Bits & Bytes for October 6, 2004

Court to Rehear E-Mail Privacy Case

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) successfully petitioned the First Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear what may prove to be a landmark email privacy case.

Last June, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in Boston ruled email providers have the right to read and copy their clients’ inbound email. The ruling, based on language in the Wiretap Act, concerned a 2001 indictment against Branford C. Councilman, vice president of now-defunct book site Interloc Inc. Councilman provided a free email service for clients and copied email they received from

Last month, the EFF, together with several civil liberties organizations, submitted a friend-of-the-court brief urging a rehearing.

“The court’s earlier ruling… raised significant constitutional questions and threatened to disrupt the traditional understanding of wiretap law,” said EFF attorney Kevin Bankston. “The full First Circuit should recognize that the original decision rewrote the field of Internet surveillance law in ways that Congress never intended.”

The court’s original decision has been withdrawn pending a rehearing of the case in December.
Belo Launches Self-Service Tool for Local Advertisers

Belo Interactive today launched a self-service advertising tool, AdCenter, targeted at local and regional advertisers. The tool is available on Belo’s 24 local and regional Web sites, all affiliated with Belo-owned TV and newspaper properties.

Powered by Amazing Media’s AdVariant, AdCenter is a one-stop tool for creating, placing and analyzing online ads. Advertisers can create an ad with provided templates, or upload existing creative, including rich media formats. They can then select the Belo sites on which the campaign will run, set a start date and number of impressions, launch the campaign, and pay with a credit card. A tutorial walks advertisers through the process.

“As local and regional companies with modest marketing budgets begin promoting their businesses online, we think they’ll find AdCenter’s easy-to-use system an excellent tool,” said VP of Audience Operations Linda Fisk. “Advertisers can simply manage their library of online creative, monitor their online campaigns, and manage their online advertising budget in one place.”

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