Monday, December 27, 2004

John Palfrey :

After the "i-law 2004":
John Palfrey :"Working Hypotesis" and Following the "i-law 2004"

The Internet Governance Project released today (Tuesday Dec. 21) one of our most significant WSIS contributions: "A Framework Convention: An International Option for Internet Governance."

The paper, by John Mathiason, compares today's situation to the controversies over climate change in the 1980s. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, rather than seeking to solve all of the problems in a single treaty, pursued a "framework convention," which first established the principles and norms under which international action would proceed. It also set up a procedure for future negotiations over more detailed arrangements. We suggest a similar approach for Internet governance.The short paper (4 pages) can be downloaded at the Internet Governance Project web site:

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Cybercrime Convention- Critisisms

The overall criticisms on the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime

The condition of the Convention to be entered into force was depending on 5 ratifications including at least 3 member States of the CoE.
As of December 12, 2004 [i] total number of signatures is 30 and there are 8 states those ratified. The protocol on “Acts of a racist or xenophobic nature” has received 22 signatures and one ratification. Although it entered into force in July 1, 2004 it cannot be said that the first effects are apparent, as few countries have ratified at the moment. The Convention aimed three main topics; “harmonisation of the national laws which define offences”, “definition of investigation and prosecution procedures to cope with global networks”, “establishment of a rapid and effective system of international co-operation” and made no party so satisfied in particular the NGO’s whose participation was not given importance. [ii] Most of the civil liberty organizations including “Cyber-Rights-Cyber-Liberties”[iii] criticized the Convention as follows:

  • It is fundamentally imbalanced. It includes powers of computer search and seizure and government surveillance of voice, email and data communications, but no correspondingly standards to protect privacy and limit government use of such powers. In other words, the procedural provisions, which also are threatening the human rights, have more space than the substantial provisions.
  • It has some positive and some negative elements. It is very broad, reaching far beyond computer crime as such. Whilst it requires signatories to adopt laws giving the government access to computer data (for all crimes) and while it states that such powers must be subject to procedural safeguards protecting privacy, it fails to specify such procedural safeguards. Accordingly, developing countries should be cautious in approaching the Council of Europe convention as a model. A major section of the treaty aims to require governments to cooperate with other countries seeking to search and seize computers, compel disclosure of data stored in computers, and carry out real-time interceptions – in all kinds of criminal cases – in other countries. It also covers extradition for computer crimes as defined under the treaty. [iv]
  • The Explanatory Report states that the phrase “without right” may refer to conduct undertaken without contractual authority. This interpretation seems unwise, for it could make violations of a service provider’s terms of service into a criminal offence. Within the first drafts “hacking” was about to without any circumstances be criminalized, but later on it was formulated with “without right”. Whilst it is so sensitive matter to assess “who has or has not the right” through the objective criteria or substantial rules, leaving that to judges or law enforcement circles’ judgement is a way which is far from equity rules.
  • It brings too heavy responsibilities to ISP’s. (Article 15)
  • The word of “Privacy” has never been used in the Treaty except the “Introduction” volume of the explanatory report.
  • A vague reference to proportionality will not be adequate to ensure that civil liberties are protected. It is recognized that countries have varying methods for protection of civil liberties, but as a Council of Europe Convention drafted in consultation with other democratic nations, this document missed an important opportunity to ensure that minimum standards consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments were actually implemented. This failure is, in part, a result of the non-transparency of the process. [v]
  • It fails to consistently require dual criminality as a condition for mutual assistance between countries. No nation should ask another to interfere with the privacy of its citizens or to impose onerous requirements on its service providers to investigate acts, which are not a crime in the requested nation. Governments should not investigate a citizen who is acting lawfully, regardless of whatever mutual assistance conventions are in place. Article 34 (Mutual assistance regarding the interception of content data) allows interception to the extent permitted by other treaties and domestic law. An acceptable condition would have been that requests for interception could only take place if it is permitted under the relevant criminal law as an offence that merits interception in both countries. Requests should also have a specified level of authorisation, i.e. where warrants are only acted upon if they are received from a judicial authority in the requested country. [vi]


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

UN Global E-government Readiness Report 2004 -
available online on UNPAN

BTW: I started to study here !

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Italian Effect | Program 6A

Radical Thought, Biopolitics and Cultural Subversion
9th-11th September 2004, The University of Sydney & UTS

The Italian Effect | Program 6A
Jussi Vähämäki (University of Tampere, Finland): The Concept of

Common Places and their Role in Societies of Control
The paper analyses the 'materiality' of language in cognitive capitalism or in 'bio-linguisitic capitalism'. Instead of focusing on the postive side of the concept of the commonplace as a common resourse to "the many" or " the homeless", I would like to concentrate on the concept of commonplace as a model fora new, emerging dispositive of control proper to the societies of control. From the necessary starting point to action, production or discussion, commonplaces as user-friendly interfaces have transformed into a goal and end of production. They form the basic model for the new controls of spatially boundless and temporally endless immaterial labour. The paper analyses commonplaces under their different aspects in cognitive capitalism and their role in the construction of the new dispositive of control:

1. They are without identity and without source. They not need any institution or instance of sovereignty to legitimate themselves. They are self-sufficient.
2. They are undeniable.
3. They have an important organizing function in ordinary communication. Without a commonplace to start with communication would regress into a communication about communication.
4. They save time.
5. They never manifests themselves as such. They are real and function on level of real but they are not actual, like the dispositives of Foucault and Deleuze.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

The implementation and application of the Right to Information Act by the Turkish Ministries

Dr. Yaman AKDENIZ / BilgilenmeHakki.Org
28 September 2004

BilgilenmeHakki.Org / published a report entitled "How do you contact the Turkish Freedom of Information Council?" in August 2004. Following the publication of this report, we started to monitor the implementation and application of the Turkish Right to Information Act No. 4982 by the 15 Ministries in Turkey. BilgilenmeHakki.Org / published an 11 page report on the World Freedom of Information Day (only in Turkish for the moment) following its research conducted through-out August and early September 2004.

Firstly, BilgilenmeHakki.Org / examined whether the 15 Ministries implemented the Right to Information Act according to the requirements set out in the implementation plan which was published as part of the related Regulations published in April 2004 following the law coming into force on 24 April, 2004. This part of the research was conducted by collecting data from the ministries’ websites. Following this research, we contacted each Ministry and made an access to information request with a set of standard questions. The report that analysed the responses and information provided by the Ministries is published at in Turkish.

The summary of the BilgilenmeHakki.Org / research is provided below:
The Turkish Right to Information Act has been in force for approximately 5 months.
All the 15 Ministries monitored in this report established their freedom of information units and started to accept access to information requests including requests sent through the Internet.
· We observed that the information provided in the Ministries’ websites was not standard. There are still freedom of information units with missing communication details and some do not provide full information about the law and the related regulations.
· The members of the public have started to use their right to information and several hundreds of requests have been made to the Ministries.
9 Ministries that provided a response and information received a total of 2519 access to information requests by mid August 2004. 1929 (%77) of these requests resulted with information being provided. 590 (%23) of these requests were denied information.
The Ministry of Justice received the most requests (765) and the Ministry of Transport did not deny information out of the 69 requests it received. So far the Ministry of Trade and Industry (197), and the Ministry of Defence (126) lead the chart of refusals.
· The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Trade and Industry replied to the access to information requests providing detailed information within the same day of application and provided further information on follow-up questions within 24hrs.
· Despite the formation of freedom of information units, four Ministries, namely Ministry of Health, Minisitry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and Ministry of Education, did not reply to the access to information requests within 15 working days as required by law. In fact, these four Ministries ignored the requests and have never been in touch with us.
· A reply from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources is still expected. This Ministry was 3 months late in establishing its freedom of information unit and therefore a request was only made in early September 2004.
· The Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Social Prosperity and Housing replied but refused to provide the information requested but they did provide the information after we appealed and wrote them a second time.
· We also appealed the decision of the Ministry of Interior Affairs not to provide us with the requested information. We are still waiting to hear from this Ministry in terms of our appeal.
· It has been noticed that none of the Ministries provide communications details for the Right to Information Assessment (Review) Council. This information was not communicated to us in detail when we asked for it. As should be noted BilgilenmeHakki.Org published contact details for the Council in its August 2004 report.

The short history, and the implementation and application of the Turkish Right to Information Law by the 15 Ministries therefore provides a complex picture. Serious problems associated with the application of the Law have been documented in this research study and the four Ministries that failed to respond cast a dark shadow on some of the good work done in terms of implementation and application by other Ministries.

The enactment of a right to information law is a significant step towards openness, transparency, and democratisation in Turkey. But if the Law is applied in a very arbitray way by the Ministries, this means there are serious problems in terms of implementation. It should not be forgotten that the emactment of a Right to Information Law is only the first step towards openness and transparency in Turkey. But for a more open and transparent Turkey, the proper implementation and applications of the law is crucial.

BilgilenmeHakki.Org asked the Prime Ministry and the Right to Information Assessment (Review) Council to address the problems identified and witnessed in its research and report.

BilgilenmeHakki.Org will continue to monitor the developments in Turkey.

For further information please contact Dr. Yaman Akdeniz at

Dr. Yaman Akdeniz, Lecturer in CyberLaw, University of Leeds, United Kingdom. Director, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK), and a 2003-04 Fellow of the International Policy and Information Policy Fellowship programmes of the Open Society Institute.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Announces New Edition of Freedom of Information Litigation ManualWashington, DC - Today, on International Right to Know Day, EPICannounced the publication of Litigation Under the Federal OpenGovernment Laws 2004, the fully updated edition of the manual thatlawyers, journalists and researchers have relied on for more than 25years to obtain information about the United States government underthe Freedom of Information Act.The Freedom of Information Act is critical for the functioning ofdemocratic government because it helps ensure that the public is fullyinformed about matters of public concern. The Act has helped uncoverfraud, waste, and abuse in the federal government. Although EPIC hasfaced increasing claims of government secrecy in the last few years,it has successfully used the Freedom of Information Act recently inseveral important civil liberties controversies.

* EPIC revealed that Northwest Airlines turned over millions of passenger records to NASA, which used the personal information in an secret data mining study that was later cancelled. * EPIC found out that the Census Bureau gave the Department of Homeland Security information about Arab Americans when no similar information had been disclosed on any other ethnic group. The discovery led both the Census Bureau and Customs and Border Protection to revise their policies on how to handle requests for census data about "sensitive populations."

* Documents obtained by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act showed that the federal government pursued a broad expansion of the passenger profiling system "CAPPS II," after assuring the public that it would only be used to identity terrorists. The Transportation Security Administration admitted that the expansion of CAPPS II's mission helped to doom the program.

* EPIC also uncovered government files that indicate that the Department of Justice conducted a vast public relations campaign that was intended to garner support for the controversial PATRIOT Act. At least 65 prosecutors made 244 actual or attempted contacts with members of Congress to urge them not to change the PATRIOT Act. EPIC also obtained several e-mails discussing the legality of the federal prosecutors' efforts.EPIC also successfully litigated several Freedom of Information Actcases. Among the key outcomes in the last few months:

* A federal judge rebuffed the Transportation Security Administration's claim that it had no obligation to release factual information in documents that are not finalized. The judge ordered the agency to review the documents for facts that could be released, or to justify why it was unable to do so. * In a lawsuit concerning the PATRIOT Act, a federal court rejected an effort by the Department of Justice to slow down the processing of an open government request and held that EPIC fulfills an important educational function by routinely disseminating the information it obtains.

* In another case brought by EPIC, a federal court held that a classified contract between the FBI and ChoicePoint, which involved the sales of personal information on Americans to the law enforcement agency, is subject to the Freedom of Information Act.EPIC also applauds open records organizations around the world,including the Freedom of Information Advocates Network, which areworking to make government more accountable and more transparent."The key to democratic government is information about the activitiesof government. The Freedom of Information Act is the foundation ofopen society," said Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director EPIC.Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws 2004 was edited byHarry A. Hammitt of Access Reports and David L. Sobel, and Tiffany A.Stedman of EPIC. The manual provides an overview of the Freedom ofInformation Act, explains the law's exemptions, addresses fees and feewaivers, and discusses litigation strategy. It also covers thePrivacy Act, Government in the Sunshine Act, and Federal AdvisoryCommittee Act. Appendices include the text of the relevant acts andsample pleadings for litigators.EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It wasestablished in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civilliberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, andconstitutional values. EPIC is a recognized leader in the use of theFreedom of Information Act to obtain information about governmentpolicy on emerging issues. In the past year, EPIC's Freedom of Information work resulted in significant disclosures about the Total Information Awareness program, passenger screening developments, andthe growing number of privacy complaints that consumers have sent tofederal agencies. These documents have been the subject ofCongressional hearings and news reports across the country.EPIC, Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws 2004:

September 28 Right to Know Day Celebrations, Freedom of InformationAdvocates Network:

EPIC's Open Government Overview:

EPIC's Freedom of Information Gallery:

EPIC's Litigation Docket:

"Freedom of Information Laws From Around the World":
Contact: Marcia Hofmann, Staff Counsel
(202) 483-1140 ext. 112

Thursday, September 09, 2004

An indirectly received message from Dieter Zinnbauer, our dear Director, during "ICT 2003":

*** Democracies Online Newswire - ****** Headlines from top blogs: ***
Definitely worth a close look:

Papers include: With the Internet and Information Disclosure towards a New Quality in Democratic Governance: A Policy Agenda and Ways to Take it Forward-Dieter Zinnbauer The Transformation of Governance and E-Transparency: Current Practice, Future Prospects-Dieter Zinnbauer E-government as A Driver for more Institutional Transparency? A Closer Look at Interests, Policy Frames, and Advocacy Efforts-Dieter Zinnbauer Institutional Transparency, Global Governance and ICT: Why and Where to?

(Memo)-Dieter Zinnbauer Steven Clift
.S. Speaking of access to information, check out these blogs:

------- Forwarded message follows -------
From: "Dieter Zinnbauer" <>To: <>
Subject: Resources e-transparency

Date sent: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 15:05:33 +0200

Dear colleagues,

I would like to bring to your attention a series of memos on transparency and ICTs that I have just completed for the U.S. Social Science Research Council:
In a nutshell, the memos seek to inspire fresh thinking on the roleofthe Internet for transparency beyond the current anti-corruptionfocusby pulling together interesting insights and findings from a verydiverse body of current academic and policy-oriented research. In retrospect, the titles sound a little too much alike, but the analysis basically moves from normative foundations of transparency (memo1: why...) to the advocacy situation for e-transparency (memo 2:policy frames...) then to a mapping of the status quo ine-transparency (memo 3: current state..) and finally to practical strategies forward (memo 4: policy agenda...). For more research on ICT and political engagement produced under this SSRC imitative start at:
Please feel free to share widely.

Comments are always very welcome.
With best regards,
Dieter Zinnbauer---------------------------------------------
Postdoctoral Fellow Development Studies
Institute London School of Economics
Houghton Street WC2 2AE London,
UKfax: +44-(0)20 7955 6488e:
d.zinnbauer at


On 8-12 September , 2004, the project Bilgilenmehakki.Org will be highlighted on the home page of the Aarhus Clearinghouse. Brief entries about the project's website and the article "How do you contact the Turkish Freedom of Information Council?" have also been added to the Clearinghouse's Resource Directory :

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

An Intergovernmental meeting will be held in Geneva on FOSS under UNCTAD coordination: Expert meeting on Free and Open Source Software: Policy and development implications
Geneva, 22–24 September 2004
Resources available on UNCTAD webpage on FOSS linkaged to some issues and aplications:
For who from developing and LD countries has good relationship or contacts with key people in its Governement and also can be considered an expert on FOSS by the Government there are fellowships available.
The Expert Meeting on Free and Open Source Software, convened in accordance with the decision taken by the Commission on Enterprise, Business Facilitation and Development at its eighth session, will be held from 22 to 24 September 2004. The Meeting will open at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 22 September 2004.
Background and purpose of the Meeting
An increasing number of countries are developing national policies and strategies to promote the digital economy. Many have recognized the important role of software - in addition to hardware, affordable access and human capacities and skills - as the medium that enables people to use technology productively.Because social and economic activities are heterogeneous and human and natural environments are varied and different, the role of software as the interface between this human diversity and, often ubiquitous, hard technology is fundamental to the wide adoption of information technologies and to closing the digital divide. Given this singularly important role of software, the increasing prominence and use of so-called free and open source software (FOSS) has encouraged a debate about its ability to help, in particular, developing countries overcome the digital divide and increase the use and productive effects of information technology in commercial activities, governance and other fields. FOSS is software whose source code - its set of instructions - has been made open to the public and freely available under a license that prevents its appropriation. It is not necessarily free, as in "gratis" or free-of-charge. It is "free" and "open" because it can be used, changed and redistributed in a relatively unhindered manner. This Expert Meeting will bring together experts from both developed and developing countries, from international and regional bodies involved in FOSS issues, from the software technology industry and from civil society organizations. The objective of the Expert Meeting is twofold. First, it will provide the UNCTAD Commission on Enterprise, Business Facilitation and Development with a substantive basis that could support discussions about FOSS at a higher policy level. Second, it will allow an assessment and exchange of experience among experts from UNCTAD member States, while benefiting from inputs from participating FOSS specialists from academia, business and civil society.
Experts are expected to include officials from government offices responsible for information technology strategy, including software and FOSS policy and implementation. Representatives from other public or private institutions, the academic world and NGOs, with proven expertise in the subject, will also be invited to participate. Experts are nominated by their national governments but will participate in the Meeting in their personal capacities. Nominations should be submitted to the UNCTAD secretariat no later than 26 July 2004. (I've just got this info yesterday though! A.T.) In addition, experts from international and regional organizations dealing with FOSS issues will be invited. Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the Meeting, as well as non-governmental organizations in the General Category and those in the Special Category wishing to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives.Financial assistanceFunds will be made available to finance the participation of a limited number of officially nominated experts from developing countries and economies in transition. Governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition requiring funding are therefore invited to explicitly request financing in their letters of nomination. The Secretary-General of UNCTAD will base the decision as to which experts should receive financing on the principle of equitable geographical representation, beneficiary needs, in particular LDCs, and the expertise of the experts concerned. Changes in nominated experts will be considered as new nominations. Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than eight weeks before the meeting (i.e. by 26 July 2004 at the latest), and should be accompanied with the following information about the nominee:
Curriculum vitae; Mailing address; Telephone and fax number; E-mail address; and Name of a contact person in the Permanent Mission in Geneva.
It should be noted in this connection that once the list of experts to be financed has been finalized, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD will have all travel arrangements made in accordance with United Nations rules and regulations, though use of the least costly travel fare will be authorized.
Background documents and contributed papers
The provisional agenda for the meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations, is being circulated as document TD/B/COM.3/EM.21/1. The UNCTAD secretariat has prepared, as official documentation for the meeting, a background paper entitled "Free and open source software" (TD/B/COM.3/EM.21/2), aimed at facilitating the discussions. Experts are encouraged to submit written contributions on experiences with FOSS at the national level, focusing on the following items:
(i) overall familiarity with FOSS and the FOSS debate in the Government;
(ii) what strategic, administrative or normative approaches are being considered or implemented;
(iii) the extent of FOSS use in business and households;
(iv) examples of significant localization efforts and applications;
(v) possible economic effects and influence on related sectors and issues such as education and intellectual property regulation.
These papers will be made available to other participants in the form and language in which they are received.
The meeting will take place at the United Nations Office of Geneva, Palais des Nations. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in the six official languages of the United Nations.Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badge at the UN Security Service, Villa Les Feuillantines, 13 Avenue de la Paix (close to the main entrance to the Palais on the Place des Nations, on the opposite side of the road). The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). Due to the existing security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive before 8.30 a.m. in order to complete procedures and reach the Meeting in good time. Walking from Villa Les Feuillantines to the E-Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais takes about 10 minutes. Participants are requested to carry a passport or similar national identity card with them. There is a general interdiction on the entry of taxis to the grounds of the Palais des Nations, and visitors will be dropped off at the requested entrance gates. Further, luggage is not authorized inside the buildings unless the Security Service grants special clearance.Further information and contact detailsLinks to information and details can be accessed at:
Nominations and related communications concerning representation at the Meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD Secretariat, Intergovernmental Affairs and Outreach Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; fax: + 41(0)22 917 0056; e-mail:
Substantive and other enquiries should be addressed to Mr. Dimo Calovski, Economic Affairs Officer, as the coordinator in the Services Infrastructure for Development and Trade Efficiency Division; E.7063, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; tel: +41(0)22 917 9946 or 917 5912 or 917 5515, fax: +41(0)22 917 0052, e-mail: (signed)Rubens RicuperoSecretary-General of UNCTAD

An "e-Discovery" event!
You are invited to attend Kroll Ontrack’s Webinar titled “Zubulake vs. UBS Warburg: E-Discovery Lessons Learned.” This online seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, August 31st, at 12:00 PM Central / 1:00 PM Eastern / 10:00 AM Pacific. This will be a live Internet broadcast.

Seating is limited, so please register by Friday, August 27th to reserve your complimentary seat. If you have colleagues who would be interested in learning more on the topic of e-discovery, please feel free to forward this invitation along to them.

For more information or to register for this event, visit our Web site at If you are unable to attend this online seminar, but would like to attend a future one, please continue to check our website at for future online seminars.

We hope you are able to attend.

Rick Anderson

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Bogdan sent this:
An interesting conference on data protection dedicated for Eastern Europe:

Public Voice Symposium"Privacy in a New Era:Challenges, Opportunities and Partnerships" 13 September, 2004 Dorint HotelWroclaw, Poland

This conference aims to provide an opportunity for civil society leaders andacademic experts, particularly in the New European Union Member States, tomeet with European data protection authorities and to explore emergingchallenges to the protection of personal privacy. The event will be held inconjunction with the annual meeting of theInternational Conference on Privacy and Data Protection Commissioners.There are a limited number of Fellowships available for representatives ofnon-governmental/non-commercial organizations from EU New Member States.

For more information :
Best regards,Bogdan

Monday, August 09, 2004

BilgilenmeHakki.Org ("" in English) publishes report about the Turkish Freedom of Information Council

On 09 August, 2004 BilgilenmeHakki.Org published a report in PDF format about the Turkish Right to Information Assessment (Review) Council. Following a BilgilenmeHakki.Org investigation the following conclusions are made in the report:

• The Turkish Right to Information Act is in force.
• A considerable number of public institutions established their freedom of information units and started to accept access to information requests including through the Internet.
• The public started to use their right to information and several thousands of requests have been made to public institutions.
• The members of the Right to Information Assessment (Review) Council have been identified, and the Council have been established.
• With the publication of this report it is now public knowledge that the Council is fully functional and deals with appeals.
• So far the Council dealt with 73 appeals and 29 of these have been investigated and decided.

However, following this BilgilenmeHakki.Org investigation further significant questions are raised:

• There is no other publicly available document which provides the contact details of the Right to Information Assessment (Review) Council apart from this BilgilenmeHakki.Org report. So how will the public lodge appeals if necessary?
• Why does not the Council have an established website?
• Why is not the Council subject to the same regulations as laid down above in so far as the implementation plan is concerned? The public institutions were required to launch their websites by 27 June, 2004. Why does not this regulation apply to the Council?
• Why doesn’t the Council make public its decisions?

The enactment of a right to information law is a significant step towards openness, transparency, and democratisation in Turkey. Within such a short time, a considerable number of public institutions established their freedom of information units and the Act is fully functional. However, there are significant problems and question marks about the establishment of the Right to Information Assessment (Review) Council. It is unfortunate that we can only get information about the Council via a right to information request to the Prime Ministry.

BilgilenmeHakki.Org therefore recommends that

• The Right to Information Assessment (Review) Council is immediately brought to sunshine.
• The Council publishes its decisions and provides reasons for rejected appeals.
• The public institutions are informed about the whereabouts of the Council and that they provide the public information about how to appeal to the Right to Information Assessment (Review) Council if necessary.

BilgilenmeHakki.Org will make its recommendations to the Prime Ministry with the publication of this report and will continue to monitor the developments in Turkey.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

CDT Releases Report on ICANN and Internet Governance

In the context of ongoing global debates about Internet governance, CDT has
released a report calling for continued reform at the Internet Corporation
on Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The report calls on ICANN to focus on
its limited mission and bottom-up, consensus-based approach, which remains
the best model for managing core Internet naming and numbering functions.
ICANN is meeting July 19-23 in Kuala Lumpur. July 14, 2004

CDT Report, "ICANN and Internet Governance: Getting Back to Basics" [PDF],
July 14, 2004:

More on ICANN:

Friday, June 18, 2004

Vera Franz posted:
US-EU deal on flight data leads to dispute
By Daniel Dombey and Raphael Minder in Brussels
Financial Times, June 16 2004

A controversial Europe-US agreement on air passenger information was in
the eye of the storm again on Wednesday, because of mounting pressure
from the European parliament...

On Wednesday, the parliament's legal affairs committee called for the
European Court of Justice to annul both the finding and the US-EU
agreement itself...

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution

The Center is pleased to announce our new ODR Working Papers initiative to supplant our longstanding ODR Monthly online journal. The Working Papers initiative provides a space for presentation of new work, papers, articles, book chapters, or other ODR related material. We invite you to consider a submission, publication will be on a rolling basis and we welcome your work readily. The two most recent are:

Jenny Geary and Linda Mckay-Panos "Virtual Tutoring and Student Support Systems" (here is the associated PowerPoint presentation) Trident Foundation Mediation Counselling and Support Foundation, Alberta, Canada.
Ethan Katsh, "Can Avatars Lead Us to a New Model of Dispute Resolution"
If you have timely news or announcements about ODR and related issues / events please post on the ODR News Blog at Or, if you prefer, send the announcements to the Center and we will post.

Thank you!
The Center.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Turkish FOIA

An education seminar about the usage of the Freedom of Information in

Dr. Yaman Akdeniz, Fikret Ilkiz, Attorney, Louitgard Hammerrer, Article 19 gave lectures on Turkish FOIA to a group of ngo representatives and lawyers. The seminar was held by ISTANBUL BILGI UNIVERSITY
... The same event was repeated in Ankara and Diyarbak?r later on.

Chinese cyber-dissident gets four years' house arrest
By Tim Richardson
Published Monday in The Register 14th June 2004 13:32 GMT

Chinese cyber-dissident, Du Daobin, has been sentenced to four years under house arrest after being convicted for posting pro-democracy articles on the Net. Du's trial in Xiaogan, in the central province of Hubei, on Friday lasted just 15 minutes, during which time he was not allowed to speak.

Although Du accepts that he posted 26 essays on democracy and respect for human rights, he refuses to admit that it was a crime or that he was guilty of subversion.

Human rights organisation, Reporters Without Borders, accepted that the sentence was lenient, especially since Chinese authorities in the past have imposed long jail terms to such activists. Even so, the group maintains that Du was convicted unfairly on the "baseless charge of 'inciting subversion of the state'".

"This is a Pyrrhic victory," said Reporters Without Borders. "It allows Du to leave prison but it puts him under such a degree of police surveillance that his freedom is illusory. This sentence aims both to silence a human rights activist and at the same time appease those in China and abroad who criticised his imprisonment."

Du, 40, was arrested last October as he returned home from work. As well as pr-democracy activist, he also campaigned for the release of Liu Di, a young student imprisoned for posting messages calling for democracy in China on on-line forums. Liu was released in November last year after more than a year of detention without trial. ®

Related stories
China pulls plug on blogs
Outcry as Chinese Net dissident arrested
Tiananmen protesters fight on the Web

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Bogdan forwarded:
- - - - - - - - -
Dear colleagues,
> We are pleased to present you some information regarding the
> International Summer School on Intellectual Property Law which will
> take place in Romania, on the Prahova Valley, between August 22nd and
> September 3rd 2004.
> The greatest challenge of the beginning of the 21st Century is the
> acceleration of technical changes and innovation, that has created a
> new
> competitive dynamism in a range of markets sometimes collectively
> referred to as the "new economy".
> This so-called "new economy" has become almost synonymous
> with the
> information technology industries including computer software,
> hardware, and Internet-based businesses and associated technologies
> such
> as wireless communications.
> Baring in mind the economic potential of using the Internet and
> yet the
> importance of protecting the ideas upon which development is based,
> The
> European Law Students' Association-ELSA Bucharest, The Romanian
> Development Law Association-IDLO Alumni and Nestor Nestor Diculescu
> Kingston Petersen-Attorneys & Counselors gathered their experience
> and
> resources in order to provide 25 law students with knowledge on the
> subject.
> ACADEMIC AGENDA OF THE EVENT (8 courses and a moot court
> competition)
> Course 1 -"Connection between property, the protection of
> intellectual
> property and the Internet"
> Course 2- "Infringement of copyright in the digital age"
> Course 3- "Trademarks and domain names"
> Course 4- "The use of patents in information age"
> Course 5- "Protection of trade secrets in information age"
> Course 6- "Information about legal research on the Internet"
> Course 7- "The protection of software"
> Course 8- "Internet and the protection of human rights and
> privacy"
> The guest lecturers invited to the summer school are highly trained
> professionals. Due to their international experience, this summer
> school
> shall be a wonderful opportunity to give new insights on already new
> topics or on new ones. Some of the lecturers shall also act as
> judges in
> the moot court competition.
> The language of the summer school is English.
> The International Summer School How to Protect IP in the Digital
> Age is
> open to all European law students, undergraduates or graduates, with
> some experience in both intellectual property and the Internet. We
> are
> seeking the participation of enthusiastic young students, with a
> diversity of academic backgrounds and nationalities. Our ideal
> candidate
> is someone with some experience in international context, and who is
> dynamic.
> The maximum number of participants is 25!!!
> The deadline for submitting the application is 20th of July.
> You can download the application form from our website
> starting with 27 of May.
> If you have any questions about how to fill the application form,
> do not
> hesitate to address it at office@s...
> The payment of the participation fee shall be made until the 10th of
> August. The participation fee is:
> 100 EURO -participants from abroad
> 30 EURO -participants from Romania
> The costs of accommodation transport from Bucharest to the venue and
> back, as well as the costs of the field trip, shall be covered by the
> organizers.
> We are waiting 4 YOU!
> Sincerelly yours,
> Diana
> Diana Crangasu
> Public Relations Coordinator
> "How To Protect IP in the Digital Age?"
> International Summer School on Intellectual Property Law
> Romania, 22nd August-3rd September 2004
> office@s...
> fax/tel. :+4021 315.57.20
> ___________________________________________
> Organizers:
> The European Law Students'Association - ELSA Bucharest
> Romanian Development Law Association IDLO Alumni
> Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston and Petersen-Attorneys&Councelors

Monday, May 31, 2004

What do iLaw participants think are the pressing issues?

From John Palfrey's weblog relating to "i-law 2004":

What do iLaw participants think are the pressing issues?
For me, a long-awaited session. What do the participants think are the Pressing Issues in internet law?

* Peer production: does it really matter to those of us who aren't interested in developing Apache? Charlie Nesson pushes back to Yochai Benkler: what is this freedom that you think we want, and what do you think that we want to do with it? Why do we care? When we want something else, this is the way to get it? Charlie wants to know what the "it" is. Yochai says it's blogging, it's being more engaged with the world around us in creative rather than passive ways, it's having more platforms to do other things we want to do -- like earning money.

* We can test propositions over and over again. Scientists should love it. We can change the world through experiments. We will fix things like no longer boiling trees to make paper.

* Jay McCarthy: people are already doing the things that Yochai says we will want to do, like blogging and making movies.

* Charlie really wants to know: To what new creative endeavors will this new mode of production be applied? Larry says it's work as play, or play as work (someone says it's Ender's Game). Just experiment. You might learn, and learn to be able to do, new and incredible things.

* Yochai: most of the great peer production examples are hybrids, not pure plays (Wikipedia is probably the closest thing to the pure play).

* Dave Winer: You panel guys should move off the stand. Practice what you preach. Make it an un-conference. Let's do peer production. [A "hum" from the audience reveals no consensus: about 50/50. So two guys move off into the audience, two guys stay up there. Heh.]

* National security: a pressing issue, with a cool back-and-forth on the Pentagon Papers, but no resolution on the point.

* Media literacy: learning how in the context of making a film that you can radically alter how people understand a series of events. Our kids are far ahead of us. They are learning how to be creators, not just users. They are re-mixers. Pew says that 44% of people had "contributed something to the Internet", which is huge -- huge in terms of people becoming creators. But most of what these kids are doing is illegal -- perhaps criminal under today's law.

Headline for today: Lessig: "All of us should aspire to become 'just bloggers.'" (A great side effect of the conference is new bloggers.)

* Terry raises the K-12 Initiative problem: it turns out to be very possible to get digital versions of textbooks put online and accessible to children with disabilities that make it harder to read (blind, e.g.). There's a trade group representing these publishers who are focused on this issue -- with some trepidation, but also with a sense of the promise. The law is convoluted in this area, and is holding things back at this point. There's movement, with the likely adoption soon of an XML DTD that's standard for these publishers. But the economics, law, technologies, administrative aspects of this issue are extraordinarily complex.

* Rebecca MacKinnon, (one can hear Ethan Zuckerman making the same point, from afar), draws our attention to developing countries. She knows what she's talking about: her NKZone weblog is an important idea. Ben from OSIWA (in Dakar, Senegal); Phillipp from, Heather Ford (a representative from Creative Commons-South Africa), a Latin American, others question some of the immediate relevance of the theory discussed here and focus us tightly on IPR issues. Free culture is essential, most seem to agree.

* Alex Tarkowski: worries about free-riding upon the system generally, and cites the peer production of term papers. (Alex, to his credit, has pursued the translation of Creative Commons licenses into Poland).

Friday, May 21, 2004
Update, May 20, 2004

Ecuador Enacts 'Transparency and Access to Information Law'

On May 18, 2004, Ecuador formally published the new "Transparency and Access to Information Law" in the government's official record, after passage by Parliament earlier in the month and approval by President Lucio Gutierrez. For, Carlos Osorio and Kati Costar provide the first English-language analysis of the new law, together with the Spanish-language legal text.

According to the Osorio and Costar report:

With refreshing democratic language, the new Ecuadorian Transparency and Access to Information Law establishes that "[a]ccess to information is a right of the person guaranteed by the State" and requires that government agencies proactively publish functional, operational and financial information. At the same time, a number of inconsistencies within the text, such as allowing the Armed Forces to restrict the right to information, could prove to be obstacles in Ecuador's push for transparency.

_______________________________________________________________ is a one-stop portal that describes best practices,
consolidates lessons learned, explains campaign strategies and
tactics, and links the efforts of freedom of information advocates
around the world. It contains crucial information on freedom of
information laws and how they were drafted and implemented, including
how various provisions have worked in practice.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004


From Dr. Yaman Akdeniz:
EU Agreement on security procedures for the exchange of classified information with Bulgaria, Romania, Iceland, Norway, Turkey, Canada, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the United States of America, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and FYROM

Press Note: BilgilenmeHakki.Org website received an EU document entitled EU Agreement on security procedures for the exchange of classified information with a number of states including Turkey. This document was obtained from the Council of the European Union by Mr. David Banisar of Privacy International, a well known FOI expert under the EU public access to Council documents procedure...

Notes from the EU Agreement

Article 2 of the Agreement defines classified information as follows:For the purposes of the present Agreement, classified information shall mean any information (namely, knowledge that can be communicated in any form) or material determined to require protection against unauthorized disclosure and which has been so designated by a security classification (hereafter: 'classified information').

Article 4 requires Each Party to
(a) protect and safeguard classified information subject to the present Agreement provided or exchanged by the other Party;
(b) ensure that classified information subject to the present Agreement provided or exchanged keeps the security classification given to it by the providing Party. The receiving Party shall protect and safeguard the classified information according to the provisions set out in its own security regulations for information or material holding an equivalent security classification, as specified in the Security Arrangements to be established pursuant to Articles 11 and 12;
(c) not use such classified information subject to the present Agreement for purposes other than those established by the originator and those for which the information is provided or exchanged;
(d) not disclose such classified information subject to the present Agreement to third parties, or to any EU institution or entity not mentioned in Article 3, without the prior consent of the originator.

You can read the full document entitled EU Agreement on security procedures for the exchange of classified information with a number of states including Turkey.

You can also see and read the final version of the EU agreement with revisions - to track the changes made to the original document.

For more details:

Harvard Weblogs: What makes a weblog a weblog?

Harvard Weblogs: What makes a weblog a weblog?

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Knowlege Economy Forum-III

I have just returned from Budapest at where the Knowledge Economy Forum-III was held by the World Bank and the Hungarian Government...

Closing Session at the Hungarian Parliament...

Here is the website of the event:
And this is one of the last presentations made by Halil Ibrahim Akca, Deputy Undersecretary, State Planning Organization:
Turkey: The Country Perspective! (Next year the IVth Forum will be held in Istanbul)


The new book from Larry Lessig may be found online, for free at :

" Lawrence Lessig could be called a cultural environmentalist. One of
America's most original and influential public intellectuals, his focus is
the social dimension of creativity: how creative work builds on the past and
how society encourages or inhibits that building with laws and technologies.
In his two previous books, CODE and THE FUTURE OF IDEAS, Lessig concentrated
on the destruction of much of the original promise of the Internet. Now, in
FREE CULTURE, he widens his focus to consider the diminishment of the larger
public domain of ideas. In this powerful wake-up call he shows how
short-sighted interests blind to the long-term damage they're inflicting are
poisoning the ecosystem that fosters innovation.

All creative works-books, movies, records, software, and so on-are a
compromise between what can be imagined and what is possible-technologically
and legally. For more than two hundred years, laws in America have sought a
balance between rewarding creativity and allowing the borrowing from which
new creativity springs. The original term of copyright set by the
Constitution in 1787 was seventeen years. Now it is closer to two hundred.
Thomas Jefferson considered protecting the public against overly long
monopolies on creative works an essential government role. What did he know
that we've forgotten?

Lawrence Lessig shows us that while new technologies always lead to new
laws, never before have the big cultural monopolists used the fear created
by new technologies, specifically the Internet, to shrink the public domain
of ideas, even as the same corporations use the same technologies to control
more and more what we can and can't do with culture. As more and more
culture becomes digitized, more and more becomes controllable, even as laws
are being toughened at the behest of the big media groups. What's at stake
is our freedom-freedom to create, freedom to build, and ultimately, freedom
to imagine."

Monday, March 01, 2004

“The Right to Information in Turkey”, International Conference
by Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Law and Human Rights Law Research Center,
in cooperation with TESEV (Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation) and
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties.
February 26th, 2004


OECD Backs Broadband for Economic and Social Development

Balca Celener posted:
OECD Backs Broadband for Economic and Social Development

Bogdan sent this report:

EU - EP Report on collecting societies for authors' rights
Report on a Community framework for collecting societies for authors'
rights A5-0478/2003. Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal
Market Rapporteur: Raina A. Mercedes Echerer

NL - Microsoft wins Lindows fight in the Netherlands (The Register)
Resellers of the Linux distribution Lindows in the Netherlands were
ordered to stop selling the product. Amsterdam judge Rullmann agreed
with Microsoft that in many ways Lindows is 'profiting from the
success of Windows' by infringing Microsoft trademarks.

The Court of Cuneo ordered a company to fulfil its obligations to another
company on the basis of a claim proved with e-mail communications. The
order is interesting as it represents one of the few precedents in relation
to the issue of the validity of e-mails as evidence in Court. An e-mail may
have the same validity as a written document when it is linked to the sender
through information authentication tools. The Judge of Cuneo held that the
use of authentication credentials such as a user ID and password to access
the e-mail account represents a valid means of adducing evidence on the
origin of the message and therefore the Judge held that the e-mails had the
same validity as written documents and admitted them as trial evidence.

The owner of the website lost its lawsuit against the owner of the website. Both websites provide advertisements for properties for
sale and Notar provides a link to the Finn/Eiendom website where Finn offers
its property advertisements. The link is not a deep link and does not
involve framing. Nevertheless, Finn claimed that the link infringed the
copyright in their database and contravened the Norwegian Marketing Control
Act. Finn claimed damages and removal of the link. The claim was dismissed
as the Court held that Finn had voluntarily made its database available to
the public by placing it on the Internet and therefore the link was merely a
way to make it easier for a user to find the information. Further, the Court
did not find the linking to be in conflict with good business practices

A group of economists submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in
the case of Eldred v. Ashcroft, arguing that the term extension provided in
the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) adds no economic value to the owner
while it extends a monopoly and increases costs to create new derivative
works. Recently, the authors published a paper that counters a common
claim that copyright extension so far out in the future can have little
effect on creativity.

The Senate is considering ratification of the Cybercrime Treaty, aimed at
stopping computer hackers. But according to the ACLU, the treaty's
language is too broad, threatening the core liberties of citizens. The
treaty, among other mandates, requires signatory nations to grant to its law
enforcement new powers of search and seizure, and forces U.S. law
enforcement to cooperate with investigations of activities that are legal in
the U.S. but illegal overseas.

Italy to retain communications data for five years (Statewatch)
On 23 December 2003, the Italian data protection authority expressed
its 'concern' about a decree that the government approved on the
compulsory storage of traffic data relating to telephone and Internet
communications by service providers. The decree introduces the
wholesale collection and storage of traffic data on all telephone and
Internet communications by service providers compulsory for sixty
months, in case it may subsequently prove useful for criminal

Spyware cures may cause more harm than good (CNET
A small army of angry Web users has set up a network of Web sites
where they post reports of antispyware programs said to prey on
consumers by installing offending files. Some of these charges could
get a hearing soon, as public-interest group The Center for Democracy
& Technology plans to file complaints with the Federal Trade
Commission against specific companies.

As the number of complaints from ADSL users has increased dramatically
during recent months, several Internet user associations are creating a
lobby group to demand that the Spanish Government approve legislation
governing Internet service quality. Several consumer associations and other
organizations are considering creating a similar lobby group relating to
Internet content, focusing particularly on legislative measures to improve
secure navigation and the protection of children.

Major ISPs indicate interest in a system in which bulk emailers must pay 1
cent to buy a digital "stamp" for each e-mail message sent. The encrypted
stamp would verify the identity of the sender and require e-mailers to honor
requests to opt out. Opponents of the system argue that e-mail stamps
cannot work because the Internet and its traffic are not regulated by one
authority like the postal system is regulated by the federal government.

FR - Les enfants du Net : Recommandation du Forum des droits sur
l'internet (Communiqué de presse)

Recommandation du Forum des droits sur l'internet : Les Enfants du Net
- (1) Les mineurs et les contenus préjudiciables sur l'internet.
Rapport remis à Christian Jacob, Ministre délégué à la Famille, dans
le cadre du Conseil Consultatif de l'internet placé auprès de Claudie
Haigneré, Ministre déléguée à la Recherche et aux Nouvelles
technologies. Publiée le 11 février 2004, cette recommandation est le
fruit de plusieurs mois de concertation d'un groupe de travail
constitué de représentants d'administrations, d'associations
d'utilisateurs et d'acteurs économiques concernés.

EU - Handbook of Legislative Procedures of Computer and Network
Misuse (EDRI-gram)

Study for the European Commission, Directorate-General Information
Society, by Rand Europe. The Handbook is designed to help European
Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT) deal with incidents
and operate in a European environment with divergent legal codes
dealing with computer crime and misuse. Particular attention is
devoted to the examination of the content of the Council of Europe's
Cybercrime Convention and the proposed European Framework Decision on
Attacks Against Information Systems. The publication contains an
analysis of legislation in each EU member state in the area of
computer crime. A summary table is also provided together with the law
enforcement points of contacts and reporting mechanisms.

Mémoire - Les contrats de distribution et Internet - FR
Michaël MALKA - 17/02/2004

A bill that would let police without warrants require ISPs to keep logs of
e-mail up to 90 days is expected to go to the Diet this session. The
Justice Ministry's revision of the Criminal Procedure Law aims to give law
enforcement officials stronger tools to deal with Internet crime.

An employee of a Internet travel agency hacked his work colleague's Internet
Messenger conversations and reported them to the company head. The employee
used a hacking program to monitor conversations. It is an offence under the
Information Protection legislation to monitor another person's personal
information or communications through phone, Internet, or other information
communication networks.

Following the lead of RIAA in the U.S., CRIA sought orders from the Federal
Court to require several large ISPs to disclose the identities of
subscribers who uploaded large quantities of pirated music through the ISPs'
IP addresses. Shaw and Rogers have opposed disclosure, citing obligations
under PIPEDA, the cost of tracing dynamic IP addresses, and the risk of
misidentifying subscribers. Vidéotron, affiliated with a legitimate music
downloading site, said it will comply. The motion was adjourned until March
12, 2004. There are suggestions the court may consider the reasoning of a
December U.S. appeals court decision that limited ISP disclosure

'Télécharger tue l'industrie musicale'
Jean-Christophe BOBABLE - 19/02/2004

The Creative Commons by Sandy Starr
'What if the law had said that you need someone's permission before taking
their image?' So asked LawrenceLessig, to draw our attention to what the
consequences might have been for
photography and film if they had been regulated as closely when they first
emerged as the internet is today.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Darius Cuplinskas has sent this:

Thank you for your interest in iCommons, which oversees the
internationalization of the Creative Commons Idea. We want as many countries
as possible to join our efforts to increase the sum of raw source material
online and to make access to that material cheaper and easier. We are still
looking for expert help all around the world. The following overview is
designed to help you understand what helping us would entail.


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Bogdan posted this:

Ukraine tightens control of Internet, moves to stamp out porn
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma passed a law banning publication,
including on the Internet of material promoting terrorism, the
overthrow of the state or depicting pornography. The law makes it
illegal to publish calls to overthrow the state or forcibly change the
country's constitution, material that is pornographic or promotes
terrorism, violence or discrimination. It also outlaws the
dissemination of information that "could harm the honour or business
reputation of individuals". Under the government-proposed
legislation, adopted in parliament on November 20, a state commission
will be formed to identify materials of a violent or pornographic
nature and ban them from all media including the Internet.

Copy protection: Consumers vs. copyright holdersDigital rights management took significant strides toward being
accepted by mainstream consumers and businesses in 2003, but hackers
and critics maintained their attacks on the technology in the name of
fair use and information freedom.

NO - Norwegian cleared of DVD piracy charges
An Oslo appeal court cleared a 20-year-old Norwegian man of DVD piracy
charges in a new setback for Hollywood studios which say unauthorized
copying costs them billions of dollars a year. Upholding a verdict by
a lower court in January, the court said that Jon Johansen had broken
no laws by helping to unlock a code and distribute a computer program
on the Internet enabling unauthorized copying of DVD movies.

US - Internet Law Year in Review 2003by Doug Isenberg. Internet law in 2003 was full of surprises, with
Congress passing an anti-spam bill, the courts blessing pop-up
advertising, the music industry losing lawsuits, and the Supreme Court
finally upholding an Internet law. And those are just a few of the
highlights from a year in which technology and the law saw their
biggest clashes yet.

Au Canada, le téléchargement de MP3 sur les réseaux P2P peut-il être
légal ?, Nicolas Vermeys - 05/01/2004

Frenchman sentenced in Senegal for Internet libel
A French national who ran an Internet website about Senegal has been
sentenced in his absence for libelling an official in and hoteliers in
the south of the country, legal sources said. Christian Costeaux, who
ran the '' website, was also ordered to pay damages
of 600 million CFA francs (around 915,000 euros) to the plaintiffs,
the mayor of Ziguinchor, the main city in the southern Senegalese
region of Casamance, and two hotelkeepers.

FR - Compétence pour un site internet en Espagne
Cour de Cassation, Première chambre civile, 9 décembre 2003, Société
Castellblanch c/ Société Champagne Louis Roederer. Propriété
littéraire et artistique - Contrefaçon - Site Espagnol - Compétence
juridictionnelle - Juge français compétent (oui). En admettant la
compétence des juridictions françaises pour connaître de la prévention
et de la réparation de dommages subis en France du fait de
l'exploitation d'un site internet en Espagne, la cour d'appel qui a
constaté que ce site, fût-il passif, était accessible sur le
territoire français, de sorte que le préjudice allégué du seul fait de
cette diffusion n'était ni virtuel ni éventuel, a légalement justifié
sa décision.

held that an Internet portal provider was liable for the content of
advertisements published on its website. The applicable terms and conditions
stated that, prior to posting, each advertisement was subject to a "manual
review". The Court assumed that this provision amounted to the acceptance of
a review and verification policy for highly sensitive information Koeln-28-O-706-02.pdf

regulations under the Consumer Protection Act that will govern consumer
sales transactions online. The new regulations specify information that must
be disclosed to consumers before and at the time of sale. They also mandate
the use of an Internet sales contract containing specified information, and
establish a consumer's right to cancel a contract and reverse credit card
charges for online purchases.

US - E-PRIVACY YEAR IN REVIEW: EPIC published its 2003 Year in Review,
noting the Can-Spam Act becoming law, school installing biometrics
technology to detect sex offenders, the Supreme Court allowing Internet
filters in libraries, and the legal battle involving the Do-Not-Call

Cuba Tightens Controls on Internet
Cuba tightened its controls over the Internet, prohibiting access over
the low-cost government phone service most ordinary citizens have at
home. Cuba's communist government already heavily controls access to
the Internet. Cubans must have government permission to use the Web
legally and most don't, although many can access international e-mail
and a more limited government-controlled intranet at government jobs
and schools. Now Cubans will need additional approval to access via
the nation's regular phone service.

FR - L'internet français se mobilise contre une loi jugée
La quasi-totalité des fournisseurs d'accès internet (FAI) français ont
menacé de fermer leurs services d'hébergement si le Parlement
approuvait en l'état un projet de loi visant à les contraindre à
contrôler préablement tous les contenus diffusés sur leurs réseaux.
Le texte destiné à renforcer la confiance dans l'économie numérique a
déjà été adopté en seconde lecture par l'Assemblée nationale et qui
doit examiner le mois prochain par le Sénat. Le texte stipule que les
FAI et portails internet hébergeant des pages personnelles ou
communautaires "mettent en oeuvre les moyens conformes à l'état de
l'art pour empêcher la diffusion de données constitutives des
infractions" d'incitation à la haine raciale, de négationnisme et de
pédo-pornographie. Outre l'obligation de surveillance et de filtrage
pour les hébergeurs, les FAI soulignent qu'une autre disposition du
projet de loi désacralise le courrier électronique, qui n'est plus
considérée comme de la correspondance privée.

URLs, IP Numbers, and Speech
by Susan Crawford. There's a great fight going on right now in
Philadelphia, CDT v. Pappert. The case is about a Pennsylvania statute
[PDF] that mandates that Pennsylvania ISPs remove access to sites that
the AG believes contain child pornography. Now, child pornography is
abhorrent and any ISP will cooperate in taking down such sites that it
is hosting. But the problem is that in complying with the statute with
respect to sites the ISPs don't themselves host, ISPs are (rationally)
using either IP blocking ("null routing") or "domain poisoning"
techniques, both of which (particularly the IP number blocking) result
in rendering inaccessible millions of perfectly legal sites.

US - PLAYBOY v. NETSCAPE: The Ninth Circuit reversed the lower court's
summary judgment against Playboy in its trademark infringement and dilution
lawsuit against Excite, Inc. and Netscape alleging that defendants include
the trademark terms "playboy" and "playmate" into a list of words and
phrases that trigger banner ads unrelated to Playboy, without identifying
that the ads are sponsored by others. The court found genuine issues of
material fact as to likelihood of confusion. In addition, the court remanded
the case for the lower court to consider the dilution claim under the new
standard which requires evidence of actual dilution.

India - Police to Monitor Cybercafes
Relatively few Indians can afford home PCs, so millions go online in
the nation's jammed Internet cafes, enjoying their low cost and
anonymity. But police in Bombay are planning to monitor cybercafes, a
move some are decrying as excessive regulation that could create a
dangerous precedent. Increasingly fearful that terrorists and other
criminals are taking advantage of cybercafes, Bombay police want to
require customers to show photo identification and give their home
addresses. Cafe owners would have to retain such records for up to a
year and show them to police on request.

US - Recording Industry Is Accusing 532 People of Music PiracyThe music industry returned to the courthouse with lawsuits against
532 people it is accusing of large-scale copyright infringement. The
new lawsuits are "John Doe'' lawsuits, an increasingly common type of
litigation in the Internet age, which allow plaintiffs to sue people
whose identities are not known. These suits identify the suspected
file traders only by the numerical identifier, known as an Internet
Protocol number, assigned to them by their Internet service provider.

CA - Consumer ministers approve e-commerce code
Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial ministers met to
approve a new Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic
Commerce. The code addresses issues such as clear information,
payment security, contract formation, and complaints handling.

EU - Do not touch B2B contract laws, says ICC
The International Chamber of Commerce has published its response to
the European Commission's consultation on harmonising EU contract
laws. The ICC's message was that businesses neither want nor require
new regulatory instruments.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Vera Franz posted:
Conference on Information Society : "New Opportunities for Growth in an
Enlarged Europe"
(26-27/02, Budapest)

Progress in implementing the eEurope+ Information Society action plan in the
new EU Member States and candidate countries, the eEurope 2005 mid-term
review and joint Information Society challenges for the whole of Europe will
be debated at a two-day, pan-European ministerial conference in Budapest on
26-27 February 2004. This event, hosted by the EU's Irish Presidency,
Minister Kálmán Kovács on behalf of the Hungarian government and
Commissioner Erkki Liikanen for the European Commission, follows similar
events held in Ljubljana in 2002 and Warsaw in 2000. Ministers from the 10
new Member States and 3 candidate countries, EU Member States, and the
South-East European countries have been invited to participate. The 450
participants will include high-level representatives of international
institutions, the private sector, academics, and civil society. As the
Commission emphasized in its recent call to the Spring European Council,
seizing economic growth opportunities created by EU enlargement can give
fresh impetus to the Lisbon strategy for making Europe the world's most
competitive knowledge-based economy (IP/04/74). The new Member States join
the Union on 1 May 2004.

Robert Horvitz (Global Internet Policy Initiative) sent:
Technology licensing reforms draw scepticism
Ingrid Hering, London - 01 February 2004
Managing Intellectual Property (MIP Week)

The European Commission's proposed reforms to its technology licensing
rules have failed to win the backing of industry and the intellectual
property community.

Submissions to the Commission suggest that though the need for reform
has support, there is apprehension that the proposals will instead make
licensing more expensive and cumbersome, stifling innovation and
clouding legal certainty.

The Commission wants to overhaul the Technology Transfer Block Exemption
Regulation to streamline licensing and modernize competition aspects.

The American Bar Association's antitrust, business law, IP law, and
international law and practice sections queried several aspects of the
proposals, such as the use of market share thresholds.

"Market share thresholds may not lead to greater legal certainty, given
the difficulty of measuring market shares and limited utility of market
shares in dynamic, technology-driven markets where the future is
uncertain and market definitions often change quickly."

The International Chamber of Commerce UK suggests that more time is
needed to tackle the issues and any changes should be postponed until
the existing Regulation expires in 2007.

The Chamber is concerned that the revisions will mean "a large part of
the onus of working out the acceptability or otherwise of licensing
arrangements under the EC competitions rules will fall on the business
community and judges in national courts"...

The revised rules are due to come into effect next year, when they will
be relevant for any newly signed agreements. Existing agreements, drawn
up under the current regime, are valid until October 2005, by which time
they must comply with the new rules.

To view the submissions:

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Vera Franz posted:

[from ]

RMS covers WSIS

The World Summit on the Information Society is supposed to formulate
plans to end the "digital divide" and make the internet accessible to
everyone on Earth. The negotiations were completed in November, so
the big official meeting in Geneva last week was more of a trade show
and conference than a real summit meeting.

The summit procedures were designed so that non-governmental
organizations (mainly those that promote human rights and equality,
and work to reduce poverty) could attend, see the discussions, and
comment. However, the actual declaration paid little attention to
the comments and recommendations that these organizations made. In
effect, civil society was offered the chance to speak to a dead mike.

The summit's declaration includes little that is bold or new. When
it comes to the question of what people will be free to do with the
Internet, it responds to demands made by various governments to
impose restrictions on citizens of cyberspace.

Part of the digital divide comes from artificial obstacles to the
sharing of information. This includes the licenses of non-free
software, and harmfully restrictive copyright laws. The Brazilian
declaration sought measures to promote free software, but the US
delegation was firmly against it (remember that the Bush campaign got
money from Microsoft). The outcome was a sort of draw, with the
final declaration presenting free software, open source, and
proprietary software as equally legitimate. The US also insisted on
praising so-called "intellectual property rights." (That biased term
promotes simplistic over-generalization; for the sake of clear
thinking about the issues of copyright law, and about the very
different issues of patent law, that term should always be avoided.)

The declaration calls on governments to ensure unhindered access to
the public domain, but says nothing about whether any additional
works should ever enter the public domain.

Human rights were given lip service, but the proposal for a "right to
communicate" (not merely to access information) using the Internet
was shot down by many of the countries. The summit has been
criticized for situating its 2005 meeting in Tunisia, which is a
prime example of what the information society must not do. People
have been imprisoned in Tunisia for using the Internet to criticize
the government.

Suppression of criticism has been evident here at the summit too. A
counter-summit, actually a series of talks and discussions, was
planned for last Tuesday, but it was shut down by the Geneva police,
who clearly were searching for an excuse to do so. First they
claimed that the landlord did not approve use of the space, but the
tenant who has a long-term lease for the space then arrived and said
he had authorized the event. So the police cited a fire code
violation which I'm told is applicable to most buildings in Geneva --
in effect, an all-purpose excuse to shut down anything. Press
coverage of this maneuver eventually forced the city to allow the
counter-summit to proceed on Wednesday in a different location.

In a more minor act of suppression, the moderator of the official
round table in which I spoke told me "your time is up" well before
the three minutes each participant was supposed to have. She later
did the same thing to the EPIC representative. I later learned that
she works for the International Chamber of Commerce -- no wonder she
silenced us. And how telling that the summit would put a
representative of the ICC at the throttle when we spoke.

Suppression was also visible in the exclusion of certain NGOs from
the summit because their focus on human rights might embarrass the
governments that trample them. For instance, the summit refused to
accredit Human Rights In China, a group that criticizes the Chinese
government for (among other things) censorship of the internet.

Reporters Without Borders was also excluded from the summit. To
raise awareness of their exclusion, and of the censorship of the
Internet in various countries, they set up an unauthorized radio
station in nearby France and handed out mini-radios so that summit
attendees could hear what the organization had been blocked from
saying at the summit itself.

The summit may have a few useful side effects. For instance, several
people came together to plan an organization to help organizations in
Africa switch to GNU/Linux. But the summit did nothing to support
this activity beyond providing an occasion for us to meet. Nor, I
believe, was it intended to support any such thing. The overall
attitude of the summit can be seen in its having invited Microsoft to
speak alongside, and before, most of the various participating
governments -- as if to accord that criminal corporation the standing
of a state.


1. " promotes simplistic over-generalization" -

2. "imprisoned in Tunisia for using the Internet to criticize the
government" -

3. "refused to accredit Human Rights In China" -

4. "Reporters Without Borders was also excluded" -

Copyright 2003 Richard Stallman
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