[LINK] Newsletter - No 112 - October 19, 2001
by way of Tony Barry
Sun, 21 Oct 2001 16:26:06 +1000
UNESCO OBSERVATORY ON THE INFORMATION SOCIETY
Newsletter - No 112 - October 19, 2001
!!! REMINDER !!!
* NOW ONLINE...... *
* International Recommendations on *
* "Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace" *
* See them and make your comments at: *
* http://www.unesco.org/webworld/mul_recom/index.shtml *
The Briefs selection (below), is ordered into the major themes of the
- Action Plans and Policies
- Privacy and Confidentiallity
- Content Regulation
- Access to Public Domain
Action Plans, Policies: international, regional and national levels
[AFR, INF - 19.10.2001] Committee's Changes to Telecoms Bill Draw
Cape Town Parliament's communications committee has made some
significant changes to the draft Telecommunications Amendment Bill.
The changes satisfy some of the objections raised by mobile phone
operators, providers of value-added network services (Vans) and
internet services. Also, the changes seek to remove potential
[NAM, CRM - 19.10.2001] Governor Calls for 'Cyber Court' (Wirednews)
Malicious hackers, look out. A government anti-terrorism commission
will recommend that Congress create a shadowy court to oversee
investigations of suspected computer intruders. Gov. James Gilmore
(R-Virginia), the commission's chairman, said Wednesday that federal
judges have been far too sluggish in approving search warrants and
eavesdropping of online miscreants.
[APA, EGO - 18.10.2001] Singapore: Rules on e-campaigning unveiled (ZDnetasia)
All the rules for wireless election advertising and cyber-campaigning
were spelt out yesterday. As reported earlier, private sites are not
allowed to come out in support of any party or candidate. The Web
sites of political parties are allowed to post their manifestos,
posters, candidate profiles and photos, and even hold discussions and
[GLO, CRM, CRY - 18.10.2001] Anti-Terror Hackers Seek Govt Blessing
A vigilante hacking group is attempting to obtain government approval
for its anti-terrorism efforts, Yihat's leader announced Tuesday.
During an online meeting of the group's members, founder Kim Schmitz
said Yihat is negotiating with one European and one Asian government
to "legalize" the group's hacking activities in those nations.
[NAM, ECO - 17.10.2001] Net tax likely to lapse (Cnet)
The U.S. Congress appeared ready on Tuesday to let lapse a ban on
Internet-specific taxes, as a dispute over states' ability to tax
online sales threatened to derail a simple extension of the
politically popular moratorium. But America's 130 million Internet
users will not be hit with new taxes any time soon...
[APA, EGO - 17.10.2001] E-lections not on the cards for next GE (ZDnetasia)
The Republic may have been hailed as one of the "wired capitals" of
the world, with 65 percent of government services slated to go online
by year end, but one electronic transaction unlikely to happen soon
is voting via the Internet. While 28.1 percent of the wired
population here are electing to do their banking online...
[EUR, EQU - 16.10.2001] Appeal for more 'IT' girls (BBCnews)
The UK Government is launching a new initiative to attract more women
to the information technology industry. Although women make up almost
half of the UK's workforce, only one in five techies are women.
[EUR, ECO - 16.10.2001] European Union considers banning internet
music services Pressplay and Musicnet (Europemedia.net)
Pressplay and Musicnet, the two internet music services to be
launched by the major music groups, may be considered
anti-competitive and, therefore, banned by the European Union (EU).
European Commission (EC) officials are arguing that that the two
music services could potentially create an online music ëduopolyí.
[NAM, CRM, PRI - 15.10.2001] House passes its antiterrorism bill (IDG.net)
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Friday to approve new
antiterrorism legislation that gives U.S. law enforcement agencies
expanded rights to snoop on electronic and voice communications.
[EUR, INF - 15.10.2001] EC's Liikanen Unveils eEurope 2002 Plans (Newsbytes)
The European Union has unveiled its plans for the next stage in its
electronic Europe (eEurope) action plan. Known as eEurope 2002, the
program builds on the existing scheme, which started last year, but
aims to push Internet penetration levels in Europe significantly up
from their current 36 percent.
Privacy & Confidentiality: transborder privacy, global e-commerce, cryptography
[CRY, CRM, INF - 19.10.2001] Internet Security ñ Virtual weapons
against cyber criminals (Europemedia.net)
The internet is a human invention and is thus a mirror of our
decadent society. Within our society there live various people with
equally distinct personalities, and some who unfortunately take
delight in spray painting other people's walls, knocking down stop
signs and post-boxes, and perpetrating all kinds of scams, such as
credit card fraud and embezzlement.
[ECO - 19.10.2001] 5.1% of consumers now pay their bills online
Although communication service providers, ISPs and banks are partly
at fault for the relatively low adoption rates due to their poor
marketing of electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) services
in the past, since then, many have refocused their efforts to drive
consumer adoption and have been succeeding.
[CRY, INF - 18.10.2001] US plan for secure internet 'flawed' (BBCnews)
Security experts have warned that the secure computer network planned
by the US Government could be undermined by careless users. The Bush
administration, newly focused on security since the 11 September
attacks, wants to create a network, called Govnet, to provide
protected data and voice communications.
[CRY, PRI - 18.10.2001] Senator Backs Off Backdoors (Wirednews)
Sen. Judd Gregg has abruptly changed his mind and will no longer seek
to insert backdoors into encryption products. A spokesman for the New
Hampshire Republican said Tuesday that Gregg has "no intention" of
introducing a bill to require government access to scrambled
electronic or voice communications.
[ECO, CON - 18.10.2001] Web monitored for illegal anthrax products (Cnet)
U.S. agencies and pharmacists are monitoring Internet advertisements
for anthrax treatment products to ensure firms are not capitalizing
on bioterror fears with misleading or illegal offers. Some Web sites
are offering Cipro, the main antibiotic used to treat the anthrax
bacteria, without a prescription, urging people to order the drug
soon to protect their families.
[CRY, ECO, INF - 17.10.2001] Attacks Spur Call for Data Storage
DATA-storage firms expect a surge in demand as clients scramble to
secure data in the wake of last month's attacks in the US. StorageTek
vice-president Bruce Taafe said that after the attacks companies had
become increasingly mindful of securing their data and gaining access
after disasters. http://allafrica.com/stories/200110160058.html
[ECO, ACC - 17.10.2001] Will Spanish users pay for pay-per-view
As Spanish companies strive to make a profit on their online
operations, they see content as a potential revenue stream. This
fall, several initiatives are being launched to persuade users to pay
for the information they receive.
[ECO, CON - 17.10.2001] Red Tape Hurdles In Australian Net Gambling
Australia's Internet Industry Association (IIA), an industry lobby
group, has given an indication of how complicated the Australian
government's ban on Internet gambling will be in practice in a posted
notification of scheduled filters and procedures for Internet service
providers (ISPs) to use to block gambling sites.
[CRY, CRM - 16.10.2001] Wireless nets could allow fixed net access (IDG.net)
A security study Monday sounded another call to arms for network
administrators to secure wireless networks, showing how hackers can
use traditional methods to attack otherwise secure fixed networks
from a wireless entry point. Computers don't discern if data comes
from a wireless network or a fixed network -- once it hits a modem,
it's all the same. http://www.idg.net/ic_712967_1794_9-10000.html
[CRY, CRM - 16.10.2001] Internet attacks seen doubling in 2001 (Cnet)
The number of Internet attacks reported by companies looks likely to
double in 2001, a government-funded security response group reported
Monday. The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordination
Center, the group that administers the myriad CERTs around the United
States, counted nearly 35,000 attacks and probes in the first nine
months of this year.
[ECO - 16.10.2001] To Be Or Not to Be: The Internet As a Business
A year ago, E-Business, the new technology that uses the world wide
web (www) to link a business with its customers and suppliers, was
very much the 'in thing'. Today, many companies are less keen to make
effective use of this new technology.
[PRI - 16.10.2001] Researcher Says U.S. On Verge Of 'Electronic
Martial Law' (Newsbytes)
With anti-terrorism legislation nearing passage that expands the
power of wiretaps to all forms of telecommunications, the U.S.
appears to be just steps away from electronic martial law. That, at
least, is the view of Heidi Brush of the University of Illinois At
Champaign-Urbana, who presented a paper on "electronic jihad"...
[ECO - 15.10.2001] Global online food and drink market to grow 80% by
By 2005, the global online food and drink market is expected to grow
by roughly 80 per cent totaling GBP£38.5bn (E61.6bn), according to
the Datamonitorís study of seven European nations and the US.
Although retailers may be interested in the internet more as a
marketing tool than a sales conduit...
Content Regulation: intellectual property rights, copyright, freedom
[CON, CRM - 19.10.2001] Virtual hotel cracks down on cybersex (ZDnetasia)
A "virtual hotel" for teenagers on the Internet has been forced to
implement tighter safety procedures after it was discovered that
children were using the service for simulated sex. The problem of
pedophiles using Internet chatrooms to lure children into sexual
conversations is one that the Home Office is taking very seriously.
[IPR, ECO - 19.10.2001] Patent suit aims at Microsoft's XP, .Net (Cnet)
A digital rights management company has expanded its patent
infringement suit against Microsoft, targeting its forthcoming
Windows XP operating system and .Net initiative. InterTrust
Technologies, which makes software that protects songs and videos
from being illegally copied, said Thursday that it has added three
patents to its lawsuit against Microsoft.
[CON, CRM - 18.10.2001] Software group boards up pirate site (ZDnetasia)
An Austrian-based Web site that allegedly became a popular online
exchange for software pirates around the globe has been shut down by
an industry watchdog group, officials said Wednesday. Technology
watchdog group Business Software Alliance (BSA) announced it had shut
down Warez.at, a site that's become a sort of gateway for pirates to
distribute the spoils of their hacking endeavors.
[CON, FRE, CRM - 18.10.2001] China Closes Scribe BBS (Wirednews)
Beijing closed a popular Internet bulletin board for journalists
because it leaked secrets, slandered state leaders and attacked
government bodies, the website's administrator said on Wednesday. The
Zhejiang Media Forum bulletin board, part of the Xici.net website,
was closed on Tuesday by Beijing's Telecommunications Administration
and Office of Information.
[CON, FRE - 17.10.2001] China Lifts Site-Blocks Again (Wirednews)
China has lifted Internet blocks on foreign news organizations,
including Reuters, CNN and the BBC, in a move that coincides with a
high-profile Asia Pacific meeting. Without any public announcement,
Internet sites of news organizations that have been permanently
blocked were accessible on Tuesday to Chinese Internet surfers.
[CRM, IPR - 16.10.2001] RIAA Wants to Hack Your PC (Wirednews)
Look out, music pirates: The recording industry wants the right to
hack into your computer and delete your stolen MP3s. It's no joke.
Lobbyists for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
tried to glue this hacking-authorization amendment onto a mammoth
anti-terrorism bill that Congress approved last week.
[CRM, IPR - 15.10.2001] New net domain 'fiasco' (BBCnews)
Up to a quarter of the early registrations for the new .info domain
name could be bogus. A study of 11,000 registrations has shown a
failure of the steps taken to stop people winning control of domains
they do not have the right to run.
[CRM, IPR - 15.10.2001] Judge puts brakes on .biz addresses (ZDnetasia)
In the latest setback for efforts to expand the Internet address
system, a state court in California has temporarily blocked the
activation of some new domain names ending in .biz. A Los Angeles
Superior Court judge on Thursday issued a preliminary injunction
against domain registry NeuLevel, pending a lawsuit charging that
some .biz domain names were assigned through an illegal lottery.
Universal Access - Public Domain: access for all, on-line governance,
virtual libraries, multilingualism
[ACC, VIR - 19.10.2001] The Electronic Paper Chase (Wirednews)
It offers excellent resolution and high contrast under a wide range
of viewing angles, requires no external power to retain its image,
weighs little, costs less and is remarkably flexible (literally and
figuratively)--unlike today's computer displays. No wonder
traditional ink on paper continues to flourish in a digital world
that was expected to all but do away with it.
[DVD, ECO - 19.10.2001] Philippines - E-Competency A Question Of
Will developing nations ever catch up with developed countries? Can
the trend be ever reversed? These questions have been gnawing at
third-world countries like the Philippines, which has been trying
hard to make use of information and communications technology as a
backdoor entry to modern day prosperity.
[INF - 19.10.2001] Tiny Transistor breaks new limits (BBCnews)
Scientists in the US may have paved the way towards working molecular
computers. A group of researchers at Bell Labs have made tiny
functioning transistors a million times smaller than a grain of sand.
Making large quantities of the tiny components should be
straightforward because they self-assemble.
[ACC, MUL - 18.10.2001] Italian web bigger than originally imagined
Il Trovatore, a veteran Italian search engine and directory site,
claims that in September 2001, their special web spider counted at
least 48 million static and dynamic webpages under the '.it' domain.
The Italian search engine's new spider also indexed and counted
dynamic webpages, which are usually ignored by other search engines.
[ACC, VIR - 18.10.2001] Oxford puts refugee documents online (The Guardian)
The world's largest collection of information on refugees is being
put on the internet by Oxford University. The Refugee Studies Centre
at Oxford is trying to give the world access to its collection of
30,000 documents about the forced movements of people.
[ACC, INF - 17.10.2001] Web kiosks for India's villagers (BBCnews)
For millions of Indians living in villages, making a phone call, let
alone connecting to the internet, is a distant dream. But a new,
cheap and robust wireless technology could bring the information
revolution to rural areas.
[INF, VIR - 17.10.2001] Speaking of Voice Recognition (Wirednews)
If companies like Microsoft, Intel and Cisco have their way, future
cellular phones, PDAs and television sets won't come with any
buttons. Instead, people will navigate using their own voices
--twangs, impediments, accents and all.
[INF, VIR - 17.10.2001] Digital Focus: Archive Old Photos, Video on a
There's a variation on Murphy's Law for computer storage, and it goes
something like this: No matter how much space you have, it will never
be enough. Even in today's world of 20, 40, and even 80GB hard
drives, digital photographers still find themselves running out of
places to keep old images.
[DVD - 16.10.2001] Lottery unveils computer literacy cash (The Guardian)
The national lottery announced today that it will tackle the digital
divide by spending £11.4m on computer literacy courses and computer
centres located in communities with low access to the internet. The
grant from the lottery's new opportunities fund will target specific
groups - such as single parents, ethnic minorities, refugees, manual
labourers, the disabled and the elderly - which have had little
experience of email and the internet.
[INF, VIR - 16.10.2001] Chatty computers sought (BBCnews)
The Science Museum, in London, UK, is hosting the Loebner Prize,
which hands medals and cash prizes to the inventors of computer
programs that can maintain the most life-like dialogue. The
competition is a variant of a stricter test first thought up by
pioneering mathematician Alan Turing.
[ACC,EGO - 15.10.2001] Where is the Web when we need it most? (Yahoo)
For years, local governments and municipalities have touted the
importance of e-government using the Internet to provide services to
citizens. Today, most local government sites are rather stagnant
storehouses of rules and contact information and, in some cases,
[DVD, EQU, INF - 15.10.2001] Bringing rural Argentina online (BBCnews)
Our first network was deployed in San Antonio de Areco, an
agricultural town with 20,000 inhabitants, 120 kilometres north of
Buenos Aires. After many experiments and field trials, we did
eventually achieve quite encouraging results in the technical area.
[DVD, EQU, INF - 15.10.2001] 90% of EU schools have an internet
Although teachers across the EU are embracing the use of the internet
in the classroom, there are still varied degrees of enthusiasm since
take-up between the 15 EU member states still show discrepancies,
according to an EC Eurobarometer report carried out between February
and May 2001.
[VIR, ECO - 15.10.2001] PCs talk personal (Wirednews)
It's easy enough to distinguish between a human voice and a
computer-synthesized one. Yet people still hear personality in
computer voices, a new study suggests, and are more readily
influenced by ones that mirror their own character. The findings may
help Web marketers pitch their sales-talk.
UNESCO Observatory on the Information Society mirrors:
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