Monday, 21 May 2012

Almunia on the Google antitrust investigation

EUROPA - Press Releases - JoaquĆ­n Almunia Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Competition Policy Statement of VP Almunia on the Google antitrust investigation Press room Brussels, 21 May 2012: "I believe that these fast-moving markets would particularly benefit from a quick resolution of the competition issues identified. Restoring competition swiftly to the benefit of users at an early stage is always preferable to lengthy proceedings, although these sometimes become indispensable to competition enforcement.
Our investigation has led us to identify four concerns where Google business practices may be considered as abuses of dominance.
First, in its general search results on the web, Google displays links to its own vertical search services. Our second concern relates to the way Google copies content from competing vertical search services and uses it in its own offerings. Google may be copying original material from the websites of its competitors such as user reviews and using that material on its own sites without their prior authorisation. 
Our third concern relates to agreements between Google and partners on the websites of which Google delivers search advertisements. The agreements result in de facto exclusivity requiring them to obtain all or most of their requirements of search advertisements from Google, thus shutting out competing providers of search advertising intermediation services. 
Our fourth concern relates to restrictions that Google puts to the portability of online search advertising campaigns from its platform AdWords to the platforms of competitors. We are concerned that Google imposes contractual restrictions on software developers which prevent them from offering tools that allow the seamless transfer of search advertising campaigns across AdWords and other platforms for search advertising.
Will Google blink?
'via Blog this'

Monday, 7 May 2012

Race to the bottom? Obama Seeks to Promote "International Regulatory Cooperation"

Obama Seeks to Promote "International Regulatory Cooperation" - RegBlog: "Under the executive order, the federal government will search for “best practices for international regulatory cooperation,” which could include exchanging information and comparing other “regulatory tools.” The order also requires agencies that submit a Regulatory Plan under Executive Order 12866 to “include in that plan a summary of its international regulatory cooperation activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to significant regulations.” It also mandates that agencies include regulations with perceived “unnecessary” differences among the U.S. and its major trading partners in their retrospective review plans under Executive Order 13563.
The executive order also grants an already-existing federal Regulatory Working Group the authority to commission relevant reports from OIRA"
'via Blog this'

Sunday, 6 May 2012

#ericssoneffect and Carl Bildt's "limited" view of Internet freedom

A few speculations on the #ericssoneffect | Intensifier: "The “freedom technologies” that Bildt want to keep selling, often have the worst form om European surveillance built into them. Hard coded, and well used, to violate human rights.So, I am wondering, what did Ericsson sell to Syria? In detail. We will probably never know, because revealing this may cause “competitive disadvantages”. I’m guessing moving over to Chinese Huawei is easier than arguing with Europe.
These systems should be treated as surveillance technologies. And this is our fault, our control society colonialism.
Carl Bildt calls this type of strategy “flow control”. When I criticized it earlier this year, he responded with calling me and a few others cyber anarchists. That is fine. The fact still remains is that there is no such things as a flow of “democratic” technologies. The flow of Ericsson gear to Syria, was not just an injection of some “Twitter revolution”. We need to acknowledge that this was just another export of Western technology, built under the circumstances where “legal interception” nowadays is the standard. The Bluecoat devices, revealed to be at work in Syria, are doing the same basic thing as European Data Retention." 'via Blog this'

Friday, 4 May 2012

Pornography online: David Cameron to consider 'opt in' plan

Pornography online: David Cameron to consider 'opt in' plan | Technology | "The prime minister has intervened following pressure from a parliamentary inquiry into online child protection, which warned that explicit material was having a harmful effect on children. It is understood that the consultation will take the form of an independent review of a series of options for filtering pornography online, but will not result in a government green paper.
ISPs and advocacy groups are likely to try to face down the measures over fears of online censorship. A spokesman for the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA), the industry body representing companies including Google and Yahoo, said on Friday that it would oppose default filtering because it was not the most effective measure and was easy to get around.
The campaign for greater curbs against online porn has been led by the Tory MP Claire Perry, who chaired the independent inquiry into online child protection last month." 'via Blog this'