Following on from E RADAR’s recent submission to government, Dr Daniel Dresner sets out his own wish-list for the draft EU Network and Information Security Directive. So. We need a directive about Network and Information Security? Brussels says so. And yes, it is necessary. We needed Tufty, the late Jon Pertwee, and the Green Cross [...]
In so many sectors, the digital world is changing everything. Nowhere is that more true than in the audiovisual sector – like film and TV. And we’re consulting widely on what this means.
These days there is increasing convergence between what you can find online and what you get from your television. You can watch your favourite TV show from your mobile while on the train — or browse the web from the connected TV set in your living room.
This brings huge opportunities. You can choose not from a handful of channels but from literally millions of online options: what you want when you want it. You don’t have to just tune in and passively watch: but can interact, rate, recommend to your friends; even create your own content. In short, viewers can enjoy more choice, creativity, and convenience. Not to mention the benefits for innovative content providers, and for our economy as a whole.
But from my perspective, there are also plenty of policy issues. Not least because historically some players (like broadcasters) have been subject to certain requirements and protections; while other newer players may not be. There’s a real question about how to ensure fair competition, especially as the line blurs between the different sectors.
That’s why we’ve launched a Green Paper on this converging audiovisual world. And last week we had a first fascinating discussion with national ministers from across the EU. I was glad that those ministers generally supported the approach of our green paper, and agreed that convergence is blurring regulatory boundaries. And our discussion was very wide-ranging: about (for instance) the spectrum trade-off between broadcasters and telecoms users; diversity, pluralism and European content; competition and interoperability in new services; protecting vulnerable users, including children; avoiding single market fragmentation; and keeping a flexible framework, including through tools short of full-scale regulation. (Also nice, by the way, to hear that at least one of those ministers is a regular reader of this blog!)
But it’s not just ministers’ views I’m interested in. I want an open and frank debate from all parties, before technology overtakes us. And so I hope many of you will be taking part in our public consultation – available here (pdf) and open until the end of August.
ICO Assessment Notices The UK Ministry of Justice is consulting on a proposal to extend the powers of the Information Commissioner to carry out compulsory assessments of NHS bodies’ compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and its data protection principles. It seeks views from NHS data controllers across the United Kingdom. The proposals for compulsory [...]
Communications Networks, Content & Technology
The Government is proposing changes to siting requirements for broadband cabinets and overhead lines to facilitate the deployment of superfast broadband networks across the UK. In a consultation published today, the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) is proposing that for five years, broadband street cabinets and new poles can be installed under permitted [...]
Unfair trading features high on the political agenda today with the publication of a Green Paper aimed at stimulating growth across the European Single Market. A three-month consultation will help the European Commission to assess the magnitude of unfair trading practices and gather evidence on their effect on the economy and on cross-border activity. The consultation [...]
“Sticks and stones will break my bones, and calling names will hurt you!” The old school yard taunt may take a new direction from this week following the publication of interim guidance on prosecuting cases involving social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. For where the proposed rules fail to protect innocent online users under criminal law, the [...]
Nominet, the UK’s Internet domain name registry has launched a public consultation on proposals for the new internet domains for Wales; .cymru and .wales. The consultation sets out a range of proposals for how the new domains should be launched and managed. Feedback is being sought on a number of areas including: Whether there should be any link between [...]
The UK Government is consulting on new sentencing guidelines on indecent images of children as part of a wider discussion on new sentencing guidelines for sexual offences. These offences relate to photographs (including moving images) and also images made, for example, on a computer but which look like real photographs. The indecent images offences have [...]
Media companies may have to pay a fine based upon percentage of turnover for breaching laws that limit reporting on criminal cases, under proposals published by the Law Commission today. The three-month consultation comes at a time when free speech and freedom of the press are under intense scrutiny following the recent Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking, and [...]