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The Europe roundup: A public consultation on net neutrality

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, July 9 2010

  • EU | EU Commission launches public consultation on net neutrality

    The debate on net neutrality has grown in intensity over recent months – we will respond with a Commission communication after hearing your perspectives and hosting a summit with the European Parliament.

    The process will be as open as the internet! As already made clear, I will not support any public policy that may threaten freedom of expression. I am committed to an open and efficient internet where freedom can flourish. And I have also underlined that I am keen to promote transparency, innovation, fair competition and investment in new efficient and open networks.

    This is how Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has announced the public consultation on net neutrality and traffic management, launched by the European Commission.
    As reported by CIO: "The Commission wants feedback on possible technical and economic problems linked to the use of traffic management, which can be used by operators to prioritize one type of data traffic over others. It also wants to know whether the new regulatory framework can handle those problems, or if more regulation is needed."
    Service and content providers, consumers, businesses and researchers are all invited to respond to the consultation by September 30th.

  • UK | A Facebook spending challenge
    Mark Zuckerberg discussing with British Prime Minister David Cameron about the budget deficit? Something like that in this video:

    Facebook founder is bringing its own creature alongside the government in the Spending Challenge, the government initiative that asks citizen to give ideas to cut public spending. Looks like a start for an initiative aimed at saving money, says Cameron playfully.

  • UK | Building relations in public healthcare
    Patient Opinion, the British website that enables patients to share their experiences about health care,  has set up a new service for MPs, allowing them to be part of the process: "MPs will be able to sign up for alerts when comments are made from postcodes within their constituency or about hospitals and services they are interested in. They will also be able to post responses on the site, something that, until now, only health organisations have been able to do". Citizens will be enabled to create conversations with elected representatives and officials will have the chance to work with them focusing on the issues, an example of the new government’s Big Society approach, according to Paul Hodgkin, CEO and founder of Patient Opinion.
  • EU | The PEP-NET summit
    The PEP-NET Summit will take place in Hamburg next 23rd September 2010 bringing together public servants, politicians, grass-roots organisations and academics to share ideas and initiatives.
    Participation is free and tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis... so, you'd better rush!

News Briefs

RSS Feed tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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