EU Commissioner roles up for grabs

  • Posted on 28th May 2014
EU Commissioner roles up for grabs

As the fall-out from the European Parliament (EP) elections continues to dominate the headlines (see our preliminary analysis of the results here), the nomination by EU leaders of their nation’s next EU Commissioner (and the specific portfolio which they will take on) is becoming a key thread of the post-election discourse.   In the UK, Andrew Lansley MP, the current…

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European elections highlight voter discontent ahead of EU talks

  • Posted on 27th May 2014
European elections highlight voter discontent ahead of EU talks

The 2014 European Parliament (EP) elections have seen a marked rise in eurosceptic representatives from right across Europe. In Britain, France, Denmark and Greece populist, anti-establishment political parties have all received a significant share of the vote, to the detriment of established political parties in government.   With only a handful of seats yet to be declared, the centre-right European People’s…

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IEA’s latest Technologies Report lays bare the tough climate and energy policy choices ahead

  • Posted on 23rd May 2014
IEA’s latest Technologies Report lays bare the tough climate and energy policy choices ahead

The International Energy Agency (IEA) invariably has something interesting to say on energy policy, on what is happening now and on future trends. Their latest report, Energy Technology Perspectives 2014, which lays out pathways to a sustainable energy system by 2050, is no different in this regard.   Much of what the report says provides food for thought – and some correctives…

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Airbnb agrees to pass on anonymised data to New York regulators

  • Posted on 22nd May 2014
Airbnb agrees to pass on anonymised data to New York regulators

Following a revised subpoena from the New York state Attorney General (read our previous blog here) requesting the personal details of hosts who use Airbnb for short-term rentals, both sides have reached an agreement. Under the agreement Airbnb will provide the Attorney General with anonymised aggregate data on their hosts in New York. This data will initially not include names, addresses or…

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Colorado set to become the first US state to pass statewide ridesharing regulation

  • Posted on 21st May 2014
Colorado set to become the first US state to pass statewide ridesharing regulation

A bill regulating ridesharing services is expected to be imminently signed by Colorado State Governor John Hickenlooper.  This would make him the first US State Governor to sign into law such a bill.  Whilst California was technically the first State to regulate the industry (its rules were created by the State’s Public Utilities Commission), Colorado’s rules are set to be…

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Virtual currency and the pursuit of legitimacy

  • Posted on 20th May 2014
Virtual currency and the pursuit of legitimacy

A number of news stories over the last few days once again illustrate the momentum that virtual currencies are gathering towards increased legitimacy amongst regulators and consumers.    The US state regulatory group, the Emerging Payments Task Force, has pushed ahead with plans to compile an overarching rulebook or guidelines for the use of virtual currency. The publication will look…

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U.S. Federal Communications Commission proposes new net neutrality rules

  • Posted on 16th May 2014
U.S. Federal Communications Commission proposes new net neutrality rules

In a hugely significant development yesterday telecom regulators in the United States voted to proceed with net neutrality rules.  Amid protests the vote was passed with three commissioners of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) voting in favour and two voting against.  Tom Wheeler, chairman of the FCC, said that “the consideration we are looking at today is not about whether…

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New subpoena issued in battle between Airbnb and New York regulators

  • Posted on 15th May 2014
New subpoena issued in battle between Airbnb and New York regulators

New York State regulators have re-issued a subpoena against Airbnb only a day after the courts dismissed a request against the short-term rental company.   On Tuesday, 13th May 2014, Gerald W. Connolly, the Acting Supreme Court Justice, ruled that a request for information was too broad and the demand for information identifying all hosts in New York, including their…

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Why UK policymakers should manage their message on renewables

  • Posted on 13th May 2014
Why UK policymakers should manage their message on renewables

Our Environment Consultant Richard Folland takes a look in this blog post at why UK policymakers should manage their message on renewables   Energy Minister Michael Fallon has said that if the Conservative Party should win an overall majority at the General Election in May 2015, it will not subsidise any more new onshore wind farms. His announcement has generated…

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EU court backs ‘right to be forgotten’ in Google case

  • Posted on 13th May 2014
EU court backs ‘right to be forgotten’ in Google case

In a hugely significant development, the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) has today ruled that Google must amend some search results at the request of ordinary people in a test of the so-called “right to be forgotten”.   The European Commission proposed a law giving users the “right to be forgotten” back in 2012.  It would require search engines…

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