Security Web Digest: Nokia Confirms Cell/Game Device Crack ... and More

Proposed law gets tough on pirates of pre-release entertainment Marketers urge congress to pass anti-spam law Survey says: Internet consumers worried about security

Intellectual Property

Nokia this week confirmed that hackers had cracked the security codes which prevent copying of games for its new combination cell phone and game device, but said theyd expected such a thing to happen. Nokia spokesman Damian Stathonikos verified that hackers had been able to unlock the codes for the recently released N-Gage. Cracked games can be copied, and some of them will play on other cell phones that have the same software as the N-Gage.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday introduced a bill that would make it easier to prosecute suspected pirates who offer "pre-release" movies and music online. Under the Artists Rights and Theft Prevention (ART) Act, authored by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), felony charges could be filed against people who share pre-release entertainment online, regardless of the number of copies or its value. Under current law, felony charges apply only to piracy suspects who distribute 10 or more copies of pre-release albums and movies, with a retail value of more than $2,500.


Three groups representing advertisers, direct marketers and ad agencies have sent an open letter urging Congress to immediately pass national anti-spam legislation. In the letter, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) urged Congress to pass the Can Spam Act (S. 877) or the Reduction in Distribution of Spam Act (H.R. 2215) to "avert a crisis that will bring legitimate electronic commerce to a screeching halt." The letter cites the proliferation of inconsistent state laws and said the groups believe the recently passed California spam law, to take effect January 1, 2004, would make advertising-supported e-mail newsletters illegal.


Consumers expressed concern about the security aspects of Internet shopping in a recent survey commissioned by the Business Software Alliance. The BSA said the survey, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs with 4,000 consumers in four countries, found that more than 63 percent of consumers in the United States will do at least some Internet shopping this holiday season. Still, about three-fourths of all U.S. shoppers surveyed said they are concerned either a "great deal" or a "fair amount" about a host of security issues.