Articles by date

18 October 2006

55 Million Blogs, and Now a Service to Track Them (New York Times)

Corporations are growing increasingly conscious of the power, and potential pitfalls, of blogging. A favorable review from an influential blogger can help generate the kind of buzz around a new product that traditional advertising struggles to achieve. A negative write-up can help doom a product before it even hits the market.

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On Advertising: Blogs give PR new job (International Herald Tribune)

To Steve Rubel, senior vice president at the public relations firm Edelman, there is a "conversation gap" on the Internet between America and the rest of the world. Like Americans, Europeans and Asians have become fervent bloggers. But many of them contribute to U.S.- based sites, or to local-language blogs that are fragmented and obscure.

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au: Cronulla game falls between legal cracks (Sydney Morning Herald)

The racists are at it... "Australian authorities are powerless to remove from the internet a downloadable board game based on the Cronulla riots. The game has recently surfaced on the internet and appears to incite racial violence."

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ICANN: Accountability Management Operating Principles (ICANN news release)

As part of the Joint Project Agreement between the U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN, the ICANN Board of Directors approved an Affirmation of Responsibilities for ICANN's Private Sector Management. Points 2 and 3 of that document refer to ICANN's intention to continue to improve processes and procedures that encourage improved transparency and accountability. As part of this commitment to continuously improving transparency and accountability, ICANN is seeking input from the community on the development of a set of Management Operating Principles.

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JPA Agreement: Will it Change the Problems With the UDRP? by Konstantinos Komaitis (Circle ID)

It was rather interesting to read this new agreement between the USDoC and ICANN talking about the mechanisms, methods and procedures necessary to effect the transition of Internet domain name and DNS to the private sector. What was more interesting though was to read in this very agreement the following: “...the Department continues to support the work of ICANN as the coordinator for the technical functions related to the management of the Internet DNS”. OK, let’s be honest! Technical? Over the past few years, ICANN has been more involved in policy-making decisions than actually being engaged in the technical coordination of the Internet - or so it seems at least.

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Domain Name Site Sets Up Auction (Techweb) LLC plans to introduce this week an auction service for domain name sales, a company executive said Monday. Jeremiah Johnston, COO and general counsel for the online marketplace for buyers and sellers for domain names and Web sites, said the new seven-day auction platform will augment a traditional model, where domain names are posted on the site for sale and price negotiated.

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17 October 2006

EU 'threat' to internet freedom (BBC)

Internet broadcasters should not be subject to the same rules which govern television, peers have been told. Attempts to update the 1989 TV without Frontiers EU directive, are being considered by a Lords committee.

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How to escape from junk mail hell (The Age)

Are you sick of spam? You should be. By the end of this year, 71 per cent of email sent worldwide will be spam, according to a researcher, The Radicati Group. This article in The Age outlines the problem and the steps one can take to reduce the junk you receive.

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Spam fighter faces attack on 'blocklists' (International Herald Tribune)

The International Herald Tribune runs what is effectively a profile of Spamhaus and the dispute between them and e360. Spamhaus said last week, "We are working with lawyers to find a way to both appeal the ruling and stop further nonsense by this spammer." While Linhardt for e360 has "hinted that he could challenge others, conceivably Internet service providers that use Spamhaus's blacklists. 'We think what Spamhaus needs to do is follow U.S. law and obey the U.S. courts and judgments. Certainly, our position is that if companies in the U.S. knowingly go around a court order and block our e- mails, then that's a problem for them, and we urge them not to do it.'" The article notes that "Most European countries require 'prior consent' from recipients before a sender can transmit bulk e-mail messages to them. The United States and Japan favor a 'freedom of commerce' approach that does not require advance consent but does offer a choice to 'unsubscribe' from mass mailings."

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16 October 2006

eu: Regulation without frontiers (The Economist)

The EU's proposed rules for internet video are out of tune with the times: TELEVISION used to be simple: you turned on, tuned in, and dropped off. Only a small handful of stations existed, because spectrum was scarce. In return for government licences, broadcasters were heavily regulated. But technology has changed everything. Cable and satellite deliver hundreds of channels; broadband links and sites such as YouTube allow anyone to distribute video to millions of people; and mobile phones will soon let people watch television anywhere. Everything has changed, in short, except the regulations. Europe's attempt to update the rules, however, has become highly controversial.

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Is Windows near end of its run? (CNet/New York Times)

Steve Ballmer, the chief executive of Microsoft, has his hands full. The next version of the Windows operating system, Vista, is finally about to arrive--years late and clouded by doubts that it might violate antitrust rules in Europe.

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Rooney wins his fight for website (BBC)

England football star Wayne Rooney has won a legal battle against a Welsh TV actor for the ownership of a website in the player's name.

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Internet panel: "Balkanization" looms (ars technica)

At a meeting last week in London that discussed the challenges facing the internet, the most provocative issue raised was the "Balkanization" of the internet. This article provides a link to a webcast and covers the main point raised by the meeting - the demographics of internet users are changing dramatically and in a few years Asian users should outnumber European and North American users, with an issue being IDNs being required for domain names. Nitin Desai raised the point that the Balkanization could occur if countries such as China felt left out of the internet.

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14 October 2006

Online poker bosses were only ever after a quick, illegal buck (The Guardian)

Internet gambling in the US was always dodgy - the analysts just turned a blind eye: Richard Wray's article made much of the fact that internet gaming companies and British investors were caught out by the clampdown on gambling in the United States. Yet it is hard to argue that there weren't very clear warning signals that it was about to happen.

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ICANN refuses to pull Spamhaus domain (The Register)

ICANN has said it does not have the authority to suspend the website of The Spamhaus Project. The Register further reports "ICANN's stance of declining authority on the affair passes the onus onto Tucows, the registrar. Since Tucows is based in Canada, and not the US, it's in a much better position to decline to apply the court's request. So the threat of the loss of Spamhaus's domain appears to have receded, at least for now."

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.nz Registrations hit 250,000 (NZ Domain Name Commissioner news release)

InternetNZ through the Office of the Domain Name Commissioner is pleased to announce that the number of registrations of domain names under the .nz top level domain reached 250,000 late yesterday, showing continued strong growth in the Internet space in New Zealand.

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us: Woman wins payout for slurs on blog (The Guardian)

A jury in Florida has awarded a woman $11.3m in costs and damages after a former acquaintance accused her of being a crook, a con artist and a fraudster on an internet talkboard. The award, believed to be the largest verdict of it sort relating to individual postings on bulletin boards or blogs, was handed down by a jury in Broward County, Florida, against a woman from Louisiana. The sum included $5m in punitive damages.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Read full article faces threat to its domain name (CNet)

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,39020375,39283978,00.htm

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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."

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Warning over 'broken up' internet (BBC)

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.

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us: Politics Get Caught in the Web (Wired)

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.

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Arbitration Is Weapon of Choice in Growing Number of Domain Name Disputes ( 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.

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