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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
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[NewYorker] Goodbye, Net Neutrality; Hello, Net Discrimination : The New Yorker

A blog post by Tim Wu, inventor of the term "network neutrality", comments on the implications on the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, who have "proposed a new rule that [...] permits and encourages [...] broadband carriers acting as gatekeepers and charging Web sites a payola payment to reach customers through a “fast lane.”[...]"

"This is what one might call a net-discrimination rule, and, if enacted, it will profoundly change the Internet as a platform for free speech and small-scale innovation. It threatens to make the Internet just like everything else in American society: unequal in a way that deeply threatens our long-term prosperity."

[...] "The new rule gives broadband providers what they’ve wanted for about a decade now: the right to speed up some traffic and degrade others. (With broadband, there is no such thing as accelerating some traffic without degrading other traffic.) We take it for granted that bloggers, start-ups, or nonprofits on an open Internet reach their audiences roughly the same way as everyone else. Now they won’t. They’ll be behind in the queue, watching as companies that can pay tolls to the cable companies speed ahead. The motivation is not complicated. The broadband carriers want to make more money for doing what they already do. [...]"

http://m.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/04/the-end-of-net-neut...

[NYTimes] F.C.C., in a Shift, Backs Fast Lanes for Web Traffic

The Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers.

The proposed changes would affect what is known as net neutrality — the idea that no providers of legal Internet content should face discrimination in providing offerings to consumers, and that users should have equal access to see any legal content they choose.

“If it goes forward, this capitulation will represent Washington at its worst,” said Todd O’Boyle, program director of Common Cause’s Media and Democracy Reform Initiative. “Americans were promised, and deserve, an Internet that is free of toll roads, fast lanes and censorship — corporate or governmental.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rule...

[TechDirt] UK Filters And The Slippery Slope Of Mass Censorship

We've covered the ridiculousness of the UK's "voluntary" web filters. UK officials have been pushing such things for years and finally pushed them through by focusing on stopping "pornography" (for the children, of course). While it quickly came out that the filters were blocking tons of legitimate content (as filters always do), the UK government quickly moved to talk about ways to expand what the filters covered. [...]

That appears to be happening at an astonishingly fast pace in the UK. Index On Censorship has a fantastic article, discussing how a UK government official has already admitted to plans to expand the filter to "unsavoury" content rather than just "illegal." [...]

Of course, if you recognize that the continued expansion of such filters was likely the plan from the beginning, then everything is going according to plan. The fact that it doesn't solve any problems the public are dealing with is meaningless. [...]

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140418/15545526961/uk-filters-slipper...

[TechDirt] Protests Mount Against Mexico's Proposed Telecommunications Law, Which Would Bring In Censorship, Allow Real-time Surveillance And Kill Net Neutrality

[...] On the face of it then, a new Mexican telecoms law that aims to loosen the grip of those dominant companies should be a good thing. But increasingly people are worried that its bad elements may outweigh the good [...].

That's a pretty toxic mix -- censorship, real-time surveillance and no net neutrality. The good news is that Mexicans are starting to mobilize against the proposed measures:

ContingenteMX, a nonprofit collective consisting of Human Rights, environmental and social network activists and citizens, hereby demands a guarantee that the inalienable right of free Internet access

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140418/08095326958/protests-mount-aga...

[NYTimes] F.C.C., in a Shift, Backs Fast Lanes for Web Traffic

The principle that all Internet content should be treated equally as it flows through cables and pipes to consumers looks all but dead.

The Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers.

The proposed changes would affect what is known as net neutrality — the idea that no providers of legal Internet content should face discrimination in providing offerings to consumers, and that users should have equal access to see any legal content they choose. [...]

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rule...

[TechDirt] Revolving Door: MPAA Hires Chief USTR Negotiator Behind ACTA And TPP's IP Chapter

For the past five years or so, the USTR's [Office of the United States Trade Representative] chief intellectual property negotiator has been Stan McCoy. McCoy has long positioned himself as an intellectual property maximalist, repeating talking points from lobbyists regularly, while condescending to anyone who questions the legitimacy of those claims. McCoy famously was the chief negotiator behind the US's disastrous (and mostly failed) attempt to push ACTA through, as well as the lead on the TPP's intellectual property chapter [...].

Given all that, it should be no surprise at all that McCoy, the failed strategist behind ACTA and the TPP's IP provisions... has received his reward and pat on the back from the industry: a shiny new job at the MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America]. As Tim Lee notes in that link, this is just the latest in the never-ending revolving door between maximalist lobbying groups and the USTR [...].

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140422/06011926988/revolving-door-mpa...

[TorrentFreak] Record Labels: Used MP3s Too Good and Convenient to Resell

Responding to a consultation of the EU Commission, various music industry groups are warning against a right for consumers to sell their MP3s. IFPI notes that people should be barred from selling their digital purchases because it's too convenient, while the quality of digital copies remains top-notch. Interestingly, the UK Government opposes this stance with a rather progressive view.

[...] In the United States the ReDigi case has been the center of this debate, with a federal court ruling in favor of Capitol Records last year. In the EU, however, the Court of Justice previously ruled that consumers are free to resell games and software, even when there’s no physical copy.

http://torrentfreak.com/record-labels-used-mp3s-too-good-and-convenient-...

[ComputerWorldUK] TTIP Update XXII

The fact that corporations are regularly placed on the same level as entire nations, and can sue them for alleged loss of future profits, probably came as something of a shock to most people, as it did to me when I first encountered the idea. It sounded like the deranged fantasy of some corporate lobbyist, but surely not something that any country would actually accept. And yet, as we know, not only do many - small, and relatively weak - countries consent to investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) as the price of obtainng much-needed inward investment, but the European Commission seems hell-bent on exposing European to the same kind of corporate attack. [...]

This is precisely the kind of thing that many fear will happen if ISDS is included in TTIP: companies will seek to overturn policies that are brought in for environmental reasons, arguing that corporate profits outweigh the rights of the public. [...]

Trade lawyers around the world have clearly realised that ISDS is one of the most efficient techniques for their clients to extract very large sums of money from governments, and they are applying their not-inconsiderable - if largely amoral - ingenuity to come up with new ways of using the mechanism. That's another important reason why the "innovative elements" the European Commission plans to introduce to "improve" the system won't work - they are trying to fix yesterday's problems - and why ISDS must be removed completely from TTIP.

http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2014/04/ttip-update-xxi...

[TechDirt] How Corporate Sovereignty Threatens Democracy

As people have begun to learn about corporate sovereignty through plans to include it in TAFTA/TTIP, the European Commission has been trying to scotch the idea that it might allow corporations to dictate policies to nations. Here, for example, is a comment in the Commission's main TTIP FAQ, which tries to answer the question "Why is the EU including Investor to State Dispute Settlement in the TTIP?" : "Including measures to protect investors does not prevent governments from passing laws, nor does it lead to laws being repealed. At most, it can lead to compensation being paid." [...]

Does GBU deserve to be awarded 2% of a country's GDP, paid for by the citizens of a land struggling to raise its living standards? That hardly seems fair. And yet it's precisely what ISDS could allow, because the arbitration panel that decides such corporate sovereignty cases is unconstrained in what it can award, and not at all concerned with what the knock-on effects might be.

But the politicians making up the European Commission should be, since they are supposed to represent the 500 million European citizens that pay their salaries. The fact that they are pushing as hard as they can for ISDS in TAFTA/TTIP shows which side they are really on, and that they are quite happy to put corporations before nations, and profits before people.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140416/09560626932/how-corporate-sove...

[TechDirt] TAFTA/TTIP: What Are The Benefits? What Are The Costs?

As we draw near to the conclusion of TAFTA/TTIP's first year of negotiations, the detailed differences are starting to emerge between the US and EU. But one thing they both take for granted is that it's a good idea. "Good" in this context is essentially about money: the argument is that concluding a trade deal between the US and EU will boost both their economies, increase companies' profits, create employment and generally make people better off. Of course, since all of those are in the future, the only way to justify those kind of claims is to model the likely effects of TTIP on the various economies -- of the US, EU and rest of the world.
That's precisely what a study entitled "Reducing Transatlantic Barriers to Trade and Investment; An Economic Assessment" aimed to do (pdf). [...]

While some will doubtless argue about the details of the new GUE/NGL analysis, it has the valuable function of reminding us that TAFTA/TTIP is not just about corporate profits, but also concerns the 800 million people who make up the citizenry of the US and EU. Until they are included in the equation, and their potential losses and gains factored in, any claims about TTIP's "benefits" -- even the tiny ones that the European Commission's analysis comes up with in its "ambitious and comprehensive" agreement -- must be regarded as simplistic, one-sided and incomplete.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140417/09391926947/taftattip-what-are...

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