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Copyright enforcement shouldn't be killing people

31 Aaron SwartzCopyright enforcement ought to be about going after those who profiteer from the work of others by dealing in pirated goods, and about protecting consumers from sub-standard fakes. Instead, the industries pushing for tougher copyright enforcement have become fixated on controlling the behaviour of ordinary consumers.

Why the ITU is like Freemasonry


30 FreemasonryIn the wake of the anti-climatic conclusion to the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) earlier this month, readers could be forgiven for being confused about whether all the hype about the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) staging a UN takeover of the Internet had ever represented a real threat, or had ju

Lack of transparency continues to hamper dialogue at the Trans-Pacific Partnership


29 TPP demonstration in AucklandJeremy Malcolm, fresh from the 15th round of negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Auckland, New Zealand, answers some questions about the progress of the negotiations, the rising tide of opposition to their secrecy, and how they could affect Internet freedoms.

Q: As the Auckland round wraps up, what is the public feeling about the TPP negotiations?

WikiLeaks: should financial institutions be information gatekeepers?

27 Wikileaks logo

On 25 October 2012, the European Commission submitted its preliminary decision regarding a complaint filed by DataCell ehf. in July 2011, which challenged the extrajudicial and arbitrary financial blockade on financial transactions supporting WikiLeaks, which was unilaterally imposed by Bank of America, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union.

The Fastest and Cheapest Internet Connections

The United States basically invented the Internet, so naturally they have the fastest and cheapest Internet speeds, right? Wrong. While the United States may be the largest contributor to the invention of the Internet and its following technologies, they do not have the fastest speeds or the cheapest.

ITU agenda: the missing link of consumer rights


International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is not living up to its own recommendations on consumer representation. The Resolution 64 of World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC, 2010 Hyderabad) demands proper consumer participation in the ITU regulatory process. To date ITU management has failed to comply with its own promises and this has raised many concerns about ITU transparency and consumer protection.

WCIT-2012: Threats to Internet and Consumer Freedom


26 ITUThe International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a United Nations body working for telecommunications and radio related regulations and developmental projects in this area. This international body last revised its general principals for international telephonic system called International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) in 1988 and they are due for revision again in 2012. Recent debate regarding amendments to the ITRs becomes very critical for the consumer representative groups and civil society organizations working for consumer rights.

Advertisers tracking consumers online: Do Not Track at the W3C


Between 2009 and 2012, all of the major Web browser applications added a “Do Not Track” (DNT) preference setting. If this setting is turned on, whenever the user loads a page, or a piece of content on a page, the provider of that page or content is notified that the user does not want to be “tracked” – whatever that means. But the problem is, at this point, there is still no agreed standard on what it does mean, so the setting is presently ineffective.

Transparency in TPP: An Overview and Future Agenda


25 TPP rally photo by Public Citizen CC BY-NC-SAAs the 15th round of TPP negotiations is approaching in December at Auckland, New Zealand, we keep in view the sensitivity of the issues arising from the ongoing TPPA negotiating text. Specifically the issues highlighted through the two leaked chapters of TPP on Intellectual Property Rights and Investment. These leaked chapters has sparked an extensive debate regarding national and public interests in Intellectual Property Rights and investment policy.

Final report of ZACA campaign for removal of customs duty on newsprint

In May 2011 ZACA was awarded a sum of three thousand seven hundred and fifty United States Dollars (US $3750) by Consumer International (CI) under the Access to knowledge programme to undertake a campaign that would lead to the removal of 5% customs duty on imported newsprint in Zambia with the assumption that the price of newspapers would correspondingly reduce thereby making newspapers affordable to the majority of consumers. This in turn would increase access to knowledge as more people read newspapers.