These are interesting times indeed!
Just when you think the little guy doesn’t stand a chance against big corporations or governments, David loads a rock into his sling and slays the giant.
We witnessed it a few weeks ago when the EU tax court decided to take Apple and Ireland to task for their cozy ‘tax arrangement’. We may see it again later this week when the EU will rule whether online communication services like WhatsApp and Skype are subject to the same regulations that apply to the telecoms.
It appears that telecom executives want these communication apps like WhatsApp and Skype to play by the same rules that they are subject to. Things like offering emergency service calling, porting numbers when you switch providers, and other silly things like network security (erm… WhatsApp).
On the other side, tech firms claim these proposals are so draconian that it could potentially force some of them out of business. They claim that is is an attempt by the telecoms to stifle the competition, that they are not traditional telecoms so the same rules shouldn’t apply to them. Finally, that the regulations surrounding the telecoms should be loosened rather than tightening them on the tech companies. Either way, someone will feel the regulatory sting at the end of the day.
One sticky issue is surrounding privacy, specifically-
whether so-called lawful access rules, which require telecommunications firms to allow police to install wiretaps, should be expanded to tech firms. It isn’t clear if the EU’s proposals would include such a change, but the possibility raises the specter of renewed fighting over whether tech firms should be forced to build in back doors to encrypted services
As you may recall, this was a direct result of Apple deciding to aid and abet the San Bernadino terrorists.