Government & Policy

05 May 2010

Consumer Groups Say Proposed US Privacy Bill Is Flawed New York Times

A long-awaited draft of a Congressional bill would extend privacy protections both on the Internet and off line, but privacy advocates said the bill did not go far enough in protecting consumers.

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04 May 2010

Brussels to beef up industry standards rules Financial Times

European competition authorities will this week move to beef up rules governing the way in which all-important industry standards - used in sectors ranging from telecoms to IT - are developed.

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Australian government moves a step closer to e-government The Australian

The federal government has moved a step closer to its aim of using web technology to promote transparent administration, but the Coalition has labelled the effort as just "blah, bureaucracy and boffin-speak".

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02 May 2010

The Internet Helps Build Democracies Newsweek

The revolts in Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Burma, Xinjiang, and Iran could never have happened without the web.

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01 May 2010

Australia to sign European Cybercrime Convention The Australian

Australia will finally sign up to a global treaty aimed at fighting fraud and other offences committed using the internet such as computer hacking, child pornography and copyright infringement.

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China Passes Tighter Information Law New York Times

China's legislature has imposed tighter requirements on Web and telecommunications companies to shield the nation's state secrets, which are often defined as including a broad array of information the authorities deem detrimental to security.

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30 April 2010

NZ Law Commission downplays fears of secret searches: Search and Surveillance bill goes under scrutiny Computerworld

Online search powers included in a new Search and Surveillance Bill have been misconstrued by critics, according to the Law Commission.

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Bandwidth demand to reach 1Gbps by 2020: Australia's NBN Co Computerworld

Fixed bandwidth speed demands will reach one gigabit per second (Gbps) by 2020, according to NBN Co chief executive officer Mike Quigley.

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28 April 2010

British Election: Can Pirate Party UK emulate Sweden success? BBC News

A movement inspired by the success of Sweden's pro-internet file sharing Pirate Party in the European elections hopes to make waves in the UK on 6 May.

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27 April 2010

Google on FCC broadband authority: We're staying out of it Washington Post

Google will stay on the sidelines as others debate how the Federal Communications Commission should ensure its ability to regulate broadband services.

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Under financial overhaul, FTC could gain enforcement power over US Internet Washington Post

The Federal Trade Commission could become a more powerful watchdog for Internet users under a little-known provision in financial overhaul legislation that would expand the agency's ability to create rules.

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25 April 2010

ACTA Draft Text Released: (Nearly) Same As It Ever Was by Michael Geist Michael Geist blog

As the ACTA negotiating countries promised, a draft consolidated text was released earlier today. Unlike the earlier leaked version which provided specific attribution to country positions, this official version has removed references to those positions, so the text does not state who supports which version of the text. Those interested in deciphering that bigger picture, should look at the official release alongside the leaked version.

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23 April 2010

Draft copyright treaty has Australian web industry worried ABC News

A draft global copyright treaty released today could change the way Australian internet providers deal with pirates on their networks.

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22 April 2010

Copyright and wrong: Why the rules on copyright need to return to their roots The Economist

When Parliament decided, in 1709, to create a law that would protect books from piracy, the London-based publishers and booksellers who had been pushing for such protection were overjoyed. When Queen Anne gave her assent on April 10th the following year -- 300 years ago this week -- to "An act for the encouragement of learning" they were less enthused. Parliament had given them rights, but it had set a time limit on them: 21 years for books already in print and 14 years for new ones, with an additional 14 years if the author was still alive when the first term ran out. After that, the material would enter the public domain so that anyone could reproduce it. The lawmakers intended thus to balance the incentive to create with the interest that society has in free access to knowledge and art. The Statute of Anne thus helped nurture and channel the spate of inventiveness that Enlightenment society and its successors have since enjoyed.

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US Communications Law Is Outdated, Panelists Agree Tech Daily Dose

Congress needs to update telecommunications law to better address broadband issues. That's a single idea that united speakers with starkly different ideas on FCC authority at the Politics Online conference on Monday.

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ACTA Copyright treaty, now public, confirms critics' fears Computerworld

ACTA, the anticounterfeiting trade agreement that has ignited debate over its provisions for clamping down on copyright abuse on the internet, was made public today, but the fears it sparked while it was being negotiated secretly will not go away.

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21 April 2010

ICT research: EU invests €500 million in Future and Emerging Technologies to improve people's lives Europa

Developing intelligent artificial hands for hand amputees, neural devices to help people suffering from vertigo, dizziness and other vestibular disorders and the possibility to see how your brain responds while learning are a few examples of European research carried out in the area of future and emerging information and communication technologies (FET) that are being presented in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today. Twelve outstanding science projects funded under the European Commission's Future and Emerging Technologies programme will be showcased at the exhibition on "Science beyond Fiction: an Excursion into Future and Emerging Technologies". Europe is taking the lead in FET by proposing to invest around €500 million in exploratory research into high risk future Information and Communication Technologies.

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Telecoms ministers back European Digital Agenda V3

The European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda has welcomed an official ministerial declaration from EU telecoms ministers supporting the European Digital Agenda.

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Undersea telcoms cables face growing risks-report Reuters

Investors should urgently diversify the web of undersea cables that serve as the world's information and banking arteries to address soaring demand and piracy concerns and reduce the risk of catastrophic outages.

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20 April 2010

Google Urges Mix of Privacy Legislation, Self-Regulation in US Tech Daily Dose

Google Monday released comments it filed with the FTC last week on ways to enhance consumer privacy online as it finds its advertising practices and those of other online firms under increased scrutiny by privacy advocates.

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US broadband has no regulator, BitTorrent CEO says Computerworld

The Internet industry has to regulate itself by responding to consumer demands in the wake of the recent U.S. federal court ruling that the Federal Communications Commission didn't have authority to enforce its net neutrality rules, BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker said Monday.

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19 April 2010

Editorial: The FCC and the Internet New York Times

With the Internet fast becoming the most important communications channel, it is untenable for the United States not to have a regulator to ensure nondiscriminatory access, guarantee interconnectivity among rival networks and protect consumers from potential abuse.

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ACTA: Anti-counterfeiting treaty edges closer Stuff

Countries that sign up to the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement will not be required to impose "three strikes" laws to disconnect persistent copyright infringers from the internet, trade negotiators said in a joint statement.

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16 April 2010

No return on Australia's NBN for 'up to 30 years' The Australian

The head of the $43 billion national broadband network has warned that the federal government will not make a financial return on its ambitious project for up to 30 years.

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15 April 2010

Cloud raises diplomatic issues, top Clinton aide says NextGov

Cloud computing is a double-edged sword in the fight for Internet freedom, a top State Department official said on Wednesday.

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