Europe


I was recently listening to some Microsoft officials asserting that they would be fully compliant with the new European General Data Protection Regulation, implying that it could be applied here too. There is no doubt that countries that seek to do business with Europe will have to pay special attention to GDPR. But that does not mean that we should simply do a cut and paste. The GDPR bears the marks of its birth. It may be appropriate for Europe (this article suggests, that too will be a problem).
I recall telling the story of the US court that required a man with a light (and maybe a bell) to walk ahead of new-fangled motor cars to Sri Lanka’s Solicitor General. Was it apocryphal or true? But it worked. I prevented him from giving me a ruling that would have basically killed satellite-based personal telephony. So often, the vested interests (ah, an old word, going into desuetude) try to force fit new things into old boxes in order to kill them.
Europe has been the fount of data protection absolutism. Not a problem for anyone else but countries such as Thailand and Indonesia are well on the way to model their legislation on the European model. But Chancellor Merkel has seen that the absolutist approach poses dangers to European consumers and businesses as well. Europeans are famous for banning things, Merkel said. These bans are put in place for good reason, she said, but can be damaging if taken to excess.
I resisted the notion that we should start our work on guidelines for”big data” from the settled law of other jurisdictions. I did not do that in 1987 when I did one of the earliest policy studies on ICTs and the law in Sri Lanka, and I was not about to start in 2013. I had reservations about both the chaotic and piecemeal nature of US privacy law and the over-bureaucratic nature of European law that made even a simple list of course attendees a subject of “data protection” enforced by a Data Protection Commissioner. In addition, I sensed that big data was a qualitative jump from what existed before and it was wrong to simply extrapolate from the existing law. Looks like I was right.
It appears that ETNO, which tried unsuccessfully to extend the “sending party network pays” (SPNP) principle to data through the International Telecom Regulations, suffered another big defeat in its own house, the European Parliament. But the game is not over and should not be: we too believe the Internet companies must make reasonable contributions to upgrading the networks; unnecessarily restrictive net neutrality rules may not be the most helpful is prodding the different parties toward the right compromise. Any future horse trading, particularly over how telecom giants charge Internet companies for access to their data networks, may lead to changes in the final rules after domestic politicians and regulators provide feedback for the Pan-European proposals. Despite the uncertainty, Internet companies and consumer advocacy groups voiced support on Thursday for the new rules, while telecom companies said the changes would potentially curtail investment in the Continent’s mobile and fixed-line Internet infrastructure. European politicians inserted last-minute amendments intended to provide a strict definition of so-called net neutrality, which means that telecom companies and other Internet service providers cannot discriminate between different services that run on their data networks.
So a big European telco is to be fully owned by a developing-economy company? Given the weak management of European telcos, this should not come as a surprise. Europe is not of great interest to us, but we did touch on this. One wishes it was a different company, more efficient, less immersed in a monopoly culture, but still . .
First they had a uniform tariff for roaming. And now they announced to get rid of roaming charges altogether. Roaming fees for voice calls, texts and internet access will be a thing of the past across Europe from 2014, after European politicians voted to fast-track reforms of the European telecoms market. The European Commission — a group of 27 politicians who represent the best interests of Europe as a whole, rather than individual countries, voted in Brussels to push the reforms through before the next European elections, which will happen in May 2014. The resulting legislation will come into force on 1 July 2014.
South Asia is a tad short of two billion people, I keep reminding people. That is bigger than Africa. But we are not highly connected. I am sure there is more intra-East Africa travel than within S Asia. Europe, is smaller than Africa even if we include the population of Russia within it.
Europe was the pioneer in regulating voice roaming. It has now acted on data roaming. If talk could bring down prices, South Asia would also be a pioneer. European lawmakers on Thursday approved a plan to extend and lower the Continent’s limits on mobile phone roaming charges paid by consumers for another five years, and added the first controls on mobile Internet use. In addition to the caps, the legislation adopted by the European Parliament will allow E.
We got into roaming because TRAI asked us to. This was just after the SAARC Summit in Colombo in 2008. I thought there’d be more talk about roaming since another SAARC talkfest just ended. But looks like TRAI has decided the neighborhood is not worth the trouble. They want cheap roaming in Europe.
The first supranational regulator was created in the Eastern Caribbean in the 1990s. It was a logical solution to the problem of micro states that lacked adequate capacity still wanting to do conventional regulation. But it sorely lacked teeth. Now we have a supra-national regulator with teeth. Well worth watching because national regulation is not working too well.
There is no free lunch. Costs must be covered, preferably by those who cause them. This has been our position on the simplistic and ideological net neutrality debate. Looks like Europe thinks the same: “We have to avoid regulation which might deter investment and an efficient use of the available resources,” Ms. Kroes said during a meeting on net neutrality held by the commission and the European Parliament.
We reproduce fully below, Carlos A. Afonso’s post to a thread on Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility responding to discussions at the IGF workshop “Expanding broadband access for a global Internet economy: development dimensions”, in which Rohan Samarajiva, Chair/CEO LIRNEasia was the keynote speaker. We retain the original title. As neither we nor most of our readers do not have access to the thread it was posted, we like to continue the discussion here. __________________________________________________________________ Hi people, I come from one of the ten largest economies in the world, with nearly 200 million people, 8.
The Directorate of Environment, European Commission organises the conference ‘The Civil Protection Forum – Towards a more resilient society’ that aims to explore the concept of resilience. Climate change is likely to increase the frequency and impact of disasters, and Europe has to be prepared for this challenge. The Forum will start a debate on a comprehensive European disaster management strategy to enhance resilience. Around 500 delegates, speakers and exhibitors from politics, academia, the civil protection services and international organisations are expected to participate. Chanuka Wattegama, Senior Research Manager, LIRNEasia will be one of the speakers in the six practice-oriented seminars will look more closely at how European civil protection works in the field – how does it integrate with other international actors, three major phases of an emergency (prevention, preparedness, and response) and the roles of different stakeholders (institutions, civil protection professionals and civil society).
  Anybody could have guessed this. It is unimaginable that entire world will go through a recession simultaneously. Not everyone can be losers for too long. There should be winners somewhere. For example, what would the US firms that find their human resources costs, logically do?
BBC should have checked the numbers for Indonesia and Sri Lanka (corrected for overall population/subscriber numbers) and they would have found that these countries are ahead of Europe on the use if mobile dongles on computers to connect to the Internet. Customers’ appetite for mobile data shows no sign of abating, if you look at figures supplied by network operator Orange. It now has 3.8 million users on 3G phones or with 3G dongles that plug into your computer and give you broadband access over the cellular data networks. According to Orange, 12,877 gigabytes of data travel over its network to 3G phones and dongles each day.