The Register - Watchdog's clown, er, chairman debases policymaking in the United States.
Despite the clearly stated and serious concerns of a broad cross-section of industry and society, on Thursday morning a mocking, preening excuse of a regulatory chairman tore down US rules that ensured content over the internet was kept free from manipulation by companies that sell access to the global network.
As expected, it fell down political lines, with the three FCC Republican commissioners voting yes, and the two Democratic commissioners voting no.
The vote was a victory for the cable industry, whose overweening influence on the Federal Communications Commission was fading in recent years and has been gradually replaced by the views of a new wave of internet giants.
For everyone else, it was a baffling and infuriating sign that American institutions are open to clear and blatant manipulation so long as the person in charge is willing to discard all previous expected standards of behavior.
In recent weeks, countless groups – from lawmakers to consumer rights warriors to prosecutors to internet pioneers to fellow agency commissioners – have pleaded with FCC boss Ajit Pai to delay the vote. In an unprecedented departure from policymaking norms, he simply ignored those concerns.
The Register - Technologists publish open letter warning about "imminent threat" to internet.
Internet and technology luminaries, including Web creator Tim Berners-Lee, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and "Father of the internet" Vint Cerf, have called on the FCC to cancel its planned net neutrality vote this week, arguing that it is based on a "flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology."
"We are the pioneers and technologists who created and now operate the Internet, and some of the innovators and business people who, like many others, depend on it for our livelihood," the open letter, sent to key Congressmen and women, begins.
"We are writing to respectfully urge you to call on FCC chairman Ajit Pai to cancel the December 14 vote on the FCC’s proposed Restoring Internet Freedom Order."
The New York Times - Last spring, Swedes got a tantalizing offer: If they subscribed to Sweden’s biggest telecom provider, Telia Company AB, they could have unlimited access on their mobile phones to Facebook, Spotify, Instagram and other blockbuster apps.
Swedish regulators tried to put a stop to it. They argued that the arrangement violated the so-called net neutrality rules in the European Union, which require internet providers to offer equal access to all web content. Essentially, once a user’s data cap was reached, Telia would restrict other apps, but not the big ones.
The issue is now working its way through the courts. As it does, the offer is still available.
Such deals may be gaining momentum in the United States.
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote on Thursday to roll back the net neutrality rules in the United States. While the European Union has such rules in place, telecom providers have pushed the boundaries at times in Sweden, Germany, Portugal and elsewhere, offering a glimpse at the future American companies and consumers may face if protections are watered down.
Top EU Data Protection Body Asks US To Fix Problems Of ‘Privacy Shield’ Or Expect A Referral To Region’s Highest CourtDecember 10, 2017
Techdirt - The Privacy Shield framework is key to allowing personal data to flow legally across the Atlantic from the EU to the US. As we've noted several times this year, there are a number of reasons to think that the EU's highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), could reject Privacy Shield just as it threwout its predecessor, the Safe Harbor agreement. An obscure but influential advisory group of EU data protection officials has just issued its first annual review of Privacy Shield (pdf). Despite its polite, bureaucratic language, it's clear that the privacy experts are not happy with the lack of progress in dealing with problems pointed out by them previously. As the "Article 29 Data Protection Working Party" -- the WP29 for short -- explains:
The Register - Spending watchdog says buck stops with Home Office.
The government is not doing enough to prevent Brits being defrauded by £10bn per year, according to a spending watchdog report.
The Public Accounts Committee said today that 2 million cyber-related fraud incidents were reported last year, however it is estimated just 20 per cent of incidents are reported.
Online fraud is "now too vast a problem for the Home Office to solve on its own", it claimed, although it wished to remain in charge if anyone else cared to make an effort there as the department "remains the only body that can provide strategic national leadership".