Articles by date
08 October 2006
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.
07 October 2006
The BBC reports Google is reported to be in talks to buy popular video-sharing website YouTube for US$1.6bn.
06 October 2006
Anti-U.S. Attack Videos Spread on the Internet (New York Times)
Videos showing insurgent attacks against American troops in Iraq, long available in Baghdad shops and on Jihadist Web sites, have steadily migrated in recent months to popular Internet video-sharing sites, including YouTube and Google Video.
au: Bindi site not unethical, says squatter (Sydney Morning Herald)
A Brisbane man who set up an unauthorised Bindi Irwin website linked to anti-Israel material has denied his website is in poor taste.
The International Herald Tribune reports on the court dispute between EURid and three companies who had between them registered 74,000 .eu domain names. EURid claimed the companies were hoarding them for resale. In a disappointing decision, last week a Belgian court ordered EURid to pay a fine of €25,000 per hour for each name unless it allowed the three companies to transfer ownership of the addresses. EURid has released control of the domain names and is considering appealing. The IHT reports "Thomas Schafft, a Munich-based lawyer who specializes in intellectual property at Lovells law firm, said it was 'a shame that EURid lost,' calling the three companies' attempts to register the names 'a particularly nasty attempt to abuse the dot-eu system.'" Since the introduction of dot-eu last December, 2.1 million domains have been registered by EURid. More than 250 separate disputes over ownership of individual domain names have been resolved through an arbitration mechanism.
ICANN looks for new home (Australian IT)
ICANN will consider moving to a new home outside the US as part of a search for a more favourable legal jurisdiction to base its operations.
Internet governance experts remain divided over last week's decision to extend the U.S. government's oversight of ICANN, with some calling it appropriate and others portraying it as unwise. The strong sentiments on either side reflect a chronic, troubling tension that has enveloped ICANN since 1998, when it was formed to progressively absorb Internet management functions until then handled fully by the U.S. government.
05 October 2006
au: Bindi website squatter 'abhorrent' (Sydney Morning Herald)
An unauthorised Bindi Irwin website linked to anti-Israel material and the names of Federal Government ministers has been set up by a Queensland man just hours after Steve Irwin's death, appearing to be a tribute site to the Crocodile Hunter's eight-year-old daughter. However, a number of domain names including fuckisrael.org, philipruddock.com and amandavanstone.com automatically redirect web surfers to the site. All the domains are registered to a "Wayne Smith" of Brisbane, who also owns the terriirwin.org and bindisueirwin.com names.
Success of Beijing Games hinges on an unfettered internet (The Australian)
The Australian reports that China has promised to give journalists uncensored internet access during the Olympic Games in 2008. The front page of the official English-language newspaper China Daily reports "Overseas media will be able to freely travel around China and enjoy uncensored access to the internet during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, organisers promised yesterday." Oh really I guess would be the obvious response with Beijing-based diplomats and so-called foreign business heavyweights thinking this a bit ludicrous. This would seem a bit more likely, as at the press briefing made by the Chinese they were emphatic, the internet is not censored in China.
04 October 2006
The National Academies recently completed a report titled "Signposts in Cyberspace: The Domain Name System and Internet Navigation," sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation. The report's final recommendations advise that ICANN strengthen its agreements with the TLD operators and call for further steps to improve the security of the DNS.
European Commission welcomes move towards full private-sector management by 2009 (news release) (European Union news release)
The United States government's decision to give more autonomy to ICANN was welcomed by the European Commission. On 30 September, a highly prescriptive Memorandum of Understanding between the US Department of Commerce and ICANN expired. It has now been replaced by lighter arrangements intended to end definitely by 2009. The European Commission has been working for several years on a system of internet governance entrusted fully to the private sector without government interference in the internet's day-to-day management. The Commission cooperated in 1998 with the US in setting up ICANN and hosted, until 2006, the Secretariat of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) to ICANN. Completing the transition of internet governance to the private sector also had been the explicit request by the EU and its partners at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in November 2005.
US government steps back from internet control (The Register)
Analysis: The US government has taken a step back from control of the internet with a new contract between it and overseeing organisation ICANN that came into effect.
A domain by any other name (The Guardian)
The public's dislike of Icann comes partly from the opinion that it exercises too much control over the internet, but that's not the case.
US loosens grip on running of internet (The Guardian)
The EU has hailed a decision by the US government to back down and grant full autonomy by 2009 to ICANN. Viviane Reding, EU information society and media commissioner, said "The European commission will follow closely Icann's transition to full independence in the next three years. With our advice, we will contribute to this transition to ensure that it takes place transparently, reflecting the interests of industry and civil society alike."
uk: Web of hate (The Guardian)
On the rightwing website Redwatch, hosted in the US but registered and run from the UK, hundreds of photographs of anti-war and anti-fascist activists are posted - with the message that they will 'pay for their crimes'. And now a number of those people have been attacked. So why hasn't the site been closed down? Matthew Taylor of The Guardian investigates.
03 October 2006
Mobile net names a bit dotty (The Australian/FT)
here are a few stories, such as this one published in both The Australian and Financial Times, questioning the value of dotmobi. The story reports "critics across a broad swath of business, the law and academe are railing against the proliferation of new domains, which they claim are costly and a cause of fraud". While there is support across industry, a senior lawyer from Verizon Communications, Sarah Deutsch, is quoted as saying "there is no particular business need". The article also quotes Marcus Eggensperger, legal director at Lycos Europe, saying "As a registrar, we are lucky because we have new markets but, to be honest, for trademark owners it could be a problem to have to make defensive registrations."
The internet will be a thriving, low-cost network of billions of devices by 2020, says a major survey of leading technology thinkers.
The Future of the Internet II (Pew Internet & American Life Project)
A survey of technology thinkers and stakeholders shows they believe the internet will continue to spread in a "flattening" and improving world. There are many, though, who think major problems will accompany technology advances by 2020. A predictions database can be viewed.
The United States is now a party to the Council of Europe (COE) Convention on Cybercrime, the only multilateral treaty that specifically addresses the problem of computer-related crime and electronic evidence gathering, the White House announced September 29.
EU Kids Online (EU Kids Online)
European Research on Cultural, Contextual and Risk Issues in Children's Safe Use of the Internet and New Media. EU Kids Online is a project funded by the EC Safer Internet plus Programme (see What is Safer Internet?) The EU Kids Online project (2006-2009) will examine research carried out in 18 member states into how children and young people use the internet and new media.
Who supports Internet censorship? by Craig A. Depken, II (First Monday)
Abstract: Censorship is the moral or legislative process by which society "agrees" to limit what an individual can do, say, think, or see. Recent attempts to regulate, i.e., censor, what is viewed on the Internet have polarized the general population. Unfortunately, beyond the anecdotal, the characteristics of those who support Internet censorship are unknown. In this study, the support for Internet censorship is empirically analyzed using survey data. Notwithstanding the potential limitations of survey data, the results indicate the characteristics of those who tend to favor and disfavor Internet censorship. Specifically, concerns over pornography and concerns over government regulation on the Internet are the two most polarizing elements of the relative support for censorship, which suggests that the debate over this issue will not be easily resolved.
The Changing Face of Privacy Protection in the European Union and the United States by FRED H. CATE (Indiana University School of Law/Indiana Law Review) (Social Science Research Network/Indiana Law Review)
This Article examines the expanding conflict and emerging compromises between the European Union and the United States over data protection. After describing each of the legal regimes and the principles that undergird them, the article concludes by addressing the conflict between those principles, current political efforts to minimize that conflict, and the inadequacies of both systems in the context of the Internet.
Principles of Internet Privacy by FRED H. CATE (Indiana University School of Law/Connecticut Law Review) (Social Science Research Network/Connecticut Law Review)
This article identifies principles that should undergird the government's efforts to protect privacy and craft privacy norms, and then contrast the application of those principles in particular settings identified by Professor Paul Schwartz in his article Internet Privacy and the State.