Government & Policy

07 March 2010

British web intercept group has spent £14m since January ZDNet

A government web interception group has spent £14m since it was established in January. The Communications Capabilities Directorate (CCD), which the government announced in January, has spent the money on set-up costs.

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EU asks who will pay for high-speed Internet EurActiv

The EU plans to revise rules governing access to the Internet and telephones throughout the bloc. Yesterday (2 March) the European Commission launched a consultation asking whether money for wider broadband coverage should come from the public purse or from industry coffers.

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05 March 2010

British House of Lords force rethink of government's online piracy plans BBC News

The government has been defeated in the House of Lords over measures to tackle online piracy after opponents said the plans could hamper digital innovation.

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04 March 2010

Ofcom to investigate UK net neutrality ZDNet

Ofcom is to launch a consultation into network neutrality later this spring, the UK telecoms regulator has announced.

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U.S. to fund broadband plan through existing programs Reuters

The U.S. National Broadband Plan set for release this month will not call for additional spending beyond the existing programs, a move likely to garner support from lawmakers, a Federal Communications Commission official said on Wednesday.

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Germany Speaks Out against Global Internet Ban for Pirates Der Spiegel

Recent leaks suggest the 39 countries negotiating an international copyright protection treaty could require Internet service providers to ban repeat piracy offenders from using the Web. The German government, however, has now voiced its opposition to the proposal, which has been heavily criticized by civil rights activists.

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ACTA will not undermine individuals' rights, says EU Commission OUT-LAW News

The European Commission has pledged to defend EU nations' rights to decide how to deal with online copyright infringement, saying that it will not allow a secret global treaty to erode nations' powers.

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US Senator to Introduce Internet Human Rights Bill PC World

A U.S. senator plans to introduce legislation that would impose criminal or civil penalties on U.S. Internet companies that bow to pressure of foreign governments and violate human rights.

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02 March 2010

German Minister Warns Against the Power of Internet Giants Der Spiegel

German Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner has launched an attack on the Internet economy, warning that the likes of Google, Microsoft and Apple store vast amounts of personal information on Web users that can be used for financial gain, and can hurt people's chances of getting jobs or bank loans.

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01 March 2010

Microsoft urges antitrust complaints about Google The Times

Microsoft has encouraged other companies to complain about Google to antitrust regulators in its most outspoken attack on its rival.

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The Google Three, Italy and Silvio Berlusconi: the web may be global but sovereign states still make up the rules The Observer

God is everywhere, at least according to those who believe in Him. So is the internet: it's global, ubiquitous and has - according to its evangelists - slipped the surly bonds of nation states. The trouble is that those who use it have to reside within legal jurisdictions.

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26 February 2010

US lawmaker urges support for Global Online Freedom Act NextGov

A week before Senate lawmakers turn their attention to issues of Internet freedom, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., is making another push to round up support in the House for his Internet freedom bill. Smith circulated a letter to his colleagues this week in an effort to increase the bill's co-sponsors. The bill currently has nine bipartisan cosponsors.

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How Anti-Competitive Is Google? Der Spiegel

On Wednesday, the European Commission announced it was looking into complaints that Google disadvantages competitors by lowering their search rankings. The accusations are just the most recent in an ever-growing list of grievances with Google.

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Google explains search rankings after complaints in Europe Computerworld

Google has offered a general explanation of how it ranks its search results, one day after the European Commission said it was looking into antitrust complaints against the company.

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New Zealand's 'Three strikes' downloader bill welcomed Stuff

Internet New Zealand has welcomed a new bill changing copyright laws but says the penalty of suspending a user's account for breaches won't work.

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Australian prime minister considers online content ombudsman ABC News

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the idea of an ombudsman to monitor online content is worth considering.

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25 February 2010

Australian Communication Minister's broadband threat to Telstra The Australian

The Rudd government has backflipped on one of its key promises about the operation of the new national broadband network in an attempt to bolster the economic credentials of the massive $43 billion project and to enforce Telstra's co-operation.

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24 February 2010

Google faces anti-monopoly probe by European Commission on whether it penalises competitors in search rankings The Guardian

Google is facing a preliminary anti-monopoly probe by the European Commission into its dominant position in online browsing and digital advertising following allegations that it demotes competing websites to the lower echelons of customers' search results.

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Mandelson could decide length of internet suspensions for British filesharers The Guardian

A government minister, not parliament, will decide on the maximum period for which people found guilty of illicit filesharing can have their accounts suspended if the Digital Economy bill becomes law.

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So long Section 92A - new NZ copyright bill revealed New Zealand Herald

After much controversy last year, Section 92A of the Copyright Act has finally been repealed and a new version introduced to Parliament by the Minister of Commerce, Simon Power.

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23 February 2010

UK broadband tax condemned as 'unfair' by MPs BBC News

A government proposal to charge people with fixed phone lines 50p per month to help fund ultra-fast broadband has been condemned as "unfair" by MPs.

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EU Data Protection Supervisor Warns Against ACTA, Calls 3 Strikes Disproportionate by Michael Geist Michael Geist blog

Peter Hustinx, the European Data Protection Supervisor, has issued a 20-page opinion expressing concern about ACTA. The opinion is a must-read and points to the prospect of other privacy commissioners speaking out. Moreover, with the French HADOPI three strikes law currently held up by its data protection commissioner, it raises questions about whether that law will pass muster under French privacy rules.

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21 February 2010

Lawmakers want to tax Amazon sales in California Los Angeles Times

The retail giant is among several that have no physical presence in the state. Legislative Democrats think a levy on them could bring in up to $150 million annually.

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19 February 2010

EBay urges rethink on EU's Internet sales plan Reuters

Ebay Inc urged European regulators to drop a requirement for Internet retailers to have "bricks-and-mortar" shops, warning it would hurt small firms, keep prices high and stifle e-commerce.

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Australian Communications Minister tells Facebook to boost security The Australian

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has demanded social networking giant Facebook detail how it will prevent cyber-vandalism in the wake of the defacing of an online memorial site for 12-year-old school stabbing victim Elliott Fletcher.

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