Frédéric Donck

Author Archives: Frédéric Donck

Consumers International Summit: Making IoT Privacy and Security a Priority

Each day, more and more of us buy products that connect to the Internet, such as personal assistants, fitness monitors, appliances, and home security systems. Odds are you have one, two, or even more. There are more than 23 billion of these Internet of Things (IoT) products installed around the globe – roughly triple the world’s population – and that number is growing.

The Internet of Things offers the promise of convenience, efficiency, and more personalized services. However, many of these products are designed with little consideration for basic security and privacy protections.

The Internet Society and Consumers International formed a working partnership last year to address these challenges and to make sure consumers have access to trusted Internet-connected devices. We are proud to be lead partner at the Consumers International Summit, 30 April – 1 May, focused on putting consumers at the heart of digital innovation.

Consumers care deeply about their privacy, security, and how their personal information is collected and handled. On May 1 at the Summit, our President and CEO Andrew Sullivan will unveil new research from Consumers International and the Internet Society exploring what matters most to consumers when buying connected devices. He will also Continue reading

Article 13 of the Copyright Directive Raises Serious Questions

The next couple of days will be important for the future of the Internet, as the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) will vote on the proposed Copyright Directive. The Directive, which aims to update and reinforce the rights of rights holders within Europe’s Digital Market, is largely a positive step forward inasmuch as the law needs to be updated in light of modern technologies and the Internet. However, Article 13 of the directive raises serious questions about the implications for free expression, creativity, and the freedom to publish.

Under this article, “information society service providers” will be required to use “content recognition technologies” to scan videos, audio, text, photos, and code to the detriment of open-source software communities, remixers, livestreamers, and meme creators.

Last week, many Internet luminaries penned an open letter to the President of the European Parliament asking for the deletion of Article 13. The Internet Society agrees with the concerns raised in this letter and urges the Parliament to reconsider Article 13 in light of the implications for the open Internet.

In the meantime, civil society and academia, including EFF, EDRI, Creative Commons, and the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition Continue reading

Response to the Community on .CAT Issues

Last week I published a statement about Internet blocking measures in Catalonia, Spain.

The situation in Catalonia is delicate and politically sensitive. Understandably, my statement prompted some strong reactions from the Internet community.

In light of this, we feel it is important to clarify what we set out to do in the statement.

The statement was not drafted as a comment on the current political debate and it was not intended to be read in this way. There are many other stakeholders who are much better positioned than the Internet Society to deal with and comment on these political aspects.

Rather, we wanted to highlight the potential consequences for the Internet that stem from the court order requiring .CAT to monitor content and use the DNS (domain name system) to block that content. In this instance, the content in question related to the 1st October referendum.

We firmly believe that intermediaries (in this case the top-level domain (TLD) operator, but it could be any other intermediary such as an Internet Service Provider (ISP)) should not be put in the position of having to decide what content is legal and what is not. Simply put, this is not the role of Continue reading