Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Other web browsers are available: The EC case against Google

Other web browsers are available: The EC case against Google | Competition Policy blog: "The investigation by DG Competition may want to distinguish between tying that excludes rivals from the market and tying that allows a customer to install an alternative app but where customer psychology may prevent him or her from doing so. On the surface this case appears to be the latter.

The EC may also need to consider two possible twists that make the Google case different from the earlier Microsoft case.

First, Google is likely to be dominant in both the tying and the tied market. According to the European Commission’s factsheet that accompanies the Statement of Objections, Google’s share of the search market in most Member States is 90% or more.

Microsoft, by contrast, was dominant in the tying, upstream, market but not in the tied, downstream market. Indeed, normally we would expect a vertically integrated firm that is dominant upstream to leverage that dominance into a downstream market where it isn’t dominant to foreclose competition and gain a dominant position.

If Google were found to be dominant at both levels would this make any difference to the case?" 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Mac's musings:How risky is your IoT?

Mac's musings: "Privacy risks

Privacy risks are present everywhere where we have sensing technologies in IoT. It will often be possible to correlate the sensing with an individual’s activities.
You can expect to see this data used in unexpected ways – the court case involving FitBit data is a sign of a trend where IoT data can be used as evidence of a person’s innocence or guilt.

Mitigations could include strong encryption, ephemeral data or only maintaining statistical and aggregated data in the longer term.

Many IoT devices also have the ability to actuate and affect the physical world – so what could possibly go wrong? Human safety checks are absent when moving to automation in IoT. We will need to design with safety in mind as everyday domestic objects become known killers – whether automatic door openers or even something as mundane as a venetian blind.

Picking up the theme of care for the elderly in their homes, again from a previous blog, we also start to see the need for resilience in our IoT designs. A particularly dangerous episode for many elderly people is a power outage – from the heating stopping, to lack of lighting, leading to increased risk of falls or other accidents.

Resilient IoT design

A resilient IoT design would include several hours of protected power supply for the sensors and router; backup communications using 3G as the ADSL or cable modem may not be available to access the internet (fixed line telecoms operators are required to have the phone service available during a power outage, not the broadband); and the ability to act independently of internet servers to raise alarms, so that operations are maintained when there are network and server failures or DDOS attacks on the infrastructure.

To build an IoT we trust we must first learn to handle the risks. Importantly, while showing damages in privacy cases has proven hard, the rise in citizens injured by devices will rapidly lead to product liability cases." 'via Blog this'

Monday, 18 April 2016

Prof. Patrick Dunleavy - The Republic of Blogs (5)



After a long period of monopolising academic discourse, European universities went into decline as classical scholasticism, which was primarily inward and backward looking, gave way to the ideas of Enlightenment. Intellectual development moved outside the walled gardens of academia, because enlightenment thinkers shifted their various discourses into the realm of correspondence, creating a Republic of Letters. Prof. Dunleavy argues that we are currently experiencing a similar shift towards a Republic of Blogs that enlarges communication, debate and evidence beyond the halls of universities. Academic research is changing, academic publishing is moving towards a new paradigm of advancing ideas outside the confines of the traditional academic publishing model. Orthodox journals will soon be understood as tombstones: end of debate certificates. In particular:


Micro-blogging is not only replacing traditional news media, but becoming a tool for finding and disseminating ideas and research (active research surveillance) Well edited blogs are becoming core communication tools and vehicles for HE debate; while the less traditional format encourages a writing style that invites debate from academics and lay persons alike, thus cutting across ranks, locations and academic status. Working papers and online journals are now key, immediately accessible evidence and theory/methods development sources.More details available here: http://clt.lse.ac.uk/events/networkED...

Digital Single market plans published - EC interoperability agenda for 2017 onwards

DSM package of 18 April, contains 4 Communications (Standardisation, Cloud, IoT and eGovernment Action Plan). All these will setup the agenda for months to come.
On Standards it will specifically refer to the new Priority ICT standardisation Plan to which we have contributed and introduce an EU catalogue for Standards. There will also be a link to the revision of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) which has just gone out for consultation. 
On Cloud, the focus is on the creation of a European Science Cloud, on high investments to create exascale infrastructures and also on the free flow of data initiative (FFDI). The FFDI inception report should be published any day now and the impact assessment together with the legislative proposal should be published end of November. 
The copyright reform is ongoing, with the legislative proposal now expected in October 2016 (previsouly June 2016). For now, another public consultation has been launched, covering the anciallary copyright and freedom of panorama (deadline 15 June).

On cybersecurity, we have replied to the public consultation which closed in March and have also sent a letter to the relevant EC representatives (both docs are in our Library). For now, that the GDPR and NIS were agreed, the discussion is all around blockchain and virtual currencies, with the EP being in the process of adopting an own initiative report (led by ECON committee) with their key points on the topic. A public consultation on the ePrivacy Directive is about to open every day now. ENISA is now focusing on the transposition of the NIS Directive providing guidelines to Member States. On GDPR, several means to assess its impact have been put in place at national level.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

EU Internet Forum against terrorist content and hate speech online

EU Internet Forum against terrorist content and hate speech online: Document pool - EDRi: "What is the EU Internet Forum?

According to the European Commission, the IT-Forum’s mission is to “counter terrorist content and hate speech online”. It brings together almost exclusively US Internet companies (such as Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Ask.fm), government officials and law enforcement agencies.

 While it is certainly important to address and prosecute illegal online activity, it is worrying that the EU Commission proposes yet again an initiative to encourage Internet companies to take “voluntary” actions in response to a very diverse range of possibly illegal or unwanted online activity.

As shown through numerous examples in the UK or France, such voluntary measures often come with collateral damage and have a negative impact on the freedom of expression." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

ICANN analyzed by Karl Auerbach (then-Board Member)

ICANN Interview - Karl Auerbach Board Member: "As for Verisign - wow, ICANN and NTIA have been like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to Verisign. It was utterly outrageous how ICANN let its outside attorney give all of those gifts to Verisign in at least three distinct contracts. As I said on the phone, Verisign's negotiating team is so good at negotiating the pants off of ICANN and NTIA that we ought to send 'em to the Middle East to work out a peace settlement. It is amazing how ICANN and NTIA transformed Verisign's job to maintain .com, .net, and .org into permanent ownership. It's as if the US National Park service were to give the entire Grand Canyon to the company that was hired to run the hotel.

 It is outrageous that the users of the internet are being required to give up their privacy because a few trademark owners are too cheap to use the legal system. And those "law enforcement" folks at the FTC and elsewhere are trying to do an end-run around the 4th amendment by getting ICANN to violate people's privacy rather than them doing their jobs and getting a subpoena.

 Indeed whois is Megan's Law in reverse. Unlike Megan's law that publishes information about predators to the potential victims, the whois publishes the potential victims to the predators. I have my own TLD, .ewe, that is a business that will never be because ICANN, as a combination in restraint of trade, won't let me into the only viable marketplace to try my idea and risk my money. In .ewe I would use public key based certificates to represent domain name ownership. Because those could be traded without my knowledge there is no way that .ewe could present a Whois. Folks who want to complain about a web provider or spammer ought to use the IP address information, not the DNS whois. The IP information is far more likely to be accurate and lead to a real person who can lay hands on the accused computer." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Minister Ed Vaizey oral evidence - The Digital Economy - 22 Mar 2016

Oral evidence - The Digital Economy - 22 Mar 2016: "I am not going to say that I want Apple or Google broken up.

What I would say is that I do think—funnily enough, what I said to the Commissioner—that it is perfectly valid for the Commission to be looking at platforms regulation as part of the digital single market. There is an issue, and my personal starting point is, how do we protect the consumer? How do we ensure that I as an Apple customer can move, should I decide to become a Samsung customer?

I want regulation in place that makes it as easy possible for me to move my data from one of those companies to another. I want it to be as easy as possible to leave Facebook to join whatever emerging social media company may be going. If I have spent five years on Facebook accumulating photos and posts, I want to move to a system—I am not saying this will happen overnight—where you can change your social media or technology provider as easily as you might in theory change your telephone provider."'via Blog this'