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Yahoo's Immunity Fails
11:00am NZDT
While other dot-coms have stumbled and fallen in the past year, despite huge amounts of capital funding, Yahoo.com has appeared to move from strength to strength, seemingly immune to the huge downward trend affecting others -- until now that is.

In a report posted by the company today, Yahoo confirms that it has met expectations for the fourth-quarter of 2000 but has issued a warning that it won't be able to pull off the same this year.

It had been expected that the company would generate profits of nearly 60 cents per share during 2001 but this figure has now been revised strongly downwards to as little as 33 cents.

The market's response to this bad news won't be really apparent until the US stockmarkets re-open tomorrow.

Passports Please? 11 January 2001 Edition
Previous Edition

Wired.com today carries a story in which US consumer rights activist and now political candidate Raph Nader suggests that perhaps we should have the equivalent of the United Nations in place to control the Internet.

The move is slated by Wired as "an opportunity for a new global bureaucracy" and, as regular readers will be well aware, I'm strongly opposed to such things -- but in this case I believe he has the germ of a good idea.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)

Internet Passports... - Peter

Cyber Passport... - Stan

online law? absolutely not!... - Daniel

Have Your Say

As has been proven time and time again by various cases involving pornography, defamation, trademarks and other issues, the Net is plagued by the fact that it has no physical location and therefore is not under the control of any single set of laws.

What's legal in one country may be illegal in another -- but if a US law is broken by someone accessing the Net in the UK -- has a crime really been committed?

I've long advocated the creation of a separate jurisdiction for cyberspace that would allow all online activities to be controlled by a single consistent set of laws. These laws would in effect for a treaty by which other countries would agree to enforce, or at least aide the enforcement of them with a central (cyberspace) authority.

Well hell -- why don't we just declare cyberspace to be a virtual country?

Whenever you log on to the Net, you will in effect be visiting that country and thus you'll be bound by its laws.

For example -- if unsolicited email marketing is made illegal in cyberspace then, no matter where you access the Net from, if you spam then you will have broken the law. The cyberspace authorities would have the right to issue a fine or other penalty that would (under the terms of the international treaty) be enforced by the local authorities of the country in which you live.

At this stage there would be little conflict between local and cyberspace laws concerning the Internet -- since there are so few countries which have any real Net-specific legislation anyway. Besides which -- people will just have to accept that they are in effect in a different country when online.

Just as foreigners have to remember that chewing gum in Singapore is illegal and carries a stiff fine -- visitors to cyberspace will have to agree to abide by the laws of that jurisdiction while online.

Now for the downside: Just as we all need a valid passport to travel from one country to another, the chances are that to be effective and easily policed, the creation of "cyberspace" would also require that anyone wanting to use the Net have a valid cyberspace passport.

This electronic document would uniquely identify them while they were online -- thus allowing crimes to be traced to the perpetrator and minimising the cost of enforcement.

Sounds like huge reduction in online privacy right? Maybe so -- but then again, you can't enter most foreign countries without disclosing a lot of private information -- and the way our own lawmakers are headed we're going to lose a lot more than just our privacy if the anti-hacking bill currently under consideration is enacted in its current form.

So, what do YOU think? Should we create an entirely new virtual country to represent the online world?

Would the price be too high or would it be the simplest and most sensible way to deal with the increasing number of problems that are appearing as the Net matures and becomes an integral part of our business and recreation?

The Weekly Trickles Out
This week's edition of the Weekly has started trickling out. It will probably take a day or so before they're all sent but they're on their way.

As always, your feedback is welcomed and...

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The Day's Top News
4 = open in new window
New Zealand

4  Fear Of State Hacking in Bill
Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane is concerned changes to the Crimes Act are about to give Police, secret service agencies, internet service providers and telecommunications carriers unprecedented powers...
NZ.Internet.com

4  Kiwis jilted in Optus chase
ANY hope of a big windfall for the $14 billion-plus sale of Cable & Wireless Optus's assets has evaporated with sources indicating NTT DoCoMo has pulled out of the race, leaving Telecom Corp of New Zealand in the lurch...
Australian IT

Other

4  "Spam" default setting irks eBay customers
Online auction portal eBay has been accused of spamming millions of users worldwide after the company reset customers' settings to receive company emails...
Fairfax

4  Bill aims to block wireless junk email
Consumers now are concerned about spam sent to their wireless devices such as Internet-ready phones, and Congress is taking notice...
CNet

4  Real estate giant not laughing at eBay "spoof" ad
Re/Max is suing eBay for a commercial that uses "for sale" signs that the real estate giant says look similar to its own...
CNet

4  Israel's Seminar on Cyberwar
Nations at war still fight their battles on the field and in the air, but individuals and groups are taking the fight to the Web in increasing numbers. A Mideast conference addresses this growing concern...
Wired

4  Nader Wants Internet Control
Ralph Nader may not have become president, but he hasn't disappeared. The ex-Green Party candidate is proposing a global Internet regulation body -- think United Nations for the Net...
Wired

Australia

4  Shier sacks ABC Online creator
THE man largely responsible for the success of ABC Online, Colin Griffiths, has become the latest victim of Jonathan Shier's restructure of the national broadcaster...
Australian IT

4  Oven closes the door
RETRENCHED workers have confirmed speculation that New York-based web development house Oven Digital is to close its Sydney operations...
Australian IT

4  Digital TV's bad reception continues
Australia's Internet industry body has dubbed the government's digital TV policy an anti-competitive fiasco that falls well short of what the public expects. A review hasn't been promised for another two years...
ZDNet

Other

4  Ballmer: Linux Is Top Threat To Windows
Speaking at an Internet conference hosted by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Steve Ballmer said that both Unix and Linux threaten Windows' stronghold in the marketplace, but that the latter is the bigger headache...
TechWeb

4  British Police: Internet Child Porn Ring Broken
British detectives said on Wednesday that one of the world's largest Internet child pornography networks had been broken up in a joint operation in which 107 men were arrested in 12 countries...
Yahoo

4  Europe Tries To Take On Spammers
Having won the fight against telemarketers, European lawmakers turned their sights Wednesday on one of the banes of the new media age: spam...
Yahoo/AP

4  Feeling dot-coms' pain ... and loving it
Not everyone bemoans the dot-bomb meltdown. Rustbelt giants are combing through the rubble, looking for acquisition targets and jaded workers...
ZDNet


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