Articles by date

16 December 2006

Kiters put the wind up web address system (The Times)

The Times has a story on domain kiting, referring to it as a "new type of cyber-squatting which allows opportunists to occupy web addresses without paying for them". The story uses a speech from Paul Twomey in Sao Paulo as its reference, saying 5 million domain names are registered by domain kiters each year. The Times quotes Paul Twomey as saying "that of the five million names that were put forward each year, only 1 per cent were registered in earnest." Jonathan Robinson, chief operating officer of NetNames says the processing costs come out of the registry's profits or passed on to the industry. There is also a brief mention of IDNs in the last paragraph.

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The Great Internet Brand Rip-Off (Business Week)

Business Week has an article on what they call the "growing practice of 'domain tasting'" saying it's creating headaches for large companies. The article uses Verizon as an example noting their attorney regularly searches for domain names with variations of Verizon's name. In mid-December, the story notes she uncovered a domains such as verizonpicture.com, vorizonringtone.com, and varizoncellularphone.com. Jay Westerdal, chief executive officer of the domain consultancy firm Name Intelligence is quoted as saying that 4 million domains are being tested on any one day. The story blames the practice on ICANN with the introduction of the "Create Grace period". Some companies are taking legal action, such as Neiman Marcus with their attorney likening domain tasting to gun control - "Are guns unlawful to own? No. But they can be used for unlawful purposes. So can the system of domain tasting." The estimated 25-30 firms who are the prolific insist they do nothing wrong. The article also quotes Tim Cole who notes that they need to consult with the domain name industry before a change of policy could possibly take place.

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Virtually Addicted (Business Week)

A lawsuit against IBM is reviving debate over whether Web overuse may be classified as an addiction. The answer will have big implications for business: By his own admission, James Pacenza was spending too much time in Internet chat rooms, in some of them discussing sex. He goes so far as to call his interest in inappropriate Web sites a form of addiction that stems from the posttraumatic stress disorder he's suffered since returning from Vietnam. Whatever it's called, Pacenza's chat-room habit cost him his job.

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ICANN Awards NeuStar Control Over .biz Registry Until 2012 (Information Week)

The agreement gives NeuStar leeway to raise prices of not more than 10% a year, as long as domain registrants are informed of planned increases six months in advance.

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15 December 2006

Cyber hijackers demand ransom (Sydney Morning Herald)

Hackers are hijacking free online email accounts, refusing to cede control unless the user pays them a ransom.

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The EU takes measures to eradicate high levels of illegal online activity (Internet Business Law Services)

The European Union is slated to review existing legislation to determine the need for additional regulation to protect user privacy and security online. Next year, the European Commission may introduce proposals to force service providers to notify clients of security breaches and facilitate legal action to protect individuals from the consequences of spam, spyware and malicious software.

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Bitten By The Google Spider (Forbes)

Google giveth, and Google taketh away. Kris Jones' shopping-review Web site, MarketShareBuilders.com, used to earn $15,000 to $20,000 a month by drawing traffic with Google advertising and linking customers with online merchants. Then one day last July, Jones got an unpleasant surprise: Google hiked his advertising price rates from about 35 cents per click to $10.

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uk: Ban on possession of child abuse images planned (The Guardian)

The British government plans to ban the possession of computer-generated images of child abuse.

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14 December 2006

Study tracks digital convergence in U.K. and elsewhere (International Herald Tribune)

The Chinese are eagerly watching television clips or shows on their computers. The Germans are reading fewer newspapers. The Italians are watching less television the old-fashioned way, through a box in the living room. Those are just some of the findings of a wide-ranging study by Ofcom, the British telecommunications and media regulator, looking at the effects of the trend toward digital convergence in a number of countries around the world.

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So This Manatee Walks Into the Internet (International Herald Tribune)

On 4 December's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," there was a skit about an "absurdist college sports mascots that the host and his writers would like to see someday". At the end of the skit O'Brien adlibbed and that the voyeur (a member of the show's band) was watching www.hornymanatee.com. At the end of the show though, no website existed so NBC were presented with a quandry - "If a viewer were somehow to acquire the license to use that Internet domain name, then put something inappropriate on the site, the network could potentially be held liable for appearing to promote it. So as the New York Times reports "In a pre-emptive strike inspired as much by the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission as by the laws of comedy, NBC bought the license to hornymanatee.com, for $159, after the taping of the Dec. 4 show but before it was broadcast."

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Emerging Markets Look to Up Internet Use by Andrew A. Mack (AllAfrica.com)

About a month ago I was in Athens attending the first annual IGF. Delegates from around the world had come together to discuss the future of the Internet and specifically, how to provide more access to the web in Emerging Markets. ... What I heard from my seat in Athens was that emerging markets delegates are indeed dissatisfied-but not about the Internet domain name system. They are angry that their own governments are not cultivating environments that attract new investment. They are disgusted by the cozy relationships between legacy telecoms and regulators which stifle the growth of new Internet Service Providers.

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13 December 2006

China 'crackdown on online games' (BBC)

China is enforcing more monitoring of online games, a state news agency in the country reports.

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au: Mum denies using kids to make pornography (ABC)

A woman has pleaded not guilty in a Sydney court to charges of producing child pornography using her own children.

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After CIA rebuff, state department turns to Google (The Guardian)

Some people may Google to locate lost loves, or check out potential new ones. The state department resorts to the internet search engine when it is trying to penetrate the clandestine world of international nuclear weapons proliferators.

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The battle for .com (CIOL)

This article from CIOL asks that with Verisign controlling the .com domain until 2012, is this the end of the battle with critics crying foul over the deal? The article discussed the Site Finder service VeriSign offered, with the resulting agreement that VeriSign would drop all challenges to ICANN "in exchange for the right to increase pricing on .com domains". The proposed settlement, which defined a process for the introduction of new registry services in the .com registry. The settlement was controversial with business alleging the creation of a monopoly and price fixing. In February 2006 the settlement was revised and limits on price increases were introduced and .com was left with VeriSign till 2012. The Coalition for Icann Transparency filed 2 lawsuits against VeriSign and is targetting ICANN.

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CFIT's Complaint Dismissed For A Second Time (ICANN)

On 8 December 2006, United States' Federal District Court Judge Ronald M. Whyte dismissed, for a second time, an antitrust complaint filed by CFIT against ICANN. The strongly worded 22-page Order from Judge Whyte stems from CFIT's allegations challenging ICANN and VeriSign entering into the most recent .NET and .COM Agreements.

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Where Do Country Code Domain Names Go to Die? by Andrew Allemann (Circle ID)

What happens to country code domain names that are no longer in use? IANA is reviewing its practices associated with top-level domains which have been revoked from the officially assigned list, including top-level domains which have been replaced by a new country code. IANA is asking for community input on its practices, with IANA asking if domains that are retired should be removed from the DNS root and on what schedule this should be done.

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Russia’s Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Threatens ICANN With Lawsuits If Soviet Era Domain Is Scrapped (MosNews)

With Lawsuits If Soviet Era Domain Is Scrapped With ICANN announcing last week it was considering eliminating some outdated domain name extensions, Kommersant Daily reports that if the corporation goes ahead with its plan, which includes deleting .su, many Russian companies may suffer losses. Some of them have already threatened ICANN with lawsuits.

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12 December 2006

uk: Reid targets online paedophiles (BBC)

A "kite mark" standard is being planned by the home secretary to help protect children from internet paedophiles.

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us: How We Target Child Predators (FBI news release)

Talk about prevention: we've helped take more than 6,000 child predators off the streets in the last 10 years. That's a lot of horrific future crimes -- and untold misery -- that never happened to kids and their families. But when it comes to the Internet -- with computing power growing and technology costs falling by the minute -- what's past is truly prologue.

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uk: High Court Holds that the Automatic Insertion of an e-mail Address does not Constitute a Signature (Internet Business Law Services)

On 7 April 2006, the English High Court ruled that the appearance of the sender's e-mail address at the top of an e-mail was not a "signature" for the purposes of section 4 of the Statute of Frauds, because it had not been included with the intention of giving authenticity.

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itu: Living the digital world (International Telecommunications Union)

The 8th edition of the ITU Internet Reports, entitled "digital.life" was prepared especially for ITU TELECOM World 2006 (December 2006, Hong Kong). The report examines how innovation in digital technology is radically changing individual and societal lifestyles.

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Out of Africa: A new kind of telecoms operator is evolving in Africa and the Middle East (The Economist)

That mobile phones are transforming economic and social life in Africa is now widely understood. Less well known are the companies that are leading the charge. Following a flurry of deals over the past 18 months, five African and Middle Eastern operators are now vying for supremacy. These regional powerhouses have worked out how to earn princely sums in the world's poorest places. So far they have mostly been too busy signing up new subscribers to compete vigorously with each other. But that is now starting to change, and the industry is preparing for a round of consolidation as the operators start to attack each other's markets.

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What the experts say about convergence (Computing)

The cost of copper is going up whereas fibre is fairly stable, so there is more convergence in pricing. If you consider the price of the cables, jacks and active link components, the two will come much closer together than people were predicting a couple of years ago. The prime 10GbE fibre cabling standard is either ISO 11801 or EN 50173, and if I were altering a network I would want it to comply with those, they are both similar in technical content. As far as the fibre connect standard is concerned it is really a matter of choice, it does not really affect network operation, it is just the convenience of patching and maintenance.

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The phone of the future (The Economist)

The phone has had a splendid 130-year history. What will it look like in future? Will it even be called a phone? AT THE 1964 World's Fair in New York AT&T unveiled the Picturephone. In the future, the world's biggest telecoms firm pronounced, people would communicate via round, black-and-white screens that plugged into the wall. That prediction, like so many others about the future of communications, was wrong. The majority of today's phones are mobile handsets, not fixed-line ones, and although the technology for video-calling is widely deployed, hardly anyone uses it.

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