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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 2 Issue: 3
(March 2000)


The potential threat to websites both public and private from hackers has been underlined again this month with successful hacks on the FBI website. In the UK a hacker has been arrested for defacing the Lloyds of London and Railtrack websites. / read more

The long running dispute between the US and the European Union over data protection is heading for settlement after agreement was reached by negotiators on a draft package based on the ‘safe harbor’ principle. / read more

The German subsidiary of is facing legal action from German travel company L’Tur Tourismus, over what it claims is the ‘misleading and anti-competitive’ nature of its name. / read more


Data Protection is fast heading to the top of the priority list for e-businesses that want to stay in business. The agreement between the US and the European Union over data protection - still of course subject to approval on both sides of the Atlantic will serve to concentrate the minds of all dot com companies. / read more

Three UK City law firms have recently announced the development of online services aimed at those looking for e-commerce legal advice. The three firms, Paisner & Co, Berwin Leighton and Field Fisher Waterhouse have all taken different approaches to the kind of service they offer. / read more

US online advertising agency DoubleClick has moved fast this month to repair the damage done by publicity surrounding its plan to link up web data with offline personal data. / read more

European and US negotiators claimed to have finalised on Tuesday 14 March an agreement on data privacy that ends the long-running ‘Safe Harbor’ problem of cross-border export of personal data. / read more

Hacking has become a major profile problem for companies and has been played out in the press quite a few times recently. In the last few months and Lloyds of London have both been victims of computer hackers. Lloyds of London temporarily closed its site after it was hacked twice and reportedly had to issue email users with new passwords, after discovering someone had tried to hack into its mail system. Gill Andrews and Nick Lockett of Sidley & Austin discuss the data protection problems which lie in wait for those network administrators and operators unwilling to address the issues and the network security attitudes which might help to avoid them. / read more

There are strongly held opposed views on regulation of e-commerce type disputes. Many Member States and almost all consumer interests take the view that consumers should be able to sue suppliers in the consumers own courts. Other Member States and commercial interests say that this will stifle e-commerce: it is not practical for sellers to master the laws of all Member States - so they should be sued only in their own jurisdiction: they claim that the single market theory and country of origin principles support this. The Commission itself is divided: one DG proposes one thing, and another DG the other. The debate is very much centred on the consumer issues. / read more

Courts in the UK and the US have made decisive judgements that could have a dramatic effect on the development of offshore gambling. The last few months have seen also the recognition by the UK - and other - authorities that the existing legislation is out of touch with the modern world - both in terms of social attitudes and mores, and in terms of technological developments, through the Internet, interactive television and, the new “killer app”, WAP phones. It has been an interesting - and challenging - start to the new year for online and interactive betting and gaming. / read more

There have been many attempts in the past to streamline and speed up the conveyancing process but with the Government’s commitment to electronic conveyancing this now seems likely to become a reality. Ultimately the aim is to enable the entire legal process, from the initial searches and enquiries to the legal transfer of ownership from seller to buyer, and registration of title at HM Land Registry, to take place without paper and without any manual signatures. By having all the information involved in the transaction available on-line, simultaneously, to everyone concerned, it is anticipated that problems will be identified and resolved much earlier on and the average timescale for a house purchase reduced from months to weeks. / read more

Ireland has for many years successfully courted inward investment. The technology sector has been a key feature of this success. Recently, the Government initiated a scaling down of the Irish corporation tax rate to 12 % for Irish trading income by 1st January, 2003 (the present rate is 24%). With access to a full range of double taxation treaties, this makes Ireland an attractive location for companies wishing to establish a business, particularly within the EU. Specifically with respect to the technology sector, Ireland, along with other EU member states, has a legislative programme relating to e-commerce, Data Processing and Copyright and Related Rights aimed at developing and supporting an e-business environment. The Government is expected to publish the Electronic Commerce Bill 2000 shortly. While the principle purpose of this Bill will be to give effect to the EU Directive on Electronic Signatures (99/93/EC), it is expected that the Government will deal with a number of other issues some of which are derived from the anticipated EU e-commerce Directive which is expected in the near future. The Bill has a high priority within Government and is expected to be one of the first published in the EU. / read more

The US 10 District Appeal Court has overturned a lower court ruling and asserted jurisdiction in a case involving Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions and an Oklahoma Company Intercon Inc over misrouted internet traffic(Case No. 98-6428). Intercon operates an Internet access service whose domain name is “”for Internet routing purposes. / read more

The Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) which has responsibility for supervising the development of the domain name structure has made clear that it wants faster progress on the creation of new generic top level domain names and gave a deadline of its July 15-16 meeting in Yokohama for a final decision on their implementation. / read more

Offshore internet gambling operations face a more uncertain future if recent Court rulings in both the UK and the US remain unchallenged. / read more

About Digital Business Lawyer:

The monthly publication providing authoritative insights and thought leadership on the legal/regulatory issues affecting online business, covering distance selling, contracts, domain names, adblocking, advertising, cloud computing, net neutrality, e-privacy, data protection, cyber crime, the Internet of Things, social media, internet taxation and software / read more

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