The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
Good news everyone! The Dutch parliament has just officially rejected ACTA. In addition, parliament has also accepted an additional motion which prohibits the government from signing similar agreements in the future. It was originally the plan to wait for the ACTA vote in the EU parliament, but a majority in the Dutch parliament felt that ACTA was too dangerous not to throw into the bin right away, EU vote or no. I'm not exactly sure what this means for ACTA as a whole, but it's my understanding that if one member state votes against ACTA - which we just did - it's effectively dead in the EU.
The scene last week at the Intercontinental Dallas Hotel looked like any generic corporate event held in any generic hotel ballroom—until the protesters crashed the party. Trade officials from countries scattered around the Pacific Rim mingled in business attire. Ron Kirk, current US Trade Representative and former mayor of Dallas, welcomed everyone to the the latest round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). [...]
“I would say it’s ACTA-plus, not ACTA redux,” said Gwen Hinze, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) international IP director, in an interview with Ars. In other words, if you loved to hate Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), then you may love to hate the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) even more." [...]
Statements by NGO representatives and extracts from concluding remarks by Dimitrios DROUTSAS (S&D, EL) rapporteur
Transcript of Jeremie Zimmermann's statement :
« The legal arguments are not anymore the ones that matter, because it is now obvious for everyone, that ACTA is a political question and that beyond ACTA are those extremely political questions of : what do we want as a future of copyright ? What do we want as a future for enforcement, and will we let this enforcement of copyright hurt fundamental freedoms online and hurt what we share as a common and universal infrastructure that is the free Internet.
This is a choice as a society that we have to face. Does all that is in our power to maintain this infrastructure universal, accessible to others without barriers or do we buy the argument that : "oh! Culture will die, music will die, movies will die, therefore we have to control the Internet, therefore we have to turn it into a television 2.0. I don't buy this. I don't buy this and facts prove me right. It's even the HADOPI, in France, the three-strikes authority in French, in its own study that shows that people how do filesharing spend much more for culture than people how do not. »
Porn filters on mobile phones are censoring political websites, according to a report by Open Rights Group. The report found that 60 websites with no sexual content were blocked by porn filters. The blocked websites include Biased-BBC, a website challenging the impartiality of BBC News, and La Quadrature du Net, a digital rights group. [...]
The news comes as conservative politicians in the UK are proposing stricter bans on internet pornography. They want to force broadband service providers to block all pornographic content in order to protect children, the Daily Telegraph reported, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to consult with the protesters on the issue. [...]
A Finnish District Court has ruled that the owner of an open WiFi network is not liable for copyright infringement by others using that network.
“The applicants were unable to provide any evidence that the connection-owner herself had been involved in the file-sharing,” the defendant’s attorneys wrote in an English-language press release on Monday. “The court thus examined whether the mere act of providing a WiFi connection not protected with a password can be deemed to constitute a copyright-infringing act.” [...]
Finland, of course, de-criminalized using open WiFi in 2010, after having previously restricting it back in 2005. [...]
A major study of the web-blocking tools used by mobile operators has revealed that the filters are erroneously censoring scores of legitimate websites, and run with little transparency. The criticism comes from the Open Rights Group, which has been studying which sites mobile users have had problems accessing. [...]
Mobile operators routinely use web filtering technology to restrict access to websites which may contain adult material. Between 1 January and 31 March, users reported blocks on sites as varied as Tor Project, La Quadrature du Net and eHow. [...]
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. [...]
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. [...]
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.” [...]
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. [...]