• #internet vs #blockchain Revolution : Early Successful Products (Part 1)

    This article is part of the Internet vs Blockchain Revolution Series. If you are interested in reading the other articles, check out this post.The early successful products during the Internet and Blockchain Revolution were the ones that abstracted the technicalities of the technology and provided convenience to the early adopters. This article will go over the origin of the Internet and discuss some of the products that quickly became popular during the early technological cycle.Time Magazine Cover: The Information SuperHighway (1993), Coming Soon to Your TV ScreenInterestingly in the early days of the Internet, the large firms, including Microsoft and Comcast, had a wrong focus and believed that the future was on TV and the Information SuperHighway, the idea of an interactive Smart (...)

    #cryptocurrency #history #bitcoin

  • Two companies soon to control one fifth of global content spend

    Following the massive mergers of Comcast/Sky and Disney/Fox, one in every five dollars spent on content worldwide will now be spent by these two entities alone. And this concentration of spend becomes even more stark when focusing purely on the US - the proportion of US content spend controlled by Comcast/Sky and Disney/Fox jumps to nearly two in five content dollars.

    Once the dust has settled from the mergers, overall spend on content will be almost even between the two new companies. By Ampere’s estimates, the combined projected content spend between the two is set reach $43bn – with Disney/Fox spending $22bn per year on originated and acquired content and Comcast/Sky spending $21bn by the end of 2018. This is more than the combined outlay of the next ten largest content spenders in the US including OTT platforms Netflix and Amazon.

    To some extent, the increasingly level of consolidation is a reaction to the increasing power of online video platforms. Companies such as Netflix and Amazon continue to invest significantly in content, a trend which shows no signs of slowing down. We expect Netflix to spend over $8bn on a P&L basis by the end of 2018, and the streaming giant has repeatedly stated it will continue to increase its content budget. Prior to the recent mergers, Netflix was on course to catch and overtake the top Hollywood studios in terms of content spend - however, in light of the two new combined entities, Netflix would now be required to nearly triple its spend to achieve this.

    This added financial might for the incumbent broadcast and studio groups helps strengthen both entities’ positions in the global market, as well as adding protection against the rising strength of online video. Each entity controls an increasingly vast library of original content ready to be exploited through direct-to-consumer offers. Disney has already indicated it will stop licencing content to Netflix in favour of its own direct to consumer offer, a service which will have even greater appeal with the addition of Fox assets. 

    However, one other implication of this consolidation is the effect it could have on independent producers. With a shrinking number of content acquirers in the market, the competition for rights diminishes – this in turn will impact the indie sector’s ability to negotiate favourable deals.

    #industrie_culturelle #attention

  • #Netflix finishes its massive migration to the Amazon cloud | Ars Technica (article de février 2016)

    Netflix declined to say how much it pays Amazon, but says it expects to “spend over $800 million on technology and development in 2016,” up from $651 million in 2015. Netflix spends less on technology than it does on marketing, according to its latest earnings report.

    Netflix’s Simian Army

    The big question on your mind might be this: What happens if the #Amazon cloud fails?

    That’s one reason it took Netflix seven years to make the shift to Amazon. Instead of moving existing systems intact to the cloud, Netflix rebuilt nearly all of its software to take advantage of a cloud network that “allows one to build highly reliable services out of fundamentally unreliable but redundant components,” the company says. To minimize the risk of disruption, Netflix has built a series of tools with names like “Chaos Monkey,” which randomly takes virtual machines offline to make sure Netflix can survive failures without harming customers. Netflix’s “Simian Army” ramped up with Chaos Gorilla (which disables an entire Amazon availability zone) and Chaos Kong (which simulates an outage affecting an entire Amazon region and shifts workloads to other regions).

    Amazon’s cloud network is spread across 12 regions worldwide, each of which has availability zones consisting of one or more data centers. Netflix operates primarily in the Northern Virginia, Oregon, and Dublin regions, but if an entire region goes down, “we can instantaneously redirect the traffic to the other available ones,” Izrailevsky said. “It’s not that uncommon for us to fail over across regions for various reasons.”

    Years ago, Netflix wasn’t able to do that, and the company suffered a streaming failure on Christmas Eve in 2012, when it was operating in just one Amazon region. “We’ve invested a lot of effort in disaster recovery and making sure no matter how big a failure that we’re able to bring things back from backups,” he said.

    Netflix has multiple backups of all data within Amazon.

    “Customer data or production data of any sort, we put it in distributed databases such as Cassandra, where each data element is replicated multiple times in production, and then we generate primary backups of all the data into S3 [Amazon’s Simple Storage Service],” he said. “All the logical errors, operator errors, or software bugs, many kinds of corruptions—we would be able to deal with them just from those S3 backups.”

    What if all of Netflix’s systems in Amazon went down? Netflix keeps backups of everything in Google Cloud Storage in case of a natural disaster, a self-inflicted failure that somehow takes all of Netflix’s systems down, or a “catastrophic security breach that might affect our entire AWS deployment,” Izrailevsky said. “We’ve never seen a situation like this and we hope we never will.”

    But Netflix would be ready in part thanks to a system it calls “Armageddon Monkey,” which simulates failure of all of Netflix’s systems on Amazon. It could take hours or even a few days to recover from an Amazon-wide failure, but Netflix says it can do it. Netflix pointed out that Amazon isolates its regions from each other, making it difficult for all of them to go out simultaneously.

    “So that’s not the scenario we’re planning for. Rather it’s a catastrophic bug or data corruption that would cause us to wipe the slate clean and start fresh from the latest good back-up,” a Netflix spokesperson said. “We hope we will never need to rely on Armageddon Monkey in real life, but going through the drill helps us ensure we back up all of our production data, manage dependencies properly, and have a clean, modular architecture; all this puts us in a better position to deal with smaller outages as well.”

    Netflix declined to say where it would operate its systems during an emergency that forced it to move off Amazon. “From a security perspective, it’d be better not to say,” a spokesperson said.

    Netflix has released a lot of its software as open source, saying it prefers to collaborate with other companies than keep secret the methods for making cloud networks more reliable. “While of course cloud is important for us, we’re not very protective of the technology and the best practices, we really hope to build the community,” Izrailevsky said.

  • The Biggest Threat to Free Speech No One Is Talking About

    Since the repeal in June of Obama-era rules guaranteeing net neutrality, websites like Truthdig, Democracy Now!, Common Dreams and more risk being pushed into an internet slow lane that could severely hamper their readership, if not drive them out of business entirely. For Jeff Cohen, editor and co-founder of the media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), it may be the most urgent threat to the First Amendment no one is talking about.

    “The biggest issue of freedom of the press is not that Trump is mean to reporters, as he was last week with CNN’s Jim Acosta and Yamiche Alcindor of “PBS NewsHour,” he tells Robert Scheer. “The biggest freedom-of-the-press issue is that Trump is working with Comcast and AT&T and Verizon to end net neutrality. … Ownership of the media and the ownership of the internet, the fact that these big internet providers are [a] few giant companies that also produce content—it’s very, very dangerous.”

    #neutralité_du_net #filtre #bulle #médias

  • Neutralité du Net : l’industrie télécom américaine attaque l’État du Vermont

    Les législateurs du Vermont préparent un projet de loi excluant des marchés publics les entreprises qui ne respectent pas la neutralité du Net, rapporte Reuters. Les groupes sont connus : l’American Cable Association, la CTIA, la NCTA, la New England Cable & Telecommunications Associations et USTelecom. Ils représentent les mastodontes de l’industrie, dont AT&T, Comcast et Verizon. La plainte, déposée devant une cour du Vermont, argue que les États ne peuvent pas réguler indirectement (via (...)

    #Comcast #NCTA #Telecommunications_Industry_Association_(TIA) #USTelecom #Verizon #AT&T #neutralité (...)

    ##Telecommunications_Industry_Association__TIA_ ##AT&T ##neutralité ##procès

  • Netflix dynamite la télé et le septième art

    Malgré sa puissance, le modèle de Netflix ne fait pas consensus. « Il entraîne une destruction de valeur, estime un producteur français, qui préfère rester anonyme, car la plate-forme promet de financer en France une dizaine de séries et films par an. Au début, quand Netflix commandait un film ou une série, il exigeait d’avoir les droits pour le monde entier sur dix ans, en échange d’un prix au-dessus de la moyenne. Aujourd’hui, on doit toujours abandonner tous les droits, mais les prix ont baissé. »

    Michael Pachter, de Wedbush Securities, fait aussi partie des sceptiques : « #Netflix dépense plus de cash qu’il n’en engrange. Et cela ne va pas s’arrêter s’ils essaient de créer du contenu dans chacun des pays où ils sont présents. » Tous les analystes anticipent une surenchère sur les contenus.
    Bataille de géants

    Car Netflix voit chaque jour son horizon concurrentiel s’obscurcir. La création d’une plate-forme de vidéo à la demande par abonnement est au cœur de la bataille que se livrent le câblo-opérateur américain Comcast et le studio Disney pour racheter la « Fox » et son précieux catalogue de films et de séries. Cette concentration inspire les autres studios, dont HBO ou CBS.

    Du côté des #GAFA, Amazon vient de promettre d’engloutir 1 milliard de dollars pour adapter Le Seigneur des anneaux en série. La firme de Jeff Bezos a aussi secoué le secteur en annonçant que 100 millions de personnes utilisaient son service de vidéo à la demande, accessible aux abonnés à Prime, son service payant de livraison accélérée. Facebook ne cache pas ses ambitions dans l’audiovisuel, et Google n’a pas renoncé à faire décoller YouTube Red, la version payante de sa puissante plate-forme de vidéo. L’idée que Netflix finira rachetée par l’un de ces richissimes géants n’a jamais vraiment disparu.

    « Toutes les grandes entreprises de technologie et de contenu sont à nos trousses. Cela veut dire qu’il y a un marché pour ce que nous faisons déjà », répond Reed Hastings, arborant un large sourire.

  • Opinion | Can Europe Lead on Privacy? - The New York Times

    The American government has done little to help us in this regard. The Federal Trade Commission merely requires internet companies to have a privacy policy available for consumers to see. A company can change that policy whenever it wants as long as it says it is doing so. As a result, internet companies have been taking our personal property — our private information — while hiding this fact behind lengthy and coercive legalese and cumbersome “opt out” processes.

    The European rules, for instance, require companies to provide a plain-language description of their information-gathering practices, including how the data is used, as well as have users explicitly “opt in” to having their information collected. The rules also give consumers the right to see what information about them is being held, and the ability to have that information erased.

    Why don’t we have similar protections in the United States? We almost did. In 2016, the Federal Communications Commission imposed similar requirements on the companies that provide internet service, forcing them to offer an explicit “opt in” for having personal data collected, and to protect the information that was collected.

    This didn’t last. Internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T and companies that use their connections, like Facebook and Google, lobbied members of Congress. Congress passed a law this year, signed by President Trump, that not only repealed the protections but also prohibited the F.C.C. from ever again imposing such safeguards. The same coalition of corporate interests succeeded in discouraging California from passing a state privacy law similar to the 2016 F.C.C. requirements.

    The New World must learn from the Old World. The internet economy has made our personal data a corporate commodity. The United States government must return control of that information to its owners.

    Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 2013 to 2017, is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.

    #Vie_privée #RGPD #FCC

  • Comment une industrie a raté le virage des données et du numérique - Nicolas Kayser-Bril

    January 31, 2018

    Mai 1995 fut riche en évènements. Jacques Chirac a été élu président le 7 du mois, Mark Zuckerberg a fêté son 11e anniversaire le 14 et Libération a ouvert son site internet le 26.1 La plupart des grands noms de la presse quotidienne l’ont rejoint sur le web dans les mois qui suivirent, suivis quelques années plus tard par les radios et les télévisions.

    1995, c’est trois ans avant la création de Google, six ans avant Wikipedia, dix ans avant YouTube et Facebook, sans parler d’Instagram ou de Snapchat. Vingt ans plus tard ces médias, arrivés si tôt en ligne, sont devenus les prestataires de ces géants du web,2 quand les milliardaires des nouvelles technologies ne les ont pas tout simplement racheté à la manière de Niel (Le Monde) ou Bezos (Washington Post).

    Pourquoi, malgré ce départ sur les chapeaux de roues, les médias3 ont-ils glissés du haut en bas de l’échelle ? Ont-ils commis des erreurs ? Ou leur chute était-elle inexorable ?
    Des métiers contradictoires

    Avant internet, les médias fournissaient des services variés : petites annonces (emploi, rencontres etc.), information locale et nationale, divertissement et publicité. Pour exister, chacun de ces services nécessitait un considérable investissement en capital, que ce soit pour acquérir une imprimerie ou bien un studio et une licence de radio ou de télévision. Logiquement, quasiment tous les acteurs du secteur ont adopté un modèle d’affaire où le média utilise au maximum son investissement pour fournir le plus de services possibles. C’est pourquoi les journaux offrent une flopée de sections et de cahiers, libre aux lecteurs·trices de faire le tri après achat.

    Comme ce n’était pas rentable de publier un journal pour quelques centaines de lecteurs et qu’il était impossible de publier toutes les petites annonces sur un territoire trop étendu, ce modèle d’affaire avait une taille d’entreprise optimale. Cela aboutit à des fusions puis à des monopoles et à des excédents d’exploitation fantastiques. Pour Warren Buffet, un investisseur américain, “même avec un produit mauvais ou des dirigeants ineptes, aucun journal en situation de monopole dans sa ville ne pouvait éviter des profits débordants.”4

    Cette rente a duré jusqu’au milieu des années 2000. Avec internet, les petites annonces et les services associés se sont fait la belle. Craigslist, eBay ou Le Bon Coin sont mille fois plus efficaces qu’un journal pour revendre ses bibelots, tout comme Meetic ou Tinder le sont pour les rencontres. Puis vint la crise de 2008, qui a accéléré le passage des annonceurs en ligne. Or sur le web, le marché de la publicité est contrôlé par Google et Facebook, pas par les médias.

    En une dizaine d’années, entre 2005 et 2015, quasiment tous les médias ont subit des crises d’identités, des restructurations, voire des faillites comme celle de la Comareg (ParuVendu) en 2011 ou celle de France-Soir en 2012. Ces crises multiples ne sont pas directement dues à l’attentisme des entreprises - elles avaient toutes, après tout, un site internet. Ces sites auraient pu être mieux fait mais le problème était plus profond.

    La plupart des médias ont vu le web comme un espace où ils pouvaient calquer leur activité initiale. Ce fut fatal pour les journaux et les magazines qui virent dans les “pages” web une nouvelle version des “pages” en papier. Sans parler de la présentation du contenu, la numérisation a modifié l’essence même des métiers pratiqués par les médias.

    Les petites annonces ne doivent plus être rassemblées au même endroit sous une même marque mais au contraire divisées en segments correspondants à une communauté d’acheteurs et de vendeurs. La prime est à la spécialisation, y compris pour les contenus qui accompagnent les annonces. Caradisiac par exemple liste 28 personnes dans sa rédaction - à peu près autant que chez Auto Plus.

    Plus épineux est le lien entre information et publicité. Les annonceurs recherchent souvent les plus grandes audiences possibles. Or pour attirer de grandes audiences, rien ne vaut le spectaculaire, tant pis si l’information n’est pas vraie. Le glissement de l’information vers le divertissement a commencé en télévision avec l’arrivée du câble et du satellite dans les années 1980, quand les chaînes spécialisées ont commencé à empiéter sur le marché des chaînes généralistes.

    Sur le web, le phénomène a pris de l’ampleur, entraînant toutes les rédactions dans une course effrénée aux pages vues. La confusion est telle qu’il n’est pas rare de trouver au pied d’un article dénonçant les “fake news” écrit par un journaliste des liens vers des articles bidons chez Outbrain ou Taboola, deux sociétés spécialisées dans la génération de pages vues et la vente de publicité.5
    Les autruches, les cargo cultes et les autres

    Ensemble, les différents éléments constitutifs des médias n’avaient aucune chance de survivre sur le web. Pour autant, les groupes de presse auraient pu séparer leurs activités et adapter le modèle d’affaire de chacune d’entre elles. Certains l’ont fait, mais ils sont peu nombreux.

    La plupart ont fait l’autruche. En cela, ils ont été aidés par leurs employés, à commencer par les journalistes qui ont fait de l’ignorance de l’économie de leurs entreprise un signe de fierté (ils appellent la séparation entre l’éditorial et le reste la “muraille de Chine”). Le premier cours que j’ai donné dans une école de journalisme en 2007 à Paris, dans une école se présentant comme la meilleure du lot, portait sur les modèles d’affaires de la presse en ligne. Au bout de deux heures, la moitié des étudiants avait quitté la salle. Non pas, comme c’était sans doute le cas, parce que mon cours était mauvais, mais parce qu’ils trouvaient intolérable qu’on puissent leur expliquer que le journalisme pouvait avoir un lien avec l’argent.

    Dans ces conditions (qui ont un peu changé depuis mais pas trop), difficile de modifier quoi que ce soit en profondeur. Par ailleurs, en conservant à l’écart les équipes web, les médias ont créé un gouffre durable entre les journalistes papiers et ceux du web, moins bien payés, méprisés par leurs collègues et souvent hors des rédactions. Vu sous cet angle, le web était un repoussoir ; on comprend mieux pourquoi les rédactions ont freinés des quatre fers la transition numérique de leurs entreprises.

    Plus grave que les autruches sont les entreprises qui traitent le web comme un cargo culte.6 Pendant la seconde guerre mondiale, l’armée américaine a installé des bases dans certaines îles du Pacifique et fourni les habitants en nourriture et autres objets. En 1945, ces bases ont été abandonnées mais les Mélanésiens s’étaient habitués à être nourris et habillés par l’armée US. Ils ont cherché à faire revenir ces livraisons en construisant des pistes d’atterrissage, des avions et des tours de contrôle en bambou - en vain. Cela nous semble évident que la piste d’atterissage ne cause pas la livraison mais, vu de l’île, ce n’est pas une hypothèse absurde.

    En voyant des sociétés créées par des ados ou des jeunes adultes brasser des milliards à partir de rien, de nombreux dirigeants ont réagit comme les Mélanésiens. Plutôt que de chercher la cause de ces succès, ils ont voulu imiter.

    En juillet 2005, News Corp, alors l’un des plus gros conglomérats média du monde, achète MySpace, un réseau social, pour 580 millions de dollars. Six ans plus tard, le site est revendu pour un seizième de la somme.7 En Allemagne, le groupe Holtzbrinck a payé 85 millions d’euros en 2007 pour studiVZ, un réseau social aujourd’hui disparu.8 L’erreur de News Corp a été de traiter MySpace comme un journal disposant d’une audience captive. Le groupe de Murdoch a dégradé le site au maximum pour honorer un accord de publicité passé avec Google, poussant tous les utilisateurs dans les bras de Facebook. Quant à Holtzbrinck, ils n’ont pas compris que les effets de réseaux allaient favoriser Facebook sur le long terme.

    Au delà des réseaux sociaux et de ces deux naufrages, les médias ont regardé chaque nouveauté comme un Graal qui allait leur permettre de remonter la pente. Faites une requête sur la phrase “va-t-il sauver la presse” dans votre moteur de recherche favori pour vous en convaincre. On trouve, pêle-mèle, “Le Kindle va-t-il sauver la presse” (2009)9, “L’iPad va-t-il sauver la presse” (2010)10, “Snapchat va-t-il sauver la presse”11 ou encore, en 2017, “Le Bitcoin va-t-il sauver la presse ?”12 La liste est loin d’être exhaustive. Il y a eu la mode des blogs, celle de la personnalisation, celle des coupons,13 celle du big data, celle de la video, Instant Articles, les chatbots… La dernière tendance est au machine learning qui, on s’en doute, ne sauvera pas la presse.

    Rien ne sauvera la presse puisque, comme je l’ai dit plus haut, le concept de “la presse” sur internet est non seulement obsolète, il est contradictoire. Cependant, alors que les conférences professionnelles débattaient des stratégies à adopter pour mener cette mission impossible, certains groupes comprirent ce qui était en train de se passer et ont prirent les devants.

    Le groupe norvégien Schibsted, par exemple, a lancé son propre fournisseur d’accès à internet, Schibsted Nett, au début des années 1990, sur le modèle d’America On Line (AOL). En 1996, il l’a revendu à un concurrent pour se concentrer sur la fourniture de contenu, en créant un portail,14 avant d’investir dans des sites spécialisés dans les petites annonces.15 Dès l’arrivée du web en Scandinavie, Schibsted a compris que ce canal deviendrait incontournable et a tout mis en œuvre pour y conserver sa position de pilier de l’information et de la publicité. L’entreprise a investi considérablement et ne s’est pas laissée échauder par l’éclatement de la bulle du Nasdaq en 2001. Aujourd’hui, le groupe est leader des petites annonces dans 18 pays et s’est débarrassé de ses journaux partout sauf en Norvège et en Suède, où il continue à investir.16

    En Allemagne, le groupe Axel Springer, déjà numéro un des journaux dans les années 1990, a suivit le même parcours. Il est désormais organisé en trois pôles distincts : les petites annonces (LaCentrale en France, par exemple), le contenu payant (ses journaux sont tous passés au modèle payant sur abonnement) et la vente de publicité (auféminin en France17).18 Parmi les groupes français, seul Le Figaro a réussi à retrouver sur le web un équilibre entre la production de contenu, la publicité et les petites annonces (Figaro Classifieds est leader des petites annonces en France).19

    Pas besoin d’être un mastodonte pour réussir sa transition numérique. En Suède, le journal de la ville de Skellefteå (35 000 habitants) s’est repensé en pilier de la communauté et organise désormais des évènements en plus de son activité purement média. Médiapart ou Valeurs Actuelles sont différents en tout, sauf dans leur modèle d’affaire : les deux montrent que l’on peut vendre du contenu et en dégager un bénéfice si l’acte d’abonnement devient un acte d’adhésion à une vision politique.

    Le seul créneau sur lequel les médias n’ont pas investi sur le web est celui de l’information “pure”, celle qui, détachée de son contenant, sert de matière première aux analystes ou aux journalistes. Aucun média ne s’est transformé, passant d’un fournisseur d’articles à un fournisseur de données.20 Les spécialistes du secteur comme Thomson (aujourd’hui ThomsonReuters), The Economist Intelligence Unit ou Bloomberg existaient avant internet et n’ont pas été déstabilisé par les évolutions des deux dernières décennies. Il y avait pourtant des places à prendre, comme le montre l’histoire d’Opta Sports. Créé en 2001 (un an après que L’Equipe a ouvert son site web), Opta s’est donné pour mission de collecter toutes les données sur toutes les rencontres, dans tous les sports et en direct. Alors que L’Equipe possédait de vastes bases de données sur le même sujet, c’est Opta qui a raflé le marché. Si vous lisez des résultats sportifs dans un journal aujourd’hui, il y a de fortes chances qu’ils aient été vendu par Opta au journal que vous avez entre les mains (y compris si vous lisez L’Equipe).
    Une seule solution, la litigation

    La plupart des médias ne savent toujours pas s’ils sont là pour produire de l’information, vendre de la publicité à des annonceurs ou si leur mission se trouve ailleurs.

    Ils se retrouvent pourtant tous sur une stratégie depuis une vingtaine d’années, celle des poursuites judiciaires contre les nouveaux entrants. Les premiers à en faire les frais furent les sociétés de l’audiovisuel public. En Allemagne, les médias privés annoncent depuis presque vingt ans que la présence de la télévision publique sur internet met leur existence en danger.21 Ce n’est évidemment pas vrai, puisque la mission d’information de la télévision publique n’a pas grand chose à voir avec les métiers d’Axel Springer. Mais ces procès permettent aux médias privés d’afficher leur pouvoir.

    Les médias s’en prennent plus souvent à Google, accusé en général d’enfreindre les lois sur la propriété intellectuelle. Plusieurs éditeurs français ont lancé un procès en 2006 contre Google Books,22 en même temps que plusieurs titres de presse belges attaquaient Google News.23 Des médias allemands attaquent à leur tour en 2012.24

    L’histoire espagnole est la plus instructive. A la fin des années 2000, plusieurs éditeurs espagnols se liguent contre Google News. Une loi est votée, qui leur permet de réclamer à Google des royalties sur les liens affichés. Après un passage en justice, où Google perd, le moteur de recherche décide de supprimer Google News en Espagne. Cette fois-ci, les éditeurs dénoncent une grave menace pour la démocratie et demandent au gouvernement de faire revenir Google News !25 (Avertis de cette histoire, les médias allemands ont renoncé aux royalties que leur aurait permis d’obtenir la nouvelle loi sur le copyright votée en 2013.26)

    Google, suivi par Facebook, a réussi à monopoliser l’attention des Européens, que détenaient auparavant les médias, et, grâce aux données personnelles dont ils disposent, génèrent des milliards en revendant cette attention aux annonceurs. Pour ces GAFA,27 les médias sont des fournisseurs de contenus parmi une infinité d’autres. Ils sont aussi des empêcheurs de tourner en rond. Journalistes et patrons de presse ont l’oreille des politiques, via les jeux de pouvoir nationaux ou simplement parce qu’ils ont été à l’université ensemble.

    Face à ce problème, Google (suivi encore une fois de Facebook) a vite trouvé la parade. Chacune des procédures judiciaires que j’ai évoqué s’est terminée par la création d’un fonds mis à disposition des médias. Google finance ainsi certains projets du Syndicat national de l’édition. Il a créé en France le “Fonds pour l’Innovation Numérique de la Presse”, suivi au niveau Européen de la “Digital News Initiative”. Dans ce jeu de dupes, Google se présente comme le partenaire des médias et met en scène une relation d’égal à égal alors qu’il ne s’agit que de les diviser (chaque média doit candidater individuellement pour obtenir un subside de Google) et d’acheter leur complaisance.28 Les GAFA organisent ou financent (en tout ou en partie) les conférences professionelles des médias en Europe, comme le Global Editors Network Summit,29 le Newsgeist et le JournalismFest.
    La presse est sauvée !

    A l’exception de ceux qui ont suivi une véritable stratégie de long terme sur le web, les médias sont passé, en deux décennies, d’un rôle de monopoliste de l’attention et de la publicité à celui de fournisseurs de contenu vivants des largesses des GAFA.

    La dégringolade des médias va sans doute s’arrêter là. Je ne pense pas que “la presse” va disparaître car internet a, lui aussi, beaucoup changé.

    La mécanique des investisseurs web, qui financent à fonds perdu un champion jusqu’à ce qu’il soit en position de monopole et puisse augmenter ses marges, comme ils l’ont fait avec Google et Facebook (puis avec Uber, Delivery Hero etc.), a conduit au duopole actuel (Google/Facebook) sur le marché de l’attention et de la publicité. Alors qu’on pouvait, dans les années 2000, toucher une audience parce que son contenu était de meilleure qualité que celui des concurrents, on atteint aujourd’hui son audience en payant l’un des deux gardiens de l’attention. Impossible pour un nouvel entrant de se faire une place sans apport massif en capital. On est revenu à la situation qui prévalait avant internet.

    De l’autre côté, la neutralité du net n’existe plus. Les fournisseurs d’accès peuvent choisir ce que leurs clients consomment, ne serait-ce que grâce à la vente liée et au zero rating.30 SFR a besoin de médias (Libération, L’Express etc.) pour son offre SFR Play, Orange a besoin de Deezer, dans lequel il a largement investi,31 pour ses forfaits mobiles et Comcast, le plus gros fournisseur d’accès américain, a acheté NBCUniversal et Dreamworks pour les mêmes raisons.

    Et puis, les médias sont indispensables au système politique. Pas tant pour leur capacité à toucher une audience - Macron a quasiment autant de followers sur Facebook que Le Monde ou Le Figaro - mais dans leur rôle d’adversaire et de commentateur. Sans “les médias”, une bonne partie de la classe politique n’aurait plus de sujet sur lequel s’indigner et les autres n’auraient plus personne pour les écouter.

    A quelques exceptions près (France-Soir), les grands noms de la presse continueront à exister. Libération a sans doute de meilleures chances de survie au sein de SFR que Buzzfeed, par exemple. Même si la start-up américaine a tout compris du web des années 2000 et 2010, le web des années 2020 appartient aux fournisseurs d’accès, pas aux innovateurs.

  • Henri Verdier Blog : Internet est un bien public essentiel. Nous devons défendre son ouverture et sa neutralité (ou en construire un nouveau)

    Ainsi donc, pour finir en beauté la première année du mandat de M. Trump, la FCC (l’agence de régulation des télécommunications aux Etats-Unis, supposée indépendante - comme notre ARCEP-, mais désormais présidée par un proche du président) a décidé de se débarrasser de la neutralité du net. C’est la fête chez l’opérateur Comcast qui célèbre l’événement (et les nouvelles baisses d’impôts) en offrant un bonus de 1000$ à chacun de ses plus de 150.000 salariés. Incidemment, AT&T fait de même mais sans mentionner la décision de la FCC.

  • Killing Net Neutrality Has Brought On a New Call for Public Broadband

    The Federal Communications Commission’s 3-2 vote to repeal net neutrality rules has many worried that internet service providers will now build the same sort of tiered internet that some other countries have — where individual providers can collude to throttle traffic to certain websites and services in order to shake money from consumers or the companies themselves — or both. For instance, in Morocco last year, multiple internet service providers worked together to briefly block voice chat (...)

    #Comcast #neutralité #WhatsApp #Skype #FCC


  • FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules, a milestone for Republican deregulation push - LA Times

    “As a result of today’s misguided action, our broadband providers will get extraordinary new powers,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, one of two Democrats on the five-member FCC who voted against the repeal.

    “They will have the power to block websites, the power to throttle services and the power to censor online content,” she said. “They will have the right to discriminate and favor the internet traffic of those companies with whom they have a pay-for-play arrangement and the right to consign all others to a slow and bumpy road.”
    Protestors Rally At FCC Against Repeal Of Net Neutrality Rules
    Demonstrators rally outside the Federal Communication Commission building Thursday to protest the repeal of net nutrality rules. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

    The FCC’s net neutrality rules prohibited AT&T Inc., Charter Communications Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and other broadband and wireless internet service providers from selling faster delivery of certain data, slowing speeds for specific video streams and other content, and blocking or otherwise discriminating against any legal online material.

    To enforce the rules, the FCC classified broadband as a more highly regulated utility-like service under Title 2 of federal telecommunications law.

    Telecom companies praised the repeal, while saying they are committed to the principles of net neutrality and have no plans to change their practices.

    The FCC vote “does not mark the ‘end of the Internet as we know it;’ rather it heralds in a new era of light regulation that will benefit consumers,” said David L. Cohen, Comcast’s senior executive vice president.

    But the companies have hedged on whether they would start charging additional fees to transport video streams or other content at a higher speed through their network in a practice known as paid prioritization.

    Pai has said paid prioritization could accelerate the development of autonomous vehicles and home health monitoring, which would need reliably fast service.

    But net neutrality supporters worry telecom companies will set up toll lanes on the internet, cutting deals with some websites to deliver their content faster and squeezing out start-ups and small companies that lack the money to pay for faster service.


  • What Will Really Happen if the FCC Abandons Net Neutrality ?

    Article intéressant parce qu’il donne la parole aux opposants à la neutralité. Mais à trop vouloir jouer au centre, on finit par prendre le point de vue des dominants.

    Supporters often link net neutrality to free speech and unfettered, equal access to the internet. They also want stricter rules to curb the conduct of ISPs. “Removal of the net neutrality rules could entirely take down the internet as a free and open source of information,” said Jennifer Golbeck, a professor at the University of Maryland, on the Knowledge@Wharton show on SiriusXM channel 111. “It’s going to be more corporate control over the content we see … potentially not just favoring things that benefit [ISPs] financially but favoring them politically.”

    But critics say that too much regulation dampens innovation and investments in the internet, which has thrived for decades without formal net neutrality rules. For example, net neutrality would tamp down on innovations such as T-Mobile’s “Binge On” service, which lets customers stream video from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and other sites without counting it against their data buckets, said Christopher Yoo, professor of law, communication and computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania, on the radio show. Moreover, the order brings back the FTC as the antitrust enforcer of ISP behavior, protecting consumer interests and banning deceptive business practices. (Listen to a podcast of the radio show featuring Yoo and Golbeck using the player above.)

    As providers of information services, ISPs were much more lightly regulated than telecommunications services — such as the old Ma Bell. However, the FCC did adopt policies to preserve free internet access and usage and curb abuses. In 2004, FCC Chairman Michael Powell under President George W. Bush set out four principles of internet freedom: the freedom to access lawful content, use applications, attach personal devices to the network and obtain service plan information.

    In 2010, under Obama’s first FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, the agency’s Open Internet Order adopted anti-blocking and anti-discrimination rules after finding out that Comcast throttled BitTorrent, a bandwidth-intensive, peer-to-peer site where users shared files of TV shows, movies or other content. Faulhaber says Comcast made the mistake of “targeting a particular upstream company. That you can’t do. If you want to control traffic, you have to do it in a much less discriminatory way.”

    But the 2010 order, which also required ISPs to disclose their network management practices, performance and commercial terms, was vacated by a federal court in 2014 after Verizon sued the FCC. The court said the FCC did not have the authority to act because ISPs are not regulated like common telephone carriers.

    This ruling led to the 2015 order by Wheeler that reclassified ISPs like landline phone companies, giving the agency the power to regulate many things, including prices set by broadband providers, although this was set aside. The order also specified the no-blocking and no-discrimination of traffic, and banned paid prioritization, which would give faster internet lanes to companies that pay for it. And it crafted internet conduct standards that ISPs must follow. Last year, an appellate court upheld this order.

    The current proposal by Pai rolls back Wheeler’s order, and more. It classifies ISPs back under information services. It allows paid prioritization. It also punts the policing of any ISP blocking and discriminatory behavior to the FTC to be investigated on a case-by-case basis. It dismantles Wheeler’s internet conduct standards because they are “vague and expansive.” But the proposed order does adopt transparency rules, requiring ISPs to disclose information about their practices to the FCC and the public.

    For ISPs, the issue is not so much net neutrality as it is about Title II. “All of the major ISPs like Comcast and AT&T are on the record saying that they support the idea of net neutrality, but they just oppose the legal classification of broadband as a regulated telecommunications service,” Werbach says. “I wouldn’t expect to see any dramatic changes in the companies’ practices near term. They’re going to wait and see how this all plays out, and they’re also not going to do something that will provoke significant backlash and pressure for more regulation.”

    During her radio show appearance, Golbeck noted that the danger of fast lanes is that smaller websites that cannot afford to pay the ISP could be left behind. Research shows that “even delays of less than a second in serving up content [will make people] bail from your site and go someplace else.” Conversely, she said, if ISPs speed up access to popular sites like Amazon and Netflix because they pay, “it inhibits the ability for other new startup sites to compete.”


  • The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs, and how much it cost to buy them

    They betrayed you for chump change Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule that opens the door for ISPs to sell customer data. Lawmakers provided no credible reason for this being in the interest of Americans, except for vague platitudes about “consumer choice” and “free markets,” as if consumers at the mercy of their local internet monopoly are craving to have their web history quietly sold to marketers and any other third party willing to pay. The only (...)

    #Comcast #Verizon #AT&T #données #lobbying #profiling #FCC


  • The Internet Is Dying. Repealing Net Neutrality Hastens That Death. - The New York Times

    Because net neutrality shelters start-ups — which can’t easily pay for fast-line access — from internet giants that can pay, the rules are just about the last bulwark against the complete corporate takeover of much of online life. When the rules go, the internet will still work, but it will look like and feel like something else altogether — a network in which business development deals, rather than innovation, determine what you experience, a network that feels much more like cable TV than the technological Wild West that gave you Napster and Netflix.

    If this sounds alarmist, consider that the state of digital competition is already pretty sorry. As I’ve argued regularly, much of the tech industry is at risk of getting swallowed by giants. Today’s internet is lousy with gatekeepers, tollbooths and monopolists.

    The five most valuable American companies — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft — control much of the online infrastructure, from app stores to operating systems to cloud storage to nearly all of the online ad business. A handful of broadband companies — AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon, many of which are also aiming to become content companies, because why not — provide virtually all the internet connections to American homes and smartphones.

    Together these giants have carved the internet into a historically profitable system of fiefs. They have turned a network whose very promise was endless innovation into one stuck in mud, where every start-up is at the tender mercy of some of the largest corporations on the planet.

    This was not the way the internet was supposed to go. At its deepest technical level, the internet was designed to avoid the central points of control that now command it. The technical scheme arose from an even deeper philosophy. The designers of the internet understood that communications networks gain new powers through their end nodes — that is, through the new devices and services that plug into the network, rather than the computers that manage traffic on the network. This is known as the “end-to-end” principle of network design, and it basically explains why the internet led to so many more innovations than the centralized networks that came before it, such as the old telephone network.

    But if flexibility was the early internet’s promise, it was soon imperiled. In 2003, Tim Wu, a law professor now at Columbia Law School (he’s also a contributor to The New York Times), saw signs of impending corporate control over the growing internet. Broadband companies that were investing great sums to roll out faster and faster internet service to Americans were becoming wary of running an anything-goes network.

    To Mr. Wu, the broadband monopolies looked like a threat to the end-to-end idea that had powered the internet. In a legal journal, he outlined an idea for regulation to preserve the internet’s equal-opportunity design — and hence was born “net neutrality.”

    Though it has been through a barrage of legal challenges and resurrections, some form of net neutrality has been the governing regime on the internet since 2005. The new F.C.C. order would undo the idea completely; companies would be allowed to block or demand payment for certain traffic as they liked, as long as they disclosed the arrangements.

    But look, you might say: Despite the hand-wringing, the internet has kept on trucking. Start-ups are still getting funded and going public. Crazy new things still sometimes get invented and defy all expectations; Bitcoin, which is as Wild West as they come, just hit $10,000 on some exchanges.

    Well, O.K. But a vibrant network doesn’t die all at once. It takes time and neglect; it grows weaker by the day, but imperceptibly, so that one day we are living in a digital world controlled by giants and we come to regard the whole thing as normal.

    It’s not normal. It wasn’t always this way. The internet doesn’t have to be a corporate playground. That’s just the path we’ve chosen.

    #Neutralité_internet #Vectorialisme

  • Qui est Ronan Farrow, le tombeur d’Harvey Weinstein - L’Express

    Le journaliste de MSNBC et du New Yorker n’est pas le premier à raconter l’envers fétide du rêve hollywoodien. Mais pour lui, c’est une affaire de famille. Celle d’un père prestigieux, Woody Allen, dont il ne cesse de dénoncer, de tweets en tribunes ou en plateaux télé, les dérapages sexuels, notamment commis selon lui aux dépens de sa soeur, Dylan Farrow. Et s’il voue une rancune particulière au milieu du cinéma, s’il l’observe avec une telle défiance et y a plongé ses antennes, c’est parce que le tout Hollywood a pris fait et cause pour son père au moment de son divorce d’avec sa mère, la non moins prestigieuse Mia Farrow.

    Bien ouèj quand même, comme au bowling, #strike.

  • The Geopolitical Economy of the Global Internet Infrastructure on JSTOR

    Article très intéressant qui repositionne les Etats dans la gestion de l’infrastructure globale de l’internet. En fait, une infrastructure globale pour le déploiement du capital (une autre approche de la géopolitique, issue de David Harvey).

    According to many observers, economic globalization and the liberalization of telecoms/internet policy have remade the world in the image of the United States. The dominant roles of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google have also led to charges of US internet imperialism. This article, however, argues that while these internet giants dominate some of the most popular internet services, the ownership and control of core elements of the internet infrastructure—submarine cables, internet exchange points, autonomous system numbers, datacenters, and so on—are tilting increasingly toward the EU and BRICS (i.e., Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries and the rest of the world, complicating views of hegemonic US control of the internet and what Susan Strange calls the knowledge structure.

    This article takes a different tack. It argues that while US-based internet giants do dominate some of the middle and top layers of the internet—for example, operating systems (iOS, Windows, Android), search engines (Google), social networks (Facebook), online retailing (Amazon), over-the-top TV (Netflix), browsers (Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Microsoft Explorer), and domain names (ICANN)—they do not rule the hardware, or material infrastructure, upon which the internet and daily life, business, governments, society, and war increasingly depend. In fact, as the article shows, ownership and control of many core elements of the global internet infrastructure—for example, fiber optic submarine cables, content delivery networks (CDNs), autonomous system numbers (ASN), and internet exchange points (IXPs)—are tilting toward the rest of the world, especially Europe and the BRICS (i.e., Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). This reflects the fact that the United States’ standing in the world is slipping while an ever more multipolar world is arising.

    International internet backbone providers, internet content companies, and CDNs interconnect with local ISPs and at one or more of the nearly 2000 IXPs around the world. The largest IXPs are in New York, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Seattle, Chicago, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. They are core elements of the internet that switch traffic between all the various networks that comprise the internet system, and help to establish accessible, affordable, fast, and secure internet service.

    In developed markets, internet companies such as Google, Baidu, Facebook, Netflix, Youku, and Yandex use IXPs to interconnect with local ISPs such as Deutsche Telecoms in Germany, BT or Virgin Media in Britain, or Comcast in the United States to gain last-mile access to their customers—and vice versa, back up the chain. Indeed, 99 percent of internet traffic handled by peering arrangements among such parties occurs without any money changing hands or a formal contract.50 Where IXPs do not exist or are rare, as in Africa, or run poorly, as in India, the cost of bandwidth is far more expensive. This is a key factor that helps to explain why internet service is so expensive in areas of the world that can least afford it. It is also why the OECD and EU encourage developing countries to make IXPs a cornerstone of economic development and telecoms policy work.

    The network of networks that make up the internet constitute a sprawling, general purpose platform upon which financial markets, business, and trade, as well as diplomacy, spying, national security, and war depend. The world’s largest electronic payments system operator, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications’ (SWIFT) secure messaging network carries over 25 million messages a day involving payments that are believed to be worth over $7 trillion USD.59 Likewise, the world’s biggest foreign currency settlement system, the CLS Bank, executes upward of a million trades a day worth between $1.5 and $2.5 trillion over the global cable systems—although that is down by half from its high point in 2008.60 As Stephen Malphrus, former chief of staff to the US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, observed, when “communications networks go down, the financial services sector does not grind to a halt, rather it snaps to a halt.”61

    Governments and militaries also account for a significant portion of internet traffic. Indeed, 90 to 95 percent of US government traffic, including sensitive diplomatic and military orders, travels over privately owned cables to reach officials in the field.62 “A major portion of DoD data traveling on undersea cables is unmanned aerial vehicle video,” notes a study done for the Department of Homeland Security by MIT scholar Michael Sechrist.63 Indeed, the Department of Defense’s entire Global Information Grid shares space in these cables with the general public internet.64

    The 3.6 billion people as of early 2016 who use the internet to communicate, share music, ideas and knowledge, browse, upload videos, tweet, blog, organize social events and political protests, watch pornography, read sacred texts, and sell stuff are having the greatest influence on the current phase of internet infrastructure development. Video currently makes up an estimated two-thirds of all internet traffic, and is expected to grow to 80 percent in the next five years,69 with US firms leading the way. Netflix single-handedly accounts for a third of all internet traffic. YouTube is the second largest source of internet traffic on fixed and mobile networks alike the world over. Altogether, the big five internet giants account for roughly half of all “prime-time” internet traffic, a phrasing that deliberately reflects the fact that internet usage swells and peaks at the same time as the classic prime-time television period, that is, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

    Importance des investissements des compagnies de l’internet dans les projets de câbles.

    Several things stand out from this analysis. First, in less than a decade, Google has carved out a very large place for itself through its ownership role in four of the six projects (the SJC, Faster, Unity, and Pacific Cable Light initiatives), while Facebook has stakes in two of them (APG and PLCN) and Microsoft in the PLCN project. This is a relatively new trend and one that should be watched in the years ahead.

    A preliminary view based on the publicly available information is that the US internet companies are important but subordinate players in consortia dominated by state-owned national carriers and a few relatively new competitors. Keen to wrest control of core elements of the internet infrastructure that they perceive to have been excessively dominated by United States interests in the past, Asian governments and private investors have joined forces to change things in their favor. In terms of the geopolitical economy of the internet, there is both a shift toward the Asia-Pacific region and an increased role for national governments.

    Return of the State as Regulator of Concentrated Markets

    In addition to the expanded role of the state as market builder, regulator, and information infrastructure policy maker, many regulators have also rediscovered the reality of significant market concentration in the telecom-internet and media industries. Indeed, the US government has rejected several high-profile telecoms mergers in recent years, such as AT&T’s proposal to take over T-Mobile in 2011, T-Mobile’s bid for Sprint in 2014, and Comcast’s attempt to acquire Time Warner Cable last year. Even the approval of Comcast’s blockbuster takeover of NBC Universal in 2011, and Charter Communications acquisition of Time Warner Cable last year, respectively, came with important strings attached and ongoing conduct regulation designed to constrain the companies’ ability to abuse their dominant market power.87 The FCC’s landmark 2016 ruling to reclassify broadband internet access as a common carrier further indicated that US regulators have been alert to the realities of market concentration and telecoms-internet access providers’ capacity to abuse that power, and the need to maintain a vigilant eye to ensure that their practices do not swamp people’s rights to freely express themselves, maintain control over the collection, retention, use, and disclosure of their personal information, and to access a diverse range of services over the internet.88 The 28 members of the European Union, along with Norway, India, and Chile, have adopted similar “common carriage/network neutrality/open network”89 rules to offset the reality that concentration in core elements of these industries is “astonishingly high”90 on the basis of commonly used indicators (e.g., concentration ratios and the Herfindahl–Hirschman Index).

    These developments indicate a new phase in internet governance and control. In the first phase, circa the 1990s, technical experts and organizations such as the Internet Engineers Task Force played a large role, while the state sat relatively passively on the sidelines. In the second phase, circa the early to mid-2000s, commercial forces surged to the fore, while internet governance revolved around the ICANN and the multi-stakeholder model. Finally, the revelations of mass internet surveillance by many states and ongoing disputes over the multi-stakeholder, “internet freedom” agenda on the one side, versus the national sovereignty, multilateral model where the ITU and UN system would play a larger role in internet governance all indicate that significant moves are afoot where the relationship between states and markets is now in a heightened state of flux.

    Such claims, however, are overdrawn. They rely too heavily on the same old “realist,” “struggle for control” model where conflict between nation-states has loomed large and business interests and communication technologies served mainly as “weapons of politics” and the handmaidens of national interests from the telegraph in the nineteenth century to the internet today. Yet, nation-states and private business interests, then and now, not only compete with one another but also cooperate extensively to cultivate a common global space of economic accumulation. Communication technologies and business interests, moreover, often act independent of the nation-state and via “private structures of cooperation,” that is, cartels and consortia, as the history and contemporary state of the undersea cable networks illustrate. In fact, the internet infrastructure of the twenty-first century, much like that of the industrial information infrastructure of the past 150 years, is still primarily financed, owned, and operated by many multinational consortia, although more than a few submarine communications cables are now owned by a relatively new roster of competitive players, such as Tata, Level 3, Global Cloud Xchange, and so forth. They have arisen mostly in the last 20 years and from new quarters, such as India in the case of Tata, for example.

    #Economie_numérique #Géopolitique #Câbles_sous_marins

  • Spotify, Google, Tons of Other Companies Will Protest to Save Net Neutrality - Motherboard

    The protest is organized by Fight for the Future, freepress, and Demand Progress. It’s set to happen five days before the first deadline for comments on the FCC’s proposal to remove the classification of broadband as a telecommunications service. It’s part of FCC chief and former Verizon executive Ajit Pai’s attempt to destroy what protects the internet from fast lanes and discrimination by monolithic internet service providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.


  • La neutralité du net aux États-Unis, c’est bientôt fini

    Aux États-Unis, le régulateur des télécoms lance le chantier pour mettre un terme à la neutralité du net, à la plus grande satisfaction des fournisseurs d’accès. Mais les partisans de ce principe n’ont pas dit leur dernier mot et la mobilisation se met en branle pour une bataille qui sera capitale. C’était cousu de fil blanc. Avec un chef de l’État franchement hostile à la neutralité du net et la nomination à la présidence de la commission fédérale des communications (FCC) d’un opposant farouche à ce (...)

    #Comcast #Sprint #Verizon #neutralité #FCC #Charter


  • F.C.C. Chairman Pushes Sweeping Changes to Net Neutrality Rules - The New York Times

    The chairman, Ajit Pai, said high-speed internet service should no longer be treated like a public utility with strict rules, as it is now. The move would, in effect, largely leave the industry to police itself.

    The plan is Mr. Pai’s most forceful action in his race to roll back rules that govern telecommunications, cable and broadcasting companies, which he says are harmful to business. But he is certain to face a contentious battle with the consumers and tech companies that rallied around the existing rules, which are meant to prevent broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast from giving special treatment to any streaming videos, news sites and other content.

    The policy was the signature telecom regulation of the Obama era. It classified broadband as a common carrier service akin to phones, which are subject to strong government oversight. President Obama made an unusual public push for the reclassification in a video message that was widely shared and appeared to embolden the last F.C.C. chairman, Tom Wheeler, to make the change.

    The classification also led to the creation of broadband privacy rules in 2016 that made it harder to collect and sell browsing information and other user data. Last month, President Trump signed a bill overturning the broadband privacy regulations, which would have gone into effect at the end of the year.

    Last week, Mr. Pai went to Silicon Valley to meet with executives of tech companies like Facebook, Oracle, Cisco and Intel to solicit their support for revisions to the broadband rules. The Silicon Valley companies are divided on their views about the existing policy, with internet companies like Facebook supporting strong rules and hardware and chip makers open to Mr. Pai’s changes.

    The F.C.C.’s policing of broadband companies has drawn greater interest with recent proposals for big mergers, such as AT&T’s $85 billion bid for Time Warner, that create huge media conglomerates that distribute and own video content. Already, AT&T is giving mobile subscribers free streaming access to television content by DirecTV, which it owns. Consumer groups have complained that such practices, known as sponsored data, put rivals at a disadvantage and could help determine what news and information is most likely to reach consumers.

    About 800 tech start-ups and investors, organized by the Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator and the San Francisco policy advocacy group Engine, protested the unwinding of net neutrality in a letter sent to Mr. Pai on Wednesday.

    “Without net neutrality, the incumbents who provide access to the internet would be able to pick winners or losers in the market,” they wrote in the letter.

    So far, Google and Netflix, the most vocal proponents of net neutrality in previous years, have not spoken individually about Mr. Pai’s proposal. Speaking through their trade group, the Internet Association, they said the broadband and net neutrality rules should stay intact.
    “Rolling back these rules or reducing the legal sustainability of the order will result in a worse internet for consumers and less innovation online,” Michael Beckerman, chief executive of the Internet Association, said in a statement.


  • The Republican Party Is Ready to Sell Off Your Internet Privacy at a Level That Boggles the Mind | Alternet

    Trump’s new Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, recently co-authored what is either an intentionally or naively deceptive op-ed in The Washington Post.

    Pai suggested that when Republicans in the House and Senate – without a single Democratic vote in either body – voted to legalize your Internet Service Provider – your ISP – to sell your personal (and you-thought-private) browsing information and the content of your emails and video-viewing to anybody they choose, they were actually working to “protect” your privacy. He knew this, he wrote, because critics of the GOP policy “don’t understand how advertising works.”

    Pai’s argument is basically that if Google can sell or use your information, then Comcast, AT&T, Time-Warner, etc., should be able to, too.

    But there’s a fundamental difference. If you don’t want Google to sell or use your information, you can use a search engine (like or an online store that promises not to.

    But your internet service provider sees everything you do on the internet, right down to the keystroke level. They can monitor every VOIP conversation, make note of every search or purchase, and transcribe every email or IM. Just like your phone company, before Title II, could listen in on every one of your phone calls.


  • American Congress approves for ISPs to sell your browsing history

    With this comes an end to the privacy rules established by the FCC during Obama, less than a year ago, and where ISPs first had to ask your permission

    Reaction of the EFF:

    If the bill is signed into law, companies like Cox, Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T, and Verizon will have free rein to hijack your searches, sell your data, and hammer you with unwanted advertisements. Worst yet, consumers will now have to pay a privacy tax by relying on VPNs to safeguard their information.

    Article en français: