Taiwan’s quest to become a “blockchain island”

It has been over ten years since the world first heard of Bitcoin, but blockchain’s applications are still in their infancy. One legislator in Taiwan wants to change that. Nicknamed “Crypto Congressman” by Vitalik Buterin, Jason Hsu worked as a tech entrepreneur before getting involved in politics in 2016. Today, he’s on a mission to turn Taiwan into the world’s next blockchain island and crypto nation. 

Hsu believes that one of the main challenges for global policy making is bridging the gap between society and technology. He’s bringing his open-minded perspective to Taiwan’s parliament in an effort to promote a more tech-driven future for the country. A future in which blockchain plays a key role. 

Taiwan’s tech-forward governance

 “In September 2017 when China banned ICOs, I realized that Taiwan could capitalize on this opportunity,” explained Hsu in an interview. That’s when his quest to introduce blockchain-friendly legislation in the country began.

What followed was the launch of a fintech sandbox in Taiwan. The idea was two-fold: to attract more foreign investment and to encourage more homegrown tech startups in the financial sector. Favorable regulations coupled with a big pool of local engineering talent are hoped to put Taiwan on the map of world-class fintech hubs. 

But Hsu’s aspiration reaches far beyond the sandbox. He envisions applying blockchain to various aspects of governance: from the Department of Health, through Education, to Justice. The Crypto Congressman is currently involved in 25 different projects that aim to increase efficiency and improve people’s lives with blockchain. He also promised to develop an entire blockchain district in Taipei with a special community coin that would be issued to entrepreneurs. 

What can blockchain do for the people? 

Blockchain has gotten a lot of bad reputation in the last few years. When the Bitcoin bubble burst, skeptics were quick to proclaim blockchain a fad. Others, on the other hand, pointed out that the internet started with a speculative bubble, too. It was only after the dot-com crisis that the World Wide Web reached its maturity. Is blockchain’s real potential still largely unexplored? 

According to Hsu and other visionary legislators, the answer is yes. They see the crypto speculation as a distraction from far greater tasks ahead: improving public services and increasing trust in governments. 

The most important thing you need to know about blockchain is that it consists of a chain of immutable blocks, or pieces of information if you will. Every single transaction is recorded and the records stay in the system forever. You can’t delete, change or hide the data. 

For governments, this could be a real deal-breaker. All the mundane transactions between the citizens and the government bodies would be revolutionized. Birth and death certificates, academic degrees, deeds, proof of identity and any other paperwork could all exist in the decentralized system. This would prevent fraud and make safe online transactions a lot easier, including e-voting or online property exchange. 

The distributed ledger system can also be used to hold governments accountable and fight corruption. Blockchain could provide a permanent record of all public funds and spendings. In a utopian scenario, each citizen would be able to track where every penny of their taxes goes. 

Blockchain adoption worldwide

Taiwan is not the only country to experiment with blockchain. The small nation of the Marshall Islands is set to become the world’s first state to adopt a digital legal tender. Sovereign, or SOV, will supplement the US dollar, which is currently the official currency of the Marshall Islands. Following the launch of the national cryptocurrency, the country will transition to a new model of governance, based on blockchain. 

Another country incorporating blockchain for governance is Estonia. The Baltic state uses Ethereum to manage its e-residency program. Under the first-of-its-kind scheme, anyone can apply online to become an e-citizen in Estonia and legally start a business there. With cutting-edge initiatives like this one, it’s no surprise that the Estonian government was quick to embrace blockchain. However, the plans to roll out a national cryptocurrency, Estcoin, were paused indefinitely. 

And finally, there is a contestant for the “blockchain island” title eyed by Taiwan. Malta is known as one of the most blockchain-friendly countries in the world, thanks to a very favorable regulatory framework passed in 2018. The island country already managed to attract many large cryptocurrency exchanges: OKEx and Binance, for example, have established their headquarters there. 

Technology is the only way forward

More and more governments around the world are realizing what Jason Hsu already knows: that “blockchain is here to stay.” Implementation of blockchain-powered technologies is no longer an “if” but a “when”. In a fast-paced digital environment, legislators have a choice to move forward with the tech developments or become obsolete. The entrepreneurial spirit of “moving fast and breaking stuff” that Hsu brings to Taiwanese parliament might be just what contemporary policymakers need. 

The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

Note to the new EU Commission: Consumer privacy is key

Brussels, BE – The incoming Commission President, Ursula von Der Leyen, will have a series of politically delicate hurdles to contend with in the field of cybersecurity. Here is why certification schemes are needed for that goal.

Not least in the domain of 5G, where the EU has come under increased pressure from American counterparts set to adopt a hostile position against next-generation technologies emanating from the far east.

Europe-wide, following a Commission recommendation for a common EU approach to the security of 5G networks, member states have recently submitted national risk assessments – providing an overview of their most pressing concerns in the future development of 5G infrastructure. These assessments will feed into the next phase, an EU-wide risk assessment to be completed by October 1st.

As part of the European cybersecurity strategy, certification schemes should be implemented on both services and networks.

Luca Bertoletti, Senior European Affairs Manager at the Consumer Choice Center responds: “We welcomed the implementation of the cybersecurity certification schemes but we hope the new commission will keep high standards.

“In our paper written by Mikołaj Barczentewicz, a research associate at the Oxford Centre for Technology & Global Affairs, we recommend using liability rules for operators and resellers of software and devices that expose consumers to the risk of malicious and illegal interference. Personal liability of company directors and executives should be also considered.

“We look forward to starting a productive discussion with the new commission on how to make consumers’ digital life, in the 5G era, more secure and private,” said Bertoletti.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

Originally published here

Competition is essential to create a secure and innovative supply chain for 5G

Open markets and free trade have increased consumers’ prosperity in Europe and across the world. The impact of the technological advances that contributed to a massive connectivity and freedom of consumers would not have been possible without the existence of a global set of standards that promote competition and choice in the global market for information and communication technologies (ICT). The flipside of this bespoke connectivity can be seen in growing fear about massive data leaks and authoritarian governments targeting cyber-attacks at liberal democracies. News of all mobile data being rerouted from Europe through some Chinese nodes isn’t happening in a Black Mirror episode but is the frightening reality these days.

For decades telecommunications and internet-enabled businesses have relied on openness to operate complex networks and preserve the integrity of the information transmitted. Their efficiency and the ease with which consumers access these services depends on seamless interoperability across key technology vendors and the technical standards that underpin the network components that they build.

However, modern political realities have revealed the caveats of this globalized and interconnected system. As former German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor Joschka Fischer wrote, “technology andsoftware exports are no longer just a matter of business; they are about power.” This is particularly evident in the telecommunications sector. National governments’ desire to field next generation 5G networks is being tempered by their growing concern over the security pitfalls created by the overreliance and dominance of untrustworthy vendors in the supply chain for 5G technology. The importance of a secure 5G is evident as governments across the European Union are currently undertaking comprehensive assessments of their exposure and risk to security vulnerabilities in the supply chain.  

While potential threats to national security are serious, pursuing a strategy of brinkmanship risks elevating geopolitical concerns at the expense of an opportunity to enact comprehensive standards for 5G. National governments and industry must reinforce their commitments to the principles that gave  consumers a thriving global technology sector in the first place: open markets and choice for ICT products and services. Safeguarding consumer privacy and security requires a coordinated framework to facilitate vendor diversity. Additionally, liberal democracies need to ensure that no single vendor from an autocratic or illiberal country of origin can monopolize their respective ICT market for 5G or legacy 4G and LTE networks.  

Security must be a defining feature of the standards and norms that govern the global ICT supply chain as well as the individual pieces of software and hardware that businesses and consumers depend on. Inaction risks the ability of businesses and consumers to exercise meaningful choice in critical 5G and other ICT products and services. Some of the EU’s largest member states, such as Germany and Italy, have used the auctions of spectrum licenses as a cash cow for their national budgets instead of seeing newly utilized frequencies as a gamechanger for consumers’ connectivity. This has led to the undesired consequence that many operators are cash-strapped and tend to go for the cheapest rather than the most trustworthy infrastructure provider. This has led us to a path dependency of toxic reliance on very few suppliers with questionable motives.

With coordinated technical standards for interoperability, such as the more trustworthy open source solutions, comes greater trust and transparency. As advancements in technology transform all matter of global exchange these principles must be reinforced and expanded to better protect consumers, promote innovation and foster a safe and secure digital ecosystem.

Fred Roeder, Managing Director of the Consumer Choice Center, and Luca Bertoletti, European Affairs Manager of the Consumer Choice Center

Originally published here

Post-Brexit opportunity: making the internet less annoying

They’re cookies, and they’re not the delicious kind: internet cookies pop up on every new website we click on. The pop-up often says something like this: “We use cookies to help our site work, to understand how it is used, and to tailor the adverts presented on our site. By clicking “Accept” below, you agree to us doing so. You can read more in our cookie notice. Or, if you do not agree, you can click “Manage” below to access other choices.” What cookies do essentially is store information on your device on how and where you navigate on their website.

When retrieving the information from your device, the website knows what particularly caught your eye, and they can improve their website structure or marketing based on this data. However, cookies can also be useful to the user, in that it stores your password, and keeps you logged into your favourite social media platform or airline account. The way rules are today, you need to opt-in to allowing cookies to be stored.

It wasn’t always that way. Prior to the “Citizen’s Rights Directive“, users were assumed to having opted-in to the sites cookie policy, automatically and then explicitly opted-out if they wished. In 2009, this directive changed the approach from an opt-out to an opt-in, as it was with the privacy directive since 2002. This has created a wave of annoying pop-ups, that can sometimes block half the screen, and deteriorate user experience.

Part of the directive sets the rules regarding cookie consent, and only implies two instances for implicit consent (meaning you are assumed consenting to the use of cookies), both relating to providing a service that the user specifically requested. For instance, an online shop remembering what you put into your shopping cart, does not need explicit consent.

The reformed privacy regulation of the European Union – ePrivacy Regulation – is set to come into effect this year, but no reform of cookie consent riles is planned. This would continue the cycle of annoying cookies. However, implementations can vary. Germany has an opt-out approach, so long as data collected by cookies immediately undergo pseudonymisation and are kept in a pseudonymised state. Your cookie disclaimer in Germany will also always state that continued use of the website implies consent.

But there is an easier option already on the market. A well-reflected reform would put all cookie use under implicit consent, with the knowledge that users can use often free and already existing software that allows them to opt-out of all cookie use that they deem unsuited for them. This allows consumers to take their data use into their own hands, without an unnecessary and ineffective pop-up on every website. This could also be an integrated feature in browsers, that would allow consumers to easily navigate their privacy rules in one centralised place.

This represents yet another way in which regulatory independence would allow the UK to diverge from bad EU policies.

Bill Wirtz is a Senior Policy Analyst for the Consumer Choice Centre.

Originally published here

Deimantė Rimkutė. ES – pasaulio duomenų policininkė?

Lisabonos sutartimi visuotinai patvirtinta Europos Sąjungos Pagrindinių teisių chartija įtvirtino naują žmogaus teisę. Tai teisė į duomenų apsaugą. Tuomet dar niekas nežinojo, kokią įtaką globaliam pasauliui ji turės.

Nuo gero administravimo principo sudedamosios iki žmogaus teisės

Pirmasis Europos Sąjungos teisės aktas, reglamentuojantis duomenų apsaugą, patvirtintas 1995 m.. Tiesa, šioje direktyvoje duomenų apsauga pirmiausiai siejosi su gero administravimo principais. Laikui bėgant duomenų apsaugos traktavimas keitėsi ir jos svarbumas augo. 2009 m. Europos Sąjunga aštuntame Chartijos straipsnyje įtvirtindama teisę į duomenų apsaugą kaip žmogaus teisę tapo pasauline pioniere. Joks kitas tarptautinis teisės aktas, o tarp jų ir Tarptautinė pilietinių ir politinių teisių konvencija, jos prieš tai nenumatė.

Šis veiksmas akademiniame pasaulyje kėlė intriguojančias diskusijas. Dažniausiai duomenų apsauga buvo pateikiama kaip kitų teisių sudedamoji. Vokietijos konstitucinis teismas ją siejo su orumu, Prancūzijos su laisve. Ji taip pat buvo susijusi su daugeliu kitų: teise į privatumą, teise reikšti savo įsitikinimus, išpažinti religiją, saviraiškos laisve, teisingu teismu. Kilo klausimų, kas duomenų apsaugą pateisina kaip savarankišką žmogaus teisę? Matyt, kad grėsmė. Teisė tampa žmogaus teise, kai ji siejasi su tam tikromis svarbiomis vertybėmis, o šių apsaugai kyla pavojus.

Kaip teigia mokslininkas Yvonne McDermott, skaidrumas, nediskriminacija, individo autonomija, privatumas – yra vertybės, kurias šiandien, skaitmenizacijos amžiuje, užtikrinti vis sunkiau. Kai ankstesnių pramonės revoliucijų įkvėpimo šaltinis buvo i) mechanizacija, ii) elektra ir degalai, iii) atominė energija, ketvirtoji pramonės revoliucija pasižymi naujosiomis technologijomis, o tarp jų ir vis didėjančia duomenų svarba.

Ir nors visiškai užkirsti kelią laisvam duomenų tekėjimui – ne tik naivu, bet ir netikslinga, tačiau stengtis užtikrinti duomenų apsaugą bei apsaugoti Europos Sąjungos piliečius – svarbu ir pozityvu.
Šį tikslą tiek Europai, tiek visam likusiam laisvam pasauliui iškėlė Europos politikai. Na, o Chartijoje numatyta duomenų apsaugos kaip žmogaus teisės užuomina buvo realizuota Bendrajame duomenų apsaugos reglamente. Būtent šis veiksmas prie ES pavadinimo prilipino ,,duomenų policininko“ etiketę.

Jau paminėtos vertybės bei jų apsaugojimas šiuo metu realizuojamas Europos Sąjungos valstybės narėse. Privatumo idėja turi skirtingas interpretacijas, vieni ją gali sieti su mažesniais privatumo lūkesčiais, kiti su platesniu jų spektru, akivaizdu, kad vienais atvejais duomenų rinkimas pateisinamas, tačiau kitais – jis smerktinas ir proporcingai nereikalingas.

Žmogaus autonomija susijusi su savo paties galimybe duomenis kontroliuoti. Skaidrumas reiškia galimybę žinoti, kad duomenys gali būti apdorojami bei apdorojimo būdus. Nediskriminacija taip pat siejasi su skaidrumu, duomenų valdytojas turi užtikrinti prevencinius mechanizmus, kurie užkirstų kelią galimai diskriminacijai. Žinoma, pozityvus tikslas nebūtinai garantuoja norimą rezultatą.

Duomenų apsaugos kaip žmogaus teisės įgyvendinimo iššūkiai

Vienas iš pagrindinių iššūkių duomenų apsaugoje yra didelis kiekis savanoriškai teikiamų duomenų. Socialiniai tinklai, įvairūs prietaisai, kuriuos mes naudojame, renka duomenis apie mūsų biologinę, fizinę, elgsenos informaciją. Naujoji Daiktų interneto (Internet of Things) technologija gali prisidėti prie ne vien prie individualaus naudotojo duomenų rinkimo, bet ir prie jo aplinkoje esančių asmenų informacijos prieigos.

Kitas svarbus klausimas susijęs masiniu sekimu ir valstybių įsikišimo užmojo ribų nustatymu. Buvusio JAV Nacionalinės saugumo agentūros darbuotojo Edwardo Snowdeno informacijos nutekinimas atskleidė, kad visuotinis sekimas gali prisidėti prie teroristinių atakų grėsmės apčiuopimo. Taigi, šiandien susiduriame su sekimo metodų kismu ir aprėpties didėjimu.

Skaitmeninis amžius lemia, kad vis didesnės pastangos telkiamos į duomenimis grįstą sekimą (data surveillance). Akivaizdu, kad tai kuo toliau, tuo labiau kels vis daugiau klausimų, kas yra proporcingas duomenų gavimas, kada jis būtinas ir neišvengiamas.

Duomenų apsaugos klausimas iškyla ir tarptautinio bendradarbiavimo kontekste. Lyderiai neslepia, kad Europos Sąjunga siekia savo privatumo politiką eksportuoti į kitas valstybes bei nacionalinę jų teisę. Vienu atveju tai vyksta per prekybos susitarimus, kitu – per kitas tarptautines sutartis. Na, o gegužę Europos Komisija Pasaulio prekybos organizacijai pristatė e. komercijos taisykles, kurios apsaugotų vartotojus nuo galimų pažeidimų. Tai prisidėtų prie globalaus duomenų apsaugos teisės, kaip žmogaus teisės, pripažinimo.

Originally published here

O futuro do Brasil é digital, mas proibido pelo Governo, analisam Roeder, Giurcin e Freo

Regulamentações impedem avanço

É preciso revogar a ‘lei anacrônica’

Enquanto as novas tecnologias e o comportamento do consumidor criaram um ambiente no qual os serviços digitais convergem e borram as fronteiras entre conteúdo, televisão, streaming e mídia social, a regulamentação ultrapassada da TV por assinatura no Brasil é uma grande barreira ao desenvolvimento do lucrativo mercado de serviços digitais no país. Longe de ser um grande tabu, essa opinião é consensual até mesmo entre representantes de órgãos reguladores.

Regulamentações desatualizadas impedem o Brasil de se tornar competitivo nos mercados digitais globais e privam os brasileiros da liberdade de escolher serviços e conteúdo. Um exemplo dessa regulação tóxica para o telespectador está na Lei de Serviços de Comunicação Audiovisual por Acesso Condicionado (Lei do Seac), que está bloqueando a criação de um mercado digital único, no qual as operadoras poderiam integrar conteúdo (como filmes e séries) e canais para fornecer serviços mais abrangentes para os seus assinantes. Recentemente, por exemplo, a Anatel (Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações) proibiu a Fox de vender a assinatura de seus canais diretamente aos consumidores.

Uma lei bem-intencionada pode agora significar que os brasileiros não terão acesso a séries como The Big Bang Theory ou a transmissões de jogos do Campeonato Brasileiro e da UEFA Champions League na TV a cabo. A explicação: ao vedar que uma mesma empresa seja transmissora e produtora de conteúdos ao mesmo tempo, a Lei do Seac barra a fusão entre a AT&T e a Time Warner no Brasil.

A Anatel entende que existe um limite na fusão entre empresas de telecomunicações e empresas de distribuição e licenciamento de conteúdo audiovisual no mercado de TV por assinatura (e apenas nele). E pior: até mesmo o presidente da Anatel, Leonardo de Morais, acredita que a regulação é –abre aspas– “anacrônica, porque está indo contra a convergência que está se desenvolvendo no novo ecossistema digital”.

Revogada ou alterada, a Lei do Seac é urgente para dar segurança jurídica e clareza ao mercado atual. Mais importante ainda: uma mudança na lei funcionaria como um indicador de que o Brasil está se movendo na direção certa em relação a um futuro digital, atraindo as atenções de investidores e empreendedores.

O comissário de informática do Cade (Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica), Gilvandro Araújo, também sugeriu que a proibição legal de integração vertical entre os segmentos de TV paga deveria ser revogada, dada a evolução das tecnologias nessas indústrias. É necessária uma estrutura regulatória que permita a reformulação dos modelos de negócios na era digital e aceite que o governo não pode prever como os consumidores usarão os serviços digitais. Portanto, a regulamentação precisa ser inteligente e flexível.

O papel do regulador tem que mudar para enfrentar a mudança nas estruturas do mercado da economia digital, que incluirá não apenas serviços de TV por assinatura e streaming, mas também setores muito diferentes, como veículos autônomos e eletrodomésticos. É necessário um novo marco regulatório que reconheça que não é possível prever como os serviços digitais e de mídia serão processados no futuro.

O investimento necessário para estes novos serviços é enorme e não apenas impulsionado pelas operadoras de telecomunicações, mas também pelos desenvolvedores de conteúdo e terceiros. Um mercado único e gigante poderia ser criado no Brasil se o governo, o Congresso e as autoridades decidissem ir na mesma direção de um ecossistema digital integrado. Esse mercado é cada vez mais global e é importante que o Brasil não seja um seguidor, mas um importante player desse setor do futuro.

Para que o país emerja como protagonista desse cenário, é importante que o Congresso e o governo revoguem imediatamente a “lei anacrônica”, que arrisca sufocar o desenvolvimento de serviços e produtos para os consumidores brasileiros. Vamos mudar o futuro digital do Brasil acabando com um entulho regulatório ultrapassado que não cabe na tela do século 21.

Originally published here

Deimantė Rimkutė: Tavo (ne)privatumas 5G interneto amžiuje Skaitykite daugiau:

Galbūt iš pirmo žvilgsnio ši frazė gali būti priimta nerūpestingai: „na, ir kas?“ Žinoma, gal ir nieko blogo. Juk būtent dėl to gauname pasiūlymus, kurie kur kas aktualesni. Surinkti duomenys suteikia galimybę paslauga džiaugtis nemokant papildomos naudojimosi kainos. Tačiau lazda turi du galus; didėjantis duomenų surinkimo kiekis atneša ir tam tikras rizikas.

Žmogų apibrėžia ne vien jo asmens kodas, jis yra savimi, nes turi tam tikrą identitetą. Asmeniniai duomenys neatskiriama to dalis, jie atskleidžia žmogaus charakteristiką ir ją iliustruoja. Ši informacija gali būti itin vertinga tiems, kurie turi nebūtinai pačius geriausius tikslus. Dar visai neseniai viešoje erdvėje nuskambėjo JAV prezidento Donaldo Trumpo rinkimų ar Brexito kampanijos technologiniai sprendimai. Surinkti duomenys gali padėjo paveikti rinkimų rezultatus.

Platesniame kontekste per didelis produkto ar paslaugos individualizavimas gali pradėti kurti tam tikrus informacijos „getus“, kai gauname tik tam tikrą specifinę informaciją, kuri mums patinka, o ne tą, kurią galbūt taip pat reikėtų žinoti. Taip pat kiekvieną dieną tarptautinėje erdvėje girdima apie naujas tapatybės vagystes bei finansinius nusikaltimus. Atsakomybė dažnai krenta „paslaugos“ davėjui. Blogiausia, kad verslas ne visada pasirūpina savo vartotojų apsauga ir sukuria galimybę įsilaužėliams patekti į „duomenų namus“ per galines duris.

Tokie incidentai yra įrodymas, kad vartotojų duomenų saugumas ir privatumas nėra pakankamai apsaugotas ir trūksta jau dabar galiojančios teisės mechanizmų įgyvendinimo efektyvumo bei papildomų teisinių priemonių. Protingos politikos atsakas – neišvengiamas. Taigi, kyla klausimas, kaip tobulinti jau esamą tvarką?

Blogiausia, kad verslas ne visada pasirūpina savo vartotojų apsauga ir sukuria galimybę įsilaužėliams patekti į „duomenų namus“ per galines duris.


Nėra vieno sprendimo, kuris užtikrintų duomenų apsaugą. Tačiau galimos skirtingos politikos pasiūlymų kombinacijos. Neseniai atliktame Consumer Choice Center tyrime buvo išskirti trys esminiai elementai: griežtesnė teisinė atsakomybė, papildomi sertifikavimo kriterijai bei draudimai, susiję su kilmės šalimi.

Pažeidimai įvyksta, nes, dažnu atveju, atsakingi asmenys nesielgia taip, kaip nurodyta teisės normose. Nors jau šiandien egzistuoja keli mechanizmai, kurie turėtų tai užtikrinti, akivaizdu, kad jie nėra efektyvūs arba užtektinai nekonkretūs. Tiek ES, tiek nacionalinės elektroninio saugumo taisyklės paprastai konkrečių priemonių nereikalauja apart „tinkamų priemonių“.

ES lygmenyje turėtų būti priimamos papildomos taisyklės, kurios užtikrintų vartotojų apsaugą programinės įrangos naudojimo, pardavimo ar perpardavimo kontekste, kai tai susiję su duomenų apsauga. Svarbu, kad visi papildomi techniniai standartai būtų neutralūs, visai kaip ir pati technologija, neturėtų būti reikalaujama naudoti specifinius tam tikrus paslaugų produktus, nes tai sukeltų kliūtis naujiems rinkos žaidėjams, inovacijų plėtrai.

Taip pat svarbu įsivesti tam tikras saugumo lubas ir grindis, mechanizmą, kuriuo vadovaujantis atsakomybė būtų sumažinta arba pašalinta. Jau dabar egzistuoja ES Kibernetinis aktas, remiantis jo nuostatomis galima būtų sukurti papildomus reikalavimus.

Nors jau šiandien egzistuoja keli mechanizmai, kurie turėtų tai užtikrinti, akivaizdu, kad jie nėra efektyvūs arba užtektinai nekonkretūs.

Anksčiau paminėti draudimai pagal kilmės šalį turėtų būti paskutinė priemonė. Dėl tam tikrų priežasčių galima manyti, kad kai kurios ES vyriausybės daro teisinį ar neteisėtą spaudimą privačioms įmonėms, skatindamos įtraukti programinės įrangos pažeidžiamumą, kuris gali būti panaudotas vyriausybių atstovų. Tai vėliau gali būti naudojama kaip didmeninių draudimų pagal kilmės šalį pateisinimo priežastis. Tokio tipo draudimas tikėtinai naudingi vartotojams nebus. Antra vertus, nerandant kito veiksmingo sprendimo ir nerandant aiškių sprendimų, šis pasiūlymas galėtų būti priimtinas.

Asmens duomenų, privatumo srities reglamentavimas turėtų būti grindžiamas ne vien ekonominėmis laisvėmis, bet ir tam tikra žmogaus teisių apsauga. Juk Lietuvos Respublikos Konstitucija įtvirtina asmens teisę į privatumą ir orumą. Akivaizdu, kad didėjant asmens duomenų reikšmei, ši sritis reikalauja tinkamesnio reglamentavimo, kuris užtikrintų žmogaus teises, tačiau taip pat ir nesužlugdytų inovacijų plėtros.

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Attempts To Block Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency May Backfire

Consumer group: Congressional attempt to block Facebook‘s Libra cryptocurrency harms consumer choice and will backfire

Washington, D.C. – Days after Facebook announced its new Libra cryptocurrency project, federal lawmakers issued stark warnings to the social media platform, and have now requested the project be put on ice.

The lawmakers issuing the warnings were Rep. Maxime Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, as well as ranking member Rep. Patrick McHenry. Sens. Mark Warner and Sherrod Brown both stated independently that Congress “cannot allow” such a project.

In response, Consumer Choice Center Deputy Director Yael Ossowski says the lawmakers’ threats are harmful to consumer choice, and will ultimately backfire.

“Overseeing regulation on Internet and financial firms is important, but the ‘regulate first, innovate later’ mentality that came in response to Libra should give every Internet user pause. If every new Internet innovation is now subject to kneejerk congressional approval, that sets a dangerous precedent for the future of consumer choice online,” said Ossowski.

“Consumers have the right to choose if they want to use cryptocurrencies or social networks, and are aware of the great risks and benefits that go along with that. People want an alternative and they’re interested in new digital tools online. That’s why there is so much interest.

“Allowing political figures to freeze future innovations and projects because of temporary partisan politics will keep millions of consumers from being able to enjoy regular goods and services they enjoy online, not to mention being able to connect with thousands of their friends and family online.

“And it won’t stop here. If these threats continue, Bitcoin and dozens of other cryptocurrencies, as well as other social media platforms that millions of users have adopted, will also face well-intended but flawed regulation.

“We must have smart regulation that encourages competition, protects privacy, and ensures consumer choice. Prior restraint of innovation would be the opposite of that,” said Ossowski.

The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

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Winter is Coming para programas como Game of Thrones no Brasil

O inverno não começou apenas no hemisfério sul, mas também pode começar em breve para milhões de telespectadores brasileiros. Uma regulamentação poderá em breve ser responsável pelo desaparecimento de programas como o Game of Thrones e eventos esportivos, como a Liga dos Campeões da UEFA das nossas televisões. Se os políticos não agirem rapidamente, poderemos comprometer a competitividade do Brasil a longo prazo nos serviços digitais.

Os mercados de mídia, digital e de telecomunicações convergem em todo o mundo. Não há mais uma barreira clara entre esses setores, mas um mercado convergente e único se formou. Os agentes neste mercado são mais diversificados e maiores em tamanho de mercado do que antes e a competição é completamente diferente do que temos visto no passado.

Novos operadores estão crescendo graças às fusões e os reguladores precisam ter uma abordagem diferente nesse ponto.

O exemplo brasileiro, em contraste, mostra que a regulamentação está impedindo a integração com mercado único digital. Limitando significativamente o desenvolvimento do “mercado do futuro”, como o mercado digital é frequentemente conhecido.

Como em outros setores da economia, o Brasil precisa ter como meta criar um mercado digital único, no qual as operadoras possam integrar conteúdos e canais para oferecer serviços de mídia melhores e mais abrangentes aos seus clientes. Esta importante necessidade não é algo legalmente possível no Brasil atual.

Em particular, um artigo de uma legislação de 2011 sobre fusões entre empresas de telecomunicações e empresas de distribuição e licenciamento de conteúdo audiovisual no mercado de TV por assinatura.

Este artigo é considerado anacrônico mesmo pelo presidente da ANATEL, órgão regulador de telecomunicações do Brasil, “porque está indo contra a convergência que está desenvolvendo no novo ecossistema digital”.

O regulamento não está afetando apenas uma importante oportunidade para o Brasil, sendo a fusão entre a AT&T e a Time Warner, mas também afeta a possibilidade de o país continuar atraindo investidores. Ou seja, dificulta a possibilidade de um desenvolvimento digital mais rápido e de mais serviços prestados aos consumidores.

Um ecossistema digital do século 21 é considerado um mercado em que todos os participantes da arena digital podem ter uma concorrência justa, graças também ao desenvolvimento das conexões 4G e 5G.

O mercado brasileiro de dados móveis está se desenvolvendo muito bem e a tecnologia 4G é amplamente adotada. Isso ajuda a facilitar a mudança do mercado com mais de 130 milhões de usuários de conexões de internet móvel de alta velocidade

A chegada do 5G nos próximos anos irá desencadear uma integração vertical ainda mais rápida entre diferentes setores, como foi dito por Leonardo de Morais, presidente da ANATEL.

É uma idéia anacrônica de que o mercado poderia ser segmentado por subcategorias, como telefonemas, anúncios ou conteúdo, como no passado. O papel das autoridades tem que mudar devido a essa nova realidade. A competição justa deve ser planejada não apenas em uma visão clássica, mas também entre operadoras em diferentes setores que agora estão competindo diretamente: um exemplo clássico é uma competição entre os provedores Over the Top (como Amazon Video ou Netflix) e TV por assinatura.

Ser atraente para os investimentos estrangeiros é altamente importante em uma indústria global, como os mercados digital e de mídia, e um elemento-chave para o sucesso do desenvolvimento de novos serviços para os consumidores.

Um ecossistema digital do século 21 no Brasil só é possível se a proibição da integração vertical for revogada. Caso contrário, os consumidores serão prejudicados tendo menos canais de TV ou menos conteúdo disponível na TV por assinatura.

(* Sobre os autores: Fred Roeder é diretor do Centro de Escolha do Consumidor; Andrea Giuricin é sócio da TRA Consulting e professor adjunto da University Milano Bicocca; Andre Freo é professor e gerente de operações Centro de Escolha do Consumidor (Cesco). O artigo é um resumo de uma análise política sobre esta questão, que pode ser encontrada em www.chegadebarreiras.org. O ponto de vista manifestado neste artigo não necessariamente reflete a posição de TELETIME)

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Winter is Coming for shows like Game of Thrones in Brazil

Winter has not just started in the southern hemisphere but it might also start soon for millions of Brazilian TV viewers. One piece of regulation might soon be responsible for shows such as Game of Thrones and sports events such as the UEFA Champions League disappearing from our TV screens. If politics don’t act quickly we might jeopardize Brazil’s long-term competitiveness in digital services.

Digital, media, and telecommunications markets converge all over the world. There is no clear barrier anymore between these sectors, but a unique converged market has formed. Players in this market are more diversified and bigger in market size than previously and the competition is completely different from the past.  

New operators are growing thanks to mergers and regulators have to have a different approach on that point.

The Brazilian example, in contrast, shows that regulation is holding the digital single market back, and significantly limiting the further development of the “market of the future”, as the digital market is often labeled.

As in other sectors of the economy, Brazil has to have the target to create a single digital market, in which operators can integrate content and channels in order to provide better and more comprehensive media services to their customers. This very needed necessity is currently legally not possible in Brazil.

In particular one piece of legislation from  2011 mergers between telecommunications companies and audiovisual content distribution and licensing companies in the PayTV market.

This article is considered anachronistic even by the President of Brazil’s telecommunications regulator ANATEL “because it is going against the convergence that it is developing in the new digital ecosystem”.

The regulation is not only affecting an important opportunity for Brazil, that being the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, but it also affects the possibility of the country to continue to attract investors, leading to a faster and development of the digital and more services provided to consumers.

A 21st century digital ecosystem is considered a market where all the players of the digital arena are able to have  fair competition, thanks also at the development of the 4G and 5G connections.

The Brazilian mobile data market is developing very well and 4G technology is widely adopted. This helps to facilitate the change of the market with more than 130 million users of mobile high speed internet connections

The arrival of 5G in the next few years will ignite an even faster  vertical integration between different sectors as it was told by Leonardo de Morais, President of ANATEL.

It is an anachronistic idea that the market could be segmented by subcategories such as phone calls, advertisement, or content as in the past.  The role of the authorities has to change due to this new reality. Fair competition has to be intended not only in a classic view, but also between operators in different sectors that are now competing directly: a classical example is competition between Over the Top (as Amazon Video or Netflix) and PayTV providers.

Being attractive to foreign investments, is highly important in a global industry such as  the digital and media markets, and a key element for the success of the development of new services for consumers.

A 21st century digital ecosystem in Brazil is only possible if the ban of vertical integration is repealed. Otherwise consumers will lose by either having less TV channels or less content available on PayTV.

By Fred Roeder, Managing Director of the Consumer Choice Center, Professor Andrea Giuricin, and Andre Freo Gerente de Operações of CESCO. Both have published a policy note on this issue as well that can be found at www.chegadebarreiras.org

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