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New This Week
June 8, 2012From the summary: "...we have actual physical proof that there is no surreptitious plot afoot to give the ITU regulatory authority over the Internet. The document is the most recent working draft of the treaty that will be negotiated at the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai in December.This document provides an update to a 1988 treaty, parts of which have been rendered obsolete by technological advances. The outcome of that treaty conference has been the source of consternation among people who worry that it will be used as a pretext to give the ITU (and therefore the UN) control over the Internet.However, if you read the document, you will find no such proposals! What you will see are proposals for things like giving priority to emergency communications and transparency in pricing schemes for mobile data… It is a pretty banal document that provides a commonsense roadmap for international cooperation in the telecoms sector in the 21st century. What it does not contain are any suggestions to grant the ITU control over the Internet. This is not to say that at some point in the future such proposals can not be inserted by member states. But the prospects of anything like that passing the conference in Dubai are nil."
A Call for More Clarity on Net Access in Europe
From the article: "In Europe, the debate over unrestricted Internet access—so-called net neutrality—has shifted to a core question: How much should the European Union intervene when mobile Internet service providers restrict Web access? For example, many mobile operators prohibit the use of Skype, the free Internet calling service, because they prefer consumers pay to make calls…
The European neutrality debate has involved greater legal scrutiny of the traffic management strategies used by mobile operators. Current law permits European operators to manage traffic and assure adequate speeds and access for all."
Read the article by Kevin O'Brien, New York Times, June 6, 2012.
From the article: "...you might ask if there is any real harm in commercial tracking. Despite the hand-wringing, it's not so easy to find people who have been hurt by the collection of their personal data. Just ask the trial lawyers who have been bringing a ballooning number of privacy suits. At first, courts rebuffed their class-action claims; they could not show "injury in fact."
Recently, regulators have taken a more expansive view. The Federal Trade Commission now says privacy-related harms needn't be economic or physical but can also include practices that "unexpectedly reveal previously private information" like purchasing habits. That is opening the legal floodgates… Now that lawyers are involved, you'd be right to wonder if some useful enterprise is in the crosshairs. The answer, for some, is yes—and that enterprise is innovation."