Posts Tagged ‘Privacy’

Time for the DEA to get its Act together

Posted on Jun 06 2013 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Time for the DEA to get its Act together

Things have been quiet on the Digital Economy Act (DEA) front for a long time now. Our last update (Opinion: Is the DEA old before its time?) indicated that the three strikes warning letters would not ‘go live’ until early 2014, a whole 4 years after the Act was passed. Now it would seem more delays could be afoot.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

The DEA was rushed through parliament at the end of Labour’s reign of power, receiving little discussion before becoming an Act – much to the dismay of ISPs and other parties across the country. It outlined a 12 month monitoring period of infringers, who would subsequently receive three warning letters before being ‘cut-off’.

Three years on from the Act being passed and it would appear the three strikes policy is no closer to being implemented, with a finger in the air guess being 2016 at the earliest. A never ending barrage of disputes over its practicalities and the sharing of costs between Rights Holders and ISPs has been its main delay.

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Update: ICO is right to demand detail on the ‘Big Brother intrusive filter’

Posted on Apr 25 2013 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Update: ICO is right to demand detail on the ‘Big Brother intrusive filter’

Paul

Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager


No sooner had we published our article about the ICO demands this morning: (ICO is right to demand detail on the ‘Big Brother intrusive filter’) an update emerged that Nick Clegg appears to have put the kybosh on the ‘snooper’s charter’. Whilst the media has a field day amid the political undermining, it remains to be seen if the Bill appears in the Queen’s speech on 8 May. We will be watching with interest.

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ICO is right to demand detail on the ‘Big Brother intrusive filter’

Posted on Apr 25 2013 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on ICO is right to demand detail on the ‘Big Brother intrusive filter’
Paul

Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) –the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, has demanded that the Home Office provide answers by 11th May 2013 explaining what the “Request filter” system submerged in the controversial Communications Data Bill actually does.

Recap: What the snooping bill entails

When the draft Communications Data Bill was first proposed by the Home Office on 14th June 2012, they described the bill as a ’vital tool’ to help police and snoopers’ catch paedophiles, terrorists and other serious criminals. Privacy International, the registered charity that aims to defend privacy rights across the globe, reports that it has been part of the Home Office’s on-going quest to gain new communications surveillance powers since 2006.

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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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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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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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Update: U2 – Stick to the Music!

Posted on Sep 06 2010 by Darren Farnden | 2 Comments

Back in January 2010, we criticised U2 front man Bono for warning all creative types to beware of the evils of the Internet and especially us greedy ISP types when it came to illegal file sharing.  We recommended Bono should stick to singing.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

It would appear that U2’s manager, Paul McGuinness, didn’t read our opinion as he’s now thrown in his two cents worth of comment within the August issue of GQ magazine. In it he also slams ISPs for “decimating the music industry” and profiteering from online file sharing, whilst also being the cause of recorded music sales falling.

Like Bono, Mr. McGuinness believes illegal file sharing is the reason for ISPs’ increasing profit margins by suggesting “free content has helped fuel the vast profits of the technology and telecoms industries”.  However, as we stated in our original Opinion article ‘Bono – Stick to Singing’ (opinion.enta.net: Bono – Stick to singing), in reality broadband customers continue to demand the fastest broadband at the lowest price which squeezes ISPs’ margins. Those of us within the Internet industry will also know that it is actually more costly to support such infringers due to the extra bandwidth they consume. Our increasing revenues are more likely to be down to the innovative new technologies we deploy and the additional services we provide to add value to customers’ experience.

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Secrecy shroud lifted on Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Posted on Apr 26 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Secrecy shroud lifted on Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

The controversial secrecy surrounding the ACTA (Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) discussions has finally been cleared as last week the EU published working text from the last round of discussions held in Wellington, New Zealand earlier this month.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Previously the Governments involved have been severely criticised for the secretive manner in which the talks have been held and their refusal to publish any details. After two years they have finally backed down and a working text document has been released. We expressed our concerns regarding this issue in our previous opinion article:

The working text document starts by positioning the purpose of the talks stating “The ACTA initiative aims to establish international standards for enforcing intellectual property rights in order to fight more efficiently the growing problem of counterfeiting and piracy.”

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ACTA secrecy breeds suspicion

Posted on Mar 02 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on ACTA secrecy breeds suspicion

Meddling Mandelson faces furore from MPs

The secrecy surrounding the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) talks is causing fury amongst MPs across political parties. The Government (Lord Mandelson and David Lammy) has refused to place the documents regarding the ACTA talks in the House of Commons Library because of other countries requests for secrecy, much to the annoyance of the UK MPs.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

This is particularly important because whilst Mandelson and Lammy are involved in the secret ACTA talks they are also negotiating the Digital Economy Bill’s entry into UK law. If the leaked details of the ACTA talks are to be believed these new agreements will have a significant impact on the DEB which is already causing large amounts of controversy.

So what is the ACTA?

The ACTA is a proposed trade agreement between participating countries to establish international standards on protecting intellectual property from copyright infringement. The UK is joined in the talks by the US, Japan, the EC, Australia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea and several others.

David Lammy defends the government’s secrecy by explaining how publicising details of the ACTA discussions could damage the UK’s relations with the rest of the involved nations, stating “this would harm our ability to protect, promote and secure an outcome in the UK’s interest, and the premature release of documents that are not agreed and not fully developed may also have a negative effect on the government’s reputation.”

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IMP continuing despite industry backlash

Posted on Feb 09 2010 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on IMP continuing despite industry backlash

Back in November 2008 we published an article (Entanet opinion: Are we living in “1984”? ) about the government’s proposed plans to centrally store records of all electronic communications throughout the UK. The Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) will be the largest surveillance system ever created in the UK and calls for a ‘live tap’ to be placed on every electronic communication in Britain including telephone calls, emails and visited websites.

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

We raised obvious concerns over the impact on privacy, the security of the data, the enormous cost involved and the feasibility of the project. Our concerns were echoed by LINX, a major UK peering organisation who stated “We view the description of the government’s proposals as ‘maintaining’ the capability as disingenuous: the volume of data the government now proposes CSPs should collect and retain will be unprecedented, as is the overall level of intrusion into the privacy of the citizenry.”

In December 2009 it emerged all of the UK’s mobile operators had also announced their concerns over the project. Vodafone, Orange, 3 and T-Mobile all voiced their concerns in the form of submissions to the government’s consultation.

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