Government & Policy

14 January 2011

Google's $700 Million Purchase of ITA Software May Be Challenged by U.S. Bloomberg

The U.S. Justice Department is preparing for a possible antitrust lawsuit to stop Google Inc.'s $700 million acquisition of ITA Software Inc., according to people familiar with the situation.

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Europe Inquiry Focuses on Google Business Practice New York Times

European antitrust investigators are asking advertisers whether Google suggested they increase spending with the company in return for improved visibility in its Web search results. The investigators are also examining whether Google stymied companies who had tried to move their business elsewhere.

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12 January 2011

Australia's National Broadband Network tangled up in red tape The Australian

Not since the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme has Australia undertaken a project of the magnitude of the National Broadband Network.

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11 January 2011

Brussels Wants 7-Year Limit on Works Digitized by Google New York Times

Companies like Google that digitize artworks and books from public bodies should allow other companies and institutions to commercialize those materials after seven years, three experts advising the European Commission said Monday.

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10 January 2011

Copyright comes a cropper in the digital age The Observer

The big stage hit in America last year was a novel, "the most remarkable achievement in theatre this decade", according to the New York Times. Gatz was a word-for-word presentation of F Scott Fitzgerald's jazz age masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, by an experimental group, the Elevator Repair Service.

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09 January 2011

Opinion: Murdoch the monopolist? Not in a digital future The Observer

The debate over whether Rupert Murdoch should be allowed total control of Sky is far too simplistic in an age where Google, Apple - or some techies from California - can achieve greater dominance in a globalised media

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07 January 2011

UK's 'laughing stock' libel laws to be reformed, says Nick Clegg The Guardian

Nick Clegg will tomorrow set out the most ambitious plans yet to relax Britain's libel laws, saying he will back a raft of reforms including a statutory public interest defence.

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European Commission may compel ISPs to combat users' IP infringement OUT-LAW News

Rates of intellectual property infringement in the EU are "alarming", according to the European Commission. It says that an EU law on IP rights has had some effect, but that the legal measure was not designed to deal with online piracy.

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06 January 2011

Google Wins One Against Microsoft in US Wall Street Journal

Google Inc. won a key victory in a lawsuit against the U.S. Interior Department, two months after the Web giant accused the agency of improperly favoring rival Microsoft Corp. in a contract bid to provide a new email system.

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05 January 2011

BT denies paving way for internet fast lane The Guardian

BT today rejected claims it is paving the way for a "two-tier" internet by creating a service that will allow broadband providers to charge the BBC, Google and other content companies for better delivery of their video to the nation's homes.

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BT accused of creating two-tier internet in UK The Independent

BT was yesterday accused of undermining one of the founding principles of the internet - that of "net neutrality" - by creating a two-tier system which would allow content providers on its network to charge for a faster video delivery service.

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04 January 2011

BT service could pave the way for two-tier web Financial Times

New service will enable companies to charge content owners for better quality videos but has sparked complaints over principle of all web traffic being treated equally

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Skype Banned in China? Not So Fast... Wall Street Journal

Is China's government going after Skype? Media reports over the past week have raised that prospect in relation to a government clampdown on "illegal" voice-over-Internet-protocol, or VoIP, telephone services.

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03 January 2011

Network neutrality: America's new internet rules are mostly sensible - but the country’s real web problem is far more basic The Economist

For a subject that arouses such strong passions, "network neutrality" is fiendishly difficult to pin down. Ask five geeks and you may well be given six definitions of it. The basic concept sounds simple enough: that the internet's pipes should show no favours and blindly deliver packets of data from one place to another regardless of their origin, destination or contents. But the devil is in the detail. What happens for instance if some people want to pay for their data to go faster, or if others hog all the bandwidth? And it does not help that both political proponents and opponents of this undefinable thing claim they are fighting to defend free speech and innovation.

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31 December 2010

Just 21% of Americans Want FCC to Regulate Internet, Most Fear Regulation Would Promote Political Agenda Rasmussen Reports

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 21% of likely U.S. Voters want the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the Internet as it does radio and television. Fifty-four percent (54%) are opposed to such regulation, and 25% are not sure.

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China Clamps Down On Skype Internet Phone Wall Street Journal

Chinese regulators are clamping down on Internet phone services that aren't provided by the country's two state-owned telecommunications companies, according to state media, a move that could make services like Skype SA unavailable in the world's most populous country.

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30 December 2010

South Korean court rules on internet law Financial Times

South Korea's Constitutional Court has ruled that a law that bans the spreading of false information online is unconstitutional, in a move welcomed by free speech advocates in the world's most wired nation.

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28 December 2010

Google Deal Divides Travel Industry New York Times

Google has a knack for making waves when it pushes into new arenas, and online travel is no exception. Six months ago, Google announced its intention to buy the company that made it easy for travelers to compare airfares, ITA Software, for $700 million.

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27 December 2010

Obama's Broadband Punt: How an administration obsessed with green jobs missed the real growth sector of the economy Newsweek

It's a well-known lament that America's broadband performance badly lags the rest of the world's. Household adoption rates are mediocre compared with those of other OECD countries, and subscription prices are scandalously higher than even the super-speed nirvanas of South Korea and Japan.

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24 December 2010

Giants of Australian retail count their losses as the web threat comes of age The Australian

More than 10 years after internet retailing was touted as the next big thing, traditional merchants are finally beginning to feel the pinch.

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23 December 2010

US FCC fumbles ball on net neutrality: yes for fixed, not really for mobile The Guardian

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which has the power to set the rules for use and, more importantly, charging for internet use in the US, has passed "limited" net neutrality rules by a 3-2 vote which split along Democratic (yes) and Republican (no) party lines.

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22 December 2010

Whose Internet Is It, Anyway? The FCC's new "net neutrality" rules only muddle the picture Slate

The Federal Communications Commission has reinvigorated the "net neutrality" debate with its approval today of new rules governing Internet access. (The actual rules have yet to be released to the public.) Reportedly, the broadband companies that drop wires into your home to provide Internet service -- like Comcast and Charter, for example -- will be prohibited from blocking services and applications and from engaging in the "unreasonable discrimination" of data delivery. Wireless Internet providers will face less stringent rules.

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Net neutrality rules get go ahead from US regulators BBC News

US regulators have approved new rules meant to prohibit broadband companies from interfering with internet traffic.

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Cyprus delays online poker ban Reuters

Cyprus has put off legislation to ban online gambling because of a three-month delay in feedback on its plans from its European Union partners, the finance ministry said Tuesday.

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21 December 2010

FCC Is Set to Regulate US Net Access New York Times

The Federal Communications Commission appears poised to pass a controversial set of rules that broadly create two classes of Internet access, one for fixed-line providers and the other for the wireless Net.

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