ORG parliamentary and policy update/2014-w20

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This is ORG's Parliamentary Update for the week beginning 12/05/2014.

If you are reading this online, you can also subscribe to the email version.

Official Meetings

There have been no official meetings this week.

Consultations and departments

A full list of open consultations and Parliamentary events can be found on our Events

Launch of internet safety campaign by 4 main Internet Service Providers

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced the launch of the Internet Matters campaign. The initiative is led by BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media and aims to help parents keep their children safe online, by providing practical skills and advice (Gov.uk).

Police sent to bloggers house over tweets about Ukip policies

Cambridgeshire police asked a blogger to remove a series of tweets criticising Ukip policies. The police visit was prompted after a Ukip councillor called the police to complain about the tweets (The Guardian).

The Chief Constable has since responded to the incident saying the visit was unnecessary and calling for the incident "to be reviewed to ensure we do not get involved unless there is clear evidence that an offence may have been committed"(Cambs-police).

International Developments

US Communications Commissions opens Net Neutrality question to public

US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are developing rules that would allow large companies to pay an extra fee to Internet Service Providers for faster 'internet lanes' that would send content (such as videos) much faster to their customers.

The Commission's chairman, Tom Wheeler has announced a four month period for public comment, where the public is free to submit what they think of the new proposals.

You can submit your comments through the FCC's website.


Electronic Frontier Foundation releases their annual evaluation on customer's data protection by internet companies

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released their 2014 "Who Has Your Back?" report on how companies respond to government data requests.

According to the report, Snapchat, Amazon and AT&T rated lowest, while Apple, Dropbox, Facebook and Twitter were among the 9 companies that received a full rating. Some of the criteria for the report were whether the company requires a warrant to release the content; whether they notify users about government data requests or if they publish transparency reports.

You can view the report on their website.

Law and Legal Cases

Court of Justice of the European Union rules that users can request to have 'reputation-harming' results blocked from appearing on Google searches

See an in-depth analysis from ORG's Policy Director on our blog.

On Tuesday, the European Court of Justice ruled Google to remove outdated and apparently harmful search results of a Spanish national, invoking the 'right to be forgotten'.

The ruling now presents a precedent for other claims to request the removal of personal information. It will also mean that Google must now comply with European data protection laws (Euractiv).

You can view the ruling online.

ORG Media coverage

See ORG Press Coverage for full details.

ORG contact details

Staff page