In announcing the F.C.C. decision, Julius Genachowski, the commission’s chairman, said the agency would begin a process to reclassify broadband transmission service as a telecommunications service, subjecting the Internet to some of the same oversight as telephone services.
But, he said, the commission would also exempt broadband service from many of the rules affecting telephone service, seeking mainly to guarantee that Internet service providers could not discriminate against certain applications, Internet sites or users.
The approach would specifically forbid the commission from regulating rates charged by telephone and cable companies for Internet service and would not allow the commission to regulate Internet content, services, applications or electronic commerce sites.source

Consumer Groups Say Proposed Privacy Bill Is Flawed

A LONG-AWAITED draft of a Congressional bill would extend privacy protections both on the Internet and off line, but privacy advocates said the bill did not go far enough in protecting consumers.
The draft legislation was released Tuesday by Representatives Rick Boucher, Democrat of Virginia, and Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida.

The proposed bill would expand what information should be considered confidential. It would require companies to post clear and understandable privacy notices when they collected information. Such information could range from health or financial data to any unique identifier, including a customer identification number, a user’s race or sexual orientation, the user’s precise location or any preference profile the user has filled out. It could also include an Internet Protocol address, the numerical address assigned to each computer connecting to the Internet that many companies use now to aim particular messages at users, which the companies argue is not personally identifiable. Essentially, companies would need to alert consumers whenever any information the companies are collecting can identify a single person or a single computer or device.
“This bill, were it to pass, would get us closer to the more stringent privacy regimes that we see in other countries,” Ms. Sotto said.
The online and off-line privacy notices would have to include a description of the information being collected, why the company was collecting that information, how that information might be linked or combined with other data about the individual or computer, and why the company would disclose that information and to what types of other companies, among other requirements.
There was an exemption from the disclosure requirements for what was called “operational” (defined as “a purpose reasonably necessary for the operation” of the company) or “transactional” (defined as “a purpose necessary for effecting, administering or enforcing” a transaction between company and customer). Those exceptions were “troubling,” said Peter Eckersley, senior staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of these groups. Privacy advocates said they were disappointed that this approach relied on a privacy policy, which few site visitors actually read. source

Europe’s Public Broadcasters Ask Lawmakers to Make It Easier to Offer Programs Online

PARIS — The European Broadcasting Union, which represents public television and radio providers, said its proposals were intended to push cross-border online video services, which have been slow to develop in Europe.
The group plans to present the proposals to the European Commission and the European Parliament on Wednesday.
The broadcasters want to streamline a copyright system that requires them to obtain separate agreements from actors, directors, musicians and others if they want to use programs on the Internet. Under the proposal, rights deals would cover digital use, much as they already do for cable and satellite broadcasting. source