Skyway Recommended November 11th to 17th

This week: BitTorrent Use Declines; Where’s the Federal Digital Strategy?; 3 Canadian Cities on Smart List; Snapchat Rejects Facebook Offer,Waits for Bigger Payday; Ottawa Warns of Rural Spectrum Loss if not used; Indy ‘Net Governance Threatened; Challenge of Secure Email

Each Monday we’ll pass on links to articles we thought were well worth reading from the previous week, for those who live where we do (British Columbia, Canada), work like we do (high speed business internet), and think about things we do (internet trends, internet privacy, internet censorship, cutting-edge technology, etc.). If you don’t want to wait ’til Monday, we usually tweet and link to these as we come across them

BBC News | With Legal Alternatives, US BitTorrent Traffic Declines

BitTorrent traffic is in decline in the US for the first time, according to a new study. The protocol, used by many pirate sites as well as legal services, allows people to download files bit by bit. It saw its share of total internet traffic fall to 7%, a drop of 20% in the past six months. However, in Europe traffic continues to grow. Read More…

IT World Canada | Will Federal Digital Strategy come out in pieces?

Several years ago when he was Industry Minister, Tony Clement vowed to bring out a national digital economy strategy because broadband is so essential to the future of modern nations. But University of Ottawa Internet law professor Michael Geist suggested at a conference this week that promise may have been smoke and mirrors. Read More…

FastCompany | Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal all Make List of 10 “Smartest” Cities in North America

Which cities are doing the most to become the sustainable, connected, innovative city of the future?  This is the third year of publishing a ranking of the region’s smartest cities. This North American ranking is the first of four that we’ll unveil in the coming weeks, which will include Asia Pacific, Europe, and Latin America. Over the past year I refined the smart cities wheel framework, a visual guide that I use to help frame the discussion of smart cities. While the ranking methodology for 2012 is quite similar in its use of publicly available data as proxies for measuring each of the six components of the wheel, I have added an important new element this year: information from the cities themselves. Learn more about the full methodology here. See the List Here…

NY Times | Rejecting Facebook Billions, Snapchat Expects a Better Offer

What business makes no money, has yet to pass its third anniversary and just turned down an offer worth billions of dollars? Snapchat, a social media service run by a pair of 20-somethings who until last month worked out of a beachfront bungalow in Venice, Calif. Read More…

IT World Canada | Ottawa to take back spectrum if it isn’t used in rural areas

The federal government is taking more steps to ensure rural parts of the country won’t be left behind urban centres that are getting high-speed Internet services. Industry Minister James Moore issued a warning to fixed wireless carriers that own spectrum in the 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz bands their licences will not be renewed in the coming years if the haven’t met all licence conditions. Read More…

IT World Canada | Independent Internet governance is threatened, Canadian ISPs warned

For years the technical standards of the Internet has been governed by independent bodies like Internet Engineering Task Force. But Canada’s Internet service providers were warned Tuesday they have to participate more actively in such agencies if they want to prevent the open Internet from being taken over by governments. Read More…

The New Yorker | The Daunting Challenge of Secure Email

When users of Lavabit, an encrypted e-mail service, logged on to the site this past August, they found a bewildering letter on the site’s main page. Ladar Levison, the founder and sole employee of Lavabit, had shut down his business rather than “become complicit in crimes against the American people.” Lavabit subscribers would later discover that Levison had walked away because federal investigators had asked him to hand over his master decryption key, which would have granted them unfettered access to most of Lavabit’s data. Shortly afterward, the encryption provider Silent Circle followed suit, summarily deleting its users’ stored mail and mothballing its e-mail servers. In the wake of the Snowden revelations, which should have driven demand for their services, encrypted e-mail providers were, in the United States at least, rapidly becoming an endangered species. This leads to a question that has received relatively little attention: Why is encrypted e-mail so rare in the first place? Read More…


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