Government & Policy

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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It's time to slay the internet's 'Cookie Monster' Marketing Land

Any conversation within the European marketing community these days soon turns to the General Data Protection Regulation. The impending GDPR brings about new data protection rules, heralding an unprecedented level of consumer protection. Going into effect in May of next year, the specific targeting of individuals without expressed permission will be outlawed.

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16 November 2017

Russia used hundreds of fake accounts to tweet about Brexit, data shows The Guardian

Concern about Russian influence in British politics has intensified as it emerged that more than 400 fake Twitter accounts believed to be run from St Petersburg published posts about Brexit.

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14 November 2017

Missouri launches investigation into Google's handling of consumer data Washington Post

Missouri’s attorney general said Monday that he has launched an investigation into whether Google has mishandled private customer data and manipulated its search results to favor its own products, a further sign that Silicon Valley’s political fortunes may be on the descent.

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13 November 2017

Google facing huge EU fine over breach of antitrust laws Australian Financial Review

The European Union is preparing to fine Google over its multibillion-dollar advertising empire as a high-profile investigation into its Android operating system is pushed back to next year.

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11 November 2017

Council of Europe partners with leading technology companies to promote respect for human rights Council of Europe

The Council of Europe will strengthen its co-operation with the private sector in order to promote an open and safe internet, where human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are respected.

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U.S. tech companies pushed for net neutrality. Now Sen. Al Franken wants to turn it on them. Washington Post

For years, tech companies have insisted that they're different from everything else. Take Facebook, which has long claimed that it's a simple tech platform, not a media entity. “Don't be evil,” Google once said to its employees, as though it were setting itself apart from the world's other massive corporations.

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09 November 2017

E.U. competition chief asks Apple for details on tax arrangements Washington Post

European authorities have asked Apple to share details of its recent tax arrangements as the company faces an order to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes while leaked documents have revealed new details of its alleged tax planning.

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China Spreads Propaganda to U.S. on Facebook, a Platform It Bans at Home New York Times

China does not allow its people to gain access to Facebook, a powerful tool for disseminating information and influencing opinion.

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07 November 2017

After a Tax Crackdown, Apple Found a New Shelter for Its Profits New York Times

The tech giant has found a tax haven in the island of Jersey, leaving billions of dollars untouched by the United States, leaked documents reveal.

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Getting a Grip on GDPR: The Secret Is Knowing Where to Begin Security Intelligence

An old friend once gave me some really valuable advice about reaching a goal. He said that you can’t get to where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. Over the years, I’ve found that to be true in a lot of situations. But I think it’s especially fitting in discussing GDPR readiness.

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06 November 2017

We Need New Rules for the Internet Economy Der Spiegel

Antitrust laws only go so far when addressing companies that don't produce any physical goods. It is time to negotiate a new set of rules. Otherwise, our future economy will be dominated by just a few companies.

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04 November 2017

How to stop Google and Facebook from becoming even more powerful The Guardian

On Tuesday, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana told the general counsels of Facebook and Google: “Your power sometimes scares me.” The problem, Kennedy said, is that the corporations know too much about us, and too little about themselves.

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Facebook Says It's Policing Fake Accounts. But They're Still Easy to Spot. New York Times

Executives of Facebook, Twitter and Google pledged to Congress this week to do more to prevent the fakery that has polluted their sites. “We understand that the people you represent expect authentic experiences when they come to our platform,” Colin Stretch, the general counsel of Facebook, told the Senate Intelligence Committee. He said the company was doubling its review staff to 20,000 and using artificial intelligence to find more “bad actors.”

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Trove of 'Russian troll' posts exposed by U.S. Congress BBC News

Further instances of social media posts and ads thought to be part of Russian propaganda efforts to influence the last US presidential election and divide its society have been shared with the public.

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02 November 2017

Russian ads, now publicly released, show sophistication of influence campaign Washington Post

Lawmakers on Wednesday released a trove of ads that Russian operatives bought on Facebook, providing the fullest picture yet of how foreign actors sought to promote Republican Donald Trump, denigrate Democrat Hillary Clinton and divide Americans over some of the nation’s most sensitive social issues.

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