Recently in eCommerce Category

The perils of forecasting the future v. the perils of not forecasting

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My first forecast, on "Video in the Year 2000", with the ubiquitous switchable, editable videophone, has yet to come about. Most of us still lack the bandwidth necessary for more than matchbox size Skype images, Courtesy of Ian Brown you can now read my third, attempt, on the potential impact of a world of ubiquitous intelligent systems as well as on-line communications: "Learning for Change". Yesterday I was in a "heavy" conversation on the introversion of current debate on cybersecurity, information governance, privacy and anti-corruption legislation. There was great concern that inexperienced ministers will be maneuovred into expediting the flight of wealth-creating business offshore because they lack the global vision of those who built an Empire, (often by mistake), on the back of trade (not the other way round). I was asked to put my 2004 paper on "The Global Electronic Bazaar" on line so that one of those prsent could quote from it to an American audience, 

Why we need a Rights Agency for the Digital Age

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Andrew Yeomans, who occasionally posts comments to this blog, sent me some very thoughtful comments in response to my entry on the proposals in the Digital Britain Interim Report for a Rights Agency. He believes it will be difficult to avoid, with the amount of well-funded vested interest in exploiting copyright.

McColo and the lessons for effective Internet Governance

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A speaker at the EURIM Directors Round Table on Information Governance this week sharply criticised the use of the "fetish" word governance in place of "accountability". We use debate about structures to cover up failure to hold people and organisations to account for not  using and enforcing existing law.

European ISP gives lifeline to spammers and botnet herders

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A follow up story in the Washington Post today entitled "Answers trickle out as spammer nettowrks remain comptromised" concludes: "On Saturday McColo briefly reconnected its Web servers to a major internet provider in Europe. Under pressure from the security community, the provider severed its relationship with McColo the next day. But that ,,, may have been enough time for spammers to reclaim control of 10,000 to 15,000 of an estimated 100,000 computers ... 

Washington Post slashes US spam after Internet Community fails

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Within an hour of receiving a dossier from Brian Krebs,a Washington Post staff writer, McColo, which supposedly hosted 75% of the US spam operators was taken off air by Global Crossing. It helped, of course, that the latter had been handed the opportunity to dramatically improve service to its other customers with no need to invest in additional capacity.  

A Cartel Masquerading as Anarchy: who governs the Internet?

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The Internet is the most concentrated and regulated communications system the world has ever known. Players like Google or Microsoft take a far larger revenue share of the markets within which they operate than Standard Oil, Ma Bell or IBM ever did. Meanwhile over 500 agencies and regulators in the UK alone claim powers to access traffic data or stored content: albeit almost none are capable of securing what they demands.

IPR Wars - will recession concentrate the mind?

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Depending on who you talk to, the government-brokered "memorandum of understanding" between the record and film industries and six leading ISPs, (under which the latter will write to those whose systems are supposedly used to exchange "illegally copied" material), is "a long overdue outbreak of common sense" or "the thin end of the wedge". Either way, the economic, not just legal, importance of the BERR consultation is profound.       

Reality hits the on-line world: or is it just maturity?

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Despite the "Walmart effect" of consumers going on-line for bargains as the recession deepens, Google saw a fall in the number of US users "clicking through" to advertisments in Quarter 2, compared to Quarter 1. This was said to be an effect of economic gloom but I suspect it is more a sign that users are becoming reluctant to click on what they do not know and are migrating from browsing to social networking.    

Who do you trust to rebuild confidence in the on-line world?

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The Data Sharing Review from Richard Thomas and Mark Walport brings a breath of fresh air to a feotid debate. Now comes the campaign to prevent the recommendations from being obfuscated and watered down by those who do well out of the current confusion as well as those making serious money from the acquisition, aggregation and resale of personal data without informed consent, let alone choice, on the part of the subject. . 

Who would you trust with your e-mail content: Google or GCHQ?

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At the FIPR 10th birthday I was fascinated to hear an attack on HMG plans to record all on-line communications by a well-known civil liberties activitist who makes a point of using g-mail: because it is not Microsoft. There is an increasingly surreal quality to some of the debate over what is ethical. 

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