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Broadband Roundup: China’s Tit-for-Tat with America on Cybercrime; FCC Chairman Wheeler Discusses Next-Generation Internet Networks

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WASHINGTON, May 27, 2014 – In what appears to be a tit-for-tat on the United States Justice Department’s indictments last week for cybercrime, China has accused the United States of spying on government officials, businesses and mobile phone users, reported the BBC News.

“As a superpower, the United States takes advantage of its political, economic, military and technological hegemony to unscrupulously monitor other countries, including its allies,” said the report by China Internet Media Research Centre, according to BBC.

In retaliation for last week’s prosecution by the U.S., Bloomberg reported, the Chinese government is asking domestic banks to replace U.S. company computer servers with Chinese replacements.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler discussed the Commission’s plans to host a meeting in June that will entertain proposals on how to transition to next generation networks, according to a blog post on the agency’s web site.

A large part of the meeting will focus on upgrading the nation’s old copper phone lines to fiber-optics, cable, and wireless internet protocol networks. The goal, said Wheeler, is to transition into higher-technology networks while preserving “enduring values like universal access, competition, and consumer protection.”

Wheeler also referenced the FCC’s net neutrality initiative, which he said will seek to “preserve the Internet as an open platform for innovation and free expression.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that many technology companies, trade associations, and lobbying groups are deeply concerned about the 30-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The techies are concerned that ECPA’s provisions allow the government to access e-mail and cloud-stored data without a search warrant.

Digital Due Process, a coalition of interested parties, has appealed to Congress to strengthen privacy rules, according to the WSJ. Giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Google have said that they will only relinquish consumer data if search warrants are presented.

ServInt Chief Operating Officer Christian Dawson said that America has an image problem with regards to privacy.

“It’s very easy for providers outside the country to say, ‘Hey, move your business offshore into an area that cares more about your privacy,’” he said. “They don’t have better laws necessarily. They have a better marketing department.”

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