Articles by date
20 February 2006
The worst of the Net (Roger Darlington)
This week, a US Congressional body - the House subcommittee on global human rights - held a hearing on the involvement of American companies in the controlling of Internet access by Chinese users. The Republican Chairman of the subcommittee declared: "Cooperation with tyranny should not be embraced for the sake of profits." Hear, hear. We need to sort out those commie Chinese. But there is a more serious issue that American politicians and industry are not adequately addressing. The UK's Internet Watch Foundation found last year that 40% of all reports of child abuse images on the Net were hosted in the United States. Why are there no hearings on this?
Testimony of Reporters Without Borders before the US House of Representatives (Reporters sans frontières)
Reporters Without Borders' representative in Washington, Lucie Morillon, testified on 15 February before the US House of Representatives Committee for International relations and Humanitarian Affairs. During the hearing, the major US Internet companies such as Yahoo !, Microsoft, Google and Cisco systems, were required to explain their collaboration with the Chinese authorities on web censorship.
us/cn: Congress accuses Google of collusion (The Guardian)
The giants of the internet were hauled before Congress yesterday, accused of colluding with China's secret police and censors.
eu: Bits and Bytes to Fight Child Pornography (Deutsche Welle)
European forensic scientists have developed a state-of-the-art computer program to help track down child victims of sexual exploitation on the Internet.
us: Surfing for Fun (Pew Internet & American Life Project) (Pew Internet & American Life Project)
About 40 million Americans were browsing the web just for fun or to pass the time on a typical day in December 2005.
Worldwide Internet Users Top 1 Billion in 2005 (Computer Industry Almanac)
The worldwide number of Internet users surpassed 1 billion in 2005 -- up from only 45M in 1995 and 420M in 2000.
The problem in China isn't with Google (Ethical Corp)
The uncomfortable truth is that the Chinese government is not progressing as fast towards democracy as a growth-hungry West has let itself believe, argues Tom Rotherham. ... While one may well wish that the Chinese government recognised that free access to information is in its people's interests, it is wrong-headed in the extreme to suggest that any company is doing the right thing by ignoring the government in a country in which it operates.
China has responded to international criticism of its internet regulations by saying its rules are "fully in line" with the rest of the world.
China's old guard warns censors of 'social disaster' (The Guardian)
A group of retired senior officials and academics, including Mao Zedong's former secretary, yesterday called for more openness, warning China's propaganda department that the media crackdown "could sow the seeds of disaster for political and social transition".
cn: Yahoo! appeals for support in censorship row (The Guardian)
Yahoo! yesterday sought to blunt criticism of its business practices in China in advance of what is expected to be a gruelling hearing in Washington on Wednesday.
us: Measuring Broadband’s Economic Impact by William H. Lehr, Carlos A. Osorio, Sharon E. Gillett (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) (MIT Communications Futures Program)
Does broadband matter to the economy? Numerous studies have focused on whether there is a digital divide, on regulatory impacts and investment incentives, and on the factors influencing where broadband is available. However, given how recently broadband has been adopted, little empirical research has investigated its economic impact. This paper presents estimates of the effect of broadband on a number of indicators of economic activity, including employment, wages, and industry mix, using a cross-sectional panel data set of communities (by zip code) across the United States.
uk: Spam watchdog calls for more powers (The Guardian)
Government inaction is hampering attempts to prosecute people who send spam emails, according to reports.
European Commission to assess filters (EC Safer Internet Programme)
The Safer Internet Programme has initiated a study aiming at an independent assessment of the filtering software and services.
Yahoo! accused over jailing of Chinese dissident (The Guardian)
Campaigners for free speech in China accused the US internet company Yahoo! of providing information that allowed Chinese police to jail a cyber-dissident two years ago. The charge by Reporters Without Borders is likely to provide further ammunition to US congressional members, less than two weeks after Google said it would bend to Beijing's wish to censor politically sensitive content.
Internet firm Yahoo is accused of giving data to China which led to the arrest of another online writer.
uk: Nominet flip-flops on industry code of conduct (The Register)
Nominet UK, the outfit that administers the .uk domain, says it's committed to "raising standards in the UK internet industry" four years after insisting a code of conduct was "not feasible".
A survey of registrars by Nominet, the .uk domain name registry, has revealed that two-thirds agreed with the need for improved self-regulation in the domain name industry and over 80 per cent supported a code of conduct for registrars.
Vint Cerf condemns two-tier internet (The Register)
Vint Cerf told Congress yesterday that ideas proposed by telecoms companies for a two-tier internet were fatally flawed and, if necessary, legislation should be passed to make it impossible.
Europe’s new Internet domain “.eu” today got 71,235 new applications in one hour (news release) (Eurid)
EURid opened its systems to receive applications for .eu domain names from anyone within the EU claiming prior rights to a certain domain name. During the first 15 minutes after 11:00 today EURid received 27 949 applications. After an hour, at 12:00, the number was 71 235.
au: Pest gives himself a sporting chance (The Age)
NOTORIOUS cybersquatter Brad Norrish, certainly has a never-say-die attitude. After having his deceptive antics reined in by several Australian courts, Perth-based Norrish has taken on US sporting channel network ESPN.
12 February 2006
Timeline: a history of free speech (The Guardian)
Starting at 399BC: Socrates speaks to jury at his trial: 'If you offered to let me off this time on condition I am not any longer to speak my mind... I should say to you, "Men of Athens, I shall obey the Gods rather than you."'
uk: Lords restrict terror website censorship plans (The Register)
The House of Lords has restricted Government plans to allow the police to order the take down of suspected terrorism-related web content by requiring that the authorities obtain the permission of a judge first.
eu: Safer Internet Day 2006: EU stresses commitment to safer use of the Internet (news release) (European Commission news release)
Safer Internet Day (7 February) will be celebrated by 95 organisations in 36 countries across the world, including 24 EU countries, Russia, Argentina, New Zealand and the USA. Organised under the patronage of Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding, Safer Internet Day 2006, features a blogathon or "blog-marathon" during which wide range of organisations and special guests will promote internet safety by making postings and inviting comments from visitors, children, schools and parents. The geographical focus of the 24hr blog will move steadily westwards through the global time zones, and include content in different languages.
The number of attempts to view illegal child pornography on the web has risen sharply since 2004, according to BT.
Public consultations on the new "Internet Governance Forum" being created by the United Nations will be held in Geneva February 16-17. The Internet Governance Project has released a new discussion paper explaining how the Forum could work. The Forum must be as open as possible and give all stakeholders equal participation rights. Its deliberations must be wide-ranging and resist politically motivated barriers to discussion. And its products must feed into other, more authoritative Internet governance forums.