Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Radio frequency identification is becoming increasinglypopular inside the U.S. government, but agencies have notseriously considered the privacy risks, federal auditorssaid. In a report published Friday, the GovernmentAccountability Office said that 13 of the largest federalagencies are already using RFID or plan to use it. But onlyone of 23 agencies polled by the GAO had identified anylegal or privacy issues--even though three admitted RFIDwould let them track employee movements.
Friday, May 27, 2005
The European Union is putting money toward research intoopen-source software and standards across the world. Thenewly approved funding of 660,00 euros is for the two-yearFLOSSWorld project, Europe's first initiative to supportinternational research and policy development on"free/libre/open source software."
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Digital rights activists are celebrating today with the expiry of powers in the UK's Electronic Communications Act of 2000 that gave the Government the right to regulate companies selling encryption services.
The OECD has released the latest national broadbandstatistics. As of December 2004, South Korea continues tolead the world in broadband penetration at 24.9 percent. Itis followed by the Netherlands, Denmark, Iceland, andCanada.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
A proposal to extend patent protection in Europe couldthreaten the existence of open-source software unless theEuropean Parliament amends it, say advocates of freelydistributed programs such as Linux. However, companies suchas Microsoft and Apple Computer argue that they need broaderpatent protection to prevent open-source companies, whichgive away their software and make money through service,from effectively expropriating their development costs.A European Parliament committee will debate the issue thisweek and vote on it next month.
The $1.45 billion judgment against Morgan Stanley fordeceiving billionaire Ronald Perelman over a business dealhas a lesson all companies should learn--keeping e-mails isnow a must, experts say. Banks and broker-dealers areobliged to retain e-mail and instant messaging documents forthree years under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissionrules. But similar requirements will apply to all publiccompanies from July 2006 under the Sarbanes-Oxley corporatereform measures.
MasterCard International today said it had acted to shutdown 13 fraudulent financial Web sites based in Australiaunder an 11-month campaign that saw around 1,400 terminatedglobally. The credit card company last June launched aninternational campaign, called Operation Stop IT, in a bidto curb online identify theft.
My weekly Law Bytes column takes a closer look at therelease last week of the Canadian National Task Force onSpam Report. The report calls for the creation of new lawthat features an opt-in regime by making failure to obtainappropriate consents before sending commercial email anoffence, thereby taking the pressure off the currentnational privacy statute, which is ill-equipped to deal withserious spam issues. Freely available hyperlinked version at
CNET reports that the FTC will today pressure ISPs to takegreater action against zombie networks. The FTC and morethan 30 of its counterparts abroad are planning to contactInternet service providers and urge them to pay moreattention to what their customers are doing online. Requestsinclude identifying customers with suspicious e-mailingpatterns, quarantining those computers and offering help incleaning the zombie code off the infected PCs.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
The 2005 National Spyware Study finds that 84% ofrespondents report that they have been spyware victims. Fromthis group, an overwhelming 97% do not remember viewing enduser licensing agreements (EULAs) before downloading spywaresoftware on their computers.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
A study by the American Management Association and theePolicy Institute finds that companies increasingly are"putting teeth in technology policies." The study revealedthat about a quarter of employers have fired workers formisusing the Internet and another 25 percent have terminatedemployees for e-mail misuse.
Friday, May 20, 2005
Software houses can check whether the code they develop has copied even just one snippet of code from any of 38 million open source files, using a new product that relies on source code 'fingerprinting' to reduce the risk of getting sued.
One in five people now use instant messaging at work, but 62% of companies are totally unprotected from the threats arising from misuse of the communications tool, says a YouGov survey commissioned by Akonix Systems.