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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.

[ChicagoTribune] The Philadelphia Inquirer Jeff Gelles column

Verizon Wireless strikes a spectrum deal with Comcast. Comcast launches Streampix to compete with Netflix. Netflix complains that Comcast's monthly data caps give Streampix an unfair advantage. Sony drops plans for a virtual cable-TV service, also blaming data caps. Verizon says DSL customers can't save money by canceling phone service and relying on Internet calling. [...]

Verizon Wireless' deal with Comcast is a case in point. The wireless company, partly owned by Verizon Communications, wants to buy spectrum worth $3.6 billion from Comcast and two other cable companies. At the same time, it proposes to jointly market service bundles with Comcast and the other companies -- even though its parent, Verizon, is, in theory, one of the cable industry's few competitors. [...]

The Washington group Public Knowledge and other net-neutrality advocates don't dispute that heavy data demand can pose real problems. But they question the wisdom of broad monthly caps, especially those that lead to degraded or suspended service, when congestion occurs at particular times and in particular locations and can be managed in other ways. [...]

[BusinessStandard] T S Vishwanath: ACTA as the villain

The plurilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that has been mired in controversy since its signing in 2010 faces another roadblock with one of its members, the European Union, likely to reject the Agreement. [...]

India had also not favoured the ACTA. The main area of concern for Indian companies in the pharmaceutical sector had been the provision in the agreement to set up procedures for IPR rights-holders to petition customs authorities to seize suspected goods in transit between third countries. This clause has been controversial for Indian companies since the seizures of Indian medicines in the Netherlands on their way to Brazil stating that they do not meet the EU’s IPR requirements.

Indian industry has pointed out that there are several TRIPS-plus obligations in the ACTA. It was feared that if EU ratifies the agreement then it would like India to be party to it as part of the on-going India-EU bilateral trade and investment agreement (BITA) . However, with the EU now likely to reject the agreement due to internal opposition the inclusion of these provisions in the India-EU bilateral agreement have been removed. [...]

[TorrentFreak] The Pirate Bay Partners With Academic Researchers to Counter Propaganda

The Pirate Bay has partnered with the Cybernorms research group at Sweden’s Lund University to carry out the second round of the largest file-sharing survey in history. Through the survey the researchers examine the norms of file-sharers, and how they respond to increased censorship and tougher laws. One of the main goals of the research project is to give a counterweight to entertainment industry propaganda. [...]

This research is first of all aiming at creating a better base of knowledge for policy makers. Without adequate information it is impossible to adapt the legal systems in a legitimate way,” Måns Svensson, PhD in Sociology of Law at Lund and study manager told TorrentFreak. [...]

People still don’t think it is wrong to share files. What we have is a deterrent effect due to enforcement actions, but an effect that lacks societal support. This is a dangerous development that in the long run risks undermining the trust in the democratic society.” [...]

[Wired] Queen confirms government's web surveillance plans

The government will go ahead with its controversial web surveillance plans, according the Queen's speech in Parliament on 9 May.

The Queen said: "My government intends to bring forward measures to maintain the ability of the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access vital communications data". [...]

The measures would mean that government agencies would be able to access third parties' data logged using deep packet inspection. This could include chat messages sent within videogames, Twitter and Facebook as well as the reconstruction of web pages that users visit.

The proposed legislation has been widely criticised by civil rights activists, with Liberty labelling it the "Snoopers' Charter", resurrecting the nickname given to proposals under the Labour government to allow hundreds of government agencies including local councils to access records of emails and phone records without a court order. [...]

[Guardian] Home Office highlights gaps in online surveillance of criminals

A quarter of police and agencies' data requests not met, says official, as government prepares to unveil web tracking laws.

The rapidly changing nature of internet-based communications has left the security agencies and the police unable to legally track the online activities of terrorists and serious criminals in 25% of cases, the Home Office says. [...]

The new internet surveillance law will not give the police the power to retain the content of any emails, tweets or other social media use or their use in real time. Instead it will build on an existing 2009 European Union directive which requires internet service providers to collect and store for 12 months the mobile phone and internet use data they keep for the purposes of billing customers. [...]

Nick Clegg's office has been quoting with approval the Liberal Democrat president, Tim Farron, who has insisted that there "must be absolutely no question of universal internet surveillance" and warned that the party will oppose the bill if it believes it amounts to "a threat to a free and liberal society". [...]

[Guardian] Acta unlikely to be ratified in Europe, says Kroes

Controversial anti-counterfeiting agreement stalls in face of protests as European commissioner says it is unlikely to pass. [...]

Speaking on Friday, Kroes said that "we are now likely to be in a world without Sopa" – the US's proposed Stop Online Piracy Act – "and Acta." [...]

Ryan Heath, a spokesman for Kroes's office, said the European commission has not changed its position on the usefulness of Acta, and was continuing to work toward its ultimate ratification, but added that Kroes was "observing political reality". [...]

"After the tremendous mobilisation of citizens around the world against Sopa and Acta, it would be extremely dangerous politically for the commission to propose a new repressive scheme," said Jeremie Zimmermann, from internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. [...]

[TorrentFreak] India Orders Blackout of Vimeo, The Pirate Bay and More

Continuing a recent trend, The Pirate Bay and other large BitTorrent sites are now being blocked by Internet providers in India. Visitors who try to access the sites are redirected to a banner which informs them that the Department of Telecommunications ordered a blackout. Torrent sites are not the only target, as the blockade also censors the video sharing site Vimeo, one of the largest communities of indie filmmakers. [...]

Whatever the reason for the current blackout, it’s clear that the Indian entertainment industries have access to tools Hollywood can only dream of. Either directly, of with help from the Government, allegedly infringing websites can be pulled down without a trial. Just last month more than 100 music sites were censored upon request from several music labels. [...]

[Reuters] EU digital chief downbeat about global copyright pact

A European Commission vice president said on Friday a planned global pact to crack down on fake consumer goods and medicines and websites that break copyright laws would probably never come into force, because of strong opposition. [...]

"We are now likely to be in a world without SOPA and without ACTA," Neelie Kroes, the EU's commissioner for technology and telecoms said in a speech to bloggers and web entrepreneurs in Berlin. [...]

"After the tremendous mobilisation of citizens around the world against SOPA and ACTA, it would be extremely dangerous politically for the Commission to propose a new repressive scheme," said Jeremie Zimmermann, from Internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

[TorrentFreak] Judge: An IP-Address Doesn't Identify a Person (or BitTorrent Pirate)

A landmark ruling in one of the many mass-BitTorrent lawsuits in the US has suffered a severe blow to a thus far lucrative business. Among other things, New York Judge Gary Brown explains in great detail why an IP-address is not sufficient evidence to identify copyright infringers. According to the Judge this lack of specific evidence means that many alleged BitTorrent pirates have been wrongfully accused by copyright holders. [...]

While a decade ago, home wireless networks were nearly non-existent, 61% of US homes now have wireless access. As a result, a single IP address usually supports multiple computer devices – which unlike traditional telephones can be operated simultaneously by different individuals,” Judge Brown writes. [...]

[Guardian] Internet freedom 'under threat from hasty legislation in UK and US'

Head of global media observation group says many countries are trying to restrict internet freedom in name of security.

Governments across the world – including those in the US and UK – are posing a threat to internet freedom through "hasty" legislation passed due to security fears, the head of an international media watchdog has warned. [...]

"The obsession to control the internet is showing we are not heading in the right direction, and the countries of the west are not immune to criticism – I have already raised Acta [an international intellectual property treaty that has been likened to Sopa, a US anti-piracy bill] with the president of the EU parliament." [...]

She concluded that ultimately it is civil society – the media and activists – who keep the media and internet free, and said this was not yet established in many transition countries. Citing the huge online campaign against the US legislation against intellectual property violations, she says: "These showed an engaged civil society can stop these actions. Elsewhere, there's an apathy. [...]

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