Archive for May 9, 2022

Competition Bureau Confirms That It Wants To Stop The Rogers Shaw Merger

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 9, 2022 by itnerd

Yesterday I reported that Rogers and Shaw received communication from the Competition Bureau saying that they were going oppose the merger of the two telcos. Now the Competition Bureau has confirmed that this communication happened. And they provided among other details, this:

The Competition Bureau is seeking to block Rogers proposed $26 billion acquisition of Shaw in an effort to protect Canadians from higher prices, poorer service quality and fewer choices, particularly in wireless services.

The Bureau challenged the merger today by requesting an order from the Competition Tribunal to prevent it from proceeding. The Bureau is also requesting an injunction to stop the parties from closing the deal until its application can be heard. The Bureau must now prove its case before the Tribunal in order for the deal to be stopped. 

The Bureau alleges that removing Shaw as a competitor threatens to undo the significant progress it has made introducing more competition into an already concentrated wireless services market, where Rogers, Bell and Telus (the Big 3) serve approximately 87% of Canadian subscribers. 

Following an extensive investigation, the Bureau determined that competition between Rogers and Shaw has already declined. The Bureau’s position is that if the proposed merger is allowed to proceed, that harm will continue and may worsen. The applications filed seek to safeguard an effective, growing and disruptive regional competitor for the benefit of consumers.

Well, this is a very interesting development. The Competition Bureau sees this merger the way that Canadians see this merger. Which is that it is harmful to Canadians because it shrinks competition. I for one will be cheering for the Competition Bureau in this fight as Canada needs to do better when it comes to its telco services.

Telstra Appoints Noah Drake As President For The Americas

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 9, 2022 by itnerd

Telstra has named Noah Drake as President for the Americas, responsible for leading the company’s future direction within the region. Drake will oversee all sales and business operations, playing a key role in further expanding Telstra’s portfolio of technology solutions and continuing to accelerate strategic partnerships. 

Drake takes the reigns during a time of rapid Telstra growth and network expansion fueled by increasing worldwide demand for connectivity and access to global markets.

He has a diverse and successful background in telecommunications leadership. Most recently, he led Telstra’s Customer Solutions and Architecture group, directing a specialized team of professionals working with customers to harness the full capabilities of Telstra’s products and services. 

Drake has more than a decade of experience in the international communications space, specializing in building best-in-class performing teams and aggressively scaling in high growth environments. Prior to joining Telstra, Drake was Vice President of Product Management at Boulder (CO)-based Zayo Group, responsible for the Fiber and Infrastructure portfolio of services. Prior to this role, he served as Senior Director of Global Reach where he was tasked with launching the company’s new market expansion team.

Drake holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder as well as a Master of Public Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

India Orders VPN Providers To Retain Data…. VPN Providers Are Considering Their Options Including Leaving The Country

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 9, 2022 by itnerd

India has ordered VPN’s to collect and store users’ data, including names, addresses, contact numbers, email and IP addresses, for up to five year. With this move, Wired reported that VPN providers have since threated to quit India:

The justification from the country’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) is that it needs to be able to investigate potential cybercrime. But that doesn’t wash with VPN providers, some of whom have said they may ignore the demands. “This latest move by the Indian government to require VPN companies to hand over user personal data represents a worrying attempt to infringe on the digital rights of its citizens,” says Harold Li, vice president of ExpressVPN. He adds that the company would never log user information or activity and that it will adjust its “operations and infrastructure to preserve this principle if and when necessary.”

Artur Kane, CMO at GoodAccess had this to say:

“Though controversial upon inception, the so-called data retention legislation has now been with us for decades. Most technologically developed countries enforce these directives with varying retention periods, usually ranging from 6 months to 2 years. In some countries, all expenses on data retention are even covered by the government.

Until now, the data retention obligations were limited to infrastructure providers (internet service providers, telecommunications), and asking the same of VPN vendors is without precedent in democratic countries.

The use of VPNs, in the past widely adopted by companies to provide remote access to company IT resources, has rapidly spread to millions of consumers over the past decade, who use it to avoid surveillance by internet providers, bypass country-based content filtering, and other restrictions. In my opinion, cybercriminals had been using VPNs to anonymize their activities even before ordinary users jumped on the trend.

Now, forcing VPN providers to track user traffic and their private data (like source and destination IP, port, protocol, and timestamps) is going to invalidate one of the last remaining safeguards of personal privacy on the public internet while helping to expose only a handful of lawbreakers. 

The value for the price doesn’t add up, either. Privacy is a basic human need, legally protected in many free countries, and people have the right to protect it, especially now, when their sensitive data is more valuable than ever and is being collected on a shocking scale.

Law on the public internet can be enforced in other ways that do not impact user privacy, such as the use of behavioral algorithms by vendors, looking for characteristic patterns of potentially malicious behaviors, or disabling VPN services to those accounts where such events were detected.”

I have been to India a number of times and this news is very disappointing. India really needs to reconsider this as this is a massive overreach by the Indian Government. And it risks making them a very repressive country that nobody will want to visit or do business in.