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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2010-02-02

Obama's budget creates the buzz online

The 2011 budget presented by Barack Obama causes much reaction online while an International agreement, destined to protect intellectual property rights concerns web users.

On Monday, American president Barack Obama submitted to congress a 3.83 trillion dollar  budget plan for 2011. A budget plan focused on fighting unemployment and bringing deficit under control. The web reacts.


As Barack Obama explains in this video put online last week on the White House’s website, the priority is to boost employment in the country. And this will be achieved notably by offering tax credits to businesses so that they can start to hire again as quickly as possible.


A budget which focuses on employment, but also on certain other reforms dear to the president. In this video, the democrat senator Jeff Bingaman applauds Obama’s efforts to boost the economy whilst maintaining the budget planned for the reforms in the health system.


Despite these announcements, some believe that the 2011 budget does however pose some problems. This association which campaigns against the war in Afghanistan is disappointed that Obama is not reducing military spending, as it believes that the Afghan conflict costs the American tax payers far too much.


Others, like this web user, say that the spending cuts are not large enough. He believes that the measures announced by Obama will make a paltry saving when compared to America’s huge deficit, calculated at 1.6 trillion dollars.


And Americans are worried about the ever rising national debt. It is estimated at over 12.3 trillion dollars. Many Americans citizens, like these video bloggers, are questioning the president over the measures he intends to take to bring the debt down to a reasonable level.



Last week, representatives from 39 nations met in Mexico for the seventh phase in negotiations on ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The treaty aims, amongst other things, to protect copyright online, and is causing strong concern in parts of the blogosphere.

For many, like the creators of this video, if the treaty was adopted, it could damage individual freedom on the web. They believe that ACTA is assimilated with potential censorship on the web.

Others, like this extremely annoyed video blogger, condemn a treaty which in the end would only protect the interests of certain large companies, to the detriment of the interests of citizens and net users.

The NGO, Reporters without Borders, has posted on their web site several measures which could be adopted if the treaty had to come to fruition. Governments could, for example, put automatic web filtering into place, or limit the access to certain information. Measures which the NGO deem threatening to freedom of speech.

But for the moment it is difficult to get more precise information, because as this French association for the protection of web users reminds us, the ACTA negotiations are secret. The association invites citizens to sign an open letter addressed to the European Parliament, to express their opposition to the adoption of this bill.

Meanwhile, the campaigning on social networks is just as significant. On Facebook, thousands of opponents of the treaty have joined these groups which call to the different governments involved to stop their negotiations.




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