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AT&T Says Sponsored Data No Threat to Net Neutrality

January 10, 2014 10:27 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

AT&T doesn’t see anything wrong with a little sponsored data. Jim Cicconi, AT&T senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs, issued a statement on his company’s controversial proposal and claimed sponsored data service is aimed solely at benefitting customers. He assured that the program is voluntary and non-exclusive.

FCC’s Wheeler Keeping Eye on AT&T’s Sponsored Data

January 9, 2014 4:30 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In his first live appearance in Silicon Valley as chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler promised to watch carefully AT&T’s plans to offer sponsored data. Wheeler voiced his support for the principles outlined in the Open Internet Order and advocated turning those principles into “justiciable practices on the basis of facts arising from specific circumstances.”

CTIA Partners with LA Auto Show for Super Mobility Week

January 9, 2014 11:00 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

CTIA today announced a partnership with the Los Angeles Auto Show to highlight connected cars at this year’s Super Mobility Week. The LA Auto Show will bring automakers and connected car leaders to Las Vegas for CTIA’s newly merged super show Sept. 9-11 and, in turn, CTIA’s show will serve as a preview for LA Auto Show’s connected car expo in November.

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Samsung, Apple CEOs to Discuss Lawsuit Settlement

January 9, 2014 9:11 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

The chiefs of Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. will meet to discuss settling a bitter two year legal battle over designs and technologies of smartphones and tablets. A filing with the U.S. District court in San Jose showed Thursday that senior legal executives from Apple and Samsung agreed earlier this week that the CEOs will meet by or before Feb. 19.

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.

Snapchat Says to Make App More Secure

January 3, 2014 8:43 am | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Snapchat says it plans to put out a more secure version of its application following a breach that allowed hackers to collect the usernames and phone numbers of some 4.6 million of its users. The disappearing-message service popular with young people said in a blog post late Thursday...

Texting, Dialing While Driving Raises Crash Risk

January 2, 2014 9:05 am | by Marilynne Marchione, AP Chief Medical Writer | News | Comments

A sophisticated, real-world study confirms that dialing, texting or reaching for a cellphone while driving raises the risk of a crash or near-miss, especially for younger drivers. But the research also produced a surprise: Simply talking on the phone did not prove dangerous, as it has in other studies.

Report: NSA Intercepting Hardware, Faking Base Station Signals

December 30, 2013 9:37 am | by Raphael Satter, Associated Press | News | Comments

A German magazine lifted the lid on the operations of the National Security Agency's hacking unit Sunday, reporting that American spies intercept computer deliveries, exploit hardware vulnerabilities, and even hijack Microsoft's internal reporting system to spy on their targets.

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NSA Debate Shifts in Favor of Surveillance Limits

December 20, 2013 10:45 am | by Julie Pace, AP White House Correspondent | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a sharp and unexpected shift, the national debate over U.S. government surveillance seems to be turning in favor of reining in the National Security Agency's expansive spying powers at home and abroad. It's happened suddenly, over a span of just three days.

Verizon to Disclose Law Enforcement Requests for Customer Info in Report

December 19, 2013 4:22 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon today announced its intent to early next year publish a transparency report detailing all the U.S. law enforcement requests for customer information the carrier received in 2013. The company plans to release the first report in early 2014 and then semi-annually after that.

Google Offers TV Signal Study for FCC Incentive Auction

December 19, 2013 10:10 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Google and Broadcom are offering to study television power in different markets as the FCC investigates the necessity for a guard band in its upcoming broadcast incentive auctions. Google acknowledged in an ex parte filing that a guard band between LTE and broadcast signals is being considered ahead of the FCC’s 600 MHz incentive auction, scheduled for mid-2015.

Judge's Word on NSA Program Won't Be the Last

December 17, 2013 9:53 am | by Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge made headlines Monday by declaring that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records is likely unconstitutional. But even he realized his won't be the last word on the issue.

US Lawmakers Ask Trade Czar to Stem Data Threats

December 16, 2013 9:18 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Congress want the Obama administration to demand that U.S. allies back away from proposed restrictions on international data transmissions, saying those actions could hurt U.S. companies. Some nations are seeking to tighten the flow of data after reports this fall of the National Security Agency conducting massive information-gathering efforts abroad.

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DOT Seeking Ban on In-Flight Cell Phone Use

December 13, 2013 2:53 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Transportation is weighing in on the possiblity that cell phones could be allowed on planes. In a statement, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx acknowledged the FCC's recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which suggests the issue isn't a technological one. 

Details of the FCC, U.S. Carrier Cellphone Unlocking Deal

December 13, 2013 10:38 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless have all committed to a new set of voluntary rules regarding customer device unlocking. As CTIA spelled out yesterday in a letter to the FCC, the five biggest U.S. operators will push for the principles to be adopted into the CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service.

FCC Moves to Put Airlines in Pilot Seat on In-Flight Device Use

December 12, 2013 4:42 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

"Let me say up front that, I get it. I don’t want the person in the seat next to me yapping at 35,000 feet any more than anyone else," wrote FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a statement discussing today's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for new policies governing in-flight cell phone use. 

Report: Equity Firm Trumps Dish with $3.3B Bid for LightSquared

December 12, 2013 10:53 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Private equity firm Centerbridge has successfully bid $3.3 billion to buy LightSquared, substantially leapfrogging Dish Network’s bid of $2.2 billion. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Centerbridge will pay $3.3 billion as well as assume $1.7 billion in liabilities under a bankruptcy reorganization plan.

Report: FCC, U.S. Operators Close on Phone Unlocking Deal

December 12, 2013 9:57 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Reuters reports that the deal would ensure carriers notify their customers—via text, email—when devices are able to be unlocked following contract periods. The new policies may cover prepaid devices as well. In addition, carriers would be expected to confirm or deny unlocking requests within two days.

House Committee Passes Spectrum Incentive and FCC Reform Acts

December 11, 2013 4:52 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The House Energy & Commerce Committee today passed through H.R. 3674, the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act of 2013 and H.R. 3675, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act. Both bills were introduced on Monday. Both bills now move onto the House for approval.

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. 

German Prosecutor: Still Weighing NSA Probe

December 11, 2013 9:37 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Germany's chief federal prosecutor says he hasn't decided whether to open an investigation into alleged surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency but is suggesting that he's skeptical. Prosecutor Harald Range's office has been considering since June whether it has grounds to investigate reports of NSA surveillance in Germany, which later included allegations that Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone was monitored.

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...

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. 

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