CDT’s Global Policy Weekly highlights the latest Internet policy developments and proposals from around the world, compiled by CDT’s Global Internet Freedom Project.
A group of advocates has released a Declaration of Internet Freedom, a set of high-level principles to safeguard the free and open Internet. CDT is one of a large and growing list of signatories to the declaration, which we hope will be a step in the global conversation to establish a positive vision for Internet policy. Read more here about the principles and how they are reflected in CDT’s work.
ITU: CDT has released a policy post discussing all the ways in which December’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) will take up issues of Internet governance. The post runs down the list of proposals from ITU Members that concern Internet issues – including cybersecurity, interconnection, traffic routing, addressing, and child protection – demonstrating that despite ITU statements to the contrary, “Internet governance” will very much be a topic at the WCIT.
New Zealand/US: A court has ruled that the MegaUpload seizure was illegal. The order finds that the seizure warrant did not adequately describe specific offenses, was overly broad, and that the action has resulted in the continued detention of irrelevant material. Meanwhile, the US judge handling the case heard arguments concerning the release of innocent files locked up on MegaUpload servers since the seizure in January.
UK: Telecom regulator Ofcom has published its draft “Initial Obligations Code” concerning ISPs’ duties regarding allegations of copyright infringement by subscribers. Under the Code, ISPs will have to keep records of infringement notices received from rightsholders in per-customer pseudonymous “infringement lists.” Rightsholders will be entitled to request these lists and, if a subscriber receives three notices within a year, to petition a court to reveal the subscriber’s identity and bring a copyright suit. Ofcom is accepting comment on the draft Code though July 26.
ACTA: An Australian House of Representatives Committee has recommended more study of ACTA’s costs and benefits. The Committee Report made 9 recommendations, including calling for a new independent assessment and that the agreement not be ratified until that assessment is considered. Meanwhile the EU Parliament is widely expected to reject ACTA on Wednesday, July 4.
Intermediaries: An economic study funded by the CCIA and released last week finds that recent French and German copyright lawsuits against technological intermediaries depressed venture-capital investment in cloud services by $4.6 and $2.8 million per quarter, respectively, through 2010. In France, the operator of a cloud-based DVR service was fined and enjoined from using copyrighted works and subsequently halted operations. CDT argued in a similar US case against Cablevision that a finding of copyright liability would chill investment in cloud services.
UK: The government has launched consultation on ISP porn-blocking. The government is requesting public comment on several options, including requiring new customers to choose whether or not to download parental controls upon signing up for service (which ISPs have pledged to do voluntarily) and blocking-by-default favored by conservative MP Claire Perry, who released a report on the subject earlier this year. Access to consultation documents has been suspended due to security problems with the website.
Ethiopia: Internet censorship appears to be becoming more sophisticated in Ethiopia. Advocates note with concern the blocking of Tor in mid-May and the introduction of legislation that would make offering VoIP a crime.
Kenya: Global Voices Summit 2012 is happening July 2-3 in Nairobi. The summit gathers journalists, activists, and technologists from all over the world and includes panels on citizen media, online organizing, surveillance (featuring CDT’s Ellery Biddle), and the role of powerful intermediaries in online free expression.