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Thursday, July 31, 2008

The nub of the Committee Report- co-regulation and E-Comms reform!!!

9. We do not believe that it is in the public interest for Internet service providers or networking sites to neglect screening content because of a fear that they will become liable under the terms of the EC E-Commerce Directive for material which is illegal but which is not identified. It would be perverse if the law were to make such sites more vulnerable for trying to offer protection to consumers. We recommend that Ofcom or the Government should set out their interpretation of when the E-Commerce Directive will place upon Internet service providers liability for content which they host or to which they enable access. Ultimately, the Government should be prepared to seek amendment to the Directive if it is preventing ISPs and websites from exercising more rigorous controls over content. (Paragraph 95)
10. We found the arguments put forward by Google/You Tube against their staff undertaking any kind of proactive screening to be unconvincing. To plead that the volume of traffic prevents screening of content is clearly not correct: indeed, major providers such as MySpace have not been deterred from reviewing material posted on their sites. Even if review of every bit of content is not practical, that is not an argument to undertake none at all. We recommend that proactive review of content should be standard practice for sites hosting user-generated content, and we look to the UK Council proposed by Dr Byron to give a high priority to reconciling the conflicting claims about the practicality and effectiveness of using staff and technological tools to screen and take down material. (Paragraph 96)

Parliament says social networks must do better

They want a move from 24-hour take-down to a much more rapid response - see Blogzilla's thoughts here. It will be much more expensive, but then barriers to entry are what regulation is all about - though I don't see any cost-benefit impact assessment here!!!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Audiovisual net neutrality!

Video of Sp!ked talk and podcast of BILETA with Powerpoint.

Spiked and updated blawg

I've gone slightly fancy - too cluttered and ugly you think? I see Technollama has changed too

Spoke last night at Sp!ked on the potential Internet investment crisis- here's roughly what I said (video on Friction TV soon):

Slowing Internet? Japan now – and WorldCom's doubling every 100 days in 2000….
1. Truth issue – how did it happen and why? Agree with Rob
a. Mid-2006 – Ofcom conference, Charlie Dunstone on death-threats – Comcast comparison
b. ISPs and fair use – security, blocking, throttling;
c. heavy users and P2P;
d. Ofcom and regulation – can they spot it?
e. City and investment – what incentive to invest in last mile?
f. Govt and rural users – note ITS conversations re. Ethernet
2. Phorm issue – they have to make money somewhere – Google’s cash – but privacy? Not Ofcom
3. Net neutrality issue – Kangaroo, so someone will get net neutrality – Parliament issue
4. European issue – BERT and Brussels
5. Fibre issue – back to DSL? Lets all sign the form 15billion? Wasn’t it 20billion in mid-1990s
6. Govt and regulation and incentives – is there the spectre of the broadband ISP as regulatory panacea? “Be careful what you wish for”
a. Data retention – ISP codes;
b. Personal Internet Security - communication from EC
c. Harmful content however defined – IWF
d. Three strikes French proposals – Ecomms package
e. Co-regulation – government encouraging ISPs to do ‘the right thing’ – but this has been continuing since 1996 and Comms Decency Act
f. E-commerce Directive revision 2011.

Q&A even less clear but:
Mobile – shared sites – wholesaled BT fibre?
Google – uniquely powerful position – but BBC?
Fixed pricing – capping value destruction NL “dysfunctional value chain” – Phorm answer?
Cross-subsidy to mobiles FTM termination – no room for consensus – nb. Japan/Korea electricity infrastructures
VPN in part – ‘last mile’
Public interest? Iplayer – public value test
Audiovisual Media Services Dir. – China co-reg
SMS 21st century telegraph in terms of cost per bit