Government & Policy

13 October 2007

Swiss to pioneer 'unbreakable' encryption method in upcoming elections Sydney Morning Herald

A new "unbreakable" encryption method will be keep votes safe for citizens in the Swiss canton of Geneva in the country's upcoming national elections, officials said Thursday. The city-state will use individual particles of light - or quantum technology - to encrypt election results as they are sent to the capital on Oct. 21, said Nicolas Gisin of the University of Geneva.

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uk: Internet will banish bureaucracy, says Cameron The Times

David Cameron sought to drive home the message that he, not Gordon Brown, represents the future in a speech laying claim to the internet as a tool of conservatism today. The day after telling Mr Brown to "make way" in the first Commons question time since the Prime Minister called off an autumn election, the Tory leader travelled to California to address a conference at the headquarters of Google, the global search-engine.

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Fixing the US's fraying Internet infrastructure CNet

In our industrial and information society, our daily lives depend on things we take for granted: electricity, fresh water, communications and our road system. The infrastructure underlying each has a limited useful life and is designed to meet the expected demand when deployed. But demand changes, and without proper planning and investment all infrastructure will eventually fail.

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us: FCC Faces High-Speed Internet Access Decision PC World

U.S. regulators are expected to decide on Thursday whether to grant a request by AT&T to lift some regulations that govern what it can charge rivals for access to the company's high-speed Internet lines.

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12 October 2007

Clinton: Internet Access Key to Economy Washington Post

Presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday called for a national broadband Internet system and permanent research tax credits, while also quoting comedian Stephen Colbert for the second time in a week in a swipe at the Bush administration.

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10 October 2007

US Democrats Seem Ready to Extend Wiretap Powers New York Times

Two months after insisting that they would roll back broad eavesdropping powers won by the Bush administration, Democrats in Congress appear ready to make concessions that could extend some crucial powers given to the National Security Agency. Also includes stories from Wired and ZDNet.

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08 October 2007

Malaysia to Get High Speed Broadband Business Week

Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak last week unveiled plans to embark on an ambitious initiative to roll out high-speed broadband services across the country. The government official also revealed that incumbent fixed-line carrier Telekom Malaysia (TM) has been awarded the mega broadband project.

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06 October 2007

International Expertise Of The Belarusian Draft Law On Information, Informatization And Information Protection

On March 7, 2007 Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus publicized the Draft law on information, informatization and information protection developed by Ministry of communications and informatization and by the State Information Security Centre. The draft law stipulates major principles of the state policy in the sphere of informatization and information protection: public access to information, issues of information exchange, information protection, obligations and rights of the hardware and software owners.

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05 October 2007

German watchdog opposes Google purchase of DoubleClick Out-Law

The proposed $3.1 billion merger of search giant Google and online advertising company DoubleClick would lead to "a massive violation of data privacy rights", a German privacy watchdog has warned.

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us: Telecoms Pressed on Surveillance Washington Post

Key Democratic lawmakers are pressing telephone companies to disclose how they shared Americans' calling and Internet data with the government, part of an inquiry into domestic surveillance efforts such as the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program. Also includes, "ACLU Asks Supremes to Let Anti-NSA Spying Case Continue".

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04 October 2007

Malaysia to get high speed broadband ZDNet

The government says it is willing to fund 30 percent of a proposed multi-billion dollar high-speed broadband services project, which will include provisions for a "last-mile" fiber-optic network.

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03 October 2007

EU agrees to check Internet but differs over how Reuters

European Union justice and interior ministers agreed on Monday they needed to do more to counter the use of the Internet by militants but could not agree on whether and how to block radical websites.

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UK data retention law makes little difference to telcos, says trade body Out-Law

UK telecoms firms must keep phone call logs for a year under legislation which comes into force on 1 October. But an industry trade association said the new rules will make "little practical difference" to telecoms providers that already store such data for billing purposes.

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02 October 2007

EU Launches Qualcomm Investigation New York Times

European Union antitrust regulators are investigating U.S. wireless technologies company Qualcomm for possible abusive business practices, European officials said Monday.

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Canadian Court Opens Up eBay Data to Tax Agency New York Times

A Canadian court has ruled that tax collectors can demand and review data from eBay to see how much money individual sellers make on the online auction site.

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30 September 2007

German security laws - Times of terror: Trying to cope with future threats but burdened by the past The Economist

... What Mr Jung and Mr Schäuble are really trying to do, their critics fear, is to replace Germany's "legal state" with a "preventive state". Mr Schäuble, the supposed ringleader, sees the distinction between foreign and domestic security as false and is given to provocative suggestions (perhaps known terrorists should be targeted for assassination, he mused recently). His security wish-list includes such controversial proposals as letting the security services install spy software on suspects' computers. Although Mr Hartmann supports on-line snooping, he worries that "step by step Germany could become an only security-oriented state."

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28 September 2007

U.S. Warrantless Spying Program Targeted Americans, Which Violates Constitution, Chief Spy Says Wired

The Bush Administration has carefully described its warrantless wiretapping program by saying it involved international phone calls and emails where at least one party was suspected of ties to terrorist groups and one party was inside the country. Most, including this reporter, have assumed that this meant that the program eavesdropped on the communications of Americans who emailed or called a suspected terrorist outside the country.

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EU officials debate plan to split telecommunications companies International Herald Tribune

Sharp divisions have emerged within the European Commission over plans to overhaul EU telecommunications rules and allow regulators to force a splitting of the services and network arms of telecommunications companies, internal EU documents show.

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us: Clash over Internet access tax heats up Los Angeles Times

A monthly phone bill of US$50 now includes as much as $10 in taxes. And some in Congress warn that consumers soon could be hit with similar assessments for high-speed Internet access. For nearly a decade, the lines carrying the Internet into homes and businesses have been a virtual tax-free zone. But that could change Nov. 1 when a federal ban on Internet access taxes expires.

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26 September 2007

EU, US Senate to examine Google-Double Click, even Google-opoly

European Union regulators will decide before November whether to clear Google Inc.'s $3.1 billion takeover bid for online ad tracker DoubleClick or study the issue further. Meanwhile, this Thursday's US Senate hearing on the Google-DoubleClick deal could portend more government scrutiny of the online search company and even imperil the entire targeted online-ad model, according to some experts.

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Europe does antitrust its way Los Angeles Times

Transatlantic sniping among antitrust enforcement officials last week highlighted the growing rift between how the United States and the European Union police the world's largest companies. ... The conflict is more than symbolic. Some antitrust experts say Europe's tougher approach, designed to help consumers by strengthening companies that compete against dominant firms, could backfire, leading to higher prices and discouraging companies from developing innovative products. Also includes "Free-market think tank urges EU to unbundle Windows."

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New sheriff for New Zealand's 'cyberspace wild west' New Zealand Herald

With a push on the send button of a cellphone, Police Commissioner Howard Broad yesterday launched a fresh assault on what he called the "cyberspace wild west". He didn't look like Wyatt Earp and he didn't look like Neo from The Matrix either, but his sent text message activated a Matrix-like light show in the server room housing the computers and decoders in the new Police Electronic Crime Laboratory in Wellington.

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Critics slam Aust government net block plan Australian IT

Internet industry experts say the federal Government's bill requiring service providers to block access to overseas sites blacklisted by the federal police commissioner could inadvertently block access to popular sites such as Facebook and slow internet speeds to a snail's pace.

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22 September 2007

uk: Ofcom plans talks on UK's broadband future The Guardian

Ofcom is preparing to wade into the growing debate over the next generation of ultra-high speed internet access, with the launch next week of a major consultation as it tries to keep the UK in the upper echelons of the broadband league.

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us: Bush Wants Spy Law Changes Set in Stone eCommerce Times

President Bush wants to renew and expand the controversial temporary surveillance legislation he rushed into law last month. The law, also known as the "Protect America Act," updates FISA by permitting warrantless surveillance of any targets located abroad, even if they are communicating with someone in the U.S. Because of a sunset clause, the law is due to expire Feb. 1, 2008.

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