Tuesday, October 21, 2003

From this week's "The Register"


'We have your water supply, and printers' - Brumcon report
All purely in the interests of science, of course...

RIAA to issue warnings first, lawsuits second
Stop sharing - or face the consequences

Anti-scam site beats domain attack
European City Guide on last legs

No right of privacy in England ...yet

Robert Horvitz, Project Manager
Global Internet Policy Initiative
From this week's issue of Quicklinks:

25. UK - Law lords rule there is no right to privacy (Guardian)
Five law lords rejected an attempt to establish that a right exists
under English law to sue for invasion of privacy. The ruling, which
had been keenly awaited by lawyers, establishes that there is no
"freestanding" right to privacy in English law. Instead, those seeking
damages when their privacy is invaded will have to bring their cases
under other, well-established types of action, such as breach of
confidence. Wainwright v. Home Office [2003] UKHL 53.
36. UK - Legal threat to snooping laws (BBC)
Internet privacy campaigners say new legal advice could blow a hole in
Home Office plans to snoop on people's online and telephone activity.
A draft European directive on keeping communications data, which could
be used to strengthen the current voluntary code of practice in the
UK, breeches human rights laws, says international law firm Covington
& Burling. Two test cases may be taken to the European courts by lobby
group Privacy International to show UK attempts to widen internet
surveillance would be unlawful.

Vra Franz sent:

Thanks to HJ Affleck for this:

Europe's Antipiracy Proposal Draws Criticism
The New York Times

BRUSSELS, Oct. 19 - In an effort to fight product counterfeiting and
piracy, the European Union is preparing to enact a sweeping intellectual
property law that critics say is ill-conceived and tilted heavily in
favor of copyright and patent holders.

The proposal would go far beyond existing laws in Europe and the United
States by classifying copyright violations and patent infringements,
even some unwitting ones, as crimes punishable by prison terms.

Lawyers who have studied a draft of the proposed law say that not only
could a teenager who downloaded a music file be sent to jail under it;
so too could managers of the Internet service provider that the teenager
happened to use, whether they knew what the teenager was doing or not...


Africa ICT Policies

Mikhail Doroshevich sent:

e-Strategies - National, Sectoral and Regional ICT Policies, Plans and
Strategies in Africa

This report assesses the state of national and African regional ICT
policies, plans and strategies. It focuses on the role of the United
Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and summarizes major
regional and global initiatives being undertaken in or relevant to
Africa. It also highlights new applications and initiatives in key
sectors, and concludes with lessons learned and the way forward. The
report also makes reference to Millennium Development Goals (MDG).


Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Press Release: Turkey enacts freedom of information law

On 09 October, 2003, the Turkish government enacted the Right to
Information Law (Law No: 4982). It was initially prepared by the Ministry
of Justice and was introduced to the Parliament on 25 June, 2003. An
important Parliamentary report by the EU Compatibility Commission of the
Turkish Parliament was published on 16 July, 2003. Another report on the
draft bill by the Justice Commission of the Turkish Parliament was also
published on 24 July 2003.

237 Turkish MPs out of a total of 550 were present for the final voting on
the Right to Information Bill and all of the present MPs (including from
the opposition) voted for the Bill to become law.

The new law itself does not say anything on implementation and there will
be further regulations published within the next six months clarifying
issues related to implementation. The regulations will be prepared by the
Prime Ministry and will be put into force by the Council of Ministers. This
law will come into force six months after the date of its publication.

Following the enactment of the new law in Turkey, a Right to Information
Assessment (Review) Council will be established to deal with appeals on
rejected FOI requests.

The information and documents pertaining the state secrets, the economical
interests of the state, the state intelligence, the administrative
investigation, and the judicial investigation and prosecution are out of
the scope of this law. Limitations also apply for the privacy of the
individuals, privacy of communications, trade secrets, intellectual
property (works of art and science), institutions' internal regulations,
and institutions' internal opinions, information notes and recommendations.

"Although it is a very important first step towards openness and
transparency the limits of this new right are not clearly defined by the
new law. The meaning of "secrecy" will be clarified by means of a separate
legislation on "secrecy" that is currently being drafted by the Ministry of
Justice. So it remains to be seen how transparent the government will be in
Turkey" said Dr. Yaman Akdeniz.

For further information please contact Dr. Yaman Akdeniz, Lecturer in
CyberLaw, University of Leeds, United Kingdom. Director, Cyber-Rights &
Cyber-Liberties (UK), and a 2003 Fellow of the International Policy and
Information Policy Fellowship programmes of the Open Society Institute.
Email: lawya@cyber-rights.org Tel: +44 7798 865116

Dr. Yaman Akdeniz
Lecturer in CyberLaw, Department of Law,
University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom

2003 Fellow of the International Policy and Information Policy
Fellowship programmes of the Open Society Institute.

Tel: +44 (0)113 3435011 Fax: +44 (0)113 3435056
E-mail: lawya@leeds.ac.uk/ lawya@cyber-rights.org/

Monday, October 13, 2003


Turkish FOIA was passed by the Parliament

Turkish Freedom of Information Act -literally "ROIA" ! as the title of the act is the "Right of Information Act"- was passed by the Turkish Parliament last week.
The original text of the law is here...

As soon as I get the English translation I will let you know.