[Greennet-l] GreenNet Newsletter: December 04

GreenNet Support support at gn.apc.org
Fri Dec 17 16:09:18 GMT 2004

  GreenNet Newsletter: December 04


    * *Services <#Services>*
    * *Support News <#Support_News>*
    * *Projects* <#Projects>
    * *New Sites* <#New_Sites>
    * *Staff* <#Staff>
    * *Move* <#Move>


Standard Membership*

We had a lot of enquiries after the announcement in our last newsletter, 
that we are no longer offering new standard memberships. Apologies for 
any confusion caused there. Hopefully we can make it all clearer now.
As a current GreenNet user with standard membership, you have three options:

1. Stay exactly as you are -- although we are no longer offering 
standard membership to new GreenNet users, existing users can keep this 
membership for as long as they wish. The cost continues to be £117.50 p.a.

2. Home/Activist membership: This replaces standard membership for new 
users. Also for people with standard membership who have moved to 
broadband for their internet connection, no longer wish to keep their 
dial-up connection, want to keep their email address with us and would 
like their own subdomain website. This costs £94 p.a.

3. Email only (POP account only): This is for people with standard 
membership who have moved to broadband for their internet connection, no 
longer wish to keep their dial-up connection and want to keep just their 
email address with us. This costs £58.75 p.a.

If you want to change your subscription please can you e-mail billing 
<mailto:billing at gn.apc.org> at least one month before renewal indicating 
which option you want to change to and what your billing ID is (found on 
the top left of your invoices).

*Maxi Membership*

We have developed this new package to cater for the needs of 
organisations and individuals that have a large amount of data, e.g. 
audio and video files, on their web site. It includes a MySQL database 
that enables you to build dynamic database driven web sites. The Maxi 
Membership is flexible -- if you do not need twenty mail boxes you can 
chose to have three mailing lists instead for instance. More details and 
features of this new form of membership are listed on our Services page 

****Support News

*****GreenNet office hours over Christmas and New Year*

Our office will be closed from 5.30pm on 22 December 2004 (Wednesday) 
until 4 January 2005 (Tuesday). We will not be taking voice calls or 
enquiries during that period. However, we will have technicians 
monitoring the systems daily (aside from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and 
New Years Day). If you have any urgent problems, please call us on +44 
(0)20 7065 0942 and leave a message on our answer phone or email support 
<mailto:support at gn.apc.org>. We will try to help you as far as possible. 
Please make sure you include any error messages that you are getting and 
your email address.

Please do also remember to switch your computers off periodically, and 
enjoy a peaceful, happy and healthy holiday time.

*PC security roundup*

Several security holes have been found in Microsoft software over the 
past few months - the last /critical/ one being on 1st December. If you 
run any version of Windows, even if you don't use Internet Explorer, 
it's worth visiting http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com every few weeks 
to update your system (assuming you've not set Windows XP to do this 
automatically). People who use Outlook Express should also check under 
Tools > Options > Security, that the incoming messages are classified as 
/restricted zone/.
*GreenNet does filter out most viruses and spam, but many people will 
occasionally receive messages that a message that they sent was 
infected. In almost all cases, these warnings are erroneous.  The vast 
of viruses, mass-mailing worms, and spam have a fake /From/ address that 
may have either been randomly generated, or previously taken from e.g. 
address books or websites. This is to make the actual sender harder to 
trace. Delivery error messages or virus warnings are then sent to your 
address which is not the source and has absolutely no connection with 
the original infected message. Although we stop viruses like MyDoom or 
Bagle at our servers, we no longer send warnings about them because they 
would only go to a faked address. In these cases, a quick glance at the 
time sent is enough to confirm that the message is in error and can be 
ignored and deleted. More often than not, panic about viruses causes 
more problems than the virus itself.
It's increasingly common to hear of an Internet Explorer home page 
becoming stuck at some unwanted search directory or commercial web site, 
as the result of some malicious program taking control of a Windows PC. 
We have a short guide on dealing with this /browser hijacking/ at 
One of the types of spam that does still occasionally come through our 
anti-spam system is the /phishing scam/. This has been a popular way of 
defrauding innocent users worldwide of their bank balances for the past 
year, by setting up a site copied from the banks own so as to collect 
your account details, and many banks now refuse to compensate for anyone 
conned in this way. The golden rule here of course is never to click on 
a link in an unsolicited email, even if it appears to come from your 
bank or any online service you use -- PayPal and eBay are also common 
targets. Usually the link in the email is disguised using HTML to look 
like the legitimate address. Always type the URL (web address) of your 
bank into the address bar of your web browser.  You can also check that 
the site you visit is secure, that is the address begins with 
/https:///. While we've yet to see a secure site used for phishing, 
though, that doesn't mean it will never happen.
*Domain names*
Not all scams come by email though. In the last few months we've seen 
two letter campaigns targetted at owners of domains and websites. The 
companies, calling themselves /Domain Registry of America/ and /EU 
Registry Services/ obtain your address by abusing a public database of 
WHOIS information, most recently that for .ORG domains. Superficially 
these /domain expiration notices/ may look like bills, but they are 
actually agreements to transfer your domain to another provider at an 
inflated price without including any hosting. Please be assured that 
GreenNet automatically renews your domain while you have hosting 
services with us, without you needing to do anything.
If you own a domain that ends .UK, you may receive valid direct 
communication from Nominet UK, the registrar for all such domains, and 
it's worth keeping your /registrant/ details up-to-date with them. In 
October, Nominet made minor updates to their terms & conditions, which 
are available at http://www.nic.uk/ref/terms.html
While we're on the subject, also look out for semi-legal companies which 
claim to be taking registrations for /Data Protection/. Valid charges 
which come directly from the Information Commissioner will be for 
£35+VAT for one year and have an address of Wilmslow SK9 5AF.

OpenSource Alternatives

*There are good reasons to consider OpenSource alternatives to Internet 
Explorer and Outlook Express: not only do they offer better security and 
are seldom affected by viruses, they are also being developed by a 
community that shares its ideals and values with the our mission - as 
the software is /free to use/, /open to change/ and c/ollaborative in 
its development/. And there are many ways that you can contribute and 
participate in open source projects. Check out the Mozilla Homepage 
<http://www.mozilla.org/> and our Software to Download 
<http://phorum.greennet.org.uk/list.php?f=13> section.
For more information and consultation on complete software migrations to 
OpenSource software, contact us at GreenNet OpenSource 
<mailto:opensource at gn.apc.org>. We can talk you through the options and 
have a range of training programmes to help you through the transition.
*******New Sites*****

**** *ESF Logo* <http://www.fse-esf.org/> **European Social Forum UK 
2004 <http://www.fse-esf.org/>**
More than 20,000 people from nearly 70 countries came to the European 
Social Forum in London on 15-17 October. The event hosted 2500 speakers 
at over 500 meetings, engaging participants in discussions about how to 
make 'Another World Possible'. GreenNet built the ESF's site 
<http://www.fse-esf.org/en/>, which successfully managed the 
registration and payment of participants, and the dynamic publication of 
the programme. The web site now features a comprehensive list of all the 
events of the ESF and asks participants to submit their reports to 
become part of the /memory project/. (http://www.fse-esf.org/en/) *
*Privacy International* <http://www.privacyinternational.org/>**
*PI LogoA human rights group working as a watchdog on surveillance and 
privacy invasions by governments and corporations. PI has conducted 
campaigns and research globally on issues ranging from wiretapping and 
national security, to ID cards, video surveillance, data matching, 
police information systems, medical privacy, and freedom of information 
and expression. The rebuilt site has a new interface, and a new database 
for all the old content and new stuff too - transforming it into a 
fantastic educational resource.
**IFI Watchnet Shared Area <http://www.ifiwatchnet.org/sa> *
The IFI Watchnet Shared Area features a discussion board that integrates 
the Phorum Message Board <http://www.phorum.org/> with ActionApps. It 
features an elaborate permissions system (Note: The Shared Area requires 
a login. Please contact us if you would like to know more about it.)
The Shared Area was developed together Philip King 


*****Wireless Community Networking
*Wireless technologies are presenting us with exciting opportunities for 
new approaches to networking. We are now in touch with an increasing 
number of innovative wireless projects around the world, connecting 
previously disconnected communities -- in a social and politically 
empowering way. Looking ahead to 2005, we want to work more at 
supporting community wireless networking amongst our UK user groups. If 
you are interested in exploring ways of setting up you own local 
community network, cutting your connection costs, improving your 
connectivity and strengthening your community's networking 
infrastructure, get in touch with us at GreenNet Wireless 
<mailto:wireless at gn.apc.org>. We're also really interested to hear from 
any of you who are already working with (community) wireless technology. 
For more more information on what this is all about check out the 
following resources: Wireless London <http://wirelesslondon.info/>, 
Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network 
<http://www.cuwireless.net/>, The town that turned off BT (Guardian) 
freifunk.net summer convention 
Indymedia Mirror
*After the seizure of the UK Indymedia servers by the US FBI on British 
soil <http://indymedia.org/en/static/fbi> and shortages of the numbers 
of Indymedia mirrors we have decided to provide a short term mirroring 
for the Indymedia web site. Indymedia UK Web site 

*Institute for Mass Information Mirror
*During the critical phases of the Ukranian elections we received a 
request to mirror this web site as it was under threat and unreachable 
at times. Thanks to the support of one of our subscribers we managed to 
get an emergency mirror site up very quickly. English Verion of the IMI 
web site <http://eng.imi.gn.apc.org/>

*Media, Culture and Communication Rights Network*
The European Forum on Communication Rights (EFCR) 
<http://www.efcr2004.net/> was an initiative of a collective of 
organisations including, among others, the GreenNet Educational Trust 
(GN's parent charity), Indymedia and WACC. It was timed to coincide with 
the European Social Forum, and worked at bringing together those working 
at different levels on communication rights -- from grass roots 
activists working on practical projects and street level campaigns, to 
those engaged in lobbying and advocacy, to researchers and academics. 
There were a series of keynote speakers, presentations and open-floor 
discussions that looked at what is at stake in the information 
revolution, who owns what, who has the power, and what it means for us 
all. Focusing on the global issues of Security and the Surveillance 
State, Migration and Borders, and the Corporatisation of our 
Communication spaces and knowledge, the forum aimed to find common 
ground to link the various strands together to produce vibrant, relevant 
and powerful campaigns.


*****Liz is back!
*We're delighted to to have Liz Probert back in the office after her 
maternity leave. Some of you may have already noticed as she is helping 
with support and sysadmin, as well as working on new web projects. Liz 
is now in her sixth year with GreenNet. She also contributes to the work 
of the APC Women's Networking Support Program, Currently busy lobbying 
at the NGO session of the preparatory meetings for the UN Beijing +10 
meeting. Welcome back Liz! and welcome also Alexandra -- our youngest 
member of the GreenNet family.
* *

*****We have moved offices..
*.. no, not again. But since Royal Mail now refuses to forward our post 
to the new address this is a friendly reminder to please send any 
correspondence, cheques, etc. to our new address:

56-64 Leonard Street,
London EC2A 4JX

We now also have a contemporary telephone system with dedicated extensions:

- Support: +44 (0)20 7065 0942
- Billing and accounts: +44 (0)20 7065 0938
- Fax: +44 (0)20 7253 2616

For further details on any of the newsletter items, email newsletter 
<mailto:newsletter at gn.apc.org>. The GreenNet Newsletter appears 
quarterly and is sent out to all GreenNet subscribers. Written and 
edited by the GreenNet collective.
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