The EU D.P. Regulations falls at the hurdle

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Glynn Moody, of course,  at TechDirt, syndicates the EDRi scoop about the final stages of the new EU Data Protection Regulation exposing the National Governments’ role in weakening the current legislation which have completed their 1st & 2nd stages. The EDRI have published a document called “Broken Badly” which contains their critique of the Council’s behaviour and positions because they weaken the rules around consent (both authorisation and purpose), corporate sanctions, duty to notify breaches, and the problematic one stop shop for jurisdiction. Correspondence to Chris Grayling I suppose.  … » Read more …

On the economics of copyright

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When looking at the furore surrounding Julia Reda’s report to the European Parliament’s JURI committee, I am coming to the conclusion that those of us who argue for a fairer, more pro-consumer copyright settlement have won the economic arguments. The massive focus on the tiny change in duration reinforces this. All arguments I have had recently with proponents of the current settlement have rapidly moved from public good arguments to the issue of equity in investment, and the moral failure to compensate creators for their speculative investment.   … » Read more …

Everyone is doing it

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Since PMQs earlier this week, when Ed Miliband accused the Tories of relying on donations from the rich and tax avoiders to fight and win the election, the fight of words has been rumbling on. Lord Fink, an ex-Treasurer of the Conservative Party first threatened to sue Miliband and then stated that everyone is doing it. Not so!   … » Read more …

Boris Johnson, President of the USA

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While writing up the pointer to my linkedin piece on banks and customer service I looked up Google’s view of Boris Johnson and FATCA, possibly the world’s most famous dual citizen tax exile.   The press have been keen to comment, here’s one of the Forbes article’s and here’s Nigel Green in City AM. Green reveals that Johnson claimed that he was going to renounce his US citizenship in 2006, but clearly hasn’t. I wonder why?   … » Read more …

PASOKisation in Britain

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The once mighty PASOK has been reduced to the smallest Party in the new Greek Parliament. In 2009, it won 44% of the popular vote and formed the Government; earlier this year, it won a under 5%. Its decision to join the New Democrat led coalition in 2010 had led to a split, with much of the left of PASOK leaving to support its eventual replacement, Syrizia. PASOK has been killed by its own austerity policies and walking away from the hopes and causes of their political base.   … » Read more …

Banks Eh?

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Have you got outraged over FATCA yet? Over the last quarter, I have received several pieces of correspondence from different banks asking me to certify that I have no income that the US Government might be interested in. It goes to show just how poor, the Banks’ whole person/customer knowledge is.  … » Read more …

Academies of Justice

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Will Hutton in the Guardian states that the Greens propose to extend the rights to belong to Trade Unions and to prohibit discrimination against TU members. It’s true see, check out their policy statement http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/wr.html, they also plan for a a right of Union recognition. Where’s the Labour Party on this? Actually, where’s the TUC and unions? I know it’s a long way from manifesto, to government policy, as a long term labour party member, boy do I know, but if the party policy ain’t right, then the parliamentary party’s policy and government policy is unlikely to be.  … » Read more …

New Copyright Laws

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The EU is considering a new Copyright law, its scrutiny committee is JURI (Legal Affairs) and the JURI Rapporteur is the sole remaining Pirate Party MEP, Julia Reda. She has posted her report, on her website here, and commented on a blog article here. She has also posted it to a collaboration site. This immediate debate has shown little support for Reda, which may suggest she has it right, or that her priorities are the troll friendly jurisdictions.  … » Read more …

The end of (British) privacy

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As the dust settles in Paris after the attack on “Charlie Hebdo”, politics in Britain returns to posturing as normal. Cameron states that the Tory Manifesto for the General Election in May will include promises to increase the legal powers of surveillance by MI5 to cover all communication. Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group writes a considered piece on what this might mean. The end of this road is prohibiting encryption for the use of ordinary law abiding citizens.   … » Read more …

Is I.T. a utility?

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The power companies are starting to enable homes to act as power sources as well as consumers. People can sell back any surplus. In the UK, about ⅓ of the power generated is lost during the distribution. The UK consumed[1] 647 Terawatts (1012) in 2013. This implies that 219 Terawatts are generated and lost p.a. with a market value[2] of £20bn. The loss is dependent on the distance travelled and so one policy response would be to build community micro- or meso-generators. On the whole older power stations are   … » Read more …

Too much power

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The Dark Knight was released in 2008, five years before the Snowden leaks in 2013.  It was on UK TV last night, and I have referred to the surveillance machine that Batman built to fight the Joker. There were stories at the time that the US Federal Government were tapping everyone’s cell phones, and my reasons for quoting this piece of fiction is the conversation had between Batman and Lucius Fox on the latter’s discovery of the machine built by Batman. Listen to the dialogue in this you tube short cut.   … » Read more …

Watching Game of Thrones (again)

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Yup, I am! Artistically, now I know what happens, I can concentrate on relevant harbingers since we know what they are. There’s quite a few, I was obviously concentrating on the wrong plot points the first time through.  If I was really concerned, I could probably organise my life better; I deleted my older copies of the show from my skybox and so short of buying the box set, £32 for S1-3 I am stuck waiting for them to show repeats and so I took the opportunity over Xmas. Great show but the opportunity to whinge about Sky & HBO’s monetisation strategies is too great.  … » Read more …