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cyberlaw informer #54

Welcome to the 54th issue of the Mishpat Cyberlaw Informer - 
Law on the net newsletter from

This newsletter is sent only to subscribers. If you no longer 
wish to receive the Cyberlaw Informer, follow the unsubscribe 
instructions at the bottom of this newsletter.

In this issue:

1. Introduction
2. Cybercrime Part II - Law enforcement challenges
3. Cyberlaw resource review
4. Computer & Internet law news and updates


1. Introduction

I would like to welcome the many new subscribers who joined the Cyberlaw
Informer since the previous issue. 
This issue features the second of a four part series highlighting the
new challenges law enforcement faces in an era of high-tech crime. This
part describes the needs of law enforcement agencies fighting
cyber-crime, and the unique complexity of technology investigations.

As usual you will find the cyberlaw news and the resource review
sections at the end of this newsletter. This issue's more than 40
cyberlaw news items include updates about the EU-US privacy agreement,
Napster and music copyrights, the FBI's Carnivore system and more.

I hope you enjoy reading the newsletter. Comments, tips, and articles
are always welcome. Send them to

The Mishpat Cyberlaw Informer Archive (issues 1-51) is located at:

Feel free to use any of the material, or forward the newsletter to a
friend. Just don't forget to mention that they can subscribe to the
Cyberlaw Informer by visiting

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2. Cybercrime Part II - Law enforcement challanges

This is the second part of a special four-parts series on cybercrime.

All articles in this series are based on "The Electronic Frontier: The
Challenge of Unlawful Conduct Involving the Use of the Internet", a
Report by the U.S. President's Working Group on Unlawful Conduct on the
Internet, and on a draft released by the 41-nation Council of Europe for
a Convention on crime in cyberspace. 

In the previous issue we took a general look at what constitutes
cybercrime. In this part we will examine the challenges law enforcement
faces when investigating and prosecuting cyber-criminals: technology,
personnel and methods required by those agencies.

These needs and challenges are neither trivial nor theoretical. Law
enforcement agencies are faced with the need to evaluate and to
determine the source, typically on very short notice, of anonymous
emails that contain bomb threats against a given building or threats to
cause serious bodily injury. 
Other scenarios raise similarly significant concerns: If a hacker uses
the Internet to weave communications through computers in six different
countries to break into an online business' records of customer credit
card information, consumer confidence in the security of e-commerce and
the Internet may be damaged, if law enforcement agencies are unable to
cooperate and coordinate rapidly with their counterparts in the other
countries to find the perpetrator. 

A. Private Sector Leadership 

The distributed, networked, and decentralized nature of the Internet
means that the "rules of the road" must be global, flexible, effective,
and readily adaptable to technological change.

In particular, the private sector must take the lead in areas such as
the design of new technologies to protect children online,
self-regulatory consumer protection initiatives, and coordination and
cooperation with law enforcement authorities.

For example, the Better Business Bureau's online division, BBBOnLine, is
working with industry, consumer, and government representatives to
develop a voluntary code to provide online merchants with guidelines to
implement consumer protections. 

In addition to specific consumer protection initiatives, the private
sector's dedication and support for a secure Internet system is crucial
to curbing unlawful conduct on the Internet. Not only must industry
continue to develop security policies and safeguards for their networks
and systems, but it should also continue its efforts to identify
security flaws that threaten the Internet. 

One such example is Silicon Valley security company Atomic Tangerine,
which offered the Interpol (the international police agency) to help it
protect businesses from malicious hackers. Atomic Tangerine will create
an early warning system that would help private sector businesses
protect themselves from cyberattacks. In turn, information gathered by
private companies could be made available to Interpol. 
Atomic Tangerine said that any information it would make available in a
possible partnership with Interpol would be offered to legitimate users
for free and would not intrude on individual privacy. 

B. Adequacy of existing laws

Private sector leadership is necessary but not sufficient to address
unlawful conduct involving the use of the Internet. Substantive criminal
laws represent a societal determination that certain conduct is so
harmful or morally unacceptable that reliance on self-regulation or the
market to regulate the conduct is inappropriate. 

In its analysis of existing U.S. federal laws, the U.S. working group
found that existing substantive laws generally do not distinguish
between unlawful conduct committed through the use of the Internet and
the same conduct committed through the use of other, more traditional
means of communication. 

For example, laws governing fraud - such as credit card fraud, identity
theft, securities fraud, and unfair and deceptive trade acts or
practices - apply with equal force to both online as well as offline
Laws prohibiting the distribution and possession of child pornography
and the luring of minors across state lines for unlawful sexual activity
have been used with success to prosecute and convict those who use the
Internet to distribute such material or to communicate with child
victims in violation of statutory prohibitions. And laws that prohibit
the dispensing of prescription drugs without a valid prescription from a
licensed medical professional can be applied to online pharmacies that
dispense prescription drugs without required regulatory safeguards. 
Laws in other areas - the sale of firearms; securities fraud; and theft
of intellectual property- also generally apply to online conduct as well
as offline conduct. 

To the extent these existing laws adequately address unlawful conduct in
the offline world, they should, for the most part, adequately cover
unlawful conduct on the Internet (In part I of this series we explained
the importance of Online-Offline Consistency and Technology-Neutrality). 

There may be a few instances, however, where relevant laws need to be
amended to better reflect the realities of new technologies, such as the

C. New Investigatory Challenges 

Despite the general adequacy of laws that define the substance of
criminal and other offenses, the U.S. working group found that the
Internet presents new and significant investigatory challenges for law
enforcement at all levels.

These challenges include: the need for real-time tracing of Internet
communications across traditional jurisdictional boundaries; the need to
track down sophisticated users who commit unlawful acts while hiding
their identities; the need for coordination among various law
enforcement agencies; and the need for trained and well-equipped
personnel - at local, state, and global levels - to gather evidence,
investigate, and prosecute these cases. 
In some instances procedural and evidentiary laws may need to be amended
to better enable law enforcement to meet these challenges. 

As law enforcement agencies adapt to a more technology-based society,
they need to be aware of the challenges, as well as the benefits, of
online investigations.

In certain circumstances, law enforcement agencies have tools and
capabilities created by the Internet and computers that can assist them
in their fight against computer-facilitated unlawful conduct. 
For example, just as advances in telephone technology gave law
enforcement agents the ability to determine the origin of fraudulent or
threatening calls, the Internet has given law enforcement agencies the
ability to find unsophisticated offenders who leave the equivalent of
"fingerprints" as they commit unlawful acts. 
At the same time, law enforcement agencies must also acknowledge the
growing sophistication of other computer users, who wear the equivalent
of Internet gloves that may hide their fingerprints and their identity. 

In the next part we will discuss the problems that arise from the
international nature of the Internet, and the jurisdictional challenges
created by that nature.
This part focuses on the local needs and challenges that affect law
enforcement agencies.

1. Identification 

The lack of identification mechanisms on global networks, and the fact
that individuals can be anonymous or take on masked identities leads to
a complexity in balancing the need for accountability with the need for
anonymity, and creates one of the greatest policy challenges in the
years ahead. 

2. Evidentiary Issues 

Electronic data generated by computers and networked communications such
as the Internet can be easily destroyed, deleted, or modified. Digital
photographs are but one example of digital information that can be
altered in ways that may be difficult to detect. 
As a result, law enforcement officials must be cognizant of how to
gather, preserve, and authenticate electronic evidence. This will not
only require substantial training of law enforcement personnel, but also
sufficient experience with such evidence by investigators, prosecutors,
defense counsel, courts, and others until clear rules and standards are
As ZDNet reported, compromising electronic evidence is one of the major
problems the investigation of an online theft of 300,000 credit card
numbers from 

3. Commingling 

The ability of an individual to use one computer to conduct both lawful
and unlawful activities or to store both contraband and legally
possessed material presents another significant issue, and the problem
becomes more complex when a single machine is shared by many users. 

For example, individuals who distribute child pornography or copyrighted
software using their home computers may also publish a legitimate
newsletter on stamp collecting or use an email service with that same
computer. By seizing the computer, law enforcement agencies can stop the
illegal distribution of contraband, but may, at the same time, interfere
with the legitimate publication of the newsletter and the delivery of
email, some of which may be between users who have no connection with
the illegal activity. 
Similarly an attorney accused of operating manipulating stock prices
online may keep in the same folder on his computer materials relating to
fraudulent actions and documents subject to the attorney-client
privilege. Seizure of the lawyer's files in such circumstances could
result in the seizure of legally privileged material. 

D. New Law Enforcement Needs

The increasing sophistication of Internet-facilitated unlawful conduct
and the global reach of such conduct make it more important to
adequately equip law enforcement agencies at all levels. 

As we have become more dependent on technology, energy production and
distribution channels, transportation networks, and telecommunication
systems become increasingly reliant on a computer-based infrastructure.
As reliance on the Internet, on automated systems, and on other
technological advances increases, the potential impact of attacks on
critical infrastructure expands as well. Law enforcement needs to be
provided the legal mechanisms and financial resources to be prepared to
confront this challenge

1. Personnel, Equipment, and Training 

* Experts Dedicated to High-tech Crime 
The complex technical and legal issues raised by computer-related crime
mean that investigating and prosecuting offices must designate
investigators and prosecutors to work these cases on a full-time basis

* Experts Available on a 24-Hour Basis 
High-tech crime often requires immediate action to locate and identify
criminals. The trail of a criminal may be impossible to trace once a
communication link is terminated, because the carrier may not keep
records concerning each individual communication. Investigators and
prosecutors with expertise in this field must be available 24 hours a
day so that appropriate steps can be taken in a fast-breaking high-tech

* Regular and Frequent Training 
Because of the speed at which communications technologies and computers
evolve, experts must receive regular and frequent training in the
investigation and prosecution of high-tech cases. In addition to
domestic training, countries should participate in coordinated training
with other countries, so transnational cases can be pursued quickly and

* Up-to-date Equipment 
Keeping pace with computer criminals means that law enforcement experts
in this field must be properly equipped with the latest hardware and
software. However, purchasing and upgrading sophisticated equipment and
software places considerable burdens on the budget process. 
An example for such equipment is the FBI's "Carnivore" email scanning
system, described in this week's news section.

All the above leads to the need in special high-tech crime task forces
in charge of not only of solving cyber-crime, but also responsible for
training the rest of the law enforcement personnel.
For example, the UK Government is setting up an agency dedicated to
fighting cybercrime, which will help police forces cope with the growing
numbers of criminals who use computers and tackle the new crimes that
computers make possible. The unit will also make police officers on the
beat familiar with technology. 

2. Locating and Identifying Cyber-criminals 

When a cyber-stalker sends a threatening emails, or when credit card
numbers are stolen from a company engaged in e-commerce, investigators
must first locate the source of the communication. To accomplish this,
they must trace the electronic trail leading from the victim back to the

In today's communications environment, a single end-to-end transmission
is often carried by more than one carrier. As a result, the
communications of a hacker or other criminal may pass through many
different types of carriers, each with different technologies (e.g.,
local telephone companies, long-distance carriers, Internet service
providers, and wireless and satellite networks). The communication may
also pass through carriers in a number of different countries, each in
different time zones and subject to different legal systems. This
phenomenon makes it more difficult (and sometimes impossible) to track
criminals who are technologically savvy enough to hide their location
and identity. 

When law enforcement officials have information that a crime is being
committed online, they often must attempt to trace a communication as it
occurs. To do so, a law enforcement agency must know which computer
crime expert to call in which jurisdiction, contact the relevant
individuals at various ISPs and carriers, and secure appropriate legal
orders in each jurisdiction where a relevant carrier or ISP is located.
Although sophisticated technology may allow law enforcement, under
certain circumstances, to identify the general geographic region from
which a wireless call is originating or terminating, the use of such
technology raises profound and difficult issues at the intersection of
privacy and law enforcement policies. 
Moreover, even identifying the owner of a particular mobile phone can be
difficult, because mobile phones can be altered to transmit false
identifying information. As the costs of mobile phones and mobile
telephony service drop, we can expect to see the marketing of
"disposable phones," which will further complicate the ability of law
enforcement agencies to gather evidence linking a perpetrator to the

If the communications network, and the computers and software that run
it, have not been designed and configured to generate and preserve
critical traffic data, information relating to the source and
destination of a cyber-attack will likely not exist. 
Many ISPs use modem banks to provide Internet access to incoming
callers. An ISP may have a million customers, but maintain only 100,000
phone lines, based on an expectation that no more than 100,000 customers
will ever dial in at any given time. The ISP's network may not be
designed to generate the data necessary to link a customer with a
specific incoming line. This, in turn, may make it impossible to trace
the origin of the telephone call into the ISP's network.

Anonymous email accounts, which are email accounts where subscriber
information is not requested or verified, can protect privacy, but they
add new complexities to identifying online lawbreakers. 

Similarly, "anonymous re-mailer" services, which are services that strip
the address information from email messages before passing them along to
their intended recipients, raise difficult privacy and law enforcement
policy issues.

3. Collecting Evidence 

When computers are used to store information, law enforcement agents
generally can, upon securing a warrant, search the computer in the same
way that they would a briefcase or file cabinet. The difference is that
a computer can store a tremendous amount of information, including
evidence that might not be known to the computer's owner.

This feature of computer information can be both a benefit to and a
challenge for law enforcement. It can benefit law enforcement by
providing information (sometimes in a readily searchable way) that might
not have existed in the non-computer world. But it can obviously present
law enforcement challenges by highlighting the need for training and
time for the information to be recovered. One disk with 3 gigabytes of
storage can contain the equivalent of one million pages of information. 
If information on the computer is encrypted, it may be completely
inaccessible to law enforcement and contribute little to solving the
crime at issue. 

In the next issue we will deal with enforcement challenges due to the
international nature of the Internet.

Relevant links:

The full U.S. working group report is available at:

The text of the European convention draft can be found at:

Interpol seeks private sector help - From USA Today:

ZDNet's report about compromising electronic evidence  in the CDUniverse

UK creates cybercrime unit - From the BBC:

I want to thank Cyberlaw Informer reader Boaz Guttman for sending me
materials used in this article.

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3. Cyberlaw resource review

This week's resource is LexisOne - Lexis's new free case law service at

LexisOne, geared towards small-firms and solo attorneys, offers free
case law, 1,100 legal forms, and a directory of links to 16,000 legal
sites. The service includes federal and state cases covering the past
five years as well as a complete collection of U.S. Supreme Court

Lexis plans to expand LexisOne content to include practice management
tools, news, court calendars and additional resources.
LexisOne intends to convert site traffic into revenue opportunities with
a strategy that blends advertising, subscription and sponsorship

I first learnt about the service from the TVC Alert at

If you would like to recommend an Internet legal resource, please send
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You can also recommend resources at the online bulletin board

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4. Cyberlaw news and updates

Each week Mishpat Cyberlaw Informer brings you the latest news about
online and computer law, with links to the full reports available
on the web.

Top news

* European parliament rejects EU-US privacy deal *
In a 279-259 vote, the European Parliament rejected the data-privacy
deal between the U.S. and the European Commission (EC). 
Under the terms of the agreement, U.S. companies transferring personal
data from Europe must commit to standards of notice, user choice, data
access and security. Such commitment would put the companies into "safe
harbor" against regulation under the EU's Data Protection Directive.
Telecommunications and financial services companies aren't obligated to
enter the safe harbor. The Parliament resolution proclaims that the deal
doesn't go far enough to protect Europeans' privacy.
However, according to the EC, the Parliament can't veto the terms of the
deal. The Parliament's role is to decide whether the EC acted within the
scope of its authority in striking the deal. The Parliament didn't find
that the EC exceeded its powers, so the EC will probably give the
agreement a final go-ahead.
(Free registration with the NY times required)

* FBI's email search system *
The FBI is using a super-fast system called Carnivore to search emails
for and from suspects. Carnivore, which can scan millions of emails a
second, has upset privacy advocates.
The FBI dubbed the system "Carnivore" for its ability to get "the meat"
of an enormous quantity of data. The FBI unveiled the system in effort
to develop standardized ways of complying with federal wiretaps. The FBI
defends Carnivore as more precise than past Internet wiretap methods, as
it allows investigators to reach the traffic of one person from among
the stream of millions of other messages. 
When deployed, Carnivore must be hooked directly into service providers'
networks. That would theoretically give the government, the ability to
eavesdrop on all customers' communications. Following news of the
Carnivore, the American Civil Liberties Union urged Congress to amend
electronic privacy laws.,1283,37470,00.html

* German court approves unbundling *
Germany's highest court on civil matters, ruled that Microsoft cannot
prevent dealers from unbundling OEM software and selling it separately.
The ruling, overturns a lower court decision in Microsoft's favor.
Microsoft sued a Berlin hardware dealer for selling a copy of its
operating systems to an end-user without an attached PC. 
The court rejected Microsoft's claim of intellectual property rights,
and reasoned that "The right of authorship can only be exercised once
....Once the product has entered the marketplace, with the author's
agreement, he can no longer engage rights of authorship to interfere
with secondary sales."

* Bankrupt auctioned user information *
Walt Disney, the majority owner of bankrupt online toy retailer, offered to purchase Toysmart's customer list to ensure
consumers' privacy. The announcement came a day after the U.S. Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) sued claiming the company broke its
promise to customers that it would never share private information about
The FTC complaint:

* Napster files defense *
Napster responded to the recording industry's request that it shut down
its song-swap service. Napster claims the lawsuit is an attempt to hold
private non-commercial sharing of music by consumers unlawful; to hold
that an Internet directory service is liable for uses made by its users;
and to extend judicially copyright protection to stifle a new
Napster invoked the Audio Home Recording Act that allows consumers to
make copies of music as long as they make no profit from the copies.
Napster also pointed to the Sony case, which found Sony not liable of
copyright infringement, because even though a video tape recorder could
be used for infringing purposes, it also has legal purposes. 
Full text of Napster's response:

The Recording Industry Association of America dismissed Napster's
defense as baseless, noting that Napster has a warning on its own site
telling users that unauthorized copying of copyrighted work is an
infringement of copyright.

Intellectual Property

* Ecards v. E-cards - the sequel *, a Canadian Internet company that was hit with $4 million in
damages by a California jury two month ago, won a skirmish in its fight
against, a U.S. rival electronic greetings card firm. A U.S.
judge ruled that can now pursue a counterclaim alleging
trademark infringement by The Canadian company owns U.S.
rights to the trademark "E-card" and in its counterclaim also will
pursue other allegations of unfair competition. Ecards still is planning
to appeal the initial jury finding.

* RIAA wants MP3Board to stop linking *
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed a copyright
infringement suit against The suit claims that the web
site knowingly gathers and organizes links to sites where illegal files
are offered for download. claims the links are gathered
automatically and it has no knowledge of the legality of the files it
links to.,1283,37227,00.html

* Adobe wins copyright case in China *
The Chinese First Intermediate People's Court ruled that the Shanghai
Nianhua Computer Graphics and Text Technologies Co. must stop violating
U.S. software company Adobe's copyrights and compensate the software
company for US$18,116. The court ruled that because Adobe registered its
software with the U.S. Copyright Office, the company's products enjoyed
copyright protection under Chinese law.

* Intel and Via settle chipset lawsuit *
Under a settlement Taiwan-based Via will pay Intel an undisclosed
ongoing royalty payments. In return, Via will have a license to
manufacture chipsets for computers containing Pentium III and Celeron.
The settlement will lead to the dismissal of lawsuits filed in England,
the U.S. and Singapore. However, part of the lawsuit will continue as
Intel alleges that Via's chipsets supporting non-Intel processors
violate Intel's intellectual property.

* Third-party maintenance allowed *
A federal jury in New Jersey said Grace Consulting didn't violate
copyright laws in providing add-on software and maintenance services for
customers of Dun & Bradstreet Software. Grace claimed that any tweaks it
had performed were to make D&B's applications more interoperable with
other software at customer locations. 
The decision will potentially make it easier for companies to
discontinue costly vendor maintenance and seek cheaper third parties to
service and upgrade their aging mainframe software.,1199,NAV47_STO46349,00.html?pm

* - Napster's latest legal opponent * accuses Napster of copyright infringement, but unlike
Napster's other lawsuits, this one is not about music copyrights. claims Napster's new tree of music categories looks too
similar to its own site.,1367,37518,00.html

* NFL players win name and image rights *
U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas ruled that used names and images of NFL players without paying for
them, a violation of the NFL Players Contract and Licensing Assignment
signed by 97 percent of players.

* Oracle sued in patent dispute *
Software maker Timeline filed a lawsuit seeking damages and an
injunction against Oracle for alleged infringement of Timeline's
patented database analytical software. Timeline is currently involved in
litigation with Microsoft and Sagent Technologies about the same

* Compaq and Seagate sued for patent infringement *
Convolve is seeking $800 million from Compaq and Seagate for alleged
patent infringement of motion control technology licensed from MIT.
Compaq says that it is innocent of any wrongdoing.,7407,2603322,00.html

* Online coupon patent settlement *
Online direct marketing firm settled its lawsuit against
Planet U which offers a similar service. Each company recognized the
validity of the other's patent and Planet U agreed to pay Coolsavings to
license its patent.

* BSA settles for $1.5 million *
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) collected  $1.5 million from two
CD-ROM replication companies. As part of the agreement, BSA agreed not
to name the companies involved.

* RecordTv files counter claim *, that offers virtual video recording, filed a counterclaim
against the motion picture industry requesting broad rights to record
and retransmit television signals via the Internet.

* Apple against rumors *
Apple forced Macintosh oriented site MacOS Rumors, to remove stories
claiming Apple is working on a cube-shaped follow up to the popular

* Apple forced site to remove Mac ads *
Apple also forced, a site devoted to lauding advertising,
to pull copies of Macintosh commercials threatening legal action over
alleged copyright infringement.

Domain names

* Olympics brings biggest domain name action *
In the single biggest domain name litigation, the International Olympic
Committee, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Salt Lake Organizing
Committee for the Olympic Winter Games of 2002, filed a suit asking to
shut down more than 1,800 sites that they charge are profiting from
Olympic trademarks.,1151,16731,00.html

* - the end *
After four years of domain dispute, web developer Fuji Publishing will
be able to use the domain Since 1996, the was on hold
while photographic materials giant Fuji Photo Film of Japan and its U.S.
subsidiary complained that it should own the name. A WIPO arbitrator
decided that Fuji Publishing has a fair claim for the domain, and
released the domain for use.

* Pre registering .web domains *
John Roemer wrote an interesting article on the Standards' Net Law
newsletter regarding the pre-registration of .web domain names. The .web
top-level domain (as other TLDs such as .firm) has not yet been
approved, but 2 bodies - Image online and The Internet Counsel of
Registrars (CORE) - are already offering .web domain name
pre-registering. Subscribe to Net Law and other Standard Newsletters at:

* Chinese cybersquatter looses another domain *
CINET lost another domain dispute, as the Beijing Second Intermediate
People's Court ordered it cancel Procter & Gamble Co.'s (China) domain
name and compensate P&G for US$2,415 in loss. CINET registered more than
5,000 domain names, some of which used names of Fortune 500 companies or
brand names, including DuPont and IKEA.

* U.S. Supreme Court turns away cybersquatting appeal *
The U.S. Supreme Court, without comment, turned down arguments by
Sporty's Farm that it wrongly was forced to surrender the domain to another company.

* drops lawsuit against ICANN * dismissed its lawsuit against ICANN, and accepted ICANN's
terms under which a separate company would be accredited as registrar.
ICANN didn't accredit Afternic since it acts as a domain name

* Melbourne IT exclusive registrar *
Melbourne IT agreed to fund up to 80 per cent of the .au domain
administration group in exchange for a decree that Melbourne IT will
remain the sole registrar.

Cyber crime

* Court rules that cross dresser was entrapped *
Mark Poehlman, 40, a transvestite convicted of trying to have sex with
children, was released from prison by an appellate panel who ruled that
police used the Internet to entrap him. 
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Poehlman was lured into crime
by an undercover agent offering the possibility of a family if Poehlman
would agree to teach three girls how to have sex. The court said that
"There is surely enough real crime in our society that it is unnecessary
for our law enforcement officials to spend months luring an obviously
lonely and confused individual to cross the line between fantasy and
criminality". Full ruling:

* Good hearted hacker breaks into Australian government site *
A computer user compromised an Australian Government site using a simple
CGI script, and then notified 17,000 businesses that their banking
details were unprotected.

* Mitnick gets permission for computer related work *
The United States Probation Office informed  Kevin Mitnick, the world's
most famous hacker, that he will be permitted to pursue employment
including speaking engagements, security consulting work and writing.
The approval is a reversal of the probation office's earlier position.

* NASA hacker arrested *
Raymond Torricelli, 20, was arrested for allegedly hacking into two
computers owned by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and using one to
host Internet chat rooms devoted to hacking. Torricelli is also accused
of stealing credit card numbers that were used to make more than $10,000
in unauthorized purchases.,1283,37537,00.html

* Hacker pleads guilty *
Ikenna Iffih, a university student, pleaded guilty to breaking into U.S.
government computers, including the Defense Department systems. Iffih
faces up to 20 years in prison with a possible mandatory minimum
sentence of six months, a fine of up to $750,000. Iffih, native of
Nigeria might also be deported.,1199,NAV47_STO46514,00.html?am

* Accused hacker files defamation suit *
Lee Ashurst, 21, a Briton accused of hacking in the United Arab Emirates
filed a lawsuit against his accuser, state-run telecom Etisalat. Ashurst
claims Etisalat failed to submit a technical report supporting its
allegations. He also filed a defamation suit against Etisalat.


* Guilty of stock manipulation *
Arash Aziz-Golshani, 23, and Hootan Melamed, 24, pleaded guilty to an
Internet stock-fraud scheme. They bought stock at low prices, used false
names online to post bogus information about the companies on Internet
message boards, and sold their shares as the prices of the stocks rose.

* CA settles shareholder lawsuits *
Software maker Computer Associates won a Delaware Judge's approval for a
$230 million settlement of shareholder lawsuits alleging company
officials wrongly pocketed more than $500 million in stock under a
flawed executive compensation plan. The judge agreed to award
shareholders' lawyers about $46 million in shares of CA stocks.


* Privacy class action suit against Netscape *
A class action lawsuit charges that AOL/Netscape's Internet software
violates electronic privacy law. The suit alleges that the companies
secretly monitor file transfers between sites and users. The "Smart
Download" feature in Netscape Communicator transmits download
information to Netscape and AOL (which owns Netscape).,1151,16622,00.html

* IAB posts privacy guidelines *
The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), which represents about 300
companies active in Internet advertising and marketing, released
guidelines intended to set minimum acceptable standards to protect the
privacy of users.

Online Speech

* MSN removes anti-Barak hate site *
Microsoft's MSN pulled a web page, posted on MSN's network of personal
pages, that called for the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud
Barak. The page described Barak as a traitor and called for his

* Mother of three charged with online obscenity *
Tammy Robinson, mother of three, was charged with selling obscene photos
on her web site offering 400 pictures of her naked. Robinson argues that
she's doing what she wants, and anyone who doesn't like it doesn't have
to look. She and her husband, are suing the detective who arrested them
and the state attorney who's prosecuting them.

eCommerce News

* Clinton signs E-signature bill *
U.S. President Bill Clinton signed a law allowing businesses and
consumers to seal legally binding arrangements with electronic
signatures. The law came after 46 states had already adopted such laws,
and many online businesses have already incorporated such capabilities.,1283,37342,00.html

* Ireland gets digital signature law *
Irish President Mary McAleese used a digital signature to sign the Irish
electronic commerce and digital signature act. The Irish legislation
differs from the new American legislation in that it offers explicit
protection to users of encryption and forbids law enforcement from
demanding that users hand over their encryption keys. The legislation
also defines the term "electronic" more broadly and includes biometric
and photonic forms of creating and guaranteeing the authenticity.,1283,37489,00.html


* Tentative agreement on U.S. gambling bill *
A tentative deal has been reached in the U.S. House of Representatives
on a bill to ban most forms of online gambling. The measure would
require Internet service providers to block access to gambling sites.
Full analysis from the New York Times (free registration required):

That is all for this week,
Yedidya (Didi) M. Melchior 

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