Press review

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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.

[DW] EU net neutrality vote addresses fate of Internet

[...] Members of the [European] parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy ( ITRE) will vote on a net neutrality proposal on Monday [today]. [...]

Groups in favor of net neutrality formed an online campaign - Save the Internet - calling on Europeans to contact their EU parliamentarians to enshrine net neutrality in law. [...]

"What we are discussing with the net neutrality debate is the fate of the Internet and the important legal principles that will shape the future of its architecture," said Felix Treguer, a co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, a Paris-based Internet advocacy group that is a part of the Save the Internet campaign. [...]

La Quadrature du Net's Treguer said allowing telecom operators to make deals prioritizing content from big providers, such as Google, Facebook or Amazon, would fundamentally change the Internet by providing faster access to some services and slower access to others.

"What is at stake is making sure that the open platform for innovation for competition for freedom of communication, for freedom of choice for Internet users is preserved," he said. [...]

http://www.dw.de/eu-net-neutrality-vote-addresses-fate-of-internet/a-174...

[BoingBoing] Whatsapp abused the DMCA to censor related projects from Github

[...] Whatsapp's [...] sent a large number of spurious takedowns against projects on Github. In a DMCA notice served by Whatsapp's General Counsel to Github, a number of projects are targeted for removal on the basis that they are "content that infringes on WhatsApp Inc.'s copyrights and trademarks."

This is grossly improper. DMCA takedown notices never apply to alleged trademark violations (it's called the "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" and not the "Digital Millennium Trademark Act"). Using DMCA notices to pursue trademark infringements isn't protecting your interests -- it's using barratry-like tactics to scare and bully third parties into participating in illegitimate censorship.

http://boingboing.net/2014/02/21/whatsapp-abused-the-dmca-to-ce.html

[NYTimes] F.C.C. Seeks a New Path on ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules

Regulators are taking another crack at their effort to keep the web free and open, introducing new rules that would discourage Internet service providers from charging companies to stream their movies, music and other content through a faster express lane. [...]

In a strictly legal sense, the [Federal Communications Commission] F.C.C. will cite another part of the law — Section 706 of the Communications Act — for its authority. Some of the rules would also be enforced case-by-case, avoiding a “bright line” regulation that the court said was so strict that it treated broadband companies like regulated telephone service.

In taking advantage of the ruling, the F.C.C. will not seek to immediately reclassify Internet service as a telecommunications service, subject to rate regulation and other oversight. Mr. Wheeler said that the commission would retain the right to do so, however, if its new rules were approved and did not appear to be working adequately. [...]

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/business/fcc-to-propose-new-rules-on-o...

[EurActiv] EU-US trade talks seen dragging on until mid-2016

As the European Union and the United States wrap up a week of talks on the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) in Washington, the EU still says it hopes to have something to show before the European elections in May. But observers say the real, final deadline is mid 2016, just before the US elections.

http://www.euractiv.com/trade/ttip-deadline-2016-experts-news-533668

[TorrentFreak] Twitter Blocks Kickass.to Links, Says They're Unsafe

Twitter is refusing to link users to Kickass.to, the second largest torrent index on the Internet. People who attempt to access the site through Twitter get a warning that the site may be unsafe and potentially harmful. Questions to Twitter about the reason for this unusual blockade remain unanswered.

https://torrentfreak.com/twitter-blocks-kickass-links-says-theyre-unsafe...

[TechPresident] After Snowden Leaks, Is a Promise Enough to Protect Digital Rights in Europe?

In Europe, a coalition of privacy and civil rights groups, known as EDRi, is pushing to keep digital rights and privacy a hot button issue through a new online petitioning platform, WePromise, strategically using the political momentum of the EU's upcoming parliamentary elections: 28 EU countries are currently immersed in electoral campaigning and between May 22nd and 25th, citizens from all over Europe will elect 751 new (and old) Members of the European Parliament. [...]

EDRi is a group of 35 privacy and civil rights organizations from all over the EU. The WePromise platform is two-sided, aimed at engaging both parliamentary candidates and EU citizens. The candidates are encouraged to sign a ten point 'Charter of Digital Rights' that supports an open digital environment: promotion of transparency, data protection and privacy legislation, reform of copyright, and control of surveillance techniques are among the key points. [...]

http://techpresident.com/news/wegov/24763/after-snowden-leaks-promise-en...

[ComputerWorldUK] Urgent: Please Help Save Net Neutrality in the EU

Once again, we need to save net neutrality. This time, there is a crucial vote in the European Parliament's industry committee (ITRE) next Monday. La Quadrature du Net, which has been following this area more closely than anyone, has a good summary of what is happening […]

As you can see, the central problem is still that of "specialised services" that would be given priority over other Internet traffic. Such "specialised services" are a way for telecoms companies to charge premium prices, but that necessarily implies that non-premium services are degraded in comparison (otherwise why would anyone pay more?) That, by definition, kills Net neutrality.

The good news is that we can concentrate on getting one key point across: that specialised services of this kind must not be allowed. Here's the best way we can do that according to La Quadrature:
European citizens must tell the members of the Industry committee that the only deserving approach is to reject Mrs. Pilar del Castillo Vera's so-called ''compromise amendments'' and that they should adopt the same amendments to articles 2(15) and 23 as in the LIBE committee. To preserve the Internet's contribution to innovation and freedom of communication, European law should clearly ban telecom operators from marketing specialised services that are functionally equivalent to online services delivered on the Internet, thereby bypassing Net neutrality. […]

http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2014/02/please-help-sav...

[IPTegrity] Net Neutrality gets final scrutiny in EU Parliament - should we be alarmed?

When even the experts are struggling, it should set off alarm bells. The net neutrality issue is hotting up in the European Parliament, but who really understands what is happening? It has been under scrutiny from the various committees and is now with the Industry committee for a vote in a couple of weeks time. The signs are that the rapporteur, Pilar Del Castillo, is being challenged, but there are concerning indications that MEPs will give in to amendments that put at risk not only the structure of the Internet, but of the whole telecoms market. […]

The French citizens advocacy group, La Quadrature du Net says that ‘by refusing to ban specialised services’ the Connected Continent regulation would ‘bypass the net neutrality principle and undermine fair competition in the digital economy’. […]

La Quadrature du Net has more information on the secret ‘compromise’ negotiations in the ITRE committee. Its campaign site is savetheinternet.eu […]

http://www.iptegrity.com/index.php/telecoms-package/net-neutrality/951-n...

[Techdirt] Apparently We Are All Confused And Killing Net Neutrality Will Be Just GREAT For Startups

What if I told you that the ham-fisted attempts by giant telecom corporations to abuse their gatekeeper positions anti-competitively are actually great for startups and consumers? Yes, I'd slap me too. Still, this appears to be the central thesis of a new Wired editorial by TechFreedom's Berin Szoka and George Mason University’s Mercatus Center's Brent Skorup, who insist that killing off net neutrality is just what Internet underdogs need. [...]

Whether it's pretending that an [Federal Communications Commission] FCC with a history of apathy, incompetence and deregulatory tendencies is a bigger threat than predatory monopolies or the insistence that incumbent ISPs are faultless for any part of the country's broadband competition problems, you'll notice one common refrain: the nation's giant telecom companies can do no wrong and it's always somebody else that's to blame

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140218/08030526262/apparently-we-are-...

[TechDirt] Learning From ACTA: Will TAFTA/TTIP Be More Transparent Than TPP?

It's still early days for TAFTA/TTIP, but already there are some signs that senior politicians are becoming aware that transparency is no longer some minor aspect of these trade talks, but a hugely important issue in itself. We know this thanks to an earlier fight by the European Digital Rights (EDRi) group to obtain from the European Parliament various documents relating to ACTA -- the result of an infamously opaque process. [...]

However, in [the ACTA] case the European Parliament explained that it was bound by a confidentiality agreement that had been negotiated by the European Commission, and was therefore unable to release the requested ACTA documents. [...]

That advice [by the European Ombudsman] itself is noteworthy, since it specifically discourages the use of confidentiality agreements that might hamper transparency. In reply, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, [...] wrote that [...] [H]e promised to keep reminding the Commission that a pro-active approach is needed to keep the public informed about the state of play in all such negotiations.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140214/09554126229/learning-acta-wil...

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