Government & Policy

03 December 2010

Google v Regulators: The battle begins BBC News

It's been predicted for years - and now it has finally happened. The company that many see as the most powerful force on the internet - and some believe abuses that power - is being investigated by a major competition regulator.

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Mixed Reaction to FCC Internet Plan New York Times

The plan from the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to ensure an open and neutral Internet drew mixed reviews on Wednesday from consumer advocates and Internet service providers, presenting the agency with an uncertain way forward as it considers new broadband regulation.

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Australian national broadband has utilities, media excited The Age

Utilities companies are more excited than other industries about business opportunities available through the national broadband network, according to an online survey of about 500 businesses.

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01 December 2010

UK Home Office mulls data law change BBC News

The Home Office has agreed to meet civil liberties groups as part of a consultation it is conducting into UK interception laws.

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FCC Chairman Sets a Framework for Regulating Broadband Providers New York Times

Thwarted by the courts, by lawmakers on Capitol Hill and by some of his fellow commissioners, the Federal Communications Commission chairman will try again on Wednesday to devise a new strategy for regulating broadband Internet service providers.

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Europe Threatens Inquiry Into Phone and Cable Fees New York Times

The European Union's telecommunications commissioner on Tuesday threatened to crack down on member countries that allow powerful former telephone monopolies to charge steep fees that raise costs to consumers.

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EU launches antitrust probe into alleged Google antitrust abuses BBC News

The European Commission has launched an investigation into Google after other search engines complained that the firm had abused its dominant position.

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30 November 2010

Australian opposition's final attempt to have NBN subjected to cost-benefit analysis fails The Australian

Legislation paving the way for the rollout of the National Broadband Network has passed through the parliament.

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29 November 2010

France plans to introduce new 'Google tax' Deutsche Welle

The French Senate has approved a new tax on online advertising services offered by Internet giants such as Google. But critics say the plan misses the point and burdens domestic companies instead.

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EFF Calls on European Commission to Protect Internet Users' Rights by Requiring Court Order Before ISP Takedowns Electronic Frontiers Foundation

To provide greater protection for Internet users' freedom of expression and privacy rights, EFF recommended that the European Commission (EC) should preserve limitations on liability for Internet intermediaries and clarify that Internet intermediaries should not be considered to have "actual knowledge" requiring them to takedown content unless they have received a court order or notification in comments filed recently as part of the EC's long-awaited public consultation on the workability of the 2000 EU eCommerce Directive.

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ACTA comes one step closer to existence EurActiv

A vote in the European Parliament yesterday (24 November) signalled that a controversial international trade agreement to tackle counterfeiting, known as ACTA, has moved one step closer to ratification, raising concerns among ISPs.

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Hooking Up Unserved Pockets of Europe to High-Speed Internet New York Times

Although France is one of the best-wired countries anywhere, residents of Ablis, a small town southwest of Paris, cannot get a decent broadband connection. The speediest link available is not even fast enough to watch YouTube videos.

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27 November 2010

Who's Afraid of Apple, Google, Facebook? GigaOm

Timothy Wu says we should be alarmed by the monopoly powers accumulated by Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Skype, Twitter, Apple, and eBay. Why he's wrong

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26 November 2010

Crucial Telstra bill paving way for NBN is passed by Australian Senate The Australian

Legislation to split Telstra has passed the Senate after days of intense negotiation and heated debate on a bill that paves the way for the National Broadband Network.

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25 November 2010

EU Parliament approves once-secret ACTA copyright treaty Network World

After 11 rounds of international negotiations, the final text of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has overcome its biggest hurdle yet when it was welcomed as a step in the right direction by the European Parliament, which voted 331-294, with 11 members abstaining, to approve the measure.

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24 November 2010

Did Google and Verizon scupper net neutrality? BBC News

Net neutrality is a thorny subject for advocacy groups, internet service providers, carriers, internet companies and of course the government.

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Australian government considers GST on internet shopping ABC News

The Federal Government says it will consider imposing the GST on imported goods worth less than $1,000 to help local retailers compete against online stores.

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23 November 2010

China prepared to defend administration of Net People's Daily

China will promote the opening up of cyberspace and welcome foreign firms as long as they abide by Chinese laws and respect traditional Chinese culture, said State Council Information Office Minister Wang Chen on Monday.

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21 November 2010

British government services to be online-only; people without internet access could suffer in coalition cost-cutting The Observer

Britons will be forced to apply online for government services such as student loans, driving licences, passports and benefits under cost-cutting plans to be unveiled this week.

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20 November 2010

FCC moves to ensure 'net neutrality' Financial Times

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to announce plans next week for regulations that would forbid internet service providers from blocking or favouring content online.

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19 November 2010

Peter Gabriel joins voices backing net neutrality in UK The Guardian

The UK government's plans to abandon net neutrality threaten British business startups and if taken up elsewhere could undermine democracy, says Peter Gabriel, the influential musician and technology entrepreneur who has backed a number of successful internet companies.

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18 November 2010

US Congressman Plans To Reintroduce Internet Freedom Bill Tech Daily Dose

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. said Wednesday that he will reintroduce in the next Congress the Internet freedom legislation he has pushed for several years.

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Google Strikes Deal With French Publisher New York Times

Google said Wednesday that it had reached a deal with the publisher Hachette Livre, which has broken ranks with its French rivals and agreed to allow Google to scan thousands of out-of-print books for its digital library project.

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Britain's ISPs should be free to abandon net neutrality, says communications minister The Guardian

Internet service providers such as BT should be allowed to abandon net neutrality and prioritise users' access to certain content providers, the communications minister Ed Vaizey said in a speech today.

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17 November 2010

Australian independents back Labor to block Coalition amendments on Telstra laws The Australian

Coalition amendments to ensure normal competition and consumer laws apply to the National Broadband Network and Telstra deal have been defeated.

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