Global: Web access costs still bone of contention

Global: Web access costs still bone of contention

As the arguments between internet service providers and free web activists in the US heats up, China has strengthened its censorship of online content.

The debate in the US centres on Federal Communications Commission legislation in 2015 to list the internet as a utility under Title II. The implication was that, like electricity and water, the internet could not be further commodified to give greater access to those who could afford it.

ISPs are vocally opposed to Title II, while supporters believe changes to the legislation may lead to preferential treatments of sites and greater cost to consumers.

The opposing arguments reached a crescendo on July 12 marked as Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality – a day dedicated to the idea that all have the right to equal access to the internet. This event is supported by hundreds of sites, including major players Twitter, Facebook, Google, Netflix and Spotify.

Meanwhile, China has introduced new regulations which will further censor the content available to view online.

State owned telecommunications companies will now ban virtual private networks, known as VPNs, with the hope to stamp them out by February 2018.

This week, the government also clamped down on representations of “abnormal” sexual activity, including homosexuality, incest and prostitution. These restrictions will join Wikipedia, Google and Facebook on the banned list.

UK’s The Sun on Sunday raises cover price

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The Sun on Sunday will raise its cover price a further 10c to $GBP1.10 as advertising revenue continues to decline in the print industry.

The News Corp UK-owned title has seen its May 2017 readership fall 7.1 per cent year on year. Currently 1.35 million pick up a copy at the weekend.

The decision to lift the price comes a month after competitor, the Trinity-owned Sunday Mirror, revealed ad revenue from print advertising had dropped 21 per cent.

WSJ Launches new news app

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The Wall Street Journal has launched a new app, informed by its previous app store venture What’s News.

The masthead has said that the new app will be “more deeply-engaging, interactive destination for users”, meaning less swipe heavy than its predecessor.

The new app will allow users to customise it to suit their needs, giving the option to save articles and set up notifications for topics and authors.

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