Tags: eu*

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  1. 1)The UK Government have announced they have developed an algorithmic tool to remove ISIS presence from the web.
    2) Copyright industries have called for similar programs to be installed that can remove un-approved creative content in the United States.
    3) The European Commission has suggested that filters can be used to “proactively detect, identify, and remove” anything illegal – from comments sections on news sites to Facebook posts.
    4) The Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive, currently being debated by MEPs, is proposing using technical filters to block copyrighted content from being posted.

    There’s a recklessness to all of these proposals – because so much of them involve sidestepping legal processes.

    EFF coined the term “shadow regulation” for rules that are made outside of the legislative process, and that’s what is happening here. A cosy relationship between business and governments has developed that the public are being left outside of when it comes to limiting online speech.
    https://blog.p2pfoundation.net/the-da...hip-and-circumventing-laws/2018/02/28
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  2. Ever since the European Commission presented its hugely controversial proposal to force internet platforms to employ censorship machines, the copyright world has been eagerly awaiting the position of the European Parliament. Today, the person tasked with steering the copyright reform through Parliament, rapporteur Axel Voss, has finally issued the text he wants the Parliament to go forward with.

    It’s a green light for censorship machines: Mr. Voss has kept the proposal originally penned by his German party colleague, former Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger, almost completely intact.

    In doing so, he is dismissing calls from across the political spectrum to stop the censorship machines. He is ignoring one and a half years of intense academic and political debate pointing out the proposal’s many glaring flaws. He is discarding the work of several committees of the Parliament which came out against upload filters, and of his predecessor and party colleague MEP Comodini, who had correctly identified the problems almost a year ago. He is brushing off the concerns about the proposal’s legality several national governments have voiced in Council. And he is going against the recently published coalition agreement of the new German government – which is going to include Voss’ own Christian Democratic Party – where filtering obligations are rejected as disproportionate.
    https://juliareda.eu/2018/02/voss-upload-filters
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  3. L’obiettivo di Juncker mi pare molto evidente: preparare i mercati ad aggredire l’Italia il giorno dopo le elezioni, far salire lo spread sui titoli di Stato e porre le condizioni per un governo di unità nazionale. L’Unione Europea, infatti, vuole applicare il fiscal compact – votato da centro destra e centro sinistra 4 anni fa – e quindi obbligare il governo italiano a recuperare 50 miliardi l’anno attraverso stangate o privatizzazioni. L’unico modo per praticare questa guerra contro il popolo italiano è quella di terrorizzare il popolo italiano in modo da annichilirlo e quindi di avere un governo di unità nazionale, in cui i maggiori partiti siano coinvolti. Perché nella migliore tradizione mafiosa, il lavoro sporco si fa “tutti assieme”.

    Juncker non ha spaventato i mercati ma ha detto ai mercati – cioè ai banchieri e agli speculatori che fanno parte della classe dominante come Juncker – che dopo il 5 possono e devono cominciare a speculare sull’Italia e parimenti ha indicato la strada in cui l’Italia si dovrà incamminare: un devastante processo di privatizzazione che è – per quegli stessi banchieri e speculatori – una ghiottissima occasione per spolpare una volta di più il bel paese.

    Da questo punto di vista le lamentele dei principali partiti politici sono pura ipocrisia perché condividono con Juncker l’obiettivo di applicare il fiscal compact, sia pure con varianti diverse. Al centro destra e al centro sinistra – di cui giova ricordare che fanno parte Lega e LeU, che hanno votato il pareggio di bilancio in Costituzione e che non chiedono di toglierlo – si è aggiunto anche il Movimento 5 Stelle che su questi temi ha cambiato radicalmente posizione. Mentre i 5 stelle di Beppe Grillo erano per fare il referendum sull’euro, i 5 Stelle di Di Maio propongono nel loro programma di tagliare il debito pubblico di 40 punti in 10 anni. Visto che il fiscal compact prevede il taglio di 70 punti di debito in 20 anni, chiunque può facilmente capire che i 5 Stelle propongono di applicare una versione peggiorata del fiscal compact (in cambio di una maggiore possibilità di manovra sul deficit). Si capisce perché Di Maio è stato accolto bene dalla City….

    Parimenti è evidente che da Forza Italia al Pd, dai 5 stelle a Liberi e Uguali, tutti sono concordi sul fatto che – se necessario – occorrerà dar vita ad un governo del Presidente che guidi la transizione. La disponibilità ad un governo di unità nazionale – i cui pesi relativi e i cui partecipanti saranno definiti dalle elezioni – ma il cui obiettivo già definito è l’applicazione del fiscal compact, non solo è chiara, ma è anche condivisa da queste liste. Non sto dicendo che sono uguali: sto dicendo che sono le ali di destra, di centro e di sinistra dello schieramento disposto ad applicare i trattati europei così come sono.

    Le dichiarazioni di Juncker non rappresentano quindi il biascicare dell’ubriaco: sono il primo segnale di una aggressione speculativa sull’Italia che determinando un clima di emergenza – Monti docet – porrà la “necessità” di “unire le forze responsabili” per “dare un governo la paese” evitando il default.

    Questa è cosa ci aspetta dopo le elezioni: ovviamente i terminali italiani di questa operazione non ne parlano nemmeno sotto tortura: sono troppo impegnati a far promesse che non manterranno. Questo spiega anche perché la lista Potere al popolo sia stata così pesantemente oscurata: al popolo italiano non far sapere che oltre ai liberisti e ai fascisti esiste anche una sinistra antiliberista che propone un’alternativa concreta.

    Perché i soldi ci sono, bisogna prenderli a chi ne ha troppi, invece di continuare a strangolare coloro che non ne hanno più e spingerli alla guerra tra i poveri. Il voto a Potere al Popolo non solo è utile, è necessario!
    https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2018...-cosa-ci-aspetta-dopo-il-voto/4184073
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  4. Brexiteers have ostensibly got what they want: Brexit. They assumed we could dictate the terms; we can’t. They assumed we could just walk away; we can’t. They had no more plans for leaving than a dog chasing a car has to drive it. They are now finding out how little sovereignty means for a country the size of Britain in a neoliberal globalised economy beyond blue passports (which we could have had anyway). What we need isn’t a change of leader but a change of direction.

    May is no more personally to blame for the mess we are in with Europe than Anthony Eden was for the mess with the 1956 Suez crisis – which provides a more salient parallel for Britain than the second world war. It took Britain and France overplaying their hand, in punishing Egypt for seizing the Suez canal from colonial control and nationalising it, to realise their imperial influence had been eclipsed by the US and was now in decline.

    “France and England will never be powers comparable to the United States,” the West German chancellor at the time, Konrad Adenauer, told the French foreign minister. “Not Germany either. There remains to them only one way of playing a decisive role in the world: that is to unite Europe … We have no time to waste; Europe will be your revenge.”

    Once again, Britain has overplayed its hand. Preferring to live in the past rather than learn from it, we find ourselves diminished in the present and clueless about the future.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentis...imperial-fantasies-brexit-theresa-may
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  5. Mark Zuckerberg also launched Facebook with a disdain for intrusive advertising, but it wasn’t long before the social network giant became Google’s biggest competitor for ad dollars. After going public with 845 million users in 2012, Facebook became a multibillion-dollar company and Zuckerberg one of the richest men on Earth, but with only a promise that the company would figure out how to monetize its platform.

    Facebook ultimately sold companies on its platform by promising “brand awareness” and the best possible data on what consumers actually liked. Brands could start their own Facebook pages, which people would actually “like” and interact with. This provided unparalleled information about what company each individual person wanted to interact with the most. By engaging with companies on Facebook, people gave corporate marketing departments more information than they could have ever dreamed of buying, but here it was offered up free.

    This was the “grand bargain,” as Columbia University law professor Tim Wu called it in his book, The Attention Merchants, that users struck with corporations. Wu wrote that Facebook’s “billions of users worldwide were simply handing over a treasure trove of detailed demographic data and exposing themselves to highly targeted advertising in return for what, exactly?”

    In other words: We will give you every detail of our lives and you will get rich by selling that information to advertisers.

    European regulators are now saying that bargain was a bad deal. The big question that remains is whether their counterparts in the U.S. will follow their lead.
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...antitrust_us_5a625023e4b0dc592a088f6c
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  6. urope has propelled past the United States when it comes to constraining the abuses of Big Tech. In June, the European Union fined Google $2.7 billion for steering web users to its shopping site, and investigations remain active over similar treatment on Android phones. European regulators fined Facebook for lying about whether it could match user profiles with phone numbers on its messaging acquisition WhatsApp. They demanded Apple repay $15.3 billion in back taxes in Ireland. And they forced Amazon to change its e-book contracts, which they claimed inappropriately squeezed publishers.
    AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

    Trust-Busted: In 2002, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates had to testify at federal court in his company's antitrust case. The public trial led Microsoft to sfoten its aggressive strategy against rivals.

    Unfortunately, these actions were treated mainly as the cost of doing business. The Facebook fine totaled not even 1 percent of the $22 billion purchase price for WhatsApp, and it allowed the two companies to remain partnered. Government policy, in effect, has “told these companies that the smart thing to do is to lie to us and break the law,” said Scott Galloway in his presentation. Google’s remedy in the shopping case still forces rivals to bid for placement at the top of the page, with Google Shopping spun off as a stand-alone competitor. This does weaken Google’s power and solves the “equal treatment” problem, but it doesn’t protect consumers, who will ultimately pay for those costly bids. “The EU got a $2.7 billion fine to hold a party and bail out Greek banks,” said Gary Reback, an antitrust lawyer and critic of the EU’s actions. “No amount of money will make a difference.”

    However, one thing might: Europe’s increasing move toward data privacy. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), scheduled for implementation in May 2018, empowers European web users to affirmatively opt out of having their data collected, with high penalties for non-compliance. Consumers will be able to obtain their personal data and learn how it is used. They can request that their data be erased completely (known as the “right to be forgotten”) as well as prohibited from sale to third parties. Platforms could not condition use of their products on data collection. A separate, not-yet-finalized regulation called ePrivacy would forbid platforms from tracking users across separate apps, websites, and devices.
    http://prospect.org/article/big-tech-new-predatory-capitalism
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  7. The business model is unusually communal. The field is “open” in the sense that he sells his produce to 320 people in the immediate neighborhood, who each pay between €220 and €320 per year, depending on their income, for the right to come and harvest food on his land.

    “The important thing is that everyone can join and the strongest can bear the heaviest weight,” Troonbeeckx said, recounting that part of the motivation behind his socially supportive model came from seeing his mother left far worse off after his parents divorced.

    “Since I’m not into international markets or the multinational economic system, I can create my own economy,” he said, looking out over a field of pumpkins and winter salad leaves.

    Troonbeeckx’s farm, though nowhere near as big, follows a similar ethic.

    He employs complex rotational methods that allow his cows to eat the grass, fertilize the soil and then change location to a new pasture so that vegetables can be planted using his newly-enriched soil. But getting such projects off the ground is much harder than it looks — in his first years of farming, he had to work in a restaurant just to makes ends meet.

    “Only people who have dreamt of being a farmer since a child should do it. It’s something that burns deep insides,” Troonbeeckx said. “If that fire does not burn then do not do it.”
    https://www.politico.eu/article/flemi...conventional-wisdom-on-eu-farm-policy
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2018-01-04)
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  8. When in times past we have isolated ourselves from the Continent in the name of 'empire' or 'sovereignty,' we were soon sucked back in. This will inevitably happen again, given our power, trade, democratic values and sheer geography.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/...legislation-in-lifetime-a8134316.html
    Tags: , , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-12-31)
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  9. The EU Council guidelines on transition and trade, published the same day, make clear that there is a binary choice and the UK cannot have Norway-style benefits with Canada-style freedoms. Britain needs to choose.

    And it is time for the Government to accept that the Canada deal does not fit our country. As Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress, pointed out, it “does nowhere near enough to protect workers’ rights and public services”.
    - ADVERTISEMENT -

    A Canada-style deal would not protect jobs, living standards, environmental rights or protect the Good Friday Agreement.

    Only staying in the Customs Union and Single Market will secure all of the rights we have come to rely on. Labour was right to call for continued membership during the transition phase and put continued membership back on the negotiating table.

    MPs must now go further: vote to ensure the Government cannot force us out of the Single Market without Parliamentary approval, as well as backing the vote to make sure there is a meaningful vote in Parliament at the end of the Brexit process. The future of our country depends on it.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry...exit-deal_uk_5a2ff6fbe4b0cf10effbb0a0
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2017-12-13)
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  10. The joint divorce agreement hammered out in the intervening 528 days makes clear that little remains of the many red lines set out by Theresa May in her Lancaster House speech or party conference address of 2016.

    The first, and biggest, concession is buried in paragraph 49 of the 15-page report published early on Friday morning. Its implications will be anything but quiet in the weeks to come, for it undermines the prime minister’s previous insistence that Britain will be leaving the single market.

    It states clearly: “In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the internal market and the customs union.” In other words, the UK may not be a member of the single market, or have any direct ability to shape its rules in future, but it could yet have to play by them in perpetuity.

    Much will be made of the “in the absence of agreed solutions” caveat, yet what it means in practice is that the UK hopes to flesh out this pledge through a wider free trade agreement with the EU. If the other 27 members were reluctant to allow any wriggle room in the first phase of talks, they are even less likely to budge now that this principle is established as a back-stop.


    Then there is the UK’s promise to free itself from interference by the European court of justice. Where once this seemed the most implacable of red lines, signs of continued ECJ involvement are strewn throughout the divorce agreement.

    Most striking is the commitment to allow EU citizens living in UK to continue to rely on the court to enforce the many legal rights that will be enshrined as a result of the agreement.

    “For EU citizens the ECJ will still be competent,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, as he announced the deal.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/...ain-theresa-may-red-lines-brexit-deal
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