Digital Policy update – March 2012

Note:

I follow policy issues at the Policy bloggers network. If you follow Digital policy, would welcome comments. Please email me to sign up to the policy bloggers network

Introduction

Spring has sprung .. And a year ago – it was the Arab spring – the repercussions of which, are still being felt. The Internet is at the root of social transformations like the Arab spring. At the policy bloggers network, we track the impact of the Internet on digital policy – in many areas. The monthly newsletters also track trends – including ‘under the radar’ trends relevant to policy makers.
Here is our analysis for March ..

In this newsletter, we look at the Internet and the elements of the Internet(Internet governance, Privacy, Human rights, Social media, Security, IPR, Cloud, Standards and Transatlantic collaboration) followed by the areas impacted by the Internet for Digital technology policy(Smart energy, Healthcare, Telecoms and Mobile, Evolution of news, Evolution of media and Innovation)

Let’s start with this wonderful infographic from Intel which shows us what happens in an ‘Internet minute’ (and what will happen soon ..)

 

Here are some more details by segment ..

Internet governance and human rights

All over the world, governments continue to assert their rights over the Internet. Not just Iran and North Korea but Pakistan (Pakistan Internet Filtering Scare: Citizens await answers | Bytes for All, Pakistancontent.bytesforall.pk),  the UK (Internet activity ‘to be monitored’ under new laws) and China with a rumoured coup(China’s censors out in force as coup rumours spread • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk ) .

Meanwhile, at a human level, we always ask why are there not more women in technology (Why aren’t there more women in technology? Here are a few clues | Technology | guardian.co.ukwww.guardian.co.uk)  and bloggers continue to be restrained(Human Rights and Free Expression Groups Demand Release of Vietnamese Bloggers | Electronic Frontier Foundationwww.eff.org)   and citizen journalists get rights to record activities of law enforcement in Boston( After a major First Amendment ruling, Boston police settle a cellphone recording lawsuit » Nieman Journalism Labwww.niemanlab.org)

Surprisingly, even the most astute politicians struggle with the impact of the Internet (Bloomberg Says Social Media Can Hurt Governing – NYTimes.comwww.nytimes.com). When it comes to social media, Mayor Bloomberg has a few concerns and speaks of the difficulties of leading a city into the future amid a political culture that is often focused on the short term. Mayor Bloomberg says – “Social media is going to make it even more difficult to make long-term investments” and that “We are basically having a referendum on every single thing that we do every day,”. Amongst all this, we must not forget that the Internet Accounts for 4.7% of the U.S. Economy [STUDY]mashable.com

Privacy

But we are constantly reminded of the dark side of the Internet and in March – it was the ‘Girls around me’ application (This Creepy App Isn’t Just Stalking Women Without Their Knowledge, It’s A Wake-Up Call About Facebook Privacy [Update] | Cult of Macwww.cultofmac.com).  Girls Around Me is a standard geolocation based maps app but it does what it says on the box – i.e. through a combination of facebook profiles, foursquare profiles etc – identifies ‘Girls around me’ – without their consent. There has been a predictable backlash against Girls around me application from the industry (Foursquare shuts off API access to creepy app, Girls Around Methenextweb.com)

Meanwhile, amid extra scrutiny from Congress around privacy issues, Apple this week has started rejecting apps that access UDIDs, or identification numbers that are unique to every iPhone and iPad.(Amid Privacy Concerns, Apple Has Started Rejecting Apps That Access UDIDs | TechCrunchtechcrunch.com) and a storm is brewing with employers demanding Facebook passwords (ACLU: Facebook password isn’t your boss’ business – CNN.comwww.cnn.com)

We continue to push privacy boundaries (Japan Court Tells Google to Disable Autocompletethenextweb.com)  and the privacy violations continue( RockYou to pay FTC $250K after breach of 32M passwords – SC Magazinewww.scmagazine.com) And EU Commissioner: US Should Catch Up with Europe on Data Privacy

Smart energy

There is BIG news in the Smart energy segment with the Green button initiative but first we have the 100 networked grid movers and shakers(The Networked Grid 100: The Movers and Shakers of the Smart Grid in 2012 :Greentech Mediawww.greentechmedia.com)

The Green button is the big news of the month (“Green Button” Open Data Just Created an App Market for 27M US Homeswww.readwriteweb.com).

The Green button is the project launched by former US CTO Aneesh Chopra to unleash energy data. The Obama Administration announced that nine major utilities and electricity suppliers have committed to using and extending the Green Button to enable some 15 million households to access data about their energy usage. Similar to the Blue Button for healthcare data, the White House asserts that providing energy consumers with secure access to information about energy usage will increase innovation in the sector and empower citizens with more information. The Green Button is like OAuth for energy data. It is a simple standard that the utilities can implement on one side and web/mobile developers can implement on the other side. And the result is a ton of information sharing about energy consumption and in all likelihood energy savings that result from more informed consumers.

The Green Button gets a lot of coverage(The Green Button Goes Commercial : Greentech Mediawww.greentechmedia.com) and (Apps for Energy looks to jumpstart open innovation around the Green Button | Gov 2.0: The Power of Platformsgov20.govfresh.com)

Social media

Social media is the driver to all the change .. and this month – Twitter turns six Happy Sixth Birthday, Twitter – Bo Kim – Voices – AllThingsDallthingsd.com.  However, the focus has already shifted to the new kid on the block – Pinterest (As Pinterest grows visitors 52% in one month, journalism profs find news uses for it | Poynter.www.poynter.org)  and there are questions if Is Pinterest the next Facebook? – Fortune Techtech.fortune.cnn.com and How much does Pinterest actually make? — Tech News and Analysisgigaom.com with speculation on its valuation (What kind of revenue numbers would justify Pinterest’s $200 million valuation?). Even the president is on Pinterest (The president now pinning on Pinterest – :: Future of Journalismwww.nextlevelofnews.com)

Also as social media platforms like Twitter mature we see the phenomenon of Twitter quitters (Twitter quitters: increasing numbers of celebrities leave the site – Telegraphwww.telegraph.co.uk) and High School Student Expelled For Tweeting Profanity; Principal Admits School Tracks All Tweets | Techdirtwww.techdirt.com

Finally, this month we also see DC’s Top Ten Influencers in Social Media | InTheCapitalinthecapital.com

Cloud

Like social media, the Cloud also continues to evolve and shape the Internet. The debates around Private cloud continue – (Private cloud-public cloud schism is a meaningless distraction | Cloud Computing – InfoWorldwww.infoworld.com) – As does thinking around the Civic cloud(Is the Civic Cloud the Next Big (er, Small) Thing? | Cloudline | Wired.comwww.wired.com). Major initiatives like the UK’s G-cloud are still being played out( Whitehall’s G-Cloud: Hype or hope? • Channel Registerwww.channelregister.co.uk) It appears that the G-Cloud is not quite what it seems. As per the register, for now, the G-Cloud is merely two things: “a way to approve and certify software, hardware and services from technology companies – from handsets and calling plans to hosted email and collaboration services, and something the government calls Cloudstore, which lists the services and the contact details of their suppliers.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese search firm Baidu has launched a cloud storage service in the country, bringing it into competition with local rival Alibaba, as well as Dropbox, Microsoft and others in the space, according to Techweb [Chinese]. (Baidu Launches Cloud Storage Service in Betathenextweb.com)

Finally, we see the Top 10 cloud computing leaders in 2012 – Top 10 cloud computing leaders in 2012searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com

Security

In the security space:

1)      3 Approaches to Securing Identity in the Cloudwww.readwriteweb.com Today, there are a multitude of alternative architectures put forth by services opting to be your one source for identity, and ReadWriteWeb has chosen to spotlight three of them.

2)      Former cybersecurity czar: Every major U.S. company has been hacked by China | ITworldwww.itworld.com Former White House cybersecurity advisor Richard Clarke has made a career out of issuing security warnings.

3)      The Europol is announced: Europe to assemble crack cyber-intelligence nerve centre • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk

 Standards

1)      2015 is the time when royalties will be charged for MPEG-LA - The time bomb called H.264 is set to explode in 2015. Are you watching?www.freesoftwaremagazine.com

2)      Silicon Valley leads the world in technology but it’s losing a debate over how that technology should be used. A new surge in patent lawsuits shows that Chicago, not Silicon Valley, is setting the rules for how patents should encourage innovation. - How Chicago Is Beating Silicon Valley At The Patent Game | paidContentpaidcontent.org

Healthcare

The Internet and Social media affect many domains – such as healthcare. In The problem with social media and healthwww.kevinmd.com  the author considers the view that “Social media is absolutely wonderful at spreading new ideas, new being the operative word. In order for social media to exist and function, it must engage users on a daily basis. And therein lies the problem with social media and health. But to understand this, we have to define health to users.”

In research as well there is speculation that citations of journal articles and the impact factor are widely used measures of scientific impact. Web 2.0 tools such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and social bookmarking tools provide the possibility to construct article-level or journal-level metrics to gauge impact and influence. (CasesBlog – Medical and Health Blog: The Number of Tweets Predicts Future Citations of a Specific Journal Articlecasesblog.blogspot.com)

But there is also speculation that Healthcare may be different(Why Healthcare Is Different | The Health Care Blogthehealthcareblog.com) – A very insightful analysis that gives five reasons why healthcare may be different( The health care field will not adopt a Silicon Valley mentality, Regulations can’t force change, The insurance companies are not the locus of cost and treatment problems, Doctors don’t want to be care managers, Patients don’t want to be care managers). Meanwhile we continue to get reports that ‘healthcare could adopt social media faster’ – (Canadian Healthcare Slow on Social Media Adoption « Susan L. Greigsusanlgreig.wordpress.com)

Telecoms and Mobile

The world of Telecoms and Mobile continues to change, transform us and also be transformed. Here are some interesting areas:

Apple has reportedly offered its design for itsy bitsy SIM cards — known officially as nano-SIM — to other mobile device makers that are part of the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) without asking them to pay for it. There’s probably more to it than a sudden spirit of generosity. Apple loves to control the entire experience of its products, and when it comes to the iPhone and now iPad, the biggest uncontrollable element is a customer’s wireless carrier. And having a say in the SIM card, in theory, pushes Apple closer to the long-term goal of controlling every aspect of its mobile devices. (Why does Apple care so much about SIM cards anyway? — Apple News, Tips and Reviewsgigaom.com )

In Japan - Japan Smartphone Shipments to Rise by 55%thenextweb.com But all platforms continue to grow - After 16 Months, Windows Phone Has 70k Apps. How Long Did it Take iOS and Android? | The inneractive Blogblog.inner-active.com.  And Best Buy Is Selling Nearly as Many iPhones as Apple Itself – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsDallthingsd.com

Networks continue to evolve – with some conflict (LightSquared hits FCC right where it hurts • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk)  And some speculation (56 London Overground Train Stations to get Free Wifithenextweb.com) and we continue to invest in innovation(Microsoft and Nokia Invest $24 Million in Finnish AppCampus Programthenextweb.com)

The on-going debate around ‘web vs. mobile’ continues with the Pew centre joining in (The Future of Apps and Web | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Projectpewinternet.org)  and another bit of research from the Pew foundation investigates - What do teens do with their phones? | Pew Internet & American Life Projectwww.pewinternet.org

At a regulatory level - EU mobile biz barons agree to slash roaming charges • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk.  Again with Mobile Operators - Mobile operators mourn death of embedded 4G • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk. Contrary to expectations, about 90 per cent of tablets sold in the US towards the end of 2011 were Wi-Fi only. In addition, all major smartphone platforms now support tethering – the ability to share the phone’s mobile broadband connection – normally with up to five devices. Tethering effectively turns the handset into a Wi-Fi hotspot, using the 3G/4G connection as backhaul. The article in the Register argues that – “there’s something fundamentally wrong with operators charging for something I’m already paying for. If I’m on a mobile plan with a 1GB limit, I should be able to use that data allowance for whatever I want. “

Meanwhile, in the developing world, mobile phones continue to change lives - World News: How the developing world is using cellphone technology to change lives – thestar.comwww.thestar.com. An excellent article which lists the impact of FrontlineSMS, Ushahidi, Refugees United, NextDrop, MercyCorps, M-Pesa, Boom, iCow, CocoaLink, mFarm, NAFIS, Senevote2012, Samadhan, uReport, TulaSalud, Childcount+, Txtalert

Evolution of news

The evolution of news, a topic of recent EIF events, is also in the news itself

Google offers a new alternative for news monetization (A paywall alternative? Google launches revenue-generating surveys | Media news | Journalism.co.ukwww.journalism.co.uk) and Alan Rusbridger: What are you prepared to give back in return for journalism: money, time or data? – :: Future of Journalismwww.nextlevelofnews.com

NYT gains some success in the digital subscriptions battle and decides to restrict free content (

NYT: We Have 454,000 Digital Subs So Let’s Turn Down The Meter | paidContentpaidcontent.org)

Meanwhile, the Top 100 Apps in the iPad’s Newsstand Bring in $70,000 a Day Combined – Technology – The Atlantic Wirewww.theatlanticwire.com - contrast that with the fact that in 2011 the New York times raked in $705 million annually, or $1.9 million a day, in circulation, both in print and digitally, and $756 million in advertising, or $2.1 million a day.

News organizations face some of their own transparency battles (News Organizations That Lobby Against Their Own Reporters’ Interests : CJRwww.cjr.org)

Amid speculation of monetization of news (Mobile and the news media’s imploding business model | Michael Wolff | Comment is free | guardian.co.ukwww.guardian.co.uk), we also see innovation.

1)      Gannett Buys 1,000 iPhones For Journalists | ITProPortal.comwww.itproportal.com

2)      Layoffs At CNN As Network Transitions To Acquisition Model For Documentary Programming – TVNewserwww.mediabistro.com

3)      Will Hachette Be The First Big-6 Publisher To Drop DRM On E-Books? | paidContentpaidcontent.org

4)      10 More News Organizations To Follow On Pinterest – 10,000 Wordswww.mediabistro.com

 

Evolution of media

Post SOPA, media also continues to evolve

1)      White House calls for new law targeting ‘offshore’ Web sites | Privacy Inc. – CNET Newsnews.cnet.com

2)      White House’s New Report On Intellectual Property Enforcement Should Get A Copyright As A Creative Work Of Fiction | Techdirtwww.techdirt.com

3)      Google+ Gets its First UK TV Ad Campaignthenextweb.com

4)      Ireland’s Largest ISP Wants Country-Wide Three-Strikes Piracy Response | paidContentpaidcontent.org

5)      How social media users multitask while watching TVwww.lostremote.com

 

Innovation

And finally, in the innovation section here are some trends to watch:

1)      Twine, The Gadget That Senses Your Environment And Tweets You, Is Coming In May | Singularity Hubsingularityhub.com

2)      Knowledge is a property of the network: Mapping Britannica’s world in a Wikipedia age » Nieman Journalism Labwww.niemanlab.org “The problem, however, isn’t that we’ve grown complacent about the nature of knowledge, but that the nature of knowledge is changing in the context of networks. The vision of knowledge as paradigmatic, structured, ordered, like the hierarchy of the church and the deputations of sovereignty, was very much a product of encyclopedism’s golden age, the eighteenth century. “

3)      $35 Raspberry Pi Linux PC delayed once againwww.bgr.com

4)      Wikipedia’s Next Big Thing: Wikidata, A Machine-Readable, User-Editable Database Funded By Google, Paul Allen And Others | TechCrunchtechcrunch.com

5)      India and United States jointly develop Open Government Platform — Federal Computer Weekfcw.com

6)      That latest student craze sweeping China: Supercomputing wars • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk

7)      Chinese gov wants global e-commerce crown • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk

 

Hope you enjoyed this episode!

 

Will we see a compromise on SOPA?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my first post in 2012 and hope you had a good break over the holidays.

I have been spending some time thinking and on holidays – and here is a viewpoint on  Stop Online Piracy Act

Of SOPA and Net neutrality

My personal views on SOPA are well known - Crippling the Internet through SOPA could kill off the next industrial revolution(s) . The anti SOPA sentiment is strong .. For instance:

-          EFF says that free speech is only strong as its weakest link

-          why the music industry cannot innovate and the result is SOPA

-          Godaddy had a change of heart on SOPA

However, having been involved in policy and regulatory discussions for a few years now, I am sceptical of the public rhetoric vs. the actual positions which many companies take

Take the well-known issue of Net neutrality.

For all the rhetoric, suddenly we saw a deal between Verizon and Google.

Most people view the Google – Verizon net neutrality deal with some suspicion.

The EFF also worries about the Trojan horse problem with this approach but Google puts a spin on it saying that it is a – joint proposal for the Open Internet.

The irony is: It’s quite different from the PUBLIC positioning of companies (both Google and Verizon)

SOPA

So, now let’s look at SOPA. Last week, we find that  Vinton Cerf surprisingly says that Internet access is not a human right (contrasting Tim Berners Lee who says that Internet access is a fundamental human right) .

Today, SOPA is no longer a  USA only affair with Spain (Spain has its own version of SOPA which is also setting the Web on fire), France (3 strikes law) and the UK anti-piracy law

Further, the mass scale piracy problem is real (and most people on both sides of the argument would admit it).  Recently, the Spanish novelist Lucía Etxebarria quits writing in piracy protest

The award winning Spanish author says that more copies of her book have been downloaded illegally than sold, and claims politicians too scared to act.

She says that:  “People are making millions out of online piracy by setting up in places like Belize, which is where the money goes,” and that “our (Spanish) government doesn’t dare legislate.” Furthermore, she says that the laws in France and Germany offer greater protection to authors. Many downloaders commented that they could not afford to buy her books or “Literature is not a profit-making job, but a passion” – etc. However,  irrespective of these views, I believe that  no author one should be compelled to give away their work for free. This should be the prerogative of the author else it becomes a bit like the London riots where the rioters felt ‘entitled’ to other peoples’ property

The changing nature of the Content industry

The content industry is changing fundamentally in many ways and will do so even more in the near future.  Here are some examples:

-          The cover of Forbes says that – Spotify’s Daniel Elk is the most important man in music

-          for the first time in the music industry, digital sales surpass physical sales

-          Celebrities choose Amazon – is this the end of traditional publishing

-          Netflix says that its members streamed 2 billion hours of video in Q4

-          The X factorization of music

Predictions

So, here is why I see that there will be a compromise:

-         The changing dynamics and new business models will be the norm. Once, there is a legal way to make money from content, the only issue will be mass scale copying (as opposed to individual copying)

-         In the ultimate analysis, the whole argument can be seen to be between content providers protecting their content vs. web companies trying to avoid compliance costs

-          Very few people such as Tim Berners Lee are truly commercially neutral and take a consumer centric view in this argument

-          The real reason why people don’t trust the content industry is due to their past behaviour ex RIAA suing 12 year old girls and those chickens have come home to roost. This may be a chance for the content industry to do a ‘version 2.0’  i.e. learn from past mistakes. But time will tell ..

Hence, I predict that despite concerns from individuals and the rhetoric, we may see a compromise ie walking the middle path: much like we saw for Net neutrality!

Image source: The middle path – Nick Margolies. (c) Nicko Margolies. Image used with permission and commercial terms of Nicko Margolies photography

Screenagers – Brands and Trust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brands and Trust: A background

Trust and Brands are interwoven like the double helix of DNA.. A Brand is much more than the image, logo, name, awareness, experience, campaign, product or trademark. Whilst all of the above (and more) are essential components of a brand, the brand itself is the meeting of an ‘intention’ and a ‘promise’, a confluence that involves Trust. A recent Interbrand survey valued Coca-Cola at US$73 billion, Microsoft at US$70 billion and IBM at US$53 billion. Underpinning that value lies the experience the brand provides to it’s customers. The consumer experience comprises many things.

Today, the iPhone is a textbook case of a brand leveraging a consistent customer experience for it’s customers. The iPhone, and many other leading brands, provide both the experience and the Identity for the customer. My favourite example of a brand with timeless trust is Patek Philippe. The watch is called a ‘chronograph’. There are no prices on the site as far as I could see. The advertising shows that the watch is yours to experience and to ‘hand down to your child’ i.e. a tradition/legacy. This type of branding and the promise it depicts is truly timeless and will remain so.

Thus, Trust is beneficial for brands. Brands want to be trusted and indeed, some are trusted reflecting their market value.

But at the same time, the values, traditions and norms of society are changing and brands are reacting to that change. We see this in many ways – for example – Brands are displaying their “environmentally aware” credentials in response to greater awareness among consumers. The 2011 Edelman survey on Trust ranks financial institutions at the bottom of the ‘Trust’ scale. The survey  also indicates  attributes like Quality, transparency, Trust and Employee welfare as valued attributes by customers. It goes even further by finding that reputation enhances believability i.e. customers have to hear something about a specific company multiple times for them to believe that information. 26% have to hear the message 4 to 5 times and 59% have to hear it 3 to 5 times. In an era of current media scepticism, customers are influenced by multiple voices and multiple choices and the need for authority and accountability set new expectations for Brands.

The Algorithm lens, the Local lens and the changing balance of Power

However we define Trust, we acknowledge that Trust is  a two way processes.  Brands need Trust  and indeed customers trust some brands which is reflected the high market value of the best known brands. However, the nature of Trust in a brand is changing. The Web has led the first phase of this change as customers have become active and vocal. They are no longer passive consumers. The information they contribute transforms their relationship with brands and in some cases the Brand itself. Beginning in 2005 with the emergance of the Web 2.0 generation, two shifts happened: Firstly, Customers contributed data .Secondly, search engines harnessed that very data to create a ‘filter’ for our online world based on our data. Today, we are living the Social or Facebook era which takes the sharing of data to the personal level and by extension, extends the filter to the our social graph

Increasingly, with the greater availability of data, firms are simply ‘harnessing’ all this data which customers share. Today, the balance of power rests with the providers and with the firms which have the ability to capture data. We do not see the current generation (which we call ‘Screenagers’ – i.e. people who grow up interacting with multiple screens daily), sharing less data. On the contrary, the trend to share more will continue. We also see that companies will continue to harness that data and will provide more  services based on Data. This gives the perception that the balance of power has shifted away from the customers and towards the providers (such as Apple, Google, Amazon).

But the balance of power shift may not be so one sided.

Web orientated search engines put an ‘algorithm lens’ over online content. Mobility adds  a ‘local lens’ over both physical objects and online content. In other words, the web and mobile based search engines created rankings and thereby a filter or ‘lens’ for search results based on analysis outside of the control of the user. In a multiscreen world that the Screenagers inhabit, these multiple screens will be generative i.e. they will create their own data and by implication contribute to the  filters. This filtered data will be used by everyone, which means it could also be used by customers themselves. Customers will be able to see their world through this ‘lens’ of someone else’s data. Customers’ data could be harnessed by others but customers could also easily choose to share key data components and / or create a set of preferences that would ‘colour’ their world through their own data lens to their own benefit

This paradigm could bring back control to customers even when their freely available data can be harnessed by others. Thus, in this phase, all brands will be affected. Just like the Web 2.0 phase produced brands like Amazon and eBay, we will see the rise of new brands which will serve the customer especially when the Screenager mindset will be the dominant paradigm for societies (especially in cities) which affects our physical space. The foundation which drives this relationship will be data.

The Screenagers hypothesis

Data is already changing many areas that we once took for granted – ex Data driven journalism . Data is being released by governments, individuals and companies at a phenomenal rate. Over time, we expect that Open source, Open standard, Peer to Peer initiatives will arise to create this ‘lens’

So, the Screenagers hypothesis is:

a)    Brands will be expected to fulfil their promise but that will be only the minimal requirement

b)    Customers will continue to share data about themselves and about their brand preferences. This data will continue to be harnessed by providers. The rate of this behaviour (both sharing and harnessing) will increase

c)    Simultaneously, it will be possible for customers to harness their own data

d)    This data will act as a lens/filter for services

e)    This will profoundly change the relationship with brands and new brands will emerge to take advantage of this paradigm and serve the customer better

The screenagers event will explore this hypothesis in detail and will look at three axes i.e. Data, Benefits and Services to create a model to explore this hypothesis

We will explore these ideas in the Digital Footprint Summit Learnings and Insights from the Screenagers – Thursday, November 3, 2011 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (GMT)


http://photos.englishrules.com/things/uvfilter.jpg

Digital agenda survey

Introduction:

The objective of the blogger outreach has been to complement the Digital Agenda Assembly by spreading awareness of the Digital agenda through an bloggers and influencers  and soliciting feedback.

To achieve this, I asked open ended questions to active bloggers who are influential in the digital world, but have no clear knowledge of the EU’s Digital Agenda.  We produced for them a summary of the key pillars of the Digital Agenda, and asked what comes to mind?

Results

In a short time span, we had about 15 detailed responses.I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of the responses as we can see below. The ages ranged from 27(youngest) to sixties.

The below is a synthesis of responses, organised around the DA themes, and our selection of “the top 5 questions” received.

Top five questions: (sources below in specific DA sections)

1)    Is there a formal process to include hackers into the conversation? That would add to overall cybersecurity.

2)    Any views on Bitcoin? (the open source, virtual P2P currency).

3)    Is there a proposal to introduce the equivalent of NSTIC (US national identity process)?

4)    Is cable not the last ‘walled garden’? Cable uses public property – is there no obligation to ‘open up’ the cable ecosystem?

5)    Rather than mandate towards a high speed Internet, shouldn’t each country in the EU be mandated to boost to acceptable coverage Internet coverage in their ‘rural areas’? Each country has thousands of mini areas where internet connectivity is pathetic at best

Digital Single Market

-       Ignoring digital – for one Europe, why is Postage much more expensive across borders?! Is that on the agenda?  Jonathan Marks

-       DRM initiatives are often designed to benefit the publishers. How do we ensure that the interests of the artists are protected? (and these may be different from the publishers) Dr Nick Allott

-       Is cable not the last ‘walled garden’? Cable uses public property – is there no obligation to ‘open up’ the cable ecosystem? (Ajit Jaokar – OpenGardens)
Interoperability and Standards

-       Standards are too slow – why not embrace open source as a faster way to encourage “collaboration”?  Dr Nick Allott

Trust and Security

-       Is there a formal process to include hackers into the conversation? That would add to overall cybersecurity. Muriel Devillers

-       Any views on Bitcoin? (the open source, virtual P2P currency) Muriel Devillers

-       Is there a proposal to introduce the equivalent of NSTIC (US national Identity process) (Ajit Jaokar - OpenGardens)

-       Germany has its national implementation of identiy and perhaps payment in the future based on data more or less securely on the national id-card. What about other countries? Would it be compatible?

Martin Sauter – wireless moves

-       Every country needs a cyber task force, if it hasn’t already got one. Jonathan Marks
Very Fast Internet

-       Rather than mandate towards a high speed Internet, shouldn’t each country in the EU be mandated to boost to acceptable coverage Internet coverage in their ‘rural areas’? Each country has thousands of mini areas where internet connectivity is pathetic at best .) Christine Maxwell Director, New business Development Morodo Ltd

Research and innovation

-       The process of managing FP funding is too long and cumbersome. What is being done to reduce the bureaucracy to not put off the real innovators!Dr Nick Allott

-       Is there an emphasis on e-health? Europe could establish competitive advantage here (US medical system is broken)  Werner Souza (India)
Enhancing e-skills

-       Develop playful e-skills to improve cross-border understanding. If the US can set up schemes that re-captcha to improve the scanning of books, why can’t we set up playful schemes to encourage the public to improve machine-translation? About 200 million CAPTCHAs are solved by humans around the world every day. Imagine what that could do for cross-border understanding. Europe has the broadest range of language knowledge on the planet. Jonathan Marks


ICT for Social Challenges

-       EU should champion Net Neutrality. I want the freedom to choose providers that do not filter based on the applications I am using. The Netherlands is to be the first European country to guarantee open and free access to the internet. Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen has embraced an opposition bill about ‘net neutrality’. In future, telecom operators will no longer be allowed to charge extra for internet services.Jonathan Marks

-       Access to Information is a human right. The attempts by some governments to set up “Three strikes and you’re out” policies are not only unenforceable, but in all cases where you isolate communities and individuals, they will rebel and become open to influence from extremists. Solitary confinement is the one of the worst forms of punishment. Doing this to a community is a recipe for disaster. Jonathan Marks

-       Improve Access to Europe’s Cultural Heritage There are EU organisations like Europeana which are trying to provide public access to heritage. They need help in understanding the business models and also much closer cooperation with public broadcast archives and production houses. Such organizations need to understand that putting a library on line doesn’t work, unless they provide context to their collections.  Jonathan Marks