Government & Policy

20 December 2010

Australian broadband network to repay taxpayers 'with interest', says prime minister, citing business plan The Australian

The National Broadband Network business case proves taxpayers' $27.5 billion investment in the plan will be repaid with interest, Julia Gillard has declared.

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FCC's Democrats Narrowing Net Neutrality Gaps Tech Daily Dose

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is making progress in narrowing gaps with his two Democratic colleagues over his controversial plan to adopt sweeping new rules for the Internet, National Journal has learned. But with the talks very fluid, and differences remaining, there's still a possibility that the regulatory initiative could be pulled at the last minute from the agenda of Tuesday's commission meeting.

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Major Australian retailers to copy miners in campaign over GST brawl for online purchases abroad Weekend Australian

Australia's biggest retail and shopping centre owners have joined forces to launch a mining tax-style campaign.

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19 December 2010

TV's future: FCC decisions on Internet access, Comcast-NBC merger approaching Washington Post

America's beloved television is getting an extreme Internet makeover, and questions over what shows viewers will see online and how much they pay for them could soon be resolved by the Federal Communications Commission.

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18 December 2010

European Antitrust Inquiry Into Google Is Broadened New York Times

The European Commission has widened its investigation into Google by taking on two German cases involving complaints from a powerful group of newspaper and magazine publishers and an online mapping company, officials said on Friday.

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Editorial: Protecting the Internet For Americans New York Times

The intensely competitive nature of the Internet is vital to the American economy and democracy. So we worry that rules proposed this month by Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, to guarantee the Internet's openness may not be able to guarantee the survival of that competition.

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Online buying by Australians sparks retail inquiry The Age

The growing trend to shop online has prompted a government inquiry into Australia's retail sector amid complaints by traditional retailers that shoppers are avoiding paying GST by buying goods from overseas websites.

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17 December 2010

Is Google Too Big to Shop? New York Times

This week, Steve Pearlstein, a columnist for The Washington Post, locked horns with Google over the thorny subject of the search giant's dominance and its quest to spread into new corners of the Web by buying other companies.

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Google Will Respond to "Valid Requests" for Data From India PC World

Google recognizes the legitimate investigative needs of law enforcement agencies across the world, including in India, and will respond to valid requests for information that are received in accordance with applicable laws, the company said on Thursday.

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16 December 2010

Approval of US Internet traffic rules likely: analysts Reuters

Contentious Internet traffic rules facing a vote next week are likely to be adopted without radically veering from a proposal unveiled earlier in the month, telecommunications policy analysts said on Wednesday.

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15 December 2010

Australian government review to look at media regulation The Australian

The federal government has kicked off a review of media and communications regulation for an industry reshaped by rapid technological change.

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Google online search adverts 'dominant', says France BBC News

Internet giant Google holds a dominant position in the online advertising market linked to search engines, a French competition watchdog has said.

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12 December 2010

Brussels mulls shortening data retention periods EurActiv

The European Commission is planning a review of the Data Retention Directive, which could include harmonisation and a reduction of the periods when public authorities can access citizens' private electronic data for security reasons.

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10 December 2010

US Phone, Cable Lobbying War Over Net Neutrality Heats Up Wall Street Journal

Big phone and cable companies are outgunning Silicon Valley in last-minute lobbying to shape a pending Federal Communications Commission proposal to prevent Internet providers from interfering with web traffic.

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08 December 2010

US net neutrality plan will likely pass, says ex-FCC chairman Computerworld

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will likely approve a compromise network neutrality proposal from its current chairman later this month with the support of many large broadband providers, Michael Powell, former chairman of the agency, said Tuesday.

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07 December 2010

UK government reveals super-fast broadband plans BBC News

Every community in the UK will gain access to super-fast broadband by 2015 under plans outlined today.

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NZ beats Australia in OECD broadband rankings Computerworld

New Zealand has passed Australia in the latest OECD rankings for broadband penetration.

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05 December 2010

Google is finding out how unpopular it is in Old Europe The Observer

The news that the EU has decided to investigate whether Google is abusing its dominance of the market for internet searches naturally led your columnist to type "Google abuses market dominance" into, well, Google. In 0.19 seconds it reported 4.4 million results.

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Google and antitrust: The European Union is right to take a closer look at Google The Economist

This year is turning into an annus horribilis for Google. First the search giant attracted almost universal opprobrium and a tonne of legal headaches when it accidentally recorded personal data from unprotected wireless networks in various countries. Then some much-hyped new services flopped, in particular Google Wave (see article). Now it faces a formal investigation by the European Union into allegations that it has broken antitrust rules by abusing its dominant position in the online-search business to stifle competition.

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How long will Google's magic last? It flourished during the first phase of the internet. The next one may be tougher The Economist

"Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one," wrote Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the search firm's founders, in a letter to investors ahead of its stockmarket flotation in 2004. Since then, Google has burnished its reputation as one of the quirkiest companies on the planet. This year alone it has raised eyebrows by taking a stake in a wind-energy project off the east coast of America and by testing self-driving cars, which have already covered over 140,000 miles (225,000km) on the country's roads.

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04 December 2010

Internet companies in UK oppose net neutrality Financial Times

A group of major internet companies, including Ebay, Yahoo and Skype, have written to Ed Vaizey, communications minister, urging the British government not to impose regulation that would allow the country's internet service providers to favour traffic from one content provider over another.

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03 December 2010

Editorial: Google and Europe New York Times

The European Commission did the right thing on Tuesday when it opened a formal antitrust investigation into allegations that Google abused its dominant position in online search to help its other businesses at the expense of rivals.

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Google v Regulators: The battle begins BBC News

It's been predicted for years - and now it has finally happened. The company that many see as the most powerful force on the internet - and some believe abuses that power - is being investigated by a major competition regulator.

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Mixed Reaction to FCC Internet Plan New York Times

The plan from the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to ensure an open and neutral Internet drew mixed reviews on Wednesday from consumer advocates and Internet service providers, presenting the agency with an uncertain way forward as it considers new broadband regulation.

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Australian national broadband has utilities, media excited The Age

Utilities companies are more excited than other industries about business opportunities available through the national broadband network, according to an online survey of about 500 businesses.

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