European network providers that want the United Nations to consider a new Internet tax targeting Google, Facebook, Apple, and Netflix today defended their proposal, which was leaked earlier this week.
The idea of requiring content providers to pay fees based on usage is an "innovative" change to the way the Internet currently works and will create a more "fair" environment "where operators' revenues will not be disconnected from the investment needs made necessary by the rapid growth of Internet traffic," the providers said in a statement (PDF).
European Union competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia last month sent a notice to Google over concerns his office has with the search giant's alleged "abuses of dominance." And now, he's giving the company a deadline.
"On May 21, I sent a letter to Google underlining our concerns in its business practices that we identified in our preliminary investigations that started in November 2010," Almunia said in a speech today. "I want to give the company the opportunity to offer remedy proposals that would avoid lengthy proceedings. By early July, I expect to receive from … Read more
The United Nations is considering a new Internet tax targeting the largest Web content providers, including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Netflix, that could cripple their ability to reach users in developing nations.
The European proposal, offered for debate at a December meeting of a U.N. agency called the International Telecommunication Union, would amend an existing telecommunications treaty by imposing heavy costs on popular Web sites and their network providers for the privilege of serving non-U.S. users, according to newly leaked documents.
The United Nations has seized on the appearance of the Flame worm, which targeted computers in the Middle East, to argue that it should have more authority to deal with cybersecurity threats on the Internet.
Last week, the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union circulated a statement about Flame saying the malware "reinforces the need for a coordinated response" that could come from "building a global coalition." It took credit for Flame's discovery, saying Kaspersky Lab identified it "following a technical analysis requested by the ITU." (See CNET's FAQ.)
ITU spokesman Paul Conneally … Read more
An important law that would protect California consumers from state-level regulation of VoIP and other IP-based services passed the California State Senate late last week on a bipartisan 30-6 vote.
The bill, SB 1161, now moves to the State Assembly, which has scheduled hearings for June 11.
SB 1161 is short and sweet. It prohibits the state's Public Utility Commission "from regulating Voice over Internet Protocol and Internet Protocol enabled service...except as required or delegated by federal law" or otherwise authorized by statute, until at least 2020.
Its goal is even more straight-forward. As the bill'… Read more
Democratic and Republican government officials warned this morning that a United Nations summit in December will lead to a virtual takeover of the Internet if proposals from China, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are adopted.
It was a rare point of bipartisan agreement during an election year: a proposal that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin described last year as handing the U.N. "international control of the Internet" must be stopped.
"These are terrible ideas," Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, said during a U.S. House of Representatives hearing. They could allow "governments to … Read more
The Flame virus recently found in Iran could be used to infect other countries, according to the International Telecommunications Union.
As the United Nations agency charged with helping members protect their data networks, the ITU plans to issue a warning about the danger of Flame.
"This is the most serious (cyber) warning we have ever put out," Marco Obiso, cyber security coordinator for the ITU, told Reuters. The warning will paint the virus as a "dangerous espionage tool that could potentially be used to attack critical infrastructure," Reuters added.
Flame was recently identified as a culprit … Read more
The European Union's competition commissioner says he's open to settling his antitrust investigation into Google's search practices.
Joaquin Almunia held a news briefing today, saying that his office would be willing to come to a "quick resolution on the competition issues" that Google is facing, so competition can be restored across the continent.
"Google has repeatedly expressed to me its willingness to discuss any concerns that the Commission might have without having to engage in adversarial proceedings," Almunia said. "This is why today I'm giving Google an opportunity to offer remedies … Read more
Although it has been investigating Google for a considerable amount of time, the European Union's competition office is not ready to decide on the case just yet.
"We are not yet there. This is a complex case," European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said of his office's Google investigation in an interview with Reuters. "We are not in a hurry. We are very serious."
The European Commission launched an investigation into Google's search practices back in November 2010. The investigation followed complaints from search providers, U.K.-based price comparison site Foundem, French … Read more