Articles by date
12 September 2007
Warning: you can't make real friends online (The Guardian)
Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace do not help you make more genuine close friends, according to a survey by researchers who studied how the websites are changing the nature of friendship networks. Although social networking on the internet helps people to collect hundreds or even thousands of acquaintances, the researchers believe that face to face contact is nearly always necessary to form truly close friendships.
Australia might struggle to survive a cyber-attack of the type recently experienced by Estonia and must increase preparations to deal with online threats, according to Dr. Paul Twomey, CEO and president of ICANN. Twomey said that lack of co-ordination among government agencies and failure to involve the private sector in cyber-security preparations should be addressed in short order given that the Estonian incident demonstrates that such attacks are possible.
Dispute resolution in .com industries is just one of many topics to be debated at Te Papa next week during the 9th International Dispute Resolution Conference. Domain Names Commissioner Debbie Monaghan will join key speakers from the UK and US to discuss mediation in cyberspace with an audience from around the Asia Pacific.
Australian watchdog bitten in Google case (The Australian)
The consumer watchdog suffered a blow in its mammoth court case against Google Inc, when a judge said yesterday its court documents were almost "incomprehensible", "opaque" and "somewhat repetitious". The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was ordered to write out summaries of its key allegations against various Google companies to clarify its case.
Google misleads on sponsored links, Australian court told (Sydney Morning Herald)
Google was accused Monday of misleading web users and misidentifying sponsored links in a court case brought by Australia's consumer watchdog. In what it says is a world-first action, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleges Google failed to distinguish between paid advertisements and "organic" results generated by the search engine. ACCC barrister Christine Adamson told the Federal Court that Google was misleading people who thought the ranking of its search results was not influenced by payments from advertisers.
11 September 2007
The Punt VL fallacy by Patrick Vande Walle (Patrick Vande Walle blog)
Patrick Vande Walle, on his blog, suggests there is a parallel that can be drawn between the current dispute on .EH and the .VL application. Patrick says, "In both cases, the process is being used for political purposes to serve a goal for autonomy or independence." Patrick feels that as he has 20 years spent in Flanders, it gives him enough of a background to comment. And he believes, "It is clear here that this is about political visibility and not about spreading a culture, like .CAT does." Patrick's advice to the ICANN community is that if .VL is approved, "to be aware of the fact they would actually be used to serve a political agenda, rather than a cultural one."
Eurid has suspended 10,000 domain names registered by Zheng Qingyin, a Chinese woman, who it accuses of cybersquatting, according to Out-Law. EURid wants to have a court strip Qingyin of the addresses with the case expected to take around a year EURid's legal manager Herman Sobrie told Out-Law. In response, "Qingyin has filed a separate suit objecting to the blocking of the domains in the Court of First Instance in Brussels. This is a fast-track case whose result should be known in a month, Sobrie" told Out-Law.
au: Google's 'top spot for sale' (News.com.au)
Google has been selling off the top rankings on its search engine results to commercial partners, rather than sorting them by relevance as it claims to, a Sydney court has heard. The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) is taking world-first legal action in the Federal Court against Google Inc over allegedly deceptive conduct related to sponsored links on its websites. The ACCC has brought a two-pronged case against Trading Post and Google - including subsidiaries Google Australia and Google Ireland - for potentially misleading consumers.
us: Federal judge throws out parts of Patriot Act, says court OK needed to get Net records (SiliconValley.com)
A federal judge struck down parts of the revised USA Patriot Act on Thursday, saying investigators must have a court's approval before they can order Internet providers to turn over records without telling customers.
All sides await verdict in Microsoft-EU case (International Herald Tribune)
Nine years after it began, Microsoft's legal battle with Europe's competition regulator will reach a climax next week with a ruling as eagerly awaited as almost any in European legal history. But anyone planning to witness this moment of drama next Monday had better be punctual. Scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the Grand Salle of the European Court of First Instance, which is based in Luxembourg and can hold about 200 people, the event will be over in a matter of minutes.
Spanish 'granny' dissects past and present (International Herald Tribune)
Her readers call her "the little granny," and for eight months she has engrossed them with her ruminations on the present and her recollections of the past. Since her debut in cyberspace in December, María Amelia López, 95, has drawn thousands of readers from across the globe with an incisive blog.
In order to set up a base document regarding legislation of the member countries of the International Criminal Police Organization-INTERPOL on child sex abuse, INTERPOL asked member countries to provide us with a summary of the applicable legal texts regarding these offences.
A US CERT reminder: The net is an insecure place (The Register)
If you use Gmail, eBay, MySpace, or any one of dozens of other web-based services, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team wants you to know you're vulnerable to a simple attack that could give an attacker complete control over your account.
Guess Who's Afraid of an Open Internet? (The Huffington Post)
Open Internet advocates just received a parting gift from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. In a Thursday filing to the Federal Communications Commission, Gonzales' Department of Justice urged the agency to oppose Net Neutrality -- the principle that all Internet sites should be treated equally. ... The DOJ ruling once again proves the point that powerful corporate and government gatekeepers are working together to dismantle Internet freedoms and impose their will upon the Web.
An unholy alliance: Timothy Cox - 'the son of god', global paedophile ring mastermind (The Observer)
Timothy Cox was a quiet, clean-cut 27-year-old who worked for his small family brewery in rural Suffolk. He was also 'the son of god' - the mastermind of a global paedophile ring. The Observer's Mark Townsend investigates in this harrowing story.
10 September 2007
F.B.I. Data Mining Reached Beyond Initial Targets (New York Times)
The F.B.I. cast a much wider net in its terrorism investigations than it has previously acknowledged by relying on telecommunications companies to analyze phone-call patterns of the associates of Americans who had come under suspicion, according to newly obtained bureau records. The documents indicate that the Federal Bureau of Investigation used secret demands for records to obtain data not only on individuals it saw as targets but also details on their "community of interest" -- the network of people that the target was in contact with. The bureau stopped the practice early this year in part because of broader questions raised about its aggressive use of the records demands, which are known as national security letters, officials said.
Germany warns citizens to avoid using Wi-Fi (Independent on Sunday)
People should avoid using Wi-Fi wherever possible because of the risks it may pose to health, the German government's Environment Ministry has said. Its surprise ruling - the most damning made by any government on the fast-growing technology - will shake the industry and British ministers, and vindicates the questions that The Independent on Sunday has been raising over the past four months.
09 September 2007
Canadians caught in the throttle (Ottawa Business Journal)
Having the highest-quality Internet connection is a must in today's world of teleworking and home-based businesses. Many businesses and workers rely on their Internet service providers to provide them with the high-speed service they pay for, but are ISPs delivering what they promise? Also includes Michael Geist's response.
IFJ concerned over Google Censorship Deal with Thailand (International Federation of Journalists)
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is dismayed to hear that Google, search engine and owner of video-sharing website YouTube, has cut a censorship deal with the Thailand government. Thailand this week lifted its five-month ban on YouTube after Google installed filters to block Thais from accessing any videos deemed "offensive" to the monarchy. The deal echoes Google and Microsoft censorship deals in China.
Ride on the Seoul metro or take a bus around the city's streets and you will see passengers gazing at their mobile phones with rapt attention, earplugs firmly in place. They are watching television. Since the first services were launched in 2005, mobile-TV services have garnered over 7.5m customers. The signals are delivered via terrestrial and satellite broadcasts, a far more efficient approach than sending individual data streams to each viewer's handset, as is mostly done in other countries.
Comcast shuts down big downloaders (Washington Post)
The rapid growth of online videos, music and games has created a new Internet sin: using it too much. Comcast has punished some transgressors by cutting off their Internet service, arguing that excessive downloaders hog Internet capacity and slow down the network for other customers. The company declines to reveal its download limits.
us: Four Guilty In E-Mail Pump-And-Dump Case That Netted $20 Million (Information Week)
Four men are each facing five years in prison after pleading guilty to participating in a stock manipulation scheme involving 15 different companies.
The international agreement that gave birth to mobile networks is 20 years old this weekend. On 7 September 1987, 15 phone firms signed an agreement to build mobile networks based on the Global System for Mobile (GSM) Communications.
There are reports that mobile and internet service providers in the country have already begun installing surveillance equipment to comply with the controversial snooping bill passed last month. A report in the weekly Financial Gazette quoted Shadreck Nkala, the Chairman of the Zimbabwe Internet Access Providers (ZIAP) saying, 'we are putting in place projects to see that we comply.' Nkala however refused to disclose the costs involved in the project and where the equipment is being installed.
... Wolfgang Schäuble, the conservative federal interior minister, who for months has called for tougher security measures, made it clear this week that he wanted to expand investigators' reach using highly debated techniques. The techniques include sending fake e-mail messages with Trojan horse viruses to suspects to help security agents conduct two types of searches: "perusal" and longer-term "surveillance." Mr. Schäuble has also called for rules allowing investigators to ban some terrorist suspects from using mobile phones to undermine their ability to communicate, in a proposal that appears to be modeled on similar measures already in place in Britain, and for new powers to punish people who have been to camps where they are trained in terrorist methods to attack the West.