Cyberview 30-08-02

If you’re looking for stories to follow up, InternalMemos.com is worth its monthly subscription of £30. The site is a spin-off from the f**kedcompany.com and offers access to internal memos from all sizes of companies, providing a useful insight into how well businesses are doing. To tempt users to subscribe, owner Philip Kaplan allows a number of memos to be read for free, while access to the more revealing ones are charged at a premium rate. Kaplan has been tracking, through his various websites, the rise and fall of the internet and the businesses involved in it. The majority of the memos are US-focused, but how will it be before someone in the UK launches something similar?

 

Should internet service providers be liable for the messages sent by their subscribers? Labour MP Derek Wyatt, who represents Sittingbourne and Sheppey and founded The Computer Channel and Einstein TV, believes more action is needed after it was highlighted that pornographic e-mails are being sent to children. "The amount of porn I get on a daily basis and the amount my children get is outrageous. It’s really explicit and has put my children off using the internet," he said. But ISPs don’t seem to be doing enough to stop such messages getting through to subscribers. Many of the free web-based e-mail services such as Yahoo! and Hotmail have filters to stop the bulk of such e-mails being delivered. So why don’t other providers prevent it too? Although there are useful services such as Spamcop (www.spamcop.net), for the average person, who may not be a sophisticated user, they’re not that easy to set up. After all, if someone started getting nuisance phone calls, BT would be quick to help stop it, yet ISPs seem to be wiping their hands of this issue. If ISPs don’t take action now, it’s going to have a dramatic effect, not just on home users, but on businesses too. If people can’t trust their ISPs to help them filter dubious e-mails, how can they trust anything on the internet?

 

Some good news for people who have registered a .uk domain. Nominet, the regulator of UK domains, has decided it will not reveal address details of owners of non-commercial domains. This comes after a consultancy period – during which the industry and public were invited to submit their opinions on whether owners’ names and addresses should be revealed if someone runs a search on a domain – which concluded that this should only apply to commercial sites. Meanwhile, the cost of registering a personal.me.uk domain has been reduced from £50 to £5 for two years.

 

Leslie Bunder

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