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Republicans

Republican Platform To Include Internet Freedom Plank 459

First time accepted submitter jay.madison writes "The new Republican Party platform includes language which promises action to promote freedom on the Internet. The move is being driven by Rand Paul's libertarian wing of the party. The text, which is still in draft form, says Republicans will work to guarantee that 'individuals retain the right to control the use of their data by third parties,' and that 'personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach.' Republicans would resist moves toward international governance of the Internet, and seek to 'remove regulatory barriers that protect outdated technologies and business plans from innovation and competition, while preventing legacy regulation from interfering with new technologies such as mobile delivery of voice and video data as they become crucial components of the Internet ecosystem.' The platform is due to be adopted at the Republican National Convention next week."
Privacy

UK ISP TalkTalk Caught Monitoring Its Customers 139

An anonymous reader writes "The UK ISP TalkTalk has been caught using a form of Deep Packet Inspection technology to monitor and record the websites that its customers visit, without getting their explicit consent. The system, which is not yet fully in place, ultimately aims to help block malware websites by comparing the URL that a person visits against a list of good and bad sites. Bad sites will then be restricted. TalkTalk claims that its method is totally anonymous and that the only people with visibility of the URL database itself are Chinese firm Huawei, which will no doubt help everybody to feel a lot better (apply sarc mark here) about potentially having their privacy invaded."
Canada

Rogers Shrinks Download Limits As Netflix Arrives 281

Meshach writes "Hot on the heels of Netflix coming to Canada, Rogers (one of the biggest ISPs in Canada) has shrunk download limits. 'As of Wednesday, new customers who sign up for the Lite service will be allowed 15 gigabytes, a drop from the 25 GB limit offered to those who signed up before July 21. Meanwhile, any new Lite user who goes over the monthly limit will have to pay $4 per GB up to a maximum of $50 — a spike from the previous $2.5 per GB surcharge.' Officially, there is no connection between the two events, but it seems an odd coincidence, especially when Rogers charges customers who exceed their bandwidth allowance."
Communications

In EU, Google Accused of YouTube "Free Ride" 449

An anonymous reader passes along a Financial Times piece that covers a push by EU telecoms to get Google to pay them directly — years after US ISPs began rattling that sword, to little effect thus far. "Some of Europe's leading telecoms groups are squaring up for a fight with Google over what they claim is the free ride enjoyed by the technology company's YouTube video-sharing service. Telefónica, France Telecom, and Deutsche Telekom all said Google should start paying them for carrying bandwidth-hungry content such as YouTube video over their networks.... Some European telecoms groups fear Google will reduce them to 'dumb pipes' because the internet search and advertising company pays the network operators little or nothing for carrying its content. Rick Whitt, a senior policy director at Google in Washington ... said Google was spending large amounts on its own data networks to carry its traffic to the point where it is handed over to telecoms companies round the world." Note that FT.com operates on a "first few per month free" paywall basis.
The Courts

Court Unfriendly To FCC's Internet Slap At Comcast 215

Several sources are reporting that federal judges have been harsh in their examination of the FCC's action against Comcast in 2008 for the throttling of Internet traffic from high-bandwidth file-sharing services. "'You can't get an unbridled, roving commission to go about doing good,' said US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Chief Judge David Sentelle during an oral argument. The three-judge panel grilled FCC General Counsel Austin Schlick on the parts of communications law it could cite to justify the Comcast punishment. The FCC argues that it was enforcing an open Internet policy implicit in the law. Judge A. Raymond Randolph repeatedly said the legal provisions cited by the FCC were mere policy statements that by themselves can't justify the commission's action. 'You have yet to identify a specific statute,' he said. The judges' decision in the case could throw into question the FCC's authority to impose open Internet rules."
Businesses

Comcast to Buy 51% of NBC, GE Goes After 49% 258

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that Comcast and General Electric announced a joint venture yesterday to control NBC Universal, with Comcast coming out with the controlling interest. Comcast's hopes seem to be on succeeding in a marriage of distribution and content, where Time Warner failed. "The deal was approved by the companies' boards, and is subject to regulatory approval. GE said it expects the deal to go through in the third quarter of 2010. Congress has already said it will hold a hearing to investigate whether Comcast will gain 'undue advantages' from the deal that gives it access to programming."
User Journal

Journal Journal: NBCU/Comcast is a bet against net neutrality

The state of tech journalism is starting to become a serious problem for society.

As of the time of this journal entry, I have not heard any old media outlet mention Comcast's crusade against network neutrality as background for the merger story.

This deal demonstrates Comcast's confidence that they can stop efforts to preserve the neutral nature of the internet. Preferred delivery of NBC/Universal content is the aim of the purchase of a 51% stake from GE.

Movies

Epix Provides "Free" HD Studio Content Via TV and Internet 68

It looks as though the movie studios are at least trying to learn from past failures and others' success with the upcoming launch of Epix (beta starts today), an HD television channel and accompanying online 720p service. The good part about this service is, if you are lucky enough to have a television provider who decides to become a partner, you wont have to pay extra to get it. The main downside, of course, is if your cable company decides not to plug this service in you will have no way to subscribe. "Like Hulu, the Epix movie service is a joint venture formed by the content owners; in this case, the service is powered by the movie studios Lions Gate, Paramount, and MGM. The Epix TV network will air movies that are in the "pay-TV" window — those weeks before a film appears on DVD in which it is available on pay-per-view or HBO, among others."
The Internet

Think-Tank Warns of Internet "Brownouts" Starting Next Year 445

JacobSteelsmith writes "A respected American think-tank, Nemertes Research, reports the Web has reached a critical point. For many reasons, Internet usage continues to rise (imagine that), and bandwidth usage is increasing due to traffic heavy sites such as YouTube. The article goes on to describe the perils Internet users will face including 'brownouts that will freeze their computers as capacity runs out in cyberspace,' and constant network 'traffic jams,' similar to 'how home computers slow down when the kids get back from school and start playing games.' ... 'Monthly traffic across the internet is running at about eight exabytes. A recent study by the University of Minnesota estimated that traffic was growing by at least 60 per cent a year, although that did not take into account plans for greater internet access in China and India. ... While the net itself will ultimately survive, Ritter said that waves of disruption would begin to emerge next year, when computers would jitter and freeze. This would be followed by brownouts — a combination of temporary freezing and computers being reduced to a slow speed.'"

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