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Germany Drops Verizon Contract on Fears of NSA Snooping

June 26, 2014 10:42 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The announcement comes after reports this week that Verizon and British company Colt provide Internet services to the German parliament and other official entities. Germany has been at the forefront of international outrage over alleged electronic eavesdropping by the U.S. National Security Agency and Britain's GCHQ, revealed last year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Police Ready to Follow Supreme Court Rules on Cell Phone Searches

June 26, 2014 9:09 am | by Tami Abdollah, Associated Press | News | Comments

From Los Angeles to New York, and in San Diego, Chicago and Houston, officials met to discuss Wednesday's unanimous ruling that could make it harder for officers to quickly find incriminating evidence. The ruling prohibits law enforcement from searching an arrestee's cellphone without a warrant unless a person's safety or life may be in danger.

'Get a Warrant' to Search Cell Phones, Justices Say

June 25, 2014 11:08 am | by Mark Sherman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Cellphones are powerful devices unlike anything else police may find on someone they arrest, Chief Justice John Roberts said for the court. Because the phones contain so much information, police must get a warrant before looking through them, Roberts said.

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AT&T Joins Sprint in Pushing Rural Service to Bolster Acquisition Hopes

June 24, 2014 11:13 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In his prepared remarks, CEO Randall Stephenson outlines AT&T’s plans to bring broadband access to customers in 48 states, with 80 percent of the locations outside of the company’s wireline footprint. Using “fixed wireless” that combines dedicated spectrum and professional installation, he said the combined companies will be able to offer 15-20 Mbps home broadband to customers as part of a package or as a standalone service.

Congress Introduces Reworked Phone Unlocking Bill

June 24, 2014 10:29 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

U.S. Senators Monday announced new bipartisan legislation geared toward making it easier for consumers to unlock their cell phones and take them with to a new carrier. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) last year brought out the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act as a response to revisions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

CTIA CEO Suggests Spectrum Report Cards for Government Licensees

June 17, 2014 10:47 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

New CTIA President & CEO Meredith Attwell Baker suggested a spectrum report card as a way to determine which government spectrum holders are “warehousing” spectrum and who’s putting spectrum to use. Speaking with journalists Tuesday, Baker put most of the emphasis on freeing up more airwaves for mobile use.

CTIA Asks Congress to Keep FCC Powers Limited

June 16, 2014 10:50 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

CTIA is asking that Congress narrow the Commission’s authority to regulate only in specific areas where competition might not necessarily produce the desired result, for instance to ensure emergency communications in underserved areas. 

EU Investigating Apple's Tax Dodge

June 11, 2014 9:58 am | by Toby Sterling, Associated Press | News | Comments

EU antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Wednesday a preliminary probe by his office has found the arrangements are improper, though the companies as well as the countries involved — Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg — must be given a chance to respond.

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Vodafone Report Sparks Global Surveillance Debate

June 9, 2014 10:04 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Telecommunications company Vodafone's report on government surveillance of its customers in 29 countries reveals more than first meets the eye — and is raising questions from Dublin to Delhi about how much spying on email and telephone chats happens in secret.

Vodafone Reveals Extent of Government Cellphone Snooping

June 6, 2014 9:00 am | by Danica Kirka, Associated Press | News | Comments

The report itself reflects the concern now being raised regarding privacy rights around the world. Though Vodafone is a global company, it consists of separate subsidiaries, all of which are subject to domestic laws of the countries in which it operates.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over NSA Cellphone Data

June 4, 2014 10:20 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill ruled Tuesday that under current U.S. Supreme Court precedents, the NSA's collection of cellphone data doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Anna J. Smith of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The Spokesman-Review reports that her lawyers plan to appeal.

FCC Details Proposed Spectrum Screen Changes

June 3, 2014 10:52 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In a NPRM issued yesterday, the FCC added spectrum to the screen: 40 megahertz of AWS-4, 10 megahertz of H Block, 65 megahertz of AWS-3, when it becomes available on a market-by-market basis, 12 megahertz of BRS, 89 megahertz of EBS, and the total amount of 600 MHz spectrum auctioned in the Incentive Auction.

A Note on WEA: When Technology Works

June 3, 2014 9:56 am | by Andrew Berg | Blogs | Comments

WEA is one of those rare instances where a number of players - regulators, government, first responders, carriers - got a lot of moving parts to fit together and the results are truly impressive, to the extent that they could actually save lives. 

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Congressmen Urge FCC to Streamline Infrastructure Deployments

May 30, 2014 10:05 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Section 6409(a) states that “a State or local government may not deny, and shall approve, any eligible facilities request for a modification of an existing wireless tower or base station that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of such tower or base station.”

China Cracks Down on OTT Messaging Apps

May 28, 2014 9:53 am | by Louise Watt, Associated Press | News | Comments

Such services incorporate social media functions that allow users to post photos and updates to their friends, or follow the feeds of companies, social groups or celebrities, and — more worryingly for the government — intellectuals, journalists and activists who comment on politics, law and society. They also post news reports shunned by mainstream media.

China, U.S. Spying Row Continues

May 27, 2014 11:23 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

China called for a halt Tuesday to what it called unscrupulous U.S. cyberspying, saying that a monthslong investigation into reports on the "ugly face" of U.S. espionage has concluded that China is a major target of those efforts. The report by China's Internet Media Research Center...

SmartWatch, Episode 11: AT&T-DirecTV Deal by the Numbers

May 22, 2014 11:58 am | by Wireless Week | Videos | Comments

In this episode of SmartWatch, sponsored by SanDisk, we’re breaking down AT&T’s mammoth $48.5 billion acquisition bid for DirecTV. Our editor Andrew Berg is catching some rays in Orlando at the PCIA Wireless Infrastructure Show, so Wireless Design & Development Editor Meaghan Ziemba was kind enough to fill in.

PCIA: Pai Calls for Immediate Action on New DAS, Small Cell Rules

May 20, 2014 2:16 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In a speech that was peppered with allusions to Bob Dylan songs, Pai noted that the times, they are a changin’ and proposed the FCC act quickly to reform its existing infrastructure regulations. He suggested it do so with the same kind of urgency it did with the spectrum auctions. 

FCC Fines Sprint $7.5 Million in Do Not Call Case

May 20, 2014 9:34 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Federal Communications Commission says Sprint will pay $7.5 million in the largest Do Not Call settlement to date for making unwanted telemarketing calls and sending texts to consumers. The FCC said Monday that Sprint will also put a two-year plan in place to make sure it complies with commission requirements designed to prevent people from receiving unwanted marketing calls.

Carriers, Others Respond to FCC’s Spectrum Screen, Incentive Auction Rules

May 16, 2014 10:56 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Following a busy day at the FCC that saw the Commission drafting rules for upcoming spectrum auctions and revising its spectrum screen, carriers weighed in with varying degrees of praise or scorn for the new policies. The FCC’s move to set aside a reserve of 30 MHz in the 600 MHz Incentive Auctions for bidders holding less than one-third of available low-band spectrum licenses per area drew a lukewarm response from T-Mobile.

FCC Sets Rules for Incentive Auctions

May 15, 2014 2:47 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC said its band plan will limit variations in the amount of spectrum turned over from broadcasters in different geographic areas in hopes of preventing the “least common denominator market’ from limiting the quantity of spectrum we can offer generally across the nation.”

Senate Dems Back Spectrum Aggregation Limits

May 14, 2014 5:06 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The senators wrote that they support reserving a portion of available licenses for carriers with limited nationwide low-band holdings "in order to promote competition, increase auction revenues, and protect against highly concentrated spectrum holdings." 

AT&T, Verizon Come Out Against Title II Classification for ISPs

May 13, 2014 2:02 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

A collection of 28 CEOs of major communications companies are asking the FCC not to proceed with an attempt to reclassify broadband Internet access as a Title II public service. Among the signatories of the letter were AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam.

Court Sides with U.S. in Cell-Tracking Records Case

May 12, 2014 10:33 am | by Eric Tucker, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Justice Department does not have to turn over information on cases involving warrantless cellphone tracking if the cases ended without a defendant's conviction, a divided federal appeals court ruled Friday in upholding privacy protections for people acquitted of crimes.

Report: After Backlash, FCC Drafting New Open Internet Rules

May 12, 2014 10:30 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the commission will reportedly release a new draft of its rules early this week. The revised document will include new language that would ban broadband providers from blocking or slowing down websites but would still allow them to strike deals where content companies could pay for faster delivery of video and other content. 

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