Government & Policy

28 April 2017

The 'Fix' for Net Neutrality That American Consumers Don't Need by Tim Wu New York Times

Netflix and Amazon have been nominated for hundreds of Emmys and Golden Globe awards in recent years, and that is a testament to both the quality of those companies and the transformation of television. But some of the credit is also due to “net neutrality,” the legal regime that nurtured and protected the open internet and streaming TV in the first place.

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27 April 2017

F.C.C. Chairman Pushes Sweeping Changes to Net Neutrality Rules New York Times

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday outlined a sweeping plan to loosen the government’s oversight of high-speed internet providers, a rebuke of a landmark policy approved two years ago to ensure that all online content is treated the same by the companies that deliver broadband service to Americans.

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24 April 2017

EU mulls legislation in the fight against online hate speech Reuters

The European Union is considering legislative measures to harmonise how online platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google take down hate speech and incitement to violence, a draft document seen by Reuters shows.

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23 April 2017

Is It Time to Break Up Google? New York Times

In just 10 years, the world’s five largest companies by market capitalization have all changed, save for one: Microsoft. Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Citigroup and Shell Oil are out and Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon and Facebook have taken their place.

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A scholar asks, 'Can democracy survive the Internet?' Washington Post

In more innocent times, the rise of the Internet was seen by many people as a boon to democracy. Disruptive, yes, but the Web broadened the flow of information, introduced new voices into the political debates, empowered citizens and even provided a powerful fundraising tool for some lesser-known candidates such as Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders.

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14 April 2017

Australian data retention scheme comes into force with civil lawsuit safeguards The Guardian

Personal data collected under the government’s mandatory data retention scheme, which comes into force on Thursday, will not be able to be used in civil lawsuits, the government has confirmed.

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07 April 2017

Europe regulator says airlines' tech ban may compromise safety Reuters

Europe's aviation regulator voiced concern on Wednesday over the risk of battery fires in the cargo holds of passenger planes after U.S. and British authorities banned certain electronics from passenger cabins despite U.S. assurances that its agency had been thoroughly briefed on the proper handling of electronics.

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06 April 2017

How do you stop fake news? In Germany, with a law. Washington Post

Germany officially unveiled a landmark social-media bill Wednesday that could quickly turn this nation into a test case in the effort to combat the spread of fake news and hate speech in the West.

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05 April 2017

Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee slams UK and US net plans BBC News

The web's creator has attacked any UK plans to weaken encryption and promised to battle any moves by the Trump administration to weaken net neutrality.

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Tim Berners-Lee: selling private citizens' browsing data is 'disgusting' The Guardian

The Trump administration’s decision to allow ISPs to sign away their customers’ privacy and sell the browsing habits of their customers is “disgusting” and “appalling”, according to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the world wide web.

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04 April 2017

Trump Completes Repeal of Online Privacy Protections From Obama Era New York Times

President Trump on Monday signed a congressional resolution to complete the overturning of internet privacy protections created by the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama administration.

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30 March 2017

What the Repeal of US Online Privacy Protections Means for You New York Times

Congress on Tuesday moved to dismantle online privacy rules created during the Obama era. The rules, which were scheduled to take effect this year, would have required internet providers to get permission before collecting and selling a customer’s online information, including browsing activities.

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29 March 2017

US Congress Moves to Overturn Obama-Era Online Privacy Rules New York Times

Congress completed its overturning of the nation’s strongest internet privacy protections for individuals on Tuesday in a victory for telecommunications companies, which can track and sell a customer’s online information with greater ease.

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UK government can force encryption removal, but fears losing, experts say The Guardian

The government already has the power to force technology firms to act as it wants over end-to-end encryption, but is avoiding using existing legislation as it would force it into a battle it would eventually lose, security experts have said.

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28 March 2017

WhatsApp's privacy protections questioned after UK terror attack BBC News

Chat apps that promise to prevent your messages being accessed by strangers are under scrutiny again following last week's terror attack in London.

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Push for Internet Privacy Rules Moves to US Statehouses New York Times

Now that Republicans are in charge, the federal government is poised to roll back regulations limiting access to consumers’ online data. States have other ideas.

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26 March 2017

Internet firms must do more to tackle online extremism, says No 10 The Guardian

Downing Street has called for social media companies to do more to expunge extremist material from the internet.

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24 March 2017

The Senate just voted to undo landmark rules covering America's Internet privacy Washington Post

Senate lawmakers voted Thursday to repeal a historic set of rules aimed at protecting consumers' online data from their own Internet providers, in a move that could make it easier for broadband companies to sell and share their customers' usage information for advertising purposes.

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17 March 2017

Google under fire as UK government pulls ads over extremist content The Guardian

Google has been summoned to the Cabinet Office after it emerged that government advertising was being inadvertently placed next to extremist material.

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04 March 2017

The FCC Helped Make the Internet Great: Now, It's Walking Away Wharton School

In this opinion piece, Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics Kevin Werbach looks at how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be impacted by the Trump administration — and what that means for internet regulation. Werbach served as co-lead of the FCC review for the Obama-Biden Transition Project, and an outside advisor on technology and innovation policy to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

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16 February 2017

Internet firms' legal immunity is under threat: Platforms have benefited greatly from special legal and regulatory treatment The Economist

Google, Facebook and other online giants like to see their rapid rise as the product of their founders’ brilliance. Others argue that their success is more a result of lucky timing and network effects—the economic forces that tend to make bigger firms even bigger. Often forgotten is a third reason for their triumph: in America and, to some extent, in Europe, online platforms have been inhabiting a parallel legal universe. Broadly speaking, they are not legally responsible, either for what their users do or for the harm that their services can cause in the real world.

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07 February 2017

China proposes further tightening of internet oversight Reuters

China is proposing a further tightening of controls over the internet with the possible establishment of a new commission to vet internet services and hardware, Beijing's internet regulator has said.

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Tech Opposition to Trump Propelled by Employees, Not Executives New York Times

In late September, a group of tech leaders started a well-publicized effort to raise $100,000 for Hillary Clinton. In flush Silicon Valley, that is spare change. But by the time the election was over, the campaign had pulled in only $76,324.

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06 February 2017

Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants call travel ban 'unlawful' in rare coordinated legal action Washington Post

Silicon Valley is stepping up its confrontation with the Trump administration. On Sunday night, technology giants Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, Uber and many others filed a legal brief opposing the administration's contentious entry ban, according to people familiar with the matter. The move by represents a rare coordinated action across a broad swath of the industry -- 97 companies in total -- and demonstrates the depth of animosity toward the Trump ban.

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05 February 2017

Facebook, Apple and Google pen letter opposing Trump's travel ban The Guardian

Some of Silicon Valley's most prominent technology companies, including Alphabet (Google), Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Uber and Stripe, have co-authored a draft letter formally opposing Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, arguing that "a blanket suspension is not the right approach".

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