The most important result of the World Conference on International Telecom has been to demonstrate that the world now splits into two camps when it comes to the Internet: one is comprised of more authoritarian countries, which would like to turn back the clock and regain sovereignty over their own national bits of the Internet; the other wants to keep the internet and its governance as it is. This sounds much like a digital version of the cold war.
Talks on a proposed treaty governing international telecom collapsed in acrimony when the United States rejected the agreement on the eve of its scheduled signing, citing an inability to resolve an impasse over the Internet.
Eric Pfanner, New York Times
The future of the Internet has been at stake for the last two weeks. Those two weeks hosted the World Conference on International Telecom. And they hosted, as well, a fairly dramatic face-off. The purpose of the summit? To rewrite a multilateral communications treaty. The document, if passed with a meaningful consensus, could have significantly altered the way the Internet is governed — and, therefore, it could have significantly altered the Internet itself. But late last night, a faction led by the United States walked out of negotiations, refusing to sign the treaty.
Megan Garber, The Atlantic
Think your phone calls are protected? Think again. Every day, companies like AT&T and Verizon hand over records of our phone calls and Internet activity to federal agencies — without telling users anything. And Congress seems intent on squashing any attempt to stop this behavior and protect our privacy.
Josh Levy, Free Press
Now is a good time to make sure your elected officials know about the benefits of publicly owned networks and preserve the authority of local decision makers.
Christopher Mitchell, Free Press
Seattle will join Chicago, Kansas City, Bristol, Tenn. and other cities with its very own gigabit broadband network. The proposed plan would see a mix of fiber-to-the-home, mobile broadband and gigabit point-to-point wireless services. The city will partner with Gigabit Squared to make it happen.
Stacey Higginbotham, GigaOM
Ohio Gov. John Kasich unveiled the state’s 100 Gbps broadband network — a tenfold increase in speed and capacity — operated by the Ohio Academic Resources Network.
Jessica Mulholland, Government Technology
President Bill Clinton says businesses need broadband speeds comparable to those in parts of Asia to compete in the global market.
Tim Danton, PC Pro
In today’s world, high-speed broadband networks are far more than a convenience for rural America. They deliver greater opportunity for improved healthcare, education and economic development through advanced communications.
For people tired of paying $40 or more a month for Internet, a new startup offers enticing tradeoff: free service with limits on how much YouTube or Netflix videos they can watch. FreedomPop, which launched its home Internet service this week, is delivering broadband for free — or as little as $10 per month, depending on how much data subscribers want to use.
Gerry Smith, Huffington Post
On Dec. 16, 2002, the first Creative Commons license was issued. The idea behind Creative Commons — giving content creators an easy way to let others copy, modify, or build on their work — has made a major impact on a number of fields, from music to photography to journalism. One of the most prominent journalistic producers of Creative Commons licensed content is the nonprofit ProPublica, which releases nearly all of its work under a Creative Commons license.
Richard Tofel and Scott Klein, Nieman Journalism Lab
Usually, journalists are keen to ask questions, not answer them. But in recent months, they’ve been a little bit obsessed with the subreddit IAmA — one of many, many pages dedicated to specific topics on the sprawling online community reddit — where anyone can field questions about “something uncommon that plays a central role in your life.”
Sarah Laskow, Columbia Journalism Review
Buttressed by editorial oversight and streamlined by redesign, online comment sections may now, more than ever, color reading of the news
Dorian Rolston, Columbia Journalism Review
Folks already use the Internet more than newspapers to get their national news. Now the internet is on the verge of toppling even TV, research suggests.
Robert Andrews, paidContent.org
The New York Times has just announced that it will be partnering with digital publishing services Byliner and Vook to release a combination of original work and existing stories as ebooks.
Adi Robertson, The Verge
Add Slate to the list of news organizations with a sudden interest in getting online readers to contribute some cash rather than leaving the whole thing to advertisers.
Jeff Bercovici, Forbes