Articles by date
30 October 2006
Google defiant over censorship in China (The Observer)
Google is to enter the political arena in earnest this week when it debates freedom of speech, intellectual property rights and how to connect Africa to the internet at a special UN conference.
The net's great and the good are meeting in Athens, but the BBC's Bill Thompson doubts that they will achieve much.
Whose information society? Developing country and civil society voices in the World Summit on the Information Society by David Souter (pdf) (Association for Progressive Communications)
This paper summarises a study of developing country and civil society participation and influence in WSIS that was commissioned by the Association for Progressive Communications. As well as analysing participation, the study looked at the impact of WSIS on international ICT decision-making in general and makes recommendations to all main actors about how future decision-making might become more inclusive of developing countries, nongovernmental actors and their concerns.
The Sunday Times Leading article: A curb on free speech (Sunday Times)
It is reassuring to learn that Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, is fighting on the side of the angels against the "surveillance society". These are the state agencies that hold a growing body of personal and possibly inaccurate information on even the most inoffensive members of the public. It is comforting, too, to hear him lambast the high street banks, as he did in an interview yesterday, for leaving their customers' financial records in bin bags on the pavement, vulnerable to identity thieves. One can but applaud his horror that a father was on police records as a suspected paedophile for five years after a dinner lady overheard his daughter say, "My dad bonked me last night", when she meant that he had tapped her on the head with an inflatable hammer.
Small is beautiful for the net giants (The Observer)
'Web 2.0' highlights how the online world is changing: amateurs come up with the ideas, then the big boys open their wallets: What exactly is the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0? In essence, Web 1.0 was all about creating simple but effective internet versions of real-world businesses where selling could happen on the web, whereas Web 2.0 really uses the internet as a completely new way to market to people; 'selling' has shifted to 'buying' because the user is in control. He or she broadcasts his or her profile, tendencies and preferences in a way that is picked up by Web 2.0 technology infrastructure and marketing tools.
29 October 2006
Child Pornography Link To Abuse Of Children Unclear, Forensic Psychiatrist Says (news release) (Science Daily)
If someone downloads child pornography onto their computer, is that an indication they're a pedophile, or might become one in the future? That question is gaining the attention of forensic psychiatrists as never before, thanks to recent legislation making possession of Internet child pornography a federal crime constituting an unlawful transmission of information across state lines.
nz: School fights posted on YouTube (New Zealand Herald)
About seven video recordings of New Zealand school violence are available for viewing on the internet site YouTube
The US crackdown on online gambling is a "new prohibition", which is likely to fuel a rise in fraud and exploitation, the UK culture secretary has said.
Is Google legal? (Out-Law.com)
A Belgian court ruled against Google's use of newspaper stories in early September. If you believe Google, it did nothing wrong and failed to defend itself because it was unaware of the publishers' lawsuit. If you believe the publishers, Google is lying and infringes copyright on a colossal scale. The parties return to court on 23rd November in a case that finds legal uncertainty looming over the world's leading search engines.
In China's Net Cafés, Intel Pours It On (Business Week)
Some 11 million PCs in over 110,000 Internet cafés. If you're Xu (Ian) Yang and your job is to sell Chinese on using computers with Intel chips, those numbers will surely grab your attention. In late 2003, Yang, the Beijing co-general manager of Asia-Pacific for Intel, was in the northeastern city of Harbin to speak to university students. It was a typically frigid northern day, and since Yang had a little time to spare, a staffer suggested they warm up in an Internet café.
Hell.com failed to be bought via a live auction Friday, which organizers had hoped would bring bids of more than $1 million.
au: Hefty fine for spammer who sent 75m emails (Sydney Morning Herald/AAP)
A Perth-based company has been fined A$5.5 million for sending millions of unsolicited emails, with a judge labelling the spam annoying, costly to combat, and a threat to the internet.
28 October 2006
A long-simmering dispute over whether the U.S. government has too much control over the Internet's underpinnings will heat up again next week at a United Nations summit in Greece.
Bloggers are being asked to show their support for freedom of expression by Amnesty International.
"Call to Bloggers" to stand up for freedom ahead of world meeting on future of Internet (Amnesty news release)
Amnesty International today issued a 'Call to Bloggers', asking them to get online and stand up for freedom of expression on the internet. The organisation says this is a critical time when fundamental rights - particularly freedom of expression and privacy - are under threat from governments that want to control what their citizens say, and what information they can access.
The Road to Rio and Beyond: Results-based Management of the UN Internet Governance Forum (Internet Governance Project)
This paper (pdf) argues that the road to the 2007 meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Rio de Janeiro and beyond must be paved with effective management practices. Results-based management principles employed elsewhere in reform of United Nations agency practices provide that base.
27 October 2006
Should ICANN Become Autonomous? (Wired/AP)
An international dispute over U.S. control of the internet appears unlikely to be resolved even as state envoys, regulators and technology experts convene next week in Athens to discuss the network's future. The Greek Transport Minister Michalis Liapis said "Such negotiations are difficult ... this will take time. There are many countries which all have their own interests and opinions. We are starting a dialogue which I think will take many years." Around 1,200 people are expected to attend.
The number of people in the UK who have no intention of getting internet access has risen, research firm Point Topic has found.
Why it matters to master your domain (The Guardian)
Let your registration lapse, and your site could suddenly be taken over by links to porn - and there's little you can do about it
au: Google 'harbouring racists' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Racist blogs targeting minority groups in Australia are springing up on the web, but Google's Blogger, the service some are hosted on, refuses to take them offline, says an anti racism lobby group.
26 October 2006
au: ENUM Day - Sydney, 15th November 2006 (ENUM Day)
The Australian ENUM Day is a FREE event organised by the Australian Communications and Media Authority and the other participating parties in the Australian ENUM Trial to be held on 15 November in central Sydney. ACMA, the Industry Regulator, AusRegistry, AARNet and Instra share their knowledge about ENUM with you, and they will also demonstrate how you can use ENUM.
What content does Google censor outside China? (The Guardian)
Outside China, Google blocks only websites with child abuse images and certain values from its search of ranges of numbers. The latter restriction, according to Google's worldwide policy counsel Andrew McLaughlin, tackles identity thieves using the search engine to trawl the web for credit card and government identification numbers, such as US social security numbers. It is still possible to search for individual numbers within these ranges, so owners can check these are not online.
A group of US online publishers and a lobby group is taking the Government to court to challenge an eight-year-old law which it says amounts to censorship of the internet. The challenge is to the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), which became law in 1998.
The federal bench trial of a lawsuit challenging the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA) began Monday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought the suit on behalf of internet websites such as Salon.com and Nerve.com, arguing that the severe punishments outlined in COPA for publishing material considered "harmful to children" restrict free speech. Also see http://aclu.org/freespeech/internet/27144prs20061023.html for the ACLU news release.
Vietnamese authorities have been accused of creating a climate of fear among the country's internet users. Human rights organisation Amnesty International says the Vietnamese government is using online informers to keep track of web users. Also see the Amnesty International news release: http://web.amnesty.org/pages/vnm-221006-action-eng