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An Unprecedented Look into Utilization at Internet Interconnection Points

Freedom to Tinker - Fri, 2016/03/11 - 10:00
Measuring the performance of broadband networks is an important area of research, and efforts to characterize the performance of these networks continues to evolve. Measurement efforts to date have largely relied on in­home devices and are primarily designed to characterize access network performance. Yet, a user’s experience also relies on factors that lie upstream of ISP access networks, which […]

New Book: International Copyright and Access to Knowledge

Sara Bannerman - Thu, 2016/03/10 - 21:10
My new book, International Copyright and Access to Knowledge,  is now available from Cambridge University Press.

The principle of Access to Knowledge (A2K) has become a common reference point for a diverse set of agendas that all hope to realize technological and human potential by making knowledge more accessible. This book is a history of international copyright focused on principles of A2K and their proponents. Whilst debate and discussion so far has covered the perspectives of major western countries, the author's fresh approach to the topic considers emerging countries and NGOs, who have fought for the principles of A2K that are now fundamental to the system. Written in a clear and accessible style, the book connects copyright history to current problems, issues and events.

"Sara Bannerman's thoughtful and compelling book is a must-read for all of those interested in the challenges of increasing access to knowledge. She offers historical perspective on the narrowing of the knowledge commons and identifies opportunities for positive change going forward."
-Susan K. Sell, George Washington University
 International Copyright and Access to Knowledge is available through CUP, Amazon, on Wordery. An excerpt is available here.  Purchases through CUP can make use of 20% discount code Bannerman2015.

The Trouble With the TPP, Day 48: U.S. Reserves Right to “Certify” Canada’s TPP Implementation

Michael Geist Law RSS Feed - Thu, 2016/03/10 - 10:20

The Trouble with the TPP series has focused on dozens of problematic provisions within the trade agreement and identified several implementation possibilities that might limit some of the harm. For example, the post on copyright term extension discussed how Canada could require copyright registration and notification of the extended term in order to qualify for further protection. Copyright registration would not eliminate all the harm to the public domain, but it would mean that only those that desire the extension would take the positive steps to get it, thereby reducing the costs of the TPP’s unnecessary copyright term extension.

Should Canada move toward ratification of the TPP, there is a concern that attempts to mitigate the harm of some provisions will face opposition from the U.S. While implementation flexibility is the goal of every negotiator, the U.S. reserves the right to “certify” whether other TPP countries have, in its view, properly implemented the agreement.

The certification process is not found in the TPP, yet it is a part of how the U.S. approaches trade agreements. Before any free trade agreement takes effect, the applicable U.S. legislation includes a provision requiring the President to determine whether the agreement’s partner(s) have taken measures to bring it into compliance with the deal. The certification process includes reviews from multiple U.S. agencies, including the USTR, State, Commerce, Agriculture, and Treasury.  If the President does not certify the other countries, the agreement does not take effect.

U.S. companies have already begun calls for an aggressive TPP certification process. For example, earlier this month Qualcomm appeared before a U.S. Senate committee hearing, stating:

Before a trade agreement with the United States can enter-into-force, the President must determine that the trading partner has taken the necessary steps for implementation of all obligations that are to take effect on day one of the Agreement. I cannot emphasize enough how critical this certification process is to ensuring that a trading partner has the necessary laws and regulations in place to implement its obligations before an Agreement enters into force. It is during this certification process when our ability to secure any necessary protections in our trading partners’ laws, consistent with the Agreement, is at its greatest. Certification may be the best opportunity the United States has to ensure that trading partners have taken all necessary domestic steps to implement and abide by their commitments.

Qualcomm continued by urging officials to create a “pre-certification checklist”.

How would the U.S. enforce its certification process?

As further discussed in tomorrow’s post, the TPP cannot take effect without U.S. ratification. The U.S. plans to withhold ratification until it is satisfied that the other TPP countries meet its certification requirements. The U.S. approach effectively grants it an additional opportunity to shape the TPP by establishing its own requirements on implementation and forcing others to abide by its interpretation of otherwise flexible provisions.

(prior posts in the series include Day 1: US Blocks Balancing Provisions, Day 2: Locking in Digital Locks, Day 3: Copyright Term Extension, Day 4: Copyright Notice and Takedown Rules, Day 5: Rights Holders “Shall” vs. Users “May”, Day 6: Price of Entry, Day 7: Patent Term Extensions, Day 8: Locking in Biologics Protection, Day 9: Limits on Medical Devices and Pharma Data Collection, Day 10: Criminalization of Trade Secret Law, Day 11: Weak Privacy Standards, Day 12: Restrictions on Data Localization Requirements, Day 13: Ban on Data Transfer Restrictions, Day 14: No U.S. Assurances for Canada on Privacy, Day 15: Weak Anti-Spam Law Standards, Day 16: Intervening in Internet Governance, Day 17: Weak E-commerce Rules, Day 18: Failure to Protect Canadian Cultural Policy, Day 19: No Canadian Side Agreement to Advance Tech Sector, Day 20: Unenforceable Net Neutrality Rules, Day 21: U.S. Requires Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Report Card, Day 22: Expanding Border Measures Without Court Oversight, Day 23: On Signing Day, What Comes Next?, Day 24: Missing Balance on IP Border Measures, Day 25: The Treaties With the Treaty, Day 26: Why It Limits Canadian Cultural Policies, Day 27: Source Code Disclosure Confusion, Day 28: Privacy Risks from Source Code Rules, Day 29: Cultural Policy Innovation Uncertainty, Day 30: Losing Our Way on Geographical Indications, Day 31: Canadian Trademark Law Overhaul, Day 32: Illusory Safeguards Against Encryption Backdoors, Day 33: Setting the Rules for a Future Pharmacare Program, Day 34: PMO Was Advised Canada at a Negotiating Disadvantage, Day 35: Gambling With Provincial Regulation, Day 36: Why the TPP Could Restrict Uber Regulation, Day 37: Breaking Digital Locks for Personal Purposes, Day 38: Limits on Canadian Digital Lock Safeguards, Day 39: Quiet Expansion of Criminal Copyright Provisions, Day 40: Mobile Roaming Promises Unfulfilled, Day 41: ISDS Rules Do Not Meet the Canada’s New “Gold” Standard, Day 42: The Risks of Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Day 43: Eli Lilly Is What Happens When ISDS Rules Go Wrong, Day 44: Canada’s Terrible ISDS Track Record, Day 45: Limited Economic Gains for Canada, Day 46: Limited Employment Gains or Even Job Losses for Canada, Day 47: Hits and Misses in the Agricultural Sector)

The post The Trouble With the TPP, Day 48: U.S. Reserves Right to “Certify” Canada’s TPP Implementation appeared first on Michael Geist.

Apple, FBI, and Software Transparency

Freedom to Tinker - Thu, 2016/03/10 - 09:00
The Apple versus FBI showdown has quickly become a crucial flashpoint of the “new Crypto War.” On February 16 the FBI invoked the All Writs Act of 1789, a catch-all authority for assistance of law enforcement, demanding that Apple create a custom version of its iOS to help the FBI decrypt an iPhone used by one of the San […]

Apple/FBI: Freedom of speech vs. compulsion to sign

Freedom to Tinker - Fri, 2016/03/04 - 10:00
This week I signed the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief in the Apple/FBI  iPhone-unlocking lawsuit.  Many prominent computer scientists and cryptographers signed: Josh Aas, Hal Abelson, Judy Anderson, Andrew Appel, Tom Ball (the Google one, not the Microsoft one), Boaz Barak, Brian Behlendorf, Rich Belgard, Dan Bernstein, Matt Bishop, Josh Bloch, Fred Brooks, Mark Davis, […]

What Your ISP (Probably) Knows About You

Freedom to Tinker - Fri, 2016/03/04 - 02:27
Earlier this week, I came across a working paper from Professor Peter Swire—a highly respected attorney, professor, and policy expert.  Swire’s paper, entitled “Online Privacy and ISPs“, argues that ISPs have limited capability to monitor users’ online activity. The paper argues that ISPs have limited visibility into users’ online activity for three reasons:  (1) users […]

An analogy to understand the FBI’s request of Apple

Freedom to Tinker - Mon, 2016/02/22 - 09:00
After my previous blog post about the FBI, Apple, and the San Bernadino iPhone, I’ve been reading many other bloggers and news articles on the topic. What seems to be missing is a decent analogy to explain the unusual nature of the FBI’s demand and the importance of Apple’s stance in opposition to it. Before I dive […]

Apple, the FBI, and the San Bernadino iPhone

Freedom to Tinker - Wed, 2016/02/17 - 13:27
Apple just posted a remarkable “customer letter” on its web site. To understand it, let’s take a few steps back. In a nutshell, one of the San Bernadino shooters had an iPhone. The FBI wants to root through it as part of their investigation, but they can’t do this effectively because of Apple’s security features. […]

How Does Zero-Rating Affect Mobile Data Usage?

Freedom to Tinker - Thu, 2016/02/11 - 00:08
On Monday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a decision that effectively bans “zero-rated” Internet services in the country. While the notion of zero-rating might be somewhat new to many readers in the United States, the practice is common in many developing economies. Essentially, it is the practice by which a carrier creates an […]

The Princeton Bitcoin textbook is now freely available

Freedom to Tinker - Tue, 2016/02/09 - 14:17
The first complete draft of the Princeton Bitcoin textbook is now freely available. We’re very happy with how the book turned out: it’s comprehensive, at over 300 pages, but has a conversational style that keeps it readable. If you’re looking to truly understand how Bitcoin works at a technical level and have a basic familiarity […]
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