Articles by date
18 October 2007
Pirate Bay commandeers anti-piracy web address (Sydney Morning Herald)
The Pirate Bay, a Swedish organisation well-known as the scourge of law enforcement agencies and anti-piracy advocates, has staged one of its most audacious raids to date. The group, which operates one of the world's leading file sharing sites onto which illegally copied movies, films and music are uploaded and downloaded, has hoisted its flag over the IFIP.com domain.
50 reasons not to buy an iPhone (The Times)
The much-anticipated Apple iphone goes on sale in the UK on November 9. No doubt there will be hoards of Apple fans queuing outside Carphone Warehouse and outlets of O2 mobile - the smug operator which secured the contract to become the only supplier in Britain. But does the new phone deliver or is it all just a load of hype? And will it retain its gloss for the duration of an expensive 18-month contract. Frankly, The Times doesn't think so, but here are 50 other things you should consider before parting with your cash:
Police raid Cisco in US$800m Brazilian tax probe (The Times)
Brazillian police and tax authorities have raided US computer giant Cisco Systems, following a two-year investigation into alleged tax avoidance on products shipped from offshore havens. The authorities have seized a commercial jet, $10 million of merchandise, 18 vehicles and the equivalent of nearly $400,000 in Brazilian and US currency.
As the second Internet Governance Forum approaches, it is an appropriate moment to take stock of how the Internet Governance dialogue has evolved since the conclusion of the WSIS Summit in 2005. One year after the first IGF in Athens, it is clear that government, industry and civil society stakeholders are still grappling over the direction and focus of the IGF. For skeptics who view the IGF as little more than a talk shop that kicked the Internet Governance "can" down the road five years, the evolution of this dialogue is of minor consequence. For those who view the IGF as something more, it is clear that the IGF dialogue will indeed evolve and, along the way, will impact the conceptual approach governments take to the Internet itself. There is little doubt that some governments will choose to borrow concepts from the IGF when developing law and policy and will ultimately apply them to the Internet within their respective jurisdictions. Given the global nature of the Internet, this should be a fundamental concern.
Verizon Says It Turned Over Data Without Court Orders: Firm's Letter to Lawmakers Details Government Requests (Washington Post)
Verizon Communications told congressional investigators that it has provided customers' telephone records to federal authorities in emergency cases without court orders hundreds of times since 2005. The company said it does not determine the requests' legality or necessity because to do so would slow efforts to save lives in criminal investigations.
ICANN Establishes Forum on Allocation Methods for Single-letter and Single-digit Domain Names (ICANN)
As recommended by the GNSO Council, ICANN is commencing a forum on potential allocation methods for single-letter and single-digit domain names at the second level in gTLD registries. Examples include a.com, i.info, 4.mobi, 8.org. Since revenue will result from this allocation, comments regarding the potential uses for this revenue are also requested. ICANN intends to synthesize responses to the forum and present proposed methods for allocation of single-letter and single-digit domain names at the second level for community consideration.
Google Shields Own Backside With YouTube Antipiracy Filter (E-Commerce Times)
Google has launched a beta version of video identification technology designed to flag unauthorized content on YouTube. The move follows its implementation of audio fingerprinting software from Audible Magic earlier this year. By filtering out pirated videos, Google aims to further cement YouTube's compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Also includes coverage from the Guardian, Los Angeles Times and AP.
The Malaysian government has warned it could use tough anti-terrorism laws against bloggers who insult Islam or the country's king. The move comes as one of Malaysia's leading online commentators has been questioned by police following a complaint by the main governing party.
Australian Govt acts on 000 VoIP calls (Australian IT)
VOIP providers have been urged to ensure calls made to the triple zero emergency number are connected accordingly. The Australian Communications and Media Authority said some VoIP customers had trouble connecting to the emergency '000' number.
When US-made 'censorware' ends up in iron fists (Christian Science Monitor)
Despite Burma's record of repression, it's probably legal for American companies to sell Internet filters there, export lawyers say. But is it ethical?
The Internet is becoming increasingly embedded in everyday life. Drawing on an expanding array of intelligent web services and applications, a growing number of people are creating, distributing and exploiting user-created content (UCC) and being part of the wider participative web. This study describes the rapid growth of UCC and its increasing role in worldwide communication, and draws out implications for policy. Questions addressed include: What is user-created content? What are its key drivers, its scope and different forms? What are the new value chains and business models? What are the extent and form of social, cultural and economic opportunities and impacts? What are the associated challenges? Is there a government role, and what form could it take?
17 October 2007
WSJ on IDNs - What's the Hindi Word for Dot-Com? (Wall Street Journal)
Last week the Wall Street Journal had a detailed looked at Internationalised Domain Names (IDN) and the then impending launch this week of the evaluation by ICANN. As the report notes, people with English keyboards, or as they neglect to say also those not with a keyboard in the language of the IDN, won't be able to type in the address, rather, they will be able to access these IDNs through links from other sites or search engines.
Thai police name suspected web paedophile (The Guardian)
A suspected paedophile pictured on websites sexually abusing young boys has been identified as a 32-year-old Canadian, it emerged today. Thai police named him as Christopher Paul Neil after a worldwide appeal by Interpol using reconstructed images of his face.
Police conducting a worldwide hunt for a man shown sexually abusing children in internet pictures believe he is a teacher of English now in Thailand. The possible identification of the man, seen in about 200 images depicting abuse, comes after Interpol released a photograph of the suspect.
A "Journey to the Heart of Internet censorship" on eve of Chinese party congress (Reporters sans frontières)
In partnership with Reporters Without Borders and Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a Chinese Internet expert working in IT industry has produced an exclusive study on the key mechanism of the Chinese official system of online censorship, surveillance and propaganda. The author prefers to remain anonymous. Also includes BBC coverage, "Report highlights blog censorship".
Major U.S. telephone carriers refused to answer questions from the Democratic-led Congress about their possible participation in President George W. Bush's warrantless domestic spying program, according to documents released by lawmakers on Monday.
The set of rules which Google proposed as the foundation for a global privacy standard are inadequate, a privacy law expert has said. The rules are not specific enough to operate as a global standard, said the expert.
Greenpeace says that it has tested Apple's iPhone for a variety of hazardous chemicals, and the iPhone failed. Greenpeace, which has long criticized Apple for the alleged toxicity of its products and manufacturing practices, found that the iPhone contained, among other bad stuff, chemicals known as phthalates, which are thought to affect hormonal levels and disrupt sexual development in humans. Also includes articles from The Times and MacWorld.
Internet users around the globe can now experiment with their name in their language on their Internet with today's launch of the ICANN live testing of IDNs in 11 languages. "This is one of the most exciting times yet in the development of IDNs," said Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN's President and CEO. "Internet users who speak the 11 languages of the test can play a key role in testing how IDNs operate, and help us move toward full implementation for all the languages of the world."
Kenya has awarded an US$82m undersea internet cable project to the French-American company Alcatel-Lucent.
For the headbangers amongst us, acdc.com is no longer a porn site, but is now a website for the great heavy rockers. "ACDC.com is now serving its proper master and we assure you that the dirty deeds being done dirt cheap will now be of an entirely different variety," the band stated.
Although some European countries lead the world in broadband access, there is a growing gap between the best and worst performers, according to a report presented by the European Commission today. Lack of competition and regulatory weaknesses are cited as the main obstacles to broadband growth. The Commission will address these shortcomings in its proposals to reform the EU's Telecom Rules on 13 November. Also, IDG's stolry, "EU may consider regulating broadband pricing".
16 October 2007
The problems of viewing IDNs by Kim Davies (ICANN Blog)
Kim Davies has an interesting article Internationalised Domain Names on the ICANN Blog where he says "some of the difficulties we face today in expressing scripts in a consistent way over the Internet. The fact is, whilst we are at the best time in history for having computers represent many different languages clearly and consistently, we are still a long way from the level of support needed to give us strong confidence that people can always see what we intend them to see."
An Internet Jihad Sells Extremism to Viewers in the U.S. (New York Times)
A growing constellation of apparently independent operators is broadcasting the message of Al Qaeda and other groups, translated into English and aimed for a Western audience online.
EU review of Google bid won't cover privacy issue (The Guardian)
Neelie Kroes, EU competition commissioner, has dashed the hopes of opponents of Google's £1.5bn takeover of online advertiser DoubleClick that she will investigate the transaction on privacy grounds.