Likely soon to pass, the new "European disclosure order" and "European confiscation order" will allow any EU government to request any data from any ISP or data store anywhere in the EU. The right-wing Hungarian government could demand everything ever sent by the local opposition. Russia could obtain almost anything with the help of friendly clients. Sweden could request every email and data stored by two dozen contributors to Wikileaks and hand them over to the United States. 

Axel Petri of Deutsche Telekom has now spoken up, asking to be paid for the work and require approval from their own government. DT is not a natural opponent of government control. The cynical might say DT is afraid of its own government getting information on corporate executives hiding income in Cyprus bank accounts. In any case, they are on target. 

I recently connected on Linkedin to a slew of telecom engineers in Iran. I'm sure that raised flags with the security people in many countries. An Iranian connected and Linkedin recommendations took it from there. I noticed many employees from the European vendors and wrote Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung ban could cripple U.S. 5G (Satire)

I'm actively using Linkedin to connect around the world. I started when I learned Myanmar has 90% LTE soon and wanted more information. Linkedin efficiently suggested a dozen more in telecom in Myanmar. I happily accept Linkedin from anyone in telecom or readers here. The newsfeed postings often point me to information.

From DT:

No Law Enforcement by Private Corporations

An Article by Axel Petri, Senior Vice President Group Security Governance at Deutsche Telekom AG.

Crime doesn't stop at national borders, especially not in an increasingly digital world. The number of cases with an international dimension is rising. The investigating authorities are becoming increasingly dependent on international cooperation. Take cloud services, for example: data relevant to investigations is often stored on servers in other EU member states. While investigators already have the possibility to investigate in other members states in some cases, the process is often too slow in practice. Simple, standardized, uniform regulations have yet to be defined.

The European Union now intends to counter this development. To do so, the European Commission presented draft legislation in April 2018 aimed at simplifying and speeding up cross-border law enforcement (e-evidence). Under this new legislation, the investigating authorities would be able to gain access to data held by enterprises in the European Union without a court order, and much faster than before. The EU’s aim is to pass at least the essential framework parameters within this year.

Specifically, the European Commission has proposed a "European disclosure order" and a "European confiscation order". If they are passed, it would mean in practice that member state A could contact a local service provider – like Deutsche Telekom – in member state B without requiring the prior involvement of judicial authorities in the home country. Currently, national authorities review each request, to ensure that data is only passed on internationally when domestic law allows it.

In principle, Deutsche Telekom commends the initiative by the European Union aimed at making cross-border law enforcement faster and more effective. In doing so, however, we mustn't compromise data privacy and data security. The high level of privacy protection within the European Union must be maintained. What's more, the measures mustn't increase costs or required effort without the EU providing compensation.

In its current formulation, the proposed legislation harbors immense risks – not only to the protection of victims and the rule of law of these processes, but also to us as a telecommunications company, due to its lack of legal certainty.

For these reasons, Deutsche Telekom believes there is a significant need for corrections:

The powers of the authorities must be balanced. Information mustn't be provided simply due to initial suspicion of a minor offense, for example. Before any intervention, legally granted rights – such as the protection of telecommunications secrecy – must be weighed against the state's interest in prosecuting criminals.For providers, the elements legal certainty, practicality, and protection of customer data according to the European standards are key. To achieve this, we will require at least:An official, definitive list of the authorized and responsible authorities. Even better: a central authority in each country to ensure state control and sovereignty,a definitive catalog of crimes for which information must be provided,limitation of the information to data that the provider has already saved,secure, standardized data transmission as well asreimbursement of costs for providers for the extra effort incurred by the larger number of requests.

And eventually, with regards to the sensitivity of the respective requests, a reliable, legally watertight regulation is needed here comparable to Telecommunications data retention.
Summarizing, one can state: Criminal investigation and law enforcement are sovereign tasks. They must generally remain in the hands of government bodies in the respective country and must not be delegated to private enterprises. Likewise, the home country of the provider who is obliged to cooperate, needs to be enabled to ensure the legitimacy of the order according to its national law. his is the only way to ensure compliance with legal rules governing criminal prosecution. At the same time, it is also clear that when private enterprises have access to data that is relevant to investigations, they have to support the authorities. But even in a more digital age, things must not go beyond this support. When it comes to protecting basic rights, private enterprises – particularly small and mid-sized companies – cannot provide the same level of quality as state authorities that have been established specifically for the purpose of law enforcement. To ensure that our basic rights continue to enjoy maximum protection, modern, digital law enforcement should also be the task of state institutions. Furthermore, it must be ruled out that private enterprises can be hold responsible for the legitimacy of orders they cannot verify themselves.

Under no circumstances should the new regulations come at the expense of the telecommunications providers or at the cost of the general public's right to privacy. That's why we see significant need for improvement on the part of the European Commission as well as the need for a transparent and thorough discussion with all relevant social groups. We call up this discussion and will take part in it.

The world needs a good news source on Internet and telecom policy. I hope to create one. Catch a mistake? Email me please.  Dave Burstein


Professor Noam's "Many Internets"

Until about 2010, everyone agreed the Net was a "network of networks," not a monolithic entity. There was a central authority, ICANN, keeping track of domain names, but that was a minor administrative function.
Columbia Professor Noam suggests we might be better off accepting that some nations or groups might want to organize their networks differently. It's easy to see demand for an Internet with much more effective filters against material some think harmful to children. (Any 10 year old can easily find porn today. Many do.)
Internet translation is getting better very quickly. You might want an "Internet" that translates everything into your language. Google Chrome translation isn't perfect but I was able to research most of this story on Russian language sites. With a few more years progress, I might welcome an alternate that brings me everything in English, including caching for better performance.
De facto, Internet news is already split, as hundreds of millions only get their news from Facebook. Google AMP pages, including for news, also favor selected parts of the net
Centralizing the DNS doesn't prevent censorship, as the Chinese have demonstrated. There are many Jewish and Muslim fundamentalists who want to block what they consider blasphemy and limit free speech. See . More from Noam

Russia Orders Alternate Root Internet System
It's actually practical and not necessarily a problem.The Security Council of the Russian Federation, headed by Vladimir Putin, has ordered the "government to develop an independent internet infrastructure for BRICS nations, which would continue to work in the event of global internet malfunctions ... This system would be used by countries of the BRICS bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa." RT
Columbia University Professor Eli Noam and then ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé have both said such a system is perfectly practical as long as there is robust interconnection.
Actually, the battle over ICANN and domain names is essentially symbolic. Managing the DNS is a relatively insignificant task, more clerical than governing. ICANN Chair Steve Crocker pointed out they had very little to do with policy.
Some will claim this is about blocking free speech but that's rhetoric. Russia doesn't need to fiddle with the DNS for censorship, as the Chinese have demonstrated. The wonders of the Internet will continue so long as the resulting nets" are robustly connected. The ICANN and U.S. policy goal should be to help create that system for interconnection.
I expect contentions that “The Russians are taking over our Internet” and “They are splitting the Internet.” The Internet is a “Network of Networks.” It is not a monolith so what would “splitting” it mean or do?
After the WCIT, China realized that ICANN and the DNS are side issues not worth bothering about. They have been building alternate institutions including the World Internet Summit in Wuzhan and the BRICs conferences.  The Chinese have put their main work where decisions that matter are made. Wireless standards are set by 3GPP, where nothing can be approved without China's consent.
The American battle at ITU is proving to be a historic mistake.
Why does Russia want an independent Internet?
They fear that Western sanctions on Russia could cripple the Russian Net. Communications minister, Nikolay Nikiforov, worries about, "a scenario where our esteemed partners would suddenly decide to disconnect us from the internet." I think that's highly unlikely but Nikiforov points out, “Recently, Russia is being addressed in a language of unilateral sanctions: first, our credit cards are being cut off; then the European Parliament says that they’ll disconnect us from SWIFT."
It makes sense for the Russians to be prepared for such a contingency as the Cold War has been warming up on both sides. "Britain's top military chief Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach just made headlines warning Russian subs "could CRIPPLE Britain by cutting undefended undersea internet cables." Much more

ICANN Continues Excluding Russia & China From the Board
No wonder Russia wants an alternate root. Three years ago, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé promised "a seat at the table" to Chinese Premier Li. ICANN welched and this year added two more Americans.
Almost all the ICANN board is from the U.S. and close allies; only about 4 of the 18 board members are from countries on the other side of the North/South divide in Internet policy.  Claiming ICANN represents the Global Internet is inappropriate. China is 1/3rd of the Internet but has no representation on the board.
I know many of the board members. They are all basically honorable but generally share a strong opinion on North-South issues.
Larry Strickling of the U.S. government knew just what he was doing with the IANA transition. He handed over to a board with similar positions as the U.S. government.
"The system is unsustainable while it excludes half the world," I have been saying since 2012. More, including the transcript of Fadi's statements,

Sorry, Ajit Pai: Smaller Telcos Did Not Reduce Investment After NN Ruling
Pai justifies his NN choice with the claim, "The impact has been particularly serious for smaller Internet service providers." #wrong (Actually, NN has minimal effects on investment, up or down, I’m convinced. Competition, new technology, customer demand and similar are far more important.)
The two largest suppliers to “smaller ISPs” saw sales go up. Adtran's sales the most recent nine months were $540M, up from $473M the year before. 2016 was $636M, 2015 $600M. Calix the last nine months sold $372M, up from $327M. The full year 2016 was $459M, up from $407M in 2015. Clearfield, a supplier of fiber optic gear, was up 8% in sales in the smaller ISPs.
There is nothing in the data from others that suggests an alternate trend. Anyone could have found this data in a few minutes from the company quarterly reports.
The results in larger companies are ambiguous. I can "prove" capex went up or went down by selecting the right data. The four largest companies' capex - two/thirds of the total - went up from $52.7B in 2015 to $55.7B in 2016. The result remains positive after making sensible adjustments for mergers and acquisitions. That's as close to "proving" that NN led to increased spending as the facts chosen to prove the opposite.
Actually, whether capex went up or down in 2016 tells us almost nothing about the choice on neutrality. Everyone knows a single datapoint could be random or due to other causes. Much more, including the source of the errors

Elders Bearing Witness: Vint, Timbl, & Many More
Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Wozniak and more than a dozen true Internet pioneers wrote Congress to protect Neutrality. The best Congress money can buy didn't listen but I wanted to reproduce their letter.
I hope they are wrong believing "is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create." My take is the impact will be moderate in the short run.
From the letter:
We are the pioneers and technologists who created and now operate the Internet, and some of the innovators and business people who, like many others, depend on it for our livelihood. ... The FCC’s proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology. These flaws and inaccuracies were documented in detail in a 43-page-long joint comment signed by over 200 of the most prominent Internet pioneers and engineers and submitted to the FCC on July 17, 2017.
Despite this comment, the FCC did not correct its misunderstandings, but instead premised the proposed Order on the very technical flaws the comment explained. The technically-incorrect proposed Order ... More, including the full list,