Government & Policy

16 March 2011

'Huge battle' over future of net neutrality in UK BBC Radio 4

The government is meeting internet providers to debate the issue of 'net neutrality'. Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones explains what the term means, and Professor Timothy Wu, of Columbia Law School, looks at what the implications are for users.

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Australian state proposes law against uploading violent images on internet Sydney Morning Herald

The South Australian government wants to make it an offence to post violent or other degrading images on the internet.

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White House wants new copyright law crackdown CNET

The White House today proposed sweeping revisions to U.S. copyright law, including making "illegal streaming" of audio or video a federal felony and allowing FBI agents to wiretap suspected infringers.

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15 March 2011

UK Defamation Bill intended to kill off 'libel tourism' The Independent

Major changes to Britain's antiquated defamation laws will be outlined by ministers today with the publication of a bill to provide greater protection for free speech and an end to "libel tourism".

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SXSW 2011: Al Franken warns of 'outright disaster' over net neutrality The Guardian

Democratic senator Al Franken has has issued a rallying cry to "innovators and entrepreneurs" at SXSW to fight back against Comcast and other companies lobbying to pave the way for a two-speed internet.

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14 March 2011

David Cameron's 'Google-model' vision for copyright under fire The Guardian

It was a speech delivered last autumn by David Cameron, setting out his vision for a "Silicon Roundabout" in Shoreditch, east London, that first gave ammunition to the conspiracy theorists.

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13 March 2011

Opinion: Why it's time to get off the fence about net neutrality The Observer

Here's a tale of two societies. The South Korean communications commission is planning to boost broadband speeds in that country tenfold by the end of 2012. That means Koreans will get one gigabit per second (Gbps) connections by next year, which is 200 times as fast as the 5Mbps ADSL connection which is common in the UK. Meanwhile, back in the middle ages (aka Whitehall next Wednesday), a ministerial summit on "net neutrality" convened by the culture secretary Ed Vaizey will hear how Britain's ISPs plan to throttle still further the measly internet access they provide to the citizens of the UK in order to boost their bottom lines and reduce competition.

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12 March 2011

Long The Darling Of The Technology Community, Google Faces Increasing US Criticism Tech Daily Dose

Reps. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Joe Barton, R-Texas, cochairmen of the Bipartisan Privacy Caucus and longtime members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, don't agree on much. But after Google was caught last month collecting Social Security information from children who took part in its annual doodling contest, the lawmakers set aside their differences. In a scathing joint statement, they called the action "unacceptable," National Journal reported.

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Australian Internet Industry Association to develop copyright guide for courts Weekend Australian

Australia's peak internet industry body has moved rapidly to protect its members from liability for online piracy following the Federal Court's latest ruling in a landmark copyright trial.

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10 March 2011

UK ISPs to outline stance on net neutrality The Guardian

BT, Sky and Virgin Media - along with the rest of Britain's leading internet service providers - will next week outline an industry-wide "code of practice" on how they explain controversial "two-speed internet" policies to customers.

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08 March 2011

Why video may kill self-regulation of the press in the UK The Guardian

Who regulates the internet? If you think the answer is "nobody", think again. There is a land grab going on and the web turf being fought over is audiovisual content.

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05 March 2011

Web Video Rivalry Sparks U.S. Probe Wall Street Journal

The Justice Department is investigating whether a group representing some top technology firms is unfairly trying to smother a free rival technology for delivering online video that is backed by Google Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

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03 March 2011

US States Make Play for Web Gambling Wall Street Journal

Efforts to legalize online gambling in the U.S. are moving to the states as lawmakers roll the dice on bills that aim to steer around federal laws effectively prohibiting Internet wagering.

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Ofcom wants to ban misleading broadband speed ads BBC News

Ofcom is seeking to stop internet service providers from advertising unrealistic broadband speeds.

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01 March 2011

Net Neutrality Debate in Europe Is 'Over' Wall Street Journal

Is throwing net neutrality under the bus the price of a modern European telecom network? While the debate over a free and open Internet has raged in the U.S., it appears in Europe that the argument is largely over; net neutrality lost. What we are now arguing about is where to draw the line, not should we draw one at all.

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Singapore issues ISP code of practice ZDNet

The government has issued several mandatory security measures that designated ISPs must comply with as part of efforts to safeguard the country's Internet infrastructure.

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Australian railway safety under siege as carriers scramble for spectrum The Australian

Australia's peak rail authority is battling to protect billions of dollars worth of investment in the safety of national rail networks, which is under siege as the carriers scramble for scarce Long Term Evolution spectrum resources.

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28 February 2011

California legislation would tighten rules on Internet sales tax Los Angeles Times

California lawmakers are pushing measures that would require online merchants to collect sales tax on more transactions in a move to help shore up the state's sagging finances and level the playing field for bricks-and-mortar retailers.

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WIPO Director General Addresses the Future of Copyright WIPO

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry today said that copyright needs to evolve to current technological realities or risk becoming irrelevant. Speaking at a conference hosted by Australia's Faculty of Law of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) on the future of copyright, Mr. Gurry said there is no "single magical answer" to the development of a successful policy response to the challenges facing copyright in the digital age, but a combination of "law, infrastructure, cultural change, institutional collaboration and better business models."

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25 February 2011

Australian Attorney-General signals shift in safe harbour provisions Computerworld

The Federal Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, has signalled moves to expand provisions harbouring internet service and online content providers from litigation by copyright holders.

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23 February 2011

Google faces new complaint in French anti-trust probe BBC News

A new complaint about Google's alleged anti-competitive behaviour has been filed by specialist French search engine 1plusV.

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Net neutrality faces uncertain future after US House vote Computerworld

Late last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a budget bill that included a prohibition on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission enforcing net neutrality rules, but it's unclear whether that provision will survive.

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Wireless camp uninformed about cable, says NBN boss The Age

The man responsible for rolling out the national broadband network, Mike Quigley, has bluntly rejected opposition claims the $36 billion project is threatened by Telstra's plans for a super-fast wireless network.

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22 February 2011

Google Trying to Avoid Antitrust Fight in Europe New York Times

At the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the hottest ticket in recent years has invariably been an invitation to Google's lavish private party, and 2011 was no exception.

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Data retention should last one year: Australian attorney-general ZDNet

Bilateral talks with the United States to unify data retention legislation could lead to Australia keeping logs of its citizens' online lives for a year.

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