tVPN Admin

Policy Bites: EU Commission’s Proposed Data Protections

On the 25th of January 2012, the European Commission published a set of proposals relating to data protection. The proposals are not law and will not be law unless agreed by the members of the European Union but if they are agreed, they will make large changes the balance of power between EU citizens and all [...]

“I don’t speak on behalf of…” Agile Movements, Fluid Politics and the new Democratic Bargain

The internet has brought about a radical shift in politics through three As: Amplification, Association and Agency. The combination of these factors is leaving traditional politics in its wake, yet power is still largely controlled through established institutional structures. This widening gap is problematic for everyone.

Online politics is the flowing, ever-shifting practice of micro-political [...]

US FTC Report to Congress “Virtual Worlds and Kids: Mapping the Risks”

In 2009 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provided a report to the US congress titled “Virtual Worlds and Kids: Mapping the Risks”. The origin of the report was H.R. 1105 Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 which became Public Law No: 111-8 on 11 th March 2009 which directed the FTC to create a report and a consumer [...]

Online Games impacted by Canadian ISP

In September 2011 CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) reported that Canadian ISP Rogers had used traffic prioritisation (i.e. breaking Net Neutrality) which negatively impacted online computer games.
CBC reports that CRTC (the Canadian Telecoms Regulator) too action after a complaints from the Canadian Gamers Organization. Rogers recognised that the problem impacted World of Warcraft and it is suspect that many other [...]

Council of Europe Exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue

tVPN were commissioned to provide input to the Council of Europe’s 2011 exchange on religious dimension of intercultural dialogue. The focus of the 2011 meeting was:
Media, Beliefs and Religions
“The role of the media in fostering intercultural dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding: freedom of expression of the media and respect towards cultural and religious diversity”
- Agenda
Text of tVPN [...]

tVPN support IEEE and the VECoLab

tVPN support IEEE and the VECoLab

the Virtual Policy Network is supporting the creation of a body of practices and standards for virtual environments through the IEEE sponsored Virtual Environment CoLAB (VECoLab). The VECoLab is a group of individuals and organizations working to further the adoption of virtual environments. Its draft charter states:
“Virtual Environments CoLab is hereby established to achieve standardization within [...]

The Netherlands 2007: RuneScape extortion

In 2007 in The Netherlands a 13 year-old player of the online game RuneScape (Jagex Games Studio, UK) was kicked and threatened with a knife by a 14 year old and a 15 year old until he transferred virtual items to one of their accounts. In 2008 a Dutch court found the both defendants [...]

Li Hongchen v. Beijing Arctic Ice

Li Hongchen v. Beijing Arctic Ice Technology Development Co. Ltd.,
This is generally is regarded as the first instance of ‘virtual theft’ being recognised by a court.  The case concerns virtual items taken from a player’s account through some form of account hacking. The case was brought by the victim of the theft against the game [...]

China: Virtual (only) currency rule

On 29 June 2009 the Ministry of Commerce of The People’s Republic of China released a statement (see full text below) announcing that ‘China has unveiled the first official rule on the use of virtual currency in the trade of real goods and services to limit its possible impact on the real financial system.’
Rather than [...]

White Paper: Virtual Items and Public Policy

7 February 2011. Today the Virtual Policy Network has released a White Paper on Virtual Items and Public Policy. The Paper provides an overview of virtual items and virtual currency are – covering the spectrum from Xbox points to MMO characters. The paper defines what the key public policy interests are in virtual items, and [...]