June 11, 2013
Prism-shaped skullduggery, Stephane Richard and the U.K. rural broadband rollout all come under the spotlight in today's EMEA headline trawl.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are demanding that the U.S. government clarifies further "the recent revelations of a secret programme to gather user data from internet companies such as Google and Facebook and its implications for EU citizens' privacy," according to a European Union statement issued Tuesday. The Prism revelations could also prompt a "reform of the EU's current data protection rules" to help "prevent the recurrence of such situations," the statement added. European Commission Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding will address these issues at Civil Liberties Committee debate on June 19. (See Prism in a Big Data World.)
It's not been a great week so far for Orange CEO Stephane Richard: Reuters reports that he's being held for another 24 hours by French prosecutors investigating his role in a controversial decision to pay generous compensation to business tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008.
A report due next month from the U.K.'s National Audit Office -- the body that monitors state spending -- is expected to thoroughly trash the government's rural broadband program, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph. One insider source says the rollout program is "a train crash waiting to happen and the train appears to be accelerating rather than slowing down." The rollout has been criticized for offering national incumbent BT Group plc a virtual monopoly on the project, with margins to match. (See Euronews: UK's Broadband Plan Gets EU Nod.)
Ireland's Openet Telecom Ltd. has joined forces with Procera Networks Inc. to offer operators Revenue Express, a combined policy control and enforcement system that, among other things, can automatically offer mobile subscribers who bust their data limits a "service pass" that allows them to buy extra data usage for a set period.
Evidence has emerged that some of the former Nokia Corp. managers laid off as part of Stephen Elop's overhaul of the handsets giant have found gainful employment. Finnish website YLE reports that around 100 former Nokia executives are now operating as advisers to would-be investors in Finland, using their inside knowledge of the country's corporate culture to offer hints and tips. (See Nokia to Cut Jobs, Stay in Finland.)
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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