us: The Inegalitarian Web
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.
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). Forbes.com’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.
us: Bill would stiffen penalties for crimes posted online
Criminals who post images or videos to the Internet of their violent exploits could face stiffer penalties under a new bill in Congress.
uk: ‘No more smoke-filled rooms’
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.
Spain takes lead in closing down the websites that tell girls it’s good to be anorexic
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.
us: Groups Urge Courts To Limit FCC’s Authority to Regulate Speech
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 FCCâ€™s increased indecency enforcement is likely in this age of convergence to threaten the underlying freedom of other digital communications.
us: Should the Government Have Access to Personal E-Mails?
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.
au: IIA sounds off on copyright law ammendments
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 http://iia.net.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=519&Itemid=32
for the IIA news release.
Ban on MP3 transmitters is lifted
Ofcom legalises the use of FM transmitters which allow iPods and other MP3 players to play through car radios.
What the Democrats’ win means for tech
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.