A recent survey from the UK Government’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has highlighted that the majority of FTSE 350 firms are not regularly taking cyber risks into account in their decision making. Despite a growing international trend in cyber crime targeted at businesses, the survey showed that only 14 percent of FTSE 350 companies regularly consider cyber threats, and nearly half of those surveyed do not even include cyber risks on their company’s strategic risk register.
In a blog posted on the Federal Communications Commission’s website on December 6, 2013, Chairman Wheeler announced the delay and a more detailed schedule that sets tentative milestones for activities leading up to the auction. The blog is short on specifics, but here are the key milestones Wheeler describes by date:
- January 2014 – the FCC staff intends to announce a more detailed incentive auction schedule at the Commission meeting currently slated for January 30, 2014.
- “Early 2014” – the Chairman intends to circulate a proposed Incentive Auction Report and Order to the Commissioners.
- “Spring 2014” – the FCC is scheduled to vote on the Incentive Auctions Report and Order.
- “Second Half 2014” – the FCC staff is supposed to release an Auction Comment Public Notice and a Procedures Public Notice that will provide additional details and seek comment on how the specific parts of the auction will actually function; these notices will also provide details about some type of extended mock auction that will invite substantial participation from potential bidders.
- “Mid 2015” and “only when our software and systems are technically ready, user friendly, and thoroughly tested” – the FCC will start the 600 MHz incentive auction.
The subject of multiple congressional hearings, including one before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation this week, the US 600 MHz incentive auction is an innovative, two-sided spectrum auction authorized by the Spectrum Act of 2012 that is designed to encourage over-the-air broadcasters to surrender their spectrum to mobile broadband operators. The newly announced delay allows the FCC more time to work the many complexities of one of the most technically complicated and politically fraught auctions of all time.
On 13 November 2013, in the case of Paramount Home Entertainment Limited & Others and British Sky Broadcasting Limited & Others  EWHC 3479 (Ch), Arnold J granted a blocking order requested by six major film studios. It required the six main UK retail internet service providers to block access to two websites which provided hyperlinks to, and downloads of, copies of films and television programmes to which the film studios owned copyright (the “Websites”). The Websites did not host the content themselves, but ensured that it was ‘comprehensively categorised, referenced, moderated and searchable’. Continue Reading
Wireless avionics intra-communications (“WAIC”) technology holds the promise of a safer, more efficient international aviation fleet, but the slow pace of designating spectrum for the service and the possible need for the reallocation of additional spectrum may leave WAIC sitting on the tarmac until at least 2015. And absent broad international consensus, WAIC deployment may never get off the ground at all.
On 20 November 2013, Hogan Lovells hosted a cybersecurity seminar at its London offices, gathering a panel of experts in the field to discuss a subject that has become a growing concern for businesses worldwide. The seminar sought to address the cyber risks currently facing businesses, what businesses should do if a cyber attack occurs, the legal issues a business should consider when responding to a cyber attack, and the options for protecting a business with cyber risk and data protection insurance.
If new European Union proposals are implemented, European broadband providers may need to comply with expansive network neutrality obligations that are both similar to and different from earlier Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules. Citing the need for harmonized regulation, European regulators have taken a number of steps this fall toward strengthening Open Internet protections. In September, the European Commission (EC) adopted a far-reaching “Connected Continent” legislative package that includes new network neutrality mandates. The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) expressed its views on the package in October and, last week, the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy closed a round of public consultation on the proposal. Continue Reading
On Thursday, a New York-based federal judge (Chin, J.) ruled that Google Books, a repository of over 20 million books available to be text-searched by any internet user for free, is a non-actionable “fair use.” The Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google, Inc., No. 1:05-cv-08136-DC, ___ F. Supp. 2d. ___ (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 14, 2013). Reasoning that Google Books uses “words in books . . . in a way they have never been used before,” the Court threw out a proposed class-action lawsuit that sought an injunction and unspecified damages from Google, who scanned and saved the books in their entirety without obtaining permission from the millions of proposed class members. Continue Reading
Website operators seeking to qualify for a defence to possible defamation claims in respect of comments published on their websites contained in the Defamation Act 2013 will have two days (subject to the courts’ discretion) to notify the authors of the comments of the complaint, under the recently published draft Defamation (Operators of Websites) Regulations 2013 (the “Regulations“), currently before parliament. The explanatory guidance published with the Regulations states that they are intended to “be as straightforward as possible for people to use”. However, they are complex, largely bureaucratic and the strict timelines mean that considerable internal procedures and training will be required to ensure compliance. This risks the protection offered by the Regulations being ignored in many cases, as it may be more commercially viable for operators to rely on pre-existing defences.
Two recent decisions – Karpov v Browder and others  EWHC 3071 (QB) and Subotic v Knezevic  EWHC 3011 (QB) – have dealt a blow to so-called ‘libel tourism’, that is, defamation actions in the English courts where there is only the most tenuous of links to the jurisdiction. It is well established that the Court is required to stop as an abuse of process defamation proceedings which serve no legitimate purpose (Jameel (Yousef) v Dow Jones & Co Inc  EWCA Civ 75). Whether the claim in question amounts to such an abuse of process comes down to whether a ‘real and substantial tort’ has been committed in the jurisdiction. In both Karpov and Subotic, the Judge held that such a tort had not been committed within England and Wales, principally because the claimants lacked a reputation within the jurisdiction that was capable of being prejudiced by the allegedly libellous material.
On October, 7, 2013, the leaders of organizations responsible for coordination of the Internet technical infrastructuremet in Montevideo, Uruguay. Participants included the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN); the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF); the Internet Architecture Board (IAB); and the Internet Society (ISOC), They discussed issues determining the future of Internet cooperation. In particular, they agreed on the following key factors for a healthy Internet environment:
- The Internet should be governed in a global and coherent fashion through multi-stakeholder cooperation. Fragmentation at national level must be avoided.
- The trust of users must be strengthened, especially after the recent revelations concerning widespread secret surveillance.
- The globalization of ICANN and IANA functions should be accelerated. The goal should be that all stakeholders, including governments, can jointly and equally participate in Internet governance.
- The transition to IPv6 should remain a high priority.
The joint press statement of the participating Internet organizations is available here.