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Net neutrality, citizenship and discrimination


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Presentation at Ofcom stakeholder consultation meeting, 28 July 2010

Presentation at Ofcom stakeholder consultation meeting, 28 July 2010

Published in: News & Politics

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  • Source: Internet blocking discussions in Culture Committee of European Parliament
  • Justification for basic level of Quality of Service?
  • Transcript

    • 1. Net neutrality, citizenship and discrimination Dr Ian Brown Oxford Internet Institute University of Oxford
    • 2. UK and EU legal framework
      • Communications Act 2003: “3. General duties of OFCOM (1) It shall be the principal duty of OFCOM, in carrying out their functions—(a) to further the interests of citizens in relation to communications matters; and (b) to further the interests of consumers in relevant markets, where appropriate by promoting competition.”
      • The Treaty on European Union: “6(3) Fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, shall constitute general principles of the Union’s law.”
    • 3. Freedom of expression
      • Ofcom: §2.8 “it is widely accepted that the blocking of illegal content (such as images of child abuse) is necessary and that steps taken to address issues such as online copyright infringement would be viewed as acceptable traffic management.”
      • “ I want it out - blocking has never helped a single child”. “Lots of organizations have been calling for deletion and furthermore there is no scientific evidence that blocking is effective. With blocking the illegal content is still on the net” “we run the risk of censorship on the Internet” and “we don’t want an infrastructure in Europe which would lead to blocking other material” –Petra Kammerevert MEP
    • 4. Privacy and Deep Packet Inspection
      • §2.9 “some techniques, such as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), may also raise data protection and privacy concerns. These fall outside of the scope of this document but we propose to work closely with the Information Commissioners Office to consider these issues.”
      • “ I call on the UK authorities to change their national laws and ensure that national authorities are duly empowered and have proper sanctions at their disposal to enforce EU legislation on the confidentiality of communications. This should allow the UK to respond more vigorously to new challenges to e-privacy and personal data protection, such as those that have arisen in the Phorm case. It should also help reassure UK consumers about their privacy and data protection while surfing the internet.” –Commissioner Reding
    • 5. Democratic participation
      • “ I think it is really important to show the economic argument behind getting people online. By being online there are massive savings for people personally, rich rewards for their career prospects and also big savings for the government… Eighty per cent of the government’s interaction with people is with the deprived members of our society.” –Martha Lane Fox, launching Race Online 2012 campaign
      • 2 million profiles; 200,000 offline events were planned, about 400,000 blog posts were written and more than 35,000 volunteer groups were created
    • 6. Pro-active competition regulation
      • Could nudge-like transparency requirements be introduced for standardised info on traffic management practices? How might this interact with tools (e.g. SamKnows, Switzerland, Glasnost, price comparison websites?)
      • FRAND requirements for all?
      • “ In times of crisis and uncertainty, economic operators will cling to situations and models that were profitable to them in the past. But growth opportunities sometimes require change and it is for politicians and regulators to accompany this change to the benefit of the citizens and the economy as a whole.” –Commissioner Almunia, 7/7/10