Articles by date
14 October 2006
Law reins in wild webbers (Sydney Morning Herald)
Bloggers beware: thoughtless musings in cyberspace can have costly consequences. That's one lesson that might be gleaned from a Florida jury's decision last week to order a Louisiana woman to pay $US11.3 million in compensation, after she used an internet forum to accuse another woman of being a con artist and a fraud. The damages award is believed to be the largest relating to amateur postings on the internet.
12 October 2006
Half of domain-name servers are open to attack (Computer Weekly)
Half of the web's domain name servers are wrongly configured, leaving companies and large sections of the internet infrastructure open to attack. The survey found that 50% of DNS servers allow recursive name services - a form of name resolution that often requires a name server to relay requests to other name servers.
11 October 2006
Google VP says youth determine Internet future (USA Today/AP)
Vinton Cerf says more than one billion people worldwide use it, and he believes its future is in the hands of young people.
There is extensive coverage of the possibility of Spamhaus losing their domain name from a range of sources. ZDNet/CNet note "there is legal speculation as to whether the district court has the jurisdiction to order ICANN to suspend the Spamhaus domain name, as ICANN is an independent regulator." Also see http://news.zdnet.co.uk/internet/security/0,39020375,39283978,00.htm
Globalising governance - The Guardian - Leader (The Guardian)
The Guardian has a leader asking who should run the internet, and notes that there needs to be strong rule over the issuing of domain names. It says the role needs to be changed and the recent loosening of the reins by the Department of Commerce was a step in the right direction. The leader concludes "It is easy to say that the body should report to the whole net community but making that a reality is likely to be a formidable task. It would be nice, but idealistic, to think the UN could ensure this happens, as some countries are urging. Icann now has an opportunity. If it can devise a non-governmental institution for international governance it might create a model that could be applied elsewhere, to tackle other problems posed by globalisation."
In a conference organised by Nominet, Nitin Desai “said there were tensions about the future regulation of the net and over specific issues such as international domain names.” He notes there will be marked differences between how the internet is used in the west and developing countries and “the internet was increasingly being shaped by companies and organisations at the "edges" and not by government, public sector bodies and regulators”. Also speaking was Professor Howard Williams (World Bank) who said the debate around future regulation of the web rested on the assumption there would be a single web in the future and that a Balkanisation of the internet was already happening.
In the quest for political office, modern campaigners deal in the currency of the moment, information. Information is power, and campaigns trade fiercely in it, exhaustively researching their opponents' past, scrutinizing the moods of the elusive swing voter and spewing (or leaking) favorable information about their own candidate. Of course, politicians try to harness the power of the internet, but some campaigns look more like they are stumbling than steering through cyberspace. In the quest for political office, modern campaigners deal in the currency of the moment, information. Information is power, and campaigns trade fiercely in it, exhaustively researching their opponents' past, scrutinizing the moods of the elusive swing voter and spewing (or leaking) favorable information about their own candidate. Of course, politicians try to harness the power of the internet, but some campaigns look more like they are stumbling than steering through cyberspace. The article also refers to a lawsuit alleging cybersquatting on a dozen domain names and asks "Why are so many campaigns tripping over the internet?" Campaigns are about collecting, controlling and disseminating information. The internet has a lot of rules about information transfer. These rules include complicated "unauthorized access" statutes, copyright law, trademark law and domain-name regulations.
Arbitration Is Weapon of Choice in Growing Number of Domain Name Disputes (Law.com/The National Law Journal)
Domain-name arbitration disputes have risen by more than a quarter since January 2005 -- despite the expansion of generic top-level domain addresses like .biz and .info -- as cybersquatters find more sophisticated ways of encroaching on legitimate Web sites.
ABSTRACT: The paper points out the limits of two empirical studies on the value of direct navigation. To more accurately predict the value created through direct navigation, these issues must be addressed.
Commentary: Google-YouTube and the value of social computing by Forrester Research (CNet/Forrester Research)
Google's purchase of user-generated video site YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock is a massive demonstration of the power of social computing. The search giant already has the No. 3 video site, but now it will own a networking platform that makes video stickier--and better for advertisers.
Web a minefield and goldmine for publishers (Sydney Morning Herald/AFP)
Publishers could be the internet piracy boom's next victims after the music industry, but the web might also be their salvation, the head of the International Publishers Association says.
10 October 2006
The BBC among others publishes an article by Professor Michael Geist arguing ICANN “has sacrificed the issue of privacy for a shot at independence.” Geist argues that all the work done on Whois reforms over the last 5 years has come to nothing by requiring ICANN to enforce current Whois policies, despite opposition from privacy groups including European data protection commissioners.
A U.S. court has threatened to shut down the Spamhaus Project, a volunteer-run antispam service, for ignoring a $11.7 million judgement against it. In a proposed court order dated Friday, Judge Charles Kocoras of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois calls on the organizations responsible for registering the Spamhaus.org Internet address to suspend the organization's Internet service. Both ICANN and Tucows Inc., the Spamhaus.org registrar, are named in the proposed order.
Google buys YouTube for US$1.65bn (The Guardian)
Internet search giant snaps up popular online video site.
Europeans now spend more of their week online than they do reading newspapers or magazines, according to a report.
09 October 2006
More people fear net crime than they do burglary or being mugged, a survey backed by the UK government suggests.
08 October 2006
Workers who leave their PCs on overnight are causing spiralling electricity bills and extended greenhouse damage to the environment
Newspapers grapple with an unbundled world (The Times)
Publishers have been slow to realise how fundamentally their world has been changed by the internet.
The power and influence of governments is diminishing because of the rise of the internet, the head of Google told the Conservative Party conference. Eric Schmidt, the chairman and chief executive of the internet company, said that the internet was not necessarily a force for good, pointing out the rise of hate groups that have proliferated on the web.
Who wants to run the internet? (The Times)
The American Government is set to cede control of the internet. Who will take its place, asks Bernhard Warner: Last week, after years of struggle, you and I finally got our first glimpse of "internet freedom". Yep, that cabal of crooked men in a Dr Evil hideout (aka, the US Department of Commerce) finally relinquished its iron-tight grip on governing the web. Instead, the US Government will allow the free market to determine the future of a medium that will no doubt generate trillions in trade and topple a few despots along the way.
Information technology and broadband are major drivers of economic change, restructuring businesses, affecting skills and employment, and contributing to growth and consumer benefits. This volume describes recent market dynamics and trends in industries supplying IT goods and services and offers an overview of the globalisation of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and the rise of ICT-enabled international sourcing. The OECD Information Technology Outlook 2006 analyses the development and impact of the changing global distribution of services activities and the rise of China and India as significant suppliers of ICT-related goods and services. ICT skills across the economy are also examined to provide insights into the dynamics of job creation and international sourcing.
The world's biggest banks are joining an international effort to crack down on child pornography on the internet by taking action to cut off its sources of financing. Under the proposals, the proposed body will share information about sites and paedophiles can have access to finance cut off.
Pornography has its benefits (Online Opinion)
If we were to stop for a moment and take the time to properly assess the community impact of internet pornography, it would soon become clear that internet pornography is not the height of evil which do-gooder parliamentarians and parental groups profess. Indeed, it is probably one of the main factors contributing to a notable reduction in violent crime over the last decade. Our community is safer and more peaceful thanks to internet pornography. This may sound counter-intuitive, but there are recent figures to back up the argument. In a paper just released in the United States titled Porn Up, Rape Down, Northwestern University Law Professor Anthony D'amato crunches the numbers to reach the conclusion: The incidence of rape in the United States has declined 85 per cent in the past 25 years while access to pornography has become freely available to teenagers and adults. The Nixon and Reagan Commissions tried to show that exposure to pornographic materials produced social violence. The reverse may be true: that pornography has reduced social violence.
Porn Up, Rape Down by Anthony D'Amato (Northwestern University - School of Law/Northwestern Public Law Research Paper) (Social Science Research Network/Northwestern Public Law Research Paper)
Abstract: The incidence of rape in the United States has declined 85% in the past 25 years while access to pornography has become freely available to teenagers and adults. The Nixon and Reagan Commissions tried to show that exposure to pornographic materials produced social violence. The reverse may be true: that pornography has reduced social violence.
Detectives trying to catch the killers of murdered schoolboy Jessie James have posted an appeal on the video-sharing website, YouTube.