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Government looks at law to clarify ‘dos and don’ts’ to guarantee net neutrality

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

With no legal provisions for either the government or the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to implement non-discriminatory access to the Internet currently, the government is mulling a public law defining “dos and don’ts” to guarantee net neutrality.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has provided a background note to a six-member committee suggesting ‘specific measures for enforcing net neutrality’, while viewing the factors relevant in the Indian context. Three factors: need for increased broadband availability, a competitive environment and low telecom tariff indicate that market forces will guard any irregularity by telecom service providers (TSPs).

The note also takes a bleak glimpse in the fact that the most overriding content and application providers are integrated outside the country, which lead to security concerns, interception and legal jurisdiction.  It is expected that the committee will submit its report by the second week of May.

Notably, telcos, such as Reliance and Airtel had initiated separate services in alliance with select content providers offering free data access to their websites. However, it soon ended up after the companies had to withdraw their schemes, not because of any regulatory or government proclamation, but due to a public hullabaloo.

The DoT sources revealed that as the things are today, remarkably high internet traffic growth rate is resulting in network congestion and spectrum crunch. This, in turn, is forcing telcos to implement traffic management tools that curb the stream of data on the Internet.

The  Web Foundation’s 2014 Web Index reveals the fact that 74% of 86 countries included in the study lacked lucid and effective net neutrality rules or showed proofs of price discrimination.

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Digital Media Makes it Tougher for White Collar Criminals To Get a Job

The study involved white collar criminals after release from prison. Seventeen participants, aged 30-65, were questioned and their answers analysed

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Digital Media
Because of Digital Media coverage, white collar criminals end up with having a "personal digital criminal legacy" . Pixabay

The archive, search and sharing features of Digital Media ensure that the online identity of those convicted of white collar crimes, such as fraud and bribery is dominated by their crime long after a sentence is completed, making it much tougher for them to get jobs and reintegrate with society, says a study.

The “labels” attached to them on digital media may have long-term negative effect on their rehabilitation, said the study published in the Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice.

“Historically it has been assumed that white collar crime was un-newsworthy and offenders were unlikely to be confronted by the negative impacts of adverse publicity,” said lead author David Shepherd from the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth in England.

“Consequently, there has been very little research in this field. We wanted to assess this perception and explore the accounts of some white collar criminals who have experienced the attention of the press,” Shepherd said.

Because of online media coverage, white collar criminals end up with having a “personal digital criminal legacy” (PDCL), said the study.

This sticks with them, disrupting their lives and the lives of their families, long after the reported crimes.

The study involved white collar criminals after release from prison. Seventeen participants, aged 30-65, were questioned and their answers analysed.

Overall the group became less economically productive after release from prison. Two remained long-term unemployed and five could only find work in the gig economy where fewer questions are asked.

Digital Media
The archive, search and sharing features of Digital Media ensure that the online identity of those convicted of white collar crimes, such as fraud and bribery is dominated by their crime long after a sentence is completed, making it much tougher for them to get jobs and reintegrate with society, says a study. Pixabay

The association of stymied employment opportunities, a permanent criminalised digital identity and Google was keenly felt by all the participants.

“I was all over the Internet, all over the BBC news, so if I typed in my details on Google you will find everything about me,” Tony, an employee convicted of occupational fraud, said.

ALSO READ: Apple Removes Vaping from its App Store

Frank, a businessman convicted of corporate fraud, said: “You can’t erase Google. And the problem is the media portrayal of what went on. It wasn’t the truth and it’s rarely the truth. But that’s what people read, and if they read it, they believe it.” (IANS)