Cyber Ramblings - Dec 5, 2000

5 December 2000
Compiled by Kevin Smith

British Home Office Drafts new RIP Proposal
Just as the British were getting used to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) as law, a new draft proposal has been drawn up by the British Home Office that has caused great confusion in the UK. BBC Radio News and the Observer newspaper both reported today that the Home Office is looking for specific permission to record the details of all phone calls, fax calls and even e-mail, in case of "serious criminal investigation." The project is a massive one, with the proposal requiring carriers in all areas of the telecommunications industry in the UK to store this data for up to seven years. The database would be accessible by the UK's intelligence service and designated police officials, as well as MI5 and MI6, on an "on demand" basis. Awarded to Wembley
An English man has been ordered to turn over domain name rights of to the company that owns the famous football stadium. Thomson registered the domain name in February this year and claimed that he has been widely known as for a long time in order to keep the domain name registered to him. Wembley National Stadium Limited, which operates from the domain name took action before a panel of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), arguing that the name should be transferred because it infringed the company's trademarks, that Mr. Thomson had no legitimate interest in the name, and that it was registered and used in bad faith. Wembley PLC, the world's largest commercial greyhound track operator, announced in May plans to launch a real-money wagering greyhound racing website at

A New Website for Fighting Money Laundering
After launching through its Isle of Man branch a website that proved enormously successful, KPMG has extended the service to Jersey and Guernsey. The site, located at, is designed to be a resource in supporting money laundering reporting officers (MLROs), and KMPG officials feel the new addition will help stifle even more laundering. As compliance professionals MLROs are appointed by financial institutions with the remit to prevent, detect and report acts of money laundering. According to KPMG the MRLO-net web site can act as a general guide to assist MLROs in their investigations through its reference and information service.

Australian Retailers Warn Online Gambling Could Cost Jobs
The Australian Retailers Association has joined a long list of those supporting a move in Australia to ban online gambling. The ARA has supported the ban because of what they say will be a loss of retail jobs of Internet gambling continues to grow in popularity. The ARA feels that the more users who turn to online gambling, the pool of potential customers for the retail world will decrease. As retail sales go down, jobs will be cut, since the two are so closely related. The retail association, which represents 12,000 retailers with 700,000 employees, decided to enter the debate on the ban at a heated national council meeting on Friday.

Court Orders Transfer of
Arguably the most sought after domain name on the Internet, is back in the hands of it rightful owner. Gary Kremen registered the domain to his company, Online Classifieds, in 1994. But, the San Francisco man said it was transferred in 1995 after a forged letter was sent to domain registrar Network Solutions. Kremen alleged that Stephen Cohen, an ex-convict, wrote a letter to Network Solutions on forged Online Classified letterhead, requesting the transfer of the domain name to Cohen's company. Cohen used the domain name to operate a portal for porn sites. His site claims 25 million hits per day and is thought to make around $100 million annually. Kremen sued Cohen for the return of the domain name. Cohen denied the forgery allegation and said that he obtained the name lawfully, paying $1,000 to Kremen's company. In an earlier ruling, the same Californian court had said that a domain name is not subject to U.S. property law and therefore could not be stolen. However, yesterday US District Court Judge James Ware described the letter as a "fraud" (the signature was misspelled) and ordered the transfer of the name to Kremen, confirming that ownership of a domain name is a right that can be protected. Kremen is also seeking the sum of $25 million from Cohen. The judge has not yet ruled on this aspect of the case, but he has frozen $25 million of Cohen's assets. It is not yet known if Cohen will appeal the court's decision.

Traders forced to abide by laws of EU once online
European justice ministers Thursday passed a law that will force traders to abide by the laws of all 15-member states of the European Union when they go online. The law, dubbed the Brussels I regulation, will come into effect next March. It states that where there is a dispute between a consumer in one EU country and an online retailer in another, the consumer will be able to sue in a court in his own country. The justice ministers and the European Commission, which drafted the regulation, argue that this focus on the consumer is essential to help get electronic commerce off the ground in Europe.

ISP may be on the rise due to cyber-crime regulation
Possibly setting a European precedent, Internet service providers in the Netherlands say costs for Internet access will rise significantly because of cyber-crime regulation. The Dutch ISPs say they are forced to install expensive network monitoring equipment. The cost for a medium-size access provider will be around $600,000, and larger ISPs would face higher expenses, said the association of Dutch Internet service providers, the Vereniging van Nederlandse. ISPs face different challenges and costs, depending on their setup, according to the group.

Sega Partners with Motorola
Sega and Motorola are teaming up to provide yet another option to wireless devices. Within the first half of 2001 Motorola, the phone manufacturer, and popular game company Sega Corp., will be offer devices that allow users to play games by using the keypad on the phone. Sega has agreed to develop games for the next generation of Motorola phones, the phones will be equipped with mobile computing capabilities. The handsets, which will be manufactured by iDEN, a division of Motorola, will come pre-loaded with a Sega puzzle game called Borkov, which is compared to the popular game Tetris. The current generation of iDEN devices combines a digital wireless phone, a two-way radio, an alphanumeric pager and an Internet browser. The line due to be released in the first quarter of 2001 will add J2ME capability to that list. J2ME, or Java 2 micro, allows Java developers to write applications for the phone. To aid in game playing, as well as Internet browsing, the new phones will have a four-way toggle button that controls a pointer like a mouse.