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Hasty ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Has Flaws

March 3, 2014 3:57 pm | by Andrew Berg | Blogs | Comments

The "Smartphone Theft Deterrent Act", a bill that would require OEMs to build 'kill switch' technology into tablets and smartphones, seems like an over-reach to me. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement that the legislation would "help put consumers in control of their cell phone data" through a kill switch’...

Report: FCC “Highly Skeptical” of Possible Sprint-T-Mobile Merger

February 4, 2014 9:46 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday met with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse...

Report: SoftBank CEO Meeting with FCC Chairman Wheeler

February 3, 2014 10:22 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son will meet Monday with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to discuss a possible...

DOJ Signals More Reluctance to Bless Sprint, T-Mo Merger

January 31, 2014 10:42 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In remarks made Thursday to the New York Bar Association, Assistant Attorney General of the...

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Aren’t Regulators Always Skeptical About Mergers?

January 29, 2014 3:21 pm | by Ben Munson | Blogs | Comments

The Justice Department being skeptical of a potential anti-trust-bending merger is not exactly news. It’s in theirs and the FCC’s job description to be skeptical of things like that. It would have really been news if the DOJ had indicated something like “Sure, go for it! Mergers are cool.”

Report: Regulators “Skeptical” About Sprint-T-Mobile Merger

January 29, 2014 10:11 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

U.S. Justice Department officials told Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son that any potential Sprint/T-Mobile merger would be met with “skepticism.” The Wall Street Journal spoke with individuals briefed on the conversation who said the meeting reinforced Son’s seriousness in making the merger happen.

NSA Phone Data Control to Come to End

January 17, 2014 9:51 am | by Julie Pace, AP White House Correspondent | News | Comments

Seeking to calm a furor over U.S. surveillance powers, President Barack Obama on Friday will call for ending the government's control of phone data from hundreds of millions of Americans and require intelligence agencies to get a secretive court's permission before accessing the records, a senior administration official said.

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US Spy Court: NSA to Keep Collecting Phone Records

January 6, 2014 9:28 am | by Kimberly Dozier, Stephen Braun, Associated Press | News | Comments

A secretive U.S. spy court has ruled again that the National Security Agency can keep collecting every American's telephone records every day, in the midst of dueling decisions in two other federal courts about whether the surveillance program is constitutional.

FCC Levies More Fines Against Lifeline Violators

December 11, 2013 2:39 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The FCC Wednesday proposed nearly $44 million in fines against three companies that it says violated commission rules protecting the Lifeline program against waste, fraud and abuse. The Lifeline progam provides cell phones and service to low-income consumers. 

New Bill Offers Government Agencies Incentive for Clearing Airwaves

December 10, 2013 9:49 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

U.S. Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), co-chairs of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Spectrum Working Group, on Monday introduced legislation that offers financial incentives to government agencies for vacating their unused spectrum. 

Tech Firms Vie to Protect Personal Data, Profits

December 10, 2013 9:30 am | by Marcy Gordon and Michael LIedtke, AP Business Writers | News | Comments

Even as Silicon Valley speaks out against the U.S. government's surveillance methods, technology companies are turning a handsome profit by mining personal data and peering into people's online habits. The industry's profit machine has become tarnished by revelations that the National Security Agency trolls deep into the everyday lives of Web surfers.

Stephenson: New FCC Showing 'Bias Towards Action'

December 10, 2013 9:26 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

AT&T is hoping for a more agile, fast-acting FCC under new Chairman Tom Wheeler’s direction. Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, said in a remarks at the UBS Media & Telecom Investor Conference, that his company had filed its intentions with the FCC to move to an all-IP network but noted there was very little movement...

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ACLU: Law Enforcement Getting Unfettered Access to Mobile Devices

December 9, 2013 11:06 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

As major tech companies petition the White House for data collection reform, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Monday released a press release that highlights the rising number of law enforcements requests for cell phone subscriber data in 2012. 

FCC Chair Alludes to Spectrum Aggregation Limits for Upcoming Auctions

December 3, 2013 11:07 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In prepared remarks, Wheeler said, “Spectrum is finite, and the FCC is charged with managing the airwaves that are used for commercial purposes. A key goal of our spectrum allocation efforts is ensuring that multiple carriers have access to airwaves needed to operate their networks.”

Justice Department Gives Thumbs Up to Microsoft-Nokia Deal

December 2, 2013 4:22 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The Department of Justice has granted its blessing to Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia. A Federal Trade Commission filing released today confirmed the DOJ’s approval of Microsoft’s proposed $7.2 billion bid to buy Nokia’s devices and services division as well license Nokia’s patents.

Leaked Docs Give New Insight into NSA's Searches

August 1, 2013 10:31 am | by Raphael Satter, Associated Press | News | Comments

Documents published by the Guardian newspaper are providing new insight into the National Security Agency's surveillance of world data, giving an over-the-shoulder look at the programs and techniques U.S. intelligence analysts use to exploit the hundreds of billions of records they gather each year...

Microsoft Asks Holder to Ease Gag on NSA Program

July 17, 2013 8:58 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder calling on him to personally review a gag order that prevents the company and others from further discussing secret national security requests for customer emails, Skype calls and documents stored on its servers...

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Privacy Debate Rages as FCC Takes up Mobile CPNI Rules

June 24, 2013 4:49 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The operators right now are in a bit of a bind when it comes to recent revelations of the NSA's surveillance program. They're bound by law to cooperate with the government and most likely legally bound not to discuss the program. The best they can do is offer up the party line, which to this point has been that their customers' privacy...

Obama Relying on Untested Oversight Board on NSA

June 19, 2013 9:26 am | by Stephen Braun, Associated Press | News | Comments

The obscure oversight board that President Barack Obama wants to scrutinize the National Security Agency's secret surveillance system is little known for good reason. The U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has operated fitfully during its eight years of low-profile existence...

Google Asks US Secret Court to Lift Gag Order

June 19, 2013 9:22 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Google on Tuesday sharply challenged the U.S. government's gag order on its Internet surveillance program, citing what it described as a constitutional free speech right to divulge how many requests it receives from the government for data about its customers in the name of national security...

Report: VZW, T-MO Not Part of NSA Surveillance Program

June 14, 2013 10:45 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile may not have been required to particpate in the NSA's phone surveillance program. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal today reported that the NSA may have exempted T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless from the program for their foreign ownership...

Court Hears Terse Testimony in e-Book Trial

June 12, 2013 8:43 am | by Hillel Italie, AP National Writer | News | Comments

  Macmillan CEO John Sargent, who testified this week at a trial over alleged price-fixing of e-books, was no one's idea of a friendly witness. Of the five publishers the U.S. Justice Department sued last year, Macmillan was the last to settle and the most defiant. The government alleged that Macmillan, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group (USA)...

Is Big Data Turning Government into 'Big Brother'?

June 10, 2013 9:42 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

With every phone call they make and every Web excursion they take, people are leaving a digital trail of revealing data that can be tracked by profit-seeking companies and terrorist-hunting government officials. The revelations that the National Security Agency...

SF, NY Officials to Meet over Cellphone Thefts

June 6, 2013 9:58 am | by Terry Collins, Associated Press | News | Comments

Top law enforcement officials from San Francisco and New York plan to meet with some of the nation's largest smartphone makers next week to help thwart the rise in cellphone thefts and robberies. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman...

Carriers Deny Cell Shutdown Following Boston Bombings

April 16, 2013 10:14 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Wireless operators say they did not shut down cell service following the deadly bombings at the finsh line of the Boston Marathon yesterday. Amid the chaos and confusion immediately following the explosions, the Associated Press issued a report citing an unnamed source who claimed cell service had been terminated in the Boston...

Man Gets over 3 Years in iPad Data Breach Case

March 19, 2013 8:49 am | by David Porter, Associated Press | News | Comments

An admitted online "troll" was sentenced Monday to the maximum prison term under federal guidelines — more than three years — for illegally gaining access to AT&T's servers and stealing more than 100,000 email addresses of iPad users. Dozens of Andrew Auernheimer's supporter...

Apple CEO Required to Testify in NY eBooks Case

March 14, 2013 9:17 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been ordered to testify in a New York court case the Justice Department brought against the company over the pricing of eBooks for consumers. Federal Judge Denise Cote on Wednesday granted a government request to depose Apple Inc.'s chief executive...

Largent Slams NYT Op-Ed Piece

January 31, 2013 11:02 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent slammed an opinion piece, "How to Get America Online", which was published by New York Times. In the piece, Times contributor Susan Crawford argues that access to Internet services...

Dish Lays off Sprint, Softbank Deal

January 30, 2013 10:31 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Dish Network told the FCC that it would not file to block Softbanks' proposed $20 billion acquisition of Sprint. In January 16 filing, Dish had asked that the shot clock in the Sprint, Softbank proceeding be paused until Sprint's bid for Clearwire...

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