Stories from Abroad

Since 2010, the Benton Foundation and the New America Foundation have partnered to highlight telecommunications debates from countries outside the U.S.

U.S. Supreme Court wrestles with Microsoft data privacy fight

Supreme Court justices wrestled with Microsoft’s dispute with the US Justice Department over whether prosecutors can force technology companies to hand over data stored overseas, with some signaling support for the government and others urging Congress to pass a law to resolve the issue. Microsoft argues that laws have not caught up to modern computing infrastructure and it should not hand over data stored internationally. The Justice Department argues that refusing to turn over easily accessible data impedes criminal investigations.

Ofcom probes transparency of telecoms price rises

Ofcom has today launched an industry-wide enforcement programme into whether in-contract price rises were set out clearly enough by phone and broadband companies before customers signed up.

China Clamps Down on Internet as It Seeks to Stamp Out Covid Protests

China’s internet watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration, instructed tech companies to expand censorship of protests and moved to curb access to virtual private networks, as a government clampdown succeeds in keeping most protesters off the streets after 

Elon Musk’s satellites to be part of UK trial to get internet to remote areas

Elon Musk’s satellite Starlink technology is to be part of a UK government trial to get better internet connectivity to remote parts of the country. Starlink will initially be trialled at three remote locations—Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire Moors national park, Wasdale Head in the Lake District, and two sites within Snowdonia national park. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said it was continuing to look at the capability of the system, as well as looking at other solutions and services with different suppliers.

Starlink prices in Ukraine nearly double as mobile networks falter

The list prices of Starlink communications devices have nearly doubled in Ukraine, as mobile networks have started failing under Russia’s assault on the country’s electricity grid and increased demand for the SpaceX-manufactured satellite communication device. Starlink terminals, which are made by Elon Musk-owned SpaceX, will increase in price to $700 for new Ukrainian consumers, according to the company’s website.

‘It’s discrimination’: millions of Britons frozen out in the digital age

Many people in Britain can’t live without their smartphone and use it to manage all aspects of their lives, from banking to shopping and socialising.

Global legal perils beset a downsized Twitter

Twitter faces a mass of forces abroad and in Washington that aim to compel the company to obey privacy rules, speech limits and other regulations as Elon Musk remakes the service. Musk's word is law inside Twitter now, but his disdain for rules will encounter tough pushback from governments around the world — just as the company has lost most of the people who managed its relationships with regulators and legislators. Twitter's biggest challenges lie abroad, particularly in Europe, which has been steadily tightening tech regulations for years.

SpaceX just bought a big ad campaign on Twitter for Starlink

Elon Musk’s aerospace business SpaceX has ordered one of the larger advertising packages available from Twitter, the social media business he just acquired in a $44 billion deal and where he is now serving as CEO.

Tech for good, evil and companionship at Web Summit

The future-of-tech conversations at Web Summit  in Lisbon could have played on a split screen.

UK regulator Ofcom considers scrapping requirement that BT provides dedicated landlines for the devices at affordable prices

British communications regulator Ofcom said it had started the process to scrap legislation compelling BT, the former state-owned monopoly, to provide dedicated landlines for the devices at affordable prices.