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People in the Netherlands have reason to celebrate today, following the expected passing into law of new net neutrality regulation. The legislation in question was agreed upon back in June last year, but it's only on Tuesday that the nation's second legislative chamber gave its blessing to the move, making everything official. Under the new law, mobile internet providers like KPN won't be able to charge for access to particular services like Skype or throttle traffic through them — both techniques that the company was intent on using to manage its mobile traffic.
Some exceptional reasons, such as network congestion and security, are allowed for slowing down users' connections, but the general thrust of the law is that operators ought to be blind to the traffic they carry and treat all of it equally. Dutch lobbying group Bits of Freedom also notes that the net neutrality law includes anti-wiretapping provisions, making it unlawful to use deep packet inspection on users' internet communications without their express consent or a legal warrant. All in all, it's a good day for privacy and internet freedom in the Netherlands, now how about we spread the good cheer throughout the whole European Union? [ed- and North America?]
Considering how long Facebook dragged its feet to get into mobile in the first place, the data suggests they will be exactly as slow to change as Google was to social. Does the Instagram acquisition change that? Not really, in my view. It shows they’re really fearful of being displaced by a mobile upstart. However, why would bolting on a mobile app to a Web 2.0 platform (and a very good one at that) change any of the underlying dynamics we’re discussing here? I doubt it.
Facebook & your privacy
Who sees the data you share on the biggest social network?
To find out, we queried Facebook and interviewed some two dozen others, including security experts, privacy lawyers, app developers, and victims of security and privacy abuse. We dug into private, academic, and government research, as well as Facebook’s labyrinthian policies and controls. And we surveyed 2,002 online households, including 1,340 that are active on Facebook, for our annual State of the Net report. We then projected those data to estimate national totals.
Exercises in democracy: building a digital public library
Most neighborhoods in America have a public library. Now the biggest neighborhood in America, the Internet, wants a library of its own. Last week, Ars attended a conference held by the Digital Public Library of America, a nascent group of intellectuals hoping to put all of America's library holdings online. The DPLA is still in its infancy—there's no official staff, nor is there a finished website where you can access all the books they imagine will be accessible. But if the small handful of volunteers and directors have their way, you'll see all that by April 2013 at the latest.
Worried about online porn? Don't regulate the net – regulate your kids
"They don't need legislation; they don't need complicated filters that will be routed around in a flash (try a search on "VPN filter evade"); they just need to be part of the family. You can't turn off the internet, nor make its denizens respectable (ask Louise Mensch). You can, however, turn off the computer, or explain respectability to your child."
Zoetrope: Interacting with the Ephemeral Web
Dinis Cruz Found A Really Neat Video from 2008 he calls "probably one of the most amazing visualizations of data that I've ever seen. The toolkit that these guys have is out of this planet and it's crazy that this research project from Adobe seems to have been dropped (there are no other references to this project or technology since 2008) For me, when I see those animations of temp-data-over time (i.e. Ephemeral data), I think of code analysis over multiple data-sets (payloads) or user roles (i.e. authorization rules)"
Collusion Browser Plugin Shows You Who's Tracking You on the Web
Once installed, Collusion works much like its Firefox counterpart, except with better tracking detection and some UI changes Chrome users will appreciate. The map is completely empty. As you browse, you'll see the sites you visit start to appear on the map, and if they drop tracking cookies on your computer you'll see them in red. Hover over any of the circles on the map to read more about the site, and whether it's a known tracker. If you already have privacy extensions installed, you'll likely see fewer circles on your map. Either way, you'll probably see lots of interconnected circles
Imagine what’s possible from Comcast’s perspective: If you can slice and dice traffic, play definitional chess (“that’s not the internet, that’s a specialized service!”), and be the only game in town, you’ll get to replicate the cable model by making sure that every successful online application owes its success in part to you and pays you tribute.
Has the internet run out of ideas already?
We're now at the stage where we should be getting the next wave of disruptive surprises. But – guess what? – they're nowhere to be seen. Instead, we're getting an endless stream of incremental changes and me-tooism. If I see one more proposal for a photo-sharing or location-based web service, anything with "app" in it, or anything that invites me to "rate" something, I'll scream.