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31 October 2006
The Internet Governance Forum takes place in Athens from 30 October, at which the future of the net will be discussed by thousands of stakeholders - governments, organisations, companies and individuals. But what does the UK have at stake in the discussions?
IGF: Why you should care (The Register)
The inaugural meeting of the IGF will be opened today at 10am by the Greek prime minister in Athens, starting the gun on four days of discussion that many hope will provide answers to some of the internet's biggest problems.
Greek blogger arrest infuriates world (The Register)
The arrest of a blogger by Greek police just days before Athens hosts the inaugural meeting of the IGF has left the blogosphere in uproar and the authorities with egg on their face.
Global net forum opens its doors - online and off (The Register)
Ordinary internet users will have a chance to make points and ask questions of the world's governments, not to mention business, engineers and media, over the next four days as the IGF opens its doors - both physically and online - for the first time.
Internet expansion 'will happen in developing countries' (The Sunday Post (Ireland))
Asia will drive a massive online expansion by the end of the decade, helped by computer sharing and emerging mobile phone technology, the United Nation's top Internet official has predicted.
Two years ago George Bush told the world about things he'd heard on "the internets". Since then the US president has progressed, becoming more familiar with the hi-tech world he leads.
YouTubers cut and paste at their peril (Sydney Morning Herald)
The days of anything goes on YouTube are over. If you're planning on using copyrighted content as part of your own creative masterpiece, you're more or less inviting legal action, says a new research paper paper authored by Damien O'Brien and Brian Fitzgerald of Queensland University of Technology.
The IGF is not designed to take decisions. It is not an attempt to take over the management of the internet. It is a forum for dialogue and discussion for stimulating voluntary coalitions of the willing rather than laying down the law.
The future of the net is the ambitious topic under discussion at the first global Internet Governance Forum, being held in Athens over the next five days. It has been set up by the UN to give governments, companies, organisations and individuals space for debate.
'Gambits' are a risk to Internet domain system (International Herald Tribune)
Vinton Cerf said that he feared the network's addressing system would break down if "political gambits" by international groups or national agencies interfere with plans to expand the languages used in domain names. The article goes on to say "At the heart of the latest split is the issue of allowing non-Western characters to be used in Internet addresses."
30 October 2006
Dr. Peng Hwa Ang Speaks on "Who's Really Out To Control the Internet?" (Hamilton College)
Dr. Peng Hwa Ang (Nanyang Technological University) gave a lecture titled "Who's Really Out To Control the Internet? UN and U.S.A. Internet Governance" at Hamilton on Oct. 26. Dr. Ang is the dean of the School of Communication and Information at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, as well as one of 40 persons appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to a UN Working Group on Internet Governance in 2004. He spoke about the current international efforts to create a multilateral, transparent, and democratic method for Internet governance, as well as why it is in the United States' best interest to relinquish some control over the Internet.
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.