- EU - Council general approach on fight against sexual exploitation of children, +/-
(Consilium) At its meeting on 2 December 2010, the Council reached a general approach, thus opening the way for negotiations with the European Parliament, on two directives regarding: - the fight against sexual exploitation of children. During the Council meeting, ministers focused their debate on the following issues: disqualifications arising from convictions which aims to ensure that a person convicted may be temporarily or permanently prevented from exercising at least professional activities involving regular contacts with children; and measures against websites containing or disseminating child pornography, including the removal or, where not possible, blocking of webpages containing or disseminating child pornography.
- EU - Delete child pornography web pages across the EU, says EP Committee +/-
(EP) Child pornography or child abuse material on the web must be removed at source in all EU countries, said the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee, in amendments to proposed new EU rules to prevent abuse, stiffen penalties, and protect victims. Where removal is impossible, e.g. because pages are hosted outside the EU, Member States may still "prevent access" to this material, in line with their national laws, MEPs added, so no Member State will be prevented from blocking sites. MEPs made a series of amendments to a proposed EU directive to combat sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. Complete removal at source must be the main aim.
- EU - Network and information security +/-
(RAPID) Neelie Kroes Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda TechAmerica event on joint EU/US cybersecurity Washington, 16 December 2010. I am particularly horrified by the ease with which children abuse images can be exploited online. Last weekend, yet another case was discovered, thanks to cooperation between the US and the Dutch authorities. It is essential that we do more to prevent such exploitation and crimes. There is no excuse for taking a month to remove a paedophile website, when phishing websites are generally removed within hours of their detection. We are taking steps to improve this. My department in the Commission runs a Safer Internet Programme that supports hotlines for the public to report illegal content. We also fund an international network of hotlines, called INHOPE, with members in Europe but also in Asia, Canada and the United States (Cybertipline, which is run by the US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children). From January 2011, we intend to promote systematic and fast notification of ISPs by the European hotlines, in an agreed procedure with law enforcement agencies.
- Slow removal of child sexual abuse image websites +/-
(Light Blue Touchpaper) Our paper The Impact of Incentives on Notice and Take-Down by Tyler Moore and Richard Clayton examines a number of different types of wicked Internet content and discusses how effective people are at getting the material removed by serving notices upon the website owners who host it. We have a number of interesting results, but perhaps the most striking is that although phishing websites impersonating banks are generally removed in a couple of hours, the mean lifetime for a website hosting child abuse images is almost a month and even the median (the time by which half of the sites are removed) is 12 days.
- EU - Hungary's new media law +/-
(RAPID) Speech by Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda. Open Hearing on Freedom of the Press in Hungary European Parliament, Brussels 11 January 2011.
- FR - Le CSA veut réguler les contenus vidéo sur le Net +/-
(01.net) Michel Boyon, président du CSA, souhaite mettre en place un label pour distinguer les contenus mis en ligne sur des sites comme YouTube et Dailymotion. Il veut avoir le pouvoir d´ordonner le retrait de vidéos illicites.
- HU - Hungary rejects Western media law attacks +/-
(BBC) Hungary has dismissed Western critics of a new media law and insisted that it remains committed to press freedom. The law, which came into force with the start of the year, created a new authority with powers to monitor and impose fines on the media. Some European politicians and newspapers have expressed concern that the regulator will lack independence. But Hungary, which has just assumed the EU presidency, says the concerns are unfounded. Under the new law Hungary's media authority, the NMHH, oversees all public news production and has the power to fine broadcasters and newspapers for violating "public interest, public morals or order".
- The slide from self-regulation to corporate censorship +/-
(EDRi) European Digital Rights has published a study on the increasing tendency for governments to ask, demand or coerce Internet intermediaries to carry out surveillance, policing, judging and sanctioning measures on their customers. The document looks at the causes for this development, case studies of the damage caused by such policies and a selection of the European and international initiatives to spread this approach in the future. See also press release.
- UK - Jeremy Hunt considers online TV crackdown +/-
(BBC) The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, plans to look at cracking down on rules covering online television. Hunt admitted that while he did not believe it was possible to introduce blanket regulation for the internet, he was keen to put online content rules under scrutiny. Today, TV content on the internet is subject to no regulations – even if it was made by a traditional broadcaster and streamed over broadband – meaning that there are no taste and decency or impartiality requirements. Hunt explicitly ruled out regulating Google-owned video-sharing website YouTube, however. He said his real focus is on so-called IPTV [internet protocol television] services, providing broadcast-like content delivered online.
- EU - European Commission may compel ISPs to combat users' IP infringement +/-
(OUT-LAW News) The Commission has published a report on the effectiveness of 2004's Directive on Intellectual Property Rights. It says that rates of intellectual property infringement in the EU are "alarming". The Directive has had some effect, but that it was not designed to deal with online piracy. Current laws are not strong enough to combat online IP infringement effectively and powers to compel internet service providers (ISPs) and other intermediaries to take more proactive steps should be examined.
- EU - Rights holders should register to gain full copyright protection, EU Commission advised +/-
(OUT-LAW) Rights owners should have to register with EU authorities in order to exercise all their rights under copyright law, the European Commission has been advised. A committee of three experts has said that as a measure to prevent the creation of 'orphan works' whose owner is not known the creators of material should have to register to receive their full copyright rights. The report also said that libraries, galleries and museums should be able to digitise copyrighted works that are out of commercial distribution if private owners do not do so. A 'high level reflection group', the Comité des Sages, has submitted proposals to inform the European Commission's policies on digital culture and its library of digitised cultural artefacts, Europeana. The Comité is made up of advertising executive Maurice Lé vy; German national library chair Elisabeth Niggemann; and author Jacques De Decker. "Preventing orphan works in the future is a main concern," said the report. "In order to avoid orphan works in the future in an environment where creative production is exploding online (e.g. user generated content) without a clear indication of how to contact the creator, some form of registration should be considered as a precondition for a full exercise of rights." "The Comité realises that this would require a change in the Berne Convention and related instruments," it said, referring to a legal instrument binding many countries to laws respecting copyright. "Its members consider that a discussion on 'refreshing' the Convention should be taken up in the World Intellectual Property Organisation, and promoted by the Europea Commission." The Comité stressed the importance of ensuring the number of orphan works is reduced.
- Google tweaks to tackle online piracy +/-
(BBC) Google has said it will tweak its search service in an attempt to tackle online piracy, following lobbying by the music industry. The search giant will implement four changes, including the removal of words that are associated with piracy from appearing in its autocomplete feature. However, it will not prevent sites that host illegal copyright material from appearing in its search results. The music industry said the measures did not go far enough. See Making copyright work better online (Google Public Policy Blog).
- Un soutien solide a la culture française +/-
(Google European Public Policy Blog) YouTube, la SACD, la SCAM and l´ADAGP - trois sociétés de gestion collectives représentant un large spectre d´auteurs français, créateurs, compositeurs et artistes - ont signé un accord de soutien aux auteurs français. Ce partenariat vise a encourager une diffusion plus large d'émissions et de films français sur la plateforme YouTube en France. En permettant aux auteurs de bénéficier d'une juste rémunération pour l'exploitation de leurs uvres, cet accord encourage la création de programmes originaux français et leur diffusion sur Internet.
- US - White House will propose new digital copyright laws +/-
(CNET) The Obama administration has drafted new proposals to curb Internet piracy and other forms of intellectual property infringement that it says it will send to the U.S. Congress "in the very near future." It's also applauding a controversial copyright treaty known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, saying it will "aid right-holders and the U.S. government to combat infringement" once it enters into effect. Those disclosures came from a report by Victoria Espinel, whom President Obama selected as the first intellectual property enforcement coordinator.
- ES - Google fights Spanish privacy order in court +/-
(BBC) Google has challenged Spain's data protection agency, the AEPD, in court over claims that its search engine invades personal privacy. The regulator had told the internet giant to delete links to websites that contain out of date or inaccurate information about individuals. But the company argues that it is publishers - and not search engines - that should be forced to take action. The case revolves around a ruling that some search results contravene the country's privacy laws.
- EU - Data Protection Reform Strategy: EDPS sets out his vision +/-
(RAPID) On 14 January 2011, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) issued an opinion on the Commission's Communication on the review of the EU legal framework for data protection. The EDPS suggests introducing a mandatory security breach notification covering all relevant sectors, as well as new rights, especially in the online environment, such as the right to be forgotten (to have one's data deleted or not further disseminated after a fixed period of time) and data portability (the ability to shift data from one place to another and not be tied to a particular system). Children's data should also be better protected.
- The Single Greatest Chart Ever (At Least if You Want to Know Where Your Personal Information Goes) +/-
(ACLU) The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report (PDF) that provides an outstanding start on describing the problems of data collection both on and offline. Buried in that FTC report is a small gem: On pages 107 and 108 is Appendix C, a chart prepared by technologist Richard Smith which conveys all of the personal information collected about all of us and where it goes.
- US administration proposes 'bill of rights' to protect online privacy +/-
- Why the EU needs new personal data protection rules +/-
(RAPID) Speech by Viviane Reding Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Privacy matters, The European Data Protection and Privacy Conference Brussels, 30 November 2010. I want to introduce the "right to be forgotten". Social network sites are a great way to stay in touch with friends and share information. But if people no longer want to use a service, they should have no problem wiping out their profiles. The right to be forgotten is particularly relevant to personal data that is no longer needed for the purposes for which it was collected. This right should also apply when a storage period, which the user agreed to, has expired. Existing legislation has led to divergences between the national laws. Even when there is only one European issue, there is not always one European response. Take the example of Google StreetView and the collection of snippets of personal information from unsecured WiFi networks. This did not only prompt different responses by national data protection authorities but it also led the company to provide different remedies for individuals in different Member States. This situation runs counter to both of the two main objectives of the existing Data Protection Directive: ensuring the protection of a fundamental right and ensuring the free flow of personal data within the Single Market.
- Why 'Web Erasers' Can't Work +/-
(Spiegel) As part of its pitch to give people more personal privacy on the Web, the German government is encouraging development of software that sets expiration dates on photos and other private information.At the invitation of the German government, an IT professor has introduced software that allows people to set an expiration date for photos they post on Facebook or other sites. What it can't do, however, is prevent others from copying or stealing a person's personal data and posting it wherever they want on the Internet.
- 2011-02-18 EU, Berlin - Open data: apps for everyone? +/-
(ePSIplatform) Opportunities and challenges in the re-use of public sector information. An open meeting in Berlin jointly organised by ePSIplatform, the Open Data Network, Geokomm, Online Consultants International GmbH and PSI Alliance. The rapid rise in ‘apps’ (applications for mobile devices) offer opportunities to disseminate data and services that could be decisive in unlocking PSI reuse. They also present challenges as public and private sector organisations seek to adapt to the rapid pace of change. The meeting aims to provide a forum for decision-makers and their representatives to gain an up-to-date understanding of open data and PSI re-use in Germany, to assess progress in comparison with other EU countries and to focus on the identification of market drivers. The meeting aims to develop key points for an action plan to successfully implement open data policies in Germany that embrace the idea of PSI reuse by design. The event is aimed at: Government and public administration representatives nationally, regionally and locally that produce data; Stakeholders that reuse data: businesses and their representative associations, NGOs and citizens. Meeting Date: Friday 18 February 2011, 9am – 6pm CET Location: GLS Campus, Kastanienallee 82, 10435 Berlin. Participation in the meeting is free of charge but you will need to register for the event.
- EU - Conclusions of the European Council (4 February 2011) +/-
(Consilium) 21. The Commission is invited to make rapid progress in key areas of the digital economy to ensure the creation of the Digital Single Market by 2015, including the promotion and protection of creativity, the development of e-commerce and the availability of public sector information.
- EU - My vision for eGovernment, and how to make it real +/-
(RAPID) eelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, "Lift-Off towards Open Government" conference, Brussels, 15 December 2010 .
- EU - Public sector information - results of public consultation +/-
(Europa) The Commission has published selected statistics (PDF) and the responses (Excel) to the on-line public consultation on the PSI Directive, launched on 9 September 2010 and closed on 30 November 2010. The full analysis of the responses will be published in the form of a report in the coming weeks.
- Public Community Partnership +/-
(DigiSus) Ich war an der Open Data: apps for everyone?’ in Berlin (sehr gut organisiert von der European Public Sector Information platform EPSI) und habe dort das Münchner MOGDy-Projekt vorgestellt. Am Ende nach meinen drei wichtigsten Tips für Verwaltungen gefragt, was Open Government/Open Data Projekte erfolgreich macht, habe ich gesagt:
- Haben Sie keine Angst, zu experimentieren.
- Fangen Sie lieber jetzt klein an, als große Pläne für später zu machen.
- Beziehen Sie die Community ein. Von Anfang an.
- The quest for EU documents: An exemplary journey +/-
(Ronny Patz) Understanding EU-level decision-making is complicated. You have to be quite an expert to search and find relevant EU documents, even when they are public.
- WikiLeaks has U.S. scrambling to plug holes +/-
(CNET News.com) by Declan McCullagh. This week's leak - still incomplete - of some 250,000 State Department dispatches follows WikiLeaks' April release of hundreds of thousands of classified military dispatches from Afghanistan and Iraq. These documents add up to a massive store of sensitive U.S. information totaling around 725,000 files and amounting to what Der Spiegel is calling "nothing short of a political meltdown for U.S. foreign policy." And, according to chat logs made public earlier this year, they all came from one source: Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence specialist whose successful efforts to liberate data went completely undetected by authorities. The possibility that a lowly Army private could have access to such a dizzying volume of classified files, and manage to spirit it away under the noses of his superiors has left official Washington scrambling for explanations.
- Cloud computing - new spot market +/-
(Economist) February 14th saw the launch of SpotCloud, the world's first spot market for cloud computing. It works much like other spot markets. Firms with excess computing capacity, such as data centres, put it up for sale. Others, which have a short-term need for some number-crunching, can bid for it. Enomaly, the software firm behind SpotCloud, takes a cut of between 10% and 30%, depending on the size of the deal.
- EU - Delivering investment and effective competition in broadband markets +/-
(RAPID) Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, ECTA Regulatory Conference, Crowne Plaza Brussels, 30 November 2010.
- Peer pressure +/-
(Economist) Level 3, a firm that slings terabits of data per second around the world on behalf of its customers, has accused Comcast, a residential broadband and television programming provider, of violating the principle of net neutrality by demanding fees to carry traffic from Level 3. Comcast retorted that Level 3 had massively increased the data flow over the two firms' connection, notably as the result of a deal to handle Netflix's streaming video delivery, and that it merely wanted to negotiate the price for bringing more data ports online to meet Level 3's needs. The crux of the matter is whether Comcast has the right to choose in what way—and at what price—other networks interconnect with its own.
- UK - BT Content Connect service faces 'two-tier net' claims +/-
(BBC) BT has introduced a controversial service that some say could allow broadband providers to create a "two-tier internet". Content Connect, as it is known, allows Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that use BT's network to charge content firms for high-speed delivery of video. It could spell the end of so-called "net neutrality", where all traffic on the net is treated equally.
- UK - Mark Thompson warns over 'two-speed' internet +/-
(Guardian) The BBC director general, Mark Thompson, has warned broadband providers not to introduce charges for delivering the corporation's programmes to homes via the internet. Thompson said the continued success of online TV services such as the BBC's iPlayer could not be guaranteed if internet service providers introduced a "fast lane" that would allow them to charge customers for receiving content more quickly.
- UK - Vaizey pressed on net neutrality by internet heavyweights +/-
(Guardian) A coalition of internet and venture capital companies and pressure groups have written to communications minister Ed Vaizey calling for a clear political commitment from the government to preserve net neutrality. They say it must adopt five key principles – including openness, minimisation of data traffic management, and a strong regulatory framework. The open letter, which is signed by representatives from eBay, Skype, Yahoo, the music site we7, the software service The Filter, VOIP provider Truphone, the Open Rights Group, the National Union of Journalists, the reviews site Reevoo, the e-retail representative Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), Eden Ventures, Ariadne Capital, Consumer Focus, TechHub, the consumer group Which?, Article 19 and the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), says that it welcomes Vaizey's earlier statements on net neutrality.
- BE - Open Data portal +/-
(OpenBelgium.be) Whether we talk about government data, scientific, medical or technological knowledge: in a lot of areas, there is a (big) tension between opening up data, or not to do so out of commercial or other interests. With OpenBelgium.be, we want to strive to open up as much data as possible and to make that data easily available & usable. That way, people can be informed better, software developers can work with the data to create interesting applications, and scientists can build upon freely available research data.
- EU - Public Data Corporation to free up public data and drive innovation +/-
(Cabinet Office) Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude and Business Minister Edward Davey have outlined plans for a new Public Data Corporation. The Corporation will, for the first time, bring together Government bodies and data into one organisation and provide an unprecedented level of easily accessible public information and drive further efficiency in the delivery of public services.
- EU - Technical workshop on pan-European data portal +/-
(CORDIS) Technical workshop on the goals and requirements for a pan-European data portal, Wednesday 3rd November 2010, Luxembourg.
- EU - The Challenge of Open Access +/-
(RAPID) Speech by Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda Launch of OpenAIRE, the European infrastructure for open access publishing of research results Ghent, 2 December 2010.
- EU - Unlocking the full value of scientific data +/-
(RAPID) Speech by Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda. Formal presentation of the report Riding the Wave: How Europe can gain from the raising tide of scientific data, Brussels, 6th October 2010 .
- One on One: Vivek Kundra, U.S. Chief Information Officer +/-
(New York Times) Vivek Kundra, chief information officer of the United States government. Vivek Kundra is the chief information officer of the United States. His job is to help shape the use of technology in government and build tools to help the public navigate the incredible amount of data and information available.
- OpenData in the EU +/-
(Datenjournalist) Interview with Jonathan Gray: A short while ago I sent some questions about the recent Eurostat Hackday to Jonathan Gray (@jwyg). He ist the Community Manager of the Open Knowledge Foundation. He's painting a thoughtful picture about OpenData in the EU and its economical impact in his answers. see also Eurostats Hackday: Es braucht Daten, um Politik verstehen zu können Open Data Blog Offene Daten – offene Gesellschaft.
- UK - Government data: what's really been achieved? +/-
(Guardian) One year after the Labour government launched the data.gov.uk portal, intended to provide a front door to a library of government data that developers in the outside world could use to analyse trends and create commercial services, there is disquiet that the initial enthusiasm has worn off and that civil servants are quietly blocking widespread release of useful information.
- UK - How I would fix data.gov.uk +/-
(Guardian) Open data expert Paul Clarke explains how he would change the government's open data project. A year, almost to the day, from the launch of data.gov.uk it seems clearer that it was really trying to fire at three targets simultaneously: transparency, usefulness and good old commercial value. Three targets that have some overlap, but also some inherent tensions. How well has it done?
- Untangling code +/-
(Economist) Much conventional wisdom about programs written by volunteers is wrong. Book review of The Comingled Code: Open Source and Economic Development. By Josh Lerner and Mark Schankerman. MIT Press. Its main contribution consists of two surveys - one of users of software, the other of developers - that are unprecedented in both scale and scope. More than 2,300 companies and nearly 2,000 programmers, spread across 15 countries, both rich and poor, filled out questionnaires. And Messrs Lerner and Schankerman asked a lot of questions, from how much open-source software a firm has implemented to whether governments should mandate the use of such programs. The findings contradict much conventional wisdom. Many open-source developers work for firms that develop both open-source and proprietary programs and combine them in all kinds of business models. More than a quarter of companies happily mix and match both sorts, in particular in poorer countries. Yet the finding that open-source advocates will like least is that free programs are not always cheaper. The authors argue that governments should make sure that the two forms of software compete on a level playing field and can comingle efficiently. One way of doing this would be to promote open standards to ensure that proprietary incumbents do not abuse a dominant position.