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Euronews: Berners-Lee Wants Online Bill of Rights

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA roundup: SFR bidding war hots up; trouble in Uzbekistan for VimpelCom; Brits can't get enough fast broadband.

  • British knight of the realm and "inventor of the web" Sir Tim Berners-Lee has waded into the debate on state surveillance of the Internet by calling for "something like a Magna Carta" for the web, reports the BBC. "Are we going to continue on the road and just allow the governments to do more and more and more control -- more and more surveillance? Or are we going to set up a bunch of values?" asks Sir Tim.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), which has been very vocal in its calls to make the Internet more snoop-proof, is to set up a cyber defense center in a bid to counter "increasingly professional" attacks on its IT systems. The operator hopes to have the center up and running by the end of the year. More details are to be found in this press release. (See Euronews: Prism a Wake-up Call, Says DT.)

  • Numericable-SFR CEO Eric Denoyer has poured scorn on the plan by Bouygues Telecom -- its rival in a bidding war for Vivendi 's SFR -- to sell off mobile assets to Iliad in order to escape the wrath of the competition regulators. "I don't even need to explain my plan B because I don't think the other project is credible," said Denoyer, in an interview with Reuters. (See Euronews: Iliad Shares Soar in Wake of Bouygues Pact.)

  • VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP)'s activities in Uzbekistan have prompted a raid on its Amsterdam headquarters by Dutch public prosecutors and an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, reports Bloomberg. VimpelCom is not the only operator to have had problems in this part of the world: Sweden's Telia Company launched a review of its operations there, which ended with the dismissal of a number of executives. (See Euronews: TeliaSonera Fires Four After Eurasia Probe.)

  • A survey by UK regulator Ofcom has found that Brits are the keenest of the "EU5" (UK, German, France, Spain, and Italy) when it comes to the take-up of high-speed broadband. Nine in every 100 people in the UK had opted for 30Mbit/s-plus broadband at the start of 2013, compared with 6 in 100 for Spain in second place. For more factoids of a similar nature, check out the European Broadband Scorecard 2014.

  • Canadian BSS vendor Redknee, which has about 200 service provider customers worldwide, has signed a US$5 million services deal with an unnamed Tier 1 operator based in the EMEA region.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    3/12/2014 | 11:04:23 AM
    Some call him 'Sir Tim'
    It's just as well Moses didn't refer to his Ten Commandments as a 'bunch of values'. Would never have caught on.
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    3/12/2014 | 11:09:31 AM
    What Brits Want
    It's interesting that the Brits not only elect to buy the fastest internet speeds but seem to favor an online bill of rights as well. Could it be that once spoiled by great univeral access, they are much more likely to look in disfavor on government agency poking around their data?
    User Rank: Blogger
    3/13/2014 | 6:40:24 PM
    Numericable scorn?
    Interesting tidbit about Numericable, Paul. So what's their plan for SFR? Is it worthy of scorn as well?
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