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cyberlaw informer #56

Welcome to the 56th 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. Help Mishpat.Net's new directory
3. Cybercrime Part IV - Empowering users
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.

I will be on vacation in the U.S. (as many of you know I am from Israel)
for the next couple of weeks, so the next issue will not be published on
the regular schedule, but I still promise two issues during September.

This issue features the fourth and final part of the special series
highlighting the new challenges law enforcement faces in an era of
high-tech crime. This part discusses the ways in which empowering web
users can help diminish the effects of online crime.

As usual you will find the cyberlaw news and the resource review
sections at the end of this newsletter. 

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. Help Mishpat.Net's new directory
##############################

As many of you know, I run several law related web sites. As this is a
part time hobby/job I don't get to update them as frequently as I would
like.

The site that suffered the most from this is the legal directory at
http://mishpat.net which has not been updated for more than a year
(eternity in Internet time).

After working for many nights, I  am currently in the process of
finishing a new and updated directory, based on a powerful SQL database,
that will make it much easier to update and maintain on a daily basis.
The new directory, including almost 1,400 categories will (hopefully) be
launched on October 1st.

The problem is that even though I  have a list of 4,000+ sites I plan to
add, reviewing each site takes a lot of time, so currently only 600 of
them are fully integrated.

You can help by suggesting your favorite legal sites, sites you run,
research sites, etc., there is no limit on the number of sites any
individual can suggest.

In order to suggest sites (there will be an editorial review) go to
http://mishpat.net/law which is the current location of the database,
until it moves to the main page on October 1st. From that page you can
browse through the categories or use he search engine to find the
relevant category for the site you want to suggest.

When you reach the desired category, click on the "Add a Site" link on
the bottom of the page, and fill the form that will load. Please refrain
from using descriptions such as "the best site", "no. 1 resource", etc.
since there will be a rating mechanism that will let users vote for each
resource.

As I plan that this resource will be international in nature, most
important are links to resources from various countries. Please go to
the "Countries" category, choose your country and add your favorite
resources.


Any other comments (layout, missing categories, bugs etc.) are also
welcome, send them to editor@mishpat.net

Readers of the Cyberlaw Informer are the first to learn about the new
address http://mishpat.net/law so please take advantage of this and
suggest law related resources.

Thanks for your help,

Didi Melchior



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####################################
3. Cybercrime Part IV - Empowering users
####################################


This is the final 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 articles we looked at various challenges and needs of
law enforcement when investigating and prosecuting cyber-criminals.
In this article we will focus on an important method of reducing the
effects of cyber crime - empowering the public in various ways including
education and technological means.


Educating and Empowering Parents, Teachers, and Children
============================================

With the growing number of classrooms connected to the Internet and the
rising number of computers used at home, more and more children are now
able to access the Internet. 
One of the benefits of the Internet is the access it provides children
to educational materials, online friendships, and penpals. Nevertheless,
like many other pursuits that children engage in without adequate
parental supervision, the Internet should also be approached with
careful consideration of risks and benefits.

One concern is that the Internet may allow children unrestricted access
to inappropriate materials. In the worst instances, children have become
victims of physical molestation and harassment by providing personal
information about themselves and making contact with strangers. 
To protect children from such risks, parents and teachers need to
empower themselves with the tools, knowledge, and resources to supervise
and guide children's online experience and to teach children how to use
the Internet responsibly. 


Technological Tools
-------------------------

* Blocking Software

Blocking software uses a "bad site" list and prevents access to those
sites. The vendor identifies specified categories of words or phrases
that are deemed inappropriate and configures the blocking software to
block sites on which the prohibited language appears. 

Although such software can be a useful tool for restricting access in
certain circumstances, they create a false sense of security, because
they cannot restrict access to all inappropriate sites. The number of
websites published each day far exceeds the ability of software
companies to review and categorize them for their lists.

Another potential drawback is that most blocking software does not
differentiate between the age of the users. What may be inappropriate
for an eight year old, may be appropriate for a teenager. Either the
teenager will be denied access to sites that are beneficial or the
eight-year-old will be given access to sites that are inappropriate. 

In addition, parents cannot make an informed decision on what material
should be restricted. They must rely on the judgment of an unknown third
party to decide what sites are acceptable for their children.
Furthermore, the parents are not aware of the blocking criteria used by
the vendor, and do not have access to the blocked sites list, in order
to check these criteria (hackers have posted several such lists, but
most parents are not aware of them).


* Filtering Software

Filtering software blocks sites containing keywords, alone or in context
with other keywords. For example, if parents wanted to restrict their
child's access to sites related to drug use, the software would be
configured to deny access to sites containing such words as "marijuana,"
"cocaine," and "heroin".

Filtering software can also be used to restrict access to inappropriate
websites, but, like blocking software, they can be both under-inclusive
and over-inclusive.
They can, for example, filter sites that are either harmless or even
desirable. With the example above, sites that promote drug
rehabilitation, seeking help for a drug problem, or drug prevention
would be blocked simply because they use the keywords.
Another example of how filtering is over inclusive is denying access to
the word "sex." While this filter would block certain sites with
inappropriate sexual content, it would also block harmless sites that
contained the word  "sex" (such as this article...).

In fact, a good example of how automatic filtering does not work is a
previous issue of the Cyberlaw Informer. 
One of this newsletter's subscribers uses a service provider that
filters "bad" incoming emails. Informer #48 was blocked because it
contained the following story (this was the headline) "U.S. charges five
over Internet child pornography". I guess the words "child pornography"
when analyzed out of context where enough to block the message.

Filtering software may also be used to block sites that have a
particular label or rating. The content provider or a labeling service
classifies the site in a particular category and the filtering software
is programmed to deny access to sites with particular ratings. As with
"bad sites," parents must rely on the judgment of unknown third parties
to determine what is appropriate for their children. Another major
drawback is that very few sites are labeled. 


* Other Software

Other types of software enable parents to monitor and control their
children's use of the computer. For example, "monitoring and tracking"
software allows parents to track how much time their children spend
online, where their children go online, and how much time their children
spend on the computer offline. "Outgoing filtering" software prevents
children from sharing certain information with others over the Internet,
such as their name, telephone number, and address. 


* Search engines

Some search engines (such as AltaVista) offer a "family filter"
searching option. These search filters filter out sites from search
results. However, these services suffer from the same problems as
filtering software.
Some directories (such as Yahooligans or Ask Jeeves for Kids) only
include sites geared towards children.


Non-technological Tools 
-------------------------------

* Parents

One of the most effective ways of protecting children from inappropriate
material is to teach them to use the Internet responsibly. By doing so,
parents can greatly minimize any potential risks of being online. There
are certain safety tips parents can follow to ensure that their children
use the Internet safely. These tips include for example: 

- Never give out personal information, such as address, name, or phone
number, in a public message such as a chat room or bulletin board;
- Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another
computer user without parental permission;
- Encourage children to tell you if they encounter messages that are
suggestive, obscene,
or threatening;

There are many useful publications and websites for parents on this
topic. Likewise, there are many websites that give parents guidelines to
promote safe, rewarding online experiences for children. For example: 
http://www.getnetwise.org - a site created by 15 Internet companies as a
resource guide for parents. It includes access to tools that allow
parents to block and filter inappropriate content, monitor the websites
and chat rooms that their children visit, and set time limits on their
children's online sessions. 
http://www.cyberangels.org - a site that is considered the largest
Internet safety and education program. 


* Schools and Libraries

Many schools and libraries use a wide range of technology tools to
ensure that children do not encounter inappropriate material.
Other institutes encourage Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs). An AUP should
offer reasonable assurances to parents that safeguards will be in place
in the particular school or library setting that permit users to be
empowered to have educational experiences consistent with their values. 


* Other Steps

In October 1998, The U.S. Congress passed the Child Online Protection
Act (COPA) that, among other things, established a Commission on Online
Child Protection to examine the extent to which current technological
tools effectively help protect children from inappropriate online
content. 



Educating and Empowering Consumers
=============================

The electronic marketplace offers consumers unprecedented choice and
around-the-clock accessibility and convenience. With these benefits
comes the challenge of ensuring that the virtual marketplace is a safe
and secure place to purchase goods and services.

Consumers must be confident that the goods and services offered online
are fairly represented and the merchants with whom they are dealing -
many of whom may be located in another part of the world - deliver their
goods in a timely manner.

Law enforcement must educate and alert consumers about fraud and
deceptive practices online, investigate potential violations, and
receive and respond to consumer complaints. Commerce regulators have to
work with consumer and business representatives to develop codes of
conduct for e-commerce and mechanisms for consumer dispute resolution,
redress, and enforcement. Stock investment regulators must help
investors avoid online securities fraud. Justice Departments have to
take an active role in public education and outreach efforts to prevent
online fraud. 
An example of such activity is the US Department of Justice's website on
identity theft and fraud http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/idtheft

When using the Internet to protect consumers, regulatory agencies can
easily disseminate information about fraud and technology-related
matters, reaching vast numbers of consumers and businesses quickly,
simply, and at low cost. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached
2.5 million page-views of its reports during 1999.

US Federal agencies have also set up http://www.consumer.gov a site that
includes contributions from over 100 federal agencies.

The FTC even set up a web site for weight loss products called
NordiCaLite, described as a "safe and natural" way to lose weight. Three
clicks into the sales pitch, the FTC seal appears, alerting consumers
that the site was put up by the federal agency, that the product is a
fake, and that certain words and phrases are tip offs to help them avoid
most rip offs. Such "sting" sites that mimic the characteristics of a
site selling fraudulent products or services, are a way of reaching the
consumer before they get bit by a real "sting".

The FTC has also set up a spam database that is built from spam messages
that are forwarded to the agency by consumers. Spam and fraud often show
up together and the spam database that is an extremely helpful resource
for investigators. 

Another technique developed by consumer protection and law enforcement
agencies is accepting consumer complaints electronically. Currently the
FTC alone receives and responds online to an estimated 1,000 complaints
and inquiries a week. 

Law enforcement agencies can also mimic the actions of police patrol, by
going around the neighborhood. The FTC has led many organized "surfs",
with over 250 agencies and consumer protection agencies around the
world, identifying some 4,000 commercial websites that make dubious
claims, largely in the promotion of health and diet products, pyramid
schemes, business opportunities, investments, and credit repair. 
Internet surfs allow law enforcement officials to survey the nature and
scope of particular violations online. 
They also offer an opportunity to educate website operators, many of
whom are new entrepreneurs unaware of existing consumer protection laws.
Follow-up surfs reveal that a large amount of the problematic sites in a
particular area are improved or removed. 



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

Cyber Angels:
http://www.cyberangels.org

U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
http://ftc.gov



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 Law Boulevard http://lawblvd.com/

Law Boulevard, by The Internet Law Group which also operates
LawBooks.com, is a legal content site,  covering various issues
regarding law practitioners. 
The site includes articles from the five newsletters produced by Law
Boulevard: the general newsletter and four specific newsletters for
lawyers, law students, pre-law and paralegals.

Each newsletter also includes book recommendations, relevant to specific
subjects mentioned in the articles, available at http://LawBooks.com

You can subscribe to any of the newsletters at: http://lawblvd.com/


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
#############################

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
========

* Tickets.com wins TicketMaster deep-linking case *
A U.S. District Court judge denied Ticketmaster's request for a
preliminary injunction to stop Tickets.com from crawling Ticketmaster's
site and posting information about tickets for sale on Ticketmaster's
site, or linking to these interior pages. The judge noted that the
crawling did not interfere with the functioning of TicketMaster's site,
so the trespass reasoning in the recent eBay crawling case was
inapplicable. 
An article about the case was published in Cyberlaw Informer #51. I plan
to write an updated review in one of the future issues. The full
decision can be found at:
http://www.gigalaw.com/library/ticketmaster-tickets-2000-08-10-p1.html .


* Yahoo get extra 3 month in French - Nazi auction case *
French Judge, Jean-Jacques Gomez, ordered independent experts to
investigate how to bar French surfers from tapping into sales of Nazi
memorabilia on Yahoo auctions. Yahoo argued that it is technically
impossible to block French Internet users from websites governed by less
restrictive American laws. Three experts will look into ways of
implementing the order to block Yahoo sites which are barred under
French law. A new hearing was set for November 6. 
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,38183,00.html


* Saudis block Yahoo clubs *
Saudi Arabia authorities blocked access to Yahoo's online clubs which
contains pornographic material. In the Saudi case, blocking the site is
easy since the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology is the
kingdom's sole Internet provider. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-2513417.html


* Sting operation leads to Bloomberg cyber-extortionist arrest *
Oleg Zezov and Igor Yarimaka, both from Kazakhstan, who allegedly hacked
into the Bloomberg computer system and tried to extort money from the
company, were charged with extortion after their arrest in London. The
U.S. will seek their extradition. 
Michael Bloomberg, founder of the financial news and information
company, agreed to meet with the alleged hackers and pay them $200,000
to leave his system alone. Bloomberg informed the FBI and went to the
meeting with two officers from British Scotland Yard. Following the
meeting, both men were arrested. 
http://cryptome.org/bloomberg-bust.htm


* EU opens Microsoft antitrust investigation *
The European Commission notified Microsoft that it is investigating
alleged anti-competitive behavior. Competition Commissioner Mario Monti
contends that since Microsoft Windows makes up about 95 percent of the
personal computer operating system market, and PCs are embedded into
networks, interoperability with the server is of paramount importance,
and Microsoft enjoys a position of power in the server market because of
it. Monti is also investigating Microsoft's pricing policies with regard
to Windows 2000.
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,17359,00.html


* Naughton will not go to jail *
Patrick Naughton, the former Infoseek executive caught in an online sex
sting operation, will serve no prison time. He was sentenced to five
years probation and nine months home detention during which he'll have
to wear an electronic monitor. Since he pleaded guilty in March to
crossing state lines to have sex with a minor, Naughton has been giving
technical assistance to the FBI in its efforts to investigate pedophiles
who lurk online. Naughton provided the government five software programs
that are immediately useful to help detect and prosecute pedophiles on
the Internet.
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/indepth/docs/naught081000.htm


* U.S. states sue over fixed CD prices *
Twenty-eight states filed suit against the biggest record companies
(Capitol Records, Sony Music, BMG Music, Universal Music, and Warner
Music) and music retailing giants (Tower Records, Musicland, and Trans
World Entertainment), accusing them of conspiring to fix CD prices. The
lawsuit alleges that recording companies routinely offered to pay for a
store's advertising of particular CDs if the retailer agreed to sell
them above a set price.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/business/newsid_871000/871769.stm

Following the U.S. lawsuit, Canadian regulators are investigating
pricing practices in the music industry.
http://www.nationalpost.com/tech/story.html?f=/stories/20000809/364368.html


* Harris sues ISPs for blocking survey access *
Online market research firm Harris Interactive withdrew a lawsuit
accusing AOL of blocking correspondence with many of the company's 6.6
million online panelists. The Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS), added
Harris to a blacklist for purportedly sending unsolicited bulk email, an
accusation the market research company denies. 
Harris said the listing prompted 13 service providers to block
correspondence with 2.7 million panelists served by those providers.
Harris is still seeking unspecified damages from a dozen ISPs, including
Microsoft Network. District Judge David Larimer rejected Harris' request
that it be removed immediately from a MAPS' blacklist, and set August 24
for a hearing.
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/040389.htm



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

* Modified animals to be patented in Canada *
The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal allowed patents for all genetically
modified animals - except human beings, and granted Harvard University a
Canadian patent for a modified mouse. In the 2-1 decision, the court
ruled that animals can be classified as "inventions" under the Patent
Act. The majority ruled that the language of patent is to be given wide
scope because inventions are, necessarily, unanticipated and
unforeseeable.
http://www.nationalpost.com/home/story.html?f=/stories/20000804/360384.html


* DeCSS T-shirt - the latest DVD copyright issue *
The DVD Copy Control Association added Copyleft LLC to a California
lawsuit alleging misappropriation of trade secrets. Copyleft printed the
source code for DeCSS, a DVD decryption program, on T-shirts. The DVD
CCA claims the shirts caused the illegal pirating of the motion picture
industry's copyrighted content contained on DVDs.
"If you can put it on a T-shirt, it's speech," said Robin Gross, staff
attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit
cyber-rights group that represents many of the defendants in the DVD
cases. He added that  "To enjoin the T-shirts as a circumvention device
is ludicrous".
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,37941,00.html


* Ford losses Model-E suit *
Softbank Venture Capital unveiled plans for its new "Model E" company,
after a federal judge ruled that a Michigan court was the wrong venue
for Ford's claims against a company currently doing business only in
California. Ford Motor filed suit claiming that the Model E's name
sounds too much like such well known Model T cars. 
http://www.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/00/08/08/000808hnmodele.xml


* News companies sue GoSMS.com *
The NY Times, the Washington Post and other news organizations sued
GoSMS.com, that takes news articles from their sites and transmits them
to wireless telephone users. The founder of GoSMS.com claims he is
neither earning money from the content nor violating copyrights. 
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/085724.htm


* Virus patent case remanded *
The U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a summary judgment that McAfee
VirusScan does not infringe a Hilgraeve patent. The appeals court ruled
that there exist genuine issues of fact regarding whether or not
VirusScan infringes on the patent.
Appeals court opinion:
http://www.techlawjournal.com/intelpro/20000802op.asp


* Contentville settles with writers *
The National Writers Union (NWU) and Contentville.com announced an
agreement to compensate writers for works purchased by visitors to the
site. 
http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,38052,00.html


* Apple files suit against anonymous trade secrets poster * 
Apple sued an unknown individual who posted images and disclosed details
of unannounced products months before the products' release. Apple does
not know who is responsible for leaking the information. A judge signed
an order allowing Apple to subpoena all records related to a
Yahoo-Geocities member known as "worker bee" who allegedly posted
information on Apple's new mouse and dual-processor PowerMac before
their introduction.
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,38004,00.html


* Microsoft uses new technology to fight pirates *
Microsoft is using crawler software to stop the sale of illegally copied
versions of Windows. The software searches the Internet nonstop for
words such as "warez" (illegally copied software), and "crackz"
(programs that enable the circumvention of copy protection). The
software scans auction sites, download or FTP sites, newsgroups, chat
areas, classified ads and peer-to-peer networks. Microsoft's efforts led
to the removal of more than 7,500 illegal postings from servers in 33
countries, 64 criminal raids and 17 civil lawsuits.
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,17314,00.html


* Schwarzenegger commercial and intellectual property *
An Arnold Schwarzenegger commercial in Japan, which was not meant for
release in the U.S., was made available on the Gaijin a Go Go Cafe, a
parody site with videos of TV commercials. Attorneys for satellite TV
company DirecTV sent the site a cease-and-desist letter asking them to
take down the made for Japan commercial, claiming the site infringes
DirecTV's trademark and Schwarzenegger's intellectual property rights. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-2427852.html


* Motorola files copyright suits to block eBay sales *
Motorola filed lawsuits in several states to stop the sale of its radio
service software on online auction site eBay.
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/htx/nm/20000731/tc/motorola_suits_dc_3.html


* Bootleggers Use Hearing Aid To Record
According to the record industry, assistive listening device (ALD), a
system designed to help the hearing-impaired at concerts, provides
bootleggers with a new tool to make illegal live recordings. Under the
federal Americans with Disability Act, arenas are required to offer use
of an ALD. Bootleggers can request an ALD headset, which provides a
high-quality feed of a live show, and then steal the headset feed,
giving them concert performances devoid of the usual bootleg problems
such as random crowd noise or distortion.
http://news.findlaw.com/news/s/20000731/bootleg.html


* Needlepoint designs - the next Napster? *
Pattern publishers claim many needlepoint fans are using a Napster-like
swapping service to swap designs, that usually cost up to $7, for free.
Sewing enthusiasts discovered that they too can use anonymous
file-sharing techniques. Needlepoint companies and the artists who
create the patterns are gathering evidence to wage a legal battle
against the homemakers.
http://www.latimes.com/news/state/updates/lat_needle000801.htm


* Swedish company to pay $1.2 for pirated files *
Digital Communication Media (DCM), a Swedish CD-ROM replicating company
will pay $1.2 million after being caught with more than 20,000 CD-ROMs
containing pirated MP3 files and software. 
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/1/12462.html


* AOL removes MP3 search engine *
America Online removed a new search engine that allowed users to find
music files in the popular MP3 format. AOL said its service could not
distinguish between legal and illegal MP3s and until that function is
addressed, the search engine would remain down
http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/08/biztech/articles/11aol-music.html
(Free registration with the NY Times required)


* Adobe sues Macromedia *
Adobe Systems asked for a court order to block rival Macromedia's Flash
5.0 software, set for launch in September, claiming it infringed on
Adobe's patent for a method of displaying multiple sets of information
in the same area of a computer screen.
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1006-200-2491655.html



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

* Hitler domain name deleted *
Deutsche Network Information Center (DENIC), which administers the
top-level domain .de (Germany), deleted the domain name "heil-hitler.de"
a few days after it was registered. A German army sergeant suspected of
registering the domain was suspended from duty. Germany's Justice
Ministry is pressuring DENIC to keep neo-Nazi names off the web. 
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/044608.htm


* ICANN announces at-large nominees *
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), charged
with managing the Internet's addressing system, unveiled its list of 18
candidates to fill five "at-large" seats on its board of directors. A
global constituency of more than 150,000 Internet users will elect the
directors in November. Internet users from around the world will now get
an opportunity to nominate themselves for the ballot. A list of brief
biographies on the ICANN board nominees:
http://www.icann.org/nomcom/nominations.htm


* Yahoo!, AT&T, and Microsoft win cybersquatting cases *
WIPO arbitrators decided in favor of Yahoo! Microsoft, AT&T and Japan
Tobacco Inc. in a series of rulings on cybersquatting. 
The domain name campyahoo.com was transferred to Yahoo!, which
complained that is was confusingly similar to its own trademarks. The
respondent, identified as DomainCollection,  supplied no conventional
address and failed to reply to the Internet company's complaint. 
U.S. telecommunications giant AT&T won its case against
WorldclassMedia.com of Austria, over the domain names attmexico.com. A
WIPO arbitrator found that the letters ATT are a fundamental feature of
the complainant's marks and concluded that the name was registered in
bad faith. 
The domain names microsoftnetwork.com, hotmaill.com, hotmai.com,
otmail.com, and others were ordered transferred to Microsoft. A WIPO
arbitrator found that the names were confusingly similar to Microsoft's
trademarks.
In a more troubling ruling, cigarette maker Japan Tobacco Inc. won the
name jt.com from an Israeli who filed no response. The arbitrator ruled
that the name was registered for no legitimate reason but for the
purpose of selling it to another person for unjustifiable profit. The
problem is that many entities have legitimate rights to the letters JT,
and there is no reason to associate then with Japan Tobacco. 
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/074151.htm


* Domain name arbitration - some win, some don't *
The Burlington Free Press, unsuccessfully tried to shut down
freepressclassifieds.com operated by Earthcars.com, a Burlington-based
company that develops interactive sites for car dealers. A WIPO
arbitrator said the term "free press" is far from exclusive. The
arbitrator noted that other newspapers also use that phrase as part of
their names. 

In another case, Wal-Mart Stores successfully stopped Kenneth Harvey, a
Canadian, who registered sites such as WalMartPuertoRicoSucks.com and
Wal-MartCanadaSucks.com and then tried to sell the names to Wal-Mart. A
WIPO arbitrator sided with Wal-Mart by finding that there was a
malicious intent behind the registration of the sites that used
variations on the company's name. 
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO48011,00.html
http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/153049.html


* NSI class action suit dropped *
Domain registrar Network Solutions Inc. (NSI), won another legal battle
as attorneys behind a $1.7 billion lawsuit dropped their case. The suit
claimed NSI violated the law when it sold names in .com, .org and .net
for a profit since the domain name system was created by the government.
Previous court decisions affirmed NSI's right to profit from its
government contract, so the case was dropped.
http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/153216.html


* Law firms go after domain names *
Ropes & Gray, one of Boston's oldest law firms, filed a lawsuit seeking
control of the domain ropesandgray.com and $100,000. The firm alleges
that Brian Wick registered the domain, and more than 90 other domains,
using other law firms' names. In April a federal judge in Denver ruled
that Wick should turn over two names of other law firms he registered. 
http://www.newsbytes.com/pubNews/00/153217.html


* Hendrix family wins domain *
The family of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix won the rights to the domain
Jimihendrix.com. An arbitrator from the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) ruled that Denny Hammerton who registered the domain
was well aware of the Jimi Hendrix trademark. Hammerton previously
offered to sell names including Elvispresley.net and Mickjagger.com
http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/decisions/html/d2000-0364.html



Cyber crime
=========

* MafiaBoy faces 64 additional hacking charges *
The 16-year-old Canadian hacker dubbed "MafiaBoy" pleaded not guilty to
charges related to the jamming of high-profile sites such as Yahoo!,
CNN.com and e-Bay last February. MafiaBoy was initially charged with two
counts of mischief related to a cyber-attack in February on CNN.com. 64
new charges were laid after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police discovered
evidence linking him to additional attacks.
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO48195,00.html

* First jail sentence for U.S. online gambling *
Jay Cohen, co-owner of World Sports Exchange, based on the Caribbean
island of Antigua, was the first person to be convicted on federal
charges of running an illegal offshore Internet sports gambling
operation. Cohen was sentenced to 21 months in prison and fined $5,000.
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/internet/docs/292767l.htm


* Possible murder retrial - juror read details on Palm Pilot *
Two convicted Las Vegas murderers may get a retrial after a juror
allegedly read details of the case on her handheld Palm Pilot. Defense
lawyers plan to subpoena the jury to try and confirm the claims. 
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/1/12277.html


* China sets up Internet police *
At least 20 Chinese provinces and cities are setting up special Internet
police to administrate China's growing computer networks. China's
pioneer Internet police force was set up recently in the eastern
province of Anhui.
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/internet/docs/278114l.htm


* U.S. brings charges against online drug sales * 
Four individuals and a pharmaceutical supply company were charged with
conspiring to illegally sell prescription drugs such as Viagra, Xenical,
and Celebrex over the Internet. The defendants created fake
prescriptions on a computer that bore the name of a foreign doctor.
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,38088,00.html



Securities
========

* Shareholders sue Drkoop.com *
A law firm filed a shareholder lawsuit against Drkoop.com charging that
the company misled shareholders by delaying the disclosure of a negative
report.
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-2428887.html



Privacy 
======

* AOL removes controversial Netscape feature *
Netscape, owned by AOL, plans to remove a feature in its SmartDownload
product that could secretly transmits to Netscape the downloaded file
names along with a unique user identification string. A class-action
lawsuit filed in July sought at least $10,000 in damage per Netscape
user.
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,38031,00.html


* FBI ordered to open up Carnivore 
A U.S. federal judge ordered the FBI to get ready to let the Electronic
Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a privacy advocacy group, look at
information surrounding the Carnivore email surveillance system. EPIC
charged the FBI with violating the Freedom of Information Act by
refusing to turn over information on Carnivore within a mandatory 10-day
window. 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25897-2000Aug2.html


* New U.K. workplace privacy guidelines *
According to the new employer-snooping code of practice devised by
British data protection commissioner Elizabeth France, British employers
will have to tell staff what activities are monitored.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/1/12292.html


* States object to Toysmart FTC Settlement *
Attorneys general for 43 states filed a formal objection to a settlement
that would allow bankrupt retailer Toysmart to sell customers' personal
information. Toysmart agreed with the FTC to sell the information to a
buyer that would purchase the rest of the company along with it, and
adopt the company's original privacy policy. The AGs insist that
customers be notified and be given the option to be removed from the
lists. 
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,17324,00.html


* Verizon pays for identity theft *
Verizon (formerly Bell Atlantic) will pay $250,000 as part of a
settlement with the state of Pennsylvania, after the telecom giant sent
10,000 postcards to lawmakers on behalf of users who never consented to
the mailings. 
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,38158,00.html


* Auction sites drop personal data offer *
Privacy concerns led eBay and Yahoo to shut down auctions of a mailing
list with the names, addresses and phone numbers of more than 200,000
active U.S. investors. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-2457350.html


* Fan sues Duran Duran for posting his phone number *
Cornell Zachary from LA sued the British pop group Duran Duran for
mistakenly posting his phone number on the Internet as the one to call
for souvenirs and tickets. Zachary claims he suffered "life-threatening
high blood pressure episodes" from 24 hours a day phone calls.
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/internet/docs/265233l.htm


* Glitch exposes private medical information *
Kaiser Permanente, a large U.S. health-care provider, confirmed that a
computer glitch caused 2, 858  emails containing personal information to
be sent to the wrong recipients. 
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO48407,00.html



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

* China shuts pro democracy site *
China's state security police shut a pro-democracy site and is looking
for Xin Wenming who allegedly posted "counter-revolutionary'' content on
the xinwenming.net.
http://www.it.fairfax.com.au/breaking/20000808/A56856-2000Aug8.html


* Virginia anti-porn law found unconstitutional *
U.S. District Judge J. Harry Michael Jr. barred Virginia from enforcing
a law intended to protect children from "harmful" Internet material,
saying the law violates the First Amendment. The law makes it a crime to
use the Internet to sell or otherwise provide sexually explicit pictures
or written material to juveniles that could harm them. Internet
businesses argued that they had no practical way to prevent juveniles
from seeing such material except to eliminate it altogether.
Full decision:
http://www.techlawjournal.com/courts/psinetvva/20000808op.asp


* Hate speech follows Lieberman's selection * 
U.S. Vice President Al Gore's selection of Joseph Lieberman as his
running mate sparked anti-Semitic attacks on online message boards and
discussion lists.
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,38113,00.html


* Using the net from behind bars *
American prison don't allow inmates access to the Internet, but
prisoners use third-party services to reach out. Victims' rights groups
complain that it is humiliating to see prisoners popping up on web
sites, and that some people might begin correspondence with violent
criminals or fall for their stories without knowing the real details. NY
and Arizona enacted policies that forbid prisoners to use third-party
providers. Civil libertarians, claim these measures infringe on First
Amendment rights of inmates.
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/080100prison-internet.html
(Free registration with the NY Times required)



Spam
=====

* Register.com sues Verio over use of Whois data *
Register.com, a domain name registrar, sued web hosting firm Verio,
claiming Verio illegally used information from its Whois database to
send customers unsolicited email and phone calls. Whois databases
contain contact information for millions of domain owners. The
information is public but is intended for use by network administrators.
Register claims Verio made reference to the fact that its prospective
clients had just signed up domains at Register, leading customers to
believe that Register authorized the sales calls. 
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,38025,00.html



eCommerce 
=========

* UCITA self-help provision reduced *
The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL),
that drafted the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA)
backed off slightly from a controversial measure that allows vendors to
remotely disable software they sell to users through retail channels.
Opponents claim UCITA gives too much power to vendors at the expense of
their customers. 
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO48357,00.html


* German publishers accused of blocking discount online retailers *
Austrian book retailer, Libro, convinced the European Commission to
investigate charges that German book publishers squeeze out online
bookstores that undercut their old price-setting policy. The commission
staged a surprise inspection at the Bertelsmann's Munich-based
publishing operation, as well as those of other wholesalers. 
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,17330,00.html


* College book sellers reach settlement *
The National Association of College Stores (NACS) settled a lawsuit
against VarsityBooks.com. The online textbook seller agreed to adhere to
association guidelines for advertising discounts on books. NACS charged
that VarsityBooks misled students when it offered textbooks at 40
percent or more off the publisher's price even though there are no such
price guidelines in the college publishing industry. 
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,38084,00.html


* Amazon shoppers complain to the FTC *
Consumers upset by Amazon.com's response to a pricing glitch filed a
complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The glitch gave buyers
deep discounts in Amazon's toy store. Amazon contacted customers who
ordered the discounted goods, asking them to pay the regular price for
the items or cancel their orders. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-2465738.html


* Israeli digital signature law *
The Knesset, the Israeli parliament, passed on First Reading the
blueprint of the Electronic Signature Act. The law must now be approved
by a special Knesset committee, before returning to the house for final
approval.
I want to thank Tomer Rosner for updating me on this issue.



Jurisdiction
=========

* Server doesn't create taxation nexus in Virginia *
Virginia issued a private letter ruling stating that a site hosted on a
server in Virginia, does not by itself result in sales tax nexus in that
state. The taxpayer was an out-of-state seller of auto parts, with no
physical presence in Virginia. Virginia held that nexus was not created
if the seller's site was hosted on a computer owned by a hosting company
in Virginia, or if his own server was co-located with a hosting company
in Virginia. 
http://ecommercetax.com/doc/073000.htm



Regulation
========

* Indonesia bans foreign Internet ownership *
An Indonesian presidential decree limits foreign investment in the
Indonesian telecommunications. The ownership of direct stakes in local
Internet companies, including portals, content and Internet access
providers and multimedia developers, is now banned. 
http://www.it.fairfax.com.au/breaking/20000808/A57677-2000Aug8.html


* U.S. eases computer export restrictions *
The White House intends to ease export restrictions on shipments of
high-performance computers to a number of countries, including India,
China and Russia. This is the second time this year that the White House
revised export controls. 
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO48209,00.html



Misc.
=====

* Lucent doesn't get former workers injunction *
Lucent, the giant maker of telephone equipment, lost its suit against 10
former employees who now work for rival Cisco. U.S. District Judge
Edward Harrington denied an injunction to enforce its non-competition
and nondisclosure agreements against the former workers. Judge
Harrington did not find evidence that any of the workers disclosed
information to Cisco. 
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1004-200-2410743.html


* Online sex workers get equal rights in Germany *
A German court ruled that workers paid to talk dirty in sex chatrooms
should enjoy the same rights as other workers, regardless of whether
their job is "immoral". 
http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/08/biztech/articles/11germany-workers.html


* Adoption search class action suit *
Two clients of USSearch.com's adoption reunion service sued the site
claiming the service, which purports to help adoptees and biological
parents find each other, can't handle search queries and simply tells
customers ''no match'' has been found when. The suit seeks certification
as a class action.
http://www.inside.com/story/Story_Cached/0,2770,7943_13,00.html



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


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