Jan 16, 2001

The Feds'll Come A-Snoopin'
Surveillance and Privacy from Government
1/16/2001; 8:28:14 AM 'The U.S. Department of Justice this week published new guidelines for police and prosecutors in cases involving computer crimes. '

Wired does a good overview which I won't repeat here, except to point you at the actual document, which they do point at, for a change.

Jan 12, 2001

Tough Times for Data Robots
General IP Issues
1/12/2001; 11:11:00 AM 'In that case, Judge Ronald M. Whyte relied on the ancient law of trespass to chattels to temporarily ban an Internet company from using a "bot" to invade and copy auction listings from the computer system of eBay, the auction giant.

'Now a federal judge in Manhattan has picked up on the trespass idea and altered its requirements a bit, making it even easier for companies to use the law to stop the pesky software critters, some lawyers say.'

I still don't like the use of the tresspass doctrine to justify this, and now the judge has removed the need to show damage in these cases... which just goes to show that tresspass is not the right doctrine, it's time for a new one. ('Course, I'm just a code monkey.)

'Michael A. Jacobs, a lawyer for Vario, said in an interview that Judge Jones, in effect, said that a showing of present harm was no longer a necessary requirement for trespassing on a computer web site. "In eBay, they showed a 1 or 2 percent" crunch on eBay's system capacity, he said. In his case, even though's allegation of 2 percent "blew up," he added, "the judge found a sufficient risk of harm. It was literally unprecedented."'

Jan 11, 2001

Privacy Foundation - The Top 10 Privacy Stories of 2000
Privacy from Companies
1/11/2001; 12:36:00 PM Six of the top ten stories are clearly Internet or technology related, and the employee surveillance story can be looked at that way. Good year-in-review article.

Jan 11, 2001 case settled
Privacy from Companies
1/11/2001; 12:29:15 PM

'In a case that could affect other fledgling dot-coms, a defunct online toy store will be paid $50,000 and have its customer database destroyed rather than being sold off to pay creditors, federal regulators said Tuesday.'

Excellent. If there's a legal loophole that someone can use to break privacy promises, it's only a matter of time before some people start systematically exploiting it.

Jan 11, 2001

Europe warms to spam ban
Spam & E-Mail
1/11/2001; 11:55:26 AM

'More and more organisations, including industry bodies and consumer groups, are beginning to understand the need to control spam.

'This in marked contrast to a year ago when representatives of EuroISPA - the European body that lobbies on behalf of service providers - attended such meetings but were alone in their condemnation of spam.

'While an outright ban on spam is plainly unworkable, there is growing support for an "opt-in" stance.'

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