom's clients await ruling on ADSL
Telkom customers will soon have a clearer idea of how charges for the fixed-line operator's high-speed asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) service are constructed.

Icasa licenses more telecoms firms
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) licensed three more consortiums yesterday to roll out telecommunications services in areas with a teledensity of less than five percent, despite media reports that some of the seven companies licensed in 2004 were struggling to sustain their businesses.

Competition and the EC Act
The Electronic Communications Act will have a dramatic impact on competition in SA's telecommunications industry. That's the view of Tholoana Makhu, who helped draft an early version of the legislation for the communications department.

EC Act places enormous burden on ICASA
The newly gazetted Electronic Communications Act provides a good framework for liberalising SA's telecommunications industry. But the new law will have little impact without a strong and credible regulator.

Old hard drives yield dark secrets
Companies and individuals aren't bothering to destroy data on hard drives before disposing of them, according to a BT-funded report by Glamorgan University.

Madrona patients may face ID theft
Madrona Medical Group is asking thousands of patients to watch their credit reports after a former employee was charged with illegally downloading patient files onto his personal laptop computer.

Hackers hunting for unpatched Microsoft computers
Hackers are actively using exploit code to target a flaw in Microsoft Corp.'s software that generated a special warning from the U.S. government last week (see "New Microsoft patch prompts DHS warning").

IRS employees abusing e-mail privileges
A recent audit found inappropriate e-mail, including pornography, on more than half of Internal Revenue Service employees’ computers, according to a report from the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration. The audit also uncovered security holes in many of the agency’s e-mail servers.

VA to Encrypt All Computers
Through a contract with SMS, the department plans to install GuardianEdge encryption on all agency laptops.

Sun's Simon Phipps Reveals Open Source Goals, Strategy
"If I could snap my fingers and make [Java open source] happen tomorrow, I would. It's not a simple endeavor. You can't just slap a license on things. You have to be sure that you have the rights to every line of code. So we have to work through all sorts of issues -- legal, access, encumbrances, relationships with Java licensees," said Simon Phipps, chief open source officer at Sun Microsystems.

Sun to Release First Open Source Java Code in October
Sun has made good on its promise in May to release Java source code under an open source license. Now the company has launched a special Web site -- Open Sourcing the JDK -- where developers can help determine the license under which the code will be released.

Google's Picasa Photo Software Finds Its Web Legs
After uploading an album to Picasa on the Web, you can share it with friends and relatives. Simply click "share album" and another pop-up form will appear. You fill in the e-mail addresses of the folks you want to see the album, add a comment or two, then send off the invitation. If one of your invitees is in your Google Mail address book, type a few letters and their full address will pop into place on the form.

Google Asks Media to Stop Using Its Name as Verb
Search engine giant Google, known for its mantra "don't be evil", has fired off a series of legal letters to media organisations, warning them against using its name as a verb. In June, Google won a place in the Oxford English Dictionary, while "to google", with a lower case "g", was included last month in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, America's leading reference book.

Security Flaws Reported in OpenOffice Software
A report on the security of OpenOffice has caused a stir in the open-source community by highlighting six security "issues" around the open-source office suite. OpenOffice has said only one actual bug was discovered, and that flaw has been fixed already.

U.K. Internet Bank Data Sold in Africa, Report Says
Bank account details belonging to thousands of Britons are being sold in West Africa for less than £20 each, the BBC's Real Story programme has found. It discovered that fraudsters in Nigeria were able to find internet banking data stored on recycled PCs sent from the UK to Africa.

Network Security: Continuing Education for Campus IT Departments
Human foibles and errors, such as leaving passwords on Post-It notes, are not the only security risks students and staff may pose, says John Seymour, head of network services at the University of London. "I've mentioned 'social engineering,' but there's also the complexity of the configurations, and the need to monitor, update and police the security services. You cannot install and forget."

Scary Thought: iPod as Weapon of Mass Destruction
All carry-on baggage has been banned on flights originating in the United Kingdom. The U.S. terror level alert has been raised to red for incoming commercial flights from Britain. It's at level orange for domestic flights. Even alert-weary Americans recognized this was the real thing.

US Mobile Security, Part 2: Thefts, Threats and Remedies
A thief doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to exploit computer software and network vulnerabilities, says Eric Skinner, vice president of product management and alliances for Dallas-based Entrust. "It does not require a high level of technical skill for an attacker or casual criminal to bypass the Windows password protection on a stolen or found laptop and gain access to confidential information."

Gamblers Worried About Refunds from Embattled Website
Gamblers are wondering if they'll ever get their money back after a judge's temporary restraining order forced BetOnSports to disable its Web site, blocking access to player accounts. Prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of $4.5 billion, plus several cars, recreational vehicles and computers from the firm's former CEO and 10 other people associated with the gambling operation.

Windows Attack Code Published on Internet
Computer code that takes advantage of a serious Windows flaw has been published on the Internet, increasing the chance of a worm attack. The release of the attack code, which exploits a security hole in a Windows component related to file and printer sharing, also raises the urgency to patch.

Top 10 Things You Need To Know About Data Privacy
Recent technological advances and the ensuing proliferation of new products and services, particularly Internet-based ones, have in many respects made life more convenient, but also made breaches of data privacy more of a risk. As a result, among other things, individuals are more vulnerable to the potentially expensive and frustrating crime of identity theft.

PanAfrica: PCs for the Poor - As Good As Their Hype?
At the 2005 World Economic Forum in Switzerland a soft-spoken academic made an announcement that sent seismic waves across the computer industry. Nicholas Negroponte, then director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, spoke of making laptops available at US$100 for schoolchildren in developing nations.
The price was not the only big news. Negroponte named companies that had agreed to collaborate on what would become the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project.

Apple files for 'Multi-Pass' trademark
Yet another Apple trademark filing has surfaced, but this time related to its iTunes digital music service. The company has filed a new 'multi-pass' trademark, which apparently references the ability to easily purchase a bundle of television shows or other content at a discount. Earlier this year, Apple launched and subsequently expanded its multi-pass options at its iTunes Music Store.

Intellectual property theft causing problems in China
Intellectual property theft and supplier strategy problems are the top risks facing manufacturing and retail firms with operations in China, industry experts warned today.

5 Steps for E-Mail Retention
The wrong time to enact an e-mail archiving and retention plan is after your company gets audited or sued. The best way to protect your company, of course, is by developing a plan for managing and legally deleting your data before something happens. For companies just starting to look at their e-mail data retention policies, here are five steps to follow:

RIPA could cause new wave of cyber attacks
The introduction of legislation to crack down on criminals using encryption to hide their tracks could also leave users open to new forms of electronic attacks, according to one expert.

Nigerian copyright commission seizes N5m pirated materials
Pirated materials worth about N5m have been seized by the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Uyo zonal office in Akwa Ibom state. The seizure which comprised mostly musical works of both Nigerian and foreign artistes was made during a sudden raid on selected video shops in Uyo metropolis recently.

Apple warns of copyright infringement over iPod brand
Apple has followed Google's example by sending cease and desist letters to companies warning them of the consequences of using the word 'pod' in product titles.

Monday, August 14, 2006
  Hyped technologies for 2006: Gartner tips Web 2.0 for the trough
Don't invest in a technology just because it is being hyped, and don't ignore a technology just because it is not living up to early expectations. So says Gartner, which today released its annual hype cycle for emerging technologies.

Flaw exposed in HSBC's online banking
Researchers at Cardiff University have uncovered a flaw in HSBC's online banking security process that has left over three million customer accounts vulnerable to attack over the last two years.

Judge picks holes in supplier's exclusion clause
Contractual attempts to exclude all liability for economic loss are likely to fail, according to a High Court ruling in a £50 million dispute over the supply of materials for the manufacture of oil tanks.

It's clear that government is determined to level the playing field and foster greater competition in the sector. The act states, for example, that the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), which regulates the sector, may not "grant or include in any licence . . . any monopoly or exclusionary rights in any network or service contemplated by this act or the related legislation".

The newly gazetted Electronic Communications Act provides a good framework for liberalising SA's telecommunications industry. But the new law will have little impact without a strong and credible regulator.

Government hasn't lived up to its promise to use free open-source software in preference to paying for it from companies like Microsoft.
Open-source software is making progress with some state institutions but is far from replacing proprietary software in government as a whole.

The 'blogosphere' is expanding daily
Paris - Fifty million blogs - online multi-media journals - were tracked on the Internet last month, a 100-fold increase over three years, according to a new study published online.

Federal appeals court rules against workplace PC privacy
If you think the Web sites you access on your workplace computer are nobody else's business, think again.
That was the message today from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which upheld a Montana man's conviction for receiving obscene material that his employer found on his computer during a late-night raid.

Legislation Moves to Capture Identities of All Cellphone Users
Under legislation currently being discussed in parliament, a person who sells or provides a cellphone or a SIM card to someone other than a family member will be obliged to immediately notify a telecommunication service provider of the transaction.
The telecommunication service provider, or cellphone network, would then have to deactivate the SIM card until it has recorded and stored the identification details of the recipient of the cellphone or SIM card.

Patent battle over teaching tools
Internet law professor Michael Geist says a patent row between educators and the maker of educational software tools holds lessons for all net users.

Ten Blunders That Stop E-Discovery Cold
A colleague recently asked me to list 10 electronic-data-discovery errors lawyers make with distressing regularity. Here's that list, along with suggestions to avoid making them.

Friday, August 11, 2006
  Few Teenagers Buy Alcohol Online, Survey Says
A year after the Supreme Court made it easier for wineries to ship products to customers in a different state, a new survey indicates that teens haven't necessarily rushed to use the Internet to buy alcohol, as critics of the court's decision have feared. The survey by Teenage Research Unlimited in Northbrook, Ill., found that 2% of youths ages 14-20 reported having purchased alcohol online, and that 12% reported having a friend who had ordered alcohol online.

Legislation moves to capture identities of all cellphone users
Under legislation currently being discussed in parliament, a person who sells or provides a cellphone or a SIM card to someone other than a family member will be obliged to immediately notify a telecommunication service provider of the transaction.

Government moving to censor media?
It is the viewpoint of the South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF), the South African Chapter of Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) - three of the country's media freedom organisations - that Government's proposed amendment to the Film and Pulblications Act is a move to censor print and broadcast media.

Europeans Not Content to Leave Online Content Alone
Certain forms of online content have attracted legislative and regulatory attention in the United States -- in particular indecent and pornographic content, Internet gambling sites, and sites trading pirated copyrighted materials. But by and large U.S. lawmakers and regulators have been content to give relatively free rein to the vast majority of online content. In Europe, however, it is becoming apparent that broad regulation of online content is a much more substantial risk. Recent evidence includes a "Public Consultation on Content Online in the Single Market" ("Online Content Consultation") released last week by the Information Society and Media Directorate-General ("DG Information Society") of the European Commission. Under the EU Television Without Frontiers Directive adopted in 1989, various rules on broadcast content, including preferences for "European works," have long applied in EU member states. Now, the Online Content Consultation suggests that European regulators may have even grander designs for regulating online content. The outcome of the debate will have substantial implications for the future of European online business. Although the Online Content Consultation suggests that the answers to the questions it poses "are keys to growth and jobs in Europe," it rather seems to us that the regulatory drag from extensive content regulation could make the situation worse rather than better. Public responses to the Online Content Consultation are due by October 13, 2006.

Blowing the Whistle on Unlicensed Software
Tips from current and former employees have led the Business Software Alliance (BSA) to collect "over $2 million in settlements" from 19 U.S. companies that were allegedly running unlicensed copies of software, according to a July 25 press release. The 19 companies also agreed to "delete any unlicensed copies, purchase any needed replacement software and strengthen [their] software management practices." While BSA clearly intends this latest "$2 Million Dollar Tuesday" to send a shiver down the spines of CFOs and IT managers across the country, the amounts paid in the settlements -- ranging from $55,000 to $300,000 -- may not prove the most frightening element of the press release. Rather, that honor may belong to the details about confidential, automated piracy reporting systems and generous rewards for whistleblowers which make "dropping the dime" on a non-compliant employer easier and more lucrative than ever.

Getting to "Yes": Determining Customer Consent to Sharing of Personal Data
As our readers well know, companies whose security and privacy practices don't match their stated policies are at risk of drawing the attention of the Federal Trade Commission. But the FTC isn't the only sheriff in town. Discrepancies between policy and practice can also draw a civil suit, as demonstrated by a recent decision by a federal court in Oregon, Collegenet, Inc. v. XAP Corp.Collegenet, which provides college admission application services to students and universities, alleges that competitor XAP violated the unfair competition provisions of the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)) by "making false representations ... regarding the privacy of confidential information" that students provided XAP via its website. A key issue is whether students consent to XAP's sale of their data when they click "yes" in response to a general question asking if they would like to receive more information. Although the court declined to grant summary judgment to either party, its opinion suggests that courts will scrutinize promises of confidentiality closely, and that "consent" to data sharing will not be freely implied.

How Canada Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the USA PATRIOT Act
The USA PATRIOT Act is a favorite bugaboo among privacy advocates to our north, many of whom have directed their ire at Canadian firms that outsource data processing to U.S. entities. Thus far, however, these privacy advocates have had little success in stemming the flow of data to the south.

Google to keep storing search requests
Although he was alarmed by AOL's haphazard release of its subscribers' on-line search requests, Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt said Wednesday the privacy concerns raised by that breach won't change his company's practice of storing the inquiries made by its users.

Computer Theft Puts Floridians At Risk
A laptop computer from the inspector general's office at the Department of Transportation was stolen last month, putting the sensitive personal information of nearly 133,000 Florida residents at risk, acting Inspector General Todd J. Zinser said yesterday.

Take Two: Open Source vs. Open Standards Telephony
The focus of open source development at large is solving pragmatic problems. Many developers turn to open source because of frustrations they've experienced in working with proprietary technologies. Open source provides a level of flexibility that proprietary platforms cannot offer because they, like so many open standards platforms, require complicated implementations to achieve simple applications.

US Mobile Security, Part 1: How Great Is the Risk?
Data losses due to equipment theft have been greater than those attributed to malicious network attacks and software exploits. One out of every 10 laptops is stolen, according to statistics gathered by San Francisco-based IT security systems provider Vontu.

Defamation Debate Lingers Over Feedback on eBay
A dispute over a piece of smoky quartz normally would have been of little consequence to Kiel Sturm, who was selling the stone on eBay. But when a Los Angeles buyer made defamatory remarks that threatened to forever mar Sturm's online reputation, Sturm was forced to begin a yearlong legal battle to get the comments removed from eBay.

After Another Breach, Senator Wants VA Secretary to Resign
The Senate's top Democrat says Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson should resign, calling his leadership a threat to national security after the VA lost another computer containing veterans' personal data. "Less than a month after promising to make the VA the 'gold standard' in data security, Secretary Nicholson has again presided over loss of the personal information of thousands more veterans," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.

Employees Not Entitled to Privacy on PCs, Court Rules
If you think the Web sites you access on your workplace computer are nobody else's business, think again. That was the message from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which upheld a Montana man's conviction for receiving obscene material that his employer found on his computer during a late-night raid.

Fewer Youths Sexually Solicited Online, Survey Says
Despite the rise of social networking sites such as MySpace, a smaller percentage of young people are being sexually solicited online than five years ago. But children ages 10 to 17 are being increasingly bombarded with online porn and are being harassed and bullied more -- often by peers, a study finds.

MXit drops messaging costs
Classic Business Day listeners may use SMS messages, they may even know how to use MMS services - but the next big thing can save you a lot of money. With MXit Technologies chief executive Herman Heunis

Information Act too costly to use
While the Promotion of Access to Information Act was a plausible piece of legislation, its implementation was cumbersome and lacked mechanisms for it to be easily applied by ordinary people.

Media bodies warn of threat to gag press
PRINT and broadcast media could be the subject of strict censorship if changes to the Film and Publications Act proposed by the home affairs department became law, three media freedom watchdogs warned yesterday.

Man fined after racial slur to top judge
A Pretoria man has accepted that he was wrong to call a top judge a "kaffir", and has paid a R1 000 admission of guilt fine.

U r sckd — Employee fired by SMS
A British company on Friday defended its decision to sack one of its staff by text message, claiming it was keeping in touch with youth culture.

SA IT to outpace global growth
South African IT budgets are expected to grow faster than their international counterparts this year, a Gartner conference has heard.

5FM's podcasts not on, say music firms
5FM - one of the SABC's most profitable radio stations - stands accused of abusing copyright and condoning the illegal sharing of music.

Norway knuckles down for long iTunes fight
Apple isn't just breaking Norwegian consumer law - it's breaking promises Steve Jobs once made about digital music, the country's consumer watchdog says.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006
  Use Skype to send SMS’s
Skype (, which has become the standard for making voice calls using your broadband connection, can now be used to send SMS’s to destinations worldwide.

Court Finds Plaintiff May Retain Inadvertently Disclosed E-mail
Crossroads Sys., Inc. v. Dot Hill Sys. Corp., 2006 WL 1544621 (W.D. Tex. May 31, 2006). In a patent infringement action, the plaintiff sought an order compelling the defendant’s witness to testify about communications in relation to an e-mail inadvertently produced during discovery. Filing a counter motion, the defendant claimed the e-mail was protected by attorney-client privilege and demanded return of the document. The court denied the defendant’s counter motion, finding the privilege had been waived after the defendant had repeatedly failed to take steps in securing the return of the e-mail after first learning the document had been inadvertently disclosed. Noting that the plaintiff had deposed one of the defendant’s witnesses about the substance of the e-mail without objection from the defendant in July of 2004, the court chided the defendant’s counsel for failing to assert a claim of attorney-client privilege at the deposition. The court observed that the substance of the e-mail should have placed the defendant on notice that it had produced a document containing privileged communications seeking legal advice. The e-mail contained attachments specifically labeled “Confidential-Attorney’s Eyes Only” and was addressed to a law firm. Not until February of 2005, when the e-mail was introduced again at another deposition, did the defendant assert attorney-client privilege. Still, the defendant waited three months to petition the court for return of the document and only after the plaintiff refused to return the e-mail and brought a motion to compel further testimony. The court determined the plaintiff was entitled to keep the e-mail and demand further testimony in relation to it.

Court Denies Unsubstantiated Request for Computer Forensic Examination
Advante Int’l Corp. v. Mintel Learning Tech., 2006 WL 1806151 (N.D. Cal. June 29, 2006). The defendant brought a motion to compel examination of the plaintiff’s computer hard drives, contending the plaintiff was concealing evidence and misrepresenting facts. Although recognizing a forensic examination may be appropriate upon a showing that the opposing party has deleted electronic evidence, the magistrate judge observed, “a party would not be given an unfettered right to conduct its own examination of the opposing party's computers. Rather, a protocol would have to be established to protect legitimate privacy, privilege, safety concerns, and to minimize disruption.” The magistrate judge ultimately denied the defendant’s motion, noting the defendant’s unsubstantiated accusations of discovery misconduct did not warrant the remedy of a forensic examination.

Metallect CEO Guy Hoffman on Risk Management
"At the end of the day, compliance is about protecting certain information, such as credit card numbers or personally identifying information," said Guy Hoffman, CEO of Metallect. "Companies have inordinate challenges in understanding all of the logic that dictates how that information is accessible."

Court Rules IBM Did Not Commit Age Discrimination
A federal appeals court ruled Monday that IBM did not commit age discrimination when it changed its pension coverage in the 1990s. Plaintiffs compalined that IBM's "cash-balance" plan, which gives workers virtual accounts that can be cashed out for a lump sum when they leave the company, was designed to be more attractive to younger workers who are more likely to switch jobs.

Internet Creates New Ways to Locate Missing People
Individuals as well as authorities are using the power and reach of the Internet to find missing persons and hunt down wanted fugitives. Nancy McBride, national safety director for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, says the Internet has changed the way information on missing persons is disseminated to the public.

Cyber Criminals Learn from Organized Crime, FBI Official Says
As money has become the driving force behind online threats, cyber criminals have been taking a page from organized crime, adopting the same kind of organizational structures as these older crime groups, FBI agent Thomas X Grasso Jr. told an audience at the Defcon hacker conference. One reason for the similarities between cybercriminals and traditional organized crime is that the gangs themselves increasingly are becoming involved in online crime.

BlackBerry Hack Exposes Networks, Researcher Says
A computer security researcher says he's found an unexpected new path into company networks: the BlackBerry. Jesse D'Aguanno, a consultant with Praetorian Global, has developed a hacking program that exploits the trust relationship between a Blackberry and a company’s internal server to hijack a connection to the network.

AOL Apologizes for Releasing Search Log Data
AOL apologized for releasing search log data on subscribers that had been intended for use with the company's newly launched research site. The randomly selected data, which focused on 658,000 subscribers and posted 10 days ago, was among the tools intended for use on the recently launched AOL Research site.

Lie Kept 2 Charged in VA Data Theft Free
The two men accused of stealing computer equipment with the personal information of millions of veterans remained free several weeks after the laptop and external hard drive were recovered in June because the person who turned them in initially lied to detectives, according to Montgomery County police.

AOL Takes Down Site With Users' Search Data
AOL issued an apology yesterday for posting on a public Web site 20 million keyword searches conducted by hundreds of thousands of its subscribers from March to May. But the company's admission that it made a mistake did little to quell a barrage of criticism from bloggers and privacy advocates who questioned the company's security practices and said the data breach raised the risk of identity theft.

Google logs onto MySpace with R6bn
Google has reached a deal with the owner of to pay at least $900-million (R6-billion) in shared advertising revenue and become the exclusive search provider for the popular online hangout.

People: the weakest link in security chain
The most vexing weakness in computer security is not in the hardware or the software, it is in the people who use the machines, according to top hackers and cybersafety specialists.

French copyright law changes its tune on Apple iTunes
Details of the ruling that the nine-member French Constitutional Council gave last week on the recent law that would require Apple to unlock its DRM are finally becoming clearer.

DOJ files to block AT&T wiretapping suit again
Government lawyers wrote in the petition that AT&T cannot defend itself against the EFF allegations without "disclosure of state secrets".

Tricksters Employ Global Trends
PandaLabs has identified the Da Vinci Code and the 2006 World Cup as the subjects used for the most infamous IT threats for the first half of the year.
The Da Vinci Code was used as bait for a cellphone virus. The first case of this nasty bug was reported on 24 ;May when Mridul Sharma, during a corporate presentation, received a message on his phone: “Receive message via Bluetooth from Da Vinci Code?”

Surfing with a safety net
Last week, the Virtual Global Taskforce, formed by police agencies around the world, secured its first conviction in the United Kingdom. Lee Costi, a 21-year-old student from Surrey, was found guilty of raping two underage girls and sentenced to nine years in prison. He was caught after a Nottinghamshire mother alerted police to online conversations he was having with her 14-year-old daughter.

Yahoo, Symantec allies in internet security service
United States internet search engine Yahoo and software security giant Symantec Corporation launched a joint service on Tuesday to protect people online from hackers, viruses, spyware and spam.

Monday, August 07, 2006
  Vigilantes Turn Tables on Popular E-mail Crooks
British online vigilante "Shiver Metimbers" is leading tens of thousands of "scambaiters" in a crusade to shut down advance-fee fraudsters, grifters who spam unwitting victims with elaborate, e-mailed sob stories promising a share of nonexistent fortunes in return for upfront payments. Metimbers and crew turn the tables on scammers one by one, boomeranging the tricksters' own tactics to entice them into performing outlandish tasks in desperate pursuit of cash -- then trumpeting evidence of the con artists' naïveté for the online world's amusement.

Web Syndication Feeds Said to Pose Security Risk
Reading blogs via popular RSS or Atom feeds may expose computer users to hacker attacks, a security expert warns. Attackers could insert malicious JavaScript in content that is transferred to subscribers of data feeds that use the popular RSS (Really Simple Syndication) or Atom formats, Bob Auger, a security engineer with Web security company SPI Dynamics, said in a presentation at the Black Hat security event in Las Vegas.

Chinese Professor Wins Defamation Suit Against Blog Host
A Chinese journalism professor has won a lawsuit against a blog hosting site that refused to remove remarks criticizing him by one of its users, state media said. It was believed to be the first time that a person in China has sued a blog host for defamation.

U.S. Senate Ratifies Europe's Convention on Cybercrime
The Senate has ratified a treaty under which the United States will join more than 40 other countries, mainly from Europe, in fighting crimes committed via the Internet. The Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime is the first international treaty seeking to address Internet crimes by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques and increasing cooperation among nations.

Two Teenagers Arrested in Theft of VA Laptop
Two teenagers were arrested in the theft of a laptop and hard drive containing sensitive data on up to 26.5 million veterans and military personnel, authorities said. The government-owned equipment was stolen May 3 during a burglary at the Maryland home of a Veterans Affairs employee.

E-mail hoax case postponed
The fraud case of two men accused of involvement in the National Intelligence Agency's (NIA's) hoax e-mail saga has been postponed to allow the state to draft final charges.

Hackers not the internet villains
Organised crime is winning the Internet security war, specialists have warned at the world's foremost gathering of computer hackers in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Message anyone for less than 1c...should mobile networks be worried?
At around R70 per megabyte (MB), SMSs are almost certainly the most expensive data-based communication method in the world.

Growth of online advertising in SA ‘disappointing’
The chairman of the Online Publisher’s Association (OPA), Russell Hanley, stated at a recent conference that the growth in the local online advertising industry is disappointing.

Microsoft retreats on IE7 name change
Microsoft has abandoned plans to rename its Internet Explorer 7 browser for Windows Vista.

At Least 12 Patches from Microsoft Next Week
Microsoft said today that it plans to issue at least 12 security updates to fix vulnerabilities in its Windows and Office products.

Microsoft's piracy check draws complaints, lawsuits
When Microsoft said it planned to begin checking for pirated copies of its Windows operating system using the method it set up to send people security fixes, even some of the company's traditional critics could sympathize.

Court rejects discrimination claim against IBM
IBM did not commit age discrimination when it changed its pension coverage in the 1990s, a federal appeals court ruled Monday in a case that Big Blue had agreed to settle for up to $1.4 billion if it had lost the appeal.

AOL draws fire after releasing user search data
AOL apologized Monday for releasing information on about 20 million keyword searches in a move that ignited a firestorm of criticism about privacy rights on the Internet.

Black Hat Attendee Hacks Vista With Rootkit Technology
Polish researcher Joanna Rutkowska of Singapore-based Coseinc last week showed attendees of the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas how to use her "Blue Pill" technique to hack into the Windows Vista operating system. She used an early beta version of the OS in her demo.

How the web went world wide
In a few short years the web has become so familiar that it is hard to think of life without it.

EA shuts down online game servers
Games giant EA has begun a rolling closure of many online servers supporting copies of old games.

Google warns on 'unsafe' websites
Google has started warning users if they are about to visit a webpage that could harm their computer.

College students warned about Internet postings
Incoming college students are hearing the usual warnings this summer about the dangers of everything from alcohol to credit card debt. But many are also getting lectured on a new topic -- the risks of Internet postings, particularly on popular social networking sites such as Facebook.

Advice to parents: Know your video games
Moms and dads, crack your knuckles, stretch your wrists and hunker down in front of the television or computer monitor -- it's time to confront the monsters, villains and other baddies lurking in your children's video games.

Study: Tech replaces diamonds as girl's best friend
Diamonds are no longer a girl's best friend, according to a new U.S. study that found three of four women would prefer a new plasma TV to a diamond necklace.

Microsoft to hackers: Take your best shot
After suffering embarrassing security exploits over the past several years, Microsoft Corp. is trying a new tactic: inviting some of the world's best-known computer experts to try to poke holes in Vista, the next generation of its Windows operating system.

Wireless Vulnerability Not Limited to MacBooks
Researchers who demonstrated the wireless vulnerability of an Apple MacBook were careful to point out that other systems, including PCs running Microsoft Windows and Linux, are equally vulnerable. "The problem itself isn't really an Apple problem," said David Maynor of SecureWorks. "This is a systemic problem across the industry."

Record Labels File Piracy Suit Against LimeWire
The record companies contend that LimeWire, which began operating in 2000, has since grown into the leading file-sharing software for stealing music as other Napster clones have shut down or gone legitimate in recent years.

Will Leopard Leap Ahead of Vista?
Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs is expected to highlight the next generation of the Mac operating system, Leopard, during his keynote address to a developers' gathering in San Francisco. It wouldn't be an Apple conference, though, without some unexpected announcement to wow the crowd, and buzz is centering on the iPod.

It's on Wikipedia, So It Must Be True
Last week provided another fascinating chapter in the evolving story of Wikipedia, the almost-anybody-can-edit-it online encyclopedia.

Billy Bragg pays tribute to Murdoch's MySpace
Billy Bragg has paid tribute to social networking giant MySpace after persuading it to change its terms and conditions. The site is owned by owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and changed its terms after lobbying by Bragg.

Woman forces US record industry to drop file-sharing case
A group of US record labels agreed to drop a music piracy case in the US after the alleged file-sharer argued that it could not be proved that she downloaded any illegal music. The case may set a precedent that undermines scores of other music piracy cases.

City worker awarded £800,000 in bullying payout
A City worker has won £800,000 in damages from Deutsche Bank in a landmark workplace bullying case. The award is said by legal experts to be particularly high and likely to be appealed.

Apple 'unmovable' on iPod lock-in
Apple has told a Norwegian regulator that it will not change its policy of locking iTunes purchases so that they can only be played on its iPod devices. Consumer activists who have read the company's response to a case against describe it as 'unmovable'.

Absolut wins rights to escort agency address
Absolut vodka has won the rights to a domain name belonging to an escort agency. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has transferred the rights to to Absolut's owner, V&S Vin&Spirit AB of Sweden.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006
  Porn site claim has Google in the dock
San Francisco - Key Internet freedoms are under threat in a legal battle between online search leader Google and pornography publisher Perfect 10, a prominent Internet rights foundation has said. At issue in the landmark case being appealed to the San Francisco circuit court of appeals is whether Google infringed on copyrights by creating links to Perfect 10 pictures copied from its website and posted elsewhere on the Internet, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

MultiChoice decoder ‘hacking’ causes a stir
Brochures with the procedure were handed out in East London, after which MultiChoice issued a warning that users “who use our DStv decoders to hack into channels the company does not offer do so at their own peril.” MultiChoice’s response to the flyers and the procedure caused quite a stir among consumers, with the satellite television provider being accused of exaggerating the procedure by using terms like ‘hacking’ and ‘backdoor’.

Bush administration urges updated wiretap laws
As debate continues over the legality of President Bush's wiretapping program, the administration pressed Congress Wednesday to ease decades-old surveillance restrictions to catch up to the technology of the Internet age.







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