August 23, 2002 Jury sets landmark $136 million award in piracy case In what the recording industry called the largest judgement ever in a U.S. copyright case, a federal jury in Los Angeles has fined a California CD maker more than $136 million for music piracy, officials said Friday. The jury handed down its multi-million dollar verdict against Media Group, a Fremont, California-based CD manufacturer, Wednesday, requiring it to pay $90,000 for each of more than 1,500 songs it copied illegally since 1995. - - - - - - - - Judge rejects BT hyperlinks royalty claim A U.S. federal judge Thursday rejected a claim by Britain's BT Group to have invented the basic means for navigating the Internet, in a case considered a test of who owns the basic Internet technology. BT Group, the former U.K. telecommunications monopoly known as British Telecom, had sued Prodigy Communications, a pioneering U.S. Internet service provider, demanding that Prodigy pay BT royalties for using hyperlink technology.,1283,54721,00.html - - - - - - - - Anti-spam crusaders duke it out in court When Joel Hodgell took a Florida steroids marketer to court for violating Washington state's anti-spam statute, he thought he might make some money while striking a blow against junk e-mail. Instead, he was hit last month with a nearly $7,000 judgment to pay the spammer's legal fees. Hodgell is one of a small and slowly growing cadre of spam activists who are attacking spam using the state laws that have sprung up over the past five years to restrict or outlaw the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mail. Some compare these activists' suits to the anti-smoking legal trailblazers who 20 years ago started paving the way for the recent multibillion-dollar judgments against the tobacco industry. - - - - - - - - Spielberg in cyber dispute Director says website stole his company name Steven Spielberg has threatened legal action against an Indian website that he thinks has stolen the name of his company. Spielberg's film production company DreamWorks is a trademarked name. The director claims that an Indian design firm is using the domain name illegally. Spielberg's lawyers have given the company 15 days to change the domain name or face legal action. But the Indian firm of engineering and software professionals is reportedly "taken aback" by Spielberg's demands. - - - - - - - - Ashcroft Decries Wiretap Decision A special court with power over sensitive law enforcement surveillance misinterpreted a broad anti-terrorism law when it ordered the Justice Department to alter new guidelines for FBI terrorism searches, the agency said in an appeal made public Friday. The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled in a May 17 decision that the USA Patriot Act did not justify the use of certain investigative techniques.,1283,54732,00.html Justice Department to appeal intelligence court's decision The Justice Department said Friday that it would appeal a decision by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that had denied the Bush administration request in March to permit prosecutors to direct the conduct of foreign surveillance operations. The appeal will be the first ever since the court's establishment under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and Justice officials said the case is necessary to ensure their ability to monitor and prevent terrorist actions. One key element of last October's anti-terrorism law eased the rules under which foreign intelligence information could be shared with criminal prosecutors. - - - - - - - - Seattle lawyer to challenge FBI in Russian hacker sting In a criminal case in which the borderless Internet has collided head-on with global law, a Seattle lawyer is set to charge that U.S. officials illegally hacked into computers of two Russians to get evidence to prosecute the pair on computer crimes. Seattle defense attorney John Lundin told Reuters that he will use the same argument Russia's state security service FSB has used -- that the FBI acted criminally in its attempt to nab his client Vasiliy Gorshkov -- in an appeal he expects to file after Gorshkov is sentenced Sept. 13 in federal court in Seattle. - - - - - - - - Minnow ISP aims counterstrike at RIAA 'legal hackers' A small US internet service provider has become the first to introduce a policy of deliberately hampering the music recording industry's efforts to hack users of peer-to-peer file-trading networks, writes Kevin Murphy. Although the Recording Industry Association of America is currently believed to be involved in no such activity, a bill currently before the US House of Representatives proposes to allow copyright owners to deliberately tamper with suspected pirates' files when they believe copyright infringement is taking place. - - - - - - - - War college calls a digital Pearl Harbor doable The Naval War College and consultants from Gartner Inc. of Stamford, Conn., last month held war games to see how easy it would be for attackers to disrupt key segments of the U.S. economy. They concluded it was doable, given enough time and money. We really felt at the end that it would be possible to bring off a digital terrorist event, said French Caldwell, a Gartner vice president. - - - - - - - - Fighting Cyberattacks Survey Suggests Most Companies Take Warnings Seriously. A combination of government warnings and a rise in cyberattacks have prompted U.S. businesses to strengthen their electronic defenses, a new survey from Southern California's Consumer Economics suggests. Michael Erbschloe, the company's vice president of research, says a variety of factors prompted the 233 companies who responded to the survey to undertake new security measures in the last year. - - - - - - - - Firms Target Weakest Link Applications are more open to attack now because organizations are giving customers, employees and business partners access to applications that sit behind the corporate firewall. Several companies are stepping up efforts to help federal agencies address the weakest link in information security: application security . The rise in attacks on corporate and high-profile government Web sites shows that organizations not only need to protect entry points into their information networks, but also must shield their Web applications, experts say. - - - - - - - - Third of spam is porn Spam - the scourge of email - is in the news at the mo. Earlier this week MP Derek Wyatt called on ISPs to be more responsible for XXX spam appearing in people's inboxes. This came on top of a report from messaging firm, Nexor, that the amount of porn spam is growing by 20 per cent a year. Now anti-spam outfit, Brightmail, has taken a snapshot of all the spam it intercepted over a 24 hour period from 20-21 August. The findings make interesting reading. - - - - - - - - Microsoft warns of Office, IE security risks Microsoft said Thursday that "critical" security lapses in its Office software and Internet Explorer Web browser put tens of millions of users at risk of having their files read and altered by online attackers. The world's leading software maker said that an attacker, using e-mail or a Web page, could use Internet related parts of Office to run programs, alter data and wipe out a hard drive, as well as view file and clipboard contents on a user's system.,,t269-s2121250,00.html Those MS API disclosures - errors, incomplete, useless? Microsoft in summer patch frenzy - - - - - - - - Internal memos online The inside scoop on infamous corporations You've seen the media reports of the ongoing corporate scandals, accountants losing count and executives getting rich while their companies go bust. Now you can get inside information from the source, thanks to, a new site dedicated to leaked corporate communications. - - - - - - - - Israeli firm unveils the 'copy-proof' CD An Israeli security firm has developed a smart- card based copy protection technology that it claims can prevent software piracy. The technology, called OpSecure from start-up firm Doc-Witness, features a smart card embedded within an optical disc, which can run on conventional PC CD or DVD drives. However the embedded smart card, which is needed to decrypt the disc's content, will frustrate any attempts to copy the disc. *********************************************************** Search the Archive at: *********************************************************** The source material may be copyrighted and all rights are retained by the original author/publisher. The information is provided to you for non-profit research and educational purposes. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however copies may not be sold, and NewsBits ( should be cited as the source of the information. Copyright 2000-2002,, Campbell, CA.