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cyberlaw informer #55

Welcome to the 55th issue of the Mishpat Cyberlaw Informer - 
Law on the net newsletter from http://mishpat.net

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. Napster - the show must go on
3. Cybercrime Part III - International issues
4. Cyberlaw resource review
5. 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 third of a four part series highlighting the new
challenges law enforcement faces in an era of high-tech crime. This part
describes the unique complexity of International cooperation in
technology investigations.

The major cyberlaw news over the past week was the order shutting
popular swapping music service Napster, an order that overturned less
than 48 hours later.

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 focus mainly on various copyright and technology
issues, and on several privacy updates.

In the previous issue we brought news of the recently signed American
and Irish digital signatures laws. LawBoulevard.com recently ran an
interesting analysis of the American law and its implications on the
paperless law firm. The article can be found at
http://lawblvd.com/newsletters/General/signatures.asp


I hope you enjoy reading the newsletter. Comments, tips, and articles
are always welcome. Send them to mailto:editor@mishpat.net

The Mishpat Cyberlaw Informer Archive (issues 1-54) is located at:
http://mishpat.net/cyberlaw/archive

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 http://CyberlawInformer.com


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############################
2. Napster - the show must go on
############################

Some called it "the day the music died", others called it a great
victory for intellectual property rights, but the dramatic decision to
shut down Napster was overruled within less than 48 hours.

An order by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel told Napster to
stop online trading of songs covered by copyrights owned by members of
the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), effectively
shutting down the popular music-swap service. Judge Patel, in her
decision, said that Napster was clearly set up to enable users to evade
paying fees for copyrighted material. 

Two judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a last minute
reprieve to Napster, staying Judge Patel's order, pending a further
resolution of the case. 
The judges noted that Napster's lawyers raised ''substantial questions''
about the nature of copyright law as it applies to the Internet. 

http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/07/biztech/articles/29napster.html
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000728/ts/tech_napster_dc_13.html

Napster stay's motion
http://dl.napster.com/napster_stay.pdf


* Study claims Napster increases music sales *
According to a study issued by research firm Jupiter Communications
Inc., Napster users are more likely to buy more records than non-Napster
users, and in fact Napster usage is one of the strongest determinants of
increased music buying.
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-2306997.html


* Scour - the next Napster *
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) sued Scour.net,
charging that the site contributed to massive copyright violations.
Scour works much like Napster, allowing individuals to open their hard
drives to trade files. Scour does not limit members to trading music
files, and they can trade movies and other multimedia files. DivX, a new
compression technology is used to fasten film downloads. Movies encoded
in this format have been circulating through the computer underground
and have increasingly found their way to services such as Scour. 
A notice on Scour's site says that it is not responsible for copyright
violations made by users, but the company gives copyright owners a way
to remove content from the site. It's also signed deals with several
movie studios to distribute movie trailers or promote films on its Web
site and file-sharing services. 

The complaint can be found at
http://www.mpaa.org/Press/ScourComplaint.htm



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####################################
3. Cybercrime Part III - International Issues
####################################


This is the third 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 looked at various challenges law enforcement
faces when investigating and prosecuting cyber-criminals. In this
article we will focus on one major challenge: overcoming the global
nature  of the Internet. 


Information and property can be easily transmitted through
communications and data networks. As a result, a criminal no longer
needs to be at the actual scene of the crime to prey on his or her
victims. 

In responding to the challenge of law enforcement on the Internet, one
of the problems that state governments face is that although the online
crimes may victimize local populations, the medium over which these
crimes are committed permits a defendant to be located anywhere in the
world. The traditional investigative tools available to the state -
interviews, physical or electronic surveillance, and service of
subpoenas for the production of documents or testimony, are not
necessarily adequate to compel information from a wrongdoer who is
located out of state or country. 


The Internet does increases the ability of law enforcement officials and
others to detect and gather evidence from a distance. 
For example, a website used in a fraud scheme can be spotted from an
agent's office, whereas detecting a fraudulent telemarketing or
mail-fraud scheme might well require extensive field work. 
Long-distance detection, however, may take the investigation and
prosecution of these crimes out of the exclusive purview of any single
jurisdiction, thereby creating yet other challenges and obstacles to
crime-solving. 

For example, a cyber-stalker in Brooklyn, New York may send a
threatening e-mail to a person in Manhattan. If the stalker routes his
communication through Argentina, France, and Norway before reaching his
victim, the New York Police Department may have to get assistance from
the Office of International Affairs at the Department of Justice in
Washington, D.C. which, in turn, may have to get assistance from law
enforcement in Buenos Aires, Paris, and Oslo just to learn that the
suspect is in New York. The perpetrator needs no passport and passes
through no checkpoints as he commits his crime, while law enforcement
agencies are burdened with cumbersome mechanisms for international
cooperation, that often derail or slow investigations. 


The challenge to law enforcement is identifying that location and
deciding which laws apply to what conduct. The question is how sovereign
nations can meaningfully enforce national laws and procedures on a
global Internet. Inconsistent substantive criminal laws are only part of
the problem, for investigative techniques are also controlled by
national law. 

For example, law enforcement agencies must consider such issues as
trans-border execution of search warrants. If law enforcement agents in
the U.S. access a computer and seize data from a computer, the fact that
they have a search warrant makes that action lawful. If, with that same
search warrant, they remotely access a Canadian computer (from the
U.S.), might this constitute a criminal act under Canadian law
notwithstanding the existence of the U.S. warrant. 
To the extent that agents know nothing more than an Internet Protocol
address (IP numbers identify a particular machine and region), the
physical location of the computer to be searched may not be accurately
known. Yet ignorance of physical location may not excuse a trans-border
search.



* Mutual Legal Assistance

When one country's laws criminalize high-tech and computer-related crime
and another country's laws do not, cooperation to solve a crime, as well
as the possibility of extraditing the criminal to stand trial, may not
be possible. 

International legal assistance can be requested and provided through
several means, such as bilateral Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties
(MLATs). Where there is no MLAT in force, international legal assistance
is governed by domestic mutual legal assistance laws and practices,
which include the letters of request for assistance from one country's
judicial authority to that of another country.

MLATs and domestic laws vary with regard to the requirements relating to
a request for assistance. To issue subpoenas, interview witnesses, or
produce documents, some MLATs and some laws permit assistance as long as
the conduct under investigation is a crime in the requesting state, even
where it is not also a crime in the requested state. 
In the more sensitive area of searches and seizures, however, dual
criminality (i.e., that the conduct under investigation is a crime in
both the requesting and requested countries and is punishable by at
least one year in prison) is often required. In other circumstances, a
country can refuse a request if the request "relates to conduct in
respect of which powers of search and seizure would not be exercisable
in the territory of the Requested Party in similar circumstances".
Finally, some MLATs and domestic laws permit assistance only if dual
criminality exits and if the offense is extraditable. Therefore, if one
country does not criminalize computer misuse (or provide for sufficient
punishment), extradition may be prohibited. 

The solution to the problems stemming from inadequate laws is simple to
state, but not as easy to implement: countries need to reach a consensus
as to which computer and technology-related activities should be
criminalized, and then commit to taking appropriate domestic actions. 


* Multilateral Efforts 

Although bilateral cooperation is important in pursuing investigations
concerning unlawful conduct involving the use of the Internet,
multilateral efforts are a more effective way to develop international
policy and cooperation in this area. 

The reason for this stems from the nature of the Internet itself.
Because Internet access is available in over 200 countries, and because
criminals can route their communications through any of these countries,
law enforcement challenges must be addressed on as broad a basis as
possible, because law enforcement assistance may be required from any
connected country. 
Even if two countries were able to resolve all the high-tech crime
issues, they would still only be able to solve those crimes that
involved their two countries. Multilateral agreements allow many
countries to seek solutions that will be compatible to the greatest
extent with each country's domestic laws. 

Several multilateral groups currently are addressing high-tech and
computer-related crime. Of these groups, the Council of Europe (COE),
and the Group of Eight (G-8) countries are the most active. To begin to
address the need to harmonize countries' computer crime laws, the COE
drafted a Cybercrime Convention, which will define cybercrime offenses
and address such topics as jurisdiction, international cooperation, and
search and seizure. 

An example of substantive criminal law harmonization can be found in
"Section 1 - Substantive criminal law" of the COE convention crime. 
For example, Article 3 of the draft, dealing with harmonization of
illegal interception states that:
"Each Party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be
necessary to establish as criminal offences under its domestic law when
committed intentionally the interception without right, made by
technical means, of non-public transmissions of computer data to, from
or within a computer system, as well as electromagnetic emissions from a
computer system carrying such computer data."

Section 2 of the CEO draft deals with procedural law, including search
and seizure, and disclosure of traffic data.



* Continuing Need for International Cooperation 

As these multilateral efforts progress and as more formal mechanisms for
cooperation are developed, law enforcement agencies are cooperating
informally and have undertaken joint initiatives to achieve their goals. 

As international issues become more prevalent in investigations of
Internet-facilitated offenses, law enforcement agencies must continue to
develop cooperative working relationships with their foreign
counterparts. 


A major part of the CEO draft is aimed at promoting international
cooperation between investigatory agencies. An interesting element,
dealing with some of the problems discussed in the previous article, is
the 24/7 network. Article 29 of the CEO draft states (in part):

"Each Party shall designate a point of contact available on a 24 hour, 7
day per week basis in order to ensure the provision of immediate
assistance for the purpose of the investigation of criminal offenses
related to the use of computer systems and data, or for the collection
of electronic evidence of any criminal offense. Such assistance shall
include facilitating, or, if permitted by its domestic law and practice,
directly carrying out: 
1. Providing technical advice; 
2. Preservation of data ...; and 
3. The collection of evidence, giving of legal information, and locating
of suspects. "


The G-8 leading industrialized nations (a group including the U.S., the
U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan, and Russia) has already
established such a 24/7 network of high-tech points of contact for law
enforcement in each of the G-8 countries and in a number of non-G-8
countries.


* International consumer protection

Other international initiatives focus on consumer protection.

The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), an
intergovernmental forum of 29 countries with market-based economies,
developed "Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of
Electronic Commerce". The Guidelines were formally adopted by the OECD
Council in December 1999 (these guidelines were reviewed in Cyberlaw
Informer #40). 

The Guidelines, though not legally binding, reflect an international
consensus among member countries as they begin to formulate and
implement consumer protections for e-commerce. The overarching principle
in the Guidelines is that consumers should be afforded effective and
transparent protection in e-commerce that is not less than the
protection afforded in other forms of commerce. 


The International Marketing Supervision Network (IMSN), an organization
that consists of the consumer protection law enforcement authorities
from more than two dozen countries, shares information about
cross-border commercial activities that may affect consumer interests
and encourages international cooperation among law enforcement agencies. 

For example, in 1997, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) targeted
an Internet domain name scam being operated out of Australia and alerted
its IMSN counterpart, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
(ACCC). The ACCC brought an action against the company and its principal
in federal court in Australia for misleading and deceptive conduct. The
case was settled in June 1999 by the ACCC with the establishment of a
trust fund, which will return $A 250,000 to victims worldwide. 
Similarly, in 1999, the ACCC and another IMSN counterpart, the Portugese
Instituto do Consumidor, provided the FTC valuable assistance with a
case involving an Internet scam that cloned websites and used the
copycat sites to barrage unsuspecting consumers with pornographic
material. 


The next (and last) part of this series, deals with another method of
fighting cybercrime - empowering users.


Relevant links:


The full U.S. working group report is available at:
http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/unlawful.htm

The text of the European convention draft can be found at:
http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/projets/cybercrime.htm

The International Marketing Supervision Network (IMSN)
http://www.imsnricc.org

OECD Guidelines:
http://www.oecd.org/dsti/sti/it/consumer/prod/CPGuidelines_final.pdf

Related news story:
http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/152762.html


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



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########################
4. Cyberlaw resource review
########################

This week's resource is The Bureau of National Affairs' (BNA) Internet
Law News (ILN) at http://www.bna.com/ilaw/

ILN is a free daily (on weekdays) email summary of developments in
Internet law with links to full text, compiled by Professor Michael
Geist from the University of
Ottawa Law School.

This is no doubt the best daily cyberlaw news compilation, and is highly
recommended for those in need of a daily update about Internet legal
news.

Subscribe at: http://www.bna.com/ilaw/terms.htm


If you would like to recommend an Internet legal resource, please send
the details to mailto:editor@mishpat.net Full credit is given to
contributors.
You can also recommend resources at the online bulletin board
http://mishpat.net/cgi-bin/bbs/UltraBoard.pl



#############################
5. 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
========

* Professors support spidering *
A group of 28 law professors  stepped in to the dispute between eBay and
Bidder's Edge by filing a friend of the court brief with the U.S. Court
of Appeals objecting to a preliminary injunction against Bidder's Edge
spidering of eBay.
In granting the preliminary injunction, Judge Ronald Whyte banned
Bidder's Edge from using any automated query program to access eBay's
computer systems for the purpose of copying any part of eBay's auction
database, an action Judge Whyte considered trespassing.
The brief contends that Judge Whyte's decision "represents an
unwarranted and dangerous extension of the ancient doctrine of trespass
to chattels to control the flow of information on the Internet. ... The
doctrine of trespass ... should not be extended to give one company
ownership of information about the price of a commercial product sold on
the open market". The law professors argue that price-comparison sites
such as Bidder's Edge are critical elements in fostering competition,
and eBay would rather not have a site telling consumers that they can
get the same product cheaper.
http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/152323.html

Meanwhile Judge White refused to throw out antitrust allegations against
eBay raised by Bidder's Edge. Bidder's Edge contends that eBay behaved
anti-competitively and is guilty of monopolization.
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,37871,00.html


* More on Carnivore *
EarthLink, one of the largest ISPs in the U.S., reached an agreement
with the FBI in which the agency agreed not to install its Carnivore
Internet surveillance system on EarthLink's network. 
EarthLink resisted efforts by the FBI to install Carnivore under a court
order to wiretap the communications of a suspect in a criminal case. A
federal magistrate ruled against the company, forcing it to allow the
FBI to access its network traffic. EarthLink then reached an agreement
with the FBI stating it would rather have control over the wiretapping
and cooperate with the FBI, then have a system connected to its network.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU), filed Freedom of Information Act requests
seeking records and source code related to the Carnivore. The act has
never been used to access computer source code. The movements claim they
need information to determine if the software only intercepts
communication from/to people named in a court order.
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO47214,00.html?pm

U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno announced a process to review
Carnivore. Reno said the first step will be for a group of academic
experts to conduct a detailed review of the  program's source code. The
system would not be suspended until the review has been completed. 
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2608551,00.html


* Toysmart.com withdraws customer information sale *
Toysmart.com withdrew the auction of customer information it hoped to
sell to pay off its debts, saying it didn't receive a good enough offer.
The bankrupt online toy retailer, which had promised customers it would
never sell their names or personal information, solicited bids for its
assets, including about 250,000 customer names, addresses and credit
card numbers. 
The attempted sale drew a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission,
which was settled allowing the company to sell the data under certain
restrictions. 38 states said the settlement didn't go far enough to
protect consumers, and vowed to block it. Bankruptcy Judge Carol Kenner
granted Toysmart.com's request to withdraw the information from auction.
http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/cti292.htm



Intellectual Property
===============

* DeCSS hearing *
Prof. David S. Touretzky turned out to be the key witness in the DeCSS
trial. DeCSS is a software program that enables to decode the scrambling
technology protecting DVD movie disks from unauthorized copying. When
referring to the court's preliminary injunction that barred a site from
posting the code for the cracking program, Professor Touretzky said "I
see this as having a chilling effect on my ability as a computer
scientist to express myself". In light of the professor's testimony,
Judge Kaplan said, he would reconsider his constitutional analysis. 
For an excellent review of the DeCSS battle:
http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/07/biztech/articles/31rite.html
(Free registration with the NY Times required)


* Comparative study on computer related business method patents *
The European, U.S. and Japanese Patent Offices carried out a comparative
study on business method related inventions. The consensus is that a
technical aspect is necessary for a computer-implemented business method
to be eligible for patenting, and to merely automate a known human
transaction process using known automation techniques is not patentable.
http://www.european-patent-office.org/tws/b3b_start_page.htm


* French company claims trademark for B2B *
France's Computer Channel, a subsidiary of France Telecom says it
trademarked the term B2B (generic term short for Business to Business)
and is attempting to enforce its rights internationally against at least
one German company.
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,16951,00.html


* MP3Board to remove infringing links *
MP3Board which links to music files, announced a new technology called
LinkBlaster that enables copyright owners to destroy links to music
files. The move comes during MP3Board's legal battle with the Recording
Industry Association of America (RIAA). LinkBlaster will also give other
parties the opportunity to file a "counter affidavit" of
non-infringement to keep the link posted on MP3Board. 
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/022726.htm


* MP3.com copyright case continues *
MP3.com won the right for a jury in a damages hearing stemming from its
loss in a copyright infringement suit brought by the RIAA. At stake is
the question whether the company willfully committed copyright
infringement and whether the company should pay damages on a per-song or
per-album basis. The judge is sending the issue of willful infringement
to a jury, and has set a trial date of August 28. Three of the five
major music labels have already settled with MP3.com.
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,37888,00.html


* Settlement in freelancers class action law suit *
A settlement agreement was reached class-action suit filed by writers
whose articles were distributed by UnCover which provides bibliographic
searches of books in periodicals. UnCover makes available full-text
copies of articles from magazines and scholarly journals. The reselling
of the articles was endorsed by the publications, but the freelance
writers claimed that, in many cases, the original authors were the
copyright holders. The settlement would require UnCover to obtain
permission from authors who hold copyright before their works can be
sold online, and to pay royalties to those authors.
http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/152781.html


* Xpedior will change name as part of Expedia settlement *
Xpedior, an e-business consulting company, agreed to change its name by
the end of 2001, to settle a trademark dispute filed by Microsoft's
Expedia travel service. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-2366775.html


* Writers attack Contentville.com *
Prominent Canadian writers, including Margaret Atwood, attacked U.S
based Contentville.com which sells reprints of articles from some 1,800
magazines, academic journals, and newspapers. Contentville said it would
remove infringing articles from the site.
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,37804,00.html


* Qualcomm wins major patent victory *
Qualcomm won a key victory in a patent battle in Europe and Japan.
Finland's Nokia, Sweden's Ericsson and Japanese NTT, challenged
Qualcomm's CDMA wireless technology patents in Japan. Japanese
regulators upheld Qualcomm's rights to royalty revenues from leading
next-generation technologies: CDMA2000 and W-CDMA, and upheld Qualcomm's
original CDMA patent. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1004-200-2276157.html


* Sega cracks down on game pirates *
Sega of America announced that it has shut down 60 Web sites and 125
auctions trafficking pirated video games played on Sega's Dreamcast
console. 
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,37704,00.html



Domain names
===========

* Lawsuit charges Nike with not protecting its domain name *
When Nike's website was recently hijacked, whoever hijacked the domain
redirected Nike's traffic through Greg Lloyd Smith's servers in the
U.K., costing Smith's hosting company time and money. Smith now wants
Nike to pay him damages, claiming Nike negligently allowed its domain to
be hijacked, and is therefore responsible for the consequences. 
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,37286,00.html


* notHarverd.com sues the real Harvard *
notHarvard.com filed a pre-emptive suit against Harvard university
asking to declare that notHarvard.com's name doesn't violate Harvard's
trademark. notHarvard.com offers online courses and tries to sell
related products to students. notHarvard claims it can not be associated
with Harvard when its name says it isn't Harvard. Harvard immediately
filed a counter suit.
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,37883,00.html


* Bridgestone-Firestone looses critique web site domain dispute *
Bridgestone-Firestone (BF) sued John Myers, operator of
Bridgestone-firestone.net a site critical of BF, challenging his right
for the domain. A World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
arbitrator ruled in favor of Myers noting that although the name is
identical to BF's trademarks, Myers has legitimate fair use and free
speech rights and interests in respect of the domain name.
Full decision at:
http://www.bridgestone-firestone.net/decision.html



Cyber crime
=========

* Guilty verdict set aside *
U.S. District Court Judge William Walls set aside a New Jersey jury
verdict that found Tim Lloyd, 37, guilty of planting a software time
bomb at his former employer's manufacturing plant. The malicious
software destroyed programs that ran the company's manufacturing
machines, costing more than $10 million in losses and leading to 80
layoffs.  Judge Walls set aside the decision after one of the jurors
told the judge she was unsure whether a piece of information that she
heard on the news had been factored into her verdict. The prosecutor
said he will appeal the decision or retry the case.
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO47212,00.html


* Portland residents get online access to criminal data *
Portland residents will have instant access to neighborhood crime data
and will be able to display robberies, assaults, murders or other
serious offenses on a map of his or her neighborhood.

http://www.startribune.com/stOnLine/cgi-bin/article?thisSlug=TECH11&date=11-Jul-2000
I want to thank Boaz Guttman for sending me this article.


* Two accused of $1.5 million fraud *
Jeanette Franklin, 29, and Babatunde Osiname, 35, were arrested and
accused of stealing more than $700,000 from online stock trading
accounts of U.S.-based employees of Swedish telecommunications giant
Ericsson. Investigators said an additional $840,000 were taken from
various credit card companies. 
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/ap/docs/222126l.htm


* FTC shut pyramid scheme *
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shut down an Internet pyramid
scheme that promised consumers a chance to lease their dream car for
free. The scam netted more than $2.9 million. 
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2000/07/fivestar.htm



Securities
========

* Shareholder sues PeopleSoft *
A shareholder filed a $150 million lawsuit against top executives at
PeopleSoft accusing them of insider trading, and covering up information
that would have shown that the company was doing poorly. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-2216696.html


* TSE to monitor chat rooms *
The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) is testing a surveillance program that
goes into chat rooms to monitor what's being said. TSE hopes the program
can become another tool in helping to understand market movement.
http://www.nationalpost.com/home/story.html?f=/stories/20000713/342317.html



Privacy 
======

* European Commission moves ahead with U.S privacy agreement *
The European Commission (EC) approved the "safe harbor" privacy
principles developed by the U.S. to ensure corporate compliance with the
European Union's directive regulating electronic transfers of personal
information to non-EU countries. 
The European Parliament asked the EC to renegotiate the agreement to
force U.S. companies to provide compensation to individuals who claim
that their privacy rights have been violated. But the EC, noting that
the Parliament is only an advisory body, decided that the agreement
would be implemented in the EU despite the Parliament's negative
reaction. 
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,17197,00.html


* FTC adopts self-regulatory privacy plan *
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted 4-1 to endorse a
self-regulatory plan submitted by a consortium of major Internet
advertising companies. The plan requires companies to notify customers
of their Internet profiling activities and give customers the chance to
choose whether their interests, and personally identifiable information
can be stored and used by advertisers. 
Privacy advocates objected to the program calling it "written by
industry for industry" since consumers will have to "opt-out" of
profiling instead of choosing to be profiled willingly. 
http://news.findlaw.com/news/s/20000727/privacy.html


* U.S. privacy amendment *
The U.S. House approved an amendment directing federal agencies to show
how they collect personal information from visitors to their Internet
sites. 
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO47403,00.html


* ReverseAuction settles eBay suit *
ReverseAuction.com agreed to pay eBay $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit
alleging ReverseAuction engaged in misleading business practices.
ReverseAuction also agreed not to scan eBay's site for email addresses
and to refrain from spamming eBay users. The Federal Trade Commission
reached a settlement with ReverseAuction in January according to which
the company agreed to destroy any personal information gathered from
eBay members. 
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,37852,00.html



Online Speech
===========

* Secret files posted online *
FBI agents contacted online archivist John Young, who maintains
cryptome.org, an archive of files related to spy agencies, and asked him
to remove information related to Japan's Public Security Investigation
Agency (PSIA). Young refused to comply and said the FBI told him they
were asking on behalf of the Japanese Ministry of Justice, which
oversees the PSIA. The PSIA personnel file includes over 400 names and
titles, including Director General Hidenao Toyoshima. Young also posted
what appears to be an internal CIA document including a fairly detailed
overview of the U.S. intelligence community, including its budgets and
personnel trends prepared for a Japanese delegation's visit in June
1998. 
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,37718,00.html
The files posted on Cryptome
http://cryptome.org/fbi-psia.htm
http://cryptome.org/psia-lists.htm


* City web site is a public forum *
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a city's site can't
deny a request to create a link to a site, since that is viewpoint
discrimination.

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=6th&navby=docket&no=00a0235p


* Plaintiff can post depositions online *
U.S. District Judge Anita Brody ruled that a plaintiff cannot be barred
from opening a web site and posting every document in his case,
including transcripts of depositions.

http://www.law.com/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/AppLogic+FTContentServer?pagename=law/View&c=Article&cid=ZZZUKH107BC&live=true&cst=1&pc=5&pa=0&s=News&ExpIgnore=true&showsummary=0


* Yahoo! Granted extension in French Nazi-related suit *
A French court extended its order against Yahoo to August 11, giving it
more time to either remove Nazi-related items on its auction site or
block the access of French citizens. Yahoo's technology expert testified
that a 100% effective filtering system that could selectively block
access to users by geography does not exist. However, other technical
experts disagree.
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,17082,00.html


* Supremacist ordered to pay for threat *
A judge ordered white supremacist Ryan Wilson of Philadelphia to pay
$1.1 million to Bonnie Jouhari, a fair-housing activist who moved out of
Pennsylvania in 1998 after Wilson's organization posted messages
suggesting violence against her on its neo-Nazi web site. Part of
Jouhari's job was helping victims of housing discrimination file
complaints. The award follows a default judgment made in court against
Wilson in March, after he failed to respond to federal charges. 
http://web.philly.com/content/inquirer/2000/07/21/city/SBONNIE21.htm



Spam
=====

* U.S. anti-spam legislation *
The U.S. House of Representatives passed in 427-1 vote, a bill that will
hold email marketers accountable for unsolicited email. The Unsolicited
Electronic Mail Act will bar email marketers from sending spam unless
the message gives identification that it's an unsolicited commercial
advertisement and offers opt-out measures. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-2284004.html


* Yesmail.com and MAPS 
Yesmail.com, an email marketing service and Mail Abuse Prevention
Systems (MAPS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding which puts their
litigation on hold, and lifts the temporary restraining order blocking
MAPS from putting Yesmail on its blacklist of spammers, pending further
talks between companies. 
http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/000725/il_yesmail.html



eCommerce News
==============

* Letsbuyit.com hit by German injunction *
Letsbuyit.com, a London-based aggregate buying business that allows
individual customers to bundle their orders to buy products at lower
prices, received an injunction from a German court in Hamburg ordering
it to alter its methods. German online retailer Cnited AG won the
injunction on the grounds that Letsbuyit's methods violate German
discount and antitrust laws that allow only a narrow range of prices
among retailers. 

http://www.ftmarketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid={D1953D2B-2533-4AEF-B599-A323B1F6E012


* Better late than never ? *
Seven Internet retailers, including Toysrus.com, CDNow and Macy's
department store, will pay a total of $1.5 million to settle charges
with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, claiming they did not adequately
warn customers about shipping delays during the previous Christmas
holiday season. Macys.com will also have to fund an online education
campaign about consumer rights. 
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,37811,00.html



Jurisdiction
=========

* Australia has no jurisdiction over Canadian stalking * 
Charges against Brian Sutcliffe, 37, were dismissed in Melbourne,
Australia. Sutcliffe was accused of stalking Canadian actress Sara
Ballingall, who played in-Toronto television series Degrassi High over
the past six years. Sutcliffe was discharged after a magistrate ruled
the case was out of her jurisdiction because the effects of Sutcliffe's
alleged actions were felt in Canada, not in Australia. 

http://www.thestar.com/thestar/editorial/entertainment/20000726ENT05b_EN-SARA.html



Regulation
========

* Competitors want AOL-Time Warner merger blocked *
Executives from America Online (AOL) and Time Warner appeared before the
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to defend themselves against
charges of trying to assemble monopoly power in the entertainment
market. NBC and Walt Disney's ABC want the FCC to split AOL-Time Warner
into two firms - one that would own content and one that would own cable
lines. Competitors also asked to open standards for instant messaging. 
http://www.nytimes.com/library/financial/072800aol-timewarner.html


* U.S. telecom legislation to limit foreign takeovers *
The European Commission (EC) claims that proposed U.S. legislation that
would prohibit foreign telecommunications companies from acquiring U.S.
businesses is illegal under international trade rules. An amendment to
the appropriations bill for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) would prevent the FCC from granting telecommunications licenses to
any foreign carrier that is more than 25% owned by a foreign government. 
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO47531,00.html


* U.S. House approves wireless phone tax law *
New U.S. taxation legislation states that wireless customers would be
taxed only in their place of primary use, essentially the area in which
they subscribed for the service. Consumers won't necessarily have lower
taxes on their wireless bills, but it will reduce the possibility of
errors and give consumers a more consistent bill. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1004-200-2241081.html


* Philippines approves first online casino *
Sports and Games Entertainment will launch Asia's first legal online
casino. The casino was licensed by the Philippine government through its
regulatory body, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming. The company
stresses that foreign nationals wishing to play are bound by their own
countries' laws.
http://www.idg.net/go.cgi?id=280303


* U.S. will not ban online drug recipes *
The U.S. House Judiciary Committee removed a provision from The
Methamphetamine and Club Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000, that would
have made it a crime to transmit drug recipes over the Internet. 
http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/152698.html


* No online car sales in Texas *
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled that Ford Motor cannot sell
vehicles over the Internet in Texas. Sparks rejected Ford's arguments
that state laws prohibiting automakers from selling direct to consumers
were unconstitutional.
http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/07/biztech/articles/30ford-texas.html

Two trade associations representing automakers filed a lawsuit against
the state of Arizona trying to block a new law that prohibits car
manufacturers from selling directly to consumers via the Internet.
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,16822,00.html


Microsoft Antitrust
==============

* Microsoft files Supreme Court brief *
Microsoft asked the U.S. Supreme Court to send it antitrust appeal to
the D.C. Court of Appeals. The company argues that the issues raised in
its appeal would be best reviewed by the Court of Appeals (which has
ruled in its favor in the past). The U.S. government asked to send the
case straight to the Supreme Court, bypassing the Court of Appeals. The
court could decide this fall whether to grant direct review under a
seldom-used provision in the U.S. antitrust laws. 
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/appeals/07-26jurisdictional.asp



Misc.
=====

* Blind Federation withdraws AOL lawsuit *
The National Federation of the Blind agreed to drop a lawsuit against
AOL after the company committed to make the upcoming version of its
software accessible to screen-reading programs. AOL was accused of
violating the Americans With Disabilities Act because its service was
not compatible with programs used by visually impaired people. 
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,17163,00.html


* Class action suits against junk faxes *
The Court of Appeals of Georgia (US) upheld class certification of the
state's first class action involving junk faxes, brought against a
restaurant chain. The court ruled that a federal statute regulating
faxed ads and other telemarketing efforts creates a private right of
action and confers jurisdiction on state courts in Georgia.

http://www.law.com/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/AppLogic+FTContentServer?pagename=law/View&c=Article&cid=ZZZRK4J3XAC&live=true&cst=1&pc=5&pa=0&s=News&ExpIgnore=true&showsummary=0


* Hacker insurance *
Lloyd's of London will offer up to $100 million in insurance coverage to
clients of a computer-security management firm, against hacker-related
losses to its business or its customers. A $20,000 annual premium will
provide coverage for $1 million in hacker losses. 
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/002606.htm


* Dow Chemical fires workers who sent porn pictures *
Dow Chemical Co. found that people at all levels sent pornography and
violent images from company computers, leading to the firing of 50
workers and the disciplining of 200 others.
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/067863.htm


* U.S. State Department hit by computer virus *
The U.S. State Department computer equipment that was used in the
Mideast peace talks to send and receive email was struck by a virus that
spread to journalists and other people in the contact lists of infected
State Department users.

http://www.techserver.com/noframes/story/0,2294,500229612-500332092-501892031-0,00.html


* Brazilian city forbids cell phone rings *
Campinas, a Brazilian city, decided to throw cellphone users out of
their movie seats, out of libraries, and barring them from classrooms if
their cellular phones rings.
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,37423,00.html



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


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