Posts made in December, 2010

Best Wishes and all of that stuff even if the year end is odd

Ho Ho Ho!

Ho Ho Ho!

I am only a couple of hours away from driving merrily to the ski slopes and suddenly thought about wishing all of you a Merry “whatever it is you’re partying about at the end of the year”!

It’s been a busy year for me…fun at times, and oddly disappointing in terms of my favourite comms tool in life, the Internet. Wikileaks and the cablegate “follow-up”, Hadopi, Loppsi, the Hungarian Media law, the half-ok half-notok statement by the FCC yesterday, Venezuela going bonkers too, the UK’s daft idea of blocking porn online (what is that about?),  Censilia…it’s a bit of a rough end of year if you happen to like the good ol’ Internet like I do.

Oh, and I didn’t blog about the Berlusconi and #euco incident ’cause..I frankly couldn’t be bothered. The darn tweetwall is nowhere near the entrance the Heads of State and government use and the whole idea that if democracy gets rough you should interfere into it is a bit odd to me (I’m talking verbally, not physically). And I don’t care…not faced with the perspective of 2011 becoming the year of the ‘muzzled Internet’.

But let’s stop the gloomy thoughts and hope that people will come back to some form of common sense. And I’m off for ten days to do my outstanding and much admired rolling off the slopes like a rhino snowball imitation.

Merry whatever to all of you!

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When Brussels keeps us stuck in hotels for one Conference after the other

A scene from hell

A scene from hell

It always seems that, as Christmas break draws nearer, all conference organisers decide to set up event after event, just to make sure we end the year spending more time in the lobbies of Brussels hotels than at our office desk (or any other useful place, for that matter)…Could it be that it is to remind us why we are called “lobbyists”? If that’s the case, could we please rename the profession to “beddists” (not buddhists) so that we can spend the cold winter months in bed?

ECTA Conference on the wonders of regulation and competition in the telecoms sector, Data Protection conference on why it is important for Europe and its Member States to protect our privacy, Data Retention conference on why it is important for Europe and its Member States to make private companies store lots of stuff in case they feel like breaching our privacy, Ecommerce Conference to explain the wonders an online single market could bring to our economy if only there was one (well, a functioning one)…all of that bundled in one week.

And you know the sad part: at none of these events did I hear (when I attended with my brain on) or read (when someone was kind enough to spare me the need to participate by sending me notes) anything new…nothing…zippo…nada. Europe talks about innovation ad nauseam but why can’t it’s policy makers try to be innovative? OK, that may be asking a bit much so let’s be slightly less ambitious: how come on issues like telecoms, ecommerce, data privacy and data retention we find ourselves listening to the “solutions & views” of 5 different DG’s? Wouldn’t you expect policy-making on a rather “big thing” like the online ecosystem (buzzword alert but needed to place it somewhere after hearing it a zillion times) to be slightly more…centralised? well-thought? coherent? Oh, and while we’re at it: I am not sure that rules should be different online and offline. I actually am pretty sure of the contrary except for one major aspect: applicable law. But that is something I leave for my musings on Lobbynomics, as this blog must remain my place to rant!

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