Government & Policy

06 March 2007

Berners-Lee pushes Congress on 'nondiscriminatory' Web CNet

World Wide Web father Tim Berners-Lee told politicians on Thursday that it's critical to shield his seminal innovation from control by a single company or country.

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28 February 2007

EC Sues Germany Over High-Speed Internet Law E-Commerce News

The European Commission said Monday it was suing Germany over a law allowing Deutsche Telekom to keep rivals off its high-speed Internet networks. A letter "of formal notice" was sent to Berlin after it ignored repeated warnings not to adopt legislation that could grant Deutsche Telekom a de facto monopoly on a new broadband network. The German parliament on Friday passed the telecommunications law, exempting Deutsche Telekom's high-speed network from regulation.

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24 February 2007

The changing media environment in Singapore ABC Media Report

The ABC's Media Report examines the limits of liberalisation in nearby Singapore. There's little doubt the society is loosening up and that includes its media. But has the ruling People's Action Party given any ground when it comes to the coverage of political affairs?

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Estonia to hold first national Internet election CNet

The Baltic state of Estonia plans to become the world's first country to allow voting in a national parliamentary election via the Internet next month--with a little help from the forest king.

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22 February 2007

Europe’s Plan to Track Phone and Net Use New York Times

A proposed law would require companies to keep detailed data about people's Internet and phone use.

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uk: Government backs digital lockdown BBC

Calls to ban Digital Rights Management to limit what people can do with digital media have been rejected.

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us: Neutrality On the Net Gets High '08 Profile Washington Post

Bloggers and other Internet activists made their marks in the past two presidential elections chiefly by building networks of political enthusiasts and raising money for candidates. Now, they are pushing aggressively into policymaking -- and not just over high-profile issues such as Iraq.

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us: More states move to ban Internet hunting Chron

A Texas businessman who wanted to allow computer users to hunt from the comfort of their homes has instead spawned dozens of state laws banning the practice.

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14 February 2007

us: Feds seek middle ground in Net neutrality feud ZDNet

Federal consumer protection officials on Tuesday indicated they're not ready to side with fans or foes of contentious Net neutrality regulations and said a middle-ground approach may be preferable.

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06 February 2007

eu: Internet video rules 'misguided' BBC

An EU bid to make internet broadcasters subject to the same laws as traditional television is "seriously misguided", a House of Lords committee has said. Proposals risk damaging the new media industry, pushing broadcasters to set up outside Europe, the committee said.

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01 February 2007

us: The Inegalitarian Web Forbes

The new Congress is determined to enact a "net neutrality" bill. Nobody yet knows what those two words mean. The new law won't provide any intelligible answer, either. It will, however, put a real drag on new capital investment in faster digital pipes by making it illegal for many big companies to help pay for them, while leaving everyone guessing about the details for years. That last bit is great news for all the telecom lawyers (like the author) who get paid far too much to make sense out of idiotic new laws like this one.

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31 January 2007

The World Economic Forum – Forbes coverage Forbes

For most of the year, the only moguls to be found in Davos, Switzerland, are on the ski slopes. But for six days each January, this picturesque resort town is overrun with heads of state, NGO do-gooders, celebrities and CEOs who come to town for the World Economic Forum (Jan. 24-29).'s has numerous stories, slide shows, blogs and video blogs including stories on The $100 Computer, Whose Afraid Of Second Life?, Technorati's Davos Dealing, and Google Guys In Davos: Is Google evil? Will newspapers survive? Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Chad Hurley take questions.

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30 January 2007

us: Bill would stiffen penalties for crimes posted online CNet

Criminals who post images or videos to the Internet of their violent exploits could face stiffer penalties under a new bill in Congress.

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28 January 2007

uk: 'No more smoke-filled rooms' The Guardian

Gordon Brown said today that the days of the "smoke-filled room" were over and that politicians had to involve the public in decision-making in order to win the arguments for free trade, globalisation and the fight against terrorism. Speaking in Davos in a debate about leadership, the chancellor said that politicians were "in the slow lane of the super-information highway" and had failed to recognise how the internet had revolutionised the nature of political debate.

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09 January 2007

Spain takes lead in closing down the websites that tell girls it's good to be anorexic The Times

Four months after the city led the world in the Size 0 debate by banning ultra-skinny models from its catwalks, health officials are shining the spotlight on the growing number of "pro-ana" websites that glorify starvation diets.

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05 December 2006

us: Groups Urge Courts To Limit FCC's Authority to Regulate Speech Center for Democracy and Technology

As communications technologies converge, courts must rein in the Federal Communications Commission's continued efforts to expand its authority to regulate speech over broadcast media. That is the key message of two friend-of-the-court briefs CDT filed this week in conjunction with Adam Thierer of the Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd and 3rd Circuits. As an organization focused on the Internet and emerging digital technology, CDT has not typically involved itself in the broadcast indecency debate. But the FCC’s increased indecency enforcement is likely in this age of convergence to threaten the underlying freedom of other digital communications.

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us: Should the Government Have Access to Personal E-Mails? E-Commerce News

How safe is stored e-mail from the prying eyes of government authorities? Not very. It would be a whole lot safer if a decision by a federal judge in Ohio were left standing, according to a trio of civil rights groups. The decision by District Court Judge Susan J. Dlott declared unconstitutional provisions in a statute that allow law enforcement authorities access to stored e-mail without a search warrant or prior notice. That ruling in Warshak v. United States has been appealed by the U.S. Justice Department.

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02 December 2006

au: IIA sounds off on copyright law ammendments IT News

The Internet Industry Association (IIA) has joined the chorus of voices warning of the dangers of the Federal Government's planed copyright law amendments. See for the IIA news release.

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25 November 2006

Ban on MP3 transmitters is lifted BBC

Ofcom legalises the use of FM transmitters which allow iPods and other MP3 players to play through car radios.

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13 November 2006

us: What the Democrats' win means for tech ZDNet

Now that this week's elections have switched control of the House and Senate back to the Democrats, the outlook for technology-related legislation has changed dramatically overnight. On a wealth of topics--Net neutrality, digital copyright, merger approval, data retention, Internet censorship--a Capitol Hill controlled by Democrats should yield a shift in priorities on technology-related legislation.

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02 November 2006

Regulation for gaming on the Web International Herald Tribune

British officials called for international coordination to regulate online gambling as policy makers and investors scramble to salvage high-stakes bets on the industry in the wake of an effective U.S. ban on the business.

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01 November 2006

UK gaming to be 'mark of quality' BBC

Online gambling sites registered in the UK would offer a "hallmark of quality" to players around the world, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell claims.

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us: Black arts of politics move into cyberspace The Times

Coming soon to a polling station near you -- or at least a computer screen -- may be some of the blackest and newest arts of American politics. The latest weapons in the campaign for control of Congress, known by names such as Google bombing and Wikipedia vandalism, have been deployed to varying effect in the US elections, which are more reliant than ever before on such techniques.

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au: Watchdog eyes net rules The Australian

Any attempt by internet service providers to favour some online services or restrict others will be examined by the competition regulator, which is looking at the thorny issue of net neutrality.

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au: Virtual world: tax man cometh Sydney Morning Herald

People making virtual fortunes in virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft or Second Life could face a real tax bill, the Australian Tax Office warns.

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