EDUCAUSE | 12 Aug 01:04 2003

Edupage, August 11, 2003

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Edupage is a service of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association
whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting
the intelligent use of information technology.
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TOP STORIES FOR MONDAY, AUGUST 11, 2003
  RIAA Encounters Roadblock
  ISPs Contest RIAA Subpoenas
  Trojan Horse Clears Child Porn Suspect
  Stanford Team Promises Personalized Web Search

RIAA ENCOUNTERS ROADBLOCK
In what the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has deemed
a "minor procedural issue," a federal judge ruled that some of the
RIAA's subpoenas are invalid because they were issued from the wrong
jurisdiction. Boston College and the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology recently received subpoenas requesting the identities of
students suspected of illegally trading copyrighted material, but the
schools noted that the subpoenas were issued from Washington, D.C., and
should not be valid in Massachusetts. Judge Joseph L. Tauro agreed and
threw out those subpoenas. The RIAA said the ruling does not change the
"undeniable fact" that Internet service providers, in this case the
universities in question, are legally required to reveal the identities
of suspected copyright violators.
BBC, 11 August 2003
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3140933.stm

ISPS CONTEST RIAA SUBPOENAS
An organization representing Internet service providers (ISPs) will
send a letter this week to the recording industry, expressing the
group's concern over the ongoing subpoenas from the recording
industry. The letter from NetCoalition, which represents more than 100
ISPs, requests a meeting with representatives of the recording industry
to discuss how the group determines which individuals to pursue as
violators and how it maintains accurate information in the subpoenas.
According to the letter, NetCoalition fears that the goal of the
subpoenas is to make ISPs legally accountable for the actions of their
users, something the recording industry "has not yet been able to
accomplish in Congress" but that it is trying to accomplish in the
courts. An attorney from the recording industry association said the
purpose of the subpoenas is simply to force ISPs to comply with the
law.
New York Times, 11 August 2003 (registration req'd)
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/11/technology/11LETT.html

TROJAN HORSE CLEARS CHILD PORN SUSPECT
A British man has successfully used a "Trojan horse" defense in a child
pornography case. Julian Green was arrested last fall for having images
of child pornography on his computer's hard drive. Green argued that
he was not responsible because the images were downloaded to his
computer by a malicious program, a Trojan horse, that he or another
member of his family unwittingly installed on the machine. The program
then routed Green's browser to pornographic sites and even connected
the computer to the Internet when no one was home, according to Green.
After more than 10 Trojan-horse applications were found on Green's
computer, prosecutors "reluctantly offer[ed] no evidence in this case."
Experts said the case offers two disturbing possibilities: that such
Trojan-horse applications could offer actual child pornographers a
strong defense, or that innocent persons could be convicted for having
illegal images on their computers without their knowledge.
New York Times, 11 August 2003 (registration req'd)
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/11/technology/11PORN.html

STANFORD TEAM PROMISES PERSONALIZED WEB SEARCH
Three members of Stanford University's PageRank team have founded a
company on the sly they hope will revolutionize Web searches. The
PageRank team's goal is to improve the algorithm developed by Larry
Page, Stanford alumnus and co-founder of Google. Founders of the new
company, called Kaltix, hope to use "research done at Stanford
University as well as several new technologies developed at Kaltix" to
introduce effective personalization to Web searches. Experts say
personalization is one of the "holy grails" for search engines, and
most of the major players, including Google, MSN, and Yahoo, are
working to develop personalized searches. With a personalized search,
the search engine gathers information about the user to limit search
results to those presumably most appropriate for the user. Data
collected could include information submitted by the user or details of
past search history. For example, personalization would use location
information to return soccer-related results for a British surfer
looking for "football."
CNET, 11 August 2003
http://news.com.com/2100-1024_3-5061873.html

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