[Raven] UK regulator wants IETF to consider new type of URL

Declan McCullagh <declan@wired.com> Tue, 14 March 2000 13:58 UTC

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Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 08:54:30 -0500
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From: Declan McCullagh <declan@wired.com>
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Subject: [Raven] UK regulator wants IETF to consider new type of URL
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                        UK Wants Tighter E-Trading Laws
                        by Declan McCullagh (declan@wired.com)

                        3:00 a.m. 14.Mar.2000 PST
                        FAIRFAX, Virginia -- It's not that Phillip
                        Thorpe hates the Internet, not exactly.
                        But he sure wishes the problems it causes
                        him would vanish as quickly as Bill
                        Bradley's presidential ambitions.

                        Thorpe has one of the most difficult jobs
                        anyone can hold nowadays: He's a
                        regulator. And not just any regulator, but
                        the head of the British agency responsible
                        for overseeing the financial services and
                        securities industries.

                        In the U.K., London-based Financial
                        Services Authority can shut down any
                        unacceptable Web site that doesn't
                        follow British law, but the agency's reach
                        is limited.

                        Thorpe is concerned that British subjects
                        can connect to any Web site anywhere in
                        the world to deposit money or spend their
                        cash on risky -- though perhaps
                        profitable, and probably unregulated -
                        ventures. There's precious little Thorpe or
                        his FSA cohorts can do about it.


                        Thorpe said a third possibility would be to
                        devise a new Web address for approved
                        finance and investment sites that would
                        look like finance://www.bankname.com/.

                        He said it would be a "specific kind of URL
                        for regulated financial entities, though we
                        know there are people we have to ask
                        about that."

                        The people Thorpe is talking about are
                        the Internet Engineering Task Force, an
                        international group that sets technical
                        standards but values its independence
                        from the demands of any one national


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