Posts Tagged ‘Government’

Poll: ISPA Awards 2011 Villain of the year – who would you vote for?

Posted on Jun 07 2011 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: ISPA Awards 2011 Villain of the year – who would you vote for?

Recently, the UK Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) officially announced the finalists for its 2011 Internet Hero and Internet Villain awards. Both categories recognise those who have either done the most or least to help the Internet Industry. This year, ISPA’s finalists are:

Internet Hero Finalists

  • Rory Stewart MP – For his trailblazing efforts to bring broadband to his rural constituency of Penrith and the Borders
  • Twitter – For its role in helping people communicate during the Arab spring
  • Judge Colin Birss QC – For his considered and damning judgement on the ACS Law that it was “chaotic and lamentable”
  • The Australian Internet Industry Association – For taking the lead and launching a voluntary industry code on infected machines in Australia
  • Prof. Ian Hargreaves – For authoring a review that makes recommendations on how IP can be made fitter for the digital age
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The DEA – seems common sense isn’t common

Posted on Apr 21 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on The DEA – seems common sense isn’t common

The verdict on the Judicial Review of the DEA (as previously discussed here: Entanet Opinion: DEA – Finally, time for some common sense!) is finally in and unfortunately it delivers yet more bad news for the Internet industry.  The review was dismissed on four out of the five grounds with the fifth being partially granted.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

The grounds were as follows:

  • Breaching  the Technical Standards Directive by failing to notify the EC.
  • Breaching the e-Commerce Directive which provides that ISPs cannot be held responsible for data going through their networks.
  • Breaching the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive as ISPs have to deal with data not specifically permitted.
  • Disproportionate measures with regards to the three strikes system.
  • The fifth ground was based on ISPs objection to paying 25% of the costs. As discussed here: Entanet Opinion: DEA passes buck to ISPs
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DEA: The weaknesses of plan B

Posted on Apr 07 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on DEA: The weaknesses of plan B

Towards the end of last week, news emerged that an alternative option was being discussed in order to replace the existing Digital Economy Act’s website blocking measure. The UK government’s Ministers of Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey has officially invited the Open Rights Group (ORG), rights holders and ISPs to look at a new ‘plan B’ approach which could mean ISPs blocking access to websites deemed to facilitate Internet copyright infringement based on a central blacklist.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Plans were first formalised through a meeting late February with rights holders and ISPs, which led to the creation of a working group that would investigate site-blocking systems. The working group is said to be meeting the first week of April. Jim Killock, Executive Director of the ORG said the discussions had been prompted by delays to the DEA.

Such plans would see responsibility for the monitoring of websites being passed to the newly established independent body that would manage a blacklist of piracy websites. ISPs would then voluntarily filter out the websites said to be infringing copyright. The benefit of this, of course, would be to copyright holders who would only need to make a complaint once to the independent body rather than to each ISP. An initial list of around 100 illegal downloading sites has already been drawn up by rights holders, including the likes of Pirate Bay and Newbin2.

The plan B approach has been compared to the Internet Watch Foundation’s (IWF), which collects and investigates reports of child abuse material online. It then distributes a blacklist of web addresses to ISPs who voluntarily use it to filter virtually all UK consumer Internet access. The new plans would mean ISPs would not be responsible for checking complaints made by copyright holders against websites.

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How much more can the DEA withstand?

Posted on Mar 28 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on How much more can the DEA withstand?

The controversial Digital Economy Act (DEA) has once again hit the headlines with news that it has been officially delayed until spring 2012 at the earliest. The news will come as no surprise to many within the industry, as the complex Act has been plagued by debate at every stage since its original conception.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

“Since the DEA passed into law there has been a considerable amount of work to do to implement the mass notification system. Secondary legislation setting out how the system will be paid for and how it will work has to be passed by Parliament. Ofcom also has to set up an appeals process” said a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The latest delay can be attributed to a number of factors including the ongoing debate over the allocation of costs between rights holders and ISPs (Opinion.enta.net: DEA passes buck to ISPs),  ongoing concerns regarding using IP addresses to ‘identify’ alleged offenders , the latest review of website blocking proposals, the Judicial Review brought by BT and TalkTalk which started this week and of course the problems Ofcom has encountered with its code of practice.

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Will the big boys’ commitment to traffic management transparency help consumers?

Posted on Mar 17 2011 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Will the big boys’ commitment to traffic management transparency help consumers?

In the face of widespread debate about net neutrality and increasing consumer unrest about how Fair Use Policies and traffic management affects their broadband experience , the Broadband Stakeholder group (BSG) and seven of the UK’s largest ISPs have published a new Voluntary Code of Practice regarding broadband transparency. This new code of practice will be piloted by BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, O2, Three and Vodafone throughout 2011, with review and potentially further adoption by other ISPs in early 2012.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Commenting on the new code Antony Walker, CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, said:
“There has been more heat than light in the debate about traffic management over recent years. This commitment to provide clear and comparable information in a common format is very important. It will not only help to ensure consumers are better informed about the services they buy and use, but will also provide a clearer picture for policy makers of the way in which traffic management is actually used in the UK market.

Consumers need to be able to make informed choices about the services they buy and policy makers need to be able to make informed decisions about the policy and regulatory framework they set. This new commitment provides an essential building block for getting both of these things right.”

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Poll: Should the demise of ACS:Law affect the DEA?

Posted on Feb 17 2011 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | 1 Comment

In a recent article published by Thinkbroadband.com, they state that Judge Birss, has raised questions over the reliability of the DEA using IP addresses to identify copyright owners. The judge, who is well known for the case against ACS:Law and MediaCAT, declared that using IP addresses would only identify a wireless home broadband router and questioned whether leaving a wireless network unsecured, equated to authorising it to be used for file sharing.

We think the demise of ACS:Law shows that judgements based on IP addresses are unreliable and open to abuse. Should this therefore force the government to rethink the DEA, which could potentially open the UK up to more ACS:Law type activities in the future.

We would like to know what you think about Judge Birss’ concerns. Therefore, we have added a new poll asking for your feedback. Please also feel free to leave us a comment below.

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Broadband advertising review- as simple as A, B or C?

Posted on Feb 09 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Broadband advertising review- as simple as A, B or C?

There has been an ongoing industry debate over controversial advertising practices regarding broadband for quite some time. ISPs have been criticised repeatedly for advertising broadband quoting maximum achievable headline speeds and for claiming that packages include ‘unlimited’ bandwidth when they are actually subject to Fair Usage Policies (FUPs) and/or traffic shaping. Some argue that advertising broadband in this way causes confusion among customers, often setting their expectations unrealistically high. Therefore last week the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency), BCAP (British Code of Advertising Practice) and CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice) outlined their latest proposals for tackling the issue.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Commenting on the review the ASA state: “In 2010 the ASA asked the bodies that write the Advertising Codes (CAP and BCAP) to review broadband speed claims in advertisements as part of a wider look at advertising in the telecommunications sector.

CAP and BCAP are now consulting on their proposals for new advertising guidance on the use of “Up to” broadband speed and “Unlimited” usage claims in telecommunications advertising.

The key issues are whether consumers can actually achieve advertised speeds and “unlimited” usage of telecommunications services as claimed. The objective is to produce guidance for the industry to aid their interpretation of the Misleading Advertising sections of the CAP and BCAP Codes.”

While we agree there needs to be clarity and accuracy around broadband services we have significant concerns over the review’s proposals which are currently based on the following options:

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DEA passes buck to ISPs

Posted on Jan 31 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on DEA passes buck to ISPs

Back in September 2010, the UK Government Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sports (DCMS) announced its plans to force ISPs and right holders to share the costs associated with the Digital Economy Act (DEA), which was unsurprisingly met with much hostility from ISPs.  It would now appear the Government has laid out its secondary legislation in parliament, in its continuing bid to tackle online copyright infringement.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

The Digital Economy Act which, let’s remember, was hastily passed back in April 2010 in the pre-election wash-up, poses to tackle unlawful file sharing with a three strikes rule by sending out warning letters and possible suspension from the Internet.  The proposed law will shoulder ISPs with 25% of all costs, from Ofcom’s costs, issuing notification costs, qualifying and initial costs and case fees for the appeals body. Rights holders will take on the remaining 75%.

According to Communication Minister Ed Vaizey, the Digital Economy Act sets out to “protect the creative economy from online copyright infringement, which the industry estimates costs £400m a year”. However, our frustration comes with Vaizey’s further comments where he says these measures are expected to “benefit industry by around £200million a year and as rights holders will be the main beneficiaries, we believe our decision on costs is fair to everyone”. What? Everyone? Unless I’ve misunderstood his statement, there are two parties footing the bill here – the right holders and the ISPs. Yet it’s only the rights holders that benefit, to the tune of an estimated £200million a year. I am so keen to understand what benefits the ISPs are getting in return for shelling out for 25% of the costs. Perhaps Vaizey thinks it’s the satisfaction of knowing we’ve helped make the world a better place. Wake up, it’s getting tougher to succeed in our economy as it is! The last thing ISPs need is to be told is they now have to be penalised for providing access to the Internet, especially at a time when the Government wants ‘the market’ to bring faster access to everyone in the next few years!

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Keeping the Internet safe – What’s the best approach?

Posted on Jan 17 2011 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Keeping the Internet safe – What’s the best approach?

The European Parliament is currently debating a proposed EU directive to prevent the sexual abuse of children and child pornography. One of the main topics of discussion has been the pros and cons of blocking offending websites. Whilst we all agree that this is a very important issue that must be tackled correctly there are many contrasting views over the best approach.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Historically, in the UK at least, ISPs that implement the voluntary IWF filter block reported websites, meaning standard users will be protected from viewing the illegal material. However, the blocks can be circumnavigated quite easily by the most persistent offenders and the illegal content can still be accessed and distributed. MEP Alexander Alvaro (ALDE, DE) has argued that because of this, blocking is not effective.

In response to this debate EuroISPA has announced its own proposals for tackling the issue. Firstly it agrees with MEP Alvaro and suggests that all offending websites should be completely removed rather than blocked. Malcolm Hutty, President of EuroISPA and Head of Public Affairs at Linx, said: “In order to make the Directive on child sexual exploitation as strong as possible, emphasis must be placed on making swift notice and take down of child sexual abuse material focused and effective. Blocking, as an inefficient measure, should be avoided. Law enforcement authorities’ procedures for rapid communication to Internet Hosting Providers of such illegal material must be reviewed and bottlenecks eliminated.”

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That was the year that was!

Posted on Dec 22 2010 by Elsa Chen | Comments Off on That was the year that was!

What an eventful year 2010 has proven to be! We saw a new coalition Government take power; we lost yet another World Cup; we saw a number of terrible natural disasters including the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan floods; volcanic ash grounded our planes; students rioted over tuition fees; the iPhone 4 and iPad were launched; and the winter Olympics were held in Vancouver. But enough about all that – what happened in the Internet industry? Our recap of 2010 highlights some of the most topical issues that affected the industry this year.

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Elsa Chen, General Manager

The most controversial of them all
Let’s start with arguably the most controversial story of the year – the Digital Economy Bill. We started covering this highly controversial topic back in 2009 but during 2010 we saw this Bill become an Act (DEA) as it was hastily pushed through the pre-election wash-up, much to the dismay of its opponents, which include Entanet. However, there is some good news. A judicial review called for by BT and TalkTalk was granted in November and is expected to be held in April 2011.

Unsurprisingly, the DEA’s supporters are opposing the review and continue to insist that it is satisfactory. Just last week news broke that FAST (Federation Against Software Theft) has organised an event at the House of Commons on 12th January 2011 to ‘discuss’ the topics surrounding the DEA well before the full hearing is expected.

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