Friday, 21 June 2013

European Parliament: Data throttling and the effects on social participation and the internal market E-006146/2013

Written question - Data throttling and the effects on social participation and the internal market - E-006146/2013: "
Deutsche Telekom has announced plans to change its tariffs and impose severe ‘throttling’ when a certain data usage is reached. At the cheapest rate, this throttle is to apply to usage from 75GB. This will take effect in 2016. Besides the issue of the announced breach of net neutrality that needs to be considered separately, the throttling itself has already led to a great deal of anger among citizens that was reflected, for example, in a petition on the platform, which has so far been signed by nearly 200 000 people(2).
1. Does the Commission have any figures on the current and future forecasted average usage by broadband users in Member States? If so, what are they?
2. Does the Commission consider the most unrestricted Internet access possible, especially for socially disadvantaged people, a condition for participating in society as fully as possible? If so, would, in the Commission’s opinion, such social participation not be affected by the enforcement of such tariff models and the additional costs arising from the volume limit being exceeded?
3. Does the Commission take the view or, rather, does the Commission have any reliable figures on the macroeconomic effect that would occur if such throttling models were to gain acceptance across Europe? If yes, what are they?
4. How, in the Commission’s opinion, would this affect young European companies operating in the cloud services market?
5. According to newspaper reports, the Commission intends to put forward, as early as this year, a legal recommendation designed to protect unlimited access to all Internet content for consumers. When will that recommendation be published?
6. What measures is the Commission planning in order to ensure access to the open Internet for all citizens and to enshrine net neutrality in law"
Excellent set of questions - note that Deutsche Telekom has increased its throttled-back proposals from 384Kb/s to 2Mb/s - and Jimmy Schulz announced to EuroDIG that he intends to work on a net neutrality law in Germany in the next few weeks...'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Sources: no Digital Economy Act copyright warning until 2016/17?

SRoC: Slightly Right of Centre: Sources: no Digital Economy Act copyright warning ...: It's been a while since I wrote anything on the Digital Economy Act. As a quick recap, although the primary legislation to notify and ..." it's unravelling like a coalition agreement on tax evasion

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Case study in data protection disaster: EOn passes customers' mobile numbers to complained-off subcontractor without permission

An email sent to EOn today:
"Dear sirs
Have you entirely lost your minds? You passed my MOBILE NUMBER to your subcontractor G4S without my permission? Have you ever heard of data protection and consent? Unbelievable.
In response to your impertinent email asking me to set up a DD, please advise Ali Omar that he needs training in how to adopt a professional email manner. 
"Hi Chris and thanks for your email.
I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused by the 07.45 meter reader's knock on your door.
Your meter was supposed to be read between 26/04/2013 and 13/05/2013, but the meter readers are meant to work between 8am and 8pm. I've forwarded your query to the relevant department and they advised me they'll address this issue with the meter readers to make sure they understand and won't repeat that again. I trust this answers your query.
In the meantime, I wonder if you thought about setting up a monthly Direct Debit (DD) on your account. We prefer and recommend this payment method as it gives you a great deal of control of your finances, as well as we offer a healthy discount for customers paying by DD. You can find out more about our Direct Debit policy by visiting May I wish you a great and a profitable afternoon!
Kind regards,
Ali Omar
Customer Service"
Note that this is the same G4S meter reader which I had flagged up as a potential burglar due to the dawn call. Which planet does this multinational company and its idiot customer service rep actually live on? Their reply email below was breath-takingly ignorant.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Food and drink firms undermining public health policy, say scientists

Food and drink firms undermining public health policy, say scientists | Society | "Moodie and colleagues say that the food and drink industries should be treated like the tobacco industry - as companies with too much of a vested interest in the sale of unhealthy products to help curb the epidemic of disease. They must have no role in the formulation of national or international policy, they say. "Regulation, or the threat of regulation, is the only way to change these transnational corporations. The industry must be put under pressure if it is to change." 'via Blog this'