Government & Policy

01 November 2010

Broadband in America: Verizon has paid dearly to build a fast network. Now it needs customers The Economist

Verizon can get shirty about the word "fibre". America's second-biggest telecoms operator successfully complained to the Better Business Bureau that competitors had touted "fibre-optic fast" to consumers, even though their broadband networks did not run fibre all the way to the home, as Verizon does. This is not just a techies' argument. By an order of magnitude, an all-fibre network is the fastest way to move information from one place to another on the internet and Verizon has the largest such network in America. The difficult bit is making money from it.

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28 October 2010

UK watchdog to meet Home Office about plans to track email and phone use The Guardian

The information commissioner is to meet the Home Office to clarify his concerns over the potential privacy risks involved in a revived Whitehall project to track the email, internet and mobile phone use of everyone in Britain.

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UK Government outlines superfast broadband ambitions OUT-LAW News

The Government wants the UK to have the most extensive superfast broadband internet access network in Europe by 2015. The commitment is part of the Government's just-published infrastructure plan.

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27 October 2010

Amazon's Sales Tax Reviewed by Texas Wall Street Journal Inc. said it received an assessment of $269 million for uncollected sales tax from the state of Texas.

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22 October 2010

'Surveillance state' fear as British government revives tracking plan The Guardian

A £2bn plan to allow the police and security services to track the email, text, internet and mobile phone details of everyone in Britain is to be revived, the Home Office has confirmed.

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EU rules against levies on content copyright Financial Times

Changes to Europe's much-criticised system of copyright levies - surcharges on products that copy music, books, films and other protected content - are finally in sight after a ruling in the European Union's highest court.

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21 October 2010

Plan to store Britons' phone and internet data revived The Guardian

The government is to revive a plan to store every email, webpage visit and phone call made in the UK, a move that goes against a pledge made by the Liberal Democrats ahead of the election.

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Australian govt threatens to use law to force people on NBN if states revolt Sydney Morning Herald

Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy says he will wield federal law as a weapon to force people on to the national broadband network (NBN) if the states and territories don't make connections mandatory.

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17 October 2010

US studying Australian Internet security program The Age

The US government is reviewing an Australian program that will allow internet service providers to alert customers if their computers are taken over by hackers and could limit online access if people don't fix the problem.

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14 October 2010

NZ Government to review 'wild west' internet Stuff

Justice Minister Simon Power has ordered a review into the "wild west" of the internet, he announced today.

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11 October 2010

European Antritrust Deal With Microsoft Barely Affects Browser Market New York Times

When Europe settled an antitrust case over Web browsers with Microsoft in December 2009, it hoped to dislodge the world's biggest software maker from its dominant position in that market by requiring it to offer rivals' products.

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08 October 2010

New Version of ACTA Copyright Pact Gets Mixed Reviews PC World

A near-final version of the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) released this week won praise from organizations representing copyright holders and some sighs of relief from groups that had opposed proposals in earlier drafts.

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06 October 2010

US Administration Cracking Down On Internet Piracy Tech Daily Dose

Curbing Internet piracy is a big priority for the administration, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel said on Tuesday.

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02 October 2010

US Senator working on a privacy 'do-not-track' bill NextGov

The chairman of the Senate Commerce Consumer Protection Subcommittee is working on a bill aimed at giving consumers more control over whether their activities will be tracked on the Internet.

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30 September 2010

'Net Neutrality' Is Left to FCC As Congress Fails to Take Action Wall Street Journal

Net neutrality is joining the growing list of issues Congress isn't likely to act on this year, putting new pressure on the Federal Communications Commission to take up the matter.

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29 September 2010

Web founder warns of Internet disconnect law 'blight' Sydney Morning Herald

Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, warned Tuesday of the "blight" of new laws being introduced across the globe allowing people to be cut off from the Internet.

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28 September 2010

FCC Chief Concedes Slow Pace But Impatient to Move Forward Quickly Wall Street Journal

Key parts of the Obama administration's technology agenda are stalled at the Federal Communications Commission, but its chairman said Monday that he's impatient to move them forward soon.

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The Obama administration's war on privacy Salon

In early August, two dictatorial (and U.S.-allied) Gulf states -- Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- announced a ban on the use of Blackberries because, as the BBC put it, "[b]oth nations are unhappy that they are unable to monitor such communications via the handsets." Those two governments demand the power to intercept and monitor every single form of communication. No human interaction may take place beyond their prying ears.

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India's Spy Plan Said to Deter Business New York Times

In the United States, law enforcement and security agencies have raised privacy concerns with a new proposal for electronic eavesdropping powers to track terrorists and criminals and unscramble their encrypted messages.

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27 September 2010

U.S. Is Working to Ease Wiretaps on the Internet New York Times

Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is "going dark" as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.

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Europe's Parliament Addresses Patchwork of Copyright Laws New York Times

Serving as a member of the European Parliament can be a thankless task. Lobbyists accost you from all corners. Tabloid newspapers complain about your expenses. And after a day of plenary sessions in Strasbourg, you might not be able to watch television shows from your home country without breaking the law.

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24 September 2010

Most in US don't support Internet regulation [when net neutrality isn't explained!] Computerworld

Fifty-seven percent of likely voters in the U.S. don't support any Internet regulation by the federal government, according to a new survey released by Broadband for America, an advocacy group with members including AT&T and Verizon Communications.

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Telecoms fear impact of EU regulation Financial Times

Senior European telecoms executives reacted coolly to the European Union's proposals on regulating the next generation of broadband internet networks, warning that excessive regulation could make large-scale investments less likely.

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23 September 2010

US Senators push for update to electronic privacy law Computerworld

A 24-year-old law setting the rules on how law enforcement agencies can obtain electronic records needs to be updated because it's out of step with modern technology and privacy expectations, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy said Wednesday.

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EU votes to toughen rules on Internet piracy Computerworld

Members of the European Parliament have opened the door to tough new sanctions on Internet users by voting in favor of a controversial report on copyright enforcement.

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