Not content with forcing ISPs to store the browsing history of UK citizens (as enshrined into law via the Investigatory Powers Act), the Government now appears to be ignoring the concept of net neutrality with its latest Bill entering the House of Lords. The Digital Economy Bill, due its second reading in the Lords today (13th December 2016), compels websites carrying material which “it is reasonable to assume from its nature that any classification certificate issued in respect of a video work including it would be an R18 certificate” to carry out age verification checks to try and stop youngsters accessing such material. If the sites don’t do this, ISPs will be required to block them. Yet EU net neutrality rules state that all Internet traffic must be treated equally and goes so far as to say that Governments cannot block access to sites that are legal – even if they are distasteful.Read More »
The Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t going away – every day businesses across the world are coming up with new and innovative ways of exploiting the opportunities that IoT brings. But we want to know what you think. Are you actively pursuing opportunities that exist in the channel to monetise IoT, or are you more cautious? Let us know by leaving a comment below or taking part in our poll.Read More »
Back in March, we expressed our dismay about the government’s apparent determination to push through the Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB) before the summer (The IPB takes a step closer to being law). The government seems determined to do this at all costs and while there is a possibility that it will be delayed until after the summer recess due to other parliamentary business, it now looks certain to become law within weeks.
Some adjustments have been made to the Bill since March but, in our view, they are too few and do not go anywhere near far enough. At that time, we did have some hope that an alliance of Labour and the SNP would reject the Bill in it’s current form and force much greater scrutiny and the emergence of legislation that would be, as ISPA put it, clear and workable’.Read More »
We recently discussed the criticism Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was facing with his new Internet.org initiative which aims to enable the world’s poorest people to access the Internet for free by charging the content providers for the end users’ access. Whilst seemingly a noble idea, it is receiving increasing disapproval for its obvious contradiction with net neutrality and now further concerns have been raised about security and privacy.
As we said in our last article, in principle, the idea of providing free Internet access to some of the world’s poorest people is admirable but, as Mr Zuckerberg has admitted himself, delivering free access to the whole Internet simply isn’t possible:
“It costs tens of billions of dollars every year to run the Internet, and no operator could afford this if everything were free, But it is sustainable to build free basic services that are simpler, use less data and work on all low-end phones.”Read More »
Following the election of our new Conservative Government last week and Mr Cameron’s re-appointment of Theresa May as Secretary of State, rumours are now rife that one of the first items on her agenda is to reignite the highly controversial ‘Snooper’s Charter’. Will it be third time lucky for Theresa May?
Shortly after the Conservative’s election win was confirmed, May reportedly commented that implementing the Communications Data Bill or ‘Snooper’s Charter’ as it has been nicknamed, is a key priority for her and her party.
Her last attempt to introduce this Bill was blocked by the Liberal Democrat part of the coalition Government who had concerns over its impact on privacy and freedom of expression. Interestingly, in their own pre-election manifesto they had planned to introduce a significantly different new ‘Digital Bill of Rights’.
May said: “David Cameron has already said, and I’ve said, that a Conservative government would be giving the security agencies and law enforcement agencies the powers that they need to ensure they’re keeping up to date as people communicate with communications data.
We were prevented from bringing in that legislation into the last government because of the coalition with the Liberal Democrats and we are determined to bring that through, because we believe that is necessary to maintain the capabilities for our law enforcement agencies such that they can continue to do the excellent job, day in and day out, of keeping us safe and secure.”Read More »