Government & Policy

13 August 2017

FCC faces backlash for saying Americans might not need fast home Internet Ars Technica

American Internet users are telling the Federal Communications Commission that mobile broadband is not a full replacement for fast home Internet service. This week, the FCC kicked off its annual analysis of broadband deployment and signaled that it might determine that smartphone access is a proper substitute for cable or fiber Internet. In doing so, the FCC could conclude that broadband is already being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion, and thus the commission could take fewer steps to promote deployment and competition.

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11 August 2017

Airbnb faces EU clampdown for not paying 'fair share' of tax The Guardian

EU finance ministers will discuss how to force home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb to pay their fair share of taxes and in the right tax domains next month after the French minister for the economy described the current situation as “unacceptable”.

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09 August 2017

France, Germany aim to close tax loopholes for US tech companies The Hill

France and Germany are teaming up with other partners to close tax loopholes for U.S. tech giants like Apple and Google.

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20 July 2017

French court refers 'right to be forgotten' dispute to top EU court Reuters

EU judges will have to decide whether Alphabet's Google has to remove certain web search results globally to comply with a previous privacy ruling after France's supreme administrative court referred the issue to the top EU court.

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19 July 2017

Major tech firms, internet providers clash over U.S. net neutrality rules Reuters

Tech companies clashed with internet service providers on Monday over whether a landmark 2015 net neutrality order barring the blocking or slowing of web content should be scrapped by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

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16 July 2017

Australia's planned decryption law would weaken cybersecurity The Conversation

The Australian government plans to introduce new legislation forcing companies such as Google and Facebook to de-crypt messages in the name of fighting terrorism and other crimes. But the move will have serious implications for cybersecurity.

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14 July 2017

Facebook, Google obliged to decrypt online messages to help Australian Government fight terrorism ABC News

Social media giants like Facebook and Google will face new laws to compel them to help Australian security agencies get access to encrypted messages from suspected terrorists and other criminals.

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13 July 2017

Ajit Pai: the man who could destroy America's open internet The Guardian

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has a reputation as a nice guy who remembers co-workers’ birthdays and their children’s names.

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12 July 2017

Your favorite websites might look a little different soon. Here's why. Washington Post

Visitors to Facebook, Google, Netflix and dozens of other websites will likely be greeted Wednesday by a special message about the future of the Internet, as part of a broad campaign by the companies to stop what they say is a threat to the Web as most consumers know it.

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10 July 2017

News Outlets to Seek Bargaining Rights Against Google and Facebook New York Times

Google and Facebook continue to gobble up the digital advertising market, siphoning away revenue that once paid for the quality journalism that Google and Facebook now offer for free.

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09 July 2017

As Elites Switch to Texting, Watchdogs Fear Loss of Transparency New York Times

In a bygone analog era, lawmakers and corporate chiefs traveled great distances to swap secrets, to the smoke-filled back rooms of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, or the watering holes at the annual Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.

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07 July 2017

EU considers record fine as panel checks Google Android case Reuters

EU antitrust regulators are weighing another record fine against Google over its Android mobile operating system and have set up a panel of experts to give a second opinion on the case, two people familiar with the matter said.

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06 July 2017

Google's Record Fine Is Only the Start From the EU Bloomberg

Google could see more fines from European Union antitrust regulators this year as probes into its AdSense advertising service and Android mobile-phone software near their end, three people familiar with the cases said just a week after the company was hit with a record penalty for its shopping-search services.

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EU lawmakers call for a right to repair electronic equipment Reseller News

Electronic devices should be robust and easily repairable -- and laws should encourage or enforce this, members of the European Parliament said Tuesday.

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03 July 2017

After Google Case, E.U. Readies for More Action New York Times

Popularity can come with plenty of legal problems, as Microsoft learned in the 1990s and as Google learned last week. A $2.7 billion fine by the European Union already showed that the bloc would be a much more active regulator of digital services.

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Proposed Regulation Rollbacks Renew the US Net Neutrality Debate IBISworld

Internet business is about to get another shakeup. On May 18, the Federal Communications Commission proposed rolling back net neutrality rules that regulate how internet service providers manage internet traffic. The recent proposal from Trump-appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai will place communications companies – including Comcast, AT&T and Verizon – under a different Communications Act classification, and potentially revert the industry to pre-2015 net neutrality regulations. Currently, internet service providers are classified as Common Carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, and are explicitly barred from treating internet traffic differently because the service is considered a utility, much like cable TV or landline phone service. Pro-net neutrality advocates argue that this classification ensures equal internet access for all businesses and consumers, while those against it – including Chairman Pai – argue that it prevents industry innovation, investment and competition.

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02 July 2017

Delete Hate Speech or Pay Up, Germany Tells Social Media Companies New York Times

Social media companies operating in Germany face fines of as much as $57 million if they do not delete illegal, racist or slanderous comments and posts within 24 hours under a law passed on Friday.

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To tackle Google's power, regulators have to go after its ownership of data by Evgeny Morozov The Observer

The problem with regulating technology companies is that, faced with tough new rules, they can eventually innovate their way out, often by switching to newer, unregulated technologies. The risk of targeted regulation informed by little other than economic doctrines might even be fuelling a corporate quest for eternal disruption: instead of surrendering to the regulators, technology firms prefer to abandon their old business model.

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Internet regulation: is it time to rein in the tech giants? The Observer

“Enough is enough,” said Theresa May outside 10 Downing Street after the London Bridge attack last month. “When it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.” And one of those things was the behaviour of internet firms, which should not allow extremism a place to breed. “Yet that is precisely what the internet – and the big companies that provide internet-based services – provide,” she continued.

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83 organisations send strong message to Five Eyes InternetNZ

InternetNZ - alongside 83 organisations and individuals from Five Eyes countries Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States - signed onto an open letter asking government officials to defend strong encryption.

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30 June 2017

Google's fine is big news but the company faces a far bigger threat The Guardian

Google has come face to face with two of its greatest nightmares this week. The first garnered enormous attention worldwide, and will be an expensive period regardless of how it shakes out; but the second flew below the radar, despite the fact that it could eventually be far more damaging to the company’s operating model.

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29 June 2017

Why Europe got tough on Google but the U.S. couldn't Washington Post

In the fall of 2012 the staff at the Federal Trade Commission had concluded that Google had engaged in unfair competition by favoring its own services over those of its competitors. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the staff had recommended an enforcement action: “The 160-page critique, which was supposed to remain private but was inadvertently disclosed in an open-records request, concluded that Google’s ‘conduct has resulted — and will result — in real harm to consumers.’”

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28 June 2017

Google fine: EU is not waging underhand trade war against ​​US tech firms... and more coverage The Guardian

Let’s start by laying one falsehood to rest. In fining Google €2.42bn (£2.14bn), the European commission is not engaged in a form of underhand trade warfare against US technology companies. Instead, Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner, is addressing a central commercial question of the digital age: to what extent should companies such as Google be able to exploit their dominance in one area to gain advantage in another?

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27 June 2017

Google hit by record-breaking €2.4bn fine from EU The Guardian

Google has been handed a record-breaking fine €2.42 billion fine by the European Union for abusing its dominance of the search engine market in building its online shopping service.

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Google Said to Face $1.2 Billion Antitrust Fine, but Battle With Europe Looms New York Times

European Union officials are expected to issue a record fine of at least 1.1 billion euros, or $1.2 billion, against Google as soon as Tuesday for breaking the region’s tough competition rules.

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