Posts Tagged ‘Regulation’

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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Google finally stands up to China

Posted on Jan 13 2010 by Neil Watson | 1 Comment

Is it the end of the road for Google.cn?

Yesterday on the official Google Blog, David Drummond, Google’s Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer announced that following a cyber attack in December Google is now considering withdrawing its operations from the Chinese market. Clearly there’s more to this though and we think market leaders should make a stand against the restriction that Chinese government censorship applies to Chinese web users.

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Through a thorough investigation since mid December Google allegedly has evidence to suggest that the attack originated in China and its aim was to access the Gmail accounts of several US, European and Chinese based human rights advocates. The company also has evidence to suggest that the attacks did not only affect Google, advising that an additional 20 large corporations in various industries including the Internet, media, finance and chemical sectors were also affected.

The Register reports that one of these additional companies was possibly Adobe, although the company has not confirmed whether or not the two incidents were related. Adobe also announced news of its attack via its corporate blog advising that they had become aware of “a computer security incident involving a sophisticated, coordinated attack against corporate network systems managed by Adobe and other companies.”

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Poll: The Government’s IMP is…?

Posted on Jan 11 2010 by Gemma Dickinson | Comments Off on Poll: The Government’s IMP is…?

The UK’s mobile operators have recently united against the government’s planned IMP (Improvement and Modernisation Programme) which will require all ISPs and operators to collect and store all IP communications.

We would like to know what you think about the government’s plans and have created a poll to capture your thoughts.

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2009 – The good, the bad and the ugly!

Posted on Dec 09 2009 by Elsa Chen | Comments Off on 2009 – The good, the bad and the ugly!

As we approach the end of an eventful year I thought it would be apt to take a look back over the main industry talking points of 2009 to evaluate what happened, why we were discussing it and where we are currently at. When we have completed that let’s take a stab at predicting what we will be discussing in 2010.

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Elsa Chen, General Manager

The ‘hottest’ topic of 2009 was undoubtedly illegal file sharing

We first covered this subject back in April with an article discussing the Pirate Bay case. The four founders of the website ‘The Pirate Bay’ were found guilty in a Swedish court for assisting the illegal downloading of copyrighted material.  They were each sentenced to 1 year in jail and ordered to pay £2.4million in damages to the entertainment industry. This was the catalyst that started the raging debate between the entertainment industry, the government and ISPs which continues to this date. The entertainment industry and a number of high profile MPs, in particular Peter Mandelson, are calling for a three strikes and you’re cut-off policy. However, ISPs have continuously raised concerns regarding the accuracy of correctly identifying offenders and the fact that cutting a user off is presuming guilt before a fair trial with minimal and potentially flawed evidence.

This topic continued to be covered for several months and was once again inflamed with the release of the Digital Britain Report which actually advised against a three strikes policy, much to the annoyance of the entertainment industry.

So where are we at now?

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Knowledge is power – good or bad!

Posted on Nov 25 2009 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Knowledge is power – good or bad!

Following our earlier articles regarding the rise of social networking and its potential privacy issues and our coverage of subjects such as cyber-bullying, when we heard the results of Ofcom’s latest report it raised a number of concerns.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Last month Ofcom released a report into children’s web access and their online habits.

The report shows that 35% of 12-15 year olds and 16% of 8-11 year olds now have access to the web in their bedrooms, up 20% and 9% respectively since 2007. Worryingly 60% of 12-15 year olds and one third of 8-11 year olds use the internet mostly on their own and one in five 5-7 year olds say they use the internet without an adult in the room.

From the parents’ point of view 45% of those whose children use the Internet at home state they have filtering software and controls in place but this leaves an obvious 55% of children using the Internet unsupervised with no parental restrictions in place.

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Mandelson – New master of the digital economy?

Posted on Nov 23 2009 by Darren Farnden | 2 Comments

Last month (here) we discussed Mandelson’s announcement at the ‘C&binet Conference’ regarding the tackling of illegal file sharers and his continued proposal of a three strikes system. These proposals have now progressed further with the release of the Digital Economy Bill.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

The bill covers a number of issues but the key features affecting ISPs and broadband users are as follows:

  1. 1. ISPs will be forced to provide written warnings to alleged illegal file sharers when alerted to do so by the copyright holders. Additionally, ISPs will be required to record how many warnings the accused customers have received and feed this back to the rights holders.
  2. 2.The Secretary of State (currently Mandelson) will be given new powers to update the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act in order to react to changes in technology more quickly. The powers will be exercised by statutory instrument rather than primary legislation which means although the proposals will need to be debated in the Houses of Parliament and will be subject to public consultation the MPs and Lords cannot block them.
  3. The Register: Filesharing laws to hit websites and newsgroups too
  4. 3. The use of orphan networks will be allowed where the rights holder cannot be found or identified.
  5. 4. The government will be given the power to reform and restructure Nominet, the body responsible for domain names in the UK. This follows recent board resignations.
  6. The Register: Mandelson to get Nominet reform powers
  7. 5. Ofcom will be assigned new duties to promote investment in the UK communications infrastructure and will be required to assess this every two years.

Alongside other ISPs, Entanet has voiced concerns over this policy for some time now but it appears that Mandelson has finally got his way – although the bill has not actually made it into law yet. Once the Digital Economy Bill is on the statute books ISPs will be forced to send written warnings to alleged copyright infringers at the request of the copyright holder. As expected the suspected users will be identified by the copyright holders using IP addresses from BitTorrent. The ISPs will then be required to record the number of warnings each suspected user receives and supply this information to the copyright holders. If the copyright holder wants further information on a particular persistent offender they will require a court order.

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Mandelson’s mindless meddling infuriates Internet industry

Posted on Oct 29 2009 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Mandelson’s mindless meddling infuriates Internet industry

Once again Lord Mandelson has sparked anger amongst ISPs by announcing that the controversial three strikes policy for tackling illegal file sharing will be adopted in the UK by April 2010, despite ongoing criticism from the Internet industry.

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Speaking at the ‘C&binet Conference‘, Mandelson announced that if the amount of illegal downloading had not dropped by 70% come April 2011 following the introduction of the new proposals (which include bandwidth squeezing and download caps), then further harsh measures including the disconnection of file sharers would be imposed from July 2011. Whilst the use of disconnection is expected to remain a ‘last resort’ measure, the news has once again infuriated the Internet industry.

Since the conception of these proposals Entanet has voiced its concerns and, following Mandelson’s announcement, ISP TalkTalk said that it would “continue to resist any attempts to make it impose technical measures on its customers” and has set up a campaign called “Don’t Disconnect Us” to lobby against the plans.

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Ofcom flexes its muscles on mis-selling but is it tough enough?

Posted on Oct 20 2009 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Ofcom flexes its muscles on mis-selling but is it tough enough?

The issue of mis-selling in the telecoms industry has been around for several years and for several years regulator Ofcom has been trying to tackle it. Despite regulations for fixed line telecoms providers and a Code of Practice for sales and marketing activities mis-selling remains a serious problem in the UK. Ofcom’s statistics show one in forty UK households fall victim to mis-selling every year with an estimated cost to consumers of £40million in 2008.

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Now Ofcom has decided it’s time to get tough. Following an original consultation in March, last month Ofcom announced a two staged set of proposals to tackle the issue:

Stage One Proposals

  • Clarification and simplification of regulations and, particularly, moving away from a Code of Practice approach to absolute prohibitions within General Conditions (GCs);
  • Extending Cancel Other rules to all providers [and withdrawing BT’s Cancel Other Direction]; and
  • Clarifying record keeping obligations.
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