Media Law Round Up 07/13

The Declaration of Internet Freedom

07.09 – Defining the ‘We’ in the Declaration of Internet Freedom – Left unsaid in a high-profile new document about Internet’s principles is whose interests it represents–and how they’ll be backed.

07.13 – Wikipedia not afraid to go dark to protect Internet – Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said o n T hursday he hopes the online encyclopedia would never have to go dark again, but it would if necessary to protect the Internet from draconian policies that would harm everyday users.

Google

07.09 – Is Google a Monopoly? Wrong Question – Google responded last week to European antitrust regulators investigating a long list of claims against the world’s largest search engine. Whether or not the complaints against Google are valid, they may be looking backward. Increasingly, Google is not a search engine.

07.10 – FTC Turns Deaf Ear to Google’s ‘Ignorance’ Defense in Safari Snafu – Google may not miss the $22 million it’s likely to lose over its Safari browser shenanigans, but it’s probably none too pleased over earning the distinction of being socked with the biggest fine the FTC has ever levied. “It will be an official part of Google’s privacy rap sheet forever,” noted GoogleMonitor.com’s Scott Cleland.

Mobile Technology and Developing Countries

07.13 – Potential of 4G in India – In India, 4G services were recently launched by Bharti Airtel in Kolkata, offering about 10 times higher speed wireless broadband services. The impending for growth of 4G services in the country is based on its economic advantages over 3G and its easy upgradability on the existing infrastructure. However, the wide spread adoption of such services will be based on the availability of economical mobile devices and consistent infrastructure availability across the country. 4G services are expected to help India become a digital economy, wherein internet browsing, downloading and streaming of content will be faster than the earlier standards.

07.13 – The mobile technologies making Africa cheaper and safer – I am an African technology entrepreneur and have operated on the continent for over 20 years. In my time, the most significant development in the space has been the emergence of the internet and the proliferation of mobile-phone use. Until now, the delivery of our software products was relatively expensive, and thus out of reach of the vast majority of Africa’s population.

Russia: NGO Law

07.09 – Russia’s New NGO Law: The Shadow Of Soft Power – Russia’s new NGO law is more than a move against organizations receiving foreign funding. It is part of a broader campaign to squeeze out those the Kremlin sees as peddlers of “soft power.” The law, pushed through Russia’s lower house by Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party on Friday, would see groups receiving funding from abroad dubbed “foreign agents.”

07.13 – Russian parliament passes restrictions on NGOs – Russia’s lower house of parliament on Friday passed a bill imposing new restrictions on non-governmental organizations that receive funding from abroad.

Russia: Internet bill

07.10 – Net Freedom Endangered by Russian Internet Blacklist Bill – Just one week after the Human Rights Council reaffirmed in a resolution that the guarantee of freedom of expression contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights applies with full force to the Internet, Russia is threatening to move in the opposite direction.  Reports indicate that Russia is actively considering legislation, Duma Bill 89417-6, that would create a unified “blacklist” of government-banned websites.

07.10 – SOPA-style protests reject Russian bill to blacklist websites – Russian-language sites are protesting a bill submitted to the lower house of Russian parliament this week. The bill would create a national registry of blacklisted sites that contain child pornography, extremist ideas, and suicide- or drug-related content. Many of the bill’s opponents say Duma Bill 89417-6 (titled “On protection of children from information harmful to their health and development”) is overly broad, risks becoming censorship akin to China’s “Great Firewall,” and does not include an adequate appeals process in case a site is wrongfully taken down.

07.12 – Russian lawmakers vote to increase Internet control – Russia’s lower house of parliament approved a law on Wednesday that the opposition says could be used to censor the Internet and crack down on one of the last forums of open political debate under President Vladimir Putin.

England: Freedom of Information Act

07.09 – No backtrack on Freedom of Information Act – Pressure from former senior Labour figures, including Tony Blair and Jack Straw, as well as Whitehall mandarins, to “turn back the clock” on freedom of information legislation has been decisively rejected by an all-party group of MPs.

England: Leveson Inquiry

07.09 – What can’t the law and parliament protect freedom of speech? – Peers day at Leveson – Lord Black and Lord Hunt were giving evidence – may not have generated much excitement. That, though, was not largely due to their testimony – already set out in submissions published a couple of weeks ago – but to the detached approach of the inquiry judge and his chief inquisitor. Those searching for clues to Leveson’s thinking were reduced to examination of his body language and heroic dissection of ambiguous remarks from the chair.

07.13 – Leveson Inquiry: Hugh Tomlinson, Former Barrister To Ryan Giggs, To Outline Media Regulation Proposals – A barrister who represented footballer Ryan Giggs in a “notorious” legal battle with a tabloid newspaper will today outline proposals for a system of media regulation to an inquiry into journalistic ethics. Hugh Tomlinson QC will explain plans – drawn up by a group including academics, lawyers and journalists – to the Leveson Inquiry in London.

Nigeria: Constitutional Empowerment for Journalists

07.10 – Nigeria: Stakeholders Seek Constitutional Empowerment for Journalists– Stakeholders in the media gathered recently to appraise constitutional challenges in the work of the media and propose solutions. Disturbed by the worsening conditions in which journalists are practising in Nigeria, a coalition of media and non-governmental organizations has forwarded a memorandum to the National Assembly, seeking constitutional recognition for press freedom.

Zambia: Media regulatory authority launched

07.10 – Zambia: IPI Welcomes Launch of Zambia Media Council – The International Press Institute (IPI) today welcomed the launch of the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC), a voluntary regulatory system for the Zambian media, which was scheduled to take place this afternoon.

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