Government & Policy

15 December 2017

Net Neutrality Isn't Just a Domestic Issue: By removing net neutrality protections for Americans, the FCC will hurt people abroad too. http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2017/12/the_fcc_s_decision_to_kill_net_neutrality_will_hurt_people_abroad.html

Asad Mukhtar, a 27-year-old man who is currently employed in Karachi as a cook, is grateful for the free WhatsApp service from his cellphone provider Zong—one of the five largest telecommunications companies in Pakistan, owned by China Mobile. The service “has made communication with my family and friends back home very convenient and I don’t have to worry about data recharge to speak to them,” he told me recently.

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Facebook criticised for response to questions on Russia and Brexit The Guardian

Facebook has been slammed for failing to do any extra work in its investigation into Russian influence on the EU referendum, after the company’s inquiry found just $0.97 (£0.72) of ad spending originating from the notorious Russian “troll army”.

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Net Neutrality failure in the U.S. risks hurting all internet users InternetNZ

InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter has condemned the decision by the United States communications regulator to undo 2015 open Internet rules, warning that all Internet users will end up worse off as a result.

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Google, tech firms at odds with content creators over Australian copyright safe harbour ruling Australian Financial Review

Google and members of Australia's technology sector have urged the government to reconsider excluding them from changes to safe harbour, while the content sector has applauded the decision to not extend the copyright provisions to digital commercial entities.

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A goal realized: Network lobbyists' sweeping capture of their regulator by Tom Wheeler Brookings

When the Federal Communications Commission voted December 14 to repeal the rules protecting a fast, fair, and open internet, the lobbyists for the internet service providers realized their long-envisioned strategy to gut the authority of the agency that since 1934 has been charged with overseeing the activities of the nation’s essential networks.

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14 December 2017

Make Facebook liable for content, says report on UK election intimidation The Guardian

Theresa May should consider the introduction of two new laws to deter the intimidation of MPs during elections and force social media firms to monitor illegal content, an influential committee has said.

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Net Neutrality Protests Move Online, Yet Big Tech Is Quiet New York Times

Protests to preserve net neutrality, or rules that ensure equal access to the internet, migrated online on Tuesday, with numerous online companies posting calls on their sites for action to stop a vote later this week.

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12 December 2017

Net neutrality: 'father of internet' joins tech leaders in condemning repeal plan The Guardian

More than 20 internet pioneers and leaders including the “father of the internet”, Vint Cerf; the inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee; and the Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak have urged the FCC to cancel its vote to repeal net neutrality, describing the plan as “based on a flawed and factually inaccurate” understanding of how the internet works.

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Net Neutrality's Holes in Europe May Offer Peek at Future in U.S. New York Times

Last spring, Swedes got a tantalizing offer: If they subscribed to Sweden’s biggest telecom provider, Telia Company AB, they could have unlimited access on their mobile phones to Facebook, Spotify, Instagram and other blockbuster apps.

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The 'Alt-Right' Created a Parallel Internet. It's an Unholy Mess. New York Times

If you’ve lost sleep worrying about the growing power of the alt-right — that shadowy coalition that includes white nationalists, anti-feminists, far-right reactionaries and meme-sharing trolls — I may have found a cure for your anxiety.

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08 December 2017

EU warns tech firms: remove extremist content faster or be regulated The Guardian

The European Commission has warned Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter and other internet technology companies that they must do more to stem the spread of extremist content or face legislation.

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Inside the Opposition to a Net Neutrality Repeal New York Times

Hundreds of protests were staged across the country on Thursday in the latest uproar over a repeal of rules ensuring an open internet. The drumbeat of action can in good part be traced back to a yellow Victorian house in this leafy New England city.

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07 December 2017

EU urges internet companies to do more to remove extremist content Reuters

Internet groups such as Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Twitter need to do more to stem the proliferation of extremist content on their platforms, the European Commission said after a meeting on Wednesday.

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05 December 2017

Why the ACCC is investigating Facebook and Google's impact on Australia's news media ABC News

The competition regulator has announced it will investigate whether online giants Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google have disrupted Australia's news media market to the detriment of publishers and consumers.

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03 December 2017

China's Top Ideologue Calls for Tight Control of Internet New York Times

Little heard from but hugely influential, the professor turned Communist theoretician who has been a major adviser to three Chinese leaders finally stepped out of the shadows on Sunday.

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01 December 2017

UK police to lose phone and web data search authorisation powers The Guardian

Senior police officers are to lose the power to self-authorise access to personal phone and web browsing records under a series of late changes to the snooper’s charter law proposed by ministers in an attempt to comply with a European court ruling on Britain’s mass surveillance powers.

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30 November 2017

India is upholding an open internet as the US moves to dismantle net neutrality Quartz

Even as the US telecom regulator plans to dismantle net neutrality rules, its Indian counterpart has reaffirmed its intent to keep the internet open in the sub-continent.

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The Internet Is Dying. Repealing Net Neutrality Hastens That Death. New York Times

The internet is dying. Sure, technically, the internet still works. Pull up Facebook on your phone and you will still see your second cousin’s baby pictures. But that isn’t really the internet. It’s not the open, anyone-can-build-it network of the 1990s and early 2000s, the product of technologies created over decades through government funding and academic research, the network that helped undo Microsoft’s stranglehold on the tech business and gave us upstarts like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Netflix.

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Time to release the internet from the free market - and make it a basic right The Guardian

Say goodbye to net neutrality. Last week, the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, released a plan to repeal the landmark protections enacted by the agency in 2015. This has long been a top priority for Pai and his fellow Republicans, who now enjoy a majority of commissioners thanks to Trump. The vote is scheduled for 14 December, and is widely expected to pass along party lines.

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29 November 2017

Net Neutrality Hits a Nerve, Eliciting Intense Reactions New York Times

It usually doesn’t take much to get people on the internet worked up. To get them really worked up, make the topic internet regulation.

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Announcing State of New Zealand's Internet 2017 InternetNZ

Today we’ve published our 2017 State of the Internet report. This report is a look at some key aspects of the Internet in New Zealand. It looks at access to the Internet, and creative uses of the Internet, and has an in-depth look at trust and security issues in New Zealand as the focus for the 2017 edition.

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24 November 2017

'Google tax' to crack down on avoidance by internet firms in UK The Guardian

Internet companies that legally avoid taxes by shifting profits overseas face being taxed on royalties on UK sales in a move dubbed the “Google tax”.

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Google can no longer count on political goodwill at home The Economist

“We used to be so dismissed,” says Jeremy Stoppelman, the boss of Yelp, an online-review site which has waged a six-year-long battle against Google over how the online giant ranks its search results. Now American regulators are taking concerns about Google more seriously. On November 13th, Josh Hawley, Missouri’s attorney-general, launched an investigation into the search giant to determine whether it had violated the state’s antitrust and consumer-protection laws. Other entrepreneurs, too, congratulate Mr Stoppelman for speaking out about Google; they would not have done so before.

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23 November 2017

Tim Wu: Why the U.S. Courts Will Have to Save Net Neutrality New York Times

Back in 2005, a small phone company based in North Carolina named Madison River began preventing its subscribers from making phone calls using the internet application Vonage. As Vonage was a competitor in the phone call market, Madison River’s action was obviously anticompetitive. Consumers complained, and the Federal Communications Commission, under Michael Powell, its Republican-appointed chairman, promptly fined the company and forced it to stop blocking Vonage.

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22 November 2017

FCC plan would give Internet providers power to choose the sites customers see and use Washington Post

The Federal Communications Commission took aim at a signature Obama-era regulation Tuesday, unveiling a plan that would give Internet providers broad powers to determine what websites and online services their customers see and use.

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