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July 21, 2005

Will Canadian Copyright Bill Declare Search Engines Illegal?

"A bill before Canada's Parliament could make it illegal for search engines to cache Web pages, critics say, opening the door to unwarranted lawsuits and potentially hindering public access to information.

"The legislation in question, Bill C-60, is designed to amend Canada's Copyright Act by implementing parts of the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization treaty, the treaty that led to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the U.S."

Elinor Mills. In Canada: Cache a Page, Go to Jail?. News.com. July 19, 2005.

See also:
Jack Kapica. Could Googling Become Illegal?. Globe and Mail. July 12, 2005.

Michael Geist. Bill C-60 User Guide: The ISPs and Search Engines. June 21, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Supreme Court Nominee Bolsters Web Activity

"The nomination of Judge John G. Roberts to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court fueled feverish activity on dozens of Web sites and blogs Wednesday.

"The Supreme Court nomination quickly became the most popular search topic on Technorati.com, a service that says it monitors more than 13.6 million Web logs."

Frank Barnako. Partisans, Start Your Web Postings. MarketWatch. July 20, 2005.

See also:
Page Rockwell. So We Have a Nominee. What's Next?. Salon.com. July 20, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: Salon.com normally requires a paid subscription, but you can view articles if you register for a free day pass.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:37 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 20, 2005

Panel Discusses Next Steps After Grokster

"Does Congress need to lay down new laws after last month's landmark Supreme Court decision on file swapping? Depends on whom you ask.

"A spectrum of outlooks came from lawyers who squared off at a panel discussion hosted Tuesday by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee."

Anne Broache. Time for Lawmakers to Act on Grokster?. News.com. July 19, 2005.

See also:
a href="http://www.netcaucus.org/">Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee. Interpreting Grokster: Protecting Copyright in the the Age of Peer-to-Peer. July 19, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

FBI Monitors Advocacy Groups

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation has collected at least 3,500 pages of internal documents in the last several years on a handful of civil rights and antiwar protest groups in what the groups charge is an attempt to stifle political opposition to the Bush administration.

The F.B.I. has in its files 1,173 pages of internal documents on the American Civil Liberties Union, the leading critic of the Bush administration's antiterrorism policies, and 2,383 pages on Greenpeace, an environmental group that has led acts of civil disobedience in protest over the administration's policies, the Justice Department disclosed in a court filing this month in a federal court in Washington."

Eric Lichtblau. FBI Monitors Activists, Court Documents Show. SFGate.com. July 18, 2005.

See also:
Mark Sherman. FBI Says It Has Files on Rights Groups. SFGate.com. July 17, 2005.

Related:
John Harwood. Public Losing Faith in Bush, But Not in the Iraq War. WSJ.com. July 16, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:31 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Intel Approves McCain Bill

"Intel late last week threw its support to a Congressional proposal that would allow municipal wireless network project"

"The bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Arizona) and Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) enables municipalities to spur development of publicly-controlled wireless networks.

"It runs counter to another bill, introduced in the House and strongly supported by the large telecoms, that prohibits such public-sector participation."

Mobile Pipeline Staff. Intel Supports Pro-Muni Wi-Fi Legislation. Mobile Pipeline. July 18, 2005

See also:
Roy Mark. McCain Bill Would Help Municipal Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi Planet. June 23, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:09 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Family Reunion Through Cable for Two Koreas

"Sixty years after telephone lines between South and North Korea were cut, communications officials from the world's most wired country and one of the least joined fibre-optic cables at the border on Monday.

"The cable linking Seoul and Pyongyang will be used next month for the first video reunions of families torn apart by the 1950-53 Korean War."

Reuters. Two Koreas Get Wired for Video Family Reunions. July 18, 2005.

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July 19, 2005

UN Working Group Outlines Internet's Future

"A UN group charged with deciding how the net should be run has failed to reach a decision.

"The group's report (.pdf) suggests four possible futures for net governance that range from no change to complete overhaul.

"The proposals will go forward to a key UN net and society conference due to take place in November."

BBC News. UN at Odds Over Internet's Future. July 18, 2005.

See also:
Château de Bossey. Report of the Working Group on Internet Governance. (.pdf) June 2005.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story the battle over Internet governance.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:36 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 18, 2005

Renewal of Patriot Act Up for Vote

"Before Congress leaves Washington for its annual recess next month, both the House and the Senate are expected to vote to renew police powers that were granted in the 2001 Patriot Act and are scheduled to expire at the end of the year.

"Among the most controversial provisions up for renewal is the FBI's power to demand sensitive information on American citizens from businesses with only an order issued under the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

"Separate bills advancing in the House and Senate extend this provision—Section 215 of the Patriot Act—with modifications."

Caron Carlson. Bills Extend Patriot Provision. eWeek. July 18, 2005.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Can Bush Carry the Day?. News.com. July 18, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:53 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

The Future of Municipal WiFi Systems

"Pete Sessions, a Texas member of the House, believes in states' rights. But he also thinks that there are situations so extreme that Congress must slap down state and local government initiatives.

"One such case: localities that offer citizens free or low-cost Internet service. Idealists may view extending high-speed Internet as a boon to education, an economic shot in the arm and a vital component in effective emergency services."

Steven Levy. Pulling the Plug on Local Internet. Newsweek. July 18, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:26 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 15, 2005

FAA Fights In-Flight Wirless Use

"Lawmakers yesterday urged federal aviation officials to keep a ban in place preventing the use of cell phones on airplanes because it is not clear whether the devices interfere with navigation equipment.

"A Federal Aviation Administration official said the agency won't lift its prohibition on the use of devices including cell phones, BlackBerry devices and two-way pagers, but passengers may be able to use them during flight one day."

William Glanz. Lawmakers Favor In-flight Phone Ban. Washington Times. July 15, 2005.

See also:
U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Bipartisan Opposition Voiced Against Allowing Use Of Cell Phones On Commercial Aircraft. (Press Release.) July 14, 2005.

U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “Cell Phones On Commercial Aircraft - A Nuisance Or Necessity” To Be Focus Of Congressional Oversight Hearing Thursday. (Press Release.) July 12, 2005.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior stories here and here on lifting the in-flight ban on cellphone use..

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Congress Suggests 2009 for Digital TV Switch

"Millions of American television sets that receive only analog over-the-air broadcasts could go dark if not upgraded by Jan. 1, 2009.

"That deadline was suggested in a pair of hearings here Tuesday by members of the U.S. Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

"The committee is readying legislation expected this year that would require all American televisions to run on digital signals by the end of 2008. That would free up the analog, or 700 MHz, spectrum for other uses such as broadband services and communications for emergency workers."

Anne Broache. Digital TV Changeover Suggested for 2009. News.com. July 12, 2005.

See also:
Paul Davidson. Broadcasters Accept New Deadline for Digital TV Signals. USA Today. July 12, 2005.

Update: Gigi B. Sohn. Letter in Support of Hard Deadline for DTV Transition from Public Knowledge. Public Knowledge. July 15, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:30 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 14, 2005

House Panel Agrees to Limits on Patriot Act

"The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee approved Democratic provisions yesterday that would place modest controls over the ways the FBI can monitor terrorism suspects under the Patriot Act.

"Three other amendments that Democrats had proposed failed, including one that would have blocked investigators from getting records from libraries or bookstores."

Katherine Shrader. House Panel OK's Changes in Patriot Act. Boston Globe. July 14, 2005.

See also:
Eric Lichtblau and Carl Hulse. Lawmakers Agree to Renew Patriot Act. The New York Times. July 14, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 12, 2005

Chairman Introduces Bill to Extend Patriot Act

"The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee introduced a bill yesterday that would make the controversial USA Patriot Act permanent, but he balked at including some new powers sought by the Bush administration.

"The bill proposed by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) largely gives the Justice Department what it has requested in the review of the Patriot Act antiterrorism law, which was enacted weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The proposal includes 16 provisions set to expire at the end of this year unless they are renewed or made permanent by Congress."

Dan Eggen. Permanent Patriot Act Proposed. WashingtonPost.com. July 12, 2005.

See also:
Jesse J. Holland. House, Senate Chiefs Spar on Patriot Act. WashingtonPost.com. July 11, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

The Battle Over Internet Governance

"An international political spat is brewing over whether the United Nations will seize control of the heart of the Internet.

"U.N. bureaucrats and telecommunications ministers from many less-developed nations claim the U.S. government has undue influence over how things run online. Now they want to be the ones in charge."

Declan McCullagh. Will the U.N. Run the Internet?. News.com. July 11, 2005.

Declan McCullagh. United Nations Ponders Net's Future. News.com. March 26, 2004.

See also:
Working Group on Internet Governance. Internet Goverance Questionaire-Response. (.pdf) June 1, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:45 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Congress Overwhelmed with E-Mail

"You've got mail, members of Congress, about 200 million pieces of it.

"Nine out of 10 of those missives are e-mail, according to a report (.pdf) that chronicles the rapid shift from postal letters to e-mail as the means of communicating with lawmakers."

Associated Press. E-mailing Your Congressman? Join the Crowd. MSNBC News. July 11, 2005.

See also:
Jeffrey H. Birnbaum. On Capitol Hill, the Inboxes Are Overflowing. WashingtonPost.com. July 11, 2005.

Brad Fitch and Kathy Goldschmidt. Communicating with Congress. (.pdf) Congressional
Management Foundation
. July 11, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:31 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 07, 2005

Bill Proposal to Strengthen FOIA

"A political odd couple, backed by an unusual coalition of advocacy groups and news organizations, is looking to crack down on government officials who ignore public requests for information.

"Sens. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) are pushing a package of legislative proposals that would create, for the first time, penalties for agencies that ignore Freedom of Information Act requests.

"They also want to create a position for an independent arbiter -- an ombudsman for FOIA -- who would help referee conflicts between the public and the government while requiring departments to provide more information on how quickly they process requests."

Brian Faler. Openness Law May Get Muscle. WashingtonPost.com. July 6, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 06, 2005

Wireless Carriers Seek to Suspend E-911 Deadline

"Some of the biggest U.S. wireless providers have asked regulators to suspend a December requirement for 95 percent of their phones to support e911 technology that allows emergency workers to pinpoint callers' locations, according to the CTIA mobile industry group on Friday.

"While new phones coming from these providers all have location technology, consumers are not changing their cell phones as quickly as the FCC had expected when it set the deadline more than five years ago, the CTIA said."

Reuters. Carriers Seek U.S. Mobile e911 Deadline Suspension. July 1, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:22 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 05, 2005

Live 8 Concert Sets World Records

"Live 8 has proved to be a triumph for technology, with millions participating in the event via the web and mobiles.

"Almost 27 million people texted in their support for a petition asking G8 leaders to double aid and cancel debts for the world's poorest countries.

"Millions watched the event online and recordings of Sergeant Pepper were on sale an hour after being sung live. But videos and audio of many of the acts were also available via BitTorrent file-sharing software."

BBC News. Net Fuels Live 8 Extravaganza. July 4, 2005.

See also:
Lars Brandle. Live 8 Shatters Records. Billboard Radio Monitor. July 4, 2005.

Michelle Meyers. Live Aid for the Internet Age. News.com. July 2, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:45 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 02, 2005

Senators Pull Back Telecom Tax

"The Spanish-American War may have ended over a century ago, but anyone in the U.S. with a telephone line is paying a 3 percent 'luxury' tax created to fund the conflict in 1898.

"That's a situation that a number of Republican senators would like to change. This week, they introduced a bill to repeal the Spanish-American War levy.

"The obscure telecommunications tax took center stage in January when a congressional committee suggested the tax could be extended to include 'all data communications services' including broadband, dial-up, fiber, cable modems, cellular and DSL (digital subscriber line) links. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department have said they are considering whether the tax should apply to Internet phone calls."

Declan McCullagh. Senators Want to Nix 1898 Telecom Tax. News.com. June 30, 2005.

See also:

Declan McCullagh. Congress Proposes Tax on all Net, Data Connections. News.com. Jan. 28, 2005.

Declan McCullagh. IRS Eyes Net Phone Taxes. News.com. July 6, 2004.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:50 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 01, 2005

Congress Debates PATRIOT Sunset

"U.S. Justice Department officials sparred with critics of the Patriot Act on Thursday in a debate over whether the expiring portions of the law should be renewed at the end of the year.

"When Congress rushed to enact the legislation in the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, certain sections were set to expire. Now politicians are trying to decide whether to renew the 16 sections scheduled to sunset (.pdf) Dec. 31.

"A pair of Justice Department representatives speaking on Thursday's panel, held at the Capitol by the Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, stressed what they called the importance of renewing the law."

Anne Broache. Feds Push for Full Renewal of Patriot Act. News.com. June 30, 2005.

See also:
American Library Association. American Library Association (ALA) Announces Preliminary Findings of Study Measuring Law Enforcement Activity in Libraries. (.pdf) (Press Release.) June 30, 2005.

CRS Report for Congress. USA PATRIOT Act Sunset: Provisions That Expire on December 31, 2005 (.pdf) June 10, 2004.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:54 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 30, 2005

Web Community Fights Blog Regulation

"Are bloggers going mainstream? Web log founders who built followings with anti-establishment postings are now lobbying the establishment to try to fend off government regulation. Some are even working with a political action committee, lawyers and public-relations consultants to do it.

"They say they have no choice.

"'There's a certain responsibility I have to help protect the medium. I have the platform, the voice to be able to do so,' said Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of the Daily Kos Web log .

Moulitsas testified Tuesday at a hearing on a Federal Election Commission proposal that would extend some campaign finance rules to the Internet, including bloggers. He urged the FEC to take a hands-off approach."

Sharon Theimer. Bloggers Go Mainstream to Fight Regulation. SFGate.com. June 28, 2005.

Duncan Black, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga and Matt Stoller. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: The Internet: Definitions of "Public Communication" and "Generic Campaign Activity" and Disclaimers. (.pdf) June 3, 2005.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story on Senators McCain and Feingold reassuring blogger regulation.

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June 29, 2005

Pew Study Reflects Attitudes Toward Media

"Despite years of hand-wringing over whether the public trusts the media, a new survey finds that TV news comes out pretty well in the public eye.

"The Pew Research Center for People and the Press found that 79% view local TV and national cable TV news favorably, compared with 75% who did the same for broadcast network news.

"Yet it wasn't all good news for the press. The study found that the public did find reasons to be upset about the news media. That distrust seems to be centered on party lines."

Paul J. Gough. Majority Trust Media, Finds Pew Survey. Reuters. June 28, 2005.

See also:
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Public More Critical of Press, But Goodwill Persists. June 26, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:43 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 27, 2005

Pentagon Uses Private Firm for Student Database

"The Pentagon yesterday released additional details about a program to compile a database of personal information on U.S. students to help bolster recruitment, saying that 12 million names currently are on file and that collection efforts have been going on for some time.

"In an official notice filed last month, the Pentagon said it was contracting with BeNow Inc., a Wakefield, Mass., firm that specializes in gathering and analyzing data from a variety of sources to target potential customers based on their personal profiles.

"The Pentagon said information in the database could include Social Security numbers, birthdates, grade-point averages, ethnicity, e-mail addresses and subjects students are studying."

Jonathan Krim. Pentagon Says It Wants Accurate Student Data. WashingtonPost.com. June 24, 2005.

See also:
U.S. Department of Defense. Potential Recruits List Critical to 'All-Recruited' Force. (Press Release.) June 24, 2005.

National Public Radio. The Pentagon's High School Recruitment Database. Day to Day. June 24, 2005.

Jonathan Krim. Pentagon Creating Student Database. WashingtonPost.com. June 23, 2005.

John J. Lumpkin. Privacy Groups Protest Pentagon Database. WashingtonPost.com. June 23, 2005.

Federal Register. Notice to Add a System of Records; DHRA 04--Joint Advertising and Market Research Recruiting Database.. May 23, 2005.

Electronic Privacy Information Center. Comments on the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Consumer Action, et al. on the DOD DHRA 04 Joint Advertising and Market Research Recruiting Database. June 22, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:51 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Utah, Michigan Set Precedent E-Mail Law for Minors

"Send a raunchy e-mail to a minor, and you may wind up in jail.

"That's the thrust of a new law about to take effect in Utah and Michigan that could become a harbinger for the rest of the nation.

"Starting Friday, parents in those two states will be able to add their children's e-mail addresses to a 'do not contact' registry. Anyone who goes ahead and sends e-mail deemed to be off-color or 'harmful to minors' could be imprisoned for up to three years."

Declan McCullagh. Why Ribaldry Could Earn You Prison Time. News.com. June 27, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:41 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Senator Takes Speaks Out Against Patriot Act

"If the U.S. government resorts to rifling through library records without a search warrant, libraries will no longer be sanctuaries of learning where people can freely think and read, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama told the American Library Association Saturday.

"Obama said he is working diligently to make sure the country has a Patriot Act that helps track down terrorists without trampling on civil liberties. He told the applauding crowd at McCormick Place he hopes the U.S. Senate will follow the U.S. House's lead by passing a provision that would require federal agents to obtain a search warrant before going through library records and e-mails."

Rummana Hussain. Obama Fears 'Big Brother' Over Our Shoulders. Chicago Sun-Times. June 26, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Iranians Find Political Voice Through Blogs

"The Persian blogland is less than four years old, and so Friday's presidential election is the first of its kind in the post-weblog world.

"Iranian weblogs, one of the largest web communities in the world, owe their significance to the welcome they have received from middle-class Iranians inside and outside the country.

"Thousands of voices not heard via Iranian state-owned media can now express their views through the internet.

Mehdi Jami. Iranian Blogs Take on the Election. BBC News. June 17, 2005.

Update: OpenNet Initiative. Internet Filtering in Iran in 2004-2005. (.pdf) June 21, 2005. (The OpenNet Initiative Claims Iran, along with China, is the biggest censor of online content in the world.)

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:02 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 24, 2005

Senate Excludes 'Broadcast Flag' Ammendment

"A key U.S. Senate panel on Thursday decided not to intervene in a long-simmering dispute over the 'broadcast flag,' a form of copy prevention technology for digital TV broadcasts.

"At a meeting reserved for voting on spending bills, not one member of the Senate Appropriations Committee proposed an amendment authorizing federal regulators to mandate the broadcast flag.

"Consumer groups had predicted that such an amendment would be offered at the 11 a.m. PDT meeting and had asked their supporters to contact senators in opposition to the idea. Their worry: The broadcast flag could be injected into an appropriations bill for the Federal Communications Commission."

Declan McCullagh. Senate Punts on Broadcast Flag Option. News.com. June 23, 2005.

Electronic Frontier Foundation. Flag Day. Deep Links. June 22, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:55 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Law Firms Brace for Grokster Verdict

"Want to know how heated the lobbying, arguing, positioning and maneuvering over copyright legislation is going to get this fall? Ask anyone who's ever published anything containing the words 'peer to peer' for a look in their e-mail in-box.

"Chances are good it has filled up in the past few days with helpful messages from publicists and lawyers offering expert opinions on the ramifications of the pending Supreme Court decision in the case known as MGM v. Grokster.

"During the year, the court releases its decisions on Mondays—and only on Mondays. But this is its final week of deliberation, and opinion could be issued at any time."

Chris Nolan. Preparing for the Grokster Watershed. eWeek. June 22, 2005.

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Lobbyists Pressure Congress to Resolve ISP Responsibility

"When Philadelphia's city government decided to sell wireless access to downtown residents last year, a furious political fight in the state capital erupted.

"Verizon stridently opposed the plan, liberal advocacy groups just as emphatically endorsed it, and politicians in Harrisburg ended up approving a compromise bill that effectively let the city of brotherly love do what it wanted.

"Now this politechnical dispute is bubbling up from states to Washington, D.C., where lobbyists are pressuring Congress to resolve the question of whether governments or private companies do a better job as Internet service providers."

Declan McCullagh and Anne Broache. Should Cities be ISPs?. News.com. June 23, 2005.

See also:
Jim Hu and Marguerite Reardon. Cities Brace for Broadband War. News.com. May 2, 2005.

Declan McCullagh. Philly, Verizon Reach Accord on City Wi-Fi Plan. News.com. Dec 1, 2004.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:02 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 22, 2005

The Blogging Paradox

"Every day, it seems, there are more blogs, more compilations of blogs and more chatter about blogs, as online debate comes in more flavors.

"You have congressmen, presidential candidates and corporate leaders all doing the blog thing, as well as legions of ordinary folks armed mainly with opinions.

"This, in my view, is a great thing, even though no human being, including me, can keep up with the millions of words being posted each day."

Howard Kurtz. Blog Wars. WashingtonPost.com. June 21, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:51 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Orlando Unplugs Free Wireless

"Orlando leaders have unplugged downtown's free Internet service."

"City officials said the service worked well -- as many as 200 people using laptop or hand-held computers could log on at once to check e-mail or surf the Web from a wireless zone bordered by Orange Avenue, Eola Drive, and South and Robinson streets.The problem: Few people were interested.

"Despite daydreams of working and browsing the Internet while lounging on a bench at Lake Eola Park, only about 27 people a day, on average, accessed the free service. City officials said they couldn't continue to justify the $1,800-a-month expense."

Mark Schlueb. City Yanks Plug On Free Wireless Zone for Internet. Orlando Sentinel. June 21, 2005

See also:
Peter Rojas. Orlando Kills Free Downtown WiFi. Engadget. June 21, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:16 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 18, 2005

Congress Urged to Take Action on ID Theft

"It takes only a few seconds for your financial identity to be stolen, but months to get it back and clean up the credit mess. Aware of consumers' frustration and fear, the government wants Congress to consider more protections.

"Lawmakers should look at strengthening laws that govern the way companies store and use sensitive consumer data, the Federal Trade Commission recommended at a Senate hearing Thursday.

"The agency's chairwoman, Deborah Platt Majoras, also endorsed the idea of a law requiring companies to tell consumers about a security breach when there is significant risk of identity theft."

Associated Press. Congress Urged to Boost Identity Theft Safeguards. SiliconValley.com. June 12, 2005.

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June 17, 2005

Microsoft Helps China Censor Bloggers

"Microsoft is aiding China’s web censors in what could be a lesson for other multinationals.

"Just two and a half weeks after Microsoft launched its new China-based web portal, the company acknowledged on Tuesday that it is censoring blogs posted there to avoid politically sensitive words like 'freedom,' 'democracy,' and 'human rights.'

"If the blogs contain such words in the subject line, the poster will get a message saying 'prohibited language, please delete.' The portal was launched on May 26 and already has hosted about 5 million blogs, according to Microsoft."

The situation, which has been widely reported by The Associated Press, Reuters, and other news organizations, exemplifies the dilemma that multinationals face: how to do business with partners whose norms are different from one’s own in such areas as free speech.

Red Herring. MSN Plays by China’s Rules. June 15, 2005.

See also:
Reporters Without Borders. Microsoft Censors its Blog Tool. June 14, 2005.

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June 16, 2005

House Votes Down Patriot Act Provision

"The House voted Wednesday to block a provision of the USA Patriot Act that makes it easier for federal investigators to review the records of libraries and book stores on national security grounds.

"Critics of the new federal power approved in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks said it was an excessive grant of authority to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department that threatened privacy and fundamental Constitutional rights.

"Those who challenged the provision, a coalition of both liberals and conservatives, said the 238-to-187 House vote should send a message to the administration that lawmakers are leery of maintaining all elements of the law even as President Bush seeks to renew the act."

Carl Hulse. House Blocks Provision for Patriot Act Inquiries. The New York Times. June 16, 2005.

See also:
Richard B. Schmitt. House Acts to Curb Patriot Act. LATimes.com. June 15, 2005.

Andrew Taylor. House Votes to Limit Patriot Act Rules. SFGate.com. June 15, 2005.

David R. Mark. To Push For Renewal Of The Patriot Act, Bush Spins Patriot Act Convictions. Blogcritics.org. June 15, 2005.

Bernie Sanders. Sanders Passes Critical Legislation to Amend Patriot Act and Protect Americans’ Reading Records. (Press Release.) June 15, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Private Investigators Oppose Privacy Limits

"Private investigators are working to blunt legislation that cracks down on the active marketplace for Social Security numbers, telling Congress that restricting access to the numbers will hurt their business and hamper their investigations.

"Several bills are moving through the Capitol to prevent identity thieves from getting Social Security numbers to gain access to consumers' financial accounts.

"But private investigators contend that the rush to protect privacy goes too far and would damage their ability to deliver valuable services, such as locating people who skip out on debts, commit fraud or want to avoid testifying in court."

Jonathan Krim. Private Eyes Fear Limits On Information Access. WashingtonPost.com. June 14, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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June 10, 2005

Patriot Act Political Battle Heats Up

"In seemingly short order, discussion around the Patriot Act has shifted from defense to offense.

"Just two months ago, when Congress set out to consider renewal of the antiterrorism law, civil libertarians were hopeful they could rein in aspects that they felt went too far.

"Now, supporters of an enhanced Patriot Act appear to be making headway as they push to give the FBI new powers."

Linda Feldmann. Patriot Act, Part II: The Political Tug of War Intensifies. Christian Science Monitor. June 10, 2005.

See also:
U.S. Department of Justice. Fact Sheet: USA PATRIOT Act Provisions Set for Reauthorization. April 5, 2005.

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June 09, 2005

Lawmaker Introduces Patent Reform Bill

"The U.S. patent system will undergo its most substantial overhaul in decades if a bill introduced on Wednesday becomes law.

"Rep. Lamar Smith, who heads the House of Representatives committee responsible for drafting patent law, said his proposal would improve the overall quality of patents and target some of the legal practices that have irked high-tech companies.

"'The bill will eliminate legal gamesmanship from the current system that rewards lawsuit abuses over creativity,' said Smith, a Texas Republican."

Declan McCullagh. A Fix for a Broken Patent System?. News.com. June 8, 2005.

See also:
Dave Mock. Patent Reform--Or Else. News.com. May 24, 2005.

Declan McCullagh. Patent Office Chief Endorses Legal Reform. News.com. April 25, 2005.

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Microsoft to Deliver Modified XP to Europe

"Microsoft will begin distributing a modified version of its Windows XP operating system to PC makers in Europe on June 15, more than a year after it was ordered to do so as part of the European Commission's antitrust ruling against the company.

"Microsoft was ordered last March to sell a version of Windows XP without its media player software, as part of the Commission's ruling that the software maker abused its 'near-monopoly' in Europe to harm competition."

James Niccolai. Microsoft to Ship Modified Windows XP. PCWorld. June 8, 2005.

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June 08, 2005

Senate Panel Agrees to Expand and Renew Patriot Act

"The U.S. Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday sided with the White House by proposing broad new subpoena powers for the FBI to use in counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations, officials said.

"After hours of secret deliberations, the oversight panel voted 11-4 to send to the full Senate a proposal that would give the FBI the power to subpoena without judicial approval a wide range of personal documents ranging from health and library records to tax statements.

"The legislation approved by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence also would make permanent intelligence-related sections of the USA Patriot Act that are scheduled to expire at the end of the year."

Reuters. Senate Panel OKs Sweeping FBI Subpoena Powers. June 7, 2005.

See also:
Associated Press. Senate Intelligence Committee Approves New FBI Powers in Patriot Act. USA Today. June 7, 2005.

American Civil Liberties Union. Senate Panel Considering Patriot Act Expansion Bill in Secret; ACLU Says Fixes, Not Expansions, Are Needed. June 7, 2005.

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June 07, 2005

Worrisome Politics Behind .xxx Domain

"Now that pornographers have a domain name suffix reserved exclusively for them, look for politicians to become more eager than ever before to target sexually explicit Web sites.

"Last week, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers approved the creation of .xxx, a kind of virtual red-light district that's scheduled to go live by the end of the year.

"Permitting sexually explicit material online is, of course, only objectionable among advocacy groups that would love to outlaw anything as daring as 'Heather Has Two Mommies.' (Nobody is forced to click on links pointing to raunch and ribaldry, after all.)

"But the politics of .xxx are more complex--and worrisome."

Declan McCullagh. The Politics of .xxx. News.com. June 6, 2005.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Porn-friendly '.xxx' Domains Approved. News.com. June 1, 2005.

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June 06, 2005

Commentary on Orphan Works

"Simply put, creators of new works often desire to use existing material but cannot locate the copyright owner after reasonable efforts. This is especially true of preservation projects or historical publications that seek to provide access to photographs, letters, sound recordings, film footage, etc., that have clear value yet no identifiable owner from whom to seek permission. Should the creator proceed with using the questionable item in the face of this uncertainty, or should the item simply be avoided? This category of works is referred to as 'orphan works,' because of the difficulty in determining ownership.

"The U.S. Copyright Office is now ready to give this issue serious attention."

Tobe Liebert. The Problem of Orphan Works. LLRX.com. May 15, 2005.

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June 02, 2005

Lawmaker Opposes Broadcast Flag in DTV Bill

"A key lawmaker has complicated the movie industry's push for a law to restrict consumers' ability to redistribute digital TV content over peer-to-peer networks and the internet at large.

"Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), chairman of the House Commerce Committee, has indicated that he opposes inserting a broadcast flag measure in his newly introduced digital TV bill, which would set a 2008 hard deadline for broadcasters to give back their analog spectrum."

Michael Grebb. Broadcast Flag at Half Mast?. Wired News. June 1, 2005.

Related:
CRS Report for Congress. Copyright Protection of Digital Television: The "Broadcast Flag". (.pdf) April 5, 2005.

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PubSub Launches PubSub Government

"PubSub has launched a new service today called PubSub Government today that allows the user to quickly track news and blog postings about the U.S. Federal government as well as all state governments."

Gary Price. PubSub Launches New Service. SearchEngineWatch. June 1, 2005.

See also:
PubSub. Pubsub Demonstrates the Power of Prospective Search with U.S. Government Watching Tool. (Press Release.) June 1, 2005.

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June 01, 2005

June 3rd: FEC Political Blogs Comment Deadline

"Web loggers, who pride themselves on freewheeling political activism, might face new federal rules on candidate endorsements, online fundraising and political ads, though bloggers who don't take money from political groups would not be affected.

"Draft rules from the Federal Election Commission, which enforces campaign finance laws, would require that paid political advertisements on the Internet declare who funded the ad, as television spots do.

"Similar disclaimers would be placed on political Web sites, as well as on e-mails sent to people on purchased lists containing more than 500 addresses. The FEC also is considering whether to require Web loggers, called bloggers, to disclose whether they get money from a campaign committee or a candidate and to reveal whether they are being paid to write about certain candidates or solicit contributions on their behalf."

Dawn Withers. FEC Treads Into Sticky Web of Political Blogs. Chicago Tribune. May 31, 2005.

See also:
Peter Overby. Campaign Finance Rules for Political Bloggers?. National Public Radio. May 26, 2005.

Federal Register. Federal Election Commission: Internet Regulations. April 4, 2005.

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FCC Offers Public E-Mail Notices

"The Federal Communications Commission has begun offering individuals interested in its regulatory actions and related developments customizable news briefs delivered directly to one's inbox.

" Subscribers can customize the newsletter to stay informed of information on a variety of issues as it is made available to the public.

"The topics include access to emergency information, broadband deployment, digital TV/HDTV, disability issues, emergency management/E9-1-1/public safety, homeland security, intergovernmental coordination, rural and tribal telecommunications issues, among others."

Corey McKenna. FCC Offers Customizable E-Mail Notification. Government Technology. May 31, 2005.

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May 27, 2005

Patriot Act Debate to Continue

"The Senate Intelligence Committee failed to reach final agreement on Thursday on a proposal that would expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation's powers to demand records and monitor mailings in terror investigations, but officials said they were confident that the committee would come to a consensus on the issue.

"The committee met in private for two and a half hours amid continuing complaints from civil liberties advocates and some Democrats that the proposal would give federal investigators too much power to conduct 'fishing expeditions' in pursuing terrorism leads.

"Senate Republican leaders and the Bush administration, who are backing the proposal, say it provides the F.B.I. with essential tools in fighting terrorism."

Eric Lichtblau. Little Progress in Bid to Extend Patriot Act. The New York Times. May 27, 2005.

See also:
American Libraries Online. Patriot Act Extension Debated at Closed Congressional Meeting. May 27, 2005.

National Public Radio. Pushing for an Enhanced Patriot Act. Talk of the Nation. May 26, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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May 26, 2005

Senators Address International IP Piracy

"U.S. senators urged the Bush administration on Wednesday to increase pressure on Russia and China to respect copyright law, warning that those nations have become havens for movie and software piracy.

"Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican who chairs the Senate copyright subcommittee, made one of the most ominous statements to date about what might happen if unfettered piracy continues.

"James Mendenhall, the acting general counsel for the U.S. Trade Representative, said his colleagues are hosting a delegation from China this week to talk in part about copyright law."

Declan McCullagh. Senators Urge International Copyright Crackdown. News.com. May 25, 2005.

See also:
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Testimony of James Mendenhall. May 25, 2005.

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May 25, 2005

Blogs Generate 'Buzz'

"In the spring of 1712, the British essayist Joseph Addison rambled from pub to parlor seeking the pulse of his countrymen regarding rumors (false, it turned out) that the king of France, Louis XIV, had died. The St. James coffeehouse, Addison reported in The Spectator, was 'in a Buzz of Politics.'

"In the 18th century, 'buzz' was part of what social theorists called the emerging - and powerful - bourgeois public sphere. In the 21st century, the buzz is in the blogosphere.

"Or at least, that's the popular mythology. As a result of their influence in incidents like the '60 Minutes' episode in which CBS was duped by forged documents related to the president's National Guard service, bloggers have taken on the role of agenda-setters - citizen scribe-warriors wresting power from a mainstream media grown fat and lazy."

Tom Zeller Jr. Are Bloggers Setting the Agenda? It Depends on the Scandal. The New York Times. May 23, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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May 24, 2005

Groups Vow to Battle Patriot Act Provisions

"Civil liberties groups said on Monday they were alarmed at new provisions (.pdf) to be considered in Congress this week to strengthen the government's ability to seize private records without judicial review.

"Officials from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Open Society Institute and the Center for Democracy and Technology said in a telephone conference call the new provisions to the USA Patriot Act would allow the FBI to secretly demand medical, tax, gun purchase, travel and other records without needing to get approval from a judge."

Alan Elsner. Records Search Plan Alarms Civil Liberties Groups. Reuters. May 23, 2005.

See also:
Center for Democracy and Technology, et al. Joint Letter in Opposition to Proposal. (.pdf) May 23, 2005.

U.S. Senate. Title I- Repeal of Sunset on Certain Authorities. (.pdf) May 13, 2005.

Senate Select Committee. Summary of Draft Working Copy. (.pdf) May 11, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:41 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

House Passes Two Spyware Bills

"The U.S. House plunged ahead today in its anti-spyware campaign, passing two different bills targeting unfair or deceptive practices related to spyware.

"Under the Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act of 2005, House members approved legislation that imposes tougher criminal penalties for spyware-related activities.

"The other bill passed Monday, the Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass Act (SPY Act), also toughens penalties on spyware purveyors but goes much further than the I-SPY Act by imposing an opt-in, notice and consent regime for legal software that collects personally identifiable information from consumers."

Roy Mark. House Approves Anti-Spyware Bills. InternetNews.com. May 23, 2005.

See also:
Roy Mark. House Panel Supports I-SPY Act. InternetNews.com. May 20, 2005.

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May 20, 2005

California Senate Approves Anti-RFID Bill

"The California Senate has approved the first legislation in the country to block state and local government agencies from issuing identification cards containing radio frequency identification tags.

"In a May 16 29-7 vote, the senators passed SB 682, the Identity Information Protection Act, which prohibits California public agencies from issuing ID cards containing 'a contactless integrated circuit or device that can broadcast personal information or enable personal information to be scanned remotely.' The description covers RFID devices and tags, among others."

Alice Lipowicz. Calif. Throws up RFID Roadblock. GCN. May 19, 2005.

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May 18, 2005

FCC to Rule On 911 Access For Net Phones

"Internet phone providers are facing static over alleged public-safety failings, with federal regulators poised to unveil new rules that could drive up prices and crimp growth.

"At stake is 911 emergency service, a feature that most people assume is available on any phone. But it's not always supported by so-called voice over internet protocol, or VOIP, services, creating a dangerous misunderstanding, according to industry critics who are pushing for reforms.

"The Federal Communications Commission will vote Thursday on the new requirements, which could force significant changes to how VOIP networks and devices are configured. John Logan, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney and former senior staffer at the FCC, said that, at the very least, the vote will likely be 'a pretty good warning that if you're going to enter this (VOIP) world, be prepared to provide 911.'"

Michael Grebb. VOIP in Public-Safety Showdown. Wired News. May 18, 2005.

See also:
Jeremy Pelofsky. FCC Set to Require 911 Dialing for Internet Phones. Reuters. May 17, 2005.

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Senate Committe to Review Patriot Act Renewal

"A Senate committee said on Tuesday it would start the process of renewing the USA Patriot Act, which expanded security powers after the Sept. 11 attacks, but ran into criticism for holding the meetings in secret.

"The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said it would hold a closed markup session on Thursday, the first legislative step toward a reauthorization vote long sought by Republicans including President Bush.

"The American Civil Liberties Union accused the committee of rushing the process and said lawmakers could use their secret proceedings to enhance the Bush administration's subpoena powers and its authority to conduct searches and surveillance.

Reuters. Senate Panel to Start Work on Renewing Patriot Act. ABC News. May 17, 2005.

See also:
American Civil Liberties Union. Senate Committee to Review Controversial Patriot Act Legislation in Secret; Draft Legislation Hidden from Public. (Press Release.) May 17, 2005.

National Public Radio. Senate Committee Reviews Patriot Act Renewal. All Things Considered. May 17, 2005.

David Cole. The Missing Patriot Debate. The Nation. May 12, 2005.

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May 17, 2005

Digital Divide Between U.S. & Others Broadens

"In the first three years of the Bush administration, the United States dropped from 4th to 13th place in global rankings of broadband Internet usage. Today, most U.S. homes can access only 'basic' broadband, among the slowest, most expensive, and least reliable in the developed world, and the United States has fallen even further behind in mobile-phone-based Internet access.

"The lag is arguably the result of the Bush administration's failure to make a priority of developing these networks. In fact, the United States is the only industrialized state without an explicit national policy for promoting broadband.

"It did not have to be this way."

Thomas Bleha. Down to the Wire. Foreign Affairs. May/June 2005.

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May 10, 2005

NYC Candidate Leverage Collaboration Tools

"It was inevitable. At some point one of us -- and by that I mean someone with a clue about technology -- would run for political office.

"I don't count Al Gore or Howard Dean, whose campaign raised vast sums when it discovered e-mail and e-commerce. I mean someone like Andrew Rasiej, one of four Democratic candidates vying for New York City's Office of Public Advocate, which advises the mayor on community relations and investigates complaints against city agencies.

"Rasiej's proposals rely heavily on developing universal Wi-Fi and wiring the subways for cell phones. He looks to the model of open source as a way for the citizenry to identify, report and fix problems -- for example, he says it's a fine idea if New Yorkers could use cell-phone cameras to report potholes to the proper authorities."

Adam L. Penenberg. The Techno Candidate. Wired News. May 5, 2005.

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Illinois Moves Toward Games Ratings

"The Safe Games Illinois Act is a step closer to becoming law in the Prairie State.

"House Bill 4023 was approved 6 to 2 in the state's Senate Housing and Community Affairs Committee on Tuesday, and now moves on to the state Senate. Since its proposal earlier this year, the bill has been readily approved through the legal process.

"The bill would allow the state to slap its own ratings on games, ignoring those set by the self-regulatory Entertainment Software Ratings Board, or ESRB. The bill concentrates on keeping violent games out of youngsters' hands, and severely fines retailers who fail to do so."

Tim Surette. Illinois Games Restriction Bill Advances. News.com. May 4, 2005.

See also:
Illinois Government News Network. Gov. Blagojevich Commends House for Passing Landmark Video Game Legislation. (Press release.) March 16, 2005.

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May 09, 2005

Blog Wars Injected with Star Power

"Get ready for the next level in the blogosphere.

"Arianna Huffington, the columnist and onetime candidate for governor of California, is about to move blogging from the realm of the anonymous individual to the realm of the celebrity collective.

"She has lined up more than 250 of what she calls "the most creative minds" in the country to write a group blog that will range over topics from politics and entertainment to sports and religion. It is essentially a nonstop virtual talk show that will be part of a Web site that will also serve up breaking news around the clock. It is to be introduced May 9."

Katharine Q. Seelye. A Boldface Name Invites Others to Blog With Her. The New York Times. April 25, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Telecom Fight Cities' Wireless Forays

"A number of U.S. cities are becoming giant wireless 'hot spots' where Internet users will be able to log on from the beach or a bus stop, a trend that is triggering a fierce backlash from telecom and cable giants.

"Free or discounted wireless service can spur economic development, improve police patrols and other city services and encourage Internet use in poorer neighborhoods, according to government officials.

"The trend has prompted an intense backlash from the large telecom and cable providers that sell most broadband access in the United States. At their request, 13 states have passed laws restricting cities setting up their own networks, and several others are considering such bans."

Reuters. U.S. Cities Set Up Their Own Wireless Networks. eWeek. May 4, 2005.

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May 04, 2005

Financial Disclosure for Political Bloggers?

"You could almost hear the blogosphere sigh with relief earlier this spring when federal election officials indicated that they did not plan to crack down on bloggers who write about politics.

"The Federal Election Commission, which has been considering issuing new regulations on a range of political activities on the Internet -- and was said by some to be contemplating taking a tough stance on the online commentators -- revealed in late March that it intends to be much less aggressive than many had feared. But now some observers are wondering whether the FEC is not being aggressive enough when it comes to one category of bloggers: those who take money from political campaigns."

Brian Faler. On Bloggers and Money. WashingtonPost.com. May 3, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Municipal Battle Over Broadband

"A hundred years ago, when Louisiana was still literally in the dark, residents of Lafayette banded together to build a city-owned electric utility where once there was little more than swampland. Today, at the dawn of the 21st century, it is hatching plans to lay out its own state-of-the-art fiber-optic broadband network.

"This time, the city's futuristic ambitions are challenged not by the rigors of geography but by obstacles of business: specifically, telecommunications giant BellSouth and cable provider Cox Communications, which claimed the region as their own years ago.

"After a legal skirmish earlier this year, the two sides are preparing for a citywide election slated for mid-July that will decide the issue.

Jim Hu and Marguerite Reardon. Cities Brace for Broadband War. News.com. May 2, 2005.

See also:
Marguerite Reardon. Lafayette Hits Snag in Fiber Build. News.com. Feb. 24, 2005.

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April 29, 2005

Terrorists Booked Flights at Library

"The Bush administration revealed on Thursday that some of the September 11 hijackers booked their tickets on the Internet using a computer in a college library in New Jersey.

"The disclosure by Ken Wainstein, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia in testimony to the House of Representatives subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security, was intended to bolster the government's argument that Congress should renew a law allowing it to seize library and bookstore records."

Alan Elsner. 9/11 Hijackers Booked Airline Tickets at Library. Reuters. April 29, 2005.

See also:
Alan Elsner. Congress Pressed to Renew Library-Search Powers. Reuters. April 28, 2005.

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. Sensenbrenner Statement Regarding Today’s Revelation that 9/11 Hijackers Used U.S. Public Libraries Prior to 9/11. (.pdf) (Press Release.) April 28, 2005.

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. PATRIOT Act Oversight Hearing Thursday on “Roving Wiretaps” and the “Library” Provision. (.pdf) (Press Release.) April 27, 2005.

Deroy Murdock. Check This Out. National Review Online. April 25, 2005.

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California Passes Bill to Limit RFID

"While civil libertarians battle the federal government's decision to embed RFID chips in new U.S. passports, a California bill is moving swiftly through the state legislature that would make it illegal for state agencies and other bodies to use the technology in state identification documents.

"The bill, which California lawmakers believe is the first of its kind in the nation, would prohibit the use of radio-frequency identification, or RFID, chips in state identity documents such as student badges, driver's licenses, medical cards and state employee cards. The bill allows for some exceptions."

Kim Zetter. State Bill to Limit RFID. Wired News. April 29, 2005.

See also:
Alorie Gilbert. California Bill Would Ban Tracking Chips in IDs. News.com. April 28, 2005.

Related:
Eric Lipton. U.S. to Alter Design of e-Passports. News.com. April 27, 2005.

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April 23, 2005

Bill Proposes Ending Free Weather Data

"Do you want a seven-day weather forecast for your ZIP code? Or hour-by-hour predictions of the temperature, wind speed, humidity and chance of rain? Or weather data beamed to your cellphone?

"That information is available for free from the National Weather Service.

"But under a bill pending in the U.S. Senate, it might all disappear."

Robert P. King. Feds' Weather Information Could Go Dark. Palm Beach Post. April 21, 2005.

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April 21, 2005

New Law Would Allow DVD Censorship

"Family-friendly technology company ClearPlay on Wednesday gave the official thumbs-up to the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, which sped its way through the House of Representatives and is headed to the Senate.

"The Family Movie Act portion of the bill will allow users to alter movie content for private viewing, a service offered by several companies—ClearPlay the most well-known of the group. It could be a much-needed reprieve for the privately owned Utah company, which has been sued by eight Hollywood studios and the Director's Guild of America for copyright infringement."

Libe Goad. Bill Could Let Parents Scrub Sex, Violence and More from DVDs. PCMag.com. April 21, 2005.

See also:
H.R.357. Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005.

S.167. Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005.

Ted Bridis. Congress OKs Bill to Strip DVD Movie Smut. USA Today. April 20, 2005.

ClearPlay. The Family Movie Act - Update. February 4, 2005.

The Hon. Orrin Hatch. Hatch Endorses Family Entertainment Act. Jan. 25, 2005.

Editor's Note: Orrin Hatch, the senior senator from Utah and the ranking Republican on the Senate's Judiciary Committee (which passes intellectual property legislation), introduced The Family Entertainment Act in the Senate. (The Act will be codified into law as the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act.) Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas introduced the Act in the House.

ClearPlay is a Utah-based company that makes technology that censors sex, violence, and other "objectionable" material from DVDs. The company has been sued for copyright infringement by eight Hollywood studios and the Director's Guild of America, which claimed that ClearPlay's technology produced an illegal derivative work of their DVDs. This lawsuit likely would become moot when President Bush signs the bill into law, unless the entertainment industry amends the lawsuit (or files a new action) that seeks to invalidate the law.

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Japan Library Proactively Digitizes Collections

"The National Diet Library is wrestling to digitize 8.14 million books to keep pace with the age of the Internet and to prepare against major earthquakes and other natural disasters.

"The Diet library, the only archive of the legislative branch of government in Japan, has been collecting publications issued in the country since its opening in 1948.

"At the end on March 31, 2004, of fiscal 2003, its collection totaled 8.14 million, including valuable reference materials on Japanese political history."

Kyodo News. National Diet Library Working on Digitization of Books. Japan Today. April 20, 2005.

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Lawmakers Propose Permanent Net Tax Ban

"Three U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a bill that would permanently extend a ban on Internet-only taxes, including taxes on Internet access.

"The legislation would ban three types of taxes that single out the Internet: taxes on Internet access, multiple taxation by two or more states of a product or service bought over the Internet, and taxes that treat Internet purchases differently from other types of sales."

Grant Gross. Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Extend Internet Tax Ban. PC World. April 19, 2005.

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April 19, 2005

Survey Shows Political Blog Readership

"In 2004, the relatively new phenomenon of political blogs became part of the U.S. presidential election, bursting onto the political scene. This breakthrough was powered by the fact that two-fifths (44%) of U.S. adults who are online have read a political blog, with more than a quarter (27%) reading them once a month or more.

"Despite the relatively high proportion of respondents reading political blogs, just seven percent of adults who are online have ever posted a comment on one. Even among those who read political blogs, only 15 percent have posted a comment."

Harris Interactive Inc. Two-fifths of U.S. Adults Who Are Online Have Read Political Blogs. April 13, 2005.

Attribution: SNTReport.com first discovered news of this survey through a posting in beSpacific, edited by Sabrina I. Pacifici.

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April 16, 2005

Study: China Leader in Net Censorship

"China is the world's leading censor of the Internet, filtering web sites, blogs, e-mail, and online forums for sensitive political content, according to a study (.pdf) released Thursday.

"The OpenNet Initiative said that China employs thousands officials and private citizens to build a 'pervasive, sophisticated, and effective' system of Internet censorship."

Paul Eckert. Study Finds Pervasive Chinese Internet Controls. Reuters. April 14, 2005.

See also:
Jonathan Krim. Web Censors In China Find Success. WashingtonPost.com. April 14, 2005.

OpenNet Initiative. Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005: A Country Study. (.pdf) April 14, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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April 15, 2005

Land of 1,000 Lakes Snips the Wire

"Days after Philadelphia rolled out its plans to go wireless, Minneapolis unveiled plans to provide wireless Internet access to the city's business, residents, governmental officials and visitors.

"The city's RFP, to be issued Wednesday, is expected to call for a privately owned, $15 million to $20 million citywide wireless and fiber-optic network. Contracts are expected to be issued later this year. The service should be available to residents late in 2006."

Carol Ellison. Minneapolis Plans to Go Wireless. eWeek. April 13, 2005.

See also:
Carol Ellison. Philadelphia: Muni Wi-Fi's Worst-Case Scenario. eWeek. April 11, 2005.

Carol Ellison. Municipal Broadband Bills Come Under Fire. eWeek. March 16, 2005.

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April 14, 2005

House Bill Bars FEC's Power Over Bloggers

"Political bloggers and other online commentators are gaining more support in the U.S. Congress.

"Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican, introduced a bill Wednesday that would prevent the federal government from extending campaign finance laws to the Internet.

"The bill mirrors a companion measure in the Senate that was introduced last month by Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat. Both would effectively rewrite a 2002 campaign finance law popularly known as McCain-Feingold in a way that would bar the Federal Election Commission from regulating political Web sites."

Declan McCullagh. New House Bill Protects Political Bloggers. News.com. April 13, 2005.

See also:
RedState.org. Online Freedom of Speech Act Introduced in House. April 13, 2005.

Declan McCullagh. Feds Get Set for Net Rules. News.com. March 24, 2005.

Declan McCullagh. Internet Election Rules Could be Blocked. News.com. March 21, 2005.

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Politicians Reach Public Through Podcasts

"John McCain in 2000 and Howard Dean in 2004 broke new ground in using the internet to raise funds and organise their supporters.

"And in the 2004 presidential campaign, the internet became even more central to political campaigns.

"Now politicians and the political parties in the US are jumping on the latest internet bandwagon: Podcasts."

Kevin Anderson. US Politicians Embrace Podcasts. BBC News. April 13, 2005.

See also:
Republican National Committee. Podcasting.

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April 12, 2005

More Cities Adopt WiFi Plans

"Nobody doubts the benefits of Wi-Fi broadband technology. No longer is a computer user tethered to a wire in order to surf the Web. All you need is to be within range of a Wi-Fi hotspot, and thousands are sprouting up—at airports, parks, hotels, bookstores, coffee shops, college campuses. Business travelers rely on them. Students need them. Everybody with a PC likes them.

"The telecoms, while deploying Wi-Fi in ever more places, won't likely be solving the problem soon because they target lucrative, high-density markets to make a profit. Instead, municipalities have begun creating hotspots themselves, as a way to reach lower-density and lower-income areas that a profit-making company would ignore."

John Ness. Wi-Fi Clouds Arrive. Newsweek. April 18, 2005.

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April 11, 2005

Gannon/Guckert Agitates Panel

"Jeff Gannon, the former White House reporter for Talon News, a conservative online news outlet, has once again roiled the Washington journalism establishment.

"Gannon, whose actual name is James Dale Guckert, resigned two months ago after gaining notoriety for using a fake name while working as a reporter covering the White House. Though he had no journalism experience and previously worked as an escort, he managed to ask President Bush a question at a nationally televised news conference.

"On Friday, with an invitation from the National Press Club, he appeared on a panel about bloggers and journalists."

Dawn Withers. Ex-White House Reporter is Lightning Rod on Panel About Blogs. Chicago Tribune. April 10, 2005.

Joe Strupp. 'Gannon' Appears at National Press Club, Draws Heat. Editor & Publisher. April 9, 2005.

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April 09, 2005

EFF Publishes Guide to Safe Blogging

"Blogs are like personal telephone calls crossed with newspapers. They're the perfect tool for sharing your favorite chocolate mousse recipe with friends--or for upholding the basic tenets of democracy by letting the public know that a corrupt government official has been paying off your boss.

"If you blog, there are no guarantees you'll attract a readership of thousands. But at least a few readers will find your blog, and they may be the people you'd least want or expect. These include potential or current employers, coworkers, and professional colleagues; your neighbors; your spouse or partner; your family; and anyone else curious enough to type your name, email address or screen name into Google or Feedster and click a few links.

"The point is that anyone can eventually find your blog if your real identity is tied to it in some way. And there may be consequences."

Electronic Frontier Foundation. How to Blog Safely (About Work or Anything Else). April 6, 2005.

Attribution: SNTReport.com first discovered news of this safe blogging guide through a posting in beSpacific, edited by Sabrina I. Pacifici.

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Patriot Act Specifics Not Known

"Time isn't easing concerns over the enhanced law-enforcement powers of the USA Patriot Act, judging by the debate that's firing up on Capitol Hill over the renewal of its expiring provisions.

"President Bush calls the Patriot Act an invaluable tool in the war on terror, but, until this week, little was known about where, why, or how often the law has been applied.

"At the same time, confusion persists over what the law actually does. Critics sometimes conflate Patriot Act provisions with other controversial moves, such as indefinite detentions at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that have nothing to do with the act."

Gail Russell Chaddock. Patriot Act: What's Not Known Feeds Debate. Christian Science Monitor. April 7, 2005.

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April 07, 2005

U.S. Blogger Breaches Canadian Publication Ban

"Canada's long-standing practice of barring news organizations from disclosing what's happening in certain court proceedings is being tested by Internet bloggers.

"A Canadian commission that's investigating charges of high-level wrongdoing in the nation's Liberal Party has ordered news organizations not to reveal details from the proceedings, which are open to the public.

"But Ed Morrissey, a conservative Web logger in Minneapolis, has been gleefully violating the ban by posting detailed reports of the verboten 'Adscam' testimony.

"Public revelation of Adscam, which involves allegations of corruption and illegal campaign contributions, could end the Liberal Party's precarious grasp on power and force new elections this summer."

Declan McCullagh. U.S. Blogger Thwarts Canadian Gag Order. News.com. April 5, 2005.

See also:
Stephanie Rubec. AdScam Leak on Web. Toronto Sun. April 4, 2005.

Update: Clifford Krauss. A Blog Written From Minneapolis Rattles Canada's Liberal Party. The New York Times. April 7, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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More Patriot Act Disclosure Needed

"More information is dribbling out about the exercise of extraordinary powers granted to federal police nearly four years ago as part of the war on terror.

"As the Bush administration this week called on Congress to expand the USA Patriot Act, it disclosed how two of the most controversial sections of the law have been wielded by police."

Declan McCullagh. Feds Uncloak the Patriot Act. News.com. April 5, 2005.

See also:
National Public Radio. Senate Panel Debates Patriot Act Provisions. Day to Day. April 5, 2005.

Eric Lichtblau.Justice Dept. Defends Patriot Act Before Senate Hearings. The New York Times. April 5, 2005.

U.S. Department of Justice. Fact Sheet:USA PATRIOT ACT Provisions Set for Reauthorization. April 5, 2005.

U.S. Department of Justice. Department of Justice Releases New Numbers on Section 213 of the PATRIOT ACT. April 4, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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April 06, 2005

Blog Regulation Debate Intensifies

"DailyKos.com, the popular liberal Web site, is a forum for robust political debate, with participants railing about the evils of conservatives or dissecting the ills of the Democratic Party -- just the kind of speech the 1st Amendment was intended to protect.

"But DailyKos.com is more than that. In the last election, it urged readers to support the 'Kos Dozen,' a group of favored Democrats; raised more than US$574,000 for candidates; provided online links to campaigns, and connected members to a PAC that supports progressive politicians.

Such activities show the challenge facing the Federal Election Commission in the wake of a court ruling forcing the commission to regulate political activity on the Internet. While the 1st Amendment prohibits regulating most speech, a wide array of online activities arguably could be viewed as 'contributing to' or 'coordinating' with political campaigns, which falls under the FEC's domain."

Dawn Withers. Regulation of Blogs' Political Activity Sparks Furor. E-Commerce Times. April 4, 2005.

Editor's note See also SNTReport.com's prior story on bloggers dodging federal crackdown.

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March 30, 2005

Net Rules Raise Awkward Political Position

"After a public outcry over government regulation of bloggers, some of Congress' most ardent campaign finance reformers have found themselves in a politically uncomfortable position.

"Three years ago, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Russell Feingold, D-Wis., persuaded their colleagues to approve a campaign finance law with no exemptions for the Internet. But because that law now requires federal regulators to take a look at bloggers, McCain and Feingold are suddenly ducking for cover.

"So, for that matter, are Reps. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Martin Meehan, D-Mass., the sponsors of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act in the House of Representatives."

Declan McCullagh. Blog rolling? D.C.'s New Spin on Net Rules. News.com. March 28, 2005.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Feds Get Set for Net Rules. News.com. March 24, 2005.

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March 28, 2005

Bloggers Evade FEC Crackdown

"Political bloggers and other online commentators narrowly avoided being slammed with a sweeping set of Internet regulations this week.

"When the Federal Election Commission kicked off the process of extending campaign finance rules to the Internet on Thursday, the public document was substantially altered from one prepared just two weeks earlier and reviewed by CNET News.com.

"The 44-page document, prepared by the FEC general counsel's office and dated March 10, took a radically different approach and would have imposed decades-old rules designed for federal campaigns on many political Web sites and bloggers."

Declan McCullagh. Bloggers Narrowly Dodge Federal Crackdown. News.com. March 24, 2005.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Feds Get Set for Net Rules. News.com. March 24, 2005.

Siobhan McDonough. FEC Weighs Limited Internet Activity Rules. WashingtonPost.com. March 24, 2005.

Federal Election Commission. Draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Internet Communications. (.pdf) March 23, 2005.

Update: Declan McCullagh. Blog Rolling? D.C.'s New Spin on Net Rules. News.com. March 28, 2005.

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March 26, 2005

Congressman Calls Out to Protect Blogs

"Web Loggers, or bloggers, have already broken several major stories, including those that led to the resignation of a Virginia congressman, a shake-up at CBS news over the "60 Minutes" Bush National Guard story, the firing of a CNN executive over remarks criticizing the U.S. military, and the White House granting Jeff Gannon inappropriate access to White House daily press briefings.

"Unfortunately, today in two separate arenas--campaign finance laws and the legal privileges accorded to journalists to protect confidential sources--bloggers' free speech rights are at risk. It is incumbent on the Federal Election Commission, legislatures, and the courts to ensure these rights are protected for Internet-based media."

John Conyers. Bloggers Have Rights, Too. News.com. March 24, 2005.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Online Politicking Receives Temporary Reprieve. News.com. March 23, 2005.

Federal Election Commission. Draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Internet Communication. (.pdf) March 23, 2005.

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March 23, 2005

Same Debate, Different Era on Video Games

"Back in the early days of film, there was just no telling what damage the celluloid appearance of sulky Swede Greta Garbo might be inflicting on America's impressionable youth.

"So it was that in 1931, some 40 religious and educational groups pressed Uncle Sam to regulate the film industry and thus protect minors from damage they might suffer from being exposed to 'harmful' content.

"Skip forward to 2005, and you can't mistake the echo of that familiar argument in the push by legislators and private interest groups to get government to do something about violent video and computer games--the only difference being the particular object of society's collective ire."

Charles Cooper. If Video Games Kill, What About the Bible?. News.com. March 18, 2005.

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March 21, 2005

Anti-P2P Senator Will Lead New IP Subcommittee

"Orrin Hatch, the senator who once said the recording industry should be able to destroy music pirates' PCs, will be in charge of a new Senate panel responsible for writing copyright laws.

"Hatch, a Utah Republican, on Thursday was formally named chairman of the Senate Intellectual Property subcommittee. It's responsible for overseeing the U.S. Copyright Office and drafting legislation and treaties relating to copyright and patent laws."

Declan McCullagh. Anti-P2P Lawmaker Gets Top Senate Spot. News.com. March 17, 2005.

See also:
David McGuire. Hatch to Head Senate Panel on Copyright. WashingtonPost.com. March 17, 2005.

U.S. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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March 18, 2005

Bush Picks Martin For FCC Chairman

"President Bush has chosen Kevin J. Martin, one of the Federal Communication Commission's leaders in the crackdown on indecency, to succeed the agency's outgoing chairman, Michael K. Powell, the White House said yesterday.

"Martin, 38, is one of the FCC's three Republican commissioners and has been considered the front-runner to head the agency, which is the government's chief regulator of the media and telecommunications industries. He does not require Senate confirmation because he already is a commission member. "

Frank Ahrens. FCC's New Standards-Bearer. WashingtonPost.com. March 17, 2005.

Office of the Press Secretary. Personnel Announcement. The White House. March 16, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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March 15, 2005

Gallop Poll: Blogs Have Minimal Impact on Public

"Whether they are seeking immortality or just letting off steam, Web bloggers are multiplying in number and are seemingly affecting American media and political insiders, at the very least. But whether bloggers are directly influencing the broader public is questionable. According to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, relatively few Americans are generally familiar with the phenomenon of blogging, in which individuals, ranging from famous to anonymous, post running narratives of their thoughts and observations on whatever interests them.

"Three-quarters of the U.S. public uses the Internet at work, school, or home, but only one in four Americans are either very familiar or somewhat familiar with blogs (the shortened form of the original "Web logs"). More than half, 56%, have no knowledge of them. Even among Internet users, only 32% are very or somewhat familiar with blogs."

Lydia Saad. Blogs Not Yet in the Media Big League. Gallup Poll. March 11, 2005.

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March 14, 2005

Data Privacy Board Stacked with Database Executives

"Even before recent security breaches exposed private data about millions of consumers, the Department of Homeland Security was assembling a public board to recommend how to best safeguard privacy, as the agency makes use of growing stores of information collected about U.S. citizens.

"But of the 20-member panel, two of the members work for database-marketing companies, while two others work for think tanks that receive funding from the industry. Other members represent the insurance, airline-reservation, technology-research and database-software industries. At least two members are from companies with Homeland Security contracts."

Jonathan Krim. Critics Question Impartiality of Panel Studying Privacy Rights. WashingtonPost.com. March 11, 2005.

See also:
Jonathan Krim. FTC Head Stresses Data Security. WashingtonPost.com. March 11, 2005.

Evan Hendricks. When Your Identity Is Their Commodity. WashingtonPost.com. March 6, 2005. (Note: The author of this article is editor and publisher of Privacy Times.)

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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March 11, 2005

McCain, Feingold Dispel Blog Regulation Rumors

"Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold reassured the Internet community that bloggers will not be regulated by federal campaign finance laws.

"The senators, who authored the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 known as the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform law, issued a statement on Tuesday in response to comments made by a Federal Elections Commission commissioner in a CNET News.com interview last week.

"'The latest misinformation from the antireform crowd is the suggestion that our bill will require regulation of blogs and other Internet communications,' they said. 'This issue has nothing to with private citizens communicating on the Internet.'"

Marguerite Reardon. Senators Reassure Bloggers. News.com. March 9, 2005.

See also:
Ellen Weintraub. Bloggers, Chill Out Already!. News.com. March 7, 2005.

Declan McCullagh. The Coming Crackdown on Blogging. News.com. March 3, 2005.

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FEC Tells Bloggers to "Chill"

"Reports of a Federal Election Commission plot to 'crack down' on blogging and e-mail are wildly exaggerated.

"First of all, we're not the speech police. We don't tell private citizens what they can or cannot say, on the Internet or anywhere else. The FEC regulates campaign finance. There's got to be some money involved, or it's out of our jurisdiction.

"Second, let's get the facts straight. Congress, in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, limited how one can pay for communications that are coordinated with political campaigns, including any form of 'general public political advertising.'"

Ellen Weintraub. Bloggers, Chill Out Already!. News.com. March 7, 2005.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. The Coming Crackdown on Blogging. News.com. March 3, 2005.

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March 10, 2005

Bloggers Bring Text to Visual Life

"When the dot-com bubble burst five years ago, the promise of interactive TV - or the convergence of TV and the Internet - seemed to pop with it. The failure of Yahoo's business channel on the Web, called Finance Vision, underscored the hefty costs and little audience demand there was at the time for online TV.

"That's all changed as distribution, production and talent (thanks to bloggers) costs have declined, and more people are on high-speed connections. What's more, Democrats may be able to lay claim to being the first channel on the Web dedicated to their political cause.

"DemsTV.com, a new Web Video Show, produced by and featuring Democratic bloggers, consultants, and activists, is a cross between a political talk show and a game show."

Bambi Francisco. DemsTV.com Launches. MarketWatch.com. March 8, 2005.

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March 09, 2005

Landmark Day: Blogger Gets White House Access

"Another signal moment for bloggers is to occur Monday morning, when Garrett M. Graff, who writes a blog about the news media in Washington, is to be ushered into the White House briefing room to attend the daily press 'gaggle.'

"Graff, 23, may be the first blogger in the short history of the medium to be granted a daily White House pass for the specific purpose of writing a blog, or Web log. A White House spokesman said Sunday that he believed Graff was the first blogger to be given credentials.

"He is being given a press pass as the editor of FishbowlDC, a blog that is published by Mediabistro.com, which offers networking and services for journalists."

Katherine Q. Seelye. White House Approves Pass for Blogger. News.com. March 7, 2005.

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March 08, 2005

Internet: Key Source in Campaign 2004

"Roughly 75 million Americans used the Internet to connect to politics in 2004. They sought election news, exchanged political e-mail, made campaign contributions and blogged, according to a post-election study conducted by The Pew Internet & American Life Project. This figure equals roughly 37 percent of the adult population, and 61 percent of American Internet users.

"The number of online political news consumers, meanwhile, increased dramatically compared to 2000, growing from 18 percent of the U.S. population in 2000 to 29 percent in 2004."

Rob McGann. Internet Played Bigger Role in U.S. Politics in '04. ClickZNews. March 6, 2005.

See also:
Lee Rainie et al. The Internet and Campaign 2004. (.pdf) Pew Internet and American Life Project. March 6, 2005.

Michael Cornfield. The Internet and Campaign 2004: A Look Back at the Campaigners. (.pdf) (Commentary.)

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March 07, 2005

Feds to Crack the Whip on Political Blogs

"In just a few months, warns Bradley Smith, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.

"Smith should know. He's one of the six commissioners at the Federal Election Commission, which is beginning the perilous process of extending a controversial 2002 campaign finance law to the Internet."

Declan McCullagh. The Coming Crackdown on Blogging. News.com. March 3, 2005.

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March 03, 2005

Skype = Seed of Redmond?

"Bill Gates has often outlined a vision of Microsoft becoming an 'information utility,' the nerve center of a Microsoftian infrastructure network where people subscribe to computing power (think 'grid') the way they subscriibe to electric power, cable television, or--you guessed it--telephone service. Skype's startling vision of a future telephone-over-Internet network is probably closer to creating the infrastructure of utility computing than even Bill Gates himself is prepared to admit.

"Skype is an orchestrated attempt to utterly replace a the global telephone network, driven by a small army of cash-armed tech warriors who are as success-driven and shrewd as Gates himself was as an ugly, gawky teenager in the 1970s. If I were Microsoft, or SBC, or Nextel, I'd be watching Skype very closely right now."

Tad Wallingford. Skype Looks More and More Like a Baby Microsoft. O'Reilly Developer Weblogs. Feb. 16, 2005.

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March 02, 2005

Reagan Speechwriter Weighs In on Blogs

"'Salivating morons.' 'Scalp hunters.' 'Moon howlers.' 'These pseudo-journalist lynch mob people.'

This is excellent invective. It must come from bloggers. But wait, it was the mainstream media [MSM] and their maidservants in the elite journalism reviews, and they were talking about bloggers! Those MSMers have gone wild, I tell you! The tendentious language, the low insults. It's the Wild Wild West out there. We may have to consider legislation.

When you hear name-calling like what we've been hearing from the elite media this week, you know someone must be doing something right. The hysterical edge makes you wonder if writers for newspapers and magazines and professors in J-schools don't have a serious case of freedom envy.

The bloggers have that freedom. They have the still pent-up energy of a liberated citizenry, too. The MSM doesn't. It has lost its old monopoly on information. It is angry. But MSM criticism of the blogosphere misses the point, or rather points.

Peggy Noonan. The Blogs Must Be Crazy. WSJ.com Opinion Journal. Feb. 17, 2005.

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February 28, 2005

Political Bloggers May Out-Drudge Drudge

"In every major conference, at every major speech, sitting at tables in restaurants, there is going to be a blogger or podcaster with microphone, PDA, Videophone, laptop or paper and pencil in hand. Listening. Taking notes. That information is going to be transmitted to and from a blog entry and placed in the hands of 'the readers.'

"Unlike celebrities who hear or see the flash of the camera, the gatekeepers don’t know they are there. Blogging in plain site. Questioning everything.

"Dan Rather and Eason Jordan were just practice laps."

Blog Maverick. Political Bloggers -- The New Paparazzi. No date.

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Protecting Digital Property Without New Legislation

"The agenda for last week’s Digital Media Hollywood Summit reads like a self-help guide for the content industry. Sessions on the economics of media convergence and 'embracing the connected consumer' are indicative of an industry dealing with changes in technology and consumer behavior. Panels discussed technologies that package digital content in new ways.

"Using technology protections for copyright instead of legislation to protect copyright is a worthwhile public policy discussion. Indeed, going forward, technology, and not legislation, should be the primary means for defining the consumer experience.

"Why? Technology applications - if not the result of a government mandate - represent a market solution that can help reward artists and provide consumers with innovative content."

Braden Cox and Clyde Wayne Crews. Helping Hollywood Help Itself - Protecting Digital Property Without New Legislation. Competitive Enterprise Institute. Feb. 15, 2005.

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February 26, 2005

Blogging Takes Root on Capital Hill

"As he stood inside the National Cathedral at President Reagan's funeral last June, Representative Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana, typed a stirring message into his BlackBerry.

"Blogging, the Web-based craft of diary-keeping and commentary, is taking root on Capitol Hill.

"The nonprofit Congressional Management Foundation, which helps educate Congress on running its business, says at least four members - Mr. Pence; Representatives Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois, and Katherine Harris, Republican of Florida; and Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont - have taken up the task on a continuing basis. (Others have used temporary blogs to document trips, said Brad Fitch, the foundation's deputy director.)

The Congressional bloggers praise the power, popularity and potential of blogging, citing it as one of the most frequently visited parts of their Congressional Web sites.

"While popular political blogs like Wonkette, MyDD and Daily Kos serve as an alternative to traditional news sources and allow their authors to purvey commentary, Congressional blogs are extremely tame. In many cases, staff members - not the legislators themselves - post entries, and they rarely link to other blogs, as most blogs do."

Brian Wingfield. The Latest Initiative in Congress: Blogging. The New York Times. Feb. 24, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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February 24, 2005

Violent Video Game Debate Continues

"A key sequence in 'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' requires the player to steal a police SWAT team tank, machine gun rival gang members and incinerate employees of a rival crack dealer--all acts covered by the 'Mature' rating prominently displayed on each copy of the video game.

"That rating, however, hasn't stopped countless underage players from picking up virtual Uzis in the latest GTA installment, the top-selling video game of 2004. Advocacy groups say exposure to such material makes kids more aggressive and desensitizes them to real-world violence, an argument that's winning increasing support from state and local lawmakers looking to ban the sale of such games to minors.

"The issue's become a political football, with lawmakers and advocacy groups arguing that the government must protect children if the game industry can't or won't. The debate only gets more confusing with publicity surrounding cases such as that of Devin Thompson, an Alabama teen who claims that a previous version of 'Grand Theft Auto' inspired him to kill three police officers when he was 16."

David Becker. When Games Get Gory. News.com. Feb. 22, 2005.

See also:
David Becker. Video Game Sales up 8 Percent in 2004. News.com. Jan. 18, 2005.

David Becker. How Gory is That Game?. News.com. Nov. 23, 2004.

David Becker. 'Grand Theft Auto': Keeping America Safe From Crime. News.com. Dec. 13, 2004.

David Kushner. Grand Death Auto. Salon. Feb. 22, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: Salon.com normally requires a paid subscription, but you can view articles if you register for a free day pass.)

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February 10, 2005

Slides from K. Matthew Dames' Lecture on Licensing

As reported Wednesday in SNTReport.com, executive editor K. Matthew Dames gave a lecture to information professionals at the AeA David Packard Conference Center in Washington, DC on licensing digital information. The lecture, entitled "Licensing in the Digital Age," was the second in a series sponsored by the Washington, DC chapter of SLA, among others, that addresses some of the most important legal and policy issues that information professionals face today.

Dames will moderate the lecture for the next presentation in the series, "Digital Rights Management," on Wednesday, March 9, 2005, also at the AeA David Packard Center in Washington, DC. Those interested in attending the March 9 lecture may register online at the AIIM National Capitol Chapter website, or contact organizer Barbie Keiser.

An electronic copy of the lecture notes, as well as additional resources, are posted below.

Lecture Notes
K. Matthew Dames, "Licensing in the Digital Age." (.pdf). Feb. 9, 2005.

Additional Licensing Resources
Yale University Library. Liblicense: Licensing Digital Information; A Resource for Librarians.

Yale University Library. Licensing Terms & Descriptions.

Yale University Library. Definitions of Words and Phrases Commonly Found in Licensing Agreements.

Florida State University. Software Site Licensing.

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Licensing Principles.

Ed Foster. Ed Foster's Gripelog.

Information Access Alliance.

Creative Commons.

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VoIP Connects Developing Countries

"David Kovach and Nersi Zand are in a business that sometimes takes them where other telecommunications companies don't want to go.

"The company has built an Internet-phone network into developing countries such as Vietnam, India, Turkey; into combat areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan; and even into Iran, which does not have diplomatic relations with the United States.

"The two and a silent partner started Xyrous Communications LLC in Vienna in December 2003. The company is selling a new Internet-voice technology that is grabbing attention in the industry because it is less expensive than traditional calling technology."

Yuki Noguchi. Using Net to Reach Developing Countries. WashingtonPost.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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February 09, 2005

NY Times Interviews MPAA Chief

Deborah Solomon had the opportunity to interview Dan Glickman.

"As the new head of the Motion Picture Association of America, do you find it hard to follow in the steps of Jack Valenti, who was so flamboyant?

"It's true, no one knows who I am, but I am hoping that will change.

"Do you have any other ambitions?

"The big substantive issue for me right now is antipiracy, fighting those who want to get the content of movies free.

"Are we talking about school kids watching movies online? Or organized-crime lords?

"We are talking about an awful lot of people worldwide who are engaged in criminal activity. We need to educate kids so they understand the value of intellectual property."

Deborah Solomon. Going Hollywood. The New York Times. Feb. 6, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Debate Stirs Over Blogger's Legal Rights

"An Apple lawsuit against the operators of fan websites stirs debate on whether bloggers can claim legal protections.

"Even in a country where most citizens probably have no idea what a blog is, it's not just an academic debate. Bloggers, some observers say, are becoming major players in everything from national politics to consumer trends. As a result, "their conflicts, motives, and agendas matter enormously," says Zephyr Teachout, who served as Internet director for the Howard Dean campaign.

"Now in California, a court will soon decide whether bloggers have the same legal protections as journalists under 'shield' laws that protect reporters from revealing their sources."

Randy Dotinga. Are Bloggers Journalists? Do They Deserve Press Protections?. Christian Science Monitor. Feb. 2, 2005.

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February 02, 2005

Bush Promotes E-Medical Records

"President Bush called on doctors and hospitals Thursday to move their medical records from paper to electronic files, a change that he said would improve medical care while shaving significant sums from the nation's spiraling health care bill.

"Speaking at the Cleveland Clinic, Bush quoted health analysts who said that the efficiencies wrought by electronic medical records could reduce medical costs as much as 20 percent. Electronic records can ''help change medicine and save money and save lives,' he said.

"The Department of Health and Human Services has begun the process of helping to develop a 'medical Internet,' which would allow the confidential transmission of medical records across the country. Some civil liberties groups have raised concerns about the confidentiality of the records, but proponents say privacy can be preserved."

Michael Fletcher. President Promotes Switching To Electronic Medical Records. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 28, 2005.

>See also:
Roy Mark. Bush Pledges E-Medical Records For Americans. InternetNews.com. Jan. 28, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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February 01, 2005

Pew Examines Americans' Increasing Reliance on Internet

"A decade after browsers came into popular use, the Internet has reached into–and, in some cases, reshaped–just about every important realm of modern life. It has changed the way we inform ourselves, amuse ourselves, care for ourselves, educate ourselves, work, shop, bank, pray and stay in touch.

"This entry is the Pew Internet Project's contribution to 'Trends 2005,' a publication of the newly-created Pew Research Center, a research orgnization that combines several analytical projects funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts."

Lee Rainie and John Horrigan. A Decade of Adoption: How the Internet Has Woven Itself into American Life. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Jan. 25, 2005.

See also:
Pew Internet & American Life Project. Trends 2005: A Look at Changes in American Life. (Press Release.) Jan. 25, 2005.

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January 31, 2005

Congress Proposes Internet Tax Options

"An influential congressional committee has dropped a political bombshell by suggesting that a tax originally created to pay for the Spanish American War could be extended to all Internet and data connections this year.

"The committee, deeply involved in writing U.S. tax laws, unexpectedly said in a report (.pdf) Thursday that the 3 percent telecommunications tax could be revised to cover 'all data communications services to end users,' including broadband; dial-up; fiber; cable modems; cellular; and DSL, or digital subscriber line, links.

"Currently, the 3 percent excise tax applies only to traditional telephone service. But because of technological convergence and the dropping popularity of landlines, the Joint Committee on Taxation concluded in its review of tax law reforms that it might make sense to extend the 100-year old levy to new technologies. The committee did not take a position on whether Congress should approve such an extension and simply listed it as an 'option.'"

Declan McCullagh. Congress Proposes Tax on all Net, Data Connections. News.com. Jan. 28, 2005.

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January 25, 2005

Supreme Court Date Set for MGM v. Grokster

"Intellectual property legislation that failed to pass in Congress last year likely will reappear in the new session, but after 2004's bitter battle, technology and consumer groups are ready to get more aggressive.

"The Consumer Electronics Association, Public Knowledge, NetCoalition and others successfully fought the Hollywood-supported Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act in the Senate, which would have held technology companies liable for encouraging their users to infringe copyright. A scaled-back 'minibus bill' that addressed a smattering of copyright issues also failed to pass.

"But while their interests prevailed -- for the time being -- technology and consumer advocates say that the fierce fight over the Induce Act was a turning point, and should lead to more involvement from tech bigwigs."

Katie Dean. Techies Talk Tough in D.C.. Wired News. Jan. 20, 2005.

See also:
Grant Gross. New Copyright Protection Bills Likely in 2005. The Industry Standard. Jan. 19, 2005.

Elizabeth Millard. Supreme Court Sets Date for P2P Case. NewsFactor.com. Jan. 21, 2005.

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An Exercise in Wireless Democracy

"Americans who brave winter snowstorms to catch a glimpse of President Bush's inauguration on Thursday now can check e-mail and update blogs from Pennsylvania Avenue, thanks to a new Wi-Fi hot spot.

"A nonprofit community group called the Open Park Project is providing the free service this week in what its founders describe as an exercise in wireless democracy.

"'It helps advance our goal of providing a Wi-Fi zone on the National Mall,' said Greg Staple, the group's president and co-founder. 'We call it a hot spot for democracy: using Wi-Fi to witness history.'"

Declan McCullagh. Wi-Fi Helps Blogs Tune in to Bush Inauguration. News.com. Jan. 19, 2005.

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January 24, 2005

Powell's Successor Faces Brave New World

"Throughout his four years as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Michael K. Powell zealously touted a future filled with technologies competing to provide new ways to communicate and get information, from souped-up wireless devices to online access via power lines.

"Some of these are now coming to pass. As a result, whole industries are being upended. Cable companies are now also phone companies, phone companies want to provide video, and an entire regulatory scheme is in flux.

"But many analysts say Powell -- who yesterday announced his resignation -- is leaving before many crucial details have been worked out. Those details will affect the choices consumers are likely to have and the prices they will have to pay."

Jonathan Krim. FCC Chief Must Work Out Details. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 22, 2005.

See also:
Frank Ahrens. Powell To Resign As Head Of FCC. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 22, 2005.

Update
Declan McCullagh. Can Howard Stern Now Relax? News.com. Jan., 24, 2005. (McCullagh reviews Powell's chairmanship and reviews the issues the new chairman will face upon confirmation.)

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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January 22, 2005

New Dell CEO Remains Confident

"Dell CEO Kevin Rollins is just now starting to step out of Michael Dell's shadow and into the limelight.

"It has been six months since Rollins took the reins at the PC giant after its namesake founder stepped aside as chief executive. In that short span, IBM has more or less bowed out of the PC business ('waving the white flag,' Rollins said), Hewlett-Packard has realigned its PC business, and Apple Computer has reignited public attention with budget-minded Macs and iPods.

"We caught up with Rollins last week and asked about his views on everything from the Chinese technology market to Apple and the iPod to the Republican Party."

Andy McCue. Dell's Rollins: Unfazed by iPod, IBM. News.com. Jan. 18, 2005.

See also:
CNET Staff. Dell Chief Unperturbed by iPod, Mac Mini. News.com. Jan. 18, 2005.

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January 19, 2005

Pew Survey Evaluates Future of Internet

"Technology experts and scholars foresee a bigger role for the internet in people's personal and work lives in the next decade.

"A wide-ranging survey of technology leaders, scholars, industry officials, and analysts finds that most internet experts expect attacks on the network infrastructure in the coming decade as the internet becomes more embedded in everyday and commercial life.

"In addition, there was notable agreement among the 1,286 experts in this survey that in the next 10 years the internet will be more deeply integrated in our physical environments and high-speed connections will proliferate – with mixed results. They believe the dawning of the blog era will bring radical change to the news and publishing industry and they think the internet will have the least impact on religious institutions.

Pew Internet and American Life Project. Internet Evolution. Jan. 9, 2005.

Susannah Fox, et al. The Future of the Internet. (.pdf) Pew Internet and American Life Project. Jan. 9, 2005.

Pew Internet and American Life Project.Technology Experts and Scholars Foresee a Bigger Role for the Internet in People's Personal and Work Lives in the Next Decade. (Press Release) Jan. 9, 2005.

See also:
Princeton Survey Research Associates. Internet Experts Web Survey. (.pdf) Dec. 6, 2004.

Elon University/Pew Internet and American Life Project. Predictions Database. Imagining the Internet. Jan. 9, 2005.

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January 07, 2005

Software Industry Seeks Greater Copyright Protection Via DMCA

"Several of the world's largest high-tech corporations, many who are members of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), plan to urge Congress today to force Internet service providers to crack down more aggressively on their users who swap copyrighted software, music or video files online.

"The move is a significant escalation in the campaign by the software and entertainment industries to squelch widespread file sharing by millions of users through services such as Kazaa, Grokster and Morpheus. If successful, it could reshape a long legal tradition of shielding phone, cable and other communications companies from liability for the actions of their customers.

"BSA officials want Congress to secure the cooperation of Internet service providers by amending the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was designed to address potential copyright violations in the electronic age."

Jonathan Krim. Tech Firms Aim to Change Copyright Act. WashingtonPost.com. Jan. 6, 2004.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Software Firms Want Copyright Law Rewrite. News.com. Jan. 7, 2004.

Business Software Alliance. Intellectual Property in the 21st Century. (.pdf) Jan. 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Blog Use Grows Among Net Users

"By the end of 2004 blogs had established themselves as a key part of online culture.

"Two surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in November established new contours for the blogosphere: 8 million American adults say they have created blogs; blog readership jumped 58% in 2004 and now stands at 27% of internet users; 5% of internet users say they use RSS aggregators or XML readers to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and content-rich Web sites as it is posted online; and 12% of internet users have posted comments or other material on blogs.

"Still, 62% of internet users do not know what a blog is."

Pew Internet and American Life Project. The State of Blogging. Jan. 2, 2005.

Lee Rainie. The State of Blogging. (.pdf) Pew Internet and American Life Project. Jan. 2005.

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January 06, 2005

There's No Escaping the Blog

"Freewheeling bloggers can boost your product - or destroy it. Either way, they've become a force business can't afford to ignore.

"The blog - short for weblog - can indeed be, as Scoble and Gates say, fabulous for relationships. But it can also be much more: a company's worst PR nightmare, its best chance to talk with new and old customers, an ideal way to send out information, and the hardest way to control it. Blogs are challenging the media and changing how people in advertising, marketing, and public relations do their jobs. A few companies like Microsoft are finding ways to work with the blogging world;even as they're getting hammered by it. So far, most others are simply ignoring it.

"That will get harder: According to blog search-engine and measurement firm Technorati, 23,000 new weblogs are created every day - or about one every three seconds. Each blog adds to an inescapable trend fueled by the Internet: the democratization of power and opinion. Blogs are just the latest tool that makes it harder for corporations and other institutions to control and dictate their message. An amateur media is springing up, and the smart are adapting. Says Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman Public Relations: 'Now you've got to pitch the bloggers too. You can't just pitch to conventional media.'"

David Kirkpatrick and Daniel Roth. Why There's No Escaping the Blog. Fortune. Jan. 10, 2005.

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January 04, 2005

Tsunami Debate Rumbles in Cyberspace

"As the horror of the South Asian tsunami spread and people gathered online to discuss the disaster on sites known as Web logs, or blogs, those of a political bent naturally turned the discussion to their favorite topics.

"To some in the blogosphere, it simply had to be the government's fault.

"The interplay between the sites, left and right, is typical of the rumbles in cyberspace between rivals at different ends of the political spectrum. In many ways, Web logs shone after the tsunami struck: bloggers in the regions posted compelling descriptions of the devastation, sometimes by text messages sent from their cellphones as they roamed the countryside looking for friends and family members. And blogs were quick to create links to charities so that people could help online."

John Schwartz. Myths Run Wild in Blog Tsunami Debate. The New York Times. Jan. 3, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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January 03, 2005

A Look Back at 2004

"In the legislative battle over copyright and file swapping, you might assume the entertainment industry's lobbyists are sitting fat and pretty.

"Nothing could be further from the truth, and the constellation of forces in Washington could be ripe for a redrawing, said Declan McCullagh--one of the many columnists who offered CNET News.com readers insight and analysis of the major tech events of 2004."

Charles Cooper. Year in Review:Politicos in the Crosshairs. News.com. Dec. 25, 2004.

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December 23, 2004

New Fee Will Raise Net Domain Costs

"Internet users may soon be required to pay an additional annual fee for each domain name they own, thanks to a virtually unnoticed requirement that will begin to take effect next year.

"The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the international organization that oversees domain names, is moving forward with a 75-cent annual fee for .net domains starting next year and is expected to expand the levy to other generic suffixes such as .com and .biz in the future.

"A small but growing number of critics, however, charge the proposal amounts to a surreptitious tax that will allow ICANN to expand its budget with minimal oversight and divert the money to projects of dubious merit. When the fee takes effect with .net, domain name owners will pay an additional $4 million a year, a figure that would leap to more than $34 million if the fee is extended to .com and other popular top-level domains."

Declan McCullagh. Unnoticed Fee Could Raise Net Domain Costs. News.com. Dec. 16, 2004.

Declan McCullagh. ICANN Partying Like It's 1999. News.com. Dec. 20, 2004.

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December 20, 2004

Specter Succeeds Hatch as Congress' Copyright Chief

"In the realm of protecting music and movies from electronic theft, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has been the entertainment industry's most powerful ally in Congress. A songwriter himself, Hatch has waged war against illegal file swapping, backing laws to stiffen copyright protections and keeping the issue in the spotlight with a steady stream of high-profile hearings.

"In 2005, term limits require that Hatch hand over his chairman's gavel to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) -- an otherwise routine power shift that could have far-reaching implications for high-tech firms, movie studios, record companies and the future of downloading.

"Opponents of the entertainment industry in the copyright debate see Specter's ascension as an opportunity to gain ground in a fight that they say has been stacked against them."

David McGuire. Uncertain Landscape Ahead for Copyright Protection. WashingtonPost.com. Dec. 16, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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December 16, 2004

The Future of Online Politics

"Business Web sites that foster an aura of community trust may hold the key to the future of online politics.

"A panel of Internet gurus gathered Friday at the fifth annual Votes, Bits & Bytes conference here, held by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School to discuss the impact of Internet business models on online politics.

"The panelists said the most valuable lesson online campaigners may be able to garner from Web-based companies is that building a sense of trust remains at the center of winning loyalty from customers or political followers."

Matt Hines. Net Communities May be Key to Future of Politics. News.com. Dec. 10, 2004.

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December 14, 2004

Blogs Gain Political Influence

"Internet blogs are providing a new and unregulated medium for politically motivated attacks. With the same First Amendment protections as newspapers, blogs are increasingly gaining influence.

"While many are must-reads for political junkies, are some Internet blogs also being used as proxies for campaigns? In the nation’s hottest Senate race, this past year, the answer was yes.

"Little over a month ago, the first Senate party leader in 52 years was ousted when South Dakota Republican John Thune defeated top Senate Democrat Tom Daschle. While more than $40 million was spent in the race, saturating the airwaves with advertising, a potentially more intriguing front was also opened.

David Paul Kuhn. Blogs: New Medium, Old Politics. CBS News. Dec. 8, 2004.

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December 07, 2004

A Glimpse of Chairman Powell's Legacy

"Michael Powell completes his fourth year as chair of the FCC in December, and his tenure has not been a quiet one. He oversaw one of the most ferocious public policy battles in FCC history - the fight over media concentration - and he did not hesitate to run the indecency flag up massive-fines hill, hitting CBS for $550,000 and Fox for $1.2 million.

"He is the FCC head liberals love to hate, and is, in their eyes, one of George W. Bush's first (of many) mistakes.

"But to this liberal, there's something important and rare in Powell's legacy that deserves our respect. For in at least two critical domains of FCC policy, he has let the facts push ideology aside. When he was appointed, one media analyst warned, 'Beware the rhetorical flashes of brilliance; beneath that is someone who wants to let the market decide at the expense of consumers.' The 'let the market decide' part was no doubt correct; but liberals like me were too quick to assume 'at the expense of consumers.'"

Lawrence Lessig. Technology Over Ideology. Wired. Dec. 2004.

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December 04, 2004

'Blog' Top Word for 2004

"A four-letter term that came to symbolize the difference between old and new media during this year's presidential campaign tops U.S. dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster's list of the 10 words of the year.

"Merriam-Webster said Tuesday that 'blog,' defined as 'a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments and often hyperlinks,' was one of the most looked-up words on its Internet sites this year.

"Eight entries on the publisher's top-10 list related to major news events, from the presidential election--represented by words such as incumbent and partisan--to natural phenomena such as hurricane and cicada."

Reuters. 'Blog' Top Word of the Year. News.com. Nov. 30, 2004.

Merriam-Webster Online. Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year 2004. No date.

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November 29, 2004

U.S. to Anoint Copyright Czar

"Buried inside the massive $388 billion spending bill Congress approved last weekend is a program that creates a federal copyright enforcement czar.

"Under the program, the president can appoint a copyright law enforcement officer whose job is to coordinate law enforcement efforts aimed at stopping international copyright infringement and to oversee a federal umbrella agency responsible for administering intellectual property law."

Reuters. Lawmakers OK Antipiracy Czar. News.com. Nov. 23, 2004.

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The Problem with U.S. Copyright Policy

"Imagine a process of reviewing prescription drugs which goes like this: representatives from the drug company come to the regulators and argue that their drug works well and should be approved. They have no evidence of this beyond a few anecdotes about people who want to take it and perhaps some very simple models of how the drug might affect the human body. The drug is approved. No trials, no empirical evidence of any kind, no follow-up.

"Even the harshest critics of drug regulation or environmental regulation would admit we generally do better than this. But this is often the way we make intellectual property policy. Representatives of interested industries come to regulators and ask for another heaping slice of monopoly rent in the form of an intellectual property right. They have doom-laden predictions, they have anecdotes, carefully selected to pluck the heartstrings of legislators, they have celebrities who testify - often incoherently, but with palpable charisma."

James Boyle. A Natural Experiment. FT.com. Nov. 22, 2004.

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November 24, 2004

Baseball & Books Come Together in D.C.

"At the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Library in Northwest Washington, steam pipes are leaking, paint is peeling, windows are nailed shut and carpets are stained. For several days last month, the building was closed because the heat wasn't working.

"Chief Librarian Ellen E. Kardy has a 15-page plan to renovate the 79-year-old building, but year after year the city fails to fund the $6 million facelift.

"In a remarkable turn of events, however, the District's 27-branch public library system suddenly stands to reap $45 million -- enough to build eight libraries or renovate 17. And it will be made possible only if the D.C. Council approves a plan offered by Mayor Anthony A. Williams that has polarized the city: using hundreds of millions of public dollars to build a baseball stadium along the Anacostia River in Southeast."

David Nakamura. Community Responses Mixed to Baseball Payoff. WashingtonPost.com. Nov. 21, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Game Recreates Kennedy Assassination

"A video games company from Scotland is causing outrage in America with a title called JFK Reloaded, which allows players to look through the crosshairs of Lee Harvey Oswald’s rifle and assassinate the late US President.

"The game, released to coincide with the 41st anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s murder, is described as a 'docu-game,' helping to end conspiracy theories that the President was killed by anyone other than Oswald from the sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository."

Chris Ayres. Family of JFK Attacks Dallas Death Game. Times Online. Nov. 22, 2004.

See also:
Reuters. Kennedy Assassination Re-created in Video Game. CNN.com. Nov. 22, 2004.

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Senate Passes Scaled-Back Anti-Piracy Bill

"The U.S. Senate has voted to outlaw several favorite techniques of people who illegally copy and distribute movies, but has dropped other measures that could have led to jail time for Internet song-swappers.

"People who secretly videotape movies when they are shown in theaters could go to prison for up to three years under the measure, which passed the Senate on Saturday.

"Hackers and industry insiders who distribute music, movies or other copyrighted works before their official release date also face stiffened penalties under the bill."

Reuters. Senate Passes Scaled-Back Copyright Measure. News.com. Nov. 22, 2004.

See also:
Katie Dean. A Kinder, Gentler Copyright Bill?. Wired News. Nov. 22, 2004.

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November 23, 2004

UCLA Launches Campaign Finance Database

"A first-of-its-kind database that will make it easy to compare and contrast the campaign finance disclosure statutes and regulations of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government was released by the UCLA School of Law as part of the Campaign Disclosure Project.

"The Campaign Disclosure Law Database was designed to be useful to legislators, public interest groups, media representatives, scholars and the public. It is divided into 25 categories that reflect the most important campaign finance practices, such as filing deadlines, contributor information, loans to campaigns, electronic filing, enforcement rules and independent expenditures.

"The database is further divided into 105 subcategories and can be used to answer questions on topics such as whether the occupation of a contributor must be reported, or whether the state requires the disclosure of late independent expenditures."

The Pew Charitable Trusts. UCLA Launches First-of-Its-Kind Campaign Finance Database. (press release) Nov. 17, 2004.

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November 13, 2004

C-SPAN Offers 2004 Election Search Feature

"Through December 2004, C-SPAN is making part of its 2004 Vote video archive available for keyword searches that identify segments in video files where the topic or word is discussed."

To acces all of C-SPAN's Vote video, visit the 2004 Vote page and enter a keyword in the gray search box.

No author. 2004 Election Audio Track Search. CyberJournalist.net. Nov. 10, 2004.

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November 11, 2004

Ashcroft and Evans Resign From Bush Cabinet

"John D. Ashcroft, the combative attorney general whose anti-terrorism policies made him the focus of a fierce national debate over civil liberties, resigned yesterday along with Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans, one of President Bush's closest friends.

"Ashcroft, 62, has been one of the most controversial and influential figures of Bush's first term. Ashcroft provided reliable fodder for Democrats on the campaign trail and served as a visible representative of the evangelical Christians who played a crucial role in reelecting the president.

"In a five-page handwritten resignation letter to Bush -- dated Election Day but released yesterday -- Ashcroft took credit for declining crime rates and the absence of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001."

Dan Eggen and Mike Allen. Ashcroft, Evans To Leave Cabinet. WashingtonPost.com. Nov. 10, 2004.

See also:
Declan McCullagh. Ashcroft Resigns Attorney General's Post. News.com. Nov. 9, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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Political Mudslinging Hits Wikipedia

"It's a rocky road from news to history. If you don't think so, just take a look at the entry for George W. Bush on Wikipedia, the collaborative online encyclopedia founded in 2001 by Larry Sanger, a philosophy lecturer at Ohio State University, and Jimmy Wales, an Internet entrepreneur.

"Wikipedia, maintained by users all over the world who write and edit the entries pretty much as they wish, is visited by hundreds of thousands of people daily and has an estimated 400,000 entries. There are no user fees and no advertising: the site is supported by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, based in Florida, which maintains and develops free resources, including a dictionary and a collection of quotations.

"To keep it all under control, contributors to the Wikipedia are instructed to adopt a neutral point of view. Not everyone obeys, though. So certain trusted, regular contributors and editors become administrators who oversee what is going on. But each one has a different view of that job. And that is where the fun begins."

Sarah Boxer. Mudslinging Weasels Into Online History. The New York Times. Nov. 10, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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November 10, 2004

GAO Asked to Investigate E-Voting Reliability

"Three congressmen sent a letter to the General Accountability Office on Friday requesting an investigation into irregularities with voting machines used in Tuesday's elections.

"The congressmen, Democratic members of the House of Representatives from Florida, New York and Michigan, cited a number of incidents that came to light in the days after the election.

"One was a glitch in Ohio that caused a memory card reader made by Danaher Controls to give George W. Bush 3,893 more votes than he should have received. Another was a problem with memory cards in North Carolina that caused machines made by UniLect to lose 4,500 votes cast on e-voting machines. The votes were lost when the number of votes cast on the machines exceeded the capacity of the memory cards.

"There were also problems with machines that counted absentee ballots in Florida. Software made by Election Systems & Software began subtracting votes when totals surpassed 32,000."

Kim Zetter. House Dems Seek Election Inquiry. Wired News. Nov. 5, 2004.

See also:
Dan Gillmor. E-voting Reliability Still Has a Ways to Go. San Jose Mercury News. Nov. 7, 2004.

Associated Press. Computer May Have Lost 4,500 N.C. Votes. Salon. Nov. 4, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: Salon.com normally requires a paid subscription, but you can view articles if you register for a free day pass.)

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November 06, 2004

Votes are In: Onward to Tally Issues

"It's finally over: President George W. Bush claimed victory in his re-election bid on Wednesday, a win that capped a tumultuous night of election results and propelled technology and other stocks higher.

"Coupled with the Republican gains in Congress, the results of the 2004 election offer the president a long-awaited opportunity to consolidate his grip on power in the nation's capital--a prospect that could, depending on the details, help or hurt the technology industry.

"Aside from a few spats about offshoring early in the year, technology topics have never been a priority for either Bush or Sen. John Kerry, his Democratic rival. But this week's results ensure that attitudes in Washington, D.C., toward broadband, spectrum management, taxes and Internet telephony will line up squarely behind Republican priorities through at least the midterm elections in 2006."

Declan McCullagh. Votes are Cast--Time to Count the Issues. News.com. Nov. 3, 2004.

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November 03, 2004

Blogger's Impact on Politics

"From the early days of Howard Dean's online fund-raising success in his Democratic presidential run to the rise of influential political Webloggers, 2004 ranks as a standout year for the Internet's impact on politics -- so far at least.

"Perhaps the best symbol of the Internet's impact came through bloggers on the political process. This was the first year they earned media credentials to cover the Democratic and Republican conventions. The development helped raise the profile of already-popular bloggers, such as the DailyKos on the left and InstaPundit on the right.

"Sharing space in Tuesday's New York Times editorial pages is the Op-Ed headline The Revolution Will Be Posted. 'The commentary of bloggers - individuals or groups posting daily, hourly or second-by-second observations of and opinions on the campaign on their own Web sites - helped shape the 2004 race,' said the intro to the piece, which asked bloggers from all political stripes to comment on what they thought was the most important event."

Sean Michael Kerner. Year of The Political Blogger. InternetNews.com. Nov. 2, 2004.

See also:
Cynthia L. Webb. Bloggers Let Poll Cat Out of the Bag. WashingtonPost.com. Nov. 3, 2004.

Associated Press. Blogs Blamed for Exit Poll Fiasco. Wired News. Nov. 3, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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November 02, 2004

SNTReport.com's Midday Election Coverage Special

Editor's Note: SNTReport.com has compiled the following online stories and resources so that our readers may follow the presidential election. This section will be updated throughout the afternoon and evening. We will return to our regular publication schedule on Wednesday, November 3.

SNTReport.com's Special Edition: Midday Presidential Election Coverage

Frank Barnako. Webloggers May Leak Exit Polls. CBS MarketWatch. Nov. 2, 2004.

Adam Penenberg. Calling the Election: A Primer. Wired News. Nov. 2, 2004.

Daniel Terdiman. Download Movies Before You Vote. Wired News. Nov. 2, 2004.

Jonathan Dube. Election Quick Links. Poynter Online. Nov. 2, 2004.

Yahoo News. Election Blog Roundup.

CNet's News.com. Election 2004.

Christian Science Monitor. Decision 2004. Nov. 2, 2004.

The New York Times. Election 2004.

Technorati. Election Watch 2004.

News.com & TechNet. Digital Agenda.

U.S. Electorial College.

Federal Election Commission.

Bush-Cheney 2004.

Official Bush Campaign Blog.

GOP.com. Gillespie's Blog.

Kerry-Edwards 2004.

Democratic National Committee. Kicking Ass: Daily Dispatches from the DNC.

The Official Kerry-Edwards Blog.

The White House.

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Internet Increases Awareness of Political Views

"Wired Americans hear more points of view about candidates and key issues than other citizens. They are not using the internet to screen out ideas with which they disagree.

"This is significant because prominent commentators have expressed concern that growing use of the internet would be harmful to democratic deliberation.

"The new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Information shows that internet users have greater overall exposure political arguments, including those that challenge their candidate preferences and their positions on some key issues."

Pew Internet & American Life Project. The Internet and Democratic Debate. Oct. 27, 2004.

John Horrigan, Kelly Garrett, Paul Resnick. The Internet and Democratic Debate. (.pdf). Pew Internet & American Life Project and the University of Michigan School of Information. Oct. 27, 2004.

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Blogs Impact on Political Landscape

"Here's a thought: A blogger might be the first to announce the winner of Tuesday's election.

"Pure speculation on my part, of course, but is it so crazy a guess? News organizations now abide by an agreement not to project a winner until after the polls close on the West Coast. The folks who conduct exit polling usually have a pretty good idea which candidate is going to come out on top.

"That information is closely held. Four years ago, blogging had yet to burst upon the mainstream. Even if an insider wanted to spill the goods, the blogosphere did not figure on the Official Leaker's short list.

"Things are a lot different this election cycle. "

Charles Cooper. Political Jihads and the Blogosphere. News.com. Oct. 29, 2004.

See also:
John Borland. Blogs Play Critical Role in Campaigns. News.com. Nov. 1, 2004.

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November 01, 2004

Campaigners Use Streaming AIM Video

"It has come to this: Pop-up video attack ads on instant messaging software. The ads are part of a noticeable ramp-up in Internet political advertising that some Web sites report in the last days before Tuesday's election.

"Arlington resident Chris Stammer discovered the latest flavor of electronic attack ads when he signed onto his AOL Instant Messenger program last week and saw an image of Sen. John Edwards above his list of messaging 'buddies.' A video started in a pop-up window, showing the Democratic vice presidential candidate's face while a female voice said, 'Personal injury lawyers like John Edwards get rich, but you pay the price.'

"The pop-up video debuted on AOL on Sept. 24 and was bought by an advocacy group called the November Fund. It appears to have been the first political video ad to run on America Online's instant messenger software, according to AOL spokesman Andrew Weinstein."

Leslie Walker. Pop-Up Videos Hit Instant Messengers. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 31, 2004.

See also:
Wayne Rash. Campaigners Take Messages to Streaming AIM Video. eWeek. Oct. 26, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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October 30, 2004

Presidential Website Restricts Access

"The folks in charge of the U.S. president's re-election campaign seem to have forgotten that the first two letters of WWW stand for "world wide."

"Just days before the presidential election, the Bush campaign's official Web site, GeorgeWBush.com, is turning away Web traffic from abroad. The virtual blockade began Monday, according to Internet traffic analysis company Netcraft.

"The site appears to be rejecting visitors from most points outside the United States, while allowing access from most U.S. locations and Canada, according to Netcraft, which is based in Bath, England."

Alorie Gilbert. Bush Campaign Site Blocks Traffic From Abroad. News.com. Oct. 27, 2004.

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October 27, 2004

Would Kerry Dismantle DMCA?

"In a barely noticed remark last week, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said he might support defanging the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)--the unpopular law that has prompted take-to-the-street protests from the geek community.

"If Kerry is serious, that would be a remarkable metamorphosis on a law that the Senate approved without one dissenting vote. It would also be remarkable because, contrary to what Kerry and President Bush tell you, few differences exist between the two White House hopefuls on nearly any topic imaginable."

Declan McCullagh. Would President Kerry Defang the DMCA?. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

See also:
Dawn Kawamoto. Bush, Kerry Weigh In on Tech Issues. News.com. Oct. 21, 2004.

Declan McCullagh. Bush vs. Kerry on Tech. News.com. June 28, 2004.

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October 26, 2004

Grass-Roots Politics Harness the Internet

"As the election season reaches its peak, Silicon Valley is using its technical know-how and money to try to change politics in the same way it reinvented commerce -- by harnessing the Internet's ability to take advantage of and grow social networks from the bottom up.

"The founders of dot-com hit HotOrNot, which allows users to rate strangers' looks on a scale of one to 10, last month launched the nonpartisan VoteOrNot, a voter registration site that is running a $100,000 sweepstakes to entice newcomers.

"Slashdot, a Web site that bills itself as offering 'news for nerds,' for the first time has put together a politics section to encourage discussion of tech-tinged campaign issues.

"Bay Area Dems, 'BAD,' was founded on the dot-com philosophy of not dismissing even the smallest players because they may become the next new thing. Their meet-and-greets, which concentrate on small donors, have drawn some prominent politicians."

Ariana Eunjung Cha. Grass-Roots Politics With Click of a Mouse. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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October 22, 2004

Stewart's Blast Explodes Across the Web

"When comedian Jon Stewart blasted the hosts of CNN's 'Crossfire' on the cable TV program, he ignited a frenzy of online activity.

On Friday night, the star of Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' angered his 'Crossfire' hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala, saying they promote partisan political debate. The online transcript and video clips of the program immediately became an overnight sensation among Web surfers, bloggers and pundits alike.

As of midday Tuesday, online video hosting site IFilm said, more than 670,000 people had downloaded the CNN clip from its site. The clip runs for about 13 minutes.

Matt Hines. Jon Stewart 'Crossfire' Feud Ignites Net Frenzy. News.com. Oct. 19, 2004.

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October 21, 2004

Data Miners Offshore Privacy

"The choreographer of one of the Bush administration's most ambitious homeland security efforts, a former intelligence official named Ben H. Bell III, is taking his ideas to a private company offshore, where he and his colleagues plan to use some of the same concepts, technology and contractors to assess people for risk, outside the reach of U.S. regulators, according to documents and interviews.

"Bell's new employer, the Bahamas-based Global Information Group Ltd., intends to amass large databases of international records and analyze them in the coming years for corporations, government agencies and other information services. One of the first customers is information giant LexisNexis Group, one of the main contractors on the government system that was known until recently as the second generation of the Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-screening Program, or CAPPS II. The program is now known as Secure Flight."

Robert O'Harrow Jr. Bahamas Firm Screens Personal Data To Assess Risk. WashingtonPost.com. Oct. 16, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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October 20, 2004

Chairman Powell's Consigliere

"How strictly the FCC decides to regulate emerging technology promises to have a lasting impact on areas as disparate as voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), fiber to the home, instant messaging and even digital video recorders.

"Robert Pepper is the FCC's chief of policy development, which requires him to be a kind of government futurist, advising Chairman Michael Powell on which regulations are wise and which would be harmful. He's also co-chairman of the FCC's Internet Policy Working Group. Previously, Pepper directed the Annenberg Washington Program in Communications Policy Studies."

Declan McCullagh. The Technologist Who has Michael Powell's Ear. News.com. Sept. 30, 2004.

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October 19, 2004

Think Tank: Bush Has Poor E-Gov Record

"Hints of presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) management agenda might be found in a new paper critiquing the Bush administration's e-government record.

"'The administration has failed to develop an overall e-government plan detailing where they want to go and how they want to get there,' reads a brief by Robert Atkinson, vice president with the Progressive Policy Institute, which functions as the think tank for the Democratic Leadership Council, often seen as a forum for moderates within the Democratic Party."

David Perera. Peek at Democratic E-gov. FCW.com. Oct. 15, 2004.

See also
Robert Atkinson. Unsatisfactory Progress: The Bush Administration's Performance on E-Government Initiatives. (.pdf) Progressive Policy Institute. Oct. 14, 2004.

Nancy Ferris. All Quiet on the Management Front. FCW.com. Oct. 11, 2004. (Neither Bush nor Kerry has offered much on their E-Government agendas.)

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October 18, 2004

Political Wiki Wars

"Wikis, touted as the next big thing in online content, have become the latest battleground in the presidential election as users of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the best-known wiki, squabble over entries related to President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts.

"Disputes over content related to Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry have been growing since August, prompting the popular reference site’s administrators to warn users last month that election-related entries may be the focus of 'contention and debate – possibly diminishing their neutrality.

"Wikipedia community members held an online town hall meeting last month to try to solve the disputes over the entries, to no avail."

No author. Wiki Wars. Red Herring. Oct. 14, 2004.

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October 15, 2004

Presidential Blogs Reflect American's Frustration

"The U.S. presidential campaign between President Bush and John Kerry has prompted a frenzy of gossip and conspiracy theories among Internet bloggers.

"As Bush and the Massachusetts senator slug it out in a neck-and-neck race ahead of the Nov. 2 election, partisan bloggers have flooded the Internet with alternative views about both candidates, which they hope will help sway voters.

"Media watchers say much of the gossip on the Internet is as loony as supermarket tabloid stories claiming Elvis Presley lives, but that it still has a role to play in the campaign."

Reuters. Presidential Race Sets Blogs Ablaze. News.com. Oct. 11, 2004.

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October 07, 2004

The Nature of Spam is Changing

"People are being warned about a scam e-mail which uses the US presidential poll to con them out of their money.

"A junk e-mail invites people to dial a premium rate number to express their support for President George W Bush or rival John Kerry.

"E-mail filtering firm BlackSpider estimates that almost a quarter of a million are being sent out every day."

Alfred Hermida. E-mail scam plays on US elections. BBC. Oct. 5, 2004.

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October 06, 2004

Presidential Campaign Ignoring Internet as Medium

"The presidential campaigns (candidates, parties, and advocacy groups attempting to influence the presidential election) have virtually ignored the internet as an advertising medium, according to the first-ever systematic study of online political ads.

"The campaigns have spent more than $100 on television ads for every dollar they have spent on web ads.

"In sum, while presidential campaigns have stepped up their online fund-raising, voter-profiling, and insider communicating this year, they have not ventured aggressively into online advertising."

Michael Cornfield. Presidential Campaign Advertising on the Internet. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Oct. 3, 2004.

Pew Internet And American Life Project. Presidential Campaign Advertising on the Internet. (.pdf). October, 2004.

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October 02, 2004

Bias in the News?

"Respected online journalism observer J.D. Lasica has penned a thought-provoking piece in the Online Journalism review comparing Google News with Yahoo News. Lasica wonders, do Google's automated search results display a conservative bias?

"Google says that Google News results aren't biased, and yet the algorithms used to display news stories remove the element of choice that we have when we enter our own search terms. We see what Google's programmers have programmed the service to display. Sure, we can alter these results by searching Google News. But the stories we see when we browse headlines are automatically generated.

"So is Google News biased?"

Chris Sherman. Is Google News Biased?. Search Engine Watch. Sept. 27, 2004.

See also:
J. D. Lasica. Balancing Act: How News Portals Serve Up Political Stories. Online Journalism Review. Sept. 24, 2004.

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Telecoms and Tech Companies Unite on Induce Act

"The Business Software Alliance, along with the Computer Systems Policy Project and the Information Technology Industry Council have informed Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in no uncertain terms what's wrong with the Induce Act and what is needed for any bill that expands copyright liability."

Electronic Frontier Foundation. BSA to Hatch -- We're with the Tech & Telecom Industries on Induce. Sept. 30, 2004.

See also:
Tom Zeller. Panel Considers Copyright Bill. The New York Times. Sept. 30, 2004.

Business Software Alliance, Computer Systems Policy Project, Information Technology Industry Council. S.2560, The "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004". (.pdf). Sept. 29, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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October 01, 2004

Federal Court Strikes Down Part of Patriot Act

"A key part of the USA Patriot Act that allows the FBI to secretly demand information from Internet providers violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

"U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero barred (.pdf) the FBI from invoking that portion of the law in the future, saying it is an 'unconstitutional prior restraint of speech in violation of the First Amendment.'

"The 2001 law requires Internet service providers and any other type of communications provider to comply with secret "national security letters" from the FBI. Those letters may ask for information about subscribers, including what local and long-distance telephone calls they have made."

Declan McCullagh. Judge Disarms Patriot Act Proviso. News.com. Sept. 29, 2004.

See also:
American Civil Liberties Union. In ACLU Case, Federal Court Strikes Down Patriot Act Surveillance Power As Unconstitutional. Sept. 29, 2004.
American Library Association Washington Office Newsline. Court Decision on PATRIOT Act May Affect Libraries. Sept. 30, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:27 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004 Passed By House

"In a move that takes aim at file-swapping networks, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to boost penalties for online piracy and increase federal police powers against Net copyright infringement.

"By voice vote, politicians on Tuesday approved a sweeping copyright bill that would make it easier for the FBI and federal prosecutors to investigate and convict file swappers. Other sections criminalize unauthorized recordings made in movie theaters and encourage the Justice Department to target Internet copyright infringement.

"Opponents had mounted an unsuccessful, last-ditch campaign earlier in the day to urge House leaders to remove the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act from the floor schedule."

Declan McCullagh. House Votes To Target P2P Pirates. News.com. Sept. 28, 2004.

See also:
Ted Bridist. House Votes to Make Video Cameras in Movie Theaters a Federal Crime. Technology Review. Sept. 29, 2004.

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Bloggers Assist Election News Agenda

"Bloggers are helping set the election news agenda, the Internet has helped candidates raise record amounts of cash, and newspaper Web sites are helping the Old Media interact with readers like never before.

"A week after the election, the Online News Association will help you make sense of it all. This year, the ONA presents a stellar slate of high-profile speakers at its annual conference in Hollywood, Calif. on Nov. 12-13, 2004.

"In additional to the political discussions, the two-day conference will cover a wide range of topics offering practical ideas and solutions to the problems digital journalists face."

No author. Bloggers Help Set Election News Agenda. Webpronews.com. Sept. 28, 2004.

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September 27, 2004

The Blogger World

"A year ago, no one other than campaign staffs and chronic insomniacs read political blogs.

"In the late 90's, about the only places online to write about politics were message boards like Salon's Table Talk or Free Republic, a conservative chat room. Crude looking Web logs, or blogs, cropped up online, and Silicon Valley techies put them to use, discussing arcane software problems with colleagues, tossing in the occasional diaristic riff on the birth of a daughter or a trip to Maui.

"Then in 1999, Mickey Kaus, a veteran magazine journalist and author of a weighty book on welfare reform, began a political blog on Slate. On kausfiles, as he called it, he wrote differently."

Matthew Klam. Fear and Laptops on the Campaign Trail. The New York Times. Sept. 26, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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September 22, 2004

Valuable Historical Resources Restricted by Copyright

"Valuable resources are being lost to students, researchers and historians because of sweeping changes in copyright law, according to digital archivists who are suing the government.

"These resources -- older books, films and music -- are often out of print and considered no longer commercially viable, but are still locked up under copyright. Locating copyright owners is a formidable challenge because Congress no longer requires that owners register or renew their copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office.

"Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and Rick Prelinger, a film collector, want permission to digitize these so-called orphan works to create online libraries for free public access."

Katie Dean. Saving the Artistic Orphans. Wired News. Sept. 20, 2004.

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September 21, 2004

Groups Seek Public Hearings on Induce Act

"Today, EFF joined a broad coalition of public interest and industry groups in sending a strong message (.pdf) to Congress regarding the highly controversial Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (S. 2560): Slow down."

Electronic Frontier Foundation. Broad Coalition to Congress on Induce Act: Whoa There! Not So Fast. Deep Links. Sept. 17, 2004.

See also:
Public Knowledge. Public Knowledge Joins Widespread Opposition to Copyright Legislation. Sept. 17, 2004.
Public Knowledge. Public Knowledge Statement on Copyright Office Draft Legislation. Sept. 10, 2004.
Public Knowledge. Resource Room for the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004.

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Mandatory HTML Tags Would Protect Kids Online

"On the day before its summer vacation, the US Supreme Court freed Internet porn. The First Amendment, the Court held, prevents the government from regulating online speech if it can't prove that 'less restrictive alternatives' - like software filters - would be less effective than regulation.

"Yet in light of other decisions affecting freedom on the Internet over the past six years, there's something astonishing about the finding nonetheless.

"For why does the First Amendment speak so forcefully to protect pornographers yet barely whisper when librarians or film restorers complain that copyright regulates their speech, too?

Lawrence Lessig. Porn Free. Wired. September, 2004.

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September 17, 2004

Vermont Librarian Speaks Up

"Jessmyn West is a 36-year-old librarian living in central Vermont. But she's not your stereotypical bespectacled research maven toiling behind a reference desk and offering expert advice on microfiche.

She's a 'radical librarian' who has embraced the hacker credo that 'information wants to be free.' As a result, West and many of her colleagues are on the front lines in battling the USA Patriot Act, which a harried Congress passed a month after 9/11 even though most representatives hadn't even read the 300-page bill. It gave the government sweeping powers to pursue the 'war on terror' but at a price: the loss of certain types of privacy we have long taken for granted.

"What got many librarians' dander up was Section 215 of the law, which stipulates that government prosecutors and FBI agents can seek permission from a secret court created under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to access personal records -- everything from medical histories to reading habits. They don't need a subpoena. In fact, they don't need to show that a crime has even been committed. And librarians, stymied by a gag order, are forbidden to tell anyone (except a lawyer)."

Adam L. Penenberg. Don't Mess With Librarians. WiredNews. Sept. 15, 2004.

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September 16, 2004

OMB Seeks to Sweep Away P2P Use

"Federal chief information officers received a reminder this week that peer-to-peer file sharing is an activity that, in most cases, should not be tolerated on federal networks.

"A Sept. 8 memo from Karen Evans, administrator for information technology and e-government in the Office of Management and Budget, asked CIOs to monitor and enforce federal policies on employees' use of P2P technology. The memo cites no recent incidents or statistics on P2P file sharing by federal employees."

Florence Olsen. OMB: Clamp Down on P2P. FCW.com. Sept. 14, 2004.

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September 15, 2004

USA Ranked Third in Global E-Government Study

"A study of digital government (.pdf) finds that the 198 nations around the world are making steady progress at putting services and information online, but movement forward has been slowed because of budget, bureaucratic, and institutional factors. The United States and Canada rank third and fourth behind Taiwan and Singapore."

Fourth Annual Global E-Government Study. Inside Politics. September, 2004.

Attribution: SNTReport.com first discovered news the Global E-Government study through a posting in ResourceShelf, edited by Gary Price.

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September 14, 2004

OJR Interviews Dan Gillmor

"Dan Gillmor wrote his first major article about the Internet in 1991. As he recalls, the story sank without a trace. That's not the case with his work today. Gillmor's blog posts and columns for the San Jose Mercury News ripple across the Internet. When one of the most respected technology journalists writes, speaks or links, people pay attention.

"That's certainly the case with Gillmor's new book, 'We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People.' Published by O'Reilly in July under a Creative Commons license that encourages non-commercial re-use, the book is available free on the Internet.

"OJR caught up with Gillmor at the Progress & Freedom Foundation's Aspen Summit in late August, where he served on a panel titled 'The Future: How Politicians, Policy Wonks, and Ordinary People Use the Web' opposite James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.com."

Staci D. Kramer Connecting With Dan Gillmor: What's Next For the Web. Online Journalism Review. Sept. 11, 2004.

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Blogs Keep Bush Buzz Alive

"Forget the political conventions.

"When history books are written, bloggers' real contribution to the 2004 election may well turn out to be in providing leagues of amateur sleuths to fact-check political controversy.

"The Internet has been abuzz with bloggers' claims that the memos about President Bush's time in the National Air Guard publicized by CBS were actually a hoax. Keepers of online journals around the country have been analyzing the memos in excruciating detail, comparing the notes' typography to the technical specifications of early 1970s typewriters.

"The incident could help legitimize the role that blogs and other nonprofessional online writers are already playing in the everyday business of news reporting."

John Borland. Bloggers Drive Hoax Probe Into Bush Memos. News.com. Sept. 10, 2004.

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September 09, 2004

China Cracking Down on Piracy Yet Allowing Blatant Sales

"China on Monday touted the impact of a recent crackdown on pirated goods, seeking to mollify criticism from the United States that it has done little to curb the brazen and widespread sale of such things as illegally copied Hollywood films, fake auto parts and pharmaceuticals.

"At a news conference in Beijing, Zhang Zhigang, a vice minister of commerce, said China seized 2 million compact discs during the first half of the year in raids on 8,000 CD and software dealers around the country, fining violators about $3.6 million.

"The disconnect between the official word from the capital and the actuality of the street highlights the entrenched nature of one of the most nettlesome trade conflicts between Washington and Beijing. Though China is in the midst of one of a series of periodic crackdowns, experts said the continued blatant sales illustrate that the government is more interested in managing the politics of the problem than curbing the reality."

Peter S. Goodman. Pirated Goods Swamp China. WashingtonPost.com. Sept. 7, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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August 30, 2004

Technology Aiding Protesters at GOP

"Technology has changed how protests are organized.

"Activists are using the Internet to arrange housing for out-of-towners, organize a mass-flash of underwear emblazoned with anti-Bush messages and tell protesters what to say if they're arrested ('I am going to remain silent. I would like to speak with a lawyer.').

"Cell phones work well for on-the-fly mobilizations, and text messages add to their power. Some protesters are signing up for 10 p.m. daily text updates telling them where the next day's events will be.

"Mobile bloggers, or mobloggers, are expected to show up in droves and quickly post on the Web photos, text and even video chronicling events as they happen."

Ellen Simon. Technology Playing Role in GOP Convention Protests. eWeek. Aug. 27, 2004.

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August 25, 2004

Be All That You Can Be Virtually

"For the past three years, the military has been entertaining the surprising idea that video games, even those that you play on a commerical system like Microsoft's Xbox, can be an effective way to train soldiers. In fact, the Army is now one of the industry's most innovative creators, hiring high-end programmers and designers from Silicon Valley and Hollywood to devise and refine its games. Some of these games are action-packed, like Full Spectrum Warrior. Others, like one that the military's Special Operations Command is currently designing to help recruits practice their Arabic, are less so. All the games, however, speak to the military's urgent need to train recruits for the new challenges of peacekeeping efforts in places like Iraq."

Clive Thompson. The Making of an X Box Warrior. The New York Times Magazine. Aug. 22, 2004.

See also Evelyn Nussenbaum. Video Game Makers Go Hollywood. Uh-Oh. The New York Times. Aug. 22, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:42 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Justice Department Re-visits Patriot Act

"A top Justice Department official on Monday took a swipe at one of the recording industry's favorite ideas: a law encouraging federal prosecutors to sue copyright infringers.

"Hewitt Pate, assistant attorney general for antitrust, expressed skepticism toward a bill called the Pirate Act that the Senate overwhelmingly approved in June. It's designed to curb peer-to-peer piracy by threatening individual infringers with civil lawsuits brought by the government.

"That idea is 'something that people should take with a grain of salt,' Pate said at a conference held by the Progress & Freedom Foundation. While 'the Justice Department is there to enforce the law, there's something to be said for those who help themselves.'"

Declan McCullagh. Justice Dept. Takes P2P with 'Grain of Salt'. News.com. Aug. 23, 2004.

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August 19, 2004

Visits to Political Parody Outnumber Campaign Web Sites

"According to Internet statistician ComScore Media Metrix, JibJab's online lampoon of President Bush and Sen. John Kerry received 10.4 million unique hits during the month of July.

"It's just amazing,' said Spiridellis, who founded JibJab with his brother Evan in 1999. 'It really speaks to the power of word-of-mouth advertising.'

"The political movie did manage to attract the attention of music publisher Ludlow Music, however, which owns the rights to Guthrie's original song. The music company sent JibJab a cease-and-desist letter (.pdf), asking that the site be taken down. The online media company responded (.pdf) with legal action aimed at defending its fair-use rights to the music."

Matt Hines. Political Parody Draws Web Crowd. News.com. Aug. 16, 2004.

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August 17, 2004

Notorious Blog

"The instant message blinked on the computer at Jessica Cutler's desk in the Russell Senate Office Building. 'Oh my God, you're famous.'

"Before she could form the thought -- 'famous, cool -- or puzzle how she, a lowly mail clerk, had escaped obscurity, a second instant message popped up on her screen. Startled, Jessica recalls, she began to curse.

'Your blog is on Wonkette,' the message said.

"Jessica's blog (short for 'Web log') was the online diary she had been posting anonymously to amuse herself and her closest girlfriends. In it, she detailed the peccadilloes of the men she said were her six current sexual partners, including a married Bush administration official who met her in hotel rooms and gave her envelopes of cash; a senator's staff member who helped hire her, then later bedded her; and another man who liked to spank and be spanked."

April Witt. Blog Interrupted. WashingtonPost.com. Aug. 15, 2004.

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August 12, 2004

Copyright Issues in Digital Media

"The Congressional Budget Office released a new study on digital copyright issues, outlining economic problems that Congress should keep in mind as it grapples with making new laws.

"While stopping short of specific legislative recommendations, the paper offers a set of principles for lawmakers that's largely focused on avoiding being tied too closely to past practices or to the interests of powerful companies or consumer groups.

"The paper could provide a strong working text for legislators, as they face growing calls from both copyright holders and consumer groups to reshape laws that have been severely tested by the growth of the Net and digital copying technologies."

John Borland. Congressional Economists Tackle Copyright Issues. News.com. Aug. 10, 2004.

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August 10, 2004

Getting Behind the BSA's Piracy Story

"A nonprofit trade group formed by more than a dozen major software makers -- including Microsoft and Adobe -- the Business Software Alliance is charged with enforcing licensing and copyright protections. Personal contact with the software group usually comes in the form of a 'software audit,' in which the BSA, often acting on a tip from an angry current or former employee, combs through a company's PC stock, matching installed programs with licenses. Companies that come up short can be forced to pay big fines and buy tons of new licenses.

"But BSA executives say the group's role isn't to be the tough guy. Instead, they're around to protect the interests of software makers, through a combination of enforcement action, education and governmental lobbying."

David Becker. Software Piracy: Hype Versus Reality. News.com. Aug. 2, 2004.

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August 09, 2004

Chat with the Oval Office

"Will President Bush reschedule his prime-time speech to avoid a conflict with 'American Idol?' (Nope.) Why does he hate nature? (He doesn't.) Do presidents pick up a hot line red phone? (No, phone colors of choice have been black, turquoise and white.)

"'Ask the White House' is an online chat held about five times weekly. People fire eclectic questions at administration officials and staffers, mixing heavy affairs of state with light fare about where Barney the dog sleeps. The forum is supplemented by e-mail exchanges that offer officials a bit more time to research their answer."

Siobhan McDonough. Online Chats Offer White House Access. WashingtonPost.com. Aug. 6, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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August 07, 2004

The Blogosphere, Post-Convention

"In his column 'Cybertourists in Boston,' News.com's Charles Cooper expresses his disappointment with the bloggers credentialed for the Democratic National Convention. I think he missed the point about what was taking place in Boston.

"This was not a contest between the best of 15,000 traditional journalists and the total output of a few dozen Web loggers. We were watching the start of an important learning process.

"My main issue with his assertion that 'blogging blew its big chance' is with his apparent premise that this was a head-to-head evaluation of similar products with a similar feature checklist. This was not a prize fight, and they weren't even going after the same prize."

Dan Bricklin. Blogging Breakthrough in Boston?. News.com. Aug. 2, 2004.
Charles Cooper. Cybertourists in Boston. News.com. July 30, 2004.

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August 06, 2004

Kerry's Tech & IP Agenda

"The Democratic National Convention is over, some $65 million has been spent on a week-long party in Boston, and what do we now know about John Kerry?

"The Massachusetts senator barely mentioned technology in his convention speech, except to marvel at ever-shrinking microchips and implore everyone to visit JohnKerry.com. That's not much to work with.

"A careful review of Kerry's history in the Senate shows that his record on technology is mixed. The Massachusetts Democrat frequently sought to levy intrusive new restrictions on technology businesses that could harm the U.S. economy. He was no friend of privacy and sided with Hollywood over Silicon Valley in the copyright wars."

Declan McCullagh. John Kerry's Real Tech Agenda. News.com. Aug. 2, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:59 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Possible Internet Chat Regulation

"Tiago Bittencourt Silva started an ambitious programming project last month: an open-source utility that lets small groups of Internet users communicate through instant messages, video links and audio chat.

"Silva's project, called p2pCommunity, is designed to appeal to groups of 2 to 100 people who want to collaborate on writing papers or designing software applications. He's already made a pre-alpha release available at no cost on the SourceForge distribution site.

"Thanks to a bizarre move by Congress last week, p2pCommunity and hundreds of similar projects could end up paying taxes to state governments to prop up the antediluvian scheme of running copper wires to rural households for analog phone service."

Declan McCullagh. Taxes on Tap for Internet Chat? News.com. July 26, 2004.

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July 29, 2004

Festival of Bloggers

"The press is making plenty of hay lately about the Democratic Party's decision to treat a small list of Web loggers just like real journalists at this week's presidential nominating convention in Boston.

"The bloggers may be the talk of the town, but that hardly translates into front seats; they sit 'way up in the rafters of the Fleet Center, just below the CNN booth.'

"National Public Radio correspondent Robert Smith covered the bloggers in a report that aired Tuesday morning. He noted that their 'sometimes quirky, often shrewd novelty made them media stars.'"

Robert MacMillan. The Blogger Circus. WashingtonPost.com. July 27, 2004.

National Public Radio. Bloggers Offer Intimate View of Convention. July 27, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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July 23, 2004

Controversy Surrounds Piracy Study

"A study (.pdf) released two weeks ago by the Business Software Alliance, which estimated the yearly losses from software piracy at $29 billion, has managed to stir real passion.

"The piracy study has become an issue because of a copyright bill, introduced in the Senate last month, that is strongly supported by the business alliance.

"In a letter last week to the Business Software Alliance, the heads of two other trade groups, who oppose the Senate bill, wrote that the results of the software piracy study were deeply troubling."

Steve Lohr. Software Group Enters Fray Over Proposed Piracy Law. The New York Times. July 19, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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July 20, 2004

Chairmain Powell Suggests Removing Old Regulations

"By trying to fit companies into old regulatory categories, the U.S. government is picking winners and losers in the telecommunications industry, said FCC Chairman Michael Powell.

"The FCC must follow laws that categorize companies based on the various types of telecommunications pipes—from the wireline phone network to coaxial cable—even though the companies increasingly are blurring the distinctions.

"The courage we need is to throw it out,' Powell told a packed crowd of Silicon Valley executives and venture capitalists at the opening of the AlwaysOn 2004 conference being held at Stanford University."

Matt Hicks. FCC's Powell: It's Time to Throw Out Old Regulations. eWeek. July 14, 2004.

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July 19, 2004

Lebanon Attempts Civic Action with Cell Phone Boycott

"The Lebanese went through a collective act of cold turkey on Thursday, or at least those who can afford cellphones were supposed to suffer the equivalent.

"The nation's fledgling consumers' union asked everyone to switch off their cellphones for 24 hours to protest the astronomical prices charged in Lebanon compared with the rest of the region, not to mention civilized nations like France.

"A successful cellphone boycott, the organizers argued, would not only put more money in people's pockets. It would also represent a first attempt at the kind of broad civic action that citizens in Western countries use to put pressure on their governments."

Neil MacFarquah. A Cellphone Boycott Fails to Produce Sounds of Silence. The New York Times. July 16, 2004.

See also No author. Italy Adopts Lebanon's Idea of Cell Phone Boycott. TerraNet. July 14, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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July 16, 2004

Report on Patriot Act Receiving Backlash

"A report (.pdf) submitted to Congress by Attorney General Ashcroft on the government’s use of the Patriot Act omits key information and avoids any mention of numerous controversial provisions of the law, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

"President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft need to spend less time waging public relations campaigns and more time responding to the specific, legitimate concerns of the American people.

"This report is troubling not only in what it says, but in what it doesn't say. It contains no mention whatsoever of some of the sections that Americans find most objectionable. The memo also misrepresents some of the sections that it does discuss."

American Civil Liberties Union. Ashcroft’s Patriot Act Report to Congress Omits Key Information, ACLU Says. July 13, 2004.

See also:
American Civil Liberties Union. FBI Forced to Turn Over Documents Under Court Order. June 17, 2004.
American Civil Liberties Union. Supreme Court Ends Term With Reaffirmation of Rule of Law During Times of National Crisis. June 29, 2004.

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July 15, 2004

Details Using Patriot Act Revealed

"Seeking to bolster support for the Patriot Act, the Justice Department provided Congress on Tuesday with details of numerous cases in which the anti-terrorism law has been used.

"The 29-page report (.pdf) is part of a Bush administration effort to discourage Congress from weakening a law that critics say threatens civil liberties by giving authorities more latitude to spy on people. Key sections of the law expire at the end of 2005.

"Release of the document comes less than a week after House Republican leaders barely turned back an amendment (.pdf) that would have prevented the FBI from using Patriot Act authority to obtain library and bookstore records."

[Editor's note: In July 2002, Assistant Attorney General Daniel Bryant outlined four letters (.pdf) to Congress detailing how the Patriot Act has been used to conduct Internet and electronic surveillance.]

Associated Press. Ashcroft Details Uses of Patriot Act. CNN.com. July 13, 2004.

See Also Curt Anderson. Justice Dept. Details Patriot Act Cases. Yahoo! News. July 13, 2004.

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July 12, 2004

FCC Chairman Steps Into Blogosphere, But Will He Answer?

Michael K. Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is pontificating virtually on his new blog, which is hosted by the AlwaysOn Network.

Editors at AlwaysOn note that the FCC Chairman's posting last Thursday is not a one-shot deal, but rather "the first in a regular series of columns."

Powell says he wants get ideas and views from non-traditional sources. "One reason I am participating in AlwaysOn Network's blog is to hear from the tech community directly and to try to get beyond the traditional inside the Beltway Washington world where lobbyists filter the techies," wrote Powell in a July 8 posting. "I am looking forward to an open, transparent and meritocracy-based communication—attributes that bloggers are famous for!"

On the surface, it seems novel that Powell would adopt the blogging medium in order to distribute his message. But Powell, as chairman of a federal agency that plays a critical role in developing this nation's telecommunication and computing infrastructure, has never lacked a platform upon which to disseminate his message.

Rather, what remains to be seen is whether Powell is committed to being "open" or "transparent" -- attributes that are seemingly at odds with being an American political figure. For example, will Powell answer any of the comments that AlwaysOn members post in response to his columns? As of this writing, SNTReport.com counted at least 35 comments that members posted in response to the Chairman's inaugural posting. Some of the comments seemed more like complaints than comments designed to address important issues -- like the one that asked why the FCC fined Howard Stern for mentioning sexual activity on his radio show, but chose not to fine Oprah Winfrey for allegedly offering similar comments on her television show. The member cited no examples, nor offered any specific comparisons.

But other comments raised some important issues, like the affect of media consolidation on local reporting. One member, going by the name "newsie," offered the following story:

"At 1:30 on a cold January night [in 2002], a train containing hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic anhydrous ammonia derails in Minot, N.D. Town officials try to sound the emergency alert system, but it isn't working. Desperate to warn townspeople about the poisonous white cloud bearing down on them, the officials call their local radio stations. But no one answers any of the phones for an hour and a half.

"According to The New York Times, one resident died after inhaling the gas and more than 300 people were treated at hospitals -- some partially blinded -- and pets and livestock are killed.

"Where were Minot's disc jockeys on Jan. 18, 2002? Where was the late-night station crew? As it turns out, six of the seven local radio stations had recently been purchased by Clear Channel Communications, a radio giant with more than 1,200 stations nationwide. Economies of scale dictated that most of the local staff be cut: Minot stations ran more or less on auto pilot, the programming largely dictated from farther up the Clear Channel food chain.

"Who'll sound the alarm in the event of a local disaster?"

Newsie's question raises legitimate concerns and issues that are clearly within the FCC's jurisdiction. Will Powell step beyond the politics and open himself to unmediated, unscripted discourse? I think that is highly unlikely.

Chairman Powell's blog is an important milestone within the social software industry because it is another step toward making these tools part of America's mainstream communication channel. But is social software's inexorable march toward the mainstream necessarily positive? Perhaps not, if becoming mainstream means silencing discourse.

Since Howard Dean and Joe Trippi showed how powerful social software tools could be in reaching citizens and motivating them into democratic discourse, folks "inside the Beltway" and large corporations increasingly have been using social software tools -- blogs, specifically -- to "reach the people."

The problem is these same politicians do not allow themselves to be reached by "the people." Politicians and businesses too often use social software as another broadcast medium: the communication is one-way, the collaboration is non-existent, and reciprocity is imaginary. But communication, collaboration and reciprocity are the hallmark tenets of social software, and without them, the information that social software produces devolves into infoglut.

Three years from now, will we look at Powell's swim in the blogosphere as the beginning of open and transparent dialogue with those "inside the Beltway," or the bastardization of social software?

The Hon. Michael K. Powell. Michael Powell Joins the Blogosphere. Always On Network. July 8, 2004.

Attribution: SNTReport.com first discovered news of Chairman Powell's blog through a posting in beSpacific, edited by Sabrina Pacifici.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:59 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Curbing Patriot Act Defeated

"The Republican-led House bowed to a White House veto threat Thursday and stood by the USA Patriot Act, defeating an effort to block the part of the anti-terrorism law that helps the government investigate people's reading habits.

"The effort to defy Bush and bridle the law's powers lost by 210-210, with a majority needed to prevail.

"The effort to curb the Patriot Act was pushed by a coalition of Democrats and conservative Republicans. But they fell short in a showdown that came just four months before an election in which the conduct of the fight against terrorism will be on the political agenda."

Alan Fram. Bush Wins; House Leaves Patriot Act As Is. Yahoo! News. July 8, 2004.

See also:
Eric Lichtblau. GOP Lobbying Defeats Bid to Curb Patriot Act. Houston Chronicle. July 9, 2004.
Clint Talbot. Congress Keeps Spy Times in Libraries. DailyCamera.com. July 9, 2004.
Associated Press. Library Chief May Refuse to Give Feds Info About Patrons. HeraldTribune.com. July 5, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:30 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 09, 2004

Blogging Influences Presidential Race

"It started as a way to have a cyber-rant or just share a personal thought, but the blogger has become cutting edge media with a role to play even in the US presidential election race.

"Sifting through the tens of thousands of blogs, short for web logs, or weblogs, has become a challenge for media and intelligence analysts. But amid the diatribes, commentaries and gossip, bloggers are gaining influence and breaking stories.

"Blogging has taken off since the internet boom of the late 1990s. It has gained ground over the past two years as the technology becomes cheaper and easier to handle."

Agence France Presse. Bloggers Come of Age in U.S. Presidential Race. Yahoo! News. July 5, 2004.

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Bloggers Descend Upon Beantown

"More than 15,000 people will converge on Boston later this month to cover the Democratic National Convention -- including, for the first time, bloggers.

"The Democratic Party plans to give media credentials to a select group of bloggers who want to cover the event, where Sen. John F. Kerry is expected to accept his party's presidential nomination. The group has not announced which bloggers might get the passes, but that information will come in the 'next few weeks,' an event spokeswoman said. The convention begins July 26.

"But officials said whoever gets credentials will have the same opportunities to cover the four-day event that journalists enjoy."

Brian Faler. Parties to Allow Bloggers to Cover Conventions for First Time. WashingtonPost.com. July 6, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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July 08, 2004

Kerry Announces VP Choice Online

"The Internet's role in politics continues to solidify with Democratic presidential contender John Kerry's announcement this morning that he picked North Carolina Sen. John Edwards as his running mate.

"The Kerry campaign last week said it would first announce its vice-presidential pick on its Web site and via e-mail, a leap forward for the Internet as a viable campaign tool. The campaign did just that this morning, just before Kerry delivered the news at a speech in Pittsburgh. After that, the Kerry team added the news to his Web site, fresh with a picture of Kerry and Edwards together. The announcement was also posted on Kerry's official blog."

Cynthia Webb. Kerry Gets Cozy Online. WashingtonPost.com. July 6, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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July 07, 2004

Will Congress Spoil VoIP?

"Washington politicos are about to kick off what will be a long and exhausting process aimed at deciding the future of phone calls made over the Internet.

"On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet (part of the House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce) will convene its first hearing devoted to considering how much of the thousands of pages of weighty telecommunications regulations should be imported to cover voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. The apt title of the hearing: 'VoIP: Will the Technology Disrupt the Industry or Will Regulation Disrupt the Technology?'

"This is a process fraught with problems. For all the hype surrounding VoIP, it remains a fledgling industry that could be severely -- perhaps even permanently -- harmed if Congress veers in the wrong direction."

Declan McCullagh. Can VoIP Survive Congress?. News.com. July 5, 2004.

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July 06, 2004

Preserve Innovation, Overturn Patents

"A coalition of lawyers, researchers and software experts formed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation will try to overturn 10 Internet and software-related patents that the group says are so sweeping they threaten innovation.

"Two industry leaders have been named: Clear Channel, which has patented a way to distribute recordings of concerts within minutes after they end, and Nintendo, whose patents include some concerning platform software for hand-held games.

"The list of targets was drawn from 200 submissions solicited through the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It includes patents covering telephone calls over the Internet, streaming audio and video, and online testing."

Ian Austen. Claiming a Threat to Innovation, Group Seeks to Overturn 10 Patents. The New York Times. July 5, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Political Web Logs

"Web logs have done more to spark opinion-sharing than anything since the creation of the Internet. But is this new vehicle of unconstrained expression fated to come under the thumb of the powers that be?

"Moves are already afoot to shade the blogosphere ever so slightly for partisan advantage.

"The Democrats plan to invite a limited number of bloggers to their summer political convention in Boston. A Republican spokesman says the GOP is still thinking about what it wants to do."

Charles Cooper. The Blogging Cover-Up. News.com. July 2, 2004.

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July 05, 2004

New Chief at MPAA

"Dan Glickman will replace Jack Valenti as the head of the Motion Picture Association of America - Hollywood's powerful lobbying organization and the shaper of laws that critics say may stifle technology in the name of preventing piracy.

"Valenti officially stepped down after nearly 40 years on the job. He will continue as chief executive until Glickman takes over.

Glickman, a moderate Democrat who served in Congress for 18 years and then served as the Secretary of Agriculture during the Clinton administration, will begin his tenure Sept. 1. During much of his tenure in Congress, he was both a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Copyright and Intellectual Property Subcommittee."

Katie Dean. Movie Lobby Group in New Hands. Wired News. July 1, 2004.

See also:
Brooks Boliek. Glickman Relishes Role as Hollywood Mouthpiece. Reuters, July 1, 2004.
Lisa Friedman. Ex-agriculture Secretary Succeeding Valenti. Los Angeles Daily News. July 1, 2004.
Art Brodsky. Public Knowledge Reacts to Selection of Dan Glickman as New MPAA president. Public Knowledge. July 1, 2004.
John Borland. Jack Valenti's Curtain Call. News.com. June 21, 2004.

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July 02, 2004

Record Industry Fighting the Future

"Having all your tunes at your fingertips isn't just fun -- it makes you a more avid consumer of music. So why are the recording companies fighting (.pdf) the future?

"By their every indication, record executives appear to be unhappy that people are more engaged with popular music. They are busy cooking up half-baked copy protection schemes that will prevent the ripping of newly purchased CDs.

"They are pushing legislation intended to criminalize all kinds of behavior and technology. Rather than make it easier for folks to spend money, they would rather return to the neolithic times when people heard a song on the radio they liked, they would have to trudge to the record store and spend $18 on bloated filler."

Andrew Leonard. The Digital Music Renaissance. Salon. July 1, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: Salon.com normally requires a paid subscription, but you can view articles if you register for a free day pass.)

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Political Online Gaming

"A new form of political marketing has emerged: the online game. Jeremy Kenney, who repairs Web sites and databases for the Republican National Committee, dabbles with interactive games.

"One engaging game is John Kerry: Tax Invaders: the player controls President Bush's head, which fires laser bolts at descending phalanxes of numbers. After fending off three waves of numbers, meant to represent prospective tax increases, the player is rewarded with the message, 'You've saved the country from John Kerry's tax plans!'

"Some skeptics say the partisan games are mere election-year novelties. But advocates say the game format offers a powerful new political vehicle. Traditional forms of political communication like advertising treat voters as passive recipients of rhetoric, they say, while games entice the potential voter to interact with the message. "

Michael Erard. InThese Games, the Points Are All Political. The New York Times. July 1, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:06 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 01, 2004

Pirate Act Moving Toward House

"Consumer groups jeered and recording and movie industry groups cheered the easy passage in the Senate of legislation that would allow civil suits against alleged file swappers.

"The Pirate Act of 2004 would allow the Department of Justice to provide greater legal support to content owners who feel their copyrights have been infringed upon online. Under current laws, copyright holders may onlypursue criminal suits against file swappers, which can result in jail time. If approved by the House, the new law would allow civil suits, which can result in financial penalties.

"Following its passage in the Senate, the legislation was sent to the House Judiciary Committee and it is still unclear as to when the Pirate Act will reach the floor of the House for a vote."

Mark S. Sullivan. File Swappers May Face Civil Suits. PC World. June 29, 2004.

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June 25, 2004

Paperless Hospitals

“Medical care would be improved and millions of dollars would be saved if hospitals were fully wired, said Rep. Patrick Kennedy and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who jointly announced a program to bring American medicine into the Internet age.

“On Monday, the political partisans put their party differences aside to tout electronic prescriptions, online patient records and an integrated, paperless health-care system.

“Gingrich said 98,000 people die annually in hospitals due to medical errors. He suggested information technology could save billions of dollars now wasted on procedures, such as unnecessary tests and redundant record keeping.”

Brook Donald. Gingrich, Kennedy Pushing "Wired" Hospitals. eWeek. June 23, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:41 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 14, 2004

Cities Reject PATRIOT Act

"In the past two years, more than 300 cities and four states have passed resolutions calling on Congress to repeal or change parts of the USA Patriot Act that, activists say, violate constitutional rights such as free speech and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

"Barring that, the resolutions declare that their communities will uphold the constitutional rights of their residents should federal law enforcement agents come knocking on the door of local authorities for assistance in tracking residents. This means local authorities will insist on complying with federal orders only in ways that do not violate constitutional rights. The resolutions are not binding, however, and do not affect the federal government's actions."

Kim Zetter. Cities Say 'No' to the Patriot Act. Wired News. June 7, 2004.

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June 06, 2004

Politics & Blogging

"Political bloggers chew over the news of the day, frequently skewering journalists' coverage or spotlighting what they feel are undercovered stories. Objectivity is generally verboten in the blogosphere, although ideology tends to be less rigid than the partisan debates that play out so repetitiously in newspapers and on television. And bloggers are a clubby bunch, referencing and linking to each other even when ideologies clash.

"A few hours into my research, I felt a rising sense of panic--there was SO MUCH OUT THERE."

Rachel Smolkin. The Expanding Blogosphere. AJR.com. June/July 2004.

Update: Cindy Chick's LawLibTech, citing Roll Call, notes that Mike Pence (R-Ind.) became the first U.S. Congressman to start a blog.

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June 04, 2004

Blogging Democracy

"The Democratic National Commmittee, in what its officials believe is a first in the world of politics, is granting convention credentials to a carefully selected group of bloggers. They will join thousands of conventional journalists covering the festivities July 26-29 at Boston's FleetCenter.

"These traditionally non-establishment social commentators will be chosen based on their professionalism, the number of readers who check their blog on a regular basis, and how much of their content is original. DNC officials have not determined how many credentials will be issued."

Jennifer Peter. DNC Invites Some 'Bloggers' to Convention. WashingtonPost.com. June 3, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:25 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 02, 2004

MPAA Still Has No Successor

(Editor's Note: Valenti's successor is a critical appointment in the social software landscape because the Motion Picture Association, along with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), has consistently sought to curtail peer-to-peer networking and file sharing through the courts and Congress.)

"For two years Jack Valenti, the venerable, 82-year-old chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, has been trying to retire.

"After nearly four decades as Hollywood's leading lobbyist, the silver-haired former adman and White House adviser announced in March that he would be gone within a few months. But those months have passed, summer approaches and the association is nowhere close to finding Mr. Valenti's successor.

Doesn't anyone want to run the M.P.A.A.?"

Sharon Waxman. Hollywood's Casting Problem: Who Will Run the M.P.A.A.?. The New York Times. May 30, 2004.

(Editor’s Note 2: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:57 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 01, 2004

Entertainment Industry Pushes "Pirate Act" to Kill P2P

"A proposal that the Senate may vote on as early as next week would let federal prosecutors file civil lawsuits against suspected copyright infringers, with fines reaching tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The so-called Pirate Act (S. 2237) is raising alarms among copyright lawyers and lobbyists for peer-to-peer firms, who have been eyeing the recording industry's lawsuits against thousands of peer-to-peer users with trepidation. The Justice Department, they say, could be far more ambitious."

Declan McCullagh. Pirate Act Raises Civil Rights Concerns. News.com. May 26, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:19 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

May 30, 2004

IM the Vote

"Nonprofit groups have begun collecting the cell numbers of college-age voters as part of wider registration efforts. Their aim is to contact young people through wireless calls and text messaging to improve upon the turnout among 18- to 24-year-olds, which the Census Bureau reported was 32 percent in 2000.

"But in opening a wireless front on apathy among young adults, voter groups are also raising privacy questions about how the cellphone numbers might be used. At least one organization, the New Voters Project, plans to offer the numbers it is now gathering to political marketers to increase access to younger voters. What makes such a list of cell numbers valuable, and potentially open to misuse, is that at this point there is no national cellphone directory, making the numbers hard to come by for outsiders."

Mark Walsh. Wanted: Young Voters' Cellphone Numbers. The New York Times. May 27, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

May 25, 2004

What Happens When Luddites Write Online Law

"A congressional hearing on Internet porn last week illustrates what happens when politicians try to ban technology they don't like or understand.

"The topic of Thursday's meeting of the House of Representatives' consumer protection subcommittee was a bill intended to require that programs like Kazaa and Grokster obtain parental consent before installation. The only problem: The bill that Stearns and his colleagues suggest as a solution is so broadly worded that it regulates far more than just peer-to-peer applications."

Declan McCullagh. Bad Laws, Bad Code, Bad Behavior. News.com. May 10, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 06:12 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

April 23, 2004

Bush Wants USA PATRIOT Act Renewed

In a recent speech in Hershey, Penna., President Bush called on Congress to renew all parts of the USA PATRIOT Act that are scheduled to expire next year, and to "close existing legal loopholes that deny law enforcement officials the same tools to fight terror that they have to fight other crime."

The White House is looking to broaden the powers of the executive branch, including using administrative subpoenas (which would enable law enforcement officials to bypass regular subpoenas in court), and establishing a presumptive denial of bail in terrorism cases.

The Hon. President George W. Bush. President Bush Calls for Renewing the USA PATRIOT Act. (Speech). The White House. April 19, 2004.

Office of the Press Secretary. Fact Sheet: President Bush Calls for Renewing the USA PATRIOT Act. The White House. April 19, 2004.

Associated Press. Bush: Renew Patriot Act or Else. Wired News. April 17, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 06:32 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Democrats Want to Expand Broadband Access

"Democratic candidate John Kerry has yet to release his plan for high-speed Internet policy, although he is widely expected to do so in an upcoming speech. But in an interview with CNET News.com on Wednesday, Reed Hundt, a Kerry advisor and former Federal Communications Commission chairman, provided an outline of issues that he said would likely form parts of a Democratic plan for broadband."

John Borland. Kerry's broadband policy plans emerging. News.com. April 21, 2004.

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March 18, 2004

Social Software Leads Wired Rave Awards

Social software was the dominant technological influence during the 2004 Rave Awards, as the former campaign manager for Democratic presidential nominee Howard Dean was hailed for his use of social network technologies to raise money and communicate with constituents.

Joe Trippi shared his Rave Award for Political Force with Scott Heiferman, the CEO of Meetup.com. Throughout the early stages of the Dean campaign, supporters used Meetup.com as a tool to coordinate their efforts.

The Rave Awards, which are sponsored by Wired Magazine, celebrate innovation and innovators. Awards are given in 14 categories, including Businessperson, Policy Mover, and Software Designer, and Political Force.

Bram Cohen won the Software Designer Rave Award for his BitTorrent application. BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file-sharing system that optimizes bandwidth usage to enable its users to take full advantage of broadband connections. The application allows large amounts of data to be downloaded from the Web in hours rather than days.

Four of the five nominees for the Software Designer award are involved in the social software space. In addition to Cohen, those nominated included Jonathan Abrams, Founder and CEO of Friendster; Toivo Annus, Janus Friis, Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, Jaan Tallin and Niklas Zennstrom, developers of the Skype Internet telephony application; and Dave Winer, architect and caretaker of the RSS specification.

Other winners included Steve Jobs, who was named 2004 Renegade of the Year for his work with Apple's iTunes Music Store and Pixar's animated film "Finding Nemo," and film director Peter Jackson, who won the Film Director award for "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

Patrick Brown, Michael Eisen, Harold Varmus won the Science Award for their work with the Public Library of Science. The Public Library of Science is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource.

The awards were presented March 15 at The Fillmore in San Francisco, California.

Wired. Rave Awards.

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March 14, 2004

Rock the Vote Goes Mobile

"Rock the Mobile Vote, in partnership with phone maker Motorola, plans to offer information on candidates' stances on issues. Users also could request voter-registration forms. And the service will offer a candidate matchmaker quick quiz, which asks users for their opinions on major issues and tells them the candidate most in tune with them. Users also would be able to query their phone to find their polling place on Election Day. And, bringing MTV's influence to bear, Rock the Mobile Vote will be calling participants with get-out-the-vote pleas recorded by rock stars."

Daniel Terdiman. Cell Phones to Democracy's Rescue. Wired.com. March 11, 2004.

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February 25, 2004

Digital Democracy

Howard Dean has left the building (or at least the Democratic nomination race), but the legacy of his campaign's use of social networking tool remains interesting to any group seeking to create community or cash. This article from The Nation provides insights from O'Reilly's recently concluded Digital Democracy Teach-In, including a summary of Joe Trippi's keynote speech.

(Trippi, of course, was the principal architect behind the Dean campaign's social software strategy.)

Also, the author unknowingly sets the stage for a future SNTReport story:

"Some of the more intrepid [attendees] are also jointly taking notes on a document that exists only in cyberspace but appears on their computers and shows each other their comments, in real time."

SubEthaEdit is the technology to which the author refers. SubEthaEdit is a powerful program that allows for collaborative editing allows without locking parts of the text for other users.

Stephen Arnold, SNTReport's resident social software guru, will soon post his own article on SubEthaEdit and its applications.

Micah L. Sifry. "Tripping on Internet Populism." The Nation. Feb. 16, 2004.

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February 23, 2004

Dean Campaign Legacy

The Center for the Study of American Government at Johns Hopkins University has published a 58-page report (.pdf) that analyzes the impact of social networking technologies on modern political campaigning. The report provides insights on the candidates' use of social software tools such as e-mail, blogs, e-commerce, and services like Meetup and Friendster.com, as well as examples of successful uses of those tools. Librarians should find the passages on Internet fundraising particularly useful.

CampaignsOnline.org. "Campaigns Online: The Profound Impact of the Internet, Blogs, and E-Technologies in Presidential Political Campaigning." (.pdf). January 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 10:55 PM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)