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Postage Is Due for Companies Sending E-Mail Companies will soon have to buy the electronic equivalent of a postage stamp if they want to be certain that their e-mail will be delivered to many of their customers.
America Online and Yahoo, two of the world's largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from 1/4 of a cent to a penny each to have them delivered. The senders must promise to contact only people who have agreed to receive their messages, or risk being blocked entirely.
The Internet companies say that this will help them identify legitimate mail and cut down on junk e-mail, identity-theft scams and other scourges that plague users of their services. They also stand to earn millions of dollars a year from the system if it is widely adopted. (New York Times)
Is the Internet dead? At a recent Wall Street Journal conference at New York's World Trade Center, two telephone company CEOs actually said the Internet is "dead." I want to assure you that it is not -- bogging and collapsing maybe, but not dead. Here come the Internet's next generations.
CEO Bill Esrey talked about Sprint's ION. With acronyms including SONet, ATM, and DSL, ION will become the kind of network that Sprint customers really want, not the old Internet, which is "dead" really.
CEO Rich Notebaert, who once wrote an op-ed in the Journal saying the Internet is "dead," scoffed at the idea that Ameritech and other telephone companies "don't get it." And then he actually let it slip again -- I was just 15 feet away -- and said the Internet is "dead." (CNN)
RIAA wants the Internet shut down: Interesting argument of the day ONE OF THE lawyers involved in defending cases bought against people by the RIAA claims that if the music industry wins a crucial case, the Internet will have to be switched off.
Speaking on the DefectiveByDesign anti-DRM campaign site, Ray Beckerman said the case of Electro vs. Barker has become very important for the web's future.
Barker was being defended by Beckerman who made a motion to dismiss the case because the RIAA had forgot to provide any acts or dates or times of copyright infringement as the law normally requires. (The Inquirer)
US government wants bloggers to register: Silent majority must become known THE US GOVERNMENT is planning to force bloggers who criticise Congress and organise grassroot causes to register themselves or face jail time.
According to GrassrootsFreedom.com, under Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, bloggers who have more than 500 readers will have to register and report quarterly to Congress just like lobbiests or go to jail. (The Inquirer)
Raw obtains CENTCOM email to bloggers An email sent by United States Central Command (CENTCOM) to bloggers about the "global war on terror" (GWOT) has been obtained by RAW STORY.
CENTCOM announced earlier this year that a team of employees would be "[engaging] bloggers who are posting inaccurate or untrue information, as well as bloggers who are posting incomplete information." (The Raw Story)
Congress may consider mandatory ISP snooping: It didn't take long for the idea of forcing Internet providers to retain records of their users' activities to gain traction in the U.S. Congress Last week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a Republican, gave a speech saying that data retention by Internet service providers is an "issue that must be addressed." Child pornography investigations have been "hampered" because data may be routinely deleted, Gonzales warned.
Now, in a demonstration of bipartisan unity, a Democratic member of the Congressional Internet Caucus is preparing to introduce an amendment--perhaps during a U.S. House of Representatives floor vote next week--that would make such data deletion illegal.
Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette's proposal (click for PDF) says that any Internet service that "enables users to access content" must permanently retain records that would permit police to identify each user. The records could not be discarded until at least one year after the user's account was closed. (CNet News)
The End of the Internet? The nation's largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online.
Verizon, Comcast, Bell South and other communications giants are developing strategies that would track and store information on our every move in cyberspace in a vast data-collection and marketing system, the scope of which could rival the National Security Agency. According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pockets--corporations, special-interest groups and major advertisers--would get preferred treatment. Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out.
Under the plans they are considering, all of us--from content providers to individual users--would pay more to surf online, stream videos or even send e-mail. Industry planners are mulling new subscription plans that would further limit the online experience, establishing "platinum," "gold" and "silver" levels of Internet access that would set limits on the number of downloads, media streams or even e-mail messages that could be sent or received. (The Nation)
Terrorist watch list at airports tops 1 million names The terrorist watch list was created after 9/11 to alert airport personnel to potential threats to national security. Now, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, the list has grown to over one million names.
"America's new million-record watch list is a perfect symbol for what's wrong with the administration's approach to security," said Barry Steinhardt, who heads the ACLU's technology and liberty program. "Putting a million names on a watch list is a guarantee that the list will do more harm than good by interfering with the travel of innocent people and wasting huge amounts of our limited security resources on bureaucratic wheel-spinning," (Los Angeles Times)
Kennedy has company on airline watch list A second prominent lawmaker said Friday that he's been subjected to extra security at airports because his name appears on a list designed to prevent terrorists from boarding planes (CNN)
Terrorist watch list hits 1 million Federal data show the rise comes despite the removal of 33,000 entries last year by the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center in an effort to purge the list of outdated information and remove people cleared in investigations (USA Today)
FEMA for Kids "Terrorism is the use of threat or violence to scare governments into changing their policies. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, are examples of acts of terrorism." (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
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