back to article Don’t lump us in with Facebook, internet infrastructure companies warn European Union

Europe’s two largest internet network infrastructure organizations have warned lawmakers not to lump the core network in with online platforms and apps when it comes to content regulations. In response to the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) public consultation, the Regional Internet Registry for Europe (RIPE) and …

  1. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "My Internet..."

    "many ordinary internet users often confusing Facebook or Google with the internet itself" thanks to major content and application providers, (notably MS) seeming to do the same. But it is rather worrying that regulators apparently have to be reminded of the difference.

    The infrastructure approach has caused problems in the past when self-appointed anti-spam agencies have blocked huge ranges of IP addresses because of a few miscreant IPs. For example, on several occasions and for quite some time in each case Tsohost has been entirely blacklisted by Plusnet because of this.

  2. Martin an gof Silver badge

    Is the problem simply that politicians don't have a clue?

    Much as some (many? most?) members of the public confuse Google with "the internet" and misunderstand the way things are plugged together, I get the distinct impression that the same is true of politicians, even those who have been put in charge of departments with specific responsibilities. I've long felt that having an education Minister with no experience of the education system other than attending Harrow thirty years ago (I generalise, but you get the drift) is a contributing factor to the utterly confused policies successive governments have had towards education in the UK, and similar arguments could be made for those with responsibilities for transport, health, defence, the environment and so on and so on.

    It probably (in the UK at least - I believe some other countries might be better) stems from the sheer lack of suitably qualified candidates. There is a disappointingly small proportion of MPs who have qualifications or real-world experience in anything other than Politics or Journalism.

    It has undoubtedly been entrenched by the tendency of those in charge to promote their mates - who probably went to the same school and likely as not studied the same courses at university, or at the very least joined the same cricket or rowing club.

    It has definitely been exacerbated by the hostility of recent governments towards "experts", but I'm afraid this part of the equation has been around for a very long time in the general "PHB class" - in my very first (proper) job after leaving university, I was told by the newly-appointed "station manager" (i.e. top bod in the building), who had rather rapidly and unwisely been promoted from sales droid to head of sales and then to overall head of the outfit in the space of a couple of years, "I don't want you to tell me it can't be done, I just want you to do it!" It was rather difficult for me - as very much the junior in the building - to explain that I wasn't saying it couldn't be done at all, but that it couldn't be done as quickly and easily and cheaply as the manager wanted.

    It's one thing when that attitude means that the manager's office has to "make do" without the fancy new 12V string lights to impress visitors for a couple of months, it's a completely other thing when it means that ministers ram through legislation which could have (and often does have) far-reaching and long-standing consequences, probably more so for the proletariat than for the ministers themselves.

    Perhaps what we need is some kind of children's TV-style induction course for new ministers.

    "Good morning minister. Now, it may seem like magic, but actually there is some very clever engineering behind the systems which allow you to take a picture of your cat with your mobile phone and almost instantly send it to thousands of other people. Oh, sorry, yes, 'engineering' is a very long word.

    "Why don't we begin at the very beginning..." (cue cutesy tune)

    Sorry, political rant over for a bit

    M.

    1. Alumoi

      Re: Is the problem simply that politicians don't have a clue?

      Of course politicians don't have a clue. They are the ruling class, they know what is good for the peons and they have the power to direct the engineers to make it happen.

      It can't be done? Nonsense, I say it will be done, it WILL be done and damn the fallout. Think of the children/terrorist/mother nature/...

    2. Julz Silver badge

      Re: Is the problem simply that politicians don't have a clue?

      The competences that the political systems select for include things such as being able to raise/have loads of money to give to your party. Be friends and have influence with all of the correct people for any given definition of correct. To be able to give a credible interview while defending the indefensible and simultaneously not saying anything of substance that could be used against your party at a later date. Being arrogant enough to believe that you have the right to make decisions for others while conveying the the air of being one of the people. There are others but you get the idea.

      While none of these actually exclude experience outside of politics, those who are steeped in the inner machinations of the relevant political system will always be at an advantage. Shit but hey :(

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Is the problem simply that politicians don't have a clue?

        It's more general than politics. The one talent you can be sure people high up in hierarchies have is the ability to climb hierarchies. Any competence to fill their role is a very optional extra.

    3. hoola Bronze badge

      Re: Is the problem simply that politicians don't have a clue?

      It is all about the "PPE" degree that originated in Oxbridge. A degree that was alleged to be incredibly taxing and only for the truly intellectually gifted because it was 3 degrees* in one.

      It is now just a route for chinless wonders with no common sense from posh public schools in to politics.

      *Then there are the musical 3 Degrees how have probably been more beneficial to society!

      I once got to see them live at a posh mega Christmas bash a company I was contracting for put on in the 80's at a Park Lane hotel.

  3. Peter Galbavy
    Joke

    Surely if the Chinese can do it with the Great Firewall, then why shouldn't European network operators?

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    A rock and a hard place

    While I perfectly agree that my fiber connection should not fall under the same rules as this post, if you tell me that ICANN is your model for managing things, well, let me just say that I cannot agree with that on a fundamental level.

    The multistakeholder approach may be a nice idea when everything is working well, but if things turn into a Gordian knot, somebody has to take an axe to it and be done with the issue. When gangrene sets in, you cut off the limb. It's the only way to be sure.

    Now the question is : are we at the point of gangrene ? I don't think so, but please do not give me ICANN as the model. Gangrene has not only set in the limbs, it has taken over the entire body and should be purged with fire.

    And I'm talking literally purged with fire.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: A rock and a hard place

      Is ICANN genuinely multistakeholder? The reports here suggest that it's outside the control of the stakeholders. In fact, it seems to consider itself outside the control of anybody else either.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “What would stop a bad actor from sending millions of automated notice-and-takedowns to a competitor"

    I cringed at that one. Courts would stop them. Because the law, unlike what they pretend to believe, is not applied mechanically, it's interpreted by actual human beings, maybe not all perfect, but certainly with quite a few able to notice obvious bad faith use of the law (and of course, there are also laws addressing bad faith use of the laws).

    So fine, I agree with their worries, they need to be addressed, but no need to add to the FUD.

    1. Frederic Bloggs
      Unhappy

      "Courts would stop them", maybe in six months or, more likely not at all, because I doubt there is a single "Judge William Alsup" style judge - who actually understands the issues - in the UK Judiciary.

      Even if there are, there is a good chance that they would recuse themselves because they know more about the subject than they should and therefore might be biased.

      Sigh...

    2. druck Silver badge
      Facepalm

      You aren't familiar with DMCA takedown notices then? This is already happening on a huge scale.

  6. internetplumber

    I think you mean “RIPE NCC.”

  7. eldakka Silver badge

    Much as some (many? most?) members of the public confuse Google with "the internet" and misunderstand the way things are plugged together, I get the distinct impression that the same is true of politicians, even those who have been put in charge of departments with specific responsibilities.

    Considering these bodies also wrongly conflate 'the web' with 'the Internet', are we really surprised they can't just as confused with platforms/apps?

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